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Comment Re:Hmmm ... (Score 2) 75

Um, Puritanism is the State Religion in the USA. They offer platitudes about separation of Church and State, but all the evidence points in the other direction.

If drugs were illegal in the U.S. merely for puritanical reasons, why would they also be illegal in places like China, North Korea or Vietnam? The religion they all have in common is statism.

The reason for outlawing them is simple: You belong to the state, and if you're taking illegal drugs, you're not being a productive member of society. If you're selling illegal drugs, you're not contributing to the welfare of the state in the form of taxes. It all goes back to statism. Of course, most statists don't like to admit this.

Saying this as a pro-legalization Christian who also doesn't like puritanism/legalism/statism...

Comment Re:Unauthorized teardown (Score 1) 366

While I agree with the above statement (and some of your others), they didn't buy the devices. It was a developer preview provided to them under NDA. I think iFixit is clearly in the wrong here.

You're expecting them to RTFA? I'd say "You must be new here", but your UID is lower than mine. In this particular case, I agree with you completely. iFixIt broke an agreement. I'd agree with the other posters completely if iFixIt had bought the unit. Seems to me like a fairly black & white case. And yes, I know the AppleTV's case is only black.

Comment possible real issues: (Score 1) 444

Potential things I see as being problematic:

1. The test they use. If it truly does show a cultural bias relative to some other objective test then use that other test instead. That doesn't imply making the test "easier" or adding more students to the program; the qualifying score can be tweaked such that the number of students remains the same.

2. Teacher recommendations. Its possible the teachers at poor and/or majority-minority schools are shafting their students by not being as gung ho about recommending them. If so, then that's hardly fair to the kids at those schools.

3. The ability of families to "game" the qualifying test. To some extent this will always be a problem, but there are probably ways to mitigate it. Maybe use a test for which no practice materials exist. Or, potentially, one that is more resistant to improvement-through-practice.

Comment Open Source Firmware? Guess what happens next? (Score 1) 392

Everyone that wants a few extra horsepower or MPG will do the same exact thing that VW did. Or rather one or two enterprising combination gearhead-coders will do it and cheaply replicate it a million times over. This will end up being the worst possible option for emissions because it will be available for nearly every model. You don't even need to buy anything -- just pull into a gas station and pay some kid $20 to "unlock" your car. He'll probably charge you $20 to reset it before the smog test (every 2 years) and another $20 to set it back, but you'll make it back on gas. And this is way cheaper than most legitimate performance enhancing modifications.

[ Emissions testing? Well I'm sure the enterprising folks will have a very easy way to flash the right thing back on before pulling into the shop and then switch it back later. Well maybe the ECU keeps a history of versions -- oh wait, the entire thing is open source so I can just go modify the function that returns the history. OK, I'll have roving police officers querying firmware versions -- hahaha, the firmware can return any version it wants. OK, we'll have roving police officers downloading the entire firmware and analyze it -- besides being ridiculous, we can just modify the functionality that returns the firmware image to return a different one than the one loaded. There's no way to win this war. ]

Conceptually, there are 3 differents sorts of code Free-as-in-Speech that I can distinguish here:

(1) The right to inspect the code. Totally uncontroversial, I have no philosophical objection. Practically most automotive security is so bad that code inspection would very quickly yield vulnerabilities that lead to (2) or (3) but that's not a conceptual problem.

(2) The right to modify the code. Somewhat controversial, at least when the code implements functionality that is adverse to the individual but in the interests of the collective such as pollution control at the expense of performance/efficiency. This directly costs the individual more money in gas. This is a good test-case for the tension because most software freedom folks are also strongly in favor of environmental controls.

(3) The right to modify the code but also falsely attest to its authenticity. It's one thing to declare that your device is yours and can run whatever code you want (and see #2, this is not always ethically correct). That's distinct from the right to lie to an external observer and attest that you haven't modified it from the original. This becomes a major issue both in the context of governmental controls (especially easy when we believe they are legitimate, given that particular emissions causes additional deaths) but also in the context of corporate BYOD policies.

For an example, I support 100% everyone's right to modify your Android kernel and userspace. I also support 100% an IT department saying that access to internal corporate resources is restricted to some particular Android versions (whether they are AOSP-original or Cyanogen or home-roll). Access & ownership of those resources belongs to the company, they have the right to set policy on how they are accessed. One can enforce this as a matter of rules, but technologically one can also imagine a solution in which there is a trusted boot component that never restricts what the user can load, but at the same time will not attest to the authenticity of the software stack if the user has modified it. The application of this system to the automotive case is left as an example for the reader.

Comment Re:Social media (Score 1) 307

Not me. This place is so full of trolls and shills it's really not much fun any more. Discussions like this are OK, but if it has anything to do with Linux it'll be filled with all kinds of caustic anti-Linux comments from MS "evangelists".

That's what moderation is about. F'rinstance, I was making a joke about Slashdot being antisocial media, and someone (possibly an introvert) got offended. Besides, I think it's worse for us Mac users. You get all of the MS shills and the anti-Apple haters. MS has it's detractors as well. Just roll with the punches.

Comment Flipped Classrooms (Score 3, Interesting) 307

I can see how "collaborative learning" and "project-based learning" might be problematic for introverts, but flipped classrooms might actually be better for them. Although there are several ways that they can be delivered, the most typical model is where students watch instructional material online by themselves, then do their homework in class. It seems to me that this would be an ideal situation for an introvert. No distraction during instruction or anxiety of being called on or asked to the front of the class, etc.

Comment Re:It should... but what about Ecto-1 (Score 1) 138

It goes without saying that stuff like this should be copyrighted because it's essentially "fanart" that is being sold. You just can't do that. Though this makes me wonder about Time Machine-modified Delorean's and Ecto-1's

There goes cosplay.

I'm not so sure about that. I think Marvel & DC are smart enough to realize that killing Cosplay would really harm their industries. Of course, the problem you have with Marvel is their parent company, who is known for it's ridiculous commitment to protecting it's "property".

Comment Isn't that what we asked for? (Score 2) 229

I thought we said we wanted adblock because there were too many ads using (pick any/all):
      [ ] Tracking cookies
      [ ] Pop-ups
      [ ] Pop-unders
      [ ] Click-throughs
      [ ] Flash or other auto-play media
      [ ] Obtrusive (mid-article) placement
      [ ] Annoying (blinking!) styling
      [ ] Malware (usually flash based)

Of course companies do that because they have an incentive to do so. Now a company is saying -- hey, we'll give you an incentive to use unobtrusive ads -- they'll actually reach more people (including the much sought-after millennials who use adblockers the most). And we're upset that the incentive will align towards them?

I mean, if you point was to fuck the advertisers -- sure. But say that upfront, don't gripe about the method and then get all upset when someone tries to devise a scheme for reasonable ads.

Comment Re:Finally (Score 2) 178

Tough for the prosecutors but this is a flash of some sense.

Be careful what you wish for. Because if it becomes precedent that technologically-protected documents can't be subpoenaed than the first people to take advantage of this will be large corporations trying to cover their own asses. You know, something like "Oh, we can't give you the emails between the VW ECU engineers and their managers, they are PGP-encrypted (with a key that each employee spins on their first day) and we can't make them turn over the passwords for their key". Or, like in this case, insider traders.

I think there needs to be the right balance between the right not to self incriminate and the obligation to turn over material documents (including electronic) when properly subpoenaed and in a process designed to minimize disclosure of non-responsive documents. There has never been protection for non-testimonial disclosure of documents, samples and the like.

"Now this is a totally brain damaged algorithm. Gag me with a smurfette." -- P. Buhr, Computer Science 354