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Comment: Not only Linux (Score 1) 109

by DrYak (#49778385) Attached to: Linux/Moose Worm Targets Routers, Modems, and Embedded Systems

Which raises the question, why is this even news? Is it more Linux/open-source bashing by the commercial OS crowd?

In fact not all of them even run Linux. AFAIK, Zyxel use their own proprietary OS, call ZyNOS (Zyxel Network Operating System).
The fact that their are listed here shows that the worm doesn't rely on a Linux vulnerability.

If Windows Embed had made any significant inroads as a router OS (haha...) it would probably also be among the vulnerable targets.

Comment: Siri and Apple (Score 1) 65

by DrYak (#49778223) Attached to: Microsoft Bringing Cortana To iOS, Android

I'm surprised they aren't all cross-platform.

Well, Apple is still mostly a company selling hardware. So keeping Siri restricted to iOS makes sense, it's an extra bullet-point to sell of their hardware (from which their profit).
Opening Siri to Android would reduce the perceived advantage of iDevices and bring less money to Apple.

Microsoft - in the phone arena at least - is currently selling *OS* and *software*. Keeping Cortana restricted to Windows would have been a selling point for Windows (and thus selling more license to Windows-based phone makers)... but Windows has completely and utterly failed to attract any significant interest.
iOS and Android are the 2 big player, and there's little room for a 3rd one(*), specially given the network effect.They have no point in actually keeping Cortana restricted, Windows on phone is a lost cause anyway.

So having failed that, of course Microsoft will move to the next possibility: indeed, there's massive value in mining information. Siri and Cortana are running locally, they are just thin clients that record vocal commands and send them to data center for interpretation.
There's a high potential to monetize that, so Microsoft has a strong incentive to push it to as many devices as possible.


(*) a 3rd *incompatible* one which uses yet another different standard for apps.
There are plenty of small niches for different OSes (mainly full blown Linux) that still retain compatibility with Android apps.
e.g: Black Berry, Sailfish OS, etc.

Comment: Trolls ahead (Score 1) 205

Don't pay attention. It's basically just trolls pretending to be outraged just because mozilla decided to give the option to end users to use a 3rd party binary plug-in to handle DRM decryption in HTML5 videos.
(you know, the same way Flash, Java, Silverlight, etc. had always been plug-ins too. Except that DRM is much more restricted in what it can do, as it runs in a sand box that only allows it to work as a decryption filter).

Comment: Actually (Score 1) 167

Well, actually the *chinese* backdoor is the one which is hardware embed into the chip that runs the LiteOS.
The 9KB you're looking at are the *russian* backdoor that they managed to sneak in without anybody noticing.
(The remain 1K was written by a coordinated effort of european spying agency... hey not everyone has the ressource of the big player, some need to pool together)

The US you ask? They are busy introducing a new law that will make eaves-dropping access mandatory on all IoT gizmos.

Comment: Standards (Score 1) 77

by DrYak (#49758031) Attached to: New Chrome Extension Uses Sound To Share URLs Between Devices

So, you're saying the problem is that there are currently too many messaging apps, and no agreed upon standard? And the solution to that problem is to create yet another messaging app?

Well technically there is one agreed upon standard: XMPP/Jabber.

But beside Google (who - although helped pushing it forward back then - would rather like that you forgot they support it) and Facebook (who was more or less forced to slap a gateway as an after though to their proprietary system and would like to discontinue it and force you to install their app) no other big major player use it.

Still, it's very popular among lots of small-scale services (which are usually federated among them), and also popular in the corporate world (Cisco, as a random example, provides solution for communication inside a company, that under the hood uses jabber)

But for current big players in the consumer fields (WhatsApp, Skype), there's no such standards.
(And WhatsApp is very active at trying to shut un authorized users out)

Comment: Clear code: Cultural background (Score 1) 414

by DrYak (#49754219) Attached to: The Reason For Java's Staying Power: It's Easy To Read

if you took someone that never read or wrote code before and showed them 100 line, idiomatic programs in Java, Javascript, Python, Ruby, PHP, Perl, Lisp, Haskell, C, Fortran, COBOL, Basic, and a few other languages that Java would not top the list for readability. My guess is that the winners would be Basic, COBOL, and Python.

