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Comment: Re:Drop the hammer on them. (Score 4, Insightful) 446 446

"Drop the hammer on them."

That's the easy part. The hard part is dealing with what happens after the hammer has been dropped.

Someone once said that the definition of a bad policy is one that leads to a place where you have nothing but bad options. I believe everyone (not just the Greeks) thought back in 2000 it woudl be good policy to bring Greece into the Eurozone. But now we've now reached the point where otherwise rational people are talking about "dropping the hammer", as if having an incipient failed state in Europe is a small price to pay for 600 euro in your pocket. The frustration is understandable, but the the satisfaction of dropping the hammer on Greece would be short-lived -- possibly on the order of weeks depending on the scale of financial disruption.

The unhappy truth is that bad policy choices fifteen years ago means all the options available today lead to long-lived, complicated, and expensive consequences.

+ - China's Unsettling Stock Market Collapse->

schwit1 writes: The Shanghai index is firmly in bear market territory, down 28.6% since the June peak, while the tech-heavy Shenzhen Composite has fallen 33.2%.

There were also signs on Friday that the stock market turmoil is beginning to reverberate beyond China. The Australian dollar, often traded as a proxy for China growth, is down 1.2% to a six-year low of US$0.7539. The 21st Century Business Herald, a Chinese daily newspaper, on Friday quoted multiple futures traders as saying they had received phone calls from the China Financial Futures Exchange instructing them not to short the market.

China's financial titans are attempting to set up a "market stabilization fund." This doesn't sound good.

Link to Original Source

+ - Transgender 3D printer tech faces catch-22 with Upwork

orangesquid writes: http://joaz.github.io/work/201... This is a friend of mine, a 3D printer technician. Upwork.com is not being understanding of the medically-advised and legally-necessary steps she has to take in order to live her life authentically as a transgender woman. In order to get her name changed, she has to live full-time as a woman for a length of time, but upwork.com will not allow her to use her new name, even though she has documentation from her therapist. It's a catch-22 many trans* people face---in order to change their name and gender marker legally, they have to be living authentically as that person with the new name, but in order to be recognized in the community with their new name, they have to already have it changed legally. How is one supposed to prove to the court that they are trans* and need their name changed legally, if the requirement is to use the new name full-time for some period, when nobody will let them use their new name before it's legally changed? I've seen other stories unfold like this. One IT professional I know lost her job after transitioning, even though she did well and was well-liked at the company. Another friend in IT was accused of lying on her resume when a previous employer did not honor her new, legally-changed name---even though she had spoken with HR and they said there wouldn't be a problem. Someone else I know worked in a computer room and was trying to transition---her boss thought it would be funny to make jokes and lewd remarks about male genitalia around her. I know most people aren't going to understand where trans* people are coming from on this, but what's interesting here is that upwork said they had no problem with the issue, provided some documentation was provided. After documentation was provided, their story changed---why?

+ - Some consumers habitually pick losers

AmiMoJo writes: If you’re still crying into your pillow at night over the demise of the Zune MP3 player or Crystal Pepsi, take a long, hard look into the mirror: Your shopping habits might have foretold the doom of your favourite, discontinued products. At least, according to a group of researchers pointing the finger at certain early adopters. In a study published in the Journal of Marketing Research, researchers identified particular kinds of consumers whose preferences can predict products that will flop, calling those folks “harbingers of failure.” “Certain customers systematically purchase new products that prove unsuccessful. Their early adoption of a new product is a strong signal that a product will fail.”

Comment: Same here. (Score 1) 575 575

I have similar issues:
  - Towing several tons (travel trailer or 23 foot trailerable-with-extreme-trailer deep-keel coastal-water-ocean-capable sailboat) up and down mountains and cross-country.
  - Going to/from the ranch - over 250 miles one way (over the Altamont grade, across the central valley, and through a pass in the Sierras) - with the last 0.7 miles sometimes hubcap-deep mud.
  - Carrying ranch groceries for several months and/or other supplies or equipment from the nearest supermarket etc. - 27 miles away.
and so on.
  - Off-roading to visit ghost towns and other historic sites in the Nevada Desert - where "running out of gas" - in the absence of cell phone service - might mean your skeletons are discovered in a couple years.

On the other hand, for trips about 3/4 of the year and NOT towing, a plug-in hybrid or an all-electric vehicle with sufficient range, serious regenerative braking, and adequate cargo capacity for two week's groceries and luggage for two, would be ideal. Charge it up at each end (off a windmill/solar at the Nevada end) to start full, use regenerative braking on the downslopes to power across the valley or up the next up slope. For a hybrid: Top off the batteries while cruising the central valley and use batteries plus engine to avoid being a creeping traffic hazard on the mountain roads.

