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Comment: Re:It was a "joke" back then (Score 1) 271

Yep. a "computer" using levers and pulleys to steer a starship. :-)

To be fair, any autopilot mechanism is going to have to physically move something at some point, if it wants to actually affect the behavior of the ship and not just make computations about it.

Asimov's mistake was thinking that these actuators would be the same ones used for manual piloting, rather than a separate set that was hidden somewhere else in the spacecraft.

Comment: Re:selective enforcement at it's finest. (Score 3, Informative) 324

by Jeremi (#46730255) Attached to: Can You Buy a License To Speed In California?

All of which I'm sure are mostly free from traffic tickets -- just not something you can purchase on a whim. Survived Pearl Harbor? Fuck it, Mr. Have a nice day.

I know gut instinct is what the Slashdot comments section runs on, but what actual, non-anecdotal evidence to we have that police officers give preferential treatment to people with these license-plate holders?

Has any of this actually been studied in a scientific way, and if so, what were the results?

Comment: Re:Situation is a Shambles (Score 3, Insightful) 239

by Jeremi (#46711243) Attached to: Heartbleed OpenSSL Vulnerability: A Technical Remediation

JVM's are written in C and C++, the CLR is the same. Which managed language do you suggest to use that was not built with C?

The point isn't to eliminate C code entirely, but to minimize the number of lines of C code that are executed.

If (statistically speaking) there will are likely to be N memory-error bugs per million lines of C code, then the number of memory-error bugs in a managed language will be proportional to the size of the interpreter, rather than proportional to the size of the program as a whole.

Add to that the fact that interpreters are generally written by expert programmers, and then they receive lots and lots of testing and debugging, and then (hopefully) become mature/stable shortly thereafter; whereas application code is often written by mediocre programmers and often receives only minimal testing and debugging.

Conclusion: Even if the underlying interpreter is written in C, using a managed language for security-critical applications is still a big win.

Comment: Re:Situation is a Shambles (Score 4, Insightful) 239

by Jeremi (#46711207) Attached to: Heartbleed OpenSSL Vulnerability: A Technical Remediation

It was Robin Seggelmann that submitted this bit of buggy openssl code. He either works for the NSA or is grossly incompetent...

Or he made a dumb mistake, as 100% of programmers have done and will do again in the future. Anyone who expects programmers (even the best programmers) to never make mistakes is guaranteed to be disappointed.

The real issue here is that the development process did not detect the mistake and correct it in a timely manner. Code that is as security-critical as OpenSSL should really be code-reviewed and tested out the wahzoo before it is released to the public, so either that didn't happen, or it did happen and the process didn't detect this fault; either way a process-failure analysis and process improvements are called for.

Comment: Re:Difficult to defend against (Score 1) 630

by Jeremi (#46709779) Attached to: Navy Debuts New Railgun That Launches Shells at Mach 7

However, how do you shoot down a hunk of metal traveling at mach 7 toward your ship?

I think I'd like to use a rail gun to shoot a hunk of metal at it at mach 7. Assuming I don't miss, the result should be a single projectile, twice as large, that drops straight down into the ocean. Right? ;^)

Comment: Re:On the other side, a bit looming problem (Score 1) 1109

by tgd (#46697751) Attached to: Mozilla CEO Firestorm Likely Violated California Law

How do you color the whole issue as him only resigning, when three board members quit over his presence there. That's a lot of pressure from the company.

It looks an awful lot like coercion...

But, isn't it up for him to sue if he feels he did not resign voluntarily? It seems like he probably would not do so.

The problem is, the CEO's job is to be the figurehead for the company. He's not the President -- he's not in an operational position, his sole job is to represent the company to the board and the public. His inability to do so effectively is absolutely grounds for removing him. Its a fine line to walk when you get arcane labor laws into the picture, but the fact is, with the uproar he wasn't capable of doing the singular thing his job exists to do. If he was the President of the company, I doubt he would've been pressured to resign. (Its very much like the laws against things like weight or sex discrimination -- when someone's job is specifically related to their fitness or gender, its been shown repeatedly that laws like these don't apply.)

