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Researchers Hack Over a Dozen Home Routers

Wilf_Brim Re:the quote from the researcher (109 comments)

I disagree. There is a demand for security, at least among some a certain set of consumers. The current problem is that apparently none of the commercially available routers appear to be worth anything when it comes to security. Every time an article like this appears on /. I keep looking for some recommendations as to what to do. And I never find anything. The only recommendation I did find was from Mr. Kitchen, about using an old computer and smoothwall. Well, first, physically that wouldn't work (the cable modem, router, and switch all live up on a small shelf near the patch panel for my house. Yes, I paid $$ to get the place wired). Second, I really doubt my ability to keep a linux box up, operating, and fully patched. Keeping the router's firmware up to date is easy (it checks itself, and will pop up on the admin page when a new firmware is available: some will even flash themselves if you allow it): a unix OS isn't going to be that easy. I really don't understand why some manufacturer doesn't use this as a marketing opportunity. There is a niche here. I'd may more (maybe significantly more) for something that is secure, works well, and meets my needs.

about a year ago

RIM Unveils BlackBerry 10, Its Big Turnaround Hope

Wilf_Brim Re:WTF is the point of BB Balance? (267 comments)

This would protect your personal data only somewhat from the admins at work. Time and time again (in many different realms) the courts say that if your workplace is paying for the phone, computer, fax, cell phone, whatever: they have an absolute right to poke their nose into what you are doing. Maybe BB Balance will totally compartmentalize the data streams, but unless the user has bought the handset and is paying for all the usage Mr. Corporate Drone will be able to stick their nose into your device. Long way around to say that I would never want work data on my personal device, or vice versa.

about a year and a half ago

Excessive Modularity Hindered Development of the 787

Wilf_Brim Re:This is what happens... (200 comments)

This. If you get the the bottom of TFA you see what really was driving the decisions about how to design and produce the 787. At the time of the critical decisions for the 787 the head honchos at Boeing were not really Boeing people (a corporation where the key competency for the last 60 years has been the production of profitable commercial airliners.) They came from McDonnell-Douglas, whose key competency was more in the production of military aircraft. The development process of current military hardware is intolerably broken. The old method of subcontracting the design of subsystems and then trying to get them to work together, then just getting more money from Uncle Sam when the result didn't work now results in the aforementioned F22 and F35 (the latter of which may never enter volume production, or at least some variants may not) because complexities have expanded, and costs have likewise increased exponentially. As it turns out, you can't do that with civilian airliners. There aren't friendly Senators and Representatives (whom you have paid off with campaign contributions and subcontractors in their district) to give you more money. And friendly Generals and Admirals (whom are expecting 6 and 7 figure jobs when they retire) who will accept your explanations why things aren't working correctly, and why it's going to be another 3 years to get their gizmo, which doesn't work quite as anticipated. You have shareholders who expect profit, airlines who expect a product in line with what they ordered and expect to pay, and regulators who do not take kindly to aircraft whose electronics bays burst into flames at odd times.

about a year and a half ago

CNET Parent CBS Blocks Review and Award To Dish Over Legal Dispute

Wilf_Brim Re:And on that news.... (138 comments)

I dumped them a while back. Several years ago my media player was full of CNET podcasts. Now, I have nothing to do with them. I'd like to blame it all on CBS, but truthfully they were in decline before the acquisition. This was just the cherry on the steaming pile that is currently CNET.

about a year and a half ago

Navy Seals Disciplined For Revealing Secrets As Consultants On Video Game

Wilf_Brim Re:I've never really understood (204 comments)

The good ones don't. I spent about half of my 20 year Navy career in SOF. My last job was at a rather high HQ. I spent a good bit of time working with a senior enlisted: he was working in the Operations department, doing all of the crappy organizational jobs nobody wanted to do. He, for instance, was chief goat herder at the JOC (Joint Operations Center: fancy name for 35 guys with laptops all wanting more [telephones, bandwidth, coffee, whatever]). He did whatever was necessary to keep things going: move copiers, help the comm guys run lines, whatever. Since we pretty much almost always wore utility uniforms I didn't get to see his decorations until he retired. He had 2 Bronze Stars, and one Silver Star. Come to find out he was a [delete explitive] war hero, nearly Carlos Hathcock level sniper during Iraq with a JSOC unit.

about 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: What To Do With Found Calculators?

