* Posts by Suricou Raven

1463 posts • joined 20 Jun 2007

Big Cable's pillow talk with FCC to forbid US states from writing own net neutrality rules

Suricou Raven
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Re: Ah, good old fashioned hypocrisy

Of course Republicans believe in states' rights. Except in cases of obscenity, broadcast indecency, abortion, environmental protection, and a few hundred other things. They used to believe that defining marriage was a federal issue when Bush was pushing for a no-gays constitutional amendment, but now the supreme court has decided that the 'equal protection' thing in the constitution applies they have decided it's actually a state thing after all.

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Suricou Raven
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It's more a matter of 'choose your tyrant.' Would you rather government-managed regulation, with all the risk of over-regulation that comes with it, or would you rather corporate control eager to squeeze every penny from customers while denying access to competing companies? Neither is really ideal, but at least the government has some level of accountability.

A market of healthy competition would be best of all, but as broadband service is both a natural monopoly and in many counties a state-granted franchise monopoly, that isn't going to happen.

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Then there were four: Another draft US law on 'foreign' (aka domestic) mass spying emerges

Suricou Raven
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Why

Whatever the law says, the NSA and FBI will just 'reinterpret' it again.

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UK Home Sec thinks a Minority Report-style AI will prevent people posting bad things

Suricou Raven
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Re: Count me unimpressed

Amazon, for some odd reason, keeps suggesting condoms to me on their discount deals. All manner of condoms. Colored condoms, ribbed condoms, flavored condoms.

I'm a thirty-two-year-old single virgin. If my parent's house had a basement, I'd dwell there. Amazon really does not know me.

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Facebook's send-us-your-nudes service is coming to UK, America

Suricou Raven
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Re: Why...

It would pose difficulties if they wished to switch to a better hashing algorithm later on. Also, a perceptual hash would lead to a *huge* number of false positives on its own - they probably want the full image on file for verification.

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Your future data-centre: servers immersed in box full of oil, in a field

Suricou Raven
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Unfortunately the solution as-is doesn't help with that, because it still depends on air to move the heat from the liquid cooling enclosure and out of the room. Perhaps if it included a water-cooled heat exchanger. Easy enough to imagine a situation where, rather than huge air systems, each enclosure has two hoses connected to a ceiling manifold.

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Suricou Raven
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Much testing needed.

Hydrocarbons eat plastics. Silicone oils still damage plastics, just much more slowly. Flurocarbons... are actually very safe for electronics, but are also crazy-expensive. Regardless, the only way to be sure electronics are going to endure for years of service is to run them through years of service.

I can see possible niches for applications where space is tight and air quality is appalling, like industrial or military use. No need to worry about dust build-up.

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SSL spy boxes on your network getting you down? But wait, here's an IETF draft to fix that

Suricou Raven
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Obvious problem here.

Much as the middlebox interception annoys me, it's usually there for solid legal reasons. So any means which allows for data to be snuck through the box without interception will quickly lead to a requirement to intercept it, which will inevitably break services, which puts us right back to the beginning.

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Paradise Papers were not an inside job, says leaky offshore law firm

Suricou Raven
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Re: Welcome to the new order

Don't be so sure. Trump is scandal proof - he shrugs off things which could kill the career of anyone else. That means he is potentially a powerful tool for pushing the party agenda through an uncooperative congress - and he is largely loyal to the party agenda, if only out of convenience.

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Osama Bin Laden had copy of Resident Evil, smut, in compound

Suricou Raven
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Not sure I'd believe this.

I'm not buying into any of the fake-death conspiracy theories, but consider a much smaller, simpler one: The US government wants to undermine enemy morale, and what better way to do that than to tarnish the image of an enemy leader? All they need to do is add a few more files in and Osama goes from ultra-devout servant of Allah to a hypocrite who condemns western culture in public then enjoys American games, movies and porn in private.

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Is the FCC purposefully screwing up US school broadband projects?

Suricou Raven
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Was it that much different last administration?

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Oracle ZFS man calls for Big Red to let filesystem upstream into Linux

Suricou Raven
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How about fixing btrfs?

How long have we been waiting for them to fix the dangerously unreliable RAID5-a-like mode now?

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Russia tweaks Telegram with tiny fine for decryption denial

Suricou Raven
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Re: But..

The government will simply point out that, while Telegram really is unable to comply with the request, this is because they have taken deliberate action to make sure they are in that situation.

