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Comment Hmmm... (Score 4, Informative) 108

Operation Onymous (which is what this is all about) wasn't all that and a bag of chips. Most of the sites they took down weren't the actual intended targets...they were replicas, meant to scam people who were trying to go to the authentic sites they were mimicking. Silk Road 2.0 was pretty much the only significant site that got brought down.

The challenge with dark web sites is that there's no central authority to anything. So, as easy as it is to set up a fake site on the normal web to capture logins or other information, it's even easier on the dark web. There's no warning that a certificate doesn't match a domain, no "verified domains" concept to make your browser turn green up in the address bar and make you all happy. If you don't know for a fact that the .onion address you're going to is valid, it could well be that you're at a copycat that's going to harvest your login, take your bitcoins and give you nothing in return, or whatever else.

It's kind of amusing to think that some academics might have been paid so much and yet accomplish so little, for want of basic understanding of that fact. Carnegie Mellon's people are no slouch (as the academic crowd goes, at least), but that makes this all the more poignant.

Comment Re: How about (Score 1) 93

There is nothing inhuman about being managed by a straight talking lead who tells you exactly what you are doing wrong in blunt, uncertain terms.

What is inhuman and undignified is being managed by HR, to whom you are a number, and follow policies that dictate how your team is to communicate and what you are allowed to say.

I agree; I think the problem here, though, is that there's a difference between simply being blunt and telling it like it is and being an asshole...but that often the latter believes they are the former. Adding to that, where does one draw the line...and what if the person who is the recipient of the blunt talk is simply failing, and trying to rationalize it away by saying "oh, he's just an asshole"?

Then there's also the big question: what if the person is an asshole, but also a superstar? At what point is it worth it?

There's actually a really great book out there called (I shit you not) "The No-Asshole Rule," by Robert Sutton. Sutton originally wrote a piece for the Harvard Business Review (of the same title) and it got such a positive reaction that he went on to write a whole book. The book covers the difference between being an asshole and simply being direct, the urge to label people assholes for all kinds of reasons, and whether assholes are ever worth it. Oh, and he puts forth a remarkably sensible definition for what behavior makes someone an asshole in the first place. It even touches on the fact that, at some point, we have all been an asshole in the workplace.

The book's an easy and interesting read, and it's really applicable. I found that it helped me temper my own style in the workplace a bit...I don't think I was a full-blown asshole, but I could have gone that way...and I find it easier to be blunt and direct without people walking away from the interaction feeling bad about it. Instead, they seem to step away feeling a sense of direction without negative feelings about the whole thing. And I really like that, a lot.

Comment Re:While you're at it, check the monitors... (Score 1) 197

Burn-in? In this day and age?

I'm buying the cheapest Chinese LCD junk I can get my hand on, putting them up as digital signage, and leaving them on 24/7. So far, 18 months and not a sign of burn-in.

I'm also running them off thin-client things (nComputing, that were unanimously panned as being useless for anything else in this day and age but were old clients that were bought a LONG time ago) that have VESA mountings and can run from a single central VM running TS. Combine it with some open-source digital signage software (Xibo) and it all just works. That might well be a way - if they're running lots of servers, it'll be better to have a lot of thin-clients just doing the displays and a central overpowered computer actually running the browser - no cable spaghetti, built in VESA mountings, can even run off PoE if you do it right. One switch, one VM, and a one-off investment in thin-clients and you're done, rather than some knocked-together homebrew junk that will fall over more than the stuff it's monitoring.

Burn-in is the very, very, least of your problems and god knows what you're buying to see burn-in.

(Hint: My signage is all white-background, with hard B/W logos and text, up for days on end. No burn-in).

Believe it or not, but it does happen. Ask any NOC/SOC/equivalent facility, and ask them what kinds of monitors they have up on the walls...and why. I've seen it on stuff that was bought last year.

