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Comment: Have they solved liability? (Score 2) 82

by gstoddart (#47567897) Attached to: UK To Allow Driverless Cars By January

Or is this not an issue in the UK?

Because, if it's a driverless car, I'm not taking any control or responsibility for the vehicle other than telling it my destination.

If the car can suddenly say "Oh, crap, you take over I don't know what to do" then it defeats the purpose.

If you're going to have truly driverless cars, then you need to determine who takes liability if it runs over a person. Because I'm going to be sleeping in the back seat or reading a book.

Somehow, I doubt the companies making these cars have stepped up and said they're so confident in their technology that they'll take responsibility. And someone who has disengaged themselves from the act of driving (like reading a book) can't immediately switch to being in control of the vehicle. If I have to keep tabs on it and be responsible at a moments notice, then what is the benefit at all?

Every time this comes up, it just seems like nobody has actually addressed this yet.

You want a driverless car? Make sure I can crawl into the backseat after a night at the pub and not have to worry about it. Until then, this is really advanced cruise control, but you still need to be aware the whole time.

Comment: Re:Not subject to "monetary policy" (Score 1) 163

by Archangel Michael (#47567817) Attached to: US States Edge Toward Cryptocoin Regulation

Theory and Practice. In theory, you are correct. In practice, you are not.

IMHO, there will be a nominal number of widely accepted crypto-currencies. I fathom perhaps 4-6 "standard" coins will be adopted, and another 6-10 in secondary/limited adoption. The 4-6 "adopted" will have "regional" flair being accepted widely in some geographic locations, and might not be accepted everywhere. There will likely be 2-3 Dominant currencies accepted most places, making them "default".

Comment: Re:whoosh! (Score 1) 295

by gstoddart (#47567631) Attached to: Programming Languages You'll Need Next Year (and Beyond)

Oh, in that case, HTML5 +CSS3 qualifies. The more you know.

No, really. If you can implement a Turing Machine in HTML5 and CSS3 (and I mean a real one, not something which mimics it but actually doesn't do the computations) -- then what you would have would be a programming language.

I have no idea if you actually can or not with those technologies, but Turing Completensss is the measure.

If it aint Turing Complete, it's not really a programming language (or a computer).

That definition is decades old.

Comment: Re:Repeat after me... (Score 1) 295

by gstoddart (#47567549) Attached to: Programming Languages You'll Need Next Year (and Beyond)

The ML in HTML is for markup language. I think you splitting hairs if you think programming language does not include markup langauge.

If you could implement a Turing machine in it, it's a programming language. If you can't, it isn't.

SGML, the precursor to HTML and eventually XML, was written by a lawyer to allow people to mark up documents for printing and layout.

HTML most certainly is NOT a programming language in and of itself.

There are variables, no control flow, no logical operators, and nothing which is actually programming in it. It's had a bunch of other things grafted onto it (Javascript, DOM, Ajax etc) which give you the ability to program against the HTML.

But HTML is not, and never has been, a programming language.

Could they extend it to make it a programming language? Sure they could. Is it currently a programming language? Nope, it isn't.

Comment: Simple. (Score 1) 236

The Vendor will have issues with their product running if you do not configure the firewall correctly and will cost the Vendor support time.
If you get hacked because you let malware onto your POS systems or put a compromised machine on the network it is your problem.
A firewall will just prevent an exploit of a service. So only run the services you need. The real issue for this POS would be an exploit that gains access to the SQL server and a firewall is probably not going to stop that.

Comment: Re:Apparently... (Score 3, Insightful) 236

Exactly. Too many people (both businesses and home users) say "Well, I don't have anything that 'those hackers' would want so why bother with protections?" The thing is, though, you DO have something they want. At the very least, a home user has bandwidth. If a malware author hijacks a computer, he can use it to pump out tons of spam. The user might notice an annoying slowdown but otherwise wouldn't know what was up. In the case of businesses, infecting your customers with malware (due to being hacked) or your site slowing down to a crawl (because it is a spam bot and is spending precious resources spamming people) is a sure method to lose customers. I'd wager that the money "gained" by not doing a proper firewall network is more than lost by the "lost sales" of customers fleeing after the servers have been hacked.

