Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:"overwrites all files" How Many Times? (Score 1) 75

You can be pedantic, and replace with "electromagnetic history" if you like, but to be honest - apart from pedantry - it just makes the case more. And I do mention "solid-state" in the next paragraph.

You can't tell what a bit held on a memory storage device held historically with ANY degree of accuracy at all. Flash memory even less so than 40-year-old hard drives, in fact.

Comment: Re:"overwrites all files" How Many Times? (Score 1) 75

Doesn't really matter - nobody has ever successfully recovered information from magnetic history like that.

There was a $1m prize for nearly a decade and not one "recovery" company could claim it.

Once a bit on a magnetic / solid state device is overwritten, that's your lot. Now, whether you overwrite ALL bits or not (e.g. reserved areas, replacement sectors, etc.) is another question entirely.

Comment: And? (Score 1) 73

by ledow (#47442101) Attached to: Source Code Leaked For Tinba Banking Trojan

It's not difficult to write a malicious program that can steal data as the user it runs. In fact, it's trivially easy, and your homebrew program will almost certainly avoid every antivirus signature with the minimum of tweaking and testing.

Exploiting holes is harder, but there's always a PoC code somewhere if you dig enough, especially if you are subscribed to security lists. And there you might have to do a little tweaking/testing but with VM's and debugging toolkits, it's not hard for any proficient programmer.

Quite what the news is here, I don't know. Almost every virus in existence has "variants" that aren't made by the same author - people take and either hexedit or have access to enough source-code to outright clone a virus. It's all out there if you look hard enough.

But, honestly, if you want to write one, a teenager could do it. Whether it "goes viral" is more to do with how easily it spreads and how many people you can get to run it before it gets noticed. I work in schools, and "viruses" written by the bright kids can spread through the school in a matter of days.

Given that, the number of viruses used with actual malicious intent is extremely low.

Go ahead - write a program with viral attributes and compile it with a random compiler. Guarantee you you could infect your workplace, not show up on an anti-virus signature, and do much nastier things than steal some data that passes through memory in plaintext.

Which is why we should be running a permissions-based security, or at worst a signature whitelist and NOT a signature blacklist like AV operates on. The very existence of AV still makes me laugh at humanity.

Comment: Re:What's the point? (Score 1) 258

This has nothing to do with literacy, and everything to do with protecting businesses from external (i.e. foreign) competition.

In some countries, physical books enjoy a discount on VAT as they are basically encouraged to improve literacy. But ebooks, for some reason, don't.

It's the same thing - protecting an industry. You think anybody but Disney actually benefits from Disney being allowed to own copyrights on its work for ludicrous amounts of time?

It's lobbying, and politics, and being seen to protect some people (local businesses, friends, etc.) and nothing to do with actual literacy or the overall picture.

Comment: Re:Subject bait (Score 2) 323

by Sun (#47441325) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

A. No place in Israel is truely safe.
During the second Lebanon war, the most safe place was around where I live (maximal distance from both Gaza and Lebanon). I live 5 Kilometers from the green line. If the Palestinians around my area decide to join in, my house will be in more danger than Dotan's.

B. Not living in Israel is not really an option.
Obviously, for some, it is. Long term, however, history showed that Jews don't fare well when not under self government. Thankfully, antisemitism suffered a major blow back after the Nazies lost WWII, and so people who grew up in western countries don't think of it as something real. It is illegitimate, and still fairly rare. That is a good thing. Sadly, it is also very far from non-existing. Jews in many western European countries don't wear external religious signs, and if they do, experience daily harassement. What's more, the current trends are not promising.

Maintaining Israel is a survival need. The fact that Israel's current strength pushes the danger back quite a bit is proof that the need is real, not vice versa.


Comment: Re:Will we ever stop celebrating Jesus? (Score 4, Insightful) 154

There is an argument to make that he was intentionally trying to make a martyr out of himself [...] he wasn't exactly rational himself.

There is an argument to be made that Jesus was intentionally trying to make a martyr out of himself. He failed to put up a defense when asked.

Your statement fairly reeks of the innuendo "this isn't something to get angry over, because he wasn't normal".

It dulls the impact of an important event, it's unfalsifiable (you cite no evidence, just "there's an argument to make"), and it serves to quell any discontent over the current political situation.

