European Union Sues Sweden

Proving once again the European Union was a bad idea…

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2009/05/eu-sues-sweden-demands-law-requiring-isps-to-retain-data.ars

The European Union passed a law requiring ISPs to retain customer data “long enough to help police but not so long as to cause privacy concerns” (now THAT is some grade all bullshit). Sweden has not enacted this policy (probably because they have a little common sense left) so the European Union is suing.

I don’t know what they are going to get out of suing a member of their own union but like most things The Union does this is a pretty stupid idea.

And now for a side rant. If you just wanted the news article you can stop reading here. This side rant involves comments made on slashdot.org which I’ll link to in a bit. The actual rant is more to do with fanatic atheists though. First the link (do note because of the craptacularness of the comment system this may not take you to the actual thread I want, but hey I’m trying)…

http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=1247565&cid=28121785

What about this irritates me? Simple we have atheists who want to blame everything on religion. Don’t get me wrong I have nothing against atheists or atheism in general. Just like I have nothing against Christianity, Judaism, Islam, or any other form of religion or lack thereof. But I do have a problem with the zealots in all of these groups who try to blame every other religion (yes I’m calling atheism a religion in this case) for the world’s problems.

Being I visit technology sites I get exposed to far more zealot atheists then any other type of zealot. They love nothing more then highjacking a conversation and using it as a soapbox to preach their faith (yes faith, because these people have a faith there is no deity/deities). At least on slashdot I’ve never noticed this behavior with any other religious group so these guys get pointed out.

Now the reason these guys piss me off. They are blaming religion as the one and only factor for terrorism in the world. These people are claiming if it weren’t for religion all would be well. Guess what guys you’re being hypocrites here. You are pretty much saying your group is so morally superior that if all other groups ceased to exist the world would be perfect. That’s hypocritical because that’s what all extremist religious people say. If you don’t want to be associated with religion and religious people STOP ACTING LIKE THEM (them being specifically the extremist zealots).

Anyways I just needed to get that out of my system.

Right to Repair Automobile Law Put Forth

It’s about time a law was put forth that removes all the barriers between automobile computers and their owners…

http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2009/05/right-repair-law-pro

Strangely enough it’s being proposed by Bob Barr and Ralph Nader. I never thought I’d see a day when these two people agreed on something.

The bill would make proprietary computer systems with lockout mechanism illegal for use in automobiles. As it stands right now automotive manufacturers like to make their vehicles as hard to work on as possible. They do this because they make a huge chunk of change when you bring your car in for work. This would allow a person to diagnose their own problem and possible fix it themselves or have an independent mechanic do it (which is normally a LOT cheaper).

This is Why We Backup People

Because if you don’t you can lose 13 years of work…

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/technology/8049780.stm

Some malicious hacker got into the servers used by avsim.com. The person in charge of the 13 year project forgot to back stuff up. Well not exactly forgot, he just had two servers which cloned themselves to one another. Which means when the malicious hacker got access to one server he was able to get access to the second server and destroy the data on both of them.

Always, always, ALWAYS and once again ALWAYS have off network backups. And if at all possible have offsite backups as well. That way you have a chance of recovering after a catastrophe such as the one in the article.

Bruce Schneier Against Cyber Security Tsar

The bastion of common sense security, Bruce Schneier, speaks his mind on the appointing of a cyber security Tsar…

http://threatpost.com/blogs/do-we-really-need-cybersecurity-czar

As the man himself puts it.

Really what I think is it shouldn’t be anybody. We do better without a top-down hierarchy. Our economic and political systems work best when there isn’t a dictator in charge, when there isn’t one organization in charge. My feeling is there shouldn’t be one organization in charge. Not only shouldn’t it be the NSA, it shouldn’t be anybody,

I find myself agreeing with him yet again. I don’t know where this idea of appointing so called “Tsars” came from since we aren’t a Russian Monarchy but it’s getting bloody annoying. Having a single person in charge of anything generally fails. That’s why we have the Senate and Congress (granted they don’t really do their jobs in my book). Our founding fathers saw first hand what having one buffoon in charge does so they set up a system with many buffoons in charge.

Having a single person in charge of anything, especially security, leaves a single point of failure in the system.

European Union Thinks U.S. Should Relinquish Control of the Internet

Yet more news of the European Union trying to screw everybody else…

http://www.linuxjournal.com/content/european-union-wants-cut-internet

This time they want some control over the Internet. This is an oversimplification but right now there is an organization called ICANN which acts as a central authority for Internet. Since 1998 they have been working under mandate of the U.S. Department of Commerce. This agreement is up for termination in September of 2009.

The European Union things once this agreement is terminated they should get a piece of the action. Never mind the fact that the U.S. funded and developed most of the technology that makes the Internet your are using right now possible. Never mind that many of the U.S. laws are the reason the Internet has remained on open source of information anybody can use. Nope that doesn’t matter.

Being the Internet is an international entity now it might seem logical to have other countries help in its oversight. The problem I have with this is many European countries are, or soon will, filter content obtained online. China currently is hold the record as the most famous attempt to filter Internet access (which they are failing at since there is no way to filter so much data). But China has no influence over the regulating body known as ICANN so they can’t force filtering for other countries.

If another group such as the European Union gained power over ICANN they could conceivably set into motion a list of items that would no longer be permissible to place online. Remember much of the Eurozone isn’t too big into the whole freedom of speech idea. And the Internet would not be useful if it wasn’t for the freedom of speech. I could see the E.U. wanting to place a ban on all pro-gun sites out there. After all we know how much the E.U. loves the right to bear arms.

European Union Wants Companies Liable for Software

You know I hate the idea of the European Union a little more every day…

http://news.zdnet.co.uk/software/0,1000000121,39649689,00.htm

They have another idea that should not be. They want to hold companies and, in the case of open source applications, programmers liable for defects in their code.

To somebody outside of the software industry this may sound like a good idea. Who hasn’t been bitten by a software bug and wanted to unleash their wrath upon the coders? But as a coder myself I can tell you this, programming is hard.

More specifically parts of programming are hard. Getting an application up and running and then getting it to do basic tasks is pretty simple. The problem comes when you want to make those basic tasks reliable.

The damnedest things can cause a bug in an application. Forgetting to terminate a string in a null character in C for instance can lead to worlds of hurt. Sometimes when your application calls on outside code that outside code will cause an unforeseen but in your own code. The bottom line is trying to foresee all possible bugs and mishaps is impossible. This desire of the European Union would create a liability for software companies in that part of the world and probably cause them to move elsewhere. Maybe somewhere that isn’t trying to make life as hard as possible for businesses.

Wow Fuck You IBM, FUCK YOU!

I was never a fan of IBM to begin with but this latest story just makes makes me realize how horrible their top brass are…

http://infotech.indiatimes.com/News/IBM_to_laid-off_staff_Go_to_India/articleshow/4085361.cms

So after laying off a chunk of their workforce they decided to make an “innovative” (their words not mine) offer to some of their employees.

They would be allowed to keep their jobs if they were willing to move to a country that it would be cheaper to keep them on. In other words if you are willing to move to India and take regular Indian working wages and conditions you can keep your crummy job. Wow THANKS IBM!

Do note the offer of a pay reduction is not valid if they want to stay in United States, only if they are willing to move elsewhere.

At least IBM is willing to pay part of their expenses for moving to another country which is just some paper work, finding a place to live, leaning new laws, etc. I doubt this offer is valid for classes to learn new languages.