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Comment Men In Black? Secret Police? FBI not enough? (Score 1) 2

I heard about this on the way to work this morning. Through this executive order INTERPOL agents become completely immune from prosecution in the United States, and that their property cannot be searched. That said, why are INTERPOL agents in this country in the first place? I thought we had the FBI for federal-level policing activities.

Comment Re:Nice (Score 1) 491

You might be able to blow up a train just like an airplane, but planes being blown up, killing a hundred or so in the process was a problem well before 9/11. The difference is that you can't crash a high speed train into a skyscraper, causing it to collapse resulting in thousands of deaths and hundreds of billions of dollars in property damage. A train moves but its path is restricted to railways. A bus is much more dangerous because, if you managed to carry a bomb on board, you could crash the bus into a target and blow it up, damaging the target and killing everyone aboard the bus. Considering that, a train is no more dangerous, in terms of being a target for terrorism, than any other densely packed but static location, like a sports stadium.

Comment Re:Nice graphics but it seemed rather jerky to me (Score 1) 870

I saw the movie twice -- the first time in 2D, the second in 3D. The first showing left me cold -- I called people after I left the theatre and told them not to see the movie. The second showing was astounding. I think seeing Avatar in 2D is ... shit. Just don't.

Comment Re:So only XP is out of luck? (Score 4, Interesting) 442

Sidestepping your ignorance or deliberate deception on periods of typical Linux support contracts
He didn't say if he was stating lengths from release or length of overlap (to me the latter is the more important figure)

Who cares if support goes out 10 years
It's 10 years (5 mainstream, 5 extended) minimum from release, 7 years (2 mainstream, five extended) minimum overlap between releases and 2 years (all extended) minimum overlap if you skip a release. IIRC XP will have exceeded all of those.

if you can't buy a new hard drive that will work with the OS?
These "advanced format" drives will work fine with XP, they just require a little extra effort (either using a third party paritioning tool, fitting an extra jumper to change the sector mapping or using the WD tool to realign the partitions after setup) if you want maximum performance. Besides I can still by PATA drives so I doubt these drives will be the only ones on the market any time soon.

Similarly if I go to almost any major vendor I can still get computers and computer parts that are supported with XP, some of the consumer crap isn't but virtually every buisness machine and seperately sold peice of hardware i've seen lists XP as supported.

It's articles and comments like this that give me difficulty discerning what exactly Microsoft "support" entails.
For most of us the most important part of the support is continuation of security updates (though they have occasionally refused to release one that they really should have released by claiming that it's not nessacery in a default environment), I would be very uncomfortable running exposed systems (and I coun't any machine used to browse the web as exposed) on an OS that was no longer getting security updates.

There is also problem support and non-security hotfixes (free if created while in mainstream support, pay for if created during extended support) but for most of us these are fairly irrelevant.

As I alluded to above though what really matters is support from third party vendors, I can still buy the latest hardware and run XP on it with no problems, just try doing that with a comparable aged linux distro (e.g. debian woody).

United States

Submission Election reform, open source style!

sea-cat writes: "Given the news stories of glitches and switched votes in West Virginia's and Tennessee's early electronic voting, as well as the many other problems cited with electronic voting, and inspired by the 10/22/2008 round-table discussion on Off The Hook of what is the best method for voting, I submit the following proposal of what I think would be the best set of methods and technologies for holding elections. It is my hope that people who are smarter than me will be able to add to — or modify — these ideas so that when they are put forward as a state ballot initiative there will be plenty of critical analysis by qualified professionals to show that this will not only work but that it's secure, efficient, and as fool-proof as anything that involves human beings can be.

