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Comment: Delay-tolerant networking (Score 1) 105

Effort has been underway for quite some time - by folks such as Vint Cerf, no less - to facilitate Internet over long delays. Surprisingly, there has been terrestrial (or aquatic) applications in the research as well, for example solar-powered sensor networks that can only transmit during daylight hours.

There's a nice overview architecture draft from 2003, especially interesting bits are in the routing section (12.3-12.4), see - the eventually published RFC has nowhere such interesting figures about routing between Earth and Mars :)

Anyway, the underlying arch is relying on putting a "bundle layer" between applications and transport, a layer 5 if you will - and the bundling will attempt to hide the long latencies. Naturally, for interactive applications this won't work, but for everything else why not...There are some implementations at

Comment: Re:Modem connection tones (Score 1) 790

by Zarhan (#48786113) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Sounds We Don't Hear Any More?

Trust me, they are still used in M2M connections in places that only have PSTN and where cellular is flaky. I had to set up US Robotics modem and hook it up to a Cisco router's AUX port only last week so customer could do interoperability tests with their newly ordered modems. Yes, it's mid-2010's.

Granted, the speaker was turned off...

Comment: Can you make the costs tax-deductible? (Score 3, Informative) 182

by Zarhan (#47965683) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Who Should Pay Costs To Attend Conferences?

Since no one has mentioned this yet - I'm not sure if this applies in the U.S., but at least in Finland you can deduct profession-related (not necessarily work-related!) expenses from your income taxes.

This typically includes stuff like literature, computer equipment (if used for said income), and yes, even travel expenses. Of course the expenses have to be related to your profession - my education and entire professional history is from CS, so I cannot put e.g. gardening tools in there, but a trip to a conference related to your field can be easily put under training expenses.

Comment: Re:I WAS a regular on Coursera (Score 4, Informative) 182

by Zarhan (#47897089) Attached to: The MOOC Revolution That Wasn't

I have this problem as well with not just online courses but several video "tutorials". It's been numerous times recently that I've googled for for "how do I ...." and the top results have been videos. I typically have some idea on how to do what I'm looking for, and I just need to verify some details. So now, Instead of quickly skimming a text (or even a slideset) to find the exact bits I'm looking for, I have to try to fast-forward a video to a point where it gets interesting.

This is especially problematic when you are just looking at a talking head droning on, or just a video of someone doing stuff with an application. One exception has been when I wanted to cut down a tree in my back yard. There was no danger to surroundings since the house wasn't anywhere close by, so I figured I could just cut it down myself. In this case, the videos on how to use a chainsaw helped a lot, since it showed actually *stuff happening*, not just a talking head.

If these video lectures would even have transcripts, that would increase their usability tremendously. Considering that youtube is now offering closed captions created with voice recognition, such transcripts could perhaps be generated automatically soon...

Comment: Re:Please let it be single-player (Score 1) 266

by Zarhan (#47859659) Attached to: John Romero On Reinventing the Shooter

In a way, I hope for a video game crash similar to 1983. This may be the only way we might see actual creative gaming again, since the cool games are not going to come from the big names.

Are you nuts? The world of games is better and more interesting than it has been in *years*. All in one: Kickstarter. From about a period of 2003 to 2010, the only interesting games for me besides WoW were things like Civilization series. (Oh, and Half-Life 2).

Now we have a *ton* of "indie"/kickstarter projects. Some are not yet ready, but just off the top of my head (yes, I've put money in all of them): Star Citizen, Shadowrun (and the DLC Dragonfall), Torment/Numenera, Shroud of Avatar, Elite Dangerous. And even the "AAA" stuff is better than in ages - Far Cry 3, Skyrim, Portal, and so on.

Gaming seemed dead to me for almost a decade, the 2000-2010 were really dark ages, and I was thinking that maybe I've just "grown out" of games.Turned out that the problem was the games instead.

Comment: Re:Alternative Title (Score 5, Interesting) 155

by Zarhan (#47791595) Attached to: Reformatting a Machine 125 Million Miles Away

Not modem reset. The filesystem on Spirit had bunch of temp files and other stuff from the Earth-Mars flight, and apparently it just ran out of inodes. So basically they had to remote into whatever constitutes a bootloader with 20 mins of latency and remove some of the no-longer-needed files.


Comment: Re:"new", yes. More power, no. (Score 1) 101

by Zarhan (#46996687) Attached to: In the New Age of Game Development, Gamers Have More Power Than Ever

Battlecruiser 3000AD being one example. The first studio that released it ran into financial trouble and rushed it out the door before it was ready. Patches were eventually released and development continues still, at least the last time I looked It's had a somewhat cult following, but never attained the status it probably could have.

