* Posts by Daniel 18

35 posts • joined 1 Apr 2011

Why Firefox? Because not everybody is a web designer, silly

Daniel 18

Re: Website dev

"hardware security tokens"

Will break many use models, and probably not improve security significantly.

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Daniel 18

Re: Website dev

"someone above them will not be happy until there's a few tens of thousand lines of script pulled in, references to at least 15 other domains and the site shows zilch if scripting disabled"

Of course, enabling random unfamiliar domains or oft-corrupted domains breaks any pretense of security, which means such sites should simply be left unread.

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Autonomous cars are about to do to transport what the internet did to information

Daniel 18

"Why doesn't everyone use cabs for commuting? "

1. Cost.

2. A shortage of drivers to work limited split shifts.

3. Lack of route optimization.

4. Inefficient use of roads.

If you get rid of the buses and streetcars you free up road space and smooth out traffic flow. Eliminate the drivers and cost plummets. Integrate real time route planning, and things become more efficient , particularly as the number and density of trips increase. Add 'autonomous vehicle only' express routes and lanes, and you are well on the way to replacing current conventional transit with something that works better for more people... while others can opt to own or lease their own vehicles if that works better for them.

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Daniel 18

Re: Works for cities

You don't need parking spaces.... the car informs you as it draws near, you pick a spot on the street, and it comes directly to you to hand off your package.

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Smart guns are a neat idea on paper. They'll never survive reality

Daniel 18

Re: technology probably isn't the answer here

"There are, I understand, a lot of cases in the USA where a child gets hold of a gun and accidentally shoots someone."

Those incidents are quite rare. You have to realize that every one of them will be widely and repeatedly reported, and you are looking at a country with a population of 330,000,000 people. Statistically they are so far down the list that killer cribs are probably a much bigger threat.... as are non-diet soft drinks and fruit juice (implicated in obesity).

From the Washington Post:"Across the 17 states the NVDRS has data for from 2011, there were 11 unintentional firearm deaths that year in which the person pulling the trigger was age 14 or younger."

A gun control advocacy group claims many such deaths are unreported, and the true number is on the order of 100 a year. If this potentially biased data is accepted, then the rate of child powered shootings is .003 per 100,000 people... essentially statistically insignificant.

In comparison, one list of the top 15 causes of death gives an accidental death rate in the US of approximately 19 per 100,000... where accidental death itself comes in after heart disease, cancer, tobacco, obesity, medical errors, and lower respiratory disease. The fifteenth cause on the list clocks in at about 50 times higher than the advocacy group's unsubstantiated claim.

So no, it is not common, and anyone who tells you so is uninformed or innumerate.

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Tesla sues ex-manager 'for stealing 100GBs of Autopilot secrets'

Daniel 18

Re: Three engineers on the Autopilot team handed in their notice...

The Bolt may be a good California car. I'm still waiting to see how far it can go when it's -35, and you're driving, through snow, into a 60 kph headwind, running full lights, heater, defroster, and wipers. You really don't want to find yourself walking away from a depleted car in that.

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Tech moguls dominate Oxfam's rich people Hateful 8

Daniel 18

Maybe, maybe not...

Shifting that amount of wealth would greatly increase the amount of money chasing the things that the poorest people need. Since this does little to increase the amount of such goods, one likely result is massive inflation in the poorer countries, resulting in a new 'poverty line' and a similar number of similarly deprived people. This seems to be aimed at the wrong side (demand) of the supply/demand balance.

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Top cop: Strap Wi-Fi jammers to teen web crims as punishment

Daniel 18

What could go wrong, let me count the ways...

Points of failure, after 5 seconds consideration:

1. Aluminum foil, as already noted.

2. Illegal interference with other 2.4 GHz services.

3. The existence of 5 GHz routers

4. Ethernet cables.

... and there are doubtless more.

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Asteroid nearly gave Earth a new feature, two days after its discovery

Daniel 18

Re: So close? Re:Vector

Ummm.... no.

A scalar is dimensionless.

