Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
For the out-of-band Slashdot experience (mostly headlines), follow us on Twitter, or Facebook. ×

Comment: Re: Yes (Score 1) 512 512

I take disk images (OS and major apps) after every fresh install. Then I can periodically reapply the image, install latest patches, and install any additional apps I have decided are keepers. Over the decades I have become an expert at uninstalling bloatware and configuring Windows for maximum efficiency. However, I have STILL noticed a rapid increase in down-slowing as new versions approach.

Comment: Re: Tinfoil hat on (Score 4, Informative) 512 512

That tinfoil must make you see the past better. Back in the DOS days I would regularly see articles about how yet another researcher had decompiled DOS to uncover yet another instance of code in DOS that could only have been put there to slow down a competitor's product. In the early internet days, researchers would find instance after instance where Win95 was sending your personal data back to MS. They would deny it until it became undeniable, then say it was a bug (you know, a bug that accidentally searched for and collected your data, then accidentally waited till you were on-line, then accidentally opened a connection with MS owned servers, then accidentally transmitted your data, then accidentally covered it's tracks) and say they would issue a patch, which would then take forever.

It was common knowledge on Usenet that the mantra at MS before DOS 3.3 was released was "DOS isn't done till Lotus won't run."

Until recently, I used NetWare protocols over my home network but a Windows update (unrelated to networking) turned that off for no darn good reason.

So, I don't put ANYTHING past Microsoft. Of course, I wouldn't put anything past ANY of the big tech companies.

I have supported a LOT of PCs from DOS 6.2 up and I have noticed the same thing you speculated about. In addition to the slow, progressive slowdown that occurs over time, I have seen the "down-slowing" ramp up just as the next version is coming out. AND just after upgrades. Now this could just be all the cruft reaching critical mass, thus indicating the need for an upgrade. But I think there are plenty of valid reasons to be suspicious.

Comment: Re: Khaaaaaan! (Score 1) 62 62

I knew somebody would beat me to it.

Just like the real meaning to the Cylon Prayer, "All this has happened before and will happen again." Certain things are inevitable. There are countries and scientists who will have no problem with the the thousands of "failed experiments" necessary to perfect these techniques. The only question is whether we will die in eugenics wars, or at the hands of super-AI, or from runaway global warming.

Comment: Re: Adaptive, requiring 'training' & 'stabilit (Score 2) 145 145

"Then maintain a pointer in some so-called 'phase space' and burn data into a sparse array to create a virtual landscape with erosion. In 'run' mode it is almost always hitting (or near) areas that have been populated. If the pointer strays from from the populated region we have an alarm."

Could you please post a link to more information about these technologies and algorithms? I am very interested in graph analysis, including geolocation of information against a real or metaphorical landscape. I tried Googling but all I got was how to simulate erosion in a 3D image of a landscape.


Comment: Re: Share your "encryption network" with Suckerber (Score 1) 138 138

Using JavaScript, FB can tell if someone selects your public key that is posted on your profile. (Yes, IF you choose to post it as well as just let FB use it. However most people are very likely to do so.) Have you ever clicked in a field that said "Search," or whatnot, only to have those words disappear as soon as you clicked there? That is JavaScript doing that. It is just as easy to have said JavaScript save the current user and the page's user and store them in a database. FB can then use this database to build a directed graph of who is copying who's public key. Sure, it is an incomplete graph, but all social data is incomplete and useful information is still drawn from it. Sure, the NSA could do a deep packet scan of everyone's e-mail and dig out the same, or better, information. However, that is far, FAR more resource intensive and expensive than adding a field to FB's database and some more JavaScript to the profile page.

So, once FB has built their, admittedly incomplete, graph, the NSA can look for the clusters of interconnectedness in said graph and focus their deep packet scanning efforts and resources there. Thus making the NSAs efforts far more effective.

I guess, if you want to save the taxpayers some money, go ahead and post your public key to FB. If you really want to promote encryption, include your public key and links to free software and incredibly easy to follow instructions in all your emails to your non-techie friends and family. If said relatives are conservative nutjobs then you could also include a comment about how the socialist, terrorist-loving, Nigerian, Muslim, presidential imposter (read: black guy) is reading all their personal e-mails and building a list of where to send the black helicopters. I have many such relatives. Believe me, they still believe that crap.

Comment: Re:Defensive (Score 1) 97 97

Legally, you don't have to file a patent to prevent others from patenting things and then suing you. All you have to do is write up a description of your invention, as thorough as a patent, and publish it in any number of ways where the date of publication is verifiable. There are even services that will publish your article expressly for the purpose of establishing prior art. Remember, prior art does not need to be a patent. Dick Tracy's wrist TV was used as prior art at least once. Almost any public use of an invention is also enough to establish prior art. That is the main reason why inventors have to be careful not to let their invention be seen in public before filing. Your own invention can be considered prior art to invalidate the patent on that same invention.

Though, I do have to admit, in the current environment, having a patent goes a long way toward scaring off those trolls.

No, I am not a patent lawyer, but I have read a ton of patent law books over the years.

Comment: Re: Share your "encryption network" with Suckerber (Score 1) 138 138

If only you had read between the lines of said summary, based on FB's past behavior. If you share your public key on your profile, I guarantee you that FB WILL keep track of everyone who downloads it.

The safest way to share your public key is to share it ubiquitously on your web page, in your e-mail signature, etcetera. Then no one can find out who is actually using it and who is ignoring it. (OK, other than deep scans of your traffic.)

A fail-safe circuit will destroy others. -- Klipstein