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Comment: Re:Paypal better pick what it wants to be... (Score 2) 54

by Grishnakh (#49350517) Attached to: PayPal To Pay $7.7 Million For Sanctions Violations

It's too bad no one else seems to be able to make a decent competitor to them. Citibank tried a while ago and threw in the towel, even Google tried and gave up too. It's a simple concept: make a payment-processing service which nearly anyone can sign up for, which can allow you to accept credit-card payments from others (without having to get a $$$ merchant account), which lets people send money to each other easily without gigantic wire-transfer fees, and which lets people transfer money in and out of it. Why aren't the big banks doing this? I guess because they can't tack on all kinds of horrendous fees and still get people to use it, and PayPal's business model isn't profitable enough for them.

Comment: Re:Safe from the bearded evil ones (Score 1) 679

by Grishnakh (#49350227) Attached to: Germanwings Plane Crash Was No Accident

Where? Unless you're like the other responder trying to paint our governments as "terrorists" (which has merit, I'll concede, but it's really beside the point, we're talking about non-state actors here), I can't think of very many still operating. The IRA in Ireland really isn't a problem any more (I haven't heard of any car bombings there in ages), the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka seem to have gone away (plus, they were highly focused, and only attacked targets in Sri Lanka or nearby southern India; they didn't run around hijacking airplanes all over the planet), and that's really all I can think of. All the other groups called terrorists by some government are Islamic.

There have been some lone-wolf nutjobs here and there, but it's inaccurate to call them "terrorists" IMO. Terrorists are people who are part of some kind of group which is pushing an ideology, and to further that goal use violent attacks to terrorize civilians in countries they have an issue with. Some lone nutjob shooting up a school is not part of a network of people. Even someone like Timothy McVeigh really wasn't a true terrorist, he had one buddy and decided to attack a government building because he was mad at the government for some reason. He wasn't part of any kind of organization with any socio-political goals. Same goes for the Unabomber, he was just a nutjob thinking he was making some kind of change by assassinating people through the mail. When you look at groups like the IRA, LTTE, Al Qaeda, ISIS, Boko Haram, etc., these are pretty large (relatively) organizations, with dozens or hundreds of members or more (ISIS has tens of thousands), clear leadership and structure, clear goals, etc. They aren't just some lone guy with mental problems who lives as a hermit. There's a really big difference.

Comment: Re:Lots of places have banned both babes already (Score 1) 277

by Grishnakh (#49349135) Attached to: RSA Conference Bans "Booth Babes"

Not everyone at a booth needs to know about the product. I was at a conference years ago where some network-security firm was hawking some box, and they had a huge booth with a tent where they had people come in and watch some little video-enhanced skit involving a dragon. They had a couple of booth babes somewhat scantily-clad, in keeping with the castles-and-dragons theme, but they were only really there to be ushers while people waited in line to go in and watch the next show. Ushers don't need to know anything about the product, they just tell people when they can go inside, where to stand in line, who to talk to if you have questions, etc.

Comment: Re:Boorish (Score 1) 539

by Grishnakh (#49346023) Attached to: Jeremy Clarkson Dismissed From Top Gear

Oh please, American cars technologically are no different than any other cars these days. Ford and GM own a bunch of European brands anyway (like Opel), Ford sells lots of cars in Europe (though different models usually than in the US), and most "American" cars these days are made in Mexico anyway.

The main problem with American cars these days is styling. They're usually rather ugly. That's a cultural problem, not a technological problem (the styling is designed to appeal to the customers in that market). But to be fair, they're a lot nicer-looking than they were in the 70s, 80s, and 90s.

Comment: Re:Perfect (Score 1) 160

by Grishnakh (#49345973) Attached to: GNOME 3.16 Released

Linux on the desktop works just great for people who choose KDE instead of hitting their head on a wall and trying to make Gnome work just because they keep reading people mindlessly regurgitate the idea that Gnome is the primary Linux desktop environment.

