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Comment: Re:Management speak, blah blah (Score 4, Interesting) 43

by Antique Geekmeister (#49177897) Attached to: GitLab Acquires Gitorious

Github's hosted service is more reliable than almost every in-house source control central repository I've seen in decades of experience. The concern about the off-site risks is understandable, but for robust multi-location access, it's been much better than anything that even I could host in house.

Comment: Re:Not Dumb.... (Score 2) 197

> Adult pornography on the internet is actually illegal in the US

Could you provide a citation or evidence of this, please? There have certainly been attempts to regulate it, with mixed results. But even casual research leads very quickly to the Supreme Court case that struck down porongraphy provisions of the Communications Decency Act. ( And even that unconstitutional law attempted to restrict pornography to minors, not pornography as a whole.

There was a particularly memorable quote in the Supreme Court case, one to keep in mind when filtering Internet traffic. That includes this, and the recent blocking of ISIS traffic on twitter.

> Through the use of chat rooms, any person with a phone line can become a town crier with a voice that resonates farther than it could from any soapbox. Through the use of Web pages, mail exploders, and newsgroups, the same individual can become a pamphleteer.

Comment: Re:Not Dumb.... (Score 3, Interesting) 197

I was referring to the various reports around 2010 and 2011 saying that over 30% of the Internet content was porn. Those numbers have been called into question (, but from network experience and dealings with bulk storage and network traffic, I'll continue to claim that it's the most _likely_ content of any single Petabyte sized archive. I'll agree that it's not the only possible content of such a large repository.

You've a valid point that "it''s still legal" for ordinary pornography, at least in most countries. Child porn is the political leverage used to censor or filter Internet content in many countries. I'll be quite curious to see if this case actually involved child porn, or if it was merely distasteful or a means to get other traffic data for the prosecutors.

There was n infamous case about Amateur Action BBS, a very popular porn site that was framed for dealing in child porn. The frame failed, since they did not even open the box of content they hadn't ordered, but the postal inspector from Tennessee succeeded in convicting a California couple for content that was previously ruled to be constitutionally protected in California.. The history is fascinating: there was a good thread at the time in EFF discussion groups, still available at b

Comment: Re:Not Dumb.... (Score 3, Informative) 197

Given storage work I've done, when you're hosting that much content and that much traffic, it's almost _always_ pornographic. I do hope that the Canadian courts can be sensible about what is specifically and knowingly hosted, and what is treated in a hands-off fashion like US "common carrier" standards require.

I'll be even more fascinated to see if any intelligence agencies know about child porn and refused to reveal or prosecute its source, due to a desire to keep their monitoring secret. We've certainly seen that in the USA.

Comment: Re: Oh dear me, so frightening. (Score 3, Insightful) 522

> Women are already empowered enough.

In the USA, it's gotten profoundly better in my lifetime, but even here it is hardly complete.

Empowering women also leads to lower birth rates and reduces poverty profoundly. One of the biggest reasons that ISIS, al Quaeda, and other fundamentalist groups grow is that they offer poor, disenfranchised people, especially unemployed young men. It's a vicious cycle of violence and poverty, and it _cannot break_ without control of birth rates, becuase there is _no work_ for these young men. Their only hope of prosperity, whether physical or spiritual, becomes the gang and tribal groups because if they do not join, the gangs and fanatics will _take_ their money, their turf, and eventually their lives.

Comment: Re:It takes a scandal to fix this kind of thing IM (Score 1) 230

He apparently leaked information about 140,000 accounts. His sentence was vacated and conviction reversed on appeal because the appeals judge felt he should have been tried in his home state.

It's too bad this judge was not available for the "Amateur Action" computer porn case in 1996 (

Comment: Re:Notify CTO, CFO & CEO offices (Score 1) 230

The "lighting a fire under the IT staff" too often results in the manager of IT having meetings, submitting checklists and expense reports, and doing _nothing_ to address the actual issue. Too often it's not a specific line of code, which can be corrected, but poor practices and attitudes about what security can and should be applied to projects.

