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Comment: Re:Closed source won here (Score 1) 582

by Ted Stoner (#46762213) Attached to: How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?

I would say that open source bugs are easier to exploit because you have the source. Closed source bugs rely on reverse engineering and should in theory be harder to find. So yes bad guys can focus on a high-value product or target whether closed or open source, but I think their job is a lot easier if it is open source.

To reiterate my point, I think that this argument is applicable to high value targets mostly. For non-security code or that without strong monetary implications tied to it, open source should still be better than closed source from a bug perspective.

Comment: Closed source won here (Score 1) 582

by Ted Stoner (#46761853) Attached to: How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?

I've read the FOSS argument for years and I guess I have leaned in favor of it from a bug perspective. But in this case, I think closed source would have won, at least to the current point in time. If OpenSSL is truly behind 60-75% of the world's web servers, then the value in hacking it is enormous. Thus if I am a criminal organization, it might be worth spending $1M for guys to read that open source code and find problems that I can then monetize for a big profit.

I don't think you are going to get $1M worth of code inspection on the white hat side for OpenSSL. Maybe going forward it will, and companies may be willing to invest in the upkeep. Not out of goodness, but because it makes good business sense. For a large organization, how many soft and hard dollars have been chewed up in the last week doing analysis, patching, client communication and general PR for Heartbleed? Probably enough that a $10K donation in time or money to OpenSSL upkeep would be feasible.

There is also evidence that the bad guys have been exploiting this in the wild. So the usual argument of "we found the bug quicker with open source" is probably wrong here. The better-funded and more highly motivated bad guys found it quickest.

My guess is the bad guys have been working this bug against Yahoo for awhile. Yahoo told me a couple of months ago (and others I know) that someone was attempting to login to my account from Russia. I would now suspect Heartbleed here.

The logic for finding bugs on the black hat side is OR (find any bug and exploit). The logic on the white hat side is AND (prevent all bugs). The table is always tilted like this unfortunately in the security arena. Bugs will always happen and the good guys can't win every time, regardless of code access.

Comment: You are asking for permission to improve your life (Score 1) 735

by Ted Stoner (#37642836) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Does Being 'Loyal' Pay As a Developer?
You are asking for permission to improve your life. Just do it. Everyone is replaceable. Leave good documentation for stuff that is hard to figure out. If you have been a good employee then you would have done that as a matter of course anyway. Give them sufficient notice and help them as much as possible during your transition out period.

Comment: It may just be a normal internal SNAFU (Score 1) 315

by Ted Stoner (#37617984) Attached to: After Six Days of Outages, BofA Claims It Hasn't Been Hacked
Another major bank that shall remain nameless had a four-day outage in recent years. It was due to internal problems (messed up backups, bad SQL causing corrupted database, etc.). So it can happen although 6 days is really stretching it. I have also worked for a bank and seen systems hard down for close to a day (forcing me to fly across the country) due to a hardware failure that begat a human failure that begat a second hardware failure that begat a second human failure (lost backup media). So shit can happen even without hackers.

Comment: Advanced Car-to-Car Protocol (ACCP) (Score 1) 263

by Ted Stoner (#37357012) Attached to: DoT Grants $15M To Test Car-To-Car Communication

I started work on what I called ACCP (Advanced Car-to-Car Protocol) in 2004. From the overview:

ACCP is a protocol for communication between two moving vehicles, to assist in making the driving task more efficient, and to make driver intentions explicitly known to those around them. The capabilities of this system advance upon the limited “communications” available today (turn signals and brake lights). Computers within each participating vehicle can talk wirelessly to vehicles near (adjacent) to them.

My intent was for things like signaling "I am looking for an address and don't see it" while driving slowly, and co-operatively determining target speed to aid in passing situations on single lane roads. I was wondering how long it would be before someone started doing something like this (although Michigan is more skewed to safety).

Over the last few years I've second-guessed myself on exactly how much of this I would really want to see. The opportunities for abuse are many and getting the implementation right would be difficult.

Comment: Code until death (Score 1) 772

by Ted Stoner (#37069028) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Am I Too Old To Learn New Programming Languages?
I am early 50s, coding for almost 40 years. Still employed but worried about the next job (taking a pay cut and/or competing against clueless but cheap weenies). The fact you went into PM tells me you went to the dark side. I don't generally see people come back from that. At least stay abreast of trends and development environments that have traction. Perhaps start focusing on Android. I feel safer having coding skills than management skills. In a downturn you need to retain the "doers" not the PMs. All our PMs were let go in the last round of layoffs. All us 40+ year old coders are still working. My friend retired from his programming job last year at the age of 79. Still had calls asking him to do some contract work.

Comment: My wife's make up mirror has the same power (Score 1) 218

by Ted Stoner (#33740304) Attached to: Las Vegas Hotel Vdara an Accidental Death Ray
One day I smelled something burning and scrambled frantically, as I thought I had an electrical fire starting within the walls of my house. Turns out it was my wife's make up mirror sitting innocently on the edge of the bathtub. The sun hit the mirror just right and beamed a focused light onto a plastic container. The lid of the container was half-melted and smoking badly.
Image

Study Finds the Perfect Ratio of Attractiveness 176

Posted by samzenpus
from the hey-there-big-arms dept.
Gksksla writes "Scientists in Australia and Hong Kong have conducted a comprehensive study to discover how different body measurements correspond with ratings of female attractiveness. The study, published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, found that across cultural divides young, tall and long armed women were considered the most attractive."

Comment: Re:What did she shield them with? (Score 1) 298

by Ted Stoner (#32832182) Attached to: Study Hints Ambient Radio Waves May Affect Plant Growth
I hadn't thought of that angle. Maybe also the cage surrounding the plants results in an increased ambient temperature affecting the growth. Wind currents changed. So there's three variables to control and check: metallic substances, temperature, and airflow (with airborne entities).

Comment: Re:Here are the specs, no further deliberation nee (Score 1) 365

by Ted Stoner (#32818228) Attached to: Working Toward a Universal Power Brick For Laptops
Agreed, users would screw up the knob - that's why I said the knob maybe should be hidden. It's there only for "backwards compatibility". Going forward with new products and the new standard, we lose the knob, lower costs and all are happy. For machines running less than the set voltage an internal voltage regulator can adapt, since the voltage should be close. Best to use the standard voltage however and not transfer any extra electricity into heat.

If you had better tools, you could more effectively demonstrate your total incompetence.

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