Depends. My bet is that it entirely depends on the background of the "someone" you've taken.
- english speaker ? mostly used to litterature and philosophical logic ? yes, maybe as you list them.

- background in mathematics ? The order will probably be reversed, with probably Haskell, C and Fortran near the top. And probably APL topping them all. And the guy complaining that most of them still miss support for greek alphabet.

some people are used to see things written down in plain text, other are better used to see things written with symbols.

plain text has the advantage of being a little bit clearer for a person who happens to be fluent in the language which was used to create the language (say hello to dialects of Logo and Excel macros translated into various languages). Otherwise it's completely useless (most of the language you mention are based around english. useless non-english speakers. when I was a kid, I started learning to code in basic before I knew english).

symbolic notation has the advantage of being more compact (requires less typing, quicker to read)
cf. the well know geeky joke of "add 1 to cobol giving cobol" vs "C++"

And well, Perl, let's forget about Perl. It's a write-only language.
The only language your cat can write legal code in just by walking across the keyboard. :-D

(Disclaimer: I used to code a lot in Basic as a you kid. Started C a bit later, and learned english about this time. I code also regularily in Perl, C++, awk, php, 386 assembler, etc. I know bits of R, javascript, python, FORTRAN, did some Logo in french in school as a kid, etc.)

Comment: Board replacement... meh (Score 1) 134

by DrYak (#49753569) Attached to: Pre-Orders Start For Neo900 Open Source Phone

Motherboard replacements and case replacements will gain traction just like in the assemble your own PC era.

Well not very likely.

That did work for the openmoko because the neo 1973 and neo freerunner (i have one!) have been designed from the gound up with an open hardware approach.
They have been designed to be easy to open, easy to hack, easy to replace parts.
Thus upgrade kits like gta04 were likely.

That does work now for the N900, because they are a little bit older generation, back at a time when case were a bit bulkier, battery was replaceable, etc.
There are also a lot of them out in the wild. (Basically, for a long time the Maemo where *THE* definite platforms for geeks to go, N900 was the most popular, and there were only 2 others before).
You could make a Neo900 upgrade kit that is more or less practical.

That won't work with modern smartphones:
- first they are absurdly compact and small (just to have a "better number" on the check list. not that it's actually usefull, specially when the end users will enclose them in an over-priced after-market case anyway).
- they are often very hard to dissassamble (both because of the previous point, but also because it makes them more resistant to moisture etc. if they are in an enclosing never designed to be opened)
- some don't even have removable batteries.
- to make quick buck these companies tend to launch one new model every 6 months (yeah, imagine a replacement borad for iPhone. iPhones are popular, isn't it ? except that there are a dozen of them by now)
- also most of these companies aren't targetting geeks in the first place (unlike nokia maemo platform) and thus aren't likely to be held by users actually able to use an upgrade kit.

I suspect that the Jolla's sailfish phone is the only probable next target for an upgrade kit.

But in general, the case is the least problematice in smart phones.
It makes more sense to 3D print a new case around an existing board, rather than try to fit a new board inside an existing phone.

Usually, the screen is the most complex, instead.

Comment: Be gentle (Score 1) 382

by DrYak (#49752467) Attached to: How Java Changed Programming Forever

On a related issue, I still hold my position: In a near future, (and perhaps because of this stupid IOT thing) {...}

I'm under the impression that: as currently lots of the precussors of future IoT projects are from the maker culture it's probably one of the more hipsterish languages like Python and Ruby which might see more rise.

If you think of it, currently it's platforms like Raspberry Pi which are the forerunner of all the future connected small things. It's the "plant tweeting when it needs water" of today, that are the "intelligent fridge which automatically fills your grocery list" of tomorrow.
And currently, Python is *the* most popular rapid prototyping language on these platform.

all the Java based appliances will start to work together and bring Skynet to life. Prepare yourselves to run away from hordes of Java-powered T1000s!!! I for one welcome our CPU and memory hungry robotic overlords.

