Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:boring boring boring booooooooooring (Score 1) 69 69

Sorry, the pre-announcement does have a point - if the security hole is major, then you want admins to be ready to patch their systems pretty much immediately.

If you just released the "fixed" version together with a description of the vulnerability - it might give extra time to potential attackers to figure out how to exploit the problem before an admin becomes aware that there even IS a new version.

In this case, the certificate verification might not have sounded like a big thing to you - but think where client certificates are being used - not that many places, but usually "important" ones, and often ones that have real economic consequences for the parties involved if they were to be broken (like many VPNs between businesses; or protected services that require client certificates for authentication. If it were "easy" to forge one, the protection would be harder to maintain (if it were even still possible to maintain).

Comment Re:Mmmm Fiber (Score 1) 142 142

Love my fiber connection, too - in our town implemented by the city's utility companies (in St. Gallen, Switzerland) - and ISPs can offer data access over the city's fiber.

Promised 100MBit/s up / 100MBit/s down; 1 static IPv4 address; IPv6 support - all working absolutely fine...

A new provider has started offering 1GBit/s up+down for a reasonable rate - but I'll wait and see how happy people will be with them - for now, 100MBit/s up+down is plenty for me...

Comment Re: what will be more interesting (Score 1) 662 662

Well, yes, the BBC is a non-profit - but the cash cow argument still stands. Top Gear has been making a lot of money for BBC that the non-profit BBC could then channel back into other productions, right?

Therefore Top Gear did give the BBC something more to work with, that is now at risk.

On the other hand - since the BBC is publicly funded, any further Clarkson stunts will also negatively impact BBC's image (apart from in the eyes of the xx million petrol-heads that worship the show.

Comment a "COUNTRY that absolutely loves to censor stuff"? (Score 3, Interesting) 91 91

Are you sure, it's the COUNTRY that absolutely loves to censor stuff - and not its (elected) government?

Turkey is a large and very diverse nation - been there twice so far and absolutely loved the parts around Istanbul we visited and the people we met. I just don't think it does the normal people there any justice to leave statements like "their country loves censoring" unchallenged.

While here in Europe there were some long post 9/11 discussions on whether muslim headscarves should be banned - at the same time in (muslim) Turkey, there were demonstrations against the government, because their government wanted to LIFT a headscarf ban at Turkish universities.

Comment Re:file transfer (Score 1) 466 466

Hmm - there are PCMCIA card readers - used one for photography a long time ago...
If you have memory cards you're using in a camera, see whether there is a PCMCIA card reader for that type of card (used compact flash at the time). In that case you could at least use stuff you mostly have already...

Comment Re:No clue? (Score 1) 237 237

That example isn't quite the same - noone will have a problem with Microsoft offering you a free coffee on their premises.

But, if Microsoft decided that Starbucks was a threat to them and started distributing free coffee everywhere just to screw up SBUX, then that would likely be an antitrust matter.

The same could be argued for a search engine offering a free office toolkit - as it's not really the typical pairing that has anything to do with their normal search business.

The free bag service is an anemity that you might come to expect from a hotel and AT the hotel's premises; or the free chauffeur service that they might offer to and from their hotel for your arrival and departure.

Comment Re:No clue? (Score 1) 237 237

Indeed - no "stack"...
yet - unless google starts "integrating" the services into each other (integrate - not just share a home page as a starting point).

The stack example, indeed, seems misleading here.

On the other hand - while you defend google here - think back to some of the issues in the MS anti-trust case:

  - MS used proceeds from other areas to funnel huge amounts of money into IE development - much more, than any start-up could hope to match.
  - By including IE into Windows, for many people (normal users, not people working in IT) they eliminated the need to even look for other browsers - no matter, whether other browsers might have been better.
  - The inclusion of IE also meant the end for commercial browser makers - as they wouldn't have an alternative source of income. "Netscape" failed, their browser ultimately only growing because it was completely freed and open-sourced: In effect, MS might still channel more money into IE; but against the open source community that would not necessarily help, as the open-source author doesn't need to "show quarterly numbers"; quarterly profit reports, etc -- as long as the open source developer gets an income (which in many cases may stem from an unrelated day-job)...

In google's case, there is no full integration of services - but:

    - income from the advertising (which the search engine generates / facilitates) supports an ecosystem of other software - a free calendar or documents - services that _depend_ on their ad business generating the income for them. Same as MS Office paying the bills for IE.

    - the same landing page ( being a straight entry point to not just the search, but other free offerings unrelated to search (like the news, play, ...) gives those extra services a big head-start over their competition - and one they can't hope to match (no ad space sold on the landing page).

These things make it more difficult for new enterprises to form - and it's reasonable to expect that any new area popping up on the web, google will not just also try to profit from (which would be fair enough), but they can (easily ab)use their position to help their apps further by giving them privileged exposure on their search page and continue to fund them for extended periods of time to prevent other entrants getting into that area.

