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Comment: Re:F Mark Rowley (Score 4, Insightful) 228

by pla (#49528643) Attached to: UK Police Chief: Some Tech Companies Are 'Friendly To Terrorists'
They're just trying to shoot the messenger but they created the problem by circumventing or ignoring the law.

The real problem here - And finish reading this post before you start shooting at me - Rowley has it absolutely correct. Tech companies do behave in ways friendly to terrorists.

Except, he has committed a fundamental attribution error by assuming they do in support of actual terrorism. Tech companies don't support terrorism - They support fairness, they support security, they support usability, for everyone. Unfortunately, "safe" and "secure" includes "from government tampering", and "fair" and "everyone" includes terrorists.

If the encryption software I use doesn't block all attempts to intercept my data, whether by flaw or by design, I will use something that does. Simple as that. Tech companies behave in ways friendly to terrorists because tech companies can't readily discriminate between the actions of crackers and governments, between privacy advocates and terrorists, between a legal court-ordered wiretap and an NSA hijacking - Nor should they.

Comment: Re:Must hackers be such dicks about this? (Score 1) 270

by pla (#49496013) Attached to: FBI Accuses Researcher of Hacking Plane, Seizes Equipment
Might be more rules with the police, but at least with private parties in Colorado a verbal agreement is a legally binding contract.

Even if they had it in writing, a purely one-sided contract would typically count as unconscionable. Since his "chat" with them didn't involve any actual concessions on their part (and "play nice and we won't harass you until the day you die", would make it equally unenforceable), I doubt you'll see them try to press this as a matter of contract law.

The fact they even mentioned it I'd call more of a smear campaign - The FBI needs to make this guy look like a complete asshole, because any other outcome would require actually acknowledging and fixing the underlying problem, rather than harassing the guy who pointed-and-laughed at the naked emperor.

Comment: Re:Must hackers be such dicks about this? (Score 4, Insightful) 270

by pla (#49494113) Attached to: FBI Accuses Researcher of Hacking Plane, Seizes Equipment
Roberts said he had met with the Denver office of the FBI two months ago and was asked to back off from his research on avionics â" a request he said he agreed to."

"Don't look behind the curtain" is not security, however much it gives you the warm and fuzzies.


So he's scaring people and breaking/threatening-to-break his word, and they're being dicks to him. This may not be statutory justice, but it's poetic.

Unless he "agreed" to it in the context of a consent decree, that conversation has no more legal binding than agreeing to "keep your nose clean and stay out of trouble". Sorry if that scares you, but we all have the right - and in this case, I would dare say a moral obligation, to expose security flaws in commercial air travel.

If this really bothers you, try venting your ire at Boeing, not at the messenger.

Comment: Re:Mandatory xkcd (Score 2) 225

by pla (#49493343) Attached to: GNU Hurd 0.6 Released
Nothing wrong with learning new software. When new software brings great features to the table or when it fixes long-standing and hard to squash bugs - Great!

Learning new software because OMGSHINYNEWPONIES, however? Fuck that. Particularly when the new ponies merely usurp preexisting functionality into a more fragile, unrecoverable environment. When the new ponies mean relatively minor configuration tweaks mean a reboot. When the new ponies speak a language only they can understand, and to hell with all of you who see any benefit in human-readable. When the new ponies have uncontrollable Tourrette's syndrome and like to spew random unintelligible obscenities at the user for no obvious reason and with no warning. When the new ponies don't actually do anything we couldn't do before. When the only reason we even have this discussion on the table involves NIH syndrome at RedHat.

An init system should do as little as possible, and do it well. Systemd ain't that.

Comment: Re:Hasn't this been proven to be junk science? (Score 2) 313

by pla (#49488845) Attached to: A 2-Year-Old Has Become the Youngest Person Ever To Be Cryonically Frozen
I can remember reading several articles which stated that cryonics doesn't work because the freezing process is not perfect - it does not stop decomposition, which older frozen specimens were starting to show. Why do people still spend money on this?

See, you've looked at this entirely the wrong way.

Yes, all these suckers currently having their heads frozen have basically wasted their money. But instead of pointing and laughing, look at it this way - We might someday benefit as a result of using these corpsesicles as guinea-pigs to learn how to slow the clock of decay that starts at the moment of death.

