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Comments

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This 1981 BYTE Magazine Cover Explains Why We're So Bad At Tech Predictions

SecurityTheatre Apple Won With User-Focus, rather than features (276 comments)

Apple's win with the iPhone wasn't the concept of "smartphone", but the concept of "humanist UI design".

The idea of scrolling, zooming, pointing and manipulating objects as if they were paper on a roll, or physical buttons eschewed the previous generation of phones which used a stylus and scroll bars down the side of the window.

It's this humanist user element that represents the revolution if the iPhone, rather than the anything of the "smart" features, which people rightly point out were rather underwhelming when it was released.

That might be overstating one thing, however. The one other innovation was the integration of a full Safari rendering engine, as it was far better than comparable phones at the time. Other vendors assumed that the UI would be too clunky to display full pages on a small screen. Apple, again, worked on the UI and made it work.

about 3 months ago
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Slashdot Tries Something New; Audience Responds!

SecurityTheatre Re:Why? (2219 comments)

You have THREE HUNDRED webpages open?

WTF?

about 6 months ago
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Watch Bill Nye and Ken Ham Clash Over Creationism Live

SecurityTheatre Re:Sad (593 comments)

This is completely fallacious.

First, it assumes one single explanation, when a myriad of them exist. The relative unlikeliness of one answer does not result in the conclusive proof for another, especially when you didn't even discuss why you think it was a binary decision.

Second, several sources have been found with 75%-90% left-handed ratio, indicating that there ARE natural causes for specific handedness of naturally occurring amino acids. The most probable source of this is polarized light, which can be created by reflections off water, as well as space phenomena such as pulsars and has been demonstrated to be configured this way in asteroid material.

about 6 months ago
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DEA Presentation Shows How Agency Hides Investigative Methods From Trial Review

SecurityTheatre Re:How about "play by your own rules", eh? (266 comments)

I'm sorry, I should add.... AGENTS cheat, behind the prosecutors' back. Then prosecutors further cheat.

No wonder the plea rate in the US exceeds 95%.

about 6 months ago
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DEA Presentation Shows How Agency Hides Investigative Methods From Trial Review

SecurityTheatre Re:How about "play by your own rules", eh? (266 comments)

THIS JUST IN: Prosecutors sometimes lie and cheat to get convictions, regardless of the legality or even sometimes the truth.

I knew this, defence attorneys know this. I'm glad the public is hearing about it.

about 6 months ago
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Is the West Building Its Own Iron Curtain?

SecurityTheatre Re:For everyone who said "what do you have to hide (337 comments)

I don't know statistics for Europe.

In North America, most crimes are near historical lows from the late 1950s. Some crimes (like minor property crimes such as petty vandalism) are somewhat higher than the 1950s, but I think when we're talking about stripping liberties, the conversation seems to center more around crimes that involve massive harm (death, complete destruction of multiple items of property, etc).

But as for Brussels, a brief google search for "crime in brussels" revealed this in the first link:

Brussels has, by northern European standards, a high petty crime rate and it is top of the European league when it comes to domestic burglaries but is one of the safest capitals in the world – and possibly the safest in Europe – when it comes to violent crime, particularly murder. And despite the current media stampede, in the first half of 2009 Brussels registered the lowest crime rate in almost a decade.

So, yes, sure Burglaries seem high, but violence is low.

Murder rates in Western Europe as a whole are about 1 per 100,000 people, which is among the lowest in the world, and also among the lowest in the HISTORY of the world.

Granted, Brussels has one of the highest crime rates in Western Europe and has 10 murders per 100,000 people. Today that puts it in "average city" status in the world, but given today's crime statistics, it would would have been considered one of the safest cities on Earth as recently as 1989.

about 6 months ago
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Pirate Bay Block Lifted In the Netherlands

SecurityTheatre Re:Recent studies (118 comments)

On the other hand, I commend lawmakers and Judges for looking at the data and making a rational decision.

In many places, the politicians enter the discussion with an idea of how things work. Most of the time, they simply refuse to change their mind, damn the evidence.

I tip my hat to the Dutch judges or politicians who reserve judgement, wait for a peer-reviewed or statistically rigorous assessment from an independent body, and then make a reasonable decision from that.

Just because YOU feel it is obvious, obviously many people don't. Good data is the most appropriate counter to ignorant assumptions.

about 6 months ago
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Is the West Building Its Own Iron Curtain?

SecurityTheatre For everyone who said "what do you have to hide?" (337 comments)

In discussions about government spying and surveillance, there is often a vocal group who says "if you don't have anything to hide, then this spying should not bother you."

The counter argument is that governments have tended to take information they are given and when the right person is in power, or the right sentiment strikes the public, those programs are expanded and distorted beyond their original intent.

I'm sure in the 1970s and 1980s when these programs were first beginning to be set up, they had noble intentions of only ever targeting known criminals and spys, and eventually were justified by saying that if makes people feel more secure in a post-9/11 world.

But the reality is, even without these programs, we live in the safest time that humanity has ever seen. The odds of dying of a freak accident like choking on a grape are more real to the average person than terrorism, or crime.

This is not the right solution to this invented problem.

about 5 months ago
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Supreme Court Refuses To Hear Newegg Patent Case

SecurityTheatre Re: Abolish software patents (204 comments)

I have to disagree.

Software patents, for the most part (I'd wager 99% of the time), are used to STOP someone from selling a product.

