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Comment Re:easy solution (Score 1) 119

It's not as simple as that. I saw a talk by a researcher a few months ago who discovered that Twitter posts could be used to predict spikes in crime. Basically, the example he demonstrated went something like this: when a lot of people are posting messages about being stuck in traffic, the probability of hit-and-run accidents increases. The researcher conjectured that the reason for this phenomenon was that drivers were taking detours, and that the combination of running late and being on an unfamiliar route increased the likelihood of a collision (and by extension, of a hit-and-run). He then went on to show a similar analysis for predicting drug crimes, and then one that predicted terrorist attacks in Iraq.

So it is not just that people who engage in protests will leak data. Someone working at a deli where activists like to meet might post a comment to the effect of, "A bunch of weirdo hippies just walked in the door and they are not buying anything!" If you had a lot of people making Twitter posts that indicated that activist groups were holding meetings of increasing size and frequency, you could probably conclude that a major protest is being planned.

Comment Re:Why would you need a web browser on a server? (Score 3, Interesting) 231

Above you talked about 6-12 months, now it suddenly changed to 7 years...

Read a little more closely. Fedora releases stop being supported after 12 months, and new releases come out every 6 months. RHEL releases lose support after 7 years, with new releases every 3 years or so.

Do you seriously use that old disk images carried over to new HW, or do you perhaps re-install the OS from scratch to new HW a bit more often than that, after all?

This is exactly the point: the support cycle is long enough that I will generally have to reinstall at some point before the 7 years are up, and I can do so at my discretion, when I have time available. I do not buy a new machine every 6-12 months; were I to stick with Fedora, I would be reinstalling (or praying that the upgrade option will work) on the same hardware year after year, and then having to take a few days away from work to rewrite configuration files, find workarounds for deleted features (or worse yet, added "features"), get my machine to connect to the network, etc.

I'm glad to here Ubuntu LTS works for you and lets you get your work done. I'll be over in here RHEL land getting my work done, and I'll be ignoring Google and their efforts to get me to do something else.

Comment Re:Okay, I'll say it... fragmentation (Score 5, Informative) 231

Red Hat - or anybody else, for that matter - is free to take the pure open source Chromium and port it to RHEL

There is a reason Chromium has not made it into Fedora's repositories (and by extension, RHEL):

Basically, the problem is this: Chromium depends on extensions to libraries that have not been merged with the main releases of those libraries, and so having Chromium on Fedora would require either static linking (giant packages) or maintain separate sets of libraries just for Chromium. Neither of those options is something that Fedora will do, and if Fedora is unwilling to include a package in its repositories the package as almost no chance of being included in RHEL. Years have passed since the problem was first discussed with Google (see the link), and there has not really been much progress, mostly for the same reasons that RHEL6 is not supported by Chrome: Google does things their way and is not going to change that for someone else (regardless of that other person's reasoning).

Comment Re:Why would you need a web browser on a server? (Score 4, Insightful) 231

Does Debian stable promise a 7 year support cycle? When last I checked, Debian stable releases will only be supported for three years, but I am not really a Debian user some perhaps someone can correct me.

What I have trouble understanding is why you are so dismissive of the idea that someone would run RHEL on a workstation. I see a lot of researchers do it, and they all say essentially the same thing I said: they lack the time needed to upgrade frequently and new features are less important than stability. Debian stable may deliver that, but so does RHEL; what exactly do you think makes Debian better for workstations than RHEL?

Comment Re:Why would you need a web browser on a server? (Score 5, Interesting) 231

Fedora is not better suited for all workstation tasks. I simply do not have time to deal with things breaking every few weeks, nor do I have time to upgrade my entire OS every year and go through the process of dealing with things breaking as a result. I switched from Fedora to ScientificLinux (a RHEL clone, more or less) for that reason: I have better things to do than to deal with a distro that thinks I should reformat my hard drive every 6 or 12 months. I am not alone in this either; I know a lot of other people who need a reliable workstation more than the latest features of every package.

Comment Hm... (Score 1) 400

Aaron Swartz wrote a program that automatically downloaded journal articles, and faced 13 felony charges for it. Weev noticed that by adding one to a number in a URL, you could see the information of other people, with no attempt to secure that information.

You're right, totally different! Aaron actually did some hacking; Weev did about as much hacking as a kindergardener might do. Yet he now faces prison time for it.

Comment Re:leaked huh ? (Score 1) 899

The fact that thieves may (and do) steal legally held weapons is an argument for stricter gun control.

Indeed, but the key thing to recognize here is that the kind of guns that thieves steal are handguns, not rifles. Unfortunately, people keep talking about "military grade" rifles (which is a deliberately deceptive term to use) and the urgent need to keep those kinds of guns out of the hands of lunatics, while ignoring the fact that most gun murders involve low-caliber handguns. I am glad people are talking about gun control; now we just need them to stop making idiotic statements like, "We're not talking about taking away anyone's right to defend their homes with a handgun, we just want to restrict access to military rifles!"

Comment Re:We need gas control! (Score 1) 1591

This is entirely the wrong issue to focus on. Rampage killers are a rarity: a mere seven in 2012 was considered unusually high. Compare that to the number of homicides in 2010: 14,748. If you ignore firearms, that number is still almost 5,000 -- 700 times higher than an unusual cluster of rampage killings. Source:

Why is New York focusing on rifles anyway? Just before the Newtown massacre, a man was shot execution-style on one of New York City's streets with a handgun in broad daylight:

Handguns are the preferred weapon of criminals, and there is a huge black market for handguns. Why should we distract ourselves with the occasional massacre when we have a very real problem with criminal gun use? Criminals almost never use rifles -- rifles are too big to conceal easily, they make too much noise, and their accuracy at long distances is useless for the kind of fights criminals deal with. People need to stop wasting their time being terrified of guns that look scary and start focusing on the guns that are routinely used to murder people.

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