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Comment Re:to be fair (Score 1) 90

From what I understand of their boxes, they are able to operate without communicating at all with Blue Coat. Syria doesn't have to sneakily do anything. And I doubt a country's ISP cares about cloud-based ANYTHING. They just want to configure a box to block traffic. What Syria is doing may be more advanced, but would you blame Cisco if someone set up a router not to route to select IPs?


Submission + - iPhone/SpyPhone--The Music Video! (shugendo.org)

stonemirror writes: "As a final installment to this saga, I put together yet another modified version of Peter Warden's iPhoneTrack application, and used it to produce a video showing the locations the phone gathered, in order, over a ten-month period. The soundtrack is David Byrne's "My Fair Lady", used under a Creative Commons license.

The video is on YouTube, and a higher-quality version can be downloaded from my site, along with a pre-built version of my modified iPhoneTracker, the modifications to the source code, and "The Wired CD", a Creative Commons-licensed CD of tunes from some excellent artists, including Mr. Byrne. Enjoy!"

Comment Re:FFS (Score 2) 370

As usual, they're simply trying to make a statement in a controversial manner ... arguments like this just continue to paint Greenpeace as a collection of sensationalist, attention-whoring, hippies.

And websites like Slashdot disseminate these articles on their behalf instead of more meaningful, less sensational ones. Unfortunately, these articles keep you and me coming back here to click on the ads (or Slashdot would still be a blog run by CmdrTaco).

Comment Re:It's all solar powered (Score 1) 334

Ultimately every element that exists above the level of hydrogen was formed in a sun somewhere so nuclear power is stellar power.

But the only reason some stars eventually make higher elements is because of gravity. So really, nuclear power is fuelled by gravity.

Can we blame what happened to Hiroshima and Nagasaki on gravity?

Comment Common package maintainers (Score 1) 345

The Debian project lead, Stefano Zacchiroli, is being terribly misquoted.

The numbers in the article do not address the common case of having one package maintainer for both distros. That 74% actually means that 74% of packages are *in common* between the distros. It is conceivable that much of that 74% is because of maintainers who contribute to both distributions. It isn't fair to say that Debian does all the work and Ubuntu merely takes advantage of it.

Seeing that the same package exists in both Debian and Ubuntu does not mean that the package originated in Debian and was taken without effort by an Ubuntu maintainer. Frequently, the same person creates a package for both. Either by creating an Ubuntu package and verifying that it works on Debian or the other way around.

Go look at the names of package maintainers. You'll see the same big group of people working on both projects.

Comment Re:Kids will be bored (Score 1) 63

I wouldn't be so sure. I remember when I was little my family was pretty poor, and I used to spend all my time reading (the only tv we had was an old black and white tv with dials and bad reception. This was 1995 mind you...)

My dad bought me a really cheap telescope which is really crappy by the standards of the Galileoscope and I still managed to enjoy it. You could see Saturn and Jupiter decently well enough to just barely make out some of their moons, and seeing the amount of detail on Earth's moon was enjoyable too. It really helped get me into science. Yeah, a lot of kids might be bored by it, but I think a lot might enjoy it too.

Comment Re:so ? (Score 1) 185

Right, good point, that's an example of where a fringe or elitist policy prescription would have counterproductive consequences. But I still think the government classified information system is out of control. Unfortunately it's hard to show the need for reform since it's largely invisible.

The patent system is a mess also, and it's also an invisible problem in the sense that it's partially beyond the technical comprehension of most people, but at least we can present data when we argue about it.

Comment Re:Yes, and no (Score 2, Interesting) 427

You don't have to "prove" anything to file a lawsuit, and Monsanto launches many civil lawsuits based on "raids" (i.e. blatant trespassing) and anonymous tips. Remember these are civil cases, and the cost of defending civil actions can be more than even a large farm can bear.

Read about Pilot Grove for a good example. The suit was settled last year.

Comment Botnet != Supercomputer (Score 1) 303

Botnets are useless for number crunching. There may be many CPUs involved but the communication between processors is dead slow and unreliable. The ability of botnets to send lots of traffic from a huge number of Internet connections in different locations makes them ideal for spamming and DDoSing.

Supercomputers have few or no Internet connections and have no more potential than office PCs for spamming or DDoSing. They do have many powerful CPUs that have no problem communicating with each other as fast as they can, which makes them ideal for number crunching. The use of a supercomputer to a black hat would be for breaking encryption (or they could be useful to comic book villains for simulating nuclear explosions), but a rack of PS3s might be faster than a botnet, and definitely more difficult to trace.

Comment When will they get over it? (Score 1) 625

Millions of innocent jews and others were tortured and killed by members of the Nazi party. It was evil, and it should be condemned.

But it happened. It's part of reality, and it's something we should learn from. Denying its existence (or acknowledging it in a way) by censoring it seems counterproductive to me. Let's no stick our heads in the sand. There are lots of "symbols of evil" that the Germans do not ban. People see them and are told they represent evil, and they can be taught a lesson about evil.

And let's not forget that the swastika was an ancient Hindu religious symbol that had very positive connotations. People should be taught its original meaning and how the Nazis desecrated it.

WWII happened in the 1940's. The Germans are good people. As a culture, they have always been inventive and industrious. And, like every other nation on earth, they have a sense of superiority. And a long time ago, some people took that sense of superiority too far. In a very Microsoft-like way, they dealt with their "competitors" by crushing them, rather than trying to a better job. (Note that I don't think Microsoft are nearly as evil as the Nazis. Bill Gates is excessively competitive, but he's also a philanthropist and deserves recognition for it.) The Germans and everyone else in the world have to grow up and get past this fear of the past.

If you're a white American, and your ancestors owned slaves, should you be ashamed of yourself? No. You can be ashamed of your ancestors, and you can be ashamed of all of the cruelty and torture that went along with it. But you yourself know that slavery was wrong. You're not responsible for it. You can get past it without pretending it didn't happen.

But that's just my opinion.

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