* Posts by Glyph

28 posts • joined 5 Apr 2008

'Polar vortex' or not, last month among the warmest Januaries recorded


Re: Thank you for a balanced article.

If you attack science *with* science, that is the epitomy of science. The 36 billion tons of co2 for instance. I am not a non-warmist, I probably am a non-statist, but I have heard the argument that human produced carbon is such a small percentage of the total carbon produced, that the ecosystem will adapt and be able to sink more carbon over time. There is some evidence of this, initially estimates showed that approximately 40% of the co2 we produce was getting absorbed, and the rest was accumulating in the atmosphere. Recent estimates have been a little higher than 40%. The non-warmists would claim that this is the adaptation of the planet, and soon it wil be 100%. The warmists would ask how many species will go extinct, and what sort of climate will we have, at this new equilibrium point, if there is one. I am neither though, as a non-statist I will simply say that our governments will be unable to change anything even with the full will of the people behind them, so we need a technical solution, not a policy one. One example I like is a company that installs solar panels for free in places where it makes sense and takes a large portion of the energy savings as payment for some period thereafter. An energy plant with lower cost per watt than coal, and an electric car with lower total cost of ownership than a petrol car are very difficult challenges, but I think meeting those challenges are what will save us, not some artificial policy that will be sidestepped before its finished draft arrives.

Google warns Glass wearers: Quit being 'CREEPY GLASSHOLES'


don't get it

I really don't get the hatred. I know a lot of people who don't want to wear something on their face because "glasses aren't cool." I get that, I don't agree, or more to the point, I don't care, but I get it. The worry that the people around me are catching me on video while I scratch my rear or what have you, just isn't there. I am not belittling the concern, I just don't understand it. I would quite like a substitute for phone screens. I am looking forward to people walking around waving their hands in the air instead of walking into walls while staring down at their phones, its way more futuristic, and more amusing as well, especially if they/I still walk into the wall.

Google slurps sound-powered security upstart SlickLogin



The first free 2-factor I remember noticing was WoW/battlenet's phone app. That was in 2008, I think google started in 2011.

Naked intruder cracks one off in Florida rampage drama


warning shots

I live in carry land as someone put it, and in the 12hr mandatory course, part of the material was never to fire warning shots. Essentially they said never brandish a firearm unless the situation warrants lethal force, and never discharge the firearm unless it is with the intent to stop the situation by hitting the attacker's center of mass. Well they said many things, quite a lot about verbal de-escalation, but that was the relevant part. It seems however that the warning shots worked out quite nicely in this situation.

Are you an IT pro? It's no longer safe to bet your career on Microsoft


what did he miss?

The post seemed fairly accurate, except that as much as I would have liked to stick to c++ and python, there have always been cases where I had to learn/use each of the deprecated technologies he mentioned with the exception of silverlight. This due to customer constraints usually, or because I was adding stuff to an existing code base, or using a hardware vendor's driver/api that was locked into MS' previous paradigm.

But how can you argue with the rest of the post? MS definetly moved people towards each of the technologies listed, and then tried to ditch them as fast as possible. As a developer I have to be ready to learn whatever I need to learn to get the job done, but as a project manager I should pick something that does what I need *and* has a reasonable chance of being supported for the lifetime of the project. For example something like c++ and QT, or python and tkinter if speed isn't an issue, or any one of a half dozen vendor/community supported and portable frameworks that don't get dumped on the heap after a couple years.

Nobody knows what to call Microsoft's ex-Metro UI


why all the hate?

I've watched some videos walking through various tasks on windows 8. I think it seems quite an improvement. It looks very similar to the gnome 3 that I know and love. Wait am I allowed to mention that I like using gnome 3? Or do I have to do some sort of geek penance now?

Thanks ever so much Java, for that biz-wide rootkit infection


privilege escalation?!

as has been noted, there had to be multiple exploits here.

maybe - one in java to allow native code execution, alternatively its lack of sandboxing might have been sufficient to allow the next step via valid windows api calls

probably - a windows privilege escalation exploit that allows a user to run as admin

certainly - a service exploit to run user level code to spread across the network

it is possible that there was no privilege escalation bug used, but it certainly sounds like there was. I thought these were getting rare. Could someone in IT comment on that? I'm a dev, I create these sorts of problems with sloppy code, not solve them. I do remember an old redhat 5 privilege escalation exploit that you could go from a user shell to a root shell with only seven lines of typing.

Windows 7 passes XP, Mac OS X passes Vista


browsing machine

These stats are based on browsing statistics. That makes me wonder how much browsing is done from mobile devices now. To have these numbers it would seem they must also have iOS and android numbers.

Ice core shows Antarctic Peninsula warming is nothing unusual



"The climate will change whether we pump more or less CO2 into the atmosphere, the only thing we can do is adapt."

