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Comment: What do you really want to accomplish? (Score 1) 93

by pla (#47559047) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Open Hard- & Software Based Security Token?
If you only want a semipublic file share, just stand up a free AWS Linux instance and lock it down to SSH/SFTP. You get a few GB of free cloud storage (I don't actually know the limit, but I have 8 online now and have never paid a dime), and can sleep well knowing that a breach just means standing up a new instance rather than the end of your career.

You only really need to let people get onto your corporate network if you want to set up "real" remote access such as VPN or, as you mention, one of those crazy-expensive RSA Citrix gateways. And no offense, but the very fact that you have asked Slashdot how to do this on the cheap suggests that you really shouldn't do it at all (aside from my "safe" suggestion above).

Comment: Re:Might fine police work there, Lou! (Score 1) 152

by pla (#47556857) Attached to: London Police Placing Anti-Piracy Warning Ads On Illegal Sites
But the article makes it clear that "Neither the police or Project Sunblock are paying the website in question to display the police message". They're just suppressing the banner display, and displaying a police message instead.

Yep, I made a mistake. I presumed that the police would know better than to enter into a conspiracy to commit outright theft of service and libel in their efforts to appease the recording industry. One crime doesn't justify another. Mea culpa.

Except, in your zeal to find something in my post to go all "princess of vitriol" over, you seem to have failed to notice my key point - No one visiting piracy sites mistakes them for legit. Would you care to respond to that, or would you prefer to latch on to a typo somewhere in this post?


Pathetic is deciding you know how the system works without R'ing TFA

"The system" has rules we can know a priori. The police can't just choose to ignore them out of expediency. "Pathetic is" accepting criminal behavior just because it carries a thin veneer of official approval.

Comment: Re:When going into business with Friends (Score 3, Interesting) 158

by pla (#47556705) Attached to: How Gygax Lost Control of TSR and D&D
This should serve as a cautionary tail of what can happen when you go into business with friends and or relatives. As soon as big money starts being made...unfortunately the greedy side of human nature tends to rear it's ugly head.

The arrangement made sense right up until TSR actually started making real money. When you and your friends bust your asses to build a business, and have no substantial income or assets to fight over, running it as a labor-of-love makes perfect sense. But once they started bulk-hiring new staff and pulled off 5000% growth over five years - Why the hell didn't they hire a competent CFO???

No one in the inner circle had a clue about how to run a business, because they all wanted control to remain in the hands of gamers - Hey, cool, most of us can appreciate that concept. But they could have avoided all the acrimony and eventually selling out to Wizards-of-the-CCG simply by bringing in someone with a clue in a non-shareholding executive capacity.

Sad, really.

Comment: Might fine police work there, Lou! (Score 2, Interesting) 152

by pla (#47556475) Attached to: London Police Placing Anti-Piracy Warning Ads On Illegal Sites
Police said the ads would make it harder for piracy site owners to make their pages look authentic

No one confuses Rapidshare for BMG's official site. People go there specifically to download pirated content, full stop. Seeing police ads might scare a few people with the paranoia of thinking "the man" has caught them, but the other 99% of visitors will just thank the police for subsidizing their favorite warez sites.

Truly pathetic, Boys in Blue (Hmm, do Bobbies wear blue?)


The move comes as part of a continuing effort to stop piracy sites from earning money through advertising.

By... Um... Buying banner ads on piracy sites? BRILLIANT!

Comment: Re: So... (Score 2, Insightful) 63

by pla (#47556089) Attached to: UK Team Claims Breakthrough In Universal Cancer Test
Don't do it! Everyone will be diagnosed.

Bizarre trolling aside, You have the right idea - Virtually everyone over the age of 50 has dozens of "cancerous" cell clusters scattered around their bodies, all more-or-less harmless unless juuust the right combination of environmental conditions triggers a few to start growing (and spreading) uncontrollably.

I find it easy to believe that a universal test for "cancer" would have a near-perfect success rate, because nearly everyone has it, to some degree. I find the negative side much harder to believe, because it means differentiating between cancer-but-harmless and cancer-gonna-kill-you.

Or looked at another way, consider recent changes in attitude regarding breast and prostate cancers. 20 years ago, detecting either meant immediately scheduling a radical mastectomy/prostatectomy. Today, unless you have a family history of aggressive cancers, your oncologist will likely suggest watching and waiting for at least a few months to see if it actually does anything more that sit there harmlessly. Yet, even if it does - still cancer. Much like we don't universally vaccinate people against TB because it makes TB antibody tests diagnostically useless, I see this test as having the same issue, accurate but useless.

Comment: Re:Scale and proportion. (Score 1) 496

Your claim about the number and frequency of rocket attacks is essentially false. There has been a steady stream of rocket attacks this year, as there are most years.

Does that link include asterisks next to the all the provably false-flag "rocket attacks"? Y'know, like today'd "hospital" attack that used munitions far more powerful and accurate than anything Hamas has, which the UN categorically denied as coming from a UN-controlled hospital, and in response to which Israel announced an immediate escalation of hostilities?

Tough to pick the more evil side in this one, but shit like that makes it a lot easier.

Comment: Re:How to regulate something that is unregulateabl (Score 1) 154

by pla (#47551827) Attached to: US States Edge Toward Cryptocoin Regulation
I wonder how are they going to "regulate" something that is not supposed to be regulate-able?

Simple - They will effectively exclude businesses in their own states from participating in the BitCoin economy.

This won't affect the vast majority of individuals, because they can't stop individuals from buying from vendors in another state; and it won't affect businesses in unregulated states - Well, I take that back - It will benefit businesses operating outside those states that try to regulate cryptocurrencies.

