* Posts by kirk_augustin@yahoo.com

47 posts • joined 6 Mar 2016

College student with 'visions of writing super-cool scripts' almost wipes out faculty's entire system


Teacher at fault

There was nothing wrong with the student trying to automate a script to do it right. Doing it by hand individually is the wrong way to go, and is more likely to cause problems. The problem is the teacher did not explain anything to the student first, so that he would have known how to do it safely, accurately, and more quickly.

And it is foolish to pretend there was any danger, risk, or that the source files has to be rebuilt by hand.

ALL multi user systems are always backed up every night.

And restoring the back up was the correct way to fix the mistake.

The student should have been told about that.

And in fact, the student should have been told to make a script first to do a localized back up of all that he was supposed to copy, first.

He also should have been warned about side effect, and his scripts should have been checked by hand first by the teacher.

The fault is entirely with the teacher and not the student.

Wanted: DVLA CTO. Must love cloud, open standards, agile – and retiring outdated kit


New flash, the Cloud is Insecure!

It is illegal for any government agency to use the Cloud because it is inherently insecure. Agile is another ways of saying they don't do any planning because they don't know how to plan anything.

Linus Torvalds pulls pin, tosses in grenade: x86 won, forget about Arm in server CPUs, says Linux kernel supremo


Re: Will we ever go back to processors that do sensible machine code?

Exactly. The x86 is the worst register and instruction set I have ever seen. Almost anything would be better, and Motorola certainly always was much better.


Torvalds obvious wrong

If Torvalds was right, then we should still all be programming for CP/M on a Z80 processor.

Clearly the x86 register and instruction set really, really sucks.

It is the worst I have even seen, and it should never have lasted nearly this long.

There have always been better register and instruction sets, along with better and faster processors.

And the whole point of programming is that you right in an abstract language, like C or C++, and it is the compiler that makes up for the actual hardware differences.

There is not a single reason to stick with x86 hardware at all.

Artificial Intelligence: You know it isn't real, yeah?


No AI, But People Expect Autonomous Cars?

All the post here seem to pretty much agree that there is no such thing as Artificial Intelligence, and it will be too difficult to ever come close to what humans do so easily. But then what is so strange is that for some reason people have such a desire for autonomous vehicles that they think it is actually possible or even happening right now. I assume you that there is no such thing as autonomous vehicles. They are all fakes running on GPS, and can not recognize or read street name signs, know where lanes, are or recognize turn signals or brake lights. So then why is it people have this unrealistic disconnect? Perhaps we are lazy or incredibly gullible?


It does not at all matter if humans are also computers and algorithmic. The point is we have an inherent, built in and functioning value system, emotions, unambiguous data storage and retrieval system, instincts, pain/pleasure motivations, etc., that we likely will never understand or be able to program into a computers.

We function in complex ways relevant to our inherent system of values, instincts, etc.

Since computers can never share this exact set of instincts and values, they will never be relevant to us in terms of those human instincts and values.


Re: Bias, facts and statistics

Exactly. The computer will not know what a hotel room is, and for all a computer could come up with, it could be a circus act that requires lions. The problem being that computers never really know anything at all.


Re: Bias, facts and statistics

There is no way a computer can know information about lions and bunnys to be able to make decisions like that. It takes a human programmer to try to simulate reasonable choices based on data like size and danger, but that is far too unreliable to ever put to the test. So instead those sorts of choices should be left to humans, who have a built in value system and world knowledge.


Artificial, as in Fake Intelligence

What people have been told to expect from Artificial Intelligence is that a computer will become self aware, and become artificially like a human being.

But that is not the case, nor ever can be. That is because a computer has no instincts, emotions, autonomic nervous system, or anything remotely alive or possible to become sentient, ever. All artificial intelligence really is, is what ever a programmer decides to put into his fake simulation. And that can never be real sentience because no programmer likely will ever know how to do that.

