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Comment: Surveillance Achieves Nothing (Score 1) 440

by balajeerc (#48418125) Attached to: Republicans Block Latest Attempt At Curbing NSA Power
Governments everywhere in the world demanding or assuming massive surveillance powers to employ a massive dragnet on communications of their own citizens are lying if they say they are doing it to protect them against enemies of the state. Enemies of the state who actually are interested in subversion are already using a 2048-bit PGP encryption, and then embedding the encrypted text using steganography in an image of Santa Claus on his sleigh flying over snowy hills and sending that as a season's greeting email. The government is never going to break the encryption even if Santa Claus left the self portrait in a stocking over the defense/home ministry's fireplace. The people that they really are targeting are you and me - ordinary people on whom they want leverage, just in case we turn troublemakers.

Comment: This is shitty pay, even by Indian standards (Score 1) 286

by balajeerc (#48227773) Attached to: Tech Firm Fined For Paying Imported Workers $1.21 Per Hour
As a developer in Bangalore, I can tell you that $1.21 per hour for 100 hours a week, for say, 4 weeks a month at Rs. 60 to a dollar, comes out at Rs. 29,040 - which is shitty pay for tech support employee who is putting in such a grueling work routine. By that, I mean that I would be hard pressed to find IT employees even in India to work at those rates. I would only be able to find unskilled labourers to work at those rates. I'd urge the local government there to check if the company is digging a secret tunnel or something of that sort , which is about the only the only sort of work they would be able to muster with labour that comes at those rates.

Comment: Re:A 'No-Clones' Policy (Score 1) 258

by balajeerc (#47572617) Attached to: Is the App Store Broken?
Yes, I admit that denying 'better' clones would be a consequence of the proposal I made above. However, look at the evils of enforcing it: the user misses a few auxiliary (even if they be useful) features. Look at the evils of NOT enforcing it: an ecosystem dominated by predatory developers intent on exploiting the next simple but elegant app idea on the market by cloning it. That design, while being easily copied, took considerable intellectual effort to produce. Copycats like the above, stifle innovation in design - we know this for sure because smaller creative development teams are abandoning app development in droves. In my opinion, this latter scenario is much worse for everyone concerned - Apple/Google, developers, AND end users - than the former.

Comment: A 'No-Clones' Policy (Score 1) 258

by balajeerc (#47572127) Attached to: Is the App Store Broken?
This is applicable to other app stores as well. There must be a policy which states that any app, cannot be a clone or closely resemble a clone of another application created within the last n months. Developers and users must be given a facility where they can report violations of this policy to the app store. Thus, if I made the next '2048', and if another of the thousands of copy cat app developers decides to clone my application, I can report this violation culminating in the clone being taken down. I think this is the single most important innovation that can help app developers who are really putting thousands of man hours of creative effort in producing an original and compelling application. Abuse of this provision can also be checked by giving app developers a 3 strike policy when it comes to reporting this violation. If a developer consecutively flags three applications as copying his app while in fact they were not, then the developer is barred from reporting any further such violations. A good app-store is a result of good curation.

Comment: Wrong Control Variable? (Score 4, Insightful) 619

I wonder if socialism was the wrong control variable to use in this study. I have a hunch that any people who were brought up in a society with extremely limited resources would be more prone to cheat to get ahead than where resources where more bountiful. I am a citizen of a third world country myself (India) and I find that among my compatriots, a few specific states that are highly underdeveloped seem to have higher crime rates on an average than those states that are relatively better off. What's more, emigrants from these states seem to suffer disproportionately high rates of incarceration even in other states. If you look at it in terms of poverty, the fact that people who have endured grinding poverty are more inclined to jostle to get ahead is hardly surprising.

Comment: Re:Focus on your studies as much as possible (Score 2) 309

by balajeerc (#46976103) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Computer Science Freshman, Too Soon To Job Hunt?
I couldn't agree more. Making websites is not computer science. Try focusing on related core areas: say distributed computing (Hadoop and the like). Work on your data structures and algorithms. Get into low level aspects of computing to get a good grip of computer architecture. Dabble a little in natively compiled languages such as C/C++ as well to see what a paradigm shift interpreted languages give you.

Comment: Counterproductive Fixation (Score 2) 112

by balajeerc (#44464367) Attached to: Shuttleworth Answers FSF Call for Free Software Drivers on Edge
I find the fixation on wanting to use proprietary hardware with FOSS drivers rather counterproductive. If you are buying a graphics card where the vendor does not give you the source for the driver, you have sacrificed your freedom right at the point of sale, where you bought the hardware, so you might as well accept a driver that is closed as well. If you really insist on freedom, you ought to demand hardware that has open specs as well. I am NOT however saying that the effort to write free drivers for proprietary hardware is not admirable. I am just saying that FSF fixation on open software (driver) without insisting on open hardware as well, a contradiction.

Comment: Re:A Fair Rule (Score 1) 44

by balajeerc (#42623841) Attached to: German Parliamentary Committee Pushes for Open Source Friendly Policy
Can this fair rule reasonably be extended to engine designs of fighter jets produced by companies in other nations? Let's say Germany needed to buy F-16s. Shouldn't it insist that Lockheed-Martin make public detailed drawings and specs outlining the entire aircraft's design? Of course, the average taxpayer will have no use for it, but then again, the average tax payer will have no use for the source code running the webapp that helps him file his taxes either.

panic: can't find /