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Comment: Re:A better map (Score 1) 322

by Whippen (#44648377) Attached to: Open Source Mapping Software Shows Every Traffic Death On Earth

This, is what I was expecting. Putting numbers on countries gives you an idea of the scale of the problem, but it doesn't hit home at all.

1.24 million dying on the road per year is insane, but when it's just a number on your country, you don't feel the individuals or names attached to it.

GNOME

GNOME 3.8 Released Featuring New "Classic" Mode 267

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the extend-freely dept.
Hot on the heels of the Gtk+ 3.8 release comes GNOME 3.8. There are a few general UI improvements, but the highlight for many is the new Classic mode that replaces fallback. Instead of using code based on the old GNOME panel, Classic emulates the feel of GNOME 2 through Shell extensions (just like Linux Mint's Cinnamon interface). From the release notes: "Classic mode is a new feature for those people who prefer a more traditional desktop experience. Built entirely from GNOME 3 technologies, it adds a number of features such as an application menu, a places menu and a window switcher along the bottom of the screen. Each of these features can be used individually or in combination with other GNOME extensions."
Electronic Frontier Foundation

DOJ Often Used Cell Tower Impersonating Devices Without Explicit Warrants 146

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the bending-the-rules dept.
Via the EFF comes news that, during a case involving the use of a Stingray device, the DOJ revealed that it was standard practice to use the devices without explicitly requesting permission in warrants. "When Rigmaiden filed a motion to suppress the Stingray evidence as a warrantless search in violation of the Fourth Amendment, the government responded that this order was a search warrant that authorized the government to use the Stingray. Together with the ACLU of Northern California and the ACLU, we filed an amicus brief in support of Rigmaiden, noting that this 'order' wasn't a search warrant because it was directed towards Verizon, made no mention of an IMSI catcher or Stingray and didn't authorize the government — rather than Verizon — to do anything. Plus to the extent it captured loads of information from other people not suspected of criminal activity it was a 'general warrant,' the precise evil the Fourth Amendment was designed to prevent. ... The emails make clear that U.S. Attorneys in the Northern California were using Stingrays but not informing magistrates of what exactly they were doing. And once the judges got wind of what was actually going on, they were none too pleased:"
Networking

Misconfigured Open DNS Resolvers Key To Massive DDoS Attacks 179

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the check-your-sources dept.
msm1267 writes with an excerpt From Threat Post: "While the big traffic numbers and the spat between Spamhaus and illicit webhost Cyberbunker are grabbing big headlines, the underlying and percolating issue at play here has to do with the open DNS resolvers being used to DDoS the spam-fighters from Switzerland. Open resolvers do not authenticate a packet-sender's IP address before a DNS reply is sent back. Therefore, an attacker that is able to spoof a victim's IP address can have a DNS request bombard the victim with a 100-to-1 ratio of traffic coming back to them versus what was requested. DNS amplification attacks such as these have been used lately by hacktivists, extortionists and blacklisted webhosts to great success." Running an open DNS resolver isn't itself always a problem, but it looks like people are enabling neither source address verification nor rate limiting.

Comment: Re:So, anything goes? (Score 1) 69

by Whippen (#40363489) Attached to: Australian Gamers Finally Get an R-18+ Category

Previously, the highest rating available for games was MA15+ (Mature Audiences), which is meant for 15-18 year olds. If a game was not able to fit in this category for any reason (language, sex, nudity, etc), then it was placed in Refuse Classification. There are other ways for a game to receive an RC status, such as promoting serious crimes, pedophilia, etc. Note that RC exists for films, books and magazines too - its just that these other categories have R18 and X18 categories available, meaning there is much greater scope for being able to correctly rate a piece of media.

And don't be fooled by the term RC. It is legal to purchase or possess RC material (with exceptions such as child pornography), but illegal to sell, publish and show in public. Import restrictions prevent importing RC material, but AFAIK, the case of if downloading is considered importing was never defined in legislation, nor tested in court.

It's also noteworthy that the idiot we have a Federal Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, is planning to have his mandatory Internet filter block all RC content. Before this new legislation, a screenshot from a game not suitable for 15 years would have been blocked for every Australian, if the filter was already in place. There is a review happening on the RC category, but considering there has been significant noise about the R18+ category for games happening for a good 5 years, I can't see much else changing.

