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Comment: Re:Human Shield? (Score 2) 47

by dgatwood (#49549865) Attached to: Pirate Bay Blockade Censors CloudFlare Customers

The thing is, you could say the same thing about any other form of speech that happens to be illegal in a particular country. For example, a site hosting Nazi propaganda would be illegal in Germany. A site hosting pornography would be illegal in most of the Middle East. A site hosting news coverage or historical documentaries about the events of June 4, 1989 would be illegal in mainland China. And so on.

Where do you draw the line? Which countries' laws do you require all your sites to comply with? And what is lost by doing so?

Comment: Re:Inept, or the plan? (Score 3) 47

by dgatwood (#49549843) Attached to: Pirate Bay Blockade Censors CloudFlare Customers

As a current CloudFlare customer, the fact that they're so quickly and easily kowtowing to enemies of freedom disturbs me greatly. If I publish a book that makes some random government cranky and gets my site on a ban list, are they going to threaten to throw me off, too? What if somebody posts a link to an illegal torrent on my blog and I don't notice it quickly enough? Where do you draw the line? At what point does the threat of government censorship become too great a burden for the Internet to bear, stifling creativity by causing site owners to be afraid of their own shadows, and destroying the most basic freedoms upon which the 'net as we know it was founded?

In my opinion, CDNs should send a clear, unwavering message by declaring in one voice that government censorship of the Internet is unacceptable in a free society, and simply cannot be tolerated. That's what I look for in a CDN. If the CDN providers have any cojones at all, they should deliberately ensure that torrent mirrors and other potentially objectionable content share IPs with some of the most high-value targets that they host, so that blocking one of those sites would cause as much collateral damage as possible, and then refuse to do anything about it. Let the sites that are blocked complain to Cloudflare, let Cloudflare redirect their complaints to the ISPs who are doing the blocking, and let the ISPs scream at their MPs to demand that the laws be changed.

Basically, the CDNs need to parade the naked emperor down the street. Only by maximizing the extent to which these ill-conceived laws destroy citizens' access to the Internet can we force the clowns in power to actually take the time to understand how the Internet works, and understand why these laws can only cause harm, and can never actually be successful in any meaningful way. The only way those laws will ever get fixed is if a million people wake up tomorrow and call their MPs screaming because their IP violator block lists are preventing them from using or Pinterest or Facebook.

So for the next "Ask Slashdot", does anybody know of a CDN that actually has a spine?

Comment: Re:Fairly easy way to protect data. (Score 1) 75

by dgatwood (#49549469) Attached to: Good: Companies Care About Data Privacy Bad: No Idea How To Protect It

And sometimes not even then. I was at a company when they had a breach involving financial info. It cost them hundreds of thousands of dollars to purchase credit protection for thousands of our customers. However, they just kept on operating the same way, storing credit card information in the clear because that's the way they've always done it, and upgrading the back-office accounting system to allow tokenization of transactions would have cost money. Nobody in upper management had the balls to go to the CFO and say "You will fix this, and you will fix it now. I don't want any excuses. Get it done."

Don't worry. The second time it happens, the army of lawyers climbing all over each other to file a class action lawsuit against the company for gross negligence will almost certainly be successful at obtaining an injunction to shut down the business until they fix it.

Comment: Re: people still buy protected content from itunes (Score 1) 347

by roc97007 (#49546277) Attached to: iTunes Stops Working For Windows XP Users

Agreed, but we are talking about content, not apps. Ram is dirt cheap these days -- the cost of ram in portable devices is largely artificial. There's no reason why a large amount of ram couldn't be provided at a reasonable price for apps, and still have a slot for content.

The reasons you want a slot for content are (a) the amount of storage needed for content tends to vary by individual (some of us only put a few songs on there, some don't use it at all, and some think they should carry around the library of congress) (b) the amount of storage needed for content tends to vary with time. (IE, when I realized how much more convenient my Bionic (for instance) was than my ipod touch, I just got a larger chip, transferred the music to the Bionic and retired the Touch.)

...and (c) most importantly, recent versions of Android have for inexplicable reasons disabled the "mass storage" option when connected to a computer via USB, and the only ways to get music on them now are buy it in the store, use some stupid-ass dedicated app to manage the music on the device, or yank the chip and put your content on the chip directly. Re-buying music you already own on CD is unacceptable, content management apps are a HUGE fail, and that leaves you with removable storage. Ergo, a phone without removable storage is not a valid choice, despite guaranteed OS updates. (Besides, I wasn't very happy at all with that "os update" that disabled USB mass storage. Jerks.)


Cosmic Rays Could Reveal Secrets of Lightning On Earth 48

Posted by samzenpus
from the shocking-discovery dept.
sciencehabit writes: Despite Benjamin Franklin's best efforts with a kite and a key, the phenomenon of lightning remains a scientific enigma. Now, researchers have developed a new tool that could help them solve some of lightning's mysteries. By using cosmic rays, space-traveling particles that constantly rain down on our atmosphere, scientists report they can peek inside thunderstorms and measure their electric fields, helping them pinpoint the conditions that cause storms' electrical outbursts. The advance could help researchers predict more precisely when and where lightning is most likely to strike and get people out of harm's way in time.

