* Posts by btrower

687 posts • joined 9 Nov 2011


How ICANN pressures 'net engineers to give it behind-the-scenes control of the web


Late to the party but...

Sorry for the necro-post, but...

It is hard to imagine how this is not negotiating in bad faith. That bad faith makes ICANN a non-candidate in my opinion.

OTH -- the fact that we have an abusive agent in charge lends greater legitimacy to the notion that these functions should be entirely separate from the control of any central organization and should be distributed among the Internet population at large. Perhaps their outrageous hubris will trigger a real change.

The current shabby state of the Internet helps to keep monopolists in power, creates multiple single points of failure (in that 'authorities' can shut down big chunks of the Internet), intrinsically incurable security vulnerabilities and an enormous attack surface.

I repudiate the notion that entities like the U.S. government have a legitimate claim to control over the global Internet.

From a security point of, view, you should not trust any single entity with control. No bank puts access to the vault under the sole control of one unsupervised individual -- not for long, anyway.

The existing set of rules for governance are so far beyond the pale it is hard to have a meaningful discussion about it.


Sony tells hacked gamer to pay for crooks' abuse of PlayStation account


Re: He needs to escalate it

Tweeted this:

@yosp I will never buy Sony again, no matter what you do, but you might save other clients:http://tiny.cc/sh8gwx

Doubt this will have any impact at all, but at least they can't say they never heard from anyone.


VMware channel confirms price hikes from next month


Protection racket economics

The cost of *not* pursuing you for infringement just goes up and up. You can hardly blame them. Where would they be without those increases? Those people hauling wheelbarrows full of money down the vaults aren't free.


This ISN'T Net Neutrality. This is Net Google. This is Net Netflix – the FCC's new masters


Re: @Trevor Something to consider...

Bit harsh, but thumbs up for you.


Not over

You can be sure that this is not over. The network itself is not baked and clearly even people with a fair amount of expertise are not really clear about what is needed.

First, the network is not nearly baked. Hopefully we will get there quickly, but the IP address issues have to be dealt with and it is increasingly doubtful that IPv6 in its current incarnation will take over. That is good IMO because it is a demented standard as evidenced by its lack of uptake over many years despite a critical need for an IPv4 replacement. In addition to this core matter, DNS is messed up. It is insecure in a variety of ways, but the one that alarms me the most is that it is under the control of a handful of miscreants with a bad track record of custodial care. It should be distributed enough so that it cannot, for instance, have the U.S. government (or the U.K. government) seize control of a domain. As it stands now, the U.S. government has the power to redirect a domain and forge a certificate so that they could hijack banking transactions. That ain't right. They have proven grotesquely untrustworthy over the years and they are actually getting worse. Our system of routing makes it much more difficult to anonymize and and secure traffic en route and to guarantee delivery. Our web of trust using PKI is beyond broken to the point that people routinely ignore certificate warnings. EMail has spam. This should be effectively impossible for all but the most well financed interloper and even for them it should be net negative financially. I could go on, but surely people can see that unless I am lying or mistaken about everything the network has issues to put it mildly.

The whole 'net neutrality' is a necessarily evil red herring that basically represents the lesser of a variety of evils. A properly constructed network offering the best utility at the best cost would of course prioritize traffic. We cannot trust the incumbent network operators not to abuse packet prioritization, so we have accepted a crippled solution. A proper technical and legal regime would of necessity be more complicated. That's a problem because as a matter of public discourse we cannot even deal with a simple case.

Proper convergence has still not happened and until it does, the network will change in significant ways as it subsumes other networks and gets reconfigured to take on new duties. To be honest, I was expecting power over Ethernet to be there already and it makes me wonder how long it will take, if ever, to align the power grid with the information grid.

Anyway, this is not over by a long shot. The FCC rules, whether good or bad, will change.


Listed US tech provider bribed Oz bank worker say cops


Re: More arrests to follow?

Yeah, because when it comes to financial crimes and banks, the US is all over that. Does this also mean they will clear their backlog of charges from 2008 that they never laid?

JK -- Australia already has a whole bunch of US military installations. There is no reason to make a fuss.


Blow me down!

Corruption? In a Bank? Say it ain't so!


Apple about to make Apple TV WAY LESS SUCKY - report


I wonder

When will it become apparent that our copyright and patent and other regulatory regimes are killing us? Apple has the money right now to absolutely dominate this whole thing by buying up all the infrastructure and copyrights. The only thing preventing a Cabal of cash-rich monsters swallowing the economy are a bunch of rickety laws designed for an industrial age quite unlike what we find ourselves in now.

The people running Apple have more than $100,000,000,000 dollars ready to spend and a dominant position in a number of markets that absolutely *rain down* cash. When you have that kind of leverage, every dollar from your massive stash goes a lot further.

On the upside, either because they are actually afraid of getting caught or have not thought of it yet, I don't see Apple going entirely evil and end-running anti-combines rules quite yet. They could pretty easily create a Gordian knot of ownership and control that made it so they call the shots all-round. That notion of iLife could get downright scary when you have to pay to use your own genes.


China's make-your-own DRAM ambitions growing all the time


Sort of old news...

I would say the Chinese economic takeover of the West is something of a fait accompli. The writing was on the wall when dollar stores opened all over and shortly thereafter just about everything you could buy said 'Made In China'. We didn't mind because, 'hey, inexpensive products'. For a while there we were importing things at prices below the cost of assembling the raw materials locally.

Here in Canada, we sold away our industrial infrastructure shortly after NAFTA (free trade, yay!) rendered our industrial economy no longer viable.

I think that free trade was inevitable, but it took a very evil form as our government and others threw wide the doors and let unregulated capitalist firms do as they wish. They did and now we know that their wishes and our wishes, contrary to what we have been told, do not coincide. We really should have had a plan for the post free-trade environment. A lot of jobless people took a pretty big hit because they were not paying attention on election day. It does not, BTW, look as though they took any lesson from that. Bill C51 is fixing to put the last stone in place for our shiny new police state -- you know, so we can harmonize tyranny with the existing US and UK police states.

Be careful what you allow your corporations to wish for.

Which will be the first (former) first-world nation to attempt to turn back and remake their industrial base? I would like it to be Canada and I would like us to be leveraging what we have in terms of an educated population and empty plants to build 3D printers and general purpose robots from raw materials on up. With high-quality 3D printers and a generation of capable general purpose robots Canada would only have to worry about energy supply and military attack. We have the oil sands for the energy and enough materials to build a hell of a huge robot army.

The only way back is for a country with enough natural wealth and an educated population like Canada to invest in stuff that can side-step the economies of scale or to specialize in guaranteed export value things like processed food where we have the scale and did I mention robots?

We (Canada) are in a heck of a bind. We are sandwiched in between the enormous economic and military powers of the United States and Russia and dependent for manufactured goods from the gigantic Chinese industrial powerhouse.

Side note: I do not think that our measures of economic wealth value China's position properly and I think it has been a long time since they have. The U.S. dollar is holding relative value together for the time being but it is only a matter of time before there is an adjustment. It is increasingly looking like that is going to be a very short sharp shock.

