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Comment Re:If I remind well (Score 1) 154

Under Oracle's care Open Office was updated as well or possibly even better than in the years before that. After the Feb 2011 release of 3.3 Oracle made the decision that they didn't want to continue providing commercial support for the project and started to look for alternatives. In May they had made their decision and donated the project to Apache Software Foundation.

I think this is among the best things to happen for open source in ages. It took a lot of hard work for the ASF community to replace the non-free libraries with free ones, which was the cause of the 15-month delay between 3.3 and 3.4, but now that we're finally there, look forward to having a more open, more free and faster-developing Office suite that can finally close the gap in usability and compatibility between the free alternatives and MS Office.

I've preferred Calc over Excel for years, but the tabs of .docs saved in Writer have never matched those saved in Word and Impress hasn't come even close to matching PowerPoint, so I've stuck with using a mixed office suite. Now that OpenOffice is in the hands of such a strong and capable community I look forward to it gradually replacing MS Office everywhere.


Is there something Oracle has done wrong with MySQL?

Comment Re:A screen 10in doesn't make a workstation (Score 1) 622

All those downsides that didn't matter before are now dominant, and the high price, low power and almost zero flexibility are fatal liabilities. ... they always will be, because it's not the job these devices were designed for.

After reading The Innovator's Dilemma I'll claim that the situation will change. Just like 8" hard drives were replaced with 5" ones, 5" ones were replaced with 3.5" ones and 3.5" will be replaced with 2.5" ones, PCs and laptops will be replaced with tablets and smartphones in the coming years.

The current situation is that old-fashioned PCs can pack so much more power so much cheaper that many more-technologically-oriented people still use one to do their daily work. However, most everyone else in the Western world have switched to laptops, as they provide enough power with a price that is not too much higher, and they provide the advantage of mobility. I ditched my home PC years ago and switched to a laptop and just had a monitor and keyboard both at home and at the office. All my data and settings moved with me without any extra set-up work.

Tablets and smartphones are even more mobile than laptops. If they'd have more power and a monitor port at a lower price, they'd be perfect for most people. Want a bigger screen or a keyboard? Just attach one.

Just as R&D efforts largely moved from home PCs to laptops some 10 years ago, they have already moved from laptops to smartphones and tablets. It's just a matter of time until they've caught up with PCs in terms of power required for most tasks and will then have an advantage in mobility that PCs cannot match.

Comparing the current generation of smartphones and tablets to the previous one and the previous on to the one before that it seems that we'll have the first tablets and smartphones replacing laptops and PCs for all office use of some people during 2013 or latest 2014.

Comment Bunch of Angels (Score 0) 249

BOA is a bunch of angels compared to the rest of the financial community

I haven't read what all the other banks have done, but Federal Reserve recently published how their loan program allowed Bank of America to benefit twice, netting $4.8 billion:

[TALF] loans were non-recourse, meaning that if the investment failed, the borrower would not be held responsible for repayment. The belief at the time was that if financing agencies, such as banks, were able to get assets off their books in exchange for cash, then they would be able to freely lend to consumers once again.

Bank of America was able to take advantage of the program by not only selling its assets through the program, but also to profit from non-recourse loans made to BlackRock, in which BofA has a seven percent ownership interest. BlackRock received $2.7 billion in loans from the TALF program to purchase assets. At the same time, Bank of America was also able to sell assets through the program to various investors that received more than $2 billion in federally-backed loans in order to do so. In total, $4.8 billion in loans benefited BofA. was also able to increase its liquidity by selling its assets to other subsidized borrowers. According to the New York Times, "Federal auditors worried about firms like BlackRock, warning that such firms could use federally guaranteed loans to overpay for assets, creating a potential conflict of interest."

BofA sold their assets to buyers who overpaid because they had non-recourse loans. One of the buyers was partly owned by BofA.

Comment Suspicious timing (Score 1) 136

Has anyone else considered the timing of this?

Just as Wikileaks has made it fashionable to expose government wrongdoings and showed how feasible it is to get and handle information that government agencies are interested in, comes the allegation that the most secure system in the world isn't secure.

The vulnerability would specifically be one that the U.S. agencies can exploit. In other words, the agencies that serve the government that is most embarrassed by recent leaks seem to have more teeth now. At the same time the system most likely used by leakers seems to be less secure. As an intentional move by U.S. government this would serve the purpose of making the established projects lose some of their confidence and spend time fretting over this, and to cause possible startups to consider their intended path too risky.

As Theo said, the claims may have some merit into them. FUD works best if it's partly true. In this case the timing is such a coincidence it makes the claims even more suspicious.

