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Comment: Debian GNOME needs some attention (Score 2) 172

by Bruce Perens (#47979731) Attached to: Debian Switching Back To GNOME As the Default Desktop

After something like 20 years I finally found a system that won't run Debian unstable right now. My Panasonic Toughpad FZ-G1 magnesium tablet + iKey Jumpseat magnesium keyboard. Systemd and GDM break. Bought (for less than full price) because I am a frequent traveler and speaker and really do need something you can drop from 6 feet and pour coffee over have it keep working.

But because of this bug I have ubuntu at the moment, and am not having fun and am eager to return to Debian.

Comment: Stop bundling. (Score 4, Insightful) 123

by ledow (#47975479) Attached to: Google Quietly Nixes Mandatory G+ Integration With Gmail

I have a social networking account already, thanks.
I have an email account already, thanks
I have a cloud storage account already, thanks.
I have a search engine already, thanks.
I have an instant messenger already, thanks.

When you try to do EVERYTHING, you believe that all your customers will drop everything they have years invested in and run to you. Doesn't work out that way. And if you get over-precious and try to force them to do it, well, that doesn't go down well either.

So run them as separate, independent services that I *can* join together if I want to (it's handy to be able to sign into Google Drive with my old GMail account, for example, but don't FORCE that upon me).

In the same way that if you sell me TV, phone, Internet, water, gas, electricity, burglar alarm and music lessons - and then try to "punish" me for not using one of them, or force me to use one in order to get another - chances are that I won't use any of them. Whereas if you just ran them all as separate services, I might well decide to lump in TV, phone and Internet into a single package for convenience. But you have to think about what happens when I'm perfectly happy with my Internet provider and DO NOT want to change. If your offerings are that inflexible that you won't let me use one without the others - even if the others are useless to me - then I'm likely to find yet-another-company that will do, say, my email without requiring me to sign up to their social network too.

This is exactly how I viewed things. I was one of the first GMail accounts, back when they were invite-only and nobody knew they existed. It took over from my Hotmail (primarily because my Hotmail account was trying to tie into my Windows Live account, and into my Microsoft account, etc. etc. etc.). And when G+ came along, I looked and deliberately decided against it. The more the pushed, to more I ignored.

It never got to the point where it became a hassle to opt-out, even when it did become annoying, so I'm still on GMail but not G+. Hence, it's not a shock to me that probably a lot of other people did exactly the same.

Just because you offer "your" Facebook, doesn't mean I'll immediately move everything off my Facebook to change to you. No matter how good you are.

Comment: Re:Well, that's how they faked them to begin with (Score 1) 266

by ledow (#47967771) Attached to: Nvidia Sinks Moon Landing Hoax Using Virtual Light

Problem is, technology fast enough to talk to a PCI-Express card wasn't generally available in the 60's. Or 70's. Or probably even 80's. Even with supercomputers of the age.

More likely, nVidia has a wormhole through which they took orders for images to fake, then sent them back into the past.

Comment: Re:There are numerous other obvious flaws (Score 5, Insightful) 266

by ledow (#47967649) Attached to: Nvidia Sinks Moon Landing Hoax Using Virtual Light

"But what about the..." is a never-ending argument between conspiracy theorists and debunkers.

Unfortunately, each one that gets knocked down on its face means it's statistically more likely that the debunkers are right and the theorists wrong. We can go to infinity, but after ten or even 5 assertions wiped out with only basic experimentation, the chances of you having been right in the first place go beyond minuscule.

Scientific principle starts with "here's a hypothesis, does it fit the facts?" and goes BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD whenever any element of it is wrong. Conspiracy theorists just keep on pounding ignoring all their previous incorrect assertions until people get bored dealing with them and then "Ah ha! They won't answer!".

If you were wrong about the shadows, and the film, and the radioactivity, and this, that and the other? Chances are you're wrong about all the other minor crap too. And to prove otherwise requires more than just "it's obvious" or flaws are "too numerous to list".

Comment: Re:Metal (Score 1) 236

by ledow (#47966621) Attached to: Friendly Reminder: Do Not Place Your iPhone In a Microwave

It depends what metal, in what amount, and what configuration.

I can tell you know that a metal-rimmed bowl I put into a microwave sparks like fuck, cracks and crackles, destroys the metal on the rim and makes the kitchen smell of burning metal for a day.

Maybe it's "safe". But it's not a bright thing to do and entirely opposite to the function of a microwave - to heat food quickly. There's no point in heating food quickly if it all tastes of tin (the metal was gold, I think, but the smell was burning tin) because you put the wrong bowl in.

And microwave a CD and see what happens. No it won't explode, but it will arc like fuck and leave little flakes of metal and plastic all over your microwave (and therefore food).

Been there. Done it. Maybe not "dangerous" but still "stupid".

Comment: Re:Metadata (Score 4, Interesting) 49

by ledow (#47959585) Attached to: Wired Profiles John Brooks, the Programmer Behind Ricochet

There isn't a solution to that. You have to talk to other points, and you have to do so from a connection you are on. That information, on ANY network in the world, is inevitable.

