Slashdot stories can be listened to in audio form via an RSS feed, as read by our own robotic overlord.


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Hmmm .... (Score 1) 26

by gstoddart (#48925995) Attached to: New Micro-Ring Resonator Creates Quantum Entanglement On a Silicon Chip

f all the stories and thing said about quantum computers, especially with the amount of poorly written stuff out there, that is the sentence you highlight when talking about gibberish?

LOL ... honestly, it's as good as any as far as I'm concerned.

It sounds like something out of a mission statement generator ... we've created light with minty and peaty overtones, which exemplify the highest moral standard.

I simply have no idea of WTF it's telling me.

Comment: Hmmm .... (Score 0) 26

by gstoddart (#48925305) Attached to: New Micro-Ring Resonator Creates Quantum Entanglement On a Silicon Chip

With which I will do ... what, exactly?

"Our device is capable of emitting light with striking quantum mechanical properties never observed in an integrated source," said Bajoni. "The rate at which the entangled photons are generated is unprecedented for a silicon integrated source, and comparable with that available from bulk crystals that must be pumped by very strong lasers."

As usual, every story to do with quantum anything is pretty much gibberish to the layperson.

Sounds like a quantum mood ring, but I have no idea.

Comment: What about Android tablets? (Score 1) 188

by gstoddart (#48924593) Attached to: The iPad Is 5 Years Old This Week, But You Still Don't Need One

Unless Android tablets have also plateaued or started to decline .. can you actually say we've reached "peak tablet"?

The people I know with tablets prefer them to a phone for the things they do with it.

A friend keeps his Nexus 7 on his sofa so that while he's watching TV if he sees something he wants to Google he has it handy. My mother in law uses her tablet for almost everything she'd use a computer for. I still get a lot of use from my Nexus 7 as well.

I admit, my Android tablet isn't a 'necessity', and may not get used daily .. for there's lots of situations in which it's what I'd prefer to bring with me. When I go on a trip, I bring my tablet because I can still check my email and the like.

Yes, you could use a phone for a lot of this stuff ... but unless you have stats showing that Android tablets are also slowing down, maybe they're just eating into the growth of iPads?

I know more than a few non-techies for whom their tablet is more important than their PC.

Comment: Boo fucking hoo (Score 3, Insightful) 224

"But we're very concerned they not lead to the creation of what I would call a 'zone of lawlessness,' where there's evidence that we could have lawful access through a court order that we're prohibited from getting because of a company's technological choices.

You've demonstrated you can't be trusted. The CIA has proven they're willing to lie to Congress.

So the reality is, you're all lying, thieving bastards who ignore the law and our rights.

You got fucking probable cause and a warrant, show it. But you don't get blanket fishing expeditions just in case.

Sorry, but you're asking for back doors to all forms of security ... which defeats the purpose of those forms of security in the first place.

Go piss up a rope.

Comment: Re:It is hard to know what to think (Score 1) 390

by gstoddart (#48923199) Attached to: Apple Posts $18B Quarterly Profit, the Highest By Any Company, Ever

It feels strange that Apple is making such a profit with a rather smallish that may be 12% of the market and no particularly eye-popping new products since the Steve Jobs era, just a series of well-engineered refinements.

Not really ... without even bothering to look, I'm assuming that Apple is raking in money hand over fist through the iTunes store.

So, it's not all from the devices, but the on-going revenue stream of selling all that tasty digital content.

But music, and books, and movies, and apps, and whatever else they can sell digitally ... I'm betting that's where the real money comes from. The incremental cost on digital stuff probably means that a huge portion of it is purely profit.

Comment: Security is a process ... (Score 5, Insightful) 38

by gstoddart (#48923105) Attached to: Security-Focused BlackPhone Was Vulnerable To Simple Text Message Bug

The problem with security is it is an on-going process, and it takes time. Which means the trust that you actually are secure also takes time.

So, just because you started out thinking "Oh boy, are we going to be hella secure" -- it takes a long time to FIND all those things which defeat that, and just as long to convince everybody that you've done it.

Almost as soon as I heard of this phone my first thought was "gee, you're brand new, why should be trust that you've got it sorted out".

And, as TFS says ... this phone is used by people who want additional security. What the hell made you think you wouldn't be immediately targeted? This is like advertising you have an unbreakable vault ... now everybody wants to prove you wrong.

I think they started trading on a reputation they hadn't earned yet, and now it's biting them in the ass.


Security-Focused BlackPhone Was Vulnerable To Simple Text Message Bug 38

Posted by Soulskill
from the nobody's-perfect dept.
mask.of.sanity sends this report from El Reg: The maker of BlackPhone – a mobile marketed as offering unusually high levels of security – has patched a critical vulnerability that allows hackers to run malicious code on the handsets. Attackers need little more than a phone number to send a message that can compromise the devices via the Silent Text application.

The impact of the flaw is troubling because BlackPhone attracts what hackers see as high-value victims: those willing to invest AU$765 (£415, $630) in a phone that claims to put security above form and features may well have valuable calls and texts to hide from eavesdroppers.

Comment: God, what drivel ... (Score 4, Insightful) 167

by gstoddart (#48920969) Attached to: Latest Windows 10 Preview Build Brings Slew of Enhancements

We were told that it'd give us Cortana, Microsoft's AI assistant

OK, I'll preface this with a "get off my lawn" to get it out of the way.

