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Comments

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Exploiting Wildcards On Linux/Unix

n0ano Definition of idiot (215 comments)

Let me check my dictionary for the defintion of idiot:

1. n: A user, especially super user, who uses * as an agument without first checking to see what * expands into.
2. n: A user who leaves his directories world writeable so others can put random garbage in them.

The one line summary for this story is bad things happen to people who use a command without knowing what the command does.

about a month ago
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From FCC Head Wheeler, a Yellow Light For Internet Fast Lanes

n0ano Watch your language (149 comments)

including prioritization given by ISPs to their subsidiaries that make and stream content

Sigh. Comcast won't prioritize its subsidiary's traffic, it will de-prioritize its competitors traffic.

Please, just classify ISPs as a common carrier (like you should have done years ago) and be done with it.

about 3 months ago
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One-a-Day-Compiles: Good Enough For Government Work In 1983

n0ano You young whippersnappers get off my lawn! (230 comments)

I started in 1968 at Michigan State with punch cards on a CDC 6000 mainframe, a big one, all of 65K words of memory (60 bits per word but still, that was considered big back then). As a student I was guaranteed 1 run per day and yes, even after eyeballing my programs carefully I lost many days of work due to missplaced punctuation. It's amazing what you can get used to when you have no choice.

I remember my excitement when I was able to move to a research account from a student one. Research accounts could get as many runs as the system could turn around, typically around 4-5 per day - nirvanna! Of course, the research runs weren't guranteed so when the system got backed up (some physics professor tying up the machine for hours or down time due to HW failures) the student jobs got priority and your research job came back whenever they could get to it. I waited 2-3 days for a job more than once.

Back to punch cards, my favorite technique was something I saw one of the FORTRAN programmers do. The technique used the fact that you could put a line number on any card and it was possible to put multiple statements on the same card. This guy ended every single card with a goto statement to the next card in the deck. As he said, the operators could drop his deck, shuffle the cards and his program would still work properly. (We really didn't like or trust the operators back then.)

about 2 months ago
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Kids Can Swipe a Screen But Can't Use LEGOs

n0ano How to describe a pre-schooler (355 comments)

Colin Kinney said excessive use of technology damages concentration and causes behavioural problems such as irritability and a lack of control.

Seriously? These `behavioural problems` describe every pre-schooler I've ever met.

about 3 months ago
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Boulder's Tech Workers Cope With Historic Flood

n0ano Not that bad (85 comments)

When did this story get written, the worst is pretty much past. At 11:30AM local time I'm looking at blue sky, the streams around Boulder crested last night, we're now in restoration mode (I'm lucky, my basement flooded out such that the hallway carpeting is soaked but there's no standing water, unlike my neighbors who share a wall with me and had about 2 inches of standing water throughout their basement).

Things are bad but, at least in Boulder, they're not catastrophic. Some of the surrounding communities, especially up toward the mountains, got it worse, there are some serious evacuations going on up there, but Boulder is fine.

about a year ago
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DEA Program "More Troubling" Than NSA

n0ano What happened to probable cause? (432 comments)

What I find most troubling from the article is this:

"You'd be told only, ‘Be at a certain truck stop at a certain time and look for a certain vehicle.' And so we'd alert the state police to find an excuse to stop that vehicle, and then have a drug dog search it," the agent said.

(Bold emphasis mine.) The casual way that a law enforcement agent advocated violating laws relating to probable cause is astonishing. Subconciously I know that they do this but to actually come out in print and admit it is really sad.

about a year ago
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Boston Police Chief: Facial Recognition Tech Didn't Help Find Bombing Suspects

n0ano Broken terminology (235 comments)

Obligatory Princess Bride quote - "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." - I. Montoya.

The problem is we keep using the term health `insurance' when we are not buying insurance, we are buying health care coverage.

As you say, `insurance' is supposed to provide compensation when something unexpected happens - a rock breaking your windscreen is unexpected and auto insurance correctly pays for that event. Let's face it, if your `insurance' covers yearly health checkups and monthly prescriptions (e.g. insulin) then you are getting a benefit, not insurance.

Unfortunately, words have power and the terms we use to describe a thing winds up having a large impact on how we view that thing (abortion vs. choice anyone, why isn't that pro-abortion vs. anti-abortion)

about a year ago
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America's Real Criminal Element: Lead

n0ano Correlation != Causation (627 comments)

Sigh. Refer to the subject line.

--
"Censeo Toto nos in Kansa esse decisse." - D. Gale.

about a year and a half ago
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Unredacted Documents In Apple/Samsung Case, No Evidence of 'Copy' Instruction

n0ano Re:It's a legal problem, baby, got me on the run.. (178 comments)

In re: misrepresent the truth.

You need to take a legal ethics class (go figure, lawyers are required to take an ethics class). A lawyer is not allowed to lie to the court, either in what they say or the documents they file. It makes it very hard for lawyers when they `know` that a client is guilty. Yes lawyers have to represent their clients as best they can but, at the same time, they cannot lie to the court. I believe that this is why there is an unwritten law that a lawyer never asks a client if he is guilty, there are some things it's just better not to know.

PS: IANAL but my wife is and I still remember when she took her ethics class.

about 2 years ago
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Office 2003 Service Pack Disables Older File Formats

n0ano Re:Default value goes back pretty far (555 comments)

You mean something like the Unix `file' command that has been available since, oh, forever? To quote from the man page:

There has been a file command in every UNIX since at least Research Version 4 (man page dated November, 1973). The System V version introduced one significant major change: the external list of magic number types. This slowed the program down slightly but made it a lot more flexible.

more than 6 years ago

Submissions

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Toddler shocked by USB cable

n0ano n0ano writes  |  more than 4 years ago

n0ano writes "To quote from a story in the local paper "A Longmont toddler remains sedated and with an uncertain future at Children's Hospital in Aurora after she apparently was shocked by an iPod USB cable connected to a laptop." I'm no hardware expert but, from my knowledge of the voltages and currents provided over a USB cable, this seems extremely unlikely. Anyone have any ideas on what really happened here?"
Link to Original Source
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Windows Live Toolbar collecting user paswords

n0ano n0ano writes  |  more than 6 years ago

n0ano writes "Now that I have your attention the actual article Microsoft plays 'Detective' to determine phishing frequency claims that Microsoft is not collecting user names and passwords but I don't understand how they can check for password re-use without collecting that data. Plus, even if they are respecting your privacy the opportunities for abuse from this experiment are very troubling. Also, it would have been nice if Microsoft had warned people before they collected this data."

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