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Microsoft Says IE9 Blocks More Malware Than Chrome

BoneFlower Quantity != Quality (226 comments)

Ok, sure, more exploits in Chrome. I suppose that could be the case.

But a very important thing is how big? 15 exploits that let you crash the browser, compared to 1 that lets you root the target... I'd rather take the first option on the user end.

more than 2 years ago

How has your opinion on the safety of nuclear power changed after the events in Japan?

BoneFlower Re:A lot less safe than I thought (1148 comments)

Even if all those failed, there's still the containment building which remained intact- the part that blew up was an external shell that doesn't matter in terms of containing a meltdown.

Worst case, they'd have a pool of molten uranium encased in a concrete shell.

more than 3 years ago

How has your opinion on the safety of nuclear power changed after the events in Japan?

BoneFlower Re:Seems just as safe as ever... (1148 comments)

I voted slightly less safe, I expected the cooling failsafes to work without power. Apparently, on newer reactors, they do.

That being said, even if the cooling had failed completely, including the emergency seawater flooding, with the main concrete containment structures surviving, the worst case scenario might be slightly worse than Three Mile Island(which destroyed a reactor, and that was about it). Sure, there's a bit of radiation released, but the toxic chemicals that could be released from a fossil fuel plant going up would probably be at least as bad.

They should look at upgrading the emergency cooling systems to newer standards that are gravity fed, that would have made this nearly a nonevent and might have even let them bring the damaged reactors back online, which doesn't seem likely now. A review of the containment structure design would also be in order- the spec called for surviving an 8.2 quake, this was an 8.9- significantly more powerful. They did survive so they might not need upgrades, but I'd still review the design to be sure they weren't just incredibly lucky.

All in all I'd say that this shows that while nuclear power has risks, these risks can be managed through a solid design and well trained operators.

more than 3 years ago

Google Wins Injunction Against Agency Using Microsoft Cloud

BoneFlower Re:No attempts at finding other sources? (187 comments)

It's not so much that milspec stuff is better, it's that the extensive testing is supposed to ensure a level of quality to a high level of confidence.

Sure, the regular civilian stuff might be superior in nearly all situations, but you don't want to be finding the one situation where it is not while on the battlefield with people trying to kill you. Sure, the odds of finding that situation at all might be smal, but knowing the odds, which those test seek to ensure, is a huge help in managing the risks.

more than 3 years ago

Reverse Engineering Doctor Who Into Color

BoneFlower Not a bad idea. (171 comments)

At least, if they restrict this to those serials that were originally shot in color. I would be a bit uncomfortable if the older, black and white originally, serials were colorized.

more than 3 years ago

Windows 7 Trumps Vista By Reaching 20% Share

BoneFlower Re:Windows 7 (404 comments)

Windows Service packs, at least cumulatively over the course of a major version, are pretty close to equivalent to Mac OS X new versions. And they are free upgrades. Even if you buy the Professional Edition full install, your wallet will probably come out ahead of a Mac users over the same timeframe, even if you both got your hardware free. Of course, value for your dollar is another matter, and different people will call this different ways and that's fine.

Windows needs an infrastructure focused release too. Like OS X up through Leopard, there's some ugly that has collected and they need to focus on that. Windows needs a Snow Leopard style infrastructure update. Windows 7 service packs should probably focus on this, and hand out new user facing features when Windows 8 ships.

more than 3 years ago

FBI May Get Easier Access To Internet Activity

BoneFlower Re:FUD (276 comments)


I buy that post-9/11, a review of the balance we have struck between freedom and security was warranted.

However, the freedom side of that is vital. Yes, if we don't look after security, anyone will be able to come in and take any freedoms we theoretically have. But without freedom, all that security has exactly no point whatsoever.

