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Mozilla CEO Firestorm Likely Violated California Law

sl3xd What good is free speech... (1110 comments)

What good is freedom of speech if you can't speak your mind without being vilified by everyone?

de Tocquerville even warned that freedom of speech is useless unless the speaker is allowed to voice their view without being persecuted for it.

He even closed "Democracy in America" with: "Tyranny in democratic republics does not proceed in the same way, however. It ignores the body and goes straight for the soul. The master no longer says: You will think as I do or die. He says: You are free not to think as I do. You may keep your life, your property, and everything else. But from this day forth you shall be as a stranger among us. You will retain your civic privileges, but they will be of no use to you. For if you seek the votes of your fellow citizens, they will withhold them, and if you seek only their esteem, they will feign to refuse even that. You will remain among men, but you will forfeit your rights to humanity. When you approach your fellow creatures, they will shun you as one who is impure. And even those who believe in your innocence will abandon you, lest they, too, be shunned in turn. Go in peace, I will not take your life, but the life I leave you with is worse than death.”

Freedom of speech is useless without the tolerance to allow a person's views to be heard, without persecution. Unless you can voice your view without persecution, "You will retain your civic privileges, but they will be of no use to you" is literally true - you can voice your view, but you will suffer for it, what good is it?

It's perversion of the spirit of the first amendment to say "You have freedom of speech, but not freedom from its consequence."

I may not like what I consider ignorant drek spouted by Neo-Nazis, KKK, certain Westboro Baptist Church members, etc. I may think they are personally the worst filth humanity has to offer. But I am willing to fight to give them the right to spew their bile and to protect them from those who seek to silence them by whatever means necessary. Anything less amounts to tyranny by the majority.

And that's precisely what is being done here - Eich voiced a view - years ago, and now that what was then the minority is now the majority, he is being punished for it.

The very cornerstone of freedom of speech is being willing to protect those whose views we hate, and the ability to exercise their right without fear of backlash or persecution.

I'm not saying Eich is left starving... far from it. The point is that nobody should feel a threat to their person, livelihood, or property because their views -- however unpopular, ignorant, or wrong -- are expressed.

about two weeks ago
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Five-Year-Old Uncovers Xbox One Login Flaw

sl3xd They were busy (196 comments)

I'm sure the reason the reward was so paltry was because the rest of the reward went to cleaning the development team's underwear.

about two weeks ago
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Facebook To Begin Deploying Btrfs

sl3xd There may be, but... (115 comments)

There may be such a button, but since the code will be stored on btrfs, it'll corrupt itself in a few months and disappear.

about three weeks ago
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Facebook To Begin Deploying Btrfs

sl3xd And an active development... (115 comments)

It also has an active development community; the git repo has regular and frequent commits (for a filesystem). ZFS on Linux seems to test more and release less often -- a fact I appreciate as I haven't lost a single bit of data on my ZFS filesystems, but have lost entire btrfs filesystems multiple times. (Yeah, sure, btrfs is "experimental" and will eat your data... so why is Facebook even thinking about using it?)

about three weeks ago
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Facebook To Begin Deploying Btrfs

sl3xd What difference would the GPL make to ZFS? (115 comments)

It would be the biggest "fuck you" in the history of open source if ORACLE licensed ZFS as GPLv3 only, as the license would still be incompatible with the Linux Kernel.

The whole reason the CDDL was chosen by Sun was to be incompatible with GPLv2. Oddly enough, the GPLv3 is incompatible with GPLv2 as well.

From a license persepective, it makes no useful difference, as you'd taint the kernel with an incompatible license to run the code whether it's GPLv3 or CDDL.

about three weeks ago
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Facebook To Begin Deploying Btrfs

sl3xd And facebook will be burnt (115 comments)

Not that anybody'll really notice, but I have a feeling that Facebook's backup and recovery system is queuing up for a stress test.

Having lost data with BTRFS multiple times on my disk array (as recently as last month), I have no confidence in it. The best thing I can say about btrfs is is that it was able to tell me that it had lost data. Not many filesystems do that; but ZFS on Linux has been rock solid for years, and not only tells me if data has been lost, but actually preserves the data as well.

about three weeks ago
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NSA General Counsel Insists US Companies Assisted In Data Collection

sl3xd Yahoo CEO's term (103 comments)

Traitors, the lot of them.

Unfortunately, there are multiple ways of finding the 'traitor' here...

I seem to recall Yahoo's CEO saying something along the lines of "If I discuss government surveillance programs, I go to prison as a traitor; if I don't comply with them, I'm also a traitor." (obviously paraphrased)

So if you're damned if you do, and damned if you don't, I'd go with the one that doesn't involve a very public slam-dunk federal crime.

This is especially true with our current legislature (both houses, all parties), as well as multiple executives (both R and D), whom have voted to make the surveillance legal, and a Supreme Court that has also sided with the other two branches.

I can't really fault anyone faced with that decision.

