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

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

×

Comment: Re:Dangerous Precedent (Score 1) 236

This sets a dangerous precedent that it is perfectly okay for the government to block websites in order to generate more revenue. If this passes, expect states in the US to try the same thing, especially if they have casinos that aren't doing well.

That would almost make sense, except Quebec, like Louisiana, has a legal system based / influenced on French civil law, rather than the more common (in US and Canada) English common law heritage.

That said, state and provincial governments are facing deficits and short-falls, so anything that promises increased revenue would certainly catch their attention.

Comment: Re:hypocrisy (Score 1) 337

by plcurechax (#49302557) Attached to: German Vice Chancellor: the US Threatened Us Over Snowden

americans are and should be angry at the NSA

but other countries complaining about the NSA is hypocrisy

So you think the rest of the world should just accept the illegal (in the rest of the world) spying that the NSA does to them, just because it's a foreign government? That's a foolish argument.

It is hypocritical to continuous publicly call a nation an ally, often pressuring them them into working with US on fighting terrorism, etc., and then spy on said government who practises what US calls good governance, i.e. an independent government consisting of democratically elected representatives. That's the part of hypocrisy in foreign affair approach of US that upsets people from the rest of the world. That and the fact they do it even when there is no evidence or even fear of hostile or undemocratic activity.

if i was [G]erman, would i be worried about the NSA? or the BND and the BfV?

Why should any law-aiding, peaceful, democracy supporting person in the world be subjected to espionage?

if you live in a country outside the USA, and your biggest privacy concern is the NSA, you're a moron: your own country is doing everything the NSA is doing, and in many countries, far worse. obviously, they can also abuse you a lot easier than the USA can. and they do

Actually in most of world the intelligence agencies are limited to investigate suspects of terrorism, and international criminal activities, not whatever they feel like. While unlawful and unreasonable spying does happen, the democratic governments do try to limit the powers of their intelligence agencies. Economic espionage is regarded as an illegal activity, even though numerous countries have been found to be engaged in it, it is still considered wrong.

No other country in the world has an intelligence community even half the size of US. The Americans have always complained about allegedly Russians and Chinese spying on UN activities during negotiations, etc., but I doubt the Soviets ever managed a fraction of the spying the US conducted on the UN representatives.

It is quite rational to be considered with being spied upon by all parties, foreign and domestic. The idea that US is somehow above the law when dealing with other countries in one of the prime reasons the US suffers from poor public image internationally, it undermines the massive good the US also does do in many cases.

again: i don't have a problem with americans complaining about the NSA. americans SHOULD complain about the NSA. but i do have a problem with other countries complaining about the NSA when they do the same or worse

Do people also not have the right to complain about fascist governments, because they didn't elect them? Do Americans have no right to be opposed to ISIL / ISIS because they are not primarily active within US?

Why should you complain about what others complain about? Or are not a supporter and believer in free speech? It is one of those so-called key "American values" in theory.

Comment: Classified "experiments" (Score 1) 97

While border crossing has typically meant displaying government issues documentation, primarily a passport and any related travel/entry visas. This requires informed consent of the traveller, they are asked to display their papers. The question is, what about programs that aren't obvious or informed consent?

The part that is concerning is the existence of classified "experiments" where is it not clear what information is being gathered, who has access to it, and how it is being used.

History has repeatedly shown that undisclosed, and/or unchecked surveillance ends up being misused against the public, not in the public interest.

If everything is legal, robust, and accurate, why does law enforcement has to be done in such a clandestine manner? The vast majority of identification / evidence techniques used in court are robust enough to withstand being challenged by the defence.

While these clandestine techniques being "experimented" with may be pure BS, being misused simply as a basis for law enforcement agents to continue practising age-old discrimination based on racial profiling, bigotry, and sterotypes, not any actual accurate information.

Comment: Re:Sigh (Score 2) 110

In case people are confused it is important to point out that the Titan cards aren't aimed at gamers.

