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How We'll Program 1000 Cores - and Get Linus Ranting, Again

hazeii 'make -j64 bzImage' (449 comments)

How does Linux compile his kernel? Certainly I use a parallel make across as many cores as possible (well, up to the point where there's a core for every compilation unit).

about three weeks ago

Researchers Discover SS7 Flaw, Allowing Total Access To Any Cell Phone, Anywhere

hazeii An SS7 coder writes... (89 comments)

The comments above about SS7 being designed without security are spot-on. In the old days, access to the SS7 network was strictly for big players and salesmen with 'extremely customer-friendly' expense accounts. Basically, anyone with access was a big player (with all the baggage that entails).

Really, the issue here is with MAP (an add-on to SS7 to support mobiles). The explosion of mobile means SS7 is no longer just the playing field for national carriers - mobile-only operators came to the party (still all $xbillion players). Then, smaller countries with some interesting networks came on the scene, and rather naughty SS7 traffic started to appear on the network.

Smarter operators (or at least bigger ones who got their fingers burnt) spent money to install gateways that limit and control their exposure (wouldn't you?). The less clueful/more cash-strapped/networks in less-developed countries remain more exposed.

Anyone interested can search for 'SS7 mobility management' ; the <a href="http://www.informit.com/library/content.aspx?b=Signaling_System_No_7&seqNum=116">code is easy</a>, the issue is getting access to the network.

Oh, wait, these days SS7 is being routed over IP now (ever wondered what the <a href="http://lksctp.sourceforge.net/">linux SCTP module</a> is actually for?).

about a month ago

Bank Security Software EULA Allows Spying On Users

hazeii Re:Bank Security Guy here (135 comments)


This software (peddled by my bank for years) claims to protect against keyboard intercepts - on Windows.

Snake oil of the first order.

about a month and a half ago

How Relevant is C in 2014?

hazeii Re:C is very relevant in 2014, (641 comments)

And C++ doesn't? (cited as it was mentioned as something better).

Any high-level language is an elaboration on the underlying reality. C is closer to whats really going on than its offspring (a simple consequence of it being built at the time we were learning to drive computers effectively).

Really, the argument is about teaching people how to drive when they don't know what's going on under the hood. How many people these days care about that? Like your average programmer, they just want to get from A to B.

about a month and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: Can You Say Something Nice About Systemd?

hazeii Systemd is great because... (928 comments)

The killer advantage of systemd is the money it makes. By integrating this software into our distro, we can be sure that any business using linux will take one look at the complexity, binary logs, and other great features and realise they really need to pay for a support contract. You see, this fixes the problem of the old, really lame (simple, yuk!) systems that have been around for years - anyone with a bit of shell knowledge can learn them in a few minutes, and it's really hard to make money when kids with some computing knowledge can sort system problems out. No, in order to convince customers that support contracts are necessary we need to replace the easy, working stuff with something we invented, something far richer, something that we can integrate into the system and which gives us addtional control. With this approach, we can effectively neutralise all those damn people who can learn how the system works in their spare time. Just make it so complex, only paid professionals can afford to flail about fixing things! As is clear, systemd fits that bill perfectly (along with pulseaudio and a nod to udev). Never mind all those whining ninnies (hey, tell them to go pay for a support contract if they want to use linux). What really matters here is the benefit to the bottom line - just remember, people, complex crap sells support contracts!

In summary, systemd is great on other's people machines - when you'd getting paid by the hour!

about 3 months ago

Will the Google Car Turn Out To Be the Apple Newton of Automobiles?

hazeii News today: UK wants driverless buses (287 comments)

Interestingly, there's a report in the Telegraph today suggesting that driverless buses could be on the roads in the UK pretty soon.

On the one hand, this makes sense - the complexity of the problem is reduced with a vehicle following a pre-programmed route.

On the other hand, I'm deeply sceptical - taking the assumption that such vehicles would have to be super-safe to be accepted, I can see a spate of teens having fun baiting autobuses into emergency stops. Oh, and cyclists will totally rule the roads - get in front of a bus and pedal as slow as you like.

about 3 months ago

X.Org Server 1.16 Brings XWayland, GLAMOR, Systemd Integration

hazeii Embrace, extend.... (226 comments)

I think we've seen this strategy before.

Basically, it's job security; make it so complex you need to pay for 'support' to make it work.

about 6 months ago

UK Gov't Plans To Push "Emergency" Surveillance Laws

hazeii Re:"Emergency" laws. (147 comments)

And the reason this was *scheduled* for news release today?

