* Posts by Scoured Frisbee

27 posts • joined 26 Feb 2008

Shadow Brokers hike prices for stolen NSA exploits, threaten to out ex-Uncle Sam hacker

Scoured Frisbee

Something doesn't add up

200ZEC=$65000

400ZEC=$131000

Price fluctuations while the article was being written?

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F-Secure's Mikko Hypponen on IoT: If it uses electricity, it will go online

Scoured Frisbee

The automotive market appears to disagree with your optimism.

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Boeing preps pilotless passenger flights – once it has solved the Sully problem, of course

Scoured Frisbee

Re: Remote pilots?

No reason you couldn't have constant / frequent simulated or replayed emergencies going on the remote pilot console, just halt the emergency at random if it's not live so you never know until the end if you got interrupted with a real one. I could see some benefit to having an expert in fatal crash situations piloting the craft, and making the whole thing one constant game would keep the remote pilot sharp for the real life situations.

Obviously that doesn't solve the connectivity problem but it's not completely silly. I'd love my pilot to be assisted by a remote emergency specialist, I just don't want to be on the plane where the remote pilot decides "oh this can't be real" and turns us sideways into the Atlantic.

Speaking of, I haven't read Ender's Game in a couple years.

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'I feel violated': Engineer who pointed out traffic signals flaw fined for 'unlicensed engineering'

Scoured Frisbee

I'm registered as a Professional Engineer in a US state that nominally restricts the term - not that it matters in our field, all of my colleagues advertise themselves as engineers but the reality is I do not work in a regulated field (software) so the state board leaves us alone. I only got the license because I wanted to have it for personal, family legacy reasons.

However, I do think prior comments have incorrectly trivialized what it means to be a registered Engineer. This is my state but throughout the US it is similar. Getting a PE certificate involves:

- having an accredited engineering degree, non-engineering degree plus some years of experience, or no degree and ~20 years of experience;

- taking a general knowledge-based exam covering general topics like physics, math, materials, civil engineering, electrical generation, and so on;

- working as an engineer-in-training for at least four years, with consistently increasing responsibility;

- getting personal and character references from other professional engineers and community members;

- taking an experience-based exam that covers a variety of topics across disciplines (when I took it about half the applicants passed);

- paying your fees, nominally the board has to approve but I think it is rubber stamped once you've met the above.

- renewing annually, which includes recording at least 15 hours of continuing education directly related to your field of discipline.

Finally, professional engineers sign off that they swear to protect the health and welfare of the community above their own gain or corporate interests, and are subject to discipline by the engineering board for a variety of offenses above and beyond legal issues.

Professional engineers started getting licensed around the country because unqualified people started building bridges, mostly. People literally died, politicians contracting for roads and buildings started asking "how can I be sure this builder knows what he is doing, takes his work seriously, is more interested in my safety than his bottom line?"

For several reasons I don't want software engineering to require registration, but I suspect that these questions will resurface after a few more Toyota brake incidents, or to put it another way as software starts to kill people more frequently.

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'Trash-80' escapes the dustbin of history with new TRS-80 emulator

Scoured Frisbee

While growing up my father had a model 1 with expansion, ironically he preferred the tape drive to floppies. I do remember buying cassette loading games at the flea market. Eventually my aunt sold it at a church tag sale - this was after 2000 but I think my father is still upset at her for not returning it.

He also had two model 100s (one and a spare) for work, so when he was out of town we could use the second. Eventually they came to me; one broke in the mid-noughties and I tossed it, along with the printer and tape drive and... but I kept the second. Around 2014 I started using it to "randomly"* generate the kids' lunch items. It is still going fine for purpose: boots up at least once per school day, runs the program automatically, shuts down after a minute. I've only replaced the batteries once since then!

*Worst. Randomizer. Ever. I made it a bit better by decoupling the loading of sweets and salty, but it still gives unfortunate runs of selections. Nonetheless because it is a computer the kids quit complaining, which I suppose was the real point after all. ;)

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The 'data driven enterprise' is actually just the enterprise

Scoured Frisbee

I've been using a catch-all email address on my domain for many years (needs a good spam filter). Originally I was hashing the domains but now I just use the domain name, mostly (e.g. elreg@domain.test). Until some human looks at it I don't have a problem; when I read it out they usually think I'm some kind of corporate shill, but so far they've always typed it in. I do have certain filters for received address, and when a vendor loses an address I can block it quickly.

