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Comment: Re:Dump kernel to serial printer (Score 1) 175

by Hal_Porter (#46677221) Attached to: Linux Developers Consider On-Screen QR Codes For Kernel Panics

You could sound the message out in Frequency Shift Keying.


1200 baud is 120 characters per second. So you could dump an uncompressed 80x24 screen of text in 16 seconds. You'd just repeat the dump over and over again.

Software on a mobile phone would capture the FSK and submit it as a bug report.

Perhaps a less whimsical way to do it would be to write to a dump file and submit when the system reboots. E.g. the kernel could keep enough of the Bios alive so that it could switch back to real mode and use int 13h to write to reserved bit of the disk.

Comment: Re:Space travel (Score 1) 357

by Hal_Porter (#46603627) Attached to: Gunshot Victims To Be Part of "Suspended Animation" Trials

Or a bank of frozen ova and sperm. Or DNA sequences stored on a flash drive. Humans have 98% of their DNA in common, so you would only need to store the 2% of diffs. If properly compressed, all the genetic diversity of the entire human population of the earth would probably fit in a few terabytes.

You could save space if you only brought the DNA common in countries that developed into industrialized democracies too - Western Europe, East Asia and the North America.

Comment: Re: Orwellian? George Orwell was a Socialist. (Score 1) 110

He also thought that the USSR was totalitarian and not socialist. In 1945 he voted for the Labour Party which was democratic socialist. Labour was a party that grew out of the unions and whatever you can say about Labour there were definitely not about turning the workers into serfs.

Which is the point really - the USSR did the opposite of what democratic socialists like Orwell wanted and called it socialism.

Comment: Re: Space travel (Score 1) 357

by Hal_Porter (#46602307) Attached to: Gunshot Victims To Be Part of "Suspended Animation" Trials

If I was a member of the global elite and I knew civilisation was doomed due to my actions you can bet I'm leaving with my buddies in large, well stocked city sized Super Orion nuclear pulsejet. It's not even about what to do when the ship arrives, more that I want to look out through UV proof windows at the peasants watching the launch through non UV proof glass.

Comment: Re:No problem (Score 1) 423

by Hal_Porter (#46600383) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Preparing For Windows XP EOL?

The people that hacked Natanz would probably find it easier to get exclusive access to a zero day exploit on Windows 7 or 8 than XP.

When you're working for a government spy agency and have endless cash to pay off unprincipled 'security researchers' I think you can get into any OS whether old or new.

China can do the same thing. E.g.

If you look at Stuxnet it seems like the initial infection was done by leaving USB sticks around

Ralph Langner: Yeah, that's true. So the distribution we see with Stuxnet is mainly done via infected USB sticks. So, in technical terms, it would be not appropriate to call Stuxnet a worm because Stuxnet does not distribute by self-replication over the Internet, but thisâ"it distributes mostly by infected USB sticks. This is the exact strategy that you would use when attacking an aero jet facility. So just like a nuclear power plant. In this case, it makes most sense to assume that the attack was carried out via the Russian integrator that built the plant. Because if you are familiar with the commissioning of such big plans, you know security in those situations is practically nonexistent, especially IT security. So engineers walk in and out with their notebooks, with their programming devices that they use for programming the PLCs. And those engineers that walk in and out, they easily be lured into picking up infected USB sticks, so this makes very much sense to assume that the attack was performed via the integrator just by making sure that some of their engineers accept infected USB sticks, plug them in their notebooks, go home with their notebooks to their company headquarters, and at some point in time, go with their infected notebooks to the target site. By the way, this also explains all the infections that we see in India, Indonesia, and Pakistan. Because these are also regions where this particular integrator has business.

I've worked at companies where you were searched for removable storage going in. Hell I've worked at places where the USB ports where filled up with epoxy or disabled by group policy.

If you look at Bradley Manning air gap security is vulnerable to a single rogue employee. Also you need management that will enforce the policies - in Manning's case they should have stopped him bringing in CDs.

Comment: Re:Wait...they have universities? (Score 3, Informative) 110

Stalinist Communism is a really bizarre piece of double think.

Before the revolution you have evil aristocrats ruling over a mass of brutalised serfs.

Post revolution you have quite a New Class/Songbun which de facto aristocracy ruling over workers working on collective farms. And workers on collective farms have no right to change jobs, so their status is much more serf-like than it was pre revolution.

