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Comment: Third party pass through (Score 1) 91

by Keybounce (#47716575) Attached to: Research Unveils Improved Method To Let Computers Know You Are Human

And how will even the best, most fool-proof Capcha protect you from a spam bot system that passes that game, or other capcha, to some people farm in a foreign country? Or just to visitors to some other website that gets high enough traffic for the spammers to post sufficient volume of spam?

This, by itself, cannot solve the issue.

The issue is not "Prove that there is a human there".

The issue is "Prove that you, right there, right now, are a human, and not being passed to someone else, elsewhere".

Comment: Re:Microsoft (Score 1) 267

by Keybounce (#47627655) Attached to: Skype Blocks Customers Using OS-X 10.5.x and Earlier


The old code works. My PPC machine actually still can log into skype -- apparently they only "retired" the intel programs. There is no reason to force people to upgrade except perhaps to steal more information, spy on more things, and give you ads where the older versions did not.

Apple, good or bad, right or wrong (I call wrong) has chosen to dismantle features of the OS every version, approximately.

10.5 could be made to run EOF and web objects, but they were really only happy in 10.4. 10.6, as I understand it, cannot.

10.6 has support for PPC code, but sadly, does not include running your old version in a VM -- heck, you are not even legally allowed to load 10.6 into a VM unless you have the server version of it. 10.7 can be put into a VM, fine, but that doesn't help anyone with legacy apps.

Apple's whole "We have the technology for your business" has turned out to be three busts now as I recall: EOF is dead, WebObjects became EOF's master, took it over, and then took it to the java side, and then abandoned it all completely. The toll-free bridging has gone poof. Java as a first-class language has gone poof. Etc.

That's a lot more than 3, actually.

The point it: It is very easy to be in need of a specific older version of the OS because none of the newer ones support what you want/need to do.

And: "The new version is free"?


Lets dumb it down. Everyone knows that a computer only works with one window at a time, so your finder is now single window (10.9). Everyone knows that grey on white is much easier to read than black on white, so lets make the finder displays of your files grey (10.9). Heck, 10.10 has this wonderful new feature: If you want to maximize a window, you must mean "full screen", after all, you never actually want to multitask between full screen windows and other things, right?

The full-screen app behavior is broken unless you are looking at a single-window app, like iMovie. And the new, free, upgrade to this new version of iMovie has lost features and become little more than a clip assembler with no smarts or power.

I'm on 10.7, only because I can't upgrade to 10.8 -- I cannot buy it. The horrors of "iOS is taking over the desktop", while at least partially true in 10.8, have workarounds; 10.9 and 10.10 are disasters.

Comment: Re:Where is IPv*8*? (Score 1) 250

I don't know about V7. But at the same time that V6 work was started, there was also work on a V8 system.

V8 was based on master regional gateways, if I remember correctly, called stargates. The central assumption in V8: Throw away the assumption that a single IP address always refers to the same machine everywhere. Within a single region, there is a mapping from name to IP to machine. But that mapping does not hold across stargates.

If I want to talk to a machine in my region, then getHostByName() returns an IP address that maps and routes just as normal.

If I want to talk to a machine in a different region, then getHostByName() returns a special 4 byte magic token that talks to the stargate that sits between me and whatever it takes to get to the destination.

It is another level of routers. Just as now, I can work within my regional area network -- perhaps I'm a comcast customer talking to another comcast customer -- or, I can go out over the "backbone" of routers that talk to routers with the special gateway router protocol (sorry, I forget the exact acronym -- BGP, I think?) to reach the final region for "last mile" delivery.

This extends it another layer. But at the same time, each region now has an independent IPv4 space.

Want to really enforce a "firewall of china"? V8 would actually permit it. If something like this was in place, then any attempt to talk to someone outside of china would have to send that hostname to a central authority router, which could then return either an accepted "cookie" (looks like an IP address, but treated special by the routers), or "no such host", or "here's the government re-education website".

What is the major compatibility problem? It is suddenly impossible to cache the outcome of "getHostByName()" across runs -- the cookie returned only has a lifespan as determined by the gateways.


There is a much better, much deeper question to ask.

** WHY THE BLEEP ** are we still using things like getHostByName()?

Why the bleep do we still expose struct sockaddr to programs? It's an OS internal.

