* Posts by Charles 9

4859 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Mozilla's ‘Great or Dead’ philosophy may save bloated blimp Firefox

Charles 9
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Re: I like Firefox

I keep Firefox Android on hand in case I have to save a page. I've yet to find a solution better than the save as Web archive add on.

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ZOMBIE Commodore PET lurches out of its 1970s grave – as a FONDLESLAB

Charles 9
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Credits to milos they're all going to be microtransactions. As for being able to import stuff unofficially, maybe, but I wouldn't be too surprised if it blocks this with signature checking.

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Mozilla loses patience with Flash over Hacking Team, BLOCKS it

Charles 9
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Re: Latest version is "Fine"

Flash can take advantage of some hardware acceleration features for things like video playback. Perhaps HTML5 video support is not as up to date or may depend on the browser.

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Security gurus deliver coup de grace to US govt's encryption backdoor demands

Charles 9
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"A war on Philip Morris would be much more effective, amd very much cheaper and safer to boot."

Nope. They tried declaring war on booze in the 1920's. Guess what? People would rather ignore the laws of their country than abandon their vice. Point is, they'd sooner declare war on their country. Some things you can't deny people.

"It's only too difficult because the will is not there to do so; were it to be considered a problem as heinous as terrorism, and the budget made available accordingly, it suddenly wouldn't be so difficult."

War on Drugs ring a bell? We've bee putting trillions into the problem, but it's just like Prohibition above. Vice is a Chaos Factor. You can't get rid of it even if you want to because trying to do do only results in more Chaos Factor until it can become self-feeding and you find yourself in a no-win situation, where neither the status quo nor any way to combat it is acceptable.

"It's arguable - and I would do so - that inflating the terrorism problem is in fact a major cause of terrorism;"

I would say it depends on the attitude of the terrorist. If he feels he MUST get attention by any means necessary, then nothing will stop him. Sooner or later, he'll commit something that MUST be answered, say something of 9/11 caliber (Because if not, what next? Nuking of the State of the Union Address?). Notice how we didn't pay that much attention to them until THEN, when we HAD to answer? I can see it from the point of view of the bully. Some bullies will give up when you ignore them, but others will seek attention even if they have to beat it out of you, at which point you either respond or die.

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Charles 9
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Re: Mail reading

"Communists used to amuse themselves sending out innocuous letters stuck down with permanent glue. MI5 were then stuck; if they opened the letters that was a dead giveaway, if they didn't deliver them that became a giveaway too. But no self-respecting Communist entrusted anything to a letter, relying on unoffical means of communication."

Didn't they get around that problem by either x-raying the letters or having replacement envelopes and skilled forgers at the ready so they can replace canaries (a la Nineteen Eighty-Four)?

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Charles 9
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Re: Is this a good analogy?

"Except, as far as I understand things, that's not 100% correct, because you can forcibly open someone's house while they aren't there with a warrant."

It depends on the warrant. If the warrant allows only for "peaceable entry," then you can't just break the door down. However, if you find a way to enter the property in a reversible way (an unlocked window, unscrewing a gate hinge, etc.), then you can still go inside, provided you leave the place in the same condition it was when you entered. Only when the warrant allows for "forcible entry" can police break a door down.

IANAL, but I think search and property seizure warrants are typically peaceable entry while arrest warrants are forcible.

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Cool-headed boffins overcome sticky issue: Graphene-based film could turn heat down

Charles 9
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Correct me if I'm wrong, but an innovation such as this is meant to be a better means of transferring heat produced IN the chip to the exterior to be drawn off by whatever means are at hand? IOW, it's not intended to replace heat sinks and heat pipes but rather to complement them and make them better at their job?

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Samsung's latest 2TB SSDs have big hats, but where's the cattle?

Charles 9
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They're more reliable, yes, but not big enough yet. Data demands are still growing somewhat which means not everything can go to the SSD drives just yet.

