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Comment Re:Why do you speak on behalf of the rest of socie (Score 1) 272

It shouldn't matter who the DNC leaker was. Blaming "the Ruskies" is just a diversion.

The question here isn't 'who leaked?', so much as 'if it's the Russians, what are they holding back?'

I'm a fan of leakers, but would prefer leaks from people who don't have a horse in the race. The age-old question 'cui bono?' (who benefits?) is a key element to establishing the value and completeness of a leak. I say this, by the way, as a professional journalist who has relied on leaks and whistleblowers for some big stories.

Comment Re:UBI will reach 100% of tax (Score 1) 1145

So what if the UBI reaches 100% of the federal tax?

I think the way that $3 trillion figure is formulated is more than a little disingenuous. Surely you don't just give $10,000 to every Tom, Dick and Harriet. Anywhere this has been looked at, it's been implemented as an income subsidy. In other words, you top up everyone's income so that nobody earns less than a given amount. Based on that calculation, and factoring in savings on welfare, food stamps etc., the idea actually looks quite attractive.

Comment Re:OpenBTS or WiFi? (Score 1) 37

It's OpenBTS, not Facebook's new project, that developed incredibly cheap 2.5G GSM service on cheap, software defined radio hardware.

Exactly. This idea has been around for yonks. Probably the most visible in international development circles was the Grameen Foundation's Village Phone project. This included small-scale GSM transmitter/receivers along with phones that would be shared on a commercial pay-as-you-go basis.

I met a few people working on a variation of this in Timor Leste, and tried to get some formal backing and traction for this in some Pacific island countries. The bottom line is that it's a no-go scenario, because you have inordinately high regulatory barriers, and the opposition of local telcos, who don't want anyone else hanging off their infrastructure, no matter how good it is for the bottom line.

That made some sense at the time, but today, why wouldn't you build your wireless network on WiFi instead?

Because at the end of the day, you still need to interact with local telcos. You can shim it any way you want, but if a person can't call or text their cousin in the capital, they're not going to pay to use the service.

But that's not reason to give up hope. You should give up hope because the telcos will never let it happen anyway, and even if they do, they'll find some new way to screw you out of accessing an affordable and open internet. :-)

Comment Re:Ever heard of mutah? (Score 2) 161

There is however strict laws about the women involved in this... [...] For example, they cannot have vaginal sex with 2 different men within a week of each other... After all, they must grieve one husband before the next.

Actually the mandatory intermediary period is usually more than 1 week (usually at least a month), and the reason is very pragmatic: if a child is born, it needs to be clear who is the father.

As you've already discovered, among various Islamic schools of theology there is vigorous disagreement about whether mut'ah is permitted or not. The most prominent distinction is that among Shiites it's mostly permitted and among Sunnis mostly forbidden, but there are Sunni communities there are some who practice mut'ah as well. Like with most details of Islamic law, people will have strong normative opinions. Instead of looking at the wide variety of things that Muslims are actually practicing in the world, they will claim that their opinion represents the whole of Islam and that everybody else is wrong. Since every side can draw on 1400 years' of theological debate to show that they are right and you aren't, and at the base of it there are texts that can be interpreted in different wys, but are considered sacred and must not be questioned, this kind of debate tends to degenerate very quickly.

Comment Headline is wrong (Score 5, Informative) 92

Brewster Kahle said that sentence at a conference also attended by TBL. And the quote doesn't even appear in the article that the phrase is linked to.

The actual quote is in the New York Time article:

“Edward Snowden showed we’ve inadvertently built the world’s largest surveillance network with the web,” said Mr. Kahle

Congratulations on failing journalism 101. But then, this being Slashdot and all: Congratulations! You're an editor!!

Comment Fixed, and apparently not a HTTPS issue (Score 5, Informative) 96

The security issue seems to be fixed as of KeePass 2.3.4 and it looks like the discussion about HTTPS and ads is missing the point. From the website (http://keepass.info/help/kb/sec_issues.html#updsig):

"There have been some articles about automatic KeePass updates being vulnerable. This section clarifies the situation and its resolution.

First of all, we would like to note that KeePass cannot update itself. KeePass does support checking for updates (optional; by downloading a version information file, comparing the available with the installed version number, and displaying a notification if necessary). However, it neither downloads nor installs any new version automatically. Users have to do this manually.

