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Comment: Re:Fucking Lawyers (Score 1) 181 181

Even mere usage could be risky - If I code an application that utilizes most/all of a copyrighted API's objects and methods, then my program may include a reflection or copy of the API I'm using.

Making an API freely available to use by application programmers is an invitation to copy it in a sense. That's part of how its used. Its not much of a leap to say that implies that APIs are a special class of code covered entirely by fair-use if authors do not restrict who can code for them.

In any case... Does not every BIOS depend on APIs? How did we even get the PC compatible revolution in the first place?!

Comment: Re:Ironically, it's the media's fault (Score 1) 227 227

Perhaps its the media's fault for providing such bad raw material for the program in the first place. They condition it to be a movie junkie (presumably with a short attention span) and then expect it gracefully handle a _philosophical_ discussion? They might as well have asked it the secret to world peace.

Comment: Re:Or... (Score 1) 219 219

Steve Jobs once said the Amiga was an inspiration for the NeXT computer (as I recall, he was quoted in BYTE magazine). What made the NeXT really interesting was not just on the software side (with heavy object-orientation and display postscript) but also in its hardware: DSP, smart IO controllers and plenty of DMA channels echo the Amiga's coprocessors attached to DMA channels.

Comment: Re:Holy Cow (Score 1) 219 219

What makes the newer keyboards mediocre is the change in layout, not the keys. The new layout removes some keys and changes the position of some others. Some models even have dedicated function keys removed. This, along with the removal of switches and indicator lights, is an attempt by Lenovo to out-Apple Apple in sleekness -- at some point you're just removing functionality that will be missed. The hardware minimalism has gone too far (and in the case of missing airplane-mode switches, robs of useful security features).

As for the keyboard, the new keycaps are flatter to save space, but are also wider and retain a sculpted shape. And they sit atop the same keyswitches from traditional Thinkpad keyboards. So the physical qualities of the new keys are the best of the old and the new. Lenovo should give us the old layout with the new keycaps.

Comment: ANY Firmware (Score 3, Interesting) 106 106

Check this incident out. Naturally, Qubes could not protect him because his laptop did not have an IOMMU. But the real interesting thing to me is where/when this implant was actually put in his system (he says he bought it new, in person, and the symptoms appeared sometime after a period of normal behavior).

Comment: Re:Wait, what? (Score 1) 236 236


Realize that the Internet is not the web. Install an ad/tracking blocker. Avoid, or delete your accounts on Facebook/Google/Apple/"social media". Pay for a domain(s), and use different email addresses for different accounts. Use a VPN. Regularly clear cookies in your browser. Vote for politicians who "get it," and truly understand the Internet, surveillance and privacy.

  Donate to the the EFF.

  There's more, which is left as an exercise for the reader.

Add 'HTTPS Everywhere' extension to the list also.

A list of tracker blockers:

A 'public' VPN like will give you more anonymity than a VPN you run yourself.

Fingerprinting is an issue that I don't believe any of the above extensions address. Techies like us can have pretty unique browser fingerprints due to Linux and unusual plugins. These two extensions mask the unique information about browser software:
    'Disable Plugin & Mimetype Enumeration' (Firefox)

Finally, if you *really* want privacy you have to have a secure computer. Compartmentalizing your casual browsing to untrusted domains in a high-security OS like Qubes is your best bet against having your private data stolen.

Comment: Re:Meet the New Act (Score 1) 294 294

The trend probably has more to do with Rupert Murdoch being allowed to create an international, Anglophone echo chamber (and the USA being the source of the narratives) than it has with any particular form of voting. The countries that comprise the "Five Eyes" of global mass-surveillance appear to be under the influence of a common social contagion.

Comment: Re:Tor's trust model has always been broken (Score 3, Insightful) 50 50

This is a primary reason why I2P (Invisible Internet Project) exists. Its much less centralized than Tor, mixes other peoples' traffic with yours by default, and over the years has typically used stronger encryption than Tor. Its just more private and secure overall.

The people who make the TAILS distro recognize Tor's shortcomings which is why they include I2P along with Tor. I2P isn't built to outproxy to the regular web (although it can), but you do get the ability to do fully decentralized/anonymized messaging and torrents, for instance, along with hidden websites. On top of being more private than Tor, its a protocol that's meant for general purpose use.

Comment: Re:F/OSS reality (Score 1) 167 167

Desktop pretends to be (or maybe they actually believe that's what they are creating) a product for end users but is a product for admins and developers who are familiar and comfortable with the UNIX-like environment to use on their personal computers.

This is total BS. Lots of people who aren't computer experts use Linux desktops every day. My wife is one of them.

The obligatory Slashdot-Linux-enthusiast defense of "Desktop Linux for my relative" never ceases to make me chuckle. I can always spot the authentic ones, because they contain the "we have the Web so who needs a native UI or native apps" meme.

"May the forces of evil become confused on the way to your house." -- George Carlin