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Comment: Re:Power Costs (Score 1) 191

In a curiously ironic twist, the hardware designed to protect consumer-grade disks from damage ends up destroying them. As I understand it, a number of fairly recent consumer drives exhibit a higher than normal failure rate because the heads break off of the arms when they collide with the park ramp. This is, at least in part, a consequence of making the arms smaller and lighter to improve seek times.

Comment: Re:Headline stupidity (Score 1) 98

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48933053) Attached to: Former NATO Nuclear Bunker Now an 'Airless' Unmanned Data Center
For long term maintenance of a low oxygen environment they are probably using a Nitrogen generator of some flavor. If you want the job done fast, the ready availability of liquid nitrogen is very handy: let one liter of that boil off and you get almost 700 of pure nitrogen. Just carry it down and dump it.

Comment: Re:How is maintenance performed? (Score 1) 98

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48932979) Attached to: Former NATO Nuclear Bunker Now an 'Airless' Unmanned Data Center
My cynical suspicion is that have a datacenter in an underground oxygen-purged bunker is something you cost-justify under 'disaster recovery' or similar; but actually do because of a vague, gnawing, ill-defined dissatisfaction with the fact that your life is basically as safe as it is tedious. The same sort of thing as why really boring federal agencies build huge SCIFs and random suburbanites lovingly shop for tacticool accessories to cram onto their AR-15.

That aside, I assume that they got it for peanuts compared to the original build cost, since abandoned bunkers aren't terribly high-value real estate(and potentially turn into blighted little holes if you don't keep them locked and have a cop watch the entrance moderately closely), and a cold war bunker is probably nice and sturdy, trivial to provide physical security for, and not too much more inconvenient than a situation where equipment has to be taken upstairs by cargo elevator. The oxygen purge seems harder to justify except for the cool factor, though.

Comment: Re:OK, based upon notebook shopping thus far (Score 5, Interesting) 63

I suspect that in a computer of that size you wouldn't want anything other than integrated graphics. Sure, AMD or NVIDIA could provide a part low clocked enough, or cut down enough, to fit within the size and thermal constraints; but once they've done that they probably won't be much better than the already-integrated graphics.

Unless you have enough room for a proper GPU, low end discrete GPUs are increasingly somewhat pointless, since they always add complexity and cost; but don't necessarily outperform integrated ones by all that much.

Comment: Re:Positive pressure? (Score 1) 270

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48932205) Attached to: Why ATM Bombs May Be Coming Soon To the United States
You'd probably need to use a different formulation than for cotton or cellulose based bills; but I suspect so.

Based on a look at paints sold for use on plastics and vinyl(like this one), the strategy appears to be to use a suitably nasty solvent as a carrier for the pigment and have the solvent infiltrate the polymer's structure, carrying the pigment with it. In a case where you need not worry about damaging the polymer(unlike commercial plastic paints, where the solvent can't be so aggressive that it messes up the underlying material permanently), like tagging stolen bills, you could presumably be particularly aggressive in your formulation.

I don't know the chemistry of the polymer and the protective coatings in common use; but you can usually find a solvent that will do the trick, especially if you don't mind a bit of damage to the material being worked with.

Comment: Re:Here we go again. (Score 1) 233

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48932029) Attached to: One In Five Developers Now Works On IoT Projects
I'm not saying that SNMP is the correct mechanism for IoT, just that the state of discovery and interaction between IoT 'things' is so dismal(except where specially handcrafted by the vendor) that SNMP's MIBs look positively advanced by comparison.

Crazy-cheap silicon makes connecting things to networks relatively simple; but it doesn't solve the much more difficult problem of making those things interact in a useful way without either intricate top-down command and control or a ghastly nightmare of emergent oddities and security problems. At present, there appears to be very, very, little headway in making the 'things' that are supposed to be internetworking aware of one another, much less usefully so, with people either rolling their own totally isolated little thing or attempting to be the gatekeeper for all device interaction. It does not inspire confidence.

Comment: Re:define crazy. (Score 1) 66

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48931301) Attached to: Georgia Institute of Technology Researchers Bridge the Airgap
The trick is that security measures have costs, in time, money, user convenience, etc. and it is considered 'crazy'(in the weak sense of 'not sensible', not the psych-ward sense) to voluntarily impose costs on yourself that are out of proportion to the costs of the expected threat.

There's always something you could be doing more securely; but only sometimes is it worth it.

Comment: Re:Add noise (Score 3, Interesting) 66

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48931231) Attached to: Georgia Institute of Technology Researchers Bridge the Airgap
I'd be curious to know (I'm definitely underinformed, so this is an honest question) whether that tactic has lost some effectiveness over time. The classic monitoring-RF-to-read-CRTs stuff depended on getting an adequately clean copy of the distinctly analog output of the CRT. Now, all signals are fundamentally analog signals; but digital signals are analog signals designed to make guessing the correct value really easy(since there are only two possibilities, rather than an arbitrary number of them); and now more than ever it's a safe guess that sensitive data will be heading over a number of RF-emitting digital busses, from the keyboard to the computer, within the computer, and likely to the monitor as well.

Does the broadband noise still drown out the desired signal sufficiently to prevent reconstruction, or does our increased emphasis on high-speed digital busses (often designed to operate with some amount of error correction in the event of cheap lousy hardware being cheap and lousy) make it more tractable to either unambiguously pick the correct interpretation of a noisy input, or make a number of guesses and use known features of the bus to help eliminate the incorrect ones?

Comment: Re:For all of you USA haters out there: (Score 4, Insightful) 270

by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (#48931145) Attached to: Why ATM Bombs May Be Coming Soon To the United States
We also have a (general, not universal) willingness to let the market squabble it out for an extended period of time, rather than give a good hard shove in the direction of some implementation. This tendency may be abetted by the fact that early adoption creates incumbents who have a vested interest in stalling as long as possible to milk their legacy investments and first-mover advantage, as in our wonderful market for ISPs.

With the payment card industry, you have a lot of people(all clambering to grab as much of the cut for themselves as they can, and shove as much of the risk onto others as they can) with competing agendas and a desire to have their pet proprietary system gain a foothold so they can extract tolls with it(eg. the incidents where some retailers with functioning NFC POS systems were deliberately disabling them because Apple Pay was a competitor to their 'CurrenC' system, and the ongoing spat between Google and the carrier-backed payment scheme formerly known as ISIS before that became a toxic brand). Nobody actually believes that "USA IS #1!!! Mag stripes RULE!"; but between everyone wanting to control the customer data and processing fees and banks, merchants, and payment processors fighting over risk allocation, it's a bit of a clusterfuck.

Compare to say, the DoD's CAC rollout: CACs still aren't what you'd call a joy to configure(especially on OSX, or in Citrix environments, or other oddball use cases); but the DoD decided that it wanted everyone using smartcards for cryptographic authentication, said that that was how it was going to be, and it was so (relatively) quickly and smoothly.

Opinions vary on how often we dodge a bullet, or get the benefit of something new and innovative, thanks to there being no mandate in place vs. how often we suffer pointless bullshit for an agonizingly long period of time(eg. the less-than-totally-compatible US cellular market); but the fact that we tend not to mandate an end to such fights all that often, or all that quickly, is simply a fact. Even when we do mandate something, it's often a de-facto 'national' mandate created because California, or another large state, demands something and it's cheaper to sell California-spec everywhere than it is to have two SKUs.

Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success. -- Christopher Lascl

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