54 posts • joined Thursday 15th July 2010 04:51 GMT
Re: "nothing illegal to be wearing Google Glass"... yet.
Following which, Google will offer as an option the logging of all usage of the glasses, to certified secure serv ers whose accounts are, like bank records, exceptions to hearsay evidence in law.
Next, Google will offer the glasses with an option to silently record video of travel while all output or playback is switched off. Thus, should a motorists be accused by vengeful police, they will be able to prove (by video record) that they were indeed travelling at less than 65 mph rather than 80 mph, as Ms Concidine is accused of doing but denies. It's worth bearing in mind that courts traditionally grant deference to the sworn statements of officers. Enough such recordings, and that will no longer be true.
The geeks have already been rubbed out and the FSB has taken over.
Re: Competition, or the lack of it
My version 1 AppleTV runs XBMC. It sees my external 1TB USB hard drive on startup which has rather a lot of recorded TV shows on it - must get around to scrubbing that sometime. I understand later versions of the AppleTV are the size of a hockey puck and STILL run XBMC. That would be my choice for any media centre. Stick to games for the game console.
My plan, and I'm quite serious here, is to pull the network cable and remove the network drivers from XP. Then use it for games. For online the Xbox would do, if I played online. For all other purposes, dual boot into Fedora or occasionally Ubuntu.
You're not wrong. But in fact there's evidence that the founding fathers were absolutely aware they were founding a secular state.
This is the wording of the 'Treaty of Peace and Friendship Between the United States and the Bey and Subjects of Tripoli of Barbary';
"As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion--as it has itself no character of enmity against the law, religion or tranquility of Musselmen..."
That was ratified by the legislature in June 1797, and accepted by the executive:
"Now be it known, that I, John Adams, President of the United States of America, having seen and considered the said treaty do, by and within the consent of the Senate, accept, ratify and confirm the same, and every clause and article thereof." So that's two of the three branches of government.
Lately the courts made it unanimous with rulings about the pledge of allegiance "under God" wording.
On the other hand, one curmudgeonly old Catholic Republican of my acquaintance observed that nonetheless, that so-called secular state maintains Chaplains in defiance of the idea that a secular state has no established religion. In fact, he wrote: "... the very session of the Senate that ratified that treaty was opened with solemn prayer by the Chaplain of the Senate, who, I assure you, was a good Protestant Christian clergyman."
Re: I' not buying the Groklaw arguments - see the evidence..
You're right, the extra privacy offered by mykolab isn't from encryption which is done in much the same way as you suggest. But mykolab was mentioned in articles dealing with the demise of Lavabit because they are physically out of reach of the US and EU spy agencies:
"We offer secure email accounts including calenders and address books that synchronize to all your devices. The data is stored in our very own data center in Switzerland and can not be accessed by spy programs such as PRISM, so there will be no spying. There is also no corporate spying, because we show no advertisements. Enjoy the convenience of the Cloud without compromising freedom and openness."
Also they are planning to offer mail encryption services in the future. From their FAQ:
"In the future, it might be possible to store you private key in your browser's local storage securely. Then we will offer encryption in the web interface as well."
It's not that she's bored.
The reason "PJ was bored with it" doesn't get traction is that she hived off most of the boring bits to Professor Mark Webbink some time back.
A bit pointless
Nearly all comments to weblogs like Groklaw are in the form of posts/comments like these. But if individuals wanted to co-ordinate projects like transcribing legal documents they had to have some form of email collaboration.
Not everyone knew how to use PGP, say. The nature of Groklaw was that some of their projects were always going to tick off people in the FBI or NSA, and Jones would have been at the centre of such conversations. But it was thought not to matter. Gmail or Hotmail should have been fine for most purposes. Jones and company were simply scrutinizing companies and governments for their actions in court.
It's only lately that the need for secure email became clear. To top it all Lavabit and Silent Circle just declared "Guys, we can't tell you why, but there's no secure mail any more".
Until very recently it didn't matter that the email wasn't secure because it was assumed the constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizure contained in the 4th amendment would prevent misbehaviour by the authorities. Now it has become clear how concepts like sovereign immunity prevent the executive being held accountable, there's no option but to switch to an extranational secure email provider, which Jones has done. But as documented in the Guardian, and TechDirt, to name but two places, even that is too risky to continue with Groklaw in its present form. See Ken White's Popehat article for more details.
