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Software Glitch Caused 911 Outage For 11 Million People

nimbius cities themselves have limited service. (107 comments)

While you might find 911 service operable and efficient in the burbs, cash strapped cities with large populations like Miami run out of operators before they run out of capacity. dialing 911 in Cincinnati for example, or any other major city in the rust belt, results in a pre-recorded message instructing you to stay on the line and wait for the next available operator. Its a fun joke to make on sitcoms, but when you've actually in danger its not. Having been backed over on a motorcycle by a truck, I was at the mercy of this hold system for nearly 10 minutes in a busy downtown intersection.

13 hours ago

DHS Investigates 24 Potentially Lethal IoT Medical Devices

nimbius this has been a problem fro quite some time. (76 comments)

in neonatal units for example, nearly everything is wireless and unencrypted. Its why visitors and parents are frequently told to shut off cellphones as no ones entirely certain the devices wont interfere with heart rate monitors or life support systems. Its theoretically possible to create a denial of service condition in a hospital where a nurses station for an entire floor suddenly sees life-threatening conditions for every patient, or receives a nurse request page for every patient. Injection attacks can also result in patients that are dead for hours but reported as still alive.


Ask Slashdot: Aging and Orphan Open Source Projects?

nimbius A few important questions need to be asked. (138 comments)

Whats the framework like? the code will need to breech the walls of the corporation and enter into the open source ecosystem (dont worry, the waters pretty warm out here!) Have you consulted management and legal? while they likely wont have any major restrictions, keeping them in the loop could afford the project some unexpected resources.

1. What is the license of this code? GPL? Affero? BSD? Apache? Open Source is a pretty diverse term and can often determine numerous limitations and options for perpetuating the codebase.

2. Do you have hosting? does the project have a name and a home base that users can at least visit to learn about the project, what it does, and how its helpful. marketing the basics is pretty important and while some projects like those by Linus Torvalds become a smash hit with a simple post to a mailing list, the open source ecosystem is blindingly vast.

3. Do you have mailing lists or irc rooms? google and facebook arent bad, but many other open source projects have IRC or mailing lists because its what devlopers and users in the community are most accustomed to. The important part is to have open and easily accessed channels of communication that members can participate in and help foster growth.


Debian's Systemd Adoption Inspires Threat of Fork

nimbius its not a claim, its a fact of life. (545 comments)

They claim that "systemd betrays the UNIX philosophy"; it makes things more complex, thus breaking the "do one thing and do it well" principle.

This isnt a thought or a prediction, this is something systemd actually does when it takes NTP, console, logging, and networking and forces them into one application. the fork threat is to be taken seriously because of the leaderships inability to actually recognize this as a massive security, scalability, and overall functionality problem that was steamrolled into debian largely at the behest of KDE and Gnome devs. The best solution to avoid a fork in my opinion is to give the user something thats also been forgotten about in the linux community: choice. Systemd or RC Init, or uselessd (a fork of systemd that tries to rehabilitate systemd)

2 days ago

The Largest Ship In the World Is Being Built In Korea

nimbius perhaps I can shed light on this project (272 comments)

Here at maersk We've dreamed of a futuristic system, perhaps a ship of some sort, that could in theory transport 864 million delicious bananas. The future is here and its an amazing time to be alive. We've found ourselves at the pinnacle of banana transport systems with this new ship, and we've chosen to push the envelope in unimagineable ways. Maersk hopes to deliver, on our glistening fleet of 20 new ships, 17,280 billion delicious, yellow bananas. Imagine it: bananas for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and whenever you want. The world will never know that pesky scourge of having to sit through a TV show without the comfort of a banana. Long gone will be the days when people had to use the toilet without bananas, walk their dogs without bananas, and even do their taxes without the aid of a banana in hand.

2 days ago

Ask Slashdot: Good Hosting Service For a Parody Site?

nimbius Dreamhost? (113 comments)

Can't go wrong with dreamhost. Unless its a DMCA claim, which most of your parody targets will likely issue first. Even then, Dreamhost does a good job of making sure its a legitimate challenge under the DMCA.

