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Comment: I still like cubing... (Score 2) 100

by sl3xd (#46862153) Attached to: The People Who Are Still Addicted To the Rubik's Cube

I never really stopped liking the Rubik's cube. The remarkable thing I've found is the explosion of nxn cubes made by companies other than Rubik's - each with a very different feel (and much better performance).

In my opinion, the Rubik's brand are the worst available - overpriced, and literally painful to use for more than a few twists. Even a cheap $3 knockoff is a vastly superior mechanical design.

Modern speedcubes (non-Rubik's) are a lot more fun: your hands aren't hurting because the cube is painfully stiff or constantly locking up because of a tiny misalignment. The stickers don't peel up from a few minute's use... And they still cost less than the Rubik's brand.

Comment: What good is free speech... (Score 1) 1116

by sl3xd (#46700017) Attached to: Mozilla CEO Firestorm Likely Violated California Law

What good is freedom of speech if you can't speak your mind without being vilified by everyone?

de Tocquerville even warned that freedom of speech is useless unless the speaker is allowed to voice their view without being persecuted for it.

He even closed "Democracy in America" with: "Tyranny in democratic republics does not proceed in the same way, however. It ignores the body and goes straight for the soul. The master no longer says: You will think as I do or die. He says: You are free not to think as I do. You may keep your life, your property, and everything else. But from this day forth you shall be as a stranger among us. You will retain your civic privileges, but they will be of no use to you. For if you seek the votes of your fellow citizens, they will withhold them, and if you seek only their esteem, they will feign to refuse even that. You will remain among men, but you will forfeit your rights to humanity. When you approach your fellow creatures, they will shun you as one who is impure. And even those who believe in your innocence will abandon you, lest they, too, be shunned in turn. Go in peace, I will not take your life, but the life I leave you with is worse than death.”

Freedom of speech is useless without the tolerance to allow a person's views to be heard, without persecution. Unless you can voice your view without persecution, "You will retain your civic privileges, but they will be of no use to you" is literally true - you can voice your view, but you will suffer for it, what good is it?

It's perversion of the spirit of the first amendment to say "You have freedom of speech, but not freedom from its consequence."

I may not like what I consider ignorant drek spouted by Neo-Nazis, KKK, certain Westboro Baptist Church members, etc. I may think they are personally the worst filth humanity has to offer. But I am willing to fight to give them the right to spew their bile and to protect them from those who seek to silence them by whatever means necessary. Anything less amounts to tyranny by the majority.

And that's precisely what is being done here - Eich voiced a view - years ago, and now that what was then the minority is now the majority, he is being punished for it.

The very cornerstone of freedom of speech is being willing to protect those whose views we hate, and the ability to exercise their right without fear of backlash or persecution.

I'm not saying Eich is left starving... far from it. The point is that nobody should feel a threat to their person, livelihood, or property because their views -- however unpopular, ignorant, or wrong -- are expressed.

Comment: And an active development... (Score 1) 115

by sl3xd (#46595063) Attached to: Facebook To Begin Deploying Btrfs

It also has an active development community; the git repo has regular and frequent commits (for a filesystem). ZFS on Linux seems to test more and release less often -- a fact I appreciate as I haven't lost a single bit of data on my ZFS filesystems, but have lost entire btrfs filesystems multiple times. (Yeah, sure, btrfs is "experimental" and will eat your data... so why is Facebook even thinking about using it?)

Comment: What difference would the GPL make to ZFS? (Score 1) 115

by sl3xd (#46595045) Attached to: Facebook To Begin Deploying Btrfs

It would be the biggest "fuck you" in the history of open source if ORACLE licensed ZFS as GPLv3 only, as the license would still be incompatible with the Linux Kernel.

The whole reason the CDDL was chosen by Sun was to be incompatible with GPLv2. Oddly enough, the GPLv3 is incompatible with GPLv2 as well.

From a license persepective, it makes no useful difference, as you'd taint the kernel with an incompatible license to run the code whether it's GPLv3 or CDDL.

Comment: And facebook will be burnt (Score 2) 115

by sl3xd (#46594979) Attached to: Facebook To Begin Deploying Btrfs

Not that anybody'll really notice, but I have a feeling that Facebook's backup and recovery system is queuing up for a stress test.

Having lost data with BTRFS multiple times on my disk array (as recently as last month), I have no confidence in it. The best thing I can say about btrfs is is that it was able to tell me that it had lost data. Not many filesystems do that; but ZFS on Linux has been rock solid for years, and not only tells me if data has been lost, but actually preserves the data as well.

Comment: Yahoo CEO's term (Score 2) 103

by sl3xd (#46537977) Attached to: NSA General Counsel Insists US Companies Assisted In Data Collection

Traitors, the lot of them.

Unfortunately, there are multiple ways of finding the 'traitor' here...