Comment: Re:Different than police helicopters with observer (Score 1) 113

by Whippen (#39989365) Attached to: Aussie Police Consider Using Automated Spy Drones

Much more powerful equipment in the manned choppers though. The current fleet has FLIR, pilot NVG, high zoom cams - plus the whatever other gear they use which is not publicly acknowledged.

If you think a drone is capable of the same surveillance as a twin engine manned chopper, I think you need to do some research on how much decent gear weighs vs the payload of a small UAS.

Comment: Re:The root cause of this problem is an email serv (Score 1) 196

by Whippen (#39981551) Attached to: Bitcoinica Breach Nets Hackers $87,000 In Bitcoins

Ahh, plenty of ways to escalate access from an email server comprise...

You could:
Send an email to another admin, asking them to reset your password
Look through old emails for a "reset password" email
Use your new shell access to exploit a local (not network facing) vulnerability
etc, etc...

Comment: Re:Why all this speculation? The report was clear. (Score 4, Informative) 319

by Whippen (#39839491) Attached to: Fly-By-Wire Contributed To Air France 447 Disaster

In any fly-by-wire aircraft, the computers will return the aircraft to a normal flight attitude. So the A330 has reduced aerodynamic postive stability (still above neutral), but the computer involvement makes up for this. Of course, when you lose the pitots, the computers drop from normal law to alternate law, which means they stop intervening in some situations, and instead warn the pilots. The prime example is a stall - you can't stall an A330 when running in normal law, as the computers will manipulate the control surfaces to prevent this. In alternate law, the computers are unsure of the full picture, due to failed inputs, so they warn the pilots of a stall. In this case, you have lost some of the stability introduced by the computers - there is some stability there, but when you are pulling back on the side stick while stalling in a storm, no amount of positive stability is going to correct it.

Positive stability doesn't fix all situations. If you have too low a power setting, out of trim, CG not correct or even strong external forces (such as a storm), the a positively stable aircraft can fail to stabilise itself.

Think of your car steering wheel. When you turn, it takes effort to move away from straight, and you feel continued pressure to return to straight. If you let go of the wheel, it will return to a straight position. This is positive stability. If your car had neutral stability, it would take much less effort (ie no resistance) to move away from the straight position, and if you let go of the wheel, it would stay in the turned position you left it in. If you had negative stability, turning the wheel would induce a force in the direction of your turn, encouraging and pulling the wheel further into the direction of turn. Letting go of the wheel would cause a turn to full lock. As you can imagine, this negative stability provides much more maneuverability, but requires computes to be able to bring the wheel back to central when the pilot indicates as such through the control column.
 

Comment: Re:Why all this speculation? The report was clear. (Score 4, Informative) 319

by Whippen (#39839227) Attached to: Fly-By-Wire Contributed To Air France 447 Disaster

You are referring to "positive stability", which is absolutely designed into the non fly-by-wire aircraft, such as the smaller Cessna's, Piper's, etc. With a fly-by-wire aircraft, the computers can handle the stability by making fine adjustments, leading the designers to make the aircraft closer to neutral stability. More the positively stable an aircraft is, the more aggressively it returns to a normal flight level, but you lose maneuverability. Commercial jets being closer to neutral stability, gives them more maneuverability, and slightly better fuel consumption.

Have you heard the claim that modern air force jets need X number of computers to stay in the air? This is due to them being designed with negative stability, meaning any pilot induced oscillation will grow larger and larger, therefor the computers are required to compensate for the lack of aerodynamic positive stability. The negative stability gives them a massive amount of maneuverability.

Comment: Re:The problem. (Score 1) 140

by Whippen (#39408379) Attached to: Futuristic Biplane Design Eliminates Sonic Boom

It's not a canard at all, completely different principles. A canard is designed so that the forward wing will always stall before the main wing, ensuring that the entire aircraft has significant positive stability. Combined with the benefits of a pusher propolsution, you get a stable yet maneuverable aircraft.

Designing a bi-plane to reduce the sonic boom is resolving a completely different problem, using completely different designs.

Comment: too many movies (Score 1) 374

by Whippen (#37881734) Attached to: Australia's Biggest Airline Grounds Its Entire Fleet

Claims of QANTAS never having a fatal crash are wrong. They have never had a jet crash with fatalities, but they have had non-jet fatal crahes, incidents on jets being fatal (such as workers falling onto the tarmac), and they most certainly have had passengers die in flight.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Qantas_fatal_accidents is a start, and google can point you in the direction of more fatal incidents.

No amount of careful planning will ever replace dumb luck.

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