Way, way, way back when, before there was an internet, when arpanet was just one of many networking protocols in use, networking changed far faster than BSD releases could come out. So a bunch of stuff that should have been OS internals were exposed, so network drivers could talk to application programs without an out-of-date kernel in the way.

Today, that should be gone.
Today, there should be a simple open() call that returns a network connection -- and for simple TCP streams, that's all you would need. Message-based (UDP/etc) would probably have a flag on open, just as we have for "read only", "create if not found", etc, there might be "best effort only". Heck, imagine a file system that could recover from "out of disk space" by eliminating old "best effort" files automatically. Sure, put up a warning on the console -- but programs can keep running.

All the issues we see from "How do we re-write all those programs from v4 to v6", all those "how do we migrate X from 4 to 6", etc. -- all come down to "Why do we even care?"

This is serious.

Why worry about the program ever knowing what address to talk to?
Why worry about the program ever knowing that port X is the destination?

Why would you ever want to say "This program/server can only run once on this machine because the port number must be reserved and known ahead of time to the users"?

Why not just say "Give me a channel to service X running on machine Y", and not worry about "I want a TCP channel over 4 bytes of address".

Why worry about "Hey, the TCP protocol fails spectacularly over networks that have a very high bit length wire" and "well, we'll fake the TCP protocol with a new one that looks sort-of like TCP, can handle high bit-length wires, but can be reset by a random packet from an attacker with a 1-in-4 chance of success". (High bit length wires == satellite links. TCP has a packet size, and a window size; put them together, and a bare TCP connection over satellite has to sit and wait for acks a large amount of the time.)

Get rid of struct sockaddr
Get rid of a program's need to even care what the underlying network protocol / address family is.

Then see if there is any need to worry.


Last I checked, there was no way for a V4 only machine to talk to a V6 only machine -- while the original V6 address space map included the V4 address space as a special segment, that was removed in a later revision. If this is true (I don't know, it's been years since I've checked), then since there are lots of v4-only hardware devices out there, V6-only systems are DOA -- and we'll never be rid of the V4 legacy.

Is that still the case? Has that changed?

Comment: Helium 3 (Score 1) 206

Someone several posts back mentioned that even getting gold from space was too expensive to be worth it. Well, there's one very good resource out there, in space, worth getting. Helium 3. Produced by the sun. Found in tiny quantities on the earth. Found in large quantities on the moon, but the cost of shipping back from the moon -- all return fuel must be carried to the moon -- makes it unprofitable.

But on mars? The return fuel from mars can be harvested on mars. So you don't need the fuel to ship fuel. That is the key difference, that makes mars worth using as a base.

Mars has Helium 3. How much does it have? I don't know.

What's involved in sending people to mars? Well, you need a habitat for them to live in, and you need return vehicles.

We've got plans for that already. Unmanned modules sent out to mars, that can set up mining / fuel production, a return vehicle, and a habitat. Send them off to mars; check out a location. Every two years, send something off to a different place on mars.

What happens eventually? You find a place with resources worth sending people to. And, you've got a fueled return ship. What? Something went wrong? Ok, send another set of survival/return resources to that same place.

Eventually, you have living space, and return trip, and fuel production, all ready to go. You can now send people and another return ship, just in case. And, some rovers -- you've got resupply points on mars, and now you can have people sent to do their own driving.

This is how you get people to mars -- every two years, a care package, until you've got something sufficient.

The why of mars? Two good reasons:

1. Helium 3.
2. You cannot mine an asteroid in the asteroid belt profitably. You have to move an asteroid someplace where you can mine it. There are four choices:
A: Earth orbit
B: Moon orbit
C: Mars orbit
D: Lagrange point.

We don't have the technology for D yet.
Attempting to move an asteroid into earth orbit ... lets just say that would be a political nightmare bigger than any technical challenge.

That leaves moon orbit -- with all the fueling problems -- or mars orbit, with much easier fueling/working conditions.

So the bottom line: Sending people to mars is not out of our technology. There are reasons to do so. It is the only currently known stepping stone to the next stage, and the first way we can get off this rock and prevent a single-point of failure that wipes out humans.

Comment: Lotus Improv Models vs Spreadsheets (Score 1) 422

by Keybounce (#47131211) Attached to: Why You Shouldn't Use Spreadsheets For Important Work

Many years ago, there was a program on the Pizza Box (aka NeXT machine) called Lotus Improv. It even came out on early windows systems.

