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Comment: Re:So what's the problem with that? (Score 1) 179

by pmontra (#48102833) Attached to: Eric Schmidt: Anxiety Over US Spying Will "Break the Internet"

Obviously that data center would be virtual. My point was: why should we jail data in a country if any agency from around the world can still crack into it over the Internet? To make that measure effective we must prevent people from connecting to a data center in another county, service owners included. They must fly there or hire somebody living there. The service will be partitioned by country with no exchange of data whatsoever. Feasible but costly for Google, impossible for any small startup. A consequence: want to send email from the USA to somebody in Germany. Sorry, no route to host. Want to post to /. from Germany? Sorry, no route to host unless /. has a German site which you won't be able to reach from the USA. That's what I call to "break the Internet". Disclaimer: I don't like that future and I'm not advocating it.

Actually Google and the other big companies might even like it because it will destroy competition from below. They won't mind creating branch offices around the world with local data centers (and code distribution by planes) if it's the only way to keep doing business.

Comment: Re:So what's the problem with that? (Score 1) 179

by pmontra (#48102255) Attached to: Eric Schmidt: Anxiety Over US Spying Will "Break the Internet"

I'm afraid it's a problem for all of us. I quote TFA:

If a two-person startup had to build a data center in Germany just to serve customers there, it would never get off the ground, he said.

That won't prevent NSA (or anybody else) from breaching into that data center from the Internet and keep spying. The only thing that would force them to actually send operatives in Germany is to literally break the Internet. So you won't be able to get to Germany from the USA and vice versa. No connection, not even like international phone calls used to be 50 years ago.

Google could adapt, the two person startup will be limited to the country they live into. Maybe if they are in Germany they'll be able to access the whole EU.

Do I believe we will get to this? I don't, but some countries might do it. Actually, there are already countries that reduce their citizens' access the the global Internet. Spying can be an excuse to cut it off completely.

Comment: Re:The water wars are coming (Score 1) 151

by pmontra (#48038267) Attached to: Aral Sea Basin Almost Completely Dry

Before evaporating away most of that water is going into cotton fields in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, diverted from the Amu Darya river into a network of channels. Turkmens are also building lakes in the desert. The latest news I found about that are here.

As someone already wrote in a comment here, "too many meatbags on the planet", water can't be left alone.

Comment: Re:Are you exposing customers? (Score 1) 159

by pmontra (#48014251) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Software Issue Tracking Transparency - Good Or Bad?

You have more than a point. The second one is that your competitors will get a good list of your customers and they'll target them, which is probably not what you want. Granted, most companies have a customers list on their web site but not so detailed to include contact names and email addresses.

Maybe the bug tracker must be somewhat anonymized: expose names but not emails and don't allow signatures.

Comment: Re:Sanitizing comments, trolls, first to market (Score 2) 159

by pmontra (#48014225) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Software Issue Tracking Transparency - Good Or Bad?

Yes, having long standing bugs unfixed in public is bad PR and who points a finger at them is not necessarily a troll. They are pointing to a truth. If a company has a public bug tracker it must be prepared to explain the reasons for any won't fix. Furthermore I suggest that at least the first answer to any new bug is NOT left to developers. Developers should help in the triage phase but leave customer management personnel deal with customers. Let developers in only later on or find some developer who is good at dealing with customers. Sometimes one wrong word can alienate a whole bunch of customers. Don't risk that.

Anyway a public bug tracker is not only a liability but also a weapon against competitors. Your marketing team can start addressing customers along these lines: "OK, we've got 1,000 bugs and 100 open ones but that's all we have and you can see what's going on, our estimate of when they'll be fixed and decide if any of those bugs is a show stopper for you. Compare this with our Competitor X. How can you know how many bugs they have on their internal bug tracker? Do they have a bug tracker? Do they have any show stopper waiting for you in their code? Are they going to fix it? Can you trust their word when they don't release public information about the state of their product?"

Comment: Re:What about Lasik? (Score 2) 175

by pmontra (#47545047) Attached to: Amputee Is German Long Jump Champion
Maybe yes, maybe no but that's pretty minor. Instead how about having to decide to get your legs removed to have a chance to win a gold medal in most track and field events in the standard Olympic Games? Inevitably somebody will decide it's worth trying (so many crazy people) and that would start something pretty nasty, much worse than doping. I rather prevent it.

Comment: Different equipment, different categories (Score 3, Insightful) 175

by pmontra (#47543493) Attached to: Amputee Is German Long Jump Champion
Eventually prosthetics will get so good that they'll let athletes achieve much better results than any unmodified human. When it happens everybody will see that the only way to go is different categories for different equipments. We are bound by compassion and politically correctness until we get to that point, so how to address this problem now? Call me hard hearted but I'd still apply my reasoning and enforce different categories right now even if we are in doubt of who's getting an advantage at the moment.

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