Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Ebola Does Not Require an "Ebola Czar," Nor Calling Up the National Guard

DigitAl56K Re:Politics (383 comments)

As soon as any government appoints a Czar, you know that they know bad things are going to happen.

Usually:
* The person has little actual power
* They are allocated minimal resources
* Decisions come from the people above
* Blame falls upon the Czar's shoulders
* Appointing a Czar makes it look like you're doing something, even though you don't actually have to know what you're doing
* Almost inevitably the Czar resigns or is fired later for being ineffective - because they were never actually there to do anything or even empowered to do anything

When you see a Czar being appointed you should immediately think, "they know the outcome here has a high probability of being very damaging politically, likely because they either don't have the answers and they know it, or the answers they have point to a very unpopular outcome".

That's not being cynical, it's just reality.

4 days ago
top

Google Adds USB Security Keys To 2-Factor Authentication Options

DigitAl56K Re:Where is the NFC 2-factor? (119 comments)

Can you elaborate on what the problems are? You described having a PC in each room... so I don't see what's difficult about uninviting one and inviting another when moving.

Sure. Imagine it's a recurring meeting that someone else owns, or a short-term meeting where you're not the owner and the owner is late or doesn't have their laptop with them, etc. How are you going to change the invitation list? You can't, and neither can anyone else on remote teams, so you're screwed until someone goes and creates a new meeting and re-invites everyone, then hope the Chromebox picks that up fast enough, or at all, because technically the meeting has already started. Oh, and then also hope that nobody else has already booked the room you want to use, but simply hasn't showed up.

These are just some of the real problems I've found.

4 days ago
top

Ebola Does Not Require an "Ebola Czar," Nor Calling Up the National Guard

DigitAl56K Re:Politics (383 comments)

If having a Czar will concentrate more power in their hands then a Czar is what they'll create.

Czar's are usually there to be completely ineffective and take the fall when side A politically leverages hindsight and/or the situation that they themselves have helped create against side B.

Don't be a Czar, it won't end well for you.

4 days ago
top

Google Adds USB Security Keys To 2-Factor Authentication Options

DigitAl56K Re:Where is the NFC 2-factor? (119 comments)

The proper solution for that problem is for the conference room PC to have its own account, which is invited to the hangout, rather than logging in with some individual's account. From a security perspective, having a device that lots of people log into is a bad idea; it's an ideal target for compromise, regardless of whether or not you use 2FA.

I'm aware of "the proper solution" from an administrative perspective, and maybe what you suggest does work at Google. However, there is a vast difference between a company the size of Google and, say, a startup where people just "take" rooms as needed, or you have to find a free room for something at short notice, and moving the conference from one room to another in a hurry becomes a pain. As I say, I've "experienced" the Chromebox for Meetings in the startup setting, and I'm sure it would be great _if_ you're a larger company, but it was "unpleasant" shall we say for me - in fact, you could tell it was not designed to handle exceptions very easily.

Google should recognize that there are many smaller companies than large ones and provide a convenient solution.

4 days ago
top

Google Adds USB Security Keys To 2-Factor Authentication Options

DigitAl56K Re:Where is the NFC 2-factor? (119 comments)

I don't see how fumbling around with USB sticks is much better.

I use a YubKey NEO-n. It's a tiny device, only extends from the USB port by a millimeter or so... just enough that you can touch it to activate it. I just leave it plugged into my laptop all the time, so there's no "fumbling with USB sticks", I just run my finger along the side of the laptop until it hits the key. It's extremely convenient.

That's okay for you on your laptop. When you go to a conference room with a e.g. a PC set up for conference calls, and someone needs to log in to pull up the hangout, it's a different story (don't even get me started on Chromebox for Meetings...).

Here, having a little dongle sitting in the middle of the desk connected to the main system via USB would provide an easy option to provide at least the 2nd factor auth, without anyone typing in codes or plugging in additional devices. Lots of people walk into a conference room with their phone in hand as it is.

4 days ago
top

Google Adds USB Security Keys To 2-Factor Authentication Options

DigitAl56K Where is the NFC 2-factor? (119 comments)

Let me know when they start selling cheap NFC dongles so we can just tap our phone on them to login. I'm sure our company would buy a bunch. 2-factor makes logging in to conference systems a pain in the ass - everyone is always looking to the guy who doesn't use 2-factor to login already. I don't see how fumbling around with USB sticks is much better.