Yes, the Titan series is an odd bridge between consumer price/ performance, and professional reliability (ECC RAM) and unhampered double precision performance at painfully professional level prices of the CUDA / GPGPU oriented Quadro and Telsa cards. (Telsa K20 to K80 cost $3500 - $5000 USD approx AFAIK)

So they are great alternatives for CUDA aware 3D graphics application users who traditionally can't afford a Quadro or Telsa card (are not professional movie / video-game studio artists or CAD designers), and students and researchers looking for low(er)-cost prototypes for developing CUDA / GPGPU software / experience. I assume any graduate CS/EE student studying parallelism / many-core hardware or software wants a Titan as an affordable alternative to the tuition-like pricing of the Quadro and Telsa cards.

I had considering putting the Titan X on my own personal wish list, until I read that the FP64 isn't in line with performance improvements over previous generation Titans.

Comment: Re:Compaq sk-2700 (Score 1) 452

by plcurechax (#49276369) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Good Keyboard?

[...] from ~1995 [...] It has more stains on it than a motel mattress, the space behind the keys is a highly effective lint trap, and it has never been cleaned even once. [...]

OMG !? I feel sick just reading that. You do know that you can clean keyboards, right?!

For your own health and those around you, I strongly recommend a bottle of isopropyl alcohol, available off-the-shelf from any pharmacy (or chemist) and a toothbrush (not the one you use for your mouth at present). Did no one teach you germ theory?

All you have to do is unplug the keyboard before cleaning, and ensure it is dry before plugging it back it.

Placing it in a dishwasher may not be optimal, unless the damage is too severe to clean by other methods, and be aware that the heat from the drying cycle may deform the plastic.

Comment: Re:Good toilet paper? (Score 1) 452

by plcurechax (#49276117) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Good Keyboard?

Slashdot replies are less likely to be sponsored.

That should be modded Funny, or Sad. But in truth Slashdot opinions are nearly as likely to be "astroturf" as legitimate compared to anywhere else.

Personally I do like mechanical keyboards, and for a non-backlit model the Cherry mechanical keyboard (not a 3rd-party keyboard using Cherry switches) I own and can recommend the G80-3000 (USB 104-keys US keymap), available Digikey and other (industrial) electronic suppliers globally. Likely just not your local / mail-order computer shop.

Otherwise for mechanical keyboards it is more a matter of selecting which key switch characteristics (resistance, push-length, noise, etc) than particular brands.

Of course any good keyboard discussion requires mentioning the IBM Model-M successors from UniComp with distinctive yet potentially annoyingly loud, buckling spring switches.

Comment: Re:Protocol vs software that implements it (Score 1) 287

by plcurechax (#49251249) Attached to: NTP's Fate Hinges On "Father Time"

The summary makes the mistake of conflating the NTP protocol with the messy NTP software developed by ntp.org.

.
Hopefully the ntp.org software fades away.

However, the Network Time Protocol should live on in more secure and more easily maintained implementations (e.g., NTimed and OpenNTPd).

Except that there is not one other fully-featured NTP client/server software system that I know of.

Half of the so called "NTP clients" are really S-NTP clients (Simple NTP) that are barely if at all better than using the ancient BSD rdate command to jerk the time forward or back (whichever is needed) in a discontinuous fashion, that can cause gaps in logs, missing time-based trigger events from being fired, and other well-known woes.

As far as I know PHK doesn't pretend that Ntimed is finished or fully functional. As far as I know it also doesn't pretend to support a large amount of "legacy" systems that still exist within companies networks, even if the vendor(s) disappeared 20 years ago in some cases. OpenNTPd is a pure network client/server system that AFAIK does not support external or master references (i.e. Cesium clocks or GPS modules) so while it may serve the purpose for a large number of users, it still depends on the continued operation of NTP.org's NTP software which is the de facto evolution of David Mill's reference implementation that was not intended to be a global or even enterprise-grade critical infrastructure project, but his research implementation as he, his colleagues, and students researched time synchronization.

Some of NTPd's problem are that a) it has been maintained in a hap-hazarded fashion for 15 years longer than it should have been. b) any system where a single individual is critical or irreplaceable is broken. c) NTPd has been weak in release management / engineering for a long time now, and Stenn's ad-hoc approach hasn't done much to make the work easier for himself. I admit I had not realised that the software project, NTPd, has fallen into depending on a single person. I fact I thought the ISC (Internet Systems Consortium, the group that also maintain BIND, the most common Unix DNS server on the Internet) partnership was more than a means of managing payment and offering a few servers, I thought it was intended to take NTPd, like BIND, and make it into a healthy development community, revitalize the documentation, and share expertise in maintaining a critical infrastructure scale project Open Source of Free Software ecosystem.

