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Comment: OK, you asked ... (Score 2) 107

by gstoddart (#49756763) Attached to: 25 Years Today - Windows 3.0

It was a big deal for me, and I still consider Win 3 as *the* most significant Windows' release, and I wonder what other Slashdotters think, looking back on Win 3?

Honestly, the Steaming Heap of IInnovative Technology that was Windows 3 is what led me to Linux and UNIX and much of the rest of my career.

Right when nearing the end of Uni a free UNIX came along in the form of Linux ... because I had witnessed first hand what a steaming pile of crap was Windows 3, and then eventually Windows 3.11 (which sucked somewhat less, but not enough), I knew I wanted UNIX experience. It led to my first jobs.

I will be marked troll by people who weren't there, but Windows 3 was such a steaming pile of shit compared to what Linux (and at some point FreeBSD) could do on the exact same hardware, it's almost impossible to describe.

In 1993 no fewer than 3 other science nerds, to whom I said "hey, if you like Windows, far be it for me to judge ... but if you're asking for my Slackware disks and some install help, no problem -- I'll wipe out your new computer". They all switched to Linux because it was far more usable than Windows was on the same hardware. Even if Linux did occasionally crash, it was more robust than Windows. Because they could actually do several things at once.

On the same hardware, Linux destroyed Windows 3/3.11.

Windows 3 is significant in that it forced me to realize Windows wasn't anywhere NEAR being able to do what I'd learned in operating systems class ... I wrote an instance of pre-emptive multi-tasking before Microsoft made a commercial instance of it.

That doesn't mean that I could write a better OS than Microsoft, but it means when Linux was doing pre-emptive multitasking with proper virtual memory ... Microsoft was doing time-slicing ... it was a hell of a better operating system than Microsoft had written.

It just didn't have Word. It did, however, have LaTex ... yet another bit of awesome for a university student.

So, Kudos to Windows 3 for being such an out-dated pile of crap technology by the time it was released that it wasn't even fully utilizing a 386's inbuilt hardware features for multitasking, and wouldn't until Windows '95 ... which made possible (and preferable) for the widespread popularity of Linux.

If it hadn't sucked, we might not even know who Linus even is.

Comment: Re:Meh... (Score 1) 140

by gstoddart (#49756165) Attached to: California Votes To Ban Microbeads

I can't imagine it is really a big water treatment issue since they have a different density than water and you could separate them with settling tanks and skimmers.

I dare you to tell us the cost of fitting tanks and skimmers into every sewer in California. Or every other body of water it flows into .. like apparently 471 million plastic microbeads are released into San Francisco Bay alone every single day.
Filtering the inputs to San Francisco Bay would be ridiculously expensive. Outlawing this plastic crap makes far more sense.

What you describe is theoretically possible, but utterly absurd in reality.

It's not a nothing issue. It's huge amount of crap dumped into waterways which acts like silt, doesn't break down, and otherwise serves to give people whiter teeth (or whatever the hell it's used for).

California has decided that's a dumb idea.

Comment: What is it you want again? (Score 4, Insightful) 238

by gstoddart (#49753779) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's the Best Dumb Phone?

Related question: What smart phones out now are (or can be reasonably outfitted to be) closest to a dumb phone, considering reliability, simplicity, and battery life? I don't especially want to give up a swiping keyboard, a decent camera, or podcast playback, but I do miss being able to go 5 or more days on a single charge.

So, you want a dumb phone, but you want it to have smart phone features, and a huge battery charge, and lots of doo-dads and stuff ... just like a smart phone?

Well, good luck with that.

Comment: Re:useful (Score 1) 164

What joking? I wasn't joking.

I totally think delivering ass-whoopings to MBAs and CEOs for corporate malfeasance would solve a lot of problems.

Because it would be better than this "non est mea culpa" shit we have now where CEOs issue some drivel apology and have no consequences.

I'm not joking at all.

Comment: Re:Publicly Funded Research (Score 2) 31

I envision that one day there will be a series of tubes that give us access to this type of information from nearly anywhere and not a severely limited number of physical locations.

Yeah, but then they'll charge access for it, and the copyright cartel will insist we're not allowed to see anything without paying them a trillion dollars.

Hey, wait a minute ... that's exactly what we have now.

Comment: Only in some situations ... (Score 3, Insightful) 137

by gstoddart (#49752817) Attached to: The Body Cam Hacker Who Schooled the Police

The footage would then be automatically uploaded to storage, either locally or in the cloud, over-redacted for privacy and posted online for everyone to see within a day.

