Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!



Independent Researchers Test Rossi's Alleged Cold Fusion Device For 32 Days

dkf Re:Hoax (986 comments)

Unfortunately, I suspect any funds recovered via such penalties would fail to even begin to approach the total economic damage done to the community.

Ah, but in that case there would also be a strong case to be made for setting aside the contract (it having been obtained through fraudulent actions; an illegal "contract" is never a real contract) or at least the lock-in terms of it. You mustn't just penalize one half of the crooked agreement; you've got to deal with the other side if they were part of the conspiracy too. And no, the fact that a contract has been signed off by all the people who were authorized to do so at the time doesn't make it sacrosanct and beyond review, and it cannot do as that would provide a mechanism to allow fraud on a massive scale without any legal recourse, which would be exceptionally abhorrent to the public morals.

Hmm... In fact, "conspiracy" is a very suitable word to be considering here, given the reported statements, as it would allow some pretty extreme penalties to be levied against all concerned (e.g., a corporate conviction for conspiracy would be catastrophic for the company concerned, and would run the real risk of making them go bust. Like you ought to care.) In fact, check who the state DA has been taking payments from, just in case. It pays to be careful with this sort of thing...

I would emphasize that I definitely don't know the facts of the case or any of the individuals concerned. I'm merely commenting on how I would expect such things to be possible to go forward, treating the whole thing as hypothetical, given the (not necessarily unbiased) statement of the situation in the posts I'm replying to.

about two weeks ago

Samsung Paid Microsoft $1 Billion Last Year In Android Royalties

dkf Re:Nevertheless, Microsoft is doomed (93 comments)

desktops and laptops last more than 8 to 12 years

Desktops may. Laptops, not really. You run into problems with loss of battery life and gradually increasing general crankiness of the hardware. (The higher-powered a system is when first bought, the longer it lasts; low-ball it, and you're going to have to refresh sooner. And it's possible to replace some components in a desktop far more easily than in a laptop.)

about three weeks ago

A Garbage Truck That Would Make Elon Musk Proud

dkf Re:Distance and Charge Time (174 comments)

Please note the article suggests a 3 year payback time on this, meaning a possibility of an extra $66k of savings for the medium duty kit.

A 3 year payback time is really quite good, in the region where garbage truck operators will do it without any additional incentives.

about three weeks ago

Bash To Require Further Patching, As More Shellshock Holes Found

dkf Re:Why is this a bash bug? (329 comments)

Why does bash have to worry about security?

Because if it is installed as /bin/sh (fairly common), it gets called in a great many places because of the OS APIs system() and popen(), which are both defined to use /bin/sh on Unix. Much of the reporting about it has been more than a little breathless, but that's journalists for you.

Not everything is vulnerable. CGI is not inherently vulnerable (it could use execve() directly) and the called code need not use bash ever. But it's still a serious problem as anything that explicitly requires bash is also definitely broken: we want it fixed ASAP. (A start would be to never process environment variables for function definitions during startup, especially when running as /bin/sh...)

about three weeks ago

Mobile Phone Use Soon To Be Allowed On European Flights

dkf Re:Hopefully data only (96 comments)

light up a ciggy

That's prohibited for everyone. Airlines' experience, and that of their insurers, shows that it's just too much of a hazard. (Not that I mind; I think the smell of smoke is awful at the best of times.) Nicotine addict? Remember those patches on longhaul flights!

about a month ago

Flurry of Scans Hint That Bash Vulnerability Could Already Be In the Wild

dkf Re:"could be worse than Heartbleed" (318 comments)

Outside of malicious HTTP headers landing in environment variable in CGI land, I'm hard pressed to think of another reasonable vector for this bug to be a problem...

To be fair, with a moderately competent CGI implementation, the subprocess will start just fine. The problem comes with whatever that subprocess calls, since environment variables are inherited by default. The deeper you go, the greater the likelihood that some programmer will have used system() or popen(), or even flat-out implemented the process as a shell script.

about a month ago

It's Banned Books Week; I recommend ...

dkf Re:Why is 1984 in this poll? (410 comments)

The American Library Association maintains lists of the most frequently challenged books (i.e. the ones people try to ban). Although 1984 shows up on the list of challenged classics, there is only one challenge listed -- someone in Jackson County, Florida in 1981 thought that it was "pro-communist and contained explicit sexual matter". The first part shows a massive failure of reading comprehension, not actual hostility towards the content. 1984 doesn't show up in the top 100 challenged books lists for 1990-1999 or 2000-2009.

However, the US isn't the only country that bans (or tries to ban) books. Works like 1984 are much more likely to be banned by totalitarian regimes precisely because they encourage people to think about the ways in which the regime is trying to restrict them. Banning books is basically wrong anywhere, not just in one country in one part of the planet.

about a month ago

'Reactive' Development Turns 2.0

dkf Re:Failure tolerance is a mortal sin (101 comments)

Now I'm building an app with Scala/Play framework and we don't have user sesssions or the web servers so scaling and server failures are not a problem.

If you don't have user state or session state, scaling is no problem. You just throw more hardware at it so you can have replicated servers with a simple load balancer in front. Job done.

