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Canada's Internet Among Best, Report Says

ArwynH Re:I call BS... (186 comments)

Things are pretty bad in Ontario, and Bell and Rogers are completely to blame. But get outside Ontario, and things are significantly better in many places.

Here in Victoria, BC, I'm running 100/30Mb through Shaw for fairly reasonable rates (on its own it's about $85/mo, but as we're on a bundle with digital HDTV service we pay less than that -- unfortunately, they don't break it out for the sake of comparison...

I think the fact that you consider $85/month for 100/30 a reasonable rate goes to show how big a piece of BS that report is. Here's a counter example: I pay ~$10/month for 100/100, no caps.

To be honest that is actually below average, fiber goes for ~$30 before discounts are added here in Tokyo. And while I have no personal experience outside of the city limits, my in-laws, who live on the outskirts of a town of ~20k far removed from the industrial centers, recently installed fiber because "it's only a little extra on the phone bill and came with a free tablet".

more than 2 years ago

New Exoplanet Is Best Yet Candidate For Supporting Life

ArwynH Re:What if we go there? (288 comments)

You paint a dark picture my friend,
For if what you say is true, the first thing we will do once we make first contact is to sue thier planet from under thier feet!

How dare those pirating alien scum view our IP without a license!

more than 2 years ago

When it comes to U.S. colonies on the moon ...

ArwynH Re:Wrong Question (583 comments)

You did not answer your own question. You answered whether you though it was "likely", not whether you though it was "feasible".

While, unfortunately, I cannot disagree with you on the likelihood of there being such an attempt, I do believe that establishing a permanent moon base within a decade is both feasible and a good course of action.

The arguments I'd give for it are the same that were given for putting a man on moon. While we may no longer have the soviets to worry about, the rest of the arguments given are just as valid today as they were back then.


more than 2 years ago

Just Months After Jeopardy!, Watson Wows Doctors

ArwynH Re:Wasn't this the promise of... (291 comments)

IIRC my AI classes correctly, those systems worked. At least they had a very high accuracy, higher than most doctors. The problem was not technical, but legal. Who do you sue if the computer gets it wrong?

Which makes me wonder: will this system will fair any better?

more than 3 years ago

OpenID Warns of Serious Remote Bug, Urges Upgrade

ArwynH Misleading article & summary (45 comments)

I just RTFA and it is just as confusing as the summary. I wish blog authors would at least try and understand the subject before writing about it.. OpenID is a specification. As far as I can tell the specification is safe, so implementations that follow the specification correctly are safe. However it seems that there are a few implementations that skip an important part of the process, namely input verification. Basically saying OpenID is broken because of this is like saying SQL is broken because some sites are vulnerable to SQL injection attacks.

more than 3 years ago

Record-Breaking Galaxy Found In Deep Hubble Image

ArwynH Re:Does it still exist? (196 comments)

There can be only one!

more than 4 years ago

Ex-HP CEO Hurd Pays $14 Million Oracle Pledge Fee

ArwynH Re:What I could do with $just 1,000,000 (77 comments)

And just because you don't believe in God, does not mean He does not exist.

Without concrete proof either way, both are valid, mutually exclusive hypotheses. Don't let your acceptance of one blind you to the fact that the other might be the one that is correct.

more than 4 years ago

Preventing Networked Gizmo Use During Exams?

ArwynH Re:No calculators (870 comments)

You do realise that you passed on the rare opportunity to answer an exam question with "LOL" and get a passing grade. :)

more than 4 years ago

Glibc Is Finally Free Software

ArwynH Re:Wait what...Oracle isn't being evil...? (337 comments)

RTFA. The code was used within the permissions granted, so there was no copyright infringement. The problem was that the license, while permissive for 1984 was not up to modern FSF standards and was not GPL compatible (falling foul of the "no other restrictions" clause).

There was no financial or legal reason for Oracle not to release the code and bad PR if the didn't. It is nice that they did release it of course, because, as I understand it, rewriting it would of been a nightmare.

more than 4 years ago

Passwords That Are Simple — and Safe(?)

ArwynH Re:Eventually they will be in dictionaries. (563 comments)

Just use an easily remembered phrase to generate the password.

