* Posts by Charles 9

6233 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Idiot millennials are saving credit card PINs on their mobile phones

Charles 9
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Re: Offline device

Wouldn't you need online access to sync things between devices? Otherwise, what happens when you add or change an entry, forget about it then change another entry on another device, creating a mess of out-of-sync copies? Then you find you need the updated code from device A but all you have is device C and it's five minutes to close before a three-day weekend and the bills are due (and yes, I have actually, personally seen someone that damn desperate)?

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US-CERT advice says kill Quicktime for Windows, quickly

Charles 9
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And for those of us with software that REQUIRES Windows and/or Flash to run and has no alternatives (oh, and is WINE-unfriendly)?

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Line by line, how the US anti-encryption bill will kill our privacy, security

Charles 9
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Re: Beyond consumer devices.

Simple. They've hogged ALL the oxygen, leaving you with a sadistic choice. Either you let them live so you can leech off the oxygen they possess...or you asphyxiate...

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Charles 9
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Re: Awesome article

"which is known to cause problems with neural development..."

Really? Can you cite reputable peer-reviewed medical journals from multiple countries to support your claim?

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Charles 9
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"So maybe the Feds eventually approach the company with a court order and say they need one of its customers' messages in an intelligible form. If the Feds want the plaintext some time before the heat death of the Universe, the company rents a truly huge amount of compute power and sets it to brute-force cracking. How long would it take before the government budget for such recompense is drained?"

Probably not much at all if they're keeping a Black Project working quantum computer under the datacenter in Utah.

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Charles 9
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Re: No entity or individual is above the law

No, they have sovereign immunity because they ARE the law. Without them, the law wouldn't exist. It's part of the deal with sovereignty: being self-determining, they establish and enforce the rules.

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Charles 9
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Re: In the Land of the Free..

"You are aware that the guns are incapable of firing themselves?"

So why does the term "spontaneous discharge" exist, then?

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Charles 9
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Re: No entity or individual is above the law

The Constitution generally gives the federal government sovereign immunity. In other words, you can only sue if they ALLOW themselves to be sued.

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Charles 9
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Re: Low hangng fruit...

HOW when it's the people ABOVE law enforcement in the midst of it. These are the kind of people who live above the law if not outside it. Try to snare them and they'll bribe whoever they need and sneak off to some place where they can't be extradited.

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Charles 9
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Re: I don't see how this would be a problem for Apple

"In fact, their current models would be illegal under this law - and that's the problem."

Then the problem lies with Congress. The Constitution specifically forbids retroactive laws (Article I, Section 9). If an item exists legally, it cannot be made illegal after the fact.

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Surprise! Tech giants dominate global tax-dodging list of shame

Charles 9
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Re: How many Oxfam emloyees use iPhones ?

Shareholders can invest offshore, too, and the R&D, building, etc. can occur practically anywhere in the world now thanks to the global economy. As long as you can keep the transportation costs down (which you can usually mitigate through economies of scale), you can keep more of the cake then you would if you built at home. As for dividends, there are other ways to pay off investors that avoid taxes such as by using stock options and investment vehicles that aren't assessed for taxes until their sold, and "Tax Planning 101" says inherited investment is re-based, wiping out the capital gain and any taxes associated with it.

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Charles 9
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Re: Is the register socialist?

If taxes are evil, then they're a necessary evil. Otherwise, how does the country operate? How do you pay soldiers, police, firemen, road workers, and so on? Many of the above once were private enterprise but then saw their leverage and became protection rackets. As for the roads, would you want tollgates at every junction?

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Charles 9
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Re: Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics

"I think the USA should do away altogether with corporate taxes and instead bring back tarriffs."

They can't..Free trade treaties mean they CAN'T levy import tariffs with penalties. And this is before the problem that tariffs are a two-way street.

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Big telco proxies go full crazy over cable box plan

Charles 9
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Plus there's a sense of urgency.

The last bastion of boxless non-broadcast television is going away. Satellite has been all-digital for a while now, and TV-over-fiber has been all-digital from the start, but now cable companies are turning off their analog channels as well, meaning your "cable-ready" TV won't be anymore, as there's no uniform standard to tune into digital cable, especially not encrypted channels, so a standard IS needed, and pretty soon or the cable companies will have a stranglehold on their customers with no alternative in sight (broadcast usually only shows an extremely limited lineup, and as mentioned before satellite and fiber are no refuge). In fact, now would be a good time to get the satellite and fiber providers on the table as well and hammer out a universal television standard between all three of them so that one can use the same box no matter where the signal comes from.

