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Gmail Goes HTTPS Only For All Connections

Wierdy1024 Re: More lip service (141 comments)

Google gets chrome to randomly send back certificates, and they then analyse them.

Yes, the return certs could be modified in transit, or blocked, but that's tricky.

about 5 months ago
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Shuttleworth Wants To Get Rid of Proprietary Firmware

Wierdy1024 That ship sailled in the early 90's (147 comments)

No escaping proprietary firmware now. I would hazard a guess that a laptop purchased today has firmware or firmware libraries from over 1000 teams.

You don't see them, because most are stored in roms and flash, and your OS doesn't need to know about them...

about 5 months ago
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Google Blocking Asus's Android-Windows "Duet"?

Wierdy1024 The delay is almost certainly on technical grounds (194 comments)

For example, if android is run under a hypervisor that allows 'quick switching' between the OS's, but restricts what android can do or degrades performance, I can see why Google doesn't want to impact the Android brand by releasing something substandard.

about 5 months ago
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Comparing Cloud-Based Image Services For Developers

Wierdy1024 Never host user images on your domain... (28 comments)

If you care about security, you would never host user provided images on your own domain.

Browsers ignore the file extension, and in many cases ignore the mime type when deciding how to process a URL. A malicious user could upload a dodgy swf file, but then rename it .jpg. Then the attacker gets the victim to load the malicious jpg from your domain. The swf can now read your domains cookies (same origin policy) and then return them to the attacker.

Thats why google uses 'Googleusercontent.com'. Most big sites do it. If you care about your users, you would do it too...

about 6 months ago
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Is Verizon Already Slowing Netflix Down?

Wierdy1024 "Treat all traffic equally" might be right. (298 comments)

You don't have to put special traffic throttling rules in to make the service shoddy. Instead you can simply refuse to upgrade the router connecting your Verizon residential service to Amazon AWS. Since that ancient router is still stuck on a 1Gbit link shared amongst all users, service will suck.

But they can legitimately say "We don't discriminate traffic". Just they do discriminate when deciding which bits of their network to upgrade, and the bit connecting to Amazon isn't being upgraded anytime soon.

about 6 months ago
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HTML5 App For Panasonic TVs Rejected - JQuery Is a "Hack"

Wierdy1024 Resources are limited... (573 comments)

And they want you to code without libraries to keep things low-memory and speedy.

That or they're looking for a weak reason to reject your app because they have an internal app which does the same as yours shortly to be released.

about 6 months ago
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HP To Charge For Service Packs and Firmware For Out-of-Warranty Customers

Wierdy1024 Re:oh well (385 comments)

If they didn't all happen at once with a software update, probably, yes.

It might be a design fault (ie. whoops you put that chip too near that screw, and they rub on each other and over time the chip eventually falls off), or a manufacturing fault (wrong type of solder used, and as the board expands and contracts, the solder flexes and eventually cracks). But it's probably still a hardware fault.

If HP really cared, they would take back the faulty server, take it to their lab, and remove and test the temperature sensor itself and figure out the *exact* cause of the problem.

about 7 months ago
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HP To Charge For Service Packs and Firmware For Out-of-Warranty Customers

Wierdy1024 Re:oh well (385 comments)

To be honest, it probably was a hardware issue...

Often, those sensors are on the SMI bus (which is (basically) an 8 bit serial bus), and a chip disconnected from the SMI bus returns all binary "1"'s. If they treat that as unsigned, it is 255. If they treat it as sign and magnitude, it's -127.

Either way the problem probably is the chip has been knocked and broken off the motherboard slightly.

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

Wierdy1024 Re: Since nobody else here is prividing much help. (365 comments)

Note that these by the way assume you have the engineering time to 'do it properly'. There are lots of ways of making a considerably bigger design, but with much less design effort.

Check out 'Handel c' for example. Its a one click tool that takes C code and produces horribly inefficient hardware, but it works.

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

Wierdy1024 Since nobody else here is prividing much help... (365 comments)

I shall give it a go.

First up, most algorithms can't be directly translated to hardware without either changing them or taking a serious performance hit.

Nearly all widespread algorithms (eg. H264 video) are designed specifically with a hardware implementation in mind, and in fact must usually have elements removed that would produce good results simply because it wouldn't be sensible to implement in hardware.

In particular, in hardware, loops that iterate an unknown number of times are generally not allowed.

Steps to make this estimate would probably be to take your code and 'flatten' it (IE. Rewrite it to avoid all use of pointers, except arrays).

For every variable, figure out how many bits wide it needs to be(IE. What is the smallest and largest possible value). You probably want to convert floating point to fixed point.

