Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
For the out-of-band Slashdot experience (mostly headlines), follow us on Twitter, or Facebook. ×

Comment: Re:This affects you personally, yes? (Score 1) 45 45

cold fjord is our sockpuppet.

we can usually tell him even without his signature.

yes - I am quite sure that there are many paid and unpaid (not directly) people who are doing all they can to discredit those who are the real heros.

shameful, CF. really really shameful. I am tolerant of alternate views but you sockpuppets really should just go somewhere else. your cover is blown and no one takes you seriously.

Comment: Go back to school and learn to read (Score 1) 168 168

I'm unique - there are a dozen OS that I don't like. I don't complain about them, I just don't use them. You're like the majority of people. Really.

You are unique. Uniquely stupid and unable to pass basic reading comprehension.

The GP felt dismayed that Linus has drunk the systemd coolaid, and wants to switch to FreeBSD. I pointed out that not everyone has been taken in by the systemd nonsense, and that their are distros available that remain untainted, that if he wants to switch to *BSD I've found Dragonfly to be quite nice, but that there are a number of Linux choices he has available if he doesn't want to switch.

But go ahead and label that whining, since I don't love the excrement you find so appealing. And feel free to demand I spend my free time writing a competing pile of excrement for having the audacity to prefer existing init systems, such as those used by the *BSDs, and OpenRC, and to mischaracterize my contentment with OpenRC and other superior-to-systemd init systems as "doing nothing."

Feel free to say whatever nonsense you like. It reveals far more about yourself and other systemd astroturfers on this site than it does those of us who prefer the alternatives. And yes, it does reveal you as a bully as well as an idiot.

Techdirt: Amnesty International Told That GCHQ Spied On Its Communications->

Amnesty International has been heavily engaged in fights against mass surveillance, recognizing that many of the people it communicates with need an expectation of privacy in their communications with the group. Last year, Ed Snowden revealed that the NSA specifically spied on Amnesty International and other human rights organizations. And, while Amnesty International was unable to gain standing by the US Supreme Court, since it couldn't prove that the NSA had spied on its communications, the story appears to be somewhat different over in the UK.

Last year a legal challenge was filed in the UK via the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) concerning Amnesty International. And now, the group has been informed that, yes, it was spied on by GCHQ in the UK.

In a shocking revelation, the UK’s Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) today notified Amnesty International that UK government agencies had spied on the organization by intercepting, accessing and storing its communications.

In an email sent today, the Tribunal informed Amnesty International its 22 June ruling had mistakenly identified one of two NGOs which it found had been subjected to unlawful surveillance by the UK government. Today’s communication makes clear that it was actually Amnesty International Ltd, and not the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) that was spied on in addition to the Legal Resources Centre in South Africa.
As you may recall, a little over a week ago, the IPT had ruled that the GCHQ had erred in holding onto emails too long -- but had named that Egyptian organization as the one whose emails were held. However, that's now been corrected to Amnesty International.

The actual email sent by the IPT basically says that GCHQ told them that the IPT made a mistake. What you won't see anywhere is an apology from GCHQ. Amnesty is rightfully incensed about the whole thing:

“How can we be expected to carry out our crucial work around the world if human rights defenders and victims of abuses can now credibly believe their confidential correspondence with us is likely to end up in the hands of governments?

“The revelation that the UK government has been spying on Amnesty International highlights the gross inadequacies in the UK’s surveillance legislation. If they hadn’t stored our communications for longer than they were allowed to by internal guidelines, we would never even have known. What’s worse, this would have been considered perfectly lawful.”
Both issues raised here are significant. The only reason Amnesty now knows about this is because GCHQ held onto the emails too long. If it had done its usual purge, then the IPT likely would never have revealed that, and Amnesty's communications would have continued to go on being compromised without anyone knowing.

Permalink | Comments | Email This Story










Link to Original Source

Comment: Dragonfly BSD, Funtoo, and (for now) Gentoo (Score 1) 168 168

I'm happy to see that you don't hate systemd. That was the last shoe to drop. I'll complete the switch to BSD now!

Dragonfly BSD works quite well on the desktop, as does Funtoo Linux, which is systemd-free. Gentoo also works and still uses OpenRC by default, although there is growing concern some of the devs are quietly preparing to push a systemd agenda (kdbus patches in the kernel, one of the devs commenting he hopes systemd would become the Gentoo default, and a habit of the moderators in the Gentoo forums to shut down any discussions critical of systemd).

