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Comment: Democrats are more racist than Republicans (Score 0) 88

by Taco Cowboy (#47952383) Attached to: Why a Chinese Company Is the Biggest IPO Ever In the US

What a racist comment. You must be a Republican

I am a Chinese. I was born in China but has been an American for almost 4 decades

I can tell you one thing about America --- The average Democrats are more racist than the average Republicans

The Republicans might be more conservatives but they are also pragmatic. On the other hand the Democrats may call themselves "liberals" but their so-called "liberalism" is laced with a very strong anti-Chinese sentiment

The perfect example is Hillary Clinton - that broad is an all-out anti-Chinese racist --- even when she was still the "First Lady" her first visit to China (attending a "women conference" in Beijing, back in the mid 1990's) her first speech (she gave a keynote speech for that conference) was lambasting the Chinese people, the host of the conference, with all the vile racist diatribe she could find

I am not saying that there are no racist in the Republican camp, but if compare to those from the Donkey party, there are fewer racist Elephants

Comment: There is a lot we need for long term archiving (Score 4, Informative) 42

by mlts (#47952261) Attached to: Data Archiving Standards Need To Be Future-Proofed

The problem is that we do have formats that do work for long term archiving, but are limited to a platform and are not open, so decoding them in the future may be problematic.

WinRAR is one example. It has the ability to do error detection and correction with recovery records. However, it is a commercial product.

PAR records are another way, but it is a relatively clunky mechanism for long term storage.

Even medium term storage on disk/tape can be problematic:

There is one standard for backup programs for tape, and that is tar. Very useful format, but zero error correction or detection, other than reading and looking for hard errors. There are tons of backup programs that work with tapes. Networker, TSM, NetBackup, and many others come to mind, all using a different format. Of course, once you get the program, there is still finding the registration key, and some programs require online activation (which means when the activation servers get shut off, you can never do a restore from scratch again.) We need one archive grade standard for tape, perhaps with a standard facility for encryption as well.

Same with disks. It wasn't until recently that there was any bit rot detection in filesystems at all. Now with ReFS, Storage Spaces, ZFS, and btrfs, we now can tell if a file is damaged... but none of the filesystems have the ability to store ECC on an entire (other than ZFS and ditto blocks.) It would be nice to have part of a filesystem be a large area for ECC on a block basis. It would take some optimization for performance, but adding ECC in the filesystem is more geared for long term storage than day to day file I/O.

Finally there is paper. Other than limited stuff on QR codes, there isn't any real way to print a document onto paper, then scan it to get it back. There was a utility called Paperbak that purported to do this, offering encryption, error correction, various DPI codes, and so on. It printed well, but could never scan and read any of the documents printed, so it is worthless. What is needed is something like the Paperbak utility, but with a lot more robust error detection (like checking of blocks are at an angle similar to how QR codes can be scanned from any direction.) This utility would have to be completely open for it to have any use at all. However, if it could be done to print small documents to paper, it would help greatly in some situations, such as recovering encryption keys, archived tax documents, and so on.

Ironically, in general, we have the formats for long term storage. We just don't have any that are open.

Hardware is an issue too. Hard drives are not archival media. Tapes are, but one with a reasonable capacity is expensive, well out of reach for all but the enterprise customers. It would be a viable niche for a company to make a relatively low cost tape drive that could work on USB 3, has a large buffer (combined with variable tape speeds to prevent shoe-shining), and has backup software with it that is usable and open, where the formats can be re-engineered years down the road for decoding.

Comment: Re:First (Score 1) 19

by mlts (#47952105) Attached to: Dropbox and Google Want To Make Open Source Security Tools Easy To Use

How about an open source cloud sync API, that allows machines to sync with the offsite provider, as well as each other. That way, each provider doesn't need to reinvent the wheel with this code.

Even better, add hooks for encryption, either a symmetric key, or some faculty that uses public/private key encryption to allow files to be stored without a key, but would need the private key for retrieval.

Best of all would be a way to have a low-cost, low-volume service like Amazon Glacier and an API for that. That way, files can be flagged to be sent to the low-cost storage service every so often.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 2) 68

by mlts (#47951925) Attached to: Microsoft Kills Off Its Trustworthy Computing Group

I found that this technology has two edges to it. The first is its use for DRM, but the second is something I've found useful.

A TPM chip can come in handy with BitLocker. It means that brute forcing a drive's password becomes not an option, as an attacker is faced with the full 128 or 256 bit keyspace of AES. Unless an attacker can uncap the TPM chip, brute forcing a password will only cause the chip to lock due to excessive attempts and not allow access in any way.

It also provides peace of mind. With a TPM + PIN + USB flash drive, if my laptop gets stolen, if I have the USB flash drive on my keychain, I know the laptop's contents are protected. Even if the keychain is stolen, there is still the PIN which has to be guessed. If the MBR or BIOS are modified, it will be detected, and not allow the machine to boot. Not 100% security (XKCD rubber hoses and cold RAM attacks will beat it for example), but good enough.

Problem is that this type of technology to ensure malware hasn't tampered with the boot process tends to be far more often used to keep legitimate people out of their device rather than to allow legitimate device owners to keep control of their data.

Comment: Re:I've never shorted a stock (Score 1) 68

by mlts (#47951903) Attached to: Microsoft Kills Off Its Trustworthy Computing Group

There was one major feature, and two "features" added to XP:

1: The zone/firewalling support. This is actually useful just to keep dodgy apps from opening up a port or ensuring nothing can connect directly. Third parties like Zone Alarm had this functionality, but would keep prompting the user for every single connection, so eventually users would just click "allow all and don't bug me", and be done with it.

