Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:That's strangely sane and oddly normal. (Score 1) 229

by Jonathan C. Patschke (#41329977) Attached to: French Court Levies First Fine Under 3-Strikes Piracy Law

The person penalized did, or allowed to be done, something illegal but not especially malicious or very damaging. They face a penalty which will certainly be unwelcome and which will probably encourage them to act within the law. No huge court case, no lives wrecked, no lawyers riding the gravy train. *This is how a legal system is supposed to be.*

Granted, that's a far sight better than how things are here in the US, but to say that's how things are "supposed to be" is aiming pretty low. That's still a legal system that spends taxpayer money to defend the "property" of copyright holders from nebulous threats, and punishes people for activities that have no provable harm to anyone. Wouldn't it be far more preferable to have a system that spends its time restituting actual victims instead of collecting arbitrary fines from people who aren't hurting anyone, perhaps a system that considered impact instead of looking at who's coloring outside the lines drawn by politicians?

I will furthermore submit that "The Rule of Law" will always be "The Rule of Lawyers" so long as the lawyers are the ones constructing laws prohibiting whatever behavior the well-connected consider inappropriate.

Comment: Re:It depends - Sticktion Y2K Repair (Score 1) 504

by Jonathan C. Patschke (#40812057) Attached to: Can a Regular Person Repair a Damaged Hard Drive?

"Back in the day" (mid-90s) when that was more common, the term for it was "stiction." I don't know if it's less common these days because disk mechanisms are more reliable, the lubricants are better, or machines have much shorter average service lifetimes.

SGI field-service engineers actually had a rubber mallet specifically dedicated to coaxing stictioned drives to run for long enough to get the data off them. The Micropolis disks they shipped in their workstations back then were notorious for that (among many other problems). The company I worked for at the time had such a service call, and the technician told me that the hard part wasn't getting the disk running again, but convincing the disk that whanging the disk with a hammer was a sane thing to do!

Comment: Re:Actually sounds interesting... (Score 3, Informative) 83

by Jonathan C. Patschke (#38376764) Attached to: Book Review: The Economics of Software Quality
Have you heard of the Software Engineering Radio podcast? I've been listening to it for a few years, and I really enjoy it—even if I don't share Markus' enthusiasm for model-driven software. The web site is at http://www.se-radio.net/, and even the back issues are worth listening to (processes don't get dated nearly as rapidly as tools).

Comment: They're ALL Betas (Score 5, Informative) 237

by Jonathan C. Patschke (#37145166) Attached to: Firefox 7.0 Beta Released

From the big Bugzilla thread about version numbers earlier this week:

Users cannot sit on Firefox 4.x They will be updated to the latest version when they open the About dialog (or sooner) because all* but the current Firefox release are unsupported versions in the new rapid release cycle. Those not current versions do not not get critical security updates except via the current version. Firefox users will not be spread across Firefox 4, 5, 6, etc. They will be on the latest version or they will be about to be on the latest version.

Effective expiration, lack of bugfixes, and rapidly replaced by newer versions with bugfixes? By any practical definition, there is no stable version. They're all betas from here onwards. The whole notion of a release isn't that it's bug-free, but that it's supported for a reasonably-long period of time.

Comment: Re:St. Reagan (Score 1) 788

by Jonathan C. Patschke (#36943832) Attached to: Re: the debt deal reached Sunday night ...

One of the few constants in government is the "It's not <bad-thing> when we do it" trope.

Asset forfeiture? It's not stealing when we do it. Beating an unarmed man because he was videotaping police misconduct? It's not battery when we do it. Shooting a deaf whittler in the back? It's not murder when we do it.

The opposition party always does thoughtless, foolhardy, destructive, tyrannical things. However, they're not bad when we do them. "Small government" Republicans got the country further into debt in the last ten years than it'd been in fifty, and "peace prize" Democrats still wage war overseas. Thugs, the whole lot of them.

Space

+ - Rogue Brown Dwarf Lurks in Our Cosmic Neighborhood->

Submitted by
astroengine
astroengine writes "The UK Infrared Telescope (UKIRT) in Hawaii has discovered a lone, cool brown dwarf called UGPSJ0722-05. As far as sub-stellar objects go, this is a strange one. For starters, it's the coolest brown dwarf ever discovered (and astronomers using the UKIRT should know, they are making a habit of finding cool brown dwarfs). Secondly, it's close. In fact, it's the closest brown dwarf to Earth, at a distance of only 10 light years. And thirdly, it has an odd spectroscopic signature, leading astronomers to think that this might be the discovery of a whole new class of brown dwarf."
Link to Original Source
Music

+ - Universal blocks Trent Reznor's fan remix web site->

Submitted by
cLive ;-)
cLive ;-) writes "Trent Reznor's recent departure from Universal was meant to leave all this crap behind but, even now, the suits are stopping him from helping to bring the music industry into the 21st century (eg, with new distribution models). Having previously fallen out with his record company by urging fans to steal his music when he thought his CDs were overpriced, now he's being "lawyered" over his upcoming fan remix web site. The main gist of the problem is that Universal are scared to host his remix site when fans could be submitting mashup tracks that would infringe on other artists' rights, as this would affect the industry's ongoing lawsuit against YouTube et al...

When will these dinosaur industries get it?"

Link to Original Source
Security

Multiple FLAC Vulnerabilities Affect Every OS 360

Posted by kdawson
from the don't-hit-play dept.
Enon writes "eEye Digital Security has discovered 14 vulnerabilities in the FLAC file format that affect a huge range of media players on every supported operating system (Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Unix, BSD, Solaris, and even some hardware players are vulnerable). Heise points out a number of vulnerable apps that use the open source libavcodec audio codec library, which in turn relies on the flawed libFLAC library. These vulnerabilities could allow a person of ill will to trojanize FLAC files that could compromise your computer if they are played on a vulnerable media player. eEye worked with US-CERT to notify vulnerable vendors."
Government

+ - Pics Don't Lie But Doctored Photos Change History->

Submitted by
TaeKwonDood
TaeKwonDood writes "People had different feelings and memories about protests in Tiananmen Square and Rome after viewing doctored photos of the events. Recalling doctored photos placed in Reuters and USA Today, study author Elizabeth Loftus said they are "potentially a form of human engineering that could be applied to us against our knowledge and against our wishes and we ought to be vigilant about it."
Link to Original Source
Security

+ - Survey shows majority of DNS servers vulnerable->

Submitted by
ddubie
ddubie writes "More than half of Internet name servers today allow requests that leave networks vulnerable to cache poisoning and distributed denial of service attacks — a fact that has not improved over the past year. The finding is part of the third annual survey of the Internet's domain name servers released this week by The Measurement Factory, which conducted the survey for DNS management appliance maker Infoblox. The survey is based on a sample that included 5% of the IPv4 address space — nearly 80 million devices — and works to reveal configuration errors that compromise network security and availability. Filed under bad news, more than 50% of Internet name servers "allow recursive queries," which is unchanged from 2006, and such queries require a name server to relay requests to other name servers. That action leaves many name servers vulnerable to pharming attacks, according to Infoblox, which can also enable those servers to be used in DNS amplification attacks."
Link to Original Source

I put up my thumb... and it blotted out the planet Earth. -- Neil Armstrong

Working...