Linus may not be showing good leadership in this instance, but not everyone has drunk the urine just yet, and there are others stepping up to the plate to maintain or create alternatives.

Comment: Re:It never worked properly anyway... (Score 1) 142 142

the DRM in hdmi really sucks, but its getting a bit more tolerant.

5 or 10 years ago (back when hdmi was first out) video cards were too strict and the chipsets were, too. if you didn't boot things in the right order, you'd get a race condition. would have to 'reboot the monitor' after the computer started up or you would not get hdmi.

turn off the av receiver and this might turn your tv actually off (switched ac outlet)? that might also cause hdmi to 'go away' and need your pc to be rebooted.

finally all this got worked out, mostly; but I still see remindants of strict drm. I have amazon prime and sometimes I like to fall asleep to a documentary (many of amazon's docs are boring so its a good fit, lol). I start off watching, then I put the stereo on sleep timer and turn the video display off. if amazon is playing at the time, the audio drops out for a few seconds before coming back on again (right after I turn the display off with my remote). at first, I thought there was a bug, but later realized that a few seconds after - the audio came back on. I guess they realized that it WAS a valid use case to 'watch tv' and have the video off (no hdmi link) and yet still let audio thru (spdif out on my win7 htpc).

its getting better but that audio drop out is still annoying and 100% not necessary. sigh.

Comment: Re:Nothing wrong... (Score 1) 371 371

Here's another recent example, carefully documented. Pay special attention to the attitude of some people after all the claims were retracted as false.

And here's another notable point in that scandal. I will just quote:

"It has a chilling effect on other reports of sexual harassment. Even if Team Harpy were making things up out of whole cloth, women who experience sexual harassment but haven’t recorded the whole thing on tape are going to be terrified of being sued into the streets because few harrassers are going to admit to their behavior. We need to make it easier to report harassment, not harder — given incidents at tech conferences, the US Congress, and ALA itself."

This is in response of a man, accused of sexual harassment, suing his accusers for defamation. Apparently, even if you're innocent, you shouldn't fight back because it hurts the cause! And furthermore:

"While I think Mr. Murphy should stand down for the good of the profession and in the name of providing a safer environment for people to report harassment, I think that it would be in Mr. Murphy’s own best interest to stand down. ... He should go for dropping the suit for the win. For himself and his profession. And to start building a comfort zone so we won’t have to judge anonymous allegations because people will feel free to come into the light and tell their stories."

i.e. even if you're innocent, stand down. "For the team".

Comment: Re:Nothing wrong... (Score 2) 371 371

I have to preface all this by saying that I personally identify with the much-maligned "progressive thought". I do believe in social justice in general, and I do believe that specific issues, such as discrimination against females, non-whites, non-heterosexuals and other minorities is very real and a problem that we have to deal with. At the same time - and precisely because of that! - I have to speak out; because it is my side and my cause, and I am responsible for the evil that people who share (or claim to share) it with me perpetrate in its name. I'm well aware that there are even more numerous equivalents on the other side of the fence, but they are well-documented and well-accepted among those whose opinion matters to me, and so I am not going to touch on that.

Now to the matter at hand. When I started digging into the recent slew of high-profile social justice activism cases, one thing stood out. It's not so much the quickness to act that is the problem in and of itself, as it is the readiness to do so based on conformance to stereotypes that the person has. Remember the Virginia university rape case? Pretty much every feminist and progressive outlet has published a scathing attack on the purported rapist - spending very little time on the fact that the only evidence to date is the testimony of the self-identified victim, but instead focusing on how this horrible event, which is obviously true (because, well, frat boys gonna rape, duh - "everybody knows", "common sense" ...), is a testament to how horrible things are in general.

And then, when it turned out that not only there isn't anything else, but even said testimony has gaping consistency holes and outright falsehoods - did anyone apologize? Well, the website that broke the original story had the decency to, but I was surprised at the number of other places that doubled down on their take instead by basically claiming that it's all just lies (Jezebel is basically still doing that), or that in the absence of evidence to the contrary, the victim should be believed by default - even if there are inconsistencies in her story.

