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Comment: Re:Patent reform will never happen (Score 4, Interesting) 186

by St.Creed (#49130075) Attached to: Jury Tells Apple To Pay $532.9 Million In Patent Suit

The real mark of the brokenness of our patent system is not patent trolls, but rather that most engineers are forbidden from looking at patents.

Sad but true. The patent system works so much against the original idea behind it, it needs to be taken behind the barn and shot.

On another note, I find it even more offensive that the best way to write the most patents the quickest is to sit on standardization committees. That's a well-known abuse that's completely ignored by ISO and other organizations. Because getting the big organizations onboard means a viable standard, and they won't come on-board unless they can kill off the competitors who weren't in the room.

Comment: Re:Soo soo tired.... (Score 1) 144

I have rethought them, in that light. I know of at least one government agency and one very large company whose core systems would not have been vulnerable to those attacks, because they expect zero-day vulnerabilities to exist in all of their software, as well as bugs planted by state actors, and deal with security accordingly.

It's bloody expensive if you have to implement that later on, but if you build your IT infrastructure from the ground up it can be done quite effectively.

Comment: Re:who uses stock os? (Score 1) 144

I bought an HP 8510W (Business workstation) Laptop. It came with a DVD with Windows 7, full install. When I re-installed it (bought the Samsung EVO850 SSD - teehee :) ), it was a clean install, with much less hassle. My previous HP gave you the option to burn a Windows Image to DVD.

I'm pretty happy with HP in this area, and for the last 6 years my laptops have been HP's.

Comment: Re:Soo soo tired..... (Score 1) 144

On the other hand I've worked for several agencies that were protected quite adequately. And some companies too. But I agree that the majority was leaking like a sieve.

But you get what you pay for. Sony has always been horrible when it comes to IT, so I was not surprised there. Especially as they made themselves big targets for hackers worldwide. Apple and Microsoft are more surprising.

Comment: Re:LOL (Score 1) 144

Personally I couldn't care less about this story - I'm guessing a lot of people that took the time to find and read the original Kaspersky articles will think the same. It's extremely rare to find that malware in the wild, and of those were it was found, Kaspersky only ever found 3 instances were it had been used.

TL;DR: your harddisk is vulnerable when your machine has already been taken over. I think we already knew that. It sucks that you have to buy a new disk, but since it's still incredibly rare to be a victim of it, I'll save my anxiety for something more pressing, like... climate change. Or neutron stars that may implode while aimed straight at us, killing everything for thousands of lightyears in that path.

Comment: Re:Expanding jurisdictions (Score 3, Interesting) 88

by St.Creed (#49078917) Attached to: Russian Man Extradited To US For Heartland, Dow Jones Cyberattacks

I misclicked and mismoderated your comment. Undo.

On-topic: not only that, but in this specific case there was also an extradition request from Russia which was quite strange, which ensured that the entire case was covered in the national media. There was a lot of suspicion that the extradition request from Russia was just to ensure he could get out of jail, using his ill-gotten profits to buy himself off.

Comment: Re:Cover locations. (Score 3, Insightful) 114

It's probably more a service for running associations.

Suppose you're a grocery and you would like to implement a membership card. Now you have to deal with lost cards, signups, people wanting to know how many loyality points they have, decide how many points to give for which purchase, what to give as a reward for points spent, etc. etc.

This type of company takes it all out of your hands, provides a pre-packaged membership club with set rewards, tiers, perks, whatever, and puts your brandname on top of the website, the loyalty card, and the brochures. The grocery probably pays a price per customer that's lower than when they would run it themselves, and the affiliate organisation has scale, so can run things cheaper while providing better service than a single company can do.

Comment: There's a reason the REAL gear is expensive (Score 3, Interesting) 248

by St.Creed (#49050535) Attached to: Smart Homes Often Dumb, Never Simple

You buy cheap stuff, you get in trouble, You can't get decent quality from those new market entries, because the market has been in place for decades, there's a lot of established and well-supported hardware out there, but... it's industry standard, and expensive. So the new entries try to bring their own standard in the home-market but with cheap gear that doesn't work well.

A colleague of mine, who is an IT architect, has designed his house from the ground up with the industry-standard switches, controllers, light, shutters etcetera. And even after 20 years the stuff he bought then is still supported and he can get upgrades and replacements for everything and it all works - all the time.

Comment: Re:How lethal are GRBs? (Score 3, Informative) 237

by St.Creed (#48922305) Attached to: Gamma-ray Bursts May Explain Fermi's Paradox

There are some articles on the internet about this. Basically: one side would be fried, the atmosphere would be superheated, and you would have nasty smog all over earth afterwards, making sure that seeds wouldn't grow because Earth would be pretty dark. Oh, and the ozone layer would be stripped off, so the bottom of the ocean might be survivable but apart from that you'd want to be underground during daylight.

In 2008 there was a GRB that occurred about 7.5 billion lightyears away - it was visible with the naked eye, and was aimed straight at Earth. Just imagine what something at 75000000 million lightyears would do - let alone at 7500, about where WR104 is.

Comment: Re:temporary (Score 1) 363

by St.Creed (#48689911) Attached to: Trees vs. Atmospheric Carbon: A Fight That Makes Sense?

It was a response to the question "How many 1,000 year old wood buildings are left? What happened to the rest?", nothing more. The idea that planting a few trees for use as timber in housing would be a solution to the current rising CO2-levels never even crossed my mind, otherwise I'd have made that more explicit in my post.

Comment: Re:temporary (Score 4, Interesting) 363

by St.Creed (#48688365) Attached to: Trees vs. Atmospheric Carbon: A Fight That Makes Sense?

A lot of the older buildings in the cities in the EU have wooden beams to hold up everything. They're pretty solid and have been in place for centuries.

But even more, Amsterdam is built mostly on wooden beams, going into the ground for at least 10 meters, and most of the times 20 meters. Just the palace on the Dam alone has a foundation of 13659 wooden beams. There most be millions of trees underpinning the foundations of Amsterdam.

So while I agree it's not the majority, there is still a lot of old timber being used today.

Comment: Re:Nonstop action? Whattabore. (Score 1) 332

I liked the Thin Red Line - it's both quality cinema *and* great action. Music was great too.

Recently I saw "the Snow Queen". Something like a European version of Frozen, with more story in 5 minutes than Frozen in its entirety. While I really enjoyed Frozen, I was much more impressed by the Snowqueen, which had very good animation and a much better story.
(I just checked Wikipedia: it *is* the precursor to Frozen, except they butchered the story. The original story was written by some hack called Hans Andersen, so why not, eh? After all, Hollywood scriptwriters are probably better than some foreign Danish guy when it comes to writing screenplay. Right? Right.)

I also liked Lost Highway, which to this day I can't say should be on list #1 or list #2. Or on neither.

Anyway, what I wanted to say was: ignore the false dichotomy between "good and boring" versus "awful but stimulating!". You can actually have both. But I admit it's rare.

The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that, you've got it made. -- Jean Giraudoux