Comment Re:no. (Score 1) 928 928

Question: How much of that complexity can you hide from the normal user? Or - how much of that complexity is even visible to the normal user?

Complexity often comes into two parts - the complexity for the developer or admin; and the complexity for the end-user.

If I use a Mac Desktop, you can bet I don't give much of a toss over how much extra work that might mean for a developer - as long as my user experience is better.

Do you drive a car? ...despite over how much more complex it is than, say, a horse-drawn carriage?

Comment Re:systemd needs to stay optional (Score 1) 928 928

I may agree with your point, that systemd is only useful for a subset of linux ecosystems - but from this, deriving that it shouldn't be default seems bizarre.

The "try to cover every possible thing" aspect that you so seem to hate for servers could be a boon for people installing it on laptops; or even their normal home PC; anyone starting out with linux.
In short - this could be a boon for a lot of people coming to Linux anew and don't know init.

So, why not leave systemd in "user centric" distros like standard ubuntu ; but keep init as default in server-distros - at least for the time being - since those are usually aimed at more experienced Unix users - who already know init.

If we can keep distros with and without a graphical desktop separate - why not do the systemd / init split along the same lines - as the desktop distros need to cater to being more user-friendly and more at home on very disparate hardware setups.

As for the optional step - if systemd may be more newbie friendly, how easy will it be to switch from init to systemd? And one of those two needs to be default - but if switching around between the two is tricky, then by all means take the more user-friendly one as standard - if the user-friendly option is difficult to install, you don't need to package it at all - as the newbie at whom you might aim it is probably the last person with the technical knowledge of what the switch means or how it could be done.

Comment Re:Oh please, Biden said it best (Score 1) 425 425

Hmm - strange how "nuking" people or places can be deemed a solution worthy of discussion.

Nukes are so well targetted - so, not just do you say "Turkey, UAE, and Saudi Arabia" support ISIL - but at the same time, that those countries have noone opposing any support for ISIL or radical islamics - and so if you nuke them, you're not going to hit anyone "innocent".

The only things nukes or other more military action do is to feed radicalism - and with rising radicalism on the other side, you will find more radical policies on our side "Nuke them!".

Military support is needed to help clean up the conflict - but it does need a longer term engagement, and it needs something else than airstrikes - but actual boots on the ground to prevent massacres. This is dangerous - it puts "our" soldiers sent there right in harms way, but we can't show people there a "better alternative" by delivering it in warheads.

Comment Re:Corporate taxes (Score 1) 410 410

Just like the ridiculous corporate taxes and corporate tax avoidance schemes, isn't it nice how we are worried about costs all the time - from TFA:

      "Such changes could impact legitimate taxpayers by delaying refunds, extending tax season and likely adding costs to the IRS."

Sure, changes incur costs...

But, before you worry too much about possible costs - how much of "(the IRS) paid $5.2 billion in fraudulent identity theft refunds in filing season 2013" would the IRS need to block in future tax years to more than offset that cost?

If they're losing $5.2 bn a year - don't you think any reasonable costs invested to prevent those "losses" might not be a good investment?

Comment Re:Every week there's a new explanation of the hia (Score 2, Interesting) 465 465

Strange how, just a knee-jerk you'll find some people defending the science, there are those that have the same knee-jerk reaction against any findings in this area. With all that uncontrollable knee-jerking on both sides - it seems that we have another great argument for universal health care, to get people's knees fixed again... But I digress...

Whether climate change is man-made or not - I don't think there is too much debate left on the matter. But, I'm no climate scientist, so for me personally it's a matter of "belief" that mankind is behind this. We may get some theories and models wrong on how fast global warming works - or why there may be a hiatus in it.

The question of whether we're behind this - take two past events and see how much influence we might have:

Remember the Icelandic volcano a few years back - in response to the volcanic ash, we grounded a lot of flights for a few days - and even in that time, we could measure how much the air changed - just by taking planes out of the picture for a few days.

Secondly, if you think mankind's influence isn't large enough given the size of the planet - look back at climate records around the time Krakatoa blew up - that one mountain exploding had a measurable impact on temperature and weather for 5 years; so, if a _single_ mountain on one day can create that kind of change -- are you sure, all of our industries around the world together over the course of years CAN'T?

What the planet is "too large for", is for us to do some quick and easy experiments to actually test our hypotheses quickly - so climate science does what it can mostly from observation and trying to identify as many factors as possible that DO have a measurable impact in order to MODEL what's going to happen and then wait and see how close these models correlate with what's happening.

Advertising is a valuable economic factor because it is the cheapest way of selling goods, particularly if the goods are worthless. -- Sinclair Lewis