A vector has dimension(s), and is expressed with respect to a co-ordinate system or systems, as it has a direction as well as a magnitude. It can be represented as an ordered n-tuple, which itself has one dimension, where n is the number of dimensions represented by the co-ordinate system.

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Could YOU survive a zombie apocalypse? Uni eggheads say you'd last just 100 days

Daniel 18

Indeed. Most zombie 'models' require contact with a zombie for infection. Change that and you have a whole different ball game.

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Daniel 18

Re: Guns + ammo, lack of electricity

Ammunition is unlikely to be a major constraint.

Those people without guns will be in a dire situation... but they won't need or consume ammunition.

The average sport shooter will have hundreds to (more likely) thousands of rounds, as they are far less expensive when bought in lots of 1,000 or more for each caliber, while the average serious hunter may well have hundreds of rounds.

Preppers will have thousands to tens of thousands of rounds, stockpiled by the case (typically 1,000 to 2280 rounds each).

This is easily enough to clear your local sporting goods store or gun club of ex-employees, in order to access their storeroom. Larger quantities are likely available at major police stations and military bases, unless they have been used to eradicate zombies, which cuts down on both ammunition and zombies.

Those with good research skills can hunt down distributors' warehouses.

I do agree that the collapse of production and distribution (something electricity loss is a cause/proxy for) would kill a lot of people until the population density dropped to the level supportable by hunting/subsistence farming.\

The study, however, seems to assume that people have no tactical sense, nor adequate shooting skills. Those people will die first, the rest will be a lot more effective.

Note from the above... ammunition is heavy. Most sport shooters and preppers would require a vehicle to relocate their stockpile... even light ammuntion, such as 5.56 Nato, would max your load out with no more than a couple of thousand rounds, and you wouldn't like the weight. More realistically, you can only carry several hundred rounds. Note to zombie apocalypse participants... avoid shotguns, the ammo is way heavy and too bulky. The lightest effective rounds are the best, where effective depends on skill as well as raw power.

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Retiring IETF veteran warns: Stop adding so many damn protocols

Daniel 18

And then there are the marketing reasons

... when companies introduce more protocols in order to keep their users locked in a private walled garden, and force other companies to pay for access... and maybe cripple the protocols implemented by competitors, in the marketplace... and to provide ammunition for IP lawsuits.

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Netflix and fill – our coffers: Canada mulls taxing vid streaming giant 5% of subs cash

Daniel 18

Re: Fucking Politicians

No it does not. The largest national producer of video content is almost certainly the CBC, which gets a billion dollars a year to compete with the producers dependent upon private investment rather than raiding the public's wallets.

Recently, it has decided that a billion dollars a year is not enough, and is asking for another 400 million a year.

This is also a country that has a large levy on blank CDs on the grounds that you might put music on them. In theory, this is to go to copyright holders... but the rules are biased towards paying large media companies rather than independent artists and small labels.

It is time to get the government out of targeted taxes and specific subsidies.

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Daniel 18

Re: Fucking Politicians

No it does not. The largest national producer of video content is almost certainly the CBC, which gets a billion dollars a year to compete with the producers dependent upon private investment rather than raiding the public's wallets.

Recently, it has decided that a billion dollars a year is not enough, and is asking for another 400 million a year.

This is also a country that has a large levy on blank CDs on the grounds that you might put music on them. In theory, this is to go to copyright holders... but AFAIK, none has ever been distributed to them.

Time to get the government out of targeted taxes and specific subsidies.

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Penetration tech: BAE Systems' new ammo for Our Boys and Girls

Daniel 18

But bulk steel production and fabrication is relatively cheap, and after a couple of centuries, now routine.

As for materials cost, lead is rougly 4 times as expensive as steel (4.4 times in 2010). Handy, particularly if you can get the customer to pay more for an 'enhanced product' that in the long run, costs less to make, after upgrading your plant for the new process.

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Windows 10 debuts Blue QR Code of Death – and why malware will love it

Daniel 18

Re: The Register Fails

So the malware in your computer installs malware in your smartphone...

and your smartphone based two factor banking authentication is now worth (insert favourite perjorative).

