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The 69 Words GM Employees Can Never Say

blackwizard How could they enforce this? (373 comments)

I'm thinking something like a pre-commit hook, only integrated into Microsoft Office. ;-)

about 4 months ago

TCP/IP Might Have Been Secure From the Start If Not For the NSA

blackwizard I don't buy the premise of built-in security (149 comments)

It would be one thing to encrypt all traffic end-to-end with a Diffie-Hellman exchange per TCP connection. But it would be quite another thing to prevent active attacks from three-letter agencies. You'd need a way to establish and ensure trust as well. If they can't decrypt the connection itself, they can use an active attack to intercept it and decrypt it. Even if the target is using SSL with PFS, they could always national-security-letter a signed certificate out of a CA in their jurisdiction. It doesn't really matter what security is employed; there will always be a way to defeat it. All we can do is make it harder.

about 5 months ago

NSA: Others Implicated in Making Snowden Data Leaks Possible

blackwizard I wonder - was it social engineering? (118 comments)

I can easily imagine a situation where he calls up someone with access to classified info, and says something like, "this is Snowden from IT; we're having problems restoring the backup of your encrypted data files on such-and-such server; can you loan me your login information so we can properly validate the checksums? You can change your password right afterward."

about 7 months ago

GPUs Dropping Dead in 2011 MacBook Pro Models

blackwizard Re:huh? (3 comments)

It has everything to do with those decisions. You make the point about the SSD, which is a good one (though to Apple's credit, the SSD looks like it's actually proprietary, but able to be replaced); you have to pay $100 for 16 more lousy gigabytes of flash memory in an iPhone because of decisions like these.

The point of making that statement wasn't to imply that Apple is wrong because every other manufacturer uses modular components. Obviously that isn't the case. We all know manufacturers have to balance quality, cost, and time when bringing products to market. The point is, it's irresponsible to bring products to market that will not be supportable long-term. Part of supportability is using modular, repairable components that are built to last. As iFixit would say, repair is freedom. Modular components are a large part of repairability. Here's a counter-example: at a LUG a couple years ago I met one of the ZaReason guys, who partially disassembled one of their laptops. I don't remember exactly which components were modular, but it was quite modular for a laptop! Here's another counter-example. Modular designs can happen. It is a choice not to do it.

The fact that you won't be able to find a replacement battery 3 years from now illustrates this point. This is wrong and irresponsible and should not be tolerated. There are significant cost externalities in terms of waste products that the world is paying for due to these decisions. Companies make products that are difficult or impossible to service, and/or utilize planned obsolescence to ensure out-of-warranty replacement, because they know it will lead to more future sales when those components fail. The only difference with Apple is that their products cost more.

about 8 months ago

Google Store Sends User Information To App Developers

blackwizard I don't see this as a critical flaw (269 comments)

If I want support from an app developer, they'll be more likely to listen to me if they know I'm a paid customer. (For those who don't want support, it would be nice for Google to offer anonymous purchases, though.)

about a year and a half ago

Nokia Redirecting Traffic On Some of Its Phones, Including HTTPS

blackwizard Re:Many mobile browsers do this. (200 comments)

Not necessarily. That depends on the network topology and their server setup. The data might be going over an Ethernet connection in the clear at some point. And you wouldn't necessarily need direct access to the private key, either, depending on the setup (though if it was as secure as it could be, you'd need access to the machine the proxy is running on). No one is saying you can waltz into any Nokia office with your laptop and open up Wireshark. It'd have to be an inside job. And it's likely that the insider would get away with it, if they were careful.

about a year and a half ago

What's In Steve Ballmer's Inbox?

blackwizard Re:Another view; a catch-all inbox (93 comments)

Nah. If it was a deliberate ploy they could just strip off the "+whatever" portion and send to your actual gmail account, thus defeating you in a (possibly untraceable, depending on their actions) way.

about a year and a half ago

How Do You Participate In Black Friday?

blackwizard Re:Yes, our real God. (231 comments)

Frankly, who cares? I think when most people say "Jesus never existed", they mean he didn't exist as described: working miracles, being born asexually, resurrecting, etc. I guess some people can dislike a person/idea so much that they deny basic established facts. (see Obama/Birthers)

about 2 years ago

Physicists Propose "Perpetual Motion" Time Crystals

blackwizard Re:Oh, one more thing (153 comments)

I see. Do you know if there is there a publicly available breakdown of the income and expenses? It would be interesting to know how much money the church receives from various sources, and how it gets spent.

about 2 years ago

Physicists Propose "Perpetual Motion" Time Crystals

blackwizard Re:To answer your question (153 comments)

Thanks for the response.