Let me give you an example. If you say the word "dog" to an English speaking human, they will receive all sorts of associated memories, data, images, etc., that will include the dogs you have seen, read about, etc. But if the word "canine" is used instead, you likely get the same associated responses. In fact, you can use another language even, and it won't matter. That means this is not at all like a database program based on text keys. Guess what? That means humans are BORN with a built in semantic. We all internally have some unambiguous internal representation for dogs, that is identical in all humans.

So if you understood that, then you would understand that before we could actually ever duplicate what humans do naturally, we would have to somehow figure out how humans do it. And that likely is never going to happen. So forget about artificial intelligence. It is not likely ever going to happen.

Bad news for WannaCry slayer Marcus Hutchins: Judge rules being young, hungover, and in a strange land doesn't obviate evidence


But writing code under contract is not criminal, even if the code could be used for malicious purposes later by that customer.

Nor is there any legal way to compel him to testify, even if he knows who did use his software illegally.

His own 5th amendment rights against self incrimination prevent him from being possible to punish for refusing to testify, unless they gave him full immunity, which they clearly have not.

Statement over a prison phone are not evidence in the least.

He could have been bragging, attempting to intimidate, or who knows.

That is not evidence of anything.

One click and you're out: UK makes it an offence to view terrorist propaganda even once


Latest Evidence of the Police State

Not only does everyone have the right and even the responsibility to view terrorist material, the reality is that government of countries like Gt. Britain are the greatest terrorists of all, bombing Iraq, Libya, Syria, etc. How are assassination drones not terrorist attacks? And what is wrong about viewing terrorist material in order to reference writing an article or book? Government does not have the authority to censor individual research on anything the internet may hold.

Funnily enough, China fuming, senator cheering after Huawei CFO cuffed by Canadian cops at Uncle Sam's request


Guilty of what?

Ignoring a dictate by one country that has no authority over any other country?

Hauwei can legally do what ever kind of business it wants with whomever it wants, as long as they follow Chinese law.


Re: Jaywalking

No, the camera image of jaywalking in NY is not similar, because they are not accusing Hauwei of violating any US law in the US, but of violating a US dictate in the rest of the world. Last I heard, US dictates are not law if they violate the rights of individuals, and have no jurisdiction outside the US.


Clearly this arrest is totally illegal and amounts to an act of war.

{... "Americans are grateful that our Canadian partners have arrested the Chief Financial Officer of a giant Chinese telecom company for breaking U.S. sanctions against Iran." ...}

In what way could the US legally impose economic sanctions against anyone, and how could US sanctions possibly have international jurisdiction?

And the UN has no additional authority either.

Sanctions declared by fiat at entirely illegal.

The ONLY time any sanctions could be legal, is if they were necessary in the immediate defense of inherent human rights. But Iran has the inherent right to defend itself, and to obtain whatever weapons it needs in order to do this. And this is especially true since the US illegally invaded Iraq and murdered hundreds of thousands of innocent people, based on deliberate lies.

Sacked NCC Group grad trainee emailed 300 coworkers about Kali Linux VM 'playing up'


The ruling was obviously really, really stupid.

While it is possible for a laptop motherboard to go bad like this, it is not only extremely rare, the company is at fault for only providing a single laptop in the first place.

Laptops are notoriously unreliable compared to a desktop,and it is incredibly cruel to for an intern to work on a single defective machine.

It should have been trivial for the IT department to notice the hardware failure and to suggest a different machine, at least providing a loaner.

I have never heard of any company being so incompetent and insensitive.

To terminate a person over them not being able to work in defective hardware, is just sadistic to the extreme.


Re: It's not really about the laptop.

That is stupid.

Of course it is about the laptop.

No one can work on a malfunctioning machine.

Happens frequently, and the solutions are routine.

The fact the whole company refused to take any responsibility is insane.

There is no way a trainee can deal with bad hardware themselves.