Tangential geopolitical note: Am I the only one that noticed there is more than $50 TRILLION (with a 'T') dollars worth of petrochemicals underneath the sand in the Middle East. Somebody should send troops in to secure that before ... never mind.


Fizzy bubbles at the ready: Dot-com celebrates 30th birthday



Man, I remember seeing the Symbolics people demonstrate their LISP machines at a trade show back in the 1980s. To this day, it seems miraculous what they were doing. If only they had been more open the world might be a significantly different place today.

Oddly, the same behavior that in my mind killed Symbolics and pretty much took LISP with it also triggered the beginning of the Free Software movement. Who knows if things worked out for the best after all?

I am still wistful about the demise of this company. Once upon a time they had real magic.


Let's be clear, everyone: DON'T BLOCK Wi-Fi, DUH – FCC official ruling



... but unbelievable. My response would be to push to alter the rules so that criminal penalties applied to anyone in the future attempting to interfere with public bandwidth. IMO, criminal penalties already apply, but I would support specific legislation that made it crystal clear. Marriott does not own that spectrum. If they want it, they should cue up and spend the billions necessary like everybody else.


Five years of Sun software under Oracle: Were the critics right?


Yes. The critics were right

For my money Java, MySQL, OpenOffice and VirtualBox all suffered. Sun machines and Solaris used to be fairly common in places I traveled, but no more.

Oracle is a company bent on serving Oracle/Larry to the exclusion of anything else. It seems to be a culture that values 'winning' regardless of whether or not it diminishes net wealth all round.

I am mystified as to why people stick with Java when it is *clearly* encumbered by Oracle. A proprietary programming language cannot and should not have a future.


Another day, yet another emergency Adobe Flash patch. Because that's how we live now


Given that Adobe's Flash is purpose built to be a vector for malicious activities, it is hardly surprising that it is being used that way. When it works entirely as designed it is evil.


Wall St wolves tear chunk off Microsoft: There goes $30bn!


Re: OK, it's a personal issue, but...


I have been responsible for millions of dollars in Revenue for Microsoft via purchase, recommendations, leading by example and contributing to their ecosystem. I have been a Microsoft customer since 1984. In the first decade they were not a bad partner, offered value for money and made the user experience tolerable or sometimes even good. It was clear by the 1990s that Microsoft was a terrible partner for larger businesses, but it still seemed OK for the little guy (developers like me, anyway). In the second decade they began to make licensing a nightmare, stopped making products better (making some worse) and became a significantly less valuable partner. I started the 1990s as a relatively enthusiastic supporter and recommended them. I ended the 1990s grudgingly recommending them, but cautioning people that the path forward was not looking too good. In the third decade they became a very bad partner. The disconnect between themselves and their partners became intolerable. In this fourth decade just started I finally made up my mind that Microsoft was simply not viable for me as provider or partner. They did not have much of a 'soul' to begin with, but they have lost even that.

The last PC purchased by my household was a Macbook Air and so far my household has purchased nine iPhones and zero Windows phones. These were not votes *for* Apple. I don't like Apple. They charge ridiculous premiums for things and are near psychotic about keeping people in walled gardens. These were votes against Microsoft and Google, both of which have broken faith so badly that they make Apple look good.

Bottom line: your experience that Microsoft was not good to deal with seems to be repeated on all sides. I honestly think that Microsoft's contempt for its customers and partners and its single minded concentration on financial advantage for themselves regardless of the impact on customers is what will be their undoing.

It takes a long time to get a customer. Keeping them is less work. Once they are lost, though, getting them back is very difficult and expensive.

At this point, only the most radical reversal of direction would return me to the fold and as of now they appear to be putting on the afterburners to continue forward on the course that made me part company.

Note when I say radical I mean a breakup of the company among other things.


The Wi-Fi Alliance wants to get you off Wi-Fi


Analysis complete

Here is my analysis:

Executive Summary:


Precis: The fact that security was not addressed front and center means they may not understand even a bit what they are doing beyond the hardware and bare protocols.


I am gratified that others commenting see the problems. Note, though, that the IoT is already upon us and it is just not going away. Most useful things can be used for good or evil. Science and technology are not inherently evil. Cars kill a lot of people but our reaction to that has been to enhance their safety, not to stop using them.


Zuckerberg asks the public to tell him where to go in 2015


Can't feel the love here.

I am not sure I get the big hate on for this guy. Sure, he was an asshole in school and said some pretty creepy things. He is probably not the statesman we would like to see in charge of a company with a market cap of $218,706,670,501.

He's still basically a kid and has made himself a billionaire. That's not too shabby. It's probably better than anybody commenting here will ever do.

I am not a big fan of some of the stuff that facebook did to get its critical mass. However, the operative word there is critical. Had they not gotten there fast, somebody else would have crushed them the way they crushed MySpace. The volume of users and user activity is what makes facebook worth so much and a lot of what I find objectionable that he did was basically necessary to keep the company alive, believe it or not. They had momentum and mass and they needed both to stay afloat.

Facebook is nearly unstoppable now, but it has a few vulnerable facets and it seems to me that this young man is doing his best to find and fix them. However, this has become a tricky game because the massive size of the company limits its room to move. The low hanging fruit is mostly gone and big stuff like search brings on pretty scary competitors and almost certainly government interference.

I am hardly a fan, but I really don't get the bashing. We *should* expect more from people who control massive assets and wield great power, but there is a limit to what is reasonable to expect. Somewhere back there we still have a thirty year old human being who is still forming. I think people should cut him some slack.

I will hazard a guess that a sudden windfall of a billion dollars or so would amplify faults in many of the posters here.

If I had to make a suggestion for something outside of facebook work I would say learn to enjoy helping others merely for the satisfaction of doing so. Get creative using money to reward the many less fortunate, not with handouts but with a hand up. Give people hope in communities where hope is hard to come by. Help to create a cultural ethic that values everyone, not just a few superstars.

Here, FWIW is one of the things I am doing outside of work that might be worth a go:

It is possible to enter a meditative state that is 'different' as sleeping is from waking. It is something that you can learn to do with a little practice. I learned to do it to make long waits in airports and flights on airplanes tolerable. I used to commute weekly and this turned something dreary into something pleasant. I use this to put myself to sleep from time to time and use it to get little calm spots as a sort of 'reset mechanism'. I have only used it to sort of 'escape' a state that is less comfortable. It only occurred to me when I was describing this to someone that I had never tried entering this state and staying there while I conducted my day. So ... I have set myself the task of attempting to enter this state and stay in it while I am actively doing other things. I don't know if this is possible but it would be pretty cool if it was.

A person doing this 'meditative living' is not likely to be particularly spectacular on the outside, but I think it might be really something for the person themselves.

The above might be something of a stepping stone to mastering and actively managing your mood. None of us can entirely control our environment, not even young billionaires. However, it is possible, I think, to get a great deal of control over oneself.


