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Firefox Signs Five-Year Deal With Yahoo, Drops Google as Default Search Engine

skids Re:Who gives more funding? (382 comments)

I still use Firefox for any "real browsing" because the others don't have a separate search box without adding an extension, an extension which eventually breaks or robs you of another 5 minutes of your time when you have to start fresh on a new system. Having that extra box hanging around so you can modify search terms while still having a url bar to type in is just too essential when actually doing serious research on the web.

But for performance and thorough feature support I sometimes have to use chrome. Luckily you can still disable the annoying omnibar search by defining a null "search engine" which just browses https://s/ and clicking a few options to limit the amount of stuff that can appear in the evil focus-grabbing dropdown menu. So for 1 minute of customization time you can get chrome to the point where it's half as useful as firefox for browsing and it doesn't hose your CPU under linux like firefox.

2 days ago
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Military Laser/Radio Tech Proposed As Alternative To Laying Costly Fiber Cable

skids Re:Yes, it could be much cheaper (150 comments)

I do hope to see this downsized to an individual level that can help bring ad hoc mesh networks a little closer to being

TFA is about a refinement to tech that's existed for quite some decades now -- I remember pricing out dual FSO/microwave setups way back when. They never really came down into a price range where we could justify deploying them versus leasing telco, even the small ones, and we saw no real motion towards commoditization.

4 days ago
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Scientists Optimistic About Getting a Mammoth Genome Complete Enough To Clone

skids Re:huh? (186 comments)

The cloning could go horribly wrong yielding birth defects, or the animal could endure a lifetime of suffering due to factors like (spitballing here) not having compatible intestinal flora.

4 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Unblock Email From My Comcast-Hosted Server?

skids Re:Call Comcast? (405 comments)

You should start the business-account ticket process anyway. You might even convince them to proactively approach these services from their side. Defending the ability of one's assigned blocks to send email is one of the jobs of any address holder, even if Comcast doesn't care about how badly their residential customers are treated (by others as well as their own techs) they should care about business address ranges.

You could try demanding different addresses as well.

about a week ago
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Your Incompetent Boss Is Making You Unhappy

skids Re:No shit, (203 comments)

Yes, it did. Because quite regularly, those things that "everybody knows" turn out to be not actually true.

This is evident since people seem to "just know" things that are easily disprovable, not just hard to prove subject matter that requires a research paper.

A google of phrases like "most people think" can make for some fun afternoon reading.

about two weeks ago
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Crowd-Sourced Experiment To Map All Human Skills

skids Re:Nice try but ... (70 comments)

I'd make a similar complaint, but the objective of this project is obviously just to harvest a base of credentials. It's such a bad idea on the surface when they could just mine wikipedia, that I don;t believe for a second they are serious about the product.

about two weeks ago
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GNOME Project Seeks Donations For Trademark Battle With Groupon

skids Re:Why feed the lawyers? (268 comments)

Heh. I see what you did there.

In all seriousness, were GNOME-the-desktop to have some major security incident and it affects the viability of GNOME-the-PoS with potential customers by associating the brand with security problems in search engine results, someone will start to appreciate the merit of avoiding name collisions.

about two weeks ago
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Informational Wi-Fi Traffic As a Covert Communication Channel For Malware

skids Re:Requires Infected Computer. Nothing new. (16 comments)

Neither are interframe arrival times on just about any traffic monitored, and one could easily encode a cnc to look at stat counters on the interfaces.

So really this is in the area of "horse already left the barn."

about two weeks ago
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Ebola Nose Spray Vaccine Protects Monkeys

skids Re:Of course (198 comments)

Those academic scientists at (insert school) and their money grubbing ways, always asking for a handout, feeding off the public trough.

about two weeks ago
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NSA Director Says Agency Shares Most, But Not All, Bugs It Finds

skids Re:Number is irrelevant compared to severity (170 comments)

A vulnerability that requires standing on one leg while juggling two white cats and wearing a clown nose is something they can keep to themselves, because it's so unlikely that anyone else will stumble across it.

...and they have an ample supply of cats and clown noses.

about two weeks ago
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New Atomic Clock Reaches the Boundaries of Timekeeping

skids Re: Old saying (249 comments)

This argument is as spurious as the frames of reference and definitions needed to support it are extreme. Also the orginal post didn't say there were no flaws with "simultaneity", just that calling it "wrong" was "wrong." It's well known that any causal relationship is preserved from any frame of reference, and furthermore "events" on the macro scale don't happen at a discrete moment in time. If you have a balloon with a chipmunk suspended inside it, and you release the chipmunk so it falls and pops the balloon, it can be said with perfect accuracy that the baloon popped simultaneuously with the chipmunk falling, assuming the balloon was not on a table and the chipmunk continued to fall past the edge of the balloon.

