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Comment Re:No proof, no proof (Score 4, Interesting) 87

Should be an interesting test of the Supreme court. As I understand the Roe V Wade decision had some pretty similar arguments. A lot of it came down to an issue of standing and it was determined that, while by normal standings rules, a person denied an abortion would not have standing to bring a case until injured, but if a pregnancy was life threatening, that would be an effective denial of right to sue.

This seems very little different to is effectively a denial of right to redress of grievance if a person must prove standing in order to grieve while simultaneously needing to grieve in order to prove standing.

Not much different, seems to me they have to rule on the side of standings. I don't see why the government itself should be considered as an entity which cannot be compelled to self incriminate, it is not a person; and it is the entity which all such rights are intended to protect against the abuses of.

I would say a guilty government has a DUTY to self incriminate.

Comment There is a difference (Score 1) 87

When a technicality of law provides an otherwise guilty individual to walk, that really is justice. Because the very principles of justice are about keeping state power in check.

When the technicalities of law are used to prevent citizens from challenging state power, that is an absolute perversion of the spirit of the principle. That is NOT justice.

Comment Re:Comparison? (Score 1) 207

Oh of course, I don't deny that at all but... realize these results will be used for years. Someone 10 years from now might dust off the study being written today and want to validate it. If discrepancies arise....then what?

Its a serious issue a bit unlike you see elsewhere. There is seldom a case for installing decade since obsolete software, and its not always easily peroformed, and if you haven't even captured all the versions of everything.

But more crucially to the point, this issue is something beyond the experience of researchers in most fields who use the tools and write papers. Its supposed to be beyond them, they have other things to focus on, but, its something we had to think about.

The disconnect of course, is that since they don't understand it, even if their instutution is archiving this, its unlikely they understand that their published procedures are missing the part of the setup that they were unaware of.

Comment Re:Comparison? (Score 1) 207

Also there are two different questions:

First: Did or could this code have produce this data?
Second: Is it in error?

You can't fully answer the first without fully specifying the environment. Not even you can't prove it wrong, you can't defend yourself. "Oh you used a buggy version if this library" is an entirely different accusation from "Oh you fabricated these results and didn't publish the real code".

Both are potentially valid, but both are very very different in implication. Also, what if there is a bug identified in a library that may taint results? Without full specification how would you ever say what was effected by it? Shouldn't every published study that used it be flagged and the data rerun?

Even if nobody is doing that today, you can't ever do it without a full specification of the environment.

Comment Re:Comparison? (Score 3, Insightful) 207

That sounds like a pretty weak test, but not a bad one. To my mind, this crosses one of my areas of expertise since, I have had his job as a professional sysadmin. I worked in a shop where, for better or worst, we decided that all free software we used on Solaris would be compiled from source.

This quickly became a huge mess as updates would sometimes bring changes and there was always the question "who built it last time and what options did they choose", so quickly we found a need to fix that, and I started scripting. (its where my competence with shell really began)

Once you have even solved the easy part, then you have to think about versions and dependencies.

In fact, later on we were getting involved in research computing, that wasn't my project but one of the topics that came up was... researchers will build this software, just like we are talking about, and use the data., someone wants to audit it down the road....

What happens if the libraries have changed and the old code doesn't compile? What if there is an error in a calculation that was introduced by a particular library version being used?

The reality is, you write the code, but it gets run in an environment. That entire environment has the potential to have an effect, a full specification needs to capture at least some of that as well.

Comment "In the interim" and forever (Score 1) 194

People having promiscuous sex should use condoms. Not in the interim while we are working for a cure for HIV, not until there are some better treatments for herpes. If you are engaging in sex with multiple partners, it will ALWAYS BE A GOOD IDEA.

The web is no different. As long as sites can cause local code execution, I don't care if its in a limited environment. I don't care if its in a restricted VM. These environments always end up having holes, and those holes, once widely distributed, will always create a viable market for attacking it. It will always be too high value of a target to trust.

