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Comment: Re:for occulus it's the better deal (Score 1) 300

Indeed. Now I'm glad that I didn't act on my brief curiosity about applying for work at Oculus VR when I heard about some interesting engineering job openings that they posted a while back. I wouldn't want to work for Zuckerberg. Now that FB owns them, I have lost all interest in ever buying their products. Oculus VR is dead to me now.

Comment: Re:The chain of trust is broken. (Score 1) 110

by NF6X (#46553541) Attached to: Fake PGP Keys For Crypto Developers Found

And in this case, the fake key has zero signatures whatsoever. If it had any, they would either be a blob of also-fake unconnected keys, or someone proving his guilt this way.

Just to be pedantic, a fake key may also be signed by a real, correctly-identified individual who had no intention of subterfuge, but who isn't careful about whose keys he or she signs. Of course, once discovered, that person should from then on be distrusted to validate other keys just as much as somebody who deliberately tried to deceive others.

A scarier but less likely possibility would be a malicious actor who creates a forged key for some other person, and then attends key-signing parties where they present forged identification in order to receive legitimate signings of their forged key. It'd be hard to get away with this if the target is an individual with a well-known appearance, like a Schneier or a Wozniak. But if the target is somebody who is just known online by name and not by their physical appearance, then it might not be hard to get legitimate signatures on the forged key by real, well-trusted individuals who simply had no prior knowledge of the target's real appearance. I wouldn't know "the" Gavin Andresen who maintains Bitcoin code from "a" random person named Gavin Andresen, or even an impostor with a good forgery of a government-issued ID card. I've never seen a picture of Gavin that I can recall, so I have no idea of what he looks like.

Comment: Re:Transitivity of trust (Score 2) 110

by NF6X (#46553447) Attached to: Fake PGP Keys For Crypto Developers Found

Just because you trust somebody doesn't mean you trust him or her to trust others.

Very true! If I meet a person face-to-face, they hand me their PGP/GPG public key, and they show me plausible-looking picture ID that matches the identity that their key claims to represent, then I can mark their key in my keychain as one that I'm confident is not a forgery. If they are otherwise a stranger to me with no well-known reputation, then I can register in my keychain that their signature on somebody else's key doesn't count for much. Or if they are a well-known person with a reputation of being very careful about whose keys they sign, I may register in my keychain that I tend to trust keys that they have signed. The web of trust system is pretty well configurable.

I may also sign their key with mine to let other people know that "I, NF6X, consider this key to belong to the individual it claims to belong to". You may or may not consider that to be of value, depending on how well you know me and what you think of me.

This seems to be a reasonable model to me, and I think it's better than the "one CA to rule them all" model used for things like SSL certificates. It's difficult to scale the model well, though. I don't know of any other PGP/GPG users near me and I began using these systems long after I graduated from college where I might have had many more opportunities to sign others' keys and have mine signed. So, I'm not part of the web of trust, and I'm unlikely to become one unless I go out of my way to travel to a key-signing party to meet some well-known and reputable people. The few people with whom I exchange PGP/GPG-encrypted traffic are strangers to me, and I have no way of being strongly confident that they are who they say they are.

Comment: Re:Poor management (Score 1) 423

by NF6X (#46405585) Attached to: RadioShack To Close 1,100 Stores

If an employee didn't ask every customer about a cell phone AND a satellite dish they were fired. Even before that turnover was like a fast food place.

And no, I don't want to buy an extended service plan for the audio patch cord that I'm going to cut one end off of and mount a different connector on as soon as I get home, thank you very much. No, really, I'm positive.

Comment: Re:Electron Hobbyist store. (Score 1) 423

by NF6X (#46405563) Attached to: RadioShack To Close 1,100 Stores

Their components are substandard manufacturer rejects (best I can tell) that they package in small quantities and sell for 10X the price.

In my opinion and experience, that was true back in the 1980s, too. I bought components there at the time because I didn't know of any better option near me, and I didn't even know that I should be searching for a better option. It's not like I could order parts online from Digi-Key. I didn't know that it's possible to buy hookup wire whose crappy insulation doesn't flee in terror from an approaching soldering iron. I didn't know about ring lugs whose plastic insulation is tough enough to survive crimping without breaking off. I had one of the cool TI sound generator chips they carried, but one of the functional blocks never worked right. I thought that the way to buy capacitors was in a bulk pack of 50 random values.

They did have some excellent products like the set of Minimus 7 speakers that I still have, and my first exposure to computers and programming was my TRS-80 Color Computer. Radio Shack played an important part in my earliest experiences with electronics and computers, but I began looking elsewhere for most electronic components and supplies once I learned how to find higher-quality parts. Now I only shop for components there when I want something Right Now.

