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Comment: Re:See nothing that says this is x86 (Score 0) 113

by adolf (#49384605) Attached to: Microsoft Announces Surface 3 Tablet

I engineer my systems and tools for me, not you.

I need ports, expandability, and the ability to plug random hardware in. I don't need light-weight, and I don't need to run all day on batteries.

I have all of that, along with what I believe to be comparable speed...instead of none of that, and $499 less in my pocket.

I've got better things to spend $499 on than a side-grade to a different form factor that doesn't fucking work for me. But thanks anyway, asshole!

Comment: Re:Hindenburg? (Score 1) 126

by adolf (#49384355) Attached to: World's Largest Aircraft Seeks Investors To Begin Operation

The airship cost $300,000 to buy. It doesn't matter if it cost someone else $90,000,000 to build it; the loss of $89,700,000 is the government's loss, not the current owners.

Car analogy: I once paid $6,500 for an excellent car that had a new sticker price of $53,000, and I've been driving it like a $6,500 car ever since.

Comment: Re:See nothing that says this is x86 (Score 0) 113

by adolf (#49384343) Attached to: Microsoft Announces Surface 3 Tablet

105W is not astonishingly bad; it was simply the cost of performance at the time (before the i7 brand and DDR3 became a common thing). The power consumption game had barely started for desktop components.

I expect my portable computers to be just that: Portable computers. I do the same things with a portable computer as I do with a desktop computer.

For me, this lately means software decoding of many concurrent high-resolution video streams, and heavy single-threaded software.

I doubt this new Atom part is even as fast as my (even more ancient) 1.83GHz, 2MB cache, single-core Pentium-M laptop at these tasks.

It doesn't if the battery lasts twice as long, if it also takes twice as long to accomplish the work before me.

Perhaps I am a corner-case in that I actually want a CPU to be "fast" compared to products from a decade or so ago, especially if the device is bigger than a cell phone. I'm not buying anything slower than what I already have.

Comment: Re:Although unused, not useful (Score 1) 203

by adolf (#49381601) Attached to: Amazon Tests Delivery Drones At Secret Canada Site After US Frustration

Because the only failure mode is the sudden and catastrophic sort of failure mode, and there is nothing that can be done to help promote safety after such a failure event occurs.

Also, as I'm sure you're aware: Airplanes don't glide, and helicopters don't auto-gyro.


Comment: Re:What could possibly go wrong? (Score 1) 160

by adolf (#49341963) Attached to: Energy Company Trials Computer Servers To Heat Homes

Ummm well, that kinda depends on what you consider "cracked open". It took years to get it to boot and run something not designed to run on it. If you talk about, say, reading data on the system, that would not have taken years. Also, I have no idea how many people were working to crack PS3, I guess not that many, and the one who succeeded was some kid(no offence to smart kids, they are the ones who have time to work on things like cracking PS3 for fun) ? Just saying if the crackers had been people who had worked on such systems before the time might have been way shorter.

You know, I normally don't reply to ACs for a variety of reasons. I even have AC reply notification emails directed to /dev/null. I only see AC replies if I go looking for them, and I seldom do that. If you (or anyone else) wants to actually conduct discourse with me, please log in first.

It took years for the PS3 to be a general-purpose computer, outside of the (revoked, crippled) Linux environment.

Of course, a real impetus on a game console is piracy / copyright-infringment / making trial-ware out of pay-ware / running backups instead of originals. My own PS1 has a hardware mod chip that I installed myself, not to run Linux on the thing, but to make it run whatever the fuck I feel like -- even if it is a CD-R backup of a game that I've bought.

My original Xbox had a similar mod, though it was entirely done in software/firmware.

I have a hacked PS3. It required no soldering.

And it took *years* for this to happen. By then, the space-heater/radiator systems in TFS will have been supplanted with better ones. And with the current ease with which whole-disk and end-to-end network encryption is performed, I really don't see a clear-and-present security issue for companies using such machines as back-end database servers (indeed, perhaps the most available backup DB servers they have, on average -- with abilities to go live).

The PS1 hack happened without armed guards. It simply emulated a plain-to-the-eye barcode on the disc, and since the system itself had no on-board storage that was perfectly adequate to enable it to do whatever.