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South Korea to upgrade national stereo defence system for US$16m

Charles 9
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Re: missing a trick

South Korea is a pretty small country (about the size of Illinois) yet they have a very strong emphasis on nuclear power generation. Given this is a military operation, I don't think energy use is at the top of the priority list. As for signal cancellation, they can mitigate this with speaker placement to make the sound difficult to counter-phase as well as applying some constantly-shifting effect on the raw recording to keep it coming out slightly different. Not only will this reduce the ability to record and rephase the sound, but subtle tonal variations have been known to play havoc with people's heads.

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Charles 9
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Re: What is the point of this?

Perhaps, unless they decide to defect en masse, but if they're just driven plumb loco, we'll never hear the story as the loony will be quietly shipped off and replaced with another helpless pawn. And as they probably primarily communicate by radio, it would be impractical to send deaf men over there. So it's still a way to keep Pyongyang irritated and busy.

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Charles 9
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Re: What is the point of this?

That's the exact idea. The guards are the target, the idea being to either drive them crazy or convince them to defect. Either way, that means fewer guards along the border forcing Pyongyang to spend resources restaffing the border.

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Charles 9
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Hey, it worked on Manuel Noriega (look up Operation Nifty).

I wonder if the Sorks are going to be interested in more focused audio projection tech as well (you know, those devices that can produce focused sound some distance away without necessarily drowning out everything else in the neighborhood).

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US anti-encryption law is so 'braindead' it will outlaw file compression

Charles 9
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Re: If passed

"Your commander-in-chief can therefore veto the bill regardless of what majority it gets."

Nope. If both parties cooperate, they can pass it by a veto-proof two-thirds majority, meaning even if Obama vetoed it, they can override the veto and get it enacted anyway. And under the Ten Day rule, the bill becomes law anyway if Obama doesn't sign or veto it within ten days unless Congress adjourns before the ten days are up.

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Charles 9
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Re: An analogy perchance??

They point out you CAN reconstruct a crumpled car. It's just that doing so will cost more than replacing it which is why insurance companies use the term "total loss". So no, that won't work. You can't use the "throw away/melt the only key" analogy either, because they'll answer, "lockpicks" and "safecrackers." You'd have to point to a truly one-way process like combustion. At which point they'll see it more like using thermite and say it's illegal anyway.

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Charles 9
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Don't give them any bright ideas. They may just decide to cooperate in an Enemy Mine situation, make the majority veto-proof, and get it enacted regardless of God, the Devil, or President Obama's Veto. AND get it done before they adjourn for elections.

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Charles 9
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Simple. Paint it glaringly bright frog green. No red or blue in sight (Thus not even a hint of purple; I'd call that frustrating purple, wouldn't you?).

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Spinning rust fans reckon we'll have 18TB disk drives in two years

Charles 9
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Re: How much space do consumers need these days?

I disagree. Not everyone has an always-on connection or generous data allowances (What's one common complaint among commentards here? Overage fees.) And iTunes still lets you download and keep a local collection.

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Charles 9
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Re: How much space do consumers need these days?

You're mixing up "streamed" with "downloaded". An MP3 downloaded from iTunes or whatever isn't streamed but copied to the user's drive, and doesn't have to be transmitted again unless it's from a home server or whatever.

Steam games, for example, are downloaded, not streamed.

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Charles 9
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Re: Put your bean counter shades on...

Thing is, foundry work has been in progress for some time. Several companies are already producing 3D Flash so they already have operating plants. In other words, the clock's already been ticking on them for some time.

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Charles 9
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Re: Is not...

The idea behind the drive in the article is why not put everything together? Not just denser platters in isolation but more of the denser platters thanks to the improved environment of a helium enclosure?

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Charles 9
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Re: All wishful thinking!

But what about in the consumer sphere where rust still holds about a 10:1 price/capacity advantage?

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Charles 9
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Hmm, would like to know what these tighter tolerances will do for their reliability, though. Plus as 3D Flash ramps up, there's still the chance of a 16TB rust drive getting matched in silicon.

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Cash, fear and uncertainty: The Holy Trinity of Bitcoin and blockchain

Charles 9
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Re: Cash, fear and uncertainty: The Holy Trinity of Bitcoin and blockchain

So to cut to the chase, are you proposing the idea of sub-chaining, where a blockchain element can contain the head element of another blockchain that grows independently of the first chain?

