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Comment Re:How dare they hack NY Times reporters! (Score -1, Troll) 61's NSA's fault when foreign intelligence services conduct espionage against US political parties, media organizations, etc., and actively try to influence the outcomes of US elections, and manipulate the opinions of US citizens? You realize that no matter who wins in November, possibly millions of Americans will believe the election was stolen or rigged, and possibly by foreign influence?

I know, I know -- in this crowd, the US is the enemy, here, and we don't actually need to have any kind of foreign intelligence capability; NSA's sole purpose for being is to figure out ways to illegally spy on Americans so it can solidify the power base of shadowy elites. Or something. Whenever I need to be reminded of just how out of touch many people are with history, reality, or both, I read Slashdot comments.

Comment Re: Worse and worse (Score 5, Interesting) 440

Or, you know, it's to prevent viruses and other such garbage that has plagued windows for years and years, to be able to boot up with windows by masquerading as a driver?

Actually the GP is right, and Microsoft calls it out themselves:

To play back certain types of next-generation premium content, all kernel-mode components in Windows Vista and later versions of Windows must be signed. In addition, all the user-mode and kernel-mode components in the Protected Media Path (PMP) must comply with PMP signing policy.

Besides, the only way to install kernel mode drivers is to be running as administrator. If malicious code is allowed to run on your computer with administrative credentials, you're already screwed in any number of ways. Installation of a kernel driver is just one avenue.

I see nothing wrong with this.

I see everything wrong with this. Microsoft is now dictating what software can be run on my computer. That alone is enough of a reason to vehemently reject this, but think also of the F/OSS software impacted. There are plenty of software tools out there which run a driver as part of their operation and not all of these will want to or be able to get their drivers signed.

I have been trying to decide lately if I'll ever bite the bullet and move from Windows 7 to Windows 10, or if I'll start looking migrating to Linux. The decision just got a lot easier.

Comment Re:Serious question (Score 1) 195

Well, here's the thing. What do you need adblock for? If you're not going to whitelist advertiser domains, they're not showing up in the first place.

Most, but not all advertising is displayed via Javascript. AdBlock is useful for blocking static images and element hiding rules are nice for just removing text ads or other annoying elements of webpages. There is also the case of allowing domains to execute scripts (temporary or trusted) to make pages functional. AdBlock takes care of any ads that would be displayed as a result.

But yes, NoScript easily takes care of 60-70% of it and AdBlock helps clean up the rest. I don't think Ghostery is necessary with them (or even a good idea, given who owns it).

Comment Re:BASH (Score 1) 375

Windows now runs Linux binaries.

Hopefully it works better than last time.

You can run an entire Linux DE now naively under Windows

Well, according to Wikipedia, the new Windows Subsystem for Linux cannot run graphical applications. I guess you can get around this by running a separate X server for Windows. I used Cygwin's X server years ago with good results but it looks like some people have had trouble getting more complicated applications to work.

On the bright side, maybe this means we can finally install systemd on Windows 10! One can only imagine what their combined powers are capable of.

Comment Re:The Republicans want to make everyone work (Score 2) 1145

If you haven't figured out, the founding mantra of the USA is "equal opportunity, not equal outcome".

But UBI has nothing to do with equal outcome. It's about a minimum outcome, and takes the place of a myriad of support programs we already have in place to give people something to fall back on when they've got nothing else. Social Security, food stamps, unemployment, tax credits, etc -- these programs are already funded via taxes (yes, social security is more like mandated retirement planning) and would be eliminated with a UBI program. The savings in administrative overhead alone would be enormous.

encourages mediocrity and abuse

I think few people would be content with nothing more than the UBI, but if they are, then so be it. As for abuse, how can you abuse something for which everyone is eligible?

Venezuela as the latest example

This is a meaningless comparison. The Venezuelan economy has little in common with that of the US. As a single data point, in 2013 its GDP per capita was about $14,000 while the US was $53,000.

I'm not saying that a UBI is a surefire good idea, but it also shouldn't be dismissed out-of-hand as a replacement to our current welfare systems.

