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Comment Re: stop making him a martyr. (Score 1) 126

Which do you think is computationally more expensive? Crawling a website, or serving the website being crawled?

Here's a hint: aside from the fact that one involves repeatedly parsing a scripting language, database calls, logging, etc and the other requires little more than generating URLs and downloading involves random access retrieval and the other involves writing the stored data.

Also: the different in computing power between laptops and servers of similar age is less than an order of magnitude. Server equipment typically runs further from the bleeding edge than retail/consumer equipment, and often is kept in production much longer than consumer equipment.

Comment stop making him a martyr. (Score 3, Informative) 126

He didn't "commit suicide as a result of prosecution for his attempt to free scientific literature."

After a prior similar episode which earned him a visit from the FBI in which they told him they'd caught him doing something illegal, declined to prosecute him but warned him not to do it again......he trespassed repeatedly onto the MIT campus, into buildings, into network closets, where he installed unauthorized computers. He then worked to intentionally bypass the network registration system, and then further to avoid MIT's network engineering group as they tried to figure out where his equipment was installed.

His data-dumping efforts were so aggressive that they interfered with JSTOR services for thousands of researchers around the world; his 'free the research' stunt actually interfered with their ability to work. Despite bringing JSTOR's servers to its knees, he installed a second laptop because the first wasn't pulling data fast enough. JSTOR attempted to block his system, but he kept changing IP addresses to subvert the ban, and finally, JSTOR had no choice but to block the entire MIT network.

JSTOR is not some evil "take guvvmint-paid-for research and hide it behind a paywall." JSTOR is a service which archives journals and then provides storage and searching across them all, to institutions which could never afford the journal subscriptions themselves. They're not-for-profit. The fees they charge go directly to paying for the capital and operating expenses necessary for storing, cataloging, and making available for download, millions of papers - and the inherent overhead in doing so.

To what goal, I might add? He would have ended up with a directory of PDFs. Now what? They have to get indexed, a web UI needs to be made, someone has to pay for all that server hardware and bandwidth and electricity and the people to maintain it all. Maybe we could set up a non-profit organization to make that all happen?


Does anyone now realize that his stunt was just that? A publicity stunt? A fucking tarball of PDFs doesn't help academic researchers. The whole point behind JSTOR was to collect research, store it, and make it available both at affordable rates and in an accessible way.

This was like going to the village cooperative farm chicken coop (where people pay a small fee to house, feed, and care for their chickens), blowing up the only bridge to the farm to stop the police from getting to you (but also keeping all the townspeople from getting to the eggs they need for food), throwing open the doors to let the chickens out, and then being proud of yourself for "freeing the chickens so everyone can have a chicken."

Let us be absolutely clear: there is extensive proof of all of his crimes, and nobody has argued he did not commit them. The argument from some has been that somehow these crimes were legitimate or honorable.

He was offered plea deals, and even if it had gone to trial - as a white-collar, white male criminal - he never would have received the maximum sentencing. People saying "he would have gone to jail for 40 years" clearly do not spend any time reading the news, because prosecutors almost always ask for maximum sentencing, and rarely do they get it, EVEN FOR MURDERERS. It's highly likely he would have been given little more than parole.

Lastly: Swartz had a history of mental illness and suicidal thoughts - some of it public and irrefutable. He did not commit suicide because he was prosecuted. He committed suicide because he had a history of suicidal thoughts.

Comment Re:10% more transmittance for glass? (Score 3, Informative) 37

That is one of those Wikipedia articles which is a bit vague about what it means. It's doesn't make sense to intend to say that glass transmits 90% of incident light regardless of the thickness. The Wikipedia entry references a single optical "element", so I'd take "the transmissivity of one element (two surfaces) is about 90%," to mean that 10% is the lower limit of light loss for a single lens of arbitrary thinness.

Now if a very thin silica glass lens transmits 90% of the light falling on it, then clearly it'd be very difficult to conceive of a material that transmits 10% more light than that. However you can achieve whatever level of attenuation you wish by making your piece of glass sufficiently (possibly absurdly) thick. The three inch thick glass panes used in giant ocean tanks are noticeably more opaque than air. Clearly it's physically possible for a material to transmit 10% more light than the same thickness of glass -- for a sufficient thickness. Particularly if the index of refraction of that material is closer to air.

Of course that's where we get to the point that the summary is badly written too. Silica glass *is* very transparent; insufficient transparency isn't a problem in window applications, if there's a problem it's that the material is too transparent. That's why we have dark tinting and anti-IR coating. So it's not clear why we would care that the material can transmit 10% more light. Clearly the story got garbled somewhere along the way.

Comment Re:BT (Score 1, Interesting) 65

Why is it even possible to fake Caller-ID anyway? You are charging a provider to make the call, you know exactly who it's come from.

