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Comment: Re:It was just a matter of time (Score 1) 263

by northstarlarry (#35340756) Attached to: Backdoor Trojan For Windows Ported To Mac OS

MacOS 9, with a much smaller deployment base than MacOS X, had TONS of viruses for it.

I'm not so sure you're using that word "TONS" correctly. The Macintosh Virus FAQ says there were about 40, which includes "related threats", stuff like: a disk that had a Windows virus on it managing to do some damage when the Mac was running emulation software, and malicious Hypercard stacks.

Comment: Re:Who? (Score 1) 580

by northstarlarry (#35316314) Attached to: PayPal Freezes Support Account For Bradley Manning

where is the outrage for ALL prisoners in the US?

This is a straw man. We're talking about Bradley Manning. My voicing of concern for his conditions does not affect in either direction my concern for those of other prisoners.

I don't know the reasons that you spent time in prison. I am sure that the conditions were extremely unpleasant, quite possibly inhumane. However, the fact that you or any other prisoner was mistreated has no bearing on the rightness of the mistreatment of prisoners. Mistreatment is mistreatment. It was wrong when it was done to you, and it's wrong when it's done to Manning.

Don't do the crime if you can't handle the time.

Bradley Manning has not even been accused of a crime. He's being held in solitary confinement, under suicide watch, in pre-indictment custody. A military psychologist has examined him and found him to not be a self-harm risk, but he is still under suicide watch. His access to the world outside his jail is incredibly limited. Tell me how the way he's being held is contributing to him being less likely to want to hurt himself, or being, as you said, "fit to stand trial".

Comment: Re:Yawn (Score 1) 145

by northstarlarry (#35310056) Attached to: eBook Lending Library Launched

people are not entitled to an income. Just because a person chooses to become a book author doesn't mean they're entitled to an income

You're right that no one is entitled to an income, but, sheesh, do you really want to live in a world where the only books that get written are those that will sell millions of copies? I mean, Harry Potter was fun, but surely you can agree that reading Glen Cook, for example, is much more satisfying. Not to mention John Steinbeck or Tolkein.

Surely we, as a society, can come up with some way for authors, who provide valuable stuff to us, to make a (decent) living producing that stuff. I mean, we pay small software developers in the tens of dollars (sevens of euros) for a pile of bits that "doesn't cost anything" to distribute. Is it unreasonable to do similarly for authors of prose?

I'm not saying that every clown who writes an ode to navel fluff should be given a $5K monthly stipend, but perhaps we can consider paying more than the 50 cents that we "have to" per book, so that there will continue to be something worth paying for.

People who write already do so because they love to do it, and they're already generally in the lower-middle class unless they hit the big-big time. That's generally okay with them, because they love what they do. They need time and energy to write good stuff, though, which they won't have if they are hustling tables 35 hours a week.

Comment: Re:Who? (Score 1) 580

by northstarlarry (#35308624) Attached to: PayPal Freezes Support Account For Bradley Manning

How about a fair trial first...THEN you can condemn him.

the fact that he decided to betray his own oaths by lying, stealing sensitive material, etc.,

...Whoosh! This is the whole point of a fair trial: You don't know that these things are facts. The military investigators could have picked his name out of a hat to be a scapegoat. I readily grant the extreme unlikelihood of that scenario. However, the point of everyone being entitled to a trial is that it's very difficult to figure out what the facts are. One side says one thing, the other side says another. How do we know who's right (or at least _more_ right) without looking at evidence?

Comment: Re:The problem is people (Score 1) 409

by northstarlarry (#35154414) Attached to: Are You Sure SHA-1+Salt Is Enough For Passwords?

Your mention of error messages gave me a thought. I'm no sysadmin, but is it possible, feasible, for the system, when a user is setting up a new password, to actually demonstrate the weakness of the password? After the user clicks "OK, this is what I want my password to be", store it as you normally would, then run it through some password cracking routines, with a timeout of a few seconds. If the password gets cracked in that time, show an error message "Jeez, I just cracked that password in .35 seconds. How about a few more letters and some punctuation?" (You could lie about how long it took, too.)