Comment While you're at it, check the monitors... (Score 2) 197

From the way this question is worded, I've got a hunch that you just bought common screens for the displays.

Danger, Will Robinson. Ordinary screens aren't rated for 24x7 use, and they WILL burn in over time, among other things. If you're not using screens that are purpose-built for this kind of nonstop usage, you need to back up and change that or it'll all be for nothing.

I'm used to seeing data walls and multi-monitor room displays of this sort designed from soup-to-nuts as a full solution by a service provider that specializes in doing so. There's a reason for the existence of an industry to serve that purpose; it's not as easy as just putting up a lot of big television screens and plugging them into small computers, as you're beginning to discover. Be aware that you almost certainly haven't run into all the problems yet, and it may be cheaper to contract with an outside company to do it all. (I do not work for such a company, just to be up front about it. I'm not stumping for business here.)

Comment Gay Kay Kay? (Score 5, Interesting) 262

I noticed that something seemed off about this...since they said the mayor of Lexington, KY (Jim Gray) was a member of the KKK. Jim Gray is gay, and came out long ago; I would believe that you'd lose your membership in the KKK once you announce in a very public manner that you're gay.

On the other hand, it definitely gives a new aspect to the notion of being "outed".

Comment The Reason for the Russian (Score 5, Insightful) 546

So, a lot of people have been asking about this...asking why so many of the addresses end in ".ru"

Fundamentally...think about it. Russia is a haven for a lot of different things, including bulletproof hosting that is beyond the reach of the FBI and other Western LEOs, either via direct raids, wiretaps or by more procedural means (subpoenas, etc.). So it entirely makes sense that people who are, in the truest sense of the word, interested in the overthrow of the US Government as it exists today should use email accounts that are hosted in Russia, far from the reach of the organizations that are out to get them.

Comment Re:Simple counter-measure (Score 4, Insightful) 176

There's a simple counter-measure - don't be ashamed of anything you do. Kind of hard to exert pressure on someone by revealing their personal stuff if they don't give a sh*t.

Interesting. This is effectively the same as the argument put forth by the surveillance hawks who want to monitor everything. "Don't do anything that makes you look guilty, and there's nothing to worry about."

The fact is that it's not just about personal shame. People have been pilloried over things they didn't have any problem with personally, but which in turn caused massive backlash...with real consequences...from the public. And also noteworthy is that in this case, personal information (like SSNs, names of family members, etc.) were also put out in the open. So it's not just about shame.

Comment Re: I don't understand the big deal here. (Score 2) 139

Ideally, power demand would be flat and constant...the same amount, all the time.

So this is the 1000 year old problem of centralization vs distribution. We can solve the problem with "better" power plants, or batteries in every home. Either one gives the same result, though not at the same cost, or with the same control.

No...this has nothing to do with centralization versus distribution. The power grid is largely unified; that 60Hz rate of AC in the wires of your home is perfectly in sync with the rate on the other side of the city, or even the state, for example. Peaks and valleys have nothing to do with centralization or distribution: the problem actually is a little worse for power companies that have a lot of little generation units spread around, because the challenge of sync gets worse that way and under/over frequency events take place when you aren't able to balance load and generation properly. Oh, and also because the more units you have, the more effort your GMS (Generation Management System) has trying to maintain that balance. This problem is about balance, rather than how centralized the source of the balanced resource is.

As for "better" power plants...I'm curious what design you're referring to? The issues I'm citing are pretty much across the board. What is this "better" plant you speak of?

Comment Re: I don't understand the big deal here. (Score 5, Informative) 139

Why do you need to smooth pricing? By allowing prices to rise and fall throughout the day in response to supply and demand, you don't need to add supply between the time the sun goes down and the time people go to bed at night.

In other words, you can treat it as an economics problem and save your customers a lot of money on power plants and fuel. This is why the world is switching from flat rate pricing to time-of-use pricing.

The goal isn't to smooth's to smooth the peaks and valleys of demand.