2: Secure Audio Path, where anything protected with WMA's DRM could only play on a stack of signed audio drivers.

3: Activation.

Of course, there were some other minor tweaks here and there, but the leap from W2K to XP wasn't groundbreaking. Windows 3.11 to Windows 95 was a major leap in virtually everything. The second greatest leap was with the server side -- Windows 2000 Server from NT Server was a nice leap for servers because the whole model of NT domains was changed to be a lot more scalable.

The reason why XP was considered decent is because it was out for a long time and people got used to it. On the server side of the house, Windows Server 2003 is still supported until July 14 of next year... but most places have moved to at least Windows Server 2008 if not newer just because of the better security in more recent versions.

Comment: Re:Repair (Score 1) 52

by sjames (#47951461) Attached to: Inside Shenzen's Grey-Market iPhone Mall

I keep seeing things with several regular screws and one a funky type (security torx and such), If they want to make it tamper evident, put a dot of acrylic on the screw,

Then there's clips that will snap together to make a tight fit exactly once. And of course the stupid plastic rivets.

I have no idea what devices you are seeing.

Comment: Re:Here's why (Score 1) 218

by TapeCutter (#47951449) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Avoid Becoming a Complacent Software Developer?

there's a good chance that people problems become more interesting that software problems

I'm 55, this is true, but it hasn't diminished my interest in software, it's just something else that fascinates me and just happens to be the root cause as to why "work sucks" sometimes. My Dad is 80, a retired mechanical engineer, last we spoke about programming he had got one of his games he wrote in Delphi running on android and was playing with the python graphics library.

Comment: Nobody has solved the "work" problem. (Score 1) 218

by TapeCutter (#47951351) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Avoid Becoming a Complacent Software Developer?
Solving coding problems the fun part. The work part is getting the solution to the customer, ironically few engineers are willing to tackle the work problem, or accept other people's solutions to it. So what you generally end up with is an imposed solution from above that doesn't work because the people who wrote the process haven't got a clue how the engineers are currently keeping it together. Rather than tackling the problem by demonstrating a superior answer, the engineers do their best to pretend the work problem doesn't exist.

BTW: If you're solving the "same [coding?] problem over and over again", you're doing it wrong

Comment: Re:For many it's not burnout but disillusion (Score 1) 218

by TapeCutter (#47951263) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Avoid Becoming a Complacent Software Developer?
I mostly agree but I would say that a good engineer provides (and meets) a deadline of his own making. Good managers have clear business plans but they can't create them if software systems randomly pop out of the basement shouting "surprise". The most overlooked and underrated skill for a "professional" engineer is business administration skills (and vica-versa with PHB's). Someone who speaks both languages is far more useful than someone who speaks only his native tongue.

Yeah it's easy to become disillusioned, if you don't have the political clout to organise your own work and "lead by example" to meet their vague goals, then get it or get out. If you do have some influence then vague, numerous, and ever changing management goals are your best weapon against the idiocracy, simply pick the brain farts that give you license to do TheRightThing(tm) and politely deflect the others.

*you - the royal version.

Comment: Re:Cut cut cut (Score 1) 103

by Grishnakh (#47951227) Attached to: Microsoft Lays Off 2,100, Axes Silicon Valley Research

It's actually a good strategy for MS, I think, and I believe Ballmer screwed up by not following this strategy.

For other companies, it only works in the short term because their competitors win in the long term because without good employees, the company can't develop new products. However, for MS, this just isn't a concern. They're a monopoly in many markets, especially in business software; companies aren't going to suddenly stop buying Windows, Exchange, Office/Outlook, etc. MS can milk their existing customers for a couple of decades I think, and could easily jack up prices greatly.

Comment: Re:Where's the bottom? (Score 1) 103

by Grishnakh (#47951207) Attached to: Microsoft Lays Off 2,100, Axes Silicon Valley Research

I think MS (and their products) will get worse before this gets better.

Doesn't matter, people will still buy MS products no matter what. Businesses aren't going to wean themselves from MS's enterprise software anytime soon. This was a good decision: the research efforts were costing money which wasn't being made up in new sales.

MS's best course of action is to cut out as much R&D as possible and other bottom-line costs, and then try to extract as much money from existing customers as possible by jacking up prices. Thanks to their monopoly position in several markets, this shouldn't be hard.

Comment: Re:ICANN sell to the highest bidder (Score 1) 53

by BitZtream (#47951187) Attached to: Amazon Purchases<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.buy TLD For $4.6 Million

We should expect more from people who post on slashdot ... sadly, its silly to have expectations.

TLDs have certain requirements associated with them, unless Amazon magically also has some super special secret deal that Google hasn't told the world about after losing ... then Amazon won't be able to monopolize or otherwise use the TLD to an unfair advantage.

They can set certain things related to how the TLD operates, but they don't get it all to themselves. They didn't buy a TLD for themselves, they bought the right to run a TLD under ICANNs guidelines.

Comment: Re:Expert. (Score 1) 306

That's a really good point. But I guess they could just disable bluetooth. I'm starting to wonder if today's Apple is as incredibly stupid as Sony was 10-15 years ago. Though, Apple might actually be right: the people who buy Apple stuff are such sheep they, unlike Sony's prospective customers a decade ago when they tried to push proprietary audio formats, might actually buy into Apple's proprietary junk.

"It's curtains for you, Mighty Mouse! This gun is so futuristic that even *I* don't know how it works!" -- from Ralph Bakshi's Mighty Mouse