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No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade

NReitzel The end of the Smelly... (289 comments)

The short-magazine Lee-Enfield (SMLE) isn't called the "Smelly" for no reason. It's got an eight-ton trigger pull, stock forearm bands that will drill a hole in your shoulder while you carry it, a steel butt plate that will make an attempt to dislocate your shoulder when fired...

But it is reliable. In fact, think of it as the bolt action flavor of an AK-47.

I hope what they end up with serves as well.

2 days ago

A Critical Look At Walter "Scorpion" O'Brien

NReitzel Stay in perspectve... (193 comments)

Yeah, the show is mediocre, but it starts off with an end tag so what do you expect. I saw the end of the show first and wound back to see if they had started with a matching open tag, but no. Nobody there has a clue what they are, just "web stuff."

Look, compared to network tv shows, it's in the top third. Would you rather have another reality show about an ugly woman and her abusive husband who both have an IQ of 98?

See if you can maintain a perspective on all this.

about two weeks ago

Lennart Poettering: Open Source Community "Quite a Sick Place To Be In"

NReitzel Pick a category (993 comments)


In any subgroup of humans, be they white, black, brown, yellow, blonde, green, Microsoft, Apple, OpenSource, martian...

There will always be some really nasty people. There are people who are absolutely certain that they are right and evidence be damned. There are people who think that you should defer to them because of their superior intellect, good looks, buff muscles, ancestry, even who they think think they know. These days, there are people who sincerely believe that they have God's 800 number.

I've since learned that regardless of how smart, fast, clever, treacherous, blah blah, there will always be someone who is better at it than I am.

I still participate, because I can contribute towards a whole that is greater than I am, and for that matter, greater than they are. I'm not a theist, but the great body of knowledge that genus Homo has accumulated is bigger and better than all of us individually, and in spite of that, or maybe because of that, each of us can contribute our part towards making it better still.

I've learned to tell those people, "If you don't like he way I am doing it, fork you." (sic) Time will tell if you are right or we are right. Like any species, there are innumerable forks, and some will prosper, and some will not. Time will judge.

about two weeks ago

TrueCrypt Gets a New Life, New Name

NReitzel Re:I guess FalseCrypt was taken (270 comments)

Strange that you should mention this. In point of fact, they released the source code.

Let's read that again:

      They Released The Source Code

Dude, that genie is -out- of the bottle. The source builds easily on several platforms, and produces a nice functional FakeCrypt wherever you might want it. Now, let us examine the implications of litigation against people who have brought up their own version.

First, ostensibly honest people who just want some security will be the targets. And what will happen to fundamental terrorist groups? Why, nothing of course. They will have strong crypto and being sued for copyright infringement is the very least of their worries, since they intend on doing rather nastily illegal acts in any case. Law abiding people get harassed, the bad guys don't give a crap.

Are you listening, NSA? What you've done, so you can intercept Aunt Mabel's sex texts, is force the use of this strong package underground. Your only recourse is going to be making any use of crypto illegal, which may in fact have been where you were going in the first place.

You guys are -supposed- to defend the Constitution of the United States. I've actually listened to the oath. The idea is not, and never has been, that the people are entitled to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness as long as it is under strict government supervision.

about a month ago

Ask Slashdot: How To Pick Up Astronomy and Physics As an Adult?

NReitzel Re:From a physics professor (234 comments)

I have a physics background and have tutored classes in physics for twenty years. The math is key - no math, no physics.

I would also suggest actually taking a course - with a lecturer, and someone to answer questions, in ordinary differential equations. You will find that a lot of really hard physics problems become easy, once you understand where the derivation lies.

Don't take a math department course in DiffEq. You will learn to prove that a solution exists, but not how to go about getting one. Instead, I recommend a course called "Engineering Analysis". And good luck!

about a month ago

Can ISO 29119 Software Testing "Standard" Really Be a Standard?

NReitzel Consensus? You have to be kidding... (152 comments)

The free dictionary (by Farlex) defines consensus: 1. An opinion or position reached by a group as a whole.

That's very democratic. Unfortunately, reality is not democratic.

Software testing is designed to unveil real vulnerabilities and errors in a complex system. Having a bunch of people hold up their hands and say, "Is this a problem?" is flatly ludicrous. In point of fact, it's the error that isn't noticed by the majority that constitutes the deepest problem. Remember the Columbia shuttle? A group of people got together and came to the concensus that the ice impact at launch was not a problem.

Testing, by it's very nature, is not subject to regimentation. It's a lot like "Job Descriptions" -- in real terms, establishing a job description is publishing a whole list of things that don't need to be addressed. Why does anyone think software testing will be different?

"Your piece of software has problems." "No, it doesn't. We fulfilled the standard for testing."

Giveth me a break.

about a month and a half ago

IBM Gearing Up Mega Power 8 Servers For October Launch

NReitzel Hullmetal Plated Armor, Dudes (113 comments)

Why go non-X86?

Well, gee, let's see what kind of viruses there are for PowerPC architecture now that Mac has gone Intel.

Uh... None?

If you're building a server farm, who cares about the architecture?

Now, having said that, I do agree with the comment that says there ought to be high-horsepower workstations available. Not all of us are Windoze Gamers. I work at a University and do a lot of SCF chemical simulations. That, my friends, takes guts. If I can't cram in additional CPU/GPU, it kind of leaves me out.

about 2 months ago

UK Police Warn Sharing James Foley Killing Video Is a Crime

NReitzel Re:Benjamin Franklin said once (391 comments)

It's certainly true that America doesn't have the talents of the UK.

In particular, Brits have an absolute monopoly on rampant pomposity.