3 days ago

Apple Doesn't Design For Yesterday

nimbius if you think products are consumer driven. (368 comments)

Apple doesnt design for the past or the future, or even the present. Apple products are designed using focus groups and industrial engineering teams. once the nuts and bolts are completed, apple checks current fashion and design trends as set by the industry (Pantone for example sets your "favourite" color or scheme for the year) and conforms as necessary. Then, the largest marketing firms in the world polls their focus groups and create a multi million dollar campaign rivalling anything seen at even the american political level. The product is advertised on television, internet, billboards, and subtly through product placement in your favourite television shows until it becomes an icon or status symbol. Finally, a handheld computer that costs around $50 to make is sold to the general public for upwards of $300 as dictated by the finance team, with futher successors of the product priced more competitively as deemed necessary.

arguably consumer driven development or manufacturing as its told in the fairytale of the free market has been dead for 50 years or more. Its eulogy was trumpeted by Jimmy carter in his malaise speech as he committed political suicide by telling americans that buying endless amounts of more goods and services was simply contributing to misery. Frankly, you buy what you're told to buy due to a combination of manipuative social psychology and indoctrinative marketing. No one really needs a lexus or the latest iphone.

3 days ago

Researchers Scrambling To Build Ebola-Fighting Robots

nimbius Technology might not help. (87 comments)

In the most heavily affected areas, terrible hygene contributes directly to Ebola. Most of this is a direct result of things like tribal healers or mysticist traditions that involve the direct handling of and exposure to the bodily fluids of the deceased. Religion has also compounded efforts to treat ebola victims as some tribes have spiritual leaders that insist quarantine teams and hospitals are demons or not to be trusted. Among other diseases, Its why eradicating polio in africa has become an almost impossible effort as the oral treatment is widely considered to be a secret plan to cause sterility. We have the same issues in america, albeit to a lesser extent with anti-vaccination conspiricists and seventh day adventists that refuse to immunize their children or set foot in a hospital.

This is controversial but it should be said. but the biggest problem, religion, cant be solved with technology because religious zealots dont operate logically.

4 days ago

Python-LMDB In a High-Performance Environment

nimbius notability (98 comments)

I believe the definition here is that the software hasnt become so notable as to pose an immediate threat to a certain large database corporation which would require it to bury it in cash, rebrand it, lock it down, and pedal what little innovative or remarkable features the application had into the ground while pretending that somehow forking projects of the original software arent making them look like a complete failure.

5 days ago

Mixing Agile With Waterfall For Code Quality

nimbius none of this does real work (133 comments)

I dont know what the hell "discover global trends in the structural quality of business application software" means but Agile and Scrum are just excuses for more meetings or magic meetings where we all have to stand instead of sit down in the $4000 worth of new conference chairs we bought. DevOps is just "Synergy" with a new coat of paint. Its a chance for ops to be forced into writing code for projects they arent a part of, and a chance for developers to be forced into firefighting.

Management needs to realize that buzzwords dont write code. Every time you call us into a meeting for a slow-stroke on the latest fancy phrase it disrupts exactly what we're paid to do.

5 days ago

Michigan About To Ban Tesla Sales

nimbius so im sure the pitch for this one was great. (292 comments)

auto exec:: you have to do something!!! Tesla will RUIN us with their online sales tactics and futuristic car designs they probably stole from us!! hard working people from michigan will lose their jobs!
governor: what about flint, saginaw, pontiac, and detroit...theyre all completely bankrupt from 40 years of your bullshit.
auto exec: yeah but that was just the hand of the free market and the customers werent buying and stocks too, those were bad.
governor:so you're telling me you cant compete against another american car maker...but you already have an electric car called the volt...and you could just revive the 2 or 3 GM electric vehicles you designed in the past...those worked and were cheap.
auto exec: yeah, we could, but thats all way more expensive than our 2015 strategy: Fucking do what we say or you're ass is out of office.
Governor: Tesla?! why didnt you tell me about these flaming terrorist shariah abortion clinics on wheels sooner!

