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Linux Developers Consider On-Screen QR Codes For Kernel Panics

Hal_Porter Re:Dump kernel to serial printer (175 comments)

You could sound the message out in Frequency Shift Keying.



1200 baud is 120 characters per second. So you could dump an uncompressed 80x24 screen of text in 16 seconds. You'd just repeat the dump over and over again.

Software on a mobile phone would capture the FSK and submit it as a bug report.

Perhaps a less whimsical way to do it would be to write to a dump file and submit when the system reboots. E.g. the kernel could keep enough of the Bios alive so that it could switch back to real mode and use int 13h to write to reserved bit of the disk.

about two weeks ago

Illustrating the Socioeconomic Divide With iOS and Android

Hal_Porter Re:People with money (161 comments)

People with money can afford to be coke addicts, for a while at least. Give 'em a month or so and both sets of people will be 'borrowing' from the relatives to feed their addiction.

about two weeks ago

Michael Abrash Joins Oculus, Calls Facebook 'Final Piece of the Puzzle'

Hal_Porter Re:Legendary... (232 comments)

Michael Abrash died to redeem your sins, you heathen.

about three weeks ago

Gunshot Victims To Be Part of "Suspended Animation" Trials

Hal_Porter Re:Space travel (357 comments)

Or a bank of frozen ova and sperm. Or DNA sequences stored on a flash drive. Humans have 98% of their DNA in common, so you would only need to store the 2% of diffs. If properly compressed, all the genetic diversity of the entire human population of the earth would probably fit in a few terabytes.

You could save space if you only brought the DNA common in countries that developed into industrialized democracies too - Western Europe, East Asia and the North America.

about three weeks ago

North Korea: Male University Students Required To Get Kim Jong-un Haircuts

Hal_Porter Re: Orwellian? George Orwell was a Socialist. (110 comments)

He also thought that the USSR was totalitarian and not socialist. In 1945 he voted for the Labour Party which was democratic socialist. Labour was a party that grew out of the unions and whatever you can say about Labour there were definitely not about turning the workers into serfs.

Which is the point really - the USSR did the opposite of what democratic socialists like Orwell wanted and called it socialism.

about three weeks ago

Gunshot Victims To Be Part of "Suspended Animation" Trials

Hal_Porter Re: Space travel (357 comments)

If I was a member of the global elite and I knew civilisation was doomed due to my actions you can bet I'm leaving with my buddies in large, well stocked city sized Super Orion nuclear pulsejet. It's not even about what to do when the ship arrives, more that I want to look out through UV proof windows at the peasants watching the launch through non UV proof glass.

about three weeks ago

China Arrests 1,500 People For Sending Spam Messages From Fake Mobile Bases

Hal_Porter Re:Great. (35 comments)

Gluing works. Seriously you glue their hands to the sides of their face with industrial cyanoacrylate adhesive. Of course eventually they'll manage to get them off but in the meantime they'll be prevented from typing and learn a valuable lesson.

about three weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: Preparing For Windows XP EOL?

Hal_Porter Re:No problem (423 comments)

The people that hacked Natanz would probably find it easier to get exclusive access to a zero day exploit on Windows 7 or 8 than XP.

When you're working for a government spy agency and have endless cash to pay off unprincipled 'security researchers' I think you can get into any OS whether old or new.

China can do the same thing. E.g.



If you look at Stuxnet it seems like the initial infection was done by leaving USB sticks around


Ralph Langner: Yeah, that's true. So the distribution we see with Stuxnet is mainly done via infected USB sticks. So, in technical terms, it would be not appropriate to call Stuxnet a worm because Stuxnet does not distribute by self-replication over the Internet, but thisâ"it distributes mostly by infected USB sticks. This is the exact strategy that you would use when attacking an aero jet facility. So just like a nuclear power plant. In this case, it makes most sense to assume that the attack was carried out via the Russian integrator that built the plant. Because if you are familiar with the commissioning of such big plans, you know security in those situations is practically nonexistent, especially IT security. So engineers walk in and out with their notebooks, with their programming devices that they use for programming the PLCs. And those engineers that walk in and out, they easily be lured into picking up infected USB sticks, so this makes very much sense to assume that the attack was performed via the integrator just by making sure that some of their engineers accept infected USB sticks, plug them in their notebooks, go home with their notebooks to their company headquarters, and at some point in time, go with their infected notebooks to the target site. By the way, this also explains all the infections that we see in India, Indonesia, and Pakistan. Because these are also regions where this particular integrator has business.