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Supreme Court to rule on whether US has right to data stored overseas

Suricou Raven
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Re: What data did DOJ seek?

It's obviously a precedent thing, because after three years I doubt the data is of any value to an investigation.

I'm surprised they only used a run-of-the-mill drugs case, rather than try to find some juicy child abuse imagery. MS wouldn't wan't to fight that one too hard in court, it's just terrible press.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: What data did DOJ seek?

What happens when the business does business in multiple countries, with contradictory laws?

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How bad can the new spying legislation be? Exhibit 1: it's called the USA Liberty Act

Suricou Raven
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Re: so Desperation

And lose the next election as their opponents paints them as exposing Americans to danger and personally responsible for the next terrorist attack?

The people are afraid. They demand that something highly visible be done to reassure them that they are safe. Not easy to do, when the media are constantly pushing people into a ratings-raising panic.

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CBS's Showtime caught mining crypto-coins in viewers' web browsers

Suricou Raven
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Or, more cynically, they could serve up both the miner and the ads.

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US Homeland Security Dept to collect immigrants' social media handles and more

Suricou Raven
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I see the plan.

1. Impose the strictest possible vetting procedures.

2. Admire the new five-year backlog.

3. No more dirty foreigners coming in!

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Spanish govt slammed over bizarre Catalan .cat internet registry cop raid

Suricou Raven
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Re: Information is a dangerous good

It actually works pretty well. The more hoops you make people jump through to read something, the fewer people will read it. Yes, the hardcore activists will mess around with VPNs in their quest for unfiltered information - but the common internet user will simply find another site to read, one a bit more sympathetic to government interests.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Scottish one

The binding power of independence referendums really depends upon the same thing that underpins all governments: Firepower.

What happens if the result is 'yes?' That looks like it could happen, skimming over the opinion polls. The only way Spain could respond then would be to directly attack political leaders - compile a list of everyone in the Catalan parliament who supported the referendum, arrest them all for sedition. As the police seem to be loyal to Spain rather than Catalonia, there's nothing much anyone in Catalonia could do about it.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: the English want to keep Cymru and Scotland.

People in Scotland may disagree on that. As UK government is run from London and dominated by English politicians, from the Scottish perspective it's not so much the United Kingdom as 'England et al.'

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DRM now a formal Web recommendation after protest vote fails

Suricou Raven
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Pirates actually don't like 4k rips. They are really huge to download, and few people actually benefit from them. Even if you have a silly-high-resolution big-screen TV, you still have to get that picture through a comparatively limited retina.

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Suricou Raven
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I like this idea.

One DRM encapsulation, in something the an attack surface as big as a browser?

It'll last about three hours before the first crack. In a month it'll be as full of holes as a Labour budget.

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Bill Gates says he'd do CTRL-ALT-DEL with one key if given the chance to go back through time

Suricou Raven
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Re: Bill Rewriting History again

It's called a Trojan login, and it's got a long history. I once wrote one back when I was in school - it looked exactly like the Netware login screen, written in quickbasic. It sufficed to fool our IT head/network manager. Requiring ctrl-alt-del as a preventative measure is effective - the only way to change what those keys do is by altering the interrupt vector list. That can't be done without administrator access, and even then it's tricky because you need to do kernel-level stuff. Your malware would need to be a device driver.

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Pretend Python packages prey on poor typing

Suricou Raven
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This should be easy to detect.

Just calculate the Levenshtein distance between each pair of package names. Any pair with distance <=2 should be taken as a sign of suspicion and sent to the site admin team for manual review. Repeat for each new submission.

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This article has been deleted

Suricou Raven
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In the US, the definition of prostitution varies by state. In some of them it is very broad.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: WOW, a real danger to the community shut down. Vicious criminals beware.

Probably not. I know a bit about that sort of busybody. They usually operate through a local organisation or mailing list. Only one of them has to actually encounter the offensive material. That person then writes up a description of it and sends that out to the group, and the group members in turn use that to get offended second-hand and write up their demands that law enforcement Do Something. So most of the complaints may well be from people who have never had any first-hand experience of the activity are trying to stop.

The FRC actually has a leaflet on their website advising people on how to get offensive businesses shut down. That's one of the strategies they suggest. They actually advise that people refrain from looking at the material before writing their complaint, as it may be spiritually dangerous.

