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Comment: A practical DoS attack on the web (Score 1) 396

by ColMstrd (#48624325) Attached to: Google Proposes To Warn People About Non-SSL Web Sites

The choice about whether or not to encrypt traffic should be left to each website's administrator. Many sites--shock!--use the web to disseminate information they wish to be public, and the site's users have no problem with their access to it being public either. So get out of their faces! Using the browser to deprecate admin's particular choices is contrary to the spirit of the web, which should always do its damndest to serve something, and degrade gracefully when it's in difficulty, not pop annoying dialog boxes in the user's way.

Self-certificates are already a fairly effective denial of service attack when Firefox is used to access many independent sites that try to implement https, but who fail to do so in a way that offers a smooth user experience to J. Random User (I'm thinking particularly of IndyMedia).

Please note: in China, the censorship does not rely on blocking everything; just on blocking enough that all but the very motivated fail to access it. This troublesome minority can presumably be picked off at leisure later.

Keep it simple, stupid!

Comment: President was educated to do his job: it shows (Score 5, Interesting) 139

by ColMstrd (#41538871) Attached to: French Science and Higher Education Programs Avoid Austerity

yeh, the French know that sacking the public sector in times of crisis does not help the economy; quite the reverse in fact. M. Hollande is old school ENA (Ecole Nationale d'Administration) which turns out highly-educated senior French bureaucrats and politicians, who, whatever else they may be, are not daft.

Comment: Seed bank? Bah! Apocalyptic spectacle more like (Score 3, Informative) 115

by ColMstrd (#34075022) Attached to: How the Global Seed Vault Aims To Fight Future Famine

A single seed bank like this doesn't make any kind of biological sense. It is remarkably unlikely to be useful in the event of catastrophe: it's a long old road up there to Norway to replenish stocks of some ancient carrot variety from most parts of Europe.

If you actually wanted to guard biodiversity, you would encourage social networks of gardeners to replant varieties each season and share the ensuing seeds. The French organisation Kokopelli does this, but seems to suffer from legal harassment rather than incur the subsidies it would receive in any sane world.

An analogy for the slashdot crowd might be Napster (centralised) vs. BitTorrent (distributed).

"Mr. Watson, come here, I want you." -- Alexander Graham Bell