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Comments

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FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

MrNaz Re: On the other hand... (688 comments)

Is that really what they are doing? I have a counterfeit Prolific device that "broke" after a driver update. I simply uninstalled the new drivers and installed an old version to make it work.

Admittedly, that's a different OEM, so they may be doing something different.

2 days ago
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FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

MrNaz Re: On the other hand... (688 comments)

None of these analogies are correct.

They are not changing the device at all, they are simply making their drivers not work with the fake ones.

There is no reasonable analogy that can be made involving a Gucci product.

2 days ago
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FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

MrNaz Re: On the other hand... (688 comments)

This is exactly correct. I've experienced this with a radio programming cable with a counterfeit chip supposedly from Prolific. The drivers that Windows automatically downloaded for it caused the device to not function. Rather than stuffing around with the supplier, I simply downloaded an old working driver, uninstalled the new driver, installed the old driver, and done.

Certainly not a job my mother could do, but also not the same as the OEM bricking devices, which would legally be dangerous for them as it could be argued that they were willingly causing property damage.

From a commercial point if view I think it is an appropriate measure, albeit perhaps not the most reasonable from consumers' perspectives.

2 days ago
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Apple's Next Hit Could Be a Microsoft Surface Pro Clone

MrNaz Re:It's the OS, Stupid (251 comments)

SurfaceRT was a failure. The only way only explanation that I can think of for you asserting that the Surface Pro line has been a failure is if your head is located in a place that makes it difficult to see what's going on in the world around you.

about a week ago
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What's Been the Best Linux Distro of 2014?

MrNaz Re:FreeBSD (303 comments)

The main difference is that FreeBSD users know what Google is and how to use it.

about two weeks ago
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The Era of Saturday Morning Cartoons Is Dead

MrNaz Re:Real news (320 comments)

They will take a CNN and a Fox newscaster and lock em in a cage until only one is left reporting.

I'll avoid that. I don't think I could stomach such brutality.

about three weeks ago
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Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity

MrNaz Re:More Efficient (549 comments)

I’ve got news for you. The sexual liberation movement has already been and gone, and most of society no longer has a puritanical view of sex and sexuality. You’ll have to find some other reason to explain the difficulty you’re having getting laid.

about three weeks ago
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Gmail Recognizes Addresses Containing Non-Latin Characters

MrNaz Re:A new email standard? (149 comments)

Implementing proper domain and user authentication by baking PGP or some other PKI right into the email protocols will both solve the spam problem comprehensively AND allow UTF8 domains with minimum risk of phishing /spoofing.

about 3 months ago
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Gmail Recognizes Addresses Containing Non-Latin Characters

MrNaz Re:Next wave of phishing? (149 comments)

I agree. The real solution is hardened authentication getting baked right into email. I'm all for UTF8 domain names and email user names, however if the email protocol suite is going to be expanded to allow for more features, then I think security should be top of that list.

Sure, for a while, domains that span multiple character sets such as hotmail.com with a Cyrillic o could be spam flagged, however what happens when (not, if, but when) legitimate domains with multiple character sets start appearing? What about domains that use characters restricted to the intersection of two character sets such that they appear to be from one but are in fact from another?

The ONLY answer to this is an email client that can associate a certificate with a domain and checks it against received email as a matter of course. This solution not only has the property of preventing domain spoofing, but also comprehensively solves the spam problem. (It didn't get done earlier because it fell foul of the "requires everyone to agree at the same time" point on that pro forma "Why your proposal won't work" sheet.)

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Bulletproof Video Conferencing For Alzheimers Home?

MrNaz Re:Video phones? (194 comments)

What would be wrong with just buying a couple of Nexus 7s, remove all junkware, put skype as the only app on it and distribute those? Surely the center has WiFi?

about 3 months ago
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Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

MrNaz Re:Peak Water (377 comments)

Yea! We don't need no stinkin' ecosystem! We got technologies! Raaa!

about 3 months ago
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Rocket Scientist Designs "Flare" Pot That Cooks Food 40% Faster

MrNaz Re:Wow. (204 comments)

Or very, very right.

about 3 months ago
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The Lovelace Test Is Better Than the Turing Test At Detecting AI

MrNaz Re:Lovelace? (285 comments)

All these puns suck.

about 3 months ago
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Federal Judge Rules US No-fly List Violates Constitution

MrNaz Re:Awesome! (276 comments)

Actually, this is also incorrect. They do not decide what the law means, there is no decision involved. They attempt, to the most exactingly precise level possible, to determine what congress intended when the law was enacted. It is rare indeed that a law is so vague that it's intent cannot be determined with a reasonable amount of clarity.

