425 posts • joined Thursday 22nd October 2009 13:26 GMT
Not at all
Nor is it true that "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing" (the other common misquotation). The very nature of the scientific endeavour is to make as much sense as possible out of incomplete and often apparently contradictory information.
In fact, Alexander Pope accurately noted that "A little _learning_ is a dangerous thing". This is a far different problem, and one that more accurately applies to the situation at hand.
[Interestingly, the same poem contains the better-known quotations “To err is human, to forgive divine” and “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread”. I leave the application of those to the scaremongering situation as an exercise to the interested reader...]
Way ahead of you...
This sort of suspicionless checkpoint is illegal in 10 states, is banned for policy reasons ("the risks outweigh the benefits") in two others, and is under legal challenge in many of the remaining 38.
Although the US Supreme Court carved out a narrow 4th Amendment exception for drink-driving checkpoints, in their decision they also noted that "the findings of the trial court, based on an extensive record and affirmed by the Michigan Court of Appeals, indicate that the net effect of sobriety checkpoints on traffic safety is infinitesimal and possibly negative."
The media attention generated by the senators is simply a volley in the ongoing legal battle to expand the power of police to conduct warrantless searches. This really has a lot more in common with the warrantless wiretapping controversy than with public safety.
Drink-driving is only the justification
States that make heavy use of these checkpoints justify them on the (publicly palatable) basis of drink-driving enforcement. But law enforcement organisations like them because it gives them an opportunity to examine vehicles and their drivers and passengers for many, many other potential offences unrelated to drink-driving or public safety. In some states, for instance, these checkpoints are used more for immigration enforcement than for sobriety checks. At a checkpoint in one western state, for instance, I was ordered out of the car and cross-examined for 15 minutes for no other excuse than having a British accent. No, given the particular senators involved, I don't think that their opposition to these apps honestly has much to do with drink-driving...
SecurID tokens effectively have only 5-digit serial numbers (the first 4 digits are the expiry year), and tokens are apparently issued to end customers in consecutive blocks. Since SOP at most of the companies I've worked with is to assign the last 4 digits of the serial number as the PIN, the safest thing is to assume that the SecurID system no longer provides ANY protection against the unknown parties that hacked into RSA's insecure network.
Fundamentally they're social apps for sharing information about traffic congestion with other users. You can spot the checkpoints on Google Maps too, but Trapster and PhantomALERT provide a more convenient and reliable interface for organising and displaying that information.
What a load of BS. The whole "drink driving" angle appears to be a publicity stunt thought up by annoyed LEOs and a few senators with too much free time on their hands. Folks who have done any recent driving in California (where, I kid you not, 2010 was officially designated as the "Year of the Checkpoint") are fully aware that the primary use of these apps is simply avoiding the annoying 30-minute queues at CHP checkpoints -- NOT enabling drink driving.
Comparative risk analysis?
"Among 10,000 people all suddenly cranking up their activity levels by an hour a week, only two or three would suffer heart attacks."
But... that's HUGE -- compared to the other risks Lewis has been discussing for the past week. I think that we ought to expect the objective journos at the Daily Fail to get at least two weeks of front-page headlines out of this newly quantified risk!
And why not?
Monbiot is hardly the only "green power" proponent to weigh in in favour of nuclear energy. Methinks the "natural" enemies of modern nuclear power sources are those entities with a vested interest in fossil fuels, not people looking for clean energy.
By and large, what we've witnessed in the media is the same phenomenon we see in any discussion of uncommon risks, most notably post-11/9 terrorism. In _Beyond Fear_, Bruce Schneier makes some points about thinking sensibly about security in an uncertain world that are equally applicable to the Fukushima situation:
* People exaggerate spectacular but rare risks and downplay common risks.
* People have trouble estimating risks for anything not exactly like their normal situation.
* Personified risks are perceived to be greater than anonymous risks.
* People underestimate risks they willingly take and overestimate risks in situations they can't control.
* People overestimate risks that are being talked about and remain an object of public scrutiny.
