Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:The cops that arrested him must be proud (Score 1) 1016

by yfarren (#28947631) Attached to: California Student Arrested For Console Hacking
"Just Doing My Job" is a GREAT excuse, in the vast majority of cases, if you are a soldier, policeman, fireman, whatnot.

The idea that someone in one of those positions should, on a regular basis be ALLOWED to substitute their "judgment" for their job is absurd. Institutions like the police and army, HAVE to do their job, even (especially!) when they find that job distasteful or even mildly wrong, because if they didn't, if a private, or a beat cop, or whoever got to willy nilly substitue their judgment for that of their CO, or of the law as it stands, in ANYTHING but the most outrageous situations, those institutions would entirely cease to function, as institutions, and you would get not the rule of Law, but the rule of Thugs.

In VERY EXTREME cases, "just doing my job" doesn't cut it, post Nuremberg. But in run of the mill cases (and arresting someone for breaking the law, even a silly, or wrong (in the eyes of cop/soldier) law is very run of the mill) "just doing my job" is needful.

Comment: Re:Slackware (Score 1) 295

by yfarren (#24994403) Attached to: Server Optimization For Newbies?
Terrible Advice. Stay entirely away from Slack, or Gentoo. Work with Red Hat, or, if you must, Debian.

The elitist will say "but you wont have the fine grained understanding of everything." But that is the point. You never will. And if you teach yourself that you have to know everything, then when you have to set up servers that are used, by organizations, in the real world, you are going to not know the tools that exist to help you. You will feel bound to "if I didnt do all of it, I can't understand it."

And either you will just do what you are told, and do a lousy job, or you will make a system that is near unuseable for general purpose.

Learn your way through Red Hat, or Debian.
The Almighty Buck

+ - Grants for nerds.

Submitted by
yfarren writes: "So I applied, and got into to law school (the only one within 100 miles of me that offers night school, so I don't have to quit my day Job). I am a professional software developer, and rather like my job. I have worked as an assistant patent agent (writing patents, until I just couldn't), and have been interested in IP law, rights of workers, and contract law (as it touches EULA's) pretty much forever.

I think the legal profession is missing people who are strongly technically inclined, and that some of the reason so much bad law is passed is simply ignorance of technology (and a lot of the reason is the power of interests, in the face of general ignorance/apathy of technology), so I would like to pursue a degree in law, that will hopefully allow me to advocate in the areas I work in currently, and understand.

My problem is that while I have a good job, I can't justify taking on 100k of debt for a degree which will only marginally improve my salary, given how I want to use it. When I look for institutions that offer assistance to aspiring lawyers, they want to help people interested in social justice, or poor housing, or legal aid to immigrants. A wide variety of kinds of aid, actually, but I haven't found any institutional help for someone who is interested in IP law. I mean there is the EFF, but they are already lawyers. NewYorkCountryLawyer is a wonderful advocate for some IP law issues, and actually is doing some of the kind of work I would be interested in, but again, he is already a lawyer.

Anyone know of institutions that would be interested in helping create lawyers, who are well versed in technology, who want to use a law degree in advocating technology issues?"

+ - Mercedes-Benz Refuses to Help Police Nab Suspect

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: I found myself yelling at the TV over a broadcast this morning by KNBC Los Angeles. The story is here. The article talks about how the Glendale Police Department cannot believe that Mercedes-Benz of America is refusing to comply with an order they obtain to help find the driver of a hit and run accident. What the web version of the story does not say was what the Glendale police department was asking Mercedes-Benz to do was to turn on the the car's GPS tracking system so that they could help locate the suspect. I say kudos to Mercedes-Benz of America for refusing to do so.

+ - The obesity epidemic fueled by fructose->

Submitted by drewtheman
drewtheman writes: According to this interview with Dr Robert Lustig, Professor of Pediatric Endocrinology from University of California, San Francisco, the fructose, once touted as diabetic friendly because it doesn't raise your insulin directly, could be a major culprit for the obesity epidemic, high blood pressure and elevated blood levels of LDL. The fructose constitute 50% of table sugar and up to 90% of HFCS, both found in high quantity in most prepared foods. And if it was not the fat that makes you fat?
Link to Original Source

+ - PHP 4 End of Life Announcement->

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes: PHP today announced the end of life of version 4, with support continuing until the end of the year and critical security patches continuing until August 8, 2008. There will be no more releases of version 4.4. PHP notes today is the third anniversary of the release of PHP 5 and that PHP 6 is soon on the way. PHP recommends developers spend the rest of the year updating applications to run on PHP 5, and offers a migration guide.
Link to Original Source

+ - PHP 4 end of life announcement

Submitted by perbert
perbert writes: The PHP development team announced that support for PHP 4 will continue until the end of this year only. After 2007-12-31 there will be no more releases of PHP 4.4. Critical security fixes will be made available on a case-by-case basis until 2008-08-08. For documentation on migration for PHP 4 to PHP 5, there is a migration guide. There is additional information available in the PHP 5.0 to PHP 5.1 and PHP 5.1 to PHP 5.2 migration guides as well.

+ - PHP 4 end of life announcement->

Submitted by
An anonymous reader writes: Today it is exactly three years ago since PHP 5 has been released. In those three years it has seen many improvements over PHP 4. PHP 5 is fast, stable & production-ready and as PHP 6 is on the way, PHP 4 will be discontinued.

The PHP development team hereby announces that support for PHP 4 will continue until the end of this year only. After 2007-12-31 there will be no more releases of PHP 4.4. We will continue to make critical security fixes available on a case-by-case basis until 2008-08-08. Please use the rest of this year to make your application suitable to run on PHP 5.

For documentation on migration for PHP 4 to PHP 5, we would like to point you to our migration guide. There is additional information available in the PHP 5.0 to PHP 5.1 and PHP 5.1 to PHP 5.2 migration guides as well.

Link to Original Source
The Media

+ - An invasion of privacy? Public "oversight"->

Submitted by
yfarren writes: "Well, here is a site aiming to make the DC Madame's phone list searchable. Other than it just being funny, what do people think about this, given our mood for discussing privacy, and holding politicians accountable. Are politicians entiteled to any privacy? Is a site like this an invasion of their privacy? Are their visits with a sex workers really related to their Job Performance? Should that change the way we think about them, when they make laws about Iraq, or the internet? What about their stands on things like gay marriage?"
Link to Original Source

+ - Vista: The "Longest Suicide Note In History

Submitted by
DiamondGeezer writes: "The Inquirer reports on Peter Gutmann's dissection of Microsoft Vista:

"Windows Vista includes an extensive reworking of core OS elements in order to
provide content protection for so-called "premium content", typically HD data
from Blu-Ray and HD-DVD sources. Providing this protection incurs
considerable costs in terms of system performance, system stability, technical
support overhead, and hardware and software cost. These issues affect not
only users of Vista but the entire PC industry, since the effects of the
protection measures extend to cover all hardware and software that will ever
come into contact with Vista, even if it's not used directly with Vista (for
example hardware in a Macintosh computer or on a Linux server). This document
analyses the cost involved in Vista's content protection, and the collateral
damage that this incurs throughout the computer industry"

Lesson: If you want your graphics to be of the highest quality, your digital imaging to be top notch, then don't use Vista because it will degrade them in order to protect premium content and there's nothing you can do about it (other than go to OSX or Linux).

Happy New Year"

A committee is a life form with six or more legs and no brain. -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough For Love"