I've worked at companies where you were searched for removable storage going in. Hell I've worked at places where the USB ports where filled up with epoxy or disabled by group policy.

If you look at Bradley Manning air gap security is vulnerable to a single rogue employee. Also you need management that will enforce the policies - in Manning's case they should have stopped him bringing in CDs.

about three weeks ago

Ask Slashdot: Preparing For Windows XP EOL?

Hal_Porter Re:No problem (423 comments)

XP had a bug where you got very high CPU usage in SVCHOST.EXE. Somewhat surprisingly MS fixed it a couple of months ago. If I were in charge I'd have left it unfixed in order to encourage people to upgrade.

about three weeks ago

North Korea: Male University Students Required To Get Kim Jong-un Haircuts

Hal_Porter Re:Wait...they have universities? (110 comments)

Stalinist Communism is a really bizarre piece of double think.

Before the revolution you have evil aristocrats ruling over a mass of brutalised serfs.

Post revolution you have quite a New Class/Songbun which de facto aristocracy ruling over workers working on collective farms. And workers on collective farms have no right to change jobs, so their status is much more serf-like than it was pre revolution.

Just to make it even more Orwellian the pre revolutionary system wasn't actually like this. E.g. before the Russian revolution serfdom had been abolished pretty much everywhere


Not because capitalists are humanitarians but because it's actually more efficient for rich people to employ free labourers for a wage when they're working than to own serfs or slaves.

Of course if you grow up in Stalinist state you're told that before the revolution (and in capitalist states) evil aristocrats ruled over brutalised serfs and now things are much better even though that's the opposite of the truth. And most likely you know on some level that is false - that the status of workers under 'socialism' is much close to serfs than it was either pre revolution or in evil capitalist states and even worse the ruling class is much closer to being a hereditary aristocracy.

about three weeks ago

Mazda Says Its Upcoming Gas-Powered Cars Will Emit Less CO2 Than Electric Cars

Hal_Porter Re:Do electric cars actually produce CO2? (330 comments)

Having been to Vietnam where the US pulled out and the Stalinists imposed their system, and South Korea and Taiwan where the US backed regimes survived and eventually liberalised I'd say she was dead wrong.

The South Koreans in particular are very lucky there wasn't an anti war movement in the US during the Korean war. If there was the South would have been annexed by the North and they'd be living under Kim Jong Un's crazy regime.

Or look at Vietnam. The boat people refugees fled the south after the war ended. So clearly a peace where they were ruled by the north was actually worse than war.

Hell as a Brit I'm very glad the WWII equivalent of the anti war movement the German American Bund didn't have as much success as its Vietnam era equivalent


The German American Bund, or German American Federation (German: Amerikadeutscher Bund; Amerikadeutscher Volksbund, AV), was an American Nazi organization established in 1936 to succeed Friends of New Germany, the new name being chosen to emphasise the group's American credentials after press criticism that the organisation was unpatriotic. The Bund was to consist only of American citizens of German descent. Its main goal was to promote a favorable view of Nazi Germany.

The parallels are pretty striking. Both the German American Bund and the Vietnam era anti war movement were openly in favour of a totalitarian movement (US anti war demonstrators carried Vietcong flags, and the AV carried swastikas) and their main aim was to allow that movement to overrun a country friendly to the US but they disguised that as being in favour of 'peace'. In Vietnam they unfortunately succeeded in that aim.

If the AV had been as successful as the Vietnam era anti war movement the US would have stayed out of WWII and the Nazis would have overrun all of Western Europe and the UK.

about three weeks ago

NASA Puts Its New Spacesuit Design To a Public Vote

Hal_Porter Re:Changing my mind (127 comments)

The other depressing thing about Nasa is how they've gone from launching people to the moon in the 1960's to telling people that driving their cars is going to kill the planet (Hansen was head of Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies from 1981 to 2013). No wonder they're not keen on launching actual rockets - those things must emit loads of CO2. I'm surprised Hansen would go on exhaling CO2.