Do you know why Apple has that stupid "whole screen slides to the side" unlock now? Because someone put a patent on "slide to unlock"

Holy crap, what a dumb patent. Does the world benefit from someone hiring a lawyer and paying thousands of dollars, and spending months drafting a patent, just to make sure that nobody else could have a graphic of a "slide to unlock" widget?

What the fuck?

The world would have been better off if that lawyer was off... you know... affecting real law... and the coder was off... you know... writing code.

about 6 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Many (Electronics) Gates Is That Software Algorithm?

SecurityTheatre Re: Verilog (365 comments)

I was wondering... Stared at that for too long before deciding something must have happened... :-)

about 7 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Many (Electronics) Gates Is That Software Algorithm?

SecurityTheatre Re:Verilog (365 comments)

Yeah, I misunderstood my notes. See below :-) I last did any hardware design 15 years ago. hah

about 7 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Many (Electronics) Gates Is That Software Algorithm?

SecurityTheatre Re:Verilog (365 comments)

I was misunderstanding my notes.

You would need several thousand transistors for a standard DIV circuit, and then the CPU would need to iterate through the operation many times in order to perform a division.

A single-cycle division circuit isn't practical, so it would involve building a state-machine and having the processor stall while doing the DIV calculation. The simple 1-bit circuit I was looking at would require a number of cycles equal to the number of bits input (16, 32, 64, etc), although they can be made faster.

looking at it, the latency for the Core2Duo chip to do a 64-bit integer DIV up to 87 cycles, and that's a pretty optimized circuit for raw speed.

about 7 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Many (Electronics) Gates Is That Software Algorithm?

SecurityTheatre Re:Verilog (365 comments)

"Add = 3 gates, Divide = 6 gates" is quite comical to anyone who actually knows these things.

Looking at an old reference I have, a 16-bit ripple-carry style adder requires 576 transistors, and a 16-bit carry-lookahead style adder (faster) requires 784 transistors.

This is not including ANY control circuitry, nor a subtract feature.

A pure-hardware 16-bit integer DIVIDE is between 15-30 times more complicated. To do it in pure hardware, would require on the order of 23,000 transistors.

Unless you need your division to happen wicked fast with low latency and you don't care about transistor count, it's better to build add/shift hardware and simply perform a division operation using those bits of hardware repeatedly.

Also, we're only doing 16-bit. If you need 64-bit, multiple all of those numbers by about 50 (spitballing).

And converting from C into VHDL is probably not going to be the best way to go about this. Hire a decent hardware engineer.

about 7 months ago
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Bill Nye To Debate Creationist Museum Founder Ken Ham

SecurityTheatre Re:Bad call (611 comments)

Not many atheists go to warlord controlled countries to delivery medical supplies while unarmed and unprotected.

The Red Cross, Médecins Sans Frontières and UNICEF (the three largest humanitarian forces in war-torn countries) are all specifically non-religious, formed by governments or charitable foundations that specifically disclaim religious founding or providence.

You're just making shit up now to try to prove a point. I advise against this as it makes you look to be grasping at straws.

about 7 months ago
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Harvard Bomb Hoax Perpetrator Caught Despite Tor Use

SecurityTheatre Re:"because it originated from the wireless networ (547 comments)

Except he sent the email 30 minutes before the exam, because he was desperate at the last minute.

Also, news at 10pm: Desperation makes teenager do stupid stuff.

about 7 months ago
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Harvard Bomb Hoax Perpetrator Caught Despite Tor Use

SecurityTheatre Re:How did they do it? (547 comments)

Modern firewalls (Checkpoint, Palo Alto, Juniper) include IPS features and generally log all sessions by default until the disk is full. If you give it a few TB of space, you can keep years of logs on individual TCP sessions....

It's common practice in business (and education).

about 7 months ago
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Harvard Bomb Hoax Perpetrator Caught Despite Tor Use

SecurityTheatre Re:How did they do it? (547 comments)

Keeping firewall logs is a standard activity to be able to respond to malware and other types of attacks.

Your average top-of-the-line firewall like a Palo Alto is generally configured to keep all transaction logs for 1-5 years, depending on traffic volume and needs.

They can do cool reporting of "change in traffic over time" and pull metrics on how BitTorrent traffic from a set of IPs is more/less than it was in the same period a year prior, etc.

And, it can help with investigations.

This is done. Be aware of it, but it's not going to go away, unfortunately. It's too valuable to network admins and the people who pay for the bandwidth.

about 7 months ago
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Six Electric Cars Can Power an Office Building

SecurityTheatre Re:And the battery wear? (296 comments)

Yep, just another example of externalizing long-term costs and claiming savings by doing it.

Humans are BAD at long-term risk analysis.

about 7 months ago
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Six Electric Cars Can Power an Office Building

SecurityTheatre Re:And the battery wear? (296 comments)

In short, no, this is a silly publicity stunt.

Batteries in cars are optimized for weight and cost at a moderate level of normal power draw. They are not optimized for powering buildings.

This is silly.

about 7 months ago

Submissions

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Questions Over Manufactured Votes for European Copyright Reform

SecurityTheatre SecurityTheatre writes  |  more than 2 years ago

SecurityTheatre (2427858) writes "In the European Parliament, important copyright monopoly reforms, that would allow so-called orphaned works to move to the public domain, were voted down 14-against-12 in a committee that should have only 23 possible votes.

That means 26 votes were counted, but only 23 MPs were eligible to vote. With 12 MPs voting in favour of the reforms, that leaves only 11 opposed. Where did the other 3 votes come from?"

Link to Original Source

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