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Comment: Some Premises Need to be Questioned (Score 2) 128

by Bruce Perens (#49383785) Attached to: NSA Worried About Recruitment, Post-Snowden

I am still having a little trouble with "we don't need our spies to spy". Maybe we do.

I am also having trouble believing that the kind of encryption we use on the Internet actually stops the U.S. Government from finding out whatever it wishes although IETF and sysadmins might be kidding themselves that it can. Government can get to the end systems. They can subborn your staff. Etc.

Comment: Re: It's stupid (Score 1) 176

Yes. The last stuff I wrote that I couldn't compile today was in "Promal" or "Paradox". My C and C++ code from 1980 still builds and runs.

All of my web development is on Ruby on Rails. That environment has had a lot of development and I've had to port to new versions. So old code for RoR would not quite run out of the box, but it's close.

Comment: It's stupid (Score 0) 176

Development with a proprietary language is ultimately harmful to your own interests, whether you make proprietary software for a profit or Free software.

The one thing every business needs is control. When you make it possible for another company to block your business, you lose control. Your options become limited. Solving business problems potentially becomes very costly, involving a complete rewrite.

The one thing that should be abundantly clear to everyone by now is that making your business dependent on Microsoft anything is ultimately a losing proposition. They have a long history of deprecating their own products after customers have built products upon them.

Comment: Yes, it's free. Also, the patent system sucks (Score 2) 176

All Open Source licenses come with an implicit patent grant, it's an exhaustion doctrine in equitable law.

The problem is not patent holders who contribute to the code, you're protected from them. It's trolls who make no contribution and then sue.

Of course these same trolls sue regarding proprietary code as well.

Comment: Re:And what good would it do? (Score 3, Insightful) 442

by Tom (#49369385) Attached to: Why the Final Moments Inside a Cockpit Are Heard But Not Seen

If this guy was suffering from depression, no background checks or security measures would have filtered him out. Depression is a civilisation disease, caused by the fucked-up society we have created around ourselves, the non-stop pressure, the endless competition, the constant message that you're not good enough that everyone is sending to everyone else. The artificial fear for survival that our governments create to drive wages down and create the economic pressure that corporations than exploit to get people to work under conditions that our parents would've scoffed at.

The solution is not in more pressure, the solution is in making a society that is made for human beings, not for robots, stock markets, the goddess of economic growth or any of the other crazy things that we're sacrificing millions of lives to.

Comment: Re:Conditional recording (Score 1) 442

by Tom (#49366917) Attached to: Why the Final Moments Inside a Cockpit Are Heard But Not Seen

There could be streaming capability to the ground

Because never in the history of the world has any such capability been abused.

In the case of Germanwings, ground control would have been able to see what's going on once they detected the loss of altitude.

And then do what about it? Collectively praying that FSM picks up the plane with his tentacles?

t stifles me that in 2015, a young troubled copilot can end 150 lives in a way that can easily be prevented with simple technology.

Technology is not a panacea. Add one thing to make flying more safe (locked cockpit doors), create another problem without which a catastrophy could have been prevented (locked cockpit door).

Something I learnt in my first leadership position: When someone has an idea, ask them about the downsides and potential issues. If they can't think of any, they haven't thought it through enough.

Comment: Re:And what good would it do? (Score 1) 442

by Tom (#49366877) Attached to: Why the Final Moments Inside a Cockpit Are Heard But Not Seen

Follow the money. Who is asking for video cameras?

The last thing you would have seen would have been a smug face and a victory sign. Maybe not in this crash, but in the next. That, my friend, is headlines material. That's a breaking story right there. That picture is worth a hundred times its weight in gold, even if you print it on the most heavy paper you can find.

Comment: Re:Ikea (Score 3, Funny) 71

by Tom (#49364081) Attached to: Ikea Refugee Shelter Entering Production

That's a meme, but also a lie. As IT people especially, we can take a big hint from IKEA in this regards. Their documentation is short, mostly visual, always step-by-step and gives the user exactly the information he needs, with none of the unimportant blabla that many blow up many other documentations from the necessary 3 pages to the actual 30.

If the instructions for Windows were made by IKEA, thousands of IT support people would be out of jobs because users could actually do simple tasks by themselves.

Comment: Re:Ikea good points (Score 1) 71

by Tom (#49364073) Attached to: Ikea Refugee Shelter Entering Production

And don;t forget to put a price on convenience: instead of waiting 4-8 weeks for your new stuff, you get to take it home and use it right away

This.

When my girlfriend moved in, we needed some new furniture. The huge wardrobe took three weeks to be delivered, and then one more week to exchange an (important) part that was broken in transport.

We both dislike IKEA a lot, but we went there to buy some dressers. Half of what they have on offer is trash and the other half ugly, but we went home with two pieces of the one dresser that's not a shame to have in your bedroom. Because we didn't want to have her clothes in luggage and bags waiting for furniture to be delivered. It's not the 16th century anymore where people had to go into the forest to chop down trees every time they wanted to have a table.

Comment: bullshit (Score 1) 263

by Tom (#49352371) Attached to: Generate Memorizable Passphrases That Even the NSA Can't Guess

This is total bullshit, and dangerous at that.

Firstly, a lot of software out there still has password length limits, sometimes silently discarding additional characters. You will still need ordinary passwords now and then.

Secondly, no normal human will type a five, six or more words passphrase every time they want to unlock their screen. They will do it for three days while they're hyped on how secure they are now, and then it'll become something they hate, and then they'll change it back to "123".

Thirdly, this is a bit more tricky, the real world security of almost every password scheme I've come across in 15 years of IT security experience is several orders of magnitude lower than the mathematical assumption. Because we consistently forget to take the human factor into account. Maybe some extreme nerds will actually follow this guideline, more normal people will discard words they can't remember for words they can, change things "a little" for convenience, and generally sabotage the whole system without even realizing it. It's the same as with passwords, all over again. Yes, on paper, a password has on the order of 10^16 possible combinations. But in reality, taking into account how people actually choose passwords (even ignoring the whole "password" and "123456" problem!) the actual diversity is more on the order of 10^9. Same here. You think using dice removes the human factor. omg do you underestimate humans!

The 11 is for people with the pride of a 10 and the pocketbook of an 8. -- R.B. Greenberg [referring to PDPs?]

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