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Comment: Re:Security through Antiquity? (Score 1) 481

by anotheryak (#46870181) Attached to: US Nuclear Missile Silos Use Safe, Secure 8" Floppy Disks

In the time period when these systems were installed no one monitored the integrity of j-boxes or conduit connections.

That's total crap. Do you really think the USAF would be so stupid to let their entire defense system fall prey to one Soviet agent with a shovel and a pair of wire cutters? Do you really think you are smarter than all the engineers from all the defense and communication companies who installed these silos as part of the national defense system? Or one crazy guy to short two wires and nuke Minsk?

All the cables running out of the control center towards the silos are protected by a pneumatic jacket. If the pressure changes, they know the line has been messed with and an armored security truck comes rushing out. Ask any farmer in North Dakota who put his backhoe into one. The telephone company has dealt with this sort of thing for decades on analog cable without the benefit of encryption.

Comment: Re:Security through Antiquity? (Score 1) 481

by anotheryak (#46870069) Attached to: US Nuclear Missile Silos Use Safe, Secure 8" Floppy Disks

Sure, it's terrible energy-inefficient, and the support costs must be through the roof, but i'm more comfortable knowing that the missile control systems are running on pre-internet (and even ARPANET?) systems. It means the many enemies of the US cannot just hack into the missile control systems and start armageddon. No internet, no hacking, no problem.

Why do you think it is so inefficient? They probably have something around a 4MHz processor ticking all it's clock cycles away on a 5V clock, but it's stilll more efficient than a quad-core 3GHz machine, even with a 1.5V power supply.

I also don't get:

Sure, it's terrible energy-inefficient, and the support costs must be through the roof

The USAF has scrapped dozens of silos as part of the SALT treaty, so that's a lot of spares. And a lot of this old big iron gear just keeps running. The Atari 2600 was a cheap consumer-grade part, but it keeps going. These silos are not much older and all of their gear was made to the best spec possible. I doubt it needs much repair at all.

No hard disks spinning at 7200 RPM. No mega-GPU graphics cards. The 110V motor on the 8" floppy drives is probably one of the biggest power drains on the whole system. How much heat do you get out of the back of your PC? Now compare that with an Apple ][, Atari 800, PET or TRS-80.

Comment: Re:Absolute attempt to copy Fluke's design. (Score 1) 653

by anotheryak (#46538429) Attached to: $30K Worth of Multimeters Must Be Destroyed Because They're Yellow
Brand name in the upper left, model number next to it, description in upper right, gray-brown case tapers down with yellow sides. That is NOT basic mutimeter design. I built my first multimeter from a Radio Shack kit in the late-1970s. Don't tell me what they look like. This was designed to look like a Fluke 175 and they got caught.

Comment: Re:Absolute attempt to copy Fluke's design. (Score 1) 653

by anotheryak (#46538369) Attached to: $30K Worth of Multimeters Must Be Destroyed Because They're Yellow

They sent an order to a supplier in China and got these multimeters in return. There was no design process, they aren't planning on having them in stock, selling them regularly, or making money off of them.

Are you seriously claiming that they never saw a sample or a photo of what they were buying. They just sent off money randomly? Hard to believe they are that foolish.

they aren't planning on having them in stock, selling them regularly, or making money off of them.

So are you telling me Sparkfun is a NPO? They seem to be making a profit to me, they are a real company as far as I can tell. Please show me where they are not making money off of their sales, and if so, how do they stay in business?

Comment: Absolute attempt to copy Fluke's design. (Score 5, Insightful) 653

by anotheryak (#46527285) Attached to: $30K Worth of Multimeters Must Be Destroyed Because They're Yellow

Agreed, this is an attempt to copy Fluke's recent multimeter design.

It's not just yellow. It has the same color scheme, same display layout, similar fonts, same case taper as a real Fluke. Brand name in same location as is the model number and description. It was designed to look as much like a Fluke as possible.