Just to make it even more Orwellian the pre revolutionary system wasn't actually like this. E.g. before the Russian revolution serfdom had been abolished pretty much everywhere

Not because capitalists are humanitarians but because it's actually more efficient for rich people to employ free labourers for a wage when they're working than to own serfs or slaves.

Of course if you grow up in Stalinist state you're told that before the revolution (and in capitalist states) evil aristocrats ruled over brutalised serfs and now things are much better even though that's the opposite of the truth. And most likely you know on some level that is false - that the status of workers under 'socialism' is much close to serfs than it was either pre revolution or in evil capitalist states and even worse the ruling class is much closer to being a hereditary aristocracy.

Comment: Re:Do electric cars actually produce CO2? (Score 1) 330

Having been to Vietnam where the US pulled out and the Stalinists imposed their system, and South Korea and Taiwan where the US backed regimes survived and eventually liberalised I'd say she was dead wrong.

The South Koreans in particular are very lucky there wasn't an anti war movement in the US during the Korean war. If there was the South would have been annexed by the North and they'd be living under Kim Jong Un's crazy regime.

Or look at Vietnam. The boat people refugees fled the south after the war ended. So clearly a peace where they were ruled by the north was actually worse than war.

Hell as a Brit I'm very glad the WWII equivalent of the anti war movement the German American Bund didn't have as much success as its Vietnam era equivalent

The German American Bund, or German American Federation (German: Amerikadeutscher Bund; Amerikadeutscher Volksbund, AV), was an American Nazi organization established in 1936 to succeed Friends of New Germany, the new name being chosen to emphasise the group's American credentials after press criticism that the organisation was unpatriotic. The Bund was to consist only of American citizens of German descent. Its main goal was to promote a favorable view of Nazi Germany.

The parallels are pretty striking. Both the German American Bund and the Vietnam era anti war movement were openly in favour of a totalitarian movement (US anti war demonstrators carried Vietcong flags, and the AV carried swastikas) and their main aim was to allow that movement to overrun a country friendly to the US but they disguised that as being in favour of 'peace'. In Vietnam they unfortunately succeeded in that aim.

If the AV had been as successful as the Vietnam era anti war movement the US would have stayed out of WWII and the Nazis would have overrun all of Western Europe and the UK.

Comment: Re:Changing my mind (Score 1) 127

by Hal_Porter (#46581515) Attached to: NASA Puts Its New Spacesuit Design To a Public Vote

The other depressing thing about Nasa is how they've gone from launching people to the moon in the 1960's to telling people that driving their cars is going to kill the planet (Hansen was head of Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies from 1981 to 2013). No wonder they're not keen on launching actual rockets - those things must emit loads of CO2. I'm surprised Hansen would go on exhaling CO2.

It's like something out of a dystopian science fiction novel about how a once proud, space faring society descends into ignorance and obscurantism.

Comment: Re:Why are they posting old source code? (Score 3, Informative) 224

by Hal_Porter (#46581475) Attached to: Microsoft Posts Source Code For MS-DOS and Word For Windows

In Undocumented Dos they explained that the version of Dos was a "a hacked version of MSDOS ... mostly removing the file system". NTVDM runs real mode Dos programs in V86 mode. So what happens is that when when you make an int 21h call to open a file in a Dos program? You real mode code hits a BOP. A BOP is an illegal opcode. At that point the processor traps (or software emulator on a Risc machine calls out) and you end up running fairly standard user mode protected mode code which handles the file open.

You can see it here in Reactos

In order to implement the DOS "API" (int 21, etc.) we need a way to call Win32 and kernel procedures from the VM thread. This is accomplished in Microsoft's NTVDM by writing a stub 16-bit kernel (ntdos.sys, ntio.sys, ...) that hooks the same interrupts as a 16-bit DOS kernel would, but instead of actually handling these, it executes a special undefined opcode (C4 C4 followed by some more bytes indicating the desired operation) in order to trap back into kernel mode/protected mode (meaning execution will pass through KiTrap6, "INT 06: Invalid Opcode Code (#UD)"). The request is dispatched to the proper VDM and handled in protected mode, and then an iret takes execution back to the instruction after the invalid opcode sequence.

"If I do not want others to quote me, I do not speak." -- Phil Wayne