Well, try to be gentle with them. Do to run too fast so they can try to pretend they can keep up. And while running, please push aside all the various garbage laying on the ground so that these Javaminators don't trip on them and fall (or stop to automatically collect it up).

Also be kind: if you meet more than 1 of them, it would be proper etiquette to act as a translator between them so they can understand each-other (specially if one of them speaks microsoft dialect)

Try also to be understanding toward their sensitivities. There are a few of their kind that the remaining Javaminators consider untouchable (specially the one called Dalvik). Try not to madden them because you don't agree with that rejection (Even if you consider that actually that pastry-obsessed-outcast is the cool guy you want to hang around with).

Comment: Different continent, different results. (Score 1) 57

by DrYak (#49751607) Attached to: Forecasting the Next Pandemic

According tot he CDC at http://www.cdc.gov/reproductiv..., the unintended pregnancy rate male condoms is 18%.

Funny that here around I've regularly seen and read different numbers (random source in fr. key point < 10% for latex based condoms, < 5% for polyurethan. that's just a random example. I don't have enough time to kill to do a complete litterature mining and meta analysis)
Either North American are much dumber or worse at using condom than European, or your condoms tend to be made of a self-destructin material~
Xenophobic jokes aside, actual result vary *wildly* depending on the considered population, specially the level of sex-ed.

*when used properly* condoms can be very much safe. When used *haphazardly* not so.
See this table (again quick search). Pregnancy rates vary a lot. (See the specially low level among "motivated women" in israel. They probably had better knowledge on proper prevention than the (poor) women in the philiphine that still did get pregnant up to 60%).

The difference in number seem to be linked in the level of education and motivation of the people. A *properly* used condom is effective. That means that you need to educate better the people, to that they use the prevention better.
(instead of completely ignoring condoms, and opting to outcast HIV positive people, as suggested by top troll).

(I know it's only an anecdote, but that also match my personnal experience with <1% breakage among the hundreds of protected intercourses I've done. But both I and girl(s) knew how to use a condom properly and the necessary precautions to take).

Comment: Condoms problems (Score 1) 57

by DrYak (#49730109) Attached to: Forecasting the Next Pandemic

Also: condoms sometimes break, sometimes they slip off, and sometimes they are used incorrectly.

Well if you want to factor in risks:
- risks of condom failure are very low, specially when used properly (it possible to learn to use them properly).

- there is also a thing called an emergency treatment. If started soon enough (= in the few hours after an incident, the sooner, the better the results, useless after 36 hours) risks of HIV transmission are dramatically reduced.
Basically it's an intensive anti-retroviral therapy that one needs to take either for a certain time until safe, or until the results come back and the partner of the incident is proved safe.

So yes, a condom can break. But you can also react quickly and fix those situations too.

(Note: works also in case of blood contact, like a nurse working in a hospital pricking a finger on a contaminated needle. That's the situation these emergency therapies were developed for).

(Still it's an intensive treatment, with secondary effect. Instead of everyone counting on it and the whole sexually active population popping pills like candy - which would be both a big cost and a big risk that somebody got problems because of the meds - it's better that everyone wears proper protection and the few failure cases be handled on a case by case basis depending on specific risk).
  It is much safer not to point that gun at a person, even if you're sure the safety is on and the gun unloaded

Comment: Transfusion avoidance. (Score 1) 57

by DrYak (#49729993) Attached to: Forecasting the Next Pandemic

Don't they lyophilize the blood these days?

Well, more or less. The blood isn't exactly "lyophilized" as you mean it: it's not reduced to a powder.
The blood is dried: meaning that the liquid part is separated from the cells. (and in fact the different types of cells are also separated: you save separately pool of blod, pools of platelets, etc.). You still need the cells intact for a transfusion to work.