Because you have a grave misunderstanding that Caller ID and call routing and billing codes have anything to do with each other, and have unrealistic expectations out of Caller ID.

Take the example at my work place. We have over 200 phone extensions, but we only have 60 DIDs from the phone company and thus 60 phone numbers.
For those 60 extensions our system reports the DID in the Caller ID field, so you know the outside phone number to call if you want to reach that extension.

But what do you suggest for the other 140 phones?

I argue the incorrect "spoofed" value of our main/reception phone number being sent as Caller ID is hugely more useful than whatever nonsense you are promoting. At least with that data you know it is our company calling, and have a number to call back to at least potentially be transferred to the internal only phone extension you can not possible dial directly from the outside.

Making the Caller ID value "correct" would mean you couldn't dial it (it's a 4 digit number after all), and it wouldn't tell you who is calling you. Completely worthless.

It can't be made a DID since the phone has none.
It shouldn't be left blank or you would still be bitching about it.

So what exactly would you suggest as a value that isn't "spoofing" but is also your definition of "correct"?

Comment Re:Get a feature phone, dumbass. (Score 1) 278

You know what's going to happen if you rely on a pager, don't you? Nobody will know how to contact you on that.

Which, indeed, is a feature -- not a bug. Anyone you want to reach you you give them the secret formula: call my pager's phone #, and when you hear the beep enter your phone number followed by #. Or if you need to send text, send an email to If you can't handle that I don't want to hear from you.

Oh, and a feature phone is fine solution if it's OK that you can't be reached when you're in a tunnel or some other places the VHF phone band can't reach but typical pager frequencies can.

Comment Re:Remove Adolf Hitler from Wiki and YouTube Copri (Score 1) 168

If I was exterminated today my diary could not be published for 95 years.

No, that's utter rubbish.

The legal holder of the copyright would have exclusive control for 95 years.

That might be some assignee that you sold right to, your heirs, etc. etc.

Nobody is being denied reading The Diary of Ann Frank. You can buy it on Amazon. Or in probably any of the remaining walk-in bookstores.

While, yes, a copyright holder might without a work from the market for some political or other nefarious purpose, you've chosen a poor example. And, the sad fact is, most unavailable works are unavailable through neglect or disinterest on the part of the copyright holder, not willful withholding from the market.

Comment They can still be useful (Score 1) 278

Pagers tend to have better reception than cell phones, at least fairly recently when I last looked this up for my own curiosity. Also, many paging companies have "TAP" servers that you can dial into with a modem to send pages. This is could make a nice last-resort fallback for when a data center has lost network access and you can still provide outbound alerting via a backup landline.

Comment Bullshit headline, it doesn't work. (Score 4, Interesting) 160

Its also bullshit on iOS 9.2.1.

I just set it to exactly midnight EPOCH, I set it to before epoch and I set it back to now. Rebooted multiple times all along the way.

My phone works fine.

I got kicked out of anything authenticated the instant I did the change since doing so effectively renders every certificate on the device invalid as it is suddenly years before the certs were 'issued' but thats exactly as expected.

I pretty much can't find any truth in the story. It claims you can't scroll back that far in the date/time picker without open and closing multiple times, yet here I am with just a bunch of finger flicks looking at the date/time as Dec 1969 right this very moment and I did so without having to enter it multiple times.

Dear slashdot, you have been trolled. Please stop believing the random shit you read on the internet.

Comment Why is the splash screen cyan? (Score 1) 98

It seems like emulated old versions of Windows end up with cyan where they're supposed to be white, and it's been this way for ages. I used to run Win 3.1 under PC-Task on my Amiga to handle one specific business app, and the splash screens even back then were cyan instead of white. That's still true in my browser just now when I launched a couple of the article's emulators. Why would that be? Is there some bug in ancient VGA hardware that Windows exploited to render white instead of greenish-blue?

Comment Re:Great! Now if only they would make upgrades eas (Score 1) 78

The pfsense C2758 Appliance supports2 x 10GigE interfaces:
Model C2758
Max Active Connections 8,000,000
Network Interfaces 4x Intel 1GbE
Network Expansion 2x Chelsio 10GbE

Supporting 10 gig interfaces is not the same as being able to filter 10 gig -- the specs on that box top out around 960Mbit (150mbit VPN) while the standard ASA 5500 line tops out around 4 gbit/second (700mbit VPN).

The 5585-X model line with the dedicated security processor will do up to 80Gbit of inspection and 5 Gbit of VPN. But that performance doesn't come cheap, you'll pay around $150K for each one.

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Just about every computer on the market today runs Unix, except the Mac (and nobody cares about it). -- Bill Joy 6/21/85