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Comment Re:Great. (Score 2) 217

At some point the technical battle against meta-surveillance must simply be declared lost unless you want to go full Tor, dress up in an airtight jumpsuit, and learn how to navigate the sewer systems.

It can only be fought on a legal and economic front... also it's really the integrity, ethics, motivations, and cultural longevity of the institutions doing it that matter more than the act itself. On the bright side, maybe once the consequences of individualized attention by self-interested corporations and governments both foreign and domestic starts to sting the general public a bit more, that will increase the market/political value of integrity and ethics, above what seems to right now be pretty much nil.

Comment Re:IT needs to get tough (Score 1) 118

The answer to TFAs dilemna is "neither is responsible." Security is the responsibility of your designated cybersecurity officer. If you don't have one, you are doing it wrong. You need someone who can focus solely on security tech and policies. IT should be security-tech-aware as far as they can without losing focus on actual IT equipment, and C-suite should be security-policy-aware without micromanaging security (and a bit of big picture over both of those sides doesn't hurt.)
You don't want IT guys spending their time learning to chase geese in the firewall logs when they have other tech topics that need their brainshare, and you don't want PHB spending all his time in meetings about properly running an in-house CA when they should be tending to whatever it is PHBs do these days.

Heck my IT operation is tiny and the first actual tech we hired when we got the rare opportunity to hire a tech was a security officer.

Comment Re:Makes sense (Score 2) 144

Clearly it isn't sufficient to just defend yourself if you want peace.

In a multi-lateral situation you need to form a community that represents a plurality if not a majority of military power system-wide that agrees to act responsibly and be open enough that other nations can be pretty sure they aren't just appearing to act responsibly.

Once you have that you shun the worst offenders among those not in the community to deprive but not destroy them, offering them paths back into favor if they start behaving like adults. Some (like North Korea) will take a while to get over their tantrum and realize sitting at the kids table isn't as much fun as it used to be, others will start reforming themselves earlier.

Then once this all appears to be more or less working or at least maybe possible to get working, you get people angry that they don't have an in-ground pool and that they get called assholes for refusing to frost wedding cakes for gay people to elect an erratic know-nothing to direct one of the leading voices in the community to ignore the fact that one of the kids just wiped snot on the silverware. Wait no, skip that step, it must be a typo, nobody would want that.

Anyway, as much as I detest the business culture MS stands for, I think they are right... responsible nations need to establish what acceptable behavior is, and then start to apply some peer pressure.

Comment Re:Big battery will put a stop to this (Score 1) 217

We're lucky to get 5 years out of a Pb battery pack in our network rack UPSs. Given how they are situated, it'd save us a good deal of labor to have a longer operating lifetime... and these batteries are only deep cycled a few times a year during power outages. That major UPS vendors haven't floated models with longer time between maintenance, regardless of the chemistry used, makes me reach for my tinfoil hat.

Comment Re:Recharge by Refill (Score 1) 217

If it's a flow battery, no. These use two electrolytes and an exchange membrane, there's no reaction between the liquid and solid parts, just a diversion of electrons stripped off hydrogen as they try to find their way to a proton, which has crossed the membrane. The chemicals are there to provide the redox potential that frees the protons from water so they can migrate.

Flow batteries probably will never compete for mass energy density with other types of cells. Their main attraction is in storing large amounts of energy relative to the amount of power you need to put in or out of it. They are for long-term (days or weeks is "long-term" for power-grid purposes) storage, and in their "true" form you can upgrade the total energy storage capacity by expanding the amount of electrolyte... you don't need to touch the stack at all, just bolt on bigger liquid tanks and fill them.

Comment Re:slashdot == political paparazzo tabloid (Score 1) 892

I wonder whether having political venting articles cuts down on the amount of injection of politics into other threads... I mean... not that that does not happen a lot, but what if it happened even more.

Also, why is it the complaints about political threads are much more common when the political thread is unfavorable to the right? Can the right just not take bad press without their snowflakes being crushed?

Comment Re:"36-bit machines and the persistence of octal" (Score 1) 609

$ ping
PING ( 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from icmp_seq=1 ttl=51 time=20.7 ms

I actually solved a problem in modern times that was vexing our desktop support folks and LANDesk tech support for a solid week after taking a packet dump, seeing a WoL packet was going to the wrong network, and eventually remembering this arcane knowledge... "Oh I bet I know what's happening!"

Comment Re:Download resumes (Score 1) 609

Yeah, not having ever dealt with modems is probably why browser developers scrapped resumable FTP/HTTP downloading capabilities. Which can still be useful in certain situations. We throw away these tools when they no longer seem needed, and then make horrendous hack jobs to work around the corner cases they still filled.

I wonder how many younguns even know of the existence of the split command.

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