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NSF Researcher Suspended For Mining Bitcoin

NeumannCons Re:$150,000? (220 comments)

One would hope that the cpu time cost of this supercomputer has been calculated. I.E. How much people are willing to pay for CPU time on similar machines. Or even how much the facilities cost to house and run this computer (power, cooling, operators, building costs, etc). How about total costs amortized over the expected lifetime of the machine?

Of course, we don't know how the cost was calculated and it was probably a number arrived at after appropriate hand waving. And then someone transcribed some numbers when jotting it down, and this is the "amount worth" published.

about 8 months ago

The Coming Wave of In-Dash Auto System Obsolescence

NeumannCons Re:This is already the case with in-dash GPS. (445 comments)

Sorry, I don't understand "Siri Set the rapture sven dead trees"

Would you like me to search the web for that?

more than 2 years ago

US Report Sees Perils To America's Tech Future

NeumannCons Re:the numbers are wrong (373 comments)

2015 - intel/ms produce all goods in China - the computer sent to the US
2020 - intel/ms declare bankruptcy. Chinese companies produce all parts and software, computer sent to the US

The problem is not just the assembly cost, which is in fact marginal. The problem is the costs all down the supply chain. All the components inside, say, an Ipod are made in China. All the profits made producing and selling those items stay in China. I don't think you could even produce a computer in the US today. You'd have to get and ship all your parts from Asia. Hard drives, memory, displays, discrete components - all made overseas. The huge support base for producing all electronics have moved overseas. If a $200 Ipod costs Apple $150 in parts, $10 assembly/packaging/shipping and $40 profit, that's still $150 that flowed into Chinese economy - not the US economy.

Prototyping and design used to be done here. It's now easier to get the engineering talent overseas where engineers have access and contact with the people producing the actual parts they need to use in their own products. We've lost the production capability, we're about to lose knowledge about how to even create the devices we invented.

about 3 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Which Ph.D For Work In Applied Statistics / C.S.?

NeumannCons Put yourself in their shoes (173 comments)

You're hiring a someone to be a computer scientist. Would you rather see them have a CS degree or a biology degree? Ivy League degree or Pretty Good European University? I think everyone is going to look at this differently. I know *I'd* rather see the CS degree. I wouldn't be overly impressed by Ivy League but I think a lot of others would be. I work in the the tech field along with people who have degrees in unusual areas (Dance?) but are technically top notch.

BTW, these days it seems a lot of resumes are searched for key words. If they're hiring a computer scientist - guess what keywords they're going to look for?

more than 3 years ago

SCADA Hacker: Water District Used 3-Character Password

NeumannCons Re:duh (213 comments)

H2o. Need at least one uppercase, one lower case and one non-letter.

more than 3 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Does Being 'Loyal' Pay As a Developer?

NeumannCons Take the job (735 comments)

I've seen many people who seemed extremely critical leave. Once we had someone leave who convinced a couple of others to jump as well. Others fill in the gap (amazing how quickly some people learn when they *really* need to), new talent is hired. Take the new job, enjoy the 7.5 hours a week of more time, invest the money and meet your old pals at the pub.

more than 3 years ago

Firefox Advises Users To Disable McAfee Plugin

NeumannCons Re:just go all the way and uninstall Mcafee (213 comments)

I think that in addition to the virus detection code there's a *larger* amount of "valid paid-up subscription" nag code. The memory footprint of these things is truly stunning and kills machine's performance. Microsoft's Security Essentials used to be pretty lightweight but it's hitting middle age weight gain. At least it's not intrusive and doesn't nag you to pay up since it's free.

more than 3 years ago

Facebook Images To Get Expiration Date

NeumannCons Print screen (306 comments)

I agree that there are a lot of reasons why this is unlikely to more forward.

From a technical standpoint though, in Windows, you can make a plug-in that will prevent "print screen" from working on/"seeing" certain areas of the screen. Fire up Windows Media player. Start any movie, hit print screen and then see what you got by pasting it into something. You'll notice you'll get the media player window with a nice black box for the content. I also remember Windows being able to do that with IE when they first started their Terraserver project - the imagery was somehow copyrighted and you could look at it, but attempting to copy it or print it resulted in an image with the word copyright repeated over and over and no satellite image.

Of course this won't prevent anyone determined enough to reverse engineer the way the plugin works and then design a workaround. It would however prevent the casual user (probably about 99% of the facebook population) from simply using print-screen or copying the image and mailing it to a friend.

about 4 years ago

Running Your Own Ghost Investigation?

