top First Airbus A350 XWB Delivered, Will Start Service in January
It's like processor performance ratings: AMD, er, Airbus PR800 -> 270, PR900 -> 314, and PR1000 -> 350. No doubt Boeing will roll out its own bCOMP index to rate its aircraft: Take the number of passengers, multiply by the number of engines, divide by the average delivery delay, multiply by the number of consonants in "Rolls-Royce Trent 1000", and you have the bCOMP index, which oddly enough works out slightly higher than the Airbus Performance Rating in all categories. I hear that Airbus are planning to overclock their engines in order to get higher numbers than Boeing for their next release...
top Calculus Textbook Author James Stewart Has Died
The difference between his book and SO MANY of the other textbooks I have is that his is actually good. Why do you think everyone recognizes the name "James Stewart" as the calculus author?
I recognise Silvanus Thompson as
the calculus author. He died a quarter of a century before this Stewart newbie was born. And since his calculus text was written in 1910, the cost to students is $0.
top NASA's $349 Million Empty Tower
If you look at the graph they include in their article, complete with its pointless scare quotes around "hypergolic" every time it's used, the reason for mothballing almost all of the test stands is that hypergolic propellants aren't used too much any more in modern designs (less energy than cryogenics, and incredibly unpleasant and dangerous to work with), so there's less need to experiment with them in test stands. Another way of writing the article therefore could have been "Switch to safer fuels reduces need for expensive test stands", a win-win situation all round. In fact I'm sure Fox ("We Report, You Believe"), are working on that version right now...
top The Failed Economics of Our Software Commons
Who's this Johnny-come-lately Chiusano guy? What happened to Bennett Haselton?
top Finland Dumps Handwriting In Favor of Typing
Some of us remember passwords.
As someone who's worked the helldesk at an ISP, I can definitely confirm that some of us remember passwords. Unfortunately way too many of us don't.
top Nuclear Weapons Create Their Own Security Codes With Radiation
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).
top Mozilla's 2013 Report: Revenue Up 1% To $314M; 90% From Google
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.
top Mayday PAC Goes 2 For 8
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 a month and a half ago
top Mayday PAC Goes 2 For 8
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 a month and a half ago
top Mayday PAC Goes 2 For 8
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 a month and a half ago
top Major Performance Improvement Discovered For Intel's GPU Linux Driver
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.
top Russia Takes Down Steve Jobs Memorial After Apple's Tim Cook Comes Out
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.
top Android 5.0 Makes SD Cards Great Again
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.
top Chinese Hackers Mess With Texas By Attacking Fracking Firms
You don't mess with Texas.
Exactly. It's not nice to pick on retards.
top OneDrive Delivers Unlimited Cloud Storage To Office 365 Subscribers
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.
top FTDI Removes Driver From Windows Update That Bricked Cloned Chips
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.
top More Eye Candy Coming To Windows 10
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.
top South Korean ID System To Be Rebuilt From Scratch After Massive Leaks
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).
top Google Releases Android 5.0 Lollipop SDK and Nexus Preview Images
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.
top The Physics of Why Cold Fusion Isn't Real
Springer is a rather serious publishing company. Springer journals carry very real weight.
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.
top The upcoming Windows 8.1 apocalypse
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."
top Windows 8.1 Update creates chaos for many users
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."
top Is Android the next Microsoft monoculture?
arglebargle_xiv (2212710) writes "A decade ago, Microsoft was criticised for creating a monoculture full of security vulnerabilities. Today we have another emerging monoculture, Android, which is becoming as pervasive as Windows was a decade ago, and just as full of security issues. Will Android be the next insecurity monoculture?" Link to Original Source
top Sophos A/V riddled with vulnerabilities
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.
here." Link to Original Source
top Is Google targeting Firefox?
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?"
top (Possible) Diginotar hacker comes forward
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
top Another CA issues false certificates to Iran
arglebargle_xiv (2212710) writes "Following on from Comodogate, we have another public CA issuing genuine false certificates to Iran, this time for Google. There's speculation that it's a MITM by the Iranian government, but given the existing record of CAs ready to sell certs to anyone whose check clears, it could just be another Comodogate." Link to Original Source
top The end of the end-to-end principle
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
top Poll: Browser PKI provides users with...
arglebargle_xiv (2212710) writes "- An effective defence against phishing attacks
- Better than nothing at all - More security theatre than the TSA - A protection racket to keep CAs in business"
top 13-year-old password security bug fixed
arglebargle_xiv (2212710) writes "In a sign that many eyes don't really make (security) bugs shallow, a thirteen-year-old password-hashing bug that affects (at least) PHP, some Linux distros (Owl, ALT Linux, SUSE), and a variety of other apps has just been patched. This problem had been present in widely-used code since 1998 without anyone noticing it." Link to Original Source
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