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Comment False comparison (Score 1) 274

Universities typically use endowments for the fixed-cost and facilities portions of their budgets, which is not student support. But, as a result, those costs do not need to be paid out of tuition. This means the number given in the summary, "endowment used for tuition etc" is meaningless because that is not what endowment is typically used for. This seems like a hit piece that is cherry-picking numbers to trump up a conclusion.

Comment Re:He may be mistaken (Score 1) 204

I also thought the CRS contracts were for deliveries, not launches. Maybe he has included the cost of schedule changes for other launches that were already more expensive? But I guess saying that it is almost as expensive to reschedule a non-spaceX launch that it is to do a spaceX one doesn't come off as good in a headline. The CRS contract to SpaceX, according to the wikipedia page, is $1.6 billion for 12 launches, or $133 million per launch.

Comment Re:You cannot regulate cyberweapons. (Score 1) 123

While the term "cyberweapon" is ludicrous, I think there is still a valid question concerning what the legal consequences are of selling zero-day vulnerabilities or tools that use them. Is it even illegal? Or is only illegal if they are used for an illegal activity? And if that is the case, how is illegal activity defined in an international governmental context? This will likely all get worked out by case law, but maybe it would help to write or revise some laws as well.

Comment Re:No hardware or software fault? (Score 1) 80

I believe the use of the word "fault" here means that there is nothing broken on the spacecraft, hardware or software. It behaved as it was supposed to, it was just fed a bad command sequence. i.e. any software fault was in the auditing software on the ground. Even then it may not be a "fault" (i.e. breakage) but just some conditions that aren't accounted for in the audit.

Comment Re:It's finally time (Score 1) 314

You have mistaken the role of government in healthcare. Government, by mandate of the people, already requires treatment of acutely ill individuals, and nobody is arguing to change that. The question is then how this is paid for (mandated insurance or socialized medicine), what is more cost-effective (in terms of preventative care), and is earlier treatment sufficiently more humane to be preferable in some cases? Also your "small minority of the population" is simply not small. A good 30-50% of Americans have trouble affording health care, partially because people like you prevent the appropriate management of the cost for the already existing basic universal health care. It's not all or nothing as you imply, a typical successful model is to provide basic coverage by mandate or required insurance, and then individuals with means can pay for other perks like shorter wait times or better rooms.

On the dental care side. If society places value on not having a bunch of snaggle-toothed people around, regardless of their ability to pay for orthodontic care, then the government can similarly intervene in that market on behalf of the public to make it more affordable.

Comment Re:Cost (Score 3) 79

The summary is a bit ambiguous. The first part says these are supposed to substitute for shelters (which I think are like schools and football stadiums), while the second talks about FEMA trailers. Temporary shelters and temporary housing are fairly different things, and FEMA trailers are the latter and not the former. Perhaps this is intended to fill the gap between the two? Given the features other posters have pointed out, these do not appear to be temporary housing, more like temporary shelter.

Comment Re:Same error, repeated (Score 1) 309

Yes, same error, but you missed it. The fundamental problem is that truely secure non-centralized key verification is HARD. If the bank publishes their GPG key, why would you trust it?

Tools for managing one's trust network barely exist. This problem is not isolated to GPG. This problem is so difficult that the more commonly used protocols, HTTPS and S/MIME, solve it effectively by ignoring it and replacing it with a system in which individuals have little or no control over their trust network. Marlinspike has participated in efforts to improve the trust network for HTTPS, but makes the same error, as use of his tools requires one to trust him.

Comment Re:No single point of failure is permissible (Score 1) 99

Exactly. The problem here is the way the SIM is being used. The SIM manufacturer stores a key on the SIM and gives a copy to the carrier. Then if the NSA can just steal the key (from the SIM manufacturer or the carrier) they can do all sorts of nasty. The right way to do this is have a private key generated on the SIM and never leaving it and the carrier only gets the corresponding public key from the SIM manufacturer. Then the information that the SIM manufacturer and the carrier has is not sensitive and cannot be used to impersonate the SIM and decrypt communications. I'm sure there are reasonable historical reasons why the "right thing" is not being done. This reminds me of wifi which took several iterations of the standard to get something that is not trivially insecure, and even still it is not too hard to just pick the wrong settings and it becomes insecure.

Comment Re:Nuclear plants don't like sudden shutdowns (Score 2) 311

Even if they had gotten the generators, you can't just rewire things on the spur of the moment like that, especially not when a significant section of the country has also been wiped out. Of course if they had proper hardened vents like are required in the US, there wouldn't have been any explosions. Still would have been a technical loss of containment due to the necessity of venting, and probably still a meltdown, but the destruction of the outer containment and cooling systems by the explosions was the real disaster.

Comment Re:I can't wait! (Score 1) 471

The case in the article seems like an example of this kind of problem with the systemd team. Instead of working with one of the prominent bootloaders to get the UEFI trust chain worked out, they just adopt an infrequently-updated nonstandard (sounds like = buggy) bootloader and run with it. This has the effect of abandoning all the work already put in by the prominent bootloaders to get corner cases working. It's a shortcut so systemd can add a bullet to their feature list, but provides the feature in such a way that it is buggy for many use cases.

I don't object so much to replacing sysv init, but the systemd team appears to have a tendency toward repeatedly reinventing the wheel badly just to get things done faster, and being kinda rude about it, and that makes one a bit uneasy. Though I'm honestly unsure if this is just the sensationalization of a few usual cases or more typical behavior.

Don't sweat it -- it's only ones and zeros. -- P. Skelly