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Comment Re:Cool but looks too closed/proprietary (Score 3, Insightful) 393

There are also the questions of long-term viability of the company, patents and copyright issues on the three-word locations. On their website they promise the tech will always provide free ways for individuals to use it. And in the case the company can no longer maintain the technology (or find another company to do so), they also promise to release the technology and code into the public domain.

what3words will always be free for individuals to use on our own site and apps. If or when we do charge for access to our web API or offline SDK, there will always be ways to use them for free.

In particular, we intend to support fair and equitable use of our core addressing technology. We employ a fee structure that provides qualifying organisations with a range of free and discounted usage plans, in addition to country-based pricing. Qualifying organisations will include humanitarian and not-for-profit entities in any country, and regional and national government and associated organisations registered in countries that fall under the World Bank Low-Income Country (LIC), Lower-Middle-Income Country (LMIC) or Upper-Middle-Income Country (UMIC) categories. Discounts are based on world economic indicator data compiled and published by the World Bank.

Furthermore, we understand that organisations whointegratewhat3words need assurances about the long-term viability of the technology.

Our goal is for what3words to become a global standard for communicating location. At the moment, the core what3words algorithms and data are not in the public domain. In the future, we may release some or all of our source code â" we will continually evaluate the business case for doing this.

In the meantime, we commit to the following:

If we, what3words ltd, are ever unable to maintain the what3words technology or make arrangements for it to be maintained by a third-party (with that third-party being willing to make this same commitment), then we will release our source code into the public domain. We will do this in such a way and with suitable licences and documentation to ensure that any and all users of what3words, whether they are individuals, businesses, charitable organisations, aid agencies, governments or anyone else can continue to rely on the what3words system.

Promise on pricing page.

That's a lot of promising.

I really like the idea but I'd like to know it's free and open for everyone to use without limitation. Like many things, the market will ultimately decide its fate.

Comment Re:Even if it was true, terrible value for money (Score 3, Insightful) 31

None of the stories I've seen put the figure at "dozens of millions of pounds". This article from The Telegraph puts the figure at £11.1 million. The article notes that £6.5m of that figure are "police officer pay costs that would be incurred in normal duties" and mentions overtime costs and "indirect" costs, tallying together to an additional £3.8m. Also, if the picture in the article shows a typical guard detail we see at least 4 uniformed officers, not 2.

We should also take into account those 4 officers are not engaged in regular beat policing but the very specific task of waiting for a very specific person to exit a specific location. There's also the very real possibility this is a politically-motivated policing detail with all the visibility and CYA costs that come with it.

The point may yet be valid but to a lesser degree and perhaps not at all just based on numbers. And with the other factors the Assange case may be so unusual that no meaningful comparison can be made.

Comment QR Code or Similar (Score 1) 207

I'd prefer a card and electronic version with name, photo and QR Code (with human-readable number below) that an officer could scan or type in could link to the appropriate government database that has all the rest of the info. The user could choose which to present.

There's no reason to have a document with your address and phone number to permit driving or function as ID. Every cop car I see has a laptop and wireless access. Easy to look-up and verify.

We'd have to figure out how to let legitimate 3rd parties (e.g., banks, employers) access the db securely without the ability to access too much information. Still, even if we gave them full access to address and phone details it's no worse than the current situation and better in many.

Comment Re:Replace Cisco, and Akamai and then maybe.. (Score 2) 212

Cisco's involvement makes sense. They're pushing hard into "Internet of Things". They won't want the bad publicity or financial risk of delivering unsecured configuration UIs. Sure, they could install self-signed certificates but browser warnings about self-signed certs will generate support calls. If they can get the root cert into the other browsers (and as one poster above noted, it seems likely with this line-up), free certificates for the asking solves the problem.

Akamai, not sure what they get out of it. Perhaps just improved end-to-end security.

For the EFF, it's pretty obvious. They're pushing https everywhere. Working with heavyweights like Cisco and Akamai furthers that goal. Having the EFF involved will at least ensure the new CA is looked at by geeks and privacy folks.

I have no complaints. At least not until the details are fully known. Hopefully no complaints then either.

Comment Re:Vampirism (Score 2) 178

My first thought as well: Methuselah's Children. IIRC this is where we first meet Lazarus Long.

