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Submission + - Ask Slashdot: To password manage or not to manage? 1

informaticsDude writes: What do Slashdot users recommend regarding the use of password managers? The recently election underscored the hackability of many personal accounts. One solution is to use different passwords for every digital experience. Of course, humans are lousy at remembering large numbers of large random strings. One solution is to use a password manager. However, password managers have been hacked, in which case you lose everything. How do Slashdot users balance the competing risks? What is a person to do?

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: What is "Software"

informaticsDude writes: My employer, a University, recently revised its copyright policy to explicitly exclude "software" from its normal copyright policy. The normal practice in academia is that the faculty retain copyright, but the institution has rights to "inventions". In the past, we only needed to contact the central university offices if we believe the software included something patentable. Now, we have fill out a several page form and get permission before sharing anything open source, even if we do not think the software is patentable.

This question relates to the definition of "software". From the policy: "SOFTWARE: Computer programs that comprise a series of instructions, rules that allow or cause a computer or other device to perform specific operations or series of operations. SOFTWARE also includes recorded information comprising source code, algorithms, and other design details necessary to the operation of a computer program."

However, many modern document formats, including almost anything produced by Microsoft Office, include a variety of embedded instructions that cause a computer to "perform specific operations". How would Slashdot readers interpret this definition of "software"? Can I freely share anything beyond a .txt file?

Submission + - Government website claims all of internet as U.S. Government information system?

informaticsDude writes: These days, it seems that anytime the words "government" and "computer" appear in the same sentence, the news cannot be good. Recently I needed to fill out a form on a government website. I was presented with a click-through pop-up that stated I was "accessing a U.S. Government information system, which includes (1) this computer, (2) this computer network, (3) all computers connected to this network". Since I was connecting over the public internet, the message could be interpreted to mean that "this network" is the entire internet. In a pre-Snowden era, I might have laughed it off as bad wording, but when the message went on to say "You have no reasonable expectation of privacy", I began to wonder. It was worth noting that this click-through has no option to refuse. The only button is "OK". Can we truly consent to anything if we don't get the opportunity to decline?

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