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How many devices are connected to your home Wi-Fi?

DES Re:Phones + 1 laptop. (260 comments)

Two phones, two tablets, two Kindles, three laptops, a printer, a TV, two consoles, a few dozen squirrels, and a partridge in a pear tree.

about a month and a half ago
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FreeBSD Developers Will Not Trust Chip-Based Encryption

DES Re:Very Smart Move (178 comments)

TL;DR: Linux was NOT trusting chips and doing a variant of what FreeBSD plans to do now since quite a bit before.

You mean “a variant of what FreeBSD has been doing since 2003”

about 10 months ago
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FreeBSD Developers Will Not Trust Chip-Based Encryption

DES Re:Me neither (178 comments)

I wouldn't trust chip based encryption either, and I wouldn't trust anybody else that did.

Assuming we're only talking about ciphers and not protocols: by definition, there is one and only one possible ciphertext for any given combination of key and plaintext. Thus, there is no way to introduce a weakness in an implementation which would not be trivially detectable by comparison with any other implementation; in fact, the result would be unusable as it would not be interoperable with other implementations.

(With a caveat for algorithms which require a random initialization vector; don't let the implementation choose the IV for you.)

about 10 months ago
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FreeBSD Developers Will Not Trust Chip-Based Encryption

DES Re:Is there any way to gain trust in a chip? (178 comments)

You can't be sure with true randomness. With cryptographically secure randomness you can be (at least within a specified tolerance around 2^-128).[citation needed]

You can never be sure. The keystream of a good stream cipher is fully deterministic, yet statistically indistinguishable from the output of a good PRNG.

about 10 months ago
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FreeBSD Developers Will Not Trust Chip-Based Encryption

DES TFA is completely wrong (178 comments)

FreeBSD has been using Yarrow for 10+ years, and no FreeBSD release has ever shipped with the option to feed the stream from a HWRNG directly to /dev/random. The only news here is that we have a new framework in the kernel for plugging hardware pseudo-random number generators into Yarrow, and an explicit policy (issued in my capacity as FreeBSD Security Officer) to not expose HWPRNGs directly to userland. There was some pressure from corporate users who want the raw feed for compliance reasons, but they were told to use RDRAND etc. directly rather than through /dev/random.

about 10 months ago
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What To Do When an Advised BIOS Upgrade Is Bad?

DES Re:Yes (467 comments)

Dell subcontract the actual hands-on work to a InfoCare [...]

s/a InfoCare/InfoCare/ obviously.

about a year and a half ago
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When 1 GB Is Really 0.9313 Gigabytes

DES Re:Ok, so what would make sense? (618 comments)

"K" (note capital K as distinct from 'k', the SI prefix for 1000) is a unit meaning 2^10 bytes

No, K is the SI unit for temperature, named after Lord Kelvin, who first suggested the concept of “absolute zero”.

about a year and a half ago
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When 1 GB Is Really 0.9313 Gigabytes

DES Re:Oh puh-lease (618 comments)

The problem came with the storage industry and their pious "oh, but that's not what SI says the units mean". If you think that conforming to strict SI is the reason they made their change [...]

You're the one who's confused here. The storage industry never “made their change”. They've always used powers of 10.

about a year and a half ago
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When 1 GB Is Really 0.9313 Gigabytes

DES Re:"they" can fuck off, the binary units are the o (618 comments)

Memory is allocated in increments of at least 4096 bytes and a maximum of 1,073,741,824 bytes.

Assuming you are talking about MMU page sizes and not memory allocation: that may be true of the computer architectures with which you are familiar, but it is not universally true. The Sparc64 architecture, for instance, supports page sizes of 8 kiB, 64 kiB, 4 MiB, 256 MiB and 2 GiB. Older systems such as early Motoroal MMUs or early MIPS implementations had smaller page sizes (1 or 2 kiB).

about a year and a half ago
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When 1 GB Is Really 0.9313 Gigabytes

DES Re:"they" can fuck off, the binary units are the o (618 comments)

That's how prefixes have always been used in the IT world and always will be. The International System of Units can go to hell.

Absolutely wrong. The use of kB to mean 1,024 bytes started around 1960, and only for memory. Bandwidth has always been, and is still, measured in powers of 10, not 2. Disk space was measured in powers of 10 until Microsoft came along and muddled the issue. Disk manufacturers still use powers of 10, like they always have. Software is a mixed bag, with some developers using powers of 10 and others using powers of 2.

Since someone mentioned Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_binary_prefixes

In any case, a disk labeled 2 TB will never have exactly 2 TB or 2 TiB of storage space. The number on the label is just an approximation; the exact number is “as much as we can cram in and still have a reasonable amount left over for reallocation”.

about a year and a half ago
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What To Do When an Advised BIOS Upgrade Is Bad?

DES Re:Yes (467 comments)

Are those actually the "resolve the issue" times? Or the "we will acknowledge your ticket and provide a 'first response'", MAYBE have someone show up onsite to begin troubleshooting...