TRAGEDY STRIKES Vulture News Central but details remain scrambled



Master Bait


Security SEE-SAW: $3 MEEELLION needed to fight a $100k hack


Do not know how yet, but...

That fact that attack is cheaper than defense is hardly news.

To have reasonable security against attackers you need advice from people you can trust, trustee services from different people you can trust, secure algorithms, secure key sizes, secure hardware, secure storage and internal communication, secure operating systems, secure devices, secure device drivers, secure software, secure external communication and storage, trustworthy users and secure premises.

We don't really have any of the above and all of them are necessary (but still not sufficient) to have a system reasonably resistant to attack.

I am not going to pretend putting the right things in place is easy, but they are doable. The fact that they are not being openly addressed shows me that people who understand don't care and people who care don't understand. Anyone with much understanding knows that all traffic and storage should be encrypted. It is not.

In many security discussions you see something along these lines:

We can verify this with the appropriate keys.

Unfortunately, that is costly.

Solution: Don't verify.

As the Treacherous Computing Asshats have discovered, it is very difficult to secure anything that must be decrypted and then used outside of a controlled environment, especially if part of your agenda is to cripple security otherwise.

As a collective of some 500 million plus people with a vested interest in making things genuinely secure, we can overcome the attack/defense disparity even if it is many orders of magnitude. Step one in getting there is to stop paying the attackers to secure our system.


The Pirate Bay SUNK: It vanishes after Swedish data center raid


Re: Disappointing

Re: " there is always a single point of failure regarding the domain name."

Yes, but that should not be the case. The very fact that the people who run DNS allow this to happen means they are not fit for purpose. A single entity should not be able to silence a site.


US Ass. Commerce Sec hits back at claims global DNS is DOOMED


Re: Dear God.... /\ What he said

Re: Y'all need to build a fully decentralized internet, at the IP and DNS level, pronto.

Is there any other way that we can possibly have a network we can trust?


Nothing illegal to see here: Tribunal says TEMPORA spying is OK


Re: btrower The gloves are off

Re: "Bullshit. It remains completely lawful as you have failed to show how it has breached any actual law."

It was established at Nuremberg that some rules of conduct transcend the explicit laws of a particular state. Invading the privacy of every person at once goes well beyond any reasonable norm. It directly conflicts with the letter of the most fundamental law in jurisdictions like the United States. It does not matter how many toadies you trot out bleating that it is OK. It is not OK and as far as I am concerned it is something that warrants eventual prosecution and punishment.

Apropos of eventual punishment:

"Crimes against international law are committed by men, not by abstract entities, and only by punishing individuals who commit such crimes can the provisions of international law be enforced." -- Judgment of the International Military Tribunal -- http://avalon.law.yale.edu/imt/judlawch.asp

The ultimate harm to be done by massive illegal searches without probable cause and the apparatus used to conduct them is enormous well beyond the injury to mankind done by a few despicable acts done under cover of a 'hot' war. We should be taking names and ultimately be holding the various perpetrators accountable.


Re: btrower The gloves are off

Re: btrower The gloves are off

Re: "But doesn't your right to security oblige the authorities to have the powers and means to ensure your security ... You can't have one without the other."

No. How is that even a question? It is as if you are saying it is necessary to shoot my dog in order to keep him safely in the yard. Completely invading my privacy in every way imaginable, putting me under constant surveillance, reading my mail, listening in on my phone conversations, constantly monitoring my whereabouts, spying on my friends and family and similar insane stunts are not reasonable or necessary to protect my privacy.

Re: "how are they using 'force' illegally, and how is their duty to protect the public not part of said covenant?"

Your slight misquote does not properly represent what I said. I said 'illegitimate use of force' because there is now some question as to whether or not laws passed in recent times are fundamentally legitimate. Plenty of laws have been passed and precedents set in the United States that do not pass muster against any reasonable reading of the Constitution. The coercive power of the state sits behind any provocative action it takes. Unless both warranted and necessary it is certainly illegitimate. Of course, in any rational system it is also illegal as a technical matter.

Here is a lovely story of a warrant-less entry that involves undeniable overt force which was, in fact, deemed illegal by the courts:


Glidden first demanded to be allowed into the home and was denied permission. So, according to the complaint, he pepper-sprayed Jason and then Laura.

“Glidden then turned to Jason, who was still standing, and shot him in the back with his Taser,” the complaint said.

When Laura closed the front door, Glidden continued triggering the Taser through the closed door.

Then White joined in.

“Together they forced open the door and found Laura and Jason lying on the floor,” HSLDA said.

They “slapped Laura, knocking her glasses off of her face,” they threatened to shoot the family dog, they threw a telephone across the room, called Laura a “liar,” handcuffed the parents and threatened to let Jason fall down, according to the complaint.

It all took place in front of the three children, ages about 13, 10 and 8, who were taken into state custody, where they remained for months.


Re: btrower The gloves are off

Re: "The article was written as a whole and ratified as such by the then nations of western Europe which rather suggests that its original meaning is unchanged from what they wanted."

That's may be the theory. Sadly, that is not the practice.


"The last-minute change that was made in this bill… puts a real poison pill in this bill for consumer advocates such as myself," Polis said. "Many consumers won't be unlocking their phones themselves. There needs to be a market in unlocked phones."


Re: btrower The gloves are off

@Mike Flex

Re: "except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others."

The purpose of the article is clear enough to me. The fact that they tack on weasel words to the effect "it is except when it isn't" does not fly with me and it should not with you either. If they are going to give any real weight to the part you cite then they might as well just strike the article altogether because it would have no effect and *yes* you are correct, they did go with that part of the article. That tells me that:

1) The article needs to be rewritten to properly accomplish what was obviously its original explicit purpose and that means striking the part you find so endearing.

2) The people and organizations doing the interpretation need a clean sweep to install people with some sense.

Improperly formed specifics of legislation require repair and in the meantime should not be followed when they conflict with reason and the obvious spirit of the law.


Re: btrower The gloves are off

@Matt Bryant:

At its heart, the right to privacy is another aspect of the right to security of the person.

Our society and government are contingent upon covenants that we make among one another. Our current emerging police state is able, for now, to breach the covenant by the illegitimate use of force. However, that breach renders the covenant void and to the extent that the people operating the mechanism of state continue to act that way they act outside the law and should be ultimately be stopped and held accountable.

I did not miss the bit where an ill advised decision was made to pretend that such and such a breach was lawful. It remains unlawful in any meaningful sense. Yes, the UK in particular has absolutely horrendous legislation in place and a thoroughly corrupt administration. However, they may insist to a man that it is legitimate to execute innocents or do any other noxious and patently immoral, fundamentally wrong and ultimately illegal thing. That does not render it legitimate or legal. Some things are fundamentally beyond reason. No court decision can give them legitimacy.

The current U.K. law essentially reads in essence that the people are free from interference from the state except in the event the state deems interference desirable. It is just bad law and good men have no obligation to uphold such a law and a moral imperative to oppose such a thing.

Courts sometimes make mistakes; even very grave ones. A mistake by a court is still a mistake -- more tragic than normal, perhaps and harder to fix, but still a mistake.