Comment Aiding or not aiding, does not matter (Score 2) 402

According to Guardian's WikiLeaks and the first amendment, it doesn't matter what was the newspaper's (WikiLeaks') stake in the matter: any news organisation can be said not to have colluded with a source when it receives leaked documents. Didn't the Times collude with Daniel Ellsberg when it received the Pentagon Papers from him? Yes, there are differences. Ellsberg had finished making copies long before he began working with the Times, whereas Assange may have goaded Manning. But does that really matter?

What matters is whether publishing leaked documents poses such a grave danger to national security that it warrants prosecution. The supreme court, in the 1931 case of Near v Minnesota, ruled that the standard for stopping publication – that is, for censorship – is whether the information is so sensitive that it would be akin to revealing the movement of troops during wartime. That standard was affirmed in the 1971 Pentagon Papers case...

To the question "were any troops endangered" U.S. already has posted an answer: Pentagon review: No troops endangered by Wikileaks documents. If Slashdot was a TV show you'd be hearing "I rest my case".

Comment Porn bans increase rape (Score 1) 163

Excellent post. Only one vital detail to correct:

Child porn is already highly illegal in most countries and yet children keep being abused. The filters, they do NOTHING!

I agree that porn filters don't do anything good, but research says they have their effect: it's just exactly the opposite as the proponents claim to be intended. I quote my earlier post Amazon vs. the society:

in those countries that allowed for the possession of child pornography, child sex abuse has declined

The full article Porn: Good for us? is also linked in that earlier post. It sums up a number of studies showing that when different forms of porn have been banned, sex abuse has increased, and the other way around, all through history. Seeing more porn makes you less likely to harm others sexually. The researchers found the rape-inducing correlation elsewhere:

What does correlate highly with sex offense is a strict, repressive religious upbringing.

The Catholic Church is repeatedly mentioned as a pure example of how bans on sexual activity create such a high amount of molestation cases that it gets mainstream media attention on a constant basis.

On top of giving a statistical boost to rapes, porn censorship harms the society by misdirecting resources from fruitful efforts and by giving a false sense of accomplishment. Finnish censorship filter is a case in point: The police repeatedly does nothing to go after child predators while they are busy updating their "child porn" list. An activist set up a site to follow up their actions on a child porn site he reported and that was hosted on a location where the local law enforcement agency could easily press charges. Finnish police didn't act on the lead on the following six months and likely has not acted ever since. Except by adding the site and the activist's site to the censorship list.

In these two ways porn censorship makes us taxpayers spend money to make the society worse. And these are only the ways in which the proponents claim the society would be getting better. Others here have covered the rest of the aspects from freedom of speech to political oppression, where the censorship inevitably leads to.

Comment Re:Quick, Close the Barn Door!!! (Score 1) 372

this order is an attempt to keep classified documents off unclassified DoD (department of defense) computers. Simply because a document is leaked does not mean it is declassified, and viewing leaked classified documents, even though it is on the public domain, on an unclassified DoD computer results in a security violation. In response to such an incident, we have to spend many man-hours containing and clearing the classified material from the DoD network. It makes perfect sense in that context.

I understand the point of view you offered but if you think about it, it really makes no sense. What the order says is to "block whole damn newspaper websites full of useful information". The person giving the order is, or should be, aware that it does nothing to prevent employees viewing the cables on any of the currently 500 mirror sites or other newspapers. They don't even bother to specifically aim for those documents in the specific websites, but they rather block the websites in their entirety. Why not block the whole internet to err on the safe side?

The aims of this order are elsewhere than avoiding the mixing of classified and unclassified documents and systems. Either they want to backlash at the magazines, or to act like they're doing something, or it's done out of pure incompetence or something else entirely.

This is just a day after Sheriff's Online Database Leaks Info On Informants where a sudden outbreak of common sense was displayed:

'The truth is, once it's been out there and on the Internet and copied, you're never going to regain total control,' Hilkey said.

Comment Amazon vs. the society (Score 5, Interesting) 641

This kind of move is not only against the freedom of press and speech. It's also against the society by increasing sexual abuse, especially of children. See article Porn: Good for us? and its references (emphasis added).

To examine the effect this widespread use of porn may be having on society, researchers have often exposed people to porn and measured some variable such as changes in attitude or predicted hypothetical behaviors, interviewed sex offenders about their experience with pornography, and interviewed victims of sex abuse to evaluate if pornography was involved in the assault. Surprisingly few studies have linked the availability of porn in any society with antisocial behaviors or sex crimes. Among those studies none have found a causal relationship and very few have even found one positive correlation.