about a week ago

Scanning Embryos For Super-Intelligent Kids Is On the Horizon

nimbius intelligence wont matter (366 comments)

if the crash of 2008 has taught us anything its that we really dont value intelligence. ask an unemployed biologist or chemist how their career choice worked out, or better yet, a recently graduated yet unemployed due to lack of experience computer programmer. In the future we can scan for the most intelligent minds on the planet but that still wont prevent them from being birthed into a society where they'll be a Ph.D stuffing food into a burger trench sack until 3 in the morinng or stacking shit tickets at wallyworld.

about a week ago

Tech Workers Oppose Settlement They Reached In Silicon Valley Hiring Case

nimbius then it stands to reason (54 comments)

If you have the most draconian hiring policies that ensure only the top talent and smartest minds in a given field are hired by your corporation, and you think you can fuck them over, you've shot yourself in the face. The people litigating are your former employees. If they understand some of the most complex systems and technologies and lead in some cases as pioneers in their field, you're a fool to think they dont understand something as simple as employment. Regardless of how secret you were about it, pack your bags. You're going to the cleaners until they get satisfaction.

about a week ago

Positive Ebola Test In Second Texas Health Worker

nimbius Seriously, the nurses have a point. (463 comments)

Working as a nurse means making around 42k a year, and thats assuming you're an RN . Hospitals rely primarily on less educated LVN or licensed vocational nurses because theyre less expensive, with a handfull of RN's spread amongst the floors to handle more complex procedures or incidents and perform mentoring as necessary. a nurses hours are commonly quite random, and physicians are rarely consistent in their protocols with the RN or LVN especially when a major incident is being handled. Private hospitals can also be a pain in the ass as theyre run like a corporation and dont enjoy having to purchase advanced personal protective gear or endure visits from the CDC, a regulatory agency that might also stop to challenge their #1 or #2 status in some patient treatment service theyve plastered on every billboard in the state.

another problem with private hospitals is with enough patient deaths and worker infections, the marketing perception of the for-profit healthcare facility changes from competent and caring to killing field. Hospitals themselves may become increasingly unwilling to actually treat ebola patients, instead opting for end of life and infectious quarantine management.

about a week ago

ISPs Violating Net Neutrality To Block Encryption

nimbius not surprising, Time Warner has similar chicanery (149 comments)

Time Warner is just as predatory and absurd. When you subscribe to their service, you'll receive almost weekly reminders to "bundle" your service together with cable TV and phone. Opting out from this advertising is almost impossible As a cable internet user, when you set up your open source router to block ICMP traffic and recurse your own DNS, you'll be instantly branded as abberant. IRC and VPN traffic ive found also trigger this reaction. Time Warner DNS servers will then redirect to a page accusing you of sending unwanted traffic. If you want to continue using Time Warner DNS you'll need to complete the electronic equivalent of an apology and sign up for an email address. You'll then be presented with their software and the DHCP assigned DNS servers will begin responding normally again. I returned to my own setup almost immediately after being forced into this.

Eventually my DNS recursor and irc client stopped functioning entirely, so i was forced to tunnel this traffic over to my VPS and the phonecalls started about my "unwanted" traffic. Explaining why you're doing this is pointless, but the calls are harmless so long as you pay the bills on time. In the age of cutthroat capitalism you're supposed to subscribe, bundle, consume, and repeat. My experience with Verizon was just as draconian with the exception that they also block all SMTP traffic and, should you null-route their advertising CDN used to inject targeted content, they become very interactive. Customer service will call you within a day asking to set up a service appointment for a connectivity problem theyve "detected."

about a week ago

Fighting the Culture of 'Worse Is Better'

nimbius most programmers are at the mercy of the customer. (240 comments)

Worse is better, or interoperability, is often mandated at the behest of the customer who often doesnt understand what theyre really asking for and its context. Customers dont understand that interoperability and compatibility fundamentally alters the scope and performance of a project. Often legacy features get included at the request of PHB's that become stakeholders out of fear, meaning feature X is only included because some irrational end user doesnt want change. Healthcare records are an excellent example as the driving force for their presentation and feature set are a typically a group of elderly physicians who just want what theyre used to using without the inconvenience of losing face over a technology they dont understand. Banks command interoperability and compatibility for different reasons, mainly because financial systems are predicated upon very basic yet powerful and secure mainframe systems that arent negotiable for upgrade.

