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Comments

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Code Quality: Open Source vs. Proprietary

techno-vampire Re:Proprietary code - Poster Child (97 comments)

Well over a decade? It's more like well over thirty years. There were virus infections written for MS-DOS 3.X back in the 1980s.

5 hours ago
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Vintage 1960s Era Film Shows IRS Defending Its Use of Computers

techno-vampire Re:"Feel Like a Number" (55 comments)

"I am not a number, I am a free man!" Not any more, you're not!

6 hours ago
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First Phase of TrueCrypt Audit Turns Up No Backdoors

techno-vampire Re:Technically if an NSA backdoor existed (171 comments)

Tell me this: if the NSA did put a backdoor in the package and if this audit found it, how would the NSA know about it in time to prevent it being reported? Sending a security letter to the auditors would just be considered proof that there was a backdoor to be hidden. The auditors may have been forced not to reveal anything about it to the general public, but you can bet that the people over at TrueCrypt would have found out about it and eliminated it as soon as possible, although they'd probably have had to pretend that they found the flaw themselves to protect both themselves and the auditors.

2 days ago
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EU Should Switch To ODF Standard, Says MEP

techno-vampire Re:This is a big deal (111 comments)

I fully expect that in 5-10 years most of the users will not know what operating system they are using.

What makes you think that the average home user knows what OS they're using right now? If they're on a PC, they'll know they're using Windows, because that's what came pre-installed, but they probably don't know which version, nor care. If they're on a Mac, they'll probably know that it's OSX, but again, not which version. And, they won't care because as long as it works for them, that's all that matters. If it doesn't work, they'll take it to a computer shop and let a geek fix it for them and the only question they'll ask is how much it costs.

about two weeks ago
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UAV Operator Blames Hacking For Malfunction That Injured Triathlete

techno-vampire Indicted? (177 comments)

No, Mr. Abrams, the investigation hasn't indicted anything. It indicated that somebody might have taken control of the drone away from you. I don't know if that's actually the word you used or if whoever wrote the story is to blame, but in either case, the Slashdot editors would have caught this if they were actually doing their job of editing the submissions. Why they haven't been replaced by people who know the difference between using a spelling checker and doing proper proof reading to catch misused words is something that only the PHBs at Dice can answer.

about two weeks ago
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Why Are We Made of Matter?

techno-vampire Re:It tastes better (392 comments)

"Hearts full of joy, hearts full of truth. Six parts gin to one part vermouth!"

about two weeks ago
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Why Are We Made of Matter?

techno-vampire Re:civilizations' bottleneck (392 comments)

I remember asking Dr. Forward that at LACon II, back in '84. He pointed out that a sphere of antimatter could only react to normal matter on its surface, limiting the speed of the reaction. He said that it wouldn't explode, it would evaporate and that it would look something like a drop of water on a hot griddle.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft: Start Menu Returns, Windows Free For Small Device OEMs, Cortana Beta

techno-vampire Re:Gee, so only a year of screaming (387 comments)

So there's nothing wrong with making stuff scriptable and changeable.

True. I have no issues with extensions as such; in fact, I think they're a great idea, just as browser extensions are. One of the many things I have against Gnome 3 is the fact that it's almost impossible to customize without extensions. Now, consider the case of a "Windows refugee" who's just installed Linux for the first time, with Gnome 3. It doesn't look or work the way they expect, and until they learn about extensions and how to install them they can't even do anything about it. Unless somebody either helps them get the vital extensions installed, or helps them replace Gnome 3 with a less user-hostile DE, they're very likely to give up in disgust, go back to Windows and spend the rest of their lives bad-mouthing Linux because they were stuck with a DE that they couldn't work with. Gnome 3 may be good for Linux geeks that know how to beat it into submission, but I'd never (not even hardly ever) inflict it on a beginner.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft: Start Menu Returns, Windows Free For Small Device OEMs, Cortana Beta

techno-vampire Re:Gee, so only a year of screaming (387 comments)

In the Linux world, Product X = Gnome 3. Totally unusable for many people without third-party extensions, yet those same people keep telling everybody how great it is. The only way it makes sense for me in either case (Win 8.x or Gnome 3) is if the advocates are all masochists and think that everybody else likes pointless suffering as much as they do. Personally, I use Linux with Xfce because it does what I want, the way I want without using up excessive RAM or CPU.

