Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

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!

Comments

top

Google's Mapping Contest Draws Ire From Indian Government

dunkindave Re:Ignorance is no excuse ... (95 comments)

The trouble is, as the Entrope mentioned, unless they tell you specifically what information is not to be published, then how are you to know? Making it illegal to publish data about "sensitive areas" means somehow they have to make it clear what areas are sensitive, or else they are creating unrealistic expectations. Imagine a law that said it is illegal to proceed through a green traffic light when an unmarked police car is approaching from a perpendicular direction. How can you obey such a law since ANY car could be an unmarked police car. Same with making a blanket law that is equivalent to saying you may not publish anything the government deems sensitive unless they give you a way to know what information that is.

And in the summary, I don't think the phrase "The mapping competition required citizens to map their neighbourhoods" is phrased very well, since Google doesn't have the legal authority to require people to do anything. Do they stop you from using the Google search page unless you first submit a neighborhood detail?

2 days ago
top

How a Solar Storm Two Years Ago Nearly Caused a Catastrophe On Earth

dunkindave Re:Low probability of getting hit by CME (212 comments)

While I agree the probability is low as compared to how the gloom-and-doomer portray it, I can immediately see a few major issues with your analysis.

1) The CME doesn't have to directly hit the Earth since disrupting the magnetosphere, which is many times the size of just the Earth, is what would be required.

2) I don't believe CMEs are uniform in the direction they occur since they are created by anomalies in the Sun's magnetic field, which like the Earth's, has poles. I could not however readily find any breakdown about distribution versus latitude

3) Your caveat is a big one. Your analysis is treating the CME as if it is a single point in space, equivalent to if the Sun fired a bullet at the Earth. The reality is, as you mentioned, CMEs have width, breadth, and height, and these dimensions are big. A CME may be many times the size of the Earth. CMEsalso spread out as they travel the 1 AU it takes to get here. That last part is both good and bad, since the original strength of the CME at the Sun would devastate the Earth, while the greatly weakened version that reaches this far could at worse cause havoc, not devastation.

In short, the Earth has been flying around this neighborhood for a few billion years, including hosting animal life for a good chunk of that, and so far we haven't seen any CME calamities. The game changer is of course our use of satellites and long haul electrical lines which are prone to disruption or damage from a strong CME, but based on the number of known events, the odds of a massive CME causes widespread damage is very low, though not as low as you calculated (0.0028% in 100 years). There may be a handful of CMEs a year that the Sun puts out that if they were to hit Earth could break things, as you pointed out the Earth is a small target in a very large shooting ranges. If I had to guess based on known statistics, a major ground-based disruption will probably happen about once every 100 years. (reference solar storms of 1859 and of 1989)

4 days ago
top

Black Holes Not Black After All, Theorize Physicists

dunkindave Re:Or, maybe there's no paradox at all. (225 comments)

And yeah, I know that astrophysicists with a vastly more qualifications than I have came up with these ideas, but in the end, an argument from authority does not make one actually right.

This is actually one of my nits with these kinds of articles. When someone says "Now one physicist has worked out the answer", the use of the phrase "the answer" means in English that the question is now closed. He has found THE answer, meaning the one and only answer, hence the use of the word 'the' instead of the word 'a'. In reality, the article should say "Now one physicist has worked out a possible answer". What he has presented is a theory that he believes is consistent with known physics and observations. That is all it is.

5 days ago
top

The Psychology of Phishing

dunkindave Re:well (128 comments)

No, like if they want to gain access to data in company ACME Co, they do some research about that company, find people who belong to it, often in specific groups they are particularly interested in (the missile division of ACME for example), then seak out information on these people, like what conferences they have attended (attendee lists are often published on the web) or what projects at the company they are working on (a newsletter on the web mentions them in a small article about the Ramrod SuperAgile Counterstrike Missile System), then send them an email tailored just for them: Hi Joe, we found another missile system using flight parameters that may be interesting for use in the Ramrod. Here is the website..., signed your coworker Frank.

The spam from your bank doesn't normally address you by name, or mention details like your account number or which local branch you use and when. In fact, it is the lack of such details that most people use for clues that it is spam, so when those details are there they typically trust it. That is the gist of the article.

about a week ago
top

The Psychology of Phishing

dunkindave Re:well (128 comments)

The criminals offer people stuff they want, marketing offers people shit they don't want. Seems simple enough

Except the article is about spear-phishing. In spear-phishing, the emails are tailored to the intended victim, pretending to be from someone the attacker knows or believes the victim trusts, such as an email from their boss or their HR department, and the emails normally include information that the victim assumes isn't public which adds to the email's trust. Such emails may pretend to contain important employee training updates, company newsletters, specific conference information for conferences the target is known to attend, references by project name to projects the victim is working on, etc. This means the spear-phishing email is very different from typical spam which is clearly marketing, or so generic as to be obvious spam. It also means that without confirming the email's legitimacy via out-of-band methods, it may be virtually impossible to verify if it is real or not.