HP usually resolve the issue (deliver parts and if necessary dispatch a tech) within the specified time frame. Dell rarely do. I haven't read the support contracts, so I don't know the details, but I _do_ know that the people who have negotiated those support contracts get royally pissed off when I tell them that Dell once again refused to replace a DIMM or disk on the basis of a predictive failure warning, or that our payroll database will have to run on only one server for a week while Dell scour warehouses on all five continents to scrounge up six DIMMs for the other.

about a year and a half ago
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What To Do When an Advised BIOS Upgrade Is Bad?

DES Re:Yes (467 comments)

I am in Norway as well. Dell subcontract the actual hands-on work to a InfoCare (as do HP, coincidentially), but handle all communication with the client themselves. They have a support center in Ireland staffed with techs from many different nationalities and generally try to route calls from Norway to Norwegian- or Swedish-speaking techs.

FWIW, we do most repairs ourselves, so the issue is “how fast can you send the parts” rather than “how fast can you dispatch a technician”. HP deliver most parts (disks, DIMMs, CPUs, RAID controller batteries) within a couple of hours but sometimes have to ship less common parts from other parts of the country or from Sweden. Dell deliver parts whenever they feel like it, which usually means within a day or two, but sometimes longer.

about a year and a half ago
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What To Do When an Advised BIOS Upgrade Is Bad?

DES Re:Yes (467 comments)

I work for an organization that has a large number of Dell servers, all of them with 5-year support contracts: a mix of 4-hour and next-business-day. In my experience, Dell have never, ever, ever solved an issue within the specified period of time. They also frequently refuse to replace failing parts until after they've actually failed (which AFAIK is a breach of the support contract), and they once told me that six DIMMs were a “large order” that would take a week to fill (after I'd already spent a week just getting them to agree that they needed replacing). They simply don't give a shit. I've had far better experiences with HP, but they also far more expensive.

about a year and a half ago
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Virginia Woman Is Sued For $750,000 After Writing Scathing Yelp Review

DES Re:Not entirely fair to the contractor here (424 comments)

She won at least one case in court against the contractor based on the previous work (he sued her for pay, she claims the work wasn't done, she won the case).

IIUC this is one of the statements which the current lawsuits claims are materially false.

about 2 years ago
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Virginia Woman Is Sued For $750,000 After Writing Scathing Yelp Review

DES Re:Shrug (424 comments)

How do you decide if someone did a "bad job" or not?

That may be open to interpretation, but "billed for work that was not performed" (IIUC he already sued her over those bills and won) and "stole jewelry from my house" is not. Those are statements of fact which she will have to either prove or retract.

Best summary I've read, by someone who is usually opposed to this kind of lawsuit but sees this particular case in a different light:

http://www.popehat.com/2012/12/06/yelping-about-bad-publicity/

about 2 years ago
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Swedish Stock Exchange Hit By Programming Snafu

DES Re:Sven and Ole Found a Trading App (136 comments)

"uff-da" I suppose that is supposed to mean usch då..?

It's the Norwegian equivalent. I wince every time I catch myself saying it.

about 2 years ago
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GNOME 3 To Support a "Classic" Mode, of Sorts

DES Re:Good decission (197 comments)

The fallback mode was just an if-all-else-fails mode. It wasn't meant to replace GNOME 2 or even be a place you'd want to work unless your graphics driver was hosed.

Fallback mode is the only realistic option for remote desktop environments.

It is also the only way I can tolerate Gnome 3; the default shell is shiny but completely unusable. However, even in fallback mode the window manager is hosed and the control panel has been dumbed down to the point where you have to twiddle dconf for even the most basic settings like “focus follows mouse”.

about 2 years ago
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My relationship to military service:

DES Re:uhmm, Wherefore art thou, Cowboy Neil? (525 comments)

Quite possibly the most famous use of, "wherefore," is in Romeo and Juliet, and Shakespeare used it in exactly the fashion of the GP. In this case, instead of asking why he's a Montague, I believe the GP is asking why he has been forsaken with the absence of a Cowboy Neil option.

The comma clearly shows that girlinatrainingbra means “where”, not “why”: “where is the Cowboy Neal option?”

The original quote is:

“O, Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?”

Juliet is not asking where Romeo is—he's standing right under her balcony! She is asking why fate made him a Montague while she is a Capulet, since it is a deadly sin (in the eyes of their respective families) for them to love each other.

A few lines later comes another famous quote:

“What's in a name? That which we call a rose / by any other name would smell as sweet”

and she goes on to ask Romeo to change his name.

about 2 years ago
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Organism Closest To Original "Tree of Life" Discovered

DES Re:No! Bad Summary! (198 comments)

Well, one important characteristic of animals, for instance, is that they are neither plants, fungi, algae, nor protists, while plants are neither animals, fungi, algae nor protists; fungi are neither animals, plants, algae nor protists; algae are neither animals, plants, fungi nor protists; and protists are neither animals, plants, fungi nor algae. This organism combines all of the aforementioned characteristics in that it is neither an animal nor a plant, a fungus, an alga, or a protist.

more than 2 years ago

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