MIT Developing AI To Better Diagnose Cancer 33

Posted by samzenpus
from the computer-doc dept.
stowie writes: Working with Massachusetts General Hospital, MIT has developed a computational model that aims to automatically suggest cancer diagnoses by learning from thousands of data points from past pathology reports. The core idea is a technique called Subgraph Augmented Non-negative Tensor Factorization (SANTF). In SANTF, data from 800-plus medical cases are organized as a 3D table where the dimensions correspond to the set of patients, the set of frequent subgraphs, and the collection of words appearing in and near each data element mentioned in the reports. This scheme clusters each of these dimensions simultaneously, using the relationships in each dimension to constrain those in the others. Researchers can then link test results to lymphoma subtypes.

NVIDIA Quadro M6000 12GB Maxwell Workstation Graphics Tested Showing Solid Gains 65

Posted by samzenpus
from the check-it-out dept.
MojoKid writes: NVIDIA's Maxwell GPU architecture has has been well-received in the gaming world, thanks to cards like the GeForce GTX Titan X and the GeForce GTX 980. NVIDIA recently took time to bring that same Maxwell goodness over the workstation market as well and the result is the new Quadro M6000, NVIDIA's new highest-end workstation platform. Like the Titan X, the M6000 is based on the full-fat version of the Maxwell GPU, the G200. Also, like the GeForce GTX Titan X, the Quadro M6000 has 12GB of GDDR5, 3072 GPU cores, 192 texture units (TMUs), and 96 render outputs (ROPs). NVIDIA has said that the M6000 will beat out their previous gen Quadro K6000 in a significant way in pro workstation applications as well as GPGPU or rendering and encoding applications that can be GPU-accelerated. One thing that's changed with the launch of the M6000 is that AMD no longer trades shots with NVIDIA for the top pro graphics performance spot. Last time around, there were some benchmarks that still favored team red. Now, the NVIDIA Quadro M6000 puts up pretty much a clean sweep.

Comment: Re:Fairly easy way to protect data. (Score 1) 75

Well, that's not always possible, but it's a good start. I'd suggest a more nuanced/layered approach:

  • To the maximum extent possible, don't collect it.
  • If you must collect it, don't retain it.
  • If you must retain it, use end-to-end encryption, so that you cannot access the data yourself.
  • If you must retain it and must be able to access it, use encryption correctly, use access controls to limit access as narrowly as possible, and audit the heck out of your code.

Good: Companies Care About Data Privacy Bad: No Idea How To Protect It 75

Posted by samzenpus
from the we've-tried-everything-that-doesn't-cost-us-money dept.
Esther Schindler writes: Research performed by Dimensional Research demonstrated something most of us know: Just about every business cares about data privacy, and intends to do something to protect sensitive information. But when you cross-tabulate the results to look more closely at what organizations are actually doing to ensure that private data stays private, the results are sadly predictable: While smaller companies care about data privacy just as much as big ones do, they're ill-equipped to respond. What's different is not the perceived urgency of data privacy and other privacy/security matters. It's what companies are prepared (and funded) to do about it. For instance: "When it comes to training employees on data privacy, 82% of the largest organizations do tell the people who work for them the right way to handle personally identifiable data and other sensitive information. Similarly, 71% of the businesses with 1,000-5,000 employees offer such training. However, even though smaller companies are equally concerned about the subject, that concern does not trickle down to the employees quite so effectively. Half of the midsize businesses offer no such training; just 39% of organizations with under 100 employees regularly train employees on data privacy."

Music Industry Argues Works Entering Public Domain Are Not In Public Interest 289

Posted by samzenpus
from the watching-out-for-you dept.
An anonymous reader writes: With news that Canada intends to extend the term of copyright for sound recordings and performers, the recording industry is now pushing the change by arguing that works entering the public domain is not in the public interest. It is hard to see how anyone can credibly claim that works are "lost" to the public domain and that the public interest in not served by increased public access, but if anyone would make the claim, it would be the recording industry.

Groupon Refuses To Pay Security Expert Who Found Serious XSS Site Bugs 142

Posted by samzenpus
from the pay-the-man dept.
Mark Wilson writes: Bounty programs benefit everyone. Companies like Microsoft get help from security experts, customers gain improved security, and those who discover and report vulnerabilities reap the rewards financially. Or at least that's how things are supposed to work. Having reported a series of security problems to discount and deal site Groupon, security researcher Brute Logic from was expecting a pay-out — but the site refuses to give up the cash. In all, Brute Logic reported more than 30 security issues with Groupon's site, but the company cites its Responsible Disclosure policy as the reason for not handing over the cash.

Median Age At Google Is 29, Says Age Discrimination Lawsuit 328

Posted by samzenpus
from the get-ready-for-carrousel dept.
dcblogs writes: The typical employee at Google is relatively young, according to a lawsuit brought by an older programmer who is alleging age discrimination. Between 2007 and 2013, Google's workforce grew from 9,500 to more than 28,000 employees, "yet as of 2013, its employees' median age was 29 years old," the lawsuit claims. That's in contrast to the median age of nearly 43 for all U.S. workers who are computer programmers, according to the lawsuit.

We declare the names of all variables and functions. Yet the Tao has no type specifier.