Forgot your password?

Comment: This is horribly wrong (Score 1) 666

by Excelcia (#44082685) Attached to: Security Researcher Attacked While At Conference

All we know for sure is that a woman is claiming a man violently attempted to rape her, and the man is apparently denying any such thing happened. As far as the other 99.99999% of the world is concerned, either side could be telling the truth. We have no way to know. We have no appropriate way to find out, unless people are advocating a Boston Marathon type witch hunt. And given what happened there, I am surprised and disappointed that Slashdot posted this.

Shame on Slashdot, and shame on anyone else who engages in the actual debate. Each side may be making public posts about what happened, but that does not make it our responsibility to indulge them in the wrong way to approach this. All this can do is serve to muddy the water to make it harder for any sort of proper official investigation.

+ - Google Trials Near-Space Balloons for Internet Access to Remote Areas

Submitted by Excelcia
Excelcia (906188) writes "Google is launching balloons into near space to provide internet access to buildings below on the ground. About 30 of the superpressure balloons are being launched from New Zealand from where they will drift around the world on a controlled path. Attached equipment will offer 3G-like speeds to 50 testers in the country.

Access will be intermittent, but in time the firm hopes to build a big enough fleet to offer reliable links to people living in remote areas. The firm says the concept could offer a way to connect the two-thirds of the world's population which does not have affordable net connections, but one expert warns that trying to simultaneously navigate thousands of the high-altitude balloons around the globe's wind patterns will prove a difficult task to get right."

+ - NSA gets early access to zero-day data from Microsoft, others->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The National Security Agency (NSA) has used sensitive data on network threats and other classified information as a carrot to gain unprecedented access to information from thousands of companies in technology, telecommunications, financial, and manufacturing companies, according to a report by Michael Riley of Bloomberg. And that data includes information on âoezero-dayâ security threats from Microsoft and other software companies, according to anonymous sources familiar with the data-swapping program.
The NSA isnâ(TM)t alone in the business of swapping secrets with the corporate world. The FBI, CIA, and Department of Defense (DOD) also have programs enabling them to exchange sensitive government information with corporate âoepartnersâ in exchange for access to things like information on cyberattacks, traffic patterns, and other information that relate to network security."

Link to Original Source

+ - Google Patents Frowns and Winks To Unlock Your Phone->

Submitted by Excelcia
Excelcia (906188) writes "Users could soon be asked to pull a series of faces to unlock their Android phones or tablets. Google has filed a patent suggesting users stick out their tongue or wrinkle their nose in place of a password.

Requiring specific gestures could prevent the existing Face Unlock facility being fooled by photos. The software could monitor if there were changes in the angle of the person's face to ensure the device was not being shown a still image with a fake gesture animated on top."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Ummm.... isn't this stolen data? (Score 1) 304

by Excelcia (#43926085) Attached to: Hacker Exposes Evidence of Widespread Grade Tampering In India

So my first reaction was like most people, wondering what caused the staccato marks spread. But then I started asking, hey, isn't this stolen data? Sure the security sucked, but what efforts did he take to correct the problem or bring it to the proper attention before he announced to the entire whole world how anyone could steal personal information on hundreds of thousands of students? With detailed instructions.

This is at best unethical. Hopefully it's illegal in his jurisdiction.

Comment: Looks like mark scaling (Score 1) 304

by Excelcia (#43925553) Attached to: Hacker Exposes Evidence of Widespread Grade Tampering In India

The results look to me like some sort of scaling. In fact, if you load up Gimp, take a photo and go into levels and compress the input levels, when you go back and look at the levels again the graph will look almost identical to what these marks graphs look like. It looks to me like the marks spread is being expanded and the algorithm isn't smooth.

Comment: Re:Mass and Weight are different (Score 0) 78

by Excelcia (#43799471) Attached to: Rough Roving: Curiosity's Wheels Show Damage

First of all I will concede that yes, you are right that weight is properly measured in newtons. I used the common reference of weight most people think of. However it seems I need to explain a little bit about inertia. I'll try to use small words so even NASA engineers can understand:

Curiosity wheel encounters rock. Wheel exerts force to lift itself over rock. To do this, wheel must lift all of Curiosity. Curiosity masses 900kg. Object at rest tends to stay at rest. Curiosity tends to stay at rest. Curiosity wheel has much inertia to overcome to make Curiosity start moving up and then over rock.

NASA test robot masses 342kg. Test robot wheel encounters rock. Test robot exerts force to lift itself over rock. Test robot has much less inertia to overcome to make test robot start moving up and then over rock. Test robot has few dings. NASA engineers cheer.