In the story Lazarus Long and others are long-lived due to breeding program that financially rewards people whose parents and grandparents are long-lived who marry. For many years they stay under the radar of popular society and government but when they're found out no one will believe it's genetic. Rather they believe the long-lived must have some secret.

The long-lived escape Earth on a stolen spaceship. While they're gone scientists discover that blood transfusions extend life. And as ffactoid noted, it only became popular and viable once artificial blood becomes generally available.

Comment Re:Summary. (Score 1) 301

Read Ted Unangst's analysis. You don't have to do anything special to trigger the bug when using a normal malloc rather than OpenSSL's broken approach. OpenBSD's approach protects you more but any malloc would have surfaced the error:

This bug would have been utterly trivial to detect when introduced had the OpenSSL developers bothered testing with a normal malloc (not even a security focused malloc, just one that frees memory every now and again).

The problem is the OpenSSL code was freeing a buffer and then immediately re-allocating it to read data from. The OpenSSL team got lucky and it worked when the buffer was the right size.

Comment Re:Summary. (Score 5, Insightful) 301

Theo's point isn't that OpenBSD users would have been safe. It's that had OpenSSL crashed on OpenBSD (or any OS with similar mitigation in place) it would have surfaced the bug much sooner...perhaps before a worldwide release. Once found it would have been fixed and merged upstream to benefit all users.

This is really a specific case of the larger point behind avoiding monoculture, whether OS or hardware. OpenBSD continues to support older architectures in part because it forces them to work through issues that benefit other platforms, especially the one most of us use daily: x86.

Comment In Terms of Free Speech, Yes; Quality, Maybe Not (Score 1) 156

The question should focus specifically on quality, not freedom. That is, bloggers, journalists, pamphleteers and tinfoil-hat-wearing-street-corner-ranting loonies have the same freedom to report what they consider to be news. Governments, and especially the courts, should scrupulously avoid anointing any group as "the Press" or claiming one group or another has a more fundamental free speech right. The press are and always have been made up of the people.

Quality, however, is another matter. We might expect employed journalists to produce higher quality articles in terms of polished prose, researched quotes and balanced perspective due to a professional commitment and having full-time employment to focus on the craft. We'd be very much mistaken, though, if we naively assume all journalists are professionals and all bloggers are hacks and dilettantes. If anything, the "blogger years" have shown the commercial press has often sold out and that so-called amateurs have more of a commitment to accuracy and balance than the "professionals". What they sometimes lack in polish they make up for in commitment to telling the truth.

In this regard I see blogging as a good thing.

Submission + - Building Your Own BSD Router (

An anonymous reader writes: Friends don't let friends use consumer networking equipment. This is a saying that many sysadmins have probably heard. It's really easy to go to a store and pick up a cheap little plastic router, but they're proprietary, have security issues and offer very little flexibility. We're going to show you how to build your own, based entirely on open source software, and take back control of your network.

Comment Re:Sounds reasonable to me. (Score 1) 573

If we have a leaking hot water tap the water company notices after a full month after it started and calls us as our hotwater usage spikes and our bill is way up.

How does that work? Everywhere I've ever lived (including abroad) or visited the water company provides water at ambient temperatures and the customer heats it on site.

Once upon a time ago (in the US anyhow) apartment buildings used radiant heat based on hot water that was centrally heated and distributed. Perhaps they also delivered hot water to the residents. That's still not the water company.

I'm not saying it doesn't happen. Just curious where it happens and how they transport the hot water to you without losing the heat energy. It just doesn't seem efficient.

Comment Who Owns the Data? (Score 5, Insightful) 128

There are two issues to address here: 1) cost and maintenance, and 2) data ownership. The first is obvious and is the crux of the CEO's pitch to Congress. The second is the one she's skirting. Sure, she acknowledges the government would "buy" the data. But for what use and with what limits? We already see corporations trying to get laws passed making them the only distributor of government-generated data (weather companies, journal publishers). With a ploy like this they make it that much more likely the public is excluded from having and using the data.

The only way I'd encourage the government to go this route is if the law and contracts specify the data is free in every sense of the word. Otherwise this is just another government hand out to private corporations.

If PlanetIQ think there's a real market for weather data, they should finance the whole thing with private equity. My guess is no one in the right mind will give them the capital unless they can get the government give them a monopoly.

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