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Charles 9
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Any figures on data longevity on these drives without periodic refreshing? Especially compared to spinning rust? The consumer sphere sorely lacks a reliable medium-term (say, 3-7 years) backup medium, and spinning rust IIRC trends towards the low end of that range on a good day.

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Rupert Murdoch says Google is worse than the NSA

Charles 9
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Re: Google is not opt-in. ajax.googleapis.com is another threat

They'll probably be able to see through your private browsing based on uniquely human traits such as typing styles and click rates or they'll use scripts to determine stuff from your ISP which you can't disguise. These will be extremely hard to cover up.

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Bitcoin, schmitcoin. Let's play piggyback on the blockchain

Charles 9
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Re: It's self-limiting

But there's a hard cap to the Bitcoin count, which means diminishing returns has to kick in at SOME point.

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Charles 9
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Re: Transactions will be by far the more important application in the long run

So IOW contract law is dependent on trust, and in asymmetric transactions (where both sides aren't simultaneously met), that trust depends on each side trusting the other, which usually requires the parties knowing each other. In which case, any kind of blockchain can act as no more than a ledger for the transactions themselves. They can't be an enabler, as enabling goes into the "First Contact" problem of security in general: a Hard Problem that can't be solved without some gesture or arbitration of trust. If no trust is possible (paranoid or DTA setting), identity can always be faked and therefore can never be confirmed. IOW, it's a whole other hill of beans.

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Ford's 400,000-car recall could be the tip of an auto security iceberg

Charles 9
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Re: "[this] underlines the increasing need for over-the-air (OTA) software updates"

"Once upon a time, there was this thing called a console. It had no Internet connection, it had a defined hardware list and games were made for it and sold on the open market. No recall was possible, the game had to work from the shelf. There was no patching."

And yet, because we're human, mistakes were still made. Take the original Sonic Adventure for the Dreamcast (one of the last consoles where it was safe to assume no updating was possible). You'd have thought in a game like this they'd have tested speed-ghosting (going to fast you beat the collision detection and go through something). What about the Superman game for the Nintendo 64?

Times like this, I'm kinda reminded of The Gong Show. The basic rule was not to put on a bad act...but people still put on bad acts (some intentionally, many not).

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Charles 9
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Re: Ugh.

The problem with YOUR idea being that "getting it right the first time" is a pipe dream, especially with time AND budget constraints.

Cheap, Quick, Correct — Pick any TWO.

And it's been like this even BEFORE computers entered cars. Manufacturers basically pray they're not forced to do a recall.

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Gartner mages have spoken: 'D' is for Device, Decline and DOOM

Charles 9
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Re: @AC - It's important to remember

They aren't serious gamers. That's still dominated by the PC sphere, as Steam still only plays games there. The Steam Android app is just a portal because they know there will still be a demand for serious gaming, and due to the power, performance, and control demands, tablets won't be able to fill the niche anytime soon.

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Adam Smith was right about that invisible hand, you know

Charles 9
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Re: Congratulations

"As fewer people are involved in production, more become involved in services."

But the problem with this scenario is that fewer people are becoming necessary in services, too. With more intelligent computerization, fewer people are needed to do the same amount of servicing. Bosses can now be their own secretaries, self-checkouts mean you need fewer clerks at the register while ordering tablets means less work for waiters in restaurants (meaning you need fewer waiters), web shops mean you don't need someone on the phone taking an order, and advanced inventory systems mean less human intervention is needed to place orders. It's going to take more specialized (and harder to obtain) skills in order to have a better footing in an increasingly computerized world, and many people (such as the anti-social with no "people" skills: one of the few skills resistant to computerization) will find they've hit the proverbial dead end.

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Charles 9
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Re: Congratulations

"That's monopoly or oligopoly you're talking about there, control of supply. What Marx was (rightly) much more worried about was monopsony, a single buyer. In this case, a monopoly purchaser of labour, who would then be able to determine wages."