(Otherwise you'd overload the patient's liver. The liver is in charge of processing the haemoglobin that remain after a red blood cell has died. If you don't inject fresh blood cells but just haemoglobin you wouldn't be helping. Instead you'd be dumping a big load of garbage that the liver needs to process. The liver gets overloaded and can't process everything. Your patient gets jaundice and turn yellow - i.e.: accumulates un processed by products of haemoglobin)

Also the sample are indeed treated some way or another to reduce the risks of infection. But that only *reduces* the risks of pathogen. It doesn't guarantee that they're eliminated, you're not completely sterilizing the bad of blood cells (you wouldn't want to destroy them. Unless you like you patients yellow).

The main reason that modern blood is clean is that:
- donors and batches are screen against all known blood borne diseases.
- donors are screened for any activity that could result in increased risk of transmission of blood borne diseases (so you can have even a chance to protect from new infections that are unknown and not tested for yet).

It should be hard for HIV to survive that given it degrades so quickly outside the body, is it still a problem?

First: HIV is quite resilient. For a virus at least. Of course, on a human scale it still degrades quickly outside of the body. But given proper conditions (protected from direct light, in a moist place that doesn't risk drying up, etc.) it quite survives for an impressive time when you compare to other viruses.

Now, the main problem is that you need to keep your red blood cells usable, thus you DO need to keep conditions (not drying them up, etc.) which will also benefit a potential virus. So even if a VIH virus should degrade relatively quickly outside the body, it can survive for some time in a pocket of blood.

Also there are other risk you need to protect from. Other blood borne disease like mad cow. And due to its nature (a Prion is only simply a protein with a weird shape) that shit is incredibly resilient. One need to cook^H^H^H^H burn it at high temperature. I say, we nuke it from orbit. Only way to be sure.

Given *that* kind of risks, screening / testing is the better option.

Comment: Read the title (Score 1) 57

by DrYak (#49729783) Attached to: Forecasting the Next Pandemic

Ignoring numerous people like Arthur Ashe and Isaac Asimov who got AIDS via blood transfusion, right?

Read again my previous title: 2015
And you're citing people how died approximately ~25 years ago (and thus probably caught the virus at the end of the 80s).

I'm speaking about the current state of AIDS in HIV as of today. Not past history.
Do you really think that they still accept in the blood bank any blood of dubious source without running any test on it?
Quite the opposite: In fact they have extremely stringent criteria about accepting blood donors.
Donors are systematically checked against known infections, they are even checked for travel destination or activities that might carry a slightly increased risk of blood-borne disease. (e.g.: here, having a piercing more or less bans you from giving blood for quite a long time).

Blood stocks in the bank are also re-tested as testing method improve.

The risks of finding an infected blood batch in the bank are as near to zero as possible.

Arthur Ashe and Asimov could get it from a blood transfusion back in the late 80s. Nowaday in 2015, its almost impossible.

(earlier the logic used to be completely different regarding blood transfusion. It used to go along the lines of: "A patient needing blood would die otherwise. Transfuse whatever (compatible) you have, if you hurry enough, you might save the patient. You'll have plenty of time treat anything that was hidden in the blood once the patient is saved and stable." - probably using penicillin against syphilis was the main idea).

Also, to go back to my post: my whole discussion was about what a /. troll could to to avoid infection instead of completely isolating HIV-positive people.
The subject of blood-borne transmission is useless:
- the troll doesn't need to do anything, hospitals are already doing all the possible to avoid transfusion-caused infections. it's already being avoided without anyone needing to do anything. (you won't get HIV, you won't get mad cow, you won't get anything else known, and given the stringent criteria you are probably also protected against several potential blood borne diseases which aren't known yet)
- again, unless you're swapping used syringes - as I've mentionned - you can leave pretty close to a HIV-positive patient without risk. You could be roommates together, and you won't catch it by blood.
- in 2015, sex is the main risk of transmission for HIV. And the whole thing is easily controlled simply with a condom.

So, no. In 2015, there's absolutely no need to cast away HIV positive people on an isolated island.

Practical people would be more practical if they would take a little more time for dreaming. -- J. P. McEvoy