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Comment Re:No (Score 1) 671

Agree completely. But on the flip side: as a developer, I'm not being paid to care about those things, I'm being paid to get my work done. When IT policies make it nigh impossible to do my work, and my choices are 1) spend months trying to cut through red tape, instead of doing my job, just to do things that I'd be able to do if there were no IT department at all in place, or 2) bypass some policies and do the things that actually make money for the company, #2 starts to look damn attractive.

A lot of this depends on the company. I've seen the other side of the fence, and understand that point of view. Even at companies with well-run, reasonable, flexible IT departments, there's always gonna be a few know-it-all clowns that want to bypass IT and do stupid things, because they think they're smarter than they are.

But some IT departments are so rigid and inefficient, so narrow-mindedly set on enforcing policies that only work for general office workers (who can do their work just fine with a very limited number of tools), that working around them is the only practical solution for some employees. If that's not how your IT department is, then I applaud you. But don't assume that everyone who bypasses their IT department's policies is simply "arrogant", "self centered", or "some prissy dev".

Comment Re:Dirty trick (Score 1) 630

Lolol - I just googled this to find more info, and got this article. It makes me cringe even more than the original comment, by trying to explain why it's stupid:

Like other islands, Guam is attached to the sea floor, which makes it extremely unlikely that it will tip over, even if there are lots and lots of people on it.

What. The. Fuck.

Comment Re:The Leaders of Tomorrow. (Score 4, Insightful) 732

I know this is Slashdot and all, but how did this get modded 5 - Insightful? Pointing out that the wealth gap in the US is absurd and suggesting that we should work to shrink it or just restrain its growth is not the same as advocating communist-style wealth redistribution (which I assume is the indended comparison).

One can easily imagine a scenario in which extreme lack of oversight/regulation results in a wealth gap that grows until the disparity between rich & poor yields undesirable living conditions and possibly even social collapse (perhaps where the US is headed), while too much oversight/regulation and "wealth redistribution" (shrinking the class gap too much, down to near across-the-board equality) stifles competition and financial incentives for improvements in efficiency (i.e. your envisioned communist scenario). Trying to strike a balance in between that maintains most of the capitalist incentive structures without promoting an ever-widening class gap is a rational middle ground. The US is probably leaning more toward the "ultra-captialist" end of the spectrum than that ideal middle ground at the moment, as demonstrated by statistics showing that the class gap growing at an alarming rate, and is substantially wider than historical levels. A more progressive income tax rate is one possible way to counter-balance that growth without unduly harming overall productivity.


Leaked Modern Warfare 2 Footage Causes Outrage 543

eldavojohn writes "Game Politics makes note of criticism over leaked footage from the upcoming Modern Warfare 2 release. (Spoiler warning.) Footage shows the player engaged in killing civilians with terrorists (relevant video begins at about 1:50, second source in case of DMCA). Several game sites are asking if this is taking things too far. Probably just advertising at work, but the footage is indeed controversial — the question remains whether or not it is out of context."

How To Vet Clever Ideas Without Giving Them Away? 539

Rival writes "As an inquisitive and creative geek, I am constantly coming up with 'clever' ideas. Most often I discover fundamental or practical flaws lurking in the details, which I'm fine with. As Edison said, 'I haven't failed; I've found 10,000 ways that don't work.' Other times, I discover that someone else has beaten me to the idea. I'm fine with that, too. At least I know that I've come up with a great idea, even if I'm not the first. There are times, however, when I can find no flaws with an idea and nobody else seems to have thought of it. I'm not conceited enough to think my idea is genius; I just assume that I'm not knowledgeable enough to see what I'm missing. In these times, I often want to ask a subject matter expert for their thoughts. On the admittedly long chance that an idea is genius, however, what is the best way to ask for another's insights while mitigating the risk of them stealing or sharing the idea? Asking a stranger to sign a contract before discussing an idea seems like a good way to get a door closed on my face. What are your experiences and suggestions?"

Comment Re:Great quote... (Score 1) 925

Yes, but the reason that health care costs are so high in America is that we have the best quality of health care in the world.

America may have some of the best care in the world for those that can afford it. But the median level of care is most certainly not the best in the world, and the overall level of care we receive per dollar spent is event worse.

Rather than continuing this thread's trend of anecdotes and ideology, here's a study which describes how and why the US's health care system is different than other countries.