Because there was a public sector strike too (they knew which would get the TV headlines).

Plus the lame nods about "sunset" clause (yeah right) and reviews of RIPA (yeah, heard that one before).

What do the people of this fine land think?

Well, you only need to start reading the comments to see.

about 6 months ago

Daniel Ellsberg: Snowden Would Not Get a Fair Trial – and Kerry Is Wrong

hazeii Re:Ellsberg got a fair trial (519 comments)

Eww....sweep it under the carpet, clean up the mess, move quietly on with the same old same old. A quiet burial, nothing to see here citizen, move along now, move along.

about 8 months ago

First Glow-In-the-Dark Road Debuts In Netherlands

hazeii UK has had LED version for years (187 comments)

Here in the southern UK we've had solar LED road studs for years - they are used on some A roads and mark line dividers, road edges and turn-offs in place of the usual cats-eyes. Work pretty well too (though I find them a bit 'stroby', like some vehicle brake lights).

about 9 months ago

Eric Schmidt, Jared Cohen Say Google Data Now Protected From Gov't Spying

hazeii Re: Eric "you shouldn't be doing that" Schmidt (155 comments)

I thought the point was clear, but to attempt to make it more so:

Eric Schmidt stated if there was stuff we didn't want people to know, we shouldn't be doing it. (this was way before the Snowden leaks).

He made it a clear position - don't do anything you don't want to be made public (search back for the old discussion on here about it, as I recall he didn't come out of it well).

So now he's saying the opposite - that we can trust him with stuff we don't people to know (i.e. everything Google knows about us).

Our opinions in how much trust to him are clearly divergent.

about a year ago

Eric Schmidt, Jared Cohen Say Google Data Now Protected From Gov't Spying

hazeii Eric "you shouldn't be doing that" Schmidt (155 comments)

This would be the same Eric Schmidt who said "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place."?

And now we're expected to believe him, when he says he's keeping us safe from letting anyone know what we're doing?

He killed a lot of trust with the original comment.

He just killed a whole lot more.

about a year ago

Surrey Hit With Catnado

hazeii Hit us, lost 2 trees (95 comments)

It was more a band of very strong wind (for the UK) - the damage track is several miles wide, nothing like a tornado. Not too severe, about one tree down every 2 miles (rough calculation from seeing about a dozen trees down on a 25 mile local trip). We lost 2, both ripped off about 10 feet from the ground (in from the edge of a small wood - apparently others have seen a similar pattern).

about a year ago

Obama Announces Surveillance Reforms

hazeii A curb on *use* (not on *collection*) (359 comments)

Notice how this is a curb on the *use* of the collected data - not on collecting it in the first place.

In other words, politicians have realised how much power this level of information can give them - and that is why control of it is far too important to be left in the hands of the NSA.

So what we have is just a power struggle over the strings of control - and not over the real issue of overbearing intrusion into the private lives of the people of this planet.

1 year,8 days

Phil Zimmerman Launching Secure "Blackphone"

hazeii And the buyers will be... (156 comments)

No, not terrorists or drug smugglers or other ne'er do wells.

The target market is politicians, sheriffs departments, lobbyists, corporations, bankers and sundry others who worry about their dodgy dealings coming to light.

1 year,10 days

Who Is Liable When a Self-Driving Car Crashes?

hazeii Aviation as a role model (937 comments)

It'll be like aviation - the makers of the craft in question will pay lots of mney to lawyers to put the crash down to "pilot error".

Aside from which, let's see, law enforcement will want a 'kill switch' and every politician will want a 'Zil lane' button.

1 year,16 days

EU Committee Issues Report On NSA Surveillance; Snowden To Testify

hazeii Having read the report, the main points are: (177 comments)

A quick synopsis (so may contain stuff to quibble over) but the meat appears to be the action list (read the original document - link in article - for the rest):

Action 1: Adopt the data protection package

Action 2: Set up an overall agreement ensuring 'proper redress mechanisms' for EU citizens where data is passed to the US for law enforcement purposes.

Action 3: Suspend 'safe harbour' (covering personal data) until the US comply with 'EU highest standards'

Action 4: Suspend the 'TFTP' (Terrorist Finance Tracking Package) until a) Action 2 complete b) the EU have looked into it

Action 5: Worth quoting in full: "Protect the rule of law and the fundamental rights of EU citizens, with a particular focus on threads to the freedom of the press and professional confidentiality (including lawyer-client relationships) as well as enhanced protection for whistleblowers".