It did something wonderful to spreadsheets.
It moved the formulas out of the cells, into a formula plane.
It got rid of the 2d system, where you put different sections of data on different parts of the plane, and try to keep things straight as your database grows, and instead used a collection of n-d spaces. Each one of the collections dealt with one subject; each one could track as many as 8 dimensions, and tracking 3-5 was typical.

It worked. It worked well.

Code was readable -- nothing was duplicated in every cell, or rather, almost duplicated with slight variations in each cell that you had to hope and pray was given the same and correct slight alteration each time (and god forbid you needed to change the template spread across everything). Instead, you defined clear statements once, and it automatically adjusted for each different cell.

Improv was wonderful.

Why did it die?

Comment: Re:Use firefox ESR (Score 1) 688

by Keybounce (#46882273) Attached to: Firefox 29: Redesign

** Mod Parent Up **

I was just about to post this same thing. I have been using 24 ESR (and 17 ESR, for PPC compatibility) for a while now. I was fortunate enough to NOT get this bleep today.

My mother, on her microsoft windows based system, was wondering "What has happened? Where has my gmail gone?"

Massive change, just for the sake of change, with no warning, with no user awareness, with no customization? I used to think that only Microsoft could pull such bleep on us.

Comment: Re:as fast as Chrome? (Score 1) 688

by Keybounce (#46882123) Attached to: Firefox 29: Redesign

Funny, I am one of those "Open in new window" guys who still prefers new windows over tabs. I'm beginning to think I'm the only one.

My only reasons for wanting tabs over windows?

1. Memory. For some reason, it takes a lot more system resources/memory to have 10 pages in 10 windows, than in 1 window with 10 tabs.

2. I want to keep related pages together. But ohh, Firefox doesn't have any tools for selecting tabs and working with them as a group. I think it was just a couple of changes that were needed: Move all tabs here and to the right off to a new window as a group; and, open all new tabs on the far right (instead of next to me).

3. What we really need, and have never had, is the ability to say "Open all external links in a new window", rather than "in a new tab in the same window". If you have things set up so that command-clicking gives you a new window, then external links open in a new window. But if you have it set to use a new tab for command-click, then external links become a tab in the same window.

If I open new tabs from command-clicking a link, they are probably related and belong in the same group.

If I open 5 tabs, and then close that page, go to the first tab, and read ... and then start clicking: I am now looking at stuff related to the new page, not the old page -- so the tabs I am now opening have the potential to be unrelated to the rest of the tabs already on the bar. If I can say "Group these new tabs, and put them into a new window"? Wonderful. But no -- instead, as I wander the tab bar, I am browsing in stack-order, rather than queue-order, with no way to break the dozens of tabs up into reasonable grouping.

** And, even if I could, doing so drastically increases the system resources/memory usage.

+ - Might flight 370 just be an emergency landing?

Submitted by Keybounce
Keybounce (226364) writes "I was watching CNN today, and they were talking about flight 370. While discussing the auto pilot, transmitters, and emergency procedures, I came up with a simple idea.

Is what happened consistent with the simple idea of a cockpit disaster that destroys the transmitter, and triggers a need for an emergency landing?

If you need an emergency landing, you make a course change for the nearest reachable large-enough airport, and normally send a "Mayday" — but if you can't transmit, you can't transmit.

Would the course change correspond to a "nearby" airport for a plane over the middle of the water?"

Comment: "Unless we think we could get a court order" (Score 1) 206

Quote: Microsoft says it will not search a user's email or other Microsoft service "unless the circumstances would justify a court order, if one were available."

In other words, they are saying that they are the judicial review, the judge, and the jury, and then the executioner -- they decide the process, they determine who will review the case, they decide who will make the judgement, and then they will read your email.

The first three bullet points in that list of reform processes basically says, "We will either use an employee, or a paid contractor, to review the situation to decide if this will continue". And if the reviewer says "Stop", well, they might use a different reviewer next time.

There is no independence. No double checking. No review. No safety at all.

As bad as Google might be claimed to be, this is Microsoft's bare expose: Even in the face of admitting a problem, they won't actually do anything to fix it.

Did Google mess up with the predecessor to Google Plus -- their first attempt at social networking with the ability to make real comments, real content, no silly 140 character limit, etc.? Yep -- and they had a fix in their ToS and code for that program within two days. (Sorry I don't remember the name. I actually liked it better than this new bleep(*) they have.

The difference: Google may be aware that datamining can break privacy. Microsoft says from page 1, they will break your privacy.

