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Nuclear Weapons Create Their Own Security Codes With Radiation

arglebargle_xiv Re:This is the voice of world control. (101 comments)

a nuclear warhead going off in a silo, especially where the United States and the old Soviet Union put most silos, is a meh.

It's not a meh, it's a myth. The physics package can only be triggered after a fairly complex set of conditions have been fulfilled, starting with launch authorisation, a period of high acceleration, a period of zero-G (long enough for the warhead to have moved outside the continental US), re-entry heat, and so on. And unlike any number of Hollywood movies, this isn't something you can bypass by uploading a hotfix, it's fixed-function stuff that can't be changed.

Another thing about these gee-whiz national-lab designs is that they've been coming up with them since the 1980s (and probably earlier than that, I wasn't around then). None of them ever get used. They eventually find their way into civilian applications (things like MEMs, PUFs) years or even decades after the national labs come up with them, but they're never used for arms control due to a mix of massive inertia, difficulty in turning a proof-of-concept into a fieldable item, and the fact that deploying them typically requires renegotiating international treaties.

(This is a very abbreviated description of something that'd take a book to cover).

yesterday
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Mozilla's 2013 Report: Revenue Up 1% To $314M; 90% From Google

arglebargle_xiv Re: Damn! (161 comments)

Mozilla is squandering the money they have. It should be shows around to a range of open source projects. That sort of money could free dozens of major and important projects from their corporate sponsors' agendas.

That was my reaction as well. If Chromefox and a bunch of money-wasting vanity wank ("Firefox OS") is all we're getting for $300M, Google should be asking for their money back.

3 days ago
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Mayday PAC Goes 2 For 8

arglebargle_xiv Re:Hire the new boss! (224 comments)

Its a pot of money a lot of people put into usually with a single goal for an election.

Oh, so in Roman terms it's actually largitiones (referring to the act of providing money for political ends) rather than ambitus (a more general term for the crime of political corruption, including bribery) - see my other post above.

about two weeks ago
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Mayday PAC Goes 2 For 8

arglebargle_xiv Re:Hire the new boss! (224 comments)

Political Action Committee. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P...

I'd Googled it, but it just seems to be a way of funnelling money to politicians or for political objectives. S**t, that's been going on since (at least) ancient Rome, they called it ambitus.

about two weeks ago
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Mayday PAC Goes 2 For 8

arglebargle_xiv Re:Hire the new boss! (224 comments)

As someone who lives outside the US, and after seeing several articles talking about PACs, I have to ask: WTF is a PAC, and WhyTF should I care?

about two weeks ago
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Major Performance Improvement Discovered For Intel's GPU Linux Driver

arglebargle_xiv Re:Benchmark Bit (96 comments)

The Intel drivers for Linux are official and open source. They are actively maintained by Intel themselves. This is not like the Nvidia/Nouveau split, Intel are actually very open source friendly in this area.

So you've got the choice between crappy graphics hardware with OSS drivers and high-end graphics hardware with binary-blob drivers. Damn.

about three weeks ago
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Russia Takes Down Steve Jobs Memorial After Apple's Tim Cook Comes Out

arglebargle_xiv Re:Terrible (430 comments)

After Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly called for sodomy

I know this is terrible and all, but as someone completely unaffected by this (not an apple fanboy, russian or gay) I find some kind of weird surreal humour in the whole thing.

What I find kinda surreal is that they were quite happy to set up a monument to a sociopath, but then felt the need to take it down when a completely different person admitted he wasn't into women so much. In post-Soviet Russia, happy ocelot pancake.

about three weeks ago
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Android 5.0 Makes SD Cards Great Again

arglebargle_xiv Re:About effing time (214 comments)

And T-Mobile hasn't rolled out 4.4 on the Note II. They likely never will.All other major carriers did this months ago.

You think you've got it bad, my Yu Shiang Fu Yuk phone isn't even on 4.4 yet. If they don't update soon I'll demand my $65.99 back.

about three weeks ago
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OneDrive Delivers Unlimited Cloud Storage To Office 365 Subscribers

arglebargle_xiv Re:Sky drive? (145 comments)

my work has office 365 accounts and i'll be darned if I can get sky drive sync to work.

This is exactly why my reaction to this story was "Giant who-cares". Instead of x GB of dysfunctional online storage that doesn't work more often than it does Microsoft is now giving me infinite amounts of brokenness to play with. It's like taking a faulty laptop back to Dell and as a special offer they replace it with three faulty laptops.

about a month ago
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FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips

arglebargle_xiv Re:Not a chance (572 comments)

The obvious alternatives for USB-to-serial are:
1) Prolific 220x

Prolific are never an alternative, unless the question is something like "Would you rather have gonorrhea or ...?". In order of preference, it's something like FTDI, FTDI clones, banging rocks together to get ones and zeroes, Prolific, Prolific clones.

about a month ago
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More Eye Candy Coming To Windows 10

arglebargle_xiv Re:how pretty (209 comments)

Is the overall appearance still that of Windows Vista Starter Edition that they moved to in Windows 8? Microsoft are pretty much financing an entire company, Stardock, whose Window Blinds you have to buy if you don't want your desktop to look like some bland flat pastel-shaded 1960s show home.

about a month ago
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South Korean ID System To Be Rebuilt From Scratch After Massive Leaks

arglebargle_xiv Re:20 million out of 50 million stolen? (59 comments)

Here's a really simplistic example - if you carry auto insurance the liability levels on your policy give a good indication of how much wealth you have (because liability coverage is about protecting your assets not anyone else).