NeumannCons How to test for something you know nothing about? (810 comments)

Has anyone ever been able to definitely prove the presence of a ghost? Houdini was rather well known for his attempts at contacting his mother through seances but was never able to find a clairvoyant who was real. Quite a few "ghost shows" are on TV where the "investigators" get all worked up about something quite ordinary ("Ooooh - look - only part of this chair is warm - someone was sitting here in the last hour!!! OMG get a thermal picture of it - this is too weird - I'm freaking out!!!!"). Yet these shows never find anything remotely mystifying.

So you're left with the task of proving/disproving the presence of something you and everyone else knows nothing about - much less how to test for the presence of it. Do they affect magnetic fields? Do they emit light? Do they make noise? Do they alter the temperature of the air around them? Are they affected by unlicensed nuclear accelerators? For ghosts, the answer would have to be "maybe". For humans, the answer for every question is "yes" (yes, we do emit very faint light). So if you do detect something, it's almost certain it's not a ghost, but rather a human.

about 4 years ago

The worst I've ever been in trouble w/ the law ...

NeumannCons Re:Incredible (957 comments)

Ah - I see you've been rick-rolled.

more than 4 years ago

80-Year-Old Edison Recording Resurrected

NeumannCons Re:We couldn't get it to play from the Times Union (133 comments)

They've pulled the beta off of their website. They received a letter from the lawyers representing the estate of Edison. The lawyers clients are claiming ownership of the ip rights to all pallotophone codecs and pallotophone encryption/decryption algorithms. Said counsel for Bubba Edison - Mr. G. R. White, "Mr. Edison is seeking to ride on his Great Grandfathers coat tails -we aim to help him since that's the right thing to do - and the fact that he's paying us lots of money". Mr. White was not immediately available for comment as he was participating in a feeding frenzy.

more than 4 years ago

Time To Dump XP?

NeumannCons Re:XP is productive (1213 comments)

Mod parent up!

Linux has about a dozen different AV products, commercial as well as free. Wikipedia claims about 800 variants of Linux malware although it does not identify the percentage found in the wild.

Linux has it's roots from Unix which has been the genesis for such fun stuff as rootkits. Who can forget the Morris worm which brought down most Unix systems connected to the Internet in 1988. And now with the ability to install a malware hypervisor onto a machine, it doesn't even matter which OS you run -- no OS is safe.

more than 4 years ago

Microsoft To Pay $200M In Patent Dispute

NeumannCons Will license the "technology" (81 comments)

I've always loved how at the end of a patent dispute, the company who's lost to the patent holder, agrees "to license the 'technology'. After the money is paid out, I wonder if there's really anything that gets passed back... Code samples? Flowcharts? Theory of operations? Punch cards? I would guess in most cases zip gets transferred - and not the compression algorithm...

Company1 - "Yeah, hi, this is Bob at company X - we recently licensed your technology that allows people to use a mouse to interact with a computation unit in a way that allows the computation unit to perform a useful task. We'd like to get the relevant documentation?"

Company2 - "Um, docs. Huh - never thought of that - I mean it's never come up... Wow, I guess you could read the patent application - that's the only docs we got. BTW, would you like to purchase rights to allow the mouse to instruct the computation unit to perform a useless task? We got a special going on this week for that..."

more than 4 years ago

Chinese ISP Hijacks the Internet (Again)

NeumannCons Re:What exactly happened? (171 comments)

Sort of. EIGRP is a routing protocol used within an organization (Interior Gateway Protocol or IGP). BGP is the routing protocol used between organizations (Exterior Gateway Protocol or EGP). So you may be running EIGRP (or OSPF, RIP2, etc) within your company but speaking BGP to the other companies your connected to. Also, while there are several IGPs, for all practical purposes, there's only one EGP (BGP). It functions similarly to other routing protocols, using metrics to detmine the best routes to other networks. If it advertises a better route to reach a network, everyone is going to start sending traffic destined for that network to them.

This concludes our lesson for TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms).

more than 4 years ago

Wall St. Trading Servers To Power Off-Hour Clouds?

NeumannCons Re:"Once 4:30 rolls around..." (208 comments)

It's my understanding that the high frequency traders need machines that are physically near to the market they're trading stocks on to minimize hops, lag, etc. and to chronologically beat everyone else who's trying to do the same. Everything is built to make transactions that can be executed almost immediately to take advantage of stocks going up or down before everyone else does thereby altering prices.

I'm going to guess that trying to play that game for servers overseas where lag can be measured in seconds won't work when your competition has servers located in the same building the market is in.

more than 4 years ago

Long-Term Storage of Moderately Large Datasets?

NeumannCons Big Question - How critical is the data? (411 comments)

One thing you didn't mention in your post - how critical is the data? If you lost it what would happen: Nothing? Would you lose a few hours time recreating it? Would you go out of business? Would you get sued for breach of contract? Would Knees and Knuckles be paying your family a final visit? Knowing that would make a difference in how I would store the data.