Reviewing the balance is fine. But it must be an open, public debate with equal weight given to both sides. Working from an assumption, made before the review, that security must improve, is ridiculous and dangerous.

more than 4 years ago

Court Rules That Bypassing Dongle Is Not a DMCA Violation

BoneFlower Re:Does this apply to everything? (266 comments)

At least as applies to simply using the protected work.

I wouldn't be shocked if it reaches the Supreme Court and they uphold the ruling in the most narrow manner possible, leaving fair use copying uncovered while permitting simple use and viewing.

That doesn't necessarily mean the Court says fair use shouldn't be covered, just that it was not explicitly part of the original case so it does not get answered in their ruling.

more than 4 years ago

Midwest Seeing Red Over 'Green' Traffic Lights

BoneFlower Re:Too bad we don't have rules to deal with this (839 comments)

The problem is, this doesn't just cover the light,it apparently also can make a signal appear to be something it is not.

This is a severe problem. If they were simply obscured, you are right, fairly easy to deal with. But if they appear to not be obscured, but the snow causes misinterpretation as apparently has happened, bad things will happen that are not the fault of the drivers, but the idiots who installed these systems without the manufacturers option for a heating element.

more than 4 years ago

Attack of the PowerPoint-Wielding Professors

BoneFlower I've seen this done very badly (467 comments)

I've also seen it done very well.

My History professor, the power points are brief talking points. It's the stuff a good professor would have on index cards in the days before power point. Well, what most would have as the title for the index card. They help keep the lectures and peoples notes organized, but do not come close to substituting for either. If you expect to pass by copying and studying the power points, you'll fail hard.

The lesson is presented in the lecture. If he needs to present any substantial information visually, he'll go to the whiteboard, though he does often put useful charts up on the power point, and has used his image choices as starting points for class discussion. His lessons are better with the power points, but there was one time in his Western Civ class where he left his flash drive at home. He went on and presented the lecture pretty much as he would any other day, we just didn't have convenient headers for different sections of our notes that day.

I'm really impressed with how he handles Power Point. It is a tool that definitely improves his ability to teach the class, but he uses other tools as well in a well integrated way. And he can function pretty well without it should he need to. The tool is strictly subordinate to the goal. This makes it both more useful and less necesary.

Most others though, they try to cram all the material in the power point and read it nearly verbatim. I have trouble seeing the point in even attending class, just download the power points and read them myself.

more than 4 years ago

Visually Impaired Gamer Sues Sony

BoneFlower Re:WOW from a Visually Impaired Person's point... (550 comments)

WoW has that feature, but F1-F5 don't cut it when you have a mess of 10 or 25 people in the raid.

Properly balancing the 5 man groups that make up the raid can mitigate this, but it won't always help.

more than 4 years ago

Visually Impaired Gamer Sues Sony

BoneFlower Not as bad as the summary makes it sound (550 comments)

It's actually got a point.

The main issue appears to be Everquest and the other MMOs they make. These games do not feature reasonable accomodation for visually impaired users. There is only so far you can accomodate visually impaired people in a visual medium, but it's good to go as far as you can without damaging the experience for those with normal vision.

The lawsuit refers to World of Warcraft and some other games to show that such accomodation is in fact possible in an online video game context at a reasonable cost.

I'm not sure the ADA actually applies to online games, but if they can convince the court that it does, they seem to have a solid argument for trial.

more than 4 years ago

Toyotas Suddenly Accelerate; Owners Up In Arms

BoneFlower Re:Can't say I'm surprised, unfortunately. (1146 comments)

I'd love to be able to make flat decisions on cars like that.

Unfortunately, I'm fairly harshly limited on costs. The most expensive car I've owned is my current Sunbird which I paid $800 for, and it was a stretch to afford that much. But, as might be expected, this being the most I've paid, has also gotten me the most mechanically reliable of any of them.

