* Posts by Carpet Deal 'em

57 posts • joined 29 Apr 2017


The curious tale of ICANN, Verisign, claims of subterfuge, and the $135m .Web dot-word

Carpet Deal 'em

Re: Alternate system

The existence of alternate DNS roots just creates its own set of problems. This is, in my opinion, one of those rare cases where a blockchain just might make sense: nobody has to trust anybody but can still find everybody. This also has some more obvious problems, but decentralization in some form is going to be the only way to put an end to this.

Amazon robot fingered for bear spray leak that hospitalised 24 staffers

Carpet Deal 'em

"These things happen" is a poor attitude to take to poorly-secured dangerous materials. Even if it means losing the benefits of automation, these things need to be kept in a location and way that utterly prevents this kind of thing.

DeepMind quits playing games with AI, ups the protein stakes with machine-learning code

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SEAL up your data just like Microsoft: Redmond open-sources 'simple' homomorphic encryption blueprints

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Re: Surely the point of encryption...

Encryption is to hide things from prying eyes. If you want to prevent tampering, you need to use signatures. Technically they're both forms of cryptography, but they're still very much different things.

Blockchain study finds 0.00% success rate and vendors don't call back when asked for evidence

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Re: Blockchain tutorials

The basic of a block chain is this: you have a start block containing some information(usually of a fixed size); you then add a second block, which includes the hash of the first block's data. A third block gets added, again with the hash of the second block's data(which includes the hash of the first block), and so on and so forth. This means that the value of any block is dependent on the value of the entire chain before it, so it's theoretically impossible to pull a fast one without rewriting the entire chain.

Holy moley! The amp, kelvin and kilogram will never be the same again

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Re: A few comments

"Why does SI use the kilogram instead of the base gram?"

The kilogram was originally called the "grave", but the name was dropped for various reasons and, in the process, some genius decided to base the default on the centimeter. Unsurprisingly, the original grave was the more convenient measure, but by then "gram" had stuck, so they popped the kilogram in its place.

GDPR USA? 'A year ago, hell no ... More people are open to it now' – House Rep says EU-like law may be mulled

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Re: Inquiring minds

"Only when a nation doesnt realise where its border is."

What about companies whose platform is global? In the US, there are "town square" laws that demand that everybody be given their soapbox in places of public congregation(the details vary, but California in particular has some strong protections in its constitution); these haven't yet been applied to the online world, but doing so would be in direct conflict with various European laws demanding Facebook, Twitter, etc take down posts the government deems "extremist". Not privacy-related, but a decent example of how direct conflicts can exist.

Upset fat iOS gobbles up so much storage? Too bad, so sad, says judge: Apple lawsuit axed

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Re: It's marketing lies allowed to become reality.

Actually, if you read the fine print on a modern hard drive box, they admit the advertised capacity is just them lying through their teeth: while you would normally expect 1TB to mean 1024GB of 1024MB of 1024KB of 1024 bytes each, they use 1TB to mean 1000GB of 1000MB of 1000KB of 1000 bytes each(a difference of about 9% or 93 actual gigabytes). They were sued over this, but the case was dismissed because of that disclaimer.

Dollar for dollar, crafting cryptocurrency sucks up 'more energy' than mining gold, copper, etc

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The main reason Bitcoin transaction fees are so damn high

Is that only a ludicrously small number are permitted to be processed on the same block, not due to there being too few Bitcoins. The developers could easily send these fees plummeting by increasing the blocksize(and therefore the number of transactions that can be processed at once), but they've steadfastly refused to do so(which lead to the Bitcoin Cash fork).

Florida man won't be compelled to reveal iPhone passcode, yet

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> If I was asked to provide the numbers, I would be unable to do so.

Which isn't what they're asking for. The claim is that, since they know you know how to unlock the device, they have the right to force you to do so without that pesky fifth amendment getting in the way. You could be forgiven for misunderstanding that bit, though: this is some of the finest hairsplitting in human history.

Amazon tried to entice Latin American officials with $5m in Kindles, AWS credits for .amazon

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Have they tried

A compromise where Brazil operates the TLD and Amazon gets priority on domain names? It seems like a rather natural solution.

Chrome 70 flips switch on Progressive Web Apps in Windows 10 – with janky results

Carpet Deal 'em

> I like the vast majority of users have a widescreen monitor and yet the web designers only allow the web site to fil the central third of the screen .Why? Nobody remebers, maybe because someones great aunt had a 640x480 CRT monitor once. Why not go out on a limb and offer a widescreen version of web site? Or even let html flow the text to the width of the browser...just saying.