The grid has to be built for peak, not other words, if 5% of the time, the total load of a utility's customer base is 4.5 gigawatts, then they have to be able to provide 4.5 gigawatts, even though 95% of the time the demand is half that, at most.

Ideally, power demand would be flat and constant...the same amount, all the time. Steam plants experience metal fatigue when they throttle up and down, and this is already a major problem with most utilities now. It's also way harder to regulate an efficient burn at multiple rates...which in turn, means it's harder to regulate emissions, which leads to limits on capacity if they exceed emissions of certain sorts (and, just to make it fun, those standards have just been tightened...a LOT). Those are both a big deal: too much leaking in the heat exchange coils in the boiler, and the whole plant has to come offline. Even getting close to the limit on emissions for a period, and the plant comes offline to avoid overshooting it...the plant goes into reserve mode, needed only for emergencies. And this, in turn, increases the impact of the peaks/valleys situation on the rest of the utility. And what I just described assumes 100% controllable, fuel-based generation (nuclear, petroleum, coal, gas). Now, these peaks are predictable (and predicted...there's a whole industry around the metrics and predictive load management involved), but it still poses a challenge. The steeper the walls of the peak, the faster and harder you have to spin up the generators, and the greater the stress, as well.

Renewable energy is great, except that it throws another wrench into the works. Let's say you're getting a lot of your power from solar...but then clouds move in. Effectively, for your non-renewable generation, you've just introduced a peak because it has to throttle up to take up the slack. So you end up with lots of peaks of various sizes, instead of the one or two big peaks per day. And even worse, these peaks aren't predictable.

If, however, your solar generation capacity includes a way to continue generating power after the clouds roll in, you've done two things. One, if the cloud layer is short-lived, you're able to simply disregard it and life goes on. Two, if it isn't, then you've bought more time to spin up capacity more slowly...which means less stress on the boilers, and also more options to choose from. Maybe you fire up a CT peaker, which has less trouble with variable load but takes 20-30 minutes to come online, for example. But ultimately, what you've done is taken one of the biggest problems with renewable generation and dramatically reduced it.

Comment Re:More accurate ... (Score 1) 89

It may be in decline but it is still one of the top computer and network equipment manufacturers in the world.

I have also never worked at a large corporation that didn't have some involvement with HP whether it be servers or huge software platforms.

I don't think HP is in any real trouble.

The fact that HP is large has nothing to do with success. HP's margins are terrible, and all of their initiatives to build out into higher-margin services have failed. It's like owning a big house outright, but being unable to afford the property taxes and being forbidden to even sell the house to recoup the value.

The fact that they're giving up on public cloud is an ENORMOUS deal...they had put an incredible amount of effort and money into this, and did everything they could to ramrod it into any and all projects and service offerings, starting over a year before their cloud offering was even available. They were projecting a lot of revenue...and even more importantly, a lot of profit, as the HP cloud was supposed to be infused into everything (thus making the business grow spectacularly).

Comment Re:Remove casing from a Wallmart clock - get invit (Score 4, Insightful) 621

Remove casing from a Wallmart clock

get invited by Google and President

Fucking genius, durrrr.

It was a mass produced clock, not any "invention".

Don't forget the part about meeting with the leader of...Sudan, of all places. Yeah, he lost my support and all hope of my thinking he's interested in fairness and equality after that.

Comment The "FUCK YOU SUNTRUST!" Thread (Score 5, Informative) 602

I'm a SunTrust fact, myself and my significant other both are. We've got a few accounts there. Well...that is, we have them until a day or two from now, when we will be closing them and taking our money to another bank. (I just spoke about this with her...I told her the terms of the severance package, her chin dropped...literally, I'm not exaggerating...and she's in.) All of you who are on board, able to do something like this to these galactic pigfuckers, and who pledge to do the chime in?

Who's with me? :)

All Finagle Laws may be bypassed by learning the simple art of doing without thinking.