What really raised my hairs, though, was when they acknowledged that the story is false, but nevertheless demanded that the accused should be treated as guilty based on nothing but accusation alone as a generic rule, and that the self-identified victim should give extreme benefit of the doubt, and cannot even be questioned (because that is traumatic etc). Because, you see, actual rapes happen, and therefore if you don't support harsh measures, you support actual rapists - even if you are complaining about an actual false rape accusation. In other words, it's better for one innocent to suffer than for ten guilty persons escape.

I wish this was something that could be ambiguously interpreted or misunderstood by me, but no: the title of the piece that summed up that argument is literally No matter what Jackie said, we should generally believe rape claims". And it contains gems such as, "We should believe, as a matter of default, what an accuser says. Ultimately, the costs of wrongly disbelieving a survivor far outweigh the costs of calling someone a rapist. Even if Jackie fabricated her account, U-Va. should have taken her word for it during the period while they endeavored to prove or disprove the accusation". Go ahead, read it in its entirety, it's well worth it.

That particular article just left me speechless, for obvious reasons - I am a liberal, among other things, and this was anything but. But then I started digging into it, and have found out that this sort of stuff is not actually new, it's just that it's the first time it was broadcast so prominently to the general audience, and subscribed by so many. Yet if you start digging into the subculture - go visit the blogs where adherents cluster and discuss things in an environment where they do not see the need to moderate or veil their opinion - you quickly find that such attitude is so prominent there as to be practically mainstream, and not just towards rape. There is a general notion that things such as due process, presumption of innocence, reliability of testimony, and even freedom of speech, are not universally good, but should only be used insofar as they help the struggle of the oppressed class (in the cultural reinterpretation of it - women, people of color, LGBTQ and other minorities) against their oppressors (white male patriarchy etc) - and, they claim, in practice more often than not used for the benefit of oppressors. This actually goes all the way back to second-wave feminism (Dworkin, MacKinnon etc) and its anti-pornography crusade - MacKinnon notably criticized the First Amendment (which was used to shoot down the anti-porn laws that she helped write) as detrimental to equality, because under it "some people get a lot more speech than others". Just have a look at the annotation for the book from which I have taken this citation!

Some further derive from it that all these things are the creations of oppressors for the sole purpose of oppression, and therefore nothing good comes out of them - and the appropriate way of dealing with matters is adopting a strict identity-based outlook. A rape accusation, for example, has to be treated as all the necessary evidence to pronounce guilt and render judgment, because it comes from the oppressed (a woman) towards the oppressor (a man). Even if that particular case may eventually be proven wrong, this approach still shifts the balance of power in the way that is overall desirable, and a falsely accused rapist is just a privileged male who is brought down the notch, something that he could use in any case. So there's no reason to even ponder that possibility as something relevant.

At this point I realized that this strongly reminds me of something, something that I have read before. And then I realized: it's a recurring The Gulag Archipelago! Just a few quotes to refresh your memory:

"The reason that fine points of jurisprudence are unnecessary that there is no need to clarify whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty: the concept of guilt is an old bourgeois concept which has now been uprooted. And so we heard from Comrade Krylenko that a tribunal was not that kind of court! On another occasion we would hear from him that a tribunal was not a court at all: "A tribunal is an organ of the class struggle of the workers directed against their enemies" and must act "from the point of view of the interests of the revolution ... having in mind the most desirable results for the masses of workers and peasants. " People are not people, but "carriers of specific ideas." ''No matter what the individual qualities [of the defendant], only one method of evaluating him is to be applied: evaluation from the point of view of class expediency." In other words, you can exist only if it's expedient for the working class. And if "this expediency should require that the avenging sword should fall on the head of the defendants, then no ... verbal arguments can help." (Such as arguments by lawyers, etc.) "In our revolutionary court we are guided not by articles of the law and not by the degree of extenuating circumstances; in the tribunal we must proceed on the basis of considerations of expediency." ... And it must also be kept in mind that it was not what he had done that constituted the defendant's burden, but what he might do if he were not shot now. "We protect ourselves not only against the past but also against the future."

"(Lazar Kogan, one of the bosses of the White Sea Canal construction, would, in fact, soon say: "I believe that you personally were not guilty of anything. But, as an educated person, you have to understand that social prophylaxis was being widely applied!"