Are you kidding? Derek Smart's personal little ultimate vaporware project, where we couldn't see anything like that until Duke Nukem Forever? It was not "rushed", considering it was like what, 10 years in the making?

BC3000AD was one of those things were the dev(singular) attempted to bite down more that he could chew.

Comment: Has been seen in scifi (Score 1) 357

by Zarhan (#46601695) Attached to: Gunshot Victims To Be Part of "Suspended Animation" Trials

Pushing Ice by Alastair Reynolds has this tech. The author points out in the afterword that this actually one of the few things that might be reality even today - apparently it's now starting to appear more widely...

Anyway, sounds good, I wonder how far the preservation could continue. The old cryogenics scenarios start to come into mind...

Comment: Pretty standard BYOD setup (Score 4, Informative) 417

by Zarhan (#46438501) Attached to: School Tricks Pupils Into Installing a Root CA

I don't see the problem with the tech itself. If you have a "BYOD's allowed" policy, that also usually states that "if you put your own device in, here are the rules". Rules may state installing the network owner's root CA and allowing for traffic to be inspected.

In most cases, this is intended to be benevolent - it's kind of hard to run threat detection algorithms on an encrypted connection. In business environments, DLP and similar can of course be used too.

Now, in here I think the key issue was that the users were not told about the practice, and were not asked to agree to these stipulations. And of course, the old adage about not attributing to malice what can be explained by incompetence also applies here - if the issue got "fixed" then it might have been simply just that, incompetence. Somebondy enabled the same SSL interception on the student network that they are using for faculty, or similar.

Comment: Re:Not supprised (Score 1) 270

by Zarhan (#46331373) Attached to: How much time do you spend gaming compared to 10 years ago?

Sounds a bit like nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

For me, gaming has been significantly less over the last few years. Is it nostalgia that games used to be better? Not actually. In the last few years I've played one "recent" game that I've paid full price for - Skyrim. Couple of years ago I played a lot of World of warcraft, but I couldn't stand Kung Fu Pandas. I do pick up some games off Steam Sales, and these have included e.g. FTL and Bioshock Infinite, but neither had really any staying power.

Recent games I've played:
- Quest for Glory (entire series, I to V)
- Privateer
- Wing Commander I & II
- X-Wing is ongoing right now, hoping to move on to TIE fighter soon
- Legend Adventures (Gateway I & II, Eric the Unready)
- Dungeon Master

Of course, I remember all these, having gone over them a lot of times before. As such, they don't draw me to the screen as much as they did on previous iterations - hence I play less.

Anyway, I'm really hoping that the new "indie" projects will be successful. I've shelled out money for Star Citizen, Shroud of Avatar and Tides of Numenera. Hoping for a good, modern replacement for Wing Commander/Privateer, Ultimas and Baldur's Gate/Torments, respectively. If even one of them pans out, it'll be a good year.

Comment: Re:Can see how own network, messaging is being use (Score 1) 207

by Zarhan (#46315039) Attached to: Microsoft Lync Server Gathers Employee Data Just Like NSA

Also, I shudder to think of the potential mess caused by allowing personal laptops to VPN in the first place.

Depends. With proper endpoint assessment tools, you can obtain some reasonable security. BYOD is kind of a rising trend, so a generally accepted method seems to be "Sure, you can connect your own laptop or tablet or whatever to the network, but you'll use Anyconnect and the HostScan has to report conformance". This mostly stems from the fact that in all the meetings folks are starting to use their fancy iPads instead of bulky laptops...and are expecting same services being available.

I've seen some customer actually think of this as a benefit - savings in IT budget. If workers are willing to maintain their own devices on their own time and all the IT has to do is a compliance check, all the better for the company.

Comment: It's just CDR records. It's not like it's a secret (Score 3, Informative) 207

by Zarhan (#46314807) Attached to: Microsoft Lync Server Gathers Employee Data Just Like NSA

Lync stores the info in two databases, LCSCDR and QoEMetrics. The first one has info on all sessions, other one has quality data. It's not like it's some super-secret database, MS has full specs in Technet, for example shows what's exactly stored in SessionDetails table.

Yes, such info *could* be used to do data-mining. Same info could be used to optimize least cost routing, gathering statistics on network performance, planning upgrades, and whatever you like. I've personally crafted a few reports from those DBs on how much folks are calling PSTN from Lync on various customer sites, so they can decide what is the priority in upgrading E1/T1 to VoIP-based PSTN connection.

It's not a conspiracy. Server admins can look at what kind of stuff you are doing on such servers.

A good supervisor can step on your toes without messing up your shine.