Comment: Re:State Your Name (Score 1) 98

by Antique Geekmeister (#49146337) Attached to: Fighting Scams Targeting the Elderly With Old-School Tech

> Any scammer worth his salt does his homework

I'm afraid not. The scammers tend to be high volume, low overhead operations. Some ongoing email scams and phone scams even seem tuned to fail very quickly for even slightly alert victims, so that the scammer's time isn't wasted on victims who will catch on somewhat further along in the process, and they can invest time in many, many more calls to much easier victims.

Comment: Re:Here is the letter Lenovo sent out to everyone (Score 1) 266

by Antique Geekmeister (#49098897) Attached to: Lenovo To Wipe Superfish Off PCs

There is no hint that they're uninstalling the fake SSL signature authority, which is installed by the software and is fairly easily used for man-in-the-middle attacks of Lenovo customers. I do wonder who has the private keys to that signature authority, because they could have _already_ issued fake SSL certificates for all sorts of fake websites.

Comment: Re:Would it matter? (Score 2) 576


Good archery takes more training, more equipment, and the equipment is much more fragile. A javelin can last for thousands of training uses, sit in a closet or in an armory for decades, and still work perfectly. A bow is much more difficult to make and maintain, much more fragile, and the ammunition is much less durable for training.

Comment: Re:Would it matter? (Score 2) 576

> Would their "old" technology do them a lick of good when a thousand M1 tanks rolled across the field at them? What about when Predator drones are flying overhead launching missiles at their supply depots behind the lines?

Just like the US military in Iraq, right? Or the British, Russian, and now US armies in Afghanistan for the last 150 years? Or both Napoleon and Hitler invading Moscow? While a thousand armored vehicles would flatten any native standing army any interstellar military force has _incredibly_ long supply lines. If transportation and communications are cheap and quick, and the invader's resources large enough, natives can be conquered quickly and thoroughly. But if the supply lines are long, slow, and expensive as we've seen in Terran warfare, we've seen amazing feats of local defenders against invading armies.

If the natives weapons have _any_ effect, home turf advantage and guerrilla warfare are well established and critical factors. One of the critical keys to warfare is the _economics_. Is it worth the resources to commit the invasion justified by the gain? And at interstellar ranges, what does the supply line cost?

Comment: Re:This comment section makes my head hurt (Score 1) 102

by Antique Geekmeister (#49086129) Attached to: Supermassive Diet: Black Holes Bulk-Up On Dark Matter

Because it's the new "phogiston" or the new "ether". It solves certain observational issues, but requires an enormous leap of mathematical and physical faith to assume that it has all the necessary characteristics.

Many of the models that "work better with dark matter" neglect the existence of matter that is not emitting light, but is nevertheless normal matter. Given the observational difficulties for objects and structures billions of light years away and billions of light years old, it's presumptive in the extreme that new and nearly unobservable types of matter exist phenomena like the recent discovery of the much, much larger numbers of cold planets in interstellar space throw all the equations about galaxy size and orbital mechanics into question. And that required no exotic matter.

And let's be clear. There's no observational evidence for "dark matter" itself, only subtle gravitational effects. That's why it's been posited as an exotic form of matter, which "doesn't interact with baryonic matter".

Comment: Re:Pointless (Score 1) 755

by Antique Geekmeister (#49066513) Attached to: Removing Libsystemd0 From a Live-running Debian System

> First, what does Stallman have to do with Linux?

The core of "free software" philosophy, and much of the early work, was due to Richard M. Stallman. The Free Software Foundation, which he founded and which does very good work for "free as in speech" software, maintains all of the software at This includes.

                        binutils (with command like "ls", "rm", and "mv")

In order to _build_ the Linux kernel and much of the free software and open source software in the world, you need those tools or tools very much like them, maintained separately. Maintaining compilers, particularly, is filled with danger. I'm not aware of any Linux distribution that does not rely on "gcc".

Do look up the early history of Linux: while Mr. Stallman can be aggravating, his political and technical concerns seem well founded and have often proven prescient in their concerns for legal and technical abuse by software companies.

Refreshed by a brief blackout, I got to my feet and went next door. -- Martin Amis, _Money_