The only thing you can do is obscure it as much as possible so that people can't tell WHAT you did over the connection, or WHAT you passed to those others. They will be able to know who they were, but unless you can introduce sufficient plausible deniability (with Tor, that's just by using random people as the next hop), you can't do anything about that.

I don't think that's a problem we should waste time trying to solve. You aren't going to be able to obscure your endpoint's knowledge when 100% of the time someone is paying money for that endpoint to be connected to other endpoints. We do not have a darknet.

But it's also not that big a deal. With proper encryption and enough fake / routing data running through your connection with that encryption (and PFS), it's meaningless. All that can happen is someone can say "you were online, and so was John". If that's enough to convict you, you have bigger problems than the protocol of the network you used.

Comment: Re:Bullshit (Score 1) 221

by Sun (#47959557) Attached to: Secret Service Critics Pounce After White House Breach

A while back my wife had to go to Jeruslaem on the same day George W. Bush was visiting there. I let her know she was going to spend the day sitting in stand-still traffic.

Turns out, I was wrong. So many people assumed the same thing that nobody travelled to/from the city that day. The roads, when not blocked, were empty.

Shachar

Comment: Re:Google control the value of the TLDs (Score 1) 64

by ledow (#47952873) Attached to: Amazon Purchases<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.buy TLD For $4.6 Million

Google won the search wars because it ignored what content providers thought should be top of the listings (but let them buy ads), and put what search USERS should be top of the listings. That's how it got where it is and why it's stayed where it is. That's why there are entire businesses based around trying to get your site to the top of Google without getting chucked off their listings - because it's not as easy as just asking, or paying, or tricking Google.

Hence, if ".buy" suddenly starts getting to tops of listings where you have no reason or interest of it being there, then Google will suffer - as well as ".buy"

Decent search made domain names obsolete. I don't even know the domain of many of my favourite sites, but I know an exact Google search that will list them in the top 10 if I ever need them (e.g. I lose my bookmarks). That's why I don't get why people still are buying anything more than a single, relevant domain for themselves.

Seriously, what difference do you get in search rankings if you search from a mobile? Google knows you're on mobile. You can search for mobile terms. Now how many of those results are actually of ".mobi" sites?

TLD's and domain names are money-grabs. They only have any effect on "dumb" search engines that are already selling your entire front page to the highest bidder.

Comment: Re:Encryption (Score 1) 126

by ledow (#47943329) Attached to: Next Android To Enable Local Encryption By Default Too, Says Google

Agreed.

But, please, what makes you think that Apple, or even Samsung, aren't doing exactly the same?

Apple can install stuff on your device when it feels like it. In fact, you have even less control over an Apple devices and its whims. You'll happily plug in your Exchange details into the Apple device, you have no idea what it is or isn't doing with that. Apple doesn't even have permission systems. You either install, or not. And Apple spyware is just as - if not more - rampant.

So, your concern is really about modern devices, not anything to do with the meat of the story - encryption.

P.S. With Android, you can see the source, and build from clean source, without any Google services whatsoever if you want. People have done it for you. Almost every big-selling Android phone is supported. You can get root access and check everything you like. And then encryption really means something.

Comment: What is really happening here? (Score 1) 952

by Bruce Perens (#47930483) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children
We are in a War on Faith, because Faith justifies anything and ISIS takes it to extremes. But in the end they are just a bigger version of Christian-dominated school boards that mess with the teaching of Evolution, or Mormon sponsors of anti-gay-marriage measures, or my Hebrew school teacher, an adult who slapped me as a 12-year-old for some unremembered offense against his faith.

Comment: Re:Anti-math and anti-science ... (Score 1) 952

by Bruce Perens (#47930331) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

Hm. The covenant of Noah is about two paragraphs before this part (King James Version) which is used for various justifications of slavery and discrimination against all sorts of people because they are said to bear the Curse of Ham. If folks wanted to use the Bible to justify anything ISIS says is justified by God's words in the Koran, they could easily do so.

18 And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.
19 These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.
20 And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:
21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.
22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.
23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness.
24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.
25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.
26 And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
27 God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

Comment: Just Apple? (Score 0, Troll) 207

by ledow (#47903301) Attached to: Sapphire Glass Didn't Pass iPhone Drop Test According to Reports

Anecdotal or not, almost everyone I come into contact with who has an iPhone is either living with a smashed screen or had to take it back to Apple to get the screen replaced after smashing it.

I do not see as many, if any, of non-Apple phones that are smashed as easily.

Personally, maybe I'm just not as clumsy, but I've dropped my phone any number of times and even kicked it accidentally as I dropped it and smashed it into a wall... and it wasn't even scratched. I don't think I've ever managed to break a phone like that, and I've had some spectacular drops in the past (plastic covers and batteries flying all over the room, but just put it back together and it worked).

Most public domain software is free, at least at first glance.

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