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Comment Re:What am I missing here??? (Score 3, Insightful) 168

True but irrelevant. Apparently EMI is suing Robertson for the initial act of EMI distributing the file. There is no "re-" prefix on that verb.

Analogy: You tell someone to go to a bookstore (a new one, not even a used one, let's say) and buy a book, they follow your advice and purchase the book, and then the copyright holder of the book sues you for telling people to buy the book. We're talking about the first sale itself, not even a disagreement about what can be done after the first sale. Wow.

Comment Is this just a "deep linking" situation? (Score 1) 168

The summary is screwy. From RTFA is it looks like Robertson is saying that EMI, not Robertson's company, was distributing the files in question, and Robertson just linked to EMI's servers. I don't think Robertson is saying, "They give it away for free, so I can too;" I think he's saying, "They give it away for free, and we help people find it."

It looks like is a search engine, not a file server. (Am I missing something?) If true, then I hope EMI is punished for their pointless harassment of Robertson.

Comment Re:ultimate reason for the astronauts death (Score 3, Insightful) 223

The real question is, would you really want to keep the crew alive through the early parts of such a catastrophic failure just so they could be burned to death a few minutes later?

NASA's position is going to be Hell Yes. If you can keep 'em alive a little longer through such a catastrophic failure, then you can probably also keep 'em alive longer through a less catastrophic failure.

They're going to be thinking, "Ok, what if some astronauts suddenly find themselves in a spin but they're not re-entering an atmosphere at the moment. Do we want their upper bodies to flop around until half their bones are broken, or do we want them pinned to their seats for a few seconds muttering, 'HAL, engage spin recovery' and then live happily ever after?"

The result being an edict handed down: put on your seat belts.

Comment some ideas (Score 4, Informative) 403

First of all, look at the kinds of things that people do with lcdproc. One of those might inspire you. It sounds like you're talking about slightly different hardware, but I'd expect it to have similar applications.

Second: if you are a bad sysadmin (like me) and don't check your logs or statuses very often, and once found that you had run on a degraded software-RAID for several months, then write something that occasionally looks at /proc/mdstat and then says on your display "RAID OK" or "RAID degraded." That's one of the things I use my VFD for.

Comment Newbie+Windows+Internet=bad idea (Score 1) 823

Assume little computer familiarity or aptitude. Some stuff is obvious, like using only a few large icons for favorite Web sites, or an icon perhaps for composing email and another for checking email.

Seriously, people who don't have significant expertise, should not be using Windows connected to the Internet. Your senior citizen is pretty much guaranteed to lose, unless they either stay off the 'net or get some pretty intensive training.

Computer dorks don't normally think this training is necessary, because the idea that downloading and executing malware is a bad idea, seems like common sense. But the world has shown that it's not common sense. So if someone is going to be on the 'net and not get educated, they should be using a platform that doesn't go out of its way to be unsafe (e.g. downloaded files do not automatically have execute permission, etc). Even a 10-year-old Linux distribution is going to be more user-friendly.

So, to answer your question: configure Windows for a computer-newbie (someone who is both untrained and not legacy-app-bound) on the internet (you mentioned email and web), by uninstalling Windows. Some people are rolling their eyes and mumbling that this is a sarcastic "solution" but it's really not. This is the best and most cost-effective and most practical thing you can do.

Comment Re:OK, which CA must leave the trusted list? (Score 1) 300

That said, it's not necessarily in the browser's best interest to remove the CA. (It's the right thing to do, but that's beside the point.) Nobody wants to "break the web", and browser creators are concerned that if major sites fail to work, users won't blame the sites: they'll blame the browsers. Therefore, corporate management types may very well decide to not remove flawed CAs.

That's why we need multiple signatures on an identity. If Comodo's trust suddenly drops to zero, then as long as an identity is also signed by someone else that is still trusted, nothing breaks. (And then the people who used Comodo start looking around for a new backup certifier.)

Comment Very disappointing (Score 1) 648

I thought Pystar had some new clever angle for demonstrating a (rather obvious, IMHO) principle: that parties that don't have any sort of direct transactions with one another, much less an actual contractual agreement as any laymen would know it, should not be magically bound by someone else's contract.

To find out that their actions are based on something as empty as a deep misunderstanding of copyright, is very disappointing.

In court filings, Apple has said it believes Psystar is backed by a silent third party that's presumably seeking to enter the Mac market.

A reasonable suspicion at first, but surely this no-copyright claim put to rest any theories of some clever grand strategist working behind the scenes. Even Microsoft-backed SCO wasn't this stupi-- well, ok, I guess there's precedent.

Comment government-regulated CAs (Score 1) 300

Go ahead and accuse me of not being libertarian, but yes, I think making and enforcing standards for CAs is a good role for the government.

Governments have a vested interest in keeping things insecure; they want MitM to be achievable, and making CAs answer to government means you can't trust them as introducers. Go ahead and have government-regulated CAs, if you want, but we need the capacity to have multiple signers for any identity so that we don't depend on that inevitable single point of failure.

I would never put my money in an unregulated bank, or send premiums to an unregulated insurer, or go to a back-alley doctor.

Switch to OpenPGP and you have a situation analogous to using the best bank/insurer/doctor. If one is untrustworthy, the other signatures remain. No government can possibly match that level of integrity. But they could become a part of it.

Comment Why not rename it? (Score 2, Interesting) 271

One of the reasons I've heard for MS is not fixing all their rendering bugs, is that there are so many web pages out there that already work around the bugs, with user-agent sniffing. i.e. If the user-agent contains "MSIE", then use a different stylesheet, or embed a style attribute in the HTML to override the stylesheet.

But couldn't they fix the bugs if they just changed the user-agent string to not include "MSIE?" Internet Explorer is already a brand name with so much infamy and negative goodwill anyway, that renaming the product makes sense even if they don't fix any of the bugs. But if they do that, then they could fix the bugs too, without triggering all the world's websites' MSIE workarounds.

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