I've pretty much got to go with whatever is cheap. But since getting the Sunbird and driving it in New England weather, I'm going to go out of my way to find something affordable that has ABS. ABS is no replacement for being a decent driver, but it can certainly help when other people start being dumb in the snow.

more than 4 years ago

Toyotas Suddenly Accelerate; Owners Up In Arms

BoneFlower Re:Same thing happend to Audi a few years ago (1146 comments)

In switch statements, it's interesting how enlightening putting this in the default case can be:

cout "This should never be seen\n";

And by all apparent logic, it shouldn't. Should be impossible to get the right value into the right variable.

Of course, there is always some silly error, or "this will work ok" shortcut, or maybe "screw it, I'll fix it later I'm on a deadline", and those messages get seen.

I do find defaults like this to be very useful though, if I don't need the default for something else it can be a very fast way to find subtle but serious bugs in the code. I'll use the default for something else if the problem warrants, but "impossible" values get assigned often enough that I find this to be a good "default default".

more than 4 years ago

Toyotas Suddenly Accelerate; Owners Up In Arms

BoneFlower Re:Floor mat, really? (1146 comments)

My car was fairly difficult. I was able to get home without a problem, but it was one of the more difficult driving situations I've been in.

Then again, I really can't rule out a more complicated failure than just power steering. It was close to 20 years old, over 200k miles, and the previous owners had not taken very good care of it at all. I sometimes marveled that it could move under its own power.

I got it home and my brother did something with it and steering was good again, but the car did not last much longer before an oil pump failure killed the engine.

At least I only paid $275US for the thing.

more than 4 years ago

Toyotas Suddenly Accelerate; Owners Up In Arms

BoneFlower Re:Brakes (1146 comments)

If your engine is going full out and you are in gear, your brakes will be stressed far harder than they are meant to ever be stressed.

Now, under normal circumstances your engine will not be going full out when you are braking, but we are not discussing normal circumstances here.

more than 4 years ago

Toyotas Suddenly Accelerate; Owners Up In Arms

BoneFlower Re:Can't say I'm surprised, unfortunately. (1146 comments)

This event you describe really has nothing to do with car computers such as those that are alleged to be the cause of these runaway cars.

All it takes is a fault in the fuel system allowing fuel vapors to reach a faulty electrical line. Then the car draws power across that line, a spark is generated, and the vapors ignite. There are also some situations where car batteries can emit hydrogen gas which can then be ignited by a spark.

My 93 Sunbird is probably just as vulnerable to such a random fire event as that Escalade was. It's not something to really worry about... the chances of this sort of fuel system fault happening at the same time as this sort of electrical fault are extremely small, and even then you need fairly precise vapor concentrations for it to actually result in fire. But it is entirely the result of simple failures in systems that all cars have had... well pretty much since cars existed.

more than 4 years ago

Toyotas Suddenly Accelerate; Owners Up In Arms

BoneFlower Re:PEBAAC (1146 comments)

Responsive when it is designed and implemented correctly.

Mechanical and hydraulic systems are much better understood. While drive by wire certainly has potential advantages, and if done well reliability and durability can be included, it is a more complicated and less mature technology. It is certainly possible for a drive by wire system to be flat out superior to mechanical and hydraulic systems, but if you want a safe bet that it will all work as designed, regardless of manufacturer, go with the traditional systems.

more than 4 years ago

Toyotas Suddenly Accelerate; Owners Up In Arms

BoneFlower Re:Floor mat, really? (1146 comments)

Clicking through a couple links on the article gets you to a video on what to do.

Put the car into neutral first. Then apply the brakes and come to a stop as you would for any other serious problem with your car. Do not turn off the engine until you have come to a complete stop, or else you lose all your power assists and that is kind of bad. I've had power steering suddenly fail on me. It is not easy to drive a car in that condition, and trying to drive it in an emergency situation? Yeah, not something I'd recommend if you can help it.

Even automatics can do this. The video did note that neutral isn't used often, so people might not be familiar enough with their transmission controls to quickly find it, so check the control, find where it is and how to shift to it quickly.

