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European Countries Seek Sweeping New Powers To Curb Terrorism

resfilter Re:Almost all normal people realise (219 comments)

Saying the issue is pretty much totally muslims is like saying "violent pit bull attacks are pretty much totally dogs" or "christian child molesters are pretty much totally christians". Being technically true doesn't mean it's helpful (and doesn't make it less harmful)

about two weeks ago

Linus on Diversity and Niceness in Open Source

resfilter Oh linus... (1 comments)

In most situations when someone is a total dick, it's either because their position is sketchy and they're attempting to scare people away from the argument, or because they are socially retarded and lack the necessary skills to form their arguments into something socially acceptable.

I've never met Linus, but I can see how confident he is, so lets assume, like so many great geeks, it's the latter.

If your position is strongly grounded, being nice doesn't weaken your position at all, and can in fact strengthen it. Either your enemy eventually walks away feeling that they were defeated by a person with superior intellect AND manners, or in a moment of weakness they will explode in a desperate fit of rage as they refuse to see your side of things, which will cause most observers to side with you.

I'm not sure why he'd think this is an american thing, since people in his part of the world are MUCH nicer than your average resident of the USA, especially in an argument or debate.

I think he needs to get out more.

about two weeks ago

OpenBSD Releases a Portable Version of OpenNTPD

resfilter Re:Why can't anyone write secure software? (79 comments)

On my internal network, I used ntp as the ntp server for my house. I put "listen interface" in the ntp.conf file, and instructed it to listen only on the interface. yet netstat showed that ntp was still listening on *:123. It's sloppy design and sloppy coding.

interface ignore wildcard

about three weeks ago

Ringing In 2015 With 40 Linux-Friendly Hacker SBCs

resfilter Re:What can I really do with these things? (81 comments)

I can be a joe computer user,

I don't like cable TV, I archive my media. I have a nice media center pc I have in my living room, which is huge, loud, and consumes a ton of power, and has been in operation for a very long time, still runs first generation DDR. I don't mind old, overbuilt, reliable noisy stuff.

But I decided to put a smaller lcd tv in the bedroom... obviously my wife can't handle noise and blinkylights while she sleeps, and I couldn't handle finding a small but awesome smart tv for a good price that would play all my media formats.

Turns out the raspberry pi plus a cheap normal tv was the best way to have a zero noise, cool running, awesome media center that shreds 1080p video. It hid easily behind the TV, is powered by the USB port on the TV, so there's only one cord running to the TV - power.

Setup took minimal work, and it's been a huge benefit to our everyday lives.

I ran the main media center with a mysql server so the libraries sync, taking additional load off the raspberry pi.

Sure, "Joe" might not be able to figure that out, but i bet he could put openelec on an SD card and get it connected to his appliance NAS pretty easily?

My parents have an appliance that's similar. It'll play XVID stuff from a NAS, probably h264, but it'd probably freak if you tried to play an mkv container. It was a prepackaged black box that's expensive as the pi, but it's slow, there's no plugins, and not even close to as capable as xbmc.

And guess what, it makes freaky high pitched electronoises because it's built with chinese caps and junk, so there's no way it could live in a nice quiet bedroom. The pi is a nice board that simply morphs itself into that role as easy as a premade device, because it's open.

The previous things i've done with a pi have included building full-time car dashboards and tuning analysis systems for my vehicle projects, to avoid having to lug a laptop around. Sure, didn't NEED to build a pi into my car, but once it was done, it really belonged there. It was cheap, i could leave it on overnight and not drain my car battery, and i could SSH to my car from my living room to retrieve and analyze logs. It also kicked me in the butt and got me coding again, which was great.

These are things that small, open, low power consumption, passively cooled, and have lots of ways to connect shit really come in handy, even for someone that isn't a hardcore hobbyist.

about a month ago

Sony Accused of Pirating Music In "The Interview"

resfilter Common sense from TFA (180 comments)

"It seems unlikely that this lawsuit will result in a messy legal battle. The huge publicity the movie has enjoyed in the past few weeks will virtually guarantee decent sales for Sony, even without lucrative box office revenues. Yoon Mi-rae should not only be able to secure a piece of that but also raise her profile in a way that would not have been possible had Sony paid her in the first instance."

about 1 month ago

Philae's Batteries Have Drained; Comet Lander Sleeps

resfilter Re:Hey don't worry (337 comments)


although a near impossibility, i like to have faith that on some level everything will work out for us, and that a future incarnation of what we've grown into will witness the final years of the universe, rather than just being a bunch of coincidental meat sacks that will instantly die out when something random smacks into our planet, or a bunch of space fleas that jump around to various planets in our solar system to survive until we witness the death of our sun, and that's the end.

