Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
Slashdot Deals: Prep for the CompTIA A+ certification exam. Save 95% on the CompTIA IT Certification Bundle ×

Comment Re: Windows 8 is suddenly looking good .. (Score 1) 316

Microsoft does really great work on the kernel side of things. The leaked Windows NT4 and 2000 source code from way back in the day received generally good reviews from OS developers that examined the code quality. Every Windows NT release since 2000 has had massive improvements in the kernel and driver space. It's unfortunate that upgrading the NT kernel side requires "upgrading" the user-level software side to bring all of the trash that Microsoft does a really terrible job on. I'd happily take the Windows 10 kernel and drivers with the Windows 7 userspace dropped on top. In fact, that's what Windows 10 SHOULD have been.

Comment Re: My big hope (Score 4, Insightful) 321

Brilliant. Someone hand me a thesaurus and I'll find plenty of reasons why a search bar for finding your bearings in an unfamiliar environment is incredibly fucking stupid. You have to wonder who the genius at Microsoft is that thought this was such a wonderful idea. Joe User who hasn't ever heard of System Restore will not be able to find it when he searches for "fix my computer," but he'll certainly find the "I am from Microsoft and your computer is virus infected!" people promptly thanks to Bing(TM).

Comment Re:SubjectsInCommentsAreStupid (Score 1) 323

That's one of the absolute best Linus rants ever. It illustrates all the reasons he's the best person for what he does in one solid chunk of text. Sure, if it were a department manager sending it to a subservient, it'd be unprofessional. That's also not how a large open source project with no such strict hierarchy works. That is a shining example of what Linus does right when bad things start leaking into the project. It's also a shining example of what outsiders misinterpret because their heads are stuck in corporate hierarchical power struggle horseshit and (more recently) Tumblr/Twitter feminist style call-out culture.

Comment Re:SubjectsInCommentsAreStupid (Score 1) 323

Linux would be shit, as he's clearly doing exactly what he's supposed to do to keep it working and growing. Linus Torvalds is not a CEO or a department manager, he's indirectly responsible for managing the efforts of tens of thousands of people over an Internet-distributed platform with no regular face-to-face contact between any of them, and almost all of his communication is made public in the process. It is a very unique position. To pull in the "professional environment" bullshit of modern corporate offices and judge him by those standards is willfully ignorant and short-sighted at best.

Linus is only a douche where someone should know better or someone ignores what he's said multiple times. He is always gentle to the children of the flock (until they try to post the same busted patch eight times and he's told them why it can't be accepted seven times.) When he's mad, he's mad because someone is doing something that will damage Linux. Hell, if Linus was actually a douche, the whole "Sarah Sharp beating him with a feminism wiffle ball bat" incident wouldn't have gone well at all. Sarah Sharp is still pounding away at the USB code in the kernel and Linus is still just fine working with her. The press sensationalized a couple of posts in the thread but chose to ignore all of the respectful discussion thereafter; this is the only reason a lot of people think Linus is a real douchenozzle that needs to "be fired" or "quit."

Honestly, he's probably the best "boss" in a technical field that any of us have had the pleasure of observing. I have no doubt that 99.999% of Slashdot readers would have done a worse job than him. Not because they're incompetent or incapable of managing a project, but because it'd be very hard to do what he's done managerially any better than he has done it.

Comment Re:Who the fuck would use something like that? (Score 1) 206

Incorrect. Anyone can remember three reasonably secure (read: long and not all lower case) passphrases. Use them in tiers where one is for "I don't care if my Slashdot/Ars Technica/Disqus/TPB account really gets hacked" and one is for "this is an email account that a lot of other accounts can be password reset to hijack, don't use this anywhere but on email accounts that need to be secure" and one is exclusively for bank accounts or other highly sensitive information. That way if "LOL We Use No TLS And MD5 And Store Password Hashes In Cookies Forum" gets hacked and someone cracks your forum account password from the hash, the only risk is to your not-too-important accounts and they don't have your email account password.

Or your 30 passwords can look like "Mfdajsio[][$#@5625429i04356kio:FSD===-F" and you can trust all of them to a password manager and pray that the one magical master password for that manager doesn't fall into the wrong hands, lest your single point of failure give up a list of all your accounts along with their corresponding passwords.