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Surge pricing? How about surge fines: Pennsylvania orders Uber to cough up $11.4m

Daniel 18

Let's hear it for buggy whip makers and elevator operators

Just do away with government imposed commercial monopolies, where technically (and I do mean technically, as in we need to do spectrum management, air traffic control, physician licencing, or the equivalent) possible.

Taxi companies/owners (generally not the drivers so much, really) are reaping the benefits of a government imposed scarcity and inefficiency that artificially increases fees and inflates the value of a taxi licence, sometimes into the million dollar range, while simultaneously constraining access to services through both price and induced scarcity.

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Forget Game of Thrones as Android ransomware infects TVs

Daniel 18

I am not convinced that a proprietary dongle is any better than a proprietary 'smart TV'.

On the other hand, a Raspberry Pi i is cheap, runs Kodi, and if worst comes to worst, can be recovered by replacing the SD card. And you can install security software, and keep the OS up to date.

The current Pi may not handle 4K, but I don't really care... and later ones will likely do so.

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Freeze, lastholes: USB-C and Thunderbolt are the ultimate physical ports

Daniel 18

Re: Even a broken clock etc. etc.

I've noticed mention of 8K video on the way, and it seems likely that even larger resolutions will follow. It takes a lot to drive the ideal wall-sized display. Display demands will render current USB-C too slow soon enough.

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Firefox 48 beta brings 'largest change ever' thanks to 'Electrolysis'

Daniel 18

Re: Did anybody tell them about threads?

"In future releases they'll split up the tabs into separate processes, "

Oh God, I hope not. Chrome gobbles up way too much memory as you approach a useful (ie, large) number of windows and tabs... it's not good for much except a quick check if you need to look at a single site where the scripts are too tangled to whitelist.

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Why does an Android keyboard need to see your camera and log files – and why does it phone home to China?

Daniel 18

Re: Almost every app I consider for installation

"My pet peeve with network permissions is that I can't limit the destination. Many apps need/want network access to check for updates/configs/etc. I'd prefer to only allow them to phone home to destinations of which I approve. I've not seen Marshmallow's permissions in action, but a handy popup like "Blah wants to connect to 'tcp://dodgy.site/track/me'. Allow: Now, Always or Never?" would be much appreciated."

--------------

Unfortunately, this becomes less and less useful as malware migrates, and all you see is some anonymous commodity cloud server in the url.

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Wi-Fi hack disables Mitsubishi Outlander's theft alarm – white hats

Daniel 18

Re: Why is having it restricted to local Wifi a huge disadvantage?

Because if you don't have GSM you can't be tracked, hacked, and monitored from anywhere in the world.

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MAC address privacy inches towards standardisation

Daniel 18

Re: IPv6 addresses

Randomizing the MAC is a good first step, which prevents leaking certain information... a lot more is sheltered by the VPN you are using. You are using a VPN, aren't you?

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Daniel 18

Never use your real MAC

I think the point is that you should never use a fixed/real MAC unless you personally control the network and can be assured where your data isn't going.

The days when privacy was the default are long gone, and we are going to have to do quite a bit of work to get it back.

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Ten serious sci-fi films for the sentient fan

Daniel 18

Contact?

Contact felt curiously nebulous and insubstantial. I managed to watch the whole thing, but really wondered why, afterwards. I would generally re-watch a classic SF film (like Blade Runner) but have never felt the urge to see Contact again.

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Daniel 18

Re: I refuse to be drawn into this thread!

Fifth Element is fantasy dressed up as science fiction.

Starship Troopers is an illogical, inconsistent mess. Is there a genre called 'botched movies'?

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Daniel 18

Re: @Tony

Firefly, and Serenity, are science fiction with a western flavour.

Outland is a classic western with an SF setting.

Entirely different.

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Register SPB hacks mull chopping off feet

Daniel 18

Yup.

That should definitely be 225-70-38.

