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User Journal

Journal: Why libressl is stupid 2 2

I really want to like libressl. But it pretends to be openssl badly. They refused a patch that would have mitigated this whole RAND_egd problem by simply returning that it doesn't work when someone tries to use it, which means that you commonly need a patch to use it at all. If it's not going to work like openssl, then it shouldn't occupy the same space in the filesystem.

User Journal

Journal: OMFG GNOME3 is asstacular

This is not news to most people, but I just tried it for the first time on my first-ever normal Debian Wheezy install (I've always done minimal, netinst etc. and built it up from there for a purpose) and wow, GNOME3 is amazingly horrible. It makes Unity look usable. If that was the idea, mission accomplished, I guess.

Slashback

Journal: I READ THE NEWS TODAY OH BOY 6 6

Your friends

User User's... Last Journal (H)elix1 (231155) friends fans Wednesday October 03, 2007 @09:41PM A nonymous Coward (7548) friends fans adpsimpson (956630) friends fans ak3ldama (554026) friends fans Saturday May 28, 2011 @05:01AM AKAImBatman (238306) friends fans Thursday October 02, 2008 @01:12PM alfaiomega (585948) friends fans Alioth (221270) friends fans Saturday October 16, 2010 @08:34AM AndroidCat (229562) friends fans Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) friends fans Artifakt (700173) friends fans artifex2004 (766107) friends fans Friday July 25, 2008 @12:29PM Ashtead (654610) friends fans Thursday February 06, 2014 @09:03PM atomico (162710) friends fans Attaturk (695988) friends fans AYauFu (708368) friends fans Azadre (632442) friends fans Azi Dahaka (625546) friends fans babbage (61057) friends fans Tuesday April 12, 2005 @01:34PM BandwidthHog (257320) friends fans Tuesday February 20, 2007 @05:20AM banky (9941) friends fans Thursday February 08, 2007 @03:52PM bcrowell (177657) friends fans bechthros (714240) friends fans Wednesday August 06, 2008 @12:12AM Behrooz (302401) friends fans benhocking (724439) friends fans Wednesday December 05, 2007 @03:20PM Bertie (87778) friends fans bgfay (5362) friends fans bhima (46039) friends fans Tuesday March 24, 2009 @03:56PM Billosaur (927319) friends fans Wednesday January 23, 2008 @03:33PM Bimo_Dude (178966) friends fans Friday June 20, 2008 @10:14PM Black Parrot (19622) friends fans BlackHat (67036) friends fans Tuesday December 30, 2008 @12:10AM BlackTriangle (581416) friends fans blincoln (592401) friends fans Monday March 22, 2004 @04:14AM blinder (153117) friends fans Saturday January 29, 2011 @03:15AM Bloater (12932) friends fans Sunday March 19, 2006 @01:59AM BlueShirt (919167) friends fans Bluesman (104513) friends fans bonch (38532) friends fans btlzu2 (99039) friends fans Friday March 09, 2007 @05:53PM BWJones (18351) friends fans Monday October 24, 2011 @10:35PM capoccia (312092) friends fans Thursday July 30, 2009 @12:31PM Captain Splendid (673276) friends fans Monday February 02, 2015 @04:26PM CastrTroy (595695) friends fans Catamaran (106796) friends fans ces (119879) friends fans Tuesday June 29, 2010 @04:53PM Chacham (981) friends fans Thursday April 23, 2015 @02:10PM Chris Burke (6130) friends fans circletimessquare (444983) friends fans Thursday January 22, 2015 @10:43PM clem (5683) friends fans Colonel Korn (1258968) friends fans Communist_Supervisor (1062168) friends fans Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) friends fans Corporate Troll (537873) friends fans Tuesday November 30, 2010 @12:24PM crotherm (160925) friends fans Friday March 18, 2005 @10:33PM crow_t_robot (528562) friends fans curtisk (191737) friends fans Wednesday December 21, 2011 @05:03PM CyberBill (526285) friends fans cyranoVR (518628) friends fans Saturday January 31, 2009 @03:00AM DaedalusHKX (660194) friends fans Thursday April 24, 2008 @11:24PM damn_registrars (1103043) friends fans Thursday April 23, 2015 @08:03PM Damvan (824570) friends fans Dan Ferguson (691027) friends fans Darby (84953) friends fans darkpixel2k (623900) friends fans Datana (516170) friends fans dave-tx (684169) friends fans DaytonCIM (100144) friends fans Sunday November 11, 2012 @02:30AM dbIII (701233) friends fans dcam (615646) friends fans