Re: Clearly a messup


Everyone at the whole company did have in interest in ensuring the company was not compromised, but it was the responsibility of her boss and IT to at least ensure she had a good machine to work with.

Things should have been dealt with very early on.

The fact no one helped her, makes them all suspect.


Re: Sounds like...

That is just stupid.

No company should be expecting people to work on laptops instead of desktops anyway, and when something goes wrong with a computer, it should NEVER be up to the new trainee to fix it.

That is the responsibility of IT.

The fact IT refused, means it is the fault of the company.


Re: they should have simply swapped out the laptop

Of course they don't have to throw away the laptop, but they should not be expecting a trainee to have access to the boot image they use as standard start up, and she would not have a copy of Windows, the necessary device drivers, the UEFI (it has not been EFI for over a decade) image, etc.

Clearly it is ITs responsibility, NOT an intern.


Re: hardware problem ?

Not without leaving a track record.

The whole point of anti-virus is they want to advertise on how useful they were in eliminating threats.

They NEVER delete anything without bragging about it.


No its not. Reinstalling windows will not at all take care of any root virus, corrupted registry, malware device driver, etc. In fact, it won't really do anything. You have to reformat the drive and reload an image of the bios and bootup you want to start with. Even CMOS can easily have been reflashed, depending on the type of machine.

Obviously the company was not helping her at all, and it was all their responisibility.

They should have just given her an entirely different machine that was from a stock image.

There is no way she could have fixed things on her own.

The company was totally and completely negligent.

Scumbag who phoned in a Call of Duty 'swatting' that ended in death pleads guilty to dozens of criminal charges


Re: Mythbusters

That is ridiculous, because of course it take a long time to draw a gun out of a holster, but police always pull their gun out way ahead of time, so is totally irrelevant.

Not only that, but a knife is almost useless if the opponent has ANY tiny amount of training, not to mention a club, mace, taser, etc.

The reality is that you can still EASILY shoot someone coming at you with a knife, even if they are starting from only 2 feet away, if you already have the firearm out of the holster.

While you should do whatever any armed person says, it is illegal, dangerous, and wrong for police to even point a gun at someone who is not already armed and indicating a clear threat.

Almost everything police do is illegal, from no-knock raids, to putting people in jail over drug charges.


NO! It is the POLICE who bear full responsibility for shooting an innocent person.

They are not supposed to go off like that based on a phone call, under any circumstances.

It would not at all have been hard for them to have called the neighbors, used binoculars, use a parabolic mic to listen in, etc. and to have avoided the illegal armed confrontation,

The police also legally were supposed to have gone before a judge and gotten a warrant.

Everything they did was totally and completely illegal.

Former Intel love rat Krzanich finds his calling, lands at biz that sells tech to car dealers


Does not seem right for love interests to have anything to do with employment unless there was coercion?

But BK was a chemist, and Intel needs a Computer Science specialist instead. Too many engineering types already. They need someone who can dump the old x86 design, make a cpu with lots more uniform registers. And either embed or emulate for backward compatibility. And cores are stupid because shared memory is the bottleneck you want to avoid.

Danube diss: Cloud spending to outstrip Slovakia's GDP this year


I agree with Kev99. All the Cloud does is rent you your own data and apps back at you, losing all control and security in the process. There is no real point unless you are too incompetent to set up a VPN so you can work from home using your own work server. The only way to have any security is to set up your own server, not rent from the Cloud where not only do other people manage your data, but they do it in a very insecure way because their whole goal is sharing not security.

It's been 5 years already, let's gawp at Microsoft and Nokia's bloodbath


Re: Nokia was a phone company that couldn't make the transition

Except that Nokia did not fail because every one wanted handheld devices that also make phone calls.

Hand held devices are awful. Nobody likes on screen keyboards. No one needs a handheld when they have a full sized computer at work and at home. The only time you don't have a full sized is in the car, and it is or should be illegal to use a hand held then. Nokia would have done fine if MS had not made the purchase. There is a huge market for phones that are not smart, expensive, or high monthly.

