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Comments

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'weev' Conviction Vacated

smartr Re:To the point... (148 comments)

In no way shape or form is a "Browser agent" a security measure. Identifying a user's browser agent is not, never was, and never will be a security or authorization method. If you do any web based testing, you can change your browser agent. It's the equivalent of telling another machine what kind of clothes you are wearing. "Hi! I'm wearing firefox 1.0 today." Then AT&T says, "Neat! Since you said you're wearing firefox, you get data we're legally not supposed to give you." Replace Firefox with your browser environment of choice.

Explain to me how any part of changing a browser agent is, "Accessing a system without authorization", when it is not a method of authorization?

I'll assume you can tell the difference between black and white and move on to what the docket describes as a "brute force attack". A brute force attack means sending a massive amount of data to find collisions with a ***SECURE*** piece of information. For example, a randomized 64 bit number has over 10 quintillion possibilities. To brute force a 64 bit secure number and get 100,000 results, you would need to try on average 100 trillion numbers for each of those results. In this case, the information in question was an incremental number. For example 1 is a number. 2 is the number after that. 3 is the number after 2, and so on. Counting in a visible parameter is not, never was, and never will be a security or authorization method. If you can see a number, and increment it, that does not give AT&T permission to give data they're legally not supposed to give to you.

Explain to me how any part of counting is, "Accessing a system without authorization", when it is not a method of authorization?

about a week ago
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Navy Debuts New Railgun That Launches Shells at Mach 7

smartr Re:So... (630 comments)

I found it interesting to describe by calculating kinetic energy. A stabbing ~ 185 joules. A gunshot of 45 caliber ACP round ~ 702 joules. A 1 ton vehicle going 100mph ~ 1 megajoule. A giant truck about to hit a series of tubes ~ 30 Megajoules. The kinetic energy of this railgun as it leaves the muzzle ~ 30.9 Megajoules.

about two weeks ago
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Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

smartr Re:I think this is bullshit (1746 comments)

its not wrong to be intolerant of intolerance.

How Tao...

It all depends on your social norms. Are you tolerant of recreational use of crack cocaine? Do you tolerate people openly masturbating nude in the streets? What is your particular stance on bestiality? How about having children participate in sexual acts as part of a cultural practice, even if it was a new cultural practice? Other people's participation in these acts does not affect you any more than other people's participation in marriage. What part of marriage is a basic right? I personally think we should allow same-sex marriage because it's generally proper from an equality perspective, but intolerance is pretty natural and the government generally already favors particular groups...

Brendan Eich might be a bit of a religious bigot. It still doesn't mean that singling someone with different cultural views who is largely tolerant of your cause actually helps your cause. By ostracizing opposing viewpoints, you are likely causing your viewpoint to be ostracized in other less tolerant circles. I don't think targeting Brendan Eich was a sensible move.

about two weeks ago
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Massachusetts Court Says 'Upskirt' Photos Are Legal

smartr Re:A new law in not what is needed (519 comments)

I admit this is a bit pedantic, but the judge was right because there is no ambiguity about the meaning of "partially nude". In the same light, secretly taking up-skirt photos does not make you guilty of committing murder.

about a month and a half ago
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MtGox Files For Bankruptcy Protection

smartr Re:"...and the bitcoins have disappeared." (465 comments)

And who is going to internationally track where all those stolen bitcoins landed downstream? Is some international organization going to go and recover those bitcoins and return them to their proper owners? Actually... this sounds like really good news for actuaries.

about 2 months ago
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Interview: Ask Richard Stallman What You Will

smartr Medium of exchange (480 comments)

rms, I recently read you were interested in developments for anonymized digital currency. Currency in its current form is the primary rational for restricting the sharing of information. All currencies I am aware of are based on the currency being scarce, which encourages artificial scarcity of information. Have you seen any attempts at creating digital currencies that are not scarce, but reflect value based on usage and distribution? Search engine tracks ratings of websites. Users get more individual value out of certain information. Perhaps this is all just a pipe dream, but philosophically speaking, what do you think about creating a better carrot as opposed to relying on sticks like the law?

about 2 months ago
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Gmail's 'Unsubscribe' Tool Comes Out of the Weeds

smartr Misdirected ham (129 comments)

A lot of the mess I get in my inbox is related to companies not validating email addresses. I've got people doing business transactions with my address and doing things like registering a twitter account. So, in a sense, it's spam but not spam.

about 2 months ago
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NSF Report Flawed; Americans Do Not Believe Astrology Is Scientific

smartr Re:Really good question (326 comments)

I think one might argue, it's more that the NSF either sucks at common sense or intentionally makes misleading surveys.

about 2 months ago
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NSF Report Flawed; Americans Do Not Believe Astrology Is Scientific

smartr Re:Really good question (326 comments)

I imagine most just don't know what "Astrology" means off the tops of their head, and they probably think it's some scientific term for astronomy... "Horoscope" is probably a more familiar term. Furthermore, if you asked someone if "Scientology" was science based, if the interviewee doesn't know what Scientology is, they would probably say it was science based... Entomology, Arthropodology, Herpetology, Aerobiology, Virology, Phytopathology, Psychobiology, Ethology, Kinesiology, Neuroendocrinology, Psychophysiology... what?

