* Posts by AustinTX

146 posts • joined 15 Jul 2008

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Another IoT botnet has been found feasting on vulnerable IP cameras

AustinTX
Linux

Using generic Chinese Foscam clones

I have their internet access cut off at the router so they can't call out or be reached from outside. Likewise, all of my embedded/IOT-like things are restricted to communicating with specific IP addresses on the LAN. Namely, my workstation and my web server where I run ZoneMinder to record activity.

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User loses half of a CD-ROM in his boss's PC

AustinTX
Paris Hilton

Re: I always wondered...

ELP has a consumer line of laser record-players. they're "only" $4000 - $15,000 (down from $25,000). The advantage is that it has no needle to ever replace and shouldn't wear records down. The problem is that it's vastly more expense for no gain in quality. I've read that it sounds fine, but not nearly fine enough for audiophiles to fork over the big bucks.

I've read of a similar system using an ultrasonic beam which is far cheaper and also sounds decent.

I've selected the Paris Hilton icon since she's a famous DJ now, hah!

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Far out: Dark matter bridges millions of light-years long spotted between galaxies

AustinTX
Holmes

The assumption that it's matter

Note that all they know is that these are regions which exhibit naked gravity without detectable source. Since matter is associated with gravity, they call it "dark matter". It's just as likely that it's something that gravity does on it's own. My own pet theory is that it's a displaced gravity field caused by the matter pulled into black holes.

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TRAPPIST-1's planets are quiet. Quiet as the grave, in fact

AustinTX
Happy

Re: Intelligent(?!) Design

"And don't forget the prostate. A kind and loving God would have put that on the outside and made it easily replaceable."

Intelligent Design placed your prostate just on the other side of your rectal wall so your buddy can give it a nice massage every fortnight or so... :D

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AustinTX
Facepalm

Re: We won't be living on alien planets.

"I really can't understand the down votes; your post is, logically, the best way for us to colonise the solar system."

Yeah; I guess they all want to live on Mars and breed pale, frail cave goblins for children. :/

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AustinTX
Facepalm

Re: We won't be living on alien planets.

"I believe sintered rock tends to be inflexible and brittle."

I'm not aware that all "sintered rock" must have the same quality, nor that it is uniformly inadequate. Different chemistry leads to different physical properties. Think of the colony wall as an eggshell proportionately expanded to a sphere several miles across. Even if it's stronger against compression than tension, it's still up to either task. It'll be more like a ceramic. Additionally, it can be reinforced with fiberglass or carbon fiber threads mixed in, and formed in corrugated or spongy form as appropriate for flexibility and other characteristics.

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AustinTX

Re: We won't be living on alien planets.

"People are looking for habitable exoplanets because it's the first step to looking for exoplanets which actually have life on them"

This particular article doesn't mention colonizing other worlds, but pretty much all of them do. And most people read on through without realizing that living on alien worlds is just a sci-fi trope.

Put another way, we should stop searching the forest for comfortable caves to live in, since there is enough wood to build a city.

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AustinTX

Re: We won't be living on alien planets.

"While I don't disagree with you, I do wonder how orbital colonies shield the colonists from the suns radiation."

Orbital colonies will shield from radiation about as well as the nearest mountain. A concrete-like shell 30-40 feet thick, an additional layer of soil and water features, millions of cubic feet of air above that. Also, colonies can be placed at the most convenient distance from the sun to maximize cooling vs energy collection vs ionizing radiation. They'll be clustered behind any natural protection if necessary.

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AustinTX

Re: We won't be living on alien planets.

"Will those trillions, born and growing up in a fraction of Earth gravity still be human after a few generations?"

I most certainly did not describe life in orbital colonies as being like "The Expanse's" "Belters". An orbital colony can be spun to simulate Earth-normal gravity, or even more if you want your kids to grow up even more muscular.

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AustinTX

We won't be living on alien planets.

