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Comment: Re:Privacy (Score 1) 38

by Okian Warrior (#48929167) Attached to: Amazon Takes On Microsoft, Google With WorkMail For Businesses

Though you have to trust AWS with the plain text at some time since every mail server and client has to hand the message over in plain text (it may come in over an encrypted tunnel, but it needs to be decrypted by their mailservers).

Huh, I didn't know that.

If figured that the message body and subject text could be encrypted separately from the routing (and other) header information.

Today, I learned.

Comment: Privacy (Score 5, Insightful) 38

by Okian Warrior (#48928925) Attached to: Amazon Takes On Microsoft, Google With WorkMail For Businesses

My top priorities for email service are quality of spam filtering, support for unlimited aliases, search, and rules. I think labels work better than folders for categorization. I have not found any Amazon documentation which addresses these issues.

My top priority is privacy.

Does their service have built-in encryption, such that they cannot decrypt the message contents?

I can do spam filtering, searching, and other rule-based operations on my home system. What I *can't* do locally is prevent others from sticking their noses in my business.

Whether it be my ISP adding ads to the data stream for goods and services I might be interested in, or the website provider tailoring ads for goods and services that might be of interest to me, or my home country looking for perceived criminal activity, or someone *else's* country looking to steal corporate secrets or leverage me into forced compliance, or any of a number of other reasons.

Of late I'm actually pretty interested in the privacy aspect.

How high up on your list of priorities is privacy?

Comment: Re:Not their fault (Score 1) 390

by hey! (#48918827) Attached to: "Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms

Something worth considering. We associate snow with cold, so it's tempting to see more and frequent snowstorms as disproof that the planet is warning. However temperature is only one of the constraints on snow. The other is moisture.

I have lived here in Boston over fifty years, and in the 60s and 70s the December climate was bitterly cold and *bone dry*. In recent decades there has been a marked tendency toward warmer AND wetter Decembers and Januaries, and thus frequent significant snow storms in December (almost unheard of) and January (rare until the 90s).

This storm was particularly intense, and in my town got two feet or more. This has happened on six prior occasions, once in 1888, and five times since 1969.

Comment: Re:Think you're immune from attacks? (Score 5, Funny) 205

by grcumb (#48918067) Attached to: Serious Network Function Vulnerability Found In Glibc

Don't be so glib, see?

I'll be here all night folks. Tip your servers. Make sure they're bolted in, though.

Don't blow your stack if nobody applauds. It's just that we're overflowing with bad puns, and the funny bits get flipped around, and in the end all we see is some stupid zero on the stage who's only in it for the cache anyway.

Comment: Re:Heartbleed (Score 2, Insightful) 205

by grcumb (#48918007) Attached to: Serious Network Function Vulnerability Found In Glibc

Will you please actually read the quote rather than quoting an inorrect interpretation. The quote is:

"given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow"

It means that once a bug is found, it is shallow, i.e. quick and easy to solve for someone. It doesn't and never did mean that all bugs will be found.

Actually, it's unfortunate, but I think he did mean that:

Given a large enough beta-tester and co-developer base, almost every problem will be characterized quickly and the fix will be obvious to someone.

That's his longer version of the same slogan - literally the next sentence in the essay.

It's possible to read that as meaning that every problem —once it's been found— will be fixed quickly and relatively easily, but Occam's razor says that we should understand discovery of the problem to be implicit in this statement.

But... you are right to say that FOSS is far better at fixing known bugs than proprietary software. By the late '90s, I was so sick of having my professional reputation as a systems software developer tarnished by bugs, poor quality and stupid release cycles that I stopped supporting Windows entirely. Dropped the entire proprietary ecosystem and moved to Linux and FOSS. I can't say it's been perfect, but I've slept way better since then.

Comment: Re:Hear Hear! (Score 2) 390

by Rei (#48917379) Attached to: "Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms

Ah, Americans and their "mammoth snowstorms" - try living on a rock in the middle of the North Atlantic. You know what we call a snowstorm with gale-force winds and copious precipitation? Tuesday ;) Our last one was... let's see, all weekend. The northwest gets hit by another gale-force storm tomorrow. The southeast is predicted to get hurricane-force winds on Thursday morning.

Here's what the job of someone dispatched to maintain antennae for air traffic control services has to deal with here. ;) (those are guy wires)

Comment: Re:Visible from Earth? (Score 1) 124

by Rei (#48915031) Attached to: Proposed Space Telescope Uses Huge Opaque Disk To Surpass Hubble

A sun-like star is about 1 1/2 million kilometers in diameter. To blot out all light from such a star that's 10 light years away, a 0,75 kilometer diameter disc could be no more than 1/200.000th of a light year, or around 50 million kilometers (1/3rd the distance between the earth and the sun).

The brightest star in the sky is Sirius A. It has a diameter of 2,4 million km and a distance of 8.6 light years. This means your shade could be no more than 25 million kilometers away.

The sun and the moon both take up about the same amount of arc in the night sky so would be about equally difficult to block; let's go with the sun for a nice supervillian-ish approach. 1,4m km diameter, 150m km distance means it'd be able to block the sun at 800km away. Such an object could probably be kept in a stable orbit at half that altitude, so yeah, you could most definitely block out stars with the thing - including our sun!

Comment: Re:keeping station behind it? (Score 1) 124

by Rei (#48914773) Attached to: Proposed Space Telescope Uses Huge Opaque Disk To Surpass Hubble

It makes sense. We can radiate individual photons for thrust if so desired. We can move individual electrons from one position in a spacecraft to another for tiny adjustments of angle and position if so desired. It seems you're going to be much more limited by your ability to precisely track your target than by your ability to make fine adjustments.