There are a lot of screwed up things UI designers do, but this isn't one of them(which is to say, it's time-tested advice). Excessive width is tiring on the eyes, whereas vertical reading isn't much of a much. Having to read sentence after sentence across the width of an ultrawide monitor would just be a usability nightmare.

A flash of inspiration sees techie get dirty to fix hospital's woes

Carpet Deal 'em

> "But the poorly-educated didn't understand this, so the back formation "flammable" was created (by the lawyers, I suspect"

Not so much "poorly-educated" as "not familiar with this exact word". Given that "in-" is almost always a negating prefix in English, it's quite reasonable to assume it would be in this context as well, which is why the US National Fire Protection Association pushed to have it snuffed out as a safety hazard. Whether they recoined the term or continued it from its previous existence isn't an answer I'm familiar with, though.

Guccifer 2.0 outed, Kaspersky slammed, Oz radio hacker in the slammer, and more

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Thumb Up

Re: You guys never give up

> Funny that while the heinous crime of releasing the DNCs secrets was so horrible, even they don't claim fabrication of any of that.

This is exactly my sentiment. What does it matter who hacked the DNC? The only thing that matters is the content of the leaked material; it wouldn't change a damn thing if it were some Columbian or Seth Rich.

YouTube banned many gun vids, so some moved to smut site

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> That does not mean that any private company has to provide you with a platform to say it.

I'd say YouTube(and Facebook and Twitter, etc) qualifies as a public forum and shouldn't be treated with a simple "they can do what they want". And, while it hasn't been firmly applied to cyberspace yet, California law(which they'd all fall under) is clear that public fora aren't allowed to censor people just because the owners don't like them(a law I'd love to see made universal).

No, Sierra Leone did not just run the world's first 'blockchain election'

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Re: More blockchain nonsense

> So no, blockchain adds exactly zero to the integrity of voting - and if it does it makes some people actively less safe from coercion.

The logical answer here is to have some key that a person can use to verify their vote, but doesn't publicly link it to their name, possibly unique to that vote(ie, a serial number) or a more general secret(like social security numbers or such).

That long-awaited Mark Zuckerberg response: Everything's fine! Mostly fixed! Facebook's great! All good in the hoodie!

Carpet Deal 'em

Re: How's that 'Presidential Run' looking now Zuckky?

> I note you concede he may get two terms...

Unless things chase rather bigly on the Democrats' side, Trump'll win 2020 by default.

Cambridge Analytica CEO suspended – and that's not even the worst news for them today

Carpet Deal 'em

> Either things work differently in the US or the best use of this would be to pretend to be the other side and call their supporters.

Good call monitoring would avoid this for the most part. But it seems Hillary was extra stupid and just handed out the list to people to call from the comfort of their own home, because I seem to remember /pol/ doing just this.

Carpet Deal 'em

Re: OK, that's it!

> Clearly, the Remain campaign was entirely above board, what with the full weight of our trustworthy Establishment, extensive funding by rich foreign nationals like George Soros, along with the brilliantly and honestly conceived "Project Fear".

> But apparently we Brexiteers are mere racist simpletons, who have been swayed by a barrage of targeted advertising driven off our Facebook profiles (not that I have any FB profile, but never mind facts, eh?).

Beep boop. Russian bot detected.

Trump blocks use of Venezuelan Petro cryptocoins in the US

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Re: An opportunity here

"Then how do you explain the US obsession with Cuba for the last 50years?"

There are enough Cuban refugees in Florida to be worth pandering to.

Trump’s immigration policies costing US tech jobs says LogMeIn CEO

Carpet Deal 'em

So the great job losses we were promised is just them keeping their H-1Bs home? I'm pretty sure the US comes ahead on this.

Mozilla sends more snooping Web APIs to smartphone Siberia

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Paris Hilton

Re: KISS principle, we hardly knew you

I'm not entirely sure if implementing something in a sandboxed plugin's a better defense against malware than implementing it in a browser, but it's definitely a better defense against idiot web designers. External plugins usually imply restricting yourself to one a page, but HTML and JavaScript can be sprinkled all over the place without any reason for an idiot to restrain themselves. That alone is a powerful argument against the modern era of ever-exploding web "standards", if you ask me(I'm also a bit of a fan of off-brand browsers, which these fictitious standards actively harm).

