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Comment: Re:How many other flaws (Score 5, Informative) 92

Some facts about the U.S. justice system:

* The Reid technique is widely used for interrogations, a technique notorious for its effectiveness in enticing false confessions.
* Only 5 % of convicted felons had their case tried in court; the rest make a plea bargain (typically under threats of excessively long prison sentences and/or the death penalty).
* Judges are elected, subjecting them to the whims of public opinion and making them more politicians than impartial legal officials.
* At least 4 % of people sentenced to death in the U.S. are innocent.
* The U.S. incarcerates more people than any other country in the world, not just relative to the population size, but in absolute numbers.
* U.S. private prisons sees $3+ billion in annual revenue... Not that that has anything to do with the above issues, I'm sure.

The U.S. justice system is broken in so many ways, I'm certainly forgetting some things.

Comment: Re:My question about international data collection (Score 2) 200

by Kiwikwi (#49424879) Attached to: Snowden Demystified: Can the Government See My Junk?

ES said that if my gmail account was moved overseas on an international server, then the NSA could have a copy of my account even if there were no international sources/targets. Is that true or false?

That's true. While theoretically the NSA is not allowed to monitor communications between two american citizens, in practice, any communication leaving the country is simply assumed to involve a foreigner and is thus up for grabs. This "inadvertent" capture of american communications is in fact standard operating procedure:

The government has set a dismally low bar for concluding that a potential surveillance target is, in fact, a foreigner located abroad. By default, targets are assumed to be foreign. That's right, the procedures allow the NSA to presume that prospective targets are foreigners outside the United States absent specific information to the contrary—and to presume therefore that those individuals are fair game for warrantless surveillance.

Comment: Re:FMH (Score 5, Interesting) 128

by Kiwikwi (#49299793) Attached to: Why Is the Grand Theft Auto CEO Also Chairman of the ESRB?

I've seen an example that works: The Danish film and video game rating system.

It differs from e.g. the US system in a number of ways:

* It's run by an independent government-sponsored organization, not the industry.
* For children not accompanied by an adult, the highest rating is "15 and older".
* Children ages 7 and up can see any movie if accompanied by an adult, no matter the rating.
* The board is charged only with determining if a film could be psychologically damaging to a typical child. They do not judge the "morals" and message of the film.
* The board features actual child development experts. As such, they know that cursing and nudity is not harmful to children, and if that's all the film contains, it will be rated "All audiences".

Example: "Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle".

USA (MPAA): 17+ (unless accompanied by an adult) due to "strong language, sexual content, drug use and some crude humor".

Denmark: 7+ recommended (but all ages admitted) due "strange and threatening persons, assaults, fights and accidents [...] all in a comedic context" (a context which could be lost on very young children).

To quote the ratings board:

The Media Council classifies films based on a perspective purely concerning harmfulness. The classification decision shall be made on the basis of an assessment of whether a film is considered harmful for children in that particular age group. When classifying films, we look at film effects, depictions of grievous loss, degree of realism, possibility of identification, inclusion of redemption within the course, genre and the expected media competences of the age group in question.

The Media Council’s view on child protection is that
* Children can manage a good thrill.
* Children are not likely to fall to pieces by the slightest push.
* Children are active users of media and, therefore, already in an early age, they have accumulated both media competencies and experiences.
* Media are good resources in children’s everyday life.
* It is acceptable that films frighten, though, only to a certain limit. The Media Council sets these limits.

Comment: Re:I'm one of those engineers... (Score 2) 341

by Kiwikwi (#49296387) Attached to: Musk Says Drivers May Become Obsolete, Announces Juice-Saving Upgrades

we havnt even fixed the train crash issues yet... and how hard could that be :)

Not that hard. Automatic train operation is a solved problem; a properly installed, modern ATO system is safer than the best human driver, better at following time tables, and even has significantly lower energy consumption. In fact, many ATO mass transit lines cannot be run manually (without cutting down on the number of departures); human drivers are not able to keep up with the amount of traffic managed by the ATO.

An ATO will not stop the train if there's an unregistered person or vehicle on the tracks (or if the tracks are gone entirely, e.g. due to flooding). But then, the braking distance for a passenger train at speed is high enough that a human won't be able to stop it either.

Also, ATO systems may have a higher false-positive rate than manual systems... e.g. stopping the train because an umbrella has fallen on the tracks (to take a concrete example from the Copenhagen Metro). But that's an availability issue, not a safety issue. (And as noted, humans aren't able to keep up during normal operation, so the ATO still wins on availability overall.)

Full disclosure: I work with ATO systems.

Comment: Re: Jerri (Score 3, Informative) 533

See what happened in Paris and Denmark. People from Europe travel to Syria and Iraq to fight with ISIS, get training and AK47s, and then come back to Europe to kill the infidels.

Omar El-Hussein, the Copenhagen shooter, never went to Syria nor Iraq, never received any terrorist training, and didn't use an AK47, nor is there any evidence he ever communicated with terrorist organisations.

He did use a C7 rifle stolen from a member of the Danish national guard, but apparently had no weapons training. He did spend a couple of years in the Middle East years ago, but his radicalization appears to have happened primarily while he was incarcerated in Denmark.

Comment: Re:Can they do it with corporate code? (Score 1) 220

by Kiwikwi (#48930925) Attached to: Anonymous No More: Your Coding Style Can Give You Away

Can they do it with corporate code where there are naming and style standards in abundance, and code reviews to ensure those guidelines are followed?

