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Comment: Re:So much feedback and yet Microsoft ignores it a (Score 3, Informative) 95

by Dutch Gun (#48201899) Attached to: Microsoft Introduces Build Cadence Selection With Windows 10

Not surprising about this post, or that it's modded insightful. After all, if anyone bother to read TFA, they'd see that Microsoft is already implementing user-requested changes. But hey, don't let facts ruin a good MS bashing.

Animation for switching desktops. One of the pieces of feedback that you gave us was that it was hard to know when you were switching desktops. We addressed your feedback by adding an animation to make it clear that you are switching. Check it out by creating some new desktops and moving between them.

Comment: Re:Aero yet (Score 1) 95

by Dutch Gun (#48201879) Attached to: Microsoft Introduces Build Cadence Selection With Windows 10

Because it's been displayed prominently in every Windows "Edit" menu for the past twenty years or so?

In fairness to Microsoft, I'm not sure how one would convey those particular shortcuts to users visually. Maybe they should be shown as part of the right click context menus from the title bar?

Comment: Re:It's great to see so much community feedback (Score 4, Insightful) 95

by Dutch Gun (#48200951) Attached to: Microsoft Introduces Build Cadence Selection With Windows 10

I think it's actually working, as they seem to actually be working on things that people are asking for. Testing on a very broad scale makes a lot of sense for a Windows release, since they obviously don't have that "Apple magic" which seems to be able to intuit what people want before they ask for it. You might as well instead let people give real feedback on small, incremental changes (and apparently they've been talking to their business customers very early in the process). It's a lot less sexy, but it's fundamentally pretty sound.

Of course, they're still stubbornly refusing to bring back Aero, which a lot of people really want. I don't particularly need a specific theme back, but I still think the flat & square look is a ridiculous designer-forced fad, and hopefully we'll see the end of it soon. I'm not going to update my Mac mini to Yosemite until I have to because Apple is drinking the same damn Kool-Aid at the moment.

I think backtracking on that particular theme is a bit dicey for them, though, because many of their internal applications bought into that ridiculous theme as well, so I think it would be problematic for too many egos to toss the "modern" theme too quickly. Microsoft Visual Studio is a good example where they jumped into that sort of theming whole hog, pissed off all their users, and are slowing backtracking away from their original designs and more towards VS2010, which most people seemed to really like.

Make no mistake, Microsoft is the same old same old. The only reason they're listening to their users is because their users flipped them the bird, financially speaking, after seeing Windows 8, and they can't afford to piss people off too much or they'll really start looking seriously for alternatives. One good thing about corporations is that they're entirely predictable when faced with the threat of declining revenues: they suddenly become very customer-centric.

Comment: Re:It may not be a *significant* factor ... (Score 2) 313

Ebola's almost complete lack of aerosol transmission is and will remain a substantial barrier to the population risk the disease poses

The thing is, what you're saying there is just plain implausible unless the air itself kills the viruses with remarkable efficiency, in which case it would survive for only minutes on a hard surface (like HIV), rather than hours (like influenza). From what I've read, it survives for hours on hard surfaces, which lends serious doubt to any claim that Ebola exhibits an "almost complete lack of aerosol transmission".

Just to be clear, I'm not saying that Ebola is airborne. It currently is not (or at least it is not currently believed to be). However, it is unsafe to assume that the way a virus behaves in Africa (hot weather, high humidity, little use of HVAC, mostly rural, families that stay home to care for the sick) will match the way it would behave in the United States (highly variable air temperatures, potentially low humidity because of the use of HVAC, heavily urban, people who go to work even when sick). Such a conclusion would be fundamentally invalid because it doesn't control for an absolutely insane number of variables.

In particular, with airborne diseases, propagation by aerosol transmission increases rather dramatically when the air is cold and the humidity is low (particularly when it is insanely low because of HVAC). That's one reason why the cold and flu season in the U.S. spikes markedly during the winter. In the parts of Africa where Ebola is currently found, the hot air temperature and relatively high humidity don't lend themselves to aerosol transmission. So there's a distinct possibility that the exact same strain of disease that is not airborne in Africa would be airborne in the United States.

Such temperature-dependent and humidity-dependent behavior would also be consistent with researchers' conclusions after an October 1989 lab incident in which the closely related Ebola Reston virus spread rapidly among physically isolated populations of lower primates. "Due to the spread of infection to animals in all parts of the quarantine facility, it is likely that Ebola Reston may have been spread by airborne transmission." (Beltz, Lisa. Emerging Infectious Diseases. 253)

Comment: Re: I believe you missed who the adversary is (Score 1) 107

by dgatwood (#48199889) Attached to: China Staging a Nationwide Attack On iCloud and Microsoft Accounts

https is and always was broken by design. It is, and never was, safe against a government adversary and it never will be.

