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Comment Re:OpenBSD? (Score 1, Interesting) 65 65

This list should clarify things a bit.
While OpenBSD had ASLR it is lacking in many other ways.
That is the thing with security, it isn't the doors you locked that matters, it's that single one you didn't lock that is the problem.

Hmmm... While I agree with you on the general principle, here are a couple of things, off the top of my head:

1. False positives ("Vulnerable" tests in your example) do exist, you know. How are you sure that OpenBSD (or FreeBSD) is vulnerable in such and such case? Have you created an exploit specifically for the things being tested by paxtest? Maybe OpenBSD has other capabilities

2. False negatives are also a thing. Even if paxtest says: "such-and-such is OK", how do you know if a clever hacker won't be able to find a way around the ASLR protection?

Also important: paxtest dates back to 2004, and, as far as I know, has never been updated since (web site here). Not that this is a bad thing, but ASLR, and security, has changed a lot since then...

Comment This is not a surprise (Score 1) 312 312

It would seem to the average person, there should be something prohibiting a person from attaching a weapon to a drone.

This has been coming for decades, and yet governments have been far too busy lining the pockets of members of the party in power to do anything about it. Donald Kingsbury predicted home-built cruise missiles in the '80's (in "The Moon Goddess and the Son").

It's been obvious since the early 90's that computing costs and hardware costs were falling so rapidly that anyone could do this on a budget of a few thousand dollars. That's now a few hundred dollars. And fully autonomous operation is not far in the future: it's just not that hard.

So the reason no one has done anything about this is that hardly anyone has been paying attention, and those of us who have believe that drone technology is worth the price of the risk posed by machines like this. There was simply no way to not get to this point without cutting off development of half-a-dozen technologies that are too important for too many things to ignore, not even counting the economic benefits of drones themselves.

Comment Re:Existing Law (Score 1) 312 312

Writing code is human action. As someone pointed about above, it would literally appear that a weapon fired by a loop would count as an automatic, but a weapon fired by a sequence of individual calls to the "pullTrigger" method would not be, because the act of writing each one of those "pullTrigger" calls would be an individual human action that resulted in the gun firing.

I'm not suggesting this would stand up in court--for all I know it might, but that's not knowable until it does--but serves as a nice illustration of how our categories start to break down in the face of new technology.

Comment Relationship between animal experience and autism (Score 1) 131 131

I've seen many claims that being a human with autism somehow gives you some special access to animal experiences. Since no one knows what animals actually experience, and pretty much everything we know about both animal evolution and autism tells us that a human with autism is if anything less likely than a neurotypical human to have sound insight into the lived experience of a domesticated harem-keeping herbivorous prey-animal with completely different evolved responses to external stimuli--since neurotypical humans are generally better than humans with autism at building models of other minds--does it bother you as a scientist to see these completely unfounded, unjustified and likely false claims made, despite the huge benefits they have had to marketing your personal brand, and the likely good your prominence in the field has done regarding the humane treatment of animals?

Comment Cashless adoption! AH! (Score 3, Informative) 294 294

Full Disclosure: yes, I live in Europe.

The largest cashless credit card payment system in France (Moneo) was just closed down very abruptly. Seems the whole ''cashless''/''contactless'' thing was just not profitable enough -- and not adopted enough -- to be continued.

Read all about it here:

In a place like Greece, for instance, it is well known that the vast majority of transactions are paid in cash, not using a credit card or anything.

I would take that kind of article with a large grain of salt on the side. Seems to me some bankers are declaring victory even before the war has started...

Comment Re:Nothing to see here, move along... (Score 1, Insightful) 195 195

This is where I have an issue. ANY piece of science than, in any way, might somehow make someone question the global warming dogma is immediately attacked and discredited.

Agreed: if this work was identical in every respect but said nothing about climate, no one would pay any attention to it. Instead, it "must be false" because it has been used by Denialists (somehow... it isn't clear to me how, but Denialists are insane so I guess it doesn't have to be).

My favorite response to this story from Warmists has been statements along the lines of, "The Little Ice Age was local to Europe and in any case caused by volcanic eruptions" (which result in global cooling.) It's a bit like the old Russian joke about "It was a long time ago and in any case it never happened."

It is possible but quite tricky to reconcile the claims that the Little Ice Age was both local and caused by volcanoes, but the people putting forward these arguments don't even try. They just spout whatever contradiction sustains their faith.

This is not to say AGW isn't real and doesn't deserve a significant policy response, including rapid building of modern nuclear plants to replace base-load coal, shifting of taxes from income to carbon emissions, and public money spent to support solar, storage and smarter grids. But many people who "believe in global warming" have decoupled themselves from the science, such that almost anything that happens will be spun in support of their beliefs.

Comment Re:Interesting study (Score 1) 195 195

The solar constant is 1360 W/m**2, so 0.2% reduction would be 2.7 W/m**2. Current anthropogenic climate contributions come out to about 1 W/m**2 (some decrease from aerosols, some increase from GHGs).

Only about 1/3 of that 2.7 W/m**2 is relevant at the surface, but it's still very much in the range of anthropogenic contributions to the terrestrial heat balance.

Submission + - What will happen in the Big One?->

Noryungi writes: The New Yorker published today a chilling account of what would happen in the case of a major earthquake (Magnitude 9 or higher) striking the Cascadia fault. Pretty much the whole West Coast of the USA and Canada is at risk, from Vancouver all the way down to Los Angeles and beyond. Most of the states and cities within this region are woefully under-prepared for something that may come tomorrow. Or the day after.
Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Gag orders (Score 5, Insightful) 138 138

Gag orders and national security letters have no place in the Land of the Free.