Gnome is really the worst thing that could have happened to the cause for Linux on the desktop. Somehow they got everyone to buy into this idea that Gnome is just the default and you shouldn't try anything else, they got distros to all adopt it as the standard desktop, and then they made it into a de-featured turd. Well of course that's going to make Linux on the desktop look like an utter failure. Meanwhile, KDE is working just fine, but everyone ignores that elephant in the room. (From what I hear, XCFE works well too, so there's not just one but at least 2 other desktops out there which will probably work well for you, and that's not counting Cinnamon and MATE.)

Comment: Re:Sexism in free software (Score 1) 160

by Grishnakh (#49345861) Attached to: GNOME 3.16 Released

This is an interesting, though rather off-topic conversation starter. I'll toss in my view:

To address the last point first, the consequences of "the community" being accepting of openly misogynistic people is possibly that the FOSS community gains a reputation (which it's already fighting) of being a haven for such people, and that anyone involved with it is like this. This isn't very good for the employment prospects for anyone who is prominently involved in FOSS, or attempts to evangelize its use in their organization. At worst, we could see a schism where FOSS advocates are all seen as misogynistic "neckbeards", and clean-cut "professional software developers" who aren't likely to expose a company to sexual harassment lawsuits are all Microsoft (or other proprietary software) advocates.

The quality of a product really doesn't matter as much as other factors, including public reputation, public image, and inertia. We've seen this over and over with Microsoft software over the years. Even back in the Windows 95/98 days, MS software was seen as "high quality" (even though it blue-screened every 30 minutes). Image is everything. Even outside of computing, there's countless cases of a technically-superior product or standard being sidelined in favor of something inferior, and inside computing cases abound (IE6 for example, being a standard for so long even though it's horrible, largely because of ActiveX even though it's a security nightmare). Most people do not look at technical specs for things; their perspectives involve other variables, especially the people involved in something.

However, the FOSS community has no "gatekeepers" as such, and is not a hierarchal organization. People are free to associate how they will here. But this might be something to think about if you're in charge of a project, and one of your peers is a highly outspoken misogynist or racist: he's going to cast a light on your project by association. There's a good reason companies don't employ people like this; the last thing they need is some news article that goes like this: "John Smith, a vocal advocate of amending the Constitution to make women second-class citizens, and also a lead programmer for XYZ Technologies, on Monday declared that..." Guilt by association and all that.

Now of course, there's a difference between refusing to associate with someone because of their outspoken views, and having a witch-hunt. If you're running some little 5-developer FOSS project on GitHub that no one's heard of, and one of your developers says something slightly misogynistic in an IRC chat, big deal. If you're running a FOSS company with millions in revenue and you hire a CEO who publicly spouts misogynistic views, that's an entirely different thing.

Comment: Re:Idiot parent, hell half the world is below aver (Score 1) 568

Is it not already illegal to call out a SWAT team for spurious reasons? It's dangerous for the object of the prank and it means the SWAT team is unavailable for real call outs.

Sure, but look at the list of charges in the summary. The guy could have gotten somebody shot, but the charges are all about computer crimes and whatever, probably because those were the most serious laws that they could get him for breaking.

Comment: Re: Idiot Parents (Score 1) 568

Living in that kind of denial only leads to providing a shitty upbringing. You can't believe that about your child unless you're not just completely in denial, and also completely disconnected from their life.

That isn't always true. The NSA reads every text message and email sent on the planet and even they can't keep track of who all the bad guys are.

Maybe their kids just acted normally all the time, and they were a complete jerk when they weren't home/etc. Short of spying on them, there might not be any way to tell.

Comment: Re:More people should self host (Score 1) 82

by Rich0 (#49321835) Attached to: How 'The Cloud' Eats Away at Your Online Privacy (Video)

Explain to me the utility of Secure Boot?

Secure boot ensures that only the software I want on the device is actually present on the device, precluding the ability of a rootkit/etc to be intruding on it (unless that rootkit is housed in the firmware, which I'll grant is a problem). I would prefer if Chromebooks allowed the use of secure boot with a different set of keys - I believe you're stuck with it either on with Google's keys or off.

When you say transparent encryption, what do you mean?

