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Comment: Re:So... (Score 2) 85

by Kjella (#49382949) Attached to: SCOTUS: GPS Trackers Are a Form of Search and Seizure

Not to look a gift outbreak of common sense in the mouth, but how the fuck can GPS trackers be a form of search and seizure and civil forfeiture NOT be a form of search and seizure?

It's a form of seizure, but the supreme court hasn't found it an unreasonable one. And it's been used for a very long time. Basically, the issue was that without forfeiture they had a hard time catching the owners of smuggling ships. As long as you can't establish them as an accessory to the crime or you have jurisdiction problems, they can legally provide the supplies while the criminals operate on an asset-less basis. So the solution was to declare the assets - in this case the ship - used in illegal acts forfeit, making it a risk and a cost to be used in crime. This goes all the way back to the British.

I've been reading some of the court cases and it seems the minority has been trying really hard to find tortured ways of getting out of their own past precedents as the cases become more and more unreasonable but the majority falls down on "we've approved of civil forfeiture for 200 years, we can't overturn that now". They really, really, really don't like interpreting an old law in a new way. So without acts of Congress saying this is not okay, I don't think anything will change.

P.S. Civil asset forfeiture puts the US way ahead of the UK as fascist country in my opinion, I'm not really even sure if it should qualify as an "innocent until proven guilty" system anymore since you can be robbed blind and need to prove your innocence to the court. It stinks to high heaven.

Comment: Re:Don't be an asshole. (Score 1) 237

by Kjella (#49381263) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Dealing With User Resignation From an IT Perspective?

He's still an employee during his notice period; treat him like one.

Or not, either way is fine.
a) You're leaving for another company but during the notice period while it is our paycheck we expect you to be professional and loyal to your current employer. That means continuing to carry out your job duties to the best of your ability and help transition them to other employees. I'm sure they'll appreciate someone with working knowledge of the system guiding them.
or
b) I'm sure you know it's company policy to immediately terminate all access for leaving staff members, regardless of reason so don't take it personally. Think of it as two weeks paid vacation. Have you got everything in order? I can pretend I haven't seen this for another hour, but if you're ready I'll call the honor guard to escort you out. The check will be in the mail.

I mean you have to screw up pretty bad to make the last seem like a bad thing for an employee that's leaving voluntarily. You're getting two weeks pay for doing nothing. Pretty much the worst you can do is make them stay, but act like you don't trust them anymore.

And if they care a bit too much about their coworkers and start talking about transitioning, it should be pretty easy to to talk them out of it. Sure it'll be tough on the remaining staff, but it'll be like a "what if he was hit by a bus" exercise and we'll find out how much documentation and routines we're missing. They'll cope somehow and besides, it's company policy so I can't really make those kinds of exceptions.

Comment: Re:depends (Score 4, Insightful) 148

by Kjella (#49378031) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Who's Going To Win the Malware Arms Race?

You mean like browsers and Javascript? In that case 99% of the population has lost already. The pwn2own competition results are rather miserable. The part that /. probably doesn't want to hear is that the primary effect is centralization and gatekeepers.

Take Usenet for example, it got overrun by spammers and trolls because there was no real way to block them and the few moderated groups basically meant a few people were in control of the discussion. Instead we moved to forums, where you could use CAPTCHAs and various other tricks to block mass sign-ups, moderation, flagging of abusive users and so on. They're not perfect, but they work okay.

Why do so many people use Facebook instead of email? Same thing, much less SPAM. For the longest time, Linux users hailed the repository model over the Windows "download random exe from the Internet" model. Then Apple took it to the extreme with the "one store to rule them all" and suddenly it was a problem. Even on Android you have to pass by huge warning lights to enable third party repositories and Windows Phone has as far as I know joined Apple in the "one store" model.

My guess is that they'll push it to the cloud so all the application code runs on a server and they just need to lock down the browser, more per user&app sandboxes, more difficult time running unsigned software and more users with computers that need Apple's, Microsoft's or Google's sign-off to run an application. The average user simply doesn't understand the micromanagement involved, same way users won't use NoScript when browsing the web. They'll "outsource" it.