Comment Re:this will speed firefox up (Score 1) 208

There is no comparison. Google Chrome is slow and badly behaved and Firefox is not. I don't understand all these reports that say "Chrome is so much faster than Firefox" when I routinely see a Chrome install with zero add-ons on a particular machine with recently cleared history and caches consistently slow down during use worse than a fresh Firefox install with ad blocking add-ons on the exact same machine.

There was also no dishonesty in my statements--I stated that I did not know if the option existed which is not the same as "other browsers don't have that." I do not use non-Firefox browsers on a regular basis.

Comment Re:this will speed firefox up (Score 1) 208

I have no such experience. Neither do any of the people I install Firefox + Adblock {Plus,Edge} for. If Firefox doesn't work right today, it's rarely Firefox that is the problem. Firefox runs fine even on AMD C-50 and AMD V120 laptops. It is often Flash garbage on websites that ruin things in all browsers; using the "Ask to activate" option on the Flash plugin permanently solves that problem. I don't know that such an option exists in non-Firefox browsers.

Comment Re:Tor's trust model has always been broken (Score 4, Insightful) 50

It's possible that you have misunderstood what "public key" means. It does not mean that it is published for everyone in the world to see. In asymmetric encryption, each key consists of two parts: a public key and a private key. The public key is allowed to be known by anyone and can be used by anyone to encrypt something for the owner of the private key, or to decrypt something that was encrypted by the owner of the private key. That's why it is the "public key." Mere knowledge of what it is allows a person to securely encrypt what it sends to the private key holder and allows that person to validate that the person sending something to them IS the private key holder. It does not offer security in one direction (since one decryption key is "public") but it does offer validation in the direction that data security is not offered. Related: look up Diffie-Hellman key exchange for info on how asymmetric key pairs are used to initiate symmetrically encrypted secure data streams between hosts. Also look up how PGP keys are used to validate that an email was sent by a specific person and/or that the contents of the email were not changed by a "man in the middle."

If you were considering the "published" part, "published" also doesn't necessarily mean that the services are in a nice easy list on some server somewhere for the FBI to download. Of course, the Tor directory servers obviously handle .onion domain name resolution and that makes them a huge problem. You know the garbled names that .onion sites use? My suggestion was to make that the public key and to do away with directory servers, using something like DHT instead.

tl;dr: "Public key" doesn't mean "published key" and "published" doesn't necessarily mean "in an easy-to-read directory somewhere."

Comment Tor's trust model has always been broken (Score 4, Interesting) 50

The simple fact that it uses "directory servers" for Tor stuff (including hidden services) means that there is centralization in the network. Centralization of control is the enemy of anonymous communications because it vastly shrinks the target surface area required to damage or intercept that communications. This is just another hole in the bottom of the anonymity boat for Tor users. A better system would publish services using the public key of a strong asymmetric encryption algorithm such that the only valid responses could be encrypted with the private key; flooding the network with bad information to turn yourself into the correct node for a given "hidden service" name simply wouldn't work.

Comment Re:Well... (Score 1) 295

Terrible behavior of children saw a meteoric rise over the last two decades combined with total neutering of teachers' ability to control behavior in the classroom for fear of being promptly fired. If a child wishes to be defiant and ignore all authority, the teacher has no options but to run to the principal's office.

Comment Re:Unfortunately, this is women's perception (Score 1) 295

That's the irony of it all: women shame women into suppressing their own desires and conforming to predefined female roles. Men have very little (or nothing at all) to do with it. Subtle reinforcements by women for what women should be are everywhere. Where were the men to ruin everything when this all-female business consumed itself in cattiness? "The venomous women were supposedly the talented employees I had headhunted to achieve my utopian dream - a female-only company with happy, harmonious workers benefiting from an absence of men."

Comment Re:better open source the tools (Score 1) 126

The effects of the encryption export bans from the 1990s haunts us today in the form of the "logjam" vulnerability. Those stupid "export-grade" ciphers for HTTPS are still around and can potentially be cracked with a big enough box of GPUs. Worse yet is that a heap of browsers and servers will go for the garbage ciphers first. In light of this reality, one must wonder how this kind of authoritarian bullshit will swat us all in the digital testicles 10-20 years from now.

"But this one goes to eleven." -- Nigel Tufnel