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Launching 2015: a New Certificate Authority To Encrypt the Entire Web

thogard Re:Won't existing CAs complain? (210 comments)

When your in the business of selling random numbers, don't be surprised when someone undercuts you.

about a week ago
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Ask Slashdot: Dealing With VoIP Fraud/Phishing Scams?

thogard Follow the money (159 comments)

When someone calls your 1-800 number, you pay someone. That someone gives a cut of it to other parties. One of those parties may have picked your number for a reason. This can work in a way that is similar to the "False Answer Signalling" fraud that was so common years ago .

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Choosing a Data Warehouse Server System?

thogard That isn't big data (147 comments)

If the data fits in a database, it is not Big Data.

about three weeks ago
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It's Time To Revive Hypercard

thogard Re:Google Wave (299 comments)

Google Wave was some very interesting technology but I think it was pointed in the wrong direction. It wasn't ever considered as a way for the Internet of Things to talk to each other in a reasonable way and everything Google did with it was around pushing it in front of people, not devices. There might have been a time where the terms of service didn't allow devices to communicate using it for message passing.

Language development these days seems to have stalled around a few specific areas which are separated by the family trees of the languages. There were plenty of languages from the past that excelled in one area or another that is often difficult or every inefficient with more modern architectures. Many of the 4th generation languages had some very cleaver ideas. Even new languages like go don't help with a major problem because there is no base type for money so programmers are left to their own devices and end up with floating point issues or just using cents or even worse problems because of the underlying hacks.

about three weeks ago
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Will Fiber-To-the-Home Create a New Digital Divide?

thogard Re:DOCSYS? (291 comments)

The limiting factor of shared fiber broadband is the packet turnaround time just like coax and radio combined with scheduling the upstream data. The *PON networks were designed for sending lots of cable TV bits one direction and being able to cope with a small percentage going the other way. There are all sorts of techniques to fix that problem and all of them fail in different ways. So far the fastest home internet isn't PON based but a dedicated point to point links to a somewhat local fiber switch that has massive amounts of upload. It would be very interesting for Google to release some documents about their different types of technology they are using in Kansas City experiment. I've heard that they are using at least 4 different types of connections.

about a month ago
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How English Beat German As the Language of Science

thogard They forgot a few other issues (323 comments)

German and English won in the engineering world because of compound words. You can invent a new device and create a name that works in letter describing it.

English wins over German because of the relative lack of gendered words. Genders can get very messed up when using compound words. As an example, if a boat is female and a trailer is male, what gender should a boat-trailer be?

about a month and a half ago
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David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

thogard Re:FP? (942 comments)

I haven't flow in the US in the last year. I've been on commercial aircraft in Australia where the pilot got the wrong frequency when the controller was using "dec-ee-mal". A friend had his class do an experiment where students wrote down numbers that were being read in different styles. There were substantially more errors with the ICAO way of reading numbers than the older FAA style with the Aussie students.

about 2 months ago
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David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

thogard Re:FP? (942 comments)

In the US they use "point" which is one syllable. There is no place in aviation radio where the decimal point isn't implied which makes using "decimal" a bigger waste of radio time.

about 2 months ago
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Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

thogard Re:Fine. Legislate for externalities. (488 comments)

You may not have a choice. My last power bill had a connection charge that was higher than the energy consumption charge an I pay $.22 a kwh. That will be the trend in the future. In places where the grid is still locally owned, I see it being added to property taxes as the cost of batteries come down where people can go off grid.

We just put in 6 250W panels. They cost less then $190 each but installing the frame and the wiring cost more. The mPPT module happens to plug into our existing telco grade -48V DC power supply and it was only $800 but plugged into a nice $5k system. The batteries that will run one of our racks of gear for 8 hours cost $250 each for 8 of them. The silicon bits aren't a major part of the cost of going off grid now.

about 2 months ago
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Forest Service Wants To Require Permits For Photography

thogard Re:Yeah sorry, no (299 comments)

The USDA's budget is 100x that of the BLM. Sure one is dept of Ag and the other is Dept of Interior but I'm not sure it matters much since I think the USDA has claim to all BLM land as well.

about a month ago
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The UPS Store Will 3-D Print Stuff For You

thogard Re:$60 for an iPhone case sounds high, but it isn' (144 comments)

Work recently spent about $5k for cube and it isn't printing any better than the 4 other 3d printers I've used 3 of them costs less than $1000.

about 2 months ago
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Fork of Systemd Leads To Lightweight Uselessd

thogard Re:kill -1 (469 comments)

You can't do this with systemd. A kill to a process group is an atomic operation in Posix so that if you do a kill -9 -1 (i.e. send a SIGKILL to init and all of its children), the kernel will not return from the "kill" syscall until it has sent the signal to all of the processes. That syscall will also prevent any other task switches until it is done so the result is no process (other than init) ever runs again even if they are in the middle of a forkbomb. A kill -1 -1 (send SIGHUP to everything via init's process group) has traditionally told all user level programs that the user logged out and all daemons that they should reload their config files.