Connected car data handover headache: There's no quick fix... and it's NOT just Land Rovers


The lack of awareness this can all easily be hacked, is amazing. People must be incredibly ignorant. No sane person would want a vehicle that can be unlocked or otherwise manipulated by an app. That is crazy because not only will it be hacked, but it can easily be disrupted to lock the actual owner out by denial of service attacks.

Foreshadow and Intel SGX software attestation: 'The whole trust model collapses'


Re: Intel only?

Unfortunately AMD has to follow whatever Intel does, the bad along with the good, or else people complain it is not working right.


There should be a meltdown in profits, but Intel never should have had any profits to begin with. The whole x86 architecture was horrendous even in the 1980s.

The main reason for the total lack of security is that the x86 uses over lapped paging for high and low memory addressing, but incorrectly calls it segmentation. So then the real segmentation that is necessary for security, one data segment and one code segment, are not supported in hardware.

So no Intel x86 processor can ever be secure.


Re: DRM was dead a hundred years ago

Correct. All you ever needed to totally defeat DRM was an mpeg encryption cars to capture your own video out put onto the hard drive, without any of the encryption that is not sent to your video monitor.

That not only works for all DVDs, but also any live TV you can see on your computer monitor.


Re: Stupidity

No, the problem has nothing to do with the TCP/IP protocol stack.

That has its own strengths and weaknesses, but you can tell the problem is Intel x86 processors because Unix machines and machines with other processors, like Motorola, were never historically very insecure, even though they used the same TCP/IP protocol stack.

The problem is that Intel does not protect process memory space in hardware. And now they can't, because Microsoft uses Common Object Model protocols, that violate normal process memory space rules.

So if you are looking for a solution, it requires a different processor than x86, and not Windows..

Zero arrests, 2 correct matches, no criminals: London cops' facial recog tech slammed


It is not just that it is so inaccurate as to be useless and abusive, but that even if it did work, it would violate the basic right of privacy. You could never ensure government only used it for legal purposes. If used to identify protesters, organization members, etc., it would be illegal and very dangerous.

IBM bans all removable storage, for all staff, everywhere


Sorry, but that is totally ignorant. Any laptop or tablet has the exact same copy capability as any USB stick, and no cloud system like Google Drive is even remotely secure. Never use the cloud for anything you care about. You really should not at all be CISO. For example, tell me how you remove a rootkit virus without a USB stick?


International Beancounter Mismanagement

One of the dumbest things I have ever heard, because obviously any laptop, tablet, portable drive, etc., can do all this as well, and the very least secure means of file sharing is the cloud, the way IBM WANTS it done.

Somebody really does not understand computers.

When you share on the cloud, everyone between you and the source can make a copy easily.

Every major OS maker misread Intel's docs. Now their kernels can be hijacked or crashed


Re: "286 could have run a pre-emptive multitasking OS"

But no OS can prevent by passing security on any Intel processor. The fact you could run an pre-emptive multitasking OS on a 286 does not mean it would be secure. To be secure, you need to have a guard register at both ends of memory for each process, and prevent any cross over access. Intel does not provide hardware support for that. That is because guard registers are for segmentation, and Intel uses the word segmentation for their bizarre form of over lapped paging.


Re: "You can always tell who those who never used an Amiga are..."

Amiga was still my favorite computer.


Re: "Can anyone offer a reason for using this segmented crap "

Yes, the problem is Intel processors do not support OS security needs. If Intel had done paging right and not called it segmentation, then Intel could have done segmentation right and have a pair of guard registers for every user process. This is very old stuff and no one has to reinvent anything, just Intel did it all wrong.


