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Comment: Lacks (pre)historical perspective (Score 2) 183

by Admiral Burrito (#44623551) Attached to: Can There Be Open Source Music?

Considering copyright has been around for less than one percent of the time that music has, I think it's safe to say:

WTF is wrong with people that this is even a question to be taken seriously?!?

There's something dystopian about the current state of discourse. It's like the bar scene in Cherry 2000 where men and women all have lawyers present to negotiate a one-night stand. They would probably ask: "Is open-source sex possible?"

And that's where we're at with music.

:(

Comment: Backronyms (Score 5, Insightful) 158

by Admiral Burrito (#42308621) Attached to: WW2 Pigeon Code Decrypted By Canadian?

I don't know about WWI/WWII acronyms but it seems unlikely that they were all exactly five letters long and had letter frequency like this (look at all those Qs, Xs, and Zs). I do know that ciphertext is usually written in groups of five letters to provide spacing without giving clues about the spacing of the plaintext. Also, there is a bit of stuff in the middle of the page below the ciphertext (cropped out of most photos), which if I remember right was used for metadata about what code was used.

This sounds like a case of someone looking at random stuff and trying a bit too hard to make sense of it.

Comment: Re:Hardwre Tokens (Score 1) 86

by Admiral Burrito (#42014727) Attached to: FreeBSD Project Discloses Security Breach Via Stolen SSH Key

Yes! These things have finally gotten cheap enough (around $20) that those of us with access to a lot of servers ought to have one.

For those not in the know, these things look like a USB flash drive, but have more number-crunching power than storage. You load your SSH private key onto the USB fob and the key never leaves the device. Plug the fob into a USB port and ssh offloads the private-key RSA operations to the fob, which won't do anything unless you enter a PIN. As the private key never leaves the device, it can't be stolen without physically stealing the device or somehow hacking into the firmware. Using the fob requires software (opensc) on the computer you plug the fob in to, but to the server it's just a plain old SSH connection.

Obviously if you lose the fob you're screwed unless you have a backup copy of the key somewhere. The best option seems to be to generate the key on a PC with no network connectivity, save the key to the fob, and also save to removable media as an offline backup.

Comment: Re:v1 was bullshit too (Score 1) 101

by Admiral Burrito (#40804251) Attached to: OAuth 2.0 Standard Editor Quits, Takes Name Off Spec

Speaking of sorting parameters, there is at least one issue I still see in a lot of libraries. The spec says encode things, then sort them. Many of the libs I've seen do it the other way around. Sorting first is the most obvious way to do it, but I guess the spec was trying to avoid issues with locale-specific collations by forcing everything to ASCII first. Most sites uses plain alphanumeric parameter names so people get away with doing it either way.

Still, it goes to show how developers can completely fail to RTFSpec, even when developing a library for use by lots of other people. Seems to be exactly what worries Mr. Hammer.

Comment: Re:I hope.. (Score 4, Insightful) 304

by Admiral Burrito (#40729381) Attached to: Patent Troll Claims <em>Minecraft</em> Infringement

You have a very valid argument, but there's one aspect that's missing: just like with old-fashioned racketeering, it's not a one-time expense: fold to one patent troll and you'll have to fold to all.

It's much worse than that. Defeating a patent troll doesn't create any sort of immunity against others. Even doing what you are ostensibly supposed to do - license every patent you need to - is no guarantee that someone else won't come along with another patent and shut you down.

Software patents are thousands of swords of Damocles hanging over the heads of every software developer. The idea that this somehow encourages innovation is complete and utter bullshit, shovelled by those who own the swords.

Comment: Re:The Man does what he wants (Score 4, Insightful) 358

by Admiral Burrito (#40657547) Attached to: When Art, Apple and the Secret Service Collide

This guy was PLAYING Big Brother and using computers which did not BELONG to him.

Yeah, and all those people wandering around Apple stores STEALING processor cycles should all get the same treatment! /sarcasm

Those machines are obviously there for people to play with, and as far as I know there is nothing saying what they can and can't be used for. Using the webcam to capture images is not necessarily any less legitimate than using the web browser to browse web sites.

People are bizarrely schizophrenic about being photographed. His program is basicly the same as CCTV. CCTV has been around for ages, recording everone day after day. I'd bet there are even a few CCTV cameras in the Apple stores in question. Nobody cares. It's just easier to ignore it. But when you see your own face staring back at you from some computer screen somewhere, everything changes.

People are totally in denial about the death of privacy, and they're just itching to shoot the messenger, because there's nothing else that can be done about it at this point.

Man must shape his tools lest they shape him. -- Arthur R. Miller

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