Wilf_Brim Re:Doing the right thing (302 comments)

Agree completely. After doing the right thing when they were misplaced (trying to find their rightful owners) keeping them around and loaning them to students whose calculators have neen lost/forgotten/stolen is a great thing. The only thing that may be better would be a long term loan to students that couldn't afford their own.

about 2 years ago

The Hobbit's Higher Frame Rate To Cost Theater Operators

Wilf_Brim Re:Theater threshold (710 comments)

You forgot about the bone. My dog won't let me, every steak needs a bone for him.

more than 2 years ago

Mandatory Brake-Override Proposed For All Cars

Wilf_Brim Re:Just turn off the car? (911 comments)

Welcome to the Nanny State, 2.0 Freedom isn't important, or (to many) even particularly wanted. The public apparently wants safety, or the appearance of safety when it comes to the TSA. Mr. LaHood is capitalizing on this: it doesn't matter that these ideas are a) huge government encroachments and b) of questionable effectiveness, at best, they make it look like he care. We have to do it for the children.

more than 2 years ago

DoJ Files Suit Against Apple, Ebook Publishers

Wilf_Brim Re:I hope they get raked over the coals for this (235 comments)

Likewise. It is episodes like this that make me doubt any conspiracy theory. Most of the big businesses and big governenment people are just either too arrogant or too clueless to realize how dumb they are being. In this case all the major publishers met openly with Apple with the stated goal of getting together to raise eBook prices. Minutes were kept, and there was no effort to hide the meetings or the nature of the discussions. How could anybody with half a brain not consider this to be collusion? Yet they either were too stupid to realize it, or so arrogant as to think that nobody would do anything about it.

more than 2 years ago

DoJ Files Suit Against Apple, Ebook Publishers

Wilf_Brim Re:I just bought a test prep book at Amazon (235 comments)

The price differential becomes even worse when you consider that you give up the Right of First Sale when you buy the electronic version of the book. With the physical test prep book you can loan it to a friend that is going to take the test soon, sell it on Craigslist or where ever, donate to a local library, or otherwise do as you please. You can do none of those things with an ebook. Your ebook isn't reallty a book at all. It is license to read the electronic version of the book, non transferrable and (at least in some cases) revokable. Ebooks should be at least 20% less than the physical form, for that reason alone.

more than 2 years ago

UK Bill Again Demands Web Pornography Ban

Wilf_Brim Re:What is wrong with pornography? (230 comments)

This is a nice example of the perception in class that one must maintain solidarity with what is thought to be the mainstream of thought in the class/university. In this case, the perception is that if one doesn't consider pr0n to be a) demeaning to women b) distasteful c) only consumed by the uneducated underclasses d) THINK OF THE CHILDREN (registered trademark Hillary Clinton, circa 1994) e) all of the above then you are a total neanderthal and should be expelled from the university and have your photo posted on a billboard outside of campus emblazoned with the caption: "PEDOPHILE" The reality is that if you got them out of the classroom and got a few drinks in them, they would admit they like some form of what His Lordship in TFA would refer to as "pornography". They just won't admit it.

more than 2 years ago

Wing Commander: Darkest Dawn — Fan-Made Goodness Reborn

Wilf_Brim Torrents FTW (83 comments)

Unlike some of the commenters above, I was able to get the torrent to download. I just had to sit through a 15 second fabric softener ad. Right now the file is using the max bandwidth I've allocated for that purpose (1 Mbps) and it should be done in less than an hour. Stuff like this was made for the BT protocol. Note to the xxAA and their toadies in the various governments around the world who insist (and, in their hearts truly believe) that bittorrent exists only for pirating Ke$hia albums.

more than 2 years ago

Google Cools Data Center With Bathroom Water

Wilf_Brim Re:Shit (230 comments)

Clothes washers are somewhere between grey and black. Where to place them is a bit of a controversy/dillema in those that think about such things. In most situations they are grey water. However, when diapers and the like are washed there is a much higher concentration of fecal coliform contamination than usual: the water is a very dark shade of grey. Washing diapers has become a bit of an edge case, but it is frequent enough to screw up placing the effluent from a clothes washer into a grey water stream.

more than 2 years ago

Science and Engineering Workforce Has Stalled In the US

Wilf_Brim Re:Incentive (433 comments)

The students aren't going into hard science departments because the facilities are outdated. They aren't going into them for the reasons above: the wages are stagnant, mass layoffs are commonplace, the managment views them as a commodity, and H2B workers are brought in to ensure the above stays as it is.

more than 2 years ago

World's First Biodegradable Joint Implant Grows New Joints

Wilf_Brim Only for non weight bearing joints (102 comments)

