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Comment Re:not entirely false (Score 4, Interesting) 394

There is masses of half-assed, broken, wretched and downright brain-damaged open source code out there, and anyone who claims otherwise doesn't know what they're talking about. Much of it is written as a quick and dirty hack to solve an individual's problem and then released, with scant regard to long term maintainability. Yes, there are some gems, but they are hidden amongst many many times more garbage. The good thing is you can fix it, if needed, and the software will evolve. But typically commercial software has gone through that process several times before it gets to market, because despite what people here may say about microsoft, not many people will pay good money for completely broken crap that doesn't work.

Many companies have paid ridiculous amounts of money for code that doesn't work, particularly custom and semi-custom code. The NHS in the UK scrapped a >10 billion GBP - that's 16 billion USD - national healthcare system. Vertical integrators that have a stranglehold on certain professions are often full of horrible, horrible code. Insane amounts of spaghetti code have been made by cheap outsourcing companies to go into "commercial software". Closed source has its gems. Open source has its gems. But as a broad generalization it's the pot calling the kettle black, both have a huge spread. Often it's just good vs better or bad vs less mediocre and the question to pay or not depends on whether a $50k+ worker could be 1% more effective - that's $500 - with that tool or not.

Personally I find there's a difference of layers, closed source software doesn't sell unless it looks good on the surface with user interface and hand-holding documentation, comes with buzzword compliance, feature checklists and fancy demos of the capabilities. Open source is more grab it, put it through its paces and see if it works for you. Doesn't have to be so pretty to look at, but be a solid workhorse with detailed technical documentation but often a high learning curve. It's usually more about manpower though than anything else, often you realize there's five open source developers trying to compete with a hundred closed source developers and it's not so much a better of the quality of the coders but simply about being outgunned.

Comment Re:Only true in some circumstances (Score 1) 394

The same applies to some open source projects. If you're willing to throw the resources at a project; whether that be your own patches and improvements, or financial resources, you're likely to get what you want out of project.

I've seen some of this so-called "superior" closed source code, and some of it is insanely awful, poorly documented cruft.

Comment Re:Firearms unit (Score 1) 292

Not to mention the perpetrator-victim relationship, in the UK and most of Europe a knife is enough. Depending on where you are in the US if you tried to rob anyone with a knife chances are you'd get the wallet while you're up close then get held or shot at gunpoint as you're trying to get away. If you have to assume your victim might have a gun (legally or illegally) the only "safe" way to rob them is to control them at gunpoint from start to finish. As I understand it guns are not that terribly hard to acquire here in Europe but they are usually overkill to commit the crime and they rarely let you get out of a situation you couldn't escape with a knife. Unless you intend to kill but most murders around here happens in close relations with victims in "stabbing distance", not gang violence on the street. And of course to an armed robbery you send armed police...

Comment Re:DOUBLEPLUS (Score 0) 292

Since you keep making these claims, you must have some evidence. Can you present it? Or is this just a crank theory of yours?

He's a crank. Sure, it might be possible that some things are not all as they seem but he's on a roll that everything is some sort of conspiracy or false flag operation. Nothing is as simple as crazy religious fundamentalists shooting up an easy low-security target for huge publicity and terror factor.

Comment Re:server ban? (Score 1) 169

While I don't know if it was for the same reason everywhere I was helping out at an ISP when the first server bans were instituted and the reason they did it was guys were running Quake and other FPS servers and pretty much killing the bandwidth for everybody. If they ran a popular game server even when they were down it was getting pings up the ying yang from guys trying to hook up and the infrastructure, at least where I was at, simply couldn't handle it.

Comment Re:First world problems. (Score 1) 791

Are you being obtuse on purpose, or are you just an iFanboy? All that matters to the user is how it FEELS and I got news for ya pal, while I haven't tried the $60 one yet i HAVE sold a couple of the $80 ones and ya know what? They could not be happier! Its responsive, plays all their fav games, plays movies, they love the hell out of them.

So you keep right on waving the iFlag and watch as the numbers keep going down down down. Last figures i saw had them losing almost 10% from last year and that trend? WILL continue. At the end of the day ALL that matters to Joe and Jane Consumer is "will it do what i want it to?" and the answer is most certainly YES IT WILL.

Comment Re:Democracy (Score 5, Insightful) 264

Last I checked, Democracy is what gave us the Surveillance State.

Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.
Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

It's not exactly an accident that the NSA legitimized their mass surveillance through the PATRIOT act.

Comment Re:First world problems. (Score 1) 791

Dude you ain't been keeping up with things, have you? They were already showing off $100 Android dual cores at this year's Hong Kong expo and you can go to places like ChinaBuye and get dual core 3G phones for less than $100, here is an example. Oh and my bad on the tablets, they actually have the dual cores starting at less than $60

And THIS is the reason why apple is doomed to end up a niche like they are in the PC space, because when multicore tablets and phones reach "good enough" for the masses that is all she wrote.

Comment Re:Good luck with that. (Score 1) 165

So it's a tall order but the NSA doesn't have infinite resources nor infinite clout particularly not outside of US jurisdiction. Infiltrators are always possible but also high-risk endeavors with huge political consequences. You can at least try to make the risk/reward ratio seem unappealing. After all, the current standards were made when strong encryption was neither computationally feasible nor publicly available. The main downside is that people don't want to carry around their encryption keys so I think you'd have to define at least three security levels:

1) The server does the decryption for you, trust the server
2) You download the encrypted message and your encrypted private key and must input a secure password (read: long) to decrypt, either once (stored on device) or every time.
3) You bring the encryption key yourself.

Honestly, already just the first one would be pretty damn good.... I want to email john.doe@example.com, the server asks example.com for his public key and verifies through DNSSEC that I'm actually talking to example.com then provides his public key back to my local client/javascipt webclient. I can verify the fingerprint, message is encrypted client side and sent to server. The server transports it over SSL to the destination server, not even metadata snooping unless you 0wn any of the servers or SSL itself. That's my side secure, the rest is up to the recipient and how paranoid he is. For example a corporation might feel their corporate email server and internal network is secure enough, there's no need to have personal passwords for every employee. The mail server at yourcorporation.com receives it, decrypts it and you collect it the old way.

The problem is getting the network effect kicked in, email has value because everyone else has email. If nobody has a clients or servers that talk the new protocol it won't go anywhere.

Comment Re:Data (Score 1) 204

The usual SciFi trope is that 'Maths is the Universal language', and data is just Maths.

Well, we've never tried deciphering a language that anyone has made a genuine effort to make it so. Math has some really simple patterns that make it easy to distinguish from noise like 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13 or in binary
000
101 000
10101 000
101010101 000
1010101010101 000
101010101010101010101 000
1010101010101010101010101 000
From there I'd probably just repeat [x,y,pictogram of x*y bits] with silence to space them. I'd probably start with "illustrated math" to show like
1 + 1 = 2
. + . = ..
2 + 1 = 3
.. + . = ...
I think the pattern should be fairly obvious no matter what kind of math they use. After we finish basic math then basic elements as pictograms, the "shell configuration" of electrons should be easily recognizable and universal. After that maybe try to derive the SI units (like kilo = hydrogen atom * big number) and start describing the universe as we know it. Honestly, it doesn't seem *that* hard as long as we aren't looking at a random scroll that may contain anything at all and makes no attempt to be decipherable by itself.

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