It's like something out of a dystopian science fiction novel about how a once proud, space faring society descends into ignorance and obscurantism.

about a month ago

Microsoft Posts Source Code For MS-DOS and Word For Windows

Hal_Porter Re:Why are they posting old source code? (224 comments)

In Undocumented Dos they explained that the version of Dos was a "a hacked version of MSDOS ... mostly removing the file system". NTVDM runs real mode Dos programs in V86 mode. So what happens is that when when you make an int 21h call to open a file in a Dos program? You real mode code hits a BOP. A BOP is an illegal opcode. At that point the processor traps (or software emulator on a Risc machine calls out) and you end up running fairly standard user mode protected mode code which handles the file open.

You can see it here in Reactos


In order to implement the DOS "API" (int 21, etc.) we need a way to call Win32 and kernel procedures from the VM thread. This is accomplished in Microsoft's NTVDM by writing a stub 16-bit kernel (ntdos.sys, ntio.sys, ...) that hooks the same interrupts as a 16-bit DOS kernel would, but instead of actually handling these, it executes a special undefined opcode (C4 C4 followed by some more bytes indicating the desired operation) in order to trap back into kernel mode/protected mode (meaning execution will pass through KiTrap6, "INT 06: Invalid Opcode Code (#UD)"). The request is dispatched to the proper VDM and handled in protected mode, and then an iret takes execution back to the instruction after the invalid opcode sequence.

about a month ago

Mazda Says Its Upcoming Gas-Powered Cars Will Emit Less CO2 Than Electric Cars

Hal_Porter Re:Do electric cars actually produce CO2? (330 comments)

You have to admire Jane Fonda. On pretty much any issue if you look at her opinion it tells you what to do. Admittedly you should do the exact opposite of what she says, but someone that is always 100% wrong is just as useful as someone that is always 100% right.

about a month ago

Mazda Says Its Upcoming Gas-Powered Cars Will Emit Less CO2 Than Electric Cars

Hal_Porter Re:Do electric cars actually produce CO2? (330 comments)

If you really needed the shale oil and you didn't have fossil fuels to do the extraction you could run the extraction process using a nuclear plant.


The last of these ideas would locate a nuclear plant near a deposit of oil shale -- a type of deposit, technically known as kerogen, that has not been used to date as a source of petroleum. Heated steam from a nuclear plant, in enclosed pipes, heats the shale; the resulting oil can be pumped out by conventional means.

At first glance, that might sound like a "dirty" solution, enabling the use of more carbon-emitting fuel. But Forsberg suggests that it's quite the opposite: "When you heat it up, it decomposes into a very nice light crude oil, and natural gas, and char," he explains. The char -- the tarlike residue that needs to be refined out from heavy crude oils -- stays underground, he says.

Today, the heating of the rock is usually accomplished by burning fossil fuels, making the process less efficient. That's where the excess heat from a nuclear plant comes in: By coupling the plant's steam output with a shale-oil well, the oil can be recovered without generating extra emissions. The process also does not need regular heat input: The nuclear plant can operate at a steady rate, providing electricity to the grid when needed, and heating oil shale at times of low electricity demand. This enables the nuclear plant to replace the burning of fossil fuels in producing electricity, further reducing the release of greenhouse gas.

The world's largest oil-shale deposits are concentrated in the western United States. "We lucked out," Forsberg says. "This has the lowest carbon footprint of any source of liquid fossil fuel."

The resource that could be unlocked is enormous, he says: "Some of these deposits would yield a million barrels per acre. There's no place else on Earth like it."

Actually you could view the current extraction process as being a sort of pump priming - right now fossil fuels are used to run things. Counter intuitively it becomes more economic when fossil fuel prices are high. Now if fossil fuel prices fell you could imagine using a nuclear plant to supply the heat. Or, if fossil fuels became unavailable - e.g. due to a major war in the Middle East - you could use nuclear too. Once people have started to make money out of extracting shale oil the odds are they will use that money to stay in business.

