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Comment: Re:"suspected pedophile" (Score 1) 150

by Carnildo (#48519343) Attached to: UK Authorities Launching Massive Child Abuse Database

When they claim that there are "tens of millions" of images in this database, I wonder how many are of victims and how many are cartoons found on 4chan or scans of children's clothes catalogues and that sort of thing.

I want to know how many are of teenagers. Reportedly the single largest source of child pornography these days is teenagers with cell-phone cameras taking steamy self-portraits.

Comment: Re:The only solution I can think of (Score 3, Informative) 136

by Carnildo (#48389391) Attached to: 81% of Tor Users Can Be De-anonymized By Analysing Router Information

Not really. Random jitter can be dealt with statistically: collect more data, compute the mean, and use the mean where you would have used the exact timing.

In order to defeat timing analysis through noise injection, you need to introduce a large amount of variation compared to the number of packets being sent; for any realistically-sized data transfer, this requires jitter on the order of minutes to hours.

Comment: Re:Put the SMART stats to the test (Score 1) 142

by Carnildo (#48375315) Attached to: Data Center Study Reveals Top 5 SMART Stats That Correlate To Drive Failures

Google did this about seven years ago. Of the stats, a drive with a non-zero scan error count has a 70% chance of surviving eight months, one with a non-zero reallocated sector count has a 85% chance of survival, and one with a non-zero pending sector count has a 75% chance of survival. For comparison, a drive with no error indications has a better than 99% chance of surviving eight months.

Overall, 44% of failures can be predicted with a low false-positive rate, while 64% can be predicted with an unacceptably high false-positive rate. 36% of drive failures occur with no SMART failure indications at all.

Comment: Re:Top #1 Indicator That Correlates To Drive Failu (Score 1) 142

by Carnildo (#48375247) Attached to: Data Center Study Reveals Top 5 SMART Stats That Correlate To Drive Failures

If you go by Google's definition of failing (the raw value of any of Reallocated_Sector_Ct, Current_Pending_Sector, or Offline_Uncorrectable goes non-zero) rather than the SMART definition of failing (any scaled value goes below the "failure threshold" value defined in the drive's firmware), about 40% of drive failures can be predicted with an acceptably low false-positive rate. You're correct, though, that the "SMART health assessment" is useless as a predictor of failure.

They did a study on this a few years back. It comes to about the same conclusions that Backblaze's study does, but with more numbers (and a larger data set).

Comment: Re:OpenPGP (Score 2) 63

by Carnildo (#48323009) Attached to: The Fight Over the EFF's Secure Messaging Scoreboard

The scorecard gives negative marks for both PGP for Mac and PGP for Windows, for both "Are past comms secure if your keys are stolen?" and "Has the code been audited?" Both negative marks are quite wrong!!

I don't know about the auditing, but the negative mark for "Are past comms secure if your keys are stolen?" is quite right. They're talking about forward secrecy, and PGP doesn't implement it. The basic idea of forward secrecy is that even if all the long-term secrets (passwords, keys, etc.) involved in a conversation are stolen, the person who stole them cannot go back and decrypt the encrypted messages.

Comment: Re:In laymen's terms... (Score 1) 138

by Carnildo (#48321681) Attached to: Physicists Resurrect an Old, Strange Dark Matter Theory

called it dark matter, where 'dark' is a fancy word for 'nobody knows what it is'

Actually, "dark matter" was originally called "dark" because it wasn't hot enough to emit light (the Earth, for example, would be considered "dark matter" under this definition). Dark matter was originally thought to be things like stray planets, cold gas clouds, and the like. People only started looking for exotic dark matter once they realized there wasn't enough ordinary matter to do the job.

Comment: Re:I still don't see what's wrong with X (Score 1) 226

by Carnildo (#48173243) Attached to: Lead Mir Developer: 'Mir More Relevant Than Wayland In Two Years'

X is optimized for programs that use a small number of colors to draw an effectively vector-based user interface on a raster display. It is very, very good at that, and provides a powerful range of tools for the job.

Most programs use color-rich bitmap-based user interfaces. Doing this with core X functionality is painfully slow and difficult (think tens of seconds to draw a 800x600 JPEG), so everyone uses protocol extensions for this. Wayland is designed around bitmap-based drawing at the core.

