857 posts • joined Thursday 8th November 2007 17:09 GMT
how green was my valley?
For all the talk of "green" issues in the media and corporate or governmental PR releases, how many people actually give a shit about preserving ecosystems and flora and (mega-)fauna? Sadly most people who will gladly parrot "carbon reduction" mantras will have little visibility or understanding of how we are wrecking the natural environment in much more direct ways via pollution (noise, light, air, water), over-exploitation (cod, anyone?) or simply by externalising the damage via either a socio-economic (let developing countries pay the cost) or a temporal (let our great grandchildren pay the cost) mechanism?
Subject unrelated, unless it somehow links in with beached W(h)ales?
People have known for years that SCADA was insecure. People have, likewise, known that these machines should not be connected to the Internet. The only wonder is that these people are apparently only now waking up to these facts.
> but they seem to have missed out on the word's root, "robot"
It may be the word's root (stem), but to be a pedant about it, the word derives from "robota", or drudgery. But yes, via RUR.
ja tvoi sluga... ja tvoi rabotnik
collapse of the banking system
Isn't that what Dune was about?
> Get it right! There's nothing illegal about downloading copyrighted content per se, it's uploading which is technically a civil offence.
Plus there's the "small" matter of fair use which explicitly gives people the right to copy the material provided it's for review purposes. I'm sure such reasoning wouldn't work for the regular Joe Soap in a court of law, but since this guy is/was paid to review films, there is nothing illegal in what he did, and, knowing this, I doubt any prosecutor would even attempt to bring a case against him.
I hope he sues for unfair dismissal.
Who cares about phorm?
> so they can target all the adds they want at me, I never see them
I don't know whether you're working for them, or just woefully uninformed. Deep Packet Inspection spies on your internet traffic. Blocking the ads Phorm serves up after the fact does nothing to change that. This is known, classically, as the "Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal" fallacy.
two misleading cheese-related articles in one day!
First the announcement of an exhibit of "world of cheese-fuelled innovation" (no cheese-related innovations on display at all!), and now the equally fallacious assertion that "everything that you know about cheddar is wrong!"
I think I may have to look for a French equivalent of el Reg for some proper reporting..
Hofstadter got there first
Seem to recall one of the Tortoise and Hare stories describing a gramophone record which, when played, would destroy the player. Some technical mumbo-jumbo about the undecidability of certain propositions.
So let me see if I've got this right. A new law is enacted which turns out, in one interpretation, to overturn long-standing protections. Since the law was not written in a way that explicitly written in such a way to exclude that interpretation, then that interpretation must have been valid and intended.
Taking this interpretation to its logical conclusions, it would seem that *any* badly written law (and there are dozens of recent instances, with the Coroners and Justice Bill coming immediately to mind) can, if enacted, overturn fundamental rights which citizens (ok, subjects) had heretofore considered sacrosanct.
Whatever happened to the idea that if a bill is intended to change the law in some area that it should explicitly spell out what its areas of competence are, and explicitly state how and where it changes existing laws? Has the UK judiciary gone completely stark raving bonkers?
false and not-so false analogies
Granted, it's more like the Beeb bought access codes for the bomb already on board, but otherwise I think the analogy is apt. Bad Auntie!
This, incidentally, is one of the main reasons why I would much rather see a server coded in Perl over PHP. Automatic taint checking with -T is another very good reason... never trust user-supplied data.
@regression to the mean
Er, no. This is tail behaviour we're talking about.... ie, what's at question is the statistical significance of rare events, not the significance of local (recording-period on recording-period) variations. I would have thought that was quite clear from both the article and the comments...
From scant reporting ...
> Pontén also claimed that the Sunnydale operation was the source of all pirated material found on The Pirate Bay.
it seems a lot of people have jumped to the conclusion that this in some way connected to TPB. There is NO mention of these 167 Tb being made available as torrent files, so in fact no link to TPB at all. Unless, of course, these were being offered as torrents, and the torrents were indexed by TPB. But that is not what the article says. IMO the important thing about this bust is timing. It smacks to me of an attempt to muddy the waters in "Spectrial". A high-profile bust with apparently industrial-scale copying (I'm not going to even use the word pirating, because (a) it's qualitatively different from what The "Pirate" Bay does, and (b) there's those weasel words "equivalent to" in describing what was actually seized).
