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+ - White House responds to petition to fire Aaron Swartz's prosecutor->

Submitted by Ear Phantom
Ear Phantom (250084) writes "From whitehouse.gov:

Response to We the People Petition on U.S. Attorney's Office Personnel Matters

Aaron Swartz's death was a tragic, unthinkable loss for his family and friends. Our sympathy continues to go out to those who were closest to him, and to the many others whose lives he touched.

We also reaffirm our belief that a spirit of openness is what makes the Internet such a powerful engine for economic growth, technological innovation, and new ideas. That's why members of the Administration continue to engage with advocates to ensure the Internet remains a free and open platform as technology continues to disrupt industries and connect our communities in ways we can't yet imagine. We will continue this engagement as we tackle new questions on key issues such as citizen participation in democracy, open access to information, privacy, intellectual property, free speech, and security.

As to the specific personnel-related requests raised in your petitions, our response must be limited. Consistent with the terms we laid out when we began We the People, we will not address agency personnel matters in a petition response, because we do not believe this is the appropriate forum in which to do so."

Link to Original Source

+ - RSA warns on encryption: NSA can break these algorithms->

Submitted by Ear Phantom
Ear Phantom (250084) writes "The BBC is reporting that RSA has warned over certain "encryption algorithms" that the NSA can potentially crack.

An appeal to Slashdot readers: unfortunately, the article is sparse on details. Which algorithms? I'm having a bit of trouble finding either the RSA's warning to developers or any information on the algorithms it is talking about. Google searching isn't particularly helpful either."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Please stop abusing the word "Metadata" (Score 1) 341

by Ear Phantom (#43980587) Attached to: What Can You Find Out From Metadata?

Slashdot, you should be ashamed of yourselves! Phone records are not metadata--these are DATA. Thank you, Dianne Feinstein, for now abusing one of tech's most important words, and using it as an attempt to whitewash what happened.

Metadata would be information about how those phone records are stored, such as a database schema, OO relational diagram, etc.

This is vital to the conversation--phone logs are DATA, and that DATA is subject to abuse. This is clearly an overreach.

Comment: Native widgets? (Score 5, Interesting) 201

by Ear Phantom (#42618669) Attached to: The status of Java on my machine:

Nobody's invented a native widget in decades. The only reason SWT is still around is because of Eclipse, otherwise it would have died the same horrible death as all of IBM's other Java technologies.

The problem with Java desktop applications is that the desktop itself is become irrelevant.

Just compare the salaries of people writing Java desktop applications with those writing web apps or phone apps.

Or don't take my advice...I've only been in the business of writing Java desktop apps for 15 years.

Comment: Re:Vote (Score 2, Informative) 707

by Ear Phantom (#41861137) Attached to: In the 2012 U.S. presidential election:

Yes but which side supports balancing the budget during their term?

Neither. Both will say they want to. Both, to varying degrees, will try. Obama will talk about the revenue side and Romney will talk about the spending side, but all economists know that neither end really has any impact on GDP other than short-term hocus-pocus.

Which side supports auditing the Fed?

Neither, but how is this even an issue? This is only important to crypto-libertarian conspiracy theorists who don't understand how our government works but are eager for a fiscal witch-hunt. Who supports auditing the Department of Education? Who supports auditing the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms? There is oversight in all of these departments, and yes, even the Fed.

Which side supports repealing the NDAA?


Which side supports repealing the PATRIOT Act?


Which side will bring troops home?

Kind of a no-brainer, but Obama, of course. Already has and will continue to do so.

Which side won't start a war with Iran?

Neither will "start" a war with Iran, but Romney's former school buddy certainly would if Romney gets in.

Which side will cut unnecessary spending from the government?

Neither, but to some degrees, both will try. But again, see my answer to above. It's a non-issue that's all about public perception.

Which side will stop the war on drugs?

Neither, sadly.

Which side will support gay marriage?

Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you will know that Obama is our first gay president and Romney bullied gay people in college and feels no remorse for it.

I think you get where I am going... You talk about 4 general ideas, but when it comes to important real issues, there is no difference.

Lots of BIG differences here, but I question what you see as "important real issues."

Comment: One logical fallacy after another (Score 1) 1651

by Ear Phantom (#41528195) Attached to: To Encourage Biking, Lose the Helmets

I went outside and it did not rain. Therefore, if everyone went outside it would never rain. In fact, I can point you to studies in various deserts where people go outside all the time and it never rains. Going outside is healthier, right, than staying inside, so we should all go outside.

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UNIX was not designed to stop you from doing stupid things, because that would also stop you from doing clever things. -- Doug Gwyn