I fully expect, however, that this will end up at the USSC. As much as the asshats in DC have abused the "interstate commerce" clause, this issue actually falls under that particular umbrella.

Comment: Re:Ignorance is no excuse ... (Score 3, Informative) 94

by pla (#47550929) Attached to: Google's Mapping Contest Draws Ire From Indian Government
USA routinely tells google to hide sensitive areas and google complies voluntarily

...With the inherent irony that you can then use that hidden data specifically to find "sensitive" areas you might not have known about (just randomly load highest-zoom tiles until you find one with artificially degraded resolution) - Then pull up the same data at 1m resolution from the USGS quarter quad library.

You want something hidden from space? Build it deep enough underground to hide its IR footprint. Attempting to hide things through censorship works sooo well - Just ask Babs S.

Comment: Re:Money - the ultimate natural selector (Score 1) 476

by pla (#47549081) Attached to: Suddenly Visible: Illicit Drugs As Part of Silicon Valley Culture
I don't feel a lot of workaholism in that story - ridiculously overpaid unscrupulous douchebag with too much time and money that has saddened and humiliated his family managed to have what looks like plenty of leisure time.

I agree with you about the workaholism angle as complete BS, but I think you go too far with the second half of your statement.

Geeks in general seem to seek out novelty, which as an underlying character trait, makes us good at what we do. Seeking altered states of consciousness, in my experience, just comes with that territory. That doesn't depend solely on having too much money and free time (though the lack of either certainly limits opportunities to get high) - Just how we view the world.


Oh, and this shit is not new at all - been happening in this industry for decades. more noticeable now that a Googler has publicly disgraced himself.

Really? I don't see it as all that disgraceful - He died having a good time, rather than lying in a hospital bed in agony. Good for him! I hope to die as well, someday.

Comment: Re:TCO (Score 3, Interesting) 153

by pla (#47548487) Attached to: Valencia Linux School Distro Saves 36 Million Euro
From my experience you need less Linux sysadmins to begin with. Its easier to do remote admin. So the TCO numbers Microsoft claims are usually bullshit.

You have thought about that in terms of doing machine-by-machine maintenance. A large school district has a similar topology to a large enterprise corporation - thousands of systems spread out over dozens or hundreds of sites, with dozens or hundreds of different user-types grouped by function, having various seemingly-arbitrary blocking and auditability rules, and possible liability for certain types of breach, etc.

For maintaining a farm of identical servers, I agree with you completely. For maintaining Grandma's desktop remotely, I agree with you completely. But for maintaining an enterprise desktop environment, Microsoft simply has the best tools for the job. Linux AD-via-Samba quite simply doesn't even come close for the convenience of centralized GP maintenance, and has aothing anywhere near the convenience of drag-and-drop group-based software installation (though Linux does have non-stock application deployment packages available, like Puppet, that partially fill that last point). Linux has nothing even remotely like (W)SUS. And those two alone count as complete showstoppers when it comes to minimizing the number of people required to maintain a large network.

I love Linux, I use Linux, but Linux at the enterprise scale amounts to a non-starter.

Of course, the biggest irony here, school districts don't tend to use Windows, either - They loooove them some Apple products, which have all the same problems described above, plus the pricetag (not saying Apples still cost more, but they don't come free). So in that sense, yes, I can see how Linux would save school districts a hefty chunk of money; at some scale, however, you'll find that switching to MS would likely save money vs the overhead of sys/net ops and helpdesk staff.

Comment: Re:I know you're trying to be funny, but... (Score 1) 699

by pla (#47545983) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: "GCC 4.9.0 Seems To Be Terminally Broken"
There is an obligation to not be abusive

Hi! Welcome to the real world. You'll find the dumpster for your "participation" trophies to the left; and here, you get paid for winning, not "trying" or "good sportspersonship".

Linus doesn't suffer fools gladly. And I applaud him for that.

Comment: Scale and proportion. (Score 4, Insightful) 496

This sickening content is peculiar to this conflict. The war in Syria does not trigger these kinds of comments.

The war in Syria doesn't involve a nuclear state casually bulldozing civilian houses, complete with civilians inside, all because a handful of pesky terrorists keep lobbing ineffective bombs into empty fields.

Israel's problem really boils down to a matter of proportion. Yes, they have an unenviable situation to deal with; but they have chosen to respond in a way that makes them look like monsters (to the point that even many Jewish Israelis consider their government's behavior nothing short of reprehensible). When you cook ants with a magnifying glass, no one blames the ants, even if one or two do manage to sting you.


As for the FP's hypothetical French forum moderator - You count as part of the problem. When people can freely say things such as what I wrote above, they can contribute to the discussion, sometimes even vent a bit, and move on. When, however, fairly peaceful discussion vanishes under some bullshit pretense of racism - People then feel the need to escalate the impact of their few words making it through to other eyes.

Comment: Re:What's it going to take? (Score 1) 120

by pla (#47542781) Attached to: When Spies and Crime-Fighters Squabble Over How They Spy On You
Heck, even the Supreme Court [supremecourt.gov] disagrees with you. But whatever, it's not like it is their job to interpret the constitution.

Believe it or not, the USSC does not have that as part of their job description - The constitution just sets it up as essentially the highest appellate court in the land. Not until John Marshall's tenure, and particularly starting with Marbury v. Madison, did they claim the power to overrule Congress in "interpreting" the legality of a law.

That said, I generally don't agree with sumdumass, but on this one, he has it nailed. We can reinterpret the applicability of the constitution to the modern world, and if necessary, amend it; But the words themselves must of necessity retain their original meaning even as the common use of those words may change. Anything else leads to exactly what the GP described - crackers and chocolate, to some degree.

"Just the facts, Ma'am" -- Joe Friday

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