User Journal

Journal: What do I have to enable now? Fucking DICE. 5 5

Welp, I can use Slashdot in Chrome and not in Firefox, which implies that something I'm blocking in Firefox is preventing the new improved Slashdot from working. What new spyware bullshit do I have to enable to use Slashdot now? Thanks, DICE! You'll run this place the rest of the way into the ground any day now.

User Journal

Journal: Keep burning those modpoints, punk 4 4

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=6928647&cid=49008431
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=6921395&cid=49008481
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=6928395&cid=49008511
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=6928647&cid=49008549
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=6921395&cid=49008565

User Journal

Journal: Yay, I made an idiot angry! 8 8

Then they modded down five of my comments in a row. Why doesn't the system catch this kind of obviously abusive moderation? Oh right, because this is slashdot, not someplace with competent employees.

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=6897301&cid=48979217
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=6897699&cid=48979955
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=6898589&cid=48984949
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=6904433&cid=48985865
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=6904445&cid=48986419

If moderation on slashdot were intelligently designed, this person's abusive moderation would have been autodetected and they would have been banned from moderation permanently.

User Journal

Journal: An unbiased comparison of Windows and OpenBSD

http://humorix.org/10566

Freaking hilarious. A bit dated, but definitely still valid... ;-)

Money quote:

INCLUDED PROGRAMS:

Web browser:

OpenBSD comes with a text based browser called lynx, which is limited in functionality. Windows comes with Internet Explorer. Let's face it: Internet Explorer is a hunk of crap.

Winner: OpenBSD

Text editor:

Windows comes with Notepad, a great easy-to-use text editor.

OpenBSD comes with vi, another hell-spawned weapon of evil which causes mayhem and kills kittens every time a user attempts to do something productive with it.

Read the rest, it's great

User Journal

Journal: I think Steve Ballmer is trying to hack my Linux machine...

I swear in the holy name of Ken Ritchie this is what I am seeing in my Linux server logs right now:

OSSEC HIDS Notification.
2014 Oct 13 16:41:45

Received From: udon->/var/log/messages
Rule: 5712 fired (level 10) -> "SSHD brute force trying to get access
to the system."
Portion of the log(s):

Oct 13 16:41:45 udon sshd[13920]: Failed password for invalid user developer from 79.110.193.148 port 49864 ssh2
Oct 13 16:41:45 udon sshd[13920]: Invalid user developer from 79.110.193.148
Oct 13 16:41:44 udon sshd[13918]: Failed password for invalid user developer from 79.110.193.148 port 49081 ssh2
Oct 13 16:41:44 udon sshd[13918]: Invalid user developer from 79.110.193.148
Oct 13 16:41:43 udon sshd[13910]: Failed password for invalid user developer from 79.110.193.148 port 48407 ssh2
Oct 13 16:41:43 udon sshd[13910]: Invalid user developer from 79.110.193.148

Now, take a look at the following and tell me it isn't true!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8To-6VIJZRE

User Journal

Journal: Three years after Steve died... 1 1

I don't think I've written this down anywhere before, so here's my story about the first time I had a face-to-face conversation with Steve Jobs.

I was working for Richard Kerris in Apple Worldwide Developer Relations, on a group called the SWAT team. I was the Cocoa expert on that team, and I had colleagues who had expertise in UNIX internals, Windows development, and the Metrowerks tools.