This is *our* government and *our* society and there is not a whisper of a doubt that to the extent that we can make covenants with respect to *mandatory* rights the majority of informed observers insist that detailed unwarranted blanket surveillance is simply contrary to the deal we made.

Law enforcement and the legal system as it currently exists is becoming increasingly less of a solution and more of a problem. They have badly lost their way.

For law to have any legitimacy or meaning it has to fundamentally reflect the covenant we have mutually agreed to as a body politic. Constant surveillance of ourselves and our loved ones in our private lives, our correspondence and our relationships is not something we could have sensibly agreed to. I do not personally know anybody conversant with the issues who thinks for a minute we should be under constant intimate scrutiny by the state or anything else.

Below are some references to things that either form or inform the law in various jurisdictions. All the states involved here are signatories to the U.N. document and blanket surveillance is contrary to that agreement by any reasonable reading.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights


Article 12.

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.



8. Everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure.

In Lawson Hunter et al. v. Southam Inc., the Supreme Court stated that a major purpose of the constitutional protection against unreasonable search and seizure under section 8 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was the protection of the privacy of the individual.

The case involved a constitutional challenge to a search conducted under the Combines Investigation Act. The Court concluded that to assess the constitutionality of a search, it must focus on the search's reasonableness or unreasonableness in terms of its impact on the individual and not simply on its rationality in furthering a valid government objective. Mr. Justice Dickson of the Supreme Court advanced in this case for the first time the precept of reasonable expectation of privacy as a standard against which government action should be scrutinized.

The United States Constitution

Amendment 4 Search and Seizure


The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


The Human Rights Act 1998 (the “Act”) incorporated the European Convention on Human Rights (the “Convention”) into UK law. Article 8(1) of the Convention provides that “everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.”

Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms


Being resolved, as the governments of European countries which are like-minded and have a common heritage of political traditions, ideals, freedom and the rule of law, to take the first steps for the collective enforcement of certain of the rights stated in the Universal Declaration,

Have agreed as follows:

Article 1 – Obligation to respect human rights

The High Contracting Parties shall secure to everyone within their jurisdiction the rights and freedoms defined in Section I of this Convention.

Article 8 – Right to respect for private and family life

Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.


The gloves are off

There is no rational theory whereby we have given these idiots permission to violate one of the very most basic of human rights.

The lot of them need to be swept out of any position where their deranged vision of what is reasonable can harm any of us.

I can't think of a way to do it yet, but as far as I am concerned, the entire body of people who do stuff like this should be on notice that their behavior is not without consequences. They think it is OK for people to be surveilled 24/7? Fine. Let *them* be surveilled 24/7 and let the public do the monitoring.


Kaspersky: That 2 years we took to warn you about Regin ? We had GOOD REASON


Re: How long is too long to have kept quiet?

@Jason Bloomberg:

Re: "some point at which it becomes reasonable to warn that something is afoot"

Something is afoot right now. You can take that to the bank. There are so many attack vectors it is impossible for a firm to entirely secure your system.

I am not a big fan of the AV vendors, but I think they have been more than upfront about the fact that you are in ongoing danger.


While the web stares at cat pics, the glue of the internet is being shifted from US govt control



Same as the old boss as Graham Marsden said above.

Having anything headquartered in the United States that affects privacy is belligerently foolish. It has to be a non-starter.

Fool me once.

I am sure that there will be all manner of interesting critique here at the Reg.

Anybody presenting a 'trust me' architecture vulnerable to abuse by an incumbent or collusion by a small number is either incompetent or dishonest. From what I have seen it appears to be both.

I don't have a design but surely there is some way to build a more secure system on top of the existing infrastructure using a distributed trust architecture that cannot be hijacked again.


systemd row ends with Debian getting forked


Evil FlusterCluck

Both sides of this get me worried. Neither alternative is very good from what I can see. Forking away from Debian seems like a doomed move. However, the people forking say that systemd is creating all sorts of dependencies. You have to worry when the people blithely working on a system which is already a nightmare of dependencies are complaining about a change the brings in 'too many'. OMFG.

Maybe one of the people who became billionaires off of the ideas and hard work of other people could step in with funds to sort this out.


Blackout Saturday: Oracle website DIES after mammoth US shopping binge


Quibbling, but...

Should it not be 'titsup(TM)'? I am pretty sure somebody must own that 'IP' and it might well be Oracle.


High Court: You've made our SH*T list – corked pirate torrent sites double in a day


The people are voting...

Re: "It carefully targets sites whose sole purpose is to make money off the back of other people's content while paying nothing back into the legitimate economy."

A truly legitimate economy would not even *have* players like the MPAA and RIAA, let alone be sending them money for the right to access cultural artifacts already bought and paid for by somebody else.

File sharing services are people voting with their feet. If it is a small number, then it does less harm than the draconian measures being taken and we should let it go. If it is not a small number then the 'rights' regime is de-facto illegitimate. Either way, concerted state backed attacks on people sharing files is not legitimate by any measure. Those things are *grants* extended at the pleasure of the body politic and only then because of an expectation that they are net beneficial. Once we collectively decide not to extend those grants, that is the end of them.

At some point it is time to start taking names. People attempting to wrest our culture away from us and those aiding and abetting should be put on notice and ultimately be held responsible for the damage they do.

Our government's only legitimate reason to exist is to aid and protect and advance the interests of the people that make up the body politic. Similarly, corporations are legal fictions whose only legitimate purpose is to make a net positive contribution with a minimum of disruption.

Nobody should be going to jail or having their livelihood taken away for sharing a song or reading a journal article.

There have been a series of poisonous precedents set that pervert the sense of our constitutions. Were judges referring reasonably to the spirit and intent of the fundamental laws nothing like what is described in this article would happen. These things are at worst civil breaches and it is not up to the people (us) to pay the bills to press those cases.


EVIL US web giants shield TERRORISTS? Evil SPIES in net freedom CRUSH PLOT?


Faulty reasoning

Faulty reasoning leads to faulty analysis and unless cooler heads prevail, immoral overreaches.

If the apparently wayward companies being mentioned were to hypnotize or even poison all of their users it would stop all kinds of mayhem from happening. Facebook offing its billion odd users would measurably reduce all manner of crime statistic. That does not justify that action.

Do the police have the right to inspect people's communications and personal material without a warrant? No. No they do not. There is a reason for that. It is clearly a reason they do not understand.

The people in the UK government bleating endlessly about this should be relieved of duty until they become fully clued.

Companies like Facebook do not need any more excuses to spy on people.


Pity the poor Windows developer: The tools for desktop development are in disarray


Re: For me

Me too. Had MS stuck to their knitting and properly upgraded VS6 we would all be light-years ahead of where we are now. Practiced VB6 developers can bang off a non-trivial working application including installation routine and documentation in a day or two. Except for Delphi I don't know of any IDE that has come close to VB6. It is still by far the easiest to use.