Why can't an oligospony work as well? If all the members of a cartel agree to limit their wages equally, since there's no need to compete for, say, a glut of workers they need less of (one dies/leaves, get another), then can not a cartel exert the same kind of single-buyer influence as a monospony?

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Charles 9
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Re: You say "High Frequency Trading -I say "Man in the Middle Attack."

The problem lies in the lobbyist MAKING the legislator turn towards that area of concern. That's why lobbyists exist: to convince legislators to see things their way. Meaning, even if they don't see eye to eye at first, they probably will by the end.

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North America down to its last ~130,000 IPv4 addresses

Charles 9
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Re: value of class A network on resale market

Not if there's a fundamental disconnect between them: as in at least one end of the conversation can't understand IPv6 at all. And old IPv4 hardware is likely to be IPv6-unaware. Meaning it can't see an IPv6-only node unassisted.

https://docs.oracle.com/cd/E19683-01/817-0573/6mgc65bd2/index.html

(Note the X's between IPv4-only stuff and IPv6-only stuff)

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Charles 9
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Re: value of class A network on resale market

"That said, IPv6 was meant to coexist indefinitely with IPv4. Various 6-to-4 mechanisms have been provided to ensure that the initial islands of IPv6 can interoperate with the ocean of IPv4. Eventually, when adoption of IPv6 becomes widespread, there will still be (probably very large) islands of IPv4, and those same 6-to-4 mechanisms will be what allows them (the IPv4 nodes) to remain online. Thus I think my main point still stands: you do not need to take down your IPv4 networks to build out your IPv6 network."

Don't think 6-to-4. Think 4-to-6 (as in what if it's the IPv4 device that has to connect to an IPv6 device, not the other way), using only existing IPv4 protocols.

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Charles 9
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Re: value of class A network on resale market

"I do believe that eventually you will, though, simply because the transition is so easy; simply because you more likely than not, do not need to replace any equipment; simply because when you do decide to make the transition, the environment to support that transition will already be in place. IPv6 does not require the Internet to "take a holiday" to make the transition."

That assumption is part of the problem. Reality doesn't hold up to this, as there really ARE plenty of hardware fixed to IPv4 and incapable of being upgraded to IPv6. In addition, a small but significant portion of these "stuck" devices serve linchpin roles that make them difficult to replace. How do you replace such a device when there's no budget for it, when the hardware's so customized that replacing it would be a project, not a chore, or if the only possible source for the device no longer exists?

Then you have the IT people working behind the scenes, the ones who have to work the nitty-gritty of the network: especially when things go wrong. These people need to be able to talk low-level, and in terms of low-level, IPv4 was at least within reach for most: four numbers no higher than 255. Now, what if you have to work on IPv6 at a low level and you now have a complicated address with more than 4 non-zero words? And as others have noted, some networks shouldn't be directly-addressable, not trusting in the filtering capability of the firewall (which they feel can be bypassed), which means that aspect of IPv6 is a liability.

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Charles 9
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Re: Canecutter - 2 things wrong with IPV6

So you're saying that the public part of IPv6 is intended to greatly simplify routing by making say the first x bits be hard-routed, say, geographically to a few levels so that tables only have to come play later on and be of a more-manageable size since the packet's been partially pre-sorted already.

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Charles 9
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Re: 2 things wrong with IPV6

"Not up on these things for a while (naughty me) but didn't I see that subscribers are dished out /48s or /32s of IPv6? Might not be as unlimited* as people think?"

But they can always be adjusted as time passes. We can't change the fact IPv4, being fundamentally 32-bit is limited to around 4 billion entries total (not accounting for some specialized verboten ranges). The human population combined with multiple devices per person, many of which WILL need to be directly addressable, will eventually overwhelm the range.

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Charles 9
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Re: 2 things wrong with IPV6

(WHOOSH!)

We remember alphanumeric combinations more complicated than hexadecimal (because they use the entire alphabet rather than just the first six letters) on a regular basis in license plates, postal codes, even some telephone numbers that employ the telephone letter system.

