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* Posts by PyLETS

536 posts • joined 11 Jul 2011

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Why won't you DIE? IBM's S/360 and its legacy at 50

PyLETS
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Cut my programming teeth on S/390 TSO architecture

We were developing CAD/CAM programs in this environment starting in the early eighties, because it's what was available then, based on use of this system for stock control in a large electronics manufacturing environment. We fairly soon moved this Fortran code onto smaller machines, DEC/VAX minicomputers and early Apollo workstations. We even had an early IBM-PC in the development lab, but this was more a curiosity than something we could do much real work on initially. The Unix based Apollo and early Sun workstations were much closer to later PCs once these acquired similar amounts of memory, X-Windows like GUIs and more respectable graphics and storage capabilities, and multi-user operating systems.

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WIMPs wipe each other out in giant radiating spot at galaxy's centre

PyLETS
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Re: Interesting, but

If it is closed and curved, and you could see the same object more than once, you wouldn't see exactly the same object, more a much younger and older version of the same object. Chances are you can't see all the way around in time to see anything more than once in that way, because the big bang occurred more recently than would make that possible. It's possible to see the same object through more than one tiny variations in direction, due to gravitational lensing. But it would be a very major cosmological discovery if we started to observe a provably same, distant and early galaxy in more than one very different direction.

What is even more weird is that the further you look in any direction, the closer you get to the same big bang singularity which existed in a much smaller region. That's a bit like the idea of a universe being like an expanding balloon but with an extra dimension - we can look in any direction on the surface of a balloon and you get back to the same point when the much smaller balloon hadn't been inflated.

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USA opposes 'Schengen cloud' Eurocentric routing plan

PyLETS
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Big Brother

So who are they speaking for anyway ?

There already is a European data network, and no particular reason for messages not to be most efficiently routed within it, as I'm sure very many are. But that doesn't stop a free citizen or business operating within an EU or Shengen country locating data and servers wherever personal preference, business or legal issues require.

I'm free to locate my server wherever it suits me and commerce offers suitable facilities, and having some crat or politician telling me I can't locate it where I want to reduces the reasons for me to want to locate it closer to home.

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Organic food: Pricey, not particularly healthy, won't save you from cancer

PyLETS
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organics likely to be purchased by richer consumers

Richer people are probably less likely to smoke or have other risk factors associated with poor environment, and less likely to have suffered poor health in the past which causes poverty. Also richer people who are likely to live older, so have a greater risk exposure to cancers associated with being around for longer. I'd guess these factors will probably dominate over the factors looked at in the study, in the sense whatever differences are more likely to be correlations than causations.

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ICANN boss: 'Russia and China will NOT take over interwebs'

PyLETS
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Boffin

@James Micallef

"And what does "control of ICANN" mean?"

If whoever controls ICANN does something really stupid, people (mostly ISP technicians) get their DNS resolvers to point to emergency root zone copies provided by a more reputable party, e.g. some organisation formed for this purpose by the various TLD DNS content server operators. It'll be a little more difficult when lots of barely computer literate end users will be running DNSSEC end to end down to client level, as that would then also require automated OS patches to change the DNSSEC root of trust key. But that's likely to be a long way off.

Not sure if flogging off top level domains to the highest bidder, as ICANN are now doing, qualifies as really stupid as I guess it will make their directors and execs personally a lot more wealthy in the short term. But it's certainly going to increase breakage for everyone else.

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Middle England's allotments become metric battlefield

PyLETS
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Pint

Mixing measurements

Using more than one system at the same time is the worst as this results in rocket fuel strength or weak beer. On an international brewing forum I try to discourage exchanges of recipes using gallons as often no-one knows which kind of gallon others are using unless they know which side of the pond they're based. Pounds and ounces are the same both sides, but gallons are smaller in North America, also having the effect of us Brits making us think Yank gas guzzlers drink even more gas than they do.

Getting beer too weak or strong is not as bad a fault as crashing a spaceship into Mars on account of mixing up the measurements.

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WTF is … the multiverse?

PyLETS
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Multiverse needed

To accommodate all the random books in the Library of Babel postulated by Jorge Luis Borges, needed to include the works of Shakespeare should it be assumed such volumes arose entirely from chance.

If the fine tuned universe problem is genuine, cosmologists have a similar problem, but solving it using the assumption of an infinite energy singularity alone creating all possible universes doesn't seem any more plausible to me without much better evidence than the evidence we have .