Next, to make a lower bound of how many gates would be used if you were to design for minimal gate use, take every add and subtract operation and call them 15 gates per bit. For every multiply call it 5 gates per input bit squared. Don't do division (division can be done as a multiplication by the inverse of a number).

For the upper bound, do the same, but multiply by the number of times each loop goes round. That gives you a design with lots more gates but much higher performance.

For the upper bound finally add on 5 gates for every bit of every variable times the number of lines of your input code. This approximates the d type flip flops for storage in a pipeline. Note that if two lines of code operate on entirely different variables, you can call them the same line as far as this metric goes.

For the lower bound, if you got a value greater than 10000 plus 16 times the number of bytes that your program is compiled plus the ram it allocates to run, it would be more gate efficient to put in a tiny processor and keep your algorithm in a ROM. (Lots of complex algorithms are implemented this way when space is at a premium).

about 7 months ago
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Google Fixes Credit Card Security Hole, But Snubs Discoverer

Wierdy1024 It is possible Google hasnt changed anything (127 comments)

Google uses automatic systems to try to detect "abusive" queries. When the system is triggered, you get the message "Our systems have detected unusual traffic from your computer network. Please try your request again later.".

Searching for the same random hex string every day for a week that nobody else in the world has searched for would probably make you stand out from the crowd as some kind of bot. (Bots often use google search looking for random keywords to check for updates to their own code, and the bot-owner can then put the software update anywhere on the internet with the right random keywords and it will be found).

When you have triggered the bot-detect code, it will probably get more sensitive ("look mom, I learned to detect a type of malware, and I'm gonna make sure it never gets through again!").

Hence, I have a suspicion that the entire content of this post could have happened without any interaction on the part of Google Engineers. And if thats the case, they really shouldn't get blamed for screwing over a little guy, but instead praise for making such a smart system that it can detect a little guy doing something evil and block him all automatically.

about 8 months ago
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At Current Rates, Tesla Could Soon Suck Up Worldwide Supply of Li-Ion Cells

Wierdy1024 18650 cells? (351 comments)

18650 cells?

Thats like saying "If everyone bought their house using pennies, we wouldn't have enough pennies!". 18650 cells are ideal for laptops, but for cars, one uses bigger batteries, for which there is more production volume.

about a year ago
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Snowden Gave 15,000 Documents to Glenn Greenwald; Obama Cancels Russia Summit

Wierdy1024 Scandisk errors... (531 comments)

My guess is Glenn Greewald's PC suddenly suffers some corruption and the few most secret pages of those documents mysteriously get corrupted or turn to blank...

1 year,14 days
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Computer Scientists Develop 'Mathematical Jigsaw Puzzles' To Encrypt Software

Wierdy1024 This is poorly described, but is a breakthrough (245 comments)

Normally obfuscation is bad in cryptography - it means that the system is theoretically broken, but that the way to break it is quite well hidden.

This refers to cryptographically secure obfuscation. This is an entirely new field, and hasn't been possible till now. This paper doesn't prove how to do it, but proves that it is possible for a certain subset of operations.

Basicly it boils down to the fact it is possible to make a computer program that, for a given set of inputs a) generates a set of outputs b) in such a way that it wouldn't be possible to modify the program to make it generate a particular output without doing an exhaustive search (ie. try every possible input).

It's similar in principle to a "designer" hash algorithm - ie. I can choose the output for a given input, but after compilation it will not be possible to find out the mapping without knowing the input.

This type of algorithm could enable things people hate (DRM), but also many other new fields of computing, in particular doing computation on untrusted processors.

1 year,20 days
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Google Announces Android 4.3, Netflix, New Nexus 7, and Q Successor Chromecast

Wierdy1024 Re:How do they plan to do that if I own the kernel (244 comments)

You know a "simple XOR" of the data with a one time pad key is theoretically unbreakable...

What matters is how you generate the keystream, not how you apply it to the data.

1 year,27 days
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Google's Latest Machine Vision Breakthrough

Wierdy1024 This does not rule out deep neural networks (113 comments)

Bear in mind, this particular method is just a way to quickly do a large number of convolutions and get statistically fairly accurate results for the most activated convolution kernels.

This isn't incompatible with deep neural network models. This method can be combined with them and provide the same speedup there.

1 year,28 days
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BBC Clock Inaccurate - 100 Days To Fix?

Wierdy1024 1st big website with (487 comments)

When the BBC implemented this clock, they were pushing forward technology by being the first large website to use HTML5 canvas. Yes, thats right, there is no flash in that clock...

They didn't make a big fanfare about it, they just implemented it.

Now that canvas is widespread, I would prefer they go push other bits of technology forward.

about a year ago

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