For court purposes, there can't be any redaction.

Because as soon as you start snipping out bits, you lose context and some of what actually happened.

The full video must be available for scrutiny ... or you'll get the 5 seconds which supports the police version of events, or which has been edited to alter the sequence of events.

Part of the reason people are starting to insist on body cameras is we don't trust the police. Because increasingly the police are not trustworthy, and don't know or care what the law says.

Which means all of this raw video should be held in escrow where the police have no ability to alter or delete it.

If the police hold it, and have the power to edit it ... suddenly it becomes a less trustworthy record.

So when the police start claiming they need to redact it, they better have the ability to provide the un-redacted version for court proceedings.

Comment: Re:Well... (Score 1) 174

by gstoddart (#49752713) Attached to: DNA On Pizza Crust Leads To Quadruple Murder Suspect

Believe it or not some of us like the fatty cheesy goodness on Pizza Hut pizzas, and as for meat feast, ohh baby.

Oh, trust me, I've been to a Wal Mart in the US, I know it's real.

Just don't expect anybody to take your opinion seriously about what is tasty food when you eat like a 7 year old.

Pizza Hut is grease, piled on top of oil, to the point that the bottom of the crust is fried (and this is by design). And that's quit disgusting.

Comment: Re:useful (Score 5, Insightful) 164

And, of course, let's not stop there ... let's move to the managers, executives, and sales/marketing assholes who force this shit out the door.

The poor bastard of a programmer who has been told by the VP or the CEO (or the sales wanker) that the product must ship now, or that security doesn't matter is not always the cause of this. Sometimes they're the ones saying "umm, guys, this could be a problem".

So, if we're assigning blame, let's go with the people who are actually to blame and who make the decisions.

In the military, "just following orders" may not be a defense. But in private industry it's often the management who create these problems.

Which is precisely why I say that corporations should be held to a legal standard for the protection of personal information, and should carry penalties for failure to do so.

As long as corporations just say "oh, bummer dude" and have no penalties, they'll continue to cut as many corners as possible. Because there simply is no consequence for them.

I'm as concerned about the management people who don't give a damn. Because they're the ones who make policy and decide that not sucking at security is too costly.

So, want a secure internet? Kick an MBA or a CEO in the nuts, and tell them you'll keep doing it until they insist on secure code.

Comment: Re:Easy to turn off (Score 4, Informative) 472

by gstoddart (#49750741) Attached to: Ads Based On Browsing History Are Coming To All Firefox Users

Well, if they choose to make it opt-in, then awesome, no harm no foul, and only people who turn it on will have it.

But when it is made opt-out, it says "fuck you, we'll track you unless you know enough to stop us".

And it's that kind of behavior which really pisses us off. It shouldn't be up to the average user to have to know where to disable this crap.

Just like they backed down on 3rd party cookies to keep the ad companies happy -- it's a sign that increasingly they're driven by money, instead of writing a good browser which doesn't have all of this shit in it.

If they make this crap opt in, nobody will bitch at them. But they haven't. And we're pissed off.

Comment: Re:giving them control over their data. (Score 1) 472

by gstoddart (#49750595) Attached to: Ads Based On Browsing History Are Coming To All Firefox Users

Do Not Track is useless garbage.

It doesn't stop any tracking. It's a voluntary program which doesn't mean what you think it means:

Even if you have Do Not Track turned on, that information will be collected and stored and used to create a profile of you that may or may not be accurate. That profile can be used by credit agencies, big corporations, and health insurance companies to make decisions about you that can literally affect your life and livelihood.

And it's not just the tracking industry that is ignoring the intent of Do Not Track.

If Firefox is relying on a useless fucking setting like Do Not Track to disable this advertising, then they're assholes.

Do Not Track is a complete lie in order to give the illusion corporations give a crap about your privacy or your wishes.

Want to stop being tracked? Run every ad blocker and privacy extension you can find. Because relying on some marketing asshole to not track you anyway is just stupid.

It's the piles and piles of third party shit on the internet embedded in every page which you need to be blocking.

Comment: How about ... (Score 5, Insightful) 472

by gstoddart (#49750323) Attached to: Ads Based On Browsing History Are Coming To All Firefox Users

"With Suggested Tiles, we want to show the world that it is possible to do relevant advertising and content recommendations while still respecting users' privacy and giving them control over their data."

How about no? How about some of us don't want advertising? How about you better give a mechanism to disable this crap?

What part of "not interested in your damned ads" is hard to understand?

If all else fails, lower your standards.