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Comment: Re:Not for deaf/hard of hearing... (Score 1) 579

by allypally (#47368565) Attached to: Unintended Consequences For Traffic Safety Feature

Where I live we have a twirly thing that works well for blind and other disabilities:

Just needs scaling up so 5+ pedestrians waiting to cross can check one while the motorists have no clue (until they upgrade their Google LightChange App of course -- there is no end to this escalating lights war).

Comment: Ignorance is no excuse (Score 1) 245

by allypally (#47203237) Attached to: NSA's Novel Claim: Our Systems Are Too Complex To Obey the Law

A basic legal principle is that ignorance of the law is no excuse.

It may be a factor in applying penalties, but it does not affect the finding of fact re guilty or not guilty.

If the NSA has historically used perceived complexity of operation as a reason for turning a blind eye to their legal obligations, they may be guilty of massed conspiracy.

Comment: Re:Common problem. (Score 1) 37

> all passwords must be at least seven characters an include mixed case and punctuation

People can and will work around any barrier that stops them working, even if they are now working in an unsafe environment.

I worked somewhere once with those rules, plus the password had to be changed monthly, and no reuse of ones you'd used previously.

Pretty much everyone would have a compliant password today that was a slight variant on the unforgettable:


Comment: Mainframe exit (Score 1) 533

by allypally (#46004385) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's the Most Often-Run Piece of Code -- Ever?

Returning from a routine (sub or main) on an IBM mainframe or PC (plug compatible) will have happened billions of times before the other PC was even invented. That head start may have been eclipsed by later, more widespread, architectures, but we'd need an intern at a tech job interview to estimate when that happened.

        LM 14,12, 12(13) restore content
        SLR 15,14 set completion code to zero (implies success)
        BR 14 return to caller/op sys

Comment: HP Improved keyboard (Score 1) 459

by allypally (#46001137) Attached to: Stop Trying To 'Innovate' Keyboards, You're Just Making Them Worse

I have a HP/Compaq laptop where they "improved" the keyboard by adding a column of keys to the left of ctrl/shift/caps lock/tab/esc.

The added row of keys are useless things like "open print control panel" "start calculator". It took my muscle memory months not to be starting the printer whenever I wanted to press ctrl.

There were ways to disable all but one of the extraneous keys, but no way to map them to anything useful.

That one ergonomic horroshow has put HP/Compaq off my preferred supplier list forever.

Comment: Re:NoScript (Score 1) 731

by allypally (#45996607) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are AdBlock's Days Numbered?

You make lots of good points.

My computer is, among other things, a gateway to my valuable data. I'd be mad to consider running untrusted code on it.

Now, if the ads come as signed and certified and verified and have insurance for any damage they cause -- well, then I might take the risk.

But random code freshly downloaded? No way.

Comment: Public domain even worse (Score 1) 335

by allypally (#45964135) Attached to: Irish Politician Calls For Crackdown On Open Source Internet Browsers

The big problem is that criminals are accessing the internet using public-domain inventions that are intrinsically anonymous. I mean, of course, by using keyboards.

Until we have a properly secure keyboard -- with govt approved letter order, built-in camera, and a mandatory license needed before you can use it -- the bad guys will continue to score easy wins against our freedoms.

Comment: Re:Yes, there is a simple fix (Score 0) 167

by allypally (#44474939) Attached to: New JavaScript-Based Timing Attack Steals All Browser Source Data

Slightly simpler fix: disable all unsigned Javascript.

Javascript should come with guarantees that it does not contain malicious code, an auditable path back to who wrote it, and industry-backed insurance against it damaging the machines it runs on.

That way, many more of us will be happier to let this (currently) malware vector run on our machines.

Of course that would require a little bit of infrastructure to enable. But the main beneficiaries -- the advertizers -- have known they have been edging toward the Jayacalypse for a long time. They should have had a "Secure JS" mode up and running years ago.

Comment: Re:Wow, just wow. (Score 0) 406

Any form of writing is a form of censorship.

If you write "Mary had a little lamb" you have forcibly suppressed an infinite number of other statements you could have written in order to write that one.

Worse, you have deliberately written "Mary had a little lamb" instead of cogently arguing a position I hold.

By failing to publish cogent remarks in favor of my position, you have censored me.

That's my completely reasonable assertion based on your definition of censorship.

If you argue otherwise, or if you ignore me, that is censorship.

Comment: Primes closer together? (Score 0, Interesting) 248

by allypally (#43729193) Attached to: Major Advance Towards a Proof of the Twin Prime Conjecture

Also means that there must be at least one prime in every sequence of 70 million integers.

Means I can put an upper bound on my prime search script....If it searches 70,000,001 consecutive integers and claims to have found no primes, I'll know the bugged little script is lying.

That's a helpful debugging heuristic. Thank you, Pure Math.

When you don't know what to do, walk fast and look worried.