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FSF Responds To Microsoft's Privacy and Encryption Announcement 174

Posted by Soulskill
from the no-trust-without-verification dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft announced yesterday their plans to encrypt customer data to prevent government snooping. Free Software Foundation executive director John Sullivan questions the logic of trusting non-free software, regardless of promises or even intent. He says, 'Microsoft has made renewed security promises before. In the end, these promises are meaningless. Proprietary software like Windows is fundamentally insecure not because of Microsoft's privacy policies but because its code is hidden from the very users whose interests it is supposed to secure. A lock on your own house to which you do not have the master key is not a security system, it is a jail. ... If the NSA revelations have taught us anything, it is that journalists, governments, schools, advocacy organizations, companies, and individuals, must be using operating systems whose code can be reviewed and modified without Microsoft or any other third party's blessing. When we don't have that, back doors and privacy violations are inevitable.'"

Why Scott Adams Wished Death On His Dad 961

Posted by timothy
from the righteous-anger dept.
theodp writes " I hope my father dies soon," Dilbert creator Scott Adams wrote Saturday in a frustrated, angry, and poignant blog post. 'My father, age 86, is on the final approach to the long dirt nap (to use his own phrase). His mind is 98% gone, and all he has left is hours or possibly months of hideous unpleasantness in a hospital bed. I'll spare you the details, but it's as close to a living Hell as you can get. If my dad were a cat, we would have put him to sleep long ago. And not once would we have looked back and thought too soon. Because it's not too soon. It's far too late. His smallish estate pays about $8,000 per month to keep him in this state of perpetual suffering. Rarely has money been so poorly spent. I'd like to proactively end his suffering and let him go out with some dignity. But my government says I can't make that decision. Neither can his doctors. So, for all practical purposes, the government is torturing my father until he dies.' Adams also had harsh words for those who would oppose assisted suicide, 'I don't want anyone to misconstrue this post as satire or exaggeration. So I'll reiterate. If you have acted, or plan to act, in a way that keeps doctor-assisted suicide illegal, I see you as an accomplice in torturing my father, and perhaps me as well someday. I want you to die a painful death, and soon. And I'd be happy to tell you the same thing to your face.' His father passed a few hours after Adams wrote his screed. Challenged later by the SF Chronicle's Debra J. Saunders, an opponent of assisted suicide, Adams stood firm on his earlier words. So, can Adams succeed in convincing the U.S. where Dr. Jack failed?"

Gosu Programming Language Released To Public 330

Posted by Soulskill
from the hello-public dept.
llamafirst writes "Guidewire Software released the Gosu programming language for public availability. Gosu is a general-purpose programming language built on top of the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). It is object-oriented, static typed, imperative, and 100% Java compatible (use/extend Java types, implement Java interfaces, compile to Java bytecode). It has type inference (very readable code yet static typing!), in-line functions that you can pass as objects (closures / lambda expressions / blocks), enhancements (inject methods + properties, even on Java types!), and simplified generics. Gosu is provided via the Apache License v2.0. The language itself is not yet open source, although that is planned for a future community release. You can read a complete introduction to the Gosu language, a comparison to other languages, and syntax differences from Java."

We will have solar energy as soon as the utility companies solve one technical problem -- how to run a sunbeam through a meter.