I seem to recall Yahoo's CEO saying something along the lines of "If I discuss government surveillance programs, I go to prison as a traitor; if I don't comply with them, I'm also a traitor." (obviously paraphrased)

So if you're damned if you do, and damned if you don't, I'd go with the one that doesn't involve a very public slam-dunk federal crime.

This is especially true with our current legislature (both houses, all parties), as well as multiple executives (both R and D), whom have voted to make the surveillance legal, and a Supreme Court that has also sided with the other two branches.

I can't really fault anyone faced with that decision.

The law as it currently stands may be horrible, but it is still the law, and the only way out is for voters to elect leaders who want to remove it.

Comment: Ability to unlock != ability to authenticate. (Score 1) 465

by sl3xd (#46447089) Attached to: Apple Refuses To Unlock Bequeathed iPad

The ability to unlock isn't the same thing as the ability to authenticate. Many documents (such as a will, death certificate, and notes from a legal professional) are easily and commonly forged. Fraudsters use this route all the time to pull identity theft.

A court order, on the other hand, is positively verifiable.

Here, I think any company (Apple or otherwise, be it a bank, Google, Amazon, whatever) is damned if they do, damned if they don't, so they aught to go with the most secure option.

Comment: But they do... (Score 1) 465

by sl3xd (#46447021) Attached to: Apple Refuses To Unlock Bequeathed iPad

Apple should have no skin in this game, they don't own any part of it.

Has anyone stopped for a second to consider that there are a lot of attempts to use social engineering tactics to get into a person's account, and/or unlock a stolen device?

Apple gets reamed when a prominent user's account is hacked using similar social engineering tactics, but is supposed to let it pass when someone uses easily forged documents?

I give Kudos to Apple (or anyone else) for being pedantic about authentication. Court orders are far more difficult to forge than a death certificate or a letter from a solicitor.

Comment: +This (Score 1) 153

I can't agree more. I have trouble understanding how people don't get that students don't come with all of the knowledge they need to be 'safe.' They are there to learn. Many lessons are from making mistakes - often bad ones.

The number of ways to produce surprisingly harmful substances by accident is large, as is the number of students whom haven't discovered their own mortality yet.

Comment: WTF? (Score 1) 860

by sl3xd (#46409971) Attached to: Microsoft's Attempt To Convert Users From Windows XP Backfires

There's no problem installing any browser I like on my Mac.

And as for iOS? Let's see... Google Chrome and, Opera are both available on iOS.

Microsoft (unsurprisingly) doesn't make a browser for Mac/iOS, nor for Linux/Android.

As for Microsoft putting IE in their OS - that was the least of their crimes. The only thing you're doing is proving your rank ignorance in Microsoft's behavior in the 1990's. Microsoft had a nasty tendency to change entire API's so a competitor's product wouldn't run. A popular saying was "Windows ain't done until (Lotus, WordPerfect) won't run." Microsoft was fond of extorting any non-Microsoft software vendors, and creating entirely new Windows-only proprietary technologies (DirectX, Windows Audio, Windows Video, Active Directory... the list is huge) to thwart adoption of standards. Microsoft was (and still is) famously hostile to open source software, even going so far as lobbying politicians to make open source software illegal.

In contrast, Apple supports many major open source projects: CUPS, WebKit, LLVM, and Clang. Apple also has released the source code (ie. their modifications) for over 200 other projects they use. Apple even releases the source for the OS Kernel, and other technologies such as Launchd, Grand Central Dispatch, mDNS/Bonjour, Apple Lossless Audio Codec, and their calendar and contacts server.

Apple is a lot better than Microsoft, even now that Microsoft has "reformed" somewhat. But claiming that Apple is worse than Microsoft only shows you have no fraking clue what you're talking about.

Comment: This (Score 1) 99

by sl3xd (#46359665) Attached to: 'Obnoxious' RSA Protests, RSA Remains Mum

+1 to this.

It's fairly common for companies to have required IT products, such as RSA. Then they send their employees out to improve their knowledge of the "blessed" product(s).

The employees are often obligated to attend the conference, and are also (due to corporate policy) unable to say much, just in case those comments can be construed as company opinion.

So yeah... you have these poor attendees who are pretty much like "Look, I don't know anything anyway, my attendance was mandated by someone else. Why are you harassing me?"

Comment: More than that... (Score 3, Insightful) 606

by sl3xd (#46335291) Attached to: 'Google Buses' Are Bad For Cities, Says New York MTA Official

He's saying that businesses should buy more expensive property at higher tax rates, in a slum, tear it all down, and rebuild everything new.

In other words: these companies should take it upon themselves to finance urban renewal.

Now I'm all for corporations being better citizens, and giving more back to the communities, but it is laughable to take an area the city can't take care of, and expect a corporation to somehow improve the area by moving in. Corporations aren't in business to make the area's neighborhoods better; that's the job of the city government.

I've seen a number of big, respected corporations in slums. (The Prudential is HQ'd at Broad & Market in Newark - hardly a shining pillar of civilization). The proximity of the company did nothing for the area.

It's a poor workman who blames his tools.

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