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+ - Programmers: Why Haven't You Joined The ACM?-> 1

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "The Association for Computing Machinery is a storied professional group for computer programmers, but its membership hasn't grown in recent years to keep pace with the industry. Vint Cerf, who recently concluded his term as ACM president, asked developers what was keeping them from signing up. Their answers: paywalled content, lack of information relevant to non-academics, and code that wasn't freely available."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Prediction: Undisclosed Settlement (Score 4, Interesting) 282

by Bob9113 (#47565207) Attached to: Ford, GM Sued Over Vehicles' Ability To Rip CD Music To Hard Drive

Neither side wants this to go to court, and both sides know it. The AARC wants a settlement they can point to for high pressure settlement letters to other defendants, and the car companies want a non-revokable license for these devices. I'd give it a 90%+ confidence that this will result in an undisclosed settlement within a year, and while we won't know the number they settle for, I'm guessing it won't be enough to make a blip on the car companies' quarterly reports.

Comment: Re:For domestic use only (Score 1) 173

by Bob9113 (#47563589) Attached to: Senate Bill Would Ban Most Bulk Surveillance

Isn't self-hosting a violation of most ISP EULAs?

I think so, if you have user-grade service, but I pay for a commercial-grade Internet connection that comes with a static IP for running services, and I run three hosted servers. Freedom isn't free (but it is a lot of fun). :)

Ever wonder if maybe that rule has less to do with bandwidth and more to do with preventing the creation of a peer-to-peer, decentralized internet?

I think there's some truth to that, if for no other reason than that the ISP probably would rather not have the headache associated with average idiots running servers. They're run by guys with MBAs who genuinely believe that centralized is inherently better -- like to the level that they don't even grasp what you're saying at first, if you try to explain the benefits of decentralized.

Comment: Relative Window Duration (Score 2) 504

by Bob9113 (#47561995) Attached to: 35% of American Adults Have Debt 'In Collections'

Anyone have other theories why this number is so much higher than the 5% of people who are just "late"?

The first window lasts from 0.08 years to 0.5 years, while the second window lasts from 0.5 years to 7.0 years. The relative window width is (7.0 - 0.5) / (0.5 - 0.08) = 6.5 / 0.42 = 15.47. So if each person only had zero or one debts, and no debt was ever paid off, you'd expect there to be 15.47 times as many debt holders in the second window as in the first. 15.47 * 5% = 77%. So the fact that it is at 35% means that there is some combination of people being in both categories and people paying off their debt while it is "In Collections." If it was 5%, or 77%, you'd be able to make a pretty solid guess that something was hinky, but 35% is in the "could be perfectly reasonable" range.

I'll also echo the sentiment that some creditors do a horrible job of billing. I had a large outstanding debt for years before finding it on my credit report. The company had a typo in my address from the original signup, but had been getting copies of my credit report which had my correct address. They sent all the bills to the incorrect address they had on file, never once contacted me at the address on file with the credit reporting company they had been contacting.

Comment: Re:What's the point? (Score 1) 173

by Bob9113 (#47560357) Attached to: Senate Bill Would Ban Most Bulk Surveillance

I can't find words for how much I hate Congress and the President for this.

I can. But I'm afraid that if I use them in public, I could be put on the secret watch list and have to face extra scrutiny in every LEO encounter when "possible terrorist, report to FBI" pops up on their computer.

Of course, that chilling effect means that the peaceful feedback mechanism that is supposed to moderate government overreach is being attenuated. When that moderation system is weakened, excesses grow. Fortunately, as The Declaration of Independence notes, "accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed." So we have time.

But time grows short; The Declaration does not end with that phrase.

Comment: Re:For domestic use only (Score 3, Informative) 173

by Bob9113 (#47560163) Attached to: Senate Bill Would Ban Most Bulk Surveillance

Decentralized Internet is badly needed

Very true, that is the only real solution to this problem. Whether corporations, governments, or criminals, the value in surveillance is too great to be resisted. The only solution is increasing the cost and detecting it when it happens. Decentralization will both make it more expensive to do generalized surveillance, and make it harder to do it without getting caught.

and nothing seems to be in works...

Not as true.

OwnCloud lets you host your own dropbox, mobile-to-desktop sync, etc.
MediaGoblin lets you host your own replacement for YouTube.
Asterisk lets you host an end-to-end encrypted replacement for Skype.
Tor and I2P let you slip past your ISP's surveillance net.

That's just the tip of the iceberg. Learn more at Stop-Prism.org.

Comment: Re:Hilarious (Score 3, Insightful) 158

Property Rights? Trespass to Chattels? No abuse of state powers for private gain? How easily the mask slips when a few cold pounds are involved.

But the people I feel really sorry for are the victims of crime in London, whose cases go unsolved due to precious police resources being wasted on internet nonsense like this.