Or, should I say, it used to be rare...

about 4 months ago
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The Sudden Policy Change In Truecrypt Explained

MrNaz Re:Speculation (475 comments)

It must be comforting, living in a world of such naivete. At least, it will be until you wake up and realize where you are.

about 5 months ago
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Solar Roadways Project Beats $1M Goal, Should Enter Production

MrNaz Re:Deja vu (311 comments)

Glass (and obsidian for that matter) are crystalline in structure, making them hard and brittle. Exactly what you do not want in a road surface. Rock on the other hand is usually an amalgam of several materials, meaning that it can be scraped and chipped, but is less likely to develop cracks that propagate. Using regular ordinary gravel in asphalt also means that the rock pieces are not subject to localized large forces, as the exposed surfaces of the gravel stones flex away thanks to the bitumen. The twin properties of flexibility and a hard wearing surface are what make asphalt able to stand up to being hit with tonnes of force hundreds of thousands of times a year and still last decades between having to be relaid.

I agree that it's probably not the case that we can't do better, but the question is about current materials technology and economic viability. Could we do better if we spent $1m per square meter of road surface? Possibly, with those newly emerging exotic resins and fibers. Would a $1m/sqm price tag mean that the project has any chance of success? No.

about 5 months ago
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Solar Roadways Project Beats $1M Goal, Should Enter Production

MrNaz Re:Deja vu (311 comments)

When I said "solid bitumen", I was referring to traditional road materials, and not a bitumen only tarpit. Sorry for not being specific.

Also, "durable" is a relative term. We're talking about roads. Solar panels are durable when compared to, say, laptop screens. They are not durable in the context of road surfaces. Yes, there are amazing glass types around today, but once again, in the context of road surfaces, I don't think glass is, or could ever be, an appropriate material.

Bitumen+gravel is used because the stone gravel provides excellent wear resistance while the bitumen holds it in a flexible and self-healing suspension. It is still the best road surface material we have by a country mile.

about 5 months ago
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Solar Roadways Project Beats $1M Goal, Should Enter Production

MrNaz Re:Deja vu (311 comments)

You missed the whole point of durability that I mentioned.

In Thailand, many of the roads in the southern areas use glass balls as lane markers. They don't get driven over unless a wheel is in on the lane marker, hence, only a small fraction of the actual traffic. Nonetheless, it is plainly obvious that they just don't last. They are chipped and damaged to the point that they don't fulfill their function.

Roads are possibly the most abused surface mankind makes. No type of glass that we have access to could ever stand up to long term road wear. It's just not possible with today's tech. I really think that this is a grant scam, which is unfortunate, because the politicians being scammed will be less favourable to green projects the next time a real idea comes around.

about 5 months ago
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Tiniest Linux COM Yet?

MrNaz Re:Internet of Things isn't (76 comments)

What if the toaster was free, so long as you had to deal with a screen on the side with speakers that played ads with sound while it toasted your bread? Sure, *you* wouldn't willingly buy it, and *I* wouldn't willingly buy it, but if enough of the market did, we may end up with that being the business model for toasters and nothing else being available.

Google, Facebook and and their ilk are doing that exact thing. Their services are all free* (as in getting raped at the train station after dark).

about 5 months ago
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Solar Roadways Project Beats $1M Goal, Should Enter Production

MrNaz Re:Deja vu (311 comments)

I really hate to be skeptical, especially with a project with goals as desirable as this, however I just don't see it happening. Road surfaces receive an enormous amount of wear. The current state of materials technology just isn't able to deliver the properties that such a surface would need to have to provide the described functionality.

Don't get me wrong, I really, really want this to succeed. It's just that we still can't make a solid bitumen road resistant to cracks in the long term, so how can we hope to make electronics and other far more fragile components match or exceed that level of durability without making the costs skyrocket to the point that it is not economically viable. Airports, with their massive budgets, have runways with *some* of that functionality, and they already require regular maintenance. The $ per square meter spent on a runway at an airport is more than a few orders of magnitude more than that spent on public roads.

