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Comment: Re:Dumping (Score 1) 6

by gstoddart (#49379855) Attached to: Microsoft Considered Giving Away Original Xbox

And, as usual, without having the slightest idea of what to do with the technology other than try to get market share.

So I'm forced to conclude most of the successes Microsoft has had in the last decade or more have largely been accidental instead of strategic, and that Microsoft just stumbles around in the dark until something works.

And then they spend years trying to understand why it worked in the first place and how to replicate it.

It's official, Microsoft is the Inspector Clouseau of the tech world.

That's pretty sad.

Comment: Re:Ummm ... (Score 1) 11

by gstoddart (#49379803) Attached to: Cetaceans Able To Focus Sound For Echolocation

Well, having seen the videos of dolphins herding fish into a swirling snack-bar using their sonar, and have seen the explanation of them changing their sonar output.

They have a huge chunk of their brain dedicated to doing this stuff, and I thought they could even stun fish with it.

I'm not saying I could do it, but I got the impression this is stuff we've already know they can do.

Comment: Ummm ... (Score 1) 11

by gstoddart (#49379403) Attached to: Cetaceans Able To Focus Sound For Echolocation

Hasn't this been known for some time?

I've seen footage of hunting dolphins and whales herding fish into "sonar corrals" and then eating them, and I though I'd heard that the dolphins et al can focus their sonar to fight off things like sharks.

Maybe I'm missing something, but I thought it had been established for a very long time that these things have really fine control over their sonar and can do all sorts of stuff with them.

Is this actually something new? Or am I just reading this wrong?

Surely if I know dolphins et al can focus their sonar it's common knowledge.

Comment: Re:This is terrible (Score 2) 91

Well,, Microsoft is talking about open sourcing aspects of .NET.

Apparently they can't decide what that actually means.

There's definitely something there.

It means, as usual, Microsoft is trying to get people to use their technology while holding a threat over them. If they're not open sourcing in any meaningful sense of the word, they should be honest about it.

Comment: Re:This one's for the general population (Score 2) 127

by gstoddart (#49378491) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Who's Going To Win the Malware Arms Race?

This arms race will go for the users. The reason being that there's too much money in play to allow the opposite.

I'm inclined to think the opposite.

All of the companies who want to sell us products care only about that. They don't give a damn about the security of those products.

Until consumers wise up and insist on security, or corporations carry some liability for failing to do that, then corporations will just push stuff out the door with half assed security.

It can't just be a war on hacker. It has to also be a war on products with utterly crap security which never gets fixed. Because this Internet of Stuff is shaping up to be some of the biggest security holes imaginable.

Most consumer products do terrible stuff like transmitting passwords in the clear. Chasing down hackers who exploit incompetently/lazily written products can never overcome that.

Comment: Government and inept companies ... (Score 1) 127

by gstoddart (#49378405) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Who's Going To Win the Malware Arms Race?

Our biggest challenges with security are asshole governments who want to undermine security so they can spy on us, and incompetent companies who sell us insecure products because they just want to push some bauble out the door.

As long as we have these two problems, the malware folks will always win, because we will not have the tools required to keep them out.

If spying governments and inept corporations are the weak links, we're pretty much screwed.

So the next time some asshole in a spy agency says we shouldn't have encryption so they can spy on us, that person should be told in no uncertain terms to piss up a rope.

Comment: Re:Anonymous advertisers (Score 1) 107

by gstoddart (#49373291) Attached to: How Malvertising Abuses Real-Time Bidding On Ad Networks

What makes an ad agency reliable to you?

One in which all of the employees are encased in carbonite, and whose computers and records have all been nuked from orbit.

Anything less and you have to assume they're still unreliable.

And what solutions do you recommend for individual blog authors to implement "host your own ads"?

Not Our Fucking Problem.

Sorry, but I will continue assuming all ads are crap I don't wish to see, served by companies who don't give a crap about my privacy or security and whom I therefore do not trust.

The revenue of web sites interests me not even a little.

Go to a subscription model and see if you can stay in business. Or accept that some fraction of users do not wish to see your advertising, and don't trust the companies serving them.

Comment: Re:Not terrorism ? (Score 3, Insightful) 289

by gstoddart (#49372483) Attached to: Attempted Breach of NSA HQ Checkpoint; One Shot Dead

No kidding ... attempting to force your way into something guarded by armed military personnel and then discovering they're not afraid of you isn't terrorism.

It's a frickin' Darwin award.

I consider that only one of them is dead to be either extraordinary luck, or surprising restraint on behalf of the soldiers.

Comment: Re:stupid (Score 4, Insightful) 289

by gstoddart (#49372321) Attached to: Attempted Breach of NSA HQ Checkpoint; One Shot Dead

You know, I'm a pretty heavy user of tinfoil with an inherent distrust of government.

But even I don't need to look at this as an abuse of power by the government.

The rights of US military personnel to shoot your stupid self for trying to ram through a gated checkpoint with big giant signs saying "we can and will stop you, by force if necessary" has been established for an incredibly long time.

Most of the last century, I should think. Probably MUCH longer.

Sorry, but this falls entirely in the domain of "if you didn't see this one coming you're an idiot".

Comment: Re:Ballsy, but stupid ... (Score 4, Insightful) 289

by gstoddart (#49372029) Attached to: Attempted Breach of NSA HQ Checkpoint; One Shot Dead

yes but they shouldn't be, protecting secrets shouldn't be more important than protecting citizens.

There comes a point where what you are doing is telegraphing that you are no ordinary citizen doing ordinary things.

Approaching that gate with the big barricade, armed guards, and the huge sign which says "this isn't your usual place, and it isn't under the usual rules ... keep the hell out", and then deciding you