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Can the NSA Really Track You Through Power Lines?

Amouth Re:Interessting in any case (109 comments)

While the article, you, and i'm sure more to come keep mentioning the need to "place senors" the reality is any Utility company worth it's salt already has this data logged as part of normal operations through SCADA/DCS systems.

This systems monitor (and log) so many different variables that it forces the companies to store everything in databases for reference & analysis. When it comes to power generation nearly all power generation is done by a "utility" company all of which are heavy government regulated. In a lot of areas it is actually the government which determines bill rates and adjustments to generation capacities (or at least responsible for the play book the operators work by).

It would be far easier and less far fetched to believe that the NSA would have access to theses logs/DBs for what ever use they wanted. Especially with most major power generation sites being covered under FERC regulations and several of the regulation requirements for Reliability requires operators to track and monitor this exact data that the NSA would need.

And trust me when i say that these sites log everything and keep it incase of an Audit. The consequences for failing to be able to provide the data in case of an Audit or Incident Investigation is worse (for the company) than just about any incident would be. They log it, they keep it, even if they will will never look at it again, because the government might come asking for it (and they will give it when asked with no questions as they are required to by regulations).

Honestly going this route i'd say compared to the wiretapping network the NSA has put together, this would be trivial for them to do (not cheap or quick, just not all that difficult).

about three weeks ago

US To Charge Chinese Military Employees With Hacking

Amouth Re:China is hacking? There's a surprise (225 comments)

Personally i always like seeding and feeding the honeypot very valuable information that looks legit but is actual wrong in a way that only lots of time and money spent trying to implement reveals..

about 2 months ago

SanDisk Announces 4TB SSD, Plans For 8TB Next Year

Amouth Re:Where are the 3.5" SSDs? (264 comments)

there are a few reasons they don't make 3.5's

1: physical size isn't an issue, for the sizes they release that people are willing to pay for it all fits nicely in 2.5
2: 2.5's work in more devices, including in desktops where 3.5's live. if noting is forcing the 3.5 usage then it would be bad for them to artificially handicap them selves.

now for your commend on larger physical drives being cheaper. Flash does not work the way that normal dries to.

Normal platter drives the areal density directly impacts pricing as it drives the platter surface to be smoother, the film to be more evenly distributed, the head to be more sensitive, the accurater to be more precise, all things that cause higher precision that drive up costs as it increases failure rates and manufacturing defects causing product failure.

Now in the flash world. they use the same silicon lithography that they use for making all other chips. there are two costs involved here.

1: the one time sunk cost of the lithography tech (22nm, 19nm, 14nm...) This cost is spread across everything that goes though it. And in reality evens out to no cost increase for the final product because the more you spend the smaller the feature the more end product you can get out per raw product put in.
2: the cost of the raw material in. It does not matter what level of lithography you are using the raw material is nearly exactly the same (some require doping but costs are on par with each other). So in fact your larger lithographic methods become more expensive to produce product once there is newer tech on the market.

No please note that in the CPU world where you have complex logic sets and designs there is an added cost for the newer lithography as it adds to the design costs. but for flash sets there is nearly zero impact form this as it is such a simple circuit design.

about 3 months ago

SanDisk Announces 4TB SSD, Plans For 8TB Next Year

Amouth Re:Where are the 3.5" SSDs? (264 comments)

In my work case the need for the larger drive is that you only have one drive, not the option for two. so when your traveling you need to take a lot with you and you want it to be fast. so larger ssd's are welcome as long as the price remains in the range of sanity

about 3 months ago

Reason Suggests DoJ Closing Porn Stars' Bank Accounts

Amouth Re:Don't Misunderstand Me... (548 comments)

The question is "high risk of what?"

The answer is credit card fraud.

they might not have the tightest security when it comes to detecting fraudulent transactions

If this was true, then it should be the industry that goes after the company not the DOJ.. PCI-DSS is extremely clear on what the company needs to do to be able to process credit cards. If they are getting ripped off or that company is by action enabling fraud to happen then that company is liable for the charges and fees.

Trust me i've gone through PCI-DSS certification, and it isn't easy.. but it is extremely clear what the ramifications are for failure.

about 3 months ago

First Glow-In-the-Dark Road Debuts In Netherlands

Amouth Re:video of the road (187 comments)

For the temperature, it depends on where you live. If they are covered with snow & Ice then it is obvious, and if the temp is below 0C then it's obvious. but where i live we have a lot of humid wind and bridges. This means you can have black ice when it is 40F or below. funny thing about black ice is it doesn't cover up the road, unless you can catch a glare off of it you can't tell it's there till you hit it.

I think it would be nice to have a color change at least on bridges to show that the surface is below freezing, to warn drivers that there is a strong possibility of black ice.

wouldn't work for most places, but would be really useful for where i live.

about 3 months ago

First Glow-In-the-Dark Road Debuts In Netherlands

Amouth Re:video of the road (187 comments)

Wish i had mod points, first useful example of the actual thing.

They do look quite nice, and i'd love to have them where i live, and if they can get rid of the light pollution by reducing the number of street lights i'd be all for them (and willing to pay extra for it too).