Killing a process group (the negative process id, which is what the original commentator was talking about, not a SIGHUP) is used all the time on systems. That is how apachectl (and most other forking deamons and their control programs) tell its children to reload the config file or end in a controlled way. It is used every time a user logs out to make sure all their processes do go away. Signals are the oldest and more reliable of the IPC mechanisms and are great when the number of messages you need to send is a tiny number of options.

about 2 months ago
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Fork of Systemd Leads To Lightweight Uselessd

thogard There are still better ways (469 comments)

Over the past 3 decades, versions of the inittab syntax allowed for things in the 2nd and 3rd fields to say things could be run in the background or depend on other named states which is why the 1st field is a name.

It is amazing how many properly run systems can cope with a "kill -1 -1" to reset everything without a reboot.

about 2 months ago
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Sapphire Glass Didn't Pass iPhone Drop Test According to Reports

thogard Re:Reminds me of cars until the 1950s (207 comments)

Yet a 1 mm tick plastic bezel around the glass would be nearly invisible and protect the glass too. If done right, it might even make manufacturing cheaper.

about 2 months ago
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Chrome For Mac Drops 32-bit Build

thogard Re:It did? (129 comments)

The problem is the new xcode will soon drop support for the 32 bit versions of the OS and for some reason, mac developers can't figure out how to make a fat binary that runs on everything from about 10.0.0 to 10.11.00 even thought it requires having 3 versions of X code running on two or 3 different (virtual?) machines and then copying a few files. It is amazing how many open source packages just compile with older version of Xcode if you add in a few #DEFINES for things that aren't used anyway.

about 2 months ago
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Early iPhone 6 Benchmark Results Show Only Modest Gains For A8

thogard Re:reading the results wrong (208 comments)

Oddly enough, pushing pixels is the only sane reasons for doing 64 bit operations on a hand held device. If your not using more than 4 gig address space, going from 32 bits to 64 tends to mean you spend far more time moving pointers that have all zeros in the top half. Old stats showed the best a 64 bit PCU tends to do is about 6% worse based on average loads but operations with lots of indirect operations (like Java) it can be far worse.

about 2 months ago
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UCLA, CIsco & More Launch Consortium To Replace TCP/IP

thogard Re:Oh joy, stateful routers... (254 comments)

And who controls the names and how much does it cost to be a data producer?

about 3 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Old Technology Can't You Give Up?

thogard Re:Simple (635 comments)

Unless you were using vi Berkley, your vi had a :x

This matters because :wq! parses as "write, then forced quit", not "force write, quit". x! does the correct thing on failures.

about 3 months ago
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African States Aim To Improve Internet Interconnections

thogard Wrong accusations are so easy (27 comments)

I had a situation that appeared that a hacker had taken control of a VOIP system and ran up a full E1 worth of calls to Africa 24x7 for a weekend resulting in a $1.4 million dollar phone bill. The initial evidence showed that Sierra Leone was involved with toll sharing fraud but I looked deeper. I called a few of their embassies and found out they couldn't call home if they tried and the London embassy had some who had the job of trying to calling home all day. It turns out that someone else was playing the scam and taking the money. Sierra Leone was given millions every month for the scam but then it was taken way with fines leaving them with problems. Everyone I talked to was hesitant to talk to me until I explained that I didn't think they were the scammers. I ended up talking to Alpha (what a cool name) who was the head of their phone company and he provided just the extra details. I had a friend from The old school US telco get some of the guys who used to work in the dark room listen to the calls and they said the wobble in the busy wasn't right for modern automatic gear so calls there would be considered connected even if most people heard a busy signal. The end result was a US phone company shipped them a nice bit of kit to terminate some of their calls in a deterministic way.

about 3 months ago
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TechCentral Scams Call Center Scammers

thogard Counter scripts? (251 comments)

Years ago I had a counter scripts for the common scam script. Does anyone have a site with some that fit the current scams?

about 2 months ago

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