that stupid impossible thought, that what we're doing here today could have some eventual influence on how eternity on the scale of the universe plays out, drives me to learn and understand as much as i can in my life.

i hope that's a driving force for some of the people that design these space probes and experiments too

or it's possible i've just read too much asimov, whichever

about 2 months ago

FreeBSD 10.1 Released

resfilter i'd be careful with this one (123 comments)

the entire build for amd64 and x86 has moved to the llvm compiler and clang

this is a gigantic plus in the long run, llvm/clang is a great project, and having such a widely used operating system out in the wild relying on it will only bring good.

changing to an entirely different compiler *could* expose new and interesting problems or bugs that can't be anticipated until the code is run by the masses in all different environments. this could be stuff that's very hard to find during release candidate testing.

for that reason, the 10.x series is one release i'd probably wait a good long while before installing on any of my own systems...

about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Is Non-USB Flash Direct From China Safe?

resfilter Re:don't worry about it (178 comments)

oh dear god dont write over the protected area! ...

it's used for some specialized keys for some rarely used version of DRM. so if you have a CPRM "protected" file on the sd card, then.. you know.... "accidently" give the file to someone else, they'll lack the decryption keys (since they're stored outside of the filesystem by the program that wrote the file to the flash card) and the file will be useless.


it's another one of those things that attempts to relabel yet another "generic binary storage device" as a "specialized media holder to assist content protection", and you should actually go out of your way to destroy this "protected area" instead of carefully avoiding damage to it.

it's totally safe to write over this "protected area" and use it for your own data, and it's rare to run into programs that actually use CPRM for protection against distribution (although they probably do exist, why would you use such a thing?).

that's probably why you've never heard of it or noticed writing over it.

about 2 months ago

US School Installs 'Shooter Detection' System

resfilter narrow focus as usual (698 comments)

it hasn't come up yet, but im pretty sure if someone (including the voices in my head) said 'kill a bunch of people in this room without using guns or knives' i'd figure out an effective way to do it pretty quickly.

that's ignoring the fact that this gun detector is circumvented by maximum rounds fired per however long it takes the cops to get there. i realize they know this too, but since you can kill a hell of a lot of people with automatic weapons in a few minutes, someone truly dedicated to shooting up a school is going to make a game of it now.

about 3 months ago

Raspberry Pi Sales Approach 4 Million

resfilter car dashboard controller (146 comments)

the pi isn't that useful in itself, but it's great inspiration once you pick a device, say 'this should have a little computer in it', and go from there

i bought mine as a 'spare cheap linux thingie', and after i did the usual nerdy tweaks and patches and automating maintainance junk that i always do, it sat there powered up for years not doing any good. i couldn't even run it as a time server (my initial plan) since i found it didn't have an RTC and i didnt' care to install one

then i got the idea to build it into my car to do "something". i didn't really know what. music?

regular car pcs aren't that interesting, but what the hell. i got a 12v to 5v power supply, got wireless working on it so i could manage it from my living room, and mounted it in my glove compartment.

it ended up inspiring a chain of r&d packed with scope creep and overengineering that burned off many hundreds of hours of my boredom time:

- dissecting how the serial datastream from my car's ecm worked
- learning about raw ftdi commands and eventually resigning myself to learing libftdi
- writing a toolkit to manage the datastream in c
- make the entire thing threaded and modular and have tons of crazy debugging and error checking features
- learn how github works, just for a change over my other revision control choices
- develop my own retarded configuration file format so it could be hacked to work with other cars (why? i have no idea)
- trying to achieve the maximum throughput of requests/responses
- hacking together a little ncurses dashboard of various engine parameters
- writing a standardized datalogging interface that logged everything, all the time
- interfacing it with analog signals to get more data (wideband o2 sensor input)
- writing a decent datalog analyzer program to make use of the data to better tune the car, to the point of where i could just execute a binary and get new more accurate fueling tables handed to me

if it wasn't for the pi, i never would have learned about all that junk in such detail, and my car wouldn't run so well!

it was full of challenges, limited usb ports, hacking the usb ports so the wireless adaptor wouldn't overload the thermal fuses, the lack of RTC meant logging timestamps could never work properly (used a 'global time index counter' type thing), etc.

i can keep going too, if i make this thing play music, i can rig it up so it becomes an inspired dj, plays slow calm tracks for crusing around, and hard fast tracks when i start driving harder.. i also plan to rig the GPIO up to my steering wheel controls to do nifty things like be able to control my idle speed with what used to be a volume control..

money well spent for sure.

if i had to hack a real car pc together, or butcher a laptop to build it into my dash, i probably wouldn't have bothered due to the initial cost and time investment. once it's there, you just can't resist hacking on it.