Comment: Re:The future is now. (Score 4, Insightful) 148

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49377967) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Who's Going To Win the Malware Arms Race?
And, unfortunately, ChromeOS is the comparatively softcore version of dystopian cryptographic lockdown. A ChromeOS device certainly works most smoothly if you leave it set to factory defaults, and generally play like a good little consumer; but, at least for now, there's a deliberate, documented, we-don't-assure-that-you'll-like-the-results-but-here's-how-to-do-it, switch for turning off the verification, becoming root, booting alternate payloads, and generally mucking around. My memory of the details is a little fuzzy; but I think that you can have your merry way with everything except some 'fallback' BIOS/bootloader that is hardware write-locked at the factory and isn't even modified by Google-provided updates; but instead intended to be just enough bootloader to un-brick basically anything you can do to the system in software. On some models, you can futz with that as well if you poke the right area of the board.

It's definitely a 'crypto lockdown to make security easier, and possibly even possible' device; and Google hardly encourages you to go forth and GNU; but they at least allow you to. That puts ChromeOS devices well above all iDevices, a fair percentage of Android hardware, and potentially above some 'trusted boot' UEFI systems(depending on whether you can re-key the system or not). It's certainly a good example; but it's far less of an anomaly than one would like.

Comment: Re:More of the same (Score 5, Insightful) 148

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49377813) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Who's Going To Win the Malware Arms Race?
I'd be inclined to suggest that it will be worse than that:

Barring some sort of radical change in priorities that causes the market to accept zero new features for, oh, a (human) generation or more, while vendors put out bugfix releases, 'winning' certainly isn't going to happen by doing conventional stuff; but harder.

If 'winning' in fact occurs, odds are excellent that it will be on some wonderfully dystopian lockdown platform that shrinks the problem space considerably by forbidding basically everything that hasn't been cryptopgraphically blessed by the vendor, sandboxed to hell and back, or both. Naturally, the power afforded to the vendor in this scenario will never be abused.

Comment: Re:WWJD? (Score 1) 1070

by Kjella (#49375567) Attached to: Apple's Tim Cook Calls Out "Religious Freedom" Laws As Discriminatory

Trust me -- the small business bakery market will weed out those who want to miss great business opportunities and/or sales just because they don't want both figures on a cake wearing pants.

That depends on how much of peer pressure/boycott there is from your local church congregation and extended to their members to not shop at "gay friendly" stores and buy at stores that refuse gays service. From what I've understood the most successful such peer pressure in the US has been to make mainstream outlets "family friendly". Despite there obviously being a big market for adult material, they've managed to force adult stores out of malls, keep mainstream cinemas showing adult-only movies, video game stores from selling adult only-titles and so on simply by refusing to shop in any business that would touch it with a ten foot pole. You don't think the same can happen to a cake shop? I do.

Comment: Re:Good luck... (Score 2) 63

by Kjella (#49374063) Attached to: India Mandates Use of Open Source Software In Government

The short story from any seasoned admin perspective: 'Whatever platform *I* know the tools for is better than the platform that I don't know the tools for'. This applies to all the parent posts. The Windows guy thinks Linux isn't enterprise ready because he doesn't know the tools. The Linux guy is shocked to hear this because Windows in his experience is a pain in the ass.

Of course leaving out the small detail that basically every managed Windows desktop uses AD and Windows admins either know it or they don't. If I search for tools to centralized manage Linux machines, I get dozens of alternatives in the top 50 hits. Like with everything else on Linux, there is no single standard.

Comment: Re:Delivery drones (Score 1) 136

by Kjella (#49365697) Attached to: How long until our skies are filled with drones?

You'll never get away from the fact that flying is extremely energy intensive and has some nasty failure modes. What happens the day the drone and cargo drops out of the sky and hits a kid on the head? Remember that a falling coconut or icicle is enough to kill, a drone clearly has lethal potential.

We're working so hard on autonomous cars, why not autonomous pedestrians? Something like this making its way to your doorstep, you swipe the card and collect your pizza. Or your package from Amazon or whatever. Or it's the robot mailman dropping mail in designated mailboxes. Of course you need a human manager nearby in case it malfunctions or gets tipped over by kids having fun or whatever, but there's a lot less that can go wrong with <5 mph rolling robot.

