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In an Age of Cyber War, Where Are the Cyber Weapons?

seibai There have been other since Stuxnet (94 comments)

Stuxnet was in 2010. Since then we have at the very least:

  1. 1. Duqu in 2011
  2. 2. Finfisher in 2011
  3. 3. Flame in 2012

All of those were used by governments. One was used for industrial sabotage; the other two to spy on people who were then assassinated. Are these not "cyber-weapons"? What makes them different from Stuxnet but the degree of press they received?

about a year ago

Collapse of Quantum Wavefunction Captured In Slow Motion

seibai Re:Information (242 comments)

This is bizarrely propagandist for a site that would claim itself to be rational. It's also, ironically enough, wrong.

5. The only phenomenon in all of physics that violates CPT symmetry.

Actually, many worlds violates CPT symmetry - worldlines divide only forward in time, not backwards. CPT symmetry requires that there be no physical bias to the direction of time. CPT symmetry is plainly untrue anyway, as we have entropy. Trying to use it as an argument against Copenhagen is disingenuous at best.

MW shows every sign of being equally wrong with every other interpretation of QM at the moment. The truth is that for many people, it represents a convenient belief. Most of its advocates lack understanding of the effective distinctions between interpretations in any case, which leads to sites and arguments like this. This is particularly bad in followers of Dawkins who argue that MW solves the fine-tuning problem, where half of the problem arises from balance in mathematical entities that QM has no plausible "ratchet" for.

about a year ago

Minecraft Ported To the Raspberry Pi

seibai Minecraft level format has always been open (57 comments)

It's always been possible to code against minecraft - Notch has kept the level format open since the game released (even if he did change it a bunch of times after he said he wouldn't).

I've already written a bunch of level generators for it, like these two:


Dungeon Adventure

about 2 years ago

New Study Shows Universe Still Expanding On Schedule

seibai The Universe has no center (173 comments)

Just to clarify something that bothers me because so many people seem to believe it despite relativity expressly making it impossible: the universe has no center. Really, look it up. Similarly, the "big bang" does denote an explosion from a specific point.

more than 2 years ago

Solar X-Flare Blasts Directly Toward Earth

seibai And now I get how the submission system works... (223 comments)

I submitted this same story about a half hour ago, but in a form not nearly as well written. The author of this post seems to have taken that and run with it.

This is cool, and also explains why people occasionally complain about their stories having been "stolen".

more than 2 years ago

What's Wrong With American Ninja Warrior?

seibai "Sasuke" does relate to ninjas (349 comments)

Mr. Stark apparently doesn't know much about Japanese culture. "Sasuke" is a rather straightfroward reference to Sarutobi Sasuke, and the name has been used to invoke the idea of ninjas since at least the 1920's.

more than 2 years ago

Microsoft's Hotmail Challenge Backfires

seibai Re:RTFA (453 comments)

What you're describing here sounds like a textbook tabnapping attack: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tabnapping This works on every current browser. You quite possibly hacked yourself when you logged back in.

more than 2 years ago

California Going Ahead With Bullet Train

seibai Re:Time (709 comments)

Wow, someone on Slashdot quoting Proudhon. That's...uncommon.

Have you read Locke? Everything belongs to God, or everyone, if you like, but when someone puts their work into something, the portion of what is produced that can be ascribed to their work is theirs. If I cut down a tree, it's only slightly mine, because I did the work to cut it down, which isn't much. If I make a chair out of it, it's more mine, hence I can sell a chair for more than I can sell firewood.

Here's a reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Locke#Theory_of_value_and_property

about 3 years ago

Star Wars: The Old Republic Launch Date Announced

seibai Re:Well though luck for you then (125 comments)

I think people think you can run a game like this without a monthly fee because Guild Wars did it, and Guild Wars 2 is going to do it.

Guild Wars made plenty of money with that model too. The idea that you need montly fees in order to maintain servers is a useful one to the people who want to make more money on their MMO by charging you rent to play it. Please don't promote it. The reality is that maintaining servers doesn't cost that much in light of the margins on software.

Oh, and "tough". Sorry, it was bothering me.

more than 3 years ago

Blender 2.57 Released — and It's Easy To Use!

seibai Re:No, it is not! (221 comments)

To be perfectly fair, I was proficient on a couple of 3D modeling / animation suites (SoftImage, FormZ), and I'd used several others (Lightwave, Lightscape, even PovRay) when I tried Blender. It was far and away the least inuitive and most buggy piece of software I'd ever used (this is saying a lot when compared to SoftImage). Blender is not "hard for newbs" Blender is baroque, ridiculous, and flaky. It's actually far more difficult to work effectively in it, and it's sufficiently divergent from everything else that becoming proficient at it would likely make you worse at anything else.

more than 3 years ago

Viral Scareware Infects Four Million Websites

seibai Re:Stupid (71 comments)

XSS attacks require you to push the parameters in the URL itself.

