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Comment: Go back to school and learn to read (Score 1) 155 155

I'm unique - there are a dozen OS that I don't like. I don't complain about them, I just don't use them. You're like the majority of people. Really.

You are unique. Uniquely stupid and unable to pass basic reading comprehension.

The GP felt dismayed that Linus has drunk the systemd coolaid, and wants to switch to FreeBSD. I pointed out that not everyone has been taken in by the systemd nonsense, and that their are distros available that remain untainted, that if he wants to switch to *BSD I've found Dragonfly to be quite nice, but that there are a number of Linux choices he has available if he doesn't want to switch.

But go ahead and label that whining, since I don't love the excrement you find so appealing. And feel free to demand I spend my free time writing a competing pile of excrement for having the audacity to prefer existing init systems, such as those used by the *BSDs, and OpenRC, and to mischaracterize my contentment with OpenRC and other superior-to-systemd init systems as "doing nothing."

Feel free to say whatever nonsense you like. It reveals far more about yourself and other systemd astroturfers on this site than it does those of us who prefer the alternatives. And yes, it does reveal you as a bully as well as an idiot.

Techdirt: Amnesty International Told That GCHQ Spied On Its Communications->

Amnesty International has been heavily engaged in fights against mass surveillance, recognizing that many of the people it communicates with need an expectation of privacy in their communications with the group. Last year, Ed Snowden revealed that the NSA specifically spied on Amnesty International and other human rights organizations. And, while Amnesty International was unable to gain standing by the US Supreme Court, since it couldn't prove that the NSA had spied on its communications, the story appears to be somewhat different over in the UK.

Last year a legal challenge was filed in the UK via the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) concerning Amnesty International. And now, the group has been informed that, yes, it was spied on by GCHQ in the UK.

In a shocking revelation, the UK’s Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) today notified Amnesty International that UK government agencies had spied on the organization by intercepting, accessing and storing its communications.

In an email sent today, the Tribunal informed Amnesty International its 22 June ruling had mistakenly identified one of two NGOs which it found had been subjected to unlawful surveillance by the UK government. Today’s communication makes clear that it was actually Amnesty International Ltd, and not the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) that was spied on in addition to the Legal Resources Centre in South Africa.
As you may recall, a little over a week ago, the IPT had ruled that the GCHQ had erred in holding onto emails too long -- but had named that Egyptian organization as the one whose emails were held. However, that's now been corrected to Amnesty International.

The actual email sent by the IPT basically says that GCHQ told them that the IPT made a mistake. What you won't see anywhere is an apology from GCHQ. Amnesty is rightfully incensed about the whole thing:

“How can we be expected to carry out our crucial work around the world if human rights defenders and victims of abuses can now credibly believe their confidential correspondence with us is likely to end up in the hands of governments?

“The revelation that the UK government has been spying on Amnesty International highlights the gross inadequacies in the UK’s surveillance legislation. If they hadn’t stored our communications for longer than they were allowed to by internal guidelines, we would never even have known. What’s worse, this would have been considered perfectly lawful.”
Both issues raised here are significant. The only reason Amnesty now knows about this is because GCHQ held onto the emails too long. If it had done its usual purge, then the IPT likely would never have revealed that, and Amnesty's communications would have continued to go on being compromised without anyone knowing.

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Comment: Re: Thanks Linus! (Score 1) 155 155

Anyway, I digress. Advantages of systemd are: [long list]

Those are all very nice things to have.

Unfortunately, for my needs, simplicity and understandability are far more important than a fast boot and feature-rich management of the runtime environment. I need to KNOW that things are being handled properly and securely. That's become far more important since Snowden showed us, not that the spooks were getting into our computers (which we'd already figured was happening), but how DEEPLY and EFFECTIVELY their technology and personnel are able to do so.

If the improved functionality is at the cost of burying the configuration and logging in non-human-readable form and entangling diverse processes into an interlocking mass under a complex and ever growing manager, the shark has been jumped.