How To Have an Online Social Life When You're Dead 187

A wave of new companies are springing up to offer such things as virtual cemeteries, alerts to remind loved ones about the anniversary of your death, and even email services that send an alert to your sinful relatives in danger of being left behind when the Rapture carries you away. "People have a desire to perpetuate not only for themselves, but for their loved ones, the story of their lives, and technology has all these new great ways of doing that," said John McQueen, owner of the Anderson McQueen funeral home.

Comment Re:Libertarians have too much baggage. (Score 1) 785

I think that at least part of the reason many Libertarians are "pro property rights" is really that they're for reduced government control. In the case of real-world [physical] property, governments can usurp individual property rights by eminent domain, which Libertarians are often opposed to. Thus in those examples, "pro property rights" is really synonymous with "reduced government power".

Point being, I'd think that among Libertarians there would actually be strong opposition to strict pro-IP laws, as they increase the power of the government at the cost of a reduction of individual freedom. That reduction is [in theory] a trade-off for increased production of creative works. But with other issues Libertarians tend to require a much larger benefit to society in order to outweigh the cost of individual freedoms (think about the extremes to which this is sometimes taken, like those that are against the National Park Service). So I'd expect the same would apply here.

Comment Re:There's another hassle too (Score 1) 733

I don't think you get the error - Firefox isn't warning you because the signing cert (/CA) is unrecognized, it's warning you because it sees two certificates supposedly signed with the same cert (/CA) but which share the same serial number.

Since any two Linksys devices are unrelated, there's no way for one to know which serial numbers are valid for it to use that the other hasn't already taken. Multiply this by the number of Linksys devices out there.

I write firmware for an embedded device, and we have this same problem. Our solution was simply to generate a random signing certificate for each device the very first time it boots, and use that to sign a new certificate any time the IP changes. It's a bit more of a hassle for the user (who now has to add the root cert for each device to his browser's trusted list), but it avoids the nasty error messages. It's also more resistant to a wide-area attack - in theory someone could crack just one Linksys router to get the private part of its root cert, then use that to forge any other router's certificate. It might even be extractable directly from the firmware image.

The Courts

Germany Says Copying of DVDs, CDs Is Verboten 230

Billosaur writes "In what can only be seen as the opening salvo in an attempt to control what users can do with content, the German parliament has approved a controversial copyright law which will make it illegal to make copies of CDs and DVDs, even for personal use. The Bundesrat, the upper part of the German parliament, approved the legislation over the objections of consumer protection groups. The law is set to take effect in 2008, and covers CDs, DVDs, recordings from IPTV, and TV recordings." A few folks have noted that this story is incorrect. The original link seems to be down now anyway. Sorry.

Which Movie Download Site Is Best? 205

mikemuch writes "ExtremeTech has reviews today of five internet movie download and rental services. The services/sites — CinemaNow, MovieFlix, Movielink, Amazon's Unbox, and Starz's Vongo — have various takes on how online feature-length films should be made available over the internet. CinemaNow has the most alternatives: Free, Subscription, Rent, Buy, and Burn to DVD, while the others offer some subset of these choices. Amazon Unbox has the best video quality, using a 2.5Mb/sec bitrate and VC1 encoding, while CinemaNow is the only one that lets you burn DVDs. There are still disadvantages to getting movies this way, but VOD is making headway, as these services show."

Amazon Unbox Video Store Launches 308

andrewl6097 writes " has launched it's Amazon Unbox video store. Looks like about 1300 movies and 350 tv series, at $9.99 and up for movies and $1.99 per TV episode. Downloads come with a DVD quality version and a version more appropriate for portable players (using Windows DRM). Also, videos can be re-downloaded from your Amazon media library. Cool!"

The Technology of Drug Prohibition 724

ches_grin writes "Although the GWOT gets all the headlines, technology is proving to be the key factor in the 'war on drugs'. This article and slideshow take a look at the current state-of-the-art for both federal agents and drug traffickers, from greenhouses to Predator drones: 'In the pitched battle surrounding illegal drugs, each side has its advantages. Law enforcement can take advantage of private sector expertise, expensive machines, and, of course, the law. Those who cultivate, manufacture, and smuggle illegal drugs can leverage vast sums of cash, generated by constant demand.'"

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