Carpet Deal 'em

Re: KISS principle, we hardly knew you

"I'm pretty sure it's rather yet another "lets see what else we can include" solution which had to look long and hard for a problem to solve."

You're almost certainly right. After everything previously provided by plugins was pulled into the browser, there was very little constraining idiots from adding everything they could to the "standard". Previously, there was a disincentive to go too far since most of the functionality users needed was already provided by plugins such as Flash and Java(which were in turn limited in what they could do thanks to the plugin API), but now they've been given the keys to the kingdom since there's very little the browser can't access and little to oppose them.

If you ask me, we would've been far better served by a more secure successor to NSPAPI. You could still have sane limits that come from active content being inherently boxed and, perhaps more importantly, you'd avoid the current situation where websites are becoming less and less portable(were things anywhere near this incompatible during the browser wars? Because my dim memory doesn't recall them being that bad).

Fun fact of the day: Voice recognition tech is naturally sexist

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Re: sex sells

"I've heard different, reasonable-sounding justifications for assistants, and earlier even, voice navigation, using female voices."

One of my local grocery stores has the typical female voice in English mode on the self checkouts, but a male voice in Spanish mode(US). Make of that what you will.

Elon Musk invents bus stop, waits for applause, internet LOLs

Carpet Deal 'em

If the busses could borrow the rails

Then there may be a point after all. If the elevators move fast enough, a bus could pop down to dodge unruly traffic, for example. And if there's no direct route between two tube/metro/subway stations, a bus could stop at one station and take overland people to the next without any special effort on their part. Since vehicle already exist that can switch from road to rail(primarily for railroad maintenance), this isn't impossible - though, again, this all depends on the practicality of getting the busses up and down quickly enough.

But Musk's specific idea is definitely crap.

London Mayor calls for social networks and sharing economy to stop harming society

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"If that duty of care is not exercised, he said social networks can expect harsh regulation like Germany's 24-hour takedown laws or the European Commission's one-hour deadline for removal of terror-related content."

Right now somebody's suing Twitter over that "duty of care" under the claim that they're in violation of California law(Jared Taylor et al vs. Twitter), arguing they qualify as a public forum and thus have to let "race realists" and the like have their say.

Given that all the big networks are based in Cali, I'd just love to see the international shitshow Twitter loses. Unmovable wall and unstoppable object here we come.

Rhode Island proposes $20 porn tax. Er, haven't we heard this before?

Carpet Deal 'em

Re: Bad Ideas in the USA???

Let's stop and remember Hillary for a moment:

- She didn't campaign in Wisconsin

- She lied about where she was on 9/11

- She actively called for people to lose their jobs in an underperforming economy

- She advocated war with Russia

- She couldn't even exploit the "woman card" thing right

In other words, just about everybody else running(except Jeb) would've been better. But after they screwed Bernie over, the only candidate left was Trump.

Too many bricks in the wall? Lego slashes inventory

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Re: The cost!!


Legos stick together due to friction; you can't get that effect reliably without them being very precisely the same size(and, even if that weren't important, the fact that they're so tiny inherently implies a higher degree of precision).

Cryptocurrency miners go nuclear, RSA blunder, Winner back in court, and plenty more

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Black Helicopters

"In my opinion, there is a better case to be made over a delay of more than a year and a half between arrest and trial, which falls a good deal short of the sixth amendment requirement in what seems a fairly uncomplicated case."

One New York kid found himself waiting three years for his day in court(he allegedly stole a backpack). Turns out that NY's "speedy trial" period of six months was(is?) on a stop clock - if the prosecutors ask for another day of delay on Monday and an appointment's not available until next Friday, that's only two days as far as NY's concerned.

Never underestimate the ability of a government to game the least ambiguity in wording to screw you - and don't expect any lube.

Facebook regrets asking whether it's OK to let adult men ask underage girls for smut pix

Carpet Deal 'em

"The Germans are making a start with the 24 hour terrorist post removal fines and it's about time all governments forced them to employ people to protect users and address illegal content and actions."

If we're talking about forcing Facebook to take down posts, things could get fiddly before too long: right now there's a lawsuit aiming to get Twitter declared a public forum under California law - and almost anybody's allowed a soapbox in a Californian public forum. Now Facebook isn't Twitter, but Twitter is the social network your social network could smell like and it's almost certain they'll be held to the same standard.