Though Linux has been becoming (MUCH!) more usable with time, its configuration has been buried progressively more deeply under more and more "convenient and simplifying", but non-transparent, configuration management tools. Systemd is the continuation of the trend. But it is also a quantum leap, rather than another thin slice off the salami. So it has apparently created the "Shelling Point", where a lot of frogs simultaneously figure out that NOW is the time to jump out of the pot.

It's been a great ride. It had the potential to be even greater. But I think this is where it took the wrong turn and it's time for me to get serious about switching.

There's good reason to switch to NetBSD at work, on the product. (The code supporting the secret sauce is on the user side of the API and is Posix compatible, so it should be no big problem.) Porting my laptop, home servers, and desktops to OpenBSD now looks like it's worth the effort - and less effort than trying to learn, and keep abreast of, the internals of systemd.

Call me if somebody comes up with a way to obtain the key benefits of systemd in a simple and transparent manner, rather than creating an opaque mass reminiscent of Tron's Master Control Program. (Unfortunately, the downsides of systemd's approach seem to be built into its fundamental structure, so I don't expect it to evolve into something suitable, even if it's forked.)

Comment: The choice seems clear. (Score 1) 155 155

As I understand the three major forks:

One (OpenBSD) is for having as secure a desktop/server/embedded platform as the maintainers can manage - important in this post-Snowden era (as it was, all unknown, in the era preceding Snowden B-b). It is based outside the US so it can incorporate strong encryption without coming afoul of US export controls.

One (NetBSD) is for developing network internals software and networking platforms (typically ported, when possible and not part of a proprietary product, to the others and other OSes.)

One (FreeBSD), now that its original purpose of getting the code disentangled from proprietary accomplished and the other two projects forked from it, is for making an open unix-like system run on the widest range of hardware platforms and devices possible.

Unless you're using your machine for building networking equipment or it's a new hardware platform under development, the choice seems clear.

Comment: Re:... run away, screaming like little girl. (Score 1) 155 155

Are we allowed to say that out loud?

According to the first amendment, the government of the United States can't stop you.

If the denizens of the largest religion of the Unitied States (Progressivism), or at least their media spokespreachers, decide to gang-shun you, there's still the other half of the population to interact with.

Fortunately, techies usually have to deal with real-world more than social issues. Unfortunately, PHBs have control of the money and have to interact with the fanatics. Fortunately, techies are noted for not being skilled on social fads and are given much slack. Unfortunately, that slack sometimes comes with a hook: The PHB tells his techies not to be a "lightning rod" and say/post things, in a way traceable to a particular employee of The Company, that might bring down the wrath of the pressure groups, make it look like his "herd of cats" really IS crazy and repell funders and customers, or otherwise make his job harder than it already is.

Which (mainly the "crazy cats" case) is why I started posting anything that MIGHT be controversial under pseudonyms. And a reference to the PHB's order is the origin of the slashdot pseudonym "Ungrounded Lightning Rod" (since slashed down to "Ungrounded Lightning" by changes to the slashcode that limited pseudonym size). And why, now that "ULR" has a large and valuable reputation (and though that reputation might help with job searches) I STILL don't out the corresponding "True Name" on any electronic medium.

(So now you know.)

In Linus' case, I doubt that even a gang-shun by the Politically Correct would have an impact, on his finances, his social standing, or the adoption of his work or technical ideas.

(Can you imagine, for instance, the luddites , or even Microsoft's PR department, trying to get people to avoid Linux and switch to Windows or MacOS, or avoid git and switch to Clearcase, Bitkeeper, ... because Linus once said "... run away, screaming like little girl" and therefore must be a Sexist Pig? Especially, can you imagine ANY tech company using THAT slander and thus inviting that kind of scrutiny of their OWN people? B-) )

Comment: Re:We're All Dicks (Score 1) 154 154

Seriously, does anyone make it to the top without at least some dickness?

