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Comment: Re:Transparency (Score 4, Informative) 72

> there's never been a more secretive administration in the US.

Oh, my. I don't know if you're young, or if the easy access of the modern Internet has confused you about just how _little_ information was available to the general population about government programs 30 years ago or more. Do, please, look up the history of the Pentagon Papers.

Comment: Re:Customer service? (Score 1) 789

When installing software and are 'forced' to 'agree' to many paragraphs of legalese before the OK button will become clickable, do you tick "I agree" and think "I agree" or do you tick it whilst thinking "I'm only clicking 'I agree' because I've discovered that that's what's necessary to proceed to the next installation-step?"

When people cheer for a tinpot dictator, do they think "this guy is awesome" or "I'm only cheering because I've discovered that's what's necessary to avoid getting killed"?

Internalizes helplessness isn't about being deceived, that's called stupidity. Internalized helplessness is about saying "I agree" no matter what you think, because you don't think "I disagree" would go well for you. You're treating having to jump through hoops to use a software you've already purchased as a fact of life you can do nothing about. Your spirit has, in however small way, been broken; you've begun to accept the will of various institutions and forces of human creation as defining the very parameters of your life.

You're not rejecting the idea of helpless subjectdom, you're embodying it. And so do Americans as a whole, more and more every year, as the powers that be continue slipping out of their control and consequently carry their tasks out without any real oversight, to the point of insanity and beyond. That won't end well.

Comment: Re: Why? (Score 1) 72

by fishbowl (#47535885) Attached to: New SSL Server Rules Go Into Effect Nov. 1

Many situations require the encryption of SSL without necessarily requiring the authentication of SSL. This is the case when the risk is more from something like accidentally or casually disclosing sensitive information and there is little or no risk of intentional attack, but where there are liabilities for routine exposure. This scenario isn't really a job for SSL, but what else do we have to work with?

Comment: Re:Dang... (Score 3, Informative) 120

by jc42 (#47535075) Attached to: Siberian Discovery Suggests Almost All Dinosaurs Were Feathered

Interesting. Science is wrong, and "creationist parks" get the blame.

Hmmm ... This isn't really a case of scientists being wrong. The old images of dinosaurs have generally been "artists' interpretations" of the evidence, and scientists generally agreed that they had little evidence of the outer appearance of dinosaurs. Skin and other soft tissues don't fossilize too well, and we haven't had many samples until recently.

And the idea that birds are close relatives of or descended from dinosaurs isn't new. It was suggested by none other than Charles Darwin himself, based on similarities in the skeletons. Many of his colleagues agreed, but they even more agreed with the reply "Yeah, that's certainly interesting; can you find us some better evidence?" The situation stayed that way until the 1970s or so, because birds don't fossilize well. New fossil discoveries finally supplied enough evidence so that in the 1980s, the birds got officially reclassified as a branch of the dinosaurs.

But it was still well understood that there were a lot of loose ends, and Further Research Is Needed. Were feathers a development of the birds, for flight? Or had their non-flying ancestors had feathers, perhaps for insulation? The evidence wasn't nearly good enough, and it was left as an open question. Over the past decade or so, the evidence has trickled in, and this report seems to be filling in the gap. People who've followed the story aren't surprised; they're just happy to read about the evidence.

In any case, it never was a case of "Scientists thought that dinosaurs didn't have any sort of fur or feathers, but they've been proven wrong". It was more like "We didn't have the evidence, since feathers don't fossilize well, and now we've collected enough evidence that we can be pretty sure that those old artistic interpretations reptilian dinosaurs with bare skin were inaccurate; most of them (except the largest) probably did have feathers." This isn't considered a criticism of the artists, of course, since they didn't have evidence either, and many of them stated repeatedly that most of their drawings included a large shovel-full of conjecture. It was expected that, as evidence trickled in, they'd have to revise their drawings a lot.

But it likely is a good example of non-scientists saying "Scientists proved wrong" when the scientific data goes from "we don't really know ..." to "we've found the evidence ...". This is sorta the flip side of the constant "Those scientists just wasted time and money doing research to prove something that we knew all along" comments from people who have little understanding of what science is all about (and have always "known" things based on no evidence at all).

(Actually, since I first read about this topic back in the 1970s, I've been rooting for the tyrannosaurs having big, colorful cockatoo-like crowns of feathers. But that's just me, and I'm still waiting. But I won't be surprised either way. ;-)

Comment: Re:And... (Score 2) 177

Well, if you read TFA (no, I'm not new here) they have a sidebar call out that answers your question...