The arguments against "simultaneity" require the precise scientific definition of the term, which should be confined to academic papers.

Do not try the above experiment at home.

The general gist of the matter is it would be technically possible to "synchronize" these clocks in the sense that with enough external data to accurately determine the frames of reference involved, we could know the time on one of the clocks as observed by an individual next to that clock from the value of another a clock next to us, even if that individual could never tell us the time on the clock because by the time any communication reached us, it would be stale. This despite the fact that the clocks are actually running at different rates on most frames of reference, not just different offsets. If that was done bilaterally, and both calculations yielded each other's input value, both parties could agree that, in retrospect, they read the clocks at the same "time".

An external observer to both clocks might see the readings happen at different times, but if they have any intellect they have to account for their perspective not being the only valid one.

It would also be possible to construct an average aggregate clock out of a group of these, the question is merely the utility of such a clock, since instead of a "timezone" you'd have a "framezone" where you'd have both an offset and an ongoing drift, not to mention the parameters of that adjustment would not be constant because phenomina like shifting planetary crust don't play nice.

We would not be able to measure the speed of light without such systems, so they obviously play an important role.

about two weeks ago
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New Atomic Clock Reaches the Boundaries of Timekeeping

skids Re: Old saying (249 comments)

It is not just a matter of clocks, but that observers at different speeds will have a difference sense of when things they see happen at the same versus different times.

This assumes the observer is not capable of measuring the velocity to the observed system and compensating for it. Given enough data, the two observers at different velocities could calculate what time each of the two events would have occured at if at the exact time of the event the system the two observers magically teleported to the same location. The problems are agreeing on a mutual standardized location/frame and acquiring said data. You can construct systems where the former is difficult, but there are far more simple applications where it is not difficult to do so. The latter may indeed be very difficult.

about three weeks ago
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US Midterm Elections Discussion

skids Re:News For Nerds? (401 comments)

Maybe I'm up too late, but this post makes no sense to me whatseoever. It's the usual "major parties both suck" substance-free mantra that gets mod points, followed by some sort of assertion that people who vote for major party candidates believe cops will know how they voted and retaliate (clue: people who believe that vote libertarian. Or well some of them probably vote for extremist parties as well.) There are reaons people vote for major parties. They may not be right or even strategic reasons, but they are not some ridiclous fear of institutional retaliation. Were they, we would not have so many registered independents.

about three weeks ago
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Most Planets In the Universe Are Homeless

skids Re:this is why the aliens haven't invaded yet (219 comments)

More importantly, it means there is probably something larger than an asteriod to settle on a lot closer to us than Alpha Centauri. Of course we'd need a buttload of reactor power to survive in such an environment.

about three weeks ago
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Help a Journalist With An NFC Chip Implant Violate His Own Privacy and Security

skids Re:Small Government Mandate (142 comments)

Well, IIRC it is stated in TFA with the right equipment the range could be extended up to several centimeters or perhaps more. Not sure how accurate that statement is though.

Enough to, say, be pretty disturbing if coupled to a sensor for metabolites in a urinal.

about three weeks ago
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Help a Journalist With An NFC Chip Implant Violate His Own Privacy and Security

skids Re:Small Government Mandate (142 comments)

As long as the contents can be linked back to the individual, it just takes NFC communicators next to places where people put their hands to track the individual's actions. The short range gives you a bit more information than just tracing their smartphone -- e.g. if you have an NFC collector tacked to the bottom of a public keypad, you can be pretty sure that person was using that keypad, as opposed to just standing around in the region. Granted given most places can also be covered with a camera and nobody will complain, there are other ways to obtain such information, but this way can be fully automated.

about three weeks ago
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We Are All Confident Idiots

skids Re:Left one out (306 comments)

He is completely confident that his underconfidence is a clear indicator that he knows what he's talking about, obviously.

about three weeks ago
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Debate Over Systemd Exposes the Two Factions Tugging At Modern-day Linux

skids Re:How about we hackers? (863 comments)

its only an installation/configuration issue to solve, the code/scripts are already in place

No, there will always be issues where the problem lies within the code of the init system.

Traditonal Init scripts are mostly in bourne shell syntax due to inertia. Shell is a horrible, awful language. Yet people put up with that and there's a reason why they have done so: the flexibility it offered over declarative-style config files was a strong enough advantage to keep traditional init systems in play. It is an exercise in arrogance to pretend you can map current and future needs over to a set of fixed cookie-cutter behaviors. There will always be a need to modify systemd internals to compensate for this broken model.

