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Comment: Re:The future is now. (Score 1) 144

by Mal-2 (#49381961) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Who's Going To Win the Malware Arms Race?

The number one complaint I hear from those forced to use Windows is that it takes forever to boot.

Then they're doing it too much.

It takes about 45 seconds for my desktop to come up from a cold boot to login screen, and I have not yet sprung for an SSD. This is long enough to be mildly annoying, but not nearly long enough to get up and do something else. My laptop takes more like three minutes, but it's a 1.6 GHz E-350 (2 cores). It's still not a huge problem because the desktop just gets put in Sleep mode and the laptop runs continuously (I have several services running on it 24/7 in addition to using it to drive a TV). The laptop typically gets rebooted once or twice a month, and the desktop about once a week unless I'm screwing with it in some manner.

Admittedly painful is the startup time of my Aspire One (especially on battery power), but that is almost relegated to the level of "toy PC" these days.

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 1) 331

by Mal-2 (#49360231) Attached to: Amazon Requires Non-Compete Agreements.. For Warehouse Workers

I don't window-shop Newegg to buy from Amazon. I use Amazon to sanity-check Newegg's prices, true, but Newegg doesn't have to be the absolute cheapest option. (There is quite a bit of stuff Newegg simply doesn't have, though.)

Of course, it helps that I live less than thirty miles from two Newegg warehouses, and stuff I order usually shows up in two days (and without having the crap beaten out of it as sometimes happens with cross-country shipments).

Comment: It's obvious. (Score 1) 378

by Mal-2 (#49360093) Attached to: Modern Cockpits: Harder To Invade But Easier To Lock Up

Apparently the problems always seem to arise when one of the cockpit crew steps out to use the restroom.

What if they never had to do that again?

Add another lavatory accessible only from inside the cockpit. Fit it with a negative pressure design so air continually flows into it, never out, and there won't be an odor problem.

Comment: Re:Symmetric mouse (Score 1) 199

by Mal-2 (#49350987) Attached to: What Makes the Perfect Gaming Mouse?

Don't think its possible; I don't think windows or any other OS actually supports multiple mice having independently operatable cursors. At least I've never seen it.

There was something called "OtherMouse" which did precisely this. You got a red cursor for your second device (mirrored if desired), in addition to the usual black one. Oddly, it seems to have vanished.

Comment: Reminds me of NAMM. (Score 2) 326

by Mal-2 (#49350799) Attached to: RSA Conference Bans "Booth Babes"

When I went to Winter NAMM back in 2010 or 2011 (can't remember any more), very few booths had "booth babes". There were plenty of women there who knew what they were selling, and some of them dressed up for the occasion while others did not. (Some of the guys wore suits while others wore cutoffs and sandals, too.) Nobody had a problem with this.

That would be my simple defining line. If they know enough to answer questions helpfully, they're legitimate employees no matter how they're dressed or which gender they are. If they don't, then they're hangers-on in some capacity. This is not necessarily a problem, but hangers-on should not be used as eyecandy. If the vendor's kids are milling around, and dressed up in an eye-catching way, this is not a problem. It makes some level of sense that they'd be there, even if they don't really know the business aspect. What should be deemed a problem is hiring random people specifically for the event solely because they're good looking. If they're both good looking and adequately trainable as to be decent sales reps, more power to them.


Generate Memorizable Passphrases That Even the NSA Can't Guess 262

Posted by timothy
from the exercise-for-the-reader dept. writes Micah Lee writes at The Intercept that coming up with a good passphrase by just thinking of one is incredibly hard, and if your adversary really is capable of one trillion guesses per second, you'll probably do a bad job of it. It turns out humans are a species of patterns, and they are incapable of doing anything in a truly random fashion. But there is a method for generating passphrases that are both impossible for even the most powerful attackers to guess, yet very possible for humans to memorize. First, grab a copy of the Diceware word list, which contains 7,776 English words — 37 pages for those of you printing at home. You'll notice that next to each word is a five-digit number, with each digit being between 1 and 6. Now grab some six-sided dice (yes, actual real physical dice), and roll them several times, writing down the numbers that you get. You'll need a total of five dice rolls to come up with each word in your passphrase. Using Diceware, you end up with passphrases that look like "cap liz donna demon self", "bang vivo thread duct knob train", and "brig alert rope welsh foss rang orb". If you want a stronger passphrase you can use more words; if a weaker passphrase is ok for your purpose you can use less words. If you choose two words for your passphrase, there are 60,466,176 different potential passphrases. A five-word passphrase would be cracked in just under six months and a six-word passphrase would take 3,505 years, on average, at a trillion guesses a second.

After you've generated your passphrase, the next step is to commit it to memory.You should write your new passphrase down on a piece of paper and carry it with you for as long as you need. Each time you need to type it, try typing it from memory first, but look at the paper if you need to. Assuming you type it a couple times a day, it shouldn't take more than two or three days before you no longer need the paper, at which point you should destroy it. "Simple, random passphrases, in other words, are just as good at protecting the next whistleblowing spy as they are at securing your laptop," concludes Lee. "It's a shame that we live in a world where ordinary citizens need that level of protection, but as long as we do, the Diceware system makes it possible to get CIA-level protection without going through black ops training."

Comment: You'll just end up in the Purple Squirrel bind. (Score 1) 149

by Mal-2 (#49325505) Attached to: Obama To Announce $240M In New Pledges For STEM Education

There's no point trying to guess what employers will want by the time you get done spending anywhere from four to ten years chasing down the education they think you need for that job.

You'll never be the Purple Squirrel,
You'll never even see one.
'Cause I can tell you anyhow,
They'd rather H1B one.

Comment: 2x PCIe 2 vs. 4x PCIe 3 (Score 4, Informative) 204

by Mal-2 (#49325225) Attached to: Apple Doubles MacBook Pro R/W Performance

The raw bandwidth available for transfers isn't doubled, it's quadrupled. PCIe 3.0 is twice as fast as PCIe 2.0, channel for channel, so the bandwidth would have doubled even if they had not added two more channels. They doubled it in two different ways at the same time.

That said, the old flash was probably not being that badly constricted by the older standard, and the current generation is only capable of twice the throughput. However, adding even more bandwidth than that is a nice bit of future-proofing and quite welcome.

Comment: Geekhack and Deskthority. (Score 1) 452

by Mal-2 (#49277279) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Good Keyboard?

You should be aiming this question at forums where people do nothing but ponder keyboards all day, such as the above mentioned Geekhack and Deskthority.

I personally use a Cherry G86 series keyboard. It's pretty nice as rubber domes go, has a width equal to or less than that of any tenkeyless (without actually having to be tenkeyless), and has loads of programmable keys.

If you want something with a nice tactile feel that isn't loud, turn your eye toward something with Topre switches, such as Realforce. They don't come cheap, but they have garnered praise from many keyboard snobs. Basically they're about as good as rubber domes get, which is why you'll pay a mechanical keyboard price for them. I believe Cooler Master even offers a version with Cherry MX compatible stems, if you're into customizing your keys.

Computers will not be perfected until they can compute how much more than the estimate the job will cost.