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Comment: Re:better idea (Score 1) 166

by Bender0x7D1 (#49454989) Attached to: UN To Debate Lethal Autonomous Weapons

Yes. And everyone is losing money - including the Saudis.

However, in a few months, when the fracking industry has been destroyed, and the tar sands have been shut down, the prices will return to "normal". It will take years for production to ramp up to where it was before the drop in prices, with the Saudis (and OPEC) reaping all of the profits.

Comment: Re:better idea (Score 1) 166

by Bender0x7D1 (#49453957) Attached to: UN To Debate Lethal Autonomous Weapons

While things are a lot better at the moment, let's not forget there was also a Pax Romana where there was a lull in major conflict.

My worry is that we are building towards another major explosion of violence as resources start to run out, threatening our comfortable way of life. While we have plenty of oil in the world, cheap oil is rapidly running out. Also, we are running out of fish stocks in a large number of areas and population growth is still happening - even if it is slowing down - putting further stress on our food supplies. If people lose their "bread and circuses" (and modern toys), an increase in violence is likely to follow.

Comment: Mindset (Score 3, Insightful) 205

by Bender0x7D1 (#49236207) Attached to: Ask Slashdot - Breaking Into Penetration Testing At 30

Probably the most important thing is to have the mindset for penetration testing.

You are no longer trying to keep things up and running, and making systems usable; you are looking for all of the ways to make things break in new and interesting ways. You have to think creatively - you have to think about what the system/network admin missed and/or how "best practices" fail in a given situation/on a specific system.

That's why a deep technical understanding in a lot of areas is very helpful - you learn how things interact, and how failures can occur in different areas. For example, does a software package add a user? Does it open a network port? How does it handle permissions? How is authentication done? How do systems rely on the network? How does the network rely on various systems (like a DNS server)? The more you know about all of the interactions between the system(s) and the network, the more attack vectors you can come up with.

Comment: Re:Choose the right diet (Score 3, Informative) 214

by Bender0x7D1 (#48720413) Attached to: New Year's Resolution for 2015

The NuSI web site deliberately contains little substantive information. The institute's purpose is to do objective research to determine the truth, and its directors are careful to avoid muddying the waters by publicizing their own views.

Sorry, but this is probably the biggest warning sign there is. If someone isn't willing to publicize their information/data/belief, there is probably a reason. Muddying the waters is the "perfect" excuse for this behavior because there is no way to refute/debate/review/analyze the information/data/belief for yourself.

Comment: Re:I'll buy a driverless car when... (Score 1) 386

by Bender0x7D1 (#48708269) Attached to: The One Mistake Google Keeps Making

Yes, but most driving is exactly getting from a to b. Daily commute. Heading to the grocery store. Moving kids to/from school and activities. Even heading to a restaurant or other entertainment. Most of the things you list are "occasional" at best and some, like a flooded road, are almost never encountered by the vast majority of drivers.

No, the driverless car is not a perfect replacement for a skilled and experienced driver. That doesn't mean it isn't useful, or better than 90% of drivers for 90% of their needs.

Here is a link for you: Perfect Solution Fallacy

Comment: Re:What will it take? (Score 5, Interesting) 302

by Bender0x7D1 (#47801209) Attached to: Study: Antarctic Sea-Level Rising Faster Than Global Rate

So if there's less ice, it's because of global warming. But if there's more ice, it's because of global warming.

Yes. There is less ice in some areas due to global warming and more ice in other areas due to global warming.

Think of it this way: Imagine the entire planet heated up by 20C, we wouldn't expect to see any permanent ice outside of Antarctica. (The North Pole might get some seasonal ice, but the much warmer oceans would melt it fairly quickly.) Now, with all of the oceans that much warmer, think how much additional water vapor would make it into the atmosphere. When the additional water vapor ends up over the South Pole, it will be cold enough for it to freeze and fall as snow. As the snow accumulates, it compacts into ice and we end up with a LOT more ice at the South Pole.

So: Less ice everywhere but Antarctica due to global warming, but a lot more ice in Antarctica due to global warming.

