Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×
User Journal

Journal Journal: Christian Distributism, explained 39

The capitalist solution is to allow one man to own most of the hens and turn to distribute eggs to workers who prepare the nests for him. The Communist solution is putting all the eggs into the hands of the dictator cook, who makes an omelet which is bound to be unsatisfying because not all the people like omelets, and some do not like the way the dictator cook prepares them anyway. The Christian solution is to distribute the hens so that every man can cook his eggs the way he likes them, and even eat them raw if that is his definition of freedom.

-- Fulton J. Sheen, Freedom under God, Economic Guarantee of Human Liberty, 1940/2013 (PAGE 129 -130)

User Journal

Journal Journal: Web privacy idea 2

Proxy Command.

Step 1: Missile Command, but as a web proxy. Every outgoing connection = 1 incoming missile, labeled with the hostname. The proxy holds onto the connection until the missile hits the city at the bottom. Shoot down the rocket to prevent the connection to tracker.facebook.com or whatever. Speed would be adjustable.

Step 2: add auto-targeting by hostname, so you don't have to click on tracker.facebook.com over and over.

Step 3: whitelist hostnames to avoid having to wait for the connection.

???

Step 5: browse the internet and watch the fireworks display

User Journal

Journal Journal: Here we go again. Damn! 7

The last month I've felt better than at any time since this last bout of depression started in the fall of 2014. And now it's creeping back. A month of feeling half-way decent in 2 years does not cut it. The ability to concentrate is gone again, sleep is crap, and I can't help but keep thinking that I made the wrong decision to fight it.

Oh well, I was warned that it would come back. So much for my latest plans to do something constructive or useful. The last few days, looking at my old code has seemed like such an impossible burden. I can't even work up real anger over it at this point. After all, what's the point?

Time to see what other miracle drugs and treatments my psychiatrist has to offer ... and I understand now why so many people resort to illegal highs and end up drug addicts - it looks better than the alternative.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Banks still not sanitizing user input. 15

(Note - also submitted as a story since this probably affects more than a few people)

Recently I tried once again to use my bank's mobile app. I had deleted it a couple of times in the past because I could never get it to work. The bank had all sorts of excuses - "Maybe your card hasn't been activated for online banking", "You need to download the latest version", "We'll need to reset your password", "We'll issue you a new card", etc. New card, password reset both did nothing.

Turns out that entering the card number as shown on the card will never work. The card format is 9999 9999 9999 9999 (spaces between each group of 4 digits). They failed Rule 00; sanitize input.

Entering the number in that format will always fail. In this case they failed to remove spaces before testing whether the card number was valid. The android code to remove the embedded spaces is pretty generic one-liner:

String cardNo = edittext.getText().toString().replace(" ", "");

Looking at the online forums, others have had the same problem for the app's entire existence.

Having figured that out, I was immediately locked out for "too many failures to answer the security question". Of course, it never presented a security question, because the bozo who wrote the program incremented some "bad answer" counter on every login attempt, even if they never got to the point of seeing a security question. It also locks you out of using web banking on the same account..

Locking someone out of their account is now easy as pie, because it also works if the user enters their name instead of their card number. (If you have 5 John Smiths, you'll lock them all out, since access is granted based on both the user name and password matching if the account number isn't entered). Just load up an android app for the bank (I won't disclose which bank until 45 days have passed since notifying them today), enter their name and a bogus password a few times, and every John Smith is locked out. And of course, if the so-called developers are failing to do such basic input sanitation, it makes me pretty sure there are other intern-level programmer bugs are awaiting exploitation elsewhere.

Adding frustration is that they cannot do a password reset over the phone unless you have already signed up for telephone banking. Now why would anyone sign up for telephone banking when an app or the web is supposed to be more convenient? The excuse I was given is that they need it to establish my identity. So why not just text me an sms or email code that I can enter when requesting a password reset?

Lets hope other banks didn't use the same app geniuses.