As long as the head element can be properly authenticated, I don't see why not. It could be a way of organizing this kind of information in a more structured way than just a flat ledger.

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Charles 9
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Re: Buying land

"There is basically nothing you can do to insure against such a disruption."

There are possibilities. Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition for starters. You're basically describing a period of anarchy, and the savvy will recognize that it's every man for himself in such a time. You simply fight off intruders, including a new government if necessary (just look at Iraq). If you really want to defend your land, you can mine it and rig it to blow on a dead-man trigger as a last resort. Then your oppressors have to consider which is better: 10% of something or 100% of nothing.

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Charles 9
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Re: It's all fun and games until

What about devaluation via inflation?

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Charles 9
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Re: "systems where trust cannot be exploited"

I've read into it myself, but I think one of the chief controversies is that the moment you segment the chain, what's to stop someone flooding the world with a fake earlier segment that still resolves to the latter half and do the "tell a lie enough times" routine to gain the consensus and thus usurp the early blockchain. I think they have this issue already with blockchain forks, where two blocks chain to the same previous block because they link in isolation to each other.

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Charles 9
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Re: "systems where trust cannot be exploited"

That's a thought.

I was dabbling in Bitcoin in its early days but decided to bail out some time before things got wily (got something out of it, though--enough money for a new phone). You mention the idea of mining becoming centralized, and I agree that's an issue.

The issue that made me bail out of Bitcoin was the blockchain itself: essentially Bitcoin's ledger. Now, ask yourself. For any bank that has been around for a long, LONG time, where do they keep the official ledgers going back that long? That's the situation I'm starting to see with Bitcoin. You say anyone can obtain the blockchain.

That blockchain is currently approaching 65GB in size. In other words, it's a ledger the size of several libraries...and growing. This makes getting into Bitcoin in a serious way rather a PITA, especially for those with tight data caps. And the whole business seems to put you smack between Scylla and Charybdis. Keeping the blockchain decentralized is the only way to ensure its integrity, but it also means lots of people are going to have to keep copies of that huge blockchain. OTOH, trying to clip the chain into "volumes" has the potential to concentrate the number of sources of the complete blockchain much like how the miners are concentrated. This raises the potential for subverting or even usurping the blockchain.

The whole things seems to be rather like a huge, messed-up games without regulation because people don't trust the regulators.

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USB-C adds authentication protocol

Charles 9
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Re: Will this allow the host to disable power?

Handshake phase. Host has to know what device to which it identifies in order to be able to perform blacklist/whitelist checking. It's standard for USB.

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Charles 9
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Re: Will this allow the host to disable power?

Or worse, the overloader can just include a bit of logic to impersonate a proper device, get authenticated, THEN fry the host. How will this standard prevent impersonation attacks?

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Websites take control of USB devices: Googlers propose WebUSB API

Charles 9
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Re: Malware writers should love it!

"And is it really that hard for even the slightly savvy to go to a website, download a driver, and install it? Or download it, drag it to removable media, and install it on another PC if needed?"

And if the answer is "Yes"?

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Charles 9
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Re: No source code, no sale

"This is easy dealt with: no source code, no sale."

So you intend to type blind since graphics are such a competitive market that every manufacturer protects their IP behind patents and will not give away open source drivers for their cutting edge stuff for fear of Giving Information To The Enemy?

No source code, no sale? When was the last time a graphics company openly gave away driver source code for their latest, greatest products which you need to perform your professional or gaming 3D graphics?

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Zuck: You're still using non-Facebook websites ... I'll put an end to that

Charles 9
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Re: Credit where it is due....

That's IF you can uninstall it. Many times it's a System app and can't be removed without rooting and voiding the warranty. Plus remember Android and its apps are increasingly root-aware.

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Read America's insane draft crypto-borking law that no one's willing to admit they wrote

Charles 9
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Re: Intelligible non-decryption

Because I'm the Autocrat and I demand all traffic in my land be intercepted mid-flight and sanitized. All plaintext gets scrubbed of excessive whitespace, all images are squashed and color-reduced, all videos heavily recompressed, and so on...

In other words, hiding in plain sight is going to be a challenge.

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Charles 9
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Re: Intelligible non-decryption

A lossy compression say to AAC would then likely mangle it. If I were an autocrat, I'd mandate it and probably a reduction to 22kHz to further mangle audio stego.