VB6 as a language has some serious annoyances and conflating forms and applications is brain-damaged. However, none of its warts are show-stoppers and in a pinch you can always just call COM objects or C/Assembly DLLs if you need more function or better performance.

I think VB6s big failing, ironically, is that it was so easy to use.


Telcos spaff $36bn on gobbling Uncle Sam's radio frequencies for beefier cell coverage


False economies here

So we own something, in this case something nominally worth $34 billion and even though we need it, we sell it to someone else and rent it back from them. Will the profit be magic or will we end up paying it in the end? Is it not worrisome that something that valuable was sold when clearly the people selling on our behalf had a very poor understanding of its value?

We know the telcos cheerily charge whatever the traffic will bear, slip in fees never agreed upon and manipulate bandwidth allocation to maximize profits at the *expense* of harming the network. They are now going to take a $34 billion dollar investment, add *just* enough funds to allow them to charge for the new real-estate they own and then they are going to charge us for this thing that, remember, we need. How much will that cost? Well, whatever they can get away with. It is a safe bet that it will be a lot more than the sum of $34 billion dollars and what they spend on equipment.

The telcos most important investment in this enterprise preceded the $34B and the $34B sealed the deal. From here on in, whatever use we get of that bandwidth it will not be what it should be and it will cost a bitter premium over what it should.

Some will say 'yes, but we got $34B'. We did not. The people who run the government and their cronies got the money. Considering their track record, it is a safe bet we would have been better off holding on to bandwidth.

What really bugs me is that this type of piecemeal allocation of bandwidth is blocking convergence and its attendant benefits. It is just making it more difficult to unravel the mess.


Sony Pictures in IT lock-down after alleged hacker hosing


Predictable and not going away

The ridiculous security infrastructure in place along with holes deliberately punched through by agencies like the NSA make this not just likely, but inevitable. Sony will not be the last to witness such a breach.

If you have not had a visible breach of any kind and you have a valuable network I would not be too smug that I had a secure system. I would be suspicious that you have already been penetrated if you have never seen any visible sign of a partial breech. The really dangerous malware seals up your system so other malware (or legitimate attempts to reclaim the system) cannot break its grip.

You are not going to see a zero day exploit on your system if it has already been used, your system captured and the weakness fixed by the intruder.

By their nature at least some zero-day exploits are very hard to anticipate. In most cases, your just hoping that you get notice and a fix before a breech because some other sucker took the hit.

Mortals attempting to keep complex heterogeneous systems secure don't have much of a chance against strong attacks.

Having said the above, a down and dirty way for medium to large companies to at least make net facing systems less attractive as targets is to just get someone who knows what they are doing to make sure that hardware firewalls seal the perimeter.


HALF A BILLION TERRORISTS: WhatsApp encrypts ALL its worldwide jabber


Welcome and useful

Before the naysayers jump in -- yes this will be vulnerable to certain types of attack -- NO that does not make this useless.

The very fact that many messages are suddenly travelling encrypted means dragnet surveillance is much more difficult.

Hopefully other companies will follow this lead.

If you think about it, one man's extremist is another man's dissident. We need at least some small avenues that allow civil disobedience if we have any hope of maintaining our rapidly shrinking freedom.

Two thumbs up for the donation. It is a nice counter-point to the donation to Harvard we heard about recently.

Finally, we should not let the fact that something is not sufficient deter us from putting in place things that are necessary. The perfect should not be the enemy of the good.


State Dept shuts off unclassified email after hack. Classified mail? That's CLASSIFIED


Re: Hack on US Government.....

Re: "Why must it always be THEIR bad guys...."

That information is classified.


Re: Post obligatory..

Thumbs up for you. I second that emotion.


More activity makes me cranky!

Things continue to get worse. It does not help that everyone is more concerned with finding and attacking weaknesses than they are with securing the system globally.

Reasonable security, well beyond what exists now, is *possible*, but sadly it does not seem probable. My own systems have taken a little collateral damage and frankly it is making me peevish.


What kind of generation doesn't stick it to the Man, but to Taylor Swift instead?


Re: market value (@btrower)

Re: "If you're a boomer (which I doubt)"

I am totally going to take that as a compliment. My generation really let the world down and your attitude of selfish entitlement is certainly much more aligned with the current boomer culture than mine is.

Re: "you don't speak for those millenial generation fuckwits"

No, I don't. They speak eloquently enough for themselves. I was defending them from my position as a 'boomer' (I am exactly at the center of the baby boom) because you seem to think voices from some other generational camps are somehow less worthy of consideration. Our ages do not help or hinder our arguments any more than our shoe size. You think it is important, not me.

Re: "But you certainly meet the requirements to be a fuckwit freetard"

That is a pretty ugly way to put it, but it is consistent with the nature of the rest of your arguments. I will also take that as a compliment since clearly you have decided that people interested in a world of free information and open-handed sharing are 'freetards'.

Attacking your opponent rather than their arguments is a desperately lame sophist trick. It indicates to more thoughtful people that you have nothing beyond antipathy toward those who disagree with you. Put more simply, you don't have an argument. You merely have a desire that you wish to force upon others by any means possible. Good luck with that. As I said in an earlier comment it is pretty clear that the Internet has voted 'with its feet'. Those votes, BTW, are attached to real people who may well rise up and finally put their demands into legislation. They are not, in case you missed it, voting for you.

Re: "Musicians, writers and artists deserve credit and payment for their work"

I think that everyone has a right to a place in the sun 'going in'. I don't make a special distinction for members of your union. You can expect objections from the rest of us as you continue to press for advantages none of the rest of us enjoy; particularly when those advantages come at such a horrendous cost. The mechanisms used to enforce your desires are the mechanisms of tyranny and all decent people have always opposed them.

I don't think you are as bad as you sound. I think that you honestly do not follow the argument properly because you have limited yourself to one narrow point of view, have characterized anybody who disagrees with your point of view as an enemy and you have a profound desire that a view that (you imagine) benefits you be correct.

Despite my optimistic assessment, you seem to pretty clearly be happy enough with pressing for advantage without respect to any collateral damage it may entail. It is not nice to cause gratuitous harm to others. It is, in my opinion, the very bottom of morality to create great harm to others to gain a small advantage for yourself.

Re: "If you want to give away your lifes work for free, go ahead but your altruism might get confused with stupidity."

I consider it a privilege to be able to give back. Most people are pretty good. They are happy with sharing, finding common ground and helping those less fortunate with no expectation of reward beyond the joy that comes with giving. They don't confuse basic human decency with stupidity. If you consider decent people 'suckers', I hardly care what you think about me.

Re: "Grow up, it's way past time"

I am pretty sure that greedy self-interest is more a sign of immaturity than concern about others and a desire to help. You would be better served, I think, if you spent less time worrying about who is making the argument and more about the argument itself.

"... or do you still live in your gramma's basement?"

