Reversible Type-C USB Connector Ready For Production
In view of recent revelations that USB Security is fundamentally broken, is the new spec just for a connector or does it include any interface implementation of better security? http://www.wired.com/2014/07/u...
NASA Tests Microwave Space Drive
Neither did Shawyer suggest the EM drive created virtual pairs, but the last sentence from the technical report says that since no known electromagnetic phenomenon can account for the observed thrust, the EM drive may be demonstrating "an interaction with the quantum vacuum virtual plasma". The quantum vacuum virtual plasma is the reference to vacuum fluctuation, or virtual particle/anti-particle pairs. If I understand the report correctly I believe he is suggesting that virtual particles may be providing reaction mass, but at this point the key word is "may". The test observes thrust but the mechanism is not yet fully understood.
If the proposed mechanism is what is causing the thrust, then once the momentum has been transferred to the thruster by accelerating them (electromagnetically it seems) then it doesn't matter if they annihilate afterward. Once the reaction mass has left the thruster, it no longer has any connection to it, so what happens to it does not affect the original momentum transfer (or thrust). In the same way, with a water rocket, it doesn't matter what happens to the water once it leaves the nozzle of the rocket. It can fall to the ground or flash into steam by going onto hot metal or coals. It doesn't matter to the rocket what happens to it, as the water (the reaction mass) has already left and has no further connection to the rocket.
NASA Tests Microwave Space Drive
The Wired article speaks of Shawyer's EMDrive, which has been around for some time, and at first appears to confuse the EMDrive with a different technology Dr. Harold "Sonny" White of NASA has been working on for some time.
The tech report clears things up a bit. The test results are showing anomalous thrust, however NASA is reticent to attribute the thrust to Shawyer's theory of how it operates, which would violate conservation of momentum (hence the "impossible" in the title.
What the technical report says is something far more interesting. Dr. White has been working with several different test articles which use electromagnetic forces to increase the rate of virtual particle pair production in the quantum vacuum, then using the virtual particles during their very short time of existence as reaction mass. In other words, it is a reaction drive, but instead of carrying reaction mass in the tank, the investigators are trying to use mass borrowed from quantum vacuum plasma to generate a small, but measurable, amount of thrust.
The final sentence of the technical report contains the salient material:
"Test results indicate that the RF resonant cavity thruster design, which is unique as an electric propulsion device, is producing a force that is not attributable to any classical electromagnetic phenomenon and therefore is potentially demonstrating an interaction with the quantum vacuum virtual plasma. Future test plans include independent verification and validation at other test facilities."
Mozilla CEO Firestorm Likely Violated California Law
He may have resigned, but even if it wasn't a firing de jure it was a firing de facto. There was no going-away celebration and a glowing farewell speech celebrating his considerable accomplishments and contributions to the company. There was a blog post that said Mozilla should have done better and acted sooner.
Those who support progressive causes at Mozilla and other companies would do well to remember the principle of "I disagree with what you say, but will defend to the death your right to say it", lest they become the very thing they have been protesting against, even a very short time ago.
Microsoft's Security Products Will Block Adware By Default Starting On July 1
My own definition of malware is "Any piece of software on your computer which is under the control of someone other than the computer owner." Under this definition adware would be considered malware.
Antivirus vendors of course refer to several classes of malware, including rootkits, trojans, viruses, worms (all of which classifications derive from the method the malware uses for propagation and activation). The actions of malware are various as well - botnets, rootkits, keyloggers, phishing redirectors, crypto-extortion, fake AV are a few. Adware including browser hijackers, unwanted toolbars and other unwanted BHOs seem to be the category at which the new Microsoft targeting is aimed. These sorts of programs are called PUPs (potentially unwanted programs) by the AV vendors, though under my definition they would be classed as malware.
Microsoft have made a further distinction in adware as "any program which brings up ads in ANOTHER PROGRAM." These are what would be blocked. and this is not unhelpful, however one should remember that Microsoft's malware protection has been decertified by most antivirus ratings consortia, so how good the MS product will be is anyone's guess.
Are Bankers Paid Too Much? Are Technology CEOs?
At least Technology companies actually produce things that actually improve human thriving. What do bankers produce?
What Are the Genuinely Useful Ideas In Programming?
Learn to manipulate text and you can do just about anything.
Ask Slashdot: Learning DB the Right Way; Books, Tutorials, or What?
Before you develop any bad habits it would be excellent to get a good handle on how to organize data.