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PyLETS
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Re: Multiverse? So 1990's, THIS universe is someone's simulation

"There are no clues to whether reality is real or fake."

I guess that's what Plato figured out with his cave analogy. To this we nowadays add the problems of perception and consciousness, in the sense our perception is bound up in our theories about optical and sound wave radiations impacting upon our eyes and ears, so we don't experience things entirely objectively at all - to do that would require our ability to perceive independently of the mental models we need to use to make sense of our perceptions.

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Australia doubts ICANN is ready to run the internet

PyLETS
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Law unto themselves

The fact ICANN is technically a non profit doesn't mean it hasn't been given a license to print money for the benefit of it's executives and directors. How much are TLDs sold for advertising purposes worth, and to what extent does ICANN bringing these into existence indicate any kind of global consensus other than a self-interested one ?

I see controversy ahead.

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Global Warming IS REAL, argues sceptic mathematician - it just isn't THERMAGEDDON

PyLETS
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windpower reduces hurricane damage caused by hot air

If this article based upon a paper by Marc Jacobson from Stanford University to the American Association for the Advancement of Science is to be believed, having more offshore wind electricity generation, by reducing the surface windspeed influence upon hurricane formation, will directly reduce risk to coastal areas of hurricanes and storm surges.

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Bitcoin ban row latest: 'Unstable, loved by criminals' Yup, that's the US dollar – Colorado rep

PyLETS
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gambling chip currency

Useful within a casino but not much outside. Created using a specialised manufacturing process with some interesting security properties. Your holdings go up or down relative to real money as they would in any casino where you gamble. In the case of Bitcoin this gambling chip is used within a network of casinos, so can go outside. Most users obtain these chips from a casino cage, here known as a Bitcoin exchange. It's also a bad idea to leave your cash at a casino cage for long in case the casino is robbed or defrauded and goes out of business. But without the exchanges, this gambling chip would probably cease to be played with, as new gamblers would find it more difficult to get involved, though these chips could hypothetically continue to be used between gamblers who arbitrarily value these.

And if the state really wants to regulate this game, it seems most rational this should occur based on the same motivations and methodology by which gambling is regulated.

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LOHAN chap brews up 18% ABV 'V2' rocket fuel

PyLETS
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Pint

Re: Mead?

Pure honey, water and yeast doesn't ferment well because it is low in the nutrients yeast needs to grow and has a neutral Ph. It's also low in tannin leading to a flabby drink tasting medicinal and lacking bite. Add some tea and fruit juice (e.g. lemon) and these deficits are remedied. The honey taste with the sugar replaced for alcohol also benefits from spices, I suggest gentle portions of cloves, cinnamon, coriander, nutmeg and ginger. That's a wine mead. An alternative is to make a beer mead - use hops and a small amount of malt to act as yeast nutrient without overwhelming the honey flavour.

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PyLETS
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Pint

Never seen that airlock before

Searching for 'shax airlock' found nothing relevant. Also, if the initial ferment is fast, as suggested by these ingredients and instructions, there seems to be a risk of the airlock blocking with foam and a very messy bottle bomb if there's no other way for the C02 to escape.

I'd always suggest leaving 20% headroom for foam, and also for the first week no bubbler is required, just put some clean tissue over the top and a rubber band - less risky and gives the yeast a bit of oxygen to feed on until it gets started when the C02 blowing out will make the ferment anaerobic.

If you haven't got a proper airlock I'd suggest using a food grade plastic bag tied over the top with rubber bands during the second week. Also as there is no fruit pulp in the recipe to be liquified in the ferment, I can't really see what the pectolase is for - seems a bit pointless to me.

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Free space optics gets shiny new snake-oil paint job

PyLETS
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Wrong application

FSO as I see it is more an educational application for student learning projects and hobbyists. The effect of weather conditions on propagation are reliable enough for hobbyist applications, but probably not reliable enough for transaction markets.

For those wanting to play, have a look at Ronja .

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PyLETS
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Re: The world would be a better place

There seems little point banning based on legal minimum duration of exposure to risk of ownership, though there would be a moral case for that. It seems to me to make more sense to introduce the Tobin Tax on such transactions - a very tiny percentage of the value of the transaction which encourages longer term thinking by the investor, and which benefits public services also.