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Please, pleeeease let me ban Kaspersky Lab from US govt PCs – senator

Suricou Raven
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Makes some sense

There is no evidence that Kaspersky has ever been manipulated by the Russian government for espionage purposes, but they could do it if they wanted to. It's possible that in five years relations between the countries might have deteriorated to the point that happens. Security means seeing potential threats, not just countering those that exist.

For exactly the same reason, I'd expect the Russian government to do all they can to minimise dependence upon software developed by American companies. There's no evidence that the NSA has ever used Windows Update to distribute malware, but they could probably do that if the need was great enough - just a matter of turning up to Microsoft HQ with a USB stick and a 'if you breathe a word of this then you'll never see daylight again' form.

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Prejudiced humans = prejudiced algorithms, and it's not an easy fix

Suricou Raven
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Re: Orwellian redefinition of "predjudice"

Putting aside political insults, it does describe a certain tension. ML engineers are interested in developing the most accurate statistical models possible, but sometimes accuracy must be compromised for social or legal reasons. If you machine learning engine crunches numbers and decrees 'arrest all the black suspects' or 'stop treating cancer patients over 80, they don't have enough years left to justify the expense,' then it might very well be giving statistically valid conclusions - but people are still going to be very upset if those acted upon.

Simple conclusions like that can be ignored, but the bias may not always be so obvious. When your program for estimating car insurance premiums is a black box made by a ML process, it can be difficult to determine if it is incorporating gender or race into the model. Even if you exclude that information on the input, it can be inferred from other things.

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US government: We can jail you indefinitely for not decrypting your data

Suricou Raven
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Re: Facts

I doubt the evaluation was that deeply rooted in analysis.

A more likely cause of reasoning is "These images make me feel disgusted, so they must be banned."

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Suricou Raven
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They have strong evidence that he collects child abuse images. Even without proof, they could probably charge him with sinking the Titanic and still get a conviction. Do not underestimate the sheer hate that is directed towards this particular class of criminal. The inability to actually prove guilt is widely regarded as letting them get away on a technically.

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Don’t buy that Surface, plead Surface cloners

Suricou Raven
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Open up!

I want to 1. See inside and 2. See if it can actually go back together afterwards, unlike the Surface.

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Kiwi prankster 'oinks' down cops' radio and sings Old MacDonald

Suricou Raven
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Re: direction-finding...

75MHz is within feasibility for a loaded whip antenna on a vehicle. It'd look just like the antennas commonly seen for CB. If he can't be tracked, it's quite possible that is because he is constantly moving - either working with a driver, or playing pre-recorded insults.

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VW engineer sent to the clink for three years for emissions-busting code

Suricou Raven
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Wrong emissions.

This scandal is about smog-making emissions, not climate-changing emissions.

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Uncle Sam outlines evidence against British security whiz Hutchins

Suricou Raven
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Re: Fucking law enforcement.

You are guilty of having been accused of possession of child abuse imagery. That's enough to seize every electronic device you own. You were fortunate in this case that they swiftly identified their real target and decided you were no longer of interest.

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US prosecutors drop demand for 1.3m IP addresses of folks who visited anti-Trump site

Suricou Raven
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Re: Oops... those files are gone

Yet Trump has made no effort at prosecution, even though it was a major theme of his campaign.

Perhaps his lawyers have explained that if he tries, at best she will be found innocent, and at worst has fellow Republicans will be terrified of bring next up, given how rampant off-the-records dealing is by both parties.

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US DoD, Brit ISP BT reverse proxies can be abused to frisk internal systems – researcher

Suricou Raven
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He was studying reverse proxy hacking. In the process he inadvertently triggered a response from BT's transparent proxy.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Think of the children

The government is already on the verge of demanding all encryption have a back door to allow snooping, though.

It's really just a matter of claiming pedophiles are using https to bypass filters designed to block child abuse images. The Mail will love it, and few MPs will dare to protest for fear of being denounced as supporting child abuse.

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Russia's answer to Buckminster Fuller has a buttload of CGI and he's not afraid to use it

Suricou Raven
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Re: The beds have a flaw

The video does show the beds include an air tank and water. If there's a chemical CO2 scrubber under there as well, perhaps that's the plan - just keep the entombed customer alive for a day or so while the rescue services dig their way down. I'd hope there's a signalling device in there beyond just banging on the lid

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Suricou Raven
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The beds have a flaw

All very well if you sleep in the designated position. But people don't. They sleep crosswise, with arms or legs hanging over the edge, curled up in a ball, or sprawled with limbs as far apart as possible on a hot night.