The problem for the defenders is the only real defense against a well crafted spear-phishing email is to instruct people NEVER to open an attachment, to click on a link, to visit a website if so instructed, or even to respond with information that may be requested. But such a world would render most business email useless.

about a week ago
top

Black Hat Presentation On Tor Cancelled, Developers Working on Bug Fix

dunkindave Re: What? (51 comments)

An NSL is quite frankly whatever the author of the NSL wants it to be. Typically, you're right, it's a request for information or access, but it also prevents you from telling ANYONE about it. So, who knows. You don't most likely. Unless you're party to it.

No, an NSL is specifically only for requesting of information.

From Wikipedia: A national security letter (NSL) is an administrative subpoena ...

A subpoena is a writ issued to compel testimony by a witness or production of evidence.

What makes the NSL special, and the reason people believe it is unconstitutional, is 1) it is not directly authorized by a judge, and 2) it can come with the requirement that the recipient not disclose that it happened or that the disclosure occurred.

An NSL is NOT a blank check for the government to order people to do whatever they say. It is very specific in its abilities, and that is only to request information, and possibly (though while the norm, this is not required) to require its existence to be kept confidential. So you see, I do know, as does anyone else who does a cursory lookup about what an NSL is.

about a week ago
top

Black Hat Presentation On Tor Cancelled, Developers Working on Bug Fix

dunkindave Re:What? (51 comments)

Er, I mean on advice of COUNSEL. Damn spell checker.

about a week ago
top

Black Hat Presentation On Tor Cancelled, Developers Working on Bug Fix

dunkindave Re:What? (51 comments)

The conference didn't stop the presentation, the presenters withdrew it on advice of their own council since they believe they didn't have the legal authority to present the results of the research.

about a week ago
top

Black Hat Presentation On Tor Cancelled, Developers Working on Bug Fix

dunkindave Re:What? (51 comments)

Put your tin foil away. People at institutions like Carnegie Mellon's Software Engineering Institute typically work on grants and funding that come with conditions, such as the funder owns the material or can dictate its dissemination. It sounds like the researchers discovered something they thought interesting, looked around and decided BlackHat would be a good place to present, then the lawyers pointed out that they hadn't yet received the required permissions per the funding agreement/grant so they have backed off for now.

An NSL is a directive to disclose info that may include the requirement not to reveal the disclosure occurred. An NSL is not a way to simply order someone to be quiet.

about a week ago
top

A New Form of Online Tracking: Canvas Fingerprinting

dunkindave Re: And this ... (194 comments)

I recently saw an article that said, basically, by installing privacy software you make your machine more unique versus the other machines on the Internet and therefore make it EASIER to uniquely identify your machine. You may not be loading the cookies they try to ram down your browser's throat, and all the other persistent ways to track, but they can tell you DON'T load certain images, or keep certain cookies, and that too can be a clue for them.

about a week ago
top

Russian Government Edits Wikipedia On Flight MH17

dunkindave Re:Do you have any hands-on experience ? (667 comments)

When you perform a terrorist act you tell that YOU did it in order to intimidate. You don't deny you did it.

They did tell us they did it in a Twitter post right after the shootdown, but that was when they thought they had shot down a military transport. Then they discovered the plane was a civilian airliner so they deleted the post and shifted into denial mode. Nope, didn't shoot it, never had such a missile system, nothing to see so please go away.

I also find funny Putin's explanation that it is Ukraine's fault since if they were to have just rolled over and let the fighters have what they want, then they wouldn't have been shooting at planes. Officer, it isn't my fault the guy got shot, he got in the way of my bullet so it's his fault!

about a week ago
top

Canadian ISP On Disclosing Subscriber Info: Come Back With a Warrant

dunkindave Re:Good for them (55 comments)

This is what they say, now let's see what they do! I truly hope they are true to their words, including behind the scenes where we don't normally see.

about two weeks ago
top

White House Punts On Petition To Allow Tesla Direct Sales

dunkindave Re:For us dummies.... (382 comments)

The problem with your description is that some of the laws Tesla is now fighting are recent legislation or regulations. For example, in New Jersey, the regulation prohibiting Tesla from performing direct sales was only put in place on March 11, 2014 by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (composed of political appointees of the Governor). Likewise in New York, they are looking at passing legislation to ban the way Tesla is selling vehicles.