My cycle would be almost identical to a Silicon Valley worker who mostly commutes 25 miles each way and occasionally vacations at the Lake Tahoe ski resorts or Reno or camps in the Sierras. A single vehicle that could do both - rather than needing two vehicles to accommodate the use pattern - would be ideal.

Comment: They aren't economical. (Score 5, Insightful) 575 575

Right now you could have the choice between a 20,000$ electric vehicle or a 11,000$ gas vehicle. Lets say the gas vehicle gets 33 mpg, and gasoline costs 3$. Then for 9,000$, you get 3000 gallons of gasoline, and at 33mpg, you get nearly 100,000 miles of free fuel. The price point where electric vehicles start to even make sense for an economical sense is somewhere around $15,000.

Comment: That was the funniest part to me (Score 1) 143 143

The claim that Sweden would hand him over to the US. Were I to worry about anyone in the EU doing that, it would be the UK. The US and UK have a relationship literally called the "special relationship." They back each other on diplomatic and intelligence matters in a way rarely seen among other nations. So they would be the one I would peg to hand him over all quiet like, if anyone.

Comment: Sorry but no (Score 1) 143 143

The UK courts heard the matter, all the way to the top, and decided that it was a valid request. Your opinion on that doesn't particularly matter, only the opinion of their courts. That is how it works in any case of a nation which has an extradition treaty with another nation: The courts of the nation being asked to extradite decide if said request is allowable per the treaty. What that requires varies treaty by treaty.

In the EU, the extradition treaties are pretty strong. Countries don't have a lot of choice to say no. If a fellow EU member asks and the paperwork is all in order, you more or less have to comply. That is precisely what the British courts found in this case. They reviewed it, found it valid, he appealed, they found it valid and so on.

Doesn't matter if you don't like it, that is how the justice process works there. This was not a case that was handled in some shady back channel matter, it went through the court system properly and the rulings fell against him. That's all there is to it.

Comment: Sweden's case won't really matter (Score 4, Informative) 143 143

The UK now has a case against him, and a very strong one. He fled bail, and that is a crime. That crime is still ongoing since he's still fleeing said bail. So they can arrest and charge him for that. Doesn't matter if the original matter is log dropped, he is still on the hook for this.

That's the thing with court dates, bail, and all that jazz: Even if the case against you was going to be dismissed, if you skip bail you are now guilty of another crime. You have agreed to appear in court and a failure to do so is against the law.

The UK had no beef in this originally, they were just acting on an EU arrest warrant. Sweden said "We want this guy," the UK looked at the warrant and said "looks valid per the treaty" and thus arrested him. They had no interest or ability to decide on the validity of the charges, only if the request required them to act per treaty. It did so he was arrested, and then released on bail.

He challenged the extradition all the way up to the high UK court, but the courts found it was a valid request that the UK had to honour. Nothing to do with his guilt, just that the request was a valid one and they were bound by treaty to hand him over. Had he gone to Sweden then, that would have been the end of the UK's involvement. His bail would be returned and the UK would have no further interest in what happened.

However he fled rather than handing himself over. So at that point, he became a fugitive in the UK. They now have a case against him. It is totally separate from the original case, it is simply a case of skipping bail.

Likely they'll want to act on it too, since he's been flaunting it in their face for years.

Comment: Re:What baffles me is.... (Score 2) 95 95

If this scum has a history of making false claims then why are they still allowed to make claims at all? Better yet, why haven't they been banned from Youtube altogether?

Alice posts a video using music that Bob owns the copyright to. Carol posts a video that uses music Bob falsely claims to also hold the copyright for. Unfortunately Bob's false claim against Carol doesn't change the fact that he actually does have a legitimate legal claim against Alice's video. So kicking him off the system means he's going to issue a takedown against Alice. The whole point of bringing him into the system was to give him an incentive to leave Alice alone.

The problem here isn't Bob and Alice -- that part of the scenario is working fine. The problem is Bob and Carol. There's no incentive for Bob not to make false claims against Carol. That's the bit that has to be fixed.