As several posters have stated and you've noticed yourself - nothing beats a hard drive for cost/byte.

But then you need to determine what to do with that - do you keep it online at all times (power, space, cooling may become issues to consider).

How many copies of the data do you keep? Hard drives fail. Just because it's raid doesn't mean it's safe.

What's your bigger plan for dealing testing for failure of the backup media and determining when to retire them? Periodic testing has to be one of the most important parts of your plan. You build something test it once and later find out that your last 2 months of backups were worthless. Testing can help you avoid that.

Do you need to keep copies off-site? Having 2 copies in your data-center located in your basement is no good if it floods.

How much total storage do you need, need 6 months from now, 2 years, etc.? There's an interesting article from the online backup folks at backblaze.com. They put together 4U enclosures that store 67 Terabytes for about $8,000 USD. Complete instructions are on their site for how to do it (they don't sell them but use them for their business). However, it's not exactly portable. While not physically huge, it's gotta weigh a bit. Perhaps 2 at separate locations with a network connection between them to keep them mirrored?

There's a number of firms that offer various online backup solutions where your data is automatically uploaded to their datacenter automatically, however I suspect that you're going to exceed their usual offerings unless they have some "poweruser" or business option. For individuals, "$5/mo unlimited storage" seems to be the norm. However, their are 2 limiting factors to that "unlimited" - your/their available bandwidth. If it takes 2 months to push out your dataset - is that acceptable? Also, many firms delete your data 30 days after you delete it. So if you move those hds to your safety deposit box, does the backup co see them as deleted and then delete their copy? Comparing the cost of doing it yourself vs them may be attractive, esp if they have some appropriate business plan that's not much more then their individual plan.

Does the data need to be encrypted? If you loose those hds on the way to your offsite location will it be merely inconvenient or life altering when someone finds it and reads it?

Finally do you need to somehow need to index the data so you can find your backups?

Making backups is easy. Doing it right so you can actually get your data back takes a little more work.


more than 4 years ago

Fake "Bill Gates" Message Dupes Top Tools

NeumannCons This is research? Where's the beef? (117 comments)

So the "researcher" sends an email pretending to be B. Gates and the message got through? OMG! Seriously, where's the "phishing" part? Did he have them click on a link? What was the success rate of that? Linkedin is fairly safe - there's not a whole lot of sensitive information there (unless past work history is "sensitive) - it doesn't ask you for your SSN, address, credit card no, etc. Asking a victim to supply that info to join someones linkedin group would surely raise suspicion and alert people that it's a fake. There's no real meat to the article here. Either the reporter reporting on this story has missed an important part of the story (likely) or the researcher has just discovered that you can email anyone and pretend to be anyone.

All of the tools listed don't work by verifying the identity of the sender. If you fail to look/behave like a spammer/cracker/phisher, your email will get through unless you use a white list at which point 99% of people outside your list won't know how to get an email to you even though the rejection letter spells out the correct procedure. I wonder how many people actually tried to join Bill's linkedin account and of those what percentage thought it may actually *be* Bill. I'm gonna guess it's somewhere around zero.

Now excuse me, I have to get back to forwarding Bill's email I got to 20 people so have I have a chance at the million dollar prize.

about 5 years ago

Low-Energy Laser Etching May Replace Fruit Labels

NeumannCons How long before (475 comments)

Why does it strike me as more of a ploy to make sure you can't remove the label even if you wanted to?

I'll bet right now marketing is sitting around a conference table:
"This looks pretty good for a start, but we've done some market research that shows that consumers want the labeling on the inside as well. We need some type of penetrating laser that will label the edible parts inside. We need to be able to etch the outside of the banana skin as well as etch at least a logo on the edible part inside. Also, if we're doing citirus, we need to be able to etch each segment. We need to make sure our logo is seen from the moment you go into the store to the moment you put it in your mouth... Hmmm, I wonder if we can extend that to the moment we flush it down...

more than 5 years ago

Feds Bust Cable Modem Hacker

NeumannCons Re:What!? (658 comments)

From what I know of cable co's, they periodically check the settings on their modems (we know they can change them when you upgrade/downgrade service, it follows they can also check the current settings). I know that's how they used to catch uncappers in the past. Kind of a "trust but verify" approach.

You can attach a DOCSIS device of your own, but unless their equipment allows it onto their tubes (provisions it), you're not going to get any service. You could of course try to clone someone's MAC address, but then you've crossed over into illegal/stealing service territory. A cable company is not going to allow end user equipment onto their network that they have no control over since their whole ISP business model is based on charging for bandwidth.

more than 5 years ago


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