Presumably, yes. Style guides are 95% formatting, and if one RTFA (I know, I know), they look only at the structure of the parsed AST, not variable names, comments and whitespace. From the article:

Accuracy rates weren’t statistically different when using an off-the-shelf C++ code obfuscators. Since these tools generally work by refactoring names and removing spaces and comments, the syntactic feature set wasn’t changed so author identification at similar rates was still possible.

Since they look at code structure, they've even found identifying patterns that survive compilation and end up in the binary.

This is one of the coolest data mining results I've seen in quite a while.

Comment: Re:Well... (Score 3, Informative) 181

by Kiwikwi (#48849921) Attached to: NSA Hack of N. Korea Convinced Obama NK Was Behind Sony Hack

How would the West feel about the release of a popular film in which the assassination of a living head of state is planned? How would your government behave toward you if YOU wrote a book / published a film / performed a play about this?

In 2006, Death of a President portrayed the assasination of George W. Bush. I don't remember hearing about it at the time, and even searching the website of Fox News doesn't turn up much controversy.

In 2008, AFR came out, in which Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the then-Prime Minister of Denmark (and later Secretary-General of NATO) was murdered (and also, incidentally, portrayed as a closeted homosexual, in line with long-standing rumours). It genereted minor controversy, was well-received by critics, and a failure at the box office. I found it forgettable (I literally don't remember any of it).

Of course, both films were small, independent films, and both can legitimately claim to use the controversial plot for a higher purpose. The Interview... not so much.

Comment: Re:"We listen to users" (Score 1) 551

by Kiwikwi (#48835677) Attached to: Systemd's Lennart Poettering: 'We Do Listen To Users'

In addition to which, you replace it with something that requires more typing, and does not give any feedback. service nfs restart stopping nfsd starting nfsd etc.

systemctl restart nfs

Here you go; put this in your .bashrc:

service() { systemctl $2 $1; }

And the entire concept of *BINARY* logfiles,

Install a syslog daemon and put this in your /etc/systemd/journald.conf?

[Journal] ForwardToSyslog=yes

Or just install syslog-ng 3.6.1+, which requires no additional journald configuration?

xml configuration files [are] insanely stupid when X won't run, or isn't installed (like on a server).

Where does systemd use XML configuration files? (And what does XML and X have to do with eachother?)

And telling me that oh, it boots up *so* much faster means something *only* if I'm on a laptop.

Or a virtual machine, or a container...

Comment: Re:The very first thing out of his mouth (Score 1) 551

by Kiwikwi (#48835287) Attached to: Systemd's Lennart Poettering: 'We Do Listen To Users'

The very first thing out of his mouth is a straw man.

Basically, his arguments are :
* systemd haters have no clue about UNIX
* RedHat took a long time to notice my genius
* Gentoo users are old-farts that don't like beautifully written shiny new stuff
* Debian users are even older assholes
* You can use Gnome without systemd, but it won't work
* I listen to users, but they're all idiots

I take it that the irony of accusing Lennart of strawman arguments and then posting this is lost on you.

Comment: Re:When I see that [literaly] textbook mistake.... (Score 1) 329

by Kiwikwi (#48832201) Attached to: Steam For Linux Bug Wipes Out All of a User's Files

if [ ! -z "$STEAMROOT" ] then...

! -z is the same as -n; though personally, I find it more readable to elide the "-z" and "-n" test operators entirely:

if [ ! "$STEAMROOT" ]; then echo "BAD BAD BAD"; exit 1; fi


if [ "$STEAMROOT" ]; then rm stuff; fi

(And yes, this still works if $STEAMROOT starts with a dash.)

Comment: Re:um, no (Score 2) 216

by Kiwikwi (#48302969) Attached to: Scotland Builds Power Farms of the Future Under the Sea


Solar is the real eye opener and should serve as a lesson on blindly trusting hype and "What seems obvious." Solar panels are terrible for the environment,

It's always important to remember that there's no such thing as free energy. That said, the linked graph doesn't say anything about solar being "terrible for the environment", only that other sources of electricity consumes* very little silver compared to solar (as Scientific American also notes in the graph). Importantly, it does not show how that use compares to e.g. worldwide silver use.

* "consumes"? "wastes"? "produces as a byproduct"? Pretty sure that oil energy (or biomass!) doesn't consume uranium, even if drilling for oil produces it as a byproduct. Not sure what exactly is being graphed here, honestly. Unfortunately, the cited report is paywalled.

Anyway, if you look at the other report cited by Scientific American as the graph source, in figure 4 on page 19, it shows the global material requirements (in giga-grams, that is, kilotons) under various energy mix scenarios. Neither silver or tin use even registers on the graph in the so-called "non-fossil" scenario (mix of solar, wind and hydro - and no nuclear). In other words, in the "non-fossil" scenario, silver and tin usage for power is less than 1 kiloton a year. Worldwide silver use in 2013 was 34 kt.

As a bonus, silver recycles better than aluminum, with energy savings of 96% (table 4.4).

Comment: Re:Fedora fork too (Score 1) 555

by Kiwikwi (#48199021) Attached to: Debian's Systemd Adoption Inspires Threat of Fork

It seems whenever people want to show how simple a SysV init script can be, they pull out examples that don't do half of what the (still much shorter) SystemD unit file does.

In this example from Slackware:

- 'sendmail' is a globally reserved name for a binary; only the system-wide sendmail daemon may use it.
- you cannot query the service status.
- there's no automatic preprocesing of sendmail config files (rehashing etc.)
- there's no dependency information

And that's just what's missing compared to the Fedora SysV init script.

The Fedora SystemD unit file adds at least the following features:

- the ability to reliably stop or restart the service
- automatic restart if the service dies

Ma Bell is a mean mother!