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Comment: Re:Laziness (Score 1) 106

by dkf (#47548465) Attached to: Popular Android Apps Full of Bugs: Researchers Blame Recycling of Code

Amazingly, security libraries are often in this category. Is there a really good writeup ANYWHERE about SSL, certificates and signing practices? And IPSec with all its intricacies?

Funnily enough, on Stack Overflow! Not all of the security-related questions are overflowing with shitty misinformation. (SO might not be great, but it's better than the squillion shitty places for question answering that preceded it.)

Comment: Re:National Boundaries (Score 1) 164

Nor do these arrogants "USA and other countries" (merrily forgetting there is something else in the world than Europe and the USA plus its satellites) who think there is no second chance ever, and no right to ensure one's personal data are correct, and no rigth to privacy either -- to mention only some of the personal-data-related rights that are given to me by my own European country (note that, as some have said, other European countries may have these rights in a less formal way, as a result of case law) and that I can successfully use to deter French spammers while I still have to suffer US ones. :/

You do not have the right because the government says so, but rather because you are a human being. Though that is a principle that is explicitly stated in the US constitution, it applies everywhere. However, it is a right that is made explicit in the EU and where the conditions under which the right may be infringed are perhaps more clearly stated (and better enforced) than elsewhere. There is a danger in explicitly stating rights, in that some stupid people might think you have no other rights — not true! — but leaving them all implicit has other risks in that it becomes hard to say for sure when they've been unreasonably infringed and to get other people to help you out defending them.

Comment: Re:FUD filled.... (Score 1) 211

It sounds like this transformer had its center tap grounded and was the path to ground on one side of a ground loop as the geomagnetic field moved under pressure from a CME, inducing a common-mode current in the long-distance power line. A gas pipeline in an area of poor ground conductivity in Russia was also destroyed, it is said, resulting in 500 deaths.

One can protect against this phenomenon by use of common-mode breakers and perhaps even overheat breakers. The system will not stay up but nor will it be destroyed. This is a high-current rather than high-voltage phenomenon and thus the various methods used to dissipate lightning currents might not be effective.

Comment: Re:Group Policy (Score 1) 88

by dkf (#47537717) Attached to: New SSL Server Rules Go Into Effect Nov. 1

Cheaper and easier to convince the PHB to buy a certificate signed by a public CA, than install your own CA certificate on every browser in your company.

Then your organization's IT department needs to learn about Group Policy and its counterparts on other common personal computing platforms.

Yeah, but getting all that to work when dealing with the reality of BYOD in many organisations (universities have a particular problem with this) is massively more complicated and expensive than ponying up for an externally-signed certificate. Heck, even getting an externally-signed local CA certificate is cheaper. Group policy (and equivalent) works relatively well for desktops and other wholly-owned devices, but ceases to be nearly so useful once you have to deal with anything external, and that's more and more common.

Get with the programme.

Comment: Re:Price of using scientists as political pawns (Score 1) 287

I don't think any serious person thinks that Galileo woke up one morning and said lets do politics.

Oh, yes, every serious person thinks Galileo was being completely apolitical when he published a tract in the common language of the people of the Papal States that put quotes from the sovereign of the Papal States in the mouth of a character named Simpleton.

Comment: Re:Price of using scientists as political pawns (Score 5, Insightful) 287

Give me a break. This is all about climate change, something which has a solid scientific consensus. Conservative denial of this is just as bad as their desire to push Creationism and Intelligent Design into schools. These threatened researchers are not doing politically motivated work.

Face it, if these goons had their way they would be defunding anything that wasn't explicitly endorsed in the Bible.

Comment: Re:Price of using scientists as political pawns (Score 2) 287

NPR has been the whipping boy of conservative politicians for decades. They have been threatened with defunding many times. Because of this NPR has developed alternative sources of funds.

At present only about 10% of its revenues come from the Federal Government. NPR generally uses these attempts by Republicans to defund as a fund raising motivators.

I have heard some NPR employees say they wish the Feds would defund them. It would allow them more independence in their editorial content and would likely increase their income.

+ - Letter to Congress: Ending U.S. Dependency on Russia for Access to Space 1

Submitted by Bruce Perens
Bruce Perens (3872) writes "I've sent a letter to my district's senators and member of congress this evening, regarding how we should achieve a swifter end to U.S. dependency on the Russians for access to space. Please read my letter, below. If you like it, please join me and send something similar to your own representatives. Find them here and here. — Bruce

Dear Congressperson Lee,

The U.S. is dependent on the Russians for present and future access to space. Only Soyuz can bring astronauts to and from the Space Station. The space vehicles being built by United Launch Alliance are designed around a Russian engine. NASA's own design for a crewed rocket is in its infancy and will not be useful for a decade, if it ever flies.

Mr. Putin has become much too bold because of other nations dependence. The recent loss of Malaysia Air MH17 and all aboard is one consequence.

Ending our dependency on Russia for access to space, sooner than we previously planned, has become critical. SpaceX has announced the crewed version of their Dragon spaceship. They have had multiple successful flights and returns to Earth of the un-crewed Dragon and their Falcon 9 rocket, which are without unfortunate foreign dependencies. SpaceX is pursuing development using private funds. The U.S. should now support and accelerate that development.

SpaceX has, after only a decade of development, demonstrated many advances over existing and planned paths to space. Recently they have twice successfully brought the first stage of their Falcon 9 rocket back to the ocean surface at a speed that would allow safe landing on ground. They have demonstrated many times the safe takeoff, flight to significant altitude, ground landing and re-flight of two similar test rockets. In October they plan the touchdown of their rocket's first stage on a barge at sea, and its recovery and re-use after a full flight to space. Should their plan for a reusable first-stage, second, and crew vehicle be achieved, it could result in a reduction in the cost of access to space to perhaps 1/100 of the current "astronomical" price. This would open a new frontier to economical access in a way not witnessed by our nation since the transcontinental railroad. The U.S. should now support this effort and reap its tremendous economic rewards.

This plan is not without risk, and like all space research there will be failures, delays, and eventually lost life. However, the many successes of SpaceX argue for our increased support now, and the potential of tremendous benefit to our nation and the world.

Please write back to me.

Many Thanks

Bruce Perens"

Man must shape his tools lest they shape him. -- Arthur R. Miller

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