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Comment: Re:PRIVATE encryption of everything just became... (Score 1) 379

Maybe it's time for reverse-gzip - the rebigulator, if you will. The idea is to start with a small message:

"Hey, fancy going for a pint tonight?" ...encrypt it:

"asdhasdjkhasdkjasdkashdasdwqw" ...rebigulate it:

"dsfshfuykhfferwerrhwerhjkfsdofiueioroeirerqwehqweudyasdadwkljqoeiweorujk" ...send :-)

Comment: Re:ive been through the new check (France, CDG air (Score 1) 184

by coofercat (#48580483) Attached to: Are the TSA's New Electronic Device Screenings Necessary?

I have a white, male British friend - it's a bit of a running joke that he gets checked every time. Years ago, he and I went to/from Canada via the US. On departure from London, there were three American goons (yes, imported goons!) doing 'random' bag searches on the way to the gate (extra to the actual security screening). He got checked by all three - presumably the first two were incompetent so the third guy had to do it right. Or maybe the whole system was a complete sham. Should anyone ever want to smuggle anything, just go along with my mate. He'll get checked for everything, you won't get checked for anything and you get to take your contraband wherever you like.

Comment: Re:Redundant Question (Score 1) 184

by coofercat (#48580449) Attached to: Are the TSA's New Electronic Device Screenings Necessary?

The cock pits of most planes isn't en-suite, so you'd have to fix that up too. I should imagine that external doors cost lots of money and add lots of weight, so less of them makes sense in that regard. Having a door for just 2-3 people to escape from makes that one an expensive door ;-)

Comment: Re:America, land of the free... (Score 1) 720

by coofercat (#48546375) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?

My last two UK jobs have required a "CRB" check to be performed (CRB = Criminal Records Bureau) - I believe these are now called DBS checks. One of those employers was American, and had a non-existent HR presence in the UK, so I assumed it was "just do whatever we do in the US" that meant the check was required. My current job is for a UK company, but they're heavily regulated around the world, so I assume that's the reason. Before that, I don't remember any such checks (even for a security cleared role, although I guess the security check implicitly did something similar).

So here in the UK, you might need to be checked if you want to work for regulated industries (banking, gambling, trading, etc). Otherwise, probably not. Even in these regulated places, there's a reasonable chance you wouldn't be checked if you were a consultant - as a contractor you might get checked though, depending on what work you were doing and how diligent the company was, I guess. You absolutely wouldn't be checked as a supplier though, so make a product and be self-employed (easier said than done, I guess though).

Comment: Re:Sad? Saddest? (Score 1) 528

by coofercat (#48529803) Attached to: The Sony Pictures Hack Was Even Worse Than Everyone Thought

I agree with you and the GP.

I equate this situation to civil unrest. For civil 'direct action' to work, someone has to be inconvenienced. Hopefully, that 'someone' is the government, and hopefully only them, and hopefully they're inconvenienced a great deal. However, in reality, the government is just a bunch of people with lives and jobs, and they use the services of non-government people. So no matter how targeted some civil action might be, it's going to end up inconveniencing some 'ordinary' people.

The question is are the 'ordinary' people responsible for the government's actions? You might argue 'no', but you'll find a lot of people arguing 'yes' - ultimately, it's the 'ordinary' people that give the government the power to do whatever the unrest is about. We can argue about the indirect nature of that power provision, but no matter how corrupt or misdirected, the fact remains that it exists. It's the game we've chosen to play; don't argue about the rules.

And so back to Sony Pictures. Whatever the beef is with them, they were able to do that thing because of the people that work for them. You can argue that if those people didn't work for them that a whole load of other people would just take their place, but if the majority of people thought about who their employer was and what they do day-in, day-out, the shit kickers of the world would have a much harder time hiring good, honest decent and talented people. That might make them think twice about their business practices (or in the case of the NSA/GCHQ etc, their purpose in life).