Our role was to help third-party developers bring their products to Mac OS X, whether they were coming from Windows, Solaris, Mac OS 9, etc. We would look over their code, and consult with them on how to go about porting and/or rewriting their products for the new platform.

I went to Fred Anderson's retirement party which was held at Cafe Macs in Building four of the Infinite Loop campus. I saw Steve there, and I went over to introduce myself. I said "Hi Steve, I'm John Randolph. You may or may not recognize my name, but I used to flame you from time to time before I worked here." He asked me "Why did you stop?" I told him "Well, I work here now, and I respect the chain of command."

At the time we had this conversation, there was a big fight going on between the foot-dragging laggards who wanted to keep using the old Mac Toolbox API (which had been cleaned up considerably and put into a framework we called "Carbon"), and those of us who wanted to get everyone using the NeXTStep-derived "Cocoa" frameworks,

At the previous WWDC, Steve had started the keynote with a bit of theater: a coffin had risen up through a trap door on the stage, in the midst of a cloud of dry ice fog. Steve had opened the coffin to show a big Mac OS 9 box, and he praised OS 9 in a eulogy, to make the point that Apple developers should consider it dead and gone.

So getting back to our conversation.. I told Steve what I was doing on Richard's team, and I said "I know that you can't do this politically, but I wish you could have another coffin on the stage at the next WWDC...." and he said: "With Carbon in it?"

He was grinning. At that point, I realized that I could quit worrying about where Apple's development environment was heading. Steve knew what we needed to do, and in the years that followed, Apple has kept the best of NeXT's technology, and let go of what we didn't need.

We miss you Steve, but we're doing fine. Thanks for the things you made happen.

-jcr

Crime

Journal: How Dangerous is Being a Cop in the US? 15 15

How Dangerous is Being a Cop in the US?

I saw a posting on Facebook (which I can no longer find, because Facebook posts are ephemeral and the algorithm used to put things on your timeline is apparently unstable) talking about the cost/person of police departments in major cities throughout the US. In the comments was the question "how much do you pay someone to risk getting shot every day?" with the implication that your average police officer in the US faces a substantial risk of death by gunfire daily, and therefore whatever the costs were, they were a good value.

And that got me thinking. Always a dangerous place for me to go.

How dangerous is it to be a police officer in the US? Is there significant risk of dying by gunfire? How does it compare with other occupations?

So let's go.


How many police officers are there in the US? How is that number changing annually?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 780,000 "Police and Detectives" in the US in 2012. That's our baseline. That number, BTW, is expected to grow by 5% by 2022, totaling about 821,000 by then. I'd love more data about this, but it's all I could find in a quick search, so we'll consider 780K as our baseline number of police in the US.


How many police officers died in the line of duty in 2012? Was that number "typical" for the years around it?
According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, 122 officers died in the line of duty in 2012. That number is low compared to 2010 (161) and 2011 (171), but high compared to 2013 (100), so let's dig a little deeper with a graph:

Police Deaths by Year 1990-2013

Graph by Evan Robinson

Frankly, I think I see a slight downward trend in the data, but the math says otherwise. There's virtually no correlation between passage of time and number of police deaths. I note that 2001 (241) is quite an outlier. You have to go back to 1981 to get another year where more than 200 police died, but in the 70s, only 1977 (192) had fewer than 200 police deaths. The 70s were far worse than the 60s, which were worse than the 50s.


What's the chance of death in the line of duty for a police officer in the US? What's the chance of death by gunfire?
If there are 780,000 police officers in the US and 159.4 die annually (the mean from 1990 and 2013 inclusive), the chance of dying is 159.4 in 780,000 or 1 in 4892.8 or .0002. That's about 2 hundredths of a percent. Specifically taking 2012 numbers, it's 122 in 780,000 or 1 in 6393 or .00016, or about 16 thousandths of a percent. But let's take the higher number of 1 in about 4890, again .0002. Expressed as a death rate per 100,000, that is 20.4 -- that is, 20.4 of every 100,000 police officers in the US die annually from line-of-duty causes.

