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Comment Re: stop making him a martyr. (Score 1) 125

Which do you think is computationally more expensive? Crawling a website, or serving the website being crawled?

Here's a hint: aside from the fact that one involves repeatedly parsing a scripting language, database calls, logging, etc and the other requires little more than generating URLs and downloading them....one involves random access retrieval and the other involves writing the stored data.

Also: the different in computing power between laptops and servers of similar age is less than an order of magnitude. Server equipment typically runs further from the bleeding edge than retail/consumer equipment, and often is kept in production much longer than consumer equipment.

Comment stop making him a martyr. (Score 3, Informative) 125

He didn't "commit suicide as a result of prosecution for his attempt to free scientific literature."

After a prior similar episode which earned him a visit from the FBI in which they told him they'd caught him doing something illegal, declined to prosecute him but warned him not to do it again......he trespassed repeatedly onto the MIT campus, into buildings, into network closets, where he installed unauthorized computers. He then worked to intentionally bypass the network registration system, and then further to avoid MIT's network engineering group as they tried to figure out where his equipment was installed.

His data-dumping efforts were so aggressive that they interfered with JSTOR services for thousands of researchers around the world; his 'free the research' stunt actually interfered with their ability to work. Despite bringing JSTOR's servers to its knees, he installed a second laptop because the first wasn't pulling data fast enough. JSTOR attempted to block his system, but he kept changing IP addresses to subvert the ban, and finally, JSTOR had no choice but to block the entire MIT network.

JSTOR is not some evil "take guvvmint-paid-for research and hide it behind a paywall." JSTOR is a service which archives journals and then provides storage and searching across them all, to institutions which could never afford the journal subscriptions themselves. They're not-for-profit. The fees they charge go directly to paying for the capital and operating expenses necessary for storing, cataloging, and making available for download, millions of papers - and the inherent overhead in doing so.

To what goal, I might add? He would have ended up with a directory of PDFs. Now what? They have to get indexed, a web UI needs to be made, someone has to pay for all that server hardware and bandwidth and electricity and the people to maintain it all. Maybe we could set up a non-profit organization to make that all happen?


Does anyone now realize that his stunt was just that? A publicity stunt? A fucking tarball of PDFs doesn't help academic researchers. The whole point behind JSTOR was to collect research, store it, and make it available both at affordable rates and in an accessible way.

This was like going to the village cooperative farm chicken coop (where people pay a small fee to house, feed, and care for their chickens), blowing up the only bridge to the farm to stop the police from getting to you (but also keeping all the townspeople from getting to the eggs they need for food), throwing open the doors to let the chickens out, and then being proud of yourself for "freeing the chickens so everyone can have a chicken."

Let us be absolutely clear: there is extensive proof of all of his crimes, and nobody has argued he did not commit them. The argument from some has been that somehow these crimes were legitimate or honorable.

He was offered plea deals, and even if it had gone to trial - as a white-collar, white male criminal - he never would have received the maximum sentencing. People saying "he would have gone to jail for 40 years" clearly do not spend any time reading the news, because prosecutors almost always ask for maximum sentencing, and rarely do they get it, EVEN FOR MURDERERS. It's highly likely he would have been given little more than parole.

Lastly: Swartz had a history of mental illness and suicidal thoughts - some of it public and irrefutable. He did not commit suicide because he was prosecuted. He committed suicide because he had a history of suicidal thoughts.

Comment And all the other shit? (Score 1) 444

So, are you going to fix the annoying CDN/download system, ie the one that doesn't give simple URLs, but instead force every download through a CGI script, instead of using a proper fucking CDN, DNS round robin, or load balancer?

Do you have any idea how annoying it is to want to download a tarball from Sourceforge to a remote system I'm SSH'd to, but I can't copy the URL to the clipboard and paste it into the command line without escaping the ampersands, or having to manually rename the file?

Plus, let's be honest here: you're not fixing this crap because you all care about the open source community. You're fixing it because projects left in droves and your advertising revenue dropped. Stop pretending this is about anything other than money.