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Charles 9
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Re: Another click-bait headline.

But in order to be able to actually carry out the court order, you need a system that enables them to do it even when the only source of the original key no longer exists (like what happened in the San Bernadino case; the only person who knew the PIN was dead). Ergo, a backdoor must exist or the bill will have no merit.

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Bundling ZFS and Linux is impossible says Richard Stallman

Charles 9
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Re: @boltar - Question

So how is this any different from, say, the non-free graphics drivers nVidia and AMD provide to power their graphics cards in Linux? Is it the fact it's designed as a baseline filesystem and therefore has to be low-level and integrated into the kernel (even as a module--kernel modules have to match the kernel so are part of the tree) to do that that's the issue?

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Dear Windows, OS X folks: Update Flash now. Or kill it. Killing it works

Charles 9
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Re: Sick and Tired

Trouble, some of the things using it are very expensive enterprise hardware. Such a mandate could easily kill businesses, and I'm not talking about the manufacturers. It's a lot like those man/machine interface computers that have to still use Windows XP because it uses antiquated hardware that Vista and above dropped support. Many people are kinda stuck with it, to the tune of hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars which they'll never be able to get back as the cost is already sunk.

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Charles 9
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"Adobe want their nasty technology to survive, they should at least develop a reputation for trust."

Who needs trust when you have a captive market? Sure, video can pass, but Flash is more than video, and many things are used everyday and are Flash-ONLY (including very expensive enterprise stuff).

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Charles 9
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Re: Trust? Adobe?!

"Internet browsers do not need access to all the files under a user's account."

PS. The browser DOES need write access to user account storage. Otherwise, it has no capacity to download anything.

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Charles 9
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"REAL Operating Systems [I worked with VMS for many , many years] worked hard to ensure user code couldn't do damage outside areas it was allowed to."

But that was before the hacker culture turned mainstream. Now you have people that dedicate significant parts of their lives to finding chinks in the armor not just of the applications, not just of the OS's but even of the hardware. Think of that: exploits in silicon. And given humans aren't perfect and the hackers only need to be lucky once, it's basically a siege situation: sooner or later, either someone cracks it or it loses the value that made it worth attacking.

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Picture this: An exabyte of cat pix in the space of a sugar cube of DNA

Charles 9
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No, I'm saying that if it's SO slow it's not going to be practical even as an archive medium because the amount of data you have to archive accumulates faster than you can offload it into the archive medium.

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Charles 9
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Re: A writeable CD left on window sill

That sounds about right. I did a similar migration out of books of CD-Rs and DVD-Rs. The inks and other substrates used in recordable discs simply degrade over time, until they eventually become unreadable. Inks can fade and phase-changing media can suffer unwanted changes. Depending on the quality of the manufacture, this can take anywhere from months to maybe 5 or 10 years, but that's gonna be true of any consumer-level archival medium today. After several years, a refresh definitely needs to be considered. The only reason archival quality opticals can last is because they're essentially laser-etching a stone-based medium. Thing is, they're NOT cheap. I do have a BD-XL burner capable of using something of the like, but the price/GB (not to mention it tops out at 100GB when hard drives regularly go 4-5TB these days) meant it was simpler and more affordable to just get a pair of hard drives and mirror them and keep parity archives within to deal with bit rot. Since I have to cycle my drives every several years anyway, this provided the greatest balance of affordability and risk mitigation.

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Charles 9
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No word on actual data transfer rates. I know it's slow, but HOW slow? That's kind of important in a world where if your transfer rate is slow enough, the data can get stale before you finish writing it. Which is why enterprise tape speeds have needed to keep up along with the tape capacities.

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Watch: SpaceX finally lands Falcon rocket on robo-barge in one piece

Charles 9
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Re: BEAM - lack of ports

"Presumably they could have more than one, as long as they only used one at a time. Not that another robot arm is a realistic prospect of course, but power wouldn't seem to be the problem."

Not possible in the situation described as you'd need to be able to do a hand-off, meaning you have to co-ordinate the two arms, meaning you'd need them both operating. I don't think one can rapidly switch power between the two in such a scenario, plus there's the risk that turning one off will allow it to drift, making alignment more difficult.

In any event, Canadarm2 (the arm aboard the ISS, officially the MSS) turns out to be self-relocatable, so it could maneuver itself into a port extension. But like with a tangle of USB hubs, I'd feel a little uncomfortable about the logistics.

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