Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Comment any NSA backdoor in FOSS yet? I've studied Firefox (Score 5, Interesting) 125

Has anyone studied the Firefox code, you ask. Yep, I have. I happen to be a security professional too. Have all those people who used Firefox as the basis for their browser studied the hell out of it? Yep.

We know Microsoft is full of NSA backdoors. Has any government backdoor EVER been found in any FOSS, at any time. Nope.

The insistence on continuing to believe the ridiculous out of fandom is rather curious. Certainly on some level you understand your "beliefs" are laughable, but you're just completely incapable of changing your thoughts, of learning.

Comment non-rude sheepdog here (Score 1) 814

As a trained firearm owner, I agree there is no need to be rude to people who don't know in this kind of exchange. I think it is wise to educate people as Broken scope did, you do not shoot if you don't have to, and if you have to shoot, you shoot at the center of the threat. No need to be rude about it, though.

Comment most shot don't die, most defenders don't shoot (Score 1) 814

"Broken scope" correctly pointed out that you wouldn't attempt a trick shot in a life-or-death situation, but your overall point is true. Most criminals who are shot in self-defense don't die, which was your point. Also, 80% of the time a gun is presented in self-defense, it's not fired. So st least 90% of the time, noone dies.

    I once had an intruder intending violence climb through a window into my home. As they did,they found themselves looking down the twin barrels of my shotgun. They left very quickly. I've never fired at anyone, but I have defended my family. That's statistically the most common scenario.

Comment Github makes the problem far more likely (Score 1) 120

We're speaking in the context of Github. Github, specifically, makes the improbable "exploit" of this loophole much more probable. Maybe not particularly
likely, but likely enough to be a risk that should be considered.

As part of my job, I contribute to an open source project, using Github. I sync my Github to upstream so it's up to date, and commit our changes to it.
That way, our contributions are publicly accessible. In fact, they are publicly accessible in the context of a complete copy which includes our contributions.
That last sentence is key. What Github users publish on Github is a copy of the devel branch with their contributions added (but also including all contributions
from anyone else, including contributions not yet approved for the release version.)

Suppose I work for SpaceX, maintaining the SpaceX blog via Wordpress.
Using Github, I make our contributions to Wordpress public (as part of a complete Wordpress devel tree.)

Someone else at SpaceX invented a widget which is patented.

Orbital Science, a SpaceX competitor, could commit a Wordpress plugin which somehow relates to the patent.
My Github would automatically fetch their commit.
Now my company, SpaceX, is distributing code related to the patent, without ever having heard of Orbital Science's plugin.
Our patent is therefore nullified by the terms of GPLv3, if Wordpress were GPLv3.
That's WHY Wordpress is not GPLv3, but GPLv2, because v3 says:

Each contributor (SpaceX) grants you a non-exclusive, worldwide, royalty-free patent license under the contributor's essential patent claims, to make, use, sell, offer for sale, import and otherwise run, modify and propagate the contents of its contributor version (including the Orbital Science plugin they've never heard of, but which was automatically mirrored).

Note that the license includes the right to modify it, such as by deleting 99% of it, leaving only the Orbital Science code, without any other part of Wordpress.
Therefore, Orbital Science can force SpaceX to license their code just by doing a Github commit to any project that SpaceX has a Github for.

Is it likely that Orbital Science would do that? Would some judges follow the actual text of the license and allow OR to pull that trick?
Maybe, maybe not. If you've committed $20 million in R&D to _anything_ you have a patent on, would you want to risk a competitor doing a sneaky trick like that?

One defensive solution, if you HAVE to contribute to a GPLv3 project, is to explicitly leave copyright with the individual author, who publishes it on his personal Github rather than having the company post it on Github. Assuming the author doesn't have any patents and never will, that works okay.

Comment difficult if it had never been tried (Score 1) 814

You could debate either way if you were just thinking in the abstract. To know, you'd need to try it. We did. The UK banned guns, violent crime DOUBLED. Look at Detroit, Washington DC, Australia. Gun bans are always followed by a huge increase in crime. It happens every time. Even when you make small "gun free zones" (helpless victim zones) you quickly see more crime in those places.

Compare Texas. They passed their CHL law, crime dropped. So we don't have to imagine "what would happen if". We can look at "what did happen when".

Comment you're thinking, but don't forget every US defeat (Score 1) 814

You seem to be thinking seriously, and come to some wise conclusions, such as the importance of training. I supported (and the NRA supported) the training requirements in Texas.

You seem to have forgotten, though, tha the US military has never been defeated by another military. It's always been by an armed populace. We defeated the Iraqi military in something like 30 hours. Many years later we hadn't stopped the ordinary Iraqis with ordinary guns - they chasing us out of the country.

It wasn't Afghan tanks that defeated the Soviet Union, it was shopkeepers with rifles.

Comment presented often, fired rarely, criminal caution (Score 2) 814

As someone else mentioned exact figures are hard to come by. Studies vary. What is clear is it guns are drawn but not fired in self defense daily.

It us also clear from studies in Texas after they introduced concealed carry and advertised the fact the civilians maybe armed, criminals reported they reduced criminal activity. Those studies suggest that letting criminals know "citizens may be armed" was almost as important as the licensing law itself - fear of armed "victims" matters as much as actual armed citizens.

Comment guns used for defense hundreds per day. nukes nevr (Score 4, Interesting) 814

Nukes have never been raised from their silos in self defense. Guns are drawn in self defense daily. One of the safest places in the world is a gun range, because you don't start a fight knowing that everyone is armed.

* bonus fact - 80% of the time they are presented in self defense, they are not fired.

Comment GPL 3 shouldn't be suggested to newbies (Score 4, Insightful) 120

I don't think it's "regrettably" that the classic GPL (v2) is featured over v3. Many, many GPL projects have decided v3 is a bad license, so newbies shouldn't be pushed in that direction.

    The wording of the patent clause is broader than most of those who participated in the drafting intended, in a way that could be problematic for most companies. The GNU project themselves, the creators of GPL. v3, have had to disavow the plain language of the license, claiming it doesn't say what it does.

I think most people intended that if you release code under GPL, you give up patent rights related to the code you contribute. The wording is broader than that, though. The way GPL3 is actually worded, if a company contributes to any GPL project a third party can use that project to nullify other patents from some other division of the company, arguably. The issue hasn't been tested in court, but it's enough of a risk that many companies won't touch GPLv3 code. It could cost Apple, Samsung, or Google tens of millions of dollars if that loophole allowed competitors to nullify their patents, rather than having to cross-license them.

Comment factually false (Score 0) 509

Your claim is quite simply factually false. Christ never taught hate. the ancient Jewish Scriptures acknowledged that hate, that war, did exist. Christ taught that the old law had been so badly misinterpreted that it needed to be replaced by the new law, and that the all of the law is based on two things - love and love.

Comment The greatest commandment - love (Score 4, Insightful) 509

Weirdo fundamentalist sect <> faith

When Jesus was ask what was the greatest commandment, he said "love". Love your neighbor and love God, all the law and the prophets hang on those two, Christ said. So anyone teaching hate toward anyone is teaching the opposite of Christianity.

Certainly that happens, just as the guy selling fake "bomb detectors" claimed science, fools and charlatans sometimes claim God. Their claim is just as bogus though, as Christ clearly directed us to love those who oppose as we love ourselves, even fact even MORE than we love ourselves, love them as he loved us.

Slashdot Top Deals

Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this-- no dog exchanges bones with another. -- Adam Smith