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Comment: Re: Mass produce! (Score 1) 182

by HiThere (#48470947) Attached to: Jackie Chan Discs Help Boost Solar Panel Efficiency

FWIW, if you have enough energy then synthetic gasoline can be manufactured. It's not the most efficient of processes, however. Using it for fuel would probably be unwise. (I think electric cars would work out better.) But you can also build lubricants.

Mind you, this process doesn't sound efficient enough to make the process practical.

Comment: Re:Fuck That Shit (Score 1) 64

by HiThere (#48469259) Attached to: The People Who Are Branding Vulnerabilities

How do you explain to a nervous boss who doesn't program that your program isn't going to be affected? Some people won't be reassured, and also won't understand. And they can always find someone to justify their fears.

My old boss came up through programming. I got a new boss. After a couple of years I decided to take early retirement. Some people you just can't explain things to...especially in areas they're ignorant of. (I'm willing to accept that he was a good accountant.)

Comment: Re:Microsoft Windows only (Score 1) 141

by HiThere (#48445927) Attached to: Highly Advanced Backdoor Trojan Cased High-Profile Targets For Years

Despite the "only security through obscurity" meme, you need to understand it, not just say it.

There are only two types of security:
1) security through obscurity,
2) security through inaccessibility.
They can, however, be intelligently combined.

Please note that private key encryption is security through obscurity. Cutting the phone line is security through inaccessibility. Saying that "it's secure because they can't get the prime factors of that key" is security through obscurity.

Despite the meme, security through obscurity is widely and properly used. What's wrong if false obscurity, which is common. If you don't properly assess just how obscure your secret is, then you have a security failure.

So having a monoculture is reduced security, because that means that there are a much larger number of entities seeking to discover the secret...and any breach in security cannot be easily contained. If you don't have a monoculture, then a single breach cannot be as widely damaging, and is thus also less valuable to find. This is a sort of network effect.

OTOH, a diverse community means that more effort needs to be devoted to security, because each branch is a separate thing to be maintained. So it's not all benefit or all loss, it's a mixture.

FWIW, I choose not to have flash installed on my system, despite the fact that it would have some utility, because I consider that the weakness that it presents is not worth the benefit. The ability of refuse to have such a service installed allows increased a cost. For some people the cost is higher than they are willing to pay. This reduction of the attack surface is a form of security through obscurity mixed with security through inaccessibility, i.e., I have become inaccessible to some forms of attact, and I have reduced my visibility to many attackers.

Comment: Re:We've been doing it for a long time (Score 1) 366

How do you get the different countries committed to the same climate change ... and to hold their decision long enough to have a desired effect?

I think the politics are too chaotic and short-sighted to make geoengineering feasible, even if there weren't a great need to avoid mistakes.

Comment: Re:Sorry GTK (Score 1) 89

by HiThere (#48398301) Attached to: GTK+ Developers Call For Help To Finish Cross-Platform OpenGL Support

GNUStep is very interesting, but every time I've tackled it, I've bounced. Sometimes I literally couldn't figure out how to do things, other times it's just that it was too difficult to bother.

They *REALLY* need better documentation. Probably the toolkit is fine. Every time I worked at it long enough I was able to make it do what I wanted, but the documentation is truely terrible. And it needs to be written by someone who already understands the system.

If the GNUStep documentation had been better, I'd probably be programming in Objective C today. (Well, maybe not, I tend to switch between languages a lot. But I would have used it significantly.)

Comment: Re: Split Comcast in two (Score 1) 135

by HiThere (#48398221) Attached to: Can the US Actually Cultivate Local Competition in Broadband?

The is only possible if the hardware layer is separated from the rest of the business. The hardware layer is a natural monopoly, in the same way that water pipes are. The ISPs have created monopolies by packaging the hardware layer together with the communication services. They MUST be separated. Even wireless has it's limits, though cellular can get to pretty small cells in dense populations. But that's a part of the hardware layer, as are cable and fiber (and for that matter flocks of pidgeons).

Comment: Re:Paralyzed yet Fully Aware (Score 1) 105

by HiThere (#48398177) Attached to: How To Anesthetize an Octopus

One of my hypotheses about how anesthesia works is that it prevents the fixation of memories. Certainly they have that effect while you are coming out from under them.

If you combine no permament memories with paralysis you get all the signs that I see WRT anethesia. OTOH, I do understand that there are other tests (brain waves, cortisol, etc.) which indicate that more than that is going on.

Comment: Re:We already have laws to cover this (Score 1) 301

by HiThere (#48380839) Attached to: Police Body Cam Privacy Exploitation

Reports so far seem to be that cameras help, even if they can be turned off. But allowing them to be turned off at a whim is clearly a major weakness.

Also, the videos don't need to be watched and evaluated. They need to be cached in a write-once append only memory. And stored in a place untouchable by the police...and perhaps by the courts, only copies are accessible. Thus copies would be available under subpoena.

The question is, should reporters be allowed access? And reporter doesn't mean someone employed by a media company, it includes stringers, muckrakers, and people with an axe to grind. The question is, should they be allowed to post copies of the records. Many of the records shouldn't be available to people without records being kept of who saw them. As has been pointed out that would be valuable information to, e.g., burglars. But there needs to be a way to make the significant information public that has less cost and paperwork than a legal subpoena.

Clearly NONE of the current methods of dealing with this are even approaching what is required, and there are lots of corner cases. But its also clear that while setting up a good system is a big design problem, it not major....except for getting everyone to agree.

Comment: Re:We already have laws to cover this (Score 1) 301

by HiThere (#48364203) Attached to: Police Body Cam Privacy Exploitation

Why do you think we don't want that? It's just that in the case of the police, there's a chance that we could get it. As for the officer's "bathroom duties", so what. They don't care much about our privacy, so why should we care about theirs. Still, ok, have the camera be able to be put into a "marking time" mode...but there still needs to be continuous sound recording. It should be a firing offense to disable the camera while acting as a police officer.

God doesn't play dice. -- Albert Einstein