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Comment: Oh, the naivety! (Score 1) 265

by mdragan (#48147523) Attached to: Confidence Shaken In Open Source Security Idealism
"Security flaws found in the "open-source" software created by volunteers collaborating online, building off each other's work." If a company uses the work of "volunteers collaborating online" it should at least do some checks on that software, improve it, make it better, more secure and make sure it suits their needs. That's the difference from proprietary software where you buy it and then discover that it has a quirk that works against you or it has a security hole that you can't fix yourself, not even hire somebody to fix it. And companies, at least responsible ones, are doing this, of course. The author is just naive to think they don't. The simple fact is that with "open-source" there are more eyes looking for security holes and fixing them, including programmers employed by companies.

Comment: Re:Tarzan need antecedent (Score 1) 824

by mdragan (#46602175) Attached to: Some Mozilla Employees Demand New CEO Step Down

Eich's beliefs mean nothing

No, but his actions of agression, based on those beliefs, towards people who didn't do him any harm, kind of speak against his ability to lead.

And yes, if an employee of mine made public comments about not wanting me as CEO because of my politics, I would show him the door in an instant.

Good, do that, but remember that you are also just an employee and can get the boot just as well for firing people just because they don't like you or agree with you. If you can't take criticism, you will be either fired or left to rule over cowards.

Comment: Re:Tarzan need antecedent (Score 1) 824

by mdragan (#46602095) Attached to: Some Mozilla Employees Demand New CEO Step Down
I think you are turning the story on it's head. It is Brendan Eich who attempted to impose his own moral views on people that he had no connection with, other than the fact that they lived in the same state. So why would the people at Mozilla think he would be more considerate to them? Why would they trust him with power and responsability?

Comment: Skip to the real futurologists (Score 1) 293

Skip these fakes you mention and go straight to the real futurologists: Nostradamus and Mother Shipton.
"When pictures seem alive with movements free,
when boats like fishes swim beneath the sea.
When men like birds shall scour the sky.
Then half the world, deep drenched in blood shall die."
-- Mother Shipton, predicting the World Wars

Comment: Re:Worker shortage in 2014 (Score 1) 321

by mdragan (#46141975) Attached to: James Dyson: We Should Pay Students To Study Engineering
Yes, free market "principles" apply no matter what. And that means that employers who have businesses in countries that "feel a responsibility to [their] country's citizens" will either loose their business to firms from the "third world" because those will have lower costs, or will move their production lines to said "third world". Now, the government can feel a responsibility towards local businesses and put ridiculous taxes on imports from the "third world countries". It usually escalates like this and spins further and further out of control. Because balance in any system is a fragile thing, there is usually an oscillation around it, and some theories say that any intervention from powerful entities (like governments, or monopolies) can spin the system out of control.

Comment: Re:It's really simple... (Score 1) 1098

by mdragan (#46118581) Attached to: FSF's Richard Stallman Calls LLVM a 'Terrible Setback'

Users can't fix bug. Users can't make software do what they want it to do. There's a tiny percentage of users who happen to be software developers and who could

There is a clear contradiction in your statement. I hope you can see it.

May I remind you that millions of people around the world use proprietary software that WAS modified by other users, without even having the source code, to remove artificial restrictions (you have to keep your DVD in the drive when you want to run your software, etc). So, I would think that more useful stuff could be done if that "tiny percentage" had the source code, and the rest of the users would benefit. A whole software ecosystem was built from scratch by that "tiny percentage" (kernels, system software, applications in FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Linux, Haiku, etc) and you say that you know these people would not want the source?

And I want to point out, that I was just stating that RMS has nothing against "for-profit". Did your statement show that he has? No, so why are you arguing?

Comment: Re:It's really simple... (Score 1) 1098

by mdragan (#46063115) Attached to: FSF's Richard Stallman Calls LLVM a 'Terrible Setback'

If you would ever let your software be used by for-profit interests, you are not part of the community he is speaking of.

Let me fix that:
"If you would ever let your software be used to build software that imposes limits on its users, you are not part of the community he is speaking of."
When I say limits, I mean on what machine or OS they can run it, their ability to fix bugs or make it do what they want it to do, their ability to share their modifications that they made with others, etc.

Comment: Re:Why do free contracting work? (Score 1) 1098

by mdragan (#46063035) Attached to: FSF's Richard Stallman Calls LLVM a 'Terrible Setback'

Because it makes everyone's life better

What if it doesn't? What if this BSD licensed code is used by company X to build a piece of proprietary software, and that software is sold to a bunch of users, it does not work as they want it to work (maybe bugs, maybe poor design), and causes a lot of pain and frustration to these users who can't get anyone to fix the software, except company X and company X finds that it's not in the interest of their shareholders to fix those issues.

Comment: Re:Bios code? (Score 1) 533

by mdragan (#46004121) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What's the Most Often-Run Piece of Code -- Ever?
From RAM (framebuffer) to the video display there's usually no CPU involvement, true. But the CPU puts the frame in the memory (or updates the memory if they use "dirty rectangles"). Next generations of computers after Z80 (16 bit ones like Atari ST and Amiga and x86 PCs) use hardware blitters and it makes it possible to redraw every frame completely, instead of messing with "dirty rectangles". Drawing the frame is still the business of the application running on the CPU. So, lots of pixels to move to the framebuffer, for each frame.

Comment: Re:Where are they? (Score 5, Informative) 324

by mdragan (#45964913) Attached to: NYT: NSA Put 100,000 Radio Pathway "Backdoors" In PCs
This devices are listed in the leaked "NSA Toolbox Catalog" document, that was reported in this Spiegel article:
http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/catalog-reveals-nsa-has-back-doors-for-numerous-devices-a-940994.html

Some pictures:
Cottonmouth-I, USB spying device
http://www.spiegel.de/static/happ/netzwelt/2014/na/v1/pub/img/USB/S3223_COTTONMOUTH-I.jpg
Cottonmouth-II, USB spying device
http://www.spiegel.de/static/happ/netzwelt/2014/na/v1/pub/img/USB/S3223_COTTONMOUTH-II.jpg
Cottonmouth-III, USB spying device
http://www.spiegel.de/static/happ/netzwelt/2014/na/v1/pub/img/USB/S3223_COTTONMOUTH-III.jpg
Firewalk, ethernet spying device
http://www.spiegel.de/static/happ/netzwelt/2014/na/v1/pub/img/USB/S3223_FIREWALK.jpg
Ragemaster, monitor cable spying device
http://www.spiegel.de/static/happ/netzwelt/2014/na/v1/pub/img/Bildschirm/S3224_RAGEMASTER.jpg

There's many more in that cataloge, including software and hardware tools and devices.

Comment: Re:5. First Amendment (Score 1) 233

by mdragan (#44662917) Attached to: The Register: 4 Ways the Guardian Could Have Protected Snowden
You are the one missing the point.

in the US, journalists may use **anonymous sources**

The whole point of the issue is that anonymity is impossible in the surveillance state. The Government does not need to arrest journalists to get to their sources. It has set in place a system that works around the "process that every collage journalism major learns".

Glenn Greenwald is using Snowden to further his career...the way he's shopping Snowden interviews around proves it.

Way to go, attacking the person with uninformed opinions. It was Snowden's choice to disclose the information without hiding behind anonymity, and I see a number of practical and moral reasons for that, one being exactly that the Government would have known anyway.

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