I think a much bigger problem is going to be isolating standing waves from within the shielding material from distorting its perfect rim (with a shield that big and thin, there *will* be oscillations from even the slightest thrust inputs). You need to isolate the rim from the shielding. And you also need to make sure that you can have a rim that can be coiled up for launch but uncoil to such perfection in space.

Tough task... but technically, it should be possible.

Comment: Re:No (Score 3, Insightful) 124

by Rei (#48914527) Attached to: Proposed Space Telescope Uses Huge Opaque Disk To Surpass Hubble

I would presume that the bulk material in the inside has no need for accuracy, only the very rim. The question is more of whether you can have a coiled material that when uncoiled (deployment) can return to a shape with that level of accuracy. I would think it possible, but I really don't know.

I would forsee a super-precise rim with just a small bit of light shielding on its inside, deployed via uncoiling, and then attached to a much stronger, less precise uncoiled ring to which the bulk shielding material (and stationkeeping ion thrusters) are attached. The attachment between the two would need to provide for vibration and tension isolation (even the slowest adjustments in angle of such a huge, thin shield are going to set in motion relevant vibrations, you've got almost no damping - you want the structural ring to deal with those and not transfer them through to the precision ring). Not to mention that your shield will be acting as a solar sail whether you like it or not (unless you're at L2... but then your craft better be nuclear powered).

Your telescope behind it is going to need to do some real precision stationkeeping (either extreme precision on the whole spacecraft positioning, or merely "good" positioning of the whole spacecraft plus extreme precision adjustment of the optics within) . This means long development times and costs to demonstrate that you can pull it off before you actually build the shield. But I would think that also possible - just very difficult. If they take the latter route they could probably demonstrate that here on Earth, which would be a big cost-saver.

Comment: Re: Scaled Composites renamed (Score 1) 38

by jd (#48909771) Attached to: Virgin Galactic Dumps Scaled Composites For Spaceship Two

Solar sail can achieve 25% light speed, according to NASA, and Alpha Centauri is 4 light years away.

You want a manned mission (with robots doing all the actual work) to determine if the conventional wisdom that a manned mission to the outer planets is physically impossible is correct. Even if the pilot dies, you learn the furthest a manned mission can reach. There's seven billion people, you can afford to expend one or two. Ideally, they'd be volunteers and there'll be no shortage of them, but if you're concerned about valuable life, send members of the Tea Party.

Comment: Re:Risk is part of the job last I checked (Score 2) 454

by Okian Warrior (#48909727) Attached to: Police Organization Wants Cop-Spotting Dropped From Waze App

Where is this shit coming from? How did you get voted so highly?

Police who commit misconduct of any kind is are the extreme minority.[...]

Here's a concrete example for you.

Cleveland Cops recently shot a black teenager who had an air-pistol.

That's OK, because the air pistol is indistinguishable from a real pistol (the red tip had been removed), and the police followed proper procedure. In a statement given to the press, the police described how the teenager had been told three times to raise his hands, and when he didn't comply and went for the pistol, he was shot twice and killed.

No problem, it wasn't a black-on-white issue, the police were responding to a call, it really *really* looked like he had a pistol, and he didn't respond to repeated commands to surrender.

...except that video of the shooting shows police opening fire less than 2 seconds after arriving on the scene, and neither [of the two policemen] administered first aid to Rice after the shooting.

The entire police force closed ranks and kept quiet while the department made an official statement that was a complete falsification of the evidence, in order for two officers to shirk legal responsibility. The police didn't release the surveillance video until public pressure forced them to.

So enlighten me, I'm confused. Which of the police in the Cleveland police force are *not* guilty of aiding and abetting a crime?

Comment: Re: Scaled Composites renamed (Score 1) 38

by jd (#48909107) Attached to: Virgin Galactic Dumps Scaled Composites For Spaceship Two

No big surprise. The military are willing to invest what it takes for what they need. Military entities are, by necessity, pitifully naive when it comes to anything useful, but once they specify what they think they want, they don't shirk at the cost, they get the job done. A pointless job, perhaps, but nonetheless a completed job.

The corporate sector wants money. Things don't ever have to get done, the interest on monies paid is good enough and there hasn't been meaningful competition in living memory. Because one size never fits all, it's not clear competition is even what you want. Economic theory says it isn't.

The only other sector, as I have said many times before, that is remotely in the space race is the hobbyist/open source community. In other words, the background behind virtually all the X-Prize contestants, the background behind the modern waverider era, the background that the next generation of space enthusiasts will come from (Kerbel Space Program and Elite: Dangerous will have a similar effect on the next generation of scientists and engineers as Star Trek the old series and Doctor Who did in the 1960s, except this time it's hands-on).

I never thought the private sector would do bugger all, it's not in their blood. They're incapable of innovation on this kind of scale. It's not clear they're capable of innovation at all, all the major progress is bought or stolen from researchers and inventors.

No, with civilian government essentially walking away, there's only two players in the field and whilst the hobbyists might be able to crowdsource a launch technology, it'll be a long time before they get to space themselves. The military won't get there at all, nobody to fight, so the hobbyists will still be first with manned space missions, but it's going to take 40-50 years at best.

We have the technology today to get a manned mission to Alpha Centauri and back. It would take 15-20 years for the journey and the probability of survival is poor, but we could do it. By my calculations, it would take 12 years to build the components and assemble them in space. Only a little longer than it took for America to get the means to go to the moon and back. We could actually have hand-held camera photos taken in another solar system and chunks of rocky debris from the asteroid belt there back on Earth before Mars One launches its first rocket AND before crowdfunded space missions break the atmosphere.

All it takes is putting personal egos and right wing politics on the shelf, locking the cupboard and then lowering it into an abandoned mineshaft, which should then be sealed with concrete.

To restore a sense of reality, I think Walt Disney should have a Hardluckland. -- Jack Paar