Colour me sceptical, but the fact that the prosecution took a full month to announce its bust smacks of an orchestrated PR exercise to me. What's the betting that there'll be another similar announcement (with similarly dubious claims) as the 17th of April approaches?
Alien, cos that's what all these shenanigans are to me.
It's not a real revolution
until people lose their heads. Just saying.
"Nothing to hide, nothing to fear" is the correct mantra, I believe...
right against self-incrimination
I know that in the US a person can "plead the fifth" to avoid incriminating themselves, but I wasn't sure if that also applied in the UK. Britannica says (fair use, guv?):
In Anglo-American practice, on the other hand, a person other than an accused cannot refuse to testify; he may only cite his privilege against self-incrimination, and the judge decides whether he must testify. If required to testify, he must answer all questions except those he considers to be self-incriminating.
So I wonder whether this law can actually be enforced. It seems like common sense that the video from the camera, being the property of the shop-owner, is "incriminating evidence", but is handing the tape over to the rozzers a form of self-incrimination? If so, why would anyone in their right mind hand it over?
Ah yes, it's good to see that Reg readers can take a non-issue and drill down to find the really important issues that lie beneath. On this topic, I thought all Brits pronounced "shit-hole" with a glottal stop and a silent 'aich? For true?
So let me get this right...
All network cards will have to be registered to a user, and no network card will be allowed to change its hardware address? Oh, and DHCP will have to be rewritten to check whether the supplied hardware address is a valid user. And just for shits and giggles, any packet injection utility will have to become illegal. Just when/how is all that supposed to happen?
the ships' future?
It's "the ships' futures", surely? Or do the timelines for all the ships converge to a single, unified entity? Like a Transformer-like mothership which can meld all the mini-mes into a single unit? That would be impressive, I must admit.
<-- grammatical pedantry, so flame me.
> I would have thought a UK newspaper would have liked to interview her.
Well, actually they have. I can't remember if it was the Guardian or the Independent, but they had the typical pics of her in her greenhouse. Story was entitiled "Ex spy chief says 9/11 response was a huge over-reaction" or something like that.
You One Question Man?
@I for one...
... didn't get where I am today by being predictable!
But perhaps it's possible to entangle the states of two particles at a distance? It would mean "smearing out" the synchronisation apparatus over the vast distances involved, but if quantum mechanics allows for the possibility of entanglement in the first place and also really counter-intuitive results such as non-destructive bomb testing, quantum cryptography and the like, who knows what else is theoretically possible? Of course, it would still take in the region of 40-60 years to synchronise the first qubit or batch of qubits, and there might not be much worth discussing over the comms channel at that point.
for the want of three illegal emmigrants
.. the shipment was late.
For the want of a timely shipment,
repeat orders were lost.
For the want of repeat orders,
new plant investment was deferred.
For the want of new plant,
economies of scale were not forthcoming.
For the want of economies of scale,
business went abroad.
For the want of indigenous industry,
the economy went tits up
surprisingly good article
Despite being a bit of a free software fanboi, I liked a lot of the points made. Mind you, that's probably more down to style than substance. From the number of comments posted, I'd say "nice tori-hiku job".
@ Ah, Se Senior...
Hmmm... you could have at least coded up a bit of a more interesting message (even a bit of lorel ipsum dolor) instead of that last paragraph. And maybe dumped the == from the end of the message... the encoding would still be fairly obvious but there's no need to telegraph it. STOP.
small earthquake in Peru...
not many dead
Hmmm... 60 comments so far and nobody is blaming the guy for the financial meltdown. Colour me suspicious but when I read the headline I more or less assumed that Fannie Mae wanted to blame somebody else for their dodgy business practices. Seems nobody is biting. Not here at least...
Cronjobs? Dead-mans switches? Tsk!
The proper way to do this is to plant the bomb in the backups then at the appointed time trigger some failure that's indistinguishable from a hardware fault (eg accidental use of the wrong type of extinguisher in a minor server-room fire; read some BOFH).. Cue recovery from backups and the path to delivery of the payload.