about two weeks ago
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West Nile Virus May Have Met Its Match: Tobacco

techno-vampire Re:Maybe stop making breeding ponds for mosquitos? (54 comments)

There are a number of species of small fish that feed on the larvae. Stoking the ponds with these is a well-known method of controlling mosquitoes that's been used for decades. If they're not already being used in your area, it may be that they're not adapted to your climate.

about two weeks ago
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5.1 Earthquake Hits California

techno-vampire Re:And automobile alarms (114 comments)

...quake-free Texas...

Everyplace is earthquake country if you wait long enough. Deal with it.

about three weeks ago
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FTC Settles With Sites Over SSL Lies

techno-vampire Re:20 Years? (78 comments)

I can remember people saying the same thing 20 years ago and it hasn't happened. And, I expect to be making the same kind of comment 20 years from now as well.

about three weeks ago
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Kim Dotcom Launches Political Party In New Zealand

techno-vampire Re:still (133 comments)

My understanding is that once he came to power, many Germans bought a copy because it looked good to have it on display. Very few of them, however, managed to read all of it.

about three weeks ago
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Florida Judge Rules IP Address Can't Identify a BitTorrent Pirate

techno-vampire Re:Comparable to... (158 comments)

"I'm not stupid enough to have done that" might raise enough reasonable doubt to get you acquitted in a criminal case, although the prosecutor would probably argue that it's just as reasonable to think that you might have done it simply because you didn't think that a jury would find you dumb enough to have tried it. Depending on how good your lawyer was, you might or might not get away with it.

However, as I pointed out in the text you quoted, this is a civil case, not a criminal one. Just making the jury think that you might be too clever to have used your own IP for something like this won't work; you have to make them think that somebody else probably did it. My guess as a non-lawyer is that about the only way you can get the jury to agree with you is if you could demonstrate that you were on vacation when the download occurred, and that it had to be somebody else. (Note that if you can do this, you don't, as has been stated elsewhere in this thread, need to be able to say who actually downloaded it.)

about three weeks ago
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Florida Judge Rules IP Address Can't Identify a BitTorrent Pirate

techno-vampire Re:Comparable to... (158 comments)

Remember, we're talking about civil suits here, where the burden of proof is "preponderance of evidence," not "beyond a reasonable doubt" as it is in a criminal proceeding. Even if you have an open WiFi hotspot, it's not enough to show that somebody else could have used it. In order to win with that defense, you'd have to show that somebody else probably did leach off your connection and download whatever it was. In this case, the judge ruled that the fact that the plaintiffs knew what physical location was using the IP address in question didn't give sufficient probable cause for a warrant. Without a warrant, they can't get any evidence to use in court, so this suit is probably dead in the water.

about three weeks ago
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French, Chinese Satellite Images May Show Malaysian Jet Debris

techno-vampire Re:kilometers? (103 comments)

Not always. Aviation uses nautical miles, and 120 kilometers = 64.79+ nautical miles.

about three weeks ago
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They're Reading Your Mail: Microsoft's ToS, Windows 8 Leak, and Snooping

techno-vampire Re:I want to be shocked, but honestly I'm not (206 comments)

My thought exactly. If you're going to leak information about your company to a blogger, don't use either your company email account or an account with a service your company owns. Best, of course, is to find a way to get the data home and send it from there using an email address they neither know about nor have access to.

about three weeks ago
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What day of the week is your most productive?

techno-vampire Productive? (91 comments)

Why should I be productive? I'm retired, you clod!

about a month ago
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Security Industry Incapable of Finding Firmware Attackers

techno-vampire Re:Use a jumper (94 comments)

And what do the drivers communicate with? The firmware.