Depends on which "top" you mean. If you mean "wealth and power", then, yeah, those are ends that dicks seek and so the successful there are almost entirely represented by that type.

But it's possible to have a huge amount of money and a stupid ugly yacht and for many sensible people to still consider you a failure, especially if you have failed family relationships and your employees fear you.

"Some people are so poor all they have is money."

Comment: Re:He answered the most boring questions! (Score 1) 155 155

So have faith. Either he's right, and systemd will not turn out to be that bad, or his faith in systemd will end in tears, and then, he'll sit down and write a new startup management system that will kick everybody else's collective asses!

Or maybe somebody ELSE will write a kick-ass init system, and Linus will say "Hey, that's cool!" and promote it. Or the maintainers of a major distribution will adopt it. Or those of a MINOR distribution will - and user will migrate.

Linus is great. But why does THIS have to be HIS problem? The init system may have a bit of extra-special status and privilege, but it's largely NOT the kernel's problem. Along with the system call API it is THE boundary between the kernel guts and the user/demon/daemon firmament. It says to the kernel: "Thanks, I'll take it from here."

Comment: Re:Environmentalists will cause the next nuclear a (Score 3, Interesting) 115 115

Every time nuclear power comes up someone blames environmentalists for the industry's problems -- in this case before the problems have manifested. It's an article of faith.

So far as I can see there's only ever been one plant in the US that's ever been cancelled for environmental concerns is the proposed plant at Bodega Harbor, which as you can see on the map would have been right on top of the San Andreas fault. In every other case projects have been shut down after serious miscalculations in the industry's economic forecasting (e.g. lower energy prices in the 80s than anticipated in the 70s), often exacerbated by poor project management performance. In those cases environmentalists were just a convenient scapegoat for management screw-ups.

You can see that because after the very largest anti-nuclear protests in history -- against Seabrook in NH and Diablo Canyon -- the plants were built and put into operation anyway. If a company had a plant under construction that it could make money operating, that plant would get built, even if thirty thousand people turned out to protest.

Comment: Re:alogrithms aren't racist (Score 2) 306 306

I don't believe the algorithm is impugning the humanity of my offspring, I just think it is far-from-perfect.

But is the algorithm even wrong? I think the question to the Google recognizer is "of the images in my collection which ones look most like a seal"? If the collection is mostly all pictures of your kids, it'll show you the pictures of your kids that it thinks have the most in common with what it has as an idea about what seals look like. This isn't to make fun of your kids, of course, it's just its best guess due to the nature of the question that was asked of it. A human could make a similar selection when posed with the same question.

So as to the point of TFA, the searcher asked Google for the pictures that are most likely to be pictures of a gorilla inside his photo collection. If we assume that there were not actual pictures of gorillas in the collection, then the guess might not be a bad one. If you gave any human a set of pictures of a speedboat, a skyscraper, a turtle, a box of cereal, and a woman, and asked the human which one of those things looks most like a gorilla, there's only one truthful answer. It might be an offensive one to some people but that doesn't make the guess mathematically incorrect.

Reading the Twitter stream, Google has decided to censor such results. Their first attempt was to say "if somebody searches for gorilla and it matches a picture with a face in it, don't show that". That failed on two pics where a face wasn't recognized, so they added even more filtering and now they're building an i18n wordlist of "offensive" words to restrict the algorithm's output depending on locale.

Being a for-profit company, one of Google's primary concerns is to not alienate its users, so for them I'm sure it's the right move. But we need to be aware that it is imposing censorship (on itself) and that the output of the algorithm is becoming less useful to some degree to avoid offending some people. It's their trade-off to make, for sure, but for the larger computing community it's a valuable lesson to keep in mind. Such trade-offs need to be made carefully and consciously.

Comment: Dragonfly BSD, Funtoo, and (for now) Gentoo (Score 1) 155 155

I'm happy to see that you don't hate systemd. That was the last shoe to drop. I'll complete the switch to BSD now!