The most important yet non-technical solution is for Harlan Stenn to extract himself from being a critical piece of the NTPd software development and release process. IMHO he should focus 100% of his time on mentoring others to take over the various roles he is currently doing himself, and documenting the not so obvious knowledge about the protocol, its implementation, and the history surrounding pieces of code, to preserve his own knowledge, and what he can of David Mill's knowledge that isn't currently enshrined in Mill's papers and technical notes.

Perhaps like OpenBSD that had to learn the hard way many years ago, companies can be leery (wisely from a legal point of view) of funding a seemingly one-man controlled Open Source project. Legally it may open up the possibility of being considered illegally hiring an employee in some jurisdictions ("perma-temps" or "consultants as de facto employees"), as it serves to primarily fund ongoing work that does benefit the sponsor either for their in-house or their product/service offerings.

I have no ill feelings for or any dislike of Harlan Stenn. In fact I suspect he has unwittingly painted himself into a corner, and is now approaching the breaking point. And I believe the solution is radical, but not necessarily financially or technically challenging.

Comment: Information Week's editing is shocking. (Score 1) 287

by plcurechax (#49250801) Attached to: NTP's Fate Hinges On "Father Time"

Greenwich Mean Time is a known source of reliable time, as is the US Naval Observatory. Their time is based on the solar day -- the time it takes for the earth to complete a rotation in its orbit. NTP consults UTC or Universal Coordinated Time, which is Greenwich Mean Time expressed in the military's 24:00:00 hours terms.

On a daily basis, NTP also consults atomic clocks, which tick off precise seconds based on radioactive Cesium-133 decomposition. A GPS receiver can be tied into an NTP server, and use the transmission of a GPS satellite to get the correct atomic time. A GPS satellite has three atomic clocks, so if one falls out of synch, the other two can overrule it and keep the system on track. For GPS time to be off by a billionth of a second means its answer to a location query will be off by a foot. So GPS relies on precisely counted time, not the solar day.

Wow, that's so bad I'm not sure where to start; "Greenwich Mean Time" is a) a timezone still used by the UK when "British Summer Time" is not in effect, and is similar but not the same as UTC "Universal Coordinated Time" timezone, c) based upon the mean solar time at the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, London, UK.

UTC "Universal Coordinated Time" is the present day global standard time reference (yes damnit that is the correct English name, in French "temps universel coordonné" or unofficially "Universel Temps Coordonné" with an unofficial English name of "Universal Time, Coordinated" to keep the abbreviation similar to UT0, UT1, etc.).

The "military time" (i.e. 24-hour clock) reference is nonsense, and ignore 24-hour clock usage in civilian European life, and as well as being standard in anything time oriented.

NTP is references to UTC, but UTC is in fact itself coordinated globally by about 80 national labs that operate their own national time references (typically 3 or more Cesium based time references, larger labs include hydrogen masers) which is coordinated by BIPM (International Bureau of Weights and Measures located in France). They work with International Astronomical Union (IAU) for things like determining when leap seconds are necessary to keep errors minimal. The largest contributors (by clock sources) are the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), US Naval Observatory, and the UK National Physics Laboratory (NPL) as I recall. The UK NPL and US NIST being pioneers in Cesium (Caesium) clocks.

GPS has become the dominate, and preferable means of professional time synchronizations over distance due to the presence of rubidium or caesium references on board the GPS satellites themselves, and the proliferation of low-cost, widely-available GPS receiver modules including time-synchronisation models with 10s of nanosecond or better accuracy (uncertainty). This means GPS has also become the preferred means of high quality synchronization of NTP "masters" or low stratum references. -- The under-noted point that GPS's geo-location functionality requires a high precision time synchronization between the multiple satellites to determine a position with any amount of accuracy (bounded uncertainty).

Comment: Re:nothing new (Score 3, Interesting) 132

by plcurechax (#49150387) Attached to: Microsoft Finally Allows Customers To Legally Download Windows 7 ISOs

I've been downloading ISO's from MS for years.

