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Comment Good luck (Score 1) 6

You are completely on point.

Tech needs a lot more old-schoolers. I hope that your recovery goes well and they you are able to contribute more.

Please never give up your oft insightful and occasionally controversial commentary as it adds a lot to Slashdot and helps drown out the fanbois and zealots.

Submission + - Spike of radioactive Iodine levels is detected in Europe (

schwit1 writes: Iodine-131 (131I), a radionuclide of anthropogenic origin, has recently been detected in tiny amounts in the ground-level atmosphere in Europe. The preliminary report states it was first found during week 2 of January 2017 in northern Norway. Iodine-131 was also detected in Finland, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, France and Spain, until the end of January.

However, no one seems to know the reason behind the released Iodine-131. Along with nuclear power plants, the isotope is also widely used in medicine and its presence in the air could be the effect of several different incidents.

Or, as someone speculates, it could have been the side effect of a test of a new nuclear warhead in Russia: an unlikely (considered the ability to detect nuke tests through satellites and seismic detectors) violation of Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

Comment Why this is wrong: (Score 5, Insightful) 188

A government, particularly one that is elected by the people, exists for the purpose of managing systems to improve the entities that they are governing and to protect the constituents.

Whether or not Kim Dotcom is likely innocent or guilty, this finding will neither improve NZ and completely fails in protecting at least one of its' citizens.

Despite any extradition treaty, NZ must protect their citizens.

Australia is guilty of similar neglect with the lack of assistance to Assange. Our government does not represent Australia or Australians and all policies are either self-serving or to the benefit of another nation (US & UK). There is continuous dumbing-down of political matters to the extent that constituents no longer identify treason when it is shoved in their face.

Submission + - Sex Offenders Are Still Locked up After Serving Their Time. Why? (

schwit1 writes:

Some 20 states have civil commitment programs for people deemed sexually violent predators. Records show that more than 5,000 Americans are being held this way nationwide. Those numbers have roughly doubled over the previous decade or so, as judges, governors and state legislators have reacted to public concern about violent sexual crimes.

Civil confinement lies at the fraught intersection of crime, sex, and politics, in which sexual crimes, and just the possibility of sexual crimes, are treated differently from other offenses. Murderers, armed robbers, drunken hit-and-run drivers, insider traders, and other criminals are released when their prison sentences have been served.

States operating these programs defend them as necessary to protect the public, especially children, against dangerous sexual predators. The Supreme Court has upheld them, ruling that as long as they are narrowly tailored, with their “clients” subject to regular reviews, they serve a legitimate public interest in keeping potential dangerous offenders off the streets.

But critics of civil commitment argue that men are being locked away (and almost all of the detainees are men), often effectively for life, on the basis of subjective predictions of what a former sex offender might do in the future. They assert that this is a flagrant violation of the 14th Amendment’s requirement that no person shall be deprived of his freedom without “due process of law.”

Recidivism rates for sex offenders are typically lower than for people who commit other types of felonies. But statistics don’t matter when politicians and judges are trying to mollify the mob.

Comment Re:Simple (Score 0) 155

I use Java all the time, and I don't send a dime to Oracle. How is not using Java going to hurt them?

Oracle profit from Java Certification, Java Support, and Proprietary Java Extensions. While you may not use any of these, people working with your code in the future will likely require one or all of them.

The reasons for dumping Java are the same reasons for dumping VB6: Ethics, Pushing bad coding practices, Slow, Buggy, Increasing hostility toward customers, Out-dated.

Comment Re:A small suggestion (Score 2) 37

When you're talking about a guy running two different companies, it might make some sense to specifically mention both of them by name in the first sentence or two.

First sentence of the summary:

To Jack Dorsey, running two high-profile companies -- Twitter and Square -- at the same time doesn't seem like a problem.

At the time of the post, the summary was different. I read it through twice trying to decipher the situation. It has been edited without a note.

Comment Re:What the hell is "rust"? (Score 1) 236

Why not Perl, Python or Ruby? These languages have had the same features and have been around even longer.

Those languages have indeed been around longer, but they don't have the same features. For starters, neither meet conditions b, c, or d. Neither of those languages are capable of system programming or have a secure web engine focus. Perl, and increasingly Ruby and Python have a strong presence for web apps but to the best of my knowledge have never been used (for good reason) for a web browser or web layout engine.

Additionally, none allow concurrent computing. With modern internet connections, the bottleneck is often at rendering. Concurrent computing should speed this up by at least an order of magnitude.