Comment: Re:The Alliance of Artists should lose this suit (Score 1) 239

by Jason Levine (#47566879) Attached to: Ford, GM Sued Over Vehicles' Ability To Rip CD Music To Hard Drive

Exactly. You could remove the "in car entertainment system" and substitute a normal laptop computer and the scenario would be exactly the same. (If not worse. There might be no way for the in car entertainment system to export the ripped files somewhere else but a computer can do that easily.) If the in car entertainment system is deemed illegal, you might as well call all computers illegal as well.

Comment: Re:Fire(wall) and forget (Score 3, Insightful) 236

If ports are unused, then the hosts themselves will reject any traffic sent to them without the need of a firewall...

Unless someone figures out how to glean information from your system, or exploit something you don't know about in the operating system. If I can figure out what ports you have stuff listening on, I can work on exploiting the things that I can determine are listening.

Without a firewall, you're allowing external entities to map the system, when they shouldn't even be able to reach the system.

if you're going to try for security, assume nothing, trust nothing, and act as if it was really important stuff.

If you're not going to try for security, well, the Ostrich Algorithm is a strategy, but one whose consequences you might need to live with.

I'm more of the school that says packet requests from sources you don't trust should simply be dropped, and not provide them with any more information than necessary.

Comment: It may be common ... (Score 1) 236

But it's a terrible idea.

During the setup, the vendor disabled the local firewall, and in a number of emails back and forth since (with me getting more and more aggravated) they went from suggesting that there's no need for a firewall, to outright telling me that's just how they do it and the contract dictates that's how we need to run it.

If this is what your vendor is telling you, they're either lazy or incompetent when it comes to security.

My advise, you need to get management to sign off on it to do a little CYA, otherwise someone is going to blame you for this when you get hacked (assume there is no 'if' in this situation).

If they've signed a contract with this vendor saying it "needs" to be ran without a firewall, then the person who signed that contract wasn't reading carefully, or didn't understand what they were signing.

Telling you that you don't need a firewall is like telling you that your car doesn't need brakes -- it should be a giant warning that someone is either lying to you, clueless, or doesn't give a damn.

"Real professionals" are paranoid about security, and don't take stupid risks. Me, I'd go with your assessment of "bunch of clowns".

Yes, this might be a small shop, and with a limited budget -- but hanging your production database outside of a firewall is just asking to get pwned. You can safely assume someone is trying to hack into you right now, because there's a good chance they are.

Comment: Re:The Alliance of Artists should lose this suit (Score 1) 239

I'd go even one step further. It is not Person A, nor Person B's car audio system that is at fault for this. It is Person B who doesn't have legal right to permanent access to Person A's property. They should sue the people actually doing the crime, not the tool maker for making a useful tool.

Comment: Re:Did they take on Apple? (Score 1) 239

by Jason Levine (#47565895) Attached to: Ford, GM Sued Over Vehicles' Ability To Rip CD Music To Hard Drive

And, I do believe the courts have ruled in favor of copying music from CD's to MP3 and similar (i.e iPod) devices for personal use.

This was decided way back in RIAA vs Diamond Multimedia. Diamond came out with an MP3 player (before the first iPod was ever released) and the RIAA attacked them for facilitating piracy. In the RIAA's view, having a device that played MP3s meant that you were encouraging people to download illegal MP3s and thus should be banned. The courts, thankfully, did not agree. Diamond got to continue to sell their devices. The RIAA were denied the opportunity to destroy a fledgling market so as to better keep progress from happening and to retain absolute control.

In fact, this lawsuit was decided on the basis of the Audio Home Recording Act of 1992 - the very act that the music industry is suing based on now. This proves that, after 15 years, the music industry has learned nothing and still wants to stifle that upstart MP3 industry for daring to change the music industry's precious status quo.

One small step for man, one giant stumble for mankind.