KeePass can be downloaded from many servers (SourceForge with its many mirror servers, FossHub, etc.). In order to make sure that the downloaded file is official, users should check whether the file is digitally signed (Authenticode; all KeePass binaries are signed, including the installer, KeePass.exe and all other EXE and DLL files). The digital signature can be checked using Windows Explorer by right-clicking the file -> 'Properties' -> tab 'Digital Signatures'. When running the installer, the UAC dialog displays the digital signature information, i.e. users who carefully read the UAC dialog do not have to inspect the file properties separately. This is recommended for all users, independent of where you download KeePass from.

The KeePass website links to SourceForge for downloading KeePass. However, even if SourceForge (or the KeePass website) is compromised and serves a malicious download, users who check the digital signature will notice the attack and will not run the malware. Note that HTTPS cannot prevent a compromise of the download server; checking the digital signature does.

The version information file is downloaded from the KeePass website over HTTP. Thus a man in the middle (someone who can intercept your connection to the KeePass website) could have returned an incorrect version information file, possibly making KeePass display a notification that a new KeePass version is available. However, the next steps (downloading and installing the new version) must be carried out by the user manually, and here users who check the digital signature will notice the attack.

Resolution. In order to prevent a man in the middle from making KeePass display incorrect version information (even though this does not imply a successful attack, see above), the version information file is now digitally signed (using RSA-2048 and SHA-512). KeePass 2.34 and higher only accept such a digitally signed version information file. This solution is more secure than just using HTTPS, because it guarantees version information safety even when the webserver is compromised (the private key for signing the version information is not stored on the webserver)."

Comment Re:Really? (Score 2) 515

But a large number of professional programmers didn't learn how to code in a formal school program, either because they're self-taught or because they learned on the job. Citation please.

In the early days, many people didn't have anyone to learn from. If you weren't enrolled in a University computer science programme, you probably had close to zero access to formal instruction.

For my part, a colleague of mine came by my desk, saw me struggling to handle a conditional with a macro, and showed me how to create a control structure in Visual Basic. Spent a few months playing and reading MS' Knowledge Base in text mode through a 9600 baud connection. Then I found Kernihan and Ritchie little book, and suddenly it all made sense.

Fast forward 6 years to the late '90s, and I was writing systems software for NOC services. The dot com boom happened, and Bob, as they say, was my uncle.

Comment Re:Let's just get the makers vs takers out of the (Score 1) 1116

This is the capitalist version of "let them eat cake." Because god help them if the proles feel like they deserve some of the money they're making capitalists.

That's truer than you realise. Marie Antoinette reportedly said, 'Qu'ils mangent la brioche.' Translated in the proper context, it meant that because flour supplies were so low, they should use alternate sources, in this case, the highly refined (cake) flour that was being saved off for herself and her family.

This was straight-up socialist redistribution she was calling for.

I think Marie Antoinette would have supported the idea of a guaranteed basic income.

Comment This isn't a victory for Behring-Breivik. (Score 3, Insightful) 491

Someone once pointed out that hoping a rapist gets raped in prison isn't a victory for his victim(s), because it somehow gives him what he had coming to him, but it's actually a victory for rape and violence. I wish I could remember who said that, because they are right. The score doesn't go Rapist: 1 World: 1. It goes Rape: 2.

What this man did is unspeakable, and he absolutely deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison. If he needs to be kept away from other prisoners as a safety issue, there are ways to do that without keeping him in solitary confinement, which has been shown conclusively to be profoundly cruel and harmful.

Putting him in solitary confinement, as a punitive measure, is not a victory for the good people in the world. It's a victory for inhumane treatment of human beings. This ruling is, in my opinion, very good and very strong for human rights, *precisely* because it was brought by such a despicable and horrible person. It affirms that all of us have basic human rights, even the absolute worst of us on this planet.

Comment Re:AP are fucking asshats (Score 1) 218

I follow The Economist or, when I have to write for the colonials, Chicago.

The rest are all shite.

The Economist's style guide is a thing of beauty. I have it sitting on my desktop to provide inspiration. But it has to be read with an Oxbridgean accent, and the speaker has to imply with every breath that really you shouldn't be writing at all, but if you absolutely must communicate, then this form is probably the least offensive to others.

Except when it's meant to be. I'd never seen the title 'Mr' used in derision before I picked up that lovely rag.

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In seeking the unattainable, simplicity only gets in the way. -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982

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