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Comment: Security through obscurity (Score 1) 227

by BruceSchaller (#34152162) Attached to: Evaluating Or Testing Utility SCADA Security?
use a dialup connection. use ssh encryption. block IP addresses after x unsuccessful attempts to login. Provide alarms to operators if many unsucessful attempts are made to login. use a cable modem from a local isp that's off the town network with a strong dedicated linux firewall. Use two factor authentication. (any activex object can be called from wonderware's solution, and these can include smart card protocols.) How much is enough? Well, how often are there break-ins in the wild with these operations? What are they doing? In any case, get a 3rd party to look at security, but don't get crazy about it. Don't waste tons of money! Use probability to your advantage. What is the allowable risk you can take? is one break in per 10 years acceptable, 100, 1000? How does each layer of security affect that goal? Unplug net connection if not in use? So many ways.... each adds some security. 1 in 1000000 that they know your dialup (a magicjack number in timbuktu?)? 1 in 10,000,000 that breaks strong ssh2 with keys? 1 in 10 that they get through a router? 1 in 100 that they crack the database where tag information is kept? 1 in 1000 that the alerted operator does nothing? Life is risky. Just stack some probability.

Comment: Re:proactive blocking (Score 1) 497

by BruceSchaller (#31393730) Attached to: Coping With 1 Million SSH Authentication Failures?
Thanks for playing China, South Korea, Ukraine, Russia....etc etc...

I suggest SSHblack. It automatically updates IPTables and it's a python script. It allows a fixed number of connection attempts, then just drops the packets. After a period of time it can remove the ban, improving performance. This also prevents the aforementioned problem of sitting down to a virused comp, and if you're travelling, you won't have issues either =)


Tritium Leak At Vermont Nuclear Plant Grows 295

Posted by Soulskill
from the time-to-step-up-your-broccoli-consumption dept.
mdsolar writes "The tritium leak into ground water at Vermont Yankee has now tested at 775,000 picocuries per liter, 37 times higher than the federal drinking water standard. 'Despite the much higher reading, an NRC spokeswoman said Thursday there was nothing to fear. "There's not currently, nor is there likely to be, an impact on public health or safety or the environment," the NRC's Diane Screnci said in an interview. She had maintained previously that the Environmental Protection Agency drinking water safety limit of 20,000 picocuries per liter had an abundance of caution built into it. ... The National Academy of Sciences said in 2005 that any exposure to ionizing radiation from an isotope like tritium elevates the risk of cancer, though it also said with small exposures, the risk would be low. ' At what level should the NRC shut down the troubled plant?"

Comment: Re:Because... (Score 1) 710

by BruceSchaller (#30626040) Attached to: Thorium, the Next Nuclear Fuel?

Extracting thorium from the ground is harder than for uranium, and the enrichment process is more difficult and costly.

Sorry, there is only one naturally occurring isotope of Thorium, therefore there is no enrichment to do.

It will however be necessary to kick start a reactor running pure thorium with something else. You can't just build up a mountain of the stuff and get a reaction going. I think that Thorium is great from a PR perspective because it's not Uranium! People are so scared of what they can't see it's crazy.

Nuclear power isn't as complicated as one might think. It all comes down to something that can boil water, to drive a turbine....pretty similar to what you do when you drive to work.

Comment: Ever walk into a library and smell.... (Score 1) 254

by BruceSchaller (#30493622) Attached to: Google Found Guilty of French Copyright Infringement
That sweet sickly smell in libraries... That is the smell of the collection rotting.

That is the waste of human knowledge with time. Failing to secure the knowledge of the world's past is criminal. Digital copies of all published work should exist, in a single location, for the preservation of knowledge.

I agree that rightholders should be able to control access to their content. Perhaps a payment system can be worked into the equation. The cost should be considerably less than print works, simply because digital data doesn't require printing, etc, etc... Orphan works should, however, remain part of our history, and should be accessible. Furthermore, any work in the public domain should be available.

So far, I've bought three books for which excerpts were available. They were scientific works, which I would not have considered buying unless I had seen a preview, to ensure they had the relevant data I needed. I then donated those books to my library.

Win, win, win, for everybody. Vive le googlebooks...

Comment: Thermodynamics (Score 1) 154

by BruceSchaller (#28826311) Attached to: Copyright Status of Thermodynamic Properties?
I think that the biggest problem isn't intellectual property, but the people who administer it. I don't think that the demand is particularly great. As such, there isn't a great incentive to release it freely. There are costs to administering such a large DB. Furthermore, nobody wants their name on a database of all the fundamental properties because in that data there are bound to be mistakes. Caveat Emptor! Also, while mixtures of hydrocarbons are common because of oil refining business, many solutions don't have property listings because they are simply unknown. I am working on a project which involves CO2 and seawater... seawater has many components which vary depending on your location on the planet. So while there is data, the validity of it may be in question, it depends on where the data was collected. It's a bit of a nightmare.

Comment: Backwards! (Score 1) 891

by BruceSchaller (#28548049) Attached to: GPS-Based System For Driving Tax Being Field Tested
Highly regessive tax structure! Taxing by the mile hurts car drivers who get better miles per gallon! Keep increasing the gas tax! That's fine! As the gas tax increases it hurts the trucking industry, but can be used to help create considerably greener railroad shipping options for the long haul. Roads will last longer since they are really only damaged by large trucks. "One legal 80,000 pound GVW tractor-trailer truck does as much damage to road pavement as 9,600 cars. (Highway Research Board, NAS, 1962). Overweight trucks chronically underpay their fair share of taxes and user fees for the repair of U.S. roads and bridges. By damaging roads, large trucks further degrade highway safety. (U.S. DOT, 1997)."

Comment: Ab-solute-ly! (Score 1) 794

by BruceSchaller (#28297461) Attached to: Should Undergraduates Be Taught Fortran?
I really wish that I had experience in programming in FORTRAN before I started my current project. It's very fast, simply because it is so lightweight. We're doing resevoir much CO2 can one put in a rock formation. The extensive programs already written (and often free or inexpensive) for FORTRAN make it a great language. The only problem is....thought must be put into threading FORTRAN applications. MATLAB and Octave already handle threading many programs. This gives great advantage to the user, who can easily scale to cluster-size computing without a lot of thought.

Never buy what you do not want because it is cheap; it will be dear to you. -- Thomas Jefferson