We have GOT

to stop this unquestioned narrative

about colonizing Mars, searching for alien planets in the Goldilocks Zone

and all the rest of that nonsense.

None of them will have all of our basic needs as Earth provides, and at best we will have to live in domes or caves under the surface.

Landing in a gravity well is risky and expensive. Launching is even more expensive. There won't be any mining down there for anything but local needs. In fact, planet-dwellers are all-but trapped.

Terra-forming would take thousands of years, and humans just aren't capable of this kind of financial and logistical commitment.

But, we can build perfect homes almost anywhere in the form of orbital colonies. In orbit, where the easy-to reach material is in the first place. In fact, out of the tailings left over from sifting more valuable components out of comets, asteroids and the smaller moons.

Sintered rock powder makes a tough, concrete-like substance. The heat source comes from a reflective mirror. It doesn't even need to be big; a mirror a few feet across can turn sand to glass here on earth. We build up the football or cylinder-shaped habitat like it's inside a gargantuan 3D printer.

We spin it, and establish the ecology of our choice inside, and feed it with power collected from the host star through panels floating nearby.

We'll likely use the Moon for material first, then Mars's moons, then the asteroids. There is material for millions of habitats, each with the population of a county. Before long, the vast majority of Humanity will exist in colonies orbiting the Sun, population exceeding trillions of people.

ANY system that has loose floating material, and a star that is hot or bright enough, without being too irregular, will do.

The galaxy could be teeming with established intelligent life already, perhaps mostly around red dwarfs as they are the most plentiful and live many times longer than Sun-like stars.

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Google, what the hell? Search giant wrongly said shop closed down, refused to list the truth

AustinTX
FAIL

Google no longer lists my business either

Despite having a google+ site and getting JUNK MAIL from google addressed to my business, they took my business location off of the map and it's a struggle to "trick" google into getting it to come up in search. There was one month that I kept getting phone calls from various people pretending to be customers who would chat a bit about my services and then ask if it was a home business or not... and then abruptly hang up on me. Google has also told me to "just create a new google+ page and re-list my business". Yeah, but I can't use my current business name then, idiots. Who's going to do business with "Linden Consulting2"?

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Dodgy Dutch developer built backdoors into thousands of sites

AustinTX

I've seen this movie

It was called "Sneakers" -1992

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Wi-Fi baby heart monitor may have the worst IoT security of 2016

AustinTX

How adorably 1990's

"our data team"? You sure you don't want to capitalize those words to make them sound a tad more confident? You don't need a "Data Team", you need software developers, testers and at least a security consultant. I bet someone's flipping through their Rolodex for the number to that Chinese company who made the software for them...

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Malware figures out it's running on VMs and refuses to execute

AustinTX

Re: Hide, hide, hide ...

A better Red Pill payload would be a marginally effective "real" payload which puts on a reasonable performance and distracts researchers for weeks or years. Probably been going on this way for years. Gewd Jorb, researchers!

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BBC detector vans are back to spy on your home Wi-Fi – if you can believe it

AustinTX
Big Brother

Unique packet patterns

Live iplayer streams could be made identifiable by manipulating packet lengths. They would initially be set at a particular, unusual length. After a set interval, they would change to another. And another. It would be a unique pattern like a serial number. One even could sniff encrypted packets and simply measure them by size and note the pattern. This would tell the spy exactly what program was being watched.

I'd go with the Ethernet option, but the Faraday cage works, too. One might be able to confuse the spy by playing two separate iplayer streams at the same time.

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Render crashing PCs back to their component silicon: They deserve it

AustinTX

Re: You forgot printers

Yes, all joking aside, some printer cartridges literally, actually DO have expiration dates built in. There's a whole community of folks working out ways to circumvent this. Printer mfgrs are/were actually pressing to make this sort of thing illegal too. The reason for the expiration? Benevolent, kind-hearted printer mfgrs simply want to ensure you have "the best possible experience" heh. Also, when the inkjet cartridge is officially "empty" there's still hundreds of pages worth of ink throughout the capillary tunnels within it. If petrol cost the same as printer ink, a fill-up would cost half a million dollars. What is printer ink? Dirty water.

