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Comment: Re:And no one will go to jail - just like bankers! (Score 1) 203

9/11 may not have been engineered by us, but the people in power certainly took advantage of it when it happened.

Thereby precipitating the most epic win imaginable against Western Democracy.

I honestly don't think they imagined the extent to which they would to undermine the society they were trying to shake. And if they did, that's truly scary.

That the 'authoritarians' (*cough* fascists *cough*) took advantage of that, we are not in disagreement about.

But either forcing them to, or giving them an excuse to, finally just fully take control ... I still say 9/11 was a game-changing event, because everybody immediately rushed to build the "at any means" surveillance society in the open.

These guys almost have express written permission for these kinds of abuses. The exact same abuses people were warning would happen while they were being passed. The PATRIOT Act had stuff in it which people said would lead to this kind of crap while it was being passed, because it was a knee-jerk response.

I argue that Western society post 9/11 is overtly different than it was pre 9/11. Some of the rot may have been there already, but it's come into the full light of day since.

Comment: Re:Change management fail (Score 1) 65

by gstoddart (#47578725) Attached to: Passport Database Outage Leaves Thousands Stranded

Yeah I was going to say the same thing. You NEVER make a change that you don't have a way to backout to the previous operational state.

And, really, if you have something which Absolutely Has To Be There ... you make damned sure you have an environment you apply the changes to first. So that you can apply the changes and at least try to make sure stuff don't break without messing up the real one.

This is basic change management.

(And, yes, I am saying this without any context for this outage -- but, really, if you maintain a production environment for critical software, this is what you do)

Comment: Re:Full specification text: (Score 3, Interesting) 88

by lgw (#47578545) Attached to: PHP Finally Getting a Formal Specification

PHP Formal Specification:

1) Don't use PHP.

No wonder you're getting modded down if you think that's a formal specification! C'mon:


1. Abstract.

Don't use PHP.

2. Conventions used in this document.

The key words "MUST", "MUST NOT", "REQUIRED", "SHALL", "SHALL NOT",
"SHOULD", "SHOULD NOT", "RECOMMENDED", "MAY", and "OPTIONAL" in this
document are to be interpreted as described in RFC-2119

3. Normative Guidance for the Use of PHP

One MUST NOT use PHP.

Comment: Re:Formal specifications are pretty useless for th (Score 1) 88

by lgw (#47578489) Attached to: PHP Finally Getting a Formal Specification

What bizarre notion of "formal standard" are you holding on to that would exclude the C standard? It has a formal standardization process complying with the requirements for ISO/IEC publication.

An informal standard is "what some guy wrote", like the K&R C book (which really was used as a standard by compiler writers before the formal standard, and worked well enough for a while).

Comment: Re:Legitimate concerns (Score 2) 178

by lgw (#47577917) Attached to: UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity

For speech to result in physical attacks - a strong causal connection - that's no longer hate speech, that's "incitement to riot". We've had no problem keeping "hate speech" legal but "incitement to riot" illegal in America for centuries now.

Speech should always be protected as speech. But telling your bodyguard to shoot someone is not illegal because of the words you use, but instead because of the immediate desired outcome of that speech. Running on a platform of killing all the Jews is political speech, and should be protected (and for goodness sake, please oh please let the candidate actually say that sort of thing on camera, not keep it as a secret agenda, so that democracy can happen properly there). Saying "hey, lets go attack that guy right there, right now!" has never been protected speech.

"On a computer" changes nothing.

Comment: Re:well.... (Score 2) 42

by lgw (#47577489) Attached to: Fotopedia Is Shutting Down; Data Avallable Until August 10

Yeah, but either could just sell that part of their business, or even just decide it wasn't worth the effort and shut it down without warning

Not really. MS is entirely "cloud first" under the new CEO, and Amazon's investors are really intent on AWS as the cool part of Amazon. Next decade the world could change, of course, but for now those clouds are the jewels of 2 profoundly successful companies. Google, OTOH, I don't trust one bit these days.

I see "the cloud" as the best possible backup - I can't envision a disaster that would take out both my place and that distant data center, without being the nuclear-war sort of event that would make data backups the least of my worries.

Comment: Re:When everything you have is in the cloud (Score 1) 42

by lgw (#47576869) Attached to: Fotopedia Is Shutting Down; Data Avallable Until August 10

Was fotopedia "the cloud"? Seems like just a web service just like any other service from the BBS days. Of course, not keeping a local copy of anything in the cloud is a bit silly, but for goodness sake pick a "cloud" with at least 1 million servers, not neverheardofit.com.

You can't have everything... where would you put it? -- Steven Wright

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