The climate will change, but we *can* do something besides adapt. We can fight back. We should make the world we live on, the one we want to live on. A study has been recently proposed in which ships would spray saltwater high into the atmosphere causing low level cloud formation and subsequent cooling. This is only the latest in a long line of climate engineering proposals. I am sure we will make some mistakes, but being in control reduces more risks than it creates.

Boffins zapped '2,000 bugs' from Curiosity's 2 MILLION lines of code



Well I'm interested. Anyone else use coverity? All the static analysis tools I've used fail to find anything terribly complex. A tool that could spot data consistency errors across threads would be nice.

Also, the language debate appears to be winding down so... C++ is the best language ever because recursive template FFT implementations are the fastest.

Wikileaks: Canadian piracy arrests were favor to movie biz man

Black Helicopters

personal favor?

If a member of the RCMP is doing personal favors using the authority delegated to him by the people, *that* is the story. Lock the briber and the bribee up!

Major issue aside, here is my conspiracy theory. They can't punish people for not breaking the law, so they call in a favor (illegally) to get a cammer arrested. They have already approached said cammer and offered him X (money, drugs, whatever) to not show up to his hearing to have the charges dismissed. The whole point being to get potential cammers to associate the penalty for failing to show up to court, with the perfectly legal activity they are contemplating. The OD was probably just a result of too much money and too high a tolerance, but if he threatened to go public with the deal, perhaps he was in fact "suicidated".

Save the planet: Stop the Greens


pumped storage

The energy density of pumped storage is extremely low. Wiki says a cubic meter of water in a 100m tower has about 0.272kwh. Adding in the losses of the turbines, pumps, and evaporation, it only gets worse. To last through the long cold calm spells you'd need to turn all of Scotland into a reservoir farm, destroying its ecology, and that might not even be sufficient. Pumped storage is good for smoothing output on the periodicity of a day or so, but anything longer requires alternative power solutions capable of the entire peak load on the system. If those alternative solutions aren't environmentally friendly, you still have a problem, and they are, why do you need wind?

Court orders seizure of PS3 hacker's computers


failoverflow are heros

geohot just followed their instructions on how to get the key he provided. The keys failoverflow provided already enabled linux support and homebrew, they didn't continue on to find the one geohot provided because they claimed it was only useful for piracy, but they then explained how you would go on to recover it. I imagine sony made it that way specifically so they could point out that the hack didn't have other legitimate uses.

Dead baby taunting troll feels wrath of law


mod me troll

and send me to jail. /. will be a dangerous place...

Please don't hit the down-vote! I'm too pretty for prison!

CIA used 'illegal, inaccurate code to target kill drones'


ppc -> x86?

Where is the overflow? x86 has 80bit fpu registers (at least for intel), and ppc has 64bit. I would have expected any problems to occur going the other direction. So what am I missing?

StreetView passed by Kiwi cops



The convention has been that an unencrypted access point *is* an invitation. It will be a convention that is hard to change. Yes we should have used the convention of putting the word "free" in the SSID or something similar, but we didn't.

Raptor over Blighty: Watch the stealth fighter in infrared


Not hardly

Titanium isn't hard enough in any alloy. It would make a terrible sword. Its a bit too brittle as well. And I've been told that the plastic feel to most titanium you get your hands on is actually a polymer coating to prevent your hand's oils from working its way into microfractures and weakening the material. I had a watch band that didn't have this coating and it came apart on me one day when it snagged on my shirt as I took it off. The titanium links now bend like lead.

Delayed Visual Studio 2010 RC due this week


Someone step up!

I hate that I have to admit liking visual studio better than any other IDE. Its the only MS product I like. But for native C++ the only IDE I've used that comes close is Xcode (which comes very close). I really wish someone would use this chance to step up and make a better IDE. Preferably for linux. I don't understand how anyone can use eclipse for c++, its just *so* slow even on my quadcore, and the UI is always finding new ways to confuse me. Kdevelop and anjuta might be within striking distance if they focus. As things stand I use vi, and I'm much slower without my intellisense encompassing every standard library and api I'm using.

Security experts dissect Google China attack


next step

At first I figured that the cost of dealing with the malware problem was just surpassing the amount of profit they made in the country, but Google must be smart enough to know that whether it was actually China's government or the "feces youth", that neither will stop their behavior simply because google left the country.

If Google is upset then they should not just retreat, but retaliate. They are in a unique position to create a set of moving proxy/vpn servers to allow those inside the firewall access to free(er) information. They could use sites like youtube (that will now have to be accessed through a proxy) to distribute the next ip address hop by inserting them in media that their advertising engine decides are interesting to those in mainland china.

This wouldn't just be out of goodwill or in retaliation, it would allow them to still get their advertising to china's growing market without having to put up with the rules of that market.

Microsoft apes Google with chillerless* data center



People are worried about working in an environment over 25C?! Bunch of bloody wankers! In the summer (3/4 of the year) my *apartment* gets up to 50C every time the A/C goes out (which is a lot). And down to 14C in the winter (about three weeks in February), but only because I like it cold.