Re: I' not buying the Groklaw arguments - see the evidence..
You clearly didn't read her closedown post in enough detail. She tried but failed to obtain any other suitably secure email provider. She gave as a parting email address a new one hosted by a Swiss company (MyKolab) - but added that it wasn't really secure enough, given the latest revelations.
I'd add that it's only been very recently that the extent of Google's compliance with NSA snooping became clear, because Google and others including MS were under gag orders about that. Indeed, the specially cleared techs Google had to hire to work with the NSA enforcers were not even allowed to discuss their work with their bosses. Google and MS were almost as much in the dark as the rest of us.
In recent studies it's been shown that while the water tanks you suggest work for most particles from the solar wind, the more energetic particles spawn secondary radiation which is still fatal on quite short timescales (weeks).
Some cosmic rays are accelerated in pulsars, black hole accretion, or galactic magnetic fields, just like synchrotron radiation, to fantastic speeds approaching c. Over millions of years of slow but incessant acceleration, these can have energies around 20 GeV !
The tanks help but you are still talking about several times the safe lifetime exposure during a Mars mission.
No gas or fluid shield will protect against those short of an atmosphere kilometres thick.
We won't be human
To get to Mars with current tech will take months if not years and no-one has come up with adequate shielding ideas yet. Which is not so say it can't be done, but lassoing an asteroid, carving out a habitat, and hitching engines of sufficiently high specific thrust are beyond even the Americans and Chinese at this point. Give it another century, once the population crash is done and dusted, and we'll see.
But on present evidence I'm firmly convinced the only way human minds will reach the nearer planets, let alone the stars, is as digital avatars adapted to space, instead of trying to take a bubble of Earth with us.
What's this stealing thing?
The Chinese are climbing on the shoulders of others yes, but stealing? By that logic the Yanks stole from the Germans who stole from one particular Yank (Goddard) who, it is true, patented multi-stage and liquid-fueled rockets...
... but that was in 1914 and the patents had expired well before the Germans took advantage of them. And the Russians did steal from both but hey, they didn't recognise that form of intellectual property anyway (copyright is a different matter)
... and even they had their own unique contributions to engine tech, like the fuel pumps using waste gases, that was 15 per cent more thrust right there ...
... besides, Goddard would have got nowhere without the idea of the rocket in the first place which was ...
Re: Internet drones?
You need a ground antenna, which the censoring country can prevent.
Re: Astronomy community would like some consultation?
The launch took place from Mount John Observatory under the auspices of Canterbury University and the Civil Aviation department. I'm not sure what more consultation would have been possible or appropriate.
The actual results give the lie.
The farmers testing individual balloons found that a window of 15 minutes internet was given by each balloon passing overhead. By virtue of multiplexing and session identifiers the user limitation is not important. Range increasing with height is only true of simple antennas which these are not, the lobes can be tailored.
Re: Hang on
Aircraft emit such signals, at a lower altitude, which is worse.
Do Google consult
That's a good question, but they shouldn't need to. The point was if they were launching from an actual observatory, every astronomer in NZ would know and approve of what they were doing. Years ago when I was doing astronomy and astrophysics at Canterbury our professor joked that he was one of exactly two Kiwis who put "Occupation: astronomer" on his tax return. There are more now but the entire island seems to know what everyone else is doing.
My impression is that Google do consult with before going ahead with their pet projects, when they get to the point of needing to be real-world tested. Their so-called "X Labs" have only produced three announced projects so far though, and only one of those has got to the point where official involvement was vital: the driverless car. Others like the Space Elevator are really long term.
For heavens' sake, those balloons were launched from an observatory!
Why does Dr Tucker assume that Google X Labs haven't thought of this, nor consulted with astronomers already? The Guardian hosted a YouTube video of the balloon launch taken from a helicopter, and I recognized the launch site as Mount John Observatory near Lake Tekapo, run by Canterbury University.
Now it may be that the optical astronomers don't talk to the people running the big dishes at Warkworth, like TIm Natusch, but somehow I doubt it.
So who created the logo?