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Classic Shell, Audacity downloads infected with retro MBR nuke nasty

AustinTX

Re: Download Only From Sources You Can Trust

Aaaaargh! Have mercy, good people! Of COURSE it was sarcasty!

But I think it's hilarious how many people were unsure and actually downvoted!

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AustinTX
Thumb Up

Download Only From Sources You Can Trust

This is yet another reason one should only download safe and signed applications from the Microsoft Online Store!

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PC pioneer Gary Kildall's unpublished memoir revealed

AustinTX

Lobo Max-80

CP\M on a Lobo Systems Max-80 was a lot of fun. But the Max-80 also ran LDOS, which had the lion's share of available software. I remember reading about the BIOS debate in computer magazines. I think they were calling it something else still. The objection was that this in-between layer would double execution times because it had to make that standard call that made the proprietary call. Unthinkable! PCs were so slow back then that it was worth it to just make a custom version of the OS for each model.

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Windows 10 still free, even the Anniversary Update, if you're crass

AustinTX

NOX

Dawg, I'm turning down WORK because I don't want to touch this turdstick! Windows 7 to10 migrations are an abomination.

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Argos changes 150 easily guessed drop-off system passwords

AustinTX

Whole Foods Market

By inflexible policy, their passwords are all in the form of the day of the week, month and day on which it was last reset in the form of FRI0729. Every account created or reset today gets that password. The associate might change it, but probably won't.

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Cyberpunks might not be crooks but they're really very rude

AustinTX

Very rude, huh?

Very rude, huh? Well, surely it's not the Canadians, then... Who's rude, let's think... Lookin' at YOU France!

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If managing PCs is still hard, good luck patching 100,000 internet things

AustinTX

Re: Oh for Goodness Sake

Right, like that. But it needs to be baked into the SOHO routers now. I depend on a horde of ancient internet telephony devices, IP cameras, and other embedded gadgets around the house. For privacy, I have to manually enter their MAC addresses to block their Internet access. This could benefit from automation in the router. And IoT devices need access to at least one cloud service, so those would need a customized, limited hole poked in the firewall for them.

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AustinTX

Re: Oh for Goodness Sake

Why make yourself more useful than the competitors when you can lobby to have yourself made mandatory? That's industry's answer to everything. Senator Greenbuck certainly agrees that those dangerous old lightswitches and outlets should be replaced with dandy new Patriot(tm) gear which sends a nice usage log back to the mfgr. No report app for you, though.

IoT is going to be a disaster unless laws are passed making sure the equipment is reusable after the original mfgr goes titsup. It would be wise if mfgrs were required to turn over mgmt of obsolete devices to 3rd-party long term support entities. We also need SOHO routers which can restrict IoT device's access to just specific destinations, blocking all Internet access by default.

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Software bug costs Citigroup $7m after legit transactions mistaken for test data for 15 years

AustinTX

Re: If You Profit From Breaking The Law

This small cut of the profits is called "a fine" because it makes your illegal profit just fine.

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AustinTX

Re: Interesting footnote

Ohh, ohhh, you and your fancy *extended* binary-coded decimal interchange code! I suppose you work entirely from the command-line? None of that silly realtime operating-system conversation operative environment?

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AustinTX

If You Profit From Breaking The Law

If you profit from breaking the law, the government will demand a small cut of said profits.

It's too bad those "three strikes" laws don't apply to Corporate Persons.

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Facebook deleted my post and made me confirm pics of my kids weren't sexually explicit

AustinTX

The "Real Names Only" fad

The "Real Names Only" fad that has taken over social media sites, some of which have technically retracted the policy while actually still enforcing it, is as bad as the autocensorship.