Despite the widespread and increasing availability of sexually explicit materials, according to national FBI Department of Justice statistics, the incidence of rape declined markedly from 1975 to 1995. This was particularly seen in the age categories 20–24 and 25–34, the people most likely to use the Internet. The best known of these national studies are those of Berl Kutchinsky, who studied Denmark, Sweden, West Germany, and the United States in the 1970s and 1980s. He showed that for the years from approximately 1964 to 1984, as the amount of pornography increasingly became available, the rate of rapes in these countries either decreased or remained relatively level. Later research has shown parallel findings in every other country examined, including Japan, Croatia, China, Poland, Finland, and the Czech Republic. In the United States there has been a consistent decline in rape over the last 2 decades, and in those countries that allowed for the possession of child pornography, child sex abuse has declined . Significantly, no community in the United States has ever voted to ban adult access to sexually explicit material. The only feature of a community standard that holds is an intolerance for materials in which minors are involved as participants or consumers.

In terms of the use of pornography by sex offenders, the police sometimes suggest that a high percentage of sex offenders are found to have used pornography. This is meaningless, since most men have at some time used pornography. Looking closer, Michael Goldstein and Harold Kant found that rapists were more likely than nonrapists in the prison population to have been punished for looking at pornography while a youngster, while other research has shown that incarcerated nonrapists had seen more pornography, and seen it at an earlier age, than rapists. What does correlate highly with sex offense is a strict, repressive religious upbringing.

Repressive, religious upbringing is exactly what porn bans are.

Comment Transfer security without SSL (Score 1) 207

I was thinking about the same thing earlier today and I remember this from last month: Facebook and Twitter score an F for Fail in online security test. No SSL auth for starters.

I'm wondering how far could a site go in security without automatic SSL for both auth and browsing? Does it make sense to have the browser encrypt username and password before sending them over to the server? Is there a suitably strong method for this that makes it hard enough to brute-force to make it secure enough to use?

If such a way would be viable, this would be good news for websites in terms of minimizing costs. Gawker, Facebook and so on don't have a problem for shelling out $500 for an SSL cert, which starting projects can hardly afford. But as the large user base makes the fixed-price cert more affordable, there comes another problem: hardware power. I don't remember what's the difference between CPU and memory requirements of HTTP and HTTPS, but it's huge.

A small startup project isn't maxing its hardware or can easily afford a few dollars a month for a better hosting. However for a big company the increase in hardware costs for added security is a lot more per month. The abovementioned alternative would instead decrease hardware requirements: instead of encrypting the password and comparing it to the encrypted password in the database, the server can skip the encryption as the browser did it already on client-side.

Comment Re:wikileaks (Score 1) 614

When you do something whose main purpose seems to be to embarrass the U.S. rather than actually expose corruption, what happens? The U.S. loses influence in the world. But who do you think gains influence? Sure some of the less-corrupt democracies do, except their openness means they're vulnerable to the same blind-eye type releases of secrets Wikileaks is conducting. No, the real winners here are totalitarian states which keep a tight lid on their secrets. They gain the most from a system which predominantly exposes the secrets of open societies.

It is my pleasure to point out the vast majority of the above to be false on many levels. Most of the claims has been debunked in so many Slashdot comments today, yesterday and before that you better go and read up. If I repeat it here, it doesn't serve anyone as you could instead just scroll a few posts in any direction and get the same answers there. Instead, I'll comment only a few more unique ways how the above quoted text is misinformend.

When U.S. corruption is exposed, other corrupted governments see that it can happen to them too. Either they clean up their act, or they hurt themselves by adding numerous procedures to avoid leaking that make their own life hard. I quote Assange:

in a world where leaking is easy, secretive or unjust systems are nonlinearly hit relative to open, just systems. Since unjust systems, by their nature induce opponents, and in many places barely have the upper hand, mass leaking leaves them exquisitely vulnerable to those who seek to replace them with more open forms of governance.

Open and just systems have a lot less need for ineffective secretive procedures, and thus for example doubling the security has a very small net effect. Unjust, corrupt systems rely heavily on secrecy, so to increase secrecy, a huge amount of extra expenses and ineffeciency need to be introduced. In short: Not only is it wrong to claim "their openness means they're vulnerable", it is completely the opposite of truth by Assange's logic, which has a lot of merit to it.