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Charles 9
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But then what if you have tons of old hardware that ONLY understands IPv4 AND can't be upgraded replaced? Do we basically tell them, "YOU LOSE"?

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Charles 9
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I don't see how letters would make too much of a difference, as we're using to seeing letters on our license plates and some places use letters in their postal codes. They even try to be accommodating by creating shortcuts when the quartet is 0000 (the :: shortcut). I personally see a max of eight quartets easier than trying to memorize up to 16 different numbers.

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Charles 9
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Re: Multiplexing

"At the web host farm several customer's web sites can share an internet facing IPv4 address. Each site's requests are differentiated by information other than the external dedicated IPv4 address on which it arrives."

Which then kinda falls apart when they get a request that contains ONLY an IPv4 address. Some protocols are like that.

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Charles 9
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Re: We need to invent a new version of IP

Sounds to me like you're describing IPv6 (which is two versions up AND 128-bit). Did you neglect to use the Joke Alert icon?

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Charles 9
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The reason they want it "perfect" is they feel the slightest problem will snowball, like a crack in a foundation stone. They don't like NAT because we already have problems of NAT-to-NAT and carrier-grade NAT. As for the benefits of NAT, what benefits are there that a firewall can't do?

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Charles 9
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But eventually you end up with double-NATting, carrier-grade NATting, or having a scenario where both ends of the connection are behind NATs, one or more of which may be beyond the control of the endpoints. Then things get complicated.

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Charles 9
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Re: 10 years?

But this is NO joke. We've gone from stories of IPv4 running out to stories of IPv4 HAVING RUN out, as in there actually ARE empty shelves now, with only scattered items left here and there. And not just in one major part of the world. Asia's been dry for years, but who cares about them? But now it's both Asia AND North America: TWO key world markets. The IPv4 world is basically overcrowded with only two options left: jury-rig it or move to a bigger world. Thing is, moving to IPv6 has so many growing pains few want to go while jury-rigging will only work for so long. There's already complaints about handling carrier-grade NAT; what happens when someone behind a carrier-grade NAT wants to connect to someone else behind another carrier-grade NAT?

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Protecting users against advanced threats and the human factor

Charles 9
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Re: There might be an other solution to this issue

"Obvously, no Luser is ever above suspicion."

But what if the Luser is actually over your head? How many security plans have been ruined by someone up top?

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Charles 9
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Re: Oh For Fuck's Sake!

Until someone starts wearing a helmet or simply doesn't react to the board.

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THIS MEANS WAR between USA and Japan! GIANT ROBOT WAR

Charles 9
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Re: Errrr ...

Let's just call it a mech and let it go at that. Mecha would just be a subset of the mech (let's say its short for mechanical humanoid exoframe) that uses more sci-fi elements to take more liberties from what one would expect in reality, which is where western mech universes tend to better base themselves (think the BattleTech universe, for example, which MechWarrior is a part of).

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Charles 9
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Re: Robot Jox

Actually, stuff like Robot Jox and Pacific Rim I think show the differing viewpoints of mechanical exosuits between America and Japan. Japan's view of the mecha was a huge yet surprisingly mobile unit able to mimic human motions to a considerable degree. Whereas in America, we tend to associate them with giant, complicated machines that take a considerable amount of effort to move effectively. I keep getting the impression Japan went for a more flowing and artistic approach while America tended to ground themselves in the grit of war and a closer sense of realism.

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This box beams cafes' Wi-Fi over 4kms so you can surf in obscurity

Charles 9
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Re: Power is easy.

Microwave normally requires a pretty clear line of sight, owing to how the waves themselves can have an effect on most things it passes through, including paper. Now, if you can find a socket concealed behind a shelf, you can conceal the transmitter. But as said, concealing the transmissions will be another story.

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Charles 9
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Re: Fail of fails.

"I wouldn't be at all surprised if the Wifi was subcontracted out to a third party to operate, probably with some form of unlimitted/Gigabytes plan."

