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Submission + - U.S. Attorney Chided Swartz on Day of Suicide 1

theodp writes: 'The e-mail that Defendant Swartz’s supplemental memorandum cites as paramount to his fifth motion to suppress [evidence against him] is relevant, but not nearly as important as he tries to make it out to be,' quipped United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz in a court filing made on the same day Aaron Swartz committed suicide. In the 1-7-2011 e-mail Ortiz refers to, which was not produced for Swartz until Dec. 14th — almost two years after his 1-6-2011 arrest — a Secret Service agent reported to the Assistant U.S. Attorney that he was 'prepared to take custody anytime' of Swartz's laptop, although no one had yet sought a warrant to search the computer. In Prosecutor as Bully, Larry Lessig laments, 'They [JSTOR] declined to pursue their own action against Aaron, and they asked the government to drop its. MIT, to its great shame, was not as clear, and so the prosecutor had the excuse he needed to continue his war against the “criminal” who we who loved him knew as Aaron.' Swartz's family also had harsh words for MIT and prosecutors: 'Decisions made by officials in the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney's office and at MIT contributed to his death. The US Attorney's office pursued an exceptionally harsh array of charges, carrying potentially over 30 years in prison, to punish an alleged crime that had no victims. Meanwhile, unlike JSTOR, MIT refused to stand up for Aaron.' With MIT President Emeritus Charles M. Vest currently serving as a Trustee of JSTOR parent Ithaka as well as a Trustee of The MIT Corporation, one might have expected MIT to issue a statement similar to the let's-put-this-behind-us one JSTOR made on the Swartz case back in 2011.

Submission + - Aaron Swartz commits suicide (

maijc writes: Computer activist Aaron H. Swartz committed suicide in New York City yesterday, Jan. 11, according to his uncle, Michael Wolf; Swartz, 26, was indicted in July 2011 by a federal grand jury for allegedly mass downloading documents from the JSTOR online journal archive with the intent to distribute them. He is best know for co-authoring the now widely-used RSS 1.0 specification at age 14 and was one of the three co-owners of the site Reddit.

Comment git-annex assistant (Score 1) 272

"go easy on the 'just apt-get FubarPackageInstaller.gzip and rd -m Arglebargle' stuff"...

So why is he asking Slashdot?

Seriously, git-annex assistant might be the solution for part of his problem. assistant is a pretty front end to git-annex which uses git to sync repositories of file metadata and several other means (rsync, etc) to schlep the files between repositories. It won't run on his Windows box but does run on OS X and might be easy enough for his wife to use.

Comment Re:$16,000 dollars in cash ... (Score 1) 936

Makes perfect sense to me. Most Chinese businesses I know here in LA are cash-only because they'd rather keep all the money instead of giving a share to the credit card and credit processing companies. Doesn't surprise me a bit that a non-English-speaking Chinese woman would want to shop with cash.

Comment Distance! (Score 1) 183

I almost won a distance competition in Boy's Brigade in elementary school with this design. It was just a piece of paper crumpled up as tight as I could squeeze it (I think I stepped on it a couple times too) and thrown as hard as possible. The guy who came in second of course argued that it wasn't an airplane. I got some kind of award, though it might have been some kind of "outside the box" award.

Comment Re:Huh? (Score 1) 312

But I've always been told by the fanboys that Linux is inherently secure, right? So that's not possible.

A trojan startup file was added to the system start up scripts

But Linux has no viruses/trojans/malware, right?

To clarify, the announcement says that trojan startup file was added to the server's startup scripts.

Comment Re:Buy more ram (Score 3, Insightful) 475

It's not ONLY a stick of ram. It's an indicator to your employer that you don't understand boundaries, roles, and responsibilities.

Wow, I'm glad I don't work at your company. I've been blessed with a sane IT guy where I work. When I said I needed a Linux desktop, he got me a bare PC, handed it over to me and said, "Your on your own". We get along great.

Comment Neal Stephenson has a hand in this (Score 5, Interesting) 189

From the Intellectual Ventures page on his personal site:

I work part-time at Intellectual Ventures Labs, which enables me to get out of the house and exercise the nerdy predilections that I used to exercise at Blue Origin. This is a sort of all-purpose science lab and thing-making facility where new inventions are developed.

Comment Re:Tech is still Tech, yucko! (Score 1) 435

... The command line is just as much of an abstraction as a GUI is, just harder to learn.

True, CLI is just an abstraction, a metaphor, but it's a layer or two closer to what's really going on. I grew up typing BASIC on my C-64, but after I upgraded to a Mac SE I spent 10 years using only GUIs until "In the Beginning was the Command Line" (by Neal Stephenson) inspired me to explore the world underneath. The passage on Emacs as the Hole Hawg of text editors is hilarious, and after reading that I totally wanted to be a Morlock instead of an Eloi. That essay was my gateway drug into Linux. It's getting dated by it's still relevant.


After 2 Years of Development, LTSP 5.2 Is Out 79

The Linux Terminal Server Project has for years been simplifying the task of time-sharing a Linux system by means of X terminals (including repurposed low-end PCs). Now, stgraber writes "After almost two years or work and 994 commits later made by only 14 contributors, the LTSP team is proud to announce that the Linux Terminal Server Project released LTSP 5.2 on Wednesday the 17th of February. As the LTSP team wanted this release to be some kind of a reference point in LTSP's history, LDM (LTSP Display Manager) 2.1 and LTSPfs 0.6 were released on the same day. Packages for LTSP 5.2, LDM 2.1 and LTSPfs 0.6 are already in Ubuntu Lucid and a backport for Karmic is available. For other distributions, packages should be available very soon. And the upstream code is, as always, available on Launchpad."

Comment Re:I run Debian, and I run FreeBSD. (Score 1) 425

what's with the obsession with boot time? Can anyone explain why the free software community is so obsessed with this metric? ...Don't most people just sleep or hibernate their computer these days anyway?

You're right when it comes to servers or desktops, but for laptops it's a different story. Sleep or hibernate are often not supported by Linux on laptops, and given the increasing market share of laptops vs. desktop, boot time is something to pay attention to.

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