To that end, I propose that for future elections in any jurisdiction which adopts this plan:
  1. Ballots shall be optical scan ballots.
  2. Physical ballots shall be retained for no less than three years.
  3. All specifications of the document format from which the physical ballots are printed, as well as the full technical specifications — including parts lists and electronic schematics — of ballot scanning machines, as well as any drivers and software used by ballot scanning machines to generate electronic ballot scans, as well as the image format of the image file of the scanned ballots, as well as the software used for counting votes based on the scanned ballot images, shall be open source and published at least one year prior to use in a general election, or 90 days prior to a primary election in order that proper scrutiny may be given to the software and hardware systems to be used in an election.
  4. Images files of the optical scans of the ballots shall be made publicly available — preferably online — as soon as possible after the election, and that election results cannot be certified as official until thirty days have elapsed from the time when election officials certify that all ballots have been published for review and recount.
  5. Anyone who desires to perform a recount of the election may do so during aforementioned the thirty day period. Such recounts may be "manual" or electronic. Any custom software or intellectual property used in conducting a recount must be made available to election officials, without license fees, in the event that the preliminary election results generated by election officials are being contested on the basis of using said custom software or intellectual property in conducting the private recount. Any copyright or legal encumbrances which prevent election officials from reproducing a recount shall render invalid a request to certify vote counts based on the proposed recount in question.
  6. Trust in the integrity of the voting processing being of the utmost importance, anyone who intentionally tampers with the process of counting votes, or destroys or misplaces physical ballots, or causes electronic scans of ballots to not be counted, or in any way causes a discrepancy between the number or content of the physical ballots and the published electronic scans of ballots shall be sentenced a mandatory term of life in prison without the possibility of parole. Any governor commuting or pardoning a person so sentenced shall be immediately subject to a recall election, and a governor may not commute or pardon a person so convicted if there is less than two years remaining in their term in office.
  7. A technology review committee shall be convened every fourth year to review the effectiveness of the voting system, and propose any changes that might be needed to the elections systems or process.

What feedback can the slashdot community give to improve this idea?"

Operating Systems

Submission MSFT maps out migration from Windows to Midori

parvenu74 writes: "According to an article at SDTimes: At the risk of undercutting one of its core product lines, Microsoft is carefully conceptualizing a way to move millions of users away from the existing Windows codebase and onto Midori, a legacy-free operating system that it is currently incubating in its skunk works. SD Times has viewed internal Microsoft documents that reveal the company's preference of an orderly replacement strategy rather than breaking sharply with its past. According to the documents, the company plans to create Midori's "legacy-free bubble," both at the programming model and at the user level. The models differ in the degree to which Midori and Windows coexist, and virtualization could wind up in the mix."
Operating Systems

Submission Windows is dead -- long live... Midori?->

parvenu74 writes: "A story from Infoworld is suggesting that the days of Windows are numbered and that Microsoft is preparing a web-based operating system code-named Midori as a successor. Midori is reported to be an offshoot Microsoft Research's Singularity OS, an all-managed code microkernel OS which leverages a technology called software isolated processes (SIPs) to overcome the traditional inter-thread communications issues of microkernel OSes."
Link to Original Source
Linux Business

Submission Compelling reason to run Linux at large business

An anonymous reader writes: I work for a large "business" where Windows XP is the platform of choice. Due to recent security audits installing software and getting work done in general is a MAJOR effort.

Most work is done via Office — so I understand that people with extensive Excel macros may not be able to switch, but what about using Linux as the base and running Vmware with Windows for those who need access to Windows apps.

What are the compelling business reasons does the Slashdot crowd (know of |have used) that we could make to switch to using the same Linux(RHEL) as our servers? Cost really isn't the issue, but security and integration are important (remember we have to talk to people whose only experience is with Microsoft or none at all).
Linux Business

Submission Dell decides on Linux

john g the 4th writes: "Dell has decided to begin offering pre-installed linux laptops and desktops after kicking the idea around over the last few months, and even offering an online survey a couple weeks ago. The decision has come after a great deal of pressure has been put on Dell from the linux community to start offering products sans-Windows.
From the article:

"At least half of the comments effectively said, 'We want Free Software, GPL-licensed drivers which are maintained in, for all hardware in Dell systems,'" Domsch wrote in his blog. "This request is not new to us — it's been our standard operating procedure for the last eight years on PowerEdge servers, which today have no closed-source drivers necessary. For new Linux desktops and notebooks, we'll use drivers already in the mainline kernels for as many components as possible. In these cases, the drivers will be included in your distribution of choice. This includes storage, wired networking, power management, USB and more."
No current time frame has been offered up as of yet, but some of the details on which models, and distros to be offered are going to be released in the near future. One small step for penguins.. one giant leap for penguin kind...."

Luck, that's when preparation and opportunity meet. -- P.E. Trudeau