4 days ago
top

BitHammer, the BitTorrent Banhammer

DigitAl56K Protection against ARP poisoning (429 comments)

It would be nice if router logs showed suspicious ARP packets and/or declined to forward them except for specially privileged connections (e.g. via a flag in the access list). The router knows the addresses of users connected over WiFi, and it's extremely unlikely those WiFi users will be routes for other devices. This seems like a good measure in general to make MITM harder.

about two weeks ago
top

DoJ: Law Enforcement Can Impersonate People On Facebook

DigitAl56K Put cryptography everywhere (191 comments)

Stuff like this is exactly why strong cryptographic solutions should be woven into the fabric of the internet ASAP (e.g. content signing in this case). Agencies globally have become extremely abusive - spying, manipulating, defrauding,denying - and work against the basic infrastructure elements that would prevent this at every turn. They really bring it on themselves with crap like this.

about three weeks ago
top

Obama Administration Argues For Backdoors In Personal Electronics

DigitAl56K He's right! (575 comments)

“It is fully possible to permit law enforcement to do its job while still adequately protecting personal privacy,”

Maybe it is, when law enforcement isn't brazenly violating every single principle of personal privacy for all persons without redress. You got us here, Bush and Obama administrations. You. Not us. You.

about three weeks ago
top

Ask Slashdot: Is Reporting Still Relevant?

DigitAl56K Reports are often better than dashboards (179 comments)

I'm in no way a dashboard hater, but reports are great because:
* I can see them everywhere I can access my email. This is not always the case when a dashboard runs off an internal server.
* Getting an email in the morning is a reminder to check the data. If I have to remember to go to a dashboard I'll forget if I'm busy and could miss something important.
* Reports in my email are easily searchable without fiddling with date ranges in a console - assuming adequate history even exists since the latest time someone thought it would be a great idea to rebuild the dashboard.

Dashboards are great for sharing a realtime view but they aren't a replacement for reports. If you think they are, you probably seriously misunderstand your users.

about 1 month ago
top

Euclideon Teases Photorealistic Voxel-Based Game Engine

DigitAl56K Re:the technology is amazing (134 comments)

It's more complicated than that.

Polygon-based engines support (and modern games heavily depend upon) things like:
* Dynamic lightling and shadows
* Deformable environments
* Transparency
* Reflections
* Fast collision detection
* AI route planning

Now go back and look at that demo video and tell us where you see those things.

Also, polygon based engines are still pretty efficient because of:
* Texture re-use
* Bump mapping to improve realism
* Shaders to implement things like motion blur, ambient lighting, etc.
* LOD maps
* Spatial partitioning

Laser mapping is cool because it snapshots a static environment at a moment in time. It would take a lot of effort to produce a polygon model ground-up with the characteristics you'd want for high performance in a modern game. But there appear to be numerous benefits over what has been demonstrated here so far. Perhaps a better approach (for games, at least) would be to work on a project that helps generate or enhance a polygon-based model from the mapping.

about 1 month ago
top

Euclideon Teases Photorealistic Voxel-Based Game Engine

DigitAl56K Where's the interactivity? (134 comments)

I've seen demos of what I believe to be this technology before, but what it seems to lack is any kind of interactivity with the environment/objects in the environment. From what I can tell in this latest video they've added an FPS handgun overlay and some poorly animated ferns.

The point is: Cool, you can render a nice point cloud. Can you actually do interesting things with it / what we want in most games or virtual environments, or can you simply render a nice point cloud?

about 1 month ago
top

Next Android To Enable Local Encryption By Default Too, Says Google

DigitAl56K Encryption is the least of that problem! (126 comments)

The only way to back up and restore is by uploading your data to Google's cloud servers, where your data is much more likely to be purloined than if you had just left your device unencrypted in the first place.

As an Android fan, let me just say that these problems do not just stop with encryption. Unless you root your phone, you can't back it up properly because Google doesn't let you have access to your own files on your own f'ing device. Apparently nobody sees a problem in the fact that users are forced to make the decisions to either run stock or be able to access all their files. I'm sure it's to reduce piracy or something, but it's a nightmare. Unless your apps keep their data in an accessible folder or you let them keep all your settings in the cloud (if they even support that), just upgrading your handset to this years Nexus is going to mean data loss.

I get that it makes the security stronger, but Android badly needs some kind of super-user mode that makes the entire filesystem accessible to selected apps.

about a month ago
top

First US Appeals Court Hears Arguments To Shut Down NSA Database

DigitAl56K Doesn't matter how the government gets the data (199 comments)

Abridged version:

The right of the people to be secure [...] against unreasonable searches [...] shall not be violated [...] but upon probable cause

Regardless of how the government acquires the information, is the government performing unreasonable searches against the people? One might argue that inspecting every persons communications is both and reasonable and cannot possibly qualify for probable cause.

about 2 months ago
top

Banks Report Credit Card Breach At Home Depot

DigitAl56K Are the POS providers total morons? (132 comments)

How hard is it to run an independent circuit that scrapes your OS and process executable memory and compute a verified hash? Do these systems run any kind of meaningful IDS at all?

about 2 months ago
top

Smartphone Kill Switch, Consumer Boon Or Way For Government To Brick Your Phone?