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

smartr Re:I agree with the claimed motives... (380 comments)

Sure, Bush totally failed on the whole "no nation building" bit he ran on... Romney definitely sounded just as bad as Obama given the latest election. Obama, being the original civil liberties hopeful that would end the war and shut down Guantanamo (he even got a Nobel Peace Prize), is pretty much a complete nightmare for anyone who cares about civil liberties. It's like those Democrats have developed some kind of Stockholm syndrome where they here phantom voices whispering "9-11 9-11 9-11" and their higher mental functioning shuts down... Meanwhile Obama is busy pretending to be Walder Frey at a red wedding, and he thinks the people who care about civil liberties are like House Stark... But hey, there's a "D - Candidate Foo" who's totally going to fix this because they're really trying to hold their "alliance" leader accountable. I'm sure lots of the future Democratic candidates are just going to trash their former leader in the next election. I'd say it has really got to suck to be a Democrat who actually cares about these things, because the most probable fix is this Republican...

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

smartr Re:Pointless (380 comments)

I can understand the cause for cynicism, but I'd also point out that there is a huge difference between a nutty congressman grandstanding and a senator who is a serious presidential contender pressing the courts. Courts tend to do wacky things when it sounds like the shit is going to hit the fan. If Rand actually successfully pushes this through somehow, it probably would not help his chances in further elections because the changes will have been made and presidential candidates won't be openly promoting NSA spying. If they ignore him, it sets him apart from the rest of the crowd. If it accelerates him to Presidency, then effectively the shit is going to hit the fan, so the courts better do something...

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

smartr Re:I agree with the claimed motives... (380 comments)

Let me guess.... You voted for Obama, and you would vote for him again despite the NSA spying. The NSA spying in no way makes Obama a douche, because he's a unicorn. The NSA issue isn't that important, and you'd vote for another president who supports such action, as long as they're a Democrat?

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Should Developers Fix Bugs They Cause On Their Own Time?

smartr Re:Guarantee (716 comments)

Nonsense, the builder's employee is analogous to the computer itself. Programmers are far above the low level work of brick laying. Programmers are more like experimental architects. Less experienced or simply more optimistic programmers will make more mistakes because they're constantly learning. One might further say that a programmer, who by trade is exercising the trade of "computer science", is in fact closer in position to that of a scientist. If scientists only got paid when their hypothesis was correct, no matter how many experiments were run, not much science would be getting done. If an employer does not understand this risk, they probably are not prepared to be doing business in the industry and might also want to double check their employee tax obligations.

about 2 months ago
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Spamhaus Calls for Fining Operators of Insecure Servers

smartr Re:I used to love Spamhaus (170 comments)

Just think of all the government funding though! The NSA could just whip up another batch of attacks and after laying the groundwork to break the previously up to date servers, they can collect moneys on their hacking work... kind of like if a cop pulled you over and took a baseball bat to your taillight because they think they're immune to oversight.

about 5 months ago
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US FDA Moves To Ban Trans Fat

smartr Re:HFC would be a better start (520 comments)

Cane sugar lobby much against the cheaper corn sugar? Some countries outright ban hemp, a dangerous plant in which lurks a powerful narcotic which may cause murder, insanity, or death! The health benefits of cane sugar over high fructose corn syrup are marginal. The problem with cheap sweetener is that sweetener helps sell products so it gets added to everything. The sugar is bad for you mmmkay?

about 5 months ago
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Google Argues Against Net Neutrality

smartr Re:Don't be evil (some of the time) (555 comments)

As far as my not-a-lawyer brain can tell, pretty much anything is "commercial behavior" when it comes to how the US government interprets things. If you want a citation, see the SCOTUS rulings on Wickard v. Filburn and Gonzales v. Raich. So, when a company says it restricts "commercial behavior", I can only assume that means it restricts whatever the hell the company wants it to. As far as I can tell, it's a load of crap to restrict things based on it being "commercial" because everything is "commercial" when it comes to doing things even it's just for your own personal amusement. What I read us that Google is not arguing they should be able to charge different prices for different tiers of service they provide, but they're arguing they should be able to arbitrarily pick and choose how customers use their service and arbitrarily charge customers more for behavior they don't like when using their public utility.

about 9 months ago
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Blizzard Breaks For Independence As Kotick Plans $8.2 Billion Dollar Buyout

smartr Haters gonna hate (203 comments)

Yikes, what did Activision Blizzard ever do to the OP? In breaking from the mega-corporate-ownership chain going from something like GE-???-Vivendi-Activision, Activision is now its own independent megacorporation not owned by a debt ridden parent that was demanding massive dividends to support its drug addiction. http://venturebeat.com/2013/07/25/activision-buys-back-majority-stake-from-vivendi-for-5-83-billion/ This is good news... If all posts were this venomous, all PS3 / XBONE / WiiU posts would sound like an expletive filled angry drunk rant by a person with turrets syndrome.

about 9 months ago
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Blizzard's Unannounced 'Titan' MMO Rebooted, Development Team Reduced

smartr Re:Where have I heard this before? (193 comments)

StarCraft 2 took 12 years and was great.

Diablo 3 also took 12 years to release, and it most certainly wasn't great.

It was still a well polished game that probably brought you over 20 hours of entertainment compared to the shovelware feeling you get everytime an EA game crashes your console.

about a year ago

Submissions

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Songbird 1.0 Released

smartr smartr writes  |  more than 5 years ago

smartr (1035324) writes "The Pioneers of the Inevitable have recently released Songbird 1.0. Sadly, Songbird lacks iPod Touch and iPhone support to be a real iTunes killer. With any luck, the libgpod library will get around Apple's obfuscated hashing algorithms to allow for GPL software to talk to these devices. Regardless, the latest release of Songbird is a great cross platform open source audio player and organizer worth checking out. Here's a cnet review."
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