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Comment: Re:Not this time: (Score 2) 261

by Martin Foster (#37859266) Attached to: Hackers Briefly Controlled US Government Satellites

Source: http://www.synonyms.net/synonym/surrender

surrender, yielding, capitulation, giving up, resignation, fall, forsaking, concession, surrender, resignation, conceding

Depending on your point of view these can apply as well: Withdraw, fall back, retreat.

So what does that say about English speaking countries?

Comment: Re:Tried it today (Score 3, Insightful) 470

by Martin Foster (#34994976) Attached to: LibreOffice 3.3 Released Today

I can come up with at least one example of the old user interface providing something ribbons were not making as easy to find. Under older versions of MS Word you double-click on the Header or Footer and you would be shown a toolbar that gave you options to insert Page Numbers, Total pages and so forth.

So if I wanted to, I could quickly do: Page/Total to get a 1/2 to show up at the bottom of the document.

Now under 2007, that toolbar dissapears and now I can insert Page numbers, none of which matched that exact format and none of which were simply a macro fill in. Hence, I had to dig through in order to find what I wanted. Go to Insert, and look about its not necessarily obvious. But eventually you can click on Quick Parts and Field and then select from a large list of macros.

Now that you do it once, you can create a template and never repeat the procedure. However, how was that any easier or more obvious then the old method?

Comment: Not the only project to work this way. (Score 5, Interesting) 183

by Martin Foster (#31238150) Attached to: MySQL's Influence On the GPL

MySQL caused a bit of a stir where I worked for the same reasons mentioned in the article. It is not always about doing the legwork, as anyone can pretty much take a few hours of research to find out licenses, variants in code and so forth.

What IS the problem however, is the fact that the GPL is a complex legal document and some companies don't want to pay the fees necessary for a small battalion of lawyers to confirm its use on a server platform or within a product. Its polar opposite the BSD license however is far easier for anyone to interpret and has a lot of legal precedence behind it.

The MySQL dual licensing issue reminds me of another project I encountered. iText PDF (http://www.itextpdf.com) is a Java open-source license that was traditionally released under the Mozilla Public License 1.1.

Oddly enough, just as their tutorials disappeared when the author of the library published a book. To which is used exclusively when asking for help in the forums, they also changed the license to the AGPL.

This seemed to be a way to force companies into buying their dual license. Apparently a lot of people used their product on a back-end servers to generate PDF invoices and so forth. By forcing the license change it meant that their changes to the code would have to be released and the viral nature of the AGPL forced the hands of many formerly legal products.

Fortunately, their MPL licensed version is only a few months older then their new code and oddly works with their Tutorial files they have hidden away in an old archive on Source forge.

Not that myself or my organization was opposed to licensing legally. However when you have a small, no fee, in house product being distributed within your organization and they are looking for 100$ US or more per instance for licensing fees, it rather makes it a hard pill to swallow.

MySQL had the same problem some of their fees seemed to range in the 300$ US per instance depending on the type of licensing involved and overhead of the company you used to get them. Some individuals at our organization recalls getting Oracle licenses for that price!

In a way, are these open source products or are they simply using the moniker as a way to attract people and force them into costly solutions?

Comment: Re:How do we know it's not already in use? (Score 1) 393

by Martin Foster (#30836654) Attached to: Newly-Found Windows Bug Affects All Versions Since NT

What about OpenBSD? The core distro has apparently gone through the rigours of auditing and I am sure that is dealing with a fair amount of lines of code.

Sure OpenBSD does not offer every bell and whistle in their distribution. It certainly shows that it can be done if you have the will and resources to do it.

Space

Big Dipper "Star" Actually a Sextuplet System 88

Posted by kdawson
from the toil-and-trouble dept.
Theosis sends word that an astronomer at the University of Rochester and his colleagues have made the surprise discovery that Alcor, one of the brightest stars in the Big Dipper, is actually two stars; and it is apparently gravitationally bound to the four-star Mizar system, making the whole group a sextuplet. This would make the Mizar-Alcor sextuplet the second-nearest such system known. The discovery is especially surprising because Alcor is one of the most studied stars in the sky. The Mizar-Alcor system has been involved in many "firsts" in the history of astronomy: "Benedetto Castelli, Galileo's protege and collaborator, first observed with a telescope that Mizar was not a single star in 1617, and Galileo observed it a week after hearing about this from Castelli, and noted it in his notebooks... Those two stars, called Mizar A and Mizar B, together with Alcor, in 1857 became the first binary stars ever photographed through a telescope. In 1890, Mizar A was discovered to itself be a binary, being the first binary to be discovered using spectroscopy. In 1908, spectroscopy revealed that Mizar B was also a pair of stars, making the group the first-known quintuple star system."

Comment: Re:Air Force people learn to shoot guns? (Score 1) 225

by Martin Foster (#28984385) Attached to: Playing a First-Person Shooter Using Real Guns

Not necessarily. Who does security of the perimeter around the air base? Who would defend the air base in war time conditions when the marines and army are out there holding the line?

Knowing how to defend your colleagues, the installation and yourself is not a waste of money. It's not like they are in a low risk job and will never be deployed overseas.

Of course if their training is almost meaningless and treated as a joke by those doing said training. Then I agree with you.