This should be too obvious to even be worth saying.

Except, of course, you are no longer in the "Land of the Free". Took you a while to realize it, I am afraid.

As someone wiser than me said: "Freedom of the press is fine, as long as *you* have a printing press".

The correct thing to do, then, would be to leak schematics and software on the Internet, and let the chips fall were they may. PGP got "opened" exactly in the same way, I expect this project to do the same.

Comment Re:All this means is that you can catch them (Score 1) 339 339

Either way... these goofballs are at their zenith already. Its all down hill from here.

This is my read on the situation as well, and the way you've reacted to the idiot who accused you of being an MRA is a nice example of how the future of this conversation will go: those of us who actually care about men's rights (because they are human rights) will continue to say the things we've been saying for years (decades, in my case) like, "Maybe living in a world where if someone dies on the job, there is a 92% chance they are male is bad thing?" People who are the argumentative equivalent of script kiddies will run their MRA script, and it'll bounce off the kind of thoughtful, fair and honest response you've given in this thread. The script kiddie will look like an abusive, angry, idiot, and that'll be the end of it.

There are two clouds in this silver-lining: the post-modern left is so well-entrenched in academia that it'll take a generation for it to die off, although the trend is already there. The theoretical underpinnings of post-structuralism are so astonishingly stupid that as the decades pass they are necessarily eroding. Now that their major proponents are all dead, the cults of personality that sustained the nonsense are no longer viable.

On the other hand, the post-modern right have come to dominant politics in the US and a few other places, particularly in Eastern Europe. They have absorbed the lessons of the left--particularly the notion that there is no objective truth, and what is accepted as truth is simply a social construct enforced on everyone by the strongest political bloc--and run with it as a pragmatic template for governance. The current crop of GOP and GOP-lite candidates in the US are all blatant serial liars, from Jeb Bush to Hilary Clinton, and their supporters are completely incapable of changing their minds when presented by mere facts.

Detecting lies won't slow these people down unless we make a concerted effort to systematically make facts matter.

Comment Re:Oh boy! (Score 1) 172 172

Yeah, I've gotta say I'm within a hair of dumping Firefox. I'm not a Chrome fan, and IE is just not on. I've tried some other open source browsers and they have the usability of a jello hammer.

At this point I'd be willing to pay money for a browser that just didn't flatline my CPU every time I loaded a page, that didn't stall for tens of seconds at random intervals (this is after I turned off hardware acceleration, which make things tens times worse on Windows in 38) and is simply, utterly and completely unusable on Amazon.

Why these basic usability metrics aren't the first priority for Firefox developers is beyond me. The changelog seems full of completely irrelevant stuff that's just going to bloat things more.

Dunno... maybe it's time to hold my nose and move to Chrome, but Firefox has so many features I like and know well that I'm loathe to do so. It feels churlish complaining about software I don't pay for, but I'm not sure why Firefox is being shipped any more. It certainly isn't to satisfy user needs, because it doesn't.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 80 80

Every laptop I've ever had died from hinge-strain breaking the hinges.

This just seems like the worst of bad ideas possible. And it hinges on the side? God, that's going to put tremendous strain on parts of the screen that were never designed to hold weight.

Even if it's not just a con, there's no way that's a practical product unless the original laptop is designed for that extra weight and strain.

Yup, I am with you on this one. I am a lot more interested in this option, but I haven't got the cash (or desk space at home) to try it right now.

Comment Re:For Mac owners with iPads, try one of these (Score 1) 80 80

I have tried Air Display, between a MacBook Air and a Nexus 7, and it works. Kind of.

Very very laggy display, since everything goes through wifi, Mac OS seems very confused about the resolution of the Nexus 7 (can't blame it) and strange skewing of the display are some of the problems I enconutered.

Past the novelty aspect of the software, I just gave up as the Nexus 7 display was simply too small to be usable. Air Display went into the trash on both devices, which is too bad, since it was a pretty good idea.

Submission + - Terrorist attack in south-eastern France. One reported dead.

Noryungi writes: Details are still sketchy, but there was a terrorist attack at a gaz plant near the major city of Lyon, France. Two people broke into the plant using a car to ram the entrance, collided with a small gaz tank that exploded. One person was found dead and beheaded near the plant, and banners and ISIS flags written in Arabic have also been recovered. At least one terrorist has been arrested. More details if you read French on Le Monde newspaper web site or at the Guardian web site

Comment Re:From TFA: (Score 5, Insightful) 213 213

Taubira doesn’t actually have the power to offer asylum herself, however. She said in the interview that such a decision would be up to the French president, prime minister and foreign minister. And Taubira just last week threatened to quit her job unless French President François Hollande implemented her juvenile justice reforms.

So, basically, "not going to happen".

Exactly. Also, Taubira (who used to be a person with integrity) completely caved-in when the absolute bastards running the how (President, Prime Minister, etc.) passed the most intrusive, anti-privacy, mass spying, "we will listen to everything you say and there is nothing yo ucan do about it" law France has ever seen.

She cannot be trusted, alas, and Snowden and Assange should consider all this hoopla about asylum as so much hot air from a discredited governement.

Economists state their GNP growth projections to the nearest tenth of a percentage point to prove they have a sense of humor. -- Edgar R. Fiedler