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Comment: Bebop Bytes Back (Score 1) 155

by 7bit (#47293271) Attached to: Computational Thinking: AP Computer Science Vs AP Statistics?

Computational thinking, or to use an older term, procedural literacy, is the idea that people should understand how to think in terms of processes, procedures, etc. Rather than teaching programming, which often (especially at introductory levels) focuses a lot on the mechanics of a programming language's syntax and other idiosyncracies, the idea is to teach people how to even think about the basic idea of a machine that can execute programs.

Many people can't do that: even leaving aside that they don't know C or Java or Lisp, they also don't really understand what an algorithm or a computer program is conceptually, and have absolute no idea what kinds of things can be computed and what kinds can't, or which are easy or harder to compute. They lack the ability to interact meaningfully with non-code representations of computation and algorithms as well, like flow charts or (natural-language) instruction sequences.

Google might do better to just buy a bunch of kids/people copies of the brilliant book:

Bebop Bytes Back: An Unconventional Guide to Computers '.

I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to actually understand exactly what interactions occur in a cpu etc and how they result in what you experience. The book actually makes it fun! At least for people like me. ;)

Comment: Miner Wars 2081 (Score 1) 251

by 7bit (#47071151) Attached to: It's Time For the <em>Descent</em> Games Return

"Perhaps the influences of Red Faction and Minecraft could also come into play as you bored your own shortcuts through layers of destructible sediment."

You have described the multiplayer game [Miner Wars 2081]. In every way it is the game that the submitter described. It has the full Descent style navigation though asteroids as well as a customizable voxel universe. Seriously, check out the videos.

Miner Wars 2081

Comment: Re:ZFS for Windows? (Score 1) 297

by 7bit (#44882491) Attached to: OpenZFS Project Launches, Uniting ZFS Developers

How about a version of ZFS for Windows that doesn't need to be usable for a boot drive but can be used just for separate data drives?

Then Windows could do it's own thing with the boot drive and NTFS and it's cache etc, and ZFS would keep all your other data nice and safe.

I'd pay for even that much ZFS capability in Windows!

Comment: Re:5 1/4 HD's (Score 1) 195

by 7bit (#44816775) Attached to: Seagate's Shingled Magnetic Recording Tech Boosts HDD Capacities to 5TB and Up

Keep in mind that this is someone who used the wrong spelling of "hear." It was a bit much to expect him to be able to do simple math.

LOL! And I'll keep in mind Mr. Coward that it was too much for you to notice the obvious fact that his equation missed the greater depth of 5.25 inch bays, meaning the figure is incorrect since it doesn't account for enough platters. :P It's fun making fun of people instead of actually being constructive isn't it?

Comment: Re:5 1/4 HD's (Score 1) 195

by 7bit (#44816751) Attached to: Seagate's Shingled Magnetic Recording Tech Boosts HDD Capacities to 5TB and Up

Here me out. Now that they are up to 1TB per platter with current tech on 3.5 inch drives just imagine what they could fit into a 5 1/4 inch drive now!!

Umm, around 9.1 TB? ((Simply did 5.25" drive area / 3.5" drive area) * 4 TB)

Nice. That plus however many more platters you could fit into it considering the 5.25 bay is deeper than a 3.5 inch HD.

Also, thanks for not making an issue of my misspelling one word. I'd been up since the previous day working and am also not feeling well, so I'm not going to feel bad about one obvious misspelling. ;)

Comment: 5 1/4 HD's (Score 2) 195

by 7bit (#44814803) Attached to: Seagate's Shingled Magnetic Recording Tech Boosts HDD Capacities to 5TB and Up

This is all well and good, but couldn't just one manufacturer afford to set aside one measly manufacturing line for making 5 1/4 inch Hard Drives again?

Here me out. Now that they are up to 1TB per platter with current tech on 3.5 inch drives just imagine what they could fit into a 5 1/4 inch drive now!!

I know I wouldn't be the only one willing to shell out bux for one of those, providing they used all that space intelligently: With Data Spaces that large it would pretty much be a requirement to include built in internal Mirroring RAID of some sort between the platters, or at least provide the option, for data integrity and protection and longevity of the unit.

I've been salivating over that dream for years now.

Comment: Re:Master Password (Thuderbird+Firefox) (Score 1) 482

by 7bit (#44502783) Attached to: Chrome's Insane Password Security Strategy

For those who insist on saying that chrome's security method is good enough consider this: How many people use separate log-in's for the "Family" computer that stays on most of the time? Not very many I'd imagine, just too much trouble for most to deal with.

And that's exactly why Chrome didn't add this feature. Nobody wants to log out and log in again just to get into Facebook to check their status, which is exactly what you have to do if you want the browser to remember your facebook password, but don't have the Firefox password for the main Windows/Mac/Unix profile.

Seriously? Seriously? That's why they don't "allow" the "option" of a separate master password like Thunderbird has? Really?

If someone is going to be super-unsecure in how they do things, then fine, that's them. But to then mandate that as the standard and not even "allow" better security practices? I'm scratching my head really hard trying to understand this point of view of "crappy-security = best-security" newspeak that some people including the chrome dev keep trying to defend...

Comment: Re:Master Password (Thuderbird+Firefox) (Score 1) 482

by 7bit (#44502299) Attached to: Chrome's Insane Password Security Strategy

Chrome let's you password protect your passwords as well, at least in Linux with KDE. When I go into Chrome, it opens up the KDE Wallet to store the passwords, which makes me type in the password for it. After this, you can view the passwords plain text. You can also specify the wallet behavior, including making it so that every time anyone tries to access it you need to type in your password. Sounds like normal security functionality to me.