Comment: Re:Not all user error is equal? (Score 1) 70

by Carnildo (#48059485) Attached to: User Error Is the Primary Weak Point In Tor

But can't we cheer a little that some bad guys went down?

How much collateral damage was there?

When Freedom Hosting was busted, they took down a bunch of child-porn sites and de-anonymized some of the users. But in the process, they also took down TorMail, a legal anonymous email provider, and de-anonymized some of its users.

Sure, punishing guilty people is fine, but not if you punish innocent people in the process.

Comment: Re:Survival (Score 1) 488

by Carnildo (#48042783) Attached to: Energy Utilities Trying To Stifle Growth of Solar Power

The problem is size. Pumped-storage hydropower can store about 2.5 watt-hours of electricity per metric ton of water per meter of drop. An average two-story house could store maybe 10 KWH if the entire attic and basement were devoted to water storage, and the building would need to be reinforced to handle the 400 metric tons of water involved.

Pumped storage really only makes sense on a large scale, when you've got a couple of valleys you can dam, and a fair-sized height difference between them.

Comment: Re:When I lived in Japan and rode trains every day (Score 1) 179

by Carnildo (#47979151) Attached to: Washington DC To Return To Automatic Metro Trains

Are you suggesting they can't detect when someone is preventing a door from closing completely by any means other than a person looking?

An obstruction interlock can certainly detect an arm or a leg, but if you set it sensitive enough to detect loose fabric (say, a scarf or a hanging sleeve), it'll be sensitive enough that thermal expansion will cause false positives and negatives.

Comment: Re:Of course we can (Score 1) 140

by Carnildo (#47913521) Attached to: If We Can't Kill Cancer, Can We Control It?

I've seen one analysis that estimates that if all medical causes of death were eliminated, we would enjoy an average lifespan of about 650 before some accident would kill us.

The interesting thing with this is not the average, but the change in the distribution. Currently, the population curve has a sharp drop-off around the age of 70; with the elimination of medical causes of death, the curve will assume the shape of a decaying exponential, making that 650-year life expectancy more akin to a "half life".

If such a change happened today, of the 6 billion or so individuals currently alive, at least one of them could be expected to reach an age of over 20,000 years.

Comment: Re:Here's a crazy idea (Score 1) 140

by Carnildo (#47913457) Attached to: If We Can't Kill Cancer, Can We Control It?

Why not try to get rid of the causes instead of finding out what other sort of drugs and chemicals we can add to reverse it?

We could try it, but I don't think you'd be very happy.

The #1 cause of cancer is old age. People are dying of cancer in droves because they aren't dying of tuberculosis, or pneumonia, or cholera, or epidemic smallpox, or infected cuts, or any of the other causes of death we've eliminated in the past century.

DNA copying isn't perfect. It takes, on average, 70 years for enough mutations to build up to bypass the body's anti-cancer defenses and become cancerous. Life expectancy at adulthood has gone up from 60 years to 75 years in the past century or so, and the resulting explosion in cancer cases is quite predictable.


Apple Outrages Users By Automatically Installing U2's Album On Their Devices 610

Posted by samzenpus
from the do-not-want dept.
Zanadou writes "Apple may have succeeded at breaking two records at once with the free release of U2's latest album, titled Songs of Innocence, via iTunes. But now, it looks like it's also on track to become one of the worst music publicity stunts of all time. Users who have opted to download new purchases to their iPhones automatically have found the new U2 album sitting on their phones. But even if iTunes users hadn't chosen automatic downloads, Songs of Innocence will still be displayed as an "iTunes in the Cloud" purchase. That means it will still be shown as part of your music library, even if you delete all the tracks. The only way to make the U2 album go away is to go to your Mac or PC and hide all of your "iTunes in the Cloud" purchases, or to use iTunes to manually hide each track from your purchased items list. Other reactions include rapper Tyler, The Creator saying that having the new U2 album automatically downloaded on his iPhone was like waking up with an STD. Update: 09/16 15:06 GMT by T : Note: Apple has released a fix.

An inclined plane is a slope up. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"