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+ - How much did your biggest "tech" mistake cost?

NotQuiteReal writes: What is the most expensive piece of hardware you broke (I fried a $2500 disk drive once, back when 400MB was $2500) or what software bug did you let slip that caused damage? (No comment on the details — but about $20K cost to a client.)

Did you lose your job over it?

If you worked on the Mars probe that crashed, please try not to be the First Post, that would scare off too many people!

Comment: Changed an engine (Score 1) 172 172

1. I changed an engine to the reverse rotation direction. OK, it was a 2-stroke engine but anyway. It allowed for a more reliable transmission changing from belt drive to cog drive.
2. Transplanted the electronic board from a hard-crashed ST402 drive to another that had dead electronics to get one working drive.

+ - Frank Herbert's Dune, 50 Years On->

An anonymous reader writes: This October will be the 50th anniversary of Frank Herbert's massively popular and influential sci-fi novel Dune. The Guardian has written a piece examining its effects on the world at least, and how the book remains relevant even now. Quoting: "Books read differently as the world reforms itself around them, and the Dune of 2015 has geopolitical echoes that it didn’t in 1965, before the oil crisis and 9/11. ... As Paul’s destiny becomes clear to him, he begins to have visions 'of fanatic legions following the green and black banner of the Atreides, pillaging and burning across the universe in the name of their prophet Muad’Dib.' If Paul accepts this future, he will be responsible for 'the jihad’s bloody swords,' unleashing a nomad war machine that will up-end the corrupt and oppressive rule of the emperor Shaddam IV (good) but will kill untold billions (not so good) in the process. In 2015, the story of a white prophet leading a blue-eyed brown-skinned horde of jihadis against a ruler called Shaddam produces a weird funhouse mirror effect, as if someone has jumbled up recent history and stuck the pieces back together in a different order."
Link to Original Source

+ - Reporter of an e-voting vulnerability raided in Argentina

TrixX writes: There have just been police raids at the home of an Argentinian security professional who discovered and reported several vulnerabilities in the electronic ballot system to be used next weeks for elections in the city of Buenos Aires. The vulnerabilities (exposed SSL keys and ways to forge ballots with multiple votes) had been reported to the manufacturer of the voting machines, the media, and the public about a week ago.
There have been no arrest but his computers and electronics devices have been impounded. Meanwhile, the information security community in Argentina is trying to get the media to report this notorious attempt to "kill the messenger".

+ - Why Microsoft kept 2 browsers in Windows 10->

Ammalgam writes: A lot of people have heard about Microsoft’s new browser called Edge that will be included in the Windows 10 Operating System. Microsoft are positioning Edge as their new, fresh, modern browser that will be forward looking and free from Internet Explorer’s baggage. What is less well known is that Internet Explorer is also coming to Windows 10 and will play an integral secondary role in the OS. On Windows10Update.com, Onuora Amobi does the breakdown and answers the question — why does Windows 10 have 2 browsers?
Link to Original Source

+ - Soneone is Cutting Fiber Optic Cables in San Francisco

HughPickens.com writes: USA Today reports that the FBI is investigating at least 11 physical attacks on high-capacity Internet cables in California's San Francisco Bay Area dating back to at least July 6, 2014, including one early this week. "When it affects multiple companies and cities, it does become disturbing," says Special Agent Greg Wuthrich. "We definitely need the public's assistance." The pattern of attacks raises serious questions about the glaring vulnerability of critical Internet infrastructure, says JJ Thompson. "When it's situations that are scattered all in one geography, that raises the possibility that they are testing out capabilities, response times and impact," says Thompson. "That is a security person's nightmare."

Mark Peterson, a spokesman for Internet provider Wave Broadband, says an unspecified number of Sacramento-area customers were knocked offline by the latest attack. Peterson characterized the Tuesday attack as "coordinated" and said the company was working with Level 3 and Zayo to restore service. It’s possible the vandals were dressed as telecommunications workers to avoid arousing suspicion, say FBI officials. Backup systems help cushion consumers from the worst of the attacks, meaning people may notice slower email or videos not playing, but may not have service completely disrupted. But repairs are costly and penalties are not stiff enough to deter would-be vandals. "There are flags and signs indicating to somebody who wants to do damage: This is where it is folks," says Richard Doherty. "It's a terrible social crime that affects thousands and millions of people."

+ - Windows 10 to Share WiFi Credentials by Default?

ewhac writes: Even those of us who reflexively (and correctly) bash Microsoft every chance we get are having trouble wrapping our heads around this one. It seems that the latest build of Windows 10 has a new feature called Wi-Fi Sense which, by default, will share your WiFi connection profiles and credentials with all your Facebook friends, and Skype and Outlook.com contacts.