Does this make any sense to anyone? Has anyone done this? Or would you get in deep doo-doo for having cracking tools on the corporate boxen?

Comment: Re:Amusing (Score 2) 826

by northstarlarry (#35113848) Attached to: Is Setting Up an Offshore IT Help Desk Ethical?
That's an asinine comparison. Giving another person your job means you have none. Giving that person your surplus food means you still have enough. If there was more work to be done here than people to do it, no-one would bat an eyelash at paying a person in another country to do the work. Imagine saying to someone, "We're going to give all your food to this person in Hyderabad. So sorry."

Comment: Re:Hit them back (Score 1) 783

by northstarlarry (#34962902) Attached to: Wikileaks To Name Swiss Bank Tax Evaders

Really? that's strange because the debt history shows that the US debt has risen every single year since 1977 and probably going back to 1870. . .

Going all the way back to the Revolutionary War, actually. You're talking about the debt, though. The person you're replying to was talking about the deficit. They're connected, but they're different. The budget was balanced (no deficit) under Clinton. This was partly due to him and partly due to Congress (who is, after all, supposedly responsible for telling the president how much money he can spend). The debt increased in absolute terms, but much slower than it had for a long time (i.e., it didn't accelerate), and it actually decreased relative to GDP (for the first time since Carter). Under Bush, IIRC, there was so much deficit that the debt increased in absolute terms about three times as fast as under Clinton, and became a much larger share of GDP (though I don't remember how much).

Your chart shows the debt increase under Obama (2008 through 2010) as about $3.6 trillion, and about $46 trillion under Bush (2000 through 2008). Obama's rate so far is therefore approximately $1.7T increase per year, and Bush's was $7T. The biggest jumps under Bush were the last two years, of course, when Washington decided that the people who almost destroyed the economy needed to be rewarded by the rest of us. But even if we subtract that $3T and those two years, the increase is still over $6T per year.

(Of course neither of them had any actual effect in the year he was elected, but the data from the chart aren't fine-grained enough to allow us to remove the three-month gap.)

Both sides of the aisle are a bunch of Elitist millionaires who make a habit of exempting themselves from the very laws they impose on the rest of us.

I can certainly agree with the sentiment behind this.

I distrust all of them until such time. . .

I'd say we should never stop distrusting people who desire, and get, that much power.

Comment: Re:California's deficit (Score 1) 828

by northstarlarry (#34609936) Attached to: Senate Repeals 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

I did read the single PDF you linked to:

The state budget [pdf] [ca.gov]...

I also indicated that I had done so: "(If I'm reading that table correctly..."

There's no links to anything else on that page. The link that you've just now provided is for another single PDF, on a different server than the link from your original post. Maybe you intended to point to a page that had a number of links to budget documents, but you didn't, and you didn't supply any other information in your post.

You didn't present any useful evidence for your argument, and I pointed that out. Why should I do your research for you?

Comment: Re:California's deficit (Score 1) 828

by northstarlarry (#34609244) Attached to: Senate Repeals 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'
Lies, damned lies, and statistics. Gross expenditure, especially comparing unadjusted dollar amounts over a twenty-year period, is meaningless by itself. Per-capita would be a start, so what's the change in population over that period? The government may have taken in a lot more money over that time, so what's the change in revenues? Especially, what are the ratios of revenue to expenditure? How's the economy: what has the GDP done? How much does the state government have in its "savings account"? How much is that changing? (If I'm reading that table correctly, it looks like there was a reserve fund well in the black over most of the period you mention.)

Comment: Re:Devil's Advocate (Score 1) 828

by northstarlarry (#34609034) Attached to: Senate Repeals 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'
Most of them, actually. There were quite a number of African-American soldiers fighting in the Civil War, and WWI, and WWII, and I therefore assume the wars between those. Women didn't serve openly (more than a few enlisted, pretending to be men, during the Civil War and perhaps other wars too) until the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps in 1941. They went to boot camp, but mostly, AFAIK, had non-combat positions.

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