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Comment Catch-22 (Score 1) 227

I love some of Lessig's ideas, but he doesn't have a prayer of getting into any position to implement them. The current electoral system is rigged so that only the two major parties have any hope of getting a candidate elected to national office. You have to get inside the system in order to have the power to change it -- But why in the world would either party allow in someone whose stated goal is to upset the apple cart and make it harder for the party to win in the future?

The only people in favor of electoral reform are those outside the system. The ones inside the system benefit too much from the status quo.

Comment The future is here! (Score 2) 94

I just had Amazon sneakernet some movies to me. Instead of suffer that tedious streaming download I had them put the data on optical disks and mail them to me. When they get here I'll rip them to my hard drive and be all set! That's customer service you just can't get from Hulu. I expect this sort of download to really take off over the next few years.

Comment This sounds familiar (Score 5, Insightful) 370

"OMG! Like, Tiffany? She totally told Heather that I had sex with Trevor. I mean, no way! He's such a dork! Anyway, Heather told Megan who told Sierra who wrote a note and passed it around 7th hour band and now everyone in the school thinks Trevor and me are an item! My life is like totally ruined! Now I'm afraid no one will ask me to the prom because they're all gonna think I'm a slut!"

That's what you sound like, and your doxxing problems are going to be about as meaningful a year from now. Your life will suck for a short period of time, then everyone will forget about you and move on to the next bit of juvenile drama.

If you're honestly concerned about your safety (not just your reputation, that damage will blow over and be forgotten) take the evidence to the police and get real legal advice instead of asking a bunch of jerkwads on a random tech web site.

Comment Re:Answers (Score 1) 77

Any password manager that lets you enter arbitrary text (even a single plain-text "notes" field) handles it. It may not auto-fill forms for these, but it can at least record them for later use. You really should never need them auto-filled anyway, since they're just for when you forget your password which you won't because you're using a password manager. I use KeePass which allows me to enter arbitrary key:value pairs. Most sites in my database now have a few entries like Ol' Hashy up there.
"What is your quest?"
"What is your favorite color?"

I just use the same random generator that I use for making my actual passwords.

(Really, Slashdot? Have you ever actually looked at your styling choices? The definition list styling is just plain stupid for lists longer than a single term/definition pair.)

Comment Rational? (Score 1) 403

How can you have a rational discussion when the very premise is irrational? Any back door, front door, side door, or window can be exploited by The Bad Guys just as easily as it can be by The Good Guys. It's ludicrous to think that the secret entrance will stay secret. Someone on the outside will discover the secret keys, or someone on the inside will leak them either intentionally or unintentionally. And once the secret's out, it's game over. NOTHING is secure from ANYONE at that point.

No one's open to a rational discussion because there's nothing at all rational about this proposition.

Comment Re:From TFA: bit-exact or not? (Score 1) 174

The original poster wasn't clear. In the linked image the top half of each row of color is 24-bit. The bottom half of each row is 18-bit. So on a 24-bit display you should see color banding in the bottom half of each row, but not in the top half. I had to zoom way in before I realized that each row was split in half.

Comment Re:They are missing a perfect opportunity... (Score 1) 67

They are missing a perfect opportunity to conduct testing on the effects of alcohol on the human body while weightless!

You do realize half the station personnel at any time are Russian, right? And that they get a personal baggage allowance? Which is inspected by other Russians? That was practically the first experiment conducted on the human body in space, aside from just living and breathing.

"Results inconclusive. More testing needed."

Comment Re:QA process? (Score 1) 234

Small memory leaks are very hard to find in testing. Most testing cycles involve testing a particular feature, looking for pass/fail for that feature. Say the feature is window display, as the summary seems to imply. Okay, does the window pop up when the command is given? Does it contain the right contents? Does it go away when commanded? Check, check, and check. Ship it! It's very unusual to test a feature long enough that a smallish memory leak adds up to anything noticeable. "System crashes when window is opened and closed 256 times in a session." QA is just plain never going to get to that point. It may take weeks of heavy use to get to the breaking point. Sure, it would be *nice* if there was a month-long burn-in period where the system was used heavily to expose any slow leaks, but that never happens.

From the summary I can't tell if the leak is anything that could be fixed by garbage collection. Was a block simply not freed and lost? Or was a reference to it still in a list somewhere, so that it would never get garbage collected even if that was a feature of the language? Is the memory in question on the regular heap so that something like valgrind could find that blocks weren't freed? Is the memory part of a specialized buffer pool managed by some other means? There's nowhere near enough information to go on, but that's not stopping anyone here from jumping to conclusions about the development and QA process.

Comment Re:Classic FUD (Score 1) 373

Pretty much any car with a system like OnStar is going to be remotely accessible even if you don't use it, and the car companies have admitted this.

In fact, it's an intended feature, not just an unfortunate side-effect. Remote unlock and theft immobilization are first-class features of OnStar and similar systems. It is logically impossible to have those features and not be remotely accessible. You just have to hope that the link back to the mothership can't be spoofed and that the support personnel can't be socially engineered to doing the attacker's dirty work.

Comment Certifiable (Score 1) 57

Some good stuff in there, and at the very least it's a starting point for manufacturers that actually care about consumer privacy and trust. Whether any such manufacturers exist is still an open question...

The only way this is going to turn into something consumers can use is if the Online Trust Alliance sets up a certification program. Certification would involve demonstrating that care has been taken to meet each of the points in the framework, and a passing grade gets you the right to paste a shiny "OTA Certified!" logo on your widget. That'd be good, until the Association of Trusted Onlineness comes out with its much weaker set of standards and its own "ATO Certified!" logo. How's the consumer to know which privacy certification is worth the pixels it's printed on?

(Maybe it would work out. I often wonder why Underwriter's Laboratories has a near-monopoly on safety certification, and why no one has come up with a much more "manufacturer-friendly" certification process. Maybe there's regulation involved, I don't know.)

"Stupidity, like virtue, is its own reward" -- William E. Davidsen