I like it. Can the technique be reversed in future incidents? Can a properly crafted response be used to whip up political discontent and restlessness?

I wonder...

Comment: Nope. (Score 1) 256

by ledow (#47432365) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Unattended Maintenance Windows?

Every second you save automating the task, will be taken out of your backside when it goes wrong (see the recent article where a university SCCM server formatted itself and EVERY OTHER MACHINE on campus) and you're not around to stop it or fix it.

Honestly? It's not worth it.

Work out of normal hours, or schedule downtime windows in the middle of the day.

Comment: Re:Titanfall (Score 1) 490

And if your CPU can't decode an MP3, something that my old 90MHz Pentium could do in realtime in the background, then you really need to cut out other crap first rather than go buy a soundcard.

That was to an ISA soundcard, without specialist acceleration, in the days when 90MHz was EVERYTHING and still you could decode MP3 in the background.

Today, with multimedia instructions, motherboard sound cards (and/or PCI/PCI-Express), quad-core, hyper-threaded multitasking, etc.... sound decoding is the LAST thing on Earth to worry about in terms of performance.

Comment: Re:Involuntary inability to comply (Score 1) 350

by ledow (#47418669) Attached to: UK Computing Student Jailed After Failing To Hand Over Crypto Keys

And then it comes down to "beyond reasonable doubt".

He provided 50 "passwords" off the top of his head. None worked. The chances that he "forgot" just the one for the court-ordered file that the court believe may have evidence - enought to generate a court order - but none others? Quite slim.

There's forgetfulness. There's reasonable doubt. There's being a dick in front of a court.

What you have to remember is that the law is written in stone, but it's interpreted by humans.

Comment: Re:Now is the time fire the experts. (Score 1) 160

by ledow (#47408399) Attached to: The AI Boss That Deploys Hong Kong's Subway Engineers

1) If you think a job is a right, you're wrong.

2) If you think any one company has to create jobs, you're wrong. In fact, they are legally bound to provide shareholder value in most cases, which usually trumps any kind of inefficient workforce.

3) I, certainly, am not obliged to create a job for you either.

Thus, translating that to "poverty isn't my problem" is a bit facetious and misleading.

And the guys throwing rocks, they'll be wondering why no employer will touch them in a year's time. The Luddites may have had cause to be upset, but they were pretty much gone shortly after - because there's only so long you can protest about not having a job before you have to go find another, or before the law steps on you.

Nobody is claiming that this solves world poverty - what we're saying is that automation is an inevitable, and fairly logical, consequence of simple economics. Nobody hand-makes clothes any more, nobody fires their own bricks or builds their own stone-walling, nobody bakes their own bread, or keeps their own animals - not on anything but a hobbyist scale. There's a reason for that, and to deny that is to not see simple logic.

If you work in any kind of production industry currently reliant on human input which isn't specialised, but where you can easily imagine a robot doing the same job, then you will lose your job eventually. Anything else is actually quite stupid to conceive.

The trick is to not be restricted to jobs that are unskilled. Go to school, learn a trade, work your arse off, or be prepared to be obsoleted repeatedly over time. Robot plumbers and robot electricians are a long way off. Robot box-packers? Already here. Hell, robot pizza deliveries aren't a massive leap of the imagination (especially if these automated cars ever come to fruition).

And in a year's time after your obsoletion from a particular job, nobody will remember anyone whining about it, except the whiners. If your grandfather was a gas lamp-lighter, he knew there was no way that was going to last forever, even before electric light came along. And then there was plenty of warning. But to suggest that we shouldn't move on just because someone might fall into poverty along the way? That keeps us all poor - financially and intellectually.

Comment: Re:Many of the comparisons to other systems are bo (Score 1) 160

by ledow (#47400911) Attached to: The AI Boss That Deploys Hong Kong's Subway Engineers

Not my problem, I just want to get to work on time.

The maintenance stuff? Maybe if you closed after the rush-hour evenings (instead of daytime at weekends when MILLIONS of people travel on the Tube), you might get closer to fixing it.

But, to be honest, I'm 35, and the same arguments were being spouted by politicians and unions even before I was born. Fact is, in that time, we've added whole new lines covering vast swathes of London that were never covered before and are now spending billions to connect Birmingham/Manchester by a slightly faster line. The money we've spent pissing about over the last 50 years could have rebuilt the Tube system twice over.