Unfortunately for everyone, most of the media takes advantage of this skewed perception of risk to grab attention for themselves.
Florian Müller is a lobbyist
And as such he is being PAID to advocate particular opinions. It's less important to discover WHO is paying him (he refuses to disclose that) than to simply STOP treating him as a news source! Regardless of whether you agree with his opinions or not, by definition he is NOT objective.
"launched in 2002"?
2002 was when T-Mobile acquired VoiceStream -- which itself acquired Omnipoint in 1999 -- which had been in the prepaid GSM business since 1996. I used the same prepaid GSM phone number from 1997 on, even though the company didn't call itself "T-Mobile" until five years later.
Gotta agree about the perceived horror of the Death Star, though!
WHO is downvoting these thumbs-up to Lewis?
Are there that many El Reg readers with personal grudges against Lewis? It's hard to believe that so many IT "professionals" really feel that rational thought is a Bad Thing...
I'm not particularly pro-nuke, but I'm constantly amazed by the way that even raising the subject of nuclear power risk analysis evokes such irrational responses from otherwise sane people. (Despite its historically good safety record compared to, say, the coal mining industry.)
In the case of the Fukushima incident, however, even Auntie Beeb seems to unable to be unduly alarmist, despite their best efforts to do so:
Crapware baked into every chip...
Sounds like a good reason for Intel's embedded competitors to start sticking "ARM inside" stickers on every piece of kit they sell. I honestly can't see how the McAfee that every Windows admin has learned to hate has anything to teach Intel about embedded security.
"Draining the swamp"?
It hardly sounds as if draining the swamp is the objective of this effort: more like providing airboats to their best (corporate) buddies to allow them to navigate the swamp more quickly.
De-mail's failure to provide end-to-end encryption calls for either the FAIL icon or the Black Helicopter, take your pick...
But Opera has proxy servers too!
And when Opera Turbo is enabled, the browser sends the request to the Opera servers, thus effectively bypassing the OSX local proxy used for parental controls. (Trust me, Opera Turbo has come in handy when working at certain customer sites!)
But "servers with Linux ... saw a 29.3 per cent jump in revenues"?
So for all practical purposes, *nix actually grew _faster_ than all other platforms except for mainframes, right?
To those of us who aren't marketeers or bean-counters, there's more difference between different flavours of "UNIX" than between UNIX and Linux. Just think BSD vs. SysV...
What part of "biting the hand" don't you understand?
By your logic, most of the El Reg commentards are being paid by Microsoft competitors too...
Never ascribe to malice...
...that which is adequately explained by incompetence.
I don't agree with Andrew about everything...
...but since he's proven to have pretty good contacts within Nokia, in this case I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/02/07/nokia_elop_definnistration/
And not only manufactured in China, but designed there from start to finish. Too bad that Elop wants to move Nokia HQ to the US -- it's looking as if Shanghai would be a more appropriate location.
A Trojan horse is a GIFT...
...why would anyone expect Microsoft to PAY Nokia?
As ars technica points out, Anonymous used nothing but standard, well known techniques. HBGary left the door wide open by making all the stupid security errors in the book:
A Web application with SQL injection flaws and insecure passwords. Passwords that were badly chosen. Passwords that were reused. Servers that allowed password-based authentication. Systems that weren't patched. And an astonishing willingness to hand out credentials over e-mail, even when the person being asked for them should have realized something was up.
Don't give the clowns at HBGary the satisfaction of thinking that the enemy that brought them down was the least bit sophisticated in their attack.
But there *is* a Paris, Indiana...
...about 100km east of Gobblers Knob and French Lick (which, of course, are next to each other...)
If they can't be bothered with a mobile website...
...why should I bother to read their magazine on my mobile device? Periodicals from El Reg to The Grauniad to the Beeb to the NY Times demonstrate that mobile websites can be clean, professional, and fast. Why on earth would I want to download a device-specific app just to view a single website's articles and advertising?
Corroborate? I think not...
...since you omit the fact that the NYT article ALSO says "[Apple] has told some applications developers, including Sony, that they can no longer ... let customers have access to purchases they have made outside the App Store."