User Journal

Journal Journal: By Fulton Sheen's Standards, Trump and Clinton are Communist 3

"MOST LEGISLATIVE PROGRAMS, political slogans, and radical catchwords of our times are concerned with the satisfaction of material wants. The Communist catchword is âoejobsâ âoejobsâ âoejobsâ; the politicianâ(TM)s slogan is âoeworkâ âoeworkâ âoeworkâ; the legislatorâ(TM)s promise is âoe[more] material security.â Add to this the sad fact that millions of citizens, whose bodies and souls have been ravaged by a materialist civilization, have reached a point where they are willing to sacrifice the last crumb of liberty for a piece of the cake of security. Reformers [and community organizers] have not understood their cry. Because man make demands for security, our reformers have neglected to inquire what they really want. A starving man asks for bread, when he really wants life. âoeThe body is more than the raiment, and life is more than the food.â The unemployed, the socially disinherited, the poor broken earthenware of humanity ask for âoework,â but what they really want is independence. The normal man does not want to be fed either by a social agency or a state; he wants to be able to feed himself. In other words, he wants liberty. But, as we said in the last chapter, there is only one solid economic foundation for individual liberty and that is a wider distribution of property.
Property is here understood primarily as productive property, such as land, or a share in the profits, management or ownership of industry. Property does not mean a distribution of created wealth [past savings] such as bread, circuses, and jobs, but a redistribution of creative wealth [future earnings]; not rations handed out by an agency or an employer, but a shared ownership of productive goods. Liberty to be real, concrete, and practicable must have a foundation in the economic order; namely, independence."
~ Fulton J. Sheen, Freedom under God, Economic Guarantee of Human Liberty, 1940/2013, (page 49).

User Journal

Journal Journal: Always write passwords down! 6

Just recovered my original gmail account, dating back to the early invite days. FirstName.Lastname is good to have back, even if it had 3+ years of spam in it :-)

I was wondering if accounts would be expired after a certain time - now we know that they're good for at least 3 years after the last login. Makes sense, because you don't want anyone grabbing an old email address and getting someone else's email.

Eventually they'll have to expire the old ones, because it's going to be harder and harder to pick good ones - maybe a decade would be a long enough period?

Democrats

Journal Journal: This is not helpful (Updated) 60

As the CEO of the American Baby Mulching Corporation, I usually avoid taking sides when it comes to National Politics. Privately, I would generally consider myself a Republican, but a corporation such as ours must be seen to be above the fray. In 2001, for example, we donated equally to the campaigns of both Mr George W Bush, and Mr Joseph Lieberman.

But it has become abundantly clear that this country is now facing a very real threat in the form of Donald Trump. Mr Trump has made a number of statements we at American Baby Mulching consider to be seriously worrying. Mr Trump has made many statements alienating our allies. Mr Trump has made it clear he considers the use of Nuclear Weapons a viable form of warfare. He has pitted Americans against one another with his extremist anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant positions, slandering hard working Mexicans and creating a climate of fear.

As a Republican, I would not normally be comfortable endorsing the Democratic candidate for President, but in this case I feel I must, and I believe it would be the right thing for our country. Sure, Mrs Clinton and I have our differences. I personally oppose her positions on taxation, and as the CEO of a major company that requires a steady supply of disposable babies, we obviously abhor her position on abortion.

But in my dealings with Mrs Clinton, I have always found her fair and reasonable. She understands the need for corporations such as ours to mulch babies, harvesting their essential nutrients for eventual supply to ammunition manufacturers. She understands that businesses like my own require flexibility when it comes to environmental regulation, that we would be unable to employ so many workers without a low minimum wage, and she understands the need for regulators to overlook the use of undocumented immigrants and prisoners to solve staffing shortfalls.

For these reasons, I will be casting my vote for Mrs Clinton this year and I urge you to do likewise.

Updated: I'm just going to ignore the discussion at this point. It was supposed to be a comment about how things like that former CIA directory's "endorsement" of Clinton, and Bloomberg's, etc, wasn't necessarily helping those of us who are having to hold our noses and vote for a giant leap right-ward by the "left wing" party in the US this November. You know, humor. As far as the comments section goes, I've never seen such bare faced idiocy in my entire life. No wonder Trump is, current slump aside, doing so well. He might even win.