Well yes, of course. However, drivers tend to be OS specific, and can be reloaded fairly easily if infected. TFA is talking about getting malware into the firmware, which has to be OS agnostic and is somewhat harder to disinfect.

about a month ago
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Security Industry Incapable of Finding Firmware Attackers

techno-vampire Re:Use a jumper (94 comments)

No, what you're thinking of is drivers. Firmware is held in non-volatile memory and executed there so that it's ready to be used the moment the device is turned on, and so that it can't easily be modified.

about a month ago

Submissions

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America's first police auto-gyro

techno-vampire techno-vampire writes  |  more than 2 years ago

techno-vampire writes "The auto-gyro isn't a new idea; the first successful flight for one was in January 1923. What is new is that police in Tomball, Texas are experimenting with them for aerial surveillance. With a price tag of only $75,000 and operational costs of $50/hour, they're considerably more cost-effective than helicopters."
Link to Original Source
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Another AGW alarmist rescued from Arctic

techno-vampire techno-vampire writes  |  more than 3 years ago

techno-vampire (666512) writes "The Herald Sun reports that TOM Smitheringale wanted to prove the world was warming. Now he's another alarmist with frostbite.

It goes on to say that this is actually now the fourth year running that warming alarmists have had to be rescued from expeditions to prove the Arctic is warmer than it actually is. It's a metaphor.

According to the article, AGW alarmists have repeatedly needed to be rescued during publicity stunts trying to raise awareness of the melting Arctic ice cap because of brutal sub-zero weather conditions on the currently thickening ice sheet."

Link to Original Source
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Charles Darwin's best-kept secret

techno-vampire techno-vampire writes  |  more than 3 years ago

techno-vampire (666512) writes "Two hundred years ago, Ascension Island was a barren volcanic edifice.

Today, its peaks are covered by lush tropical "cloud forest".

What happened in the interim is the amazing story of how the architect of evolution, Kew Gardens and the Royal Navy conspired to build a fully functioning, but totally artificial ecosystem.

By a bizarre twist, this great imperial experiment may hold the key to the future colonisation of Mars."

Link to Original Source
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Which Linux distro should I choose?

techno-vampire techno-vampire writes  |  more than 4 years ago

techno-vampire (666512) writes "Currently, I'm using Fedora Linux on my desktop, and Puppy Linux on my very old laptop. I do tech support for my sister, who uses Ubuntu Linux. Now, I have a chance to get a brand-new, modern laptop and it occurs to me that this is a chance to broaden my Linux knowledge. The new laptop will mostly be used for browsing, email and wordprocessing, with gaming a minor consideration. If you were me, which Linux distro would you install, and why?"
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Ocean Circulation Doesn't Work As Expected

techno-vampire techno-vampire writes  |  more than 4 years ago

techno-vampire (666512) writes "The familiar model of Atlantic ocean currents that shows a discrete "conveyor belt" of deep, cold water flowing southward from the Labrador Sea is probably all wet. New research led by Duke University and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution relied on an armada of sophisticated floats to show that much of this water, originating in the sea between Newfoundland and Greenland, is diverted generally eastward by the time it flows as far south as Massachusetts. From there it disburses to the depths in complex ways that are difficult to follow. A 50-year-old model of ocean currents had shown this southbound subsurface flow of cold water forming a continuous loop with the familiar northbound flow of warm water on the surface, called the Gulf Stream. "Everybody always thought this deep flow operated like a conveyor belt, but what we are saying is that concept doesn't hold anymore," said Duke oceanographer Susan Lozier. "So it's going to be more difficult to measure these climate change signals in the deep ocean.""
Link to Original Source
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Using DNA to identify soldiers MIA

techno-vampire techno-vampire writes  |  about 6 years ago

techno-vampire writes "According to an article at Military.com, the Army is trying to get DNA samples from about 6,300 families of soldiers MIA from WWII, Korea and Vietnam. These will be put in a databank and used to (they hope) identify the remains of servicemen who would otherwise remain nameless. The article includes both a phone number and an email address for contact."
Link to Original Source
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New rootkit from Sony

techno-vampire techno-vampire writes  |  more than 6 years ago

techno-vampire (666512) writes "An article in The Register reports that a new USB fingerprint authentication device from Sony repeats the CD rootkit exploit of two years ago. The MicroVault USM-F fingerprint reader software bundled with the stick installs a hidden directory under Windows. Either they didn't learn from the PR nightmare last time, or they really thought they'd get away with it this time, but in either case, smooth move, Mr. ExLax!"
Link to Original Source

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