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Comment I love chats. (Score 1) 228

Intelligence is directly proportional to the square of the distance from a telephone.

Well, at least for me, it is. A chat gives me time and room to think, unlike a telephone call.

I currently take chats from the low-level techs who actually take chats and calls from customers (which is a demotion from actually working support tickets, but I digress). I can and have done chats from customers, but I loathe the telephone, at work and in life.

Phone calls are good for dealing with stupid people, because stupid people (well, actually, most people, including some intelligent people) don't actually read words, but they do hear and react to the tones of voice, which is useful for getting through to them.

Comment Re:Summary of Previous Discussion (Score 2) 581

That's not the Linux driver model, though. The model is that drivers are expected to be at least working towards integration into the kernel tree, so that the kernel devs can easily know if they're breaking something and maybe even fix or help fix it. Failure to do this results in long-term pain for everyone, while being in the tree or working towards being in the tree keeps everyone communicating on a regular basis and working together.

In other words, developing hardware for Linux actually requires communicating with people who are much closer to the end user than the typical direct customer of a chip design company. I know, it's a major paradigm shift for companies who (understandably) can't contemplate money except if someone plans to give it directly to them, never mind the needs of those who participate in the actual creation of demand for what they sell.

Comment Re:Felony, no. (Score 1) 607

Crime is a social construct, and we've been redefining it since we've had societies.

Let me clarify my statement, though. I am not saying "there are too many instances of crime", as a law-enforcement entity might say; rather, I am saying "there are too many acts which are considered crimes".

Comment OK, great, but not at the expense of users (Score 1) 265

The entire concept of security by obscurity acts as a justification for keeping secrets. It often sweeps up information whose release will help users much more than it will help attackers. Once it becomes a sanctioned tool of security, instead of an objective of the security, those who set up and maintain the security lean on obscurity like a crutch.

I realize my argument is an appeal to the slippery slope, but I see it everywhere in society. People, organizations, and governments can get into frames of mind wherein they lose focus of the overall goal of information security and just start obscuring everything, which makes their interactions with others difficult and sometimes hostile.

In fairness, the article itself says as much:

Typing and proling are frowned
on in security. Leaving aside the question whether gathering
information about the attacker, and obscuring the system,
might be useful for security or not, these practices remain
questionable socially. The false positives arising from such
methods cause a lot of trouble, and tend to just drive the
attackers deeper into hiding.
On the other hand, typing and proling are technically
and conceptually unavoidable in gaming, and remain re-
spectable research topics of game theory. Some games can-
not be played without typing and proling the opponents.
Poker and the bidding phase of bridge are all about trying
to guess your opponents’ secrets by analyzing their behav-
iors. Players do all they can to avoid being analyzed, and
many prod their opponents to sample their behaviors. Some
games cannot be won by mere uniform distributions, with-
out analyzing opponents’ biases.
Both game theory and immune system teach us that we
cannot avoid proling the enemy. But both the social ex-
perience and immune system teach us that we must set the
thresholds high to avoid the false positives that the prol-
ing methods are so prone to. Misidentifying the enemy leads
to auto-immune disorders, which can be equally pernicious
socially, as they are to our health.

But inevitably, this kind of caveat is thoroughly ignored by most people. They will only hear something like "Security by Obscurity Now Considered Useful", and a whole new set of administrative roadblocks will be thrown up in the name of security, when in fact it's helping very little, if any; furthermore, those who try to circumvent the new measures to do something they consider to be within the permitted use of the network may be considered security risks (or even malicious entities outright) and will be dealt with as such, when nothing of the sort was intended.

Comment They are paying now for deferred maintenance. (Score 1) 495

If you think they are going too slow, you have a very different perspective from my own.

Mozilla didn't understand how people were using their browser, and as such, most of them dismissed the fact that their memory usage problems went deeper than mere leaks.

If they don't get those fixes out the door now, they're screwed for sure. Firefox 7 helps---I know, because I've been using it since just before it hit beta---but 8 should be even better than 7 about long-term memory usage.

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