Comment: Re:Fee Fees Hurt? (Score 4, Insightful) 261 261

Well, it may interest you to know that courts judging "emotional distress" is not some new Internet fad. In the year 1348 an innkeeper brought suit against a man who had been banging on his tavern door demanding wine. When the innkeeper stuck his head out the doorway to tell the man to stop, the man buried the hatchet he was carrying into the door by the innkeeper's head. The defendant argued that since there was no physical harm inflicted no assault had taken place, but the judged ruled against him [ de S et Ux. v. W de S (1348)]. Ever since then non-physical, non-financial harm has been considered both an essential element of a number of of crimes, a potential aggravating factor in others, and an element weighed in establishing civil damages.

This does *not*, however, mean that hurt feelings in themselves constitute a crime. It's a difficult and sometimes ambiguous area of the law, but the law doesn't have the luxury of addressing easy and clear-cut cases only.

As to why a new law is need now, when the infliction of emotional distress has been something the law has been working on for 667 years, I'd say that the power of technology to uncouple interactions from space and time has to be addressed. Hundreds of years ago if someone was obnoxious to you at your favorite coffeehouse, you could go at a different time or choose a different coffeehouse. Now someone intent on spoiling your interactions with other people doesn't have to coordinate physical location and schedule with you to be a persistent, practically inescapable nuisance.

Does this mean every interaction that hurts your feelings on the Internet is a crime? No, no more than everything that happens in your physical presence you take offense at is a crime.

Comment: Systemd, pass II (Score 1) 171 171

Sure, no problem. If you dislike systemd that much, it certainly makes sense to move to a different software platform.

I don't particularly dislike systemd per se. I do observe the controversy around it, and the image of it and its project, painted by its opponents (some of whom have enough creds that it's unlikely that they're talking through their hats), indicates that the claimed issues are likely to be real problems, and this may be a tipping point for Linux adoption and user choice among distributions or OSes.

Your Snowden argument isn't particularly applicable in this instance, as you have access to the full source code for systemd. If you're not comfortable looking through C code, then any init system would be a problem for you. ... If you think that porting your laptop, home servers and desktops to a completely different operating system is less effort than learning how systemd works, then I can only conclude you haven't tried to learn how systemd works. Or you've severely underestimated the work involved in moving to another OS.

I did my first Linux drivers (a PROM burner and a Selectric-with-selonoids printer) on my personal Altos ACS 68000 running System III, wrote a driver for a block-structured tape drive for AUX - working from my own decompilation of their SCSI disk driver (since the sources weren't available to me initially), ported and augmented a mainframe RAID controller from SvR3 to SvR4, and so on, for nearly three decades, through hacking DeviceTree on my current project. I don't think C has many problems left for me, nor does moving to yet another UNIX environment - especially to one that is still organized in the old, familiar, fashion. B-)

As for trying to learn how systemd works, that's not the proper question. Instead, I ask what is so great about it that I should spend the time to do so, distracting me from my other work, and how doing this would meet my goals (especially the undertand-the-security-issues goal), as compared to moving to a well-supported, time-proven, high-reliability, security-conscious alternative (which is also under a license that is less of a sell to the PHBs when building it into a shippable product.)

Snowden's revealations show that the NSA, and others like them are adept, at taking advantage of problems in obscure corners of systems and using that obscurity to avoid detection. The defence against this is simplicity and clarity, avoiding the complexity that creates subtle bugs and hides them by burying them in distractions. Bigger haystacks hide more needles.

The configuration for systemd isn't buried. It's there for all to see and change, in plain text. Logging in binary form is _optional_. You can choose to direct logged messages to syslog, or use both syslog and binary, to have the "best of both worlds", albeit with the best of disk usage.

Unfortunately, I don't get to make that choice myself. It's made by the distribution maintainers. My choice is to accept it, open the can of worms and redo the work of entire teams (and hope their software updates don't break things faster than I fix them), or pick another distribution or OS.

Again, why should I put myself on such a treadmill of unending extra work? If I could trust the maintainers to mostly make the right choices I could go along - with no more than an audit and perhaps an occasional tweak. But if they were making what I consider the right choices, I wouldn't expect to see such a debacle.

Entangling diverse processes into an interlocking mass is what operating systems are all about! ;)

No, it's not. The job of an operating system is to KEEP them from becoming an interlocking mass, while letting them become an interacting system to only the extent appropriate. It isolates them in their own boxes, protects them from each other, and facilitates their access to resources and ONLY their LEGITIMATE interaction wherever appropriate and/or necessary. The job is to Keep It Simple while letting it work.

Your phrasing, and making a joke of this issue, is symptomatic of what is alleged to be wrong with systemd and the engineering behind it.

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