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Comment: Re:Yes, but.... (Score 1) 255

by Frobnicator (#49350203) Attached to: Generate Memorizable Passphrases That Even the NSA Can't Guess

8 character limits were common up until a few years ago. Today I still see 16 (and 15 because of broken front ends) effective limits. 32 seems to be the most common.

I still see them far too often. My normal password patterns are different than the ones presented but still several words long. Many places requiring accounts still greet me with "Password must be between 6-8 characters, and must contain at least one uppercase letter, lowercase letter, number, and symbol."

I also too-frequently get "Passwords must not contain a space". It prevents me from entering my password of "correct horse battery staple", which is really annoying.

Comment: Re:We should lobby to break the cable companies (Score 2) 533

in Britain, our telecoms monopoly (BT) is obliged to provide service for a standard connection fee.

Yes, that's the UK, where even farmland has a dense population.

Consider locations in the US like Wyoming (253,348 square km) compared to the entire UK (243,610 square km) but with a population of 584,153 compared to the UK's 64.1 million. Or states like Alaska, North and South Dakota, and Montana.

Wyoming is such a good comparison because the land mass is similar to the UK. Remove EVERYONE from the entire UK except the people of Cornwall, allow those in Cornwall to spread far and wide, wherever they want anywhere on the isles, and then hook them up with new infrastructure regardless of location. That's about how sparse one of the least populated states is.

Most Europeans fail to understand just how sparse the US really is. While the US is nowhere near as sparse as Australia or parts of Africa, except for a few cities most of the US is quite sparse. I've talked with quite a few people traveling from Europe who flew into Las Vegas and traveled to the Grand Canyon. It is a four hour drive -- 120 miles -- of desert, cactus, and sagebrush that most European visitors were shocked could even exist. Where are the people? How could there be so much empty space? Who owns the land? Google finds some images for comparison: Here is Alaska (the largest state) overlaid over Europe. Another, the lower 48 states overlaid over Europe. The trip from Lisbon to Copenhagen is just a portion of historic Route 66, and is less than half the distance of the country.

In these US states hooking up a single remote dwelling might mean deploying many miles, thirty miles, fifty miles, or even more, to reach the single dwelling. Nobody, not even the federal government, is going to mandate that kind of deployment for £130.

Comment: Re:That's Easy, Jomo! (Score 1, Informative) 255

by Bruce Perens (#49230369) Attached to: On Firing Open Source Community Members

Hi AC,

This is sort of self-contradictory, so I don't really need to respond to it directly. I just want to point one thing out. I can't afford to work for any company as less than a C-level employee. It would be a salary cut from my current business.

Not to mention that I'd not like it.

Comment: Re:That's Easy, Jomo! (Score 2, Insightful) 255

by Bruce Perens (#49230275) Attached to: On Firing Open Source Community Members

I can't say I'm happy about what's happened to Debian. Having Ubuntu as a commercial derivative really has been the kiss of death for it, not that there were not other problems. It strikes me that the kernel team has done better for its lack of a constitution and elections, and Linus' ability to tell someone to screw off. I even got to tell him to screw off when he was dumping on 'Tridge over Bitkeeper. Somehow, that stuff works.

IMO, don't create a happy inclusive project team full of respect for each other. Hand-pick the geniuses and let them fight. You get better code in the end.

This actually has something to do with why so many people hate Systemd. It turns out that Systemd is professional-quality work done by competent salaried engineers. Our problem with it is that we're used to beautiful code made by geniuses. Going all of the way back to DMR.

Comment: Re:That's Easy, Jomo! (Score 1) 255

by Bruce Perens (#49230079) Attached to: On Firing Open Source Community Members

It really does look like Jomo did post this article, and it refers to another article of his.

What isn't to like about Ubuntu is that it's a commercial project with a significant unpaid staff. Once in a while I make a point of telling the unpaid staff that there really are better ways that they could be helping Free Software.

Comment: Re:That's Easy, Jomo! (Score 4, Interesting) 255

by Bruce Perens (#49229989) Attached to: On Firing Open Source Community Members

It's just that I object folks who would be good community contributors being lured into being unpaid employees instead.

Say how do feel about idiots working for corporations contractually enmeshed with the US military-industrial-surveillance complex. Why no spittle-laced hate for them?

The GNU Radio project was funded in part by a United States intelligence agency. They paid good money and the result is under GPL. What's not to like?

Comment: True across the board. (Score 3, Insightful) 757

by Frobnicator (#49228377) Attached to: Was Linus Torvalds Right About C++ Being So Wrong?

Linus is doing systems level work. At systems level work, there are a lot of mediocre and bad programmers who use the common language of C++. Those who know c well are unlikely to be the mediocre and bad programmers.

That is really a truism across all fields and languages.

In the business world with business logic, there are a lot of mediocre and bad programmers who use the common language of Java. You can filter out many of them by adding a skill requirement of some other less-used languages inside that realm of business software development.

In a field where everyone is doing Ruby development and you don't want mediocre/bad Ruby programmers? Require them to also demonstrate proficiency in another language.

In a field where everyone is using C#? Require them to also demonstrate proficiency in C++ or some other language.

If you only require a single thing you can get unskilled individuals with only a single skill. If you require multiple skills you are more likely to get more talented individuals, since the talented, higher producers tend to pick up a wide range of skills.

Comment: Re:Oh in that case... (Score 2) 103

by Frobnicator (#49226787) Attached to: Wikimedia Foundation Files Suit Against NSA and DOJ

Not quite. That only applies if the government wrongfully acquired the documents, knew they were wrongfully obtained, and used them anyway. It is typically avoided by claiming they didn't realize they were wrongfully obtained and they were acting in good faith.

Wikimedia learned of the violations through legally available public documents.

The violations were more than just eavesdropping. The publicly available leaked documents claim the NSA falsified records and used the Wikipedia trademarks to help claim the validity of the pages. Even if part of the suit gets dropped, portions of it document clear civil violations.

While the government can do quite a lot to lie and convince others they are not the government, the Lanham Act is clear that the federal government is liable at the very least for their spying program disrupting the site and using their marks. Specifically in 15 USC 1114, it is against the law for "any person" to reproduce, counterfeit, copy, or imitate a registered mark when it is likely to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive. Deception is exactly what the government did. The law continues: the term "any person" includes the United States, all agencies and instrumentalities thereof, and all individuals, firms, corporations, or other persons acting for the United States and with the authorization and consent of the United States, and any State, any instrumentality of a State, and any officer or employee of a State or instrumentality of a State acting in his or her official capacity. The United States, all agencies and instrumentalities thereof, and all individuals, firms, corporations, other persons acting for the United States and with the authorization and consent of the United States, and any State, and any such instrumentality, officer, or employee, shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter in the same manner and to the same extent as any nongovernmental entity.

That is quite clear, law twice declares that nobody in government is immune from that law. They stated it twice, just to be clear that it applies to everyone in government. :-)

Comment: Re: ECC Memory (Score 4, Insightful) 180

by Bruce Perens (#49222357) Attached to: Exploiting the DRAM Rowhammer Bug To Gain Kernel Privileges

It has yet to be established whether hammer techniques can result in a correct data+ECC pattern. If so, it should be possible to permute the memory in a way that defeats this, either on the memory module or the memory controller.

That would make a good research paper for someone.

I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them. -- Isaac Asimov

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