News lobsters demand to be let back into the Facebook boiling pot

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Big Brother

Re: "...inadequate, commercially, socially and journalistically," said Murdoch

"This is a problem with dismissing ones political opponents as evil, without considering that sometimes they may have a point."

He's taking a swing at altmedia, not "fake news" per se. And it's hardly surprising: Breitbart is by far the biggest, most professional example and they are in direct competition with Fox News. If it weren't for them, I doubt he'd care.

Spectre haunts Intel's SGX defense: CPU flaws can be exploited to snoop on enclaves

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Re: Death of DRM on PC platforms??

"And the 'ret-poline' seems to be an adequate defense against at least SOME of it, by not using the speculative execution thingy in the first place."

Retpoline doesn't get in the way of most speculative execution; that would make the penalty of the Meltdown mitigation look positively light-weight in comparison. Instead, it tricks the processor into treating simple jumps as function calls, which are handled differently(though our buddies at Intel have managed to screw up that bit of security: in the right circumstances, newer models can starting reading from the vulnerable branch buffer rather than the secure return buffer).

This post from Stack Overflow explains it a lot better than I ever could.

4G found on Moon

Carpet Deal 'em

Re: Commercialization of the moon...

> Maybe put a fence around the Apollo landing site and charge admission?

The moon has gravity only a sixth as strong as earth's, so it'd have to be six times as high for the same effect. You can electrify it, but anybody who goes there will be wearing non-conductive gloves. And, of course, you'd need to make it thick and ugly just to avoid people breaking through it with wire or bolt cutters. Really, there's no practical way to prevent vandals from stealing them.

Tor pedo's torpedo torpedoed: FBI spyware crossed the line but was in good faith, say judges

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Re: Then what is the point of Tor?

Almost all users that have been caught were doing things like accessing Onion sites with JavaScript enabled, unwittingly leaving themselves open to the world. If you access only static websites or only send to trusted IPs, you're almost entirely safe. Tor was created by the US Naval Research Laboratory to protect intelligence sources; everything else is just noise for the signal to hide in as far as they're concerned. As far as foreign intelligence services are concerned, there are a number of attacks that center around simply owning enough nodes, which the US always has. It's not much help for law enforcement, but, again, they're out of scope.

Guess who else Spectre is haunting? Yes, it's AMD. Four class-action CPU flaw lawsuits filed

Carpet Deal 'em

Re: Blood in the water attracts the sharks

I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to my free skin in an overpriced game in a store I can't sign up for without using Chrome and buying a twelve month subscription!

Blockchain nears peak hype: UK politicos to probe crypto-coin

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Re: Of course, this ‘investigation’ conveniently ignores..

I highly, highly doubt that serious financial institutions would adopt Bitcoin as their primary transaction method. If their blockchain isn't denominated in some real-world currency, it'll probably be one specifically designed for the purpose. That way, the blockchain would be able to support however many transactions they need at whatever pace they like; they can also pick a better way to handle coin inflation(perhaps by just having a finite number of infinitely divisible coins).

Facebook's big solution to combating election ad fraud: Snail mail

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Re: Election integrity is easy *if* they're willing.

You can pull off voter fraud pretty simply if you use the identities of dead people who haven't been removed from the voter rolls. Even if we ignore the possibility of people casting multiple votes, you can still get people not permitted to vote(eg, felons, illegal aliens) to do the job. Gathering them up, driving them to the polls and bribing them to vote as ordered doesn't add up to all that much.

And, even if we flat-out deny any possibility of it influencing the presidency, things like off-year elections are still vulnerable: if a senate seat's up for grabs in a sufficiently purple state with sufficiently low turnout, you can also bus in people from out of state to pad your numbers while legitimate ones will tend to stay home.

Requiring a photo ID largely fixes this(faking one is a lot more involved, though admittedly still possible, hence the "largely").

Hands up who HASN'T sued Intel over Spectre, Meltdown chip flaws

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Re: Fork in the road far back

"Meltdown was trivially addressed, and new os kernel models will improve performance closer to ignoring it."

The Meltdown mitigation is trivial only in concept. There is a massive performance difference between mapping kernel memory into each and every process's address space(SOP until now) and isolating it to its own, separate address space. This is expensive at the hardware level and always has been; there's no way for an OS to compensate.