My wife and kids and I live in a beautiful five-bedroom Victorian 'century home' that we own, thanks for asking. Most of the disastrously disenfranchised generation you disrespect so much likely have no reasonable hope of living in such a place. Unlike you, I do not consider myself better than others for living in my fine home. I consider myself lucky. You might want to go a little easy on the gratuitous insults to younger people since you will soon be dependent upon their good graces in your old age. They may well be living in their grandmother's basement due to the cruelly unfair circumstances we have left them with. I would not be prodding that particular bear if I were you. It might well fight back.

Re: "My mother didn't raise no fool, but yours did. Buying into the "education" trap for instance. "

Okay, so your (presumptive) lack of education was a choice. Fine. Not all of us think that education is a bad idea. Our educational system sucks, but even for an autodidact like me it is necessary for some things.


Not that it makes me particularly virtuous, but I can make almost anything. I spent years working in factories and I was formally trained to use just about every tool there is. I was trained in a commercial laboratory and although I am rusty I could manufacture just about any ordinary chemical compound with the right lab equipment. I suck at music, but I taught myself to play the piano and guitar a little bit. I make stuff for a living (software among other things) and I have done so for decades.

My capabilities and the privilege of using them to make a living has been a particular blessing. I was fortunate to be born into a time when these things were possible and to have been born with the advantages and abilities to make the best of it. The people that you so extravagantly disrespect have been in many ways cruelly disadvantaged and your pouring salt in their wounds is particularly ungracious.

You have already had more than most of the people who have ever lived, but apparently it is not enough for you. I have a feeling that you will never be content if you can't count your blessings already. Most of the people in the world would probably be glad to trade places with you.

Re: "inconsequential esoteric shit that does not matter"

It matters because people like you are lobbying to have the police arrest people's kids for sharing music. You, whether you understand it or not, are arguing in favor of an already out of control police state. You wish to make it against the law to read, see or listen to certain things that you decide are off limits. You want all of the benefits of society and more besides but you wish not to contribute. It is consequential only because you make it so.

Re: "Art History Masters degree"

You sort of weaken your point a little by deciding that one type of artistic endeavor is somehow unworthy. You live by the sword you die by the sword. If I were you I would not be too quick to create a rationale that could be so easily turned upon you.

Re: "Masters and Doctorate degrees are WORTHLESS"

Lots of people I know have all types of degrees and they make perfectly good use of them. My wife, as it happens, has a Doctorate. It is not nearly as trivial as you seem to think. She does work that is hugely appreciated and she sure would not be able to do it without the PhD. Maybe you are not satisfied with your degree or maybe you don't have one, I have no idea, but it does not sound like you really know what you are talking about here. It is time consuming, difficult and expensive to get a doctorate and it is an accomplishment worthy of respect.

Re: "Most people that educated can't paint their house or fix their computer or put in a furnace, they are HELPLESS FOOLS."

In my case, I built all my computers here. Does that count? I am going to go out on a limb here and say that a majority of people with doctorates could paint their house if they really had to. I don't know about putting in a furnace. Does that come up a lot? I would be willing to bet that the overwhelming majority of people are not able to compete with someone who puts in furnaces for a living and I think it is easily even money that this applies to you as well.

Re: You freetards think you can just steal the work of others and face no consequences. THAT's "entitlement".

Oy. You do not own the air or the view from a hill. You do not 'own' the world's ideas. We cannot 'steal' from you things you do not properly own. If you want to keep your dazzling creations a secret, be my guest. I am one of the people who is working hard to make it possible for you to keep your secrets private if that is your wish. The tools and ideas I will make freely available as open source and I would be pleased if others get some benefit from them.

This is over long and is really just 'for the record' for my own amusement, so I am not expecting it to be read or responded to. Of the things I did not address here, let me just say that I disagree with you.

Oh yea -- I apologize for my comment earlier about 'math'. It was not very gracious. For what it is worth, I got my degree as an adult student, so I do not disrespect people who did not get one. Most people are pretty horrible with numbers and I don't disrespect them. I sometimes get testy when people are attempting to push bad math and broken arguments as if it somehow is just a matter of opinion. It is not.


Re: market value


That comic is exquisite. Thanks for the link.


I get it.

@David Lowery

I get it. Musicians are not *the* bad guys in this scenario. They exist in an industry echo chamber that has convinced them of something patently false. The fact that it *appears* to benefit you makes it that much harder to see the truth.

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" -- Upton Sinclair

The tragedy is that it is not really your salary that depends on misunderstanding why copyrights are a bad thing. It is the salary of your overlords that depends upon these lies. Repudiating copyright could set you free of them.

I think that you should perhaps care a little bit for people other than yourselves. However, even if you only care about yourselves the copyright and patent regimes cause net harm to you. There is a very great world of information out there and software and devices that can hugely amplify its value. Most of it is not accessible to you and will remain inaccessible if you get the copyright regime you think you want.

If you get your way, you may well indeed get a larger slice of the pie. But it will be a smaller pie. You may get more than others, but you get less actual pie. For some, whose share is already pitifully small, that makes the difference between life and death. That is not a metaphor. People are starving to death as we have this conversation and at least some of them would not be if we had eliminated copyrights and patents that make food and life-saving medical care beyond their means. There is, in essence, a copyright on our pie recipe and a patent on the method for the best and largest pie and since we can't afford to buy them we get a lesser pie. The only reason we can't get to those is because people are blocking the way. For you, this means a little less pie. For people further down the line it means no pie at all. Most of the people blocking the way don't even benefit. You can't move them all, but you can at least get out of the way yourself. If enough follow your example, the way will be clear and all but a few of the very worst bullies will benefit. I have no sympathy for the few nasty ones that lose if we clear the way and neither should you.

Art unseen and unheard might just as well not exist. Copyright necessarily means that we pay people to stop art from being seen and heard. Electronic storage of music means the incremental cost of a copy is effectively zero. Without copyright, just about everything would be available to just about everyone. That would be a good thing (TM).

Even if you only look to your own self-interest, copyrights are probably net harmful. A richer world for everyone means a richer world for you too. You may not see the hidden costs you pay for copyrights and patents, but they are there and you pay them along with everybody else. Maybe if you are one of the tiny handful of 'lottery winner' popular musicians whose work is hugely popular you might be a net beneficiary of copyright, but at what cost? If you are rich from your royalties then you don't need the money. If you are not, you are just another person holding a ticket. Guess what? Only a tiny few get the big prizes and you are not very likely to be one of them. For all you know, the game is rigged and no ordinary participant has any chance of winning at all.

I make software. You make music. I think both have value. I don't begrudge you a living. Heck, if you are good enough and gigs pay so little, I am completely fine that we put in mechanisms to ensure you are OK and continue to practice your art. I just think that copyrights and patents are entirely the wrong mechanism. You should not be dependent upon creating artificial shortages, impairing people's education, limiting the art available to other artists and taking things away from people to make your living. This is not a 'zero-sum' game, despite what your masters have told you. Your prosperity does not have to depend upon impoverishing others. We can all prosper if we all work together.