the sad solution is to learn the objective of the application, ignore the customer, and focus on training after the system is developed. Work inside the maintenance cycle of the programs existence to identify flaws, but try to restrict increases in scope and vigilantly fight back against changes that are pedantic and clearly for the benefit of a single individual or flawed process.

about a week ago

Password Security: Why the Horse Battery Staple Is Not Correct

nimbius randal munroe is still right., (546 comments)

1) Choosing a password should be something you do very infrequently.

horse battery type passwords encourage this by making the password relateable as well as affording excellent bruteforce protection. Bruteforce accounts for most password compromises outside of data breeches, which ultimately serve as a direct path toward and a source from which additional attacks can be performed.

2) Our focus should be on protecting passwords against informed statistical attacks and not brute-force attacks.

yes but this is infrequent and has little to do with password structure. in the article the NSA is sighted, but thats not exactly how they work. Youre more likely to have a secret court order Google to cough up your data, not your password. Your computer password on the other hand would be demanded at penalty of spending the rest of your life in contempt of court or guilty by default. either way they win.

3) When you do have to choose a password, one of the most important selection criteria should be how many other people have also chosen that same password.

I would argue the question is whether this password has ever been compromised or the breadth to which it is used online. more exposure means a greater chance of compromise. horse battery tries to get people to think creatively to avoid duplication however its not perfect.

4) One of the most impactful things that we can do as a security community is to change password strength meters and disallow the use of common passwords.

absolutely. this and two-factor, which is mentioned in the article, are critical steps in ensuring online services and applications encourage strong passwords. I think the attacks on horse-battery passwords are unmerited, and ultimately irrelevant once paired in a two-factor environment with a private or yubikey solution. intelligent service responses to bruteforce attempts, RBL's that blackhole compromised machines and subnets, and application support for longer than 8 character passwords are also important.

about two weeks ago

Smart Battery Tells You When It's About To Explode

nimbius These have existed for years. (97 comments)

Curent generation smart batteries have several systems im place to alert the user to a potentially hazardous or explosive condition in the battery.

smoke: Smart batteries emit choking, acrid fumes to quickly notify users of a problem
warmth: most smart batteries, in order to protect the user, become extremely hot when they encounter a problem. this prevents the user from touching them and in turn, functions as intended to protect the user.
deafening bang: this system, in the event of an explosion condition, emits an extraordinary noise to alert the user. its a technological signal that says, "there is a problem with the battery"
bright flash: Regular batteries have had this ability for a while, but smart batteries utilized an advanced system of both arc flash and visible flames to alert the user of a problem.
toxic shrapnel: is a fast, immediate way of determining when a battery might be about to, or is in the process of exploding. In addition, difficult or impossible to heal wounds from rare earth metals allow the user to retrospectively verify the quality of a particular brand of battery in the future.

about two weeks ago

PETA Is Not Happy That Google Used a Camel To Get a Desert "StreetView"

nimbius that, and its horrendously inefficient. (367 comments)

Camels are slow, tempermental, and require constant supervision during data collection to ensure they dont decide to just wander back to the starting point or destroy the expensive rigging on them. And while they can survive for months without food or water, their human caretakers cannot and should be considered the abused animal, not the camel.

Google should have used an autonomous vehicle; it is after all one of their strong suits. Strap solar panels on it and guide it with satellites, make a youtube series on it and sell advertising revenue, then give it a google plus account and let people 'friend' the rover, allowing the company to garner more personal information on thier users. Finally, sell the whole thing to national geographic.

about two weeks ago

Statisticians Uncover What Makes For a Stable Marriage

nimbius major caveat, this is just heterosexual marriage. (446 comments)

This applies chiefly to heterosexual marriage, not homosexual. Oddities like judeo-christian religions capacity to exacerbate and distort gender role do not apply to say, two married women.

about two weeks ago



Fedora 13 released

nimbius nimbius writes  |  more than 4 years ago

nimbius (983462) writes "Fedora 13 was released today, and contains many new features including a command line interface for networkmanager, experimental 3d in the Nouveau driver for Nvidia, Rhythmbox iPod Touch and iPhone music management and experimental support for Btrfs."
Link to Original Source


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