It's scaling in the presence of (mutable) state that is hard. It's also what a lot of use cases need. Sometimes you even have to give up on scaling (boo!) in order to achieve other objectives, or think very hard to come up with an alternative approach such as spinning out processing to cloud-based slaves, which also doesn't truly scale, but can often go pretty large despite that (if you get the finances/business-model right).

about a month ago

Data Archiving Standards Need To Be Future-Proofed

dkf Re:Paper tape (113 comments)

Get the acid-free paper. Will last forever

Or until it gets wet.

about a month ago

3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

dkf Re:Anthropometrics (819 comments)

The solution is simple: load them up with tranquilizers/sedatives and stack 'em in like cordwood. ;)

A seemingly good idea that will fall apart as soon as someone overdoses on sedatives and their next-of-kin sue. Good luck with persuading a judge that some getout clause in a 3pt font prevents any liability attaching...

about a month and a half ago

Mozilla 1024-Bit Cert Deprecation Leaves 107,000 Sites Untrusted

dkf Re:So 1024 Bits Not Enough Now? (67 comments)

You're confusing the cost of legitimate operations with the cost of searching the key space. You don't want legit users to bear too much cost since everyone ends up paying that over and over, but you do want the cost of searching to be high since that's not something that people should be doing.

about a month and a half ago

Two Explorers Descend Into An Active Volcano, and Live to Tell About It

dkf Re:The last sentence of the summary is spot on (66 comments)

The trek itself was trivial compared to summiting Everest but the visuals were just a lot more impressive.

You don't need such fancy protective gear when doing Everest, which is just cold and lacking in oxygen, not outright chemically hostile and hot as hell. (Some volcanoes are even worse. The ones that spew fluorine gas (or hydrofluoric acid) are just awful...)

about a month and a half ago

New HTML Picture Element To Make Future Web Faster

dkf Re:Kodak had the right idea decades ago (161 comments)

It's called JPEG2000, uses wavelet transformations instead of discrete cosine transformations that JPEG uses and has been around since over a decade ago. No one uses it.

You're wrong there. It's used quite a lot in high-capacity digital image storage. Libraries, that sort of thing. You might have the space and time to waste on using standard JPEG and you might not care too much about the compression artefacts, but libraries really do care. (A billion high-resolution images is only a medium-sized library...)

about 1 month ago

Islamic State "Laptop of Doom" Hints At Plots Including Bubonic Plague

dkf Re:Self-Inflicted Damage (369 comments)

Is d) going to be "Profit!"?

about 2 months ago

How the World's Fastest Electric Car Is Pushing Wireless Charging Tech

dkf Re:LOL (49 comments)

How about if could charge your car wireleslly a bit at a time at each stop light.

If you think that's viable, you're spending too much of your life waiting at stop lights.

about 2 months ago

How many devices are connected to your home Wi-Fi?

dkf Re: Phones + 1 laptop. (260 comments)

I've heard of power line adapters. They seem to work well if you're wiring us if the right type. Otherwise speeds can degrade quickly.

They still beat wireless through a 2' load-bearing stone (or brick) wall. Which is the GP's point.

about 2 months ago

UK Prisons Ministry Fined For Lack of Encryption At Prisons

dkf Re:As a former employee... (74 comments)

All built and supported by one of the most predatory firms in the UK, affectionately known as Twatos.

Don't worry. They're just as bad in many other european countries too.

Terry Gilliam must be laughing in his grave.

Fortunately for him, Terry Gilliam appears to be still alive. Terribly selfish that, not dying on you just so that you could lazily use a cliché like that.

about 2 months ago

Net Neutrality Is 'Marxist,' According To a Koch-Backed Astroturf Group

dkf Re:What's so American (531 comments)

Net neutrality isn't about what tier of service you have. It is about ensuring that you aren't getting purposefully manipulated speed for the tier you have.

Technically, it's about ensuring that you get what you think you have paid for and ensuring that you can use what you have paid for for whatever you want to. These things are absolutely fundamental to a free market even being possible.

about 2 months ago

Oregon Sues Oracle For "Abysmal" Healthcare Website

dkf Re:Reputation (212 comments)

Worst piece of enterprise software I've ever seen. I have physical pain any time I have to use it.

I know it's enterprise software, but you're really not supposed to shove it up your ass each time you use it.

about a month ago

Finding an ISIS Training Camp Using Google Earth

dkf Re:Time to build a cruise missile and send it over (134 comments)

I did and they have another hostage ready to chop his head off.

The way to deal with these people is to ignore whether they have the second hostage (assume he's already dead, even if that's technically premature) and to bomb the area, preferably with something like white phosphorous incendiaries. It also needs to be done soon, because people regard such actions less favourably when it is longer from the event which the punishment is being meted out for. Make it very clear that once someone starts killing hostages, reprisals will come. If you don't, the next damn terrorist group will think they can get away with this sort of thing too; you're not protecting those already captured, you're protecting everyone else.

It's a shame, but being this nasty is the only way of hammering home to idiots that fucking with is a seriously bad idea (unless you can act with more precision and kill just the terrorists). And it does work: it's been proved to work over and over throughout history. It probably needs to be accompanied with a full apology to any innocents caught up in the crossfire to mitigate incidental downstream trouble.

about 2 months ago



Apple rapped over misleading iPhone ad

dkf dkf writes  |  more than 6 years ago

dkf (304284) writes "The BBC is reporting that Apple have been ordered by the Advertising Standards Authority to stop showing their current iPhone advert in the UK. The heart of the issue is that the iPhone does not support either Flash or Java, and this means that significant parts of the content of the internet were not available despite Apple's claims otherwise. It seems that Apple's determination to control their mobile platform has come back to bite them."
Link to Original Source

Tcl/Tk 8.5.0 Finally Released

dkf dkf writes  |  more than 6 years ago

dkf writes "OSNews reports that Tcl/Tk 8.5 has been released for all major platforms after 5 years of development. There are many new goodies in it, including significant speedups through an advanced bytecode engine, stronger localization of applications, integrated arbitrary-precision arithmetic, a whole bunch of brand new skinnable widgets, anti-aliased text support on all platforms, and a new code module management system to make maintenance of installations a snap.

A lot more in-depth information about the features of both this release and Tcl/Tk in general is available at both the official Tcl/Tk website and in Mark Roseman's blog."


dkf has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?