If we share, we increase net wealth. We don't need two hammers where one will do. Money that would have been spent had we not shared can be spent elsewhere. Instead of us each having a hammer and a bag of nails we can share a hammer and can each have two bags of nails. What if there is a third person who can afford nails but not a hammer? The hammer manufacturer insists that everyone must buy their own hammer. You may work for the manufacturer and get some benefit but for you to have that benefit everybody pays more than they should, more hammers are made than really needed, some people go entirely without and the social contract that causes others to buy an extra hammer from your company makes *everything* that you buy cost more and puts some things out of your reach. Even if you are the manufacturer this is not likely to be net positive when you tally up all the costs and benefits. However, even in the unlikely event this is net positive for you it comes at a cost the rest of us cannot and should not accept. The whole world is poorer to give you a tiny advantage at most. [I think I really 'nailed' that analogy. :)]

If everyone in the whole world had free access to the entirety of the world's art and knowledge we would end up with *more* art and knowledge, not less. Everything we made and used would be the best there is, not just the best whose taxes we could afford.

You have been sold a bill of goods by the people who really benefit from copyrights and patents. Don't be a sucker and an industry lackey. I am not your enemy. They are.


Re: market value

Re: "Fuck you too....little pissant, wet behind the ears, whiner. ... If you had any brains you would have done it too. ... don't even pay the musicians ... blah blah"

I got my first full-time job almost fifty years ago. I have been practicing my craft for just shy of forty years. The first decade or so was used to keep body and soul together as I put myself through school. I am still working for my living and expect to keep on doing so until I cannot. If I never worked again the net difference in value between what I was paid and what I produced would make me a net contributor indefinitely into the future. This would not even be a discussion if one of us was not whining and asking for special treatment and its not me. I am asking that you and your ilk take no more than your fair share of the pie. In return, I will continue to be a net contributor even though I have long since paid my dues. My work is in active use all over the world and I am happy to have made the contribution. Being able to practice my craft and make a modest living is reward enough.

You might gain some clarity of thought if you spent more time looking at the arguments themselves rather than attributing their entire meaning and merit to their provenance.

My work is governed by the copyright regime as well. I would abolish copyrights in a heartbeat. They provide no net benefit to me and they actively harm the rest of the society. I care about that.

I am all for musicians making a living while they practice their craft. I object to putting in place a mechanism that is net destructive of value in order to do so. We would be better off paying musicians to sit home and do nothing rather than take on the onerous burden of a copyright regime that prevents *most* of the people in the world from accessing *most* of their culture. At least if we did that we would not even be obliged to pay distributors and music industry moguls more than they need to live so *they* can *continue* to ply their trade as gatekeepers to things they actively contribute to destroying.

In your vision, we lock up most of the world's knowledge and cultural artifacts. We pay people to actively prevent others from accessing things. That is not just net destructive of value. It is monstrously and unconscionably net destructive of value. For people in the bottom half of incomes in the world, it entirely disbars them from education. A similar patent regime threatens to lock up the world's food supply. Heavens.

In your vision, the work of a tiny minority of artists affords them a grand living in perpetuity whilst impoverishing the majority of artists. Some musicians get a net benefit while the vast majority of the world, including musicians suffers a net loss. A significant number of our best and brightest are spending a good portion of their working lives paying off loans needed to buy their education. I spent a decade paying off student loans and that was back when school was a hell of a lot cheaper. An uncomfortable chunk of that was spent on books and the majority of that cost was due to the copyright regime -- and that was before the copyright regime went entirely insane.

Re: "If you had any brains you would have done it too."

To the extent there are any empirical facts to decide, you are simply wrong in your assumption. All of the material I have produced in the last couple of decades was either 'for hire' in an environment that allowed nothing else or when it was up to me it was open sourced. Unlike you, I do not equate basic decency with a lack of intelligence.

Re: "millenial generation misfits that can't get a job..."

I am a boomer and even I hate the boomer generation. They are the quintessential 'free lunch' generation -- so entitled they are unable to even recognize how entitled they are. Especially those who are in their sixties now, lots of them only had to graduate high school to get fast-tracked into management in a world where fat pensions were something of a norm. They entered a job market that had a shortage of labor. The people you are so quick to disrespect came into a marketplace where a Masters degree is pretty much required to have much of a chance and even then they have to start below the bottom in unpaid internships. When they finally do get paid work the lion's share of their disposable income goes to pay off crushing debt from student loans. Part of those loans, BTW, goes to pay off the copyright vampires that you support.

A distressing portion of my generation are entitled semi-literate thugs who spend what little of their time they actually 'work' getting in the way of people actually doing stuff. I don't care if the rest of us support them, but I find it distasteful that they wish to destroy most of the value in the world in the process of taking a grotesquely disproportionate share because, well, they are special and reality does not apply to them. If they were better at math they might appreciate just how unfair they are.

Re: "Almost none of your so called popular music is even written by the artist anymore. And they can't even sing, they use autotune and studio musicians."

Honestly, that is just willfully stupid. Who gives a fuck how people make things of beauty that amuse their fellows? Who are you to say that your obviously narrow parochial view of art is better than anyone else's? For my money, you demonstrate that your taste is likely worse than most.

Re:"All you twerps know is how to consume, you don't know how to produce anything, all you do know is how to whine endlessly and wait for the handouts that you think you must be entitled to."

OMFG!!! Are you kidding? This would not even be a conversation unless you were asking to be paid for work long since produced and paid for. It is you who is asking for the handout and you have the cheek to ask for a handout grand enough to support you for life. Worse, you are asking us to take the money away from the mouths of babes and worse still, your regime requires us to destroy most of what we have so that nobody gets to enjoy it. I am, evidently, one of the twerps you refer to and I seriously doubt that if you even live another century that you have much hope of producing as much as I have already behind me.

If you were better at arithmetic and had more experience actually working in recent years you would realize that the generation you are disrespecting is not just productive, they are significantly more productive than you ever were and they do that under crushing burdens in uncertain times in a world half gone to hell from injuries done by the boomers.

I honestly don't give a fuck if you and your kind never work again and we continue to support your sorry asses until you die of boredom. I *do* give a fuck that you won't just quietly live off the fat of the land but insist that we salt half the earth to increase the value of crops being grown on your behalf even when it means others starve to death.

Africa actually exists and the people there are real. Personally, I think we should be helping our fellows in the bottom half of the world, but at the very least we should get out of their way and let them read a few books and maybe listen to a little music.


Re: market value

What he said (Jonathan 29). Fuck em.

It is pretty clear that most of the Internet wants to vote with its feet to *not* subsidize the greedy fucks who want to set themselves up as gatekeepers for information.

All of existing content and the means to reproduce it rests on the work of millions of individuals and has been almost all entirely bought and paid for. The last idiot who sat down at a piano wants to capture the entirety of this value for themselves and they are willing to do this at a cost of putting cultural material, including educational material out of the reach of *most* people.

You want us to pay you for the rest of your life for work you already did and whose work-product was largely the work of others -- all of it already manufactured, in existence and paid for. You want me to endorse the rising police state, treacherous computing, the dismantling of national sovereignty via things like the TPP and criminalization of civil trespasses. You want me to endorse *increasing* the reach of things that have enabled copyright tolls to harass people's grandchildren?