If I saw the sparkfun multimeter sitting on a bench in my lab, I would think it was a Fluke until I got close.

Sparkfun knew this when they bought them. Their fault. If they did not know it was designed to imitate a Fluke, they are in the wrong business. "Other companies did it and did not get caught" does not make it right. They risked it anyway and lost. Complaining about the trademark is not the solution.

Comment: So what? (Score 2) 179

by anotheryak (#45642985) Attached to: The Real Story of Hacking Together the Commodore C128

A lot of early personal computers have a similar story. Software is often written with breadboarded or nonexistent hardware.

What is unique about the idea of custom silicon LSI chips for a 1980's PC?

The original Atari 800 (a design later copied by Commodore for the VIC-20 and Commodore-64 computers) had three custom chips (ANTIC, CTIA, POKEY) which made up the majority of the machine's circuitry when designed in 1978. And the OS and other early programs were written without the benefits of that completed hardware.

Only two LSI parts were off the shelf; the 6502 CPU and the 6520 PIA. Atari later replaced the CTIA with the GTIA (delayed by design issues) and the 6502 with a custom "sally" variant that built in formerly external tristate allowing the ANTIC to shut off the CPU's access to RAM every-other clock cycle so the RAM could be accessed by the ANTIC graphics chip.

That design was in active production for over ten years.

Even the lowly 2600 was a basically a custom TIA chip that originally existed as discrete logic parts wirewrapped together.

I fail to see how this story is either unique or great. If anything, it seems average.

Comment: Re:Soviet Strong (Score 1) 92

by anotheryak (#43752769) Attached to: Opportunity Breaks NASA's 40-Year Roving Record

And the only reason for the entire Lunokhod project is that the Soviets failed to get a crew to the moon and blew up the second N1 rocket in 1969 after a loose bolt got sucked into a fuel pump.

The Soviets lost the space race and never did get a man on another planet. They sent that thing instead, attempting to save face.

Funny how the poster forgot things like "first space rendezvous" and "Winning the space race and PUTTING A MAN ON THE F*CKING MOON". He counts ten seconds of functioning lander as a victory, but the brass-ring of the space race does not even count in his mind.

The largest and most expensive Soviet space program was their attempt to copy NASA's space shuttle, which flew once and got crushed in 2002 when it's hanger collapsed.

Comment: Re:But if Juian Assange rapes... (Score 2) 436

by anotheryak (#42522669) Attached to: Anonymous Helps Find Evidence In Gang Rape Case

then Anonymous defends it!

Exactly, if their leader and hero Assange does it, then it's not rape. After all, clearly those women are lying, or THEY DESERVED IT! He's Julian Assange for God's sake. They should be THRILLED that he was willing to date-rape them!

Watch this get modded down by 14-year-old script kiddies.

Comment: Re:Yogurt does the same thing (Score 3, Interesting) 183

by anotheryak (#41786771) Attached to: Gut Bacteria Cocktail May End Need for Fecal Transplants

"I have no idea what I'm taking about, and I was in too much of a rush to First-Post so I did not bother to read the article. But I made an anti-American remark, and I was snotty, therefore, I'm an instant Slashdot expert! Modded up to 'insightful'".

What sort of fools modded this up?

By the way, if you had bothered to read the article, the research is at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. In the UK. That's not in the US, that's across the Atlantic Ocean, way on the other side.

I think you underestimated your own laziness.

Comment: Re:We want this (Score 1) 64

by anotheryak (#39630785) Attached to: Medicaid Hack Update: 500,000 Records and 280,000 SSNs Stolen

Exactly! What we need is a giant database that can be compromised by one overworked medical resident who has no real concept of data security.

I know of two cases where residents had a shared database of passwords to various medical systems at multiple hospitals stored on insecure public "document" sites. In one case, they all had a common password, and different groups of students/residents used it year after year (not even ever changing the username or password). When the IT people found out and blew a large gasket, the medical people honestly did not see what the problem was.

Biology is the only science in which multiplication means the same thing as division.

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