You don't even need to go to the insurance companies, in Russia you just buy the registration database and then target people who have Mercedes and BMWs.

(I'm not being facetious, this is how the criminals actually do it).

about a month ago
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Google Releases Android 5.0 Lollipop SDK and Nexus Preview Images

arglebargle_xiv Re:Just make it fast (77 comments)

Don't check for updates, do not notify for updates

Isn't this the Android default anyway? If you want an update to your OS (not your apps, your OS) you throw away your current phone and buy a new one.

about a month ago
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The Physics of Why Cold Fusion Isn't Real

arglebargle_xiv Re:Why Cold Fusion (or something like it) Is Real (350 comments)

Springer is a rather serious publishing company. Springer journals carry very real weight.

.

Springer was a rather serious publishing company. In the last decade or so they've switched to publishing any old rubbish that they can make a fast buck off. Look at the LNCS series for examples, they're publishing proceedings of conference that look like they were held around a table in a beer hall.

about a month ago
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Test-Driving a $35 Firefox OS Smartphone

arglebargle_xiv Re:Whoa (132 comments)

Now I'm curious. What OS would he run on a low-end device with 128mb of RAM?

Windows 95 would work fine: 4MB RAM (8MB recommended) so the RAM is overkill, ~50MB disk space so you could squeeze it in by omitting a few optional bits, VGA display so you really want 640x480 not 320x480 but it'd probably be OK, and the CPU is about as much overkill as the RAM. It had networking, a browser, everything but the touch-screen interface for which you'd need a third-party add-on. Or Windows for Pen Computing, a modified Windows 3.1.

.

about a month and a half ago
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Lost Opportunity? Windows 10 Has the Same Minimum PC Requirements As Vista

arglebargle_xiv Re:Why still 32bit builds? (554 comments)

Citation on user noticeable difference? Maybe on synthetic benches but not in any real world scenario.

Exactly. The reason why MS has kept the baseline constant since Vista came out is because that's about all the typical user needs. Whether you have a 2006 machine with the CPU idle 95% of the time or a 2014 machine with the CPU idle 99% of the time doesn't make any difference to Joe/Jane Sixpack browsing the web, reading email, and updating their Facebook page. Now admittedly sometimes they may really load the machine down and fire up Word, so the CPU is only 92% idle, but that's the exception.

This is also why the PC market has been stagnant for the last five years or so. Despite the constant predictions of pundits that "the PC is dead, tablets are taking over", the real issue is that there's no need to upgrade every two years any more. If you're a typical user (so not a Slashdot reader) and you bought a PC in the last five years you can just keep on using it until it physically wears out. It'll do everything you need to do with loads of capacity to spare.

(Typed on my not-so-new laptop with its CPU clock-throttled to 800MHz, and 97% idle).

about 2 months ago
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Back To Faxes: Doctors Can't Exchange Digital Medical Records

arglebargle_xiv Re:sounds like a job for (240 comments)

In addition to the obligatory "mod parent insightful", I should add a comment on HL7: It didn't get that complex for the fun of it, but because medical systems are extremely difficult to systematise, and over time you end up having to add special cases and exceptions and exceptions to the exceptions and so on ad nauseum. As you say, Google couldn't even get the basic CCR implementation done ("hey, we can simplify things if we leave out this, and this, and this...") which ignored the fact that those things (well, at least some of them) were in there for a reason. HL7 has all of its "more than one instance of X" and "free-form anything" fields in various places for a reason...

about 2 months ago
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Google To Require As Many As 20 of Its Apps Preinstalled On Android Devices

arglebargle_xiv Re:good (427 comments)

I get irked by the forced soullessly bland corporate inoffensiveness which seems to be popular round these parts at the moment. I'm actually heartened to hear that that phone vendor has not also suffered from that particular disease.

There's actually two considerations, the obvious one is "Do I like the picture?", but a more important one in many cases is "Can I see the icons above the background clutter created by the picture"? In the not-quite-Hello-Kitty version the answer, for about two thirds of the screen, was "No". So I've now switched to a fairly bland pic of a sunset that has muted, graduated colours that allow the icons and widget displays to be visible. Probably counts as corporate bland, but the usability is greatly improved.

about 2 months ago
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Google To Require As Many As 20 of Its Apps Preinstalled On Android Devices

arglebargle_xiv Re:good (427 comments)

Just note that the evil(tm) will be compounded by the crapware that some OEMs *and* carriers tend to slather onto the phones, on top of what Google is going to require.