Actually when the story first broke I did find myself wondering about the PRISM logo, just not about the photo. What I thought ... odd ... was that this high-secrecy outfit and project would have a logo at all. Logos are for publicity materials, right? Why publicize top-secret projects? What artistic director has clearance high enough?
And then the news items came such as the reporter who was already trying to find out what he could about PRISM because of overhearing it discussed in the lounge after a black hat conference. That implied there was an entire class or stratum of society for whom top-secret projects are a dime a dozen - within that class of persons you would surely need an advertising budget.
More evidence of a state within a state.
The PDF you link to (by David Cole) showing how contentious is the citizen vs immigrant rights debate is a wonderful bit of lawyering. Spot the straw man:
"... in regulating immigration, "Congress regularly makes rules that would be unacceptable if applied to citizens." Yet fifty years earlier, the Court had stated that the Due Process Clause does not "acknowledge any distinction between citizens and resident aliens."
The due process clause of the US Constitution covers "persons", not just natural persons but also legal persons (like corporations), who can benefit from constitutional guarantees. However, the constitution can't cover everyone in the world.
In particular, due process benefits persons who are citizens or residents or US corporations, more than strangers within the gates - people not bound by US Law. That's why courts can declare 'due process" might well discriminate against NON-resident aliens. The rules for regulating immigration are applied to non-citizens and persons not YET resident.
Nonsense. It's not a war if no-one can LOSE
There have been many instances of wars which no-one could win.
What you can't have is a war in which no-one can LOSE.
"Winning" for the military meant any of three things when the fighting was done:
- Control of the field of battle
- Inflicting greater destruction on the enemy than he did on you
- Achieving your war aims and frustrating those of the enemy.
Suppose the fighting just petered out over centuries, or didn't stop before a third force squashed both sides, or no-one controlled the field of battle (usually because a truce held), and destruction was equal on both sides, and no-one achieved their war aims.
Try the Quasi-war, or perhaps the War of 1812. The US started it, the Canadians say they won it (US troops were kicked out of Canada), the Americans say they won it (the British attacks on the US, however successful and damaging, were just raids), the British say no-one won it (the last battle gained by the US didn't happen till after the Treaty of Ghent ending hostilities, because it took months to get word to the forces in the field) and anyway they had bigger fish to fry.
Scaling rules apply
The reason an ant can survive falling from a height a thousand times greater than its length - equivalent to a fall from a mile up for a human - is that strength scales as the cross-section of the limbs and body, so as the square of length; but the weight it has to support scales as the cube of length.
And similarly for Irish cannon vs Liberator. The smaller you make the tube, the stronger it will be, for a given material. Even leather.;.
All the first thirteen
Following the declaration of independence, and before the first articles of confederation (which promoted a "perfect and indissoluble union"), all the colonies represented by the alternating red and white stripes on the original US flag. Thirteen of them, as I recall. That would include the original Virginia, Rhode Island, et cetera.
Casings would be plastic
You would then find 3D models for plastic casings to replace brass being downloaded.
It's sometimes forgotten that various armies have experimented with caseless ammunition. The stuff worked fairly well but didn't quite meet standards for automatic weapons, back in the late sixties. A quick lookup of "Caseless Ammunition" on Wikipedia shows how far they have come.
All that remains is to replace the lead pellet with a plastic one. Possibly with a hole drilled in the centre to accommodate a nail. Discarding sabot, anyone?
The point is rapid development
The importance of 3D printing is twofold.
First, few people have access to injection molding equipment, but a 3D printer is potentially within reach of anyone. (Expect a licensing regime for them within months except in places which view them as vital for economic development).
Second, what has been downloadable is the 3D model which means the design is out there and cannot reasonably be banned. Injection moulders can be enjoined by a court: millions of Brazilian gangsters cannot.
Third, this successful model will be rapidly tweaked to become even more effective. As an engineer I would "improve" it in one of two ways, with a view to keeping it undetectable:
- either make the barrel from crack-free tensioned and wound nylon fishing line, a method dating back to wire-wound flash boilers; or,
- locate a common steel ballpoint pen with a case that fits the desired cartridge, cut it to fit, sleeve the pen back together and take pen and gun parts in your shirt pocket through customs.
No. Tolerances are not so important
Pre WW1 revolvers often did not have gas-tight seals yet worked well. Gas tightness is useful to prevent powder burns and to provide some boost to muzzle velocity, but is not vital to a working weapon.