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Q&A: Schneier on trust, NSA spying and the end of US internet hegemony

PyLETS
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control freakery

It's built into the DNA of the kind of government we have. This is based on the idea that a government collects taxes, the primary purpose of which is to secure its citizens based upon some kind of rule of law, as opposed to banditry or mafia rule which doesn't give a toss about any laws.

And if you don't like the consequences of this kind of DNA, based around the idea of government as having a monopoly over the exercise of power, then make this kind of government something we can progressively defund by supporting another kind, enabling us to vote how taxes are spent in a more direct and decentralised way: http://copsewood.net/writings/kaytax.html

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Linux-friendly Munich: Ja, we'll take open source collab cloud

PyLETS
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Microsoft needs to adapt

To the fact that competition exists. Just as IBM did successfully a couple of decades ago, by decoupling their major product divisions. Getting their business and server software to work well on other OS platforms would be a start. This would improve software quality and resilience also, by removing undocumented and proprietary hooks between the OS and application and network layers which shouldn't be there in the first place.

Getting Active Directory to fully support Linux and Apple products, as well as the main mobile platforms would also be relevant.

I've used Linux on the desktop, server and embedded platforms for years, but Microsoft still has some excellent products. And they really can't afford to restrict the market for these products to their own OS platforms.

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Bosses to be banned from forcing new hires to pull personal records

PyLETS
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Re: I'd pass that test

"In all a completely useless piece of legislation."

Not useless if someone illegally requests you obtain this personal data in writing. This written request then becomes evidence of the offence having been committed. Also going into an interview covertly wired for sound is likely to obtain evidence of this request spoken suitable for public exposure and prosecution. It's a standard news gathering technique.

I'd would also tell a prospective employer to f*** off if they asked for my Facebook password - I've heard of some doing that but I would never want to work for such a s***. That kind of request for me would be the end of the interview.

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New password system lets planet Earth do the hard work

PyLETS
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Problem mainly solveable using standards

Having to remember and input passwords makes any online system depending upon these weak.

The banks have (largely) solved this by giving everyone a uniquely keyed device with a trivial secret needed with it (chip and pin) and issuing all merchants with a device it plugs into. Something you have and something you know. A standard intended to be usable by any number of servers and users for any number of applications has to be able to do at least as good as this. Initially I think it will be an application run on mobile phones which have the standards compliant embedded crypto chip which can sign stuff or one time entry tokens as you. Those wanting a device which hasn't got other (non security) applications will be able to find such on the open market once the API and network standards etc are well enough defined. Goes without saying these devices should be able to talk securely over Wifi, USB and Bluetooth - mobile phone apps already do. Maybe the SIM card could have some useful crypto extras standardised for this.

If you want better than something you know and something you have, then not too difficult to add a fingerprint reader - something you are, but knowledge of your biometric used to unlock your device need be known only by the user and the security device the biometric unlocks.

The obvious userid is any email address which can be routed to message the security device. No harm and much benefit in having more than one which a security device can sign for. The obvious PKI where certificates for such device keys should be stored and found is DNSSEC.

No such solution will ever be perfect. Questions to ask about new proposed solutions like this are whether it is usable, affordable, open to all developers, and better than what was used for this purpose previously.

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Steelie Neelie: ICANN think of more 'credible' rules for internet. (Cough *NSA* cough)

PyLETS
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self serving ICANN

The problem is that its pseudo-accountable self-funding structure results in ICANN becoming self-serving as well. Not that you need a very large organisation to manage the equivalent in the DNS space of deciding which international dialling prefixes the ITU manage uncontentiously in the telephony space.

Unfortunately a self-serving organisation isn't going to stop there. Flogging off .porn and .cocacola at $185,000 a pop resulting in pollution of the DNS top level domain space comes next.

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'Wind power causes climate change' shown to be so much hot air

PyLETS
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Stop

@Apriori

"So not only do these things not generate electricity"

As I write, according to gridwatch.templar.co.uk metred wind is contributing 11.38% of UK grid electric demand (this figure does not include unmetred embedded wind used by generators to reduce metred demand), or 5.4GW .

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MtGox takes heat as reasons for Bitcoin FAIL surface

PyLETS
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Money laundering

"That one is a myth. Every transaction on the Bitcoin network is visible to the public, which makes it virtually impossible to launder money on it."

Not impossible for those in control of botnet capacity.

