Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Polls on the front page of Slashdot? Is the world coming to an end?! Nope; read more about it. ×

Comment: Re:DHS was never about Homeland Security (Score 4, Insightful) 238

It's never 'welfare' if it involves defense spending: the spending doesn't have to actually increase security, or deliver a product that actually works(it's even acceptable to putz along for a decade or two until the project becomes so hopeless that it is quietly killed without ever delivering a product); but so long as it's for 'defense' and involves some sort of visible business, it's not welfare.

Since this is bullshit, we simply treat it as axiomatically true, which sidesteps what would otherwise be a tedious and difficult matter of 'proof'.

Comment: Re:Still needs another vulnerability (Score 1) 79

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49821107) Attached to: Macs Vulnerable To Userland Injected EFI Rootkits
Exactly. When it's your own gear, you only have to worry about vulnerabilities that can be exploited despite whatever measures you have in place.

If there's potentially malware that embeds itself hard enough to resist a disk wipe, or even replacement, you have to worry about the prior owner's security, incompetence, potential malice, etc. And that's even if you aren't cool enough to have the NSA 'implant' teams intercepting your mail.

Given the size of the secondary market for things with firmware in them(ie. basically all computer parts more sophisticated than cables; and even some of the cables these days), I'm a bit surprised that this hasn't already become an epic clusterfuck. Especially with scary little things like LOM modules, which are full computers, most commonly with independent NICs, that you graft right into the brainstem of your servers. Flooding the market with poisoned LOM cards/modules seems like the sort of thing that might even be worth it for a commercially minded criminal, much less a nation state looking for juicy secrets.

Comment: Re:Who are the fascists?? (Score 1) 485

I'm looking at examples of fascism that are actually, you know, examples. Aside from Italy, this also includes Spain and Portugal, and many South American countries at one point or another. All of them were the same in that regard.

What you call "corporatocracy", OTOH, is not fascism. It's something else entirely. There is a confusion there because Italian fascists were corporatists, and sometime later, people, esp. native English speakers, confused the meaning of the term "corporatism" with the meaning of the word "corporation" that they're familiar with (but which is not at all what fascist corporatism was all about).

Comment: Re:RAND PAUL REVOLUTION (Score 1) 485

Why should the 1% slave to support the 99%? What would be their motivation?

If you have to ask this question, I have to surmise that you're not familiar with a joy of an interesting job well done. Don't worry about it. There are enough people who are willing to work for the sake of doing interesting things and/or killing boredom.

Why would they not join the majority or simply move someplace else where they can keep more of the value created by their labor?

There won't be anywhere where they can keep "more of the value". When you get into the situation where 99% are jobless because of automation, there are only two ways to go from there: either you have wealth redistribution, or you have a Luddite uprising that smashes the machines and rewinds the civilization back, and forces it to stay there to maintain social stability. The former option allows for further technological progress, the latter does not. If you personally had that choice, which one would you take?

On the other claw, it could also create tyrants from that 1% as they could demand compliance or cut off the tap, so to speak.

There's no way to demand compliance when there are literally hundreds of people lined up behind you willing to do the job that you're currently doing.

Like so many socialist style schemes, it requires humans to behave and act counter to basic human nature and without attempting to game the system. History has proven time and again that such schemes only work among a relatively small and culturally/politically homogenous population, and do not scale to multiple hundreds of millions of a culturally/politically diverse population.

History of past economic systems is generally not applicable to newer ones. If you tried to forecast the success of a capitalist system based on your personal experience in a feudal society, and the past historical track record in, say, Antique slave societies, you would have to conclude that it's an unrealistic utopia, because 90% of the population are needed just to grow the food for everyone else.

Thing is, as technology advances, it eventually accumulates enough changes to force a significant leap in how economics work. It's not really voluntary - the society either makes a leap (and this can also go smoothly or bloody, depending), or it falls off the progress bandwagon and gets stuck in past, and eventually gets conquered or otherwise pushed around by those who stayed on the track.

Capitalism is based on the notion of a workforce that has to work for a living, and on there actually being enough work necessary to satisfy the day-to-day demands that everyone has to do their parts. This assumption is not going to hold true for much longer. In fact, it wouldn't hold true in developed countries today already, if not for outsourcing - why bother with robots if Chinese ex-peasants are a dime a dozen? But those peasants will ride capitalism into middle class themselves, and then outsource to Africans; and then Africans will ride it, and then there's no-one to outsource to - and then it's robots anyway.

And just as feudalism couldn't survive and compete once agricultural techniques advanced to the point where the majority of the population didn't have to be involved in it, so capitalism won't survive once industrial production advances to the point where a single human is sufficient to control a factory that can supply the demands of an entire city.

Comment: Re:Pay them market value (Score 1) 220

I admit I haven't actually read TFA, but were these "CS professors" who left for Uber, or were they "researchers" as the summary says? Yes, tenured professors do indeed get good pay and extremely good job security, but "researchers" at universities usually are not tenured professors, they're postdocs, or maybe untenured professors. Postdocs aren't paid shit, by most accounts, and it's extremely hard to get one of these coveted tenured CS professor jobs. So if these people were a bunch of PhD students, it doesn't sound like they necessarily made a bad choice.

Comment: So, what's the plan? (Score 2) 61

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49814547) Attached to: Intel To Buy Altera For $16.7 Billion
Given that FPGAs are big, slow, and hot compared to equivalent logic built as a fixed function chip(but with the obvious benefit of not being fixed function), Altera FPGAs manufactured on the fanciest processes available seem like a fairly obvious product of the acquisition.

