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Comment Re:WIRED has it right (Score 1) 1044

Gamergate isn't at all upset about "diversity". Quite the contrary - there are prominent gamergaters who hail from visible minority groups.

What they're really upset about is two different things: a) a lack of integrity in the gaming press (insufficient disclosure of conflicts of interest, collusion, etc.) b) a hard-line form of liberal-left politics that has become thoroughly entrenched in the press business that isn't necessarily in alignment with the readers, a situation to the press declaring video games (and the people who play them) are a deleterious force on culture. All sorts of nuanced argumentation can be made here, but to say the least the press used inflammatory language (sexist, racist, harassers, reactionary, and so on) that quickly shaped outside public opinion of the people making the arguments, leaving them unanswered. Sure, like always happens in controversies like this the thoughtless assholes emerged from the woodwork to send nasty, threatening messages to people, but it's happened to *everyone* involved, on both sides.

Moral of the story: Friends don't let friends read Gawker. They were the epicenter of a lot of this mess.

Comment Re:The Cloud is Ruining Home Automation (Score 0) 90

An update pipeline, backed by a company with a good development methodology, is the best insurance against long-standing unplugged security holes. Look at all of the terrible, abandoned consumer routers full of security holes, for instance.

That said, before many folks are willing to such companies and their products into our homes, they need to earn our trust.

You *do* have ultimate control. You can elect to not buy the product, go with a competitor, or use an entirely different class of product entirely.

Comment Property (and Privacy) Rights (Score 1) 90

This is why proper privacy and property rights must properly legally extend to data hosted in cloud services.

The private companies that offer cloud-based services are not what worry me. There are a lot of sound economic reasons (see: the devops movement) for why this kind of product architecture (where a physical product, coupled with always-on connectivity and a remote cloud-hosted service) makes a whole lot of sense. There are a lot of market incentives for these companies to clearly delineate what they will and will not use the data (and sensors) for. Moreover, there can be a large degree of diversity between the various single-function cloud services one uses (even if Nest was recently acquired by Google). People care about their privacy, but they also balance it against the utility these kinds of products offer. I have a Nest Protect, and I'm comfortable trusting it a lot more than a regular standalone. Thus, they *consent* to the introduction of such technology into their lives, with the entirely reasonable expectation of benefit.

Another great example is the Tesla Model S, which is so dependent on cloud-services that it comes with a bundled 3G modem and data plan.

However, governments see the concentrated user data in data-centers on their soil as entirely too delicious to ignore. Not only does the immediately visible claim of increased security ("we could have caught the terrorists!") tend to outweigh the more general argument for individual property and privacy rights in the political sphere, but institutional incentives on the part of powerful government agencies and their contractors to grow their mandate mean that they'll heavily lobby for such intrusions.

I think most of us geeks grew up terrified of the very idea of the Orwellian Telescreen. However, it's not the technology that's evil (many of us have plenty of devices with a camera integrated with a display), but the threat of its use without consent.

Comment Scope of Responsiblity (Score 1) 1043

Of course, if government is declared as responsible for nutrition, then then naturally it must also be responsible for the effects thereof.

This is a significant reason why state control must always beget more state control: regulators must make an at least ostensible attempt to correct unintended effects that are the result of a given intervention. The domain of responsibility becomes effectively unbounded.

While devising a complex system by means of patches in ad infinitum can work (see, Linux kernel), but only if that system's usage is constrained by voluntary choice.

Sadly, this means that folks with a given expertise (say, medical), will say things like they do in TFA: the sort-sighted view that governments should generally increase or at least maintain spending in order to avoid the expected bad effects of backing out on a responsibility.

There can be no substitute for individual responsibility.

Comment Re:Will ISP give more then one IPv6 IP? or will th (Score 1) 283

The modems are layer 2 and below devices. They don't know or care.

Routers are the real problem as far as customer premise equipment goes; however, the relevant functionality is typically in software on most consumer routers. Ostensibly this means that manufacturers can release a firmware upgrade.

I find that the turnover on those router boxes is rather high, so I suspect that newer routers will ship with it and the problem will slowly go away.


The State of Ruby VMs — Ruby Renaissance 89

igrigorik writes "In the short span of just a couple of years, the Ruby VM space has evolved to more than just a handful of choices: MRI, JRuby, IronRuby, MacRuby, Rubinius, MagLev, REE and BlueRuby. Four of these VMs will hit 1.0 status in the upcoming year and will open up entirely new possibilities for the language — Mac apps via MacRuby, Ruby in the browser via Silverlight, object persistence via Smalltalk VM, and so forth. This article takes a detailed look at the past year, the progress of each project, and where the community is heading. It's an exciting time to be a Rubyist."

Comment Re:I am lost here . . . (Score 3, Interesting) 144

How can threats from untrusted code (or vulnerabilities in trusted code) be able to exploit a JTAG header on the board of the device?

Unless, of course, you think that the owner of the device is somehow a "security threat"? I keep meeting people who think this, and I really don't understand it at all...

(actually, Krstic's Bitfrost system is *does* implement some local physical security, but that is to address a very specific threat: theft)

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