Can we convince governments to only let people live in areas where cooling costs are lower? It would reduce our personal footprints a lot! Europe and the west coast of the U.S. would be terribly over-populated, but I'm sure we can solve that without legislation.

Gamer embezzles virtual cash to settle real debts


Halting State

by Charles Stross is an excellent near-future sci-fi novel with a similar event depicted, and then the real-world ramifications are explored as well. The money is real enough to upset the people who lost it, real enough for people to trade government backed notes for it, and real enough to help treat a child's medical problems. That seems real enough.

Most undergraduates 'show fear when asked to do maths'


Math is hard, teachers matter

I've always hated math. To this day when I try to read a paper my eyes slide around the equations and when I force them back I start getting sleepy. I can only guess its some sort of protection system. I remember when studying for calc3 (greens theorem surface integrals, vector calc stuff) I would feel great right up until I started and then feel like I hadn't slept in days. I really have no idea how to undo this, my job uses math (and statistics) heavily and I am very excited about finding new ways to use math as a tool, but the fatigue is ingrained and seemingly inexorable. Having someone who is also excited about the applications of the math to explain things really makes the difference for me. My favorite math text is "numerical recipes in..." the thing is written by engineers for engineers. Trying to go back and read my old math textbooks now that I firmly understand the stuff, I can see why I had trouble, even the ones that are acknowledged to be the "best" are terrible as anything but a reference.

I'm a sceptic now, says ex-NASA climate boss


why is it important?

Why should we be concerned about whether or not we are the cause? I know this is nothing that hasn't been said before, but I've never seen anyone reply to a post like this. We can't avoid having an effect on our world, so why worry about whether we did this, or if its "natural". Why not simply decide on what climate we wish we could have and then decide what reasonably safe courses of action we could undertake to trend towards that climate over time? The idea that a climate untouched by man is obviously the one we should have, and the idea that as long as we didn't cause it, its ok if the world turns into a desert, are both irrational ones.

Feds kills ATI and Nvidia price-fix probe


original class action plaintiffs only

Only the handful of straw men consumers and the lawyers you started it get the 850k, (looks like AMD may not have paid the settlement). It seems like class-action lawsuits occasionally give tiny handouts to all affected, but mostly just make a litigious few richer.


Secret of invisibility unravelled by US researchers


invisibility is nice but...

I'll take all the other stuff a superlens can do, and his group is working on those as well. I find it odd they announced in this manner, unless I misunderstand the discovery, this is a material with a negative refraction index in the visible wavelengths. This same technology is what they are planning on using to boost optical media sizes through the roof, and drop lithography die sizes down to the silicon limit. It trumps the diffraction limit or so I've read.

@Charles Manning: yes it took them 20 yrs but Canada and NY both now have superconducting power lines yes?

AVG scanner blasts internet with fake traffic


Possible attack vector?

I saw this when I reinstalled windows on the other partition a while back. I thought it was super neat! It never occurred to me that this might cause a problem for web hosting. Does it cause the same sorts of problems when I keep google-analytics no-scripted? At the basic level if it came down to my security or someone else's business model I'd pick my security every time. However, if linkscanner has an exploit, I don't have to click the link to get infected, I just have to search something that brings up an infected link. I think an all around a better solution is to scan at click time, perhaps ctrl-click to skip the scan for trusted sites.

Mounties taser bed-ridden octagenarian


Standard procedure.

I would imagine the standard procedure for facing someone armed with a knife is to shoot them. Rightly so, in most cases a knife is a serious threat even to someone armed with a gun. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tueller_Drill

However this guy is probably not a fast runner at this point in his life, and is connected to the wall via an oxygen hose. Though I suppose if he is delusional he might not worry about either before attacking.

I wouldn't want to get close enough to him to fiddle with the O2 and that might kill him too. Pepper spray would work except for the surroundings. The best solution here IMO is probably as someone said, to whack his hand like a child in catholic school with a *very* long pole. That does qualify as deadly force under my local penal code (clubs), but so does a stun gun or taser I think, and responding to a knife with deadly force is legal (here at least).

US teen cuffed for disposable camera 'Taser'


Not lethal, but not necessarily funny

First the obligatory "I got shocked once" anecdote. My HS physics teacher told me to discharge the Leyden jar after our charge experiments. Said she would do it but she was pregnant.... That should have been a clue, but at least I didn't wet myself. I shorted it in one arm and out the other.

If it was consenting male bonding type pain between friends, a good kick in crotch or 300v discharge can be funny. Otherwise it was bullying and results in socially inept students wearing black trench coats and shooting people, and deserves some corporal punishment (the bullying not the shooting).

Shocking the teacher means he either grabbed it in a violent manner, grabbed the exposed metal bits in ignorance, or the student shocked him intentionally. Which I rate as funny, funny, or corporal punishment worthy, respectively.

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