Sorry, but the article is blaming the OS programmer, and that is wrong. It is Intel that made the mistake. In fact, Intel did everything wrong with the x86, and it is really a single user processor, incapable of being secure. What Intel calls segmentation is actually a really bad form of paging, and each user process is supposed to get one code segment and one data segment, which are of variable length. That gives you guard registers, and is what segmentation is supposed to be for. The code segment is the process start in memory, and the data segment is the process end in memory, with them both growing towards each other. That is the way computers have implemented security since the 1950s. Intel just got it all wrong.

The KITT hits the Man: US Congress urged to OK robo-car trials


Autonomous vehicles have got to be the dumbest idea ever. Computers are way to slow at vision recognition. Humans are over 100 million times faster at it. They currently are trying to use GPS mapping, and everyone with a NAV system knows how obsolete that data is.

Destroying the city to save the robocar


Re: meh

Auto driving cars won't be safe at all, because they are too slow to recognize things. Humans have over 100 billion processors, so are a hundred million times faster at image recognition. Current autonomous vehicles can't even recognize turn signals or brake lights. They are pathetic and dangerous. Nor would they be any fun, or as safe as mass transit.


Automation can't work

Since automation would require embedded lane transponders, networked vehicles, and everything else banned, it can never work. What we need instead is more mass transit and bio fuel.

Apple Mac fans told: Something smells EFI in your firmware


First of all, it has been UEFI since 2005. EFI is the old 2002 name for Unified Extensible Firmware Interface.

Second is the whole point of security is that an automatic update of UEFI is not supposed to be allowed. If the boot firmware can be automatically updated from the outside, then ANYONE can do it.

It should never be allowed.

I have seen hackers reflash the boot code, and there really is no way to ever recover from that. All the hacker has to do is rewrite the boot code to prevent reflashing. Then the only way to recover is to physically replace the eprom.

British snoops at GCHQ knew FBI was going to arrest Marcus Hutchins


The "dark side" he dabbled on was working for the government. The government wants to suppress him revealing how to prevent hacking because the government is the biggest hacker of all.

First-day-on-the-job dev: I accidentally nuked production database, was instantly fired


The purpose of making backups is not to hide them away in a cabinet, but to have those be the ones users are making changes to. Then at the end of each day the modifications are rolled up into the real database.

No one uses the main database, live.

The one responsible for a bulletproof system is the CTO.

Not doing this right is his fault.

That is why he is paid the most.

How Ford has slammed the door on Silicon Valley's autonomous vehicles drive


Autonomous cars are NEVER going to happen.

First of all, it is incredible hubris to remotely consider that programmer can anticipate all things that can happen on the road. Second is that humans are millions of times faster at object recognition because we use billions of parallel processors instead of being limited to a half dozen cores like the fastest cpus.

The current tests are fakes, relying on GPS, and unable to even recognize turn signals or brake lights.

Second is that no one wants to be connected. Instead they want privacy, so there is no record of where they have been. No one wants hackers to be able to take control of their vehicle as has been shown to already be possible with Jeep Grand Cherokees. People LIKE to drive, and will run any attempt at autonomous cars off the road. And if not, then the government will ban them the first time a terrorist realizes they make the perfect bomb delivery system.

How the FBI will lose its iPhone fight, thanks to 'West Coast Law'


Re: Law can't defy science?

Not really true. There were Jews working on weapons projects in Germany, so you really don't under stand history well at all. The reason Hitler never got the atomic bomb is because ALL the scientists working on it would not let him have it. It has nothing to do with if they were Jewish or not. And similarly scientist who know encryption in the US should be smart enough to know you can't trust the FBI any more than you could trust Hitler. There is little difference. The point of the article is that science must remain above "just following orders" of the law.


The FBI has no right at all to the privacy technology Apple has developed. Remember Apple is international, so if you force Apple to give it to the FBI, then all other governments, like Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, etc., can and will force Apple to give it to their secret police as well.

Do you really want that?

Snowden showed us that no government can ever be trusted, not even ours.

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