Wi-Fi Sense is apparently a feature that first appeared on Windows Phone 8.1, and is described by Managing Editor Sam Sabri in this Windows Central article from last year — without irony or sarcasm — as a, "killer feature." The apparent use case for this "killer feature" is to more conveniently share the connection credentials to your own WAP with your friends. If, however, you would prefer your WAP's info to not be shared, you have but to append the string "_optout" to your SSID (no solution is provided for people whose SSIDs are already near the 32-character limit). The WinPhone version of Wi-Fi Sense reportedly does not display the WAP's password to recipients but, since recipients can connect, the password is (probably) stored using a symmetric cipher and, thus, can be easily extracted. Wi-Fi Sense will also automagically click through any ToS page that typically appears on public WiFi access points (thus destroying any remaining illusion of meaningful assent to such so-called contracts).

Wi-Fi Sense can apparently be turned off completely, but its default state appears to be enabled and sharing everything. It is unclear how much, if any, of this "killer feature" will be in the final release of Windows 10.

+ - Ask Slashdot: Is it true that software performance is not important anymore?-> 6 6

DidgetMaster writes: Naturally, everyone wants faster hardware and software; but if you had to choose between two software packages, how much emphasis do you place on speed?

I am building a new kind of general-purpose data management system that uses new data objects that I invented. It has some cool new features that other systems lack, but speed is one of its primary selling points. It was originally designed to replace file systems for managing unstructured data; but it handles structured data so well that I think it can replace relational databases and NoSQL solutions too. It also has distributed architecture to compete with Hadoop and other distributed systems. It is able to find things thousands of times faster than a file system and is more than twice as fast as MySQL at basic table operations in my testing without needing an index. (See http://youtu.be/2uUvGMUyFhY for a demo video)

As I approach potential investors for funding, I have had more than one person say "speed is no longer important". They seem to think that everything can be solved with faster hardware or distributed processing. I am "old school" and think that speed is VERY important. Not only is time important, but better algorithms require less hardware (and thus less power and cooling) too. Am I the only one who still thinks this way?

Link to Original Source

+ - Amazon's new 6K LOC SSL/TLS implementation->

bmearns writes: Amazon announced today a new library called "s2n", an open source implementation of SSL/TLS, the cryptographic security protocols behind HTTPS, SSH, SFTP, secure SMTP, and many others. Weighing in at about 6k lines of code, it's just a little more than 1% the size of OpenSSL, which is really good news in terms of security auditing and testing. OpenSSL isn't going away, and Amazon has made clear that they will continue to support it. Notably, s2n does not provide all the additional cryptographic functions that OpenSSL provides in libcrypto, it only provides the SSL/TLS functions. Further more, it implements a relatively small subset of SSL/TLS features compared to OpenSSL.
Link to Original Source

+ - Test Pilot Admits the F-35 Can't Dogfight->

schwit1 writes: A test pilot has some very, very bad news about the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. The pricey new stealth jet can't turn or climb fast enough to hit an enemy plane during a dogfight or to dodge the enemy's own gunfire, the pilot reported following a day of mock air battles back in January.

And to add insult to injury, the JSF flier discovered he couldn't even comfortably move his head inside the radar-evading jet's cramped cockpit. "The helmet was too large for the space inside the canopy to adequately see behind the aircraft." That allowed the F-16 to sneak up on him.

The test pilot's report is the latest evidence of fundamental problems with the design of the F-35 — which, at a total program cost of more than a trillion dollars, is history's most expensive weapon.

Your tax dollars at work.

Link to Original Source

+ - The gaming chip that nearly changed the world->

An anonymous reader writes: In the Wild West of Silicon Valley startups of the late 1990s, one little company looked like it might accomplish something incredible. VM Labs had some of the best engineering talent in the world, an explosive mix of bright young minds with burning ambition and experienced old hands who once held key positions in companies such as Atari, Sony, and Sega. Their business revolved around a little chunk of silicon codenamed "Project X.” Later, they officially named their dream chip the Nuon. VM Labs believed it might change the world. (See their marketing specs [PDF] or OEM architecture guide [PDF] for proof.)
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:If you're using GPL code, you have no choice (Score 1) 164 164

It depends on if you want to push for everything being open source or if you just want to spread your pieces as open source. In the latter case the Apache license is probably one of the better with few snags for those that want to incorporate your pieces into something bigger.

+ - Study Suggests That HUD Tech May Actually Reduce Driving Safety->

Zothecula writes: Cruising at speed down the highway with a heads-up display (HUD) constantly feeding data into your line of sight can make anyone feel like a jet pilot on the road; totally in control of your vehicle and primed to avert any potential danger that comes your way. However, recent studies by the University of Toronto show that the HUD multi-tasking method of vehicle piloting may well not provide the extra margin of safety that we think it does. In fact, according to the researchers, it could be downright dangerous.
Link to Original Source

"Well, it don't make the sun shine, but at least it don't deepen the shit." -- Straiter Empy, in _Riddley_Walker_ by Russell Hoban

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