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Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

laughingskeptic Misleading headline (607 comments)

A more accurate, but much less attention grabbing headline would have been "0.15% annual increase in Antarctic Sea continues for 35th year". Given the strong trend, most years would be expected to be "record years".

3 days ago
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DMCA Claim Over GPL Non-Compliance Shuts Off Minecraft Plug-Ins

laughingskeptic Re:Uh... decompiled and deobfuscated? (354 comments)

Large programs usually have large numbers of external dependencies. The external calls are plain as day in the reversed code. Sure the variables may all be named a,b,c... but it really isn't that hard to find the parts you are interested in and figure out what the interfaces are. For his mods he had to figure out which code handled player positions, actions, health and maybe a few other things. I've done it many times and it is WAY easier in Java and .NET with multimegabyte-sized programs than it is with C and multikilobyte-sized monolithic programs where you have no external markers in the assembly as guides.

about two weeks ago
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DMCA Claim Over GPL Non-Compliance Shuts Off Minecraft Plug-Ins

laughingskeptic Re:Uh... decompiled and deobfuscated? (354 comments)

This is routinely done by Minecraft modders and many others.
“Because a thing seems difficult for you, do not think it impossible for anyone to accomplish.” - Marcus Aurelius

about two weeks ago
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DMCA Claim Over GPL Non-Compliance Shuts Off Minecraft Plug-Ins

laughingskeptic Re: ELI5 please (354 comments)

I don't think Mojang has ever been that interested in creating APIs that support the level of moding that has been going on. It's 21k lines of code, if he re-writes Bukkit, it will just be more proprietary Minecraft code and their next release will be delayed 3 months. Meanwhile Wesley Wolfe has effectively made himself unemployable.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do About Repeated Internet Overbilling?

laughingskeptic Ask your county office? (355 comments)

It sounds like ATM overhead addresses your issue. However as far as who to talk to, in California measurement enforcement is handled at the county level: http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/dms/. In Texas this falls to the Department of Agriculture and I'm pretty sure they won't care. http://www.texasagriculture.go...

about three weeks ago
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Rightscorp's New Plan: Hijack Browsers Until Infingers Pay Up

laughingskeptic Re:Why would I pay my ISP for service? (376 comments)

Exactly! Not only will affected people switch providers, but this will cause participating ISPs to become viewed as unreliable. Unreliable internet has become unacceptable. This may also drive more apartment and condo complexes into the hands of providers like Grande which simply provide bandwidth to the whole building. Its a cheaper solution, but the hassle factor has limited penetration of these types of services. The ISPs would be greatly upping their hassle factor and reducing their competitiveness by participating in this Rightscorp scheme.

about 1 month ago
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US Defense Contractors Still Waiting For Breach Notification Rules

laughingskeptic Congress is in the Dark, NOT DoD (19 comments)

Breaches are already reported from the contractor's SSO to the government program office's SSO within 24 hours. Congress' issue is that they don't know what is going on and they decided to meddle in this one particular detail. Contractors absolutely do not attempt to cover this up, getting caught covering something like this up would cause them to immediately loose their funding and the right to bid on future contracts -- effectively a corporate death sentence. SSOs are almost all former soldiers with security backgrounds in the services and operate at the highest levels of integrity. They would absolutely place the country over their employer any day.

about a month ago
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Book Review: Introduction To Cyber-Warfare: A Multidisciplinary Approach

laughingskeptic Re:Culture of DoD and plain text drone feeds (27 comments)

FIPS-140 compliance is a given these days. That is not the issue. #1 you pick up an entire another organization that is going to want to participate in the project and perform a security review that may have been skirted if the word encryption was not mentioned. #2 the program office has to transfer funds to pay for this addition to the project instead of paying for more desired features. #3 there is much concern with the security of the encryption keys themselves when you put encryption on a device that is place in harms way. You have to demonstrate that the keys will be protected, they don't tend to care for per-mission keys. #4 as a result encryption winds up adding more weight than just bits because you need various tamper-proof devices. I have seen cases where the most important thing on a deployed device was the encryption key FOB. Which is just nuts I know, but that is the way it is. #5 the test plan grows, the system operation training grows, the documentation grows all adding additional costs to the project.

about a month ago
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Book Review: Introduction To Cyber-Warfare: A Multidisciplinary Approach

laughingskeptic Culture of DoD and plain text drone feeds (27 comments)

"They felt that since the Predator video feeds were being transmitted on frequencies that were not publicly known, no access control, encryption or other security mechanisms would be needed. " -- I am sure it wasn't that simple. As soon as you say 'encryption' in the defense world you open a can of worms that can set your project back as much as 2 years. These aren't technical set backs, but rather paperwork and process set backs. They were probably told by their government program manager to not put 'encryption' in their response because they probably didn't want to deal with the additional process burden. You can't do anything in the defense contracting world such as adding a feature like encryption without the government's program manager signing off on it and often find yourself constrained by law from implementing the best possible solution.