But I have to say, I have precisely zero interest in this. The more I read TFA, the more I cringe.

After setting Cortana up, which involves telling her your name, and adjusting some other minor settings, sheâ(TM)ll be good to go. If the respective option is enabled, sheâ(TM)ll always listen out for âoeHey, Cortanaâ, at which point your question can be asked. In the example below, I asked, âoeHey, Cortana. Could you please show me the weather?â, at which point she queried the Internet and spit back the accurate info â" without me having to state a specific location.

Talking to Cortana is finicky at best. After stating âoeHey, Cortanaâ, Iâ(TM)ve found that Iâ(TM)ve either had to keep talking right away to be heard, or have her say, âoeHey, Robâ and then me have to click the microphone icon again to speak. It seems some thresholds need to be adjusted, because in the current implementation, itâ(TM)s easier to avoid potential hassle and just go find such information online.

I don't want my fucking computer to feel like it's on a first name basis with me. I don't want to talk to it. I don't want my computer constantly listening to and parsing everything I say. I sure as shit don't want that crap integrated with an ad platform.

If I want to see the weather, I'll go to the tab I keep open with the weather.

This is a bunch of dreck I can't see myself wanting to use, which is mostly a "make pretend" version of AI which is at best a shortcut to search. I don't see the value in voice commands -- in fact, I see great nuisance in it (like in Offices, or just everywhere).

This sounds like an OS which is heavily focused on "teh social" integration with XBox, with the new lame-ass crayon interfaces Microsoft seems partial to, and a bunch of dorky features which seem like they're trying too damned hard.

I don't see any of these features being useful, I see them as being pointless eye candy, which is full of gimmicks I don't see myself using in the long run -- in fact, I see me disabling as many as possible.

I'm afraid Microsoft's "vision of the future" is a glimpse into hell. At least half of those features sound like shit which will slow down the machine and add zero benefit.

Now, seriously, get the fuck off my damned lawn.

Comment: Re:So what next? (Score 2) 92

by gstoddart (#48917337) Attached to: FCC Fines Verizon For Failing To Investigate Rural Phone Problems

Or maybe refund the money they've been given to maintain it, or the subsidies to expand it.

Sorry, but the telecom companies have been handed huge piles of cash to maintain this stuff ... that they've sat on it and failed to invest in all of their infrastructure is their damned problem.

They weren't given that money to only invest in the most profitable stuff ... they were given it to invest in the entire system so that it was there for everybody.

Greedy, shortsighted corporations don't need to charge more to pay for that stuff ... they need to use the money they've been given/have been charging for what it was for in the first place.

Mostly I think they've been lining executive pockets, and bribing politicians so they can keep doing the same crap.

Comment: Re:stone tablets (Score 1) 243

by gstoddart (#48917093) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Medium For Personal Archive?

OK hotshot, how sure are you that the medium those *wonderful* answers are stored on hasn't deteriorated, resulting in us looking back on bad advice?!

Assume it will, or that it already has. Which, has more or less been in all those answers which came before.

Buy 4 HDs ... back everything to all four, keep two at home, and keep backing up to them, put the other two in another physical location. Periodically rotate one of them.

If you have at least two backups of very recent vintage, and two of an slightly older vintage ... you're constantly making new backups.

Over time, assume even the ones you're still using.

In other words: Hint: The consensus recommendation was to pick at least two different media, and store them in a least two different geographical locations, then migrate to different media as technology improves.

Which is precisely what the GP said.

Don't assume you've made a static backup which will suffer from neither bitrot nor obsolescence. Plan accordingly.

This is literally a decades old strategy. The more important the data, the more discrete copies you keep, and the more regularly you do it.

Comment: LOL ... (Score 1) 153

by gstoddart (#48916941) Attached to: Opera Founder Is Back, WIth a Feature-Heavy, Chromium-Based Browser

Firefox users who likewise prefer a browser with more rather than fewer features (but otherwise want to stick with Firefox) might also consider SeaMonkey, which bundles not just a browser but email, newsgroup client and feed reader, HTML editor, IRC chat and web development tools.

LOL ... 1997 called, they want their browser back.

More seriously, where does Opera/this Vivaldi thing fall on the privacy end of the spectrum? Is it ad supported? Is it full of crapware?

If it isn't secure or trustworthy, WTF is the point? The last I saw anything from Opera was an Opera mini ... and it seemed to be quite the opposite of a privacy oriented browser, precisely because it seemed full of ads.

I want the "advertisers and sponsors go to hell" browser, do we have that?

Comment: Multiple redundant backups ... (Score 1) 243

by gstoddart (#48916827) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Medium For Personal Archive?

External HDs are cheap these days.

Set up a robocopy script to backup to an external. drive Periodically backup to a second external HD.

Periodically cycle the external HDs into your safe-deposit box at the bank.

Accept that every few years your external HDs get cycled out due to age.

Don't try to make some permanent archival solution which will rely on technology in the future working ... keep them active and in the air. Two local copies, and possibly as many as two remote copies.

I think your specific medium over the long term is less meaningful when you can buy a 3TB external HD for under $100 .. especially if archiving those files actually is valuable for you.

Nowadays, it seems like redundant, offline backups for stuff you deem important enough is fairly easy to do.

The advantage of a robocopy is it will only copy what's changed, so your static data doesn't add too much.

Although the moon is smaller than the earth, it is farther away.