(security) fingerprints and privacy

People who advocate using biometrics for all sorts of stuff usually say there is no privacy risk. In retaliation, a German computer club published the fingerprints of the German "Interior Minister" (sort of like the Home Minister in India I guess).

So now he plans to sue the club. If there are no privacy implications with using fingerprints, what is he suing for?

"The article says a ministry spokesman alluded to possible legal action against the club. ", says the article, at http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/03/29/1941206&from=rss

And even more important: you can sue these people because they are doing it openly. The real criminals will do it secretly.


(git,funny,quote) on using systems that scale well...

not sure if it makes sense in all contexts but I found this quote really funny:

"Saying you should use systems that don't scale well when your project is tiny is like saying you should use Roman numerals for calculations involving small numbers."

(from http://www-cs-students.stanford.edu/~blynn/gitmagic/)


Comparision between EEE, OLPC, and Classmate

from http://reviews.zdnet.co.uk/hardware/notebooks/0,1000000333,39359143,00.htm warning: one photo per page, too many mouse clicks needed, and JS needed

Just from the size aspect, which is after all the whole point here, the EEE wins hands down over the other two. But here're some more details:

  • EEE is the smallest of the lot
  • EEE is the only one with a VGA connector (yeay!!!)
  • EEE comes with 512 MB RAM (as opposed to 256 on the other 2)
  • EEE has the largest keyboard, even though it is the smallest of the 3.
    • God is actually talking to me here and telling me which to buy :-)
  • OLPC has the largest and best screen (as if this was news!)
  • OLPC doesn't have a fan (hopefully the EEE will follow suit soon)
  • my wife would love the OLPC keyboard (feels like popping bubble wrap, apparently!)
  • Classmate looks like the pregnant mother of the other two!
    • and the EEE is soooo slim – always loved the slim ones :-)
    • see comment at the start!
  • Classmate is very hard to get into (motherboard)

[Update: just heard that Asus has announced a version with a larger screen (9 inches, 1024x600 instead of 800x480 – the horizontal size is what really matters by the way) in almost the same size body (only a 0.1 inch increase in the size of the body!) So that's the one to go for. The trouble is, by the time that comes to India, there'll be an even better one announced. WHEN DO I BUY THE DAMN THING???????]


more to drool at...


If there's one thing that used to worry me about these "low power" machines I've been drooling about, it was that mainstream distributions might take too much tweaking to work on them.  So it's great to see this sort of support, and from my favourite distribution too!

Now all I need is that Eee PC!


(criminal,malware) reduced expectations

I've been saying this for a long time: Microsoft is responsible for making the unwashed masses think this is as good as it gets. The only people who know things can, and should, be a lot better are a few oldies like me.

is a comment to this article about why people seem to accept reduced reliability from our computers.


(law) you know you're evil when...

"...even lawyers band together pro bono to help strangers fight you and your cause"

quote from this comment in this thread on slashdot, describing how law students from the University of San Francisco are helping outside lawyers defend their clients against the RIAA, pro bono!

Even the article summary has a good amount of detail, but here's the line I liked best:

"Thousands of honor students throughout United States law schools, most of them digital natives who actually understand the legal fallacies and technological missteps the RIAA is taking, and who can't wait to expose them, make a pretty good resource for the poor and middle class people trying to defend these cases."