Being forced to use real names does NOT quell misbehavior. Crazies are still crazy and don't care if they get their account banned. A-list elites don't need to fear punishment for being hostile to other members. What "Real Names Only" does is associate more accurate identification of who it is that has said what. You can't make as much selling info about an anonymous accounts. The cops and the feds, who are this company's customers, want to know who a person is, as much as they want to know what sort of threat to authority they act like.

I've been a moderator/admin/sysop since the mid 80's. Being anonymous (using nicknames) is a non-issue. It protects member's privacy as well as their personal safety.

Sites like Nextdoor.com force everyone to use their real names, display their real addresses, and keeps all that info on public display even after you've quit, or worse, been banned for not fitting in with the clique. Despite this, the site claims to protect your "security" and "privacy". Yes, by forcing you to expose yourself. Any wag can sign up with a fake account and then download the big directory of names, addresses, and often emails and phone numbers. They get pics of the kids, their names, what their hobbies are (they probably have kit for that in the garage), and everything else the members write about in public.

And yeah, we do have a personal problem with Nextdoor. I wrote about it on ElReg last night here: http://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/containing/2914926

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In mourning for Nano, chap crafts 1k-loc text editor

AustinTX

Bahahahaha, I still use PICO daily!

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AustinTX

Re: Libre liver bile

NAY, MON! No true Libre would do that!

Anyway, I used to have a disk full of 1-line LBASIC games I typed in from various magazines. I recall one was a scrolling racecar track.

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White hat banned for revealing vulns in news sites used by London councillors

AustinTX

Re: Meet the tool of the Police State: Nextdoor.com

Yes, that's certainly an issue in our city, too. The neighborhood associations are dominated by really small, tight groups of 'old friends' who make no attempt to represent the actual neighborhood, and will attack anyone making an earnest attempt to join the decision making. The City Council pays way too much attention to what NA say, and take them at their word that they're speaking the neighborhood's opinion. There is some reform under development though.

Austin also has a "neighborhood council" (not a City bureau) which is sort of an umbrella org for all NA, but they've been assimilated by the same mindset. SO we have an alternate neighborhood council called "Friends of Austin Neighborhoods" and they likewise advocate folks launching alternate neighborhood associations.

I hesitated on that for a while, but then we went ahead and registered with the City. The truth is, things are so bad that we can't work within the system. Our neighborhood finally has a website, and news is posted daily instead of in the old NA's 6x-a-year self-praising tract sheet newsletter. We're aiming to be a nonprofit org so we can handle money to fund social events and give out grants.

Naturally, our old NA is shrieking mad at us. They had a good thing going where they literally did nothing as neighborhood leaders, but got to meet and have their important meetings and use their important titles when emailing and phoning the City. Our members ran for office in the old NA and the election was conducted as a flat-out sham to make our candidates loose. The funniest thing is how the old NA points at the mountain of work we've done and things we've accomplished, and try and draw it all up as unfair attacks on their own hard volunteer work. And what is it that they do? *shuffle feet* Uhm, next topic!

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AustinTX
Big Brother

Meet the tool of the Police State: Nextdoor.com

A much bigger, meaner neighbournet.com:

Spreading across USA (and NL) like a cancer, Nextdoor disposed of our moderators and handed our online community to our hostile neighborhood association! Nextdoor's director is a very frightening person with a deliciously punchable-looking face.

https://www.dawsonneighborhood.org/dawsonaustin-on-nextdoor-seized-by-neighborhood-assn/

http://www.sitejabber.com/reviews/www.nextdoor.com

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Alleged Brit hacker Lauri Love bailed amid US extradition battle lull

AustinTX
Holmes

Re: Crime and punishment

If I'm not mistaken, you can be dragged off to prison and beaten for saying a thing like that. Let's hope you have some money to pay back your prison room & board fees.

Could be a connection, but I'm being watched and can't speculate out loud.

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AustinTX

It's a mystery to me

I don't know why my country makes a policy of setting out poorly-defended honeypots to catch British Aspies.... Perhaps they're transplanting their brains into drones?