Ten firings before breaking counts as a success
The Liberator was designed to shoot cartridges of variable sizes (swapping plastic barrels). Given its likely customers want it as a holdout weapon (one which passes metal detectors), the fact that the barrel survived ten firings from the smallest calibre cartridge makes it a success.
Android and Linux will be joined at the hip again
As far as I'm aware there's a project to fold the Android drivers back into the Linux development cycle short term. Mid-term Torvalds and Google have agreed on both being based on the same kernel. Checked on Wikipedia and apparently this is scheduled for kernel 3.3 to 3.8; "The merge will be complete starting with Kernel 3.8".
The upshot is that if Glass is not running Linux now, it could be soon.
I even used one as a server
I agree completely with the article and for much the same reasons as you mention, with one exception: I don't really understand why Mr Pott writes: "The only perennial non-Android manufacturer-supported Linux endpoint OS is Ubuntu".
After the fuss with Unity I abandoned Ubuntu for the Linux side of my netbooks, and used Fedora. (The Windows side is rarely used). It's perennial, it's non-Android, and hey I didn't miss the factory support. All worked perfectly except GNOME was rather slow so I use KDE, LXDE, or something like RazorQt instead.
Of course one could also do that in Ubuntu, so not much was gained; but LibreOffice was available and everything Just Worked. I haven't changed back. Oh, and an Asus Eee PC 1001HA with standard battery got six hours of use.
In fact at one point that prompted me to replace an offsite backup-server-in-a-closet (minitower with UPS) with an Eee PC running Fedora. Only the external hard drive used the UPS. This far exceeded the old machine for longevity. Also it could fit in a shoebox (the clamshell lid stayed closed).
T is related to the logarithm of available states
For an isolated collection of atoms behaving as a gas one would be using the so-called "statistical mechanics" formalism for temperature.
I was taught that temperature was related to the change in entropy with energy pumped into the system. You get negative temperature when there's a grossly unlikely set of occupied states. (Entropy of an isolated system is proportional to the logarithm of the available number of states). Much of the math assumes the system is at equilibrium. Apparently these atoms were not. So curious anomalies are possible.
He's right you know. I first noticed this while doing my BA (hons) in French language and literature in the 1990s while working as a sysadmin. Every time I picked up a 'rosetta stone' (piece of paper saying the same thing in multiple languages) from a software box, it was noticeable that English was always far and away the shortest paragraph (and French one of the longest), with just one exception: legalese. English legal warnings were much longer than their continental counterparts.
Right, and the Red Hat 7.3 boxed edition for Alpha came with a really really cool Intel Fortran compiler that our researchers lusted after. And under Linux they could log in remotely so more than one researcher could use the machine...
Those who recall the shenanigans during the SCO v Novell trial (and others) will remember that eventually SCO entered chapter 7 bankruptcy. The judge in bankruptcy court has astonishing powers to abrogate due process in the interests of shareholders, including ignoring Federal rules (he said at the time, "What are they going to do, take me out the back and shoot me?") and used those powers to ensure Novell never saw a dime of the damages.
During SCO v IBM as well, it transpired that bankruptcy law in the US allows for a stay of proceedings by a non-bankrupt while a bankrupt is allowed to proceed with counterclaims! Whether this would have survived a writ of certiorari is another matter.
Dalvik VM isn't Java VM
Dalvik isn't Java, it merely emulates it (up to a point). Hence Rubin's comment and Google's actual actions.
The article does a disservice to history. Intel Darwin and MkLinux were critical.
You are absolutely correct to point out that Mach is the important bit and it's not BSD. But that is not the major problem with the article. It gives the impression that the OS/X efforts on Intel were a one-man show.
Apple's efforts with the underlying code go much deeper and started much, much earlier on an approach with two prongs:
- The first was Darwin. In 2002 I was running Darwin on a discarded Intel PC - when I say "Intel" I mean every chip on the motherboard was Intel and so was the network card. Darwin for x86 version 1.4x ONLY ran with Intel drivers.
- The second prong was the expertise derived from Apple's even earlier MkLinux project. This worked on ancient NuBus PPC Macs and used the Mach kernel also, despite looking exactly like Red Hat Linux, right down to the Anaconda installer.