Comment: Re:Meta-problem (Score 1) 502

Your government (I assume you are American) does provide foreign aid to Israel. It also supplies money and/or arms to a lot more unsavory countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Sure, feel free to criticize Israel, but don't be hypocritical about it.

Can you quote me the part where I was being hypocritical? Can you show me where I said that I supported our funding of Egypt or Saudi Arabia? Or are you just trying to falsely discredit me because you don't like my opinion?

Comment: Re:Meta-problem (Score 1) 502

Israel's not very efficient at committing genocide. Boko Haram in Nigeria has killed far more people. ISIS in Syria too. Etc.

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a minor regional territorial conflict. But because of huge anti-Israel sentiment among UN members, combined with a healthy does of Islamic racism, this minor conflict that could have been settled years ago is kept festering because the Islamic bloc at the UN sees it as a useful tool to weaken Israel. It's pure cynical geopolitics fueled by Islamic fascism.

Not for me. For me, the problem is that my government arms Israel. I accept that many nations handle their regional bood-debt feuds with more bloodshed. It's stupid and self-propagating, but fine, go ahead, if that's your thing. But if you blow my paycheck on your cock-waving bullets, you become subject to my judgment of your actions.

+ - Ask Slashdot: After TrueCrypt->

Submitted by TechForensics
TechForensics (944258) writes "(Resubmitted because was not identified as "Ask Slashdot"

We all know the TrueCrypt story-- a fine, effective encryption program beginning to achieve wide use. When you see how the national security agency modified this tool so they could easily overcome it, you'll probably understand why they don't complain about PGP anymore. The slip that showed what was happening was the information that NSA "were really ticked about TrueCrypt" either because they couldn't circumvent it or found it too difficult. From the standpoint of privacy advocates, NSA's dislike for TrueCrypt was evidence it was effective.

Next, NSA directly wrapped up the makers of TrueCrypt in legal webs that made them insert an NSA backdoor and forbade them from revealing it was there. It's only because of the cleverness of the TrueCrypt makers the world was able to determine for itself that TrueCrypt was now compromised. (Among other things, though formerly staunch privacy advocates, the makers discontinued development of TrueCrypt and recommended something like Microsoft Bitlocker, which no one with any sense believes could be NSA – hostile. It then became logically defensible, since NSA was not complaining about PGP or other encryption programs, to posit they had already been compromised.

This is the situation we have: all of the main are important encryption programs are compromised at least in use against the federal government. Whether NSA tools are made available to local law enforcement is not known. This all begs the question:

Does the public now have *any* encryption that works? Even if we can see the source code of the encryption algorithm the source code of the program employing that algorithm must be considered false. (TrueCrypt was the only program NSA complained about.) In the case of other software, it becomes believable the NSA has allowed to be published only source code that hides their changes, and the only way around that may be to check and compile the published code yourself. Half the public probably doesn't bother.

Okay, Slashdot, what do you think? Where do we stand? And what ought we to do about it?We all know the TrueCrypt story-- a fine, effective encryption program beginning to achieve wide use. When you see how the national security agency modified this tool so they could easily overcome it, you'll probably understand why they don't complain about PGP anymore. The slip that showed what was happening was the information that NSA "were really ticked about TrueCrypt" either because they couldn't circumvent it or found it too difficult. From the standpoint of privacy advocates, NSA's dislike for TrueCrypt was evidence it was effective.

Next, NSA directly wrapped up the makers of TrueCrypt in legal webs that made them insert an NSA backdoor and forbade them from revealing it was there. It's only because of the cleverness of the TrueCrypt makers the world was able to determine for itself that TrueCrypt was now compromised. (Among other things, though formerly staunch privacy advocates, the makers discontinued development of TrueCrypt and recommended something like Microsoft Bitlocker, which no one with any sense believes could be NSA–hostile. It then became logically defensible, since NSA was not complaining about PGP or other encryption programs, to posit they had already been vitiated.

This is the situation we have: all of the main or important encryption programs are compromised at least in use against the federal government. Whether NSA tools are made available to local law enforcement is not known. This all begs the question:

Does the public now have *any* encryption that works? Even if we can see the source code of the encryption algorithm the source code of the program employing that algorithm must be considered tainted. (TrueCrypt was the only program NSA complained about.) In the case of other software, it becomes believable the NSA has allowed to be published only source code that hides their changes, and the only way around that may be to check and compile the published code yourself. Half the public probably doesn't bother. (Would it not be possible for the NSA to create a second TrueCrypt that has the same hash value as the original?)

Okay, Slashdot, what do you think? Where do we stand? And what ought we to do about it?"

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Just wow. (Score 2) 109

I love how pretty much every country has come to the same conclusion: We can bypass our own laws if we have someone else do it for us.

There's nothing surprising in this. Most countries hire consultants and advisors from the same international legal/accounting firms, who themselves have been trained in the same schools of thought, and often the same universities. The international ascendancy is mostly a mono-culture.

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