The Xbox hack was a buffer overflow using a saved game (I used 007), which allowed the Pentium-based machine to do the user's bidding: It booted a custom OS upon loading of a magical save-game. (wherein save-game itself was just a thing downloaded from the internet, stubbed onto an Xbox memory card using a special windows driver and a magic USB driver, and loaded into a memory card plugged into an official Xbox controller plugged into any run-of-the-mill PC, using a cheap big-box-store Mad Catz extension cable as a USB adapter and a soldering iron and/or a crimping tool to make the mismatched connectors mate.)

Those were all quick hacks, on the order of short weeks or months, with clear and present outcomes in terms of piracy.

The PS3 hack took *years* of fuckery to establish itself, and took such tomfoolery and even decapping chips (which was as-yet largely unheard of in such circles...) to make happen. And PS3 piracy still doesn't seem to be rampant, and backups are still hard to do.

But anyway, AC, my point stands: The PS3 took years to crack, and it was a much bigger crack than just reading a MySQL DB off of an unencrypted HD, or taking control of the system that provides heat for your house (==you're getting paid for). The former is simple with physical access (and most certainly isn't something that someone would install on a server intended for in a common abode these days), the latter is readily identifiable and actionable with failure and latency heuristics.

Truecrypt, OpenVPN == win.

Good bye again, AC. And good luck for getting "free" heat from the third-party servers installed in your house if you get them to do your bidding instead of their proprietors', or of 0wning them and taking the data for yourself. The very best you'll by fucking with them will be to break them so that they generate negative revenue for yourself, as they draw power and don't generate expected results.

You're better off plugging a big resistor into the wall: I think we call these "space heaters," and there is no contract required.

Comment: Re:What could possibly go wrong? (Score 2) 160

by adolf (#49331445) Attached to: Energy Company Trials Computer Servers To Heat Homes

And despite this commonly-held belief, it took *years* for the PS3 to be cracked open, with millions of units in the field, without guards or locked doors.

Physical security is a hell of a good start toward stemming the tide, but it doesn't hold a candle to systems that are actually secure.

I used to heat a large 2-bedroom ground-floor corner apartment with waste heat from computers and audio gear. It did have baseboard heaters, which did get used once or twice on the coldest nights, but often there was a window or outside door cracked open to let the heat out (in Ohio, in January) instead..

Comment: Re:Fuck ISPs (Score 4, Informative) 130

by adolf (#49307005) Attached to: ISPs Worry About FCC's 'Future Conduct' Policing

"We"? I guess.

The speed of my own VDSL connection was deemed inadequately-quick to spool Usenet traffic well over a decade ago. And the last time I commissioned an NNTP server, it didn't even come close to burdening a T1 (close to 20 years ago).

But, I know! We can distribute the load. Use fifty-thousand volunteer servers, all with different parts and PAR files to keep up the slack, scattered everywhere in the world. ...just like BitTorrent, but worse.

The beauty of Usenet was its simple one-to-many approach on a local level. The long-distance pipes had a predictable burden and the last-mile burden was limited to the end-user requests (with proper application of nntpcache, geographically-diverse NNTP servers, et cetera), where bandwidth is cheap.

It was a system that was designed to be very efficient, and it was very efficient. But in order to re-create it efficiently takes support from TWC, ATT, COX, etc., but they've already killed it and it is dead.

(Oh, sure: Today I can buy NNTP access from any number of centralized providers with months- or years-long retention. But that's not the way that Usenet was intended to work and doing so isn't nice to the network at all.)

What we need is proper multicast IP, which IPV6 seems be implicit about: Want a 4GB $file? Sign up to the multicast feed, wait for 4GB of file to stream your way, and done.

One-to-many. It's been built into the Internet since well before I was involved with it and yet nobody seems to understand it anymore. (It used to sadden me, and then I realized that I was sad for reasons that nobody else wanted to care about, so now I just don't care about network efficiency at all. The Me! Me! Me! mentality that I've adopted instead, just like everyone else, is much more gratifying, and actually opposed to Usenet or Multicast-IP today.)

% APL is a natural extension of assembler language programming; ...and is best for educational purposes. -- A. Perlis