The overall annual death rate in the US for 2010 (the most recent final value I can find according to the Department of Health and Human Services, at the CDC website) was 747.0, with a preliminary value of 740.6 for 2011. So police line-of-duty death rates are about 3% of total mean death rates.

Police line-of-duty deaths, while tragic, are not a significant risk compared to mean death rates in the US.

But wait, we want to talk about gun-related police deaths, right? Again according to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, in 2012 50/122 officers killed died from gunfire. Over the past decade, the mean percentage of officer deaths from gunfire was 36%. So the gun-related death rate is 20.4*.36 = 7.4 per 100,000.


How do these death rates compare with other ages, causes, and professions?
In 2008 (the most recent year for which data in a complete Statistical Abstract of the United States is available), the only age range to have a death rate anywhere near that low is 5-14, where the male death rate was 24 and the female death rate was 12. Police officer line-of-duty deaths are therefore less common (statistically) than any death of 5-14 year old boys, although more common than 5-14 year old girls. Line-of-duty gun deaths are about one-third as common as all deaths of 5-14 year old boys and about half as common as all deaths of 5-14 year old girls. In 2008, the mean death rate for males 25-35 (in which age range I imagine many police officers fall) was 225. For males 35-44 it was 348. So depending upon their age range, police officers are between 10x and 17x more likely to die from non-work-related causes than line-of-duty causes. And 30x to 47x more likely to die from non-work-related causes than line-of-duty gunfire.

In 2006, comparable causes of death to all line-of-duty deaths include: Heart Failure (excluding ischemic heart disease aka "a heart attack") at 20.2; NonTransport Accidents (including falls, drowning, smoke inhalation, fire/flames, and poisoning) at 24.4; Diabetes at 24.2; Alzheimer's disease at 24.2; Drug and Alcohol induced deaths (combined) at 20.2.

Also in 2006, comparable causes of death to gun-related line-of-duty deaths include: prostate cancer at 9.5; Leukemia at 7.3; Falls at 7.0; Alcohol induced deaths at 7.4.

According to preliminary data for 2013 (see page 14), the rate of "fatal occupational injuries" in Construction is 9.4 per 100,000; Transportation and Warehousing is 13.1; Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting is 22.2; Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction is 12.3.

In other words, it's as dangerous to be a police officer as it is to be a farmer (3 million people), forester or logger (1.7 million people), commercial fisherman (1 million people) or hunter (about 14,000 people). So there are over 5.7 million jobs in the US more dangerous than being a police officer. And another 6 million in construction, which has a higher death rate than police gun-related deaths.


What's it all mean?
So yeah, being a police officer is a dangerous job, but the job-related danger is much less than your basic life-related danger (health problems, general accidents, etc.). And there are about 7 times more people doing Ag-related jobs which are more dangerous than being a police officer.

So what do we have to pay these people to risk being shot every day? I'd say a mean of about $57K per year, which is what they get. Maybe we need to raise the pay of the people in Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting, who get mean annual wages in the $18K - $41K range for more dangerous jobs.


TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
I realize that putting the TL;DR way down here kind of defeats the purpose, but it allows me to put the conclusion after the work, which I like.

Being a police officer is a dangerous occupation. But there are plenty of people in the US who do more dangerous jobs for far less pay. Police line of duty death rates are comparable to death rates from Diabetes and Alzheimer's disease or the combination of drug and alcohol induced deaths. Police line of duty shooting death rates are comparable to alcohol induced deaths, Leukemia, or death by falling. A male police officer between 25 and 44 is many times (10x - 17x) more likely to die from a non-work-related cause than to die in the line of duty. And only about one-third of those line-of-duty deaths are gun-related.

And here's something else to think about
On average a police officer dies in the line of duty in the US about every 55 hours (everything you need for this calculation is above so I'm not going to insult your intelligence by including it). On average a police officer kills a civilian (about 400 annually) about every 22 hours. So I think we have more to worry about from them than they do from us.

The rate at which a disease spreads through a corn field is a precise measurement of the speed of blight.

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