It seems like if you could use the waste heat from a reactor to extract oil you can get even better energy efficiency than merely using the heat to generate steam to generate electricity. Also thorium means that we're not in any danger of running out of fuel for nuclear reactors.

about a month ago

Jimmy Carter: Snowden Disclosures Are 'Good For Americans To Know'

Hal_Porter Re:to-belgium-with-900-strong-entourage-45-vehicle (289 comments)

Kirkpatrick was originally - in her words 'an AFL-CIO Democrat'. She switched sides over this issue.

Also let's look at her prediction

Moreover, the history of this century provides no grounds for expecting that radical totalitarian regimes will transform themselves. At the moment there is a far greater likelihood of progressive liberalization and democratization in the governments of Brazil, Argentina, and Chile than in the government of Cuba; in Taiwan than in the Peopleâ(TM)s Republic of China; in South Korea than in North Korea; in Zaire than in Angola; and so forth.

That turned out pretty much spot on didn't it? All the pro US authoritarian states apart from Zaire liberalised. And anti US totalitarian ones did not - not even after USSR collpased

So right now Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Taiwan and South Korea are all democracies. I've worked in Taiwan, South Korea and China and Taiwan - which Carter sold out completely - is a lot more civilised than China.

about a month ago



EATR killbot to feed on corpses

Hal_Porter Hal_Porter writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Hal_Porter (817932) writes "Rawstory reports the excellent news that future killbots will feed on battlefield corpses.

Robotic Technology Inc.'s Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot that's right, "EATR" "can find, ingest, and extract energy from biomass in the environment (and other organically-based energy sources), as well as use conventional and alternative fuels (such as gasoline, heavy fuel, kerosene, diesel, propane, coal, cooking oil, and solar) when suitable," reads the company's Web site. That "biomass" and "other organically-based energy sources" wouldn't necessarily be limited to plant material animal and human corpses contain plenty of energy, and they'd be plentiful in a war zone.


Link to Original Source

Bantown and Bash vs Amazon

Hal_Porter Hal_Porter writes  |  about 5 years ago

Hal_Porter (817932) writes "It seems like Amazon's recent policy change on obscenity was no such thing. Evil trolling group Bantown have claimed responsibility. Turns out it was all done with a few lines of script. A former member explains.

Bantown is a tactic for inciting meta-lulz on multiple levels through the alignment of third-parties against each other. Bantown is like the plot of most James Bond movies, wherein some nefarious evildoer brings the US and the Soviets close to war. Bantown is a trolling technique of the highest order, which usually pits communities against each other, or communities against companies, or organizations against companies, or companies against organizations

Here's the pastebin explanation in case it gets taken down

Hay dude. Amazon removed its customer-based reporting of adult books yesterday. I guess my game is up! Here's a nice piece I like to call "how to cause moral outrage from the entire Internet in ten lines of code".

I really hate reputation systems based on user input. This started a while back on Craigslist, when I was trying to score chicks to do heroin with. My listings like "looking to get tarred and pleasured" and "Searching for a heroine to do the paronym of this sentence's lexical subject" kept getting flagged. The audacity of the San Francisco gay community disgusted me. They would flag my ads down but searching craigslist for "pnp" or "tina" reveals tons of hairy dudes searching for other hairy dudes to do meth with. So I decided to get them back, and cause a few hundred thousand queers some outrage.

I'm logged into Amazon at the time and see it has a "report as inappropriate" feature at the bottom of a page. I do a quick test on a few sets of gay books. I see that I can get them removed from search rankings with an insignificant number of votes.

I do this for a while, but never really get off my ass to scale it until recently.

So I script some quick bash.
let count = 1
while true; do
links -dump 'http://www.amazon.com/s/qid=0/?ie=ASCII&rs=1000&keywords=Gay_and_Lesbian&rh=n%3A!1000%2Ci%3Astripbooks%2Ck%3AHomosexuality&page='`echo $count`|grep \/dp\/ >> /tmp/amazon

There's some quick code to grab all the Gay and Lesbian metadata-tagged books on amazon. Then I pull out all the IDs of the given books from those URLs:

cat /tmp/amazon |sed s/.*dp\\/// |sed s/\\/ref.*//

and I have a neat little list of the internal product ID of every fag book on Amazon.