Any bets on what other purposes they have in mind? FPGAs with one or more QPI links built in, for fast interconnect with Xeons? Xeons with FPGAs on die? Intel NICs with substantially greater packet-mangling capabilities, at full wire speed, thanks to reconfigurable logic?

Merely producing FPGAs on a nice process is logical; but could also be done just by selling them fab services. They presumably have a plan that goes beyond that.

Comment: Re:Douch move for sure on SF (Score 4, Insightful) 369

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49813897) Attached to: SourceForge and GIMP [Updated]

Aren't we all smart enough to turn off the adware during install? I even know some old people who turn off "add-ons" that they don't need.

Well, given that adware 'offers' still get injected into installers, I'm going to use my incredible mental thinking skills to hypothesize "no, we aren't".

Aside from that, even if you don't get hit by the adware, having to defang an installer just to use a program leaves the indistinguishable taste of pure sleaze in your mouth for the rest of the process(looking at you, Oracle and the Ask.com toolbar...)

Sourceforge is dragging the GIMP project's name through the mud by bundling this shit, even if they don't hit anyone. That alone is more than enough to be displeased by.

Comment: Re:Time for the BIOS to be EEPROM again? (Score 1) 79

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49813669) Attached to: Macs Vulnerable To Userland Injected EFI Rootkits
Given that laptops(especially Apple's) are an increasingly heroic enterprise to open; 'internal jumper' probably isn't happening; but you might be able to get away with some other 'physical presence verification' mechanism that exploits buttons that the system already possesses(similar to the way that Chromebooks killed physical dev-mode switches, because OEMs didn't like the added cost, so now it's some multi-key combo during boot).

Not as good as a true hardware write protect(in theory, a suitably capable attack might be able to emulate USB HID or ACPI button events); but much more likely to actually happen than anything that requires cracking the case or increasing the BoM.

Comment: Re:Will anyone exploit it? (Score 4, Insightful) 79

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49813651) Attached to: Macs Vulnerable To Userland Injected EFI Rootkits
If I'm just harvesting nodes for my botnet, macs are pretty lousy targets, no more capable than PCs and substantially more obscure.

If I'm attacking systems for the data on them, or to MiTM/trojan/keylog the users of the systems; grab banking credentials and the like; mac users are a conveniently self-selected group of people atypically worth harvesting. Sure, there are a bunch of underemployed baristas with degrees in Individuality using the macbook pro that mommy and daddy bought them to watch movies in their dorm room; but as a whole, thanks to the higher prices, users of OSX devices skew upmarket pretty substantially(iOS devices have some of the same effect; but much less, since at least an iPhone 5c or the like is probably available as the 'free'-with-usurious-contract model on most telcos).

If you are attempting a corporate/institutional intrusion, macs vary in value: they are way, way, less common, frequently absent entirely; but where they are present, their minority status often means very limited integration into the enterprise's legion of 'security' products, IDSes, and everything else that the Windows users complain is causing logins to take 30 minutes. This makes them handy 'beachhead' systems, especially if they are loaded up with Office, Adobe Malware Runtime, and similar stuff that may well have cross-platform or partially shared libraries of vulnerabilities; but much reduced vigilance on OSX clients.

Comment: Re:Still needs another vulnerability (Score 3, Interesting) 79

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#49813579) Attached to: Macs Vulnerable To Userland Injected EFI Rootkits
Less of an issue among people/organizations who exclusively buy new, from manufacturer or authorized retailer; but (at least on the PC side, I don't deal much with mac procurement), refurbished off-lease units are an enormous market. Very, very, popular with organizations that can't afford to ride the latest-and-greatest. It's not glamorous (something like the Optiplex 780 is nothing to write home about; but if you need a few computer labs or a cube farm on a tight budget, the fact that you can get units with an adequate 3rd party warranty, no DOA, 4GB of RAM, and an adequately punchy CPU for ~$150, sometimes a little less, each, is pretty compelling.

"Previous owner" isn't a scary vulnerability for exploits that live at the OS level; all the refurb stuff typically gets wiped once by the refurb house during their testing process, and re-imaged when it reaches the customer; but it is damn scary for firmware-level exploits. Especially motherboard firmware(HDD firmware exploits are scary; but taking out the HDD and shredding it, then replacing it with another low-capacity-everything-is-on-the-network-anyway boot disk is at least cheap); which compromises the system at a scary-deep level, and also compromises the component that makes up most of the value of the computer.

Without a good OS-level vector, preferably with a nice internet infection capability, it isn't a good candidate for a pandemic; but if this sort of firmware fuckery makes the used market about as reliable as buying street drugs, it will have a major impact.

Comment: Re:RAND PAUL REVOLUTION (Score 1) 485

Then you have not thought things through logically, I'm afraid.

That's all fine and good until you have a large portion of the population either receiving said 'mincome' or in retirement. Have you checked what direction the demographics are trending in the US? Ever-fewer workers are supporting an ever-increasing population dependent on government. It's unsustainable and quickly approaching collapse already.

Where's the money going to come from to pay collective Pauls when you run short of select Peters to rob?

All this is perfectly fine. Frankly, long-term our problem is going to be figuring out what to do with all the people out of jobs due to pervasive automation, and UBI is the obvious way to solve this. I fully expect us to end with an arrangement whereby the work of 1% (largely maintenance of automated systems that do all the "dirty work") will be sufficient to provide for the needs of the remaining 99%, and still have potential left. I also fully expect people to actually compete for the right to do that work.

Comment: Re:Not usually an (R) but... (Score 1) 485

No, but you can at least ask him what he intends to do as a president. And if he says, for example, that he is personally against weed, but would legalize it on the federal level because he believes that a federal ban would be unconstitutional, that works for me.

10 to the 6th power Bicycles = 2 megacycles

Working...