That's not actually true. Reflected XSS attacks are sometimes exploited through a URL string element (post data can also work). Persisted XSS attacks occur when user provided data is stored on the server and then later rendered in HTML without being properly encoded first.

It's entirely possible (and not all that uncommon) for an attack to rely on both an XSS issue and a SQL injection issue. Say there's some popular CMS that has a SQL injection attack that can be exploited through a form post if the user making it is logged in with a session cookie. If this attack allows the malicious SQL to then inject script into some part of the page on that CMS so that it's rendered unencoded, it could then execute the script for other users who visit the site and attempt to make the same post to other sites that come up as the result of a Google search (Google is a great enabler of these sorts of things).

more than 3 years ago

Witcher 2 Torrents Could Net You a Fine

seibai Re:Intended Reaction? (724 comments)

Friend, if you're going to call the system broken, it seems like you should propose an alternative.

I've not myself encountered another way for artists to be sufficiently supported to continue in their art. I've certainly seen single case examples (Cory Doctorow and his one book, Stephen King and his one book), but these things don't work at scale and it's notable that neither of them did that twice.

What would you suggest?

about 4 years ago

Witcher 2 Torrents Could Net You a Fine

seibai Re:Intended Reaction? (724 comments)

Answer this: if it doesn't hurt anyone, then why does it matter? You know that no one is being deprived of anything that they previously owned.

You can say that they're 'stealing' potential profit, but not only is it impossible to steal objects that don't even exist, but you'd be blaming just about everyone in existence by doing so. You 'steal' potential profit merely by choosing not to give someone money or by interfering with their flow of profit. That effectively means that not buying a product from a store would mean that you have 'stole' potential profit from the store (and have therefore 'harmed' them because they would have been better off if you had given them your money).

Rather than hurting "anyone" is actually hurts "everyone". This is just another case of what's called the "tragedy of the commons". Each person who pirates a game benefits himself or herself, but if enough people do this it's no longer tenable to make games and no one has a game to play, for free or otherwise.

You can talk about people making things "for art's sake", and some people will, but a lot of them won't who would. I used to make games, and I still do in my spare time, but I work for Microsoft as my day job, so my productivity in making games isn't nearly as high as it would be if I could do it full time. Other people, people who might be fantastic artists but have a family to feed are going to be in similar spots because people pirate games. Piracy has a direct impact in reducing the profitability of the art, meaning there are fewer people who can practice it.

about 4 years ago

A Windows Phone 7 For Every Microsoftie

seibai Re:But it's mnade out of PEOPLE !! (298 comments)

Oi, feeding the troll and all that, but parent is a straight-up lie. Free soda, coffee, hot chocolate, and various other beverages still avaialble at every MS office I've ever been in (and my own as of yesterday).

Honestly, MS is a fair sight better to their employees than Google is (spoken from first-hand experience here).

more than 4 years ago

Has Any Creative Work Failed Because of Piracy?

seibai I expect any real example will be naysayed, but... (1115 comments)

I used to work in the independent games industry. In 2004, I designed and wrote a little Action-Puzzle game titled Drop! (feel free to look it up on GameFaqs). We sold it in stores for $10, and online for $5, however, we got $.33 per retail copy sold (blame publishers) vs. $2.50 or so per online copy sold. We sold a few hundred thousand copies or so at retail across a 6 month period (#4 for sales for a couple months, but no one pays attention to jewel case games).

Here's the trick: the online version had an online high-score system. You could play the online copy for free, but you didn't get access to the shared high-score system unless you bought it. We sold less than 100 copies online, but saw several hundred thousand unique IP addresses hit the high score system every day (and this kept up for years, not just people "trying out the high score system").

For 6 months of work, I made about $30,000 on that (a couple other guys made similar amounts), which eventually didn't justify the effort - because people who want to play a game don't care about making it possible for the creators to keep making games.

I work for Microsoft now :P

more than 4 years ago

Many Popular Windows Apps Ignore Security Options

seibai Re:Wait a minute (202 comments)

Because enforcing that every application use these would mean certain sorts of applications couldn't be written (or at least not as easily).

DEP is data execution prevention. It marks certain areas of address space as being "data only", so the processor won't execute them. While this is generally a good idea, as it prevents a hacker from constructing a NOP sled and then using an access violation bug somewhere to execute code they've stuck in memory, it also has the side effect of making self-modifying code more difficult to write.

ASLR (address space layout randomization) is similar, as it breaks certain sorts of odd programming techniques like arithmetic variable addressing.

more than 4 years ago

X Prize Foundation Wants AI Physician On Every Smartphone

seibai A job for an expert system (245 comments)

It's been relatively well established that expert systems can have high success rates for diagnosing diseases within a limited scope(for instance, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mycin).

I can imagine something more general could be put together. The main cost is in acquiring the data; the coding itself is trivial. And you could have it tell you to see a human physician when the confidence level is low. A heavy disclaimer would probably be necessary though.

more than 4 years ago



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