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Comment: Re:What if they know something we don't? (Score 1) 86

by HiThere (#47436105) Attached to: Chinese State Media Declares iPhone a Threat To National Security

Well...I'm not sure how hidden it is. We know that they are Apple surveilance devices, and we know that Apple will roll over if the Feds ask them to.

That said, I'd be surprised if there weren't zero-day exploits that haven't yet been made public. OTOH, the same is true for EVERY smart phone.

We've also be informed that the NSA records 80% of all voice conversations. (True? False? No way to check.) This plausibly means that they have all cell phone towers bugged. So they probably rarely need to bother Apple for the information.

Siri clearly requires that the phone know where you are to properly understand you. (Also to communicate with you.)


So whether they were intentionally designed for the purpose of being a surveilance device or not (I lean towards not) the capabilities are there. It has also been reported that the microphones and cameras can be remotely activated without signal to the user. Bug or feature? Or did it start out as a bug, but has not been documented?

Whatever, what Apple has been accused of seems blatantly true. But perhaps a result of feature creep than of malign intentions.

Comment: Re:Origin of life? (Score 1) 144

by RockDoctor (#47436041) Attached to: Hints of Life's Start Found In a Giant Virus
All of those questions are definitely on the table.

After the Human Genome was published, I wondered why the fuck Craig Venter went off on his boat to do shotgun PCR on random buckets of seawater. Though this work isn't directly related to that, it's marking Venter's decision to forgo the complexities of culturing organisms as being a truly inspired insight. (And I'm not even a biologist! I deal with dead things and I can see the importance of this choice.)

Comment: Re:You have only yourself to blame... (Score 1) 86

by HiThere (#47436021) Attached to: Chinese State Media Declares iPhone a Threat To National Security

You are embarassing. The GP was right about ONE of the messages being sent by this action. It's probably also intended to help a local company. And It's probably also intended to assist in upcoming negotiations with Apple. Etc.

Don't think that a government announcement sends only one message. Each one sends multiple messages.

Also, don't think that just because China has no problem spying on itself, that it wants anybody else to do so, no matter what it, itself, does abroad. The Chinese government is historically more insular and self-centered than even the US government, and with good reason. China holds most of the world's population, just as Africa holds most of the worlds genetic diversity (among humans). If Africa weren't so fragmented they would also be justified in thinking of the rest of the world as "insignificant tag-ends".

FWIW, you might consider that the current supercomputer speed record is held by a Chinese computer. They may have copied much of the technology from elsewhere, but they've certainly improved on it locally.

P.S.: Much of the information that you refer to as being stolen was actually transferred under contractual terms. I will grant that this isn't true of all of it, but if you look back a couple of centuries, you'll see that the North American colonies, and later the United States did a lot of technology stealing from Britain. As well as getting a lot of it via contractual transfer.

Comment: Re:What is life? What is a virus? (Score 1) 144

by RockDoctor (#47435935) Attached to: Hints of Life's Start Found In a Giant Virus

If life started with a giant virus, and viruses reproduce by infecting living creatures... wence life?

"Whence." Your spelling checker needs switching on.

That is one of the discussions elaborated in TFA : did viruses initially need life forms to replicate on? Or did they force the development of modern life forms. Or ... was there an earlier form of organism, distinctly different from modern cells (post-3.5Ga ago) and modern viruses (also post-3.5Ga ago) which held an intermediate position between modern cells and modern viruses?

One interpretation (NOT undisputed) is that giant mimiviruses could fill that position, and have genes old enough for the hypothesised split.

There doesn't appear to be a consensus. Which is normal for cutting-edge research.

Comment: Re:Murphy says no. (Score 1) 228

by dnavid (#47435633) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Unattended Maintenance Windows?

The right answer to this is to have redundant systems so you can do the work during the day without impacting business operations.

The right answer is you build in as much redundancy as you can, but you still do the work in as careful a manner as possible during downtime windows when necessary so that you don't waste the redundancy you have. You will look like the world's biggest idiot if spend a huge amount of money and design resources maing sure you have two of everything for redundancy, and while you're cavalierly upgrading the B systems because you have redundancy the A systems go down. Which they will, precisely when you bring down B for middle of the day upgrades, because the god of maintenance hates you, always has hated you, and always will hate you.

If you can afford N+2 or N+3 redundancy *everywhere* then you shouldn't be asking anyone else for availability advice.

Comment: Re:Puppet. (Score 2) 228

by dnavid (#47435595) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Unattended Maintenance Windows?

So it's someone else's fault your test environment doesn't match production?

People often fail to try hard enough to make the test environment (assuming they even have one) match the production environment, but for some problems test never matches production, and essentially never can: some problems only reveal themselves under production *conditions*. For example, I recently spent a significant amount of time involved in the troubleshooting of a kernel bug that only arose under a very specific (and still not fully characterized) set of disk loads. Test loads including tests involving loads several times higher than the production load did not uncover the bug, which caused kernel faults, and the faults randomly started occurring about a week after the software patch went live.

You should try to keep test as close as possible to production so testing on it has any validity at all, but you should never assume that testing on the test environment *guarantees* success on production. Its for that reason that, responding to the OP, I have never attempted to do any serious production upgrades in an automated and unattended fashion, and not while I'm alive will any such thing happen on any system I have authority over. As far as I'm concerned, if you decide to automate and go to sleep, make sure your resume is up to date before you do because you might not have a job when you wake up, if you guess wrong.

Even if you guess right, I might decide to fire you anyway if anyone working for me decided to do that without authorization.

Comment: and... (Score 5, Insightful) 72

by Tom (#47435245) Attached to: "Internet's Own Boy" Briefly Knocked Off YouTube With Bogus DMCA Claim

as activists are all too aware, false copyright claims can can knock legitimate content offline.

As not only activists but almost everyone aware of the rampant abuse going on has been claiming for years, it is high time that the "under penalty of perjury" part of the DMCA claims is actually enforced. Mistakes can happen, nobody is perfect, but some companies have been taking down large amounts of content for years, repeatedly and with not even a slap on the wrist.

Comment: Re:Donate (Score 1) 66

by rahvin112 (#47435231) Attached to: First Release of LibreSSL Portable Is Available

There is no stated guarantee that money donated will go to support SSL instead of OpenBSD. This fork is a fundraising drive by OpenBSD and nothing more.

Now that OpenSSL's problems are being fixed they can at least guarantee that the money donated will be spent on OpenSSL instead of some other operating system and with firm corporate backing and involvement the organizational problems (which caused the technical problems) will finally be fixed. Throwing the baby out with the bathwater is stupid. OBSD's resources and effort will always be focused on OBSD first and foremost. People that intend to use Linux should recognize that and refuse to donate unless they commit that every dollar donated for LibreSSL is _only_ spent on LibreSSL development. Theo will never make that commitment because this is a fundraising drive for OBSD first and foremost.

People interested in GPL software should donate to Linux organizations such as the Linux Foundation that have taken responsibility for OpenSSL and will ensure that it's organizational and technical problems are finally fixed.

Weekends were made for programming. - Karl Lehenbauer