The NYT is hardly an infallible source, but what inside information do you have that gives you the confidence to contradict them? Nothing in their story is inconsistent with Apple's past behaviour w/r/t apps.
What's the big deal?
If you've got the skills needed to safely replace these sorts of "non-user-replaceable" parts, you likely already own the Torx TS drivers needed to remove the screws. After all, these 5-point Torx screws are hardly restricted to Apple, and your usual industrial tool distributors are happy to sell you the correct drivers for them.
"Serve and protect"?
Wow! Do the police forces in the UK still believe that? Across the States, the "To Serve and Protect" mottos got painted out decades ago; and the police now identify themselves as "Law Enforcement", rather than a "Public Service" organisation like the Fire Department.
Nothing suspicious about the reported results. The Windows/OSX breakdown seems to roughly match the installed base of those machines; and I think that everybody would be surprised if Jnanabot was able to permanently install itself on a Linux machine via an ordinary user account.
Any non-FOSS repo?
Erm, adobe-linux-i386 is just a random example. And there are plenty of others, used to manage proprietary (e.g. video drivers) and non-free (e.g. CAE) software. I take it that you don't use Linux in an engineering or enterprise environment...
At least he'll have chicken
(Larry, that is.)
Good on Google
I'm no big fan of the Chocolate Factory (I neither trust Google Docs nor regard Gmail as being more than a notch above throwaway Hotmail accounts), but I'm delighted that someone is pushing back on the bloated, inconsistent mess of Microsoft lock-in that's accreted within the USG.
Any industry contractor dreads having to work with a new Agency, as they know they'll be required to install and become competent at yet another incompatible version of Microsoft software just to be able bid on contracts. (In some cases, even specific versions of Outlook are required... Ugh!)
Wrong end of the stick...
...I don't have a problem with "Microsoft doing their own thing (in front of everyone)". But if your new browser technology is really so great, release it to the rest of the world for honest comparison instead of keeping it locked into your own OS. Otherwise it's just Silverlight all over again -- who cares?
OK, that's nice...
Sure, Microsoft has some sharp folks working for them. But if they want the rest of the world to take IE seriously again, they're going to have to turn it into something more than just a utility application restricted to their own operating system. The rest of us are understandably more interested in Firefox, Gecko, and WebKit.
I love Microsoft's heavy-handedness! I'm enthusiastically in favour of getting 100% of the people using Windows to pay for it.
Not, of course, that the BSA's fudged "estimates" of pirated software are worth putting any stock in. But as Jonah Greenberg pointed out, "Why should the masses bother with free software when stealing from Microsoft is practically patriotic?"
Here's hoping that this'll be the encouragement that China's Ministry of Information Industries needs to put some welly into their official position in favour of Linux.
Yet another annoying "feature"
I recommend using Ad Block Plus with the Element Hiding Helper to completely block those instant preview magnifying glass elements that are sensitive to clicking anywhere on the right side of the page.
You almost had me...
... until the line about "the same way that there was no going back once everyone had a PC with Word, Powerpoint and Excel on it".
Mine's the one with the Nexus Two prototype in the pocket.
The real question...
...is what took him so long? He certainly looked frustrated enough up on stage with Ballmer at a couple of the recent developer's conferences...
A pretty good summary
"OpenOffice [is] little more than a rerun of the best and worst of Microsoft Office."
Yep, that pretty much sums it up. People use Office because they HAVE to, not because anyone actually likes its interface or horrible format-over-content paradigm. OO is just as horrible, but at least it works on more platforms, is more-or-less compatible with MS Office, and doesn't come with a price tag that adds insult to injury.
- Facebook offshores HUGE WAD OF CASH to Caymans - via Ireland
- Mexican Cobalt-60 robbers are DEAD MEN, say authorities
- Apple's spamtastic iBeacon retail alerts launch with Frisco FAIL
- Submerged Navy submarine successfully launches drone from missile tubes
- Apple sends in the bulldozers as Fruit Loop construction begins