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Comment: Re:Finally something I can comment on... (Score 1) 100

by Megane (#48890039) Attached to: U.S. Gas Stations Vulnerable To Internet Attacks

The thing is, unless the control system is set up to shut down the site (that "positive shut-down" thing is new to me), gas pumps (just like honey badger) don't care what the tank level is and will continue to dispense fuel until it goes dry.

I wrote code for automated gas station stuff back in the late '90s (6809 assembly code to talk to the pump and terminal; Gilbarco, Wayne, Tokheim and Schlumberger were the brands back in the day), and late one afternoon when I was on-site at a unattended station (we were testing cash acceptors), suddenly nobody could get gas. I was worried at first because I thought my code might have been the problem. Turned out that the tank of regular had gone dry, so you could only get premium. Because the site used "blender" pumps, you couldn't get mid-grade either. The pumps were apparently smart enough to know not to give you pure premium when this happened.

...which brings up the main point of having a tank monitor. It's not to tell the pumps or the unattended site control when the gas is empty, they know from the lack of product, it's to tell the company running the station when they need to send a truck out. So this is just as likely if not more so to cause an unnecessary truck roll.

Comment: Re:price hack? (Score 1) 100

by Megane (#48889971) Attached to: U.S. Gas Stations Vulnerable To Internet Attacks

Yep, I worked on software to talk to gas pumps back in the late '90s. The gallons to price stuff happens entirely in the pump. The various prices are all sent to the pump in advance, and it knows which to use based on what grade button the user presses. It then reports gallons and price back when the hose handle is hung up.

You could possibly fool the system into turning on the pumps without the accounting system knowing, but there are low-tech odometers in gas pumps for actual gallons dispensed, and eventually someone will notice that the numbers don't match up, basically an inventory problem.

+ - Tracking Down How Many (Or How Few) People Actively Use Google+

Submitted by BarbaraHudson
BarbaraHudson (3785311) writes "Business Insider is reporting that almost nobody is publicly active on Google+ From his 2015 analysis particularly, Morbius covers hundreds of Google+ profiles in detail. "We've got a grand spanking total of 24 profiles out of 7,875 whose 2015 post activity isn't YouTube comments but Google+ posts. That a 0.3% rate of all profile pages, going back to our 2.2 billion profiles. No wonder Dave Besbris (Google+ boss) doesn't want to talk about numbers,"

For those interested in duplicating this, both the methodology and the scripts used can be found here."

+ - Google stopped making Glassholes, not Google Glass->

Submitted by smaxp
smaxp (2951795) writes "When people who didn't code got their hands on Glass, things started to go very wrong. Glass made this group feel specially chosen and entitled – that they were somehow Google Glass ambassadors. And this group wasn't made up of just reserved software developer types; it included a disproportionate share of extroverted, attention-seeking publicity hounds. Hence the term "Glasshole." "
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:betteridge's law of headlines (Score 1) 488

by Megane (#48851017) Attached to: Windows 10: Can Microsoft Get It Right This Time?

Murphy only applies to bad improbable things happening. Microsoft getting something right would be a good improbable thing.

As there are many somethings to get right, they'll always get a few of them right by accident, but nobody can remember what they did right in Vista and 8.0 because there was so much bad.

Comment: Re:No. (Score 1) 556

by Megane (#48843699) Attached to: Obama: Gov't Shouldn't Be Hampered By Encrypted Communications
That's great when you can get the communication as text. It's another thing when it's only spoken, and could possibly have phonemes that are not identifiable or can be differentiated by most non-speakers. Would you be able do a "simple substitution" on people speaking a tonal language like Chinese to each other? And Japanese is really poor in phonemes, especially vowels, compared to other languages, which probably put them at more of a disadvantage than others would have been.

Comment: Re:Convenience stores have better video coverage (Score 2) 248

by Megane (#48833541) Attached to: SpaceX Landing Attempt Video Released

The "garbled footage" was a radio signal from the incoming first stage. Getting good communications from a vehicle during re-entry is a hard problem. And a GoPro (at least before this landing attempt) wouldn't have helped much because it would have been on the ocean floor along with the rest of the rocket.

And in the case of this particular landing attempt, it was before sunrise in heavy fog.

+ - Lost Beagle2 probe found 'intact' on Mars->

Submitted by Stolga
Stolga (3985589) writes "The missing Mars robot Beagle2 has been found on the surface of the Red Planet, apparently intact.

High-resolution images taken from orbit have identified its landing location, and it looks to be in one piece.

The UK-led probe tried to make a soft touchdown on the dusty world on Christmas Day, 2003, using parachutes and airbags — but no radio contact was ever made with the probe.

Many scientists assumed it had been destroyed in a high-velocity impact."

Link to Original Source

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