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Comment: Re:hit zero (Score 2) 479 479

Enjoy the story!

A nice story indeed, but utter bullshit. It has enough snippets sounding vaguely plausible, and similar enough to real facts, but assembled in a way that makes it wrong. To get info about the real deal about the A20 address line, check Wikipedia instead. Interestingly this wikipedia article is also linked from the "nice story" article.

Here's where the "nice story" is wrong:

  1. The keyboard controller is actually located on the motherboard, and available even if no keyboard is connected. Its job is to talk to the keyboard, but it's not part of the keyboard itself
  2. the A20 issue is not at all due to the BIOS memory test
  3. Re-enabling wrap-around for real-mode programs doesn't involve any computing power anywhere. So, no need to find a co-processor that is "idle", you only need to find one with a spare I/O line

The real explanation for the strange error message is actually the following: "No keyboard (or broken keyboard) connected to the computer. How could anybody possibly use a computer without a keyboard? Please connect a (working) keyboard to the computer, and Press F1 when done".

It's still stupid, but for a different reason (servers don't need keyboards). That's why modern BIOSes allow you to disable keyboard check, if you want to deliberately run your computer without a keyboard.

Comment: Re:Oh mozilla (Score 1) 351 351

by ArsenneLupin (#49881849) Attached to: Mozilla Responds To Firefox User Backlash Over Pocket Integration

I don't. I always have either Notepad++ or VIM installed on every machine so that I have a useful text editor. I haven't had to stoop to using Notepad/Wordpad for a very long time.

What if you work in a company or administration that doesn't allow you to install the software you need? In such case, you might well be forced to stoop to using Notepad or Wordpad for lack of a more sensible choice... :-(

Comment: Re: Not surpising. (Score 1) 193 193

by ArsenneLupin (#49873975) Attached to: Computer Modeling Failed During the Ebola Outbreak

Look weather might be chaotic but we can say it will rain next week,

... or even better: we are able to say with almost 100% certainty that it will rain sometimes next year (we're just unable to tell the specific days, obviously...)

So, even if some aspects of a chaotic system are not predictable (almost by definition...), others are.

Comment: Re:I did not know... (Score 1) 461 461

by ArsenneLupin (#49773755) Attached to: D.C. Police Detonate Man's 'Suspicious' Pressure Cooker

in his own car since that could fit the pressure cooker in the back seat.

Sounds like pressure cookers really have gone out of fashion, if people think they are that big. Hint: only slightly larger than a normal pot.

Think about it: if it fits into a backpack (he!), it fits into the trunk of any car, no matter how small.

Comment: Re:e-commerce (Score 1) 207 207

I think GP meant, "why should the e-commerce site care, after the customer has already left his money on the table".

The correct answer would be "the repeat customer", but maybe those sites that are pulling such stunts deliver such shitty service or merchandise that it would be highly unlikely that a customer ever came back, even if the checkout page loaded faster...

Comment: Re:What does that even mean (Score 1) 95 95

If that were the case, the mountains would actually need to displace less of the heavier mantel material than they otherwise would (because part of the load would be absorbed by the crust around), so a hypothetical observer standing on a mountain would still observe more mass beneath him than his colleague standing in a plain.

The only way it could work is if actually the plains were "supported" by the mountains rather than the other way round, but that somehow sounds unlikely...

Comment: Re:What does that even mean (Score 2) 95 95

More mountain = less mantle = less dense.

So, in a way, it would behave light an iceberg floating on water. However, what I don't get is why there's less mass beneath, rather than equal amount. Indeed Archimedes stated:

Any object, wholly or partially immersed in a fluid, is buoyed up by a force equal to the weight of the fluid displaced by the object.

Comment: Re:Okay, what is it? (Score 2) 88 88

by ArsenneLupin (#49734033) Attached to: Yubikey Neo Teardown and Durability Review

It acts as an additional requirement to logging in to a computer, cellphone or network beyond a password.

Actually, it supplies the password. When you plug it into an USB port, it acts as a keyboard, and "types" a one-time password as soon as you touch its button.

One of the main security features of tokens of this nature is their inability to be tampered with since it is guaranteed to be connected to a computer.

Huh? How does being connected to a computer guarantee that it is tamper proof? Or is that the other way round?

The YubiKey Neo was potted in a plastic that melted totally in nail polish remover
The fact that the plastic can be removed so easily

Actually, methinks the issue here is poor word choice. Yubi should have touted their product as "tamper evident" rather than "tamper proof".

For its main application, tamper evident is enough. If some ill intentioned third party wanted to read the seed from the Yubikey's chip, they can, but it will be very obvious to the owner that this has been done (casing is gone), and so the owner can have his key blacklisted by his provider (making the seed worthless for the attacker).

Oh, an if you're worried about a "fast" attacker that uses the pilfered credentials immediately, rather than sleeping on them for a while: he can achieve this much easier by just stealing the yubikey, and using it normally, rather that bothering to dissolve its casing first.

along with a poor USB connector and keychain loop disprove YubiCo's claim that the YubiKey Neo is "virtually indestructible".

Good point on that one. Accidental destruction (causing hassle, but not a security issue) is indeed a real concern with the device.

Comment: Re:satellites (Score 1) 403 403

Since the original question is what devices will keep working without humans present then the correct answer is likely satellites, but those are not forever.

... and even if a satellite stayed in place forever, they wouldn't stay operational that long. In less than twenty years, all its transponders would go silent, and it would just be an inert mass, just like my roomba without electricity and a full dust pan.

Loan-department manager: "There isn't any fine print. At these interest rates, we don't need it."

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