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+ - After Snowden: Prioritising Free Software for Computing You Can Trust->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The president and the executive director of April, the French free software advocacy association, published this week an article in the popular French newspaper Libération entitled "After Snowden: Prioritising Free Software for Computing You Can Trust"

Here are two excerpts :

"The mechanism that establishes computing you can trust is not any different from that which regulates a modern democratic society. It essentially rests on the right to vote, associated with access to objective information. Free/libre software, which, in a global computer base dominated by Microsoft, is gathering momentum, is the only one to follow these principles: its code is accessible to everyone and its modifications are collectively decided on by a community of developers. The installation of a backdoor by the NSA within the source code of a free program is theoretically not impossible, but it will always remain much less likely than it would be within a proprietary program, whose code is kept secret."

"That said, technical solutions have their limits. What we need is political awareness, both at the governmental level and at the individual level. This choice is going to require some efforts from each of us: proprietary software programs have for years aimed to infantilize our relationship with IT, on the assumption that the less we knew, the more we would behave like captive customers. Regaining control of one's computing is not easy, but it is an essential civic initiative. Everyone should try to give priority to free software.""

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Comment: Re:Patent lawsuit - Win-Win? (Score 1) 52

by bernywork (#46211303) Attached to: Microsoft Building an 'Xbox Reading' App For Windows 8

Actually, looking at it further, the whole $600m was involved in that settlement.

Who cares what the conclusion was? Which way did the money go?

300m from MS to B&N.
How much from B&N to MS? Zero. They did get stock though. Ultimately worth nothing if the business goes bust.

MS wouldn't have paid if they weren't screwed, no matter the terms of the deal. They might get that money back ultimately, but nobody involved would have called that a win if the patents were so strong.

Comment: Patent lawsuit (Score 2, Interesting) 52

by bernywork (#46210215) Attached to: Microsoft Building an 'Xbox Reading' App For Windows 8

Let's get one thing straight here, the only reason why Microsoft dropped $300m into the Nook business was to bury a antitrust suit by Barnes and Noble over the patents they were allegedly infringing by using Android. Fearing failure and their Android licensing business drying up, they decided to make the whole lot go away.

http://blogs.reuters.com/aliso...

Comment: Remote wipe? Not enough (Score 4, Funny) 80

by bernywork (#44461277) Attached to: Google Announces Android Device Manager For Later This Month

I want remote brick, if I lose my phone, I want it being completely useless to the next person, no firmware flash, no nothing; a paper weight. I don't want it being sold off for a tenner and sent to another country that doesn't subscribe to the block list.... Actually, you know what? I want it catch fire, I want it to be an incinerated paper weight!

Comment: Re:Screw The Big Traders (Score 1) 152

by bernywork (#44047887) Attached to: HFT Nothing To Worry About (at Least In Australia)

> You're absolutely right, they weren't designed right.

Well, they were designed right back then when markets behaved the way they did. Things change. I know people on designing medical software now that wouldn't design it the same way 5 years ago.

Finance is no different. 10 years ago, you would never have considered Hadoop or anything like that, but now, large distributed systems are exactly what people are looking at instead of running batch all the time.

> I thought old, inappropriate systems at banks were common knowledge...

Only to people who work in IT / Finance, and only more recently with the failures in the UK and other places which showed how antiquated systems are.

It's more a management point of allowing what is happening to happen. "Why not push the HFT customers off to another platform so that the rest of the customers aren't impacted by them?" was more my point.

Comment: Re:Screw The Big Traders (Score 1) 152

by bernywork (#44047119) Attached to: HFT Nothing To Worry About (at Least In Australia)

Let me get this straight...

> They can add sometimes unexpected ramp-ups in data that can cause already-creaking systems to fall over

So, your systems suck.

> potentially impacting other non-HFT clients. This is partly bad management of older and less interesting systems but partly because they are an unpredictable lot.

Partly?!?!?!?!?!

Sheesh, if you can't handle ramp ups and ramp downs, your code / systems aren't designed right. Screw the HFT guys, they'll be using other people aside from yourselves to get to market when you stuff goes down / goes slow. What about your other clients? These are apparently your more profitable ones and you're letting the HFT guys break the platform they trade off?

Comment: Re:I'm not an expert (Score 1) 313

by bernywork (#41969093) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best 32-Bit Windows System In 2012?

> I'm not an expert

No offense dude, but, you're not. This isn't going to address the issue. The problem here is running 16bit apps and mixed apps with 16bit code bundled in with them.

PAE is physical address extensions. This means that you get multiple "windows" of RAM which means that you get to switch your view on which window of RAM address space you get to see. This allows you to see above 4GB which still using 32bit address space.

This doesn't allow 32bit applications to see more than 4GB natively, it doesn't allow the kernel to address more than 4GB (It's still a 32bit app after all), Citrix boxes can't magically take 20 times the amount of sessions, it's for large data storage applications.

So, if you have a 32bit app, it can only natively address 4GB of RAM, with the divide with Windows, this is half the amount of RAM you've got installed minus drivers. Graphics cards which have 1GB of RAM, will take 1GB out of the system so that the graphics drivers can address the RAM on the card.

This is great if you are MS, Oracle or VMWare and are fine with writing your own memory manager but writing a memory manager for allocations is a pain.

The poster was looking for a way to get old apps to work on a new OS, and honestly, getting it to happen reliably is a PITA.

If this is being done for a business, it's a bit of a dark art, all I can suggest is test test test test and test some more.

Comment: Re:Welcome (Score 1) 165

by bernywork (#41840645) Attached to: Stolen Cellphone Databases Switched On In US

There is a cost of change.

The UK banks are a prime example, there is so many inter-dependant systems, not only within the bank, but also with everyone who they interact with. This all needs to change; in NZ with a smaller population, smaller number of customers and subsequently smaller systems and interactions it's a LOT easier to be more nimble.

"Engineering without management is art." -- Jeff Johnson

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