As an analogy, let's replace syscalls with changing the volume on your TV. The modern standard for changing volume is with a remote; the Meltdown mitigation is roughly the equivalent of getting up each time you needed to change it. Needless to say, it takes a lot longer for the volume to be changed(syscalls to be completed) than before.

And before you say "performance, uh, finds a way", microkernels have been suffering from just this problem since they were conceived; if there was a solution, decades of research would've found it by now.

Microsoft's Windows 10 Workstation adds killer feature: No Candy Crush

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Re: Workstation?

Let's try an exercise: go to any of the thousand typing test websites on a normal computer(laptop preferable, but desktops are acceptable) and get your WPM. Then return to the same site and take the test again on a tablet. Compare the two and tell me if you still believe that tablets are serious replacements for laptops.

PCI Council and X9 Committee to combine PIN security standards

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Re: About ... 30 years too late ?

There are far too many legacy systems to simply not consider PINs. As for a password standard, the USNIST has some recommendations on that front. The highlights:

- All printing ASCII characters(space included) permitted; Unicode support preferable, but not required

- Minimum of eight characters for chosen passwords(six characters for randomly generated ones)

- Permitted password length of at least 64 characters

- Checked against a blacklist

- No complexity or rotation requirements

The gory details are here.

Roses are red, Ajit Pai is tickled. Broadband from SpaceX gets him out of a pickle

Carpet Deal 'em

Re: How Come The USA Thinks It Owns All The Slots In Space?

"And who will determine who has 'rights' to a particular slot in the heavens?"

In all odds, we'll probably see a continuation of the first-come first-serve system. Unless we somehow end up with a Global Space Agency, that's pretty much the only way anything's going to work out.

Aching bad: 'Kingpin Granny' nicked in huge prescription drugs bust

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Not too long ago it came out that drug companies were happily shipping absurd amounts of opioids to just two pharmacies in West Virginia. There are clearly ways to get things that are legitimate on their face that only show their true nature with some closer scrutiny.

No yolking matter: Google Translate cock-up gives Norwegians more than un œuf eggs

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Re: lost in translation

I've seen calculators that do the apostrophe thing, too. I think it's meant to make them more visible, since otherwise they'd be right where your hand is and the light is the least.

Also, when and where were you in school? Your post is the very first time I've seen someone claim the period isn't the decimal point.

F-35 flight tests are being delayed by onboard software snafus

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Re: In 1951, Arthur C. Clarke foresaw nearly-precisely this sort of nonsense...

The F-35 is filling its role quite nicely. Whether or not this particular barrel of pork flies is quite irrelevant.

Astroboffins say our Solar System could have – wait, stop, what... the US govt found UFOs?

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Re: Where's the mass panic?

So it's fine if they're also a bunch of fat old greedy lying Chinese men?

Ubuntu 17.10 pulled: Linux OS knackers laptop BIOSes, Intel kernel driver fingered

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Re: Accidental Aardvark

> "What, just because Intel designed, wrote, and released the driver that's causing the problem? Never!"

There's a blackbox warning on the code. The fault ultimately lies with Canonical for taking something with that sort of warning and enabling it in their default configuration.

Why is Wikipedia man Jimbo Wales keynoting a fake news conference?

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Re: Pot calls Kettle black

Any article on any slightly contentious subject is practically guaranteed to be carefully curated by whichever side has the worst trolls behind it, with any corrections that don't fit their narrative nuked from high orbit. The list of reliable sources can also be gamed to ensure only one side has a voice; even if some site consistently generates correct facts, the right Wikilawyering can get its political bent used to ban it.

Having all mankind's knowledge concentrated and easily accessible in one place is a great idea in theory, but the reality is it's unfeasible to keep it accurate. In this regard, maybe it was better when you had to use Lycos or Alta Vista to find a site discussing the subject you were interested in.

Team Trump goes in to bat for Google and Facebook

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Much ado about good things

There's quite a few things to criticize Trump about, but all these histrionics are aimed at a policy that's four administrations and eleven years old at this point. If you'd click through to the Bloomberg article, you'd see what's being forwarded is little different than existing US safe harbor laws - and, lest you've forgotten, those have been long established as good for the free internet.

Search results suddenly missing from Google? Well, BLAME CANADA!

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Re: JohnnyS777

I'm pretty sure that Google would take down any Boeing rip-off "voluntarily".


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