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Comment: Re:This idiocy again (Score 1) 595

by Burz (#48012039) Attached to: The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy

Indeed. Believing this garbage is a real black mark on /., IMO, alongside their predilection for publishing climate denier "controversy" alongside quality news about global warming.

The incandescent bulb is a balancing act between efficiency (from high temperature) and longevity. By standardizing on one temperature, they ensured not only that their bulbs wouldn't produce odd color casts, but also no surprises on the electric bill, or surprise blown fuses, or surprise house/workshop fires while trying to get enough lumens for good illumination.

'Techies' have a very tenuous grasp of physics these days.

Comment: Re:Why Facebook or Google? (Score 2) 116

by Burz (#47733401) Attached to: NSA Agents Leak Tor Bugs To Developers

Of course, it won't work.

OTOH, Skype and Bittorrent had successful models for scaling up: People were configured by default to add their bandwidth to the pool. In bittorrent's case, your throughput suffered if you were stingy about contributing.

I2P is probably the closest networking layer there is to combining the goals of Tor with the methods of Skype and bittorrent. It is both highly decentralized and onion-like, and has been steadily improving for well over a decade now. If you happen to have a TAILS disc, its included. However, its not designed to access the regular Internet so much as replace it.

Comment: For posterity - (Score 2) 218

by Burz (#47589133) Attached to: The Great Taxi Upheaval

Here is a 2006 article about the IGT Taxibus concept. It definitely wasn't conceived in Northern California air, but in the UK (circa 2001 IIRC).

The problem was they approached municipalities with the idea and no large cities climbed on board. So now the cities have to face the likes of Uber and Lyft who, I predict, will not collectively reach the scale needed to apreciably reduce traffic congestion (one of the aims of IGT). Combine that with no regulation and a consumer protection model that amounts to, and I'll guess that Uber and Lyft will in 7 years be less of a joke and more of a way to elict negative reactions from people (assuming you momentarily lack the gas to fart).

Comment: Re:Good Thing (Score 1) 195

by Burz (#47587235) Attached to: Inside BitFury's 20 Megawatt Bitcoin Mine

That's not even a carbon tax. There has been a debate amoung environmentalists whether to support cap-and-trade or a tax, with those favoring the latter pointing out the same dysfunction you have.

However, another poster pointed out that cap-and-trade can be made to work. Overall, I think it depends on both the magnitude of the proposal, and the level of corruption in the political economy ...and neither of those factors is looking good in the 21st century.

Comment: Re:USB 4.x to offer signed USB device signatures?? (Score 1) 205

by Burz (#47581273) Attached to: "BadUSB" Exploit Makes Devices Turn "Evil"

Then the criminals will figure out how to falsify the signature with the bad firmware anyway.

Not if the user/admin gets to sign the devices (e.g. when they are initially purchased). Or... why not design the devices to carry multiple signatures (including but not limited to the manufacturer)??

Comment: Re:Do I need to be concerned about this? (Score 1) 205

by Burz (#47581245) Attached to: "BadUSB" Exploit Makes Devices Turn "Evil"

Thankfully, it is possible to secure USB in a less extreme way. An OS like Qubes that can configure devices for automatic reassignment to an unpriviliged domain (i.e. virtual machine) can protect the hypervisor, BIOS, etc. from incidental attachment of malicious USB devices.

Currently, a Qubes user/admin can do this from the GUI on a per-USB-controller basis, but in future will be able to employ Xen PVUSB functionality to manage USB on a per-device basis.

Comment: Re:If you pay... (Score 1) 15

Are they addressing people's problems, or creating gadgets for elite techies? There is a huge ongoing crisis in personal computing because we have an Internet that (understandably) assumes endpoint security, but those points (PCs and mobile) are collections of black-box proprietary chips.

I have recommended running Qubes OS as a way to mitigate the security shortfall created by run-of-the-mill PCs and software, but that leaves us with the problem of trusting hardware designed and produced by a handful of large corporations who are increasingly willing to shaft their customers. Privacy and security are exchanged for maintaining a close relationship with the military-industrial complex (or police surveillance state, depending from which angle you prefer to view it).

In short, open PC hardware should be a priority for the open source community if not the IT industry as a whole. What are open hardware people doing about it?

Comment: Formal verification (Score 1) 129

by Burz (#47460819) Attached to: Mozilla Doubles Down on JPEG Encoding with mozjpeg 2.0

Why indeed would Mozilla waste their resources on this when stability and security on web clients ought to be their greater concern?

If it were up to me, I would start with self-contained date formats like JPEG that browsers handle frequently, and put that code through a formal verification process. Eventually, maybe even HTML rendering and the browser could be subject to formal verification. This could strengthen computer security dramatically.

Comment: Re:What's been removed,dumbed down,made incompatib (Score 1) 87

by Burz (#47409509) Attached to: KDE Releases Frameworks 5

1) Color management refers to controlling the color accuracy of the display. Typically this will involve importing an ICC file, or performing a manual calibration sequence. KDE has a not-half-finished module (not included in the core package) for System Settings panel, whereas gnome and unity are fully functional and included by default.

2) You're probably not setting the DPI to match your display and using the default that results in text becoming tiny on higher-res displays.

3) It occurs when the setting is on "group when taskbar is full". It will switch back and forth when there are a few dozen windows on the desktop.

4) You can switch to double-click (as I usually do), but then you have a situation where, for instance, the icons on the main System Settings panel are doulble-click, but going down a level, say into Application Appearance, gives you another set of icons that are presented the same way but are single-click. Sometimes this switch shows up *inside* applications, making the overall UI feel goofy and inconsistent. On the one hand, single-click everywhere can be inconvenient and risky, whereas their implementation of double click is VERY unprofessional. They could simply show an underline on mouseover if the object is single-click and be done with it, but meaningful ques for the user are not this project's strong suit.

5) Yeah... really they should give people a way to get that sh!t out of the way; Better yet, choose a sensible default and leave it disabled so it isn't sticking wacky-useless icons everywhere.

6) The last time I tried, the new Konqueror's kio integrations were broken. The fact is that they trashed their two best-loved apps: Konqueror and Amarok.

9) Having used KDE since 2000, I'd say the project has a general problem with deterioration. They used to be the most reliable desktop, but lately it seems more like Gnome2.

The first Rotarian was the first man to call John the Baptist "Jack." -- H.L. Mencken