Comment: Mass and Weight are different (Score 5, Interesting) 78

by Excelcia (#43798947) Attached to: Rough Roving: Curiosity's Wheels Show Damage

From the article:

“We have the same wheels on our Scarecrow test rover, which weighs the same on Earth as Curiosity weighs on Mars,” Heverly added. “We have driven Scarecrow about 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) in the Marsyard over rocks and slopes much harsher than we expect for Curiosity. There are some dents and holes in these wheels, but the rover is still performing well.”

This sounds an idea from the same people that brought us the Mars Climate Orbiter crater.

The problem with this is that Curiosity weighs 342kg but masses 900kg. Scarecrow weighs and masses 342kg. Whatever Curiosity weighs, it hitting a rock at 1m/s is still 900 newtons of force. Scarecrow hitting a rock at 1m/s is 342 newtons. The fact it drove 12km and has serviceable wheels does not make me feel better.

Comment: Re:Executable performance (Score 4, Interesting) 291

by Excelcia (#43504029) Attached to: LLVM Clang Compiler Now C++11 Feature Complete

I wish I knew what specific optimizations give MSVC its performance gains. What I do know is that it''s not trivial. For encryption and compression libraries, MSVC compiled libraries give me a 20% speed gain over GCC. I really want to supply my projects built with a completely open-source tool chain, but I can't justify taking that kind of performance hit for that.

I suspect MSVC produces better performing code less because of any one particular optimization and more because it is way more tightly coupled with the x86/AMD64 architecture. Most open-source compilers are three stage. Front end (language), a (generic) optimizer, and the back-end machine code emitter. The front end and optimizer stages don't know what sort of code will be emitted, so they can't make any assumptions. Does a particular construct cause cache misses? Does it invoke Intel's replay system? They don't know or care. It's only the emitter at the very last stage that is processor-aware, and by then there is only so much you can do. MSVC, on the other hand, is processor-aware from stem to stern. It can make CPU-specific assumptions at a very early stage and can take far greater advantage of SIMD instructions.

Compilers were much better when each one was for one architecture only. When they didn't mess around with intermediary bytecode, and were intended to one thing only - take language X and turn it into machine code Y.

Comment: Executable performance (Score 1) 291

by Excelcia (#43503579) Attached to: LLVM Clang Compiler Now C++11 Feature Complete

I'm not so concerned about C++11, or compiling speed - which is what most people tout about LLLVM as its big feature. I'm concerned about the quality of the binaries produced. LLVM produces generally inferior code to GCC, which itself is already quite inferior to MSVC. I just wish there was an open source compiler where binary performance was a primary concern, not an afterthought.

Comment: I'd expect something like that from Linus... (Score 2) 174

by Excelcia (#43330495) Attached to: Linus Torvalds To Head Windows 9 Project

Ya, but the thing is, I'd actually expect something like this from Linus. He really doesn't give much of a wet snap about software freedom - the GPL was a choice he made based on convenience (there's a pre-made license over there, and ooooh.... look how shiny and legal it looks). To make something like this actually funny, it should have been someone like Bruce Perens or Richard Stallman.

Comment: Re:What they did was not account for Monty (Score 1) 208

by Excelcia (#43303511) Attached to: MySQL's Creator On Why the Future Belongs To MariaDB

And as a follow-up, from the article...

"MariaDB can only evolve if there are companies that are prepared to either do the development of MariaDB or fund it ... The MariaDB Foundation is ... actively seeking sponsors" Widenius says.

Wow... Monty is not only taking MySQL back from the company who got it after he sold it, but after getting a billion for it he's now looking for other people to foot the bill.

Comment: What they did was not account for Monty (Score 2, Interesting) 208

by Excelcia (#43303091) Attached to: MySQL's Creator On Why the Future Belongs To MariaDB

The only thing Oracle is doing wrong is thinking that no one could be bold enough to try and sell the same product twice.

It's a gutsy move. It really is. Sell MySQL to Sun. Claim Sun's purchaser is doing __________ (fill in the blank with whatever evil nasty thing you like) with it. But that's ok, MariaDB will save you from that. Distributions flood to it to get away from the nasty big evil corporation, and suddenly Monty has legally taken back control of what he sold for a cool billion dollars.

The best part about it, is if Oracle says anything about it, then it just looks like they are trying to trash talk the little guy who is just trying to do the right thing for
the community.

And before you think of flaming the idea, remember, Monty is very much the businessman. He almost invented using the GPL as a weapon. He stopped releasing any connector or client licensed as LGPL so he could claim that even using MySQL as a back-end for something else required the entire front-end to be GPLed too - either that or pay him for a commercial license.

The next company to buy something from Monty better get an iron clad agreement never to fork it.

Never trust an operating system.