You might want to qualify that. I know MSDN (MS Development Network) and TechNet (IT professionals) have had pre-release and release versions of ISOs available since before 2000 if I recall correctly, but that wasn't suitable for delivery to consumers, but services for software development and mid-to-larger corporate and enterprise customers, access was bundled by annual subscriptions, roughly $1000 USD and up.

I think retail license purchases & ISO download, or downloadable recovery ISOs via Digital River has been available since MS Vista, at least since 2011, but perhaps earlier. /shurg

Comment: Re:Hopefully this will be Harper's death knell (Score 1) 116

by plcurechax (#49091209) Attached to: The Disastrous Privacy Consequences of Canada's Anti-Terrorism Bill

Are you some self-delusional totalitarian? Communists government (even the better ones) never granted powers or rights to its people. Only socialist countries gave rights of individuals over the nation state (or monarch).

Sorry I meant "[o]nly socialist countries" as in comparison to communists countries. Not communist countries that called themselves socialist. I did not mean to imply only socialist countries in general; for example in the case of USA, though the US Bill of Rights is a very socialistic document placing people above both the government or the establishment.

Comment: Re:Hopefully this will be Harper's death knell (Score 1) 116

by plcurechax (#49091029) Attached to: The Disastrous Privacy Consequences of Canada's Anti-Terrorism Bill

Justin's daddy took Canada from debt free to where we now owe hundreds of billions on our national debt.

That Justin Trudeau, son of Pierre Trudeau who was prime minister of Canada in the 1970s-ish. That's also plain false. World War II and "the Great War" created Canada's national debt, just like nearly every other western country.

He gave government employees the right to strike. Now we are constantly being blackmailed into giving raises far above industry standards.

During Trudeau's tenure as PM, the federal public employees won the fight utilize freedom to association (the basis for forming a union) in federal court. Not given to them by anyone. Unless you think politicians should restrict who is allowed to get together to form a corporation (an association for profit), why should the government have the right to treat its employees any differently than other employees? Save for the exemptions for RCMP officers and Canadian Forces (solders) by the courts.

Given how many facts you have been mistaken about so far, your view doesn't hold much sway with me.

Bollocks regard above industry standards for pay. I make ~20% less than private sector equivalent, get a benefit packages that is worst than the last 50-person company I worked for in the private sector, and I have to listen people constant lie and repeat untruths about my compensation. Go to Treasuary Board Secretariat of Canada's website and look for yourself at my pay and benefits.

He forced an unneeded charter of rights on the population with no plebiscite and with no private property protections in it. Like a good Commie.

Are you some self-delusional totalitarian? Communists government (even the better ones) never granted powers or rights to its people. Only socialist countries gave rights of individuals over the nation state (or monarch).

Private property protection? That has a long and complex history in English common law, dating to at least the 14th century (from memory). The Canadian Charter of Rights grants rights to people not grant either property rights to people or rights to property. It also doesn't mention dolphins.

And forced it on one province which ever since has threatened to secede.

The English-French divide has been a part of the Canadian landscape centuries before Confederation. That was just another piece they latched onto. Like the Meech Lake accord, NAFTA, GST, and hundreds of other things before and since them.

The previous posters reference CBC Canada which is a Liberal lacky and should be abolished.

Why would a Crown corporation have a Liberal (party) bias under how many years now of a Conservative (party). government?

Because frankly if you know any media history you will know that media bias and claims thereof have been around as long as media itself.

I have dealt with them and they always slant the news to the point that I NEVER trust them to report truthfully.

And I have repeatedly found that media in multiple countries, both private and state sponsored all display bias and often make minor to significant mistakes in their reporting. So unless you want to tell me that the Daily Mail (UK) is a balanced political point of view, in which case I would suggest reading World Weekly News.

Obviously all these negative comments are from brainless socialists

Because to disagree with you would require someone not merely differ in opinion or political leanings, but they are clearly mentally impaired? Get over yourself.

and union bosses who bleed the rest of us dry.

Why? Because unions bosses are bad and corporation bosses are good?

Any good boss will try to maximize the benefits to those whom they represent, for-profit or not-for-profit.

Committees have become so important nowadays that subcommittees have to be appointed to do the work.

Working...