"To Be or not to Be, that is the question" -> "2Bon2B,titq"

Quite simple. After typing it in a few dozen times, your fingers find the keys without having to think about it.

You are right of course, that dictionary attacks and rainbow tables aren't much use against a decent configuration, but once a site has been broken into and the password store obtained, then they are still quite effective.

more than 4 years ago

UK Election Arcana, Explained By Software

ArwynH Re:TFA is wrong (568 comments)

That is not the only place the TFA is wrong. Here are just a few of the other places that were incorrect:

1) Labour are not socialists.
2) There is nothing indefinite about it. The Queen makes a speech at the end of May, which is then voted on in parliament. If the vote fails, it's game-over for the proposed government.
3) You don't need a majority to form a government, you just need to survive votes of no-confidence.

In other words, the most likely outcome is a Lib-Lab minority government, with the Greens, SDLP, Alliance, SNP & PC supporting them on votes of no confidence and on a per-issue basis. BTW said 'minority' government will have over 50% of the popular vote.

more than 4 years ago

I mailed / filed my tax return form ...

ArwynH Re:Non-American Tax Days? (432 comments)

Japan here. I pay around 17.5%, but it comes out of my salary, so no forms. That sum includes local tax, federal tax, pension and health insurance (OMG we are socialists! O_O). Overall I think it is worth it. My wife and son's Insurance is covered, I get ~$400 per month towards nursery. The only thing I don't like is that 50% of what I pay is towards a pension that I will not get. I'd much prefer that sum to be paid as local tax, so more community services could be funded.

more than 4 years ago

Anatomy of a SQL Injection Attack

ArwynH Re:PHP security object (267 comments)

Quick answer: A lot.

Long answer:

You are mistaking escaping with sanitising. These are two very different things.

Sanitising should occur as soon as possible, before the values are used. It involves validating and optionally filtering _each_ field, so that you know the data you are getting is exactly what you are expecting it to be. This is a lot of work, which is why a lot of people skip it, hence the large number of vulnerabilities in the wild. I suggest looking into libraries like Zend_Form to help with this.

Escaping on the other hand, is done just before the variable is used. This is because different output formats have different escape sequences. E.G for SQL you would use named variables and let the engine handle the escaping for you, but for HTML you would use something like htmlspecialchars().

Both sanitising and escaping are required for a secure application.

more than 4 years ago

Is OLED TV Technology In Jeopardy?

ArwynH Re:Hmmm (99 comments)

It was state of the art when it was announced, but the state of the art is always on the move. The reason XEV got pulled is that Sony has decided to spend it's money on RnD instead of fighting over razor thin margins in OLED production. Smart move considering the market conditions.

Make no mistake however, SONY is not surrendering the market, just making a tactical withdrawal. They will be back in a few years time with some new state of the art technology.

more than 4 years ago

Providing a Closed Source License Upon Request?

ArwynH Re:Charge a monster price (245 comments)

You phrased it as a joke, but that is exactly what the poster should do.

Take the BSD 3-clause license and change the name to something like " developer license", then agree to license your code under said license for $x, where x is a reasonable amount. Basically they are paying for your written acknowledgement that the code is yours to give away and that if there are any copyright problems they know who to blame.

about 5 years ago

Best estimate of monthly spending on food:shelter

ArwynH Re:1:1 (582 comments)

2*1/0=2*inf, not just inf

IANAM, but doesn't 2*inf=inf, so 2*1/0=inf is also valid.

about 5 years ago

IBM's Answer To Windows 7 Is Ubuntu Linux

ArwynH Re:Here we go again (863 comments)

You seem to be forgetting that Windows to Windows migration also involves cost unrelated to licensing. In fact only a small percentage of any large-scale migration can be attributed to licensing, which is why it is not really an issue to businesses.

What IBM are claiming is that factoring in all hidden costs(training, hardware, etc..) migrating from Windows XP to Windows Vista/7 is more expensive than from Windows XP - Ubuntu.

A good CTO will look at the costs & benefits of all configurations over the short, medium and long term before making a decision. Linux based solutions tend to be cheaper in the medium to long term, but are not always the best choice because, as you said, different companies have different requirements.

