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Comment: Re:Flip the switch (Score 1) 104

by timeOday (#47764745) Attached to: Fermilab Begins Testing Holographic Universe Theory
But he was right of course. There is no way to prove ground truth, such as the continuity of existence - it's just assumptions. Some people never grasp that, most others tire of thinking about it and move on. But not because they solved or proved anything.

Butting into somebody else's conversation just to blurt out that you don't understand it is silly.

Comment: Re:Flip the switch (Score 1) 104

by swb (#47764655) Attached to: Fermilab Begins Testing Holographic Universe Theory

I was riding the bus home from the University about 20 years ago and this guy in front of me was going on and on to this girl sitting next to him, sprouting some Philosophy 101 nonsense about how "How do I know you're real, and not just a figment of my imagination?"

After about 15 minutes of this I couldn't take it anymore and I looked at the girl and said "Go ahead and punch this guy in the nose, and then ask him whether he still wonders whether you're a figment of your imagination."

Comment: What's the max bandwidth of coax cable? (Score 2) 270

by swb (#47761579) Attached to: Comcast Tells Government That Its Data Caps Aren't Actually "Data Caps"

And in most areas, how "full" is the coax line between my house and the fiber node? Ie, how much of the usable coax bandwidth has been allocated to cable channels, on-demand viewing, phone service, alarm monitoring, and Internet access?

Has switching from NTSC analog to all those HD channels (even though they are compressed, etc) been a net gain in usable bandwidth on the coax or just a wash?

I always just wonder if Comcast isn't just trying to keep that coax cable capable of handing TV and Internet by various means of suppressing bandwidth consumption on Internet usage.

The suck for Comcast is when that coax cable "runs out" of bandwidth and there's no room to cram yet another HD sports channel on. A project to migrate from coax to fiber would be a total nightmare for them.

I'm not trying to defend or justify anything they do, I'm sure it's at least half oriented towards nickle and diming and profiting off of manufactured scarcity but coax cable shared by many dwellings seems like a major bottleneck that will eventually have to be addressed and it will not be cheap.

Comment: Re:You had a VM w/ VLAN; TechCentral took a big ri (Score 1) 230

by swb (#47761513) Attached to: TechCentral Scams Call Center Scammers

Yeah, I never got to the installation phase of anything because as you say I began to worry about what MIGHT get installed as this VM can get to my production network. They are on separate subnets but not for security reasons; I run this VM for connecting to client systems when they want VPN software installed, which is why it has its own unique public IP. A dumb subnet scanner wouldn't hurt, but something smart might.

I am tempted to spin up a special VM on a totally isolated VLAN with connectivity to anything but a dedicated firewall which would pick up a NAT address from the cable modem (and thus not compromise any of my statics, I think it gets NAT'd to my static range gateway address). I'd probably skip the snapshot and just set the disk to independent/non persistent so changes would be long-term impossible between boots.

It's still not perfect, there are potential security risks in the hypervisor, but a patched ESXi 5.5 doesn't scare me like an OS hosted hypervisor would.

What they did was crazy -- access to a live PC on their internal network? What do you bet there were cached admin credentials on it from cloning or initial setup, too.

Comment: Re:Mod parent to infinity (Score 4, Insightful) 122

by timeOday (#47760501) Attached to: Climate Scientist Pioneer Talks About the Furture of Geoengineering

the effects on the environment are a side-effect, and comparatively small. If we decide to intentionally target the global environment, the effects could be much bigger.

We can only hope, but I find that extremely unlikely. How many dollars have been spent on dredging up carbon and dispersing it into the atmosphere in the last 200 years? The US spends a trillion dollars per year on gasoline alone, and the US is about 1/4 of world oil consumption (less by now). Global coal consumption is over 7 billion tons per year. That is a ton of coal for every man, woman, and child on earth, per year, every year, for decades on end.

What this means is even if we find some means of restoration that is 100 times as potent at cooling the planet as CO2 is in warming it, the task is incomprehensibly huge.

Comment: Surprised at how abusive they can get (Score 4, Interesting) 230

by swb (#47758931) Attached to: TechCentral Scams Call Center Scammers

I took a call from one of these guys.

I happened to have a VM I use for testing up and running and I snapshotted it and figured I'd follow along with him just to see what he wanted done. This VM is on its own VLAN and behind its own firewall and public IP, but I kind of got cold feet about creds that could be on the machine or connectivity to my production LAN so I stopped before anything got installed (and I reverted to the snapshot, too).

Anyway, after I quit playing along I started to gently question who he said he was and the guy became really abusive and threatening, like he was going to save up for a plane ticket to fly to the US and beat me up or something if I didn't keep going. I was really kind of surprised at how far he took it.

At that point I figured dishing it out was fine, so I went full-on nasty with him and again I was surprised at his willingness to keep it up, especially considering I was pretty harsh.

Comment: Why hasn't it happened already? (Score 4, Insightful) 224

by swb (#47756275) Attached to: California Passes Law Mandating Smartphone Kill Switch

iPhones have had the ability to be remote wiped for a long time. Yet I have not heard of a pandemic of hacker-led mass bricking of iPhones. Dirty hipsters and their iPhones have been at the center of a lot of protests yet we haven't heard of mass iPhone shutdowns by the police in response to demonstrations.

I think government/law enforcement already have the powers they physically need to fuck with cell phones. Between Stingray devices and the ability to present national security letters to carriers or service providers, if they wanted to they could get IMEIs blacklisted or get someone like Apple to brick a specific phone.

I think this just finally cuts off the ability of the cell carriers to encourage and profit from theft by activating stolen phones. Maybe if we treated AT&T stores like pawn shops and told them it was loss of their licenses and jail time for trafficking in stolen property if they activated stolen phones the kill switches wouldn't be necessary, but because corporate profits and lobbying we don't.

Comment: No different than emission standards (Score 2) 224

by swb (#47756185) Attached to: California Passes Law Mandating Smartphone Kill Switch

California is basically a nation-state unto itself. It is so large and relatively wealthy that when it sets standards, it often sets them for the entire nation and occasionally the world.

IIRC, auto emissions controls were one of those things California began to mandate. Not selling cars in California wasn't an option, so automakers began basically making cars that met their standards and sold them everywhere because the economies of scale made it make sense to do so.

My problem lies in reconciling my gross habits with my net income. -- Errol Flynn Any man who has $10,000 left when he dies is a failure. -- Errol Flynn