The law as it currently stands may be horrible, but it is still the law, and the only way out is for voters to elect leaders who want to remove it.

about a month ago
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OpenSUSE 13.2 To Use Btrfs By Default

sl3xd Lost data recently (91 comments)

I've lost data recently with btrfs, in the past two weeks. Redundant metadata & data didn't help me. Neither did the snapshots.

Thankfully, I had a backup of the data.

So my review of btrfs: Not ready. Slow. May eat your data.

about a month ago
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Apple Refuses To Unlock Bequeathed iPad

sl3xd Ability to unlock != ability to authenticate. (465 comments)

The ability to unlock isn't the same thing as the ability to authenticate. Many documents (such as a will, death certificate, and notes from a legal professional) are easily and commonly forged. Fraudsters use this route all the time to pull identity theft.

A court order, on the other hand, is positively verifiable.

Here, I think any company (Apple or otherwise, be it a bank, Google, Amazon, whatever) is damned if they do, damned if they don't, so they aught to go with the most secure option.

about a month ago
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Apple Refuses To Unlock Bequeathed iPad

sl3xd But they do... (465 comments)

Apple should have no skin in this game, they don't own any part of it.

Has anyone stopped for a second to consider that there are a lot of attempts to use social engineering tactics to get into a person's account, and/or unlock a stolen device?

Apple gets reamed when a prominent user's account is hacked using similar social engineering tactics, but is supposed to let it pass when someone uses easily forged documents?

I give Kudos to Apple (or anyone else) for being pedantic about authentication. Court orders are far more difficult to forge than a death certificate or a letter from a solicitor.

about a month ago
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Estimate: Academic Labs 11 Times More Dangerous Than Industrial Counterparts

sl3xd +This (153 comments)

I can't agree more. I have trouble understanding how people don't get that students don't come with all of the knowledge they need to be 'safe.' They are there to learn. Many lessons are from making mistakes - often bad ones.

The number of ways to produce surprisingly harmful substances by accident is large, as is the number of students whom haven't discovered their own mortality yet.

about a month ago
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Microsoft's Attempt To Convert Users From Windows XP Backfires

sl3xd WTF? (860 comments)

There's no problem installing any browser I like on my Mac.

And as for iOS? Let's see... Google Chrome and, Opera are both available on iOS.

Microsoft (unsurprisingly) doesn't make a browser for Mac/iOS, nor for Linux/Android.

As for Microsoft putting IE in their OS - that was the least of their crimes. The only thing you're doing is proving your rank ignorance in Microsoft's behavior in the 1990's. Microsoft had a nasty tendency to change entire API's so a competitor's product wouldn't run. A popular saying was "Windows ain't done until (Lotus, WordPerfect) won't run." Microsoft was fond of extorting any non-Microsoft software vendors, and creating entirely new Windows-only proprietary technologies (DirectX, Windows Audio, Windows Video, Active Directory... the list is huge) to thwart adoption of standards. Microsoft was (and still is) famously hostile to open source software, even going so far as lobbying politicians to make open source software illegal.

In contrast, Apple supports many major open source projects: CUPS, WebKit, LLVM, and Clang. Apple also has released the source code (ie. their modifications) for over 200 other projects they use. Apple even releases the source for the OS Kernel, and other technologies such as Launchd, Grand Central Dispatch, mDNS/Bonjour, Apple Lossless Audio Codec, and their calendar and contacts server.

Apple is a lot better than Microsoft, even now that Microsoft has "reformed" somewhat. But claiming that Apple is worse than Microsoft only shows you have no fraking clue what you're talking about.

about a month and a half ago
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'Obnoxious' RSA Protests, RSA Remains Mum

sl3xd This (99 comments)

+1 to this.

It's fairly common for companies to have required IT products, such as RSA. Then they send their employees out to improve their knowledge of the "blessed" product(s).

The employees are often obligated to attend the conference, and are also (due to corporate policy) unable to say much, just in case those comments can be construed as company opinion.

So yeah... you have these poor attendees who are pretty much like "Look, I don't know anything anyway, my attendance was mandated by someone else. Why are you harassing me?"

about 2 months ago
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'Google Buses' Are Bad For Cities, Says New York MTA Official

sl3xd More than that... (606 comments)

He's saying that businesses should buy more expensive property at higher tax rates, in a slum, tear it all down, and rebuild everything new.

In other words: these companies should take it upon themselves to finance urban renewal.

Now I'm all for corporations being better citizens, and giving more back to the communities, but it is laughable to take an area the city can't take care of, and expect a corporation to somehow improve the area by moving in. Corporations aren't in business to make the area's neighborhoods better; that's the job of the city government.

I've seen a number of big, respected corporations in slums. (The Prudential is HQ'd at Broad & Market in Newark - hardly a shining pillar of civilization). The proximity of the company did nothing for the area.

about 2 months ago
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Oklahoma Schools Required To Teach Students Personal Finance

sl3xd Shorter words (304 comments)

Oklahoma's teachers had better use shorter words in their curriculum than their lobbyists used for the press.

Though I also think high schoolers should be required to work a minimum wage job before graduation, for at least a few months. That way, instead of abstract concepts, they know "it feels like this to earn $100.00."

about 2 months ago
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How Well Do Our Climate Models Match Our Observations?

sl3xd But it is warm... (560 comments)

WTF are you talking about? I'm in the continental US, and it's been the WARMEST winter in at least 20 years. We've been breaking record highs daily for almost two months.

