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Comment: Re: That explains a lot (Score 1) 324

by pem (#47956669) Attached to: Apple Locks iPhone 6/6+ NFC To Apple Pay Only
The blaze was just the first one that came up when I searched on terms I remembered from last winter.

You can easily google for it on lots of other sites, but you knew that right? We may never know if it was exploited, but it was certainly extremely easy to exploit, so it doesn't fall anywhere near the realm of a "hypothetical" bug.

As far as google serving up ads with malware, (a) that didn't go on for 18 months, and (b) while I don't condone javascript in ads (or ever have this enabled), this is actually, generally, a lot safer than it used to be. This particular malware, which made the news precisely because it is rare for google to serve malware, requires either an ancient flash install or an unpatched XP/IE installation, in order to infect a system.

Trying to serve others' javascript safely is a much more complex problem than implementing SSL correctly, and that this attack for ancient systems went on for half-a-month, while Apple's exploit for all current iOS systems was available for 18 months, may not be making the point you think it is.

cherry picking is not a good argument

No, much better to make blanket assertions that Apple handles data better because that isn't its business (which is the original assertion that I was responding to).

Those examples were just that -- examples. Did you bother to read the link I gave about how apps from the same companies leak more user data on Apple than on Android?

Comment: Re: That explains a lot (Score 1) 324

by pem (#47942877) Attached to: Apple Locks iPhone 6/6+ NFC To Apple Pay Only

Citation, please.

Well, you can read all the headline news about how all the malware is on Android because Apple keeps it off of iWhatever, or you can try to figure out which system is better for the stuff you're actually going to use:

You can read the false equivalence narrative about how both Apple and google suffered data breaches recently, or you could use your brain and realize that you have seen evidence that it's pretty easy to get "private" stuff out of Apple's cloud, but there's not much evidence of getting it out of google's cloud:

You can read about how Apple is going to revolutionize payments, or you can read some of the user stories here about how people have been using google for payments for a long time with no problems, and you might think about how, even a few months ago, Apple had a major https problem:

And finally, you can ooh and aah about how iOS is now encrypting everything in a way that only the user can decrypt it "unlike [Apple's] competitors" and google is playing catchup, or you can dig deeper and find out that this has been an option on Android for three years, and all google has to do to match Apple is turn it on by default. (They probably had it off by default simply so Apple wouldn't be beating them in storage benchmarks.)

So you actually approve of a Business Model based on Tracking (and Selling) your every online move?

Now I have to ask you for a citation. Google targets ads to you, but AFAIK, unlike, say, Facebook, they don't actually sell your data directly to others. That's because, believe it or not, it is precious to them. Whether or not I approve the business model is immaterial, but I reject the premise that Apple is capable of handling data better because their business isn't based on handling data. Seriously, doesn't that sound like a stupid claim?

...and people think Apple aficionados are delusional???

That's only because enough of them are that it's a thing.

Comment: If the patent system could be fixed (Score 1) 92

by pem (#47939777) Attached to: Alice Is Killing Trolls But Patent Lawyers Will Strike Back
such that every software patent would be viewed by most programmers as describing something novel that advanced the state of the art...

I wouldn't have a problem with that.

But that seems unlikely. The system is out of control, and the societal costs of bad patents are both huge and unfairly distributed.

Since lots of great software was written before it was patentable, there is no reason to believe that patents are necessary to help create good software.

Since lots of great open source software is still being written now, there is still no reason to believe this.

So we have a system that provably isn't needed, and that provably causes great harm in some cases. The best fix for such a situation is a wooden stake to the heart.

Comment: Re:There might be more to this story (Score 1) 441

by pem (#47822157) Attached to: In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment For a Novelist
I'll reiterate my main point, and then you can keep arguing if you want.

From what I read, several national, well-respected print and web publications have reached out to the original sheriff for clarification, and he has said squat.

If we misunderstand what he's saying, it's his own damn fault.

Comment: Re:There might be more to this story (Score 1) 441

by pem (#47813427) Attached to: In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment For a Novelist

How can we be sure that really is what caught their attention? Can we be sure that this isn't just WBOC16 playing up the only sliver of fact they have?

You're making my point for me. The article didn't say that the sheriff confirmed the answer to a question; it said the sheriff volunteered this information. It appears that most of what we know from this sheriff has to do with the books. Why would he have said anything about them if they weren't perceived to be relevant to the investigation?

There is more information at the Atlantic article now; but it all came from a sheriff in a different county -- this particular sheriff apparently realized he fucked up, and now appears to be maintaining radio silence.

Comment: Re:There might be more to this story (Score 1) 441

by pem (#47809721) Attached to: In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment For a Novelist

Early last week the school board was alerted that one of its eighth grade language arts teachers at Mace's Lane Middle School had several aliases. Police said that under those names, he wrote two fictional books about the largest school shooting in the country's history set in the future. Now, Patrick McLaw is placed on leave.

Dr. K.S. Voltaer is better known by some in Dorchester County as Patrick McLaw, or even Patrick Beale. Not only was he a teacher at Mace's Lane Middle School in Cambridge, but according to Dorchester Sheriff James Phillips, McLaw is also the author of two books: "The Insurrectionist" and its sequel, "Lillith's Heir."


OK, WTF do (did) the books have to do with it? It's not McLaw's fault or my fault that I think the police might have arrested him over the books -- it's obviously the police's fault I think that. And it's also their fault that they have a lot of credibility to recover, and saying that it's not about the books rings hollow.

Also, note the careful phrasing -- it didn't start or end with the books, and the books are not a focus now. So, at one point they were obviously the focus, and merited enough focus to be the only thing that was disclosed to the news organizations.

Comment: Re:There might be more to this story (Score 1) 441

by pem (#47807967) Attached to: In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment For a Novelist
Since all the authorities have apparently chosen to share is that he had the temerity to write scary fiction while teaching, we should assume that's what happened until they tell us otherwise.

It's not a bad thing that this assumption may be completely unfair to the authorities, because we should always be pressuring them to be more transparent.

Comment: Re:Morality vs The Law (Score 1) 191

by pem (#47663091) Attached to: Larry Rosen: A Case Study In Understanding (and Enforcing) the GPL
The thing you have to remember is this:

The code in question is dual-licensed.

The code is not produced by a charity; it is produced by a business. From the perspective of a business, the GPL is a marketing tool -- a great marketing tool. "Here's the source; try it out! Talk to others who are using it! Just contact us if you want to merge it with your proprietary code and make money!"

Any business can use the GPL this way, and many have. Just because a business uses the GPL does not mean that their politics align with the FSF.

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.