I think you can append +xxxxxx to your gmail address, too, if you're into the Google thing.

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Why software engineers should ditch Silicon Valley for Austin

Scoured Frisbee

That governor did get voted out - but frankly that was the point of the aside. Not wanting to go somewhere because 'the state' is Democratic or Republican is just foolish - regardless of political labeling the urbanites are more urbane and the rural folks are less so. Every coastal state is composed of both. I'm not going to pretend the greater part of NC (or TX, getting back to the article) is a super place to be right now, but you can't judge SF by Barstow or NYC by upstate, either.

I've seen many local businesses with individual restrooms switched to all-gender signs post-HB2. I hope this is a trend nationwide; when I was in Santa Clara last month I didn't see anything similar, but maybe I just didn't go to the right places? While NC HB2 remains a travesty, the legislators from my district are working to kill it, the new governor will sign it into oblivion, and there will remain all-gender bathrooms all over the city and hopefully the rest of the country as well.

All that to say, I originally posted to address Kieren's observation about SV Google vs. the failed Denver startup - there are more failed startups in SV so taking that MS job in Redmond might be the right move for long term CV readability, though it will be easier to get new work when that SV-based "Facebook for suburban irreligious mothers with three children and one dog" fails to get a series B. We all have our different desires for careers and so it's silly to think any one path will fit everyone, or even any one person for their whole working life.

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Scoured Frisbee

Replace Google with Oracle, SCO, Lucent, MySpace, all the failed YouTube and eBay competitors from SV I don't recall, Amazon/MS in WA, and see it's hard to guess in advance what will sound positive in ten years. Sure the VC money is in SV but real companies have offices everywhere, if you just want a recognizable name on your CV.

Lots of my colleagues moved from SV to RTP, NC for schools, yards, and affordable housing with mostly comparable weather. A handful have moved the other direction - generally, while young and single - for startup opportunities. May be unique to my industries as RTP has large second sites for most of the established NW and storage players, and many of the little ones.

And for you political snobs, the tech hubs throughout the States are mostly large cities, which by and large landslided Clinton. NC, amusingly, had the top few highest-percentage-registered-Democratic counties in the country*, though they are crazy rural so you'd not want to go into them - they probably have guns and wolves and stuff.

*Or at least I recall reading this a few years ago, I can't find any useful analysis now because the 2016 results are overwhelming my search. Several of the counties swing >2/3 D, and one is 75%, according to http://demography.cpc.unc.edu/2016/10/07/nc-in-focus-who-are-ncs-democratic-voters/ , but I can't find national comparisons today.

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Teach undergrads ethics to ensure future AI is safe – compsci boffins

Scoured Frisbee

Re: Ethics issues

I had an ethics seminar in a US-based EE curriculum. On the other hand, during a senior seminar a dot com millionaire came in and said that ethics were for poor people; he explained how he skirted the law and good behavior to make a quick buck. He got bought by ABC and hopefully is destitute somewhere, post-crash.

Shortly after I took my Prof Eng exam, I asked a group of (quite liberal) software engineering friends whether they ever considered the public at large in their professional work. It took a while for them to even understand the question, obviously the answer was "no". Most of them worked at a big data analysis company at the time, so a lot of their projects impacted well beyond their immediate customers.

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PoisonTap fools your PC into thinking the whole internet lives in an rPi

Scoured Frisbee

Something missing...

I get the DHCP part, but how do you get the legitimate site data to display while the box is plugged in? Or is it just that you spawn the magic web frame and then pull the fake interface, so normal routing can resume? If someone hops on the computer with an extra USB dongle and no functional networking they are sure to notice...

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Computer glitches force US election poll stations to stay open for longer

Scoured Frisbee

I know it's late and no one cares, but as a local I wanted to set the record straighter:

- the story is just wrong, at least this area always uses bubble-in paper ballots - the BoE administration is as luddite as you (we) lot. I gather two precincts lost internet connections early in the day (AT&T/TWC area), and those precincts had to revert to paper voter rolls. Presumably it took some extra time to reconcile voters between paper and electronic rolls over the phone or whatever.