Servo, a prototype, has been in testing for some time with very promising results. This project is also headed up by Mozilla.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Is it a mistake to step out of Gartner's Magic Quadrant 1

An anonymous reader writes: I am a technical guy but I have gotten to the point in my career where management is asking me to review and recommend solutions. My issue is that on multiple occasions, after extensive review of all viable options, I make a recommendation and get rejected because it is not in the "Magic Quadrant." Is it a mistake to look outside the MQ? To me, they are pretty much marketing materials anyway. The only weight I give to Gartner is as a starting point to research which I use to compile a list of vendors and get an over view of their offerings. Then I study the heck out of all options and make a recommendation right for my employer's specific scenario.

Am I making a career mistake by dismissing Gartner and not staying in the MQ?

Comment Re:What the hell is "rust"? (Score 4, Informative) 236

And why aren't they using Swift which is the de-facto best choice for next generation systems languages?

Rust a) has been around longer; b) was developed by Mozilla; c) focuses on security of web engines; and d) is strong enough for system programming.

Swift was a reaction to Rust, bringing some of the features and simplifying the Obj-C Syntax. It was designed with the Apple environment in mind and doesn't (officially) support windows. Swift as a choice makes zero sense as there is no real benefit as Mozilla is no longer trying to be hip.

Mozilla is taking a risk and betting on the future of hostile internet - and users actually giving a shit about security.

Comment Link to dumps (Score 3, Informative) 86

Link to dumps

Release 1 - the supply chain - a backdoor with backdoors.

In this release find a small sample of the 900GB of mere 'user accounts and basic contact
information' recently liberated from Cellebrite.

The exploit techniques that Cellebrite employ are wrapped in various encryption schemes
in an attempt to protect 'their' intellectual property. The custom routines for
decrypting this lame ass protection are included in this release along with an
accompanying sample .eas (DLL designed to target devices and applications) and .epr
(bootloaders, exploits and shellcode) files.

The more discerning eye will notice that some of the Apple exploits bear a remarkable
resemblance to those available to any teenager interested in the jailbreaking scene;
perhaps not all those tax dollars have been wasted, the Blackberry epr is still worth
a look at.

The ripped, decrypted and fully functioning python script set to utilize the exploits
is also included within.

Download links:!sZUkSbDT!l74...!0d9zBQLI!DdK...

Coming soon.....

Release 2 - watching the watchers - pivot to win.

In this release find a small sample of files retrieved via the weaponized Cellebrite
update service deployed on MS Windows based devices and desktops (SYSTEM privs) within
the customer infrastructure.

Analysis of the compression and obfuscation employed by Cellebrite on products supplied to
British MOD juxtaposed with the protection free versions supplied to SOCOM and others is
also included within.

@FBI Be careful in what you wish for.

Comment Re:Who stole it first..? (Score 1) 86

Don't the people who the software has been distributed to get to require the source code?

Yes. Code must be distributed with the software OR a written offer to provide the code must be distributed with the software.

Any person who has the software may then freely re-distribute it for a fee or for free. In this case, the written offer must still be honoured by the developer.The GPL renders it not illegal nor immoral to "leak" the software and every copy is legitimate. Hacking would still be a crime if it occurred but the copies would be legitimate.

My argument is: If Cellebrite have distributed software containing GPL'd code and not packaged the source or a written offer, then they are in breach of the GPL. If they have packaged the written offer, then it stands for anybody in possession of the software and if they don't honour a request then they are in breach of the GPL.

If these products are in breach of the GPL then it is likely that similar products from the same company are also in breach. This would allow a court to issue a 'motion to compel' to Cellebrite to produce the code for inspection. If these products are also found in breach, then they could be forced to stop distributing, face a financial penalty, and/or forced to release part or all of the code. It could also allow the public to get access to the software via a FOI request to the department using it. Tenuous, but within the realms of possibility and worth trying.

Comment Re:Who stole it first..? (Score 1) 86

Don't the people who the software has been distributed to get to require the source code?

Besides the point that this was purchased with Public monies:
(from GNU's GPL FAQ

Does the GPL require that source code of modified versions be posted to the public?
No. Only to the users.

Does the GPL allow me to require that anyone who receives the software must pay me a fee and/or notify me?
No. You can charge people a fee to get a copy from you. You can't require people to pay you when they get a copy from someone else.

What does “written offer valid for any third party” mean in GPLv2?
People who did not get the binaries directly from you can still receive copies of the source code.

Does the GPL allow me to distribute copies under a nondisclosure agreement?

Depending on the source, I feel that there is valid recourse here.

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