DigitAl56K Let's hope... (299 comments)

Let's hope that the logic to brick is in some piece of code that can be subverted via a custom OS build and not something close to the radio receiver.

Also: I will laugh really hard as soon as the blackhats release a tool to bypass security and auto-brick, and then someone heads to the nearest mall on a Saturday with a high-power radio.

about 2 months ago
top

2D To 3D Object Manipulation Software Lends Depth to Photographs

DigitAl56K A question on this (76 comments)

While those results look impressive, in some of the demos where objects are seamlessly moved around, how are they filling in the original background (or what looks like it)? The video largely explains how the model is textured, lit, environment mapped, rendered with shadow projection with calculated perspective and depth of field, but I didn't hear much about re-filling the background. I assume they're cloning or intelligently filling texture ala photoshop, or perhaps in all cases where they showed something being animated it was a new clone of an existing object into a new area of the photo?

about 3 months ago
top

Inside the Facebook Algorithm Most Users Don't Even Know Exists

DigitAl56K The real News Feed algorithm (130 comments)

if (session.timeelapsed() > 1800 || rand() % 3 == 0)
        newsfeed.setmode(TOP_STORIES);

about 3 months ago

Submissions

top

Websites Still Failing Basic Privacy Practices

DigitAl56K DigitAl56K writes  |  more than 6 years ago

DigitAl56K (805623) writes "Do you ever find it surprising that large companies still can't get down the basics of privacy and security on the web? Today I went to enter a competition from Duracell to win a Nintendo Wii by filling out an online form that requires entering your full name, address, and date of birth, and then proceeds to submit it via an unencrypted HTTP POST. The ultimate irony? The message at the bottom of the page that reads,

"Trust is a cornerstone of our corporate mission, and the success of our business depends on it. P&G is committed to maintaining your trust by protecting personal information we collect."

Which websites have you found to be lacking in their basic privacy practices?"
Link to Original Source

top

MEDUSA Ray Gun Creates Voices In Your Head

DigitAl56K DigitAl56K writes  |  more than 6 years ago

DigitAl56K (805623) writes "NewScientist is reporting on a US company, Sierra Nevada Corporation, that is ready to produce a crowd-control device which uses microwaves to heat the tissues inside your head so rapidly that the shockwaves resulting actually create sound. The device is named MEDUSA (Mob Excess Deterrent Using Silent Audio) and can be targeted using broad or narrow beams. From the article:

MEDUSA involves a microwave auditory effect "loud" enough to cause discomfort or even incapacitation. Sadovnik says that normal audio safety limits do not apply since the sound does not enter through the eardrums.

A member of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Illinois in Chicago who has also worked on the technique has commented that while feasible, attaining the necessary volume might involve power levels that could cause neural damage.

It is estimated that a demonstration version could be built within a year."

Link to Original Source

top

AVG 8 Causing Trouble For Web Analytics?

DigitAl56K DigitAl56K writes  |  more than 6 years ago

DigitAl56K (805623) writes "The Register is reporting that AVG 8 includes as part of its anti-virus scanner Linkscanner, technology acquired by the company that scans results from popular search engines including Google, Yahoo!, and Live Search before you visit them. This apparently has resulted in traffic for some sites to increase by as much as 80%, confusing web analytics because real visits may not have increased at all. Approximately 28% of AVG users worldwide are now using AVG 8, so this problem has plenty of scope for growth.

How will analytic services react to the effects of prescanning, and what benefits does prescanning hold over real-time transport scanning? Further, even if prescanning protects your computer does it ultimately pose a risk to your personal security? In May Slashdot informed us that the FBI had raided homes of people who had merely clicked links to illegal pornography. When your computer is automatically clicking search results for you maybe you had better be careful what search terms you use."

Link to Original Source
top

US to employ overhead spying domestically

DigitAl56K DigitAl56K writes  |  more than 6 years ago

DigitAl56K (805623) writes "The Washington Post reports that, "The Bush administration said yesterday that it plans to start using the nation's most advanced spy technology for domestic purposes soon" and that Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has said that "Sophisticated overhead sensor data will be used for law enforcement". Last year CNET reported on at least one county in North Carolina already using a UAV to "monitor gatherings of motorcycle riders at the Gaston County fairgrounds from just a few hundred feet in the air — close enough to identify faces".