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Eat my reports! Bart ransomware slips into PCs via .zip'd JavaScript

AustinTX

It's Twenty Sixteen

...and opening a zip file still results in it's contents being executed automatically?

WTF

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Beautiful model to explain the universe to physicists

AustinTX

I've always felt uncomfortable with this statement

And I sort of just figured out why:

"cosmologists make simple assumptions that the universe is homogenous and isotropic - that it looks the same in every direction regardless of the viewer’s position."

Given that observers will be scattered across the universe at great distances, and that no communication can take place faster than the speed of light, therefore each observer actually must be seeing a different universe than the others. Not just a matter of perspective, but they're seeing things now as others will see them at a very large offset in time to them.

They can't communicate their observations any faster than their peers will eventually see the changes for themselves. Even for all observers who co-incidentally make an observation of the same structures at the same time, no matter how distant, they each see a measurably different universe, most un-recognizably so. In fact, each observer will see the universe evolve differently because information catches up to them at different times than at any other spot.

This isn't just about an "observer principle" though, because forces in one part of the universe can't affect other parts of the universe any faster than an observer can see them. So it's analogous. Replace "observer" with "a star" or "a cloud of gas" which feels the effect of a combination of forces from all directions.

Literally, even if matter truly was distributed evenly across the universe, in one frame of time, it simply wouldn't look that way from any other points, where multiple, partial frames of time are visible simultaneously. This is cool; it opens up the possibility that many structures we think we see out there are illusions. The product of time delays in information reaching our position. Observers elsewhere may not see the same clumps and filaments, or even the same galaxies!

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Medicos could be world's best security bypassers, study finds

AustinTX

Probably worse than you can imagine

Hospitals are always so short-staffed they can't even keep their records up to date or even refile them so doctors can see their patient's records. I've temped in several hospitals for this reason. One hospital had a decades-old mainframe terminal system which required an employee's badge to be inserted to function. Very nice, right? Would tell you who accessed what and when. Well, every one of these terminals, throughout the bld had a blank badge left stuck in it at all times since doctors were always losing their badges and they didn't want to make ones for the temps. When I got bored entering location codes for files, I could look up people I knew and see what they'd been in for and when along with all their personal identification.

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Tor onion hardening will be tear-inducing for feds

AustinTX
Devil

Re: Run it as middlebox!

My take on this is that the exploit used by NSA employs javascript functions which ignore the browser & PC's firewall & redirects, or which launches core Windows services which also do this (more have come to light recently).

So it comprises a "little snitch" who reports directly to a resource that NSA can monitor, with some kind of unique identifier. Or, they can match you up just by measuring timing. Using exclusively Linux will probably protect, unless javascript is all it needs. The state-security threatening pedos (!!) probably all used Windows. Or Macs, for that matter... :D

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Sysadmin 'fesses up to wrecking his former employer's IT systems

AustinTX

We need to use his name, Kezeor to refer to something in his honor

Sort of like "santorum" but in a complimentary way.

"Agilent was completely kezeor'd for four months"

I salute you, Mr. Kezeor!

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One entire US spook base: Yours for $1m+

AustinTX
Alien

Re: Cult status

Haha, "clearly" we both came here to say something like this.

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Oooooklahoma! Where the cops can stop and empty your bank cards – on just a hunch

AustinTX

@Alan Brown "People have also been convicted of DUI after being stopped walking along the footpath with car keys in their possession because they MIGHT use them to drive a car."

This is absolutely true. I was in a jury selection panel for exactly this. It's rolled under "Public Intoxication". A cop arrested a man who was walking down the sidewalk because *a witness* expressed the concern that this man would get in his car and drive drunk. The cop was his own "witness". It sounded like the man had simply been a tad surly when he was approached by Deputy Dawg. He had been drinking, but wasn't slobbering wasted. The man was literally being tried for a crime he hadn't committed. But could have. Just hope a cop doesn't pick YOU on the street for one of his fantasy scenarios.