And why are we running trains from the 70's still? Because no fucker will replace them, it's always "cheaper" to just keep patching them and reupholstering them every few years. It's excuses all the way.

And still, my personal "uptime" with the London Underground / Overground is actually closer to 80% than anything else. And that's being generous.

For 20+ years all I've heard is "We're shutting this down / spending this money" in order to make things work better in the long-run and cope with increased demand that we expect. And yet the trains are more crowded than ever, the platforms are too small for the amount of people waiting on them in rush hour, and still we get atrocious amounts of delays and cancellations (and, worse, can't even be bothered to announce such delays/cancellations until about 30 minutes after the train didn't arrive anyway - very useful).

Sorry, the system is old - that means we should know it inside out. It's underground, that means it shouldn't change at all over the years. And yet it gets more expensive every year to have a less reliable system. Remember when "the Circle Line" was actually a circle that you could go all the way around in both directions? Remember when you could change at the large interchanges etc. without having to wait YEARS for them to change an escalator?

That's when you get past the strikes of whatever-group isn't happy earning more than I do for pushing a lever forward or having a computer print a ticket. Which, honestly, add up to WEEKS over the last few years? And at the moment, the Tour de France has brought some stations to a grinding halt already.

There's no point in a mass transit system that isn't transiting people en masse. And that's the one thing we don't actually have happening. If it's that bad, throw it out and start again, and you'll find that - actually - a new system would probably cost you a LOT more than 100-year-old pre-dug tunnels that everyone knows where they are, where they go, and how to get to every one of the entrances.

Comment: Re:Now is the time fire the experts. (Score 1) 160

by ledow (#47400749) Attached to: The AI Boss That Deploys Hong Kong's Subway Engineers

And the problem is?

What you're suggesting is that we should choose the inefficient methods because it's more expensive but involves unnecessary humans. Quite where the logic of that lies, I can't tell.

If they'd hired some smarty who did the same for their company, and gave 99.9% up-time by their work, surely the same would still happen - except maybe they'd pay that guy a lot as well?

The case for "sabotaging" (look up the origin of the word) technology really died out hundreds of years ago - when we proved that actually it meant that everyone else in the world did better, got cheaper shoes, or - in this case - got to work on time. They've found a way to get the city to work on time, reliably, without the previous reliance on expensive humans to make the wrong (and maybe even politically-motivated in the case of worker's unions) decisions. The city probably makes more money as a result than the transport system COSTS, even if it's not in direct $ figures on some spreadsheet somewhere.

The only consistent, ongoing factor in automation is that it does more, faster, more reliably, cheaper at the expense of staff who did less, slower and less reliably but cost more. Sure, people need jobs - but nobody but the government is obligated to create them.

And, to be honest, if the guy who commissioned and oversaw the system gets a raise as part of that? Good on him. He did a fucking good job by the looks of it.

Anyone want to have these people come do the same to the London Underground so we can sack all the striking drivers that earn more than I do, the useless ticket-office issuers who never know what to do even when the machine TELLS them, and actually get to work on time? I do!

Comment: Nothing unusual (Score 5, Insightful) 39

by ledow (#47397801) Attached to: Free Wi-Fi Supplier, Gowex, Files For Bankruptcy

This isn't at all unusual. However, what really gets my goat is how were they allowed to do what they did for four years?

That's four years of some accountant falsifying accounts. Four years of tax not paid or properly checked (if they were earning what they claim, a lot of tax would be due - if they were lying about it, they'd not want to pay that tax). Four years of operating without anyone questioning.

And, most importantly I feel, what's happened to the directors and accountants of the company now ( I highly doubt just one person was in knowledge of this)? My guess is that they've already fled with a nice bundle somewhere.

Happened like mad to the software houses in the 80's, still going on. Why is it compulsory that I have to be sat down like a child when I want to take out a £1000 loan but nobody questions businesses or enforces them to give enhanced accounts or audits in their first few years of operation. It would stop an awful lot of such outright fraud as this if someone from government was poking through their accounts, and they wouldn't even be able to set up a "new" company, transfer the assets and then declare bankruptcy as is also common.

God made machine language; all the rest is the work of man.