about 3 months ago

Google To Build Quantum Information Processors

resfilter Re:Yawn. (72 comments)

even a failed attempt is worth quite a bit, and worth watching; as far as technological research goes, we usually tend to fuck it up a few dozen times before we get it just right.

about 5 months ago

Apple Reveals the Most Common Reasons That It Rejects Apps

resfilter ui consistency is very important. (132 comments)

i have to hand apple one thing, about their walled garden. although i have some cool android apps on my phone, my wife's iphone is much more of a pleasure to use.

why? because, for example, there are ten thousand friggn' notepad apps for android, and i'm too lazy to find one that look like the rest of the android interface, so after browsing through a dozen, i just picked one...

click her notepad app, and it looks like im just smoothly entering another part of the iphone experience... ... click mine, and i'm launched into an ugly frenzy of badly placed wrongly colored controls etc with entry fields that behave strangely, and buttons with icons that i don't recognize.

when you have 1000 developers making 1000 apps that do the same thing, the only difference being how the ui looks, and none of them even match the rest of the operating system, you fucked up your operating system. that's android for you. nobody even knows what an android app is really supposed to look like anymore, and developers don't care, they're just off in their own little world with no taste in design.

graphical operating systems need fairly strict ui design conventions. period. they need to be breakable, but encouraged very strongly to the point of where breaking them for no reason makes your app seen as a peice of junk. this is apple's only real advantage in locking out outside apps, being able to blacklist ugly things.

i appluade them for attempting to force that kind of consistency on their device, not that it always works... no solution is 100%.

not that i'd buy an iphone myself, and you don't have to either. just sayin'.

about 5 months ago

Hidden Obstacles For Delivery Drones

resfilter just too many issues (215 comments)

people in apartments or yards of an inappropriately small size, or with too many overhanging trees, will be blacklisted as the things crash repeatedly, they'll default to truck delivery.

an equation of range vs weight will be used that ends up defaulting anything but a friggn' bottle opener to truck delivery.

during questionable weather, shipments will be heavily delayed until the weather clears, and they'll default to truck delivery.

bird flys into your shipment. kid throws a rock at it. whatever. re-shipments probably default to truck delivery.

people (including me) will order $5 packages, wait for them to arrive, then steal the 'copter for parts. no real way to prove it didn't just crash, right?

eventually it'll just become a cool novelty if some package lands successfully in your backyard instead of by truck, instead of a real utility.

about 5 months ago

XKCD Author's Unpublished Book Remains a Best-Seller For 5 Months

resfilter Re:German version is cheaper?! (169 comments)

the german version should cost more. making things funny in german is REALLY hard.

about 5 months ago

XKCD Author's Unpublished Book Remains a Best-Seller For 5 Months

resfilter right on! (169 comments)

i haven't really read xkcd in a few months, but i do love it.

his odd medium of stick figures seemed lazy the first time i read his comic, but now it seems almost purpose-picked for the kind of readership he has. it's the comic strip equivalent of a command line interface. no flash, all function.

slashdot has never motivated me to purchase anything before. i was unaware he was releasing a book. so this is a first, a slashvertisement got me.

i wish randall the most incredible success in his new book, he deserves to make many millions from it. he seems like the kind of guy that would start xkcd scholorships or something if he became wealthy.

about 5 months ago

Canada Tops List of Most Science-Literate Countries

resfilter Reality.... (221 comments)

I've lived and worked in Canada my entire life, had lots of average friends here, and met a great cross section of canadians.
Just because canada has a very high percentage of athiesm, doesn't mean the majority of canadians understand that there are particles smaller than an atom, that the concept of gravity has developed past Newtonian, the flow of electricity in a direct current system, or even the basic laws of energy any better than the average american.
Seriously, they don't. This lack of knowledge is apparent in everyday conversations trying to discuss anything in both canada and the usa. It seems most average people in most places don't care to understand that stuff.
Our health care system? Oh come on now. Just because everyone recieves equal care doesn't mean anyone benefits from advanced research. Many advanced procedures available in private medical care in the usa are simply not available here, as public funding won't allow for the training or technology. It's not a factor.

about 5 months ago

Pirate Bay Sports-Content Uploader Faces $32m Lawsuit

resfilter Re:Happy to see it. (149 comments)

Let's say that one pay-per-view cost, say, $32 (for ease of the maths).

Let's say that a thousand people downloaded it (likely MUCH more). That is a direct loss of $32,000 to the content creator (without even needing to fabricate things, because that content was pay-per-view).

Let's say he did a thousand torrents (likely not much less). That's $32,000,000. Direct, provable, accountable loss.

just in case you're curious how THEY calculate it (i'd say RTFA and call you names, but since there's no link in the summary....)