Turning off the engine should basically be a last resort to be used only if the transmission won't go to neutral. You're probably out a few grand if your car is fucked this badly.

more than 4 years ago

Toyotas Suddenly Accelerate; Owners Up In Arms

BoneFlower No fault? (1146 comments)

What exactly were they testing?

Were they testing implementation of the design and build quality issues, or were they reviewing the design itself?

Passing the former by no means guarantees you'll pass the latter.

That said, are there any reports of this happening in vehicles that for whatever reason lack floor mats?

more than 4 years ago




why in the hell does love have to be this way?

BoneFlower BoneFlower writes  |  about 11 years ago

so I fall completely in love with a friend of mine. Cute, open minded, got common ground but with enough differences to keep it interesting, shes smart, funny... all that...

problem is she's also a drug addict, a whole bunch of issues picked up when she got into E, which made her want more e, which distracted her from dealing with things, and so on... shes a mess. in no shape for a romantic relationship, at all, it would just cause her more problems at this point in her life that she doesn't need right now.

So, my feelings being so incredibly strong are pushing, railing at me to do something and try to move the relationship beyond friendship. But those same feelings, the deep love I feel for her is also demanding I hold back on that, give her support as a friend, but hold back on the romance to avoid pressuring her and distracting her from dealing with everything. I know the right thing is to hold my distance romantically until she's ready(which will, at the least, be several months), but its just incredibly hard to hold it in... the worst is trying to do "cutesy" things to cheer her up a bit... things that would be innocent and sweet in a platonic relationship, while thats what it is, she knows how I really feel(if I hadn't told her, I'd never feel comfortable around her, she'd pick up on that and it would have caused even more problems) so I'm really scared that doing such things, even if it might help give her a quick emotional lift, could be misinterpreted as pressure for a romance. hell, I'm scared a bit of myself- how am I to be sure if its meant as a sweet cutesy thing to lift her spirits or my desire for the promotion to BF that is in charge when I do that?

I just hope I can keep the feelings in check, and hold onto them long enough to have a chance when she's recovered... and I also hope I don't pass up a better opportunity(I don't see how there could be a better opportunity, but it could happen maybe I guess) while waiting for her to be ready...


Funny story

BoneFlower BoneFlower writes  |  more than 11 years ago

Disclaimer- The below is parody. Not serious. None of this ever actually happened, nor is it meant to suggest how the individuals mentioned would actually behave in real life. And to those of you who need a disclaimer like this to put the below into a proper context, where were you when they handed out brains?

Press Release: Linux and *BSD to merge

Linus Torvalds and the heads of the *BSDs have announced a code merge.

From Linus "The new LSD operating system has the unique ability to directly interface with your mind, and customize itself to your own thought patterns. Don't like the CLI? Use a FPEI[Fluffy Pink Elephant Interface] instead."

VisionTek is the first hardware vendor to sign onto the project. CEO Frank Taylor announced:
"We have developed a new multimedia technology based on our experience building cards based on the legendary GeForce GPUs. This display technology is especially good at 'glowy' things, far superior than any other technology. In a nod to our line of GeForce implementations, but singnaling the new technology, we are calling this new multimedia architecture 'Ecstacy'. In combination with the new LSD operating system, you will truly see the world as you never have seen it before. In addition to the enhanced visual experience, it also drastically enhances music, especially electronic types... where did my pacifier go?"

Editors note: Shortly after this press release armed DEA agents were seen hauling off Mr Torvalds and Mr Taylor to an undisclosed location. It is not known if theses events are connected.


my weblog

BoneFlower BoneFlower writes  |  more than 11 years ago Go here! my blog Various topics, focusing on IT and gaming(non computer) and modeling. And you can buy stuff. For those curious, the server is a RedHat box I think(linux something I'm sure) running apache, the cgi is available at Moveable Type. ITs reasonably easy to set up and really easy to maintain the blog... and easy to customize.

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