I mean that the user data on the drive is encrypted using a strong key (ie not just a hash of a simple-to-remember password). Having the password to log in is necessary to decrypt the data, but not sufficient. If you were to obtain an encrypted image of the drive and the owner's password, you would not be able to decrypt the image without physical possession of the actual computer. If the computer were re-provisioned since you obtained the image and password, then you wouldn't be able to decrypt the backup at all, since the TPM would be re-initialized.

All of this works without any user intervention or configuration.

What reprovisioning are you doing on a chrome book? Most OS's have automated updates.

If I mess something up (such as playing around with stuff in chroots or whatever) I can just wipe the thing back to factory condition in about 15min, log in, and all by settings are restored despite not having made any effort to maintain my own backups. The whole point of using the cloud is that you don't store anything of value on the local machine - just cached state for offline use/etc.

Comment: Re:Careful, they might shoot back (Score 1) 332

The thing is, why do we need to be "serious about victory"? Why is this cause so important that we should murder millions of civilians, over an ideology?

It was exactly the same with Vietnam. What did we accomplish there? Nothing, except killing millions. How is Vietnam today? It's actually doing just fine, despite us losing there. Why do we care about how people on the other side of the planet live their lives? If they want to live under Sharia Law, who cares? If the people there are willing to allow them to govern them, and are unwilling to stand up against them, why should we? (The Sunni Muslims who live in the cities ISIS controls actually seem to support them; that's why ISIS is so strong there.) Now obviously, not everyone there likes them: the Kurds especially hate them. But that's fine, we can just equip and train the Kurds and let them keep ISIS contained.

You simply haven't made any kind of case why we should become mass murderers and draw the condemnation of the world for this cause. They are not any kind of serious threat to western nations, and in fact, the way I see it, they're a help: they're drawing away lots of angry Muslims who were born here to Muslim immigrants. Instead of staying here and causing problems (and us being unable to deport them because they're citizens), they're willingly going over there and getting killed by drone bombs or Kurdish or Iraqi militaries. Good riddance. It's kinda like a honeypot.

Finally, what would happen in your scenario anyway? You sound like you've thought it through about as well as Bush thought through his plans for eliminating Saddam in Iraq. What are you going to do after you eliminate ISIS and achieve military victory? We already won militarily in Iraq: there was no "namby pamby" war there, we won completely and decisively, and then look what happened: we got ISIS. This is what happens when you create a power vacuum in a culture you don't understand and try to set up a lame puppet government. Wiping out a city and eliminating ISIS is going to do the same thing.

Comment: Re:"Drama of mental illness" (Score 2) 331

I go a restaurant and there are parents with children. And the kids stare at their phone the entire time, never looking at or talking to anyone around them...It seems very abnormal and unhealthy.

I don't really have a problem with that per se.

I think the real issue is that kids are spending an even larger percentage of their time interacting with their peers and not with adults. I don't think that is healthy. If they were on their phones interacting with adults I think they'd be fine.

I think kids do need to spend time socializing with others their own age, but I think that they'd be better off spending more time with adults. After all, the goal is to get them to be more like adults and less like children. Now, that shouldn't be about being dependent on adults, but rather about interacting with them.

Comment: Re:Careful, they might shoot back (Score 2) 332

Um, genocide really isn't considered acceptable these days. Besides, the people they're murdering are mainly the people in the areas they control, who would be nuked in your scenario, so that seems a bit like throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

The obvious solution to me seems to be containment. Keep them contained within a certain area and don't let them expand their territory any more. The people under their control will suffer (but hey, at least they won't be irradiated to death), but oh well.

One thing I do wonder, however, is if having ISIS isn't necessarily such a bad thing for western nations. How many thousands of radical Muslims have willingly left western nations and traveled to Syria/Iraq to join ISIS? Last I heard, around 6000 ISIS fighters have already been KIA. Well, that's 6000 that we westerners don't have to live with, plus tens of thousands more that are still living over there and getting killed daily (of course, not all came from western nations, lots are Syrian or Iraqi).

You know you've landed gear-up when it takes full power to taxi.