I am ok with promiscuity up to a point. But as someone I know once said "just because I am easy, doesn't mean I am not picky"....but when you are engaging in more risky behaviour, the only sensible option is to slip it on, BEFORE you slip it in.....and install an ad blocker, or better yet, I don't like ad blockers per se....requestpolicy and noscript would be my general choice...and never ever use any of the "allow all" or "temporarily disable" buttons....ever. I would rather not browse a site than be hitting some strange raw.

Comment Re:A HUD is usefull... (Score 2) 390

I loved my TomTom until it was stolen from my car one night. Since then I just use my cell phone. I have the phone anyway, so there is no extra cost, and I always take it with me, there is no reason to leave it in the car at all.

Plus with a service like Waze, I can report speed entrapment points to other drivers, and see others reports, plus it has on many occasions saved my time by changing my route based on traffic. It seldom tells me to deviate from my normal route, so when it does, I listen, and it usually turns out to be a good thing.

Comment Re:A HUD is usefull... (Score 1) 390

I still like to have a tac, but I also like to have a manual clutch and gear shift as well.

But yah, the only tech I want in the car i have....mp3 player, built in, and my phone for gps...or as my long time gamer self likes to think of it...a minimap.

That it, I don't really even need the phone functions of my phone often.

Comment Re:This isn't security it's security theatre (Score 5, Insightful) 69

> Blocking Tor doesn't do a damm thing for real security. It won't stop the "attacks". There are plenty of other avenues for malicious parties to use.

While mostly true, you do have to consider that exit nodes that are on your internal network are probably bad juju.

Personally, I am all for using tor, but I wouldn't want to see random users putting up exit nodes inside my network. Exit nodes really should be setup with a bit more care to make sure they can't be used to access internal hosts, especially if internal networks have public IPs, which while less common these days, is not unheard of.

My previous 2 employers both used public IPs on their internal networks (and each had their own class public B). So, by default, a tor exit node would constitute a hole in the firewall unless specifically setup to restrict access to "local" IPs.

Not unmanagaeble at all if you want to manage it, but, not something you want to leave in the hands of Bob in accounting.

Comment Re:Moronic (Score 2) 157

Any design which requires perfect attention from the user to not break is a poor design. Every pad/stylus combo I ever tried only fit one way, looks like this has been a solved problem for a long time now.

I would fully agree with you, if sliding the stylus in backwards didn't break anything. However, if sliding it in backwards is destructive, it shouldn't be easy to do. That is bad design and no amount of blaming the user changes that.

Comment Re:This kind of stuff is Exhibit #1 (Score 4, Insightful) 282

This. Every single time I hear them try to make a case that we should feel safe because there are such strict controls. Yes, lots of controls that you can't see and will be audited only in secret. Strict controls to make sure that you will never know what we really did.

Once the apparatus for mass surveillance exists, its a matter of policy how its used, and that policy can change a lot more easily than building the system was. Its not a matter of a guiltless organization of trustworthy angels.

History is repleat with instances of people abusing access to the personal information of others. When I was a teenager, and Princess Di came to the hospital my mother worked for, there was quite a little scandal about people accessing her personal info, in the 90s. Fast forward 20 years, and the single most common reason for someone to be fired from the hospital? Improper records access.

What does the system red flag? Access to family members, access to people living on the same street, etc, all flagged, why? because its all been abused, many times over.

There is no way I trust these promises.

Comment Re:Yes (Score 1) 684

This right here. I don't see how anybody can look at the document and not fully understand that this means an individual should have the right to own and carry weapons, and in purposefully general terms. You would think that since all manner of weapon, sword, cannon, etc existed at the drafting, if there had been any intention of specificty at all, it would be there.

Nowhere does it even say "Oh, except huge fucking cannons like can split the sides of ships"....its just not there. Yet, it easily could have been there.

Comment Re:Whaaa? (Score 2) 141

Except you don't have to blame them, they took responsibility.

Pretty sure what they have 'found out' is that paying for the fallout from the occasional freak occurrence and minor data loss is cheaper in the long run than buying more expensive hardware to gaurd against occurrences so rare that they end up on news sites.

"The fundamental principle of science, the definition almost, is this: the sole test of the validity of any idea is experiment." -- Richard P. Feynman