For them there's no shortage of Bitcoin IDs represented as public keys, IP addresses, and different chains of relays usable for hiding the human identity behind each transaction. IDs available on the Bitcoin network associated with exchange acounts can over time exhange enough cash in or out of it. Given very low transaction costs, much of the rest of the Bitcoin traffic can then be chaff, preventing traffic analysis being effective when conducted by those studying the blockchain. This means large enough transactions can split into small enough chunks and routed sufficiently independently of each other or any real world identity, e.g. traceable through IP address, from the POV of anyone studying the blockchain. Enough Botnet capacity can be devoted to mining that Bitcoin transactions costs are a profit to Botnet operators anyway.

Knowing the IP addresses may partly identify the legitimate Bot owners. This doesn't disclose anything about the identities of those criminally controlling the Botnet.

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PyLETS
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@Vega Re: This would be a good moment

This is just one exchange - a has-been at that - being horribly inept. There is nothing here that affects bitcoin as a whole."

If it's nothing that affects Bitcoin as a whole, how come the 30% drop in exchange value ?

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PyLETS
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not chucking out the contract baby with the fraud bathwater

"It's a shame really that the groups opposed to Bitcoin have most of the world's money and could, if they wanted, subvert as they see fit."

As someone opposed to Bitcoin but who has developed other types of complementary currencies with some local success, it's important not to throw out the baby represented by the ability of 2 parties to form a contract in their mutual interests with the bathwater of the various fraud and crime opportunities Bitcoin and similar mechanisms of exchange enable.

So personally I think governments with regulation concerns should consider the extent to which particular Bitcoin type businesses create and provide opportunities for money laundering, Ponzi and other advance fee frauds and regulate these business types in manners compatible with current regulatory principles.

I've seen a number of Bitcoin related business scams in related news over the last couple of years, including wallet providers running off with deposits, electronics mining rig manufacturers taking advance payment and not delivering goods, and then of course there is the issue of money laundering. Not a set of problems mutually operated double-entry accounted currencies (the largest of which is the Swiss Wirbank) seem to have experienced to any great extent - and we don't want our kind of operation chucked out by laws intended for overzealous regulation of currency types which seem to deserve stricter oversight based upon existing regulatory principles than we do.

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For Windows guest - KVM or XEN and which distro for host?

PyLETS
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Putty - how best to use

Putty works fine in X forwarding mode. Install X-Ming with the --multiwindow flag to provide X suppport on Windows. After starting X-Ming, Login with Putty in that mode and then launch and display a real Linux terminal (of your choice) on your Windows desktop from your Putty command line e.g. like this:

xfce4-terminal &

then you don't have to put up with the crummy Putty ssh terminal lacking Unicode character support.

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Asus unveils dirt-cheap Chromebox desktops with Haswell chips

PyLETS
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Re: Yes, but...

ChromeOS is a version of Linux, so the answer is yes it will be running Linux. So long as the thing isn't shipped totally locked down at the UEFI level (i.e. using secure boot incapable of being switched off by the user) it should also be easy to install other versions, as the hardware will all be optimised to have good Linux driver support.

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Mail Migration

PyLETS
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Do it when your users are away on holiday

In most educational establishments hardly anyone is around during August.

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Amazon's 'schizophrenic' open source selfishness scares off potential talent, say insiders

PyLETS
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Shooting self in foot

Amazon's competitors who embrace open source more fully will not have to maintain their own software forks alone and to such a great extent as those who fork for internal use and then don't share.

Not sharing is understandable when it comes to software which is unique and implementing techniques competitors don't yet understand. It doesn't make sense for code which is a cost and which competitors know what it does already.

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Hey, Silk Road dealers: Looking for new life? Pay for a biz course with Bitcoin

PyLETS
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Bitcoins traceable for most users

But not for botnet operators. Those who can originate a transaction from any of the 1,000,000 or so IP addresses on a botnet can ensure every payment arrives from a different address and is transferred through several virtual accounts for laundry purposes. They can also route the payment instructions through a different chain of anonymising relays each time, by virtue of being able to control the actions of so many hosts they don't legitimately own. They don't even have to risk using Tor for such purposes, which is a known risk given that a higher proportion of Tor hosts are likely to be spying on traffic than are typical botnet hosts setup as honeypots for this purpose.

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Tales from an expert witness: Prior art and patent trolls

PyLETS
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Empire building

"the patent office should be doing the proper research to check that a patent IS relevant"

Surely an organisation given a license to print money will run the press at full speed ? That's human nature.

