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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

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Comment: Re:Clearly AdBlock (Score 1) 353

by Lorens (#49082785) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Most Useful Browser Extensions?

I've run without AdBlock since forever, because hey the guys running the content get money that way, and sometimes the ads are useful, sometimes I click, and sometimes I've even bought... but just this week I encountered an ad by Essilor that just wouldn't shut up, with the useless AdChoices button but without the X to get rid of it. I closed the page, installed Adblock, went back to finish the page. Three days later I am definitely not missing all those ads!

Comment: Re:When I see that [literally] textbook mistake... (Score 2) 329

by Lorens (#48835571) Attached to: Steam For Linux Bug Wipes Out All of a User's Files

The better system is called capabilities. Think "everything is a file descriptor". You want to create a file, you get a file descriptor. You want to run most programs, you give them read-write scratch space, a place to find common library routines (that don't carry any rights by themselves), and probably a read-write access to some graphical interface window. You're a browser, your user clicks on a java applet? You download the applet into a descriptor from your scratch space, you run it, giving it a read-write descriptor to some user interface sub-window created from your own window, read-write to a descriptor of some scratch space created from you scratch space, and read-execute of some descriptor containing a library, probably the same one you got from your parent. You have a video with a proprietary codec? You run the proprietary program as above with read-only to the video. You're a word processor? You get a RW descriptor to the file you're editing, and a call-back to your parent if your user requests an "open file" dialog, which returns a RW (or maybe RO) descriptor to the file the user indicated. See a pattern? See KeyKOS, which actually worked for years, and followers EROS, CapROS, Coyotos, which none got to to any useful status. There was a guy who rewrote libc on these principles, IIUC so that you'd only have to change file-handling logic in classical programs and recompile. But I get the impression that most people working on these things are security and OS researchers in academia (sincerely sorry if someone feels insulted, I'm not helping out and if you weren't working on it I wouldn't even know about these things), and not people saying OK, I have a generous budget, I have excellent developers and excellent team leads and stellar project managers, now I want a timeline and then a product.

For other non-OS projects see Plash, Capsicum, Tahoe-LAFS, E-Lang, CapDesk...

Comment: Re:How to get rich (Score 1) 246

I'll invent a tool that allows you to kill people via a phone line. I could see a really HUGE market for something like this.

There might be a volume filter, but I wonder what would happen with an air horn. I suppose they have earphones, so if you start off speaking really quietly...

Comment: But the ID shouldn't have to be secret (Score 3, Insightful) 59

by Lorens (#48172549) Attached to: South Korean ID System To Be Rebuilt From Scratch After Massive Leaks

Granted it's not good if the IDs are easy to guess, nor if the list of IDs+names gets out, but as long as you're not using the ID to authenticate people, only to identify them, it shouldn't be a terrible problem. Think ID=username, not password. What they say about the credentials seems a bit more worrying, but we'd need a lot more info here . . .

Comment: Re:Weber's Honorverse (Score 1) 470

by Lorens (#48014677) Attached to: The Physics of Space Battles

he has much too much of a fascination with the French Revolution

I can't say you're wrong, but at least he does it on purpose. The series was supposed to recreate the life of Horatio Nelson (think "Hornblower in space"), and most of the physics "could be"s are chosen so that the battles and diplomacy resemble life at sea in the early 19th century. Of course, the heroine was supposed to die like Nelson did, but I think the story and fans won that battle. It probably explains why she's less present in the later books!

Comment: Re:So offer a cost effective replacement (Score 1) 185

by Lorens (#48006137) Attached to: Security Collapse In the HTTPS Market

15 years ago I had an MBNA credit card. On their website you could generate a one-time credit card number that was only good for the stated amount. That was a big improvement. I guess not enough people bothered to use it though.

I have this system today, and my "real" card number, while valid, is systematically declined for Internet transactions. It's common enough that Amazon (at least the French Amazon) has an FAQ on the problems it can cause (bigger orders can be split up, and Amazon debits each packet separately). Some sites refuse the virtual card, but I can real-time the on/off switch on my bank's website to use my "real" card number just for the necessary number of seconds. Not ideal, but better than most.

It's not so hard to lift yourself by your bootstraps once you're off the ground. -- Daniel B. Luten

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