Dragonfly BSD works quite well on the desktop, as does Funtoo Linux, which is systemd-free. Gentoo also works and still uses OpenRC by default, although there is growing concern some of the devs are quietly preparing to push a systemd agenda (kdbus patches in the kernel, one of the devs commenting he hopes systemd would become the Gentoo default, and a habit of the moderators in the Gentoo forums to shut down any discussions critical of systemd).

Linus may not be showing good leadership in this instance, but not everyone has drunk the urine just yet, and there are others stepping up to the plate to maintain or create alternatives.

Comment: Re:Why live there then? (Score 1) 80 80

Can you live in the Bay Area taking home 42k/year?

I did for years (also working for the state). I was living here for nearly a decade before I made more than that, in fact; as a grad student my stipend was less than $20k. I have no dependents or debts to pay off, no severe medical conditions, and my benefits were always sufficient, so it was actually very easy. I lived alone for the majority of that time, but even when I shared houses or apartments it was in relatively nice neighborhoods. (All rental, of course.) Until recently I was always living very close to where I worked. I usually had at least a little disposable income and by the time I was taking home more than $30K I was saving some of it.

That said, I live in the East Bay, not SF proper, so my rents are merely extortionate but not totally unaffordable. $42K won't go very far if you want to live in the Mission - and 10 years ago, it wasn't totally unrealistic for a (childless) grad student to have that ambition.

Honestly, from what I've seen I think senior government-employed or government-funded scientists in the Bay Area mostly get paid enough already (and I would include myself in that category until very recently). It's definitely more than we'd get in another part of the country, and we/they get to play with a lot of very cool (and very expensive) toys. But the cost of living is a huge problem for recruiting; a UC Berkeley professor of my acquaintance told me they were finding it increasingly difficult to hire new faculty because they'll never be able own a home anywhere close to Berkeley itself.

Comment: Re:Iran is not trying to save money (Score 1) 329 329

Well, you have to factor in the Iranian cultural mania for disagreeing with each other. The Shah couldn't keep them under his thumb, neither can the mullahs, who have their hands full disagreeing with each other.

From a tyrant's perspective Iran is ungovernable, which doesn't mean elements in the government don't give tyranny a go on a regular basis. It's an ideal setup for producing martyrs. The futility of cracking down means you have a little space to rake some muck before official anger overcomes reason.

Comment: Manage Outsourcing (Score 2) 238 238

You listed a bunch of strengths:
1) she has J2EE experience
2) she lives in Spain where the developer job market sucks
3) she has the talent
4) she'd like to move up to a better job

So, how about she goes and finds un/under-employed local programmers, sets up a syndicate, and manages outsourcing jobs for enterprises in areas where the labor market is tight?

That will gain her marketable sales and management skills which she can then parlay into better career opportunities. Maybe even sell the company once it's successful.

I'm assuming she can speak English about as well as you can, which is plenty good (I can't tell if you're native or not).

Here's the thing that bothers me most about your post, though: she's of child-bearing age, so I'll assume under 40, and you say doing IT is better than picking up a new career now. Don't fool yourself - she'll be working another 40 years (unless the AI's take over) and so she's less than 1/3rd of the way into her career. If you love her, you'll want her to be happy for the next 40 years, and you'll support her in finding/creating something that supports her passions and can pay the bills. So, if she really hates IT, ignore what I wrote above and work hard to help her find her purpose.

Comment: Good Detail Included In Summary (Score 1) 106 106

Notably, s2n does not provide all the additional cryptographic functions that OpenSSL provides in libcrypto, it only provides the SSL/TLS functions. Further more, it implements a relatively small subset of SSL/TLS features compared to OpenSSL.

This is the kind of really important detail that is often left out of summaries and winds up making my eye twitch. Thanks OP and/or editors for rising above the common dross.

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