_Database Design for Mere Mortals_ by Michael Hernandez is an excellent source for this and you will be able to breeze through it with your programming knowledge. You already know data types, but this book, which does not contain a single line of code, is a good primer on data organization and techniques for making relational databases function efficiently.
Ask Slashdot: Dealing With an Advanced Wi-Fi Leech?
Step 1: Isolate. Use a spare PC, add a NIC and use Untangle Lite (free) http://untangle.com/ which has very good. Turn off DHCP in your router, use it as an access point only. Let Untangle hand out addresses. Get the perp's MAC address and reserve his IP addresses. Use Untangle's report feature to build up a dossier of all his activities over a few weeks. See what he's doing.
Step 2: While compiling the reports, use HeatMapper (free) http://www.ekahau.com/products/heatmapper/overview.html on a notebook or netbook to locate him. It won't be any problem to find his AP in the signal map.
Step 3: After you have the data, mail him a copy of the reports and the heatmap to let him know you know what he's doing, and invite him over for a cup of coffee or other beverage of your choice. Be sure to tell him you don't want to turn him in or blackmail him, but you would like to talk geek to geek. Tell him you're going to disable WPS and change the WPA key, but you'd like him to try to hack in again, and tell you if you've left any open vulnerabilities. You can end the leeching and might just gain a buddy worth having.
Caveat: Of course you want to send a copy of the report to someone else to hand over to Law Enforcement in case he turns out to be a terrorist or freakazoid with implements of destruction to use against you.
Microsoft Going Its Own Way On Audio/Video Specification
If not, how about Betamax?
Ask Slashdot: Current State of Linux Email Clients?
Since almost all mail lives in the cloud, why even bother with an email client? I'll grant that some people like to use command-line clients simply because they can - more power to them. But there's really no reason to eschew the GUI, and a browser is all the email client you need. Has been for years.
Ask Slashdot: Server Room Toolbox?
All of the usual tech tools plus:
- Several cheap LED flashlight
- Several cheap LED head lights
- Spare batteries
- Small shop vac with a blower.
- Plumb bob with string.
- P-Touch labeler.
- Label servers on the front and back, using a naming convention.
- Also alternate front and back on racks so you have hot rows and cold rows. Perf tiles in cold rows, air handler intakes near hot rows.
- Two power strips per rack, connected to different PDU boxes, so if you lose a whole PDU your dual-power supply servers stay up.
Hang up placards (the size of a sheet of paper) at the end of each column and row of tiles along two adjacent walls so you have the grids labeled. In your CMDB you should have the server location (Grid H15C would mean the front side of rack H15, third up from the bottom.) I mentioned a CMDB. You do have an ITIL-compliant (or at least ITIL-resembling) CMDB, don't you?
Ask Mark Shuttleworth Anything
Another South African entrepreneur, Elon Musk, is like yourself, a space enthusiast. Unlike yourself, Elon didn't buy a ticket to experience spaceflight himself. Instead he built a business model which will help lower the cost of spaceflight for everyone who wants to put a payload into orbit or, eventually, to explore other heavenly bodies like the Moon and Mars. Ubuntu has been a tremendous contribution to democratizing computing by putting a free OS in the hands of people everywhere on Earth. Do you see yourself participating in any effort to make humanity establish footholds on other planets, and if so, how?
Could Testing Block Psychopaths From Senior Management?
The Community Reinvestment Act and other regulations pressured lenders to make mortgage loans available even to high risk lenders. The taxpayers would guarantee the loans. Next, opportunistic bankers began to push loans on people who were no creditworthy, and people who wanted to profit off of real estate appreciation used "creative financing" (interest only loans, variable interest loans with balloon payments, etc.) to buy much larger homes than they could afford, betting on continuing rise in values. This over-leveraging at both ends of the market - the bottom end and the top end, fed the crisis.
Next, investment bankers bundled together bunches of these junk loans, slapped a triple A rating on them, divided them into tranches, and sold them to investors who wanted to make a killing on mortgage-backed securities.
The Financial Crisis was a perfect storm: misguided good intentions and unintended consequences got the ball rolling, then greedy mortgage bankers, home buyers, and investment bankers, pretty much greed and malfeasance at every level, not just restricted to a single economic stratum, all set the Financial Crisis in motion. It became the whirlwind we are all reaping today.
Even this grossly over-simplified summary is probably too long-winded for today's attention spans. Sorry, but this sort of stuff can't be expressed in 140 characters or less.
Could Testing Block Psychopaths From Senior Management?