NY dealers have Tesla ban in sights

It is/was legal but being made illegal. While aspects of the requirement of franchises may be in previous laws, Tesla built their model to comply with those laws, so the dealership associations are having their paid stooges rewrite the laws to block Tesla.

about two weeks ago
top

White House Punts On Petition To Allow Tesla Direct Sales

dunkindave Re:For us dummies.... (382 comments)

Traditional car companies see Tesla as a threat. They see Tesla is using a different sales model, namely that Tesla sells their cars directly to the consumer instead of using a dealership, and then the big guys use this difference to try and block Tesla from selling cars by influencing state legislatures (with things like money) to pass laws that say new cars can only be be sold through a franchised car dealership, not directly. The car companies know that all the new US car companies in the last century that have tried to enter market using dealership have failed for a few reasons, but one big one is that the new guy is too small so the dealership is one that would handle multiple brands, and as the new unproven line, the cars don't get pushed, so wither and die. That is what the big manufacturers want, for Tesla to fail, and they are paying their lawmakers to create laws to make Tesla's job impossible.

about two weeks ago
top

Brazil Nut Effect Explains Mystery of the Boulder-Strewn Surfaces of Asteroids

dunkindave It is still just a theory (58 comments)

My problem with these kind of articles is how they state it as 'case closed'. All this is is a theory of what is happening. Maybe it has a lot of solid science behind it, maybe it is even right, but right now it is still just a theory for us to explain what is happening. Using words like "Now an international team has solved the mystery" makes it sound like there is no debate, this is the answer, and anyone who says otherwise is an idiot. While I am not a scientist, I come close enough, and this fails the scientific method, at least in how the reporting represents it.

OK, I feel better now.

about two weeks ago
top

Apple Refutes Report On iPhone Threat To China's National Security

dunkindave Re:Someone is lying. (134 comments)

If I was China I would ban western products.

That is China's goal. It is just their stated reasons that are suspect.

about two weeks ago
top

The First Person Ever To Die In a Tesla Is a Guy Who Stole One

dunkindave Re:Unsafe at any speed (above 100 MPH)... (443 comments)

My guess is the Tesla hitting one of the "street poles" (telephone pole?) mentioned while sliding sideways at a high rate of speed was the cause of the car being split in two. This differs from Interstates in a very important way, namely, most poles on or near highways are designed either to break away if struck, or have crash barriers around them to absorb the crash energy. Poles on city streets on the other hand are designed for impacts at city street speeds, not highway speeds. At city street speeds cars crumple, not subdivide. An aluminum light pole with a breakaway is a lot different than a one foot diameter wood pole cemented into the ground when hit.

about three weeks ago
top

Gameover ZeuS Re-Emerges As Fast-Fluxing Botnet

dunkindave Re:Fast Flux (62 comments)

The idea behind fast-flux is to make blocking or recognizing an activity based on IP addresses essentially impossible, since by the time the bad IP address is known, communicated, and entered into whatever system is doing the blocking or detection, the addresses have changed to a new set and the race starts over. 5 to 15 minutes is a common rolling period for these people.

about three weeks ago
top

Gameover ZeuS Re-Emerges As Fast-Fluxing Botnet

dunkindave Re:And how does it get these domains? (62 comments)

You can't, but in order to regain control, all they need to do is successfully register ONE of them so when the botnet swarm tries to phone home it finds that one and they are back in business. Based on the summary, each week it tries a different list of random domain names so they can keep trying, week after week, until they succeed. I am also presuming these domains are spread across multiple TLD so it isn't just a matter of having the registrar for .com or .org block them. They would also need to get all the country TLD registrars to block the list as well.

about three weeks ago
top

UK Computing Student Jailed After Failing To Hand Over Crypto Keys

dunkindave Re:Seems appropriate (353 comments)

Not true about reckless endangerment. For a person to be guilty of that crime, they must knowingly have committed the act that caused others to be endangered and known that it could endanger them (or at least a reasonable person would have known). The "intent" part is when caution was thrown to the wind. A drunk driver doesn't intent to kill the minivan full of people, but they chose to drink then to drive, and that is where the intent came in. They intended to be reckless.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

dunkindave hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

dunkindave has no journal entries.

Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...