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Daniel 18

Re: Ima 'Merkin

NASA's current excuse is that it's too expensive... but that's a one time cost. They've already lost one Mars orbiter due to non-metric measurements, and it will keep on costing them, unpredictably, in big ways and small, until they clean up their measurements.

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Daniel 18

Re: Any more American Bashers need to vent your spleens? Create your own topic!

The reason the metric system was adopted in Europe was that it made no sense for each country to have its own measurement system, all different. It was adopted by the French in 1795, and by virtue of its obvious advantages, gradually spread through Euorpe.

By 1875 two thirds of Europe had adopted the metric system. At that time it is extremely unlikely that trade with the United States was a significant consideration. At that point, the only major European countries not using metric measurement were Britain and Russia.

There are now only three coutries that don't (visibly) use metric, and of them, the US is the only highly industrialized one. Most US industry is, of course, converted to metric, but they don't mention the fact to consumers. Given growing global trade, metric measurement continues to be the best way to go.

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Daniel 18

Re: Metric and ICAO

Unfortunately, you never know if the person giving you the data... or the person who gave them the data... or their source... knows that. And you never know when someone along the way decided to be 'helpful' by converting to a 'better' measurement, in either direction.

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Daniel 18

Good measurement is metric.

Every time you see something that is about ships or planes that mentions miles, you have to ask yourself 'is that a statute mile or nautical mile?'. The same goes for aircraft. And there are at least seven or eight defintions of 'ton', more than that of 'barrel', two common sizes of fluid ounce, pint, quart, and gallon; several definitions of non-fluid ounce, and the mess goes on and on.

And the mental 'clunk' you get by having extraneous, ambigous measurements thrown into any account is just annoying, not to mention the wrong numbers trying to settle into your brain.

SI, only, all the way.

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Bromine bomb drops toxic mercury fallout

Daniel 18

Isn't this backwards?

The most effective route for elemental mercury poisoning is through inhalation of vapor.

Shouldn't the story be 'bromine from melting ice removes toxic pollutant from atmosphere'?

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Unix still data center darling, says survey

Daniel 18

'Unix for mission critical roles, Linux not so much' is misleading

While certain types of workload seem to be popularly run on Unix, often things like corporate databases, it would be misleading to characterize the Linux workloads as non mission critical.

Unix seems to be often favoured for database servers, applications servers, and often web servers.

Linux, on the other hand, is very heavily used in firewalls, filter proxies, DNS servers, DHCP servers, IP administration systems, intrusion detection, intrusion prevention, network monitoring, server monitoring, packet capture and analysis systems, FTP, syslog servers and similar infrastructure components. Obviously failures in some of these will be vastly disruptive to delivery of services. These days, scratch an appliance, and you'll find Linux under the hood.

If I had to classify the situation, it would be that Unix is currently strong at the applications level, while Linux is coming to dominate the infrastructure level.

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Fight global warming with Asimov-style Psychohistory - profs

Daniel 18

Let's jump over the hard science questions straight to an imposed conclusion???

The science is equivocal about the nature of global warming. The models have too many guesstimated variables, much of the data is dodgy, for one reason or another, and way too many people stand to make trillions of dollars off "Global Warming!!!".

We don't know enough about the variation of solar radiation, the effects of cosmic rays on the upper atmosphere, and the response of ecosystems to changes in temperature and carbon dioxide levels.

Many of the analyses are all about the 'costs' of global warming, and very few look at the 'benefits' of global warming.

Some of the data that has been put forward as evidence for warming has proved either totally bogus, or at least irrelevant and based on misunderstandings of natural processes.

And while there is an anthropgenic contribution, we are coming to the end of an interglacial period, when the climate tends to get unstable and unpredictable. It is not at all clear that what we do will dominate climate change, and are we really sure that we can control climate anyway? The world has been both a lot hotter and a lot colder than it is now. To think that we will somehow 'freeze' the climate smacks more than a little of hubris.

The whole idea that someone should decide what everyone should belive and then manipulate us into doing so is totally repugnant, even if (IF) everything that the climate alarmists say is true is in fact accurate. Better global warming than mass mind control.

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