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Comments

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Statistical Analysis Raises Civil War Death Count By 20%

zentechno What about "Census-ability"? (139 comments)

What about the effect the decrease in [male] population from the Civil War may have caused on the ability to perform the 1870 census? Fewer people in the work-force may have impacted the number of employees performing the census, which may have resulted in reduced ability to count "everyone" (any error almost certainly would show a reduction in the population).

more than 2 years ago
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Apple's iCloud Runs On Microsoft Azure

zentechno Re:Surprised (230 comments)

Has anyone considered this is what iCloud's been using since before Apple bought them? From what I read here, this smells to me like "leaked" MS propaganda, but so what? I got an iCloud account before then; it's designed to emulate the Windows UI, but there's more to this service than the GUI, or the platform. Apple also bought them for the rights to the name/domain "iCloud" itself. This is still a new acquisition in my book, and with MS so desperate for *any* sence of capable public deployment I think the article is racing to get us to draw *lots* of conclusions that are too early to move-forward with.

more than 2 years ago
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Many Top iPhone Apps Collect Unique Device ID

zentechno Well, probably NOT a problem (194 comments)

As has been said, it identifies the phone, and not the user (though a majority of the time it'll be the phone's owner). Many apps use the UUID as a unique ID (ahem) to store state, e.g. viewed pages, favorites, etc. Yes, this is also done with a log in, or it could be done transparently via the UUID; not sure there's a best/worse here. I know -- it's the transparency that's the controversy, but I'm a bit pressed to think of anything that's revealed that couldn't also be revealed with (or without) "vendor collusion" (e.g. an App-to-UUID database to see which apps are on the same phone -- oh, wait, Apple knows that).

more than 3 years ago
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Google.cn Attack Part Of A Broad Spying Effort

zentechno Geocentric?!? (2 comments)

"The world's largest Internet market" -- perhaps geographically, but more-so for China because China isolates itself, and because most people still think of the world geo-politically. The internet's financial picture is mostly based on social demographics, such as age-markets, and if China were treated that way then it's citizens may make up the largest portion of each social demographic, but there'd be more that could be done independent of geographic politics. Sending "explain yourself" letters works between governments, but not as directly for businesses (e.g. Google sending the same letter essentially makes no difference), so the decision from a business perspective is keep doing business in that environment, or stop.

more than 4 years ago
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Astronomers Discover 33 Pairs of Waltzing Black Holes

zentechno Multiple black holes become one; the time factor. (101 comments)

Well, as it's theorized the Milkyway has already swallowed others (reference missing), there should either be multiple black holes in our galaxy, or this provides a good estimation of how long it's been since that happened -- according to Einstein, of course.

more than 4 years ago
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Consumerist Says AT&T Site Won't Sell iPhone In NYC, Citing Network

zentechno Re:Fix the headline? (420 comments)

http://www.att.com/ --> Wireless --> Shop/Cell Phones --> PDAs and Smartphones --> iPhone 3G. Opening the (last) iPhone link in another tab prompts me for my zip, followed by "not available in your area", *then* refreshing the list of phones in the previous tab *removes* iPhone from the listing.

more than 4 years ago
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Consumerist Says AT&T Site Won't Sell iPhone In NYC, Citing Network

zentechno Re:False (420 comments)

You can go to the Apple store and buy one, but NOT (apparently) on AT&T's website, at least not after typing in a NYC zip code.

more than 4 years ago
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Vermont City Almost Encased In a 1-Mile Dome

zentechno Re:Houston Has Similar Plans (456 comments)

I'd hazard a guess that the heating method would be forced hot air, so some technology could be thrown and filtering the air, though I'm not sure where they're going to put all this heating and filtering equipment, since it basically means being able to filter however much air the dome holds every day. If they put in some amazing electric public transport, then they could generate the extra electricity themselves, venting it directly out of the dome, and their downwind neighbors would have to deal with it.

more than 4 years ago
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How To Enter Equations Quickly In Class?

zentechno Mac's Typography; in short: transcribe your notes (823 comments)

Firstly, the Mac has an incredibly rich simple character set. This is NOT coincidental, as Apple copied their editing capabilities from the publishing industry decades ago. E.g. in TextEdit type alt-b and you'll see a '' integral symbol (looks correct as I type it, hopefully the post wont change it). If you can learn these keyboard shortcuts (learning-curve arguments aside), you *may* be able to type these directly into your mac in class, BUT... If you take notes by hand, then transcribe them into your mac using these short cuts, or simply via the Mac's Font (e.g. TextEdit --> commant-T) and characters (e.g. via the gear drop-down in the Font) pane, you're doing yourself a much bigger favor.

more than 4 years ago
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"Side By Side Assemblies" Bring DLL Hell 2.0

zentechno Re:Also... (433 comments)