Comment Re:So what is YOUR plan? (Score 4, Insightful) 406

I'm completely fine with investigating ISIS sympathizers

How do you identify ISIS sympathizers without violating people's rights? Or do you just take the route a disturbing number of politicians have and legislate away annoying things like the Fourth Amendment, and put everyone under mass surveillance? And then, even if you do find someone who sympathizes with ISIS (perhaps even through an open confession), what would you do about it?

There's no law against having dangerous or stupid opinions (as evidenced by the "presumptive Republican presidential nominee", a phrase I'm getting all to tired of hearing). As long as someone doesn't take action themselves, or encourage others to do so, they're free to tell the world they think ISIS is just peachy keen and doin' Allah's work.

Regardless, this stale bullshit Newt is spewing is just another step on the road to the Thought Police. Reading something, even batshit religious propaganda, should never be a crime, no matter how long we've been at war with Eurasia.

Comment Re:Rent-Seeking (Score 4, Insightful) 157

Home and Pro have no sign of moving to a subscription plan at this point.

Are you sure? Does it need to be in 150-foot tall neon for it to qualify as a "sign"?

Given the direction they've taken consumer and enterprise Office, the newly announced enterprise Windows subscriptions, and the claim that "Windows 10 is the last version of Windows", what other conclusion can be made? And on top of that, desktop sales have slowed as newer machines tend to last users a lot longer than they historically did. With all this in mind I think it's entirely reasonable to deduce that within a year or two all editions of Windows will be sold via subscription.

The real question is what they will do with existing installations. Will there be a year or two grace period after which point your license expires and will require a subscription renewal? Or will they allow existing licenses to continue in perpetuity? Will offline installation still be possible or will yearly renewals be required via phone for disconnected machines? Either way, Microsoft will probably price it such that they even claim it's a "savings" because the "average user" would have spent more to upgrade Windows every two years than they will in subscription fees.

Comment Re:What is fluency? (Score 1) 331

What is fluent?

I would expect someone claiming to be fluent in a programming language to be able to sit down, cold, and write code in that language which would compile (or interpret) without syntax error and solve the problem at hand. If interviewing for a job, they should be able to whiteboard with the language without hesitation. If you cannot do this, you are not fluent with the language, but you might be familiar with it. Most people probably will not be fluent unless they're actually writing code with the language on a regular basis. Whether or not a job opening requires fluency probably depends on the amount of time available to get the new hire productive; if they need to learn C++ from scratch that just increases the training overhead, no matter how proficient they are with Smalltalk.

Frameworks should fall into a separate bucket. As you say, there are hundreds and more all the time. Being familiar with the most common is a good idea, since they're used so often, but experience with a framework should only be a plus and not a requirement.

Comment No. This is an unprecedented shit in nothing. (Score 0, Flamebait) 983

It is a remotely-controlled device, jury rigged for a purpose that is not at all its use.

I know people will become uncontrollably outraged about this, but it's a standoff weapon. Just like a spear, a bow and arrow, an explosive tossed through a door or window, a gun, or even a vehicle employed as a weapon.

The legal standard for lethal force is the same. Beware of academics or other commentators who will claim this is some kind of new territory for which there is no legal standard and that we have no idea how to approach.

But by all means: pretend this is an "Unprecedented Shift in Policing" instead of an improvisation under nightmarish circumstances.

Comment Re:Not a surprise... (Score 2) 293

Facebook is a private company.

No, they are not. Even ignoring commonly recognized and respected social responsibilities, they are, at the very least, responsible to their shareholders (the public).

Facebook can do whatever it wants, and allow whatever it wants to be shown on its site.

Also not true. They must obey the law, same as anyone else.

Reality is nuanced and multi-faceted, and sweeping generalizations are rarely insightful and usually don't add much to a discussion.

The reason this matters has little to do with what Facebook is allowed to do, and much more to do with what they should do. For better or worse (hint: worse), Facebook has become "the Internet" to billions of people. Anytime you have such broad influence over so many, morals and good stewardship become much more important.

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If computers take over (which seems to be their natural tendency), it will serve us right. -- Alistair Cooke