Sounds like it is depending on external software to do that, software that isn't on all platforms. As nice as it is to have the option of using that external software when using that particular OS, it would be even nicer if it also directly supported such a feature like Thunderbird does. When using Thunderbird in Windows it offers that same functionality by default within itself without requiring some possibly-not-present external software. Why can't chrome do that too? Especially if, as another poster says, it is using the same core code for password storage as Thunderbird already?

Comment: Re:Master Password (Thuderbird+Firefox) (Score 1) 482

by 7bit (#44502251) Attached to: Chrome's Insane Password Security Strategy

Chrome uses the same core OS key storage that Firefox/Thunderbird does, and encrypts with the same master password--if I save a password in Firefox, it's available in Chrome and vice-versa. Both use kwallet on KDE, gnome-keyring on Gnome platforms, keychain access on the Mac, etc.

You can lock access to view them however the OS does so (e.g. with gnome, either Applications->Settings->Passwords and Keys, and select "Lock passwords", or from the command line, and gnome automatically locks them when your screensaver locks; on KDE it's the "Wallet Manager", I forget which menu it's under; on the Mac it's Utilities->Keychain Access, and click the little lock at the top of the keychain to lock/unlock). All 3 of those systems default to using your login password and automatically unlocking the keychain when you log in, but you can set the password separately (and be prompted to unlock it when you go to use it) if you want.

The problem here is that Windows' password management doesn't offer a reasonable alternative, but that's not Chrome's fault.

If chrome uses the same code for password storage as Thunderbird does then they have even less of an excuse for not allowing a separate Master password like Thunderbird does by default. That then does in fact become chrome's fault. It makes the chrome dev's obtuse iron-clad stance look even more nefarious and deliberate than before...

Thunderbird's master password system has nothing to do with the OS so I'm not really sure what you are talking about. I have to type my separate master password into Thunderbird in order to access those passwords in plaintext, regardless of how I'm otherwise logged in. Perhaps you've never actually used it?

Comment: Re:Master Password (Thuderbird+Firefox) (Score 1) 482

by 7bit (#44502123) Attached to: Chrome's Insane Password Security Strategy

Chrome's security tech lead gives a pretty good answer here:

Consider the case of someone malicious getting access to your account. Said bad guy can dump all your session cookies, grab your history, install malicious extension to intercept all your browsing activity, or install OS user account level monitoring software. My point is that once the bad guy got access to your account the game was lost, because there are just too many vectors for him to get what he wants.

People worried about the security of this are worried over the wrong things. Firefox's master password would do absolutely nothing to stop a dropped-in extension from monitoring webpages for when passwords are filled, grabbing the filled form-data, and storing it in the extensions own preferences; and that wouldnt even take a background process, admin privileges, or really anything more than the ability to drop a file in the firefox profile.

I would be willing to place a large bet that in any scenario that would allow me to recover Chrome or Safari passwords, I would also be able to recover firefox passwords that are locked with a master password, within a reasonable amount of time. As has been said many many times, anything that tries to protect against a malicious user with access to your user session is pure security theatre.

You are both missing the point entirely. The issue is to have the default security bar set high enough to at least stop casual information theft. Your definition of a "Malicious person" only accounts for an incredibly tiny percentage of people with such skill sets and doesn't even consider the majority of people. As it is now chrome is practically begging average people to steal that info if even the slightest opportunity arises.

Most kids or people in general likely don't know enough or aren't motivated enough to bother setting up some kind of exploit on a usb stick or website to do the kind of things you are talking about. However; if you make it as incredibly easy as chrome does to grab that info without having even necessarily pre-planned to do it then those same people will be highly tempted to do it, and enough will.

It's the same principle as locking your home or your car. Sure, someone could pick the lock or break it, does that mean you give up and don't bother locking it and just count on the "security" offered by the police force? Does that make locking your door "Security Theater"? No, because for the most part the lock is more than enough of a barrier to block "casual" entry and most people won't pick it or break it. However; leave your car & home unlocked all the time when you are gone with a sign on them saying they are unlocked (equivalent of using chrome while logged in but stepped away for even a short time) and eventually some otherwise "honest" citizen or lazy crook will not be able to resist the temptation. The percentage of illegal activity will shoot way up. There is a solid case for locking your door, as well as keeping password lists locked under a separate Master password.

Again; Why not just allow a separate Master password like Thunderbird does? It's clearly not difficult to implement or use.

Comment: Re:Master Password (Thuderbird+Firefox) (Score 2) 482

by 7bit (#44500457) Attached to: Chrome's Insane Password Security Strategy

Best option: don't let your browser remember your passwords.

1) You might need to sign in from a different browser someday, and if you don't know your password, you are stuck.

2) Having all your passwords in one place means someone need only hack that one place to get access to everything.

3) Encrypted or not, if the passwords are on the disk then they can be stolen.

Putting some effort into a personal, comprehensive password-management strategy is very worthwhile. You think you have more important things to do? These passwords are the keys to your entire life. Think again.

In general I agree, I disable the auto-password feature in my browser but many many people do use the browser password memory system. One way or another, if chrome is going to offer the feature they should at least allow the option for the use of a master password instead of categorically refusing to for some unknowable reason.

It's very easy to implement and open source code is readily available for them to copy or learn from at their leisure. I just can't see any rational excuse for them to maintain this stance.

I took a fish head to the movies and I didn't have to pay. -- Fish Heads, Saturday Night Live, 1977.