So, this means they've clung to their dynamic library model to the point where they've invented a system to identify unique versions of these DLLs so each application can load multiple copies of the same DLL -- and *somehow* this is better than just using static linking? How, in practice (that is "in the real world) doesn't this completely marginalize the benefit of dynamic linking -- *especially* since they insist on using huge "dynamic" libraries? Fanatics, for sure.

more than 4 years ago
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Schneier on Un-authentication

zentechno This is De-Authorizing, not De-Authenticating (336 comments)

One other system used more prevalently is the simple locking screen saver. The idea is only the user, and sysadmin have the password to unlock the screen, and access through the system is prohibited until the screen saver password is entered. I'm not a fan of this, as generally screen-saver passwords are more-often assigned by the users themselves, and so are easier to guess than the back-end passwords which on occasion are set by the site, or by the sysadmin in the case of accessing corporate systems via corporate-policy. Now a minor, but important distinction. This isn't "un-authentication" this is de-authorizing the computer from which you're logged in accessing the place you're logged in to. You want to "authenticate a de-authorization" that is verify that you are the person removing access privileges. If the system doesn't require authentication to de-authorize access, then a denial of service attack is made (somewhat) trivial, and if more thought process went into understanding the difference I think more places would realize how serious the solution needs to be.

more than 4 years ago
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Security / Privacy Advice?

zentechno RFC 2504 (260 comments)

An all-too-quick 40 minutes? At a user/usage level? There's a LOT to choose from, but as a great start, try RFC2504. http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2504.txt?number=2504 Pick and choose as appropriate to your needs. We tried to make it very useful as a reference for the generic user. You can even hand out copies if you like. For a bit more detail, and as a good read in case you get asked some lower-level questions, try RFC 2196, more specifically targeted for IT folks, and "Middle Managers" who have to at least be exposed to the concepts. http://www.ietf.org/rfc/rfc2196.txt?number=2196 Cheers, Steve PS(don't let the fact that these are TEN years old fool you, most of these concerns are still quite current, most companies (read: those of popular OSes) don't exactly *want* people to understand the why's because they start to question the why-not (yet)s. If you found any of this useful, or not, just reply here, Most if not all those email addresses are defunct at this point -- we've moved onto and into other things).

more than 4 years ago
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iPhone Gets .Net App Development

zentechno Must be app-store approved... (327 comments)

Even before we get to the performance issue, there are at least two others that could run blocking. 1) I wonder if this is the sort of thing Apple would approve. Recent rants would seem to indicate if it allows any sort of a shell, no way. Otherwise, who knows? 2) Apple enforces it's look-and-feel rules religiously. Last I saw there was NOTHING .Net that looked at all Aqua. The stuff at unity3d.com looks cool, and would seem to *imply* Apple's OK with however their stuff looks, but I couldn't find a screen shot that showed me e.g. a typical config panel so I could compare it to iPhone's native bits.

more than 4 years ago
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Getting a Classic PC Working After 25 Years?

zentechno Re:You already know where to go for disks.... (533 comments)

I have a bunch of period (ha!) 5.25" disks, from DOS 3.1, and a bunch of utilities, plus games, games, games -- if you get the machine working we can talk about those (see previous post). I haven't taken a formal inventory, just going from memory, but 'm happy to donate them, but not wanting the quantity and quality of spam posting my email address here can get me, let me know if you're interested and we can see how to get them to you without more 'influx' than this is worth. Obvious caveat: they haven't been in a computer in at least 15 years. Now if I only had the cycles to boot that old Encore Multimax (2100 watts!), and could find a home for those PDP-11 parts I'd go to computing karma heaven for sure. 8^)

about 5 years ago
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iPhone 3.0 Software Announced

zentechno Re:What amazing coverage of the event! (619 comments)

Yes, it does -- with any GSM provider, but AT&T wants to keep you locked in; they paid for a 5 year exclusive (don't take my word for it, google away). I'm about to *finally* dump T-Mobile, when I told them I was doing it because I have an iPhone, they told me (and I quote), "No problem moving it over here" and I was immediately put in-touch with a 3rd-tier support guy, who told me he helps customers do this all the time, just walking them through installing an application -- Cydia. Yes, Cydia. TMobile is going to walk me through Jailbreaking my iPhone. I stopped him and said, "it's not TMobile's App" he said, "yes." I said, "I'll bet you can't even use the word "Jailbreak" -- he said "that is also correct." I wonder if AT&T knows their competition is helping steal users by violating the manufacturer's warranty (-- rhetorical). FWIW, the claim is you keep Edge and WiFi connectivity, but loose 3G access when you move to TMobile, and that's not Apple's doing either, TMobile doesn't support AT&T's 3G frequency. Yes, another nasty hardware thing, those evil Hardware guys, designing hardware specific to it's purpose and business model. Thank God Microsoft isn't in charge of any phone hardware (also rhetorical, also sincere -- can you say "feb29th bug", and even a bit sarcastic with no intent to offend any specific parties).

