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Ask Slashdot: What Good Print Media Is Left?

hjf Re:Harper’s, The Baffler, The Believer (255 comments)

I read the Argentinian edition of Rolling Stone. Such a shame. Some of the articles are excellent, but the rest of the magazine is pure crap, especially the provocative covers (which they, at least, recognize it's for selling more)

9 hours ago
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SF Evictions Surging From Crackdown On Airbnb Rentals

hjf Re:Hotel tax = soak the non-voting visitors. (319 comments)

Because people already know what the tax is. There's no point in giving it separately. No matter what a product "costs", you still have to PAY the final price, inlcuding the tax.

about a week ago
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SF Evictions Surging From Crackdown On Airbnb Rentals

hjf Re:Hotel tax = soak the non-voting visitors. (319 comments)

Do you think the US tax system is even remotely comparable to Argentina's? It's fundamentally different.

An individual doesn't have to "file" any taxes, nor deduct anything. You just pay at the time of paying.

Companies are very different, but individuals don't need to worry about that.

about a week ago
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SF Evictions Surging From Crackdown On Airbnb Rentals

hjf Re:Hotel tax = soak the non-voting visitors. (319 comments)

Nope. In most places, the usual is to tell the client the *FINAL* price, all taxes included. Discriminating sales tax is mostly a US thing only.

Here in Argentina it's illegal to tell a (final) client the price without VAT. For non-final clients (resellers for example), it's usually expressed as "Price (+VAT)", and rarely as "Price (VAT included)".

about two weeks ago
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Bugs In SCADA Software Leave 7,600 Factories Vulnerable

hjf Re:Factories are vulnerable. (70 comments)

I'm talking about mobile.

And I sincerely doubt there are "7600" (as the article states) "CRITICAL" applications. If you ever connect to the vulnerable ones, chances are they will be a small factory no one cares about.

There is nothing wrong with remote MONITORING, as it happens to be just that: MONITORING. It's not about remotely controlling a process. It's about "the boss" seeing some dumb parameters (production counters). All logic should run in the PLC. Control sould be performed locally, through HMIs. You have to walk 150M inside the factory to set the oven's temp a little lower? Good. It's your job. The boss isn't interested in doing that from his phone.

about two weeks ago
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Bugs In SCADA Software Leave 7,600 Factories Vulnerable

hjf Re:Dumbasses (70 comments)

It all comes down to what kind of facility you're working with.

If it's a nuclear power plant, or a missile factory, then there is no need to "dial in". No employee should need to monitor anything remotely.

If it's a small bread factory and you use SCADA to monitor the production line, who cares? No one is going to want to hack you so badly.

Really, this is all a non-issue.

about two weeks ago
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Bugs In SCADA Software Leave 7,600 Factories Vulnerable

hjf Re:Dumbasses (70 comments)

I just use VPN. Android and iPhone both can dial in. I even use it for my house CCTV. Give them a strong certificate, then let them have any dumb password they want when they are inside the LAN.

about two weeks ago
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Bugs In SCADA Software Leave 7,600 Factories Vulnerable

hjf Re:Dumbasses (70 comments)

You, sir, are an idiot.

SCADA is a reporting tool. SCADA is for your manager. If your managers want access, you provide them with access. Because if you're not a fucking incompetent idiot, you can make a secure system that will let management see factory data in real time.

But you're an idiot who just forwards the SCADA web access port to the internet with no password.

The problem with industrial automation "vulnerabilities" is not SCADA, it's not software, it's not anything you're thinking of. The problem with it is that these programs are designed for MECHANICAL ENGINEERS. They're decided for the really clever people that come up with those amazing designs. Who happen to be a fucking LOT better than most slashdotters at it. They're not "geeks", they're not sitting down in a computer all day. They don't understand (and don't have to) how the internet works.

I know this because I've been in both sides. I currently do some automation jobs (programming PLCs) and I don't know SHIT about mechanics (I didn't know that 3-phase motors could be wired different to work in different voltages, but that's something you learn in first year in TECHNICAL HIGH SCHOOL). But I can program a PLC, and connect the SCADA to the internet SAFELY.

It's not about being a smug idiot, thinking everyone else is stupid, and management is wrong. That attitude won't get you far in life. It's about convincing management that there are different skill sets involved and it's dangerous to do what they are doing. And offer a solution.

about two weeks ago
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Bugs In SCADA Software Leave 7,600 Factories Vulnerable

hjf Re:Factories are vulnerable. (70 comments)

Because this is 2014 and we don't use leased lines anymore.

about two weeks ago
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Algorithm Challenge: Burning Man Vehicle Exodus

hjf Re:Better solution (273 comments)

Heh when my mom goes to church she just waits, sitting down, for THREE MINUTES (OH GOD!) until everyone rushes out the door.

about two weeks ago
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WSJ: Prepare To Hang Up the Phone — Forever

hjf Re:Fine, get rid of POTS, give us Net Neutrality (449 comments)

As a network administrator, I can guarantee you that traffic shaping *is* necessary.

