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ACTA Attack

ACTA

ACTA is perhaps one of the most sinister developments in the history of the Internet, and beyond, not only because of the Draconian legislations it proposes, but also because of the manner in which they were proposed.

You see ACTA has never been democratically scrutinised or debated. It was created and negotiated entirely in secret by private corporations, not transparently by democratically elected representatives, and then ratified without any democratic mandate (by "executive order"). Indeed, the US government actually went so far as to describe these boiler-room "negotiations" as "a matter of national security".

"A matter of national security"?


Seriously?

Since when are petty civil legislation issues like copyrights "a matter of national security"? Since when should fundamental changes to the democratic process and criminal legislation be "negotiated" in dark basements by private corporations, then the details protected as "a matter of national security"?

It's incredible, but true. It's also profoundly disturbing.

Regardless of whatever else might be wrong with ACTA, when private corporations start making criminal laws (in secret, no less), clearly we have a serious problem. It's textbook fascism.

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Unambiguously on the Side of Good

A withering comment in the Grauniad recently gave me pause for thought:
For reasons that are not all bad, we have turned 1939-45 into a kind of creation myth, the noble story of modern Britain's birth. We vote for Churchill as our Greatest Briton and revere the Queen in part because she is a direct link to that chapter in our history, the moment when we were unambiguously on the side of good.

That, of course, is a key difference between us and our fellow Europeans, for whom that period is anything but simple or unambiguous.

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Summary: BBC's Microsoft Bias

Summary of the BBC's blatant Microsoft bias and anti-Linux bigotry:

  • BBC blatantly lies about Windows Phone 7 "dominating" the smartphone market, even though it only has a 1.9% market share. (Ed: Jan 2016. Windows Phone is Dead. LOL!)
  • BBC Censoring Open Source: BBC education reporter, Judith Burns, removes the phrase "open source" from education secretary's speech
  • BBC sneers at Linux: BBC Click reporter, Microsoft evangelist and anti-Linux bigot, Spencer Kelly, refuses to name the Linux OS powering a new device at CES 2012, then sneers: "As you can see the operating system has been written especially for this tablet, because that's what I think the world needs, is yet another tablet operating system. But seriously... "
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When Microsoft Attacks

Slated employs many different techniques to protect the site from hacking, but by far the most important is vigilance, and that means paying close attention to things like logs.

Like many sites, Slated is under constant attack, mostly from bots running on compromised Windows machines, but most of those attacks are purely opportunistic and random, or in other words aren't actually targeting Slated for any particular reason. But every now and then I discover something in the server logs that suggests otherwise.

Today was one of those days.

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Dennis Ritchie: A Tribute to a Great Man

Dennis Ritchie

Dennis Ritchie, 1941-2011: Father of the C programming language, and co-creator of Unix.

Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie, creator of the C programming language and co-author of the famous book by the same name (a.k.a. ‘the K&R book’), much loved and respected by C programmers the world over, sadly passed away last weekend.

Before retiring in 2007, Ritchie followed in his father's footsteps by joining Bell Labs in 1967, starting a career that spanned 40 years in the field of computer science. There he contributed to the Multics project (the forerunner of Unix) and a compiler for the BCPL language, then eventually co-created the Unix operating system with Ken Thompson. During his work on Unix, Ritchie created the C Programming Language, which is now a formal ANSI and ISO standard, and is one of the most widely used programming languages of all time, currently only equalled by James Gosling's Java in popularity.

Ritchie was jointly honoured with several awards during his lifetime, along with Ken Thompson, including the Turing Award in 1983, the Hamming Medal in 1990, the (US) National Medal of Technology in 1999 and, most recently, the Japan Prize for Information and Communications in 2011.

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