Comment: Re:Windows TCO (Score 1) 192

by Martin Foster (#28619775) Attached to: PC Invader Costs a Kentucky County $415,000

When mounting a filesystem under OpenBSD you can specify that any file within that mount cannot be executed. I find that this is very much a valuable flag (noexec) when you are mounting /tmp and /home as it pretty much prevents execution of files outside of expected areas.

http://www.openbsd.org/cgi-bin/man.cgi?query=mount&apropos=0&sektion=0&manpath=OpenBSD+Current&arch=i386&format=html

Of course if it is a script, nothing stops the person from calling the interpreter first. e.g. perl script.pl

Space

Ulysses Space Mission Finally Coming To an End 45

Posted by Soulskill
from the four-more-year-four-more-years dept.
Dusty writes "After several false alarms, the Ulysses Mission is finally ending. According to the Spacecraft Operations Manager's latest status report, the last track will be on 30th June 2009 from 15:25 until 20:20 UTC. 'We've tried to bolster our dwindling tracking allocation with some success by grabbing antenna time released on short notice (mostly by the Spitzer Project). However, weekly data return figures are now typically 10% or less. And soon, even 512 bps from 70m antennas will be a thing of the past.' Further details about Ulysses' 18-year mission are available from NASA and the ESA. We discussed the failing spacecraft last summer when it looked like its fuel was going to freeze, but through clever engineering, experts managed to squeeze out another year.
Security

The Path From Hacker To Security Consultant 96

Posted by Soulskill
from the curiosity-killed-the-cracker dept.
CNet has a series of interviews with former hackers who ran afoul of the law in their youth, but later turned their skills toward a profession in security consulting. Adrian Lamo discusses taking "normal every day information resources and [arranging] them in improbable ways," describing a time when he broke into Excite@Home's system and ended up answering help desk questions from their users. Kevin Mitnick, famous for gaining access to many high-profile systems, warns today's young hackers not to follow in his footsteps, saying, "A lot of pen testers today have done unethical things in their past during their learning process, especially the older ones because there was no opportunity to learn about security. Back in the '70s and '80s, it was all self-taught. So a lot of the old-school hackers really learned on other people's systems. And at the time, I couldn't even afford my own computer." Mark Abene explains how he got interested in phone phreaking, and how it led to a prison term and a career in computer security. Like Mitnick, he says that easy access to powerful modern computers removes part of the motivation for breaking into other systems.

Comment: Re:Cool story bro (Score 1) 420

by Martin Foster (#28039825) Attached to: Cola Consumption Can Lead To Muscle Problems

Your forgetting the effect that drinking diet can have on someone. They feel that they can consume more of something else because they are being 'good' about what they drink.

I recall an article on MacDonald's being lower calorie per meal then Subway because of the same thinking. First of all people would load up on condiments at Subway then get cookies and a real non-diet soda.

When tallied together, it was better calorie wise to have a Big Mac combo with a diet coke. Reasoning being that since they knew what they were eating was bad, they would adjust accordingly. The reverse however does not seem to apply.

Got this link from a quick Google search: http://www.diet-blog.com/archives/2007/09/04/subway_diners_eat_more_calories.php

Comment: Re:depends (Score 1) 1137

by Martin Foster (#27875057) Attached to: Your Commuting Costs By Car Vs. Train?

Not entirely unheard of if you are male, under 25, single and drive a car that is expensive to repair with a higher probability of causing accidents and damage. Insurance companies run profiles on everything and charge accordingly.

My insurance for a 6 year old Chrysler Neon was more expensive then a brand new Chevrolet Cavalier Z24 for example. Until recently, my wife paid less for insurance then I did. She has had three accidents in the last seven years and one of which was deemed at fault, while my record was clean.

That one always bothered me, since good behaviour was worth less then gender to the auto insurance industry.

Comment: Re:This is Only the Beginning (Score 2, Insightful) 247

by Martin Foster (#27701845) Attached to: Hundreds of Thousands of Chinese Black-Hats

SSBN's are not necessarily the trump card everyone makes them up to be. They are effective against other nuclear submarines such as the Alpha which is renowned for generating large amounts of self-noise.

They are not however overly effective against diesel-electric submarines that can move through the water with a lot less noise generation. I would assume that the Chinese has a fleet of Kilo-like class of diesel-electrics that would prevent or threaten naval operation close to their shores.

In the end, deterrence is one of the biggest factors. If stories from the Royal Australian Navy and their ilk is true and that they have been able to stalk and shadow carriers in their 'outdated' submarine technology, then the Americans would think twice before getting too close.

Comment: Re:pirate repellents (Score 3, Insightful) 830

by Martin Foster (#27691401) Attached to: Mariners Develop High Tech Pirate Repellents

There is no stable government in Somalia either. The lack of social system, education and so forth has in fact failed not only the pirates by their society as a whole. This is not the reason for the rampant piracy, especially when dealing with ships that are brining in food supplies.

This is good old fashioned greed, until recently it has been pretty much a win-win for the pirates. They were seldom if ever confronted and the return on investment was massive. With those conditions in place it created an environment similar to what we had with Privateering.

They claim to care about the over-fishing, the illegal dumping and so forth, but it boils down to greed. Especially when you see that it is not fishing vessels that are hit, but supply tankers with big fat cargos worth millions.

If they were there as social activists, they would be boarding vessels that actually created their problems and keeping them on their shores as a political statement. Not claiming million dollar bounties and going after the next ripe and defenceless target.

That's why they are so vocal about recent warship involvement. Their goose is cooked if world navies crack down.

If I'd known computer science was going to be like this, I'd never have given up being a rock 'n' roll star. -- G. Hirst

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