That thing will take someone's head off!

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Google and its terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week in full

Suricou Raven
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Re: At the risk of inciting... something..

There's the problem, though. If you do use blind recruiting - and it can be done, simply by withholding names and photos from the people who make the hiring decision - what you end up with is not a diverse workforce. What you end up with is a workforce made up mostly of men (who are more likely than women to study computer science) and entirely excluding people from low-income backgrounds (Who can't afford to take a three-year full-time degree course). And, because ethnic group and income correlate for historical reasons, it'll be mostly upper-middle-class white men.

At which point the HR department does their survey and expresses their great concern that the workforce is not very diverse at all, and that this reflects poorly on the company, and that the only way to address the situation is to deliberately seek to focus hiring and promotion efforts on the under-represented groups.

Shortly after, those white, male, upper-middle-class employees start to get angry because they notice they are being passed over for promotion in favor of some less-qualified black woman.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Somewhat related: The War on Fake and Oldthink News is Advancing

Most amusingly, though, if you go and read some of the right-leaning news sites they express equal anger that Google's search engine is not ranking some leading right-wing websites as high as they feel is deserved. The anti-abortion organisation Operation Rescue has gone so far as to accuse Google of censorship after a sharp drop-off in traffic via Google following the last round of algorithm adjustments.

There's no escaping it: Google is now one of the most indirectly powerful companies in the world, and when you get that big everyone is going to hate you.

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Suricou Raven
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His fundamental argument may well be valid - equality of opportunity does not imply equality of outcome. But he messed it up by filling the memo with childish political insults as well.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Just to clarify

Never accept an interview with a political commentator unless you have years of experience in interviews. It is their job to manipulate their subjects into saying things which will bring in the ratings.

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Trapped under ice with no oxygen for months, goldfish turn to booze. And can you blame 'em?

Suricou Raven
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So, about those tank oxygenators...

Does this mean you don't need them for goldfish?

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Place your bets: How long will 1TFLOPS HPE box last in space without proper rad hardening

Suricou Raven
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Re: Not a good test

Yet another reason I don't think a manned mars mission is going to happen.

I'd like it to happen. I think it should happen. I wish it would happen. But in the end, it won't - because some group national leaders is eventually going to have to look at the bill and realise that's a hell of a lot of money even by government standards. Especially as the public is going to insist upon bringing the astronauts back again afterwards.

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Suricou Raven
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Re: Sol help us

Simple thermostat without a microprocessor: Temperature sensor, power MOSFET, comparator circuit, trim pot to set temperature, two resistors (inc. hysteresis)

Simple thermostat with a microprocessor: Temperature sensor, power MOSFET, PIC microcontroller. Plus it can do PWM with PID feedback, and soft start.

It's common in electronics to use microcontrollers for absolutely everything now because they are of near-negligable cost and can usually do the task of several more basic components.

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Suricou Raven
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Not quite how I'd have gone about things, but I assume the experts know what they are doing.

I'd have sent a box packed with many different sorts of chips running software to detect and quantify errors, with the aim of figuring out exactly how much ECC and self-validating software it takes to make sure a computer can operate reliably even with the radiation. Perhaps eventually involving having two less-than-reliable conventional processors operating in lock-step, with a third rad-hardened, very minimal chip constantly comparing them and initiating a reset every time they do something different. It'd probably weigh less than packing everything behind a big sandwich of plastic, lead and boron.

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Gov workers told their social posts are more believable than politicians' statements

Suricou Raven
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Papering over the problem:

Problem: Politicians have such a reputation for dishonesty that the public will place more trust in a rumor spread by the office cleaner than they would in an official pronouncement.

Solution: Make sure the office cleaner doesn't say anything that might contradict the official line.

It doesn't seem to address the underlying issue at all. Some sort of public conduct policy for government workers is clearly required, because you can't have them telling stories of their workplace that might leak confidential information, but this one does seem a bit too much influence from the Ministry of Truth.

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Dark web doesn't exist, says Tor's Dingledine. And folks use network for privacy, not crime

Suricou Raven
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Re: He's right. The "dark net" doesn't exist!

My pet peeve with journalists on this subject is their constant confusion of 'dark net' and 'deep web.' They mean very different things, but journalists can't seem to tell them a part.

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