(*): Due to the courts and the FCC, my right of free speech has been revoked.

Comment: The actual FA: Not "all nighters" (Score 1) 144

by Keybounce (#46552803) Attached to: Research Suggests Pulling All-Nighters Can Cause Permanent Damage

It's about strange sleep patterns.
It's not about "All nighters".

The article says:

Veasey and her colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania medical school wanted to find out, so, they put laboratory mice on a wonky sleep schedule that mirrors that of shift workers.

They let them snooze, then woke them up for short periods and for long ones.

Then the scientists looked at their brains -- more specifically, at a bundle of nerve cells they say is associated with alertness and cognitive function, the locus coeruleus.

They found damage and lots of it.


This is how the scientists think it happened.

When the mice lost a little sleep, nerve cells reacted by making more of a protein, called sirtuin type 3, to energize and protect them.

But when losing sleep became a habit, that reaction shut down. After just a few days of "shift work" sleep, the cells start dying off at an accelerated pace.

Yes, it's mice, not people. And yes, it says that once doesn't cause harm. It's after days of this that the protection mechanism shuts down.

Comment: Re:Tighten up federal aid (Score 1) 295

by Keybounce (#46539267) Attached to: Federal Student Aid Requirements At For-Profit Colleges Overhauled

To be more efficient in federal college loans, we need to tighten up the standards on who actually gets the loans. Those who will gain value from a college education and bring value to society. Those who can't or don't want to do a 4 year college can be encouraged towards tech school (good ones). Yes, we need good electricians, plumbers, welders, etc. Those jobs don't require a college degrees and are extremely useful in both residential and industrial jobs (and expensive due to the lack of supply for them).

TLDR: Stop giving loans to those who come out of college a burden to society.

I agree that we need to tighten up federal aid.
I disagree that we can tell ahead of time of who will be a burden or not.

The real issue is the granting of loans in the first place.

The real issue: As the costs of a degree go up, the size of the loans go up as well. If the maximum size of the loan were to stay down -- or perhaps only go to people getting an education where the costs were limited -- then there would be pressure on the universities to keep the cost down.

In other words:
In a balanced market, if you price your produce -- an education -- too high, fewer people will buy it => you lower your price.
In a distorted market, no matter what price you put on it, someone will fund it's purchase -- and then demand repayment.

To fix the student loan problem, remove the "We'll fund your education at any price", and replace it with "We'll fund your education if it is likely to be repaid".

But that's only part of the answer. The other part is loan insurance.

"We'll fund your education, if it is likely to be repaid, if you agree to pay back the cost, plus a premium for loan insurance, along with the guarantee that if you can't pay it back within N years of graduation, your loan is forgiven". (N should be around 7-10).

In other words, since you know ahead of time that it is impossible to repay every student loan, that you limit the size of the loans, and expect those who succeed will cover the costs of those who fail.

What is the long-term result of that?

1. More people getting loans, and going to school.
2. More people getting degrees, and yet not having the jobs for all of them to get the high-paying jobs that will repay the debts.
3. Partial repayments from most, full repayments from others, and lots of discharged debts
4. As the discharge rate goes up (as fewer graduates, by percentage, can repay), the amount of loan goes down, and the amount of insurance goes up, reducing what can be spent on schools
5. Which in turn forces the cost of education down.
6. Which runs the risk of reducing the quality of education.
7. Which either causes other problems in the future, or forces the education system to fundamentally change.

7 is the fun part. With thousands of schools, and thousands of experiments, someone will succeed. Someone will figure out how to make schooling work better.

And then, either lots and lots of people will copy it, or it will be copyrighted, trademarked, patented, etc, and locked up for just one single group, with extension after extension, until ...

Wait, actually, our current system doesn't sound so bad after all :-)

Comment: Re:Not a bad idea. (Score 1) 334

by Keybounce (#46538937) Attached to: Transhumanist Children's Book Argues, "Death Is Wrong"

Imagine what some of the greatest minds of our time could accomplish with an extra hundred years, or even an extra sixty.

Imagine what some of the most influential minds of our time could accomplish with an extra hundred years, or even an extra sixty. Regardless of whether or not their ideas were good ones.

I'm not saying that longer life is better or worse; I happen to like it.
I'm just saying we have a lot of maturity to do as a species before we could manage that.

Biology is the only science in which multiplication means the same thing as division.