At one point I had a lot of discarded units from a university teaching lab that we re-equipped with PCs. I also had a lot of older Apple Laserwriter printers with no ethernet capability. For long and long I followed the MkLinux community headed up by David Gatwood at Apple, making good use of the old hardware.
The old NuBus machines would fit exactly under the Laserwriters, accepted print jobs over the ethernet and transmitted them to the Laserwriters via appletalk, reformatting as necessary on the way. The Laserwriters looked to a PC like an expensive networked multiple job language printer, thanks to the old PPC Mac running Linux with netatalk, LPD, etc. And from a remote administration point of view, they were a bog standard Linux.
Extradition may never happen
Given that the US judge handling the case involving MegaUpload asserts that may never happen - because the US authorities never served papers, in turn because constitutionally they can't on a foreign company - it seems entirely possible he may never be extradited at all.
NZ law requires that the extraditable offence carry a minimum period (five years) custodial sentence. The remaining ones don't.
You are right, and not just X-rays but low gamma more than 20years ago
The Fresnel-type lenses in question even made it to the mainstream scientific press. To do gamma rays they had to make what amounted to series of nested lenses whose depth was greater than the diameter.
With the diagrams I recall, there was an outermost lens shaped rather like a long curved plant pot, with an internal coating of metal. The next one in was a similar shape but slightly smaller, and so forth till reaching a central spindle. An incoming X or gamma ray would graze the metal coating at a very low angle of incidence, so low that total internal reflection propagated the wave straight through a gentle curve to the exit.
Of course the mirrors in question only had Fresnel resolution, but that could be very high.
ZX revised simplex
The ZX81 which I bought while at engineering school was good for two things.
First, with the 16k RAM pack and some use of assembly code I was able to implement the Revised Simplex Method for Linear Programming, which allowed me to solve some assignment problems and check others (including determining Chebyshev coefficients for minimax fits to a graph, which is more resistant to outliers than Gaussian fits).
Second, the memory port was, with some soldering, essentially a direct interface to the Zilog Z80 at the heart of the machine, making an excellent control module for experiments.
So the things were far from useless.
20 million mph = about 50 x c
... that would be a bit over 13 million metres per second or getting on for fifty times the speed of light. Something is wrong with that picture, regardless of the frame of reference.
The 50 percent seems to be 49.7 of total factory revenue
The IDC report is cited as follows: "... quarterly revenue of $6.3 billion for Windows servers represented 49.7 percent of overall quarterly factory revenue." So you're right, that doesn't sound like the same thing as 50 percent of servers. It's even worse than you think. There are costs to licensed software which go way beyond the actual retail price.
To illustrate: a recent installation of two cheap HP 1U servers ran into a snag. For VoIP purposes the business needed to run SMS 2008 which would have been fine except the manager demanded that we run the latest version of all software. So he bought SMS 2011 instead. The HP servers came with support including fakeraid firmware driver interfaces for SMS 2008 but not 2011 so we were stuck.
With considerable effort we managed to get e.g. a software RAID mirror running acceptably but what should have been a straightforward hour or so eventually took over twenty! And that was just my time, never mind the VoIP specialist. At $60/hour the effort cost way more than the SMS 2011 licence. That licence in turn cost more than the hardware from HP.
The manager didn't have budget for a second 2011 licence so the second (backup) server lay unconfigured, till just for fun I put on a version of RHEL which had fakeraid support from HP, then loaded FreePBX (including Asterix).
It worked perfectly and would have cost a lot less than SMS, but of course wasn't Windows (which the VoIP guy demanded) and was only for trialling. So I removed RHEL, imaged the SMS partitions from the working machine and installed CentOS 6 on the free area. Then I took a partimage backup of the Windows partitions and zeroed them.
Testing showed it would take a little more than fifteen minutes to completely restore the Windows partitions, although there were minor issues with the ethernet MAC addresses being different (at least initially).
Now the outfit has a spare machine, identical hardware, and able to perfectly restore the functioning SMS system in less than half an hour from "Go". But jeepers, wouldn't it have been simpler not to have to worry about licensing in the first place?
Issa does know tech and business, but his main motive is money
Heaven only knows what that man did it for, but he does actually have a technical education.
