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Comment Re:Such a slippery slope. (Score 1) 219

Well, Finland does have a state-mandated police-provided blocklist, supposedly to fight child porn, which also blocks sites that point out that most of the sites on the list have nothing to do with child porn.

Fortunately using it isn't mandatory - ISPs are free to ignore it (some do, including mine) or provide it to their customers as an optional service (most of them do that, some make as opt-in, some as opt-out). I don't think any of them enforces it on their customers any more.

Comment Re:Idealism not in line with reality (Score 1) 686

Here in Finland there was a court case a while back where a man was convicted for using neighbour's unprotected WLAN without permission. Rather amazingly, that lead to a new law passed by Finnish parliament just a few months ago, which explicitly allows such use. (Disclaimer: I was rather heavily involved in the campaign for the law, as then-chairman of Electronic Frontier Finland.) Moreover, just about all landline network connections here are uncapped, and there are enough free WLANs around that using or offering them is not suspicious in itself. Nowhere near enough though, so a campaign like this could be very useful here as well.

Comment Re:Darker mornings (Score 1) 554

Quite a few people find it depressing leaving work several hours after the sun has gone down. Can't please everyone!

Right. In winter, I go to work before sunrise and leave after sunset, which is pretty depressing. Then again, in summer I go to sleep before sunset and wake up after sunrise, which is pretty nice.

(I live in Finland, little over 62 degrees North. In mid-winter there's about 4 hours between sunrise and sunset; in midsummer, 20 hours. Here, shifting the clocks for daylight savings never made any real sense, except in synchronizing schedules with other countries. Today, it makes little sense anywhere, and it'd be best to drop the whole practice entirely ASAP.)


Sharks Seen Swimming Down Australian Streets 210

As if the flood waters weren't bad enough for the people of Queensland, it now appears that there are sharks swimming in the streets. Two bull sharks were spotted swimming past a McDonald’s in the city of Goodna, Butcher Steve Bateman saw another making its way past his shop on Williams street. Ipswich councillor for the Goodna region Paul Tully said: "It would have swam several kilometres in from the river, across Evan Marginson Park and the motorway. It’s definitely a first for Goodna, to have a shark in the main street."

Auto Incorrect 86

theodp writes "Combine smartphone auto correction and fat-fingered virtual keyboard typing, writes Rob Walker, and the results can be hilarious and even shocking. The website Damn You, Autocorrect collects the awesomely embarrassing text messages that you never meant to send. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to masturbate some chicken for bisexuals night!"

When Smart People Make Bad Employees 491

theodp writes "Writing for Forbes, CS-grad-turned-big-time-VC Ben Horowitz gives three examples of how the smartest people in a company can also be the worst employees: 1. The Heretic, who convincingly builds a case that the company is hopeless and run by a bunch of morons; 2. The Flake, who is brilliant but totally unreliable; 3. The Jerk, who is so belligerent in his communication style that people just stop talking when he is in the room. So, can an employee who fits one of these poisonous descriptions, but nonetheless can make a massive positive contribution to a company, ever be tolerated? Quoting John Madden's take on Terrell Owens, Horowitz gives a cautious yes: 'If you hold the bus for everyone on the team, then you'll be so late that you'll miss the game, so you can't do that. The bus must leave on time. However, sometimes you'll have a player that's so good that you hold the bus for him, but only him.' Ever work with a person who's so good that he/she gets his/her own set of rules? Ever been that person yourself?"

Comment Re:Before everyone says that's idiotic... (Score 1) 332

How is encryption without authentication better than no encryption?

Two reasons. First the obvious: most would-be attackers are clueless, even little increase in the complexity of attack will stop lots of them. The second you already note:

(For completeness sake: There are scenarios where encryption without authentication can force an attacker to use an active attack (MITM) instead of a passive attack (sniffing). In that case, even encryption without authentication can be useful

That is *the* reason I'd want to be able to use https without expensive certificates without scaring the user (but also without showing the lock symbol or otherwise advertising security, just make it look like unencrypted http to the user).

Comment Re:Android is what you want (Score 3, Informative) 222

The n900 has syncevolution, that can supposedly sync with lots of stuff: http://syncevolution.org/documentation/compatibility

However, I'm not sure how reliable it is on the n900 at the moment.

I've been using syncevolution on the N900 for over six months now, and it's been working like charm, no problems whatsoever.

Comment Re:Opinions are a crime now? (Score 1) 637

There's no such thing as a friendly interrogation. Always, always, always keep your yap shut and let the lawyer talk.

Unless (unlike Appelbaum) you're a non-citizen trying to enter the country. In that case, refusing to talk or requesting a lawyer means with practically 100% certainty that you won't get in. What you can do, however, is ask for an interpreter - and it may be a good idea however good your command of the local language is (as long as you aren't a native speaker). Interpreter's presence may defuse the situation with a suspicious border control official, interpretation gives you more time to think about your answers, and interpreters are often quite helpful and less, eh, scary than the interrogators (not without exception, of course).

Comment Re:A regular bank account? (Score 5, Informative) 242

The advise to youngsters against taking credit cards is flawwed. Because of how the current financial industry and credit reporting works.

If you never get a credit card or loan of any type, you will not have a credit history. This will be very bad later, when you need to apply for credit or a loan, you will be denied, or require a cosigner, and pay a much higher interest rate..

As far as I know that is pretty much a US-only phenomenon. At least in most of Europe, the notion of "positive credit history" is all but unknown, when applying for a loan it doesn't matter if you've ever had a credit card unless you've failed to pay up. In many European countries many people don't have credit cards at all.

Comment Re:He's right (Score 3, Informative) 357

No. It used to be fairly common to sell software with source code, with explicit restriction that it may not be redistributed: source was only provided for in-house use. That is certainly not open source.

I remember those days, believe it or not. :)

So do I (yeah, I'm old). Did you really use the term "open source" then? I'm sure I didn't, the vendors certainly didn't, actually I'm pretty sure I never heard the term back then.

Of course I may have missed someone using it, but it certainly wasn't a common term.

As far as I can tell, the very term was invented as a generic term for freely redistributable source - as a substitute for "free software", which had too heavy political and philosophical connotations.

Seriously, if you want to refer to software that is both open source and includes the right to distribute and modify, call it "Free Software" like the FSF, or "Libre" software. It's nice, unambiguous, is an existing term and doesn't confuse half the software world which is still filled with people like me who recall Open Source meaning only that the source code is available.

Can you point out any references to "Open Source" that predate the current common meaning (that includes free redistributability)?

Comment Re:He's right (Score 1) 357

I can produce a license that the OSI would approve that does not allow for the immediate action that I objected to right here: buying the original, taking the source code, and redistributing it singularly... without any modification or derivative work.

I don't think you can. Feel free to try though. OSI is not bound to your reading of their definition - or any other outsider's reading of it for that matter, and they can ignore obviously unintentional loopholes, or amend the definition to close them if they choose.

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