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Comment: Re:uh - by design? (Score 1) 160

by megabeck42 (#48667083) Attached to: Thunderbolt Rootkit Vector

I agree. I call bullshit.

What he describes is plausible, especially if the flash is socketed. But, not bloody likely. Considering that this malware would have to add itself to the existing flash image as an option rom or by infecting and rewriting part of the bios code and then writing that back to the rom.. Unless this was a targeted attack, the malware author would have to work out logic for each one of the major base BIOSes in use - phoenix, award, dell, lenovo, etc to be able to infect them. This is ignoring lots of machines which prevent either prevent rewriting the flash without physical access or require the new system image to be signed. Also, keep in mind that testing this ahead of time is rather difficult given the wide range of different BIOSes on different motherboards, etc. any unexpected bug could render an infected machine unbootable. So, hell of a lot of work for the malware/virus author with quite a lot of risk for failure.. especially when there's a lot of lower hanging fruit.

I don't doubt that it's happened to someone out there.

Also, I do believe this is one of the scenarios Intel TXT is for.

Comment: A 1990s classic joke (Score 2) 230

by Stormwatch (#48595555) Attached to: Forbes Blasts Latests Windows 7 Patch as Malware

With the recent problems being encountered by Windows users all across the country, people are begin to ask themselves if windows is a virus. In response to the high demand for an answer to that question a study was done and concluded the following.

1. Viruses replicate quickly.
Windows does this.

2. Viruses use up valuable system resources, slowing down the system as they do so.
Windows does this.

3. Viruses will, from time to time, trash your hard disk.
Windows does this.

4. Viruses are usually carried, unkown to the user, along with valuable programs and systems.
Windows does that too.

5. Viruses will occasionally make the user suspect their system is too slow (see 2) and the user will buy new hardware.
Same with Windows, yet again.

Maybe Windows really is a virus.

Nope! There is a difference!

Viruses are well supported by their authors, are frequently updated, and tend to become more sophisticated as they mature. So there! Windows is not a virus.

Comment: Re: Just wondering... (Score 1) 416

by Phronesis (#48591483) Attached to: MIT Removes Online Physics Lectures and Courses By Walter Lewin

You just confirmed that it is being used and that it has useful data. Studying it are using it and as you bring up it has been used to prove that his conclusions about twins where wrong. In fact his data proves the exact opposite, that twins separated at birth do not show similar intelligence and school results.

Of course thats not the use he intended but it's still useful.

Huh? Mengele's twin research had nothing to do with intelligence of twins separated at birth. It involved mutilating twins (e.g., injecting chemicals into their eyes to try to change the eye color) or killing and dissecting them.

There was no systematic scientific design. Just sadism pretending to be science. What useful information, intended or unintended, has anyone found in his data?

Comment: Re:Just wondering... (Score 2) 416

by Phronesis (#48577117) Attached to: MIT Removes Online Physics Lectures and Courses By Walter Lewin

Not to Godwin a discussion, but same argument for the research the Nazis did on twins. Some of it is good, useful information. But nobody will touch it because of its source.

ORLY? All the scholarship I have read about the twin research concludes that there was no serious effort at science and that the data that were collected were useless. Do you have any citations to support your assertion that the twin research produced any good scientifically useful data?

Comment: San Francisco already did this (Score 5, Interesting) 178

by Animats (#48567503) Attached to: LA Mayor Proposes Earthquake Retrofits On Thousands of Buildings

San Francisco already did this. Almost all the masonry buildings in SF have been reinforced since the 1989 quake, and now the rules are being tighened on wood buldings. If you've been in an older building in SF, you've probably seen huge diagonal steel braces. That's what it looks like.

All new big buildings meet very tough earthquake standards. The bridges and freeways have been beefed up in recent years. Overpass pillars are about three times as big as they used to be. Two elevated freeways were torn down after one in Oakland failed in the 1989 quake. The entire eastern span of the Bay Bridge was replaced with a new suspension bridge. The western span was strengthened, and there are now sliding joints, huge plates of stainless steel, between the roadway and the towers.

Comment: The corporate AI (Score 4, Insightful) 417

by Animats (#48566135) Attached to: AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us

What I'm worried about is when AIs start doing better at corporate management than humans. If AIs do better at running companies than humans, they have to be put in charge for companies to remain competitive. That's maximizing shareholder value, which is what capitalism is all about.

Once AIs get good enough to manage at all, they should be good at it. Computers can handle more detail than humans. They communicate better and faster than humans. Meetings will take seconds, not hours. AI-run businesses will react faster.

Then AI-run businesses will start deailng with other AI-run businesses. Human-run businesses will be too slow at replying to keep up. The pressure to put an AI in charge will increase.

We'll probably see this first in the finanical sector. Many funds are already run mostly by computers. There's even a fund which formally has a program on their board of directors.

The concept of the corporation having no social responsibiilty gives us enough trouble. Wait until the AIs are in charge.

Interchangeable parts won't.