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Comment: Re:A quote (Score 1) 409

by HiThere (#48934019) Attached to: Justice Department: Default Encryption Has Created a 'Zone of Lawlessness'

I think what you are proposing is "long term occupation", and I agree that *can* be made to work. It does, however, have significant costs, and opportunities for disaster. The US occupation of Japan, and the Allies occupation of Germany were examples of successes, but it's not clear that this either could have been done in Iraq, or that there wouldn't have been intolerable costs. And there clearly wasn't the long term political will to accomplish it.

Comment: Re:So to cicumvent the screen locker... (Score 1) 352

by HiThere (#48926901) Attached to: Why Screen Lockers On X11 Cannot Be Secure

So what you're saying is that there is old hardware that will only work if you make your system insecure. OK.

FWIW, I don't consider any system that allows remote sessions to be secure. Period. So you need to isolate such systems. (This isn't an argument that you shouldn't run such systems. Just that you should take precautions.)

As an aside, I think that allowing compressed files to be expanded with the execute bit set is also a security hazard...just one that's probably worth the cost. In most circumstances. (And hazard isn't the same as hole. Not quite.)

Comment: Re:A quote (Score 1) 409

by HiThere (#48926793) Attached to: Justice Department: Default Encryption Has Created a 'Zone of Lawlessness'

You are making the assumption that they didn't intend this result. Or at least that they weren't aware that this would be the result. I find that quite dubious. As you say, it was obvious by inspection

OTOH, what would have been the result of disbanding the Iraqi army? You've created a bunch of people trained in violence suddenly out of work. I'm not convinced that it would have resulted in a better situation, though clearly it would be a different situation. And long term occupation would also have tremendous probabilities for disaster.

The real mistake was deciding to invade. After that I don't think there was a decent exit strategy...not if you are counting human cost. But this *must* have been obvious ahead of time, so clearly that wasn't their consideration. Who benefited? Who expected to benefit? How? It strikes me as a clearly political decision with only political gains.

Comment: Re:When everyone is guilty... (Score 1) 409

by HiThere (#48926679) Attached to: Justice Department: Default Encryption Has Created a 'Zone of Lawlessness'

True, there also needs to be a maximum length of any given law which includes in the length all other laws cited by reference.

I also think there needs to be a reasonable test for intelligibility. It's not right that everyone should understand every law, that's an impossibily high bar, but an average high school senior should. And at minimum should be able to. I can't think of a simple way of phrasing that test though that isn't of the form "Take a bunch of average high school seniors and have them write an essay about what the law means, and what it means is the intersection of what they claim it means", and that's also a poor idea, because it would eliminate everything...but I can't think of an objective "average understanding" evaluator.

Comment: Re:Alternate Link (Score 1) 207

by plopez (#48923821) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes a Great Software Developer?

"Try to kick ass at least once a week."

I try to do similar things. But then there are last minute meetings (scheduling 8 am meetings at 630 am? Really?), an overnight patch breaks my IDE, a bad switch in the blade farm hoses up routing so I can't make it to my test and development server, a new standard is implemented in coding tools, a new coding paradigm is adopted, HR says we need to get our compliance reports in RIGHT NOW, "Fred" get sick and I have to cover for him, etc.

So good luck with that.

Footnote: most of what I listed and seem to experience day-to-day is shiney new tech not working. Doing a good job is hard when you must constantly fight your tools.

Comment: Regulation can be good. (Score 1) 333

by plopez (#48913895) Attached to: Davos 2015: Less Innovation, More Regulation, More Unrest. Run Away!

They are not mutually exclusive. Regulation can in fact spurn innovation by forcing people to rethink how they have always done things and trying to invent new technologies to replace it. Regulation can in fact force out old technology which is only in place due to inertia and open a niche for real innovation. Example, smog regulations can spur research into electric cars or better mass transit, or labor regulations can spur interest in more efficient industrial processes.

I predict I will be moderated 'troll' for this post as it is not politically correct.

Comment: Re:"A hangar in Mojave" (Score 3, Informative) 38

by Bruce Perens (#48908157) Attached to: Virgin Galactic Dumps Scaled Composites For Spaceship Two

That's actually what it's like at "Mojave Spaceport". Hangers of small aviation practicioners and their junk. Gary Hudson, Burt Rutan, etc. Old aircraft and parts strewn about. Left-over facilities from Rotary Rocket used by flight schools. A medium-sized facility for Orbital. Some big facilities for BAE, etc. An aircraft graveyard next door.

Comment: Re:give this one a pass (Score 1) 152

by HiThere (#48907503) Attached to: How Do We Know the Timeline of the Universe?

Well....sort of. The CMB is modified by galaxies that are too faint to see, though I don't know by how much. It's filtered by intervening dust clouds moving WRT both us and the "origin of the signals". Etc. I normally assume that this is taken account of as best we can, but it's not unmodified signal. If you look at the raw (uncorrected) observations, I don't know how much noise is present, but clearly that are signals too weak to be recognized even though detected.

OTOH, I am not a cosmologist. But I do recognize that error bars are important, and that they tend to get left out of popular articles.

Comment: Re:Advantages are gone. (Score 1) 487

by HiThere (#48907027) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Pascal Underrated?

Yes. There are numerous reasons to "not fight city hall". But that doesn't mean you can't do it for a good enough reason. E.g., I use tab spacing at the start of Python lines. This causes formatting problems if I use idle, but to me its worth the cost. And I've occasionally had reasons to use a length terminated string in C...though I usually also zero terminate it. (IIRC the reason was that I needed to include 0 valued bytes in the string.)

Similarly you can use zero delimited strings in Pascal, but you need to write the support routines that you would need, and since current Pascal has a string type that isn't limited to 255 chars it they would appear to be rarely needed.

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