User Journal

Journal Journal: Making the Internet (and other stuff) easier on the eyes 7

After a few days of thinking, and a few more days of testing, I've found something interesting that might be useful for others, even if you don't have a visual impairment.

Mixed-case fonts are harder to read. Plus, how do you tell the difference between a lower-case "ELL" and the number 1, upper-case "OH" and the number 0, lowercase "b" and the number 6, uppercase "ESS" and the number 5, lowercase letter pair "r n" and lowercase "m" (as in "bank of America" vs "Bank of Arnerica"? Lowercase letters are hard on the eyes. They also weren't around in the days of the ancient greeks; it took 1,500 years for that to happen.

This whole debate wasn't much of a big deal back in the days when we'd spend hours and hours typing code in marathon sessions of easy-on-the-eyes monospaced all-caps, but those days are gone. We're no longer using much assembler (and if we do, it's lowercase), BASIC, or DBASE, or Clipper (and they don't care about case either).

The programming languages we use today are case sensitive, particularly the two biggies - c/c++ and java.

Part of the solution is to switch to a small-caps font. Lowercase glyphs are just smaller versions of their uppercase glyphs. Using a mono-spaced small-caps font adds a bit more readability as well (though you might not think so at first - it takes your brain a while to get used to it).

No more worrying about mixing up lowercase "l" and the number 1, etc.

So then the question becomes - what about coding compatibility between those who don't use a screen reader and those who do (either on occasion or regularly)?

If you want to cursor through each letter, the screen reader will beep as it says each capital, but really, who wants to go letter by letter to differentiate between lowercase, uppercase, titlecase, and camelcase? What's needed is to use only one case, so that variables, methods, functions and classes are all written using the same set of lowercase letters. (Can't use all uppercase because preprocessor directives (#include, etc) in c and various declarations (packages, etc) in java need to be lowercase).

Obviously, anything that is not all-lowercase is going to need some shim code. It's a problem, especially in c, where convention is that macro definitions are in all-caps. But that's just a convention, and there's no reason not to be able to include shim code that redefines those macro definitions using lowercase and a few extra letters (sorry, leading and trailing underscores are reserved for the implementation, though this may only be the case for double underscores - check your header files).

Classes don't HAVE to have propercase names, and functions and methods don't HAVE to have camelcase names. These are just conventions.

Using existing code will still require shims to call it, but all-lowercase code does have a few advantages that outweigh the hassle. For one, fewer typos. For another, the shim code doesn't have to be a direct representation of the other code in terms of functionality - there's no reason, for example, not to create a java button class that works better than the Button class, with less verbosity and more built-in functionality (and eliminating the stupid get and set syntax). Why have button.getxy() and button.setxy(newxy) when button.xy() and button.xy(newxy) work just fine thanks to overloading, and can be chained just fine?

And lest you not take all this seriously, wait until there's a library of all-lowercase code available and someone files a complaint under the ADA because they're not being allowed to use it, if fewer typos and less eye strain isn't enough to motivate you.

NOTE: Chrome no longer lets you override font settings despite looking like it, but Firefox still does. Carrois Gothic SC (small caps) is a good font for browsing, and Latin Modern Mono Caps 10 works in code editors. Both are fully scale-able in size.

(The proof is in the pudding - this is the first time I've been able to use a computer for 4 hours straight in I don't know how long, despite having a cataract in one eye and blood clots floating around in the other. Not even any headache or nausea. Usually it's under an hour, than forget it for several hours or often the rest of the day, pop some tylenol, etc. I wish I had thought of this before.)

User Journal

Journal Journal: Secret Files of the Inquisition 2

http://www.pbs.org/inquisition/

After 700 years, the files of the Inquisition are being released, and like with the German Holocaust during WWII, they turn out to be a treasure trove for historians, since one of the primary functions of the Inquisition was to introduce better record keeping and rule of evidence to the judicial system.

