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Comment: Incidentally... (Score 3, Interesting) 58

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48921447) Attached to: FCC Prohibits Blocking of Personal Wi-Fi Hotspots
What I find most baffling about the whole affair is how something that one would ordinarily think of as a fairly overtly malicious exploit, spoofing the appropriate management frames to break a network you don't have authenticated access to the configuration interface for, became a 'respectable' tool for 'management', even included out of the box in fancy commercial products from vendors with risk averse legal teams and so on.

This seems like the place where somebody who has been dealing with enterprise wireless gear long enough to have observed the change might be found. Did this 'feature' cross over from what was initially a proof of concept by a security researcher? Was it recognized as a possibility before the standards had even been hammered out and was available from day one? Do we know what vendor adopted it first? Were there any who specifically didn't offer it for legal, rather than technical, reasons?

At this point, it is certainly the case that at least some wireless management consoles adopt a very...possessive...tone, detecting 'rogue' APs, despite those APs being no more or less legitimate than any others, in terms of spectrum use, and offering 'containment' or various similarly clinical euphemisms for dealing with them. How, historically, did it come to be that this nasty DoS trick went all legitimate, even as generalized hacker hysteria can get you a stiff dose of CFAA charges for almost anything that involves a CLI and confuses the DA?

I'd love to have my hands on all the versions of various vendors' wireless management and administration packages, to see how this feature evolved over time. I can certainly see its appeal; but I find it hard to believe that nobody had serious doubts about its legality from time to time.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 2) 58

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48921261) Attached to: FCC Prohibits Blocking of Personal Wi-Fi Hotspots
Less likely. The FCC is pretty clearly within their powers in saying that you aren't allowed to intentionally interfere with other people's Part 15 devices by using your own to generate disruptive RF.

There is no obvious coverage for forbidding the sale of devices having a Part 15 radio component; but lacking a software configuration for providing network access to other devices with that device. They might be able to shove it into the conditions of a spectrum auction, and make it binding on the buyer; but it's more of an FTC problem.

Comment: Why use a cable? (Score 2) 171

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48920541) Attached to: Engineers Develop 'Ultrarope' For World's Highest Elevator
Does anyone know why they wouldn't sidestep the infeasibility of particularly long cable runs by having the elevator climb the walls of the shaft directly, rather than being raised and lowered on a cable? I imagine that a cable and counterweight arrangement is more energy efficient for shorter runs; but if that isn't an option wouldn't a cog railway style mechanism, with 'track' on one or more walls of the elevator shaft, result in a system where the weight that has to be moved doesn't change at all with the height of the building? There would be some additional weight per unit height from the track structure; but that would be static and connected to the building's frame rather than being forced to support its own weight.

Too energy intensive? Wears too quickly? Safety breaks infeasible leading to risk of sickening plummet to doom?

Comment: Eisenhower said it (Score 2) 142

by circletimessquare (#48920129) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes a Great Software Developer?

I tell this story to illustrate the truth of the statement I heard long ago in the Army: Plans are worthless, but planning is everything. There is a very great distinction because when you are planning for an emergency you must start with this one thing: the very definition of "emergency" is that it is unexpected, therefore it is not going to happen the way you are planning.

there's nothing like a real life emergency in programming but business culture is "get this done yesterday." no one can do that. but some programmers are very fragile and can only function according to one set of requirements/ work environment/ speed, and if you mess with that they get angry/ stressed/ tune out/ burnt out. while the "rock stars" can react to sudden and dramatic changes of requirement and need and crank out the changes relatively adroitly (not necessarily quickly). a sort of suppleness of mind and eerie lack of stress that's more about personality than training. and i say personality, and not training, because their code is a reflection of their personality: you can throw a curve ball at it from any direction and it can adapt without falling to pieces when "little" things (it's never little) change

your code is a reflection of how your mind works. which is your personality. and certain chilly stress proof people can generate flexible durable code that is almost like the redundancy and flexibility of logistics in war

Comment: Re:Unity? (Score 2) 28

by squiggleslash (#48917429) Attached to: Game Hack-A-Thon Attracts Teams At 500+ Sites Worldwide

Also they shouldn't use these silly "C" compiler thingies, instead they should use a couple of wires to short circuit a PCB until the program is in memory!

I think using a game engine is perfectly acceptable in 2015. I don't think we're going to get an avalance of original game ideas if we force everyone who has a great idea for something to learn OpenGL and DirectX.

Comment: Re:Hear Hear! (Score 2) 357

by Rei (#48917379) Attached to: "Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms

Ah, Americans and their "mammoth snowstorms" - try living on a rock in the middle of the North Atlantic. You know what we call a snowstorm with gale-force winds and copious precipitation? Tuesday ;) Our last one was... let's see, all weekend. The northwest gets hit by another gale-force storm tomorrow. The southeast is predicted to get hurricane-force winds on Thursday morning.

Here's what the job of someone dispatched to maintain antennae for air traffic control services has to deal with here. ;) (those are guy wires)

Comment: Re:DirectX is obsolete (Score 1) 133

by PopeRatzo (#48916319) Attached to: DirectX 12 Lies Dormant Within Microsoft's Recent Windows 10 Update

OK, I see what you're saying. That there's really little reason for the operating system on a home computer to look and work exactly like the one at work.

I agree. I think as computer users, we're mature enough not to need this level of familiarity. This is one reason that at some point down the road, I hope to be able to use both Windows for my digital audio workstation in my home studio, and some form of "SteamOS" for playing games. Of course, with companies like EA/Origin and Ubisoft using their own game store platforms, I don't see all PC games being compatible with a SteamOS for some time to come.

Comment: Re:Price (Score 1) 3

by squiggleslash (#48916233) Attached to: Is the Touch UI irredeemable?

There really was an argument, I was there, I heard people get very angry about it. You can dismiss them as neckbeards, but the two major users of (IBM/Clone) PCs at that time were business users and computer enthusiasts of all ages, and both were hesitant to use WIMP interfaces.

The PC1512, that I mentioned, wasn't wonderful (6MHz 8086 IIRC, which while better than 4.77MHz 8088 was still hardly a speed demon), but GEM on it was smooth, more or less an equal to the Atari ST in performance. But few people touched GEM. The feeling was that GEM was easy to use but it was getting in the way.

What happened in 1990 wasn't that computers got cheap enough to tolerably run a GUI OS. Macs, Amigas, Atari STs, and GEM-running PCs predate 1990 considerably. What happened was that in 1990 IBM PC clones became available that tolerably ran a multitasking WIMP OS.

Comment: Re:and when the next one is carrying explosives? (Score 1) 217

by NotDrWho (#48915455) Attached to: White House Drone Incident Exposes Key Security Gap

Well, clearly we must ban drones, and planes, and explosives, and rifles, and pistols, and slingshots/catapults/trebuchets, and vests, and cars/trucks, and swords, and bullets, and gunpowder, and books about gunpowder, and dynamite, and hydrogen, propane, methane--just any gas on the periodic table in general (helium is okay, I guess), that RC car you had when you were a kid, bows/staves and Renaissance Fairs where they might be trafficked, that show Mythbusters, and...

Oh fuck it, let's just ban people. Only way to be sure.

If I were a grave-digger or even a hangman, there are some people I could work for with a great deal of enjoyment. -- Douglas Jerrold