As for "gay rights", the church leadership supports homosexual civil unions, just not calling it marriage. In the same vein, you can believe me or not, but we don't sit around much and talk about gay marriage. A little, but not much.

I take issue with this. Your church should not be pushing its definition of marriage into law. If a gay couple can't be married at a Mormon church, that's fine with me. They can always leave. But that couple should be able to elope at a local courthouse. Civil unions do not provide the same rights, privileges and responsibilities under current law that marriage does.

about 2 years ago

Physicists Propose "Perpetual Motion" Time Crystals

blackwizard Re:Mormons help people who are not mormons (153 comments)

I fail to see your point. To me, the church and the government here are doing the exact same thing: taxing people and giving them benefits in return. The "heart of the problem" isn't how people feel about receiving benefits. It's the fact that in our society, some people often get ahead at the expense of others who are left behind. That's called "capitalism". Some people, like the Mormon church, don't think that it's right for the system to leave people behind. So they come up with safety nets. I fail to see anything wrong with that.

about 2 years ago

Physicists Propose "Perpetual Motion" Time Crystals

blackwizard Re:Mormons help people who are not mormons (153 comments)

Interesting. Have you personally seen non-believers receive assistance? If so, are they expected or encouraged to give back to the church in some way? I personally would feel guilty about receiving assistance from a church. Welfare works because people who aren't actively using it are still paying into the system. I wouldn't feel as guilty about receiving unemployment (for example) since I have paid a lot of money into that system. It's too bad your church spends money on things I don't support, otherwise it might be worth joining just for the safety net. =) Maybe you can come out with a non-believers insurance plan - a mere x% of your income, and you too can have guilt-free access to these excellent benefits! ;-) Just need to hire a good accountant to make sure you aren't spending that on anti gay rights propaganda.

about 2 years ago

Physicists Propose "Perpetual Motion" Time Crystals

blackwizard Re:I am a Mormon. You are incorrect (153 comments)

OK, just wondering. Is it a members-only charity? Can I walk in [as an atheist] and receive benefits?

about 2 years ago

MySpace Loses Ten Million Users In One Month

blackwizard Re:QQ (336 comments)

The interesting part to me, if you browse to you'll see a logo that was clearly ripped off from the Google Chrome logo.

My interpretation is that the Chinese government is mocking Google's attempts to scorn them - hence, they are a bunch of whiners - QQ.

more than 3 years ago

Microsoft Buys 666,000 IP Addresses

blackwizard Buy HP stock? (264 comments)

They have two /8s and change. ;-)

015/8 Hewlett-Packard Company 1994-07 LEGACY
016/8 Digital Equipment Corporation 1994-11 LEGACY

more than 3 years ago

IT Graduates Not "Well-Trained, Ready-To-Go"

blackwizard Re:You make excellent points. (609 comments)

And don't forget that people who get college degrees have an easier time getting visas to go to other countries. So you get to say "so long suckers!" while your college educated friends have to go to those overseas hot sites. ;-)

more than 3 years ago

NASA Finds Family of Habitable Planets

blackwizard Where's your sense of fairness? (184 comments)

The mormons are only slightly crazier than the average religion. I imagine these guys would be spinning this news like crazy.

more than 3 years ago

US Colleges Say Hiring US Students a Bad Deal

blackwizard Re:Tax Exempt? (490 comments)

That makes little sense, but I approve. In fact, as somebody who lives in Europe, I encourage every smart, qualified worker who doesn't feel welcome in the US to come over here. We'll get out of these economic problems by having smart people do innovative things. It doesn't really matter where they were born, but it does matter where they work.

I wish it were that easy. Where is this elusive "work" you speak of? From where I sit, there is no hiring growth in 1st world countries. Requirement #1 for hiring is "low cost geography".

more than 5 years ago



GPUs Dropping Dead in 2011 MacBook Pro Models

blackwizard blackwizard writes  |  about 8 months ago

blackwizard (62282) writes "MacRumors is reporting on pervasive GPU failures in 2011 MacBook Pro machines, leading both to intermittent video issues, corruption, crashing/freezing, and eventually even failure to boot. Luckily for Apple, the machines are now out of out-of-warranty machines (unless you bought AppleCare). The issues have been reported both on Apple's own forums and other blogs. Apple has so far failed to take action on the problem. Will they take ownership of the issue, or continue to ask customers to pay for an entire new logic board when just the GPU fails? Is it fair for customers to pay exorbitant repair prices when manufacturers decide not to build modular hardware?"


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