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Comment: Wrongly Placed Blame (Score 1) 742

by laing (#46318417) Attached to: "Microsoft Killed My Pappy"
Instead of blaming capitalism, why not place the blame on the responsible individuals? Other economic systems have had exactly the same problems with people who have behaved exactly like Gates and Balmer.

Only time will tell if things will be any different under Nadella. Right now it's too early to say that Microsoft has changed it's ways.

Comment: At least they're being more honest about it now (Score 1) 385

by laing (#46159997) Attached to: HP To Charge For Service Packs and Firmware For Out-of-Warranty Customers
HP is not the same company it was before the Compaq merger, but I see this as an improvement over some of their recent past underhanded tactics. One example that comes to mind is the time that I had to pay >$1k for a "refurbished" tape drive (rather than forking out over twice that for a new one) after a firmware "upgrade" caused the drive to self destruct by adding a useless and stressing servo limit test at power up.
HP isn't the best at anything anymore, but they certainly still rake in the profits (largely from ink jet refill cartridges).
Save yourself some money and a future headache by buying a Xerox printer, a Fujitsu scanner, or a Dell computer.

Comment: My favorite quote (Score 4, Interesting) 129

by laing (#46075581) Attached to: Watch Steve Jobs Demo the Mac, In 1984
"We think Unix is a pretty lousy operating system to put inside a workstation. It's old technology and it's really big and you need a Winchester so you can never make the workstations cheap..."
I'm glad that Jobs was open minded enough to recognize the value of Unix, and to eventually migrate MacOS to BSD Unix.
(I watched the video and typed this post from a laptop running Linux.)

Comment: Climate Change is the new Witchcraft (Score 0, Flamebait) 444

by laing (#45182111) Attached to: Scientists Say Climate Change Is Damaging Iowa Agriculture
As recently as a few hundred years ago, farmers turned to witchcraft while seeking blame for similar problems. People haven't changed very much. Science and education have improved over the past few hundred years. Science and big government now fulfil part of the role the church did in those days. Overall there isn't much difference between what happened then and what is happening now. When do the human sacrifices begin?

See: How a Bad Rye Crop Might Have Caused the Salem Witch Trials.

Comment: Thank You! (Score 1) 360

by laing (#45084555) Attached to: The Linux Backdoor Attempt of 2003
I remembered this incident when it occurred. Last month I spent an hour searching the Internet for any trace of it and came up empty. At the time I was taking an IT security course and I wanted to share the details of the incident with my classmates. Given recent events within the IT security community, this story seemed very relevant. I couldn't find anything at all so I eventually gave up.
Thank you for bringing this incident back to light.

+ - Ex felon and pedophile uses phantom twitter followers to silence critics->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Today Popehat's twitter account got hit with about 20,000 spam followers in the course of a couple of hours. That attack followed, by about an hour, my posting the Popehat Signal seeking help for bloggers sued by Brett Kimberlin. Some of the bloggers sued by Brett Kimberlin have also been attacked by surges of spam followers.

But I'm sure all that is just a coincidence."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Judges untrained in comms technology, that's ho (Score 5, Informative) 214

by laing (#44819341) Attached to: Court Declares Google Must Face Wiretap Charges For Wi-Fi Snooping
Analog cellular phone calls are covered by a separate law (The Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986). It not only makes it illegal to record them, it makes it illegal to sell a radio that can receive them (or be easily modified to receive them). Thankfully all mobile phones are digital now. Unfortunately that law is still on the books.
Another court case conflicts with the Google ruling. Back when they were in popular use, the police sometimes recorded wireless phone calls from 46/49 MHz cordless phones (without a warrant). The police used these recordings in court to convict a drug dealer and the drug dealer argued that the communications were private. The courts ruled that they were not. Here is the court ruling from this case:

Comment: Terrible Ruling (Score 5, Insightful) 214

by laing (#44818913) Attached to: Court Declares Google Must Face Wiretap Charges For Wi-Fi Snooping
Unencrypted RF communications should be fair game for anyone to receive and record. The fact that it's digital seems to be what swayed the judges in this case. I can't for the life of me understand how this could have happened. I'm not in favor Google's actions, but they were not illegal. Now the law has been twisted and there will be unintended consequences.

+ - Oracle discontinues free Java time zone updates->

Submitted by Noel Trout
Noel Trout (2945005) writes "For a long time in the Java world, there has been a free tool called the "tzupdater" or Time Zone Updater released as a free download first by Sun and then Oracle. This tool can be used to apply a patch to the Java runtime so that time zone information is correct. This is necessary since some time zones in the world are not static and change more frequently than one might think; in general time zone updates can be released maybe 4-6 times a year. The source information backing the Java timezone API comes from the open source Olson timezone database that is also used by many operating systems. For certain types of applications, you can understand that these updates are mission critical. For example, my company operates in the private aviation sector so we need to be able to display the correct local time at airports around the world.

So, the interesting part is that Oracle has now decided to only release these updates if you have a Java SE support contract. See the following link:
Being Oracle, such licenses are far from cheap.

In my opinion, this is a pretty serious change in stance for Oracle and amounts to killing free Java for certain types of applications, at least if you care about accuracy. We are talking about the core API class java.util.TimeZone. This begs the question, can you call an API free if you have to pay for it to return accurate information? What is the point of such an API? Should the community not expect that core Java classes are fully functional and accurate? I believe it is also a pretty bad move for Java adoption for these types of applications. If my company as a startup 10 years ago would have been presented with such a license fee, we almost certainly could not have chosen Java as our platform as we could not afford it."

Link to Original Source

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