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do About the Sorry State of FOSS Documentation?

laughingskeptic Re:Software Documentation is bad everywhere (430 comments)

Wrong. Microsoft's software documentation is generally excellent. Contributing programmers are 33% or less of Microsoft's empire, in FOSS programmers are 99% of the contributors. Not only is the end user documentation good, but for the devs Microsoft has MSDN, Dev Tech Net and a number of employees paid to pay attention to StackOverflow. Prior to any major software release a team of writers and engineers creates a 300 to 600 page book about the new release full of examples on configuring and coding for the new release. I know people hate paying for software, but sometimes you really do get what you pay for.

about a month and a half ago
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The CIA Does Las Vegas

laughingskeptic In-Q-Tel is fundamentally unethical (124 comments)

In-Q-Tel is just a way for the CIA to get around laws limiting their purchasing powers. They are prohibited from buying services the way they want, so instead they 'invest' in the services they want. What they are supposed to do is define their needs and let people bid on providing those services, but then the CIA executives wouldn't get to hob-nob with VCs and drink champagne on yachts.

about a month and a half ago
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Astronomers Solve Puzzle of Mysterious Streaks In Radio Images of the Sky

laughingskeptic Silicon ions (66 comments)

They reject most of my theories in their paper, but the don't mention silicon ions as a possible source so I'm going with that. With higher masses and higher charges the silicon ion part of the plasma will be denser and be more affected by the earth's magnetic field at that altitude.

about 3 months ago
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Gen. Keith Alexander On Metadata, Snowden, and the NSA: "We're At Greater Risk"

laughingskeptic Re:Work harder at what? (238 comments)

Your hyperbole is irritatingly excessive. The NSA is primarily made up of the same type of people who read Slashdot. They are not only not interested in you, they can't legally do anything with the data that they 'might' have related to you without a warrant. They are large, but not so large that they are not resource constrained. I'm sure if you had it your way, the world's premier spy agency would have no data to work with. Maybe you think you would be safer without the NSA, I disagree.

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Easy-To-Use Alternative To MS Access For a Charity's Database?

laughingskeptic Has anyone responding to this used Access? (281 comments)

It is easy! Soooo easy, not quite as easy as File Maker Pro, but way more powerful and with better forms. You will NOT be doing them a favor by leaving them with something new to them that has poorer documentation and no support. Please, please think of the end user. Libre Office's Base's objective is to be like Access and the current version has many of the UI features but you find the term 'script' shockingly absent from the Libre Office documentation. All of the real power that is in Access is COMPLETELY missing from Libre Office Base.

about 4 months ago
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The Mere Promise of Google Fiber Sends Rivals Scrambling

laughingskeptic Re:I think it's backward. (258 comments)

It is worse, because when you try to drive the AT&T Lambo you find that it only drives fast on the AT&T race track, but 99% of the roads you want to drive on are not part of the AT&T race track. AT&T has demonstrated repeatedly that they are not willing to increase their interconnect infrastructure so your Netflix movies will still hiccup even when you have AT&T fiber to your house. Brilliant.

about 4 months ago
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Survey: 56 Percent of US Developers Expect To Become Millionaires

laughingskeptic In 20 years ... (467 comments)

You will have to be a millionaire in order to have anything close to a decent retirement. Even today, In order to retire on $60K a year right now and live another 40 years, you would need in the $1.6M range. People talk about teachers, soldiers and other public servants having low pay, but if you were to value their retirements as annuities you would see that they largely become millionaires when they retire. Being a millionaire isn't what it used to be. Upper middle class will in the near future translate to millionaire.

about 5 months ago
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Contact Lenses With Infrared Vision?

laughingskeptic Re:Utterly misleading post. (99 comments)

Exactly. I have night vision goggles that are not cooled. Cooling is all about signal-to-noise, not the inherent sensitivity of the CCD detector. When the body and lenses of your imaging device are giving off infrared radiation at the same frequency that you are trying to image, you have to integrate the target image that much longer to get a clear picture. Swapping the back-plane technology cannot change this. This article is a prime example of academic puffery.

about 6 months ago

Submissions

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Amsterdam plane crash caused by software bug?

laughingskeptic laughingskeptic writes  |  more than 5 years ago

laughingskeptic (1004414) writes "The automatic pilot apparently powered down the engines at 2000 ft altitude because one input, the altimeter, told it the plane had landed. A modern plane has a number of inputs from which the 'landed' status could be determined and it seems to me that it is a major bug for one of them to be taken as the controlling input in a situation like this."

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