Just because it's cold where you live doesn't mean it is cold everywhere.

about 2 months ago
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Rand Paul Files Suit Against Obama Over NSA's Collection of Metadata

sl3xd But Timecube does discount everything else on the (380 comments)

The fact that Timecube exists doesn't automatically discount everything else on the internet.

You obviously haven't actually spent much time reading Timecube. After Timecube, everything else on the internet can easily be discounted.

about 2 months ago
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OCZ May Be On Its Last Legs

sl3xd Re:Avoid all brands with "4 GAMERZZZ!!11" marketin (292 comments)

Even companies that used to make good stuff, like das, now have cut costs so that you are going to get more life out of a random membrane keyboard.

Das doesn't make the switches; Cherry does. Nearly every mechanical keyboard manufacturer these days uses Cherry MX switches, which are rated for 50 million cycles. Whether you're buying a mechanical keyboard from Das, WASD, Ducky, Razer, or any of a host of others, you're getting the exact same 50-million cycle switches.

In contrast, a membrane keyboard's switches are generally only rated for 3-5 million cycles.

To use the obligatory car analogy, it's like complaining that because the car's manufacturer didn't put in a premium audio system, the engine will only last for 10,000 miles.

about 6 months ago
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What the Insurance Industry Thinks About Climate Change

sl3xd Re:Some industry experience (385 comments)

I see no reason that insurance history could provide insight into the cause - be it fossil fuels, freon,

History is simply a record of observations; a dataset.

By itself, it doesn't provide much of anything. It's data.

Combined with our understanding of physics and chemistry, however, and the story changes significantly. We are able to chart what we know about the materials against what we see in the data, and tease out very relevant data.

Measured data over a period of time + physical and chemical knowledge = simulation. Whether it's a flight simulator, racing game, crash simulation, or fluid dynamics - the principles are the same. Over time, the simulations become more and more complex, and more and more accurate.

The process is along the lines of:

  • Take what we know, and create a computer model that accurately models previously obtained data (ie. matches known data as closely as possible)
  • Next, get a new slice of reality - such as crash two real cars together and film and instrument it to collect the desired data
  • We input the same initial conditions into the simulation, and run the simulation
  • We compare the results between the two, and improve the simulation model

It's a simple feedback system that improves over time.

High quality simulations are not simple, but they are based on simple building blocks, just like all human knowledge. Over time, the models become very accurate (and peer reviewed, often by a competing company whose interest is in disproving your model to their gain). Eventually, the simulation becomes close enough to reality that we base our decisions on the simulation, and tool up for production using simulated data. Verifying the simulation's accuracy is often little more than a formality with an already expected outcome. (And if the outcome is different, then it's an opportunity to improve the simulation model - and profit from that knowledge).

Modern simulations have reached the point where nearly everything that happens on a human scale (be it vehicle design, structures, radio transmission, or even diaper packaging) not only can be simulated with nearly perfect accuracy, but is routine to the point of being almost boring.

This was not always so. Only a couple of decades ago, simulations were crude affairs with very approximate results. Yet these crude simulations were more than sufficient to get us to the moon and back, as well as build the most powerful heavy lift rockets ever made.

While the order of complexity for simulating the climate is many, many orders of magnitude higher than what is required to simulate the structural and aerodynamic performance of the Saturn V or N1 rockets, our ability to perform such simulations has also increased many, many orders of magnitude.

A great deal of the academic papers with respect to climate science are about finding problems (and solutions) in the simulations. While it may sound like that means the model isn't any good, the reality is the discussion has reached the point of minutiae that increase the overall accuracy, but don't actually change the overall result (or prediction) significantly.

about 7 months ago
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What the Insurance Industry Thinks About Climate Change

sl3xd Re:Some industry experience (385 comments)

Also fire zones... more than a few people build their dream home in a wooded foothill, where they can't see their neighbors through the trees. There's a lot of prestige in building your home higher up the hill than the next person.

The problem is such areas are tinderboxes, and are poorly maintained from a land management perspective Irrigation, landscaping, and pesticides tends to increase the amount of overgrowth. The presence of humans (and our cars, electricity, and tendency to cook food) greatly increases the number of opportunities for a fire to start. It's not uncommon for a car's breaks to throw out sparks that start a fire, to say nothing of backyard fires and tobacco smoking.

Wildfires eventually strike, and destroy everything. It's a very common pattern in the Western US, where drought is common. The firefighters often call such areas the "stupid zone," as you have to be pretty thoughtless to build your house in the middle of a tinderbox. All it takes is one of your neighbors (miles away) to be either thoughtless or unlucky, and the whole area is torched.

In my experience, it's not that there aren't safe places to build. It's that the safe places are so... pedestrian; so conventional; so... bourgeoisie.

So these geniuses build their homes are built on cliffs, mountainsides, floodplains (near the river/creek), or in the wooded foothills.

about 7 months ago

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