"Software licenses for productivity suites cost Toulouse 1.8 million euro every three years. Migration cost us about 800,000 euro, due partly to some developments. One million euro has actually been saved in the first three years. It is a compelling proof in the actual context of local public finance," says Monthubert.

So about 8K in migration costs vs. 18K in licensing. Assuming another 2-3K of unforeseen support over training issues or missing features that haven't been caught yet it should be a significant savings. And if you factor in the migration cost as a one time payment and assume support costs go down over time as people get used to the new system than the savings become very large indeed after the three years cited in the article.

Comment: Re:Good to hear (Score 2) 177

Most of what I've ever had to use it for was pretty simple so genuinely asking here; is Dia not a good Visio replacement? Are there features in Visio that make it more attractive for even simple stuff or is it that Visio has advanced features that haven't been replicated elsewhere?

Comment: Re:It is their fault. (Score 2) 255

It's all the ones that are useless to serve or be eaten by humans that are going extinct.

The problem is, most animal species are useful in the same way as nails in a wall are useful: sure, you can remove one or two without any apparent ill effect, but keep taking them off and the roof will fall on your head.

Ecosystem is a machine, and while it can adjust to a part going missing or operational parameters changing that capacity has limits. Kill enough species or warm the world enough and you trigger a domino effect. It won't be the end of the world, but it will be the end of our world.

But of course the temptation to take just one more is too much. It just goes to show that human brains and mindset aren't actually fit to handle our current level of power. I wonder if this is the Great FIlter.

Comment: Re: Why? (Score 2) 72

by blueg3 (#47533677) Attached to: New SSL Server Rules Go Into Effect Nov. 1

They are bugged only once, and then they accept the cert locally.

Not necessarily. On Chrome, for example, accepting a self-signed cert long-term isn't the default behavior. Even that isn't a great idea: you have no knowledge of whether the self-signed cert is legitimate or not without a substantial out-of-band communication of technical information to nontechnical people, which isn't cheap. A college network is a good example: it should be treated as a hostile network, so MitM against a self-signed cert within your private network is very much a reality.

Or the college provides an easy way for the BYOD people to acquire the college's cert.

Doing that at a large scale for technically-inclined people costs more than a public CA cert. Once you have to support regular users, it's way more expensive.

There is no need for an official CA to issue a cert for Server1 at IP address 10.2.1.2

Certs don't include IP address. When you get a cert for server1.internal.unm.edu, they don't know what IP address(es) it will be bound to, and they don't and shouldn't care.

No need whatsoever.

There certainly is a need. It's to enable devices that want SSL but aren't configured to trust your internal CA to securely identify your server. There are lots of reasons for "aren't configured to trust your internal CA" to happen.

And, as proof of that, starting in November, the official CAs will stop issuing those types of certs.

They're going to require that certs they issue are for domains that are tied to an external domain. For example, mail.internal.unm,edu. This doesn't negatively impact people's ability to have public CA certs for internal resources. Nor should it.

Comment: Re:Sad (Score 1) 155

by plover (#47533113) Attached to: Wikipedia Blocks 'Disruptive' Edits From US Congress

The vandalism in question is coming from someone who has access to a congressional staffer's computer, not necessarily a member of congress. This could be anyone from a member of congress to a teenage page to the 12-year-old nephew of a congressman's chief of staff to an intern to a night watchman. Apparently, there are about 9000 people with regular access to the machines in this address range. Given a sampling of 9000 people, how many are going to be as impolite as an internet troll? That there is at least one uncultured moron in the crowd is not particularly surprising.

Yes, it's sad that anyone would either sink to this level, or fail to grow beyond it. It's just not surprising.

Comment: Re:Bullshit (Score 1) 176

Since the city is still going to have to tie into someone's top tier backbone to carry their traffic to the rest of the world, they'll still likely have to route it through Sprint, AT&T, Verizon, or some other provider's network, and the NSA's taps are on those top tier providers. I also don't know if a city would fight against a National Security Letter any more or less than any other provider, so they would still never tell you about a tap. But at least they could go in claiming to start from the moral high ground: "Support Cleveland's new city-wide Internet service - We Have Never Tapped Anyone's Data (only because we haven't been asked.)"

"A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices." -- William James

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