Action 6: Develop a european strategy for IT independence (that'll send cold shivers down the spine of certain US companies).

Action 7: Develop the EU as a reference player for a democratic and neutral governance of the internet (my translation: currently it's a US party, we want in on that).

1 year,16 days



Secret policy allows GCHQ to bulk NSA data

hazeii hazeii writes  |  about 3 months ago

hazeii (5702) writes "Though legal procedings following the Snowden revelations, Liberty UK have succeeded in forcing GCHQ to reveal secret internal policies allowing Britain's intelligence services to receive unlimited bulk intelligence from the NSA and other foreign agencies and to keep this data on a massive searchable databases, all without a warrant. Apparently, British intelligence agencies can "trawl through foreign intelligence material without meaningful restrictions", and can keep copies of both content and metadata for up to two years. There is also mention of data obtained "through US corporate partnerships".

According to Liberty, this raises serious doubts about oversight of the UK Intelligence and Security Commitee and their reassurances that in every case where GCHQ sought information from the US, a warrant for interception signed by a minister was in place.

Eric King, Deputy Director of Privacy international, said:

“We now know that data from any call, internet search, or website you visited over the past two years could be stored in GCHQ's database and analysed at will, all without a warrant to collect it in the first place. It is outrageous that the Government thinks mass surveillance, justified by secret “arrangements” that allow for vast and unrestrained receipt and analysis of foreign intelligence material is lawful. This is completely unacceptable, and makes clear how little transparency and accountability exists within the British intelligence community.”"

UK media now allowed to report secret trials.

hazeii hazeii writes  |  about 8 months ago

hazeii (5702) writes "Following some pretty heroic efforts here in the UK, we are now allowed to know a secret trial is taking place. We aren't allowed to know who is being tried, or for what (except it's "terrorism related"). And the media are still barred from reporting the outcome (even if the unnamed defendants "AB" and "CD" are found innocent).

More from the BBC, the Guardian, and plenty of other sources."

Shamir prevented from attending NSA symposium

hazeii hazeii writes  |  about a year ago

hazeii (5702) writes "It appears that Adi Shamir (the 'S' in RSA) won't be able to make the NSA conference. He's posted a lengthy email about it, including this little gem:

"....the NSA people leaped into action, and immediately sent me a short email written with a lot of tact:

      '“The trouble you are having is regrettableSorry you won’t be able to come to our conference. We have submitted our program and did not include you on it.'"

He goes on to suggest this is more cock-up than conspiracy, and is simply a consequence of the US visa bureaucracy "collapsing under its own weight".

The full email appears here."

BBC: Seized Guardian Files 'endanger agents'

hazeii hazeii writes  |  about a year ago

hazeii (5702) writes "The BBC are reporting that the files seized from David Miranda (as a potential terrorist — see the earlier Slashdot story) 'endanger agents lives'. Given that Miranda (and other Guardian journalists) seem to have been exceedingly careful not to release anything that could actually damage national security, and that the source of this information is a 'senior cabinet adviser', one wonders what exactly the point of this 'news' is."

The Guardian: Snowden *did not* leak to the Independent

hazeii hazeii writes  |  about a year and a half ago

hazeii (5702) writes "In an interesting twist, the Guardian is reporting that Snowden responded this morning that he is not the source of the Independent's reporting of the earlier Slashdot story revealing the UK's Middle East fibre-interception base. The suggestion seems to be that this is a deliberate (that is, official but unattributed) leak intended to discredit Snowden, Greenwald et al. by "unofficially" releasing information that may be of genuine use to terrorists."

Ed Snowden leaves Hong Kong for Moscow

hazeii hazeii writes  |  about a year and a half ago

hazeii (5702) writes "Ed Snowden, the US whistleblower responsible for exposing the degree to which the US watches its own citizens (as well as the rest of the world) is reported as having left Hong Kong for Moscow. According to the South China Morning Post, he is on a commercial flight to Russia but intriguingly it seems this is not his final destination. It's not clear whether this move is in response to the US request to extradite him."

Einstein@home set to reach 1 petaflop/sec.

hazeii hazeii writes  |  about 2 years ago

hazeii (5702) writes "Einstein@home, the distributed computing project searching for the gravitational waves predicted to exist by Albert Einstein looks set to breach the 1 Petaflop barrier around midnight UTC tonight. Put into context, if it was in the Top500 Supercomputers list, it would be in at number 24. I'm sure there are plenty of Slashdot readers who can contribute enough CPU and GPU cycles to push them well over 1,000 teraflops — and maybe even discover a pulsar in the process."
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