- Durham is the largest individual Democratic stronghold in NC, by far - about 75% Democratic to 20% Republican over 90,000 votes, which is not out of line from previous elections. (There are more heavily Democratic places in NC, but with fewer voters.)

- As a result of the reversion to paper rolls, the Durham precincts stayed open 90 minutes after the rest of the state. I don't quite understand this, since we've been voting in the normal timeframe with paper rolls until this year, but I guess the verification delay with territories where the computers worked...?

- By coincidence, the Republican governor was somewhat in the lead until the Durham results came in very late, with almost exactly 90000 votes, and 5000 extra flipping the tally to his Democratic opponent. (Out of 4.5 million votes cast...) Now they are counting provisionals and absentee, and recounting Durham, as it stands it's a complete unknown who will be governor in February.

To be fair I think it was just a random snafu and handled as well as reasonable, but I can see why some people think it was a setup: of all the hundreds of precincts in NC, only the Democratic ones stayed open an extra 1.5 hours, they were open until all the other precincts reported, and then they produced almost exactly enough votes to flip the gubernatorial election.

Also, IT angle, n+1 redundancy - hopefully they'll have 3G modems next year...

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Good God, we've found a Google thing we like – the Pixel iPhone killer

Scoured Frisbee

Re: I hope...

There is a graffiti keyboard, and you can get a capacitive stylus - I've not seen a case with a pen-slot though.

That said, now that I have been Swyping since WM days, I am much faster than I ever was even with the physical BB or Palm keyboard. I became a Swype convert when I realized I could type to around 80% accuracy without looking at the phone at all - even with the physical keyboards I had a hard time with that.

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Before Bitcoin, digital cash was called Beenz – all that's left is a T-shirt

Scoured Frisbee

I found a copy of _The Dilbert Principle_ with "Compliments of Compaq" on the cover at a thrift store.

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And! it! begins! Yahoo! sued! over! ultra-hack! of! 500m! accounts!

Scoured Frisbee

Specificity in reporting please

A bit disappointed in the relatively meaningless sentence:

"If even a fraction of the 500 million Yahoo! users targeted by hackers take action against the company, and win even a miserly award, the potential costs to the biz could count in the high multi-millions."

So many missed potential fractions and costs, and calculations relative to the current price of tea in China. Bonus points for including the inflationary pressures of purchasing so much Chinese tea at once.

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Classic Shell, Audacity downloads infected with retro MBR nuke nasty

Scoured Frisbee
Joke

Cost of the attack?

No estimate of the amount of damage from a well-qualified expert? Surely an attack of this magnitude and duration has IT costs running into the many many millions...

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Ban ISPs from 'speeding up' the internet: Ex-Obama tech guru

Scoured Frisbee

Eh...

"Please enlighten me, how does one 'speed up' network traffic? Devices can't retransmit any faster than they receive."

Okay, I'm an electrical engineer in license only, but I thought bits traveled about 2/3c on copper and exactly c on fibre. Thus every copper-to-fibre media converter is changing the traffic speed either up or down depending on direction, surely?

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Flytenow's other wing clipped: second appeal fails

Scoured Frisbee

Re: Hypocrisy

In the US, that was legal, at least back when I was studying. This is a link that describes FAA cost-sharing in the same way I was taught it:

http://pilot-protection-services.aopa.org/News/2014/August/Pro-Rata-Cost-Sharing-The-Math-Matters?WT.mc_id=

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Riddle me this: What grows as it shrinks? Answer: LTO tape

Scoured Frisbee

> and tape is reliable

Pull the other one!

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Child tracker outfit uKnowKids admits breach, kicks off row with security researcher

Scoured Frisbee

Re: BBC News Tells the Other Side of the Story

I must have missed it, what was the other side? The story I saw on the BBC was:

- fellow found obvious site error using search tool

- site owner reacted with threats and bluster on the initial report

- fellow was concerned his issue would be swept under the rug

- site fixed a problem and is no longer indexed by the search tool

Which is exactly what I got from this article, too.

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Tandy 102 proto-laptop still alive and beeping after 30 years, complete with AA batteries

Scoured Frisbee

I have a Model 100 in the kitchen, since last October or so I've used it to pseudo-randomly generate side items for the kids' school lunches. The RNG is horrid, but it looks scientific and thus cuts down on complaints from the kiddos.