Young Students Hiding Academic Talent To Avoid Bullying
Egalitarianism is misguided and naive, and leads to this sort of bullying.
Fact: You can redistribute wealth, you can redistribute false self-esteem, but you can't redistribute smarts. The bell curve forever divides the intellectual haves and have nots. And those who haven't got brains are more likely to use their fists.
We need to rebuild a school system that rewards excellence, that challenges smart kids to be all they can be. The current system not only holds them back, but subjects them to bullying by their intellectual inferiors. But the current system is scared to death of even a hint of elitism. It's not elitism to reward achievement and develop gifted kids. It's just common sense. But this is utterly lost on the radical egalitarians.
Ask Slashdot: Finding Work Over 60?
I agree. I started my own company after I was 50, only I deliberately left corporate employment to do it. There are lots of small businesses out there that need IT support and custom coding. Build your system admin chops. But you also need to be prepared to build your business (and yes, You have to build it. No matter what President Obama might have said, nobody else is going to make it happen.
Plan on working without pay at first. No, you don't have to provide free services to customers. But you have to let the money that comes in go back to the business to build it. You can't plant a seed, then yank the first green shoot that comes out of the ground and eat it. You have to nurture it and grow it. Your business has to build and grow so you need to invest your time and re-invest the money that comes in. When I started my company, I committed to two years without pay. I had plenty of savings from 15 years of corporate employment as a systems engineer and a spouse who had a job with benefits, so I could afford to do so.
Read _The E-Myth Revisited_ by Michael Gerber. This will help to prepare you for the business side of business - if you already have excellent tech skills, your business will succeed or fail based on how well you run the business side of things.
You must build a marketing plan. No matter how good your tech chops are, no matter how excellent your services or products may be, if you don't have customers you have no business. Identify some vertical markets you can target. Perhaps there is a single vertical product you can sell - Medical office practice management systems, or Sheep herding management systems. I don't know what you do, but if you can find an industry vertical, identify consortia and trade organizations in that vertical, find member businesses, speak at organizational events, become a thought leader for that vertical. If you're a generalist, fine, but if you can identify some vertical markets it will be helpful, and market, market, market your services.
As a programmer you should be able to understand this: A program is a machine (a code machine, but still a machine) that is designed to automate a task or set of tasks. Your company ultimately is a machine designed to automate the earning of money. Design your business with the goal of ultimately running without you. Learn to outgrow the employee mentality you had in the corporate world, and be a business owner. Build your business, create jobs, then once it's up and running, you can keep your hand in the business but it will not require you 24X7. Your employees will run the business.
It will be much tougher than showing up for work in the corporate world. Your only employee review is your balance sheet. If you can make half the money you made in the corporate world (after taxes and expenses) congratulations - you have a running business. If you get it running on all cylinders and get it to replace your corporate income and then some, then BIG congratulations: you are an entrepreneur and job creator. And you have created a business that will provide for you and your family. Design it with an exit strategy in mind: build it to a level of recurring revenue and sell out to a larger competitor when your valuation is enough to provide for your retirement, or build the business enough to create the cashflow you need (personal cashflow after the business is taken care of) and keep an office as a place you can go putter as you keep an eye on things.
It will be the toughest thing you've ever done, even if you're an ex-Marine. But it can be done. Those who can cut it never look back. If you fail, at least you tried.
If I could print 1 replacement organ ...
He has Type 1 diabetes.
I found my current job through ...
Had to work without pay for a year, but now the business has grown and is paying for itself, me and employees. And with all due respect (emphasis on *due*) Mr. President, I built this business.
Ask Slashdot: Worth Going For a Graduate Degree In the Middle of Your Career?
You might already be doing cutting edge development.
If you are really good, a Ph.D. can help you move ahead.
Be brutally honest with yourself. If you have the chops for it - you know it deep inside, and it's a living, burning passion that is going to manifest itself in real innovation which will put you at odds with some organizations, and drive you to the front of others. It will drive you to find an organization that values real innovation, and in that kind of organization, that kind of creativity and brilliance is always rewarded with concomitant challenges. A Ph.D. in such an organization would accompany - not drive - ascent to a position on the cutting edge, but the sheepskin wouldn't be needed.
If you don't have those kinds of chops, you still might be a really decent programmer capable of producing solid code. But getting a Ph.D. may not be as helpful as working on some good projects.
And if after all is said and done you're a mediocre coder - a Ph.D. will look good on your wall with your other meaningless certificates and accolades, but will only produce eyerolls and cynicism from your colleagues and supervisors.