"The company is seeking statutory damages of $18.6m (150k * 124 instances) for copyright infringement, up to $13.64m (110k * 124 instances) plus $60,000 for breaches of the Federal Communications Act, plus sundry damages on the remaining counts."

funny, if i use your method, i come up with 124 infringements * 10000+ downloads * $32 = about 400 million dollars. he's getting off easy!?

i'd love to see how they actually end up trying to explain a loss of revenue in this court case, that's where the ground gets a bit shakey...

about 9 months ago

Heartbleed Pricetag To Top $500 Million?

resfilter It cost us a bit. (80 comments)

In a very small non-technical business which relies on some ssl based services, where I am the only nerd, here's my experience.

I had to:

- Test everything with SSL that we use in-house (we got off easy), then patch openssl on our internal web server. That was mostly for fun, since our network is fairly secure, and nobody that uses our internal network would be smart enough to exploit heartbleed. But still, NAT invaders, you never know. Maybe an hour spent, probably less.

- Explain this bug to everyone that isn't tech saavy, how it probably wont make a difference for us, but what it means for security. It wasn't worth calling a meeting over, so I did it individually, took a while, though.

- Make all employees reset ALL of their passwords on the SSL websites we use, after testing a small sample of them and finding several were affected by the bug, better safe than sorry. From a micromanagement standpoint, this is actually a gigantic expense of time, since we generally don't cycle passwords on many of these sites very often, and often share non-critical accounts between employees. There's wasted time when everyone types the old password, scratches their head, tries to remember the new one, has to find someone else to ask, etc.. A customer could walk away in frustration if it takes too long. Probably an hour or two spent.

- Contact any of the web service providers that we use, that I know were affected, sit around, wait on hold (for a long time obviously) to try to get some kind of plan of action or disaster report out of them. Many hours spent, but probably a waste of time anyway.

- Loss of business from downtime of two critical sites that shut down for a few days when they discovered the bug. Not as bad as it could have been if it were a larger business.

So how much did it cost our organization specifically? A couple hundred bucks in time total might be a reasonable estimate. Definitely not a problem for an end user like us.

This is nothing in contrast to a bad IT problem - for example when our entire network got raped by Zeus.....

We're talking every email account compromised, our static ips placed on god knows how many blacklists, practically worldwide email blacklist of our entire domain, very difficult removal, loss of HUGE amounts of business data to cryptolocker, loss of reputation when many of our customers also got the virus from opening emails from us, or received spam under our name, our ISP even cut us offline until repairs were done, we were down for a week.

It even hit a backup drive with cryptolocker because someone left it plugged in, which was very unfriendly when the banks needed to audit some business data that was cryptolockered in two places. Management freaked and required very expensive antivirus software that slowed our computers to a crawl, requiring upgrade or replace of every system in the entire building.

I bet Zeus cost us over 50 grand, we had to change our domain name, which is the worst way out, and who knows what kind of data those assholes got while they were abusing our mail server.

We were tempted to burn the building to the ground and change our name to recover from that one.

about 9 months ago

L.A. Police: All Cars In L.A. Are Under Investigation

resfilter fight back already you pussies. (405 comments)

i'm getting tired of this, is anyone else?

they want not just license plate cameras, but to track all of your movements. disable your vehicle if they want. UAVs with cameras now and guns later. wiretapping everything. they want complete tracking of what we buy, who we know, where we go, who we fuck, our entire genome.

all this personal private data in the grimy hands of people that we don't know, and dont trust, collected with our supposed consent because a few people signed a 'protect us from everything at whatever cost' bills after some terrorist fear mongering.

'public view is up for grabs' is a terrifying concept. there's a big difference between someone taking a picture of you on the street, and a cop taking pictures of everyone on the street all the time, so it can be harvested electrically for suspicious activities.

i won't live in a police state, and i wont move either.

we are the nerds. we are the ones that made this shit up! they're misusing our technology here

that also means we are the ones with the capability to destroy these electronic monitoring devices in the least damaging way possible

we also seem to form one of the communities with a very high percentage of people that have a gut feeling that this kind of thing is terribly wrong, and that realise how much it's going to get worse.

we dont need activists or guerilla armies to get ourselves out of this mess, the future is now. we need nerds to fight, not guns.

at what point do we save the power hungry morons and the whining fearful masses that keep signing off on all this stuff from screwing ordinary innocent people over?

at what point will it be necessary to destroy these implements of monitoring with technological means?

i hope this gets me on a terrorism list. this kind of stuff comes to my neck of the woods, i'm going to try my best to fuck it up.

about 10 months ago


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