On the bright side it has enough intertia and is enough of a break from tradition that it will shake things up, and they did need to be shaken up. There will be wrappers around systemd, suites to manage systemd without touching any systemd config files, and eventually out of that chaos something better will emerge,
where we go back to basics but without the cruft we once had.

about three weeks ago
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Debate Over Systemd Exposes the Two Factions Tugging At Modern-day Linux

skids Re:How about we hackers? (863 comments)

And there's the regular problem of delays in shutdown due to "a stop job is running".

Yeah, and then someone thought it would be a good idea to tack "Unattended Updates" onto that feature. I think they thought that would get the casual users to update critical packages. But casual users never reboot, they hibernate, so....

about three weeks ago
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Debate Over Systemd Exposes the Two Factions Tugging At Modern-day Linux

skids Re:How about we hackers? (863 comments)

Is changing settings like that going to be a constand uphill battle against the distro maintainers?

No that part won't likely be a problem -- it's easy to override (or even cancel) distro scripts as long as the distro does a good job of keeping the /etc/systemd directory mostly empty and puts the "stock" scripts elsewhere.

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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MA "Right To Repair" initiative still on Tuesday ballot, may override compromise

skids skids writes  |  about 2 years ago

skids (119237) writes "MA voters face a complex technical and economic question Tuesday about just how open automobile makers should be with their repair and diagnostic interfaces. A legislative compromise struck in July may not be strong enough for consumer's tastes. Proponents of the measure had joined opponents in asking voters to skip the question once the legislature, seeking to avoid legislation by ballot, struck the deal. Weeks before the election they have reversed course and are again urging voters to pass the measure. Now voters have to decide whether the differences between the ballot language and the new law are too hard on manufacturers, or essential consumer protections. At stake is a mandated standard for diagnostic channels in a significant market."
Link to Original Source
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House Panel Approves Bill Forcing ISPs Log Users

skids skids writes  |  more than 3 years ago

skids (119237) writes "Under the guise of fighting child pornography, the House Judiciary Committee approved legislation on Thursday that would require Internet service providers (ISPs) to collect and retain records about Internet users’ activity. The 19 to 10 vote represents a victory for conservative Republicans, who made data retention their first major technology initiative after last fall's elections. A last-minute rewrite of the bill expands the information that commercial Internet providers are required to store to include customers' names, addresses, phone numbers, credit card numbers, bank account numbers, and temporarily-assigned IP addresses. Per dissenting Rep. John Conyers (D-MI): 'The bill is mislabeled ... This is not protecting children from Internet pornography. It's creating a database for everybody in this country for a lot of other purposes.'"
Link to Original Source
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CIA drones may have used illegal, inaccurate code

skids skids writes  |  more than 4 years ago

skids (119237) writes "Coders hate having to rush code out the door before it's ready. They also hate it when the customer starts making unreasonable demands. What they hate even more is when the customer reverse engineers the product and starts selling their own inferior product. But what really ticks them off is when that buggy knockoff product might be used to target military unmanned drone attacks, and the bugs introduce errors up to 13 meters. That's what purportedly happened to software developer IISi based on an ongoing boardroom/courtroom drama that will leave any hard-pressed coder appreciating just how much worse their job could get. The saddest part? The CIA assumed the bug was a feature. The tinfoil-hat-inducing part? The alleged perpetrators just got bought by IBM."
Link to Original Source
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Hacking Big Brother with help from Revlon

skids skids writes  |  more than 4 years ago

skids (119237) writes "All those futuristic full-face eyeliner jobs in distopian cyberpunk fiction might not be that far off the mark. A New York University student spent his thesis time exploring computer vision technology (OpenCV) for ways in which one could confound first-stage algorithms that initially lock onto faces. Then he mixed in a bit of fashion sense to predict future geek chic. Now, whether you want to go for the coal-miner look just to stay out of the data mine, that's up to you..."
Link to Original Source
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Digital Photocopiers Loaded With Secrets

skids skids writes  |  more than 4 years ago

skids (119237) writes "File this under "no, really?" CBS news catches up with the fact that photocopiers, whether networked or not, tend to have a much longer memory these days. When they eventually get tossed, very few companies bother to scrub them. Coupled with the tendency of older employees to consider hard-copy to be "secure", and your most protected secrets may be shipped directly to information resellers — no hacking required. "The day we visited the New Jersey warehouse, two shipping containers packed with used copiers were headed overseas — loaded with secrets on their way to unknown buyers in Argentina and Singapore.""
Link to Original Source

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