[Anecdote: one of my previous employers used to get extra discounts on hotel rates because it was well known that the staff were nice people - sort of the reverse of what I'm trying to describe above]

Don't misunderstand me - if my employer got screwed over this badly, I'd be screaming innocence and "I'm just a brick in the wall, I'm not responsible" and so on (after all, I'm "just" a lowly techie, right?). But the fact remains that my work for my employer potentially facilitates someone else here to do bad things more easily. For what it's worth, I do have a moral compass, and so don't work for some of the worse companies out there (despite recruiters trying to get me into them), and I haven't seen my employer doing bad things. Other people may view their actions differently though, and perhaps they'd judge me differently as a result.

Comment: Re:Most bizarre logic fart ever .. (Score 1) 488

by coofercat (#48505833) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Non-Coders, Why Aren't You Contributing To Open Source?

Got it. However, imagine that in the course of using that piece of software, it screws something up on some way. Either trivial (eg. "I click this, nothing happens") to terrible (eg. "I do this and the application crashes, losing my work"). Now you have two choices:

1) Forget about it - find another way to do whatever you're trying to do (ie. work around the problem)
2) Figure out exactly what steps cause the issue and then describe these in a bug ticket in the hope the bug will be fixed by other people who'll then furnish you with a new version that doesn't suffer from the problem.

I think GP is suggesting (1) is the best option for them. Fair enough.

Option (2) is probably better for most people in the long term, so long as they're reasonably guaranteed:
a) The bug will be looked at seriously, and not just forgotten about because it's not written in technobabble or because it's missing one piece of information that probably isn't relevant to the problem at hand.
b) That an updated version will actually be better than the current version.

If either of these points is false, then you're wasting your time with option (2), so should use option (1). If both guarantees are (within reason) true, then you're probably better off (in the long term) going with option (2) so you don't have to suffer problems long into the future. From a moral/ethical standpoint, (2) is better too, because you're helping out some of the people that are helping you out.

In truth though, a lot of open source suffers with problems with (a) - comments above note various 'hipster' issues, 'cults' and the generally poor social skills of the sorts of people who spend a lot of time coding. Likewise, as noted above, lots of projects fail (b) too because they try to make the product into something it didn't used to be, or they mess with the UI so badly that the product becomes less usable (gedit is my favourite example from those above).

So for me personally, I'd usually try to take option (2) so long as it's relatively easy. I don't mind registering with yet-another-website to log a bug ticket, and if it's something that matters to me, I'll do my best to answer any questions that arise. However, if they start asking me for my shoe size, inside leg and the number of bricks that it took to build my house, then I'll probably bail out. If I find a bug in "ed", I'll probably take option (1) because I can count the number of times I've used it on one hand - it could be the buggiest thing in the world and I probably wouldn't notice, so I don't really care enough to even log a ticket for it.

Comment: Re:Super-capitalism (Score 3, Insightful) 516

by coofercat (#48465997) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?

The US also lacks them darn hippie commies regulating the industry in the consumer's favour from time to time.

Your domestic supply doesn't have an SLA, or penalties if there are outages. In truth, none of us will probably ever see such a thing. Instead though, get a regulator who penalises supply companies when they screw up. If it's force majeur, then you might let them off a fine, but warn them to toughen up their infrastructure because next time you will fine them. If it's just that they're scrimping on delivering, then fine them to 'motivate' them to spend the money when the consumers need it.

Contrary to popular belief, an awful lot of European power is run over ground. If there's an area prone to problems, then they either end up routing around it, adding more capacity to cope with outages or in extreme circumstances, go underground. I don't believe the US is unique in any important ways with regards to the logistics of power delivery - all of its problems have a solution, if you're motivated to find it. USians probably laugh at us Europeans who generally pay more for almost everything than they do, but at least our shit works most of the time.

Comment: Re:I'm quite surprised it wasn't (Score 1) 523

by coofercat (#48425043) Attached to: What Would Have Happened If Philae Were Nuclear Powered?

All that for just 20% of the total mission (wasn't 80% of the science to be performed by Rosetta?). If they'd really been trying to keep Philae alive longer, they'd have at least put fold-out panels on it. From what I can tell, they just kept it simple - seems pretty sensible to me.

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