I was stunned when I helped a family member set up their Android phone from a major vendor. A ton of Google crapware preloaded, and you couldn't do anything without signing up for Google everything (I didn't even know Android had an anal-probe permission before then). When I got my Chinese Android phone ($140, 5.5" IPS screen, unlocked, dual-SIM, quad-core 1.3GHz, etc) it had no preloaded crapware and, apart from Google Play which is needed to install apps (well, unless you want to jump through all sorts of hoops) didn't ask to sign me up for anything. The sole annoying thing about it was that the Chinese vendor's taste in wallpapers doesn't necessarily match Western tastes (it wasn't quite Hello Kitty, but close), but that was quickly fixed.

So it seems like the trick is to buy from vendors motivated by good honest greed (the product is the phone they sell you) rather than strategic business alliance blah blah considerations (the product is you).

about 2 months ago

Submissions

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The upcoming Windows 8.1 apocalypse

arglebargle_xiv arglebargle_xiv writes  |  about 7 months ago

arglebargle_xiv (2212710) writes "As most people will have heard, Microsoft will end support for anyone who hasn't upgraded to Win8.1 Update 1 on May 8. What fewer people have heard is that large numbers of users can't install the 8.1 Update, with over a thousand messages in this one thread alone, and that's for tech geeks rather than home users who won't find out about this until their PC becomes orphaned on May 8. Check your Windows Update log, if you've got a "Failed" entry next to KB2919355 then your PC will also become orphaned after May 8."
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Windows 8.1 Update creates chaos for many users

arglebargle_xiv arglebargle_xiv writes  |  about 7 months ago

arglebargle_xiv (2212710) writes "Microsoft's Windows 8.1 Update has been creating chaos for many users, as demonstrated by threads running to six hundred and eight hundred messages respectively in Microsoft's support forums. Users report spending days trying to get it to work, with the Microsoft-recommend solution of using the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool fixing some failed updates, followed by more recent reports of it corrupting the Windows component store and requiring a complete reinstall of Windows. For users with OEM pre-installs, that means going out and buying a Windows 8.1 CD. Since no further updates are possible without the 8.1 Update, this now leaves large numbers of users of Microsoft's latest OS in the same boat as Windows XP users."
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Sophos A/V riddled with vulnerabilities

arglebargle_xiv arglebargle_xiv writes  |  about 2 years ago

arglebargle_xiv (2212710) writes "Security researcher Tavis Ormandy has had a look at Sophos A/V and found that it'll actually make your system less secure after you install it:

The paper contains details about several vulnerabilities in the Sophos antivirus code responsible for parsing Visual Basic 6, PDF, CAB and RAR files. Some of these flaws can be attacked remotely and can result in the execution of arbitrary code on the system. Ormandy even included a proof-of-concept exploit for the PDF parsing vulnerability which he claims requires no user interaction, no authentication and can be easily transformed into a self-spreading worm.

The findings also include this gem:

Ormandy also found that a component called the 'Buffer Overflow Protection System' (BOPS) that's bundled with Sophos antivirus, disables the ASLR (address space layout randomization) exploit mitigation feature on all Windows versions that support it by default, including Vista and later.

Original paper here."
Link to Original Source

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Is Google targeting Firefox?

arglebargle_xiv arglebargle_xiv writes  |  about 3 years ago

arglebargle_xiv (2212710) writes "As of about two weeks ago, Google searches carried out from Firefox are returning meta redirects that require manually clicking through every search result in order to reach your target. In doing this Google is specifically targeting Firefox and no other browser (switching your user agent to anything other than Firefox gets rid of the problem). Presumably switching to Chrome would also resolve the issue. Could this targeting of Firefox be because it's Google's main competitor in the open-source browser market?"
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(Possible) Diginotar hacker comes forward

arglebargle_xiv arglebargle_xiv writes  |  more than 3 years ago

arglebargle_xiv (2212710) writes "At the risk of burning people out on the topic of PKI fail, someone claiming to be the Diginotar hacker has come forward to claim responsibility: It's the ComodoGate hacker. He also claims to 0wn four more "high-profile" CAs, and still has the ability to issue new rogue certificates, presumably from other CAs that he 0wns."
Link to Original Source
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The end of the end-to-end principle

arglebargle_xiv arglebargle_xiv writes  |  more than 3 years ago

arglebargle_xiv (2212710) writes "The Internet was designed around the end-to-end principle, which says that functionality should be provided by end hosts rather than in the network itself. A new study of the effect of vast numbers of middleboxes on the Internet indicates that this is no longer the case, since far too many devices on the Internet interfere with traffic in some way. This has serious implications for network (protocol) neutrality (as well as future IPv6 deployment) since only the particular variations of TCP that they know about will pass through them."
Link to Original Source

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