And I would be amazed an ISP would be offering unlimited traffic to a non-residential customer. Most firms I know meter, and some meter even to residential customers. After all, they have to pay their upstream providers, and metering is the norm there, if at the least to negotiate peering agreements between other providers on that level.

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Charles 9
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Re: Fail of fails.

"And why on earth would there be a traffic spike?"

Murphy's Law. Soon as some lowlife spots an open relay, they'll hammer it, guaran-damn-teed.

"The use case is anyonmous/darknet browsing activity not torrenting or warez unless a total moron uses it."

I rest my case.

"Plus - how many librarians both to check their usage logs EVER?"

You assume a library is staffed only by librarians. Like I said, if anyplace has a network, there's usually at least one IT guy set up to manage it (and, if all else fails, to take the fall if something goes wrong). Especially in a place like a library which in most places is government-run and therefore will be watched over. If not, it's probably on a business plan where all traffic is metered. Either way, there will be a case for traffic abuse being noted (either the watchdogs will come calling or they'll have to pay the bill).

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Charles 9
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Re: libraries

Don't think about the librarians. Think about the IT people working behind the counter at the access point. Since their network access is either delegated by the government or leased and therefore metered, they will have an obligation, one way or the other, to manage the traffic to keep on the lookout for abuses. Now, if the traffic capped at some absurd sub-Mbit/sec rate, then you're right; anyone trying to abuse such a low rate would be no more than a nuisance and would only raise awareness if library-goers start complaining of dropped connections. But if a subscriber starts hammering the connection for long periods, that should be enough to trip watchdogs and at least post a notice to take a closer look. Point is, such a device isn't going to be of much use. ANYWHERE there's an open Wi-Fi spot, people are going to notice it, especially since many devices are on the lookout for open spots so as to divert from low mobile data allowances. Eventually, one of two things happen: either it gets hammered on a low bandwidth allowance and becomes clogged or it draws enough attention that someone's going to investigate.

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Kryder's law craps out: Race to UBER-CHEAP STORAGE is OVER

Charles 9
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Re: Cube storge will save the day

Cube storage has been around in some form since the 1990's (I once saw it on an episode of Beyond 2000). Trouble is, they always run into problems: destructive reading, alignment, and so on. There's also the matter that crystals aren't the stablest forms of matter on our planet (I kid you not; diamonds are NOT forever—give it enough time and they'll turn back into graphite).

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What Murphy’s law has to teach you about data centres

Charles 9
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Re: The Official list of Murphy's Laws

I wonder what would happen when a device is built that would require a violation of the laws of physics to fail catastrophically.

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What do UK and Iran have in common? Both want to outlaw encrypted apps

Charles 9
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"A much better weapon against ISIS, boko-haram et al would be to simply stop reporting their murders in such a massive way."

If you try to ignore them, they'll just up the volume until you can't ignore them anymore (because the risk becomes destabilizing or existential), such as the Westgate attack in Nairobi or 9/11. IOW, it's hard to silence an enemy who's playing no holds barred.

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Gates: Renewable energy can't do the job. Gov should switch green subsidies into R&D

Charles 9
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Re: FCVs soon to outpace BEVs and we need Hydrogen NOW!

"The only viable option for high volume, "neat" hydrogen production is SMRs, i.e., the new super safe and clean small modular reactors. The vast majority of the world's engineers are very much in favor of SMRs which are the best "fit-for-purpose" solutions that are also "FIELD PROVEN"..... and that is extremely important...... no time to allow for the roll-out and ramp-up of unfinished R&D concepts that are destined to fail en-masse."

Just so we're on the same and to stave off a potential counterpoint by dagnew, can you provide concrete evidence of these SMRs in use right now under actual field testing and how these designs are failsafe even under sabotage conditions? I've been trying to find this information myself, but no luck; not even Google's been my friend in this (all I find is news releases and speculation).