more than 5 years ago
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Daemon

zentechno Simile: Bond, James Bond? (395 comments)

Depending on it's accuracy, I'll bet it's a lot like the James Bond series -- the book form, that is. Fleming knew quite a bit about what actual Secret Service life is like -- it's about as exciting as tracking down a network intruder, except the intensity of a "chase gone bad" is probably a bit more all-or-nothing.

more than 5 years ago
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Why COBOL Could Come Back

zentechno Same COBOL guys from Y2K? (405 comments)

I learned COBOL way back when (1984 to be precise, then used it for a few years and it eventually rotted out of my brain). I was thinking of coming out of COBOL Retirement back when I heard what huge demand Y2K was putting on the lack of COBOL knowledge. What happened to the Y2K COBOL team -- did they help the state of CA then? I'm guessing if CA didn't find a replacement in 10 years (which is not-so-suspiciously just before everyone starting fretting over Y2K), I don't really see it happening now, or I'd dig out my old COBOL disks, dirty up my resume (re)writing a few more COBOL programs, send out a resume, and move to sunny CA and $clean $up -- but anyone whose been a contractor has already thought like this.

more than 5 years ago

Submissions

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Scientist in Saudi Arabia Make Rain

zentechno zentechno writes  |  more than 3 years ago

zentechno (800941) writes "Scientists in Saudi Arabia were able to produce negatively charged ions to attract, and send dust particles into the upper-atmosphere causing water suspended in the air to condense and fall back to earth. They did this 52 times, always when rain wasn't predicted (which it rarely is), so coincidence seems unlikely. It's been known for a long time that one of the reasons deserts are, well, deserts is not just the lack of rain, but more-so that the air carrying the water simply doesn't precipitate in those regions, carrying the water to areas where condensation happens naturally. This could mean an end to man drought areas, though note that the ionizers have to be placed in strategic locations to get the water to precipitate near where it's needed."
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Secunia: Apple replaces Oracle in SW insecurity.

zentechno zentechno writes  |  about 4 years ago

zentechno (800941) writes "Ars Technica has a security story from Secunia saying Apple has replaced Oracle as producing the most insecure software. This is based on the company's reporting of the number of security flaws. It also does NOT take into account the severity, or "install-base" of the flaw. Microsoft retains its spot as number 3.

As a 'security hobbyist' I find stories like this a bit offensive, and wish there were better, or at least more consistent "standards" for analyzing things like software security, which is certainly more than a one-dimensional metric. It turns the public view of serious things like the actual security of their ever-growing on-line world into a who-can-find-the-best-way-to-weigh-data for marketing reasons — not that the point of the article is marketing, for anyone other than Secunia — but seriously, should something as serious as how protected we are be left to tag lines?

The Secunia PDF is their first ever half-year report."

Link to Original Source
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Old Computer Game Covers -- Art, or just old?

zentechno zentechno writes  |  more than 6 years ago

zentechno (800941) writes "Cleaning out some VERY old boxes, in a long-untouched closet, and discovered my first supply of PC Games, some new back when 386's were new, and while there's (almost) zero use for these, I still think the cover art is quite cool. I found the original Zork (I), Zork II, Zork III (and the later released Zork 0), Enchanter, and Sorcerer from InfoCom, plus Star Trek "The Kobayashi Alternative" from Simon & Schuster, Pool of Radiance and Eye of the Beholder from SSI, Loom by Lucas Games, Nuclear War from New World, Annals of Rome and FireZone from PSS, Sidewinder from EA, and Defender of the Crown from Mindscape to name many. I loved these games, and wonder if there's any sort of serious collectors market out there as there is for vinyl album art — or is it just a personal thing?"
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Balmer egged, but none on his face

zentechno zentechno writes  |  more than 6 years ago

zentechno (800941) writes "Balmer was speaking at a lecture to university students at the Corvinus University in Budapest, and was just going into his "warm-personable" act when an angry student, sporting a classic, if European long-sleeved homebrew "Microsoft = corruption" shirt, shouted some choice words in anger, and pummeled him with several eggs . I'm not sure what the student said (anyone?), but it obviously echoes of the classic Gates-pie gag , only a bit more "raw" on several fronts, and lacking other "ingredients." Balmer, clearly a bit wigged, shook it off with his usual pacing and humorous observations."
Link to Original Source
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zentechno zentechno writes  |  more than 7 years ago

zentechno (800941) writes "Just thought fellow /.ers would appreciate this parody video showing how to get guys in Silicon Valley — you know, the smart, caring, artsy type. Having several friends who've married Mac-Men I guess their secret is out. I suppose it would work for Mac-Men anywhere, and Mac-Women, too. Has it worked for you? What's your story?"

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