Evil Bill icon, for obvious reasons.
@never mind the waste
Yes, the two shady looking characters are the obligatory "it's so safe we could stand right next to the reactor" silhouettes (pun intended).
wary of offering corrections
in light of some of the comments here, but isn't calling something a "tokamak doughnut" a tad redundant?
You basically want to know how the worm can infect a patched machine. Amirite? There are these things called attack vectors. One of the worm's attack vectors is attacking a buggy service and causing a stack overflow or something like that. If the machine is patched, then that attack vector is closed off to it. However, since this worm can apparently use multiple attack vectors, if it fails to infect a machine through one route, it can still attack via one of the other routes.
It's like this: it wants to go in the front door, but you change the lock or make some other change to the door to prevent it getting in that way. Unfortunately, it's also (metaphorically speaking) programmed to go around to the back door and/or check for open windows. It doesn't matter if you've sealed off one route of attack (patched the dodgy front door, if you will) if you leave the other ones open... security being as strong as the weakest link in the chain, as the old saw goes.
You beat me to much the same comment I was going to make. This is meaningless on so many levels. I can "hash" the text "string" to "stringstring" (it's still a one-way function) and then delete half the bits resulting in zero information loss. Also I note the word "secret" used to describe this so-called "hash function". If we are to trust the hash function, there is nothing to lose by making it public, and everything to lose (trust-wise) in keeping it secret.
Finally, what exactly is the point of putting things into a one-way hash function in the first place? If the data is meant to be unrecoverable, then it should simply be deleted. Otherwise, there's nothing stopping Yahoo! from searching for a specific text by passing that through the hash function before comparing it with the stored value. Which just happens to be the way that the Unix password function has been implemented for, oh, 25+ years.
While it's good to hear that Yahoo is, at least on the surface, attempting to Do The Right Thing, I have serious doubts on the first three bullet points listed in the article.
I hope you're right about us not eating certain fish stocks into extinction. I, too, await the day when we collectively see sense. It will be a joyous day, because it will allow me to bring back one of my favourite palindromes from retirement: Doc, note, I dissent! A fast never prevents a fatness! I diet on cod.
@Mike Richards: way I heard it, vinegar neutralises the sting. Might want that with a pinch of salt though.
And now (in honour of the distinctly pythonesque vista of blancmange overlords) for something completely different: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nej4xJe4Tdg
What? Is this a Monty Python sketch or something? Do they turn their victims into Scotsmen?
Huh? If the bug was known about in April, how on earth does it qualify as a zero-day sploit?
I predict... negligible effect
The first problem would seem to be one of energy. A jet fighter, even a supersonic one, has tremendously less energy than a hurricane. Second, I'm not sure how much of the plane's shock wave will be converted into countervailing spin. Assuming (as the article says) that it's shaped like a cone, I would imagine that near the aircraft the boom will be most disruptive, but as the distance increases this "coherent" wave will be subject to torsional forces creating eddies normal to the direction of the wave. These should soon lose any coherence as the perfectly flat, near-vertical eddies are ripped apart and subsumed into the prevailing horizontal vortex (ie, the hurricane will eat up the eddies, nothing to see here, etc.). I don't know if the inventor has done the maths, and neither have I, but I suspect that he's neglected the third dimension entirely in his imagining, which is kind of inexcusable.
Nice article, el Reg. Nothing like a bit of hypothetical fluid dynamics in the afternoon to exercise the grey matter.
> given my limited understanding of angular momentum, the fact the jets would need to fly in a circle would mean they need to be undergoing constant acceleration
Yep. I can't remember the formula off the top of my head, but essentially there's not much difference between flying in a straight line and flying in a circle... at least qualitatively. When flying in a straight line we have F=ma. The F is provided by the thruster, but not all of that thrust is converted into actual acceleration of the aircraft because of air resistance. So, yes, you're right that it'll need more thrust (force) but it won't mean the aircraft is accelerating. But I guess you knew that and I'm just making a point on semantics. You're right as well to say that extra thrust is needed to keep flying in a circle, and this constant finagling factor translates into extra fuel use and extra stress on the airframe.
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