"Should we wrap it all up and simply say that they arrested the innocent? But we omitted saying that the very concept of guilt had been repealed by the proletarian revolution and, at the beginning of the thirties, was defined as rightist opportunism. So we can't even discuss these out-of-date concepts, guilt and innocence."

"The theoretical view of the suspect's guilt was, incidentally, elastic from the very beginning. In his instructions on the
use of Red Terror, the Chekist M. I. Latsis wrote: "In the interrogation not seek evidence and proof that the person accused acted in word or deed against Soviet power. The first questions should be: What is his class, what is his origin, what is his education and upbringing? ... These are the questions which must determine the fate of the accused."

"He then proceeded to a further step, which jurists of the last two thousand years had not been willing to take: that the truth established by interrogation and trial could not be absolute, but only, so to speak, relative. Therefore, when we sign a sentence ordering someone to be shot we can never be absolutely certain, but only approximately, in view of certain hypotheses, and in a certain sense, that we are punishing a guilty person. Thence arose the most practical conclusion: that it was useless to seek absolute evidence--for evidence is always relative-or unchallengeable witnesses-for they can say different things at different times. The proofs of guilt were relative, approximate, and the interrogator could find them, even when there was no evidence and no witness, without leaving his office, "basing his conclusions not only on his own intellect but also on his Party sensitivity, his moral forces" ... "and on his character"

"And in 1950, one of the leading colonels of the MGB, Foma Zheleznov, said to his prisoners: "We are not going to sweat to prove the prisoner's guilt to him. Let him prove to that he did not have hostile intent."

"(Please forgive us, reader. We have once more gone astray with this rightist opportunism-this concept of '"guilt," and of the guilty or innocent. It has, after all, been explained to us that the heart of the matter is not personal guilt. but social danger. One can imprison an innocent person if he is socially hostile. And one can release a guilty man if he is socially friendly. But lacking legal training, we can be forgiven, for the 1926 Code, according to which, my good fellow, we lived for twenty-five years and more, was itself criticized for an "impermissible bourgeois approach," for an "insufficiently class-conscious approach," and for some kind of "bourgeois weighing of punishments in relation to the
gravity of what had been committed."

"Krylenko formulated even more frankly and precisely the tasks of the Soviet courts in his speeches before those
tribunals, when the court was "at one and the same time both the creator of the law and a political weapon. ... Don't tell me our criminal courts ought to act exclusively on the basis of existing written norms. We live in the process of Revolution. .. A tribunal is not the kind of court in fine points of jurisprudence and clever stratagems are to be
restored .... We are creating a new law and new ethical norms. .. No matter how much is said here about the
eternal law of truth, justice, etc., we know . . . how dearly these cost us
"

I can only hope that people who have revived this ideology under the banner of social justice and progressivism do not end up hijacking it altogether. I don't think we're there yet, and I do think that there are far more of us who are very uncomfortable with this thing. But the problem is, we're not the loud ones. And if we keep it that way, we will lose.

Comment: Re:Now you're asking a different question (Score 1) 210 210

Arguably, a proper solution is to provide transactional semantics for modification. Saying, "okay, I'm beginning to write a new version ... write ... seek ... write ... seek ... write ... okay, I'm done". And let the OS and the FS take care of applying or reverting it, enforcing consistency, and so on.

Comment: Re:ITT: Textualists of the world, unite! (Score 1) 591 591

For another example near and dear to conservatives' hearts, consider the Second Amendment. The Roberts court has ruled (District of Columbia vs. Heller, 2008) that the Second Amendment establishes an individual right to carry arms, despite the fact the amendment only mentions carrying arms in the context of a militia.

They didn't do so based solely on the "intent" argument, though (though it was definitely there). They also found that even from a purely textual perspective, the close reading of 2A makes it clear that the text distinguishes between the prohibition and the rationale for it, and the prohibition as worded ("shall not be infringed" with no qualifications) is broader than if you were to infer it from the rationale alone.

Though then they circled around and said that "shall not be infringed" still means that it can be infringed for "good enough" reasons (e.g. restricting criminals or mentally ill etc), so effectively it's moot anyway. Pure textualism has never been seriously considered by SCOTUS, ever.

"Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so." -- Ford Prefect, _Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy_

Working...