Comment: Live data would be more useful (Score 1) 442

by Kjella (#49364927) Attached to: Why the Final Moments Inside a Cockpit Are Heard But Not Seen

Most large airliners today have some kind of in-flight cell phone/internet access. Apparently the flight recorder data is about 6 kbps, if you want to include the cockpit voice recorder you may double that. You'd immediately know when it goes dark and send out a search&rescue party, it can't get lost or destroyed in a crash, you would have data right away not days and weeks later and you could often deduce the problem long before you find the boxes.

Comment: Re:Need the ISS (Score 1) 152

by Kjella (#49364361) Attached to: Russia Wants To Work With NASA On a New Space Station

which means we'd better stop dismissing lunar and asteroid mining and such as sci-fi dreams and start figuring out how to make them work

Well then start there, not build the Enterprise and say "When we're ready to build the warp drive..." because even Mars One got more realistic plans for travelling to Mars than anyone got for lunar/asteroid mining.

your workforce for the next step can have a place to stay in orbit rather than commuting to and from the surface all the time.

The effects of radiation and zero-g, not to mention humane working conditions means you'd want to rotate the crew a couple times a year. Nobody will live in space any more than they'd live on a nuclear submarine, unless it's another massively shielded artificial gravity sci-fi dream.

And ultimately it'll end up being recycled into raw materials or basic parts for something else once it's no longer needed

Nobody has such plans for the ISS, if you don't want to spend $3 billion/year to keep it in orbit all the plans I've heard for it is to deorbit it into the Pacific.

No, it's not going to be easy or simple. Colonizing North America wasn't easy or simple either, but we did it.

Who we? The 15th+ century colonists who managed to settle in a land already inhabited by Native Americans in the south to Inuits in the north? You're talking about living in an area where humans have lived since long before we had any kind of civilization or technology. It doesn't even remotely compare to the hostility of space.

Though I'll admit that attitude does seem kind of insane to the couch potatoes. Not really my problem though, my entire career my motto's been "They don't pay me to not get the job done." and the older I get the less reason I see to change it.

But on a wild bet I'd say it's not NASA paying you... if I'm an armchair naysayer, you're an armchair quarterback. And if you worked for Ford, we'd all be travelling around in flying cars by now.

Comment: Re:Economy (Score 1) 197

by Kjella (#49363353) Attached to: Best Buy Kills Off Future Shop

Certain kinds of products are moving online. But I have a feeling the electronic retail stores are making their money on selling refrigerators, freezers, washing machines, dishwashers, TVs and everything else too big to fit an ordinary parcel. A lot of other goods are selling on look and feel where people want to see the actual product in person, I got burned on this before Christmas when I bought something that... I mean all the specs and images were correct, but it was just underwhelming in reality. I certainly don't think they're worse off than specialty stores. The thing is, when people look at specialty stores what they often want is the selection, not necessarily the service. Online stores can often have an even wider selection and really there's no better service than getting what you want. I guess if you really want useful help but I suffer from a general distrust of clerks/salesmen, are they really helping me or their profit margin. Most of the time I'd rather trust my own judgement.

Comment: Re:Its a shame WebM sucks (Score 1) 68

by Kjella (#49363295) Attached to: Another Patent Pool Forms For HEVC

I've can't decide if you're a troll or just lack sane opinions, you seem to hate on most things except AMD for which you have a major boner. The average person doesn't use an encoder, ever. The only reason they care about decoding formats is because they download stuff off the Internet want their MKV to work on their gizmo, not just their computer. Both "DivX 3.11 ;-)" and MKV gained popularity that way.

Ordinary users upload videos to YouTube, but they don't have any say in what codec/settings/resolution/bitrate Google chooses to use. The people who edit video want it in their save/export dialog of whatever editing software they use, which Google can do fuck all about and those who transcode for "the scene" are 99% fine using a CLI. They just don't give a shit about legality so if WebM beat H.264 they'd use it and it'd be popular. Absolutely nobody cares about encoder GUIs.

Nobody's gonna believe that computers are intelligent until they start coming in late and lying about it.

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