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Comment Re:Several things (Score 1) 138

It can't be dead due to the enormous security risk, because the industry has supposedly accepted proprietary EME "content decryption modules." The one aspect of Flash that really mattered is still with us; it's just theoretically smaller (provided people abstain from installing the ones that will have them join botnets, mine bitcoins, etc).

Comment Re:So backwards... (Score 3, Insightful) 227

Well, now you're making a very different argument than the original "companies should not profit from products that might kill people." But I'll bite anyway. There are plenty of products that, though used correctly, can under some circumstances cause injury or death.

A very obvious one is medication. There are many medications that can have serious side effects, including death, when taken exactly as prescribed. We continue to use them because the benefits outweigh the risks.

You mentioned chainsaws. It is true that the majority of chainsaw accidents happen because of operator error. However, that doesn't mean that all of them do. The only way to completely eliminate the possibility of harm is to not use a chainsaw. But again, we continue to use them because the benefits are big enough.

There does need to be a standard for how safe autonomous vehicles need to be before we allow them on the roads. But setting that standard at "they need to never cause a death" is not only unrealistic, it is totally inconsistent with how our society deals with other potentially dangerous products.

Comment Re:Block on the phone. (Score 2) 76

I like the idea of moving as much decision making as possible to the phone, but I don't want a whitelist. That would require me to make the effort to whitelist people, plus having the prescient power of anticipating which strangers I want to hear from (e.g. whoever found my dog and called the number on her collar). I'm ok with getting a call from a stranger, as long as their "return address" isn't forged. If the return address is correct, and they are annoying, I can blacklist 'em. Allowing strangers to call me is the best default. Not perfect (it's easy to imagine some failure scenarios), but best.

Comment Re:So what? (Score 1) 403

This just removes the fig leaf. .. Anyone who's serious about security wouldn't rely on the ISP being on their side-- one would already be using strong encryption etc. for all communication if one were actually concerned about security.

This really is the best way to look at things.

If people want "privacy laws" then those laws shouldn't be about what's not allowed to happen; the laws need to be about what is required to happen (the goal being to encourage common sense practices, because nobody can protect your privacy for you.). Make it so that businesses and people can't access government's network services without going through a darknet, for example. Do not allow any plaintext email communication with the government. Put into "REAL ID" that the issuing authority also has to sign the identified person's key and include the fingerprint on the ID card. Don't allow government money to be spent on computers containing any software which can't be audited and maintained. And so on.

Don't make anyone protect their privacy overall, but do make it so that they have to pay lip service to common sense in any interaction with government (and then let convenience and economy of scale take it from there; lazy people will then do the right thing). Or, just don't have privacy laws since, obviously, we don't really care. Pick one or the other.

Comment Re:Are people really dumb enough to fall for this? (Score 1) 32

I understand why people do it; I just think the costs outweigh the relatively minor benefits. (And yes, I realize other people weigh things differently) Having a mailreader on your desktop(s) isn't a big deal. The only time it matters much, is when it's someone else's desktop, since a lot of mail clients make the initial setup somewhat of a pain in the ass. (And I get how a layman might not remember whether their server uses starttls vs ssl; I'll admit there are barriers to fast setup, where you want to ask your friend, "Hey, can I use your machine to check my email real quick?") But while maybe some people were having to borrow other peoples' PCs a lot more around the turn of the century, nowdays nearly everyone carries one in their pocket.

And across from the relatively minor benefit of webmail, is the cost: it means you can't do encryption sanely, for example. And since it doesn't have a standard interface, now Google is proposing a proprietary one, to try to do some of the things that you could do with IMAP. That's just going to lock people into gmail specifically. I get why they are doing that, but from a user's PoV, this is wastful and harmful.

Just Say No. Now that you have a smartphone, perhaps webmail is obsolete and it's time to start phasing it out. Whereever you go, there you are.

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