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Comment: Location, location, location (Score 2) 205 205

If, hypothetically, you had emigrated to San Francisco USA rather than NZ and Megaupload had been a US-based company do you think it would have been more or less vulnerable to the kind of action it was shut down by? Bonus points for an insightful discussion of the value of political contributions, etc.

Comment: Developers _are_doing it (Score 4, Insightful) 214 214

A lot of software developers are doing what RMS says a lot of time. It's just that almost noone does it all the time.

It's clearly evident from the amount of GNU and GPL software out there that wasn't written by RMS that people are following his ideas. And that those ideas have succeeded, simply by the success of that same software in the marketplace.

It's not a failure of the ideal when developers of open source also write proprietary software to pay the bills.

Comment: Re:But it's still a Chromebook... (Score 1) 139 139

I bought a Lenovo X131e Chromebook second hand for exactly that purpose. Went online for the instructions to boot it into developer mode so I could change the OS ... Nothing worked. I emailed Lenovo directly with the serial number for advice, got no reply. As far as I can tell it is a device that does not allow any change to the BIOS.

I now have a device that runs ChromeOS and nothing else. So it's going to get sold on to the next victim. Make sure if you do buy one for this purpose that you really are able to change the OS.

Comment: OWASP and PCI DSS (Score 1) 205 205

The Open Web Application Security Project website is a great place to start browsing from, to investigate both pen testing and secure development.

I would also recommend getting some familiarity with the PCI DSS standard. It is aimed at companies involved in online payments (and a bitch if you have to prove compliance.) However when used as a descriptive framework rather than a prescriptive one, it's great foundation for planning a company's IT security aspect.

I'm sure there's a bunch of other security standards for other industries that could be used in much the same way. A good security consultant should at least be able to name check them.

+ - Australian researchers create world's first 3D-printed aircraft engines

stephendavion writes: Researchers from the Monash University, CSIRO and Deakin University in Australia have created two 3D-printed aircraft engines. One of the 3D-printed engines is being showcased at the ongoing International Air Show in Avalon, while the other is at Microturbo (Safran) in Toulouse, France. Monash and its subsidiary Amaero Engineering attracted interests from tier one aerospace companies to produce components at the Monash Centre for Additive Manufacturing (MCAM) in Melbourne. Researchers used an old gas turbine engine from Microturbo to scan components and print two versions. The engine is an auxiliary power unit equipped in aircraft such as the Falcon 20 business jet.

+ - Invented here syndrome->

edA-qa writes: Are you afraid to write code? Does the thought linger in your brain that somewhere out there somebody has already done this? Do you find yourself trapped in an analysis cycle where nothing is getting done? Is your product mutating to accommodate third party components? If yes, then perhaps you are suffering from invented-here syndrome.

Most of use are aware of not-invented-here syndrome, but the opposite problem is perhaps equally troublesome. We can get stuck in the mindset that there must be a product, library, or code sample, that already does what we want. Instead of just writing the code we need a lot of effort is spent testing out modules and trying to accommodate our own code. At some point we need to just say, “stop!”, and write the code ourselves.

Link to Original Source

Comment: Engineer the economy first (Score 1) 319 319

We are already 'engineering the climate' - we're just doing it randomly and without plan.

If the price of oil goes down and everybody starts burning more of it, we're engineering the climate with more CO2.

If we chop down hundreds of square miles of amazon rain forest and replace it with cattle ranches we're engineering the climate with more methane.

If we want to start engineering the climate in a more directed manner, we MUST control these activities as well. Trying to control some of the strings while others are being yanked in a haphazard manner is not a practical approach.

The Kyoto Protocol has many critics - and with reason. It is clumsy, largely ineffectual and tainted by accusations of corruption. But real practical climate engineering will only be achieved by some sort international cooperation along these lines.

Comment: Musical scales based on math, not on culture (Score 1) 80 80

Harmony in music is based almost directly on the simplicity of the ratio of the frequencies of notes in a chord.

Octave = 1/2
Fifth = 2/3
Fourth = 3/4
Major Third = 4/5
Minor Third = 5/6

and so on.

Their are certain cultural anomalies; For example our our preference for three notes in a simple chord (first, third and fifth) means that fourths are generally considered slightly more disharmonious that thirds, due to their relationship to the third and the fifth.

Also the intervals in most instruments are fudged slightly to make the work in any key. This practice started with Bach I believe.

The point, of course, is that it is not that surprising that harmony is more universal that human culture. The mathematics that underlies harmony is more universal than human culture.

+ - Law Lets I.R.S. Seize Accounts on Suspicion, No Crime Required

schwit1 writes: Theft by government: The IRS admits to seizing hundreds of thousands of dollars of private assets, without any proof of illegal activity, merely because there is a law that lets them do it.

Using a law designed to catch drug traffickers, racketeers and terrorists by tracking their cash, the government has gone after run-of-the-mill business owners and wage earners without so much as an allegation that they have committed serious crimes. The government can take the money without ever filing a criminal complaint, and the owners are left to prove they are innocent. Many give up and settle the case for a portion of their money. “They’re going after people who are really not criminals,” said David Smith, a former federal prosecutor who is now a forfeiture expert and lawyer in Virginia. “They’re middle-class citizens who have never had any trouble with the law.”

The article describes several specific cases, all of which are beyond egregious and are in fact entirely unconstitutional. The Bill of Rights is very clear about this: The federal government cannot take private property without just compensation.

There is very little future in being right when your boss is wrong.

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