Just like in "real life" you drive at a certain speed, and traffic lights decide which cars pass and which ones have to wait.

Just like in "real life" certain vehicles have priority above all (ambulances).

Expecting a fully unregulated internet is dumb. No matter how much capacity you can add to YOUR network, there will still be a bottleneck somewhere. And you really don't want ICMP queueing up at that point, or Bad Things® happen.

And you really don't want SMTP to have the same priority as HTTP. You really don't need that email to arrive in a second. It can take 10, 20, 30 seconds. It can take a minute, and that's OK. But your web browsing can't wait 10, 20, 30 seconds.

Let's not be fools. Traffic shaping IS a need. I get where you're coming from (priorizing one company over another) but it's silly to think it should be completely unrestricted. Real life isn't. Why should the internet be?

about three weeks ago
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Fluke Donates Multimeters To SparkFun As Goodwill Gesture

hjf Re:Kind of an empty gesture (250 comments)

Road cones are orange. Fire extinguishers are red. Safety vests are fluorescent orange. Ground wires are green/yellow...

about a month ago
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Is Analog the Fix For Cyber Terrorism?

hjf Re:This is very, very old (245 comments)

I was talking about lower-level control. The kind of control that happens in the "megahertz" domain, like the feedback loop of a switch mode power supply, which should be done, IMO, in an analog domain.

It was meant to be an analogy. Using a microcontroller to control a SMPS is the same as using a PC to control industrial processes.

But what would you know about that? Filthy electrician. Don't you have some wires to splice?

about a month ago
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Is Analog the Fix For Cyber Terrorism?

hjf Re:This is very, very old (245 comments)

Your "EEs" actually "code" too, but in disguise. PLCs are programmed, just (usually) not in written code, but rather, in Ladder Diagram or Function Blocks. But you know that, right?

I'm a programmer, but also a hobby electronics guy. And I've worked with PLCs. And I know for sure that "CS" types are never involved in these projects. The programming required is minimal (as usual with "elegant" engineering solutions), so a CS degree isn't required. It's much more about the hardware than software.

A CS guy usually doesn't even know what SCADA is, and would think LD is for retards.

And also: come on, EE guy, your kind is moving into "programming"... Seen enough people thinking "since now we have really fast and cheap embedded CPUs like ARM that are 32-bit, run at 80mhz, and cost cents, we might as well use that instead of a dedicated PWM chip for SMPS". Call me old fashioned, but I really think those things (SMPS control) should always be analog. Even with the annoyance of stabilizing that damn feedback loop that starts oscillating.

about a month ago
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New Jersey Auto Dealers Don't Want to Face Tesla

hjf Re:Don't get it (342 comments)

Why? If american companies settle here, there will be no room for competition.

about a month ago
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New Jersey Auto Dealers Don't Want to Face Tesla

hjf Re:Don't get it (342 comments)

As a south american, I've always been confused about the US policy against us. I really don't understand why the US has, since the end of WWII, crushed Latin America again and again and again, and they keep doing is to this day.

The US had at least two good options with LATAM:

1. Let LATAM develop, have healthy capitalist economies, get us to be in the NATO Thug Club, and sell us their flashy iPhones and cars.
2. Let LATAM develop, under their rules, and make us become their own China, much nearer and in the same timezones.

As it is now, Latin America is basically useless to US interests. We don't have a developed industry. Pretty much the only thing US buys is oil from Venezuela and copper and lithium from Chile. Other than that, latin america is still poor. We have slow internet (so netflix can't grow), we have really high prices vs. salary (so the flashy iphones are reserved to a tiny fraction of the population), and other things are considered "luxuries" (like an XBOX360 which is 4-5X the US price, since: if only the rich can afford it, they might as well charge what the rich can pay).

US has been in bed with China for too long. China is now heavily investing in LATAM. I think the US really needs to take a strategical leap, unify LATAM, and make the "American Bloc" to compete against the Eurozone and Russia/Asia. But this is not going to happen. If it hasn't happened in 60 years, it's not going to happen now. Which is a shame. The potential of Latin America is simply unbelievable:

  • Almost 1 billion people
  • Infrastructure already in place (Argentina alone had over 30.000km of railways)
  • Natural resources to spare thanks to the unexploited Andes and the VAST reserves of all sorts of minerals
  • Endless coastlines to place strategic ports
  • Political stability(*) and a peaceful, tame population
  • US Military presence already in place, and underdeveloped local armies

(*): The political instabilities in Latin America have been caused by CIA and friends over 40 years. LATAM naturally steers left because the (many) poor that feel "left out" of the system. Piñera in Chile was right-wing and his party lost to the same left-wing candidate (Bachelet) who was the president before him, because the breach between the "rich" and "poor" is rather high there. Middle class people can barely afford to go to college.