Comment Re:The more you tighten your grip... (Score 2) 315

My PCs all have US English keyboards.

To type accented letters, in Windows I hit Start+Spacebar to toggle back and forth from the English International keyboard layout. (It ships with Windows, but you do need to install it and possibly activate the hotkey.)

The English International layout allows you to type most European accents with easy to remember mnemonics, like typing double quotes plus a vowel to put an umlaut over the vowel, or typing a single quote plus a C to put a cedilla under the C.

I know OS X has keyboard shortcuts for most of the accented characters, too, and surely there must be an easy way to achieve similar results on Linux, so I'm not sure what the problem really is.

Maybe what's needed isn't a new keyboard, but simply more education?

Comment No free games?! BS. (Score 1) 364

'in two years time I'm afraid there will be no free games to play in the world,'

That's absurd. First, there will always be DRM-free games. People like me will not buy them. I don't care if I have to wait 5 years before I play a game, selling my soul, privacy, control of my computer, and all the other hassles of DRM is not worth it. Eventually software companies will realize that they're losing out on people like me and our money, and eventually they'll come around.

Secondly, aside from DRM-free, closed-source, non-free commercial software, there are numerous free software games out there of varying quality.

Comment twitter banned a friend alerting people to scammer (Score 1) 492

A friend of mine's account was banned because she was warning people on Twitter about Aaron Brown, now going by "Timmer", who was convicted of wire fraud and embezzlement, as well as lost a lawsuit after defrauding a charity, then left the US to escape having to pay. He's highly active in the Barcelona area, professes to be a wine expert.

She's been following his activity on twitter, and tweeting people who interact with him, warning them about him.

Bam - account permanently deactivated a few weeks ago. Gone. All her tweets, years worth, gone. Nobody to talk to, nobody to appeal to, no process. Account disabled, end of story.

Twitter is now allowing scammers to use its anti-harassment policies to silence people warning others about them. Good job, Twitter...

Comment Re:Good time to be an Android developer! (Score 4, Interesting) 215

The difference between OpenJDK and Java JDK is meaningless (In Android), so nothing will break

If that's true, why haven't they been using it all along? The first commercial Android phone was unveiled in late 2008. The OpenJDK class library was pretty complete by then.

Comment Re:Can a corporate security officer comment (Score 1) 314

Indeed, MS is most likely obligated to turn those keys over.

Not in all cases. One particular one that I'm aware of was where a US court ordered Microsoft to turn over one of its customers' data, but Microsoft responded that the data in question was not hosted in the US and therefore the court had no jurisdiction to seize it. I think Microsoft is still battling it out with the US government on that one.

Comment Re:Can a corporate security officer comment (Score 1) 314

Besides, using Win 10 without a touch screen kinda defeats the point of having it at all.

You're thinking of Windows 8. Windows 10 tries to cater to desktop machines more, and in the process it actually degraded the experience on tablets in various ways (smaller onscreen controls, gesture actions removed, onscreen keyboard acts in unpredictable ways, etc.)

Comment Re:TSP (Score 1) 481

Phosphates are incredibly bad for the environment. There's a reason they were phased out.

Detergents are more than plenty powerful enough - they're capable of etching glass if they're too strong (my mother's glasses are all an etched milky-white because for years she's filled the detergent box to capacity.)

You shouldn't be using more than a few teaspoons of anything. It doesn't take much to wash your dishes.

If it's not washing properly, something is wrong, like the water thermostat, for example.

Comment Re: Karma! It IS a bitch! (Score 2) 245

I don't care much for the affordable care act, and I'm in favor of allowing people to buy medication from wherever the hell they please. There's no "doublethink" here. I'm just a free market guy.

The question is not really what they're allowed to do, because they seem perfectly content to import foreign medicines illegally. The question is why should they feel compelled to do that if the US healthcare system is so perfect it shouldn't be tampered with?

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