Unfortunately most CTOs seem to be put off by the FUD being put out and just go with Windows without even bothering to do that comparison. Their, or to be more exact, their company's loss.

more than 5 years ago

The Changing Face of the Console Wars

ArwynH Re:Yawn, you suck at answering questions (223 comments)

3. You don't know what the fuck you are talking about. I have a Masters in C.S., so maybe this is obvious because of that reason, but I really think any moron should be able to figure out that consoles are just locked down PCs. The PS3 is "harder to code for" because it has a cell processor (like what computers) have. It is more challenging to get the most out of systems that process things in parallel. My brother writes games for the 360. The games he writes can be played both on the PC and the 360 WITHOUT HAVING TO PORT IT.

*sigh* Yes, you have a piece of paper stating you have taking a bunch of classes in CS and passed with a reasonable grade. So what?

Games consoles are not PCs, Macs on the other hand - are, they are just the brand made by Apple. PC stands for Personal Computer. While their form factor keeps changing, everything I've ever heard called a PC has to be capable of more than just playing games. It has to be capable of doing general tasks and not just specialised tasks. To be honest, the iPhone is more of PC than your average games console. All you have to do is enlarge the screen 2-3x and you have a decent mobile tablet PC.

You are correct however when you point out that most consoles are capable of being PCs, all you have to do is add a few peripherals and replace their OS. Once you do that however, they are no longer game consoles... Similarly I can turn my DS into a PDA, by using a R4 and the correct software. Does that make all DSs sold PDAs?

In conclusion, the terms we use to describe computer systems(PC, Server, Games Console, PDA and even 'mobile(cell) phones') are based on what software they are currently running, or to be more exact, the use to which they are being put and not by what hardware they have or what said hardware is capable of.

more than 5 years ago

Microsoft Leaks Details of 128-bit Windows 8

ArwynH Re:When will MS learn (581 comments)

I recall hearing similar things when 64 bit architectures started coming out.

It's still technically true, you do not need 64bit architectures for desktops. Even Vista does not need more than 4Gb of RAM to run. And even if you do need more, it is possible to access more than 4Gb, just not directly (not sure about windows, but I know Linux had a config option to do this).

more than 5 years ago

Iran's Nuclear Ambitions

ArwynH Re:containment theory... (1032 comments)

Iran is clearly building nukes, and will succeed unless stopped.

That is what they want you to think!

I'm serious. They do want you to think that, just as Saddam wanted you to think he had nukes.

When analysing what countries have done and might do, you have to first look at the politicians who make the decisions. At the end of the day, this has nothing to do with religion or ethnicity: it is all about Power. IE in order to understand what a government is thinking, you must first understand the internal power struggles of that country.

Iran's ruling elite are currently in a state of civil war. The Right, which controls the government, currently has the upper hand, but only by a fragile margin. If the the Right withdraw on the one of their main principals, the principal that everyone is out to get them and that a strong military is needed for their protection, then that might just tilt the scales in the other direction. So to counter any possible suggestion that they are retreating on that principal, they are touting it louder: announcing 2nd reactor, missile tests, etc. I suspect the Right are also hoping that Israel will attack them, thus giving them the we-told-you-so card to play, but they won't attack first because that would tilt the scales the other way.

Israel currently is using the threat to attack Iran as a bargaining chip to keep the US off their back in regards to the settlements, which are needed as ammunition in their own internal power struggles. Attacking Iran would cause Israeli civilian casualties, because Iran will respond and large casualties from a war you started does not go down well at the polls.

President Obama currently lacks the ammunition to force Israel's hand, because all his political capital is caught up in the Health Care battle. Resorting to sanctions is probably a temporary measure until he has capital he needs to threaten Israel's funding.

Russia has its own internal struggles, which I won't go into in detail, but let me just say this: if you think Iran's government is in chaos, that is nothing compared to what is happening behind the scenes in Moscow.

In conclusion: Relax, there will be no war between Israel and Iran, because neither country wants to start one, but they both want everyone else to think they do due internal power struggles.

My prediction: In the long term the Iranian government will fall, the question is when. Sooner with sanctions, later without them. Russia is the key, China - the wild card.

PS You have to hand it to President Obama though. In just a few months his administration has managed to destroy most of the political power the Iranian Right spent decades building, they must really hate him now.

more than 5 years ago


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