From TFA: "The implant has been in development since the mid 90s, and is intended for use in the small finger and toe joints of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis patients. It is made from a polylactide copolymer, and is inserted within the joint capsule of the affected digit." There are a relatively small part of the total joint replacement world. There are fairly few of these arthroplasties done: usually they are fused with a fair functional result. The joints most often replaced are knees and hips, shoulders sometimes and elbows even less. The two former are weight bearing, and the arthroplasty must be able to withstand 10+ years of wear. The growing mass (physical I mean) of the average individual is making this job increasingly difficult. And the endless ads from personal injury lawyers trolling for new clients for their class action cases against total joint makers underscores the dangers associated with a new technology in this field.

more than 2 years ago

Ann Arbor Schools Want $45M For Tech, Partly For Computers To Run Google Docs

Wilf_Brim Eating the seed corn (248 comments)

I don't find it unreasonable that computers made in 2006 (which were underpowered at the time) are due for a replacement. There are reasons (for and against) to pay the Apple tax to get their hardware. That is completely secondary to the main issue.The problem I have is using bond money for this expense. The real issue here is the horrible mismangement that led to the need for a bond issue to replace depreciable assets. Bonds are supposed to be for capital improvements. This means new schools, major rennovations or upgrades. Bond money is not supposed to be used for rountine repair, replacment, or basic expsenses. Building a new wing for [whatever reader thinks is worthwhile] is good. Paying for teacher salaries with bonds is bad. I consider this to be the same as using bond money to buy new books. Book are a depreciable short term asset that need frequent replacement: they should not be considered a capital expense. Likewise computers.

more than 2 years ago

Study Says E-prescription Systems Would Save At Least 50k Lives a Year

Wilf_Brim Re:10 years ago... (134 comments)

Medical software is incredibly expensive. Part of this IS the need for FDA certification in some areas. Another issue is compliance with HIPAA, and the patchwork of state laws that regulate medicine. Part of it is the fact that this is a vertical market, and generally narrow, with the total universe of potential customers. The bigger part is greed. We (I work with one other physician) were considering adding ePrescribing. For the two of us, to ADD to our current EMR software, would be at least $7,500. A year. And we don't prescribe that much. This software, btw, sucks donkey balls. I use an old iPAQ PDA (yes, I said iPAQ, and yes I said PDA). No iOS, Android, or WindowsMobil clients. Maybe we will get an iOS client. Eventually. They were thinking Q1, now it's going to be probably Q3. So, now you see why we aren't falling over ourselves to add this. And remember, all pharmacies have to sign on. Many smaller ones have not. And, in the really funny part, the one type of prescriptions that you think we want electronic submission on (Schedule 2,3, and 4 controlled substances) we must write on paper because the DEA doesn't allow ePrecribing for these. *headdesk*headdesk*headdesk*

more than 2 years ago

Laser Scanner May Allow Passengers To Take Bottled Drinks On Planes Again

Wilf_Brim Re:Unsafe Bottles (343 comments)

This has been pointed out before, and I'm glad you are bringing it up. If these are being taken away because they are presumed explosive and/or hazardous chemicals, shouldn't they be treated as such? At the very least they should be handled as hazardous liquids (like solvents, acids, and the like). Of course, the problem there is that which class of hazardous liquids due you treat them as. Volitile organics (like gasoline, acetone, etc)? Maybe strong acids? Or strong bases? This is, of course, the meat of the matter. In the United States we do not have security. We have security theater. The bottles they are taking away are only props, not the real thing, so they no more have to handle the "explosives" confiscated as you have to handle the fake bomb you made for your high school play as a real IED.

more than 2 years ago

Judge Denies Dismissal of No-Poach Conspiracy Case

Wilf_Brim Re:When they do poach, (224 comments)

Even in states where they are technically legal, in nearly all cases (especially when we are talking about salaried employees) they are they to scare people. They are rarely enforcable. If company B hires Arbuckle the engineer from company A, and Arbuckle signed a non compete clause (idiot for so doing), the only thing that A can due is sue B for the damages caused by losing Arbuckle the engineer. Company A is unlikely to be able to prove a significant amout of damages to make litigation worthwhile (if they can prove any at all, which isn't likely). In many states they are technically legal, but only once in a blue moon do judges end up upholding them. The whole point of them is to scare Arbuckle the engineer from leaving for greener pastures and scare Company B (if they are dumb and easily intimidated) into not hiring their (probably overworked and underpaid) salaried employees.

more than 2 years ago


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