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Comment: Network layer and education (Score 4, Insightful) 257

by Bert64 (#49104573) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Parental Content Control For Free OSs?

If you're going to implement any kind of technical filtering it needs to be done at the network layer, and not on the physical machine that the kids have access to. If you do it on the physical machine then they will inevitably find a way around it, even as simple as booting a livecd.

Ofcourse the key is education, this content is out there and kids will inevitably get access to it sooner or later. Whatever controls you implement on your own network or devices, the kids will either find a way to bypass them, or have access to an unfiltered network/device somewhere else. And if something is blocked, it becomes more interesting to the kids and they will actively seek out ways to get at the blocked content, whereas if it was unblocked the kids may not even have any interest in it...

A good example is alcohol, when i was in school many of the other kids in my class were forbidden from touching alcohol and that made them seek out ways to obtain alcohol... Myself and a few others were never forbidden, our parents allowed us to try alcohol if we wanted... I found alcoholic drinks tasted quite disgusting, and lost interest in them.

Comment: Re:What happened? (Score 4, Insightful) 422

by Bert64 (#48996061) Attached to: What Happened To the Photography Industry In 2014?

The current crop of phone cameras are certainly still inferior to dedicated cameras, but they're good enough for most people most of the time and thats what matters.
Most people won't carry a camera with them at all times, but they do carry a phone and its good enough for occasional shots. A lot of those images are going to end up posted online at significantly lower resolution than even a phone camera can manage anyway, and they will be viewed on tiny screens.
Aside from the convenience of being always in your pocket, phones have the added convenience of connectivity so you can upload your pictures immediately.

Proper cameras will always be a niche for those who enjoy photography or do it for a living, but for the vast majority of people a phone camera is all they will ever need.

Comment: Re:Crusty Hardware (Score 1) 189

by Bert64 (#48879767) Attached to: User Plea Means EISA Support Not Removed From Linux

Well you get what you pay for when buying such devices...
There are standards for printers, scanners and various other hardware. I wouldn't ever buy a printer which didn't support Postscript, and i never install the official drivers as they're often extremely bloated and probably full of ads. Sure printers which support postscript generally cost more, but they're usually higher quality, older ones are still available cheaply and the toner/ink is likely to remain available for far longer.

Comment: Re:Crusty Hardware (Score 1) 189

by Bert64 (#48879737) Attached to: User Plea Means EISA Support Not Removed From Linux

This is one of the inherent problems of being closed source, support for niche and older hardware will be lacking.
Microsoft have to break compatibility from time to time in order to progress, either due to hardware changes (64bit) or software changes (new video driver stack etc).

The problem is that with closed drivers, only the original authors of those drivers can change them and hardware manufacturers have little or no incentive to continue supporting old hardware as they want to sell you new kit. With open source drivers, all it takes is for one of the users to either update it themselves, or hire someone capable of doing so. In some cases updates aren't even necessary, eg a lot of linux drivers written for 32bit x86 compile just fine on 64bit or even other architectures like ARM.

The same is true of niche hardware, a lot of hardware was intended by the manufacturer to be connected to x86 systems but uses standard cross platform buses like pci or usb... While the number of people using linux on ppc, alpha, sparc or arm etc might be too low for the manufacturer to bother providing official support, the drivers will often just work. I used to run an alphastation on linux with all manner of pci and usb devices which were never intended to be used on alpha based hardware.

Comment: Re: No. (Score 1) 562

by Bert64 (#48843565) Attached to: Obama: Gov't Shouldn't Be Hampered By Encrypted Communications

In which case, computers which are not backdoored will start being manufactured in other countries... If there's a market demand, then someone will fulfil it.
Also each country is likely to want their own backdoor, so the terrorists will source their computers from countries which are not friendly to their enemies.
And they could always use old computers which never had hardware backdoors.

Also governments are guilty of both corruption and incompetence, if they have a backdoor then sooner or later it will leak and then law abiding citizens will suffer greatly. The terrorists won't suffer, as they will already know to avoid any government backdoored equipment. On the other hand, they may make use of the new found leaks to aid them in whatever attacks they wish to perpetrate.

As for leaks themselves, for everyone like snowden who wants to get the word out to the general public even to his own significant detriment, there will be many more unscrupulous actors who would rather make personal gains and will sell their information privately to the highest bidder. There are many well funded groups who could afford to buy such information, and it's highly likely that they already do so.

Comment: Re:No. (Score 1) 562

by Bert64 (#48843529) Attached to: Obama: Gov't Shouldn't Be Hampered By Encrypted Communications

And therein lies the fundamental flaw with such a system...
Most people aren't upset because they aren't aware of, or don't fully understand the problem.
The primary source of information for the majority of the population is mass media, media which is controlled by the incumbents who have no motive to rock the boat because their absolute worst case is sharing power with the other incumbent party.

If you don't control the media, you can't get the word out to enough people, so it doesn't matter how good your policies are nor how bad everyone else's are, even if the truth is so bad that 99% of people would vote for you if they were in full possession of the facts, you have no way to get those facts out to enough people that it would make any difference.

Comment: Re:Coffee?... (Score 3, Insightful) 70

by Bert64 (#48837637) Attached to: Andy Wolber Explores Online Word Processors' ODF Support

The PC platform also lacked any form of DRM, and is flooded with all manner of software much of which is either low quality or in many cases downright malicious, and yet the platform is very successful.

A lack of DRM or other stupid platform restrictions is overall a good thing, albeit with some side effects.

Comment: Customers? (Score 2) 111

by Bert64 (#48785995) Attached to: Nintendo Puts Business In Brazil On Hiatus

evaluate how to best serve Brazilian customers in the future.

Only they won't have any brazilian customers, they will cede the whole market to microsoft and sony... Any existing customers they did have will be angered as they're now unable to buy any games, and will end up going to a competitor and/or modding their console to play pirated games.

To be a kind of moral Unix, he touched the hem of Nature's shift. -- Shelley