Comment: Re:Rreachtions (Score 2) 369

by Jeremi (#46696523) Attached to: Smart Car Tipping Trending In San Francisco

3) Someones insurance rates are going up

Anyone know how much damage a Smart Car can be expected to suffer when tipped like this?

(I'd imagine some crush/scratch damage to whatever body panel(s) are now supporting the car's weight, plus my co-worker says that various fluids are likely to drip out into places they aren't supposed to be)

Comment: Re:There is already a Tesla home battery pack (Score 1) 151

by Jeremi (#46690921) Attached to: Tesla: A Carmaker Or Grid-Storage Company?

NOT zero outlay. you still pay just about what you'd have payed the utility anyway...

Not if your roof has good sun. My condo building's HOA (in Southern California) was previously paying the local power company about $1000/month for electricity. We had SolarCity install solar panels on the roof under a Power Purchase Agreement; now we pay about $750/month for electricity. So that's about $12,000 in savings since 2010, and the HOA never had to spend a dime.

And they get to build an indistrial plat in and about your property

Yes, they got to install their solar panels on our roof. That hasn't been a problem for anyone.

Comment: Re:it's true (Score 1) 353

I had a friend who was adding memory to his Macbook to also add a SSD. Those two additions made "amazing" speed improvements. With the prices of SSD's it is a no brainer. No computer should be without it!

I'll add that if you get a Mac with the Fusion Drive setup (or reconfigure your Mac to use that feature), things are even nicer, as you no longer have to manually shuffle your "hot" data onto or off of the SSD drive. Instead, whatever data you access often will automatically migrate to the SSD, and "cold" data that you don't access often will automatically migrate to the spinning disk (if necessary). Works great!

(Note that this does mean that if either the SSD or the spinning disk die, you've probably lost your data on both drives -- but that's what backups are for. Pay another $60 for a basic external drive for Time Machine to use, and you're golden)

Comment: Re:Warning Shot (Score 1) 148

by Jeremi (#46650737) Attached to: Russian GLONASS Down For 12 Hours

My spelling mistake was just a mistype on Samsung's stupid virtual keyboard. But if you confuse "there" with "their", it means that, for you, use of english is nothing more than parroting a bunch or sounds

ROFL.... "my mistake was the computer's fault, your mistake was a sign of your intellectual inadequacy".

Or perhaps the OP also has a virtual keyboard (or some other not-terribly-bright auto-correct mechanism) that auto-converted a slight misspelling of "their" (e.g. "ther") into "there" and wasn't noticed in time.

But don't let that stop you from telling the OP how superior your language skills are to his. You clearly are a prodigy, that's why you get to post to Slashdot.

Comment: Oops (Score 2) 148

by Jeremi (#46650615) Attached to: Russian GLONASS Down For 12 Hours

"In an unprecedented total disruption of a fully operational GNSS constellation, all satellites in the Russian GLONASS broadcast corrupt information for 11 hours [...] This rendered the system completely unusable to all worldwide GLONASS receivers."

Ok! Ok! I must have, I must have put a decimal point in the wrong place or something. Shit. I always do that. I always mess up some mundane detail.

Comment: Re:Running memory (Score 1) 277

by Jeremi (#46650523) Attached to: NYU Group Says Its Scheme Makes Cracking Individual Passwords Impossible

This is just another one of those "make this link in the chain even stronger because once someone broke through it" forgetting that there are dozens of other weaker links that simply have yet to be targeted.

If you can think of a way to strengthen all of the links simultaneously, by all means post it and/or start a company and get rich selling your perfect-security technique.

If, on the other hand, you can't, then strengthening the links one at a time may be the best we can do. Unless you think it's better to leave them unnecessarily weak?

Nothing is rich but the inexhaustible wealth of nature. She shows us only surfaces, but she is a million fathoms deep. -- Ralph Waldo Emerson