I'd considered submitting it, but since it was powered down in my bookshelf for 15 years it seemed unfair. I originally had two, but the other one stopped booting some years back and was discarded.

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Disney sitcom says open source is insecure

Scoured Frisbee

Independence Day

Wow, that IS a coincidence: I noticed a number of inaccuracies in Independence Day as well.

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Death to Office or to Windows - choose wisely, Microsoft

Scoured Frisbee
Stop

Re: Re: newfound respect for open source

We have lots of expensive commercial Linux software. Most of it supports specific distributions (RedHat mostly, it is a business after all). Installs aren't that bad, and if they are that's why we pay for support. That doesn't necessarily scale well for end-users but for a big rollout you only have to do it once.

If you haven't seen enterprise commercial Linux software then you just haven't been looking.

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Republican reps push for mandatory gun ownership

Scoured Frisbee

Some data

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/health/interactives/guns/ownership.html

http://os.cqpress.com/rankings/2010/Crime-State-Rankings-2010.html

http://www.census.gov/statab/ranks/rank21.html

I only did states where gun access [aka what I could find in 30 seconds] was above 50%. Gun study was 2001, crime was 2010, so YMMV there. List is: state, % access, overall crime rank (1 is bad), violent crime rank (50 is bad)

Al 51.7 40 23

Ak 57.8 37 6

Ar 55.3 41 11

Id 55.3 5 42

Ms 55.3 28 31

Mt 57.7 7 41

Nd 50.7 3 49

Sd 56.6 9 46

Wv 55.4 11 39

Wy 59.7 6 43

To my eye, no clear correlation between reported crime or violent crime and gun access, but I'm not a statistician.

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Sprint introduces $10 smartphone premium

Scoured Frisbee

CDMA users can't switch phones...

Sprint is a CDMA provider that provides locked handsets, so it always knows the make and model of your smartphone; no SIM switching available, and of course to change an ESN would violate something-or-other.

I already pay the $10 fee on my wife's Evo, and knew about it going in; you just price-shop knowing that Sprint's data rate is $X+10, they made it painfully obvious on the site. The "fees" that bug me are the ones that aren't well-disclosed.

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Broadcom shrinks Ethernet switching gear to 65nm

Scoured Frisbee

@@GSNC

According to the report, 40% power reduction, I assume that means only the switching chip, not the whole pizza box. I doubt they changed the rates for 802.*... Not a lot of boxes in this space that aren't using Broadcom chips, anyway. outside of Cisco (and some of theirs do as I recall). Green is money, in the US.

I will say the only 802.11n AP chipset I've seen that works on the old (=cheap) PoE standard is the 65nm Broadcom one... though I haven't seen kit based on it in the stores yet, so that just might be "on a roadmap" somewhere.

The only wireless Broadcom card I've had that wasn't wired is my 802.11n minipci in my Dell, and so far it's been solid with my Cisco and Linksys gear. Haven't needed Linux drivers for it but that's always hit-or-miss anyway, I have an old Cisco card I use when the built-ins don't work.

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US senator accuses FCC of rigging 700MHz auction

Scoured Frisbee
Pirate

@Joe

"Virginia is behind many 3rd world countries -thanks to our free market system, where a single company comes in and grabs all the high profit areas effectively shutting out competitors by making it too expensive for anyone else to provide service outside the densely populated sections."

Of course if the market was unregulated other companies would be allowed to compete in the high profit areas. As it is the state and municipalities make the decision who gets service and who does not by designating an area provider that gets the monopoly. If you want to switch the area cable provider from Cox to someone who promises to cover your area, complain to your city representation, who will soundly ignore you 'cause they get all kinds of free stuff to keep Cox... I mean will give due heed to your concern and thank you for your trouble.

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Judge accuses hacks of hacking cannibal ruling

Scoured Frisbee
Jobs Horns

Probably just warning the attorneys to keep their traps shut...

"That's what I think happened, and I think that because I do not believe any of the lawyers involved here would violate" the confidentiality order.

She's a judge, of course she knows the lawyers involved would violate the confidentiality order if they thought it was in the best interest of their case. Now if they keep chattering they know she'll sic the district attorney on them for conspiracy and computer crimes, aside from the contempt charge...

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