Other than certificate pinning (which you can do with CA certs and SSL/TLS just as easily), describe a scheme that doesn't have this problem. No?

At some point, you have to have a trusted party to provide trust in a cert. Otherwise, you have nothing. And that trusted party can be compromised, at which point you have nothing.

Web of trust:

The closest thing I'm aware of to avoiding that involves a web of trust, where trust is distributed more, but without a central authority, there's no consistency in how well different parts of that web perform validation of the identity of the requestor, which results in even weaker trust than with a central authority.

Of course, you could set a trust policy that requires multiple signatures to trust a certificate, but at some point, you're still trusting random websites that you don't know, and whatever limit you set, a government could always exceed it. If you say that three sites must sign something for you to trust it, the government can find three sites that can be bribed, or even use their own sites to sign it.

Mind you, you could carefully craft trust policies, and then manually evaluate every certificate that fails to decide whether you trust it, and that would be more secure for people who are highly skilled at crypto, but for the average person, such a scheme would be much, much weaker.

DNS-based security:

Another proposal for reducing the importance of the CAs is putting the certs in DNS records. This ensures that only those who can mess with DNS can change the certs.

Unfortunately, most users rely on external DNS servers for recursion. If the government substitutes their own, they can refuse all DNSSec queries, and most users will be none the wiser. This effectively makes DNSSec useless until OS vendors make it mandatory by showing errors when it gets an unsigned response.

Comment: Re:Moral Imperialism (Score 1) 458

by dgatwood (#48199685) Attached to: Manga Images Depicting Children Lead to Conviction in UK

Since you don't seem to be able to recognize that drawings of children are not children, it seems to me that you're part of the problem.

Video games encourage you to (in character) kill other people. Do we see hundreds of gamers going out every day and killing people? Of course not. Why? Because normal, healthy people are capable of separating fantasy from reality. Anyone who can't is clinically insane—more specifically, psychotic.

In the same way, arousing sexual lust towards a drawing in a fantasy universe, regardless of the supposed age of the character in that drawing, does not result in any increased risk of people attacking actual children. People are either inclined to sexually abuse children or they aren't. The ones who are will do so even without being exposed to drawings of kids. The ones who are not so inclined won't sexually abuse children even if they are exposed to it.

IMO, simulated child porn is no different from simulated rape porn, simulated torture porn, or any number of other similarly disgusting things. It's fake, and the people who like it know that it is fake, but they derive sexual pleasure from the taboo act of pretending to do something that would be horrible if it were real. As far as I know, there's no evidence that such groups have a higher percentage of people who actually commit those acts than the general population. Thus, criminalizing those fantasies, no matter how disgusting you might personally consider them to be, does not serve a legitimate public interest.

Comment: Re:Wonder what brand is best now... Intel? (Score 1) 96

by Dutch Gun (#48199517) Attached to: Samsung Acknowledges and Fixes Bug On 840 EVO SSDs

No, I'll just agree with you. I own two Intel 120GB drives that have been running solidly for years. One is on my main programming workstation, so it gets pounded on daily, and the other is on my digital audio workstation. It's hard to extrapolate from small samples, but I went with the same brand as my former employer did when they installed SSDs, and I haven't been disappointed. Since the market has changed significantly from several years ago, I couldn't honestly tell someone that they're still the best - just that they were almost certainly so several years ago. However, it may very well be the case that Intel is still king of reliability.

And also, seriously... SSDs have been on the market for a while now, and companies are STILL getting the wear-leveling algorithm wrong? That's one of the most crucial components of an SSD. We saw a rash of problems like this with early SSDs, which was a little more excusable since the tech was brand new for just about everyone. This is simply poor QA, or at least a refusal to acknowledge or fix what QA actually found, which probably happens more often than anyone would like to admit.

Comment: Re:Old news (Score 1) 388

by Rei (#48194991) Attached to: NASA's HI-SEAS Project Results Suggests a Women-Only Mars Crew

Hmm, now I'm curious. A fighter may have a takeoff weight of say 15000kg. Let's say that the "short lean female" saves 40kg over an "average male". With the other reductions - clothing, oxygen, etc - you probably get down to maybe a 60kg savings. That's a 0,4% reduction in system mass. The rocket equation (applicable here too) probably boosts that up to about a 0,5% benefit in many regards. Still not that much

However, if you can shrink the cockpit , then you're looking at a much bigger advantage - possibly 100-200kg extra weight savings and maybe cutting 5-10% off the total aero drag. That could actually be a big deal - relevantly faster accelerations, top speed, range, etc.

You know that feeling when you're leaning back on a stool and it starts to tip over? Well, that's how I feel all the time. -- Steven Wright