On the other hand he's been caught so many times in deeply suspicious circumstances doing firearms and insurance offences he can't be called an honest man. Except perhaps by the standards of Congress.
I don't believe he's taking money from anyone, if only because he wants to be in the position of giving other people money to do what HE wants.
Closed source means NDAs therefore no peer review
Thinking Linux is more secure does not enable hacking. Security relies on more than obfuscation or vigilance, both of which could also be used by Windows.
There are 'extra' components of FLOSS inherent security which closed-source systems can never replicate even in principle - such as that things like ClamAV can be installed without licensing issues dragging in policy obstacles.
Another big part is peer review. A little thought will show this is why it's wrong to assert that "Windows isn't closed source, if you're a big company or a governmental organisation". Windows nonetheless conforms well to the usual definition of closed source, because you don't ever get to see the Windows code without signing a non-disclosure agreement, which I can tell you right now most working on such government projects never do sign.
This means the development effort must be partitioned into those who can see the code and those who can't. It also means that for non-secret work you don't get the benefit of millions of eyes scanning your code for bugs.
Both deficiencies mean peer review is crippled. Which in turn means that even when "properly configured" a set of Windows systems will never be as secure as equivalent open-source.
Ali Baba and his forty thousand thieves
Indeed. There's a certain tendency for Kiwi yobbos to believe that in NZ they'll be watched, but in a bigger arena they'll be anonymous. So bad behaviour is less likely to be punished.
Now that I think about it that's been going on for a long time. The NZ Army led by General Freyberg in the Second World War was known to some shocked allies as "Ali Baba and his forty thousand thieves".
Never mind spoofing
Why is it assumed that GPS spoofing is the only way to hack a drone? The use of unencrypted control channels and even Windows as a control interface has been widely reported.
This story has context
For the specific case (the 2009 settlement of EMI vs Eircom) mentioned here, people seem to be ignoring the history. Can I draw your attention to the Register article about the Dublin High Court's review? One Andrew Orlowski was particularly scathing about riled-up 'freetards':
"So the ruling rejects two key arguments made by critics of the UK's Digital Economy Act - that internet access is a 'fundamental human right', and that copyright enforcement infringes privacy. The ruling gives the go ahead light for a 'three strikes' policy in Ireland." It goes on to quote that judge in a way you would approve of:
' ... Charleton notes that [the internet] is, "thickly populated by fraudsters, pornographers of the worst kind and cranks... Among younger people, so much has the habit grown up of downloading copyright material from the internet that a claim of entitlement seems to have arisen to have what is not theirs for free"... Everyone won from this, he noted, "except for the creators of original copyright material who are utterly disregarded." '
However the latest ruling from the DPC, backed by the EU, ditches that court's jurisprudence in no uncertain terms. Internet (and data) access is indeed a fundamental human right; copyright enforcement does infringe privacy laws; and the light for a 'three strikes' policy has just turned red.
Be aware when reading Orlowski's original post that some paragraphs didn't make sense, for example: "The defendant had referred to Eircom as Eire's Data Protection Commissioner."
This is probably an innocent mistake which should have been caught by a sub-editor. There was no actual defendant; the judge was ruling on the lawfulness of a private settlement between parties. He had to do this because someone had complained about the settlement to the DPC. The DPC did not appear before the judge - it was not required to, and indeed could not because it's own due process had yet to run its course.
Now that process is done, the office of the DPC has in effect slapped El Reg, the copyright industry, the judge, and the Irish Government in the face. I await their respective reactions with eager anticipation.
Personally I don't download files illegally, perhaps because I'm far too old - I'm not even remotely tempted by current tastes in music or movies, and I take my own photos.
But perhaps I qualify as a 'freetard' because I do download large numbers of ISO images of things like the latest distribution of Fedora (before retiring I was an engineer and CCNA, and I maintain an interest in the tech). Also, I would tend to believe that where the marginal cost of production is essentially zero a rational society has no business prohibiting copy production; it's inefficient of resources, and criminalizes the population, thereby bringing the law into disrepute. Which is one reason "people" don't care whether "file sharing goes on".
And the mechanism will be patents
"You wlll have to get a copyright license to create something copyright-able".
Nearly right. You will actually need a patent license, because given present trends it's only a matter of time before someone succeeds in patenting plotlines.
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