It's a good thing you guys leaned to grovel properly, sonst sie Deutsch sprechen werden.

about 2 months ago

Geneticists Decry Book On Race and Evolution

NReitzel Are You Kidding? (541 comments)

Oh, come on. Political Correctness has no place in discussions that are scientific in nature.

Northern Europeans clearly evolved to have fair skin and hair, and they evolved from ancestors who did not have fair skin and hair.

How the *BLEEP* is this racist?

about 2 months ago

Hackers Demand Automakers Get Serious About Security

NReitzel While you're at it... (120 comments)

Since people are now talking about car computer security, now is the time to start thinking about including a secure keyed police shutdown mode.

When we get to autonomous vehicles, the nay-sayers are are already worrying about how this would permit alleged felons to drive off form robberies all the while taking pot-shots at the police (not having to drive, and all).

If we're building a Star-Trek ® flavor of car, start thinking about including Command Authorization Codes on a per-car basis.

about 2 months ago

Austrian Tor Exit Node Operator Found Guilty As an Accomplice

NReitzel Re:Whatever way we want it to be (255 comments)

My apologies. I searched myself for the quotation and did not find it. The person in question was Charles Schumer (US Senator), and his remarks were in response to a rather over-the-top NRA assertion that the government was trying to take guns away from "Law Abiding Citizens" subsequent to some multiple shooting event. The event made at least one video outlet -- which is how I saw it -- but apparently was not recorded. This I actually understand, and find nothing nefarious about it -- after all, there was a hugely more serious event to report on.

Since I was unable to provide an actual citation, I did not "name names" -- and the comment was more to illustrate an attitude by lawmakers (not necessarily Mr Schumer personally) that government should have the power to go after someone that "they think" is a Bad Guy, and screw the legal process.

In the US, there have been countless cases of cops trying to charge someone recording their actions on video, because having their actions stand up to careful scrutiny seems (to them) to be an undue burden. The current trend towards categorizing all "illegal immigrants" as drug mules is another example. "They are here illegally, right? So we know they've broken a law." Yes, but _drug mules_ ? That's a stretch.

As a person who witnessed the 1968 events in Chicago, I know that there are some police forces who have the attitude of "We know who the bad guys are and we need to be able to go after them" and the phrase "burden of proof" seems to be missing from their repertoire. Thankfully, in the US, the majority of police forces are not there, at least not yet.

about 4 months ago

Austrian Tor Exit Node Operator Found Guilty As an Accomplice

NReitzel Whatever way we want it to be (255 comments)

In the post-911 world, police departments all over the world are moving into Orwellian territory. They spot someone that they "know" is doing a crime, and they go searching for a law to hammer them.

With laws that don't sunset, and legislative organizations (worldwide) passing more rules and regulations and laws as fast as they can write them down, the state is moving to consolidate it's power. Once, a congressman from the United States said of his constituents, "There are no law-abiding citizens, there are only citizens who haven't yet broken a law."

Wait for it. The police are choosing to persecute (sic) whomever they want to, and due process seems to be fading into the sunset.

about 4 months ago

New Chemical Process Could Make Ammonia a Practical Car Fuel

NReitzel Not to mention poisons... (380 comments)

Well, bureaucratic idiocy ignored, there is another small wart on this process.

Catalysts are very sensitive to "poisons" - chemicals that stop their catalytic activity. Sodium amide used as a catalyst has a vulnerability to a potent catalytic poison - that being water. A little moisture in the fuel tank, a little moisture in the fuel lines, and presto. No catalyst.

I'm not saying it's not possible, I just don't know how one would keep that pestilential dihydrogen monoxide carefully excluded from the process. It's cumulative, every tiny scrap of moisture kills off some of the catalyst.

about 4 months ago

Evidence of a Correction To the Speed of Light

NReitzel Don't mess with "c" (347 comments)

There's an alternative explanation. Space-Time could have non-zero viscosity, and slow down photons.

There are a lot of reasons to consider that space might have a viscosity. For one thing, it would neatly explain the expansion of the universe, without the necessity of invoking dark matter and dark energy.

We live in interesting times!

-- Norm Reitzel

about 4 months ago

Despite Project's Demise, Amazon Web Services Continues To Use TrueCrypt

NReitzel Re:More NSA sponsored anti-Truecrypt FUD (75 comments)

Nice comment, until the end when you found it mandatory to take a shot at Slashdot's reporting as anti-Truecrypt advocacy.

Giveth us all a break.

about 4 months ago

The Latest Wave of Cyberattacks On the West Is Coming From the Middle East

NReitzel Let's see, who created stuxnet? (56 comments)

Gosh, the West went and hacked industrial infrastructure, where? The Middle East? Omigawsh.

Turnabout is fair play, guys. You started the fight, now don't weep that it's come home.

about 5 months ago

The Coming IT Nightmare of Unpatchable Systems

NReitzel Re:This "nightmare" rigns a bell (240 comments)

Unpatchable systems are a problem, but if you view them as a black box, they are no different than non-logical systems that break.

I'm rather fervently against systems that cannot be upgraded on the fly, but I understand why manufacturers might not like this.

Consider, if you buy a traffic light controller that can be improved and modified, then where is the motivation for a second round of purchases when "upgrade" becomes necssary. After all, I certainly want the person who sold me a refrigerator to be able to brick it when they want, or on a certain date. I can't understand those Commie Sympathizers who think that a sale means that you actually -own- the product, and can use it as long as you see fit.

about 5 months ago

TrueCrypt Cryptanalysis To Include Crowdsourcing Aspect

NReitzel Re:Crowdsourcing (131 comments)


Since Truecrypt has decided to drop their project, and the project has been opensourced from day one, I'm going to suggest this is a good time for a fork.

It would (will) be educational to see who goes to court to stop it.

about 5 months ago


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