(And, yes; I do realize that this example is a vast simplification - and overstatement - I just used it to illustrate the point.)

Comment: Re:Great (Score 2) 175

by Bender0x7D1 (#47629939) Attached to: Yahoo To Add PGP Encryption For Email

It absolutely does not matter who has your PUBLIC key. The entire point is for the entire world to have it. Now, the PRIVATE key - that you need to keep to yourself, and as secure as possible.

Note: I say "as secure as possible" because, at some point you are trusting an underlying layer to be doing their job correctly - be it browser, email client, PGP application, OS, or that rootkit that got installed.

Comment: Re:What is the point? (Score 1) 465

by Bender0x7D1 (#46903809) Attached to: Lessig Launches a Super PAC To End All Super PACs

I don't think Hillary is going to win for one reason - she looks too old. Note that I didn't say she IS too old, just that she looks too old. As long as Republicans put forward someone 20 years younger, that isn't a crazy person (which may be difficult) she doesn't have a chance. This is also going to be a problem for her in the Democratic primaries.

Ageism - it's real.

Comment: Re:How do food shortages make sense for warmer cli (Score 4, Interesting) 703

Your error is in assuming a simple, isolated system and ignoring the complexity of dealing with the horribly analog world of biology.

In general, there are two considerations for when, and how much, plants grow. The first is the amount of sunlight they receive (hours per day) and the second is the number of "degree days". Since duration of sunlight isn't going to change (at a certain latitude), let's focus on "degree days" first.

A "degree day" is based on the temperature of the day, so the higher the temperature - the higher the value. However, there are bounds for this. For example, corn needs at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit, but not more than 86 degrees Fahrenheit. i.e. - Below 50 means "0 degree days" and 92 will be the same number of degree days as if it were 86.

The problem comes in when it is far too warm which, for corn, comes in around 86 degrees. The plant hasn't adapted for growing in temperatures much higher, and will shut down growth; much higher temperatures will even cause damage to the plant. Here is a human analogy - a human might be able to run really fast and really far but, if it is 115 degrees outside, that isn't going to happen and any activity may result in heat stroke. A plant will be stressed in this kind of heat and will actually be damaged. In this way, too much heat will cause plants to grow less, and we will have lower yields.

However, since plants also depend on certain amount of sunlight, it isn't a simple matter of moving things northward (or southward in the Southern Hemisphere) to match temperature. All of the plants are also expecting a certain duration of sunlight. This isn't constant with latitude, so moving the plants north will reduce yield. (And more sunlight doesn't mean higher yield - plants also do things at night like release water vapor.) This means that we will have to reengineer our crops to match new conditions - which will take decades. (And crop genetics isn't a simple matter - companies spend billions on trying to make better species.) So, until we do that, we will have lower yields.

Also, many plant diseases like the heat (or like that they don't freeze to death in the winter - see Asian Soybean Rust ranges) - so they will enjoy millions of square miles of new territory - increasing the cost of production (herbicides and pesticides) and, since bugs and molds eat the plants, will give us lower yields.

The other problem is related to economics and infrastructure. Farmers have certain equipment to plant and harvest the crops native to their area. Plus, their fields have been designed for those certain crops. For example, they may be terraced in a certain way or be designed with a certain level of drainage based on existing weather patterns (temperature and rainfall). Renovating millions of square miles of farmland is going to be expensive and ridiculously time consuming and until it is modified to match new, prevailing weather patterns, will contribute to lower yields.

The other side to the economic coin is that decisions are not going to be made on a 50-100 year strategy. To operate next year, a farm needs to turn a profit this year. So, they aren't going to completely retool if yields go down 10% - it would make no sense. The capital costs would dwarf any profit from the new crops being put in. Therefore, they will operate at lower capacity and accept a lower profit - since it is still a profit. Sure, we will get changes when push comes to shove, but that will take decades as climate change forces them to change. Until that point - lower yield.

Moral of the story, we are looking at decades of lower yields as climate change really kicks in.

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