Something approaching a hundred million devices contain open source code written by me. Billions of devices are running code written by other open source authors. Chances are pretty good that if you watch cable television your set top box will be running code written and donated by me. You are welcome.

If every single person and entity responsible for creating the myriad of devices and software that you use every day were to belly up to the trough like you are, it is a pretty safe bet that copyrights would be *net* negative for you.

You want a free pass and have the rest of society pay you for the rest of your life because the work you do is somehow better than the work the rest of us do. I say that if you had food on the table while you had the luxury of pursuing your art, you have already been compensated well beyond what most of the people in the entire world will ever get. You want me to support a legal apparatus and repressive invasive laws that invade privacy, infringe fundamental liberties and bar people from education and access to their own culture so that you can pick and choose who among your seven *billion* fellows is worthy enough to access your ever so precious work? Here is my answer:


If you disrespect your craft so much that you want to withhold your work, that is your right. Stop producing it or keep it private or whatever. Don't expect me to help you destroy billions of dollars of value so you can get a few thousand more than you deserve. I wish to remain a net contributor, thanks.


Jony Ive: Apple isn't here to make money. And students shouldn't use computers so much


Piling on...

Apple isn't here to make money. Apple is here to *take* money. Plus lock out competition. Plus claim 'ownership' of ideas built on the work of others or even obvious ones like: "let's polish this and round the corners".

The richest company in the world is not out to make money. If only I could accidentally accumulate 50 billion bucks.




Thank *God* the Drought is over!

Good to know that the impecunious Harvard is finally getting a break. Oh wait -- give *me* a break!

"Harvard University’s largest-in-the-country endowment saw returns of 15.4 percent in the last year, and now stands at $36.4 billion. That’s a lot of money."


Maybe it's just me, but this just seems to me to be ever so slightly unfair.

"If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to." ― Dorothy Parker


We don't NEED NO STEENKIN' DRONE RULES, peers told


Re: "As for privacy, if you can be seen from a public place..."

Seriously? Putting a camera on a drone and flying it beside a sixth floor window is not consistent with old-style notions of 'public place'. Sure, if you are on a subway platform in your underwear you can't complain if people look, but if you are just getting out of the shower in a high-rise you should have a reasonable expectation that you are not at the mercy of voyeurs.

I am not saying that we should make flying toys illegal or putting cameras on flying toys illegal. What I am saying is that if your toy is streaming video to the Internet then you have a responsibility to make sure that it is not streaming pictures of my kids having a bath.

Privacy in this regard is quickly vanishing anyway, but until it does I am in no hurry to make life easier for peeping toms.

In case you missed a meeting, people are already filming up women's skirts in public and putting the videos up on the internet. You may not have an interest in invading people's privacy, but some people do and they don't need any more help from us. As a dad I take a dim view of people being careless with pictures of my kids.



Re: "Still, in theory, it seems we, the people should have some say on whether we want to be spied on from above."

We do have some say and we have said it and codified it in our constitutions. The answer is 'no'.

Our laws are clear enough to me, but obviously not to the people entrusted with enforcing them. I am no fan of additional legislation but in this case some explicit guidance is needed.


EU battles over 'anti-terrorist' passenger records slurper law


Shut it down.

The state exists at our pleasure. It has no legitimacy otherwise and should be opposed if it continues to exert authority beyond its mandate. This battle has already been fought and won and our rights were paid for with the blood of our forefathers.

The power of the state has a limit and that limit has long since been passed.

There *must* be some avenue whereby people who disagree with the government of the day can organize, protest and if need be make their wishes plain with civil disobedience. If no such avenues exist, then we exist in a tyranny which does not have legitimate authority over us. The representatives of the state break the covenant whereby they gained their power in the first place. A portion of our fundamental laws are designed precisely to ensure we are still able to regain control of our government.

Our fundamental liberties are not up for negotiation and never have been. Those liberties are (part of) the price the state pays for its right to exist at all. They are essential to the covenant we have all made with one another to allow the formation of a civil society. Without those rights, the covenant is broken and all bets are off.

These idiots continue to bring illegal, immoral and illegitimate pressure to bear in their attempts to dismantle the legitimate rule of law. They badly need re-educated and I think that stopping their funding and prosecuting and jailing some of the worst offenders is long overdue.

These continued attempts to undermine the legitimate rule of law indicate that the entirety of the establishment responsible have lost their way and badly misunderstand their relationship to the body politic. They are well beyond any envelope consistent with their legal mandate.

We already have fundamental laws in place that are specifically designed to prevent these types of assaults on society. It is time that we got people into our legislatures and law enforcement establishments that both understand the fundamental laws in place and are willing and able to protect and enforce them.

The requirement for probable cause prior to search and seizure is a constitutional matter and without both a change to the letter of the constitutions *and* ratification by the body politic, no one entity and certainly no one person has any right to ignore this requirement. It is the fundamental law in at least Canada and the United States. Crossing that line is unlawful. If the people in our law enforcement establishment are crossing that line themselves then they need to be relieved of their duties.

The people currently 'horse trading' our rights away are not fit for office. They profoundly misunderstand both the law and their mandate. They should be removed and replaced with people who understand their legitimate mission and are willing to fulfill it appropriately.

A small fraction of the population has mounted an assault on the liberties that our laws are designed to protect. They need to be stopped and our first steps should be to de-fund them, strip them of their power and remove them from their positions. Given how far this has gone, it seems to me that we will not be able to restore order without prosecuting and imprisoning some of the worst offenders.

These miscreants can pass any legislation they please. That does not necessarily make it lawful and being nominally/technically 'lawful' does not necessarily make it legitimate.

The governed at no point gave reasonably informed consent for the current state of affairs. Much of what is happening has no legitimacy at all.

At the end of the day, 'might makes right'. Our political boundaries were all essentially drawn under the force of arms driven largely by economic forces and nominally endorsed by bodies politic. Ultimately, both the legitimate authority and the power to exercise that authority reside inalienably with us. The current state apparatus exercises that power under our proxy, but it is implicit in the covenant that allows that proxy that it is withdrawn if it is abused. We still have the power, by virtue of our numbers, to enforce our will. The easiest way to put this right is to use the ballot box to reclaim the government and then simply shut down funding for offending departments.


GOD particle MAY NOT BE GOD particle: Scientists in shock claim


Science marches on then stubs its TOE

This is a head-scratcher. Who is one to believe? It's times like this that I wish I was just that wee bit smarter and better informed. Unfortunately, I am not that up on this stuff to be able to form a reasonable opinion one way or the other. It seemed to me that the announcement of the Higgs boson was pretty sure. They did say there was a chance it was a false-positive but that the chance was very small. Sigh. How big a team do we need and how much money do we need to spend to get closure here? From the sounds of it, these guys are suggesting 'a lot'.

The announcement itself is 'messy', but if their argument has merit, I guess it is sort of good news. That is, if it is not the Higgs then something at least a little novel has been discovered. It was really looking like we were on the verge and then we sort of stubbed our 'TOE'.