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Charles 9
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"China has two PBMRs under construction, expected to produce 210 MWe combined, beginning AROUND 2017. At the end of 2012, China had installed 76 GW wind power capacity. That's nearly 400 times the EXPECTED PBMR output 5 years earlier. This is the shining promise of nuclear?"

China can afford to do the wind turbines. Not only are they less concerned about toxic byproducts, but they have lots of rare earths lying around to use. this combination cannot be said elsewhere. Plus China's facing the same problems wind farms elsewhere are having: the sources are nowhere near the sinks, and running transmission lines are expensive, reduce efficiency, and introduce additional points of failure.

BTW, China's hedging its bets. They're building plenty of nuclear reactors, too, and by the numbers, their reactor output will be comparable to their wind potential with the added benefit they can build them closer to the populated areas.

"But "have to take what we've been dealt"? What does that mean? We must take whatever GE and Westinghouse develop (to profit their stockholders)?"

Like I said, got any better ideas? Wind and solar have toxic byproducts in their manufacture (so they're not really "green"), their long-term longevity cannot be assured, and since they're intermittent, they cannot be used as baseload power. And yes I know about solar thermal which is one of the few solar techs that can still generate at night, but the largest one in the world's can't even supply 1% of the power needs of nearby Los Angeles County, so scale's an issue. And I've heard enough alternative power pipe dreams to fill a book, so I'd like to see something rather more realistic.

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Charles 9
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Well, as they say, no guts, no glory. If America had gotten cold feet after Apollo 1, they wouldn't have won the Space Race. Every technology available has its problems, and NO site in my memory has been SO contaminated as to be completely uncleanable: even Hanford, unless you can demonstrate otherwise. And before you say nuclear is the only bad thing around, consider Love Canal, Times Beach, and Bhopal, all victims of chemical, not nuclear disasters, so it's a case of pick your poison. We need lots of power, we need it soon, and none of the alternatives has the oomph without side effects (including wind and solar, both of which require exotic materials with their side effects of toxic byproducts). Show us a proven and completly green (from resource extraction to disposal) power generation technology able to feed a yottawatt of power to the world and perhaps we can start talking. Otherwise, we'll have to take what we've been dealt. And things CAN improve. Otherwise, someone would've found a way to cause stuff like a pebble bed reactor to catastrophically fail (no way found yet).

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LG won't fix malware slinging bloatware update hole

Charles 9
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Re: Surely possible

I think the problem is the lack of certificate checking on the old version. Attempting to overlay the new version on top of the old (which is how system apps like Play Store get upgraded) still leaves the old, unsafe version in the ROM, leaving the potential to downgrade back to it by another exploit. There's also the potential of a rogue update since the certificates aren't checked. The only way to make a system update stick is to flash it directly into /system.

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Charles 9
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Re: Who does this?

The trouble is, to fix this problem you have to update the updater, creating a potential chicken-and-egg problem that apparently necessitates an OTA update to fix. Now, you'd think you can just install an updated version on top like you can with other system apps, but perhaps they're worried about exploited downgrading or some other security mechanism that only works if installed to /system.

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Charles 9
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It's not a little inconvenience. It's a LOT of inconvenience since most of the firmwares have to be signed off by the network operators before they can be patched OTA (and if they want the phones to be sold in the carrier stores, they better the heck be signed off or else). That means getting in touch with hundreds of operators around the world, not all of which may be forthcoming. And let's not start on the handsets that are close to if not past EOL status.

It WOULD be easier if LG could send this direct to the phones, but only Apple has the consumer pull to dictate terms. Everyone else as of now is beholden to the operators.

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Secure web? That'll cost you, thanks to Mozilla's HTTPS plan

Charles 9
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Re: Amateurs

Then perhaps you can elaborate on why this won't help us.

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Charles 9
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You don't care about things like the Chinese Cannon, then? Even if you don't care, your apathy can hurt others, so yes everyone MUST get involved or everyone will get hurt. We're a SOCIETY. Our actions AND inactions WILL have an effect on others, will ye nil ye.

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