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Anatomy of a 22-year-old X Window bug: Get root with newly uncovered flaw

PyLETS
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WTF?

@Joe Montana Re: Desktop.

"Also, how would an unprivileged user introduce an arbitrary BDF font to the X11 server?"

In very few cases a Linux desktop will have multiple logins where the users don't have direct access to the hardware (e.g. using thin clients ? ) and some of these are not allowed to use root and want it badly enough to craft an exploit or use a precrafted one. If you are setting up such a system and expecting it to be secure against users like that with logins, then you're probably a bit bonkers anyway.

Any user with a login who has access to the hardware can subvert this kind of thing anyway, in the worst case by resetting the BIOS password.

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Scientists discover supervolcano trigger that could herald humanity's doom

PyLETS
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No more volcanologists or seismologists

If any other countries follow Italy's lead, I can't think of a job any school leaver would want less after Italy locked up 6 scientists working in this area for not predicting a quake. So maybe when it happens there'll be no chance of any warning at all because there will be no-one willing to go to jail while learning to get whatever predictions can be done in this space right.

http://edition.cnn.com/2012/10/23/world/europe/italy-quake-scientists-guilty/

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Blame Silicon Valley for the NSA's data slurp... and what to do about it

PyLETS
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Big Brother

Re: OSS insufficient

"And that's assuming none of the HARDware you acquire has been bugged by the NSA or some counterpart elsewhere."

Indeed. Little the typical user can do against hardware implants at the individual per user level e.g. caused by MI5 black bag jobs or intercepting a Amazon/Royal Mail delivery and messing with it. More feasible for user communities of particular devices to ensure these implants are not mass manufactured into the regular stock hardware.

With the latter threat in mind, the more people who are able to load OSS operating systems on stock hardware, e.g. replacing Android with CyanogenMod, or BusyBox based router OSS replacements makes it harder for NSA sponsored mass hardware manufactured vulns to hide. Use of IDS such as snort and Wireshark to catch unauthorised network packets originating from tested hardware and publishing discovery of such will embarrass offending manufacturers into developing quality assurance processes which mean what they say, or risk losing too many customers to more secure and quality conscious competitors.

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PyLETS
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Big Brother

OSS insufficient

"The best way to make things as difficult as possible for NSA is to move to Linux and open source software."

Necessary but very far from sufficient. Learn to run your own server and configure simple routers also and how to use crypto, as a starting point. Reason most Linux users still use corporate-controlled servers is due to lack of knowledge concerning how to configure own services.

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PyLETS
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WTF?

Re: right problem, wrong solution

"A data privacy ensuring agency would certainly be a challenge to create"

Some of the work has already been done: The Data Protection Act and the ICO. But this existing framework needs strengthening, including better-defined data protection rights which individuals can enforce through the courts directly. That's not easy however it's done, due to freedom of press issues and the need to hold the powerful to account. We wouldn't want to see a newspaper prevented from publishing a photo of a politician e.g. accepting a bribe, either due to IP law giving the politician ownership of the photo of himself, or by strengthened data protection law with similar effect.

Better to use the beginnings of a process designed and intended for data protection purposes as opposed to retrofitting discredited and already highly confusing IP law which never had this intention. I suspect Andrew is going down the latter route to try to reverse the tide of popular dislike of IP law by giving more individuals a stake in it.

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Britain's costliest mistake? Lord Stern defends his climate maths

PyLETS
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Re: one small problem : "both halves of the debate"

Depends whether you count the number of reputable scientists on both sides, or the number of lobbyist dollars. Clue: you won't get the same disparity of opinion with one of these measurements as you will with the other.

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Unlocking CryptoLocker: How infosec bods hunt the fiends behind it

PyLETS
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Devil

@Sammy Smalls: Net blocking criminal domains

This already happens with spam to a large extent. Many email MTA admins choose to use the Spamhaus blacklist. Configuring it is easy, but it's up to each host or firewall operator to do the DNS lookups to see if a connection is coming from a listed badguy controlled address. Implementing blocks at a political or geographical level "Maybe cut Russia off .. " is neither as effective nor as targeted as supporting reputable blacklist providers and configuring host and firewall providers to make decisions accordingly. Then it's up to each network or host operator to make their own decisions as to what to block or allow by choosing a reputation provider and configuration, leaving room for competition between blacklist providers based on accuracy of listings.

