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Comment Long overdue (Score 1) 73

Our coop president called Verizon many many many times to tell them we wanted FiOS. He offered to organize a meeting of nearby buildings. This is a relatively wealthy neighborhood. Eventually Verizon stopped answering his calls. Verizon took huge subsidies for FiOS and used them to build out their cellular network. The fact that the city still hasn't made a serious effort to enforce the contract shows that the city and Verizon are on the same side.

Comment Not a security pro, but... (Score 1) 498

I've never understood the argument for changing your password monthly. Let's assume your password is attacked on its first day. Surely it doesn't take a month to hack it. What are the odds that it will be attacked on its thirtieth day? And the new one is just as likely as the old one to be attacked, so what's the point?

Comment Re:Good News, but ... (Score 5, Interesting) 70

I've been in Cuba dozens of times in the last fifteen years and I have never been unable to access a single web site. This is going back to when I used a dialup account from the apartment where I was living. Same was true when I used the U. of Havana computers, same is true using the government-sponsored wifi, same is true using hotel wifi. So let's just drop the whole "Cuban government internet censorship" meme, shall we? Since it's never existed.

Comment Re:Blame the news websites. (Score 2, Insightful) 624

"Crime" is not a fact. First of all, what is "crime"? Are you talking about convictions? That, obviously, is socially determined--who gets prosecuted for what, the extent to which the cops and the prosecutors lie, quality of the defense attorney, etc. So, no, "race" is not correlated with crime. It's correlated with who gets locked up, which has little if anything to do with crime.

Comment This just in! (Score 1) 106

In what must be the biggest surprise story of the week, Apple, a big corporation, acts like a big corporation. Jokes aside, the government is *Apple's* government, not yours. Like it's Exxon's or Monsanto's, or Koch whatever. It's called capitalism, a lot of you say you like it, so don't get all outraged when capital rules. And you don't.

Comment Civil penalties--and big ones (Score 1) 351

Governments can't be trusted to enforce laws vigorously that are politically sensitive, as prosecutions of DDOS cases might be (who to prosecute? are you going to charge another government? etc). So go with big big civil penalties. There'll always be someone who will sue anybody--like the 9/11 victims families in the US trying to sue Saudi Arabia against the wishes of the US govt.

Comment Falling for US propaganda (Score 1) 91

Note that first of all this is not a "news" story. It's a bunch of charges made by one side in a deep political debate. There's no attempt at substantiation, and not even the pretense of the courtesy of allowing the other side to comment. Second, that so many fierce "independent thinkers" at Slashdot have just accepted the charges and assumed they must be true. Because after all everyone knows Cuba is bad, right? And how do we know? Because "a lot of people" say so. And you make fun of Trump supporters.
Open Source

Bulgaria Got a Law Requiring Open Source (medium.com) 62

All software written for the government in Bulgaria are now required to be open-source. The amendments to put such laws in motion were voted in domestic parliament and are now in effect, announced software engineer Bozhidar Bozhanov, who is also an adviser to the Deputy Prime Minister at Council of Ministers of the Republic of Bulgaria. All such software will also be required by law to be developed in a public repository. Bozhanov writes in a blog post:That does not mean that the whole country is moving to Linux and LibreOffice, neither does it mean the government demands Microsoft and Oracle to give the source to their products. Existing solutions are purchased on licensing terms and they remain unaffected (although we strongly encourage the use of open source solutions for that as well). It means that whatever custom software the government procures will be visible and accessible to everyone. After all, it's paid by tax-payers money and they should both be able to see it and benefit from it. As for security -- in the past "security through obscurity" was the main approach, and it didn't quite work -- numerous vulnerabilities were found in government websites that went unpatched for years, simply because a contract had expired. With opening the source we hope to reduce those incidents, and to detect bad information security practices in the development process, rather than when it's too late.

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The best book on programming for the layman is "Alice in Wonderland"; but that's because it's the best book on anything for the layman.