US has unsuccesfully tried to keep a tight lid about many of its secrets. Even before the recent lax policy, their secrets have been leaked often and intensively. Check out the cases of Robert Hanssen and Aldrich Ames for two examples and the "see also" sections for more. Any regime more totalitarian than the US has a similar risk running at all times of its operation.

The following could be applied for Russia or any other state you may want to imagine: If some piece of information or volumes of it gets everyone in the country enraged at their government, the government has a lot less means of staying in power than prior to that information leaking. You are correct for claiming that when governments, like China, suppress the information so that their citizens don't know what's going on don't suffer the same effect - but that is only until someone finds a way to leak information through the oppressive Great Firewall or other means employed.

This is more likely happen if any local activists in those countries receive support in form of information, training, resources, connections and any other form from outside. The less our government keeps us in the dark, the more we an concentrate on issues that exist without our government creating them first. Like issues with totalitarian regimes that we wish to do something about.

Prior to Wikileaks the US government had much success in fooling their citizens to think "Do we, the righteous US of A, have power abroad where someone is threatening us? No! Let's attack before they get us!" Now that it's harder for the government to spend more than 1 000 000 000 000 dollars on an unjust war by lying about the reasons for it, people are free to think about something else than what the corrupted government wants them to think.

In fact, Wikileaks paves way for uncorrupt congressmen by removing the secretive advantages that corrupt ones once held. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Ron Paul:

"Lying is not patriotic" -- "In a free society, we are supposed to know the truth. In a society where truth becomes treason, we are in big trouble" -- "Could it be that the real reason for the near-universal attacks on WikiLeaks is more about secretly maintaining a seriously flawed foreign policy of empire than it is about national security?"

Comment Re:delete key? what? (Score 1) 391

IF you want to talk about useless keys, let's talk about the 'context menu key' that is located beside the right windows key.

I suggest you learn the numerous possible uses for it before bashing it. I use it numerous times a day in things like filesystem navigation to word processing to ebook reading. It's not just the most convenient way to do many things without the mouse, but sometimes a necessity.

In Windows Explorer: Context + R = file properties. Faster than Alt-Something + Another key. Requires only one finger.

In Adobe Reader full screen mode clicking with the left mouse button changes the page. The only way I've found for zooming the page to be readable is pressing Context and then selecting Zoom tool. After done, press Context again to choose another tool to avoid accidentally zooming too large (Reader has only a zoom in option in this case).

I'm sure you can think of many other uses when you start exploring. I learned some of the uses by accidental keystrokes and only then began to really explore the options. It's an absolutely essential key for me when I want to keep my hands to the keyboard, not to the mouse.

Comment Over-sensitivity kills effective communication (Score 1) 538

Wikileaks has credibility; Assange does not. I mean, he told a reporter that he was too busy to talk to them because he "too busy ending two wars." That kind of narcissism is profoundly stupid.

Your statement has no credibility. It seems you are over-sensitive with people describing accurately what they do without playing it down. Saying "I'm launching a new website/business" is as true whether you are the only one involved or one of many in a team.

If it makes you feel better, mentally prefix every sentence like that with "I am one of the many insignificant people involved in the process that has the goal of". Please don't ask for that to be mandatory for others with cries of narcissism.

Comment Who plays with whom? (Score 2) 538

Kirk James Murphy says SHE was playing with CIA-funded terror-tactics groups not so long ago:

The same groups publicly supported the coup in Honduras. The one which Wikileaks revealed US government lying not knowing about and being unable to intervene because of that.

More on how CIA is hunting Assange through Sweden (emphasis added):

The Swedes have a practical reason behind their deceptively slapstick police-work. The WikiLeaks founder, pursued by malevolent forces around the world, sought momentary relief beneath Sweden's reputation as a bastion of free speech. But the moment Julian sought the protection of Swedish media law, the CIA immediately threatened to discontinue intelligence sharing with SEPO, the Swedish Secret Service.

The suspicion of whether the rape farce is an orchestrated campaign, might be illuminated by these facts: (1) Sweden sent troops to Afghanistan, (2) Assange's WikiLeaks published the Afghan War Diary... --- secret materials by WikiLeaks might just influence the general elections on September 19. Perhaps that explains the sudden police raid on a WikiLeaks server.

Comment How the U.S. can now extradite Assange (Score 1) 1060

Bout case is a useful study in how the Obama administration could be exerting pressure on the British and Swedish governments. Ironically, what we know about the Bout case comes from secret cables released by WikiLeaks. ... an aggressive lawyer could drag out an extradition case against Assange -- whoever the requesting country -- for as long as two years. But as bond has been denied, he might spend that time in a prison cell.

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The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth. -- Niels Bohr