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Top comet-watcher pens ISON's emotional obituary

PyLETS
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Flame

Alas fair Ison, like Icarus,

a bright star shining with promise,

fell from our orbit

by flying too close to the Sun.

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Decades ago, computing was saved by CMOS. Today, no hero is in sight

PyLETS
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Probably doesn't matter

If circuit densities don't increase much from now on, there are still massive gains to be made in cheapening manufacturing processes, and substituting readily available materials for expensive ones etc. As others have said software can be radically improved and de-bloated (I'm writing this on a blisteringly fast Lubuntu desktop running on a multicore CPU supporting multiple virtual OSs at 97% hardware speed ).

The major change will be in adoption - when 80% as opposed to 2% of the population finish education knowing how to program; people who won't tolerate illiteracy and incontinence concerning the handling of data in their workplaces.

Some of the really interesting scientific developments in the next 50 years are likely to be in biotech and nanotech anyway. Figuring out how to make solar panels as a really cheap and durable add-on surface coating to everything exposed to outside light such as tiles and building cladding materials for example. Figuring out how to grow oil from algae in desert areas under bioplastic polytunnels with closed-circuit (i.e. zero system water loss) irrigation. It's unlikely operating these systems will need faster computers, and if designing them does, putting more of the faster computers being made into the cloud enables these clusters to serve more uses than application dedicated machines.

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Patent law? It's all about Apples, Newton and iPads

PyLETS
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Pirate

Copyright and Patents both have positive feedback mechanisms

Positive feedback as in an unstable circuit case, in relation to how these areas of law have been extended to suit vested interests far beyond the optimisation of public benefit.

In the case of copyright the main financial beneficiary, once having concentrated ownership through capitalism, became the only voice on the issue of copyright extension fit for publication in the mass media they own. Prior to social networking this was likely to be the only voice which could ever be heard on the matter.

In the case of patents the law is largely decided by lawyers, who naturally want more of it, resulting in the original intent of legislators being stretched to the limits of the legal imagination. Once a patent application has been worked over expensively by a patent lawyer to the point of unreadability outside of his peer group, terms such as "obviousness" and "inventive step" have taken on entirely different legal meanings from the understandings of mere engineers knowledgeable in the state of the relevant technical art, once tampered with by sufficient case law over a long enough period.

Attempts (some of these successful) have also being made to extend both areas of law through international treaty, secretly negotiated, and once passed creating effective blocks to reform by elected parliaments and houses of representatives to ensure us plebs get no further say in the matter.

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MPAA, RIAA: Kids need to learn 3 Rs – reading, writing and NO RIPPING

PyLETS
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Pirate

Re: Mind control

It seems to be their efforts at mind control through the threats and propaganda you get in the non-skip section at the start when you load a DVD or when they have you as a captive audience in the cinema which has turned the public against them. Prior to the peer to peer communications made possible by the Internet, mass media was the only message on this, and it published their side of the story and there wasn't another side considered by the publishers with a vested interest as being fit to be heard.

As to allowing every industry with a vested interest control over part of the school curriculum for their business motivated propaganda, that isn't what schools and teachers are for.

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If you're not paying, you're product: If you ARE paying, it's no better

PyLETS
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Re: Your own server

Some ISPs have long enough duration leases on IPs that it's possible to get good enough reliability running servers on these by using dynamic DNS for the naming of them. But consumer grade connections are only suitable for low capacity servers - due to higher download than upload speeds.

Renting a virtual server at around £15/month is more suitable if you are likely to have a number of relatives hitting your latest holiday videos all at the same time, and want to do other interesting stuff including mailing lists, web applications and multiple website hosting. You'll save a lot of that by not having to leave your home based server powered up all the time.

Home based NAS boxes are useful for local backup and media serving, but can take several seconds to kick in when a client asks them to serve something, due to the disks being in sleep mode.

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Google and Samsung bare teeth in battle for LANDFILL ANDROID™

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Linux

Re: Why Android?

I do feel it's a sad state of affairs that Android has basically become the Windows of the mobile era"

You might prefer Cyanogen Mod if you want something you can compile and hack yourself which runs on a respectable selection of mobile phone hardware. But most users like myself who benefit from the competition which occurs within Open Source systems tend only want to act as developers in respect of small parts of these systems if at all.