I wasn't chosen for trial, probably because I asked too many questions.

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Why everyone* hates Salesforce's Marc Benioff

AustinTX
Terminator

Re: More Baron Frankensteins-

Moar robot barons!

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BOFH: What's your point, caller?

AustinTX

Re: Most fun I ever had on the phone

Oh if you work for an ISP, you get other ISP's customers calling all the time.

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AustinTX
Facepalm

Re: Equipment? Never heard of it.

I briefly trialed a support position at, let's call it "Winger Nixderp" where I was given a cash register to use as my work PC. Yep, a refurbished touchscreen cash register running windows underneath the merchant app. Soft kbd and no mouse.

My voip application wasn't set up right, so my calls were dropped when I rang my co-workers or xferd calls. The co-workers quietly held a grudge for me walking up to them with questions, and I was about to be terminated for that (!!) when the mgr finally tried using my phone himself. With hard feelings exposed and bridges burned (not my fault) I let that 'career opportunity' go. A shame, since it was only 6 blocks from home.

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AustinTX

Re: Gaffa tape

We call it "gaffer tape" because, well, the gaffer uses it.

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Would YOU start a fire? TRAPPED in a new-build server farm

AustinTX

Re: Did you piss of Simon or the PFY?

You don't stick around when you pull the Halon lever.

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Earth's core is younger than its crust surface

AustinTX
Coffee/keyboard

Unscientific Thought Experiment

One little idea I like to muse about from time to time is that perhaps black holes don't form under the collapse of stars, but rather form inside a star earlier in it's life, possibly even having been a seed which drew gasses together to form that star. Either way, it starts out and remains so small for so long, that the core's mass completely hides it. It may affect the sun's "engine" at some point, but the change is gradual. A tiny black hole has too little surface area to pull in very much matter and thus will grow very slowly - at first. An embedded black hole would slowly drain the star's mass, eventually crossing a threshold and suddenly heating it up quite a bit, causing it to puff up and expel material.

The mass of a star, starting with 1.4x the size of our own sun, is tied to the likelihood that a hole makes its appearance after supernova. A star that is too small simply never seems to produce a black hole, though it might reveal a neutron star, or just shrink and cool off. Imagine that it isn't simply pressure, but rather some other sort of stress on space-time which creates black holes.

The article talks about a tens-of-thousands of years difference between the age of the sun's core and it's outer layers. This obviously doesn't mean that we could travel back in time by burrowing into the sun's core somehow, but I wonder if, in cases like this, that there isn't some accumulated "frame drag" that goes on. A star that is too small just can't create enough strain to 'tear' space, but larger ones inevitably do. The mass of a star seems to be related to [the difference in age of the core of a star and it's outer layers] and [the likelihood it will collapse under enough pressure to form a black hole], for what we take to be unrelated reasons.

I propose that perhaps a black hole is actually produced by a kind of frame drag between the core and outside of massive objects like stars of sufficient size. The greater the mass, the quicker the frame drag accumulates. All else that we know about black holes is just what we observe once they become exposed, and behave like independent objects.

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Palo Alto IDs another C&C-over-DNS attack

AustinTX
Boffin

Probably trivial to protect against

This 'attack' seems to rely on the malware using a DNS server of it's choice. Lots of SOHO routers have a feature to transparently grab outgoing SMTP and redirect it to a preferred one. Especially if those routers have "captive portal" (ala free hotspot) or "guest" features. It should be pretty simple to redirect all of the outgoing DNS traffic, too. In fact, the "for pay hotspots" have this feature by default. A legitimate DNS server will either reject or ignore the C&C strings.

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Coders crack Oculus DRM in 24 hours, open door to mass piracy

AustinTX

Re: This whole thing pisses me off.

@John Bailey: I get your point, however it is self-evident that content providers would rather have control over their product than have a larger market.

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