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Comment: Re:We like to feel smart (Score 3, Insightful) 795

by Torodung (#47965183) Attached to: How Our Botched Understanding of "Science" Ruins Everything

Watch his worshipful reboot of Cosmos, and you'll see plenty of it. Hero worship does not belong in a science class, even though that was the purpose of establishing Newton (and others) as an authority for the modern science movement (authority was a requirement for any field of study to be taken seriously in universities at the time.) This is where the concept of "scientific laws" comes from. The antiquated need for authority to please 19th century universities.

And why people who don't understand science, and that the whole "law" thing is mostly an anachronism, spout that, say evolution, is "just a theory." It's all a theory, and some of them are very well developed! There are no laws in science. None. It's baggage from the birth pains of the 19th century.

Science is ultimately anti-authoritarian, anti-heroic, or it doesn't work. Turning a "scientific genius" into a superman is right out. Science has no heroes, and hero worship has no place in science. Respect for the elegance of a theoretical framework is the closest we should come.

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 1) 353

by Torodung (#47617999) Attached to: Microsoft Tip Leads To Child Porn Arrest In Pennsylvania

I always thought of "witch hunt" not as referring to the actual pursuit of those engaged in witchcraft (which is not imaginary, btw, only the idea that it works is imaginary, IMHO), but rather as referring to the drive to utterly crucify the subject of the hunt. BURN THEM, do not treat them as a human being, subject them to cruel and unusual punishment.


Comment: Re:Lets not rewrite history here (Score 1) 209

by Torodung (#47243287) Attached to: How Tim Cook Is Filling Steve Jobs's Shoes

Could it have been the state of capacitive touch-screens at the time, and the failure to recognize the leaps those devices made since the release of the iPad.

It's possible they tested bleeding edge tech, and at the time the displays really weren't up to snuff yet for a smaller form factor.

I'm just speculating. Maybe someone who knows will reply. Touch has gotten a lot better, very quickly in my opinion.

Comment: Re:He's not filling Steve Jobs' shoes ... (Score 0) 209

by Torodung (#47243269) Attached to: How Tim Cook Is Filling Steve Jobs's Shoes

Jobs made one good decision. His genius was in co-opting the music distribution business, when the traditional publishers had refused to budge on their outdated business models. He even served them a little DRM sandwich, knowing full well that the approach was doomed. Apple's entire success is based upon the well-established success of popular music, built by others, and the hidebound, half-witted way traditional music publishing approached it. The iPod was the gateway device. It lead directly to the iPhone's success, and through a superior iTunes performance, helped as a wedge to get people to buy Apple's overpriced computers. Without the iPod, iLife doesn't happen. Without its strength amongst actual musicians, and the knowledge that came from dealing with them, Apple's turnaround doesn't happen.

As an analogy, he's Bill Gates and IBM. He provided a market solution for a huge market someone else built, when the traditional industries were too inflexible to read the obvious writing on the wall. Just like IBM, and the PC clone revolution. And he was the only one with the insight to pursue it.

Was it genius? You decide. I think what he did was to beat out Microsoft, which actually believed in DRM solutions for content. They too, were affected by the music industry's stupid assumptions about the distribution of content in a digital age, and the ability to control it. Jobs realized DRM was doomed from the get-go.

He also got lucky with the timing, as mp3 players went from 32MB affairs to 2GB+ devices. Without that leap, the iPod would have been doomed.

Jobs knew music aficionados and producers (the real creative talent, not publishers) and acted upon that knowledge. He got lucky with the timing. That's about all he did. In my mind, everything else is fluff. Especially the bits about his brilliance in design. They're not very big shoes to fill.


The Sudden Policy Change In Truecrypt Explained 475

Posted by timothy
from the maybe-your-canary-needs-a-canary dept.
X10 (186866) writes "I use Truecrypt, but recently someone pointed me to the SourceForge page of Truecrypt that says it's out of business. I found the message weird, but now there's an explanation: Truecrypt has received a letter from the NSA." Anyone with a firmer source (or who can debunk the claim), please chime in below; considering the fate of LavaBit, it sure sounds plausible. PCWorld lists some alternative software, for Windows users in particular, but do you believe that Microsoft's BitLocker is more secure?

Comment: FORTRAN Super Star Trek (Score 1) 153

by Torodung (#47134323) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Inspired You To Start Hacking?

I had a green bar LPT printout of Super Star Trek in mf-ing FORTRAN that ran on a Prime minicomputer. I went to sleep studying that stack of paper.

Later on I got a C=64.

Modular grid based electronic sets, too. The kind where you could make your own radio by plugging in component cubes. I don't know what you'd actually call them so I made up a name.


Heartbleed Turned Against Cyber Criminals 50

Posted by Soulskill
from the bringing-balance-to-the-force dept.
Rambo Tribble writes: "In a case of 'live by the sword, die by the sword,' researchers have used the now-infamous Heartlbeed bug in OpenSSL to gain access to black-hat forums. A French researcher named Steven K. is quoted as saying, 'The potential of this vulnerability affecting black-hat services is just enormous.' Reportedly, the criminal-minded sites Darkode and Damagelab have already been compromised." In related news, U.S. Cybersecurity Coordinator Michael Daniel posted an article at yesterday reaffirming that the U.S. government had no prior knowledge of Heartbleed. He said, 'We rely on the Internet and connected systems for much of our daily lives. Our economy would not function without them. Our ability to project power abroad would be crippled if we could not depend on them. For these reasons, disclosing vulnerabilities usually makes sense. We need these systems to be secure as much as, if not more so, than everyone else.'

Parkinson's Law: Work expands to fill the time alloted it.