User Journal

Journal Journal: I changed history last week 7

And unlike in "All You Zombies", I didn't need a U.S.F.F. Coordinates Transformer Field Kit, series 1992, Mod II to do it.

As you can see from this excerpt from Wikipedia, the first country to pass a same sex marriage law was the Netherlands, in December of 2000.

2000

21 December: Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands signs into law the first same-sex marriage bill in the world. It had previously cleared the country's Senate on 19 December in a 49â"26 vote and the House of Representatives on 12 September in a 109â"33 vote. The law came into effect on 1 April 2001.

Of course, Canada screwed that up just fine:

2001

14 January: Two same-sex marriages are performed at the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto in Ontario, Canada (2-1/2 months before the Netherlands law came into force). Although registration of the marriages was initially denied, a successful court challenge upheld their legality on 10 June 2003, thus retroactively making them the first legal same-sex marriages in modern times.

Not so fast there ... the first marriage of two same sex women that is legally recognized was in Quebec, April 1976 - a quarter century before the Netherlands. It gained legal recognition by the government as a same-sex marriage more than 40 years later, on July 15, 2016.

Now if that sounds totally f'ed up, then you know it has to involve me, and my 35 years of work trying to modify the name and sex on my birth certificate, running into one delay after another, and a very recent law change with totally unexpected consequences that has my kids and me laughing :-)

My application was pre-approved years ago, but I ran into lots of problems, and until just before Christmas last year, it was expensive - something I just couldn't afford because of all my health problems, and before that having to quit my job because my boss bounced a month's worth of pay cheques and then tried to make it look like I had agreed to work as an independent contractor, and too many other problems many of you are familiar with, so finalizing it kept getting put off.

Then a few years ago, they said the procedure was being changed, and it would be both quicker and cheaper - just wait a year to pass the new law.

Of course, the new law took a lot more than a year to pass, and then everything was ready to go ---- and if you believe that bullshit, you'll believe anything the government tells you.

Add a couple more years leaving people in limbo because now they had to come up with the legal and other procedures for actually applying the law. A lot of people probably said to hell with the wait and went with the old procedure.

Finally, I saw that they were now able to take new applications, got the forms, gathered up all the stuff needed, and was just waiting on one of my sisters to sign an affidavit saying she knew me and I understood the seriousness of all this.

After weeks of "not today, maybe next week", she said to email the docs to her and she'd look at them. And after more weeks of "not this week, I'm busy", a second request to email them to her so she could look at them. Like I told my endocrinologist, it was pretty obvious she was avoiding it. Afterwards, one of my neighbors said she would have done it immediately, but I didn't want to impose on her. Oh well.

Finally she did, and I took the paperwork downtown, and was told it would take 4 months. Turns out that because it had been pre-approved all those years ago, they could skip part of the evaluation, so it took less than three.

Now if it had happened a year ago, 5 years ago, a decade ago, all that would have been changed was my name and sex on my birth certificate. The cover letter they sent said this:

Please not that the required changes were made to your act of birth and your act of marriage registered to the registrar of civil status. The change to your given names was also entered on the act of birth of your children.

So my marriage from 1976 - by the Catholic church of all places (no, I was an atheist even back then) is now legally recognized as being between two women, and my kids have two women as their parents - and all the documentation available shows this.

I cannot even ask for a copy without the changes. Neither can anyone else. My kids are like me - they find it hilarious.

BTW - here no church or municipality is in charge of, nor may they keep or issue, records of birth or marriage. So even the Pope can't claim that the Catholic church doesn't do same sex marriages.

And everyone who didn't run into these delays got screwed out of "first same sex marriage post."

It doesn't make up for the decades of problems, but it's something to laugh about, and we all need a good laugh once in a while. :-) Besides, zombies try to preserve the timeline. I'm not a zombie.

Slashdot Top Deals

Promising costs nothing, it's the delivering that kills you.

Working...