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Comment Re:really... (Score 1) 396

Both Mormons and Muslims claim that their Scripture are merely copies of documents which came from heaven.

Actually, I don't think either claims that. I know Mormons don't. Mormons claim that the Book of Mormon was written by a series of prophets. The prophets were inspired, but wrote in their own words. Same as the Bible. The difference is in the method of collection and translation, not the method of authorship.

I think it's the same for Islam. Muslims believe Mohammed was a prophet, so his writings were inspired by Allah, but the Koran contains his own words.

Comment Re:A govt employee charged with a crime? Shock!!! (Score 3, Insightful) 70

That Shaun Bridges was even charged at all is amazing. He's a government employee, and in most of the world it's very rare for government employees to be charged with a crimes because fellow government employees refuse to prosecute them. Thank your lucky stars, America, you are not like Australia where the press reports alleged corruption, the police ignore it, and it piles up and up and up: https://archive.is/KUTAy#cases

Nah, it's pretty much the same in America.

The difference in this case is the nature of the crime and the victim chosen. No, not Ulbricht. The victim was the federal government, because they were going to seize that money anyway. You steal from the government, or attack the government in any way, they're going to drop the hammer on you. If your victim is an individual, well, it depends in large part on the socioeconomic status of that individual. A government employee can get prosecuted for killing a poor black man, for example, but it's rare. If you're a government agency and your victim is the entire nation, you're almost certainly going to get away with it. At most you'll be told to stop, but no one will be going to jail... well, except the guy who ratted the agency out. There's a good chance he'll go to jail, if he can be caught.

Comment Re:Headline leaves out one very important detail (Score 2) 192

The technical term for jailbroken, insecure versions of iOS is "Android."

That's a common belief. In practice, I don't think it's true. In particular, although the Android world sees lots of announcements of vulnerabilities that affect X hundred million devices, the actual exploitation doesn't seem to follow. One reason is that many of the vulnerabilities aren't actually as widespread or are harder to exploit in practice than the researchers describe. Another is that the diversity of the Android ecosystem often means that an exploit has to be customized for each different manufacturer and model, making broad exploitation harder. A third is that Google is often able to successfully mitigate vulnerabilities with the Play store, Verify Apps and updates to the Play services app. There are other reasons as well.

Whatever the reasons, it's interesting to note that we don't see reports of large numbers of Google accounts being compromised via Android vulnerabilities. I'm not claiming that's impossible, and it wouldn't shock me if it happened tomorrow, but the fact that we don't indicates to me that there is actually more right with the Android security situation than is commonly believed. The low real-world malware numbers disclosed in Google's Android security "State of the Union" report further buttress that view.

(Disclaimer: I'm a member of Google's Android security team. I'm speaking only for myself, not for Google.)

Comment Re:Not all that uncommon in reality (Score 1) 172

Someday Steam will go away, and then all those discs which are now coasters which install Steam and maybe some game resources will just be coasters.

Yes, and someday the universe will end in heat death and everything that ever existed will be useless. That doesn't mean we shouldn't enjoy it up until that point.

The point wasn't "don't use Steam", the point was "if you have decent internet access, the disc is a complete waste of time." It's worth noting however that if you don't have a halfway decent connection, it may still be a complete waste of time.

Comment Re:Fat Cats in the Countryside (Score 1) 197

Why? Why is it "even greater?" You really think getting people living in the middle of nowhere is one of the best places the government can spend our money? I don't.

Do you really want there to only be one lifestyle available in the country? Don't you want there to be infrastructure available in remote regions of the nation so that you can enjoy it if you should have to go there? By the way, I'm literally walking distance from actual civilization, there's just artificial monopoly boundaries in the way of someone other than AT&T bringing fiber into my county, and thus some competition. It's a short hop.

Because despite the views of the slashdot demographic, not having high speed internet is not the end of the world.

It's part of modern society... in developed nations, anyhow.

I think transportation infrastructure should be paid for ONLY through gasoline taxes, which means those big trucks doing the most damage are paying the most for the use of the roads.

If you think that would make the trucks pay for their fair share of the damage, thinking is precisely what you aren't doing. They only consume five to ten times as much fuel as cars, but they do far more than five to ten times as much of the road damage. Basing all road maintenance on gas taxes would place the most unfair burden squarely on the people who damage the roads the least — motorcyclists. That would be followed up in unfairness by people who drive lightweight cars without low rolling resistance tires, who also do basically no road damage whatsoever in the course of normal road use.

