Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:I'm extremely surprised... (Score 1) 115

by garcia (#49753167) Attached to: The Body Cam Hacker Who Schooled the Police

In Minnesota, the public sector is mandated by statute to release information to the public and be setup in a way which facilitates this action:

Subdivision 1.Public data. All government data collected, created, received, maintained or disseminated by a government entity shall be public unless classified by statute, or temporary classification pursuant to section 13.06, or federal law, as nonpublic or protected nonpublic, or with respect to data on individuals, as private or confidential. The responsible authority in every government entity shall keep records containing government data in such an arrangement and condition as to make them easily accessible for convenient use. Photographic, photostatic, microphotographic, or microfilmed records shall be considered as accessible for convenient use regardless of the size of such records.

I have used this exact quoted statute many-a-time to force local government agencies in Minnesota to not only provide me information, which they were usually willing to do, but for free or very low cost.

I made a request once to a public transit agency who told me it would be several hundred dollars to do. I told them if they had followed the statute to make the data readily accessible by the public, it wouldn't require the work they were trying to charge me to do. Their legal counsel informed them I was indeed correct and I got it for the cost of the media.

Maybe there is a similar statute in this case which drove the decision?

Comment: Re:Plant? (Score 1) 305

by fahrbot-bot (#49750539) Attached to: How Java Changed Programming Forever

What do you NEED Java for nowadays? What do you NEED enough of it to justify a control panel icon, background services, etc.? Basically nothing.

How about things *outside* the browser, like desktop and server applications. How about embedded applications like many (most? all?) Bluray players.

There are many, many more things in this world than your browser.

Comment: Re:More than PR (Score 3, Interesting) 316

by Jane Q. Public (#49747979) Attached to: What Was the Effect of Rand Paul's 10-Hour "Filibuster"?

While I'm sure this message will be lost on the slashdot forums, I submit that liberals and libertarians actually agree on a whole range of issues. Paul was able to work with a Democrat from Oregon on this, after all.

And while that may be true, the reason so many Democrats are rabid Libertarian-haters is that no matter how many other issues they may agree about, Libertarians simply do not support the big-government model Democrats insist upon. It's a fundamental philosophical difference.

Democrats, by and large, are unwilling to look past this difference, and see the things they DO agree on. Which is too bad, because it leads to the typical Leftist Libertarian-bashing that we see so much: conflating them with anarchists, etc.

Comment: Re:Criminal liability ... (Score 1) 81

As long as corporations can say "oops" and just pretend that two years of credit tracking like this, nothing at all will change.

Until then, corporations will be as incompetent and lazy as the law allows ... which is pretty much as incompetent and lazy as they want to be.

When a few events like this happened last year to Home Depot and a few others, I saw a couple of those letters with offers of free credit monitoring, etc.

IANAL, but I am pretty sure these are just attempts to stave off lawsuits. There is nothing binding about the "offers", and they don't preclude you from suing them for liability if you are an actual victim of identity theft.

I think what this will actually take, are some people willing to step up and kick off some big suits. It is those kinds of damages that will make them finally pay attention.

Having said that, "punitive" damages by government are supposed to be big enough to get corporations to end the sloppiness and take their their liability seriously. So yes, I think you can lay a lot of blame on government's cavalier attitude toward this sort of thing.

Comment: Re:Threatens security (Score 1) 95

by Jane Q. Public (#49740667) Attached to: Do Russian Uranium Deals Threaten World Supply Security?

If Russia ties up a lot of the world supply and shuts down mines they own then the price will rise and mines like that one will come online, it's not like they're going to take over so much of the world supply that we'll be shutting down reactors due to lack of fuel.

I hardly think that's really the point. Being a "strategic material" -- and it very definitely is -- there is a real issue with selling shares of US uranium production on the open market to the Russians.

While we aren't exactly in a "cold war" anymore, our relations in many ways are less than friendly, and the Russian deal with others who are even less friendly to the U.S. So doing that is just plain stupid.

It's like selling ammunition to a third party who you just know is going to then turn around and sell it to your enemies.

Comment: Begging The Question (Score 1) 361

by Jane Q. Public (#49740483) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Solve a Unique Networking Issue?
What OP doesn't say (and probably doesn't know) is how that IP address is assigned. As likely as not, it's assigned by the software he is using on his laptop, via DHCP by his host software; that would explain why they ALL have the same IP address. (Certainly that could be in the pump firmware, too, but we have zero evidence of that, so it could just as likely be the other.)

If the pumps actually get their address via DHCP, the software could be hacked to assign a different IP to each pump, and then using a simple ethernet hub or switch, run the firmware update in multiple threads, one thread per pump.

I don't know that's the case, but I have been given no reason to believe it is not.

OP should find out how the IP address is being assigned. He could probably do that simply by trying to telnet into the pump, or using one of the many bits of network analysis tools available.

Comment: Re:It's not a networking issue. (Score 1) 361

by fahrbot-bot (#49738401) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Way To Solve a Unique Networking Issue?

Engineers have a code of ethics

I'm not aware of any code of ethics. Though the company I work for has a general saying that when you do an action, ask yourself if it's something that you'll want to be remembered for, which all employees do, even the management, accountants, etc.

In other words: Would you do it if your mom was watching / would know?

Comment: Re:GNU/Emacs on any platform (Score 1) 428

by fahrbot-bot (#49733115) Attached to: Choosing the Right IDE

Both vim and emacs are similar, ...

Well... for some definition of the word "similar". Emacs is far - far - more extensible and, quite frankly, more powerful *and* the base LISP interpreter can actually be used for non-editing work. However, for many subsets of work that extra power and extensibility is not needed and vim is fine - especially for short, simple edits. As vi/vim usually comes with the base OS by default (especially Unix - i.e. non-Linux - systems), knowing both editors (as I do) is preferable. For most programming work or complicated file edits, I generally use emacs though - since the late 1980s - my current .emacs config file is from 1990 - and, yes, I'm old.

Comment: Re:Can I turn features off? (Score 1) 428

by fahrbot-bot (#49733055) Attached to: Choosing the Right IDE

I can type really, *really* fast,

Great, you're *that* idiot with the deeply tab-indented code that everyone else has to reformat to make readable - thanks.

For emacs in particular, all the various "electric $LANG" modes have different ideas of which characters are electric, what their behaviour is, and what coding style I should be using.

And any setting of said modes can be customized to your liking interactively or in the .emacs config file. (I've carried mine with me since 1990) Stop tabbing and do a little research.

(defvar smart-newline-modes
'(c-mode lisp-mode emacs-lisp-mode lisp-interaction-mode cperl-mode perl-mode java-mode)
"*Major modes for (smart-newline) action.")

(defun smart-newline ()
"(reindent-then-newline-and-indent) if in a mode listed in smart-newline-modes. Otherwise just (newline)."
(if (memq major-mode smart-newline-modes)

;; Use (smart-newline) instead of (newline) -- "C-M"
(global-set-key "\C-M" 'smart-newline)

(setq c-mode-hook
'(lambda ()
;; Set `C' coding styles.
(setq c-argdecl-indent 4
c-auto-newline nil
c-indent-level 4
c-tab-always-indent t
comment-column 40

One good suit is worth a thousand resumes.