+ - CmdrTaco: Anti-Beta Movement a "Vocal Minority"-> 30

Submitted by Antipater
Antipater (2053064) writes "The furor over Slashdot Beta is loud enough that even outside media has begun to notice. The Washington Post's tech blog The Switch has written a piece on the issue, and the anti-Beta protesters aren't going to be happy about it. The Post questioned Slashdot founder Rob Malda, who believes the protests are the work of only a vocal minority or readers: "It's easy to forget that the vocal population of a community driven site like Slashdot might be the most important group, but they are typically also the smallest class of users." The current caretakers of Slashdot need to balance the needs of all users with their limited engineering resources, Malda argues — noting wryly, "It ain't easy.""
Link to Original Source

+ - Slashdot Beta: Because They Hate You 3

Submitted by boolithium
boolithium (1030728) writes "People on here are missing the point of the Beta roll out. The elimination of the existing user base is not a side effect, it is a feature. Slashdot as a brand has value, but as a site has limited commercial appeal. The users are the kids at the lunch table, where not even the foreign exchange students want to sit. Nobody ever got laid from installing NetBSD.

Once they are finished with their nerd cleansing, they can build a new Slashdot. A sexier Slashdot. A Slashdot the kids can dance to.

They aren't ignoring you. They are exterminating you."

+ - If we Buck Feta and leave, where should we go? 17

Submitted by Covalent
Covalent (1001277) writes "I am a long-time slashdot reader (don't let the UID fool you), and I agree with most of you that the Beta is a disaster. Dice has promised a fix, but what if this garbage is the new reality? Is there a suitable alternative to slashdot that members would find equally (or more) fulfilling? Is someone going to fork slashdot and start it anew (Taco can you hear me?) Or is this just the end of an era?"

Comment: Re:Timothy confirms Slashdot Classic will be gone. (Score 1) 207

by NF6X (#46186351) Attached to: Russia Bans Bitcoin

I think we should mark yesterday, February 6, 2014, as the day that Slashdot died.

Yesterday may be the day that the coroner declared the victim to be dead, but the fatal disease was contracted when bought Slashdot. Slashdot is a vibrant community built around a tainted well, and is the entity that poisoned that well.

Comment: Re:And that's exactly what I asked for. (Score 1) 2219

by NF6X (#46186009) Attached to: Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

*from Dice Inc. "Slashdot Media was acquired to provide content and services that are important to technology professionals in their everyday work lives and to leverage that reach into the global technology community benefiting user engagement on the site. The expected benefits have started to be realized at However, advertising revenue has declined over the past year and there is no improvement expected in the future financial performance of Slashdot Media's underlying advertising business. Therefore, $7.2 million of intangible assets and $6.3 million of goodwill related to Slashdot Media were reduced to zero. "

Also if you were curious why the redesign looks like it does, check out the other dice sites. It appears they are going for a bland unified style across sites. is especially telling of what the future of /. may hold.

Thank you for sharing that quote from That makes it clear that really does just think of Slashdot participants as an audience. Their motivations with respect to Slashdot are just to get ad revenue and to use us to lure eyeballs to We are not a community to them; we are a tool to be exploited to further their goals.

It is now clear to me that the problem is not that the folks running Slashdot aren't listening. The problem is that they don't care. Or at least, their bosses don't care. They aren't going to "see the light" and abort the Beta travesty because they want us gone. The folks who are outraged by Beta breaking what brings us to Slashdot are not the passive viewers that wants. We are not relevant to's goals. We don't come here to view ads. We don't even come here to read the posted stories, except as triggers for the discussion that follows. does not want the core Slashdot participants; they want to use the Slashdot name to lure the cloud of passive Slashdot viewers to suckle at their corporate teat.

This suggests to me that Slashdot as we know it is already dead. It is a community built around a tainted well. The well became tainted when came along and shat in it, and I don't see how the well can be purified other than by leaving and taking their shit with them.

Boycotting Slashdot isn't going to change's mind about these Beta changes. It's time to leave Slashdot and move to a new place.

+ - An open letter to the management of Slashdot. 14

Submitted by onyxruby
onyxruby (118189) writes "I have been watch for some time now as Slashdot has started beta testing a new version of the website. As you are well aware the new site would constitute a complete change to the look, interface and functionality of

Change happens, and for those of us who work with technology for a living it is the only constant. Change is a process and in and of itself is not a bad thing when it offers improvement. Unfortunately the change that has been offered negatively impacts the look, interface and most importantly the functionality of Slashdot.
Many people have had trouble reverting back to the classic interface. The new interface simply does not offer the functionality of the old. Things like statistics, comments and layout are very difficult to find. You have a community that lives and breathes data and want to know their data. How is my comment ranked, how many people responded – it’s really all about the dialogue. Can I get the information that I want in a readily digestible format?

As you’re well aware the new site does not offer the very thing that people come here for. This in and of itself is not why your community has organized a boycott of Beta. The boycott was originated because the new version will be implemented whether the community wants it or not.

I want to explain why this change has gone down people’s throats about as well as Windows 8’s Metro interface. The reason has absolutely nothing to do with the interface and everything to do with the perception that the editors and management of Slashdot appear to have.

The message that has been consistently handed down is that we are “your audience”. We are not your “your audience” we are your product. People do not come to Slashdot for the news stories, there are untold other sites that provide those as well as professional and original writing about them. People come here for the community of insiders from across the industry.

Please respect the community and stop what you’re doing. You have commented that you don’t want to maintain two code bases. Your community works in the industry and understands this, which leads many to suggest you abandon the new code base entirely so that you are only maintaining once code base. Tell us what your trying to accomplish and I would imagine that a wide range of experts would be more than willing to help you meet your goals."

The more cordial the buyer's secretary, the greater the odds that the competition already has the order.