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Submission + - Len Sassaman has passed away ( 1

yerktoader writes: Len Sassaman, cypherpunk, cryptographer, privacy advocate and life long sufferer of depression has committed suicide at 31. Len frequently appeared at DEF CON; was a co-founder of CodeCon with BitTorrent's Bram Cohen and co-creator of the Zimmermann–Sassaman key-signing protocol; worked at Network Associates on PGP and contributed to OpenPGP and GNU Privacy Guard; was a senior systems engineer and security architect for Anonymizer; a member of the Shmoo Group and organized protests in response to the arrest of Dmitry Sklyarov.

Len counted amongst his friends and associates Bram Cohen, Werner Koch, Dan Kaminsky and Phil Zimmermann. He is survived by his wife, noted programmer, sci-fi author and Boing-Boing contributor, technologist and bio-hacker Meredith L. Patterson.

Memorials and coverage also available at YCombinator, Apache.Be and Hack In The Box.

Comment Re:Grilled sirloin steak with peppercorn sauce (Score 1) 223

I think things like the internet are the greatest threat to human interconnectedness. It seems to me that the new trend is to congregate on exclusive networks, like the internet. The problem with the internet? Most content is invisible to non-members. Yeah, sure, it's not hard to get online...but what if I don't want to? Is the internet really giving me new informational content (I'm not talking about the social networking aspect) that was not available before in another form among people? No. It's just walling off the information from me.

Comment Re:Anger. (Score 1) 764

it won't be because the concept of trying to position themselves as "more of a PC than an iPod" is wrong. It will be because of institutional suckitude.

But that positioning is part of the suckitude. What MS is not doing, as others have already said here, is seriously reevaluating what a computer is and how it's being used—not how they think a computer "should" be used, but what the average non-/. user *actually uses a computer for.*

Apple's success is not wholly due to the functions and performance their devices offer. Many of their devices are behind the curve in any number of ways, and yet Apple can't keep them in stock.

OK, so why is that? Last year I had a minor but enlightening experience when a third-tier extended family member explained that the extent of his computer requirements are having a semblance of facebook on his old (non-"smart") phone. That's when I realized that the idea of the iPad, which was still a rumor at the time, could take off simply because a significant market segment doesn't need the do-everything computer of old, they need a media appliance.

Comment Re:Can't buy the OS for $200? (Score 1) 531

I would have thought that too. And I think that's true for setting up a bare bones system that never changes. But most of the times that something has gone wrong, or I've had to change hardware, or upgrade software, everything has gone to hell on me and it turned into a big ordeal, even with Ubuntu. Obviously everyone's mileage varies here but there are no shortage of the same stories. I love Ubuntu, I really do, but the longer I've maintained an active system the more I've found my initial remark to be true, and it's gotten to the point where I might end up back with another OS. :-/

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