And make no mistake - I probably drive a lot more than you (I'm at 200k with my 10 year old car, the average is supposedly around 12k/year, not 20k).

Unless it's a serious land yacht with cookie-cutter tires, you'd be getting absolutely robbed if all the road maintenance came from fuel taxes.

Comment Re:Not all that uncommon in reality (Score 1) 172

I've still never played Half-Life 2.

I was on a ~26.4 dialup connection that was flaky. My disc actually did contain game content, so once I was able to get Steam installed, I could play the game. I actually highly recommend it, especially if you've already paid for it. It is a gem among single-player FPSes. But my problem was that the initial Steam install required (or requires?) a Steam update as part of the installation process, and the download for this update did (does?) not resume when it fails. This was enough to keep me from being able to install the game for several days, until I finally got a long enough uninterrupted download to get Steam installed. The actual game updates download relatively gracefully, in that they can be paused and resumed at will. There is even a scheduler, which works sometimes.

I have got a whole wad of Steam games via Humble Bundles, and a couple of Steam games via deliberate purchases — games I expect to be bored with after playing through them once, or which I bought only to get access to their data files for use with other game engines. Some of these games have no DRM, so the fact that they were delivered via Steam is of no consequence. It's also a fine delivery platform for free-to-pay games, since they're momentary things and you have to download all the content for them anyhow. Otherwise, I prefer to avoid the Steam logo.

This is a frustrating time to be a gamer, unless you're into retrogaming. Anyone still playing Mech IV? I miss that game.

Comment Re:$250 to download one game (Score 1) 172

Did single-player or shared-screen games for Xbox 360 bug you to create an Xbox LIVE Silver account, connect to the Internet, and install multiple-hundred-megabyte patches before they would start playing in the first place?

Literally no, effectively yes. If you want them to work right.

Comment Re:$250 to download one game (Score 1) 172

Either that or this is another advantage of consoles over PCs.

Well, the last console I used was an Xbox 360, and I haven't turned it on in quite some time after getting turned off by titanfall (in fact I packed it into a crate and forgot about it, the whole system I mean, I guess I should sell it while it's still worth something since I don't want to cart it around until it becomes an antique) but even on that platform I had multiple-hundred-megabyte patches to deal with.

Comment Re:Headline leaves out one very important detail (Score 5, Interesting) 192

I expect to be able to go in and out of my door. That's what doors are for. Apple doesn't even give you a door. You have to break your way through the wall. Then there's a hole there. That's why Apple products are only sufficient for sheep. They don't break down walls, they just wander through holes.

It's worth pointing out that if you root your Android device you're doing the same thing, breaking through a wall. That's fine if it's what you want to do, but you are giving something up in terms of security.

As a member of the Android security team, I'm involved in lots of discussions about lots of different threat models and attack vectors, and while we do think about trying to maintain security on rooted devices, I'd say that 90% of the time we end up deciding that we just can't, so "device is running an official image[*] and is not rooted" becomes a foundational assumption of the analysis.

This isn't because rooting is inherently bad, or because we're trying to control user's devices, but because it's impossible to reason about security in a vacuum. You have to know what you can depend on. For example, we might argue that apps can't break out of their sandbox in a particular way because the information they need to do it is managed by a particular system daemon which validates access in a particular way... but in a rooted device that daemon may be modified, or simply bypassed. We just can't know that stuff is still working the way it's intended to. Some members of the modding community do an outstanding job of adding flexibility without breaking the security model, but many others don't.

Ideally, devices should provide enough native flexibility to allow users to achieve what they want while staying entirely within the normal mode of operation. In the case of Android that means staying within Google's "walled garden": install apps only from the play store, keep Verify Apps enabled (and follow its recommendations), don't root, definitely don't disable SELinux, etc. Where that ideal fails, and users want to do stuff that can't be done in the garden, they should have the option of stepping out of it, and they should be able to do so in a progressive way, not all-or-none... but each step they take increases the probability that they'll change something that violates a security assumption and thereby increases their risk of compromise.

I suspect that Apple security engineers even more strongly assume that devices are not jailbroken. That's just a guess, but it's consistent with the general philosophy of iOS and, if correct, it means that jailbreakers have even less expectation of security. iOS users also live in a software monoculture, which exacerbates the risk. (Android users get security benefits from ecosystem diversity, though there are obvious costs to that diversity as well. Including the update problem.)