The best course of action would be for the US to let us "naturally develop". It will be a slow process, taking at least 50 years for LATAM to reach higher status (and leave behind the "south american shithole country" stigma), enough time for the US to figure out a new course of action. Development will allow US companies to move production here, and decrease chinese dependency.

But the "paradigm shift" needs to be real. The US only wants Latin America to sign free trade agreements with countries that WILL NOT benefit from them. For example: US wanted a FTA with Argentina. Our main export was, at the time, beef (exports of interests to US, not counting,for example,soybean). The problem is that while the FTA was "free", later "regulations" weren't. Argentina can't export beef to the US (because the US wants to protect its own market). Our industry doesn't produce anything that the US wants so that's another problem. But, the US had a *LOT* to sell to us. If we signed the FTA, it means 0 tariffs for US products, and eventually, destroying our own local economy.
Chile is more flexible in this regard. Chile does not have factories or farms. Their economy is solely based in raw mining exports, no value add. The US now gave them the Visa Waiver program. So the US buys copper from them, and chileans fly to the US for vacations and "return" the USD. Chile benefits in no way, but they are OK with that since their president is a right-wing billionarie.

As it is now, the US unstoppable monetary emission will eventually cause a crash and take 3/4 of the world's economy with it, leading us to a "New World Order" with China on command, and the final victory of "Communism".

about a month ago
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Open Source Tech Providing Mobile Communications In Developing Nations

hjf Re:You'd wish to have such a box up a tree... (20 comments)

This is completely irrelevant for your application. If you're in the Middle Of Nowhere, you'll just use a basic radio. VHF can go for tens of kilometers in open space. This "box" you talk about will give you ISOLATED cell phone coverage, it will not connect to the rest of the system. And if we're into that, we might as well use regular analog handhelds that just work.

Any handheld radio can go for days without a charge. Your iphone, if looking for a signal, will drain the battery in just a couple of hours.

about a month and a half ago
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How I Cut My Time Warner Cable Bill By 33%

hjf Re:"Is This News"? (206 comments)

I meant to say: without justification. A low level tech can't schedule a tech's visit without a good justification. Their performance is measured in how quickly they can "dispatch" the clients, and how little house calls they schedule. Their performance isn't measured in how accurately they can solve a client's problem.

That's why sometimes if your problem is taking too long to solve, they put you on hold and hang up.

This applies to outsourced call centers. They bill by the hour of calling, so it's not in their interest to solve your problem, but rather, have you keep calling so they can keep billing.

Low level techs do have access to statistics of your modem (noise level, disconnections, etc). So they can easily see if you're lying when you say you've "already unplugged everything" (people lie about this all the time). Seasoned techs will see the statistics and just schedule a visit. Newbies will walk you through the script, even if it's not necessary.

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

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Diplomatic crisis with Argentna scales up

hjf hjf writes  |  more than 3 years ago

hjf (703092) writes "In an unprecedented series of events, Argentine customs have confiscated US military equipment. The cargo was supposed to be part of cooperation agreements between Argentina and the US. The US had clearance for weapons and ammunition (all specified here), but Argentine customs officers found a little more than that. First reports said the boxed contained drugs (Morfin and others). US reaction to the incident was strange, with several high ranking officers demanding immediate return of the material — pretty odd for a few doses of Morfin. Later, Argentine officers stated that, besides the medication, there was "communications interception equipment" and several other "high-tech" equipment, which wasn't declared. Argentina-US relations have been deteriorating in the last few years, to the point that Obama won't visit Argentina on his south-american tour. Argentina is a member of G-20 Major Economies, currently holds Charimanship for G-77, and has been a member of the UN Security Council for several times since 1948. You can follow the Argentine Chancellor on twitter, @hectortimerman, and the President of Argentina, @CFKArgentina."
Link to Original Source
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hjf hjf writes  |  more than 7 years ago

hjf (703092) writes "A few months after showing interest in buying 1 million "$ 100" computers from the OLPC program, Argentina is now trying Intel's $300 notebook. Intel made a donation of 500 computers to be tested. Argentina's government will choose one of the two computers after pilot testing them. The same announcement was made in Brazil."

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