Much better for the most popular choice on this form factor to have sufficient openness to allow for greater openness for those who need it and have the time to develop it.

http://www.cyanogenmod.org/

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Do Not Track W3C murder plot fails by handful of votes

PyLETS
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Big Brother

DNT obsolete

If a site wants to make a polite request clickable by the user they can ask and may even try to cultivate the kind of good reputation where users will believe this preference will be respected. Given most web browsers are unlikely to be configured by their users, what the DNT on the client says is likely to be only marginally related to the behaviour the user actually wants. Better for users who know what they want to control how the browser stores cookies and other history, and then there's no opt out for an advertiser who prefers to ignore a configured browser preference.

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Blighty's laziness over IPv6 will cost us on the INTERNETS - study

PyLETS
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Re: Invalid assumption?

IPV4 means serfs get to run clients, and our overlords get to run the servers. That's what GCHQ/NSA want. Consumer devices can continue to report back to base over the Internet. NAT keeps things this way. With IPV6 there's nothing other than limited technical knowledge and lack of software which supports users with limited knowledge to stop everyone running our own servers. I see Carrier Grade NAT as the most serious current threat to the success of this particular project:

http://www.freedomboxfoundation.org/

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PyLETS
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Big Brother

Re: IPv6 and privacy

The smallest IPV6 allocation you can get is a /64 . That gives you 2**64 - 1 addresses for TOR like purposes in respect of VPNs between friends, so your traffic could realistically emerge from and be received by anyone in your friend of a friend wider group given a suitable browser plugin. Yes I know you could use 10.*.*.* and other privately replicatable and publicly unroutable blocks for this, but the management problems of this replicated address space would make its use for this purpose more error prone, higher management effort and less likely to occur in practice.

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PyLETS
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Boffin

Re: wait a minute

As to NSA involvement in standards definition, this is an organisation with 2 mutually conflicting objectives:

a. Securing US Government computing and communications

b. Spying on people

If they contribute to deliberate brokenness of standards in respect of objective a. in order to make b more feasible, they are not meeting their mission objectives by making the US government more vulnerable. This conflict probably explains why DES was apparently designed to be resistant to differential cryptanalysis when this cracking technique was not in the public domain (making DES strong) with a key short enough for the NSA to brute force at a time it was considered too expensive for anyone else to do so. The problem the NSA have with the standards committees is that published security standards are by their nature subject to very intense outside scrutiny, and unpublished ones are less likely to be adequately peer reviewed or widely implemented due to fewer people having the security clearances needed.

The fact the NSA contributed SELinux to the Kernel shows they take objective a. seriously, and it took 2-3 years for this to be properly reviewed and improved before it was considered trustable enough to become part of the mainstream kernel. It must be very hard to hide exploits in open-source code when we know where it comes from given the amount of critical review this piece of source code must have received.

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Boffin

Re: wait a minute

I'm sure NSA/GCHQ would love us all to stay on IPV4. Carrier grade NAT will significantly degrade genuine peer to peer encrypted services such as ZRTP and RFC 6189 e.g. for P2P opportunistically encrypting VOIP forcing people to use Skype type services instead. If you can no longer punch a P2P port through a double layered NAT firewall we will all have to go through centrally controlled service registries rather than being able to run and secure our own servers.

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Mark Shuttleworth labels Mir opponents 'the Open Source Tea Party'

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Re: No torture (of English) required

"Windows runs on 90% of desktops."

The desktop is a declining market. The growth now is in the cloud and on mobile and small form factor devices.

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Linux

Re: Evolutionary Dead End?

There are 3 possible outcomes of this kind of development approach:

a. Mir dies, due to difficulties getting it adopted by developers at the layers above and below it who don't see the benefit.

b. Mir finds a niche (e.g. small mobile displays) and lives there alongside X11 and Wayland in other niches, e.g. larger displays.

c. Mir is so successful that competitors such as X11 and Wayland become historical footnotes.

In event a. Shuttleworth loses some of his money and Ubuntu some of its reputation, other developers fill these spaces and life moves on. In events b. and c. everyone mostly gains, except in event c. for a very few Wayland developers whose skills are so specialised they are unable to transfer to where these are needed.

The failure or partial or complete success of Mir will be decided mostly by non Canonical developers working at the upper and lower layers. If Mir is adopted by the upper software layer developers and feet are dragged by the hardware layer developers, the ecosystem where Mir is initially most successful will be driven by a more limited choice of hardware.

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