Now from here it was a matter of getting a lot of people to vote for the books. The thing about the adult reporting function of Amazon was that it was vulnerable to something called "Cross-site request forgery'. This means if I referred someone to the URL of the successful complaint, it would register as a complaint if they were logged in. So now it is a numbers game.

I know some people who run some extremely high traffic (Alexa top 1000) websites. I show them my idea, and we all agree that it is pretty funny. They put an invisible iframe in their websites to refer people to the complaint URLs which caused huge numbers of visitors to report gay and lesbian items as inappropriate without their knowledge.

I also hired third worlders to register accounts for me en masse. If you ever need a service like that, you can find them in a post like this advertising in the comments:


Then they would log into the accounts, save the cookies in a cookie file and send it to me.

Then I used the cookie files like so to automated-report all the books:

for i in `cat /tmp/amazon |sed s/.*dp\\/// |sed s/\\/ref.*//`; do lynx -cookie_file=/home/avex/cookie1 http://www.amazon.com/ri/product-listing/`echo $i`/;done

The combination of these two actions resulted in a mass delisting of queer books being delisted from the rankings at Amazon.

I guess my game is up, but 300+ hits on google news for amazon gay and outrage across the blogosphere ain't so bad.

The only person to figure it out was dely from Six Apart: http://tehdely.livejournal.com/88823.html but he has been ground zero at my work, cleaning up my messes before.

So just letting you know the chain of events. if you choose to report on this, please don't disclose my identity/email address. Thanks!


Reiser seeks retrial

Hal_Porter Hal_Porter writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Hal_Porter (817932) writes "Despite turning down a pretrial deal that would have got him a three year sentence and then accepting a later deal where he apologised for the murder and showed the police where he buried the body, Hans Reiser wants another trial. As wired put it "Now the 44-year-old Reiser says he thinks the latest deal was supposed to have netted three years. And he said his lead attorney, William DuBois, who he often butted heads with during trial, was out to get him. Reiser wrote that he believed DuBois suffered from an excess of oxytocin." Dubois said "[Nina Reiser] had an ulterior motive to marry Hans. It couldn't have been out of love that she married Hans Reiser," DuBois said. "I can't see anybody loving Hans Reiser." "He has to be one of the least attractive people you can imagine," DuBois continued. "And she's a doll." He faces an uphill battle "Jurors, and even the judge, did a horrible job concealing their amusement when Reiser was on the stand. The often shook their heads in disbelief or openly mocked his ongoing testimony.""

"Game over" exploit in flash

Hal_Porter Hal_Porter writes  |  about 6 years ago

Hal_Porter (817932) writes "Thomas Ptacek writes that Mark Dowd (pdf warning) has found a "weaponized NULL pointer exploit" in Flash. The idea is that you trick Flash into making a failed allocation which returns NULL. But since you control the offset from the NULL pointer you can overwrite an arbitrary memory location. As Thomas puts it in his very readable writeup "If youre not an exploit writer, think of it this way: you know that crazy version of Super Mario Brothers that Japan refused to ship to the US markets because they thought the difficulty would upset and provoke us? This is the exploit equivalent of that guy who played the perfect game of it on YouTube." The exploit works on both Internet Explorer and Firefox. It works on Vista, since Flash doesn't opt in to Vista's Address Space Layout randomisation technology."

48GigaBYTE flash chip

Hal_Porter Hal_Porter writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Hal_Porter (817932) writes "Hynix have stacked 24 16 gigabit (2 gigabyte) NAND flash chips in a 1.4mm thick package, giving 48 gigabytes of storage. It's not clear if it's possible to write to them in parallel — if so the device should be pretty damn fast. The usual objection to NAND flash as a hard drive replacement is lifetime. NAND sectors can only be written 100,000 times or so before they wear out, but wear levelling can be done to spread writes evenly over at least each chip. I worked out that the lifetime should be much longer than a typical magnetic hard disk. There's no information on costs yet frankly and it sounds like an expensive proof of concept, but it shows you the sort of device that will take over from small hard disks in the next few years."
Link to Original Source


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