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Re: Need /etc/apt/sources.list

On Mon, 09 May 2011 00:12:23 +0300, Dotan Cohen wrote:

> On Sun, May 8, 2011 at 13:28, Camaleón <noelamac@gmail.com> wrote:

>>> There is a point when I don't care about being right or wrong, I made
>>> my say and I'll not argue over trivial things with people who I'd
>>> really rather get along with.
>> Fine, but doing so in a public (and mostly technical) mailing list
>> generates other people reply to your "considerations" about a web
>> service that has been there providing a useful service since years.
> I mentioned problems with the service, both here-and-now problems and
> potential issues about the future. That does not mean that I intend to
> debate the subject for three days over tens of posts.

As I see it, you did more than just noting the tinyurl service was having 
any kind problem at your side or stating your concerns about its usage 
privacy issues. Again, I think your response was a bit exaggerated.

>>> I'm not trying to force anyone, nor am I making blame. I am giving
>>> tangible arguments in favour of my position. If someone wishes to
>>> disregard my arguments, even if it is to my detriment and the
>>> detriment of the fine archives, so be it.
>> You are charging against Tinyurl and blaming over it because of some
>> obscure privacy concerns you have... but you are writing on a public
>> mailing list, you use Gmail and you still worry about privacy? That
>> makes no sense.
> Feel free to ignore the privacy aspects if they don't concern you. 

I'm concerned about privacy but clicking on a tinyurl link is not what I 
take for that.

> How about the ability to mask a malicious link? 

Irrelevant, as _any link_ (shortened or not) can be easily bypassed and 
point to a malicious site. 

> How about adding redundant layers to an already tenuous HTTP
> connection? 

Today's Internet is plenty of add-on layers, most of them useless.

> How about the future viability of the links when the shortening service
> has a server failure, or goes out of business, is bought, or hacked, or 
> shut down by law?

Again, *any* web URI can fail because of the same things. Should we care 
about all of the possibilities that can make a link is not functioning 
anymore? We can go crazy...

>> I used the Gmail argument because is a service that you are using but
>> apparently you are also much worried about your privacy. That's an
>> oxymoron. Probably by using Gmail's e-mail service you are being more
>> watched than by following a tinyurl link.
> I use Gmail for public mailing lists. I have my private and business
> mail at my own domain dotancohen.com.

And the same argument can be taken by people who use tinyurl services: 
they use it on mailing lists but not for their personal or business e-
mail communication.

>> I believe there is nothing wrong in using them. Heck, this is the web!
>> Most of the "plain" URIs are not available anymore because people
>> closes their sites and they stop caring about making a redirect to the
>> new ones. Links dead, regardless of the usage of URL shortening
>> services or no.
> That's a red herring argument. Do you also not wear a seatbelt because
> we are all going to die anyway? Same argument.

No, it's not. I'm just using an "ad-hominem" argument: what you say that 
is bad for tinyurl is also bad for any other URI.

>>> So why use it?
>> To make a bunch of text short. To give the reader some sort of
>> usability (there are e-mail clients that do not wrap well a long
>> formatted URL or they even broke the full link). To provide "clarity"
>> to the whole message.
> The shortening services do not provide clarity. 

Nor plain URLs do. I hope you've heard about "phishing" and what it 

> Here is a clear URL:
> http://dotancohen.com/eng/noah_ergonomic_keyboard_layout.html You know
> where it is going, and the topic under discussion. You might recognize
> the domain name if it is a common one and base your trust on that. I'll
> open links to http://debian.org, but I won't open links to
> http://debian.on.nimp.org and seeing the URL is critical in that
> decision.

No, I don't know if that URL is a trusted source or not. I don't know 
you, nor I don't know if your webserver has been cracked by someone or if 
it contains malware on it... in fact no one can know it "beforehand".
> Here is a non-clear URL:
> http://tinyurl.com/2ajjgt
> Where does that go? Yes, I know about the "preview feature". I still
> have to invoke tinyurl to invoke the "preview feature".

I don't care where it goes. But _I do care_ if someone on this list 
points to me to that URI, shortened or not. Someone that is replying to 
me in order to help me.
>> There is a saying that says: "When the wise man points at the moon, the
>> idiot looks at the finger". In brief, I think that Tinyurl is no the
>> main question here.
> I counter with the saying "When the sage lifts his book, the slave
> lowers his pen". Tinyurl gives no benefit and [causes problems || has
> the potential to cause problems].

Tinyurl may give you no benefit at all, but showing a little of "respect" 
to what others are using is the minimum you can do when you are 
requesting for help and someone replies to you. And for the "cause 
problems or has the potential to casue problems" that's your personal 
point of view.



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