No, Walt Disney and Matheryn Naovaratpong will never see this universe again; but what we learn from them might buy us an extra five minutes to get proper treatment after a heart attack or stroke.

So, ix-nay on the "wasting your money" bit! Instead, encourage your rich but scientifically-ignorant friends to "preserve" their bodies "for the future"!

Comment: Wikipedia has exactly one problem... (Score 5, Insightful) 186

by pla (#49484683) Attached to: How Many Hoaxes Are On Wikipedia? No One Knows
The obnoxious cliques of senior editors with god complexes make it virtually impossible to correct anything of substance. And Jimbo cares fuck-all about it as long as enough people click the donation button.

Sure, you can get into revision wars over whether to use the word "which" or "that" in a given context; but fixing a factual error? Good luck!

"Citation needed!"
"But the old, wrong version didn't have a cite either."
"Doesn't matter, it stays, and my minimum wage burger flipping ass has just banned you for daring to challenge me, you pompous PhD-wielding expert in this particular field!"

Comment: Re:photo too blurry (Score 2) 78

by pla (#49478205) Attached to: New Horizons Captures First Color Image of Pluto and Charon
What use does the average person have for any photo of outer space objects?

What use does the average person have for photos of their trip to the Grand Canyon? For that matter, what use does the average person have for any space exploration (as distinct from the more practical application of communication satellites)?

Humans interact with our world in a very vision-centric manner. It "means" more to us to see cool high-res color photos of some distant astronomical object than "knowing" the far more useful data about the makeup of its atmosphere.

And like it or not, that mean NASA gets more funding for cool pictures than for doing hard science. People care far, far more about the Mars rovers because they empathize with those plucky little robots still carrying on despite adversity (and sending back pictures to prove it), than because they fulfilled their primary mission objectives.

Comment: Re: Grats, Google, you've violated Cdn Constitutio (Score 1) 199

by pla (#49477501) Attached to: Chrome 42 Launches With Push Notifications
Chrome is default on both android and chromeos. Indeed google maintains a complete monopoly of what browser you can use on chromeos.

Okay, I'll grant you ChromeOS, but Android? Since when? I have two Androids (one tablet, and one fairly new phone), and both use some no-name no-frills browser by default, I had to explicitly install Chrome separately.

Comment: Re:That's great news! (Score 1) 508

Or, that their experience tells them women perform better. Or smell better. Or (and this one is provable) account for a hell of a lot less cases of harassment in the workplace.

So can they also discriminate by hiring more Asians because they're smarter? More Jews because they make better accountants? How about more blacks because the CEO made a bet on the company basketball team this year?

"Positive" stereotypes can cause just as much damage as negative ones.


/ "Smell better"? Seriously??? At this point, I hope for your sake you mean this whole thread as a troll.

Comment: Re:Grats, Google, you've violated Cdn Constitution (Score 3, Insightful) 199

by pla (#49474849) Attached to: Chrome 42 Launches With Push Notifications
Does your iPhone violate Canadian law as well? It too has push notifications.

Make no mistake, I will disable or somehow block this "feature". But seriously - You can't really whine too loudly over your favorite free and not-default-on-any-platform program suddenly including a feature you don't like.

Comment: Re:That's great news! (Score 1) 508

That is painfully stupid.

As opposed to imaginary backpacks? Now that takes some stones, friend!


The bigger part is the degree of difficulty.

Which the study from TFA kindly establishes - Just by changing to the pink shirt, the difficulty setting drops in half.

Oh, wait, probably not the point you meant to make...

Comment: Re:Solution to electronic cheaters (Score 2) 237

by pla (#49472629) Attached to: Chess Grandmaster Used iPhone To Cheat During Tournament
*shudder* While I'm sure this is someone's idea of where rule #34 should apply ... a bunch of nekkid/pasty/flabby chess players is a terrible idea.

And almost overnight, the world of chess would get obliterated by the Muzychuk sisters, as every opponent (except each other) conceded the match "and then literally run to the toilet".

There are no data that cannot be plotted on a straight line if the axis are chosen correctly.

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