Anyway, let's watch and hope.

about 5 months ago

Submissions

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How to educate government agencies about security?

MrNaz MrNaz writes  |  more than 4 years ago

MrNaz (730548) writes "Here in Australia we are supposed to have one of the most IT heavy health care systems in the world. Yet, over the years, the general lack of IT savvy has been a problem I have butted up against repeatedly. For example, I was recently involved in a government program which required sending a list of certain patients to a government department for processing. The list had patient names, addresses, Medicare numbers and a few other details. In the instructions that I received from the department, I was instructed to generate the list as a MS Excel file, and then password protect it before burning it to a CD and mailing it. Now, we all know the folly of relying on Excel passwords to protect lost CDs from becoming an ID thief's wet dream, but how to educate the government about this? Anyway, how does this even happen? When deciding on a procedure, whichever suited bureaucrat came up with the idea could have and should have at least consulted the IT guy down the hall. How can we instill a practice whereby decision makers at least bring it up with someone in the know before making an on-the-spot decision that could result in disaster?"
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DIY Production Server?

MrNaz MrNaz writes  |  more than 5 years ago

MrNaz writes "We need to build a file server with very specific physical dimensions. We do not have a lot of space to play with, and the weight must also be kept to a bare minimum. Server cases, especially those with 8 or more HDD bays, are far too heavy for our application. After about 30 minutes of musing constructing my own chassis from sheets of PVC, I realized that what I was contemplating amounted an ill-conceived combination of backyard DIY and deploying a server into a production environment. It seemed like a terrible idea, but for no specific reason. Having built countless PCs and servers over the years I am thoroughly familiar with thermal management issues and the importance of protection against dust and other foreign matter and have even dealt extensively with noise reduction, but perhaps there are aspects of case construction that I am not familiar with. So I thought I'd ask the Slashdot community; Are there any reasons that building a server box like this is a bad idea? Has anyone in the Slashdot crowd built their own production server box like this?"
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Online multi user file sharing and sync

MrNaz MrNaz writes  |  more than 6 years ago

MrNaz writes "For personal and work use, I have 2 laptops and a desktop. All of them are dual boot Windows and Linux, and I also have several VMs that I use. I want to be able to access my files from any of these machines and OSes. I've given up on maintaining a synchronized file repository, as it gets too convoluted when this many sources of change exist. So I've decided to move all my documents to be primarily stored online. At the moment, under Linux, I'm mounting a remote directory using SSHFS, and under Windows I'm mounting it using WebDrive. These solutions work, however I'm looking for a more scalable way to do this so if I wanted to provide remote file spaces for, say, 10,000 users, I could. So I ask Slashdot: What are the options for a scalable, secure remote file hosting platform that is seamless to the OS, easy for the end user and completely open source? Bonus points if there is a way to maintain local copies for offline work, and then sync with the server easily while providing an effective conflict resolution mechanism."
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Misrepresenting science for good?

MrNaz MrNaz writes  |  more than 6 years ago

MrNaz writes "I recently received an email from the WWF asking for donations to help pandas affected by the recent earthquake in China. While I both support the mission of the WWF as well as the need for generosity in the face of natural disasters, I find myself offended by the misrepresentation of the facts of the scenario. Is the general level of education really so poor that the average person would be fooled by such a blatant play on emotion? Am I being reasonable in my quest for intellectual honesty or should I just allow white lies like this to pass given that the cause is admirable?"
Link to Original Source
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A journey in i18n

MrNaz MrNaz writes  |  more than 6 years ago

MrNaz writes "I have recently been doing a lot of work in i18n, and have become more and more frustrated by just how badly it is currently done on the web and in software in general. I have decided to share my experiences in this area in the hope that other developers may be inspired to pay more attention to this increasingly important aspect of software development."
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The most amazing Chuck Norris fact ever!

MrNaz MrNaz writes  |  more than 6 years ago

MrNaz writes "Chuck Norris facts have been circulating the Interwebs for some time now. Given that the only ones that really get around are those that are the most extreme and outrageous, it would seem obvious that they are a gag. However, Le Chuck has now decided that it is necessary to sue somebody to ensure that people aren't falsely duped into thinking that his tears cure cancer or that his sidekick is not capable of altering the Earth's orbit. Chuck Norris Fact 37,342: Chuck Norris is so awe-inspiring that he has to sue to make sure people don't think these facts are true!"
Link to Original Source

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