Discovery Channel's Future Weapons has provided insight into numerous UAVs, including the Fire Scout, Global Hawk, Predator 2, and the Dominator, their coverage of the Predator 2 particularly demonstrating surveillance and tracking capabilities of these units.

According to DefenseNews the US Air Force just announced the purchase of 28 Predators as part of a contract awarded to General Atomics. The US Air Force has just begun running ads on cable TV as part of their "Above All" campaign that feature the UAVs (sorry, no online video yet).

Initially, it appears that the administration plans to leverage conventional satellites for domestic surveillance purposes.

Behave yourself, citizens."

Link to Original Source
top

How do you securely change your e-nationality?

DigitAl56K DigitAl56K writes  |  more than 5 years ago

DigitAl56K (805623) writes "Being a foreigner in the US has its ups and downs. One of the downs I face stems from the music industry's obsession with territory restrictions. Not only am I unable to purchase certain UK releases online despite being able to import CDs, but I also can't listen to most of the webcasting radio stations near my home because they've had to implement IP->Geo lockouts. This leads to a cultural disconnect for me that the Internet really ought to solve. If you've ever graced the forums of an online music store you have likely seen dozens of users around the globe with similar complaints, and in general the only solution is to find an open proxy in another country to bypass the artificial barriers.

Unfortunately many open proxies are not intended for medium-high bandwidth applications, and may be unknowing victims of malware designed to sniff and steal information. Are there any reputable secure and/or trustworthy commercial proxy/tunneling services designed to provide end-points in specific countries?"
top

When will smart phone plans become affordable?

DigitAl56K DigitAl56K writes  |  more than 6 years ago

DigitAl56K (805623) writes "When my old no thrills voice-only handset finally began giving up the ghost last week I decided it was time to join my colleagues and jump on the smart phone bandwagon. Mobile IM, web, GPS and music downloads all beckoned. Then I totaled up the cost of my new wireless plan. Ouch!

The offerings from the leading US wireless providers are incredibly expensive. A typical voice plan coupled with basic personal Blackberry service can easily cost over $100 and depending on the network other basic features push the monthly rate higher still. Limited or unlimited messages, M2M messages, and night or weekend calling often cost extra. Users buying handsets advertised as having GPS may be unpleasantly surprised to find additional monthly service subscriptions are required to use all or some parts of these services, such as voiced directions. In the end you're likely to pay more for a cellphone with basic smart phone functionality than you do for digital TV and high speed Internet combined, even without high-tech features like GPS included, and most of the service agreements although offering unlimited data for what are clearly multimedia-enabled devices prohibit medium-high bandwidth applications regardless.

How long must we wait for todays smart phones to become the norm and for some level of sanity to take hold in wireless plan rates?"
top

DigitAl56K DigitAl56K writes  |  more than 7 years ago

DigitAl56K writes "Star Wars fans rejoice! Four years after their original fan film saw them picking up light sabers and taking to battle, Ryan Wieber and Michael Scott have published RvD2. The choreography and attention to detail strongly rival the best efforts of Lucasfilm, as does the sound track.

A low resolution version of RvD2 is available on YouTube, and an HD version (429MB) can be downloaded from DivX Stage6. You can also order the original soundtrack and "Making of" videos via ryanvsdorkman.com, as well as donating to their projects."
top

DigitAl56K DigitAl56K writes  |  more than 7 years ago

DigitAl56K writes "Brian Transeau (BT) is a pioneer of the electronica genre who helped to define trance in the early '90s. His career is diverse with a background in classic music and long history of film scoring, but it is arguably his pursuit of using new technology in music that distinguishes him as an artist. He's a recognized master of audio synthesis and engineering, he writes his own software instruments and effects, and he's famous for his live shows — which he often plays real-time from a laptop computer.

His latest album, This Binary Universe, is released on CD+DVD and mastered in DTS digital surround, accompanied by visuals ranging from CGI to watercolors produced by artists who participate on deviantART. One track on the album is written entirely in Csound, a synthesis scripting language and renderer where the instruments, effects, and score are composed using only a text editor.

BT is currently on tour with electonica veteran Thomas Dolby. The shows not only feature visuals from the album rendered live, but also artwork from members of deviantART local to each area, and a full surround sound audio environment.

The DivX Stage6 team interviewed BT to discuss his career, latest album, use of technology in music, mathematics in music and in nature, and more. We also asked him how he feels about people who download music. The response was both interesting and honest, and gave significant insight into the ethical views of a real artist, as well as dispelling some of the common myths around the effect of piracy on artists large and small.

The complete interview is available from the BT channel on DivX Stage6, including the video for track 4 from his album, entitled "1.618" after the golden ratio, in DivX HD with MP3 Surroud."

Journals

DigitAl56K has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?