[*] Note that given the state of updates in the Android ecosystem, we often don't assume that the device is running an up to date system image. From our perspective that's often easier to work with than a rooted device because at least we know how it behaves and can look at trying to mitigate risks at other layers. We're also working on the update situation, but that's hard given the nature of the ecosystem.

Comment Re:launchd not as bad as systemd (Score 1) 157

Okay, show me your video. I don't doubt it's fast, but there's no way it's faster than the Happy Mac icon.

I dunno, I've had some inexplicable waits for that icon to show up. It just doesn't show up as quickly as you suggest every time. And I've used a very broad range of Macs, they were just sneaking into the schools while I was being forced to be in them, but I also come from Santa Cruz which is a very nerdy college town, and also full of liberal arts and graphic arts and whatnot and thus full of macs.

The only Amiga I have handy to make a RRD on is an A1200. It's kind of too new, it might invalidate the point. But if you insist, I'll see if it still powers up. I have a DV Bridge so I can get video into my PC, in theory. Hmm, and a camcorder with the same functionality, now I think of it.

Comment Re:People limited to 10 GB/mo (Score 3, Insightful) 172

People with a 10 GB/mo plan on cellular, satellite, or Iowa DSL could start a download now and not finish the 50 GB of a full 2-layer BD-ROM before the end of the year.

Well, there are plans which would provide more bandwidth. The reality though is that more and more games have not just massive installs but also massive patchsets, so if you don't have high-speed internet with reasonable caps then modern gaming is not for you. That sucks, it sucks a lot, but it's how it is, and the person without decent internet access should take up retrogaming yesterday. I only have 6 Mbps myself, though with no cap, and that puts a serious crimp in my gaming activities. I cannot download a game and game online at the same time, for example. I can only game while my lady watches Netflix in the mornings; in the evenings, my ratty-ass WISP goes all to hell due to oversubscription and/or crap hardware they claimed they were going to replace a long time ago, shock amazement.

TL;DR: AAA games are not for people with crap internet

Comment Re:Nothing new... (Score 1) 172

Weird. I don't remember that at all. Skyrim had a full DVD with the binary install. I've never installed Steam in my life.

It was originally possible to just buy Skyrim without Steam. May still be, even. It is/was packaged as one of Microsoft's featured "Games for Windows". Now that Steam sales have pushed the Steam version out to many many machines (including mine, and I am a long-time and consistently outspoken critic of Steam...*) there's probably many copies of it available on eBay. I wouldn't know how to spot the ones which require Steam, though, if it's not obvious on the box.

Comment Re:Not all that uncommon in reality (Score 1, Insightful) 172

This is different. Your time is 100% wasted going to a brick and mortar store to buy an online installer.

Unless you have a POTS modem, your time is already wasted when you go to buy a Steam-"powered" game. Since you don't own it and are just licensing it for reals in the case of a game which must be blessed by an online server before it can be played, you really are just wasting everything when you buy it on a physical disc. The disc itself is meaningless as it alone cannot be used to install the game. Even a Steam "backup" is not a backup of a game, but of the game's resources. It's not really a game until you can play it (unless hacking Steam out of it is fun to you, then it's two games in one!) and you can't play it until it's blessed.

Someday Steam will go away, and then all those discs which are now coasters which install Steam and maybe some game resources will just be coasters.

Comment Re: So it's not unlimited, then... (Score 1) 286

An absolutely unlimited internet connection is technically impossible, since the bandwidth of any network in the universe, however measured, is finite, and I believe you understand this. So you know that what is being marketed to you cannot *literally* be true, without some sort of qualification.

Yes, and the natural assumption is that "unlimited" in this case means "as fast as it can be delivered", and if they aren't willing to do that for a given price, they shouldn't advertise it. Nobody is claiming that they should be able to get five inches worth of water through a three inch main. They just want that three inch main to deliver more than a one inch main could at the same pressure. And the user should not be expected to have to understand things like spectrum, or bandwidth congestion. Don't advertise what you can't deliver, no problem.

T-Mobile advertised something they knew they couldn't deliver. That's false advertising, and when done intentionally, fraud as well.

Comment Re:Here, mod this down too (Score 1) 192

There are alternatives besides "IOS" and "jailbroken IOS", you know.

Apple has already brought some of the magic of the iOS ecosystem to OSX, and will only bring more. Also, how the fuck did Apple make OSX so slow? It's agony. NeXTStep was about as responsive on an '030 as OSX is on modern processors.

Over the shoulder supervision is more a need of the manager than the programming task.

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