Personally i see more value in the temperature sensitive idea, i'd love to see coloration showing up on roads and bridges when the surface temps get down to freezing. Where i live we don't get a lot of snow and ice, but when we do it shuts the place down because people don't know how to spot, avoid, and/or handle it. Giving a visual indication that conditions are right for ice/black ice would be wonderful.

about 3 months ago

FCC Orders Comcast To Stop Labeling Equipment Rental a Service Fee

Amouth Re:A simple solution (97 comments)

I remember a few years ago when they did the black out of the world cup in the US. we had a computer setup back in my area streaming the World Cup in ASCII. It was actually quite good and you could follow the game fairly easily.. At one point we had 3-4 of us standing around watching it..

about 4 months ago

Nest Halts Sales of Smart Fire Alarm After Discovering Dangerous Flaw

Amouth Re:Does everything need to be smart? (128 comments)

I will say i bought and installed their thermostats, and i do like them. especially the remote control, with my travel schedule..

But i fully agree that things that are safety devices (like fire/smoke detectors) should be as simple as possible.

I highly doubt that they have applied/executed a RAM analysis on their smoke detectors (either do to ignorance or complexity), but my bet is their reliability would be much lower than they believe them to be if they did. and then you have to ask your self. do you want 10-20% risk of failure in a lifesaving device? not a chance.

Personally i think their protect product is pointless, and more of a liability for them and the user than anyone needs.

about 4 months ago

100-Year-Old Photo Negatives Discovered In Antarctica

Amouth Re: (114 comments)

Thanks, that is one amazing view. i can only dream of visiting it one day.

about 7 months ago

For First Three Years, Consumer Hard Drives As Reliable As Enterprise Drives

Amouth Re:You're buying an extended warranty (270 comments)

The other main point i see between consumer drives and enterprise is the behavior. Especially when the drive encounters a bad sector.

Consumer drive encounters a bad sector, it retries for a long time and then eventual remaps it. In the mean time it has stopped talking to the raid controler and gets dropped from the array as a failed drive.

Enterprise drive encounters a bad sector, it relays the write fail and bad sector to the raid controller who then remaps and reissues a write command. Drive never becomes unresponsive and never gets dropped from the array.

In one case you have a degraded raid array and the overhead of a rebuild putting data at risk, on the other you have a log entry/notification of a drive starting to degrade and very limited risk.

Enterprise drives allow you to manage your storage arrays and handle small failures on your time, consumer drives force you to do it when ever even the smallest errors occur.

This matters a lot when you get to larger arrays where rebuild times can be in the days and not hours..

Sure it's just a firmware/behavior difference, but until they allow you to control that on consumer drives, or allow you to flash consumer drives with raid friendly firmwares, it would be unwise to use consumer drives in hardware driven arrays.

This firm can get away with it because they don't use normal raid striping, they use a mixture of software raid distribution logic (reminding me of something akin to ZFS) where you have better separation and control over how things react to minor failures and behavioral differences.

But for most people, we use hardware driven arrays, and in that world enterprise drives win over consumer drives.

about 8 months ago

For First Three Years, Consumer Hard Drives As Reliable As Enterprise Drives

Amouth Re:Common knowledge (270 comments)

Source on the tanker claim?

Also FYI the octane requirement can be related to timing advance, where a lower-compression turbocharged engine with more advanced timing would need higher octane gas to make longer burns from each spark (higher octane gas burns longer than lower octane gas). The earlier spark sets off a longer-burn time of gas timed to the timing, needing the longer-burn ability of the 92+ octane. An old simple truck with 0 BDC timing would be happy with 87 octane, where a newer engine with 15 BDC timing advance would be better with 92+ octane.

While you are correct your numbers are off.. i haven't seen a car thats less than 10 years old with timing at 0 BDC or retard.. a naturally aspirated 90's miata runs 36 advance, and you can safely take that to 39 advance on 93oct and into the low 40's with 100oct

about 8 months ago

How Munich Abandoned Microsoft for Open Source

Amouth Re:Let me guess (294 comments)

I've only found a few with the same functionality as exchange, and i can say that they are not free. while they have "community" versions, to get full exchange functionality you end up having to pay licencing fees to access and use it, and in the end it is borderline cost effective vs exchange. (yes the licenses are cheaper but support and experienced techs aren't)

about 8 months ago

How Munich Abandoned Microsoft for Open Source

Amouth Re:Let me guess (294 comments)

I think you are thinking about the Exchange server filesystem api. for exchange server 2003 and performance reasons exchange would replace the file system io with a special customized for exchange version. A few competitors complained that this was unfair, i think the final verdict was if they wanted "fair" they where free to write their own drop in replacement for the filesystem i/o

about 8 months ago

Startup Touts All-in-One Digital Credit Card

Amouth Re:Great for CC scammers (222 comments)

I don't think the issue is so much with having a skimmer. Right now if i show up with a card that doesn't look like an actual CC the person at the counter will think something is up. But if this gets going and has blessings of the CC makers, and looks official the teller will just say "hey he has that neat new card" and not care that you are no infact using a skimmer.

about 8 months ago

Man In Tesla Model S Fire Explains What Happened

Amouth Re:"three-pronged trailer hitch"? (526 comments)

I'm sorry but i just don't trust those things for anything above the lightest load.. the way they are made ALL of the load is on the weld from the ball to draw bar. and honestly the welds look questionable.. especially when the ball and the drawbar look to be different grades of steel..

There are so many things i see when i look at that, no way i'm towing with one..

about 8 months ago

How Elon Musk Approaches IT At Tesla

Amouth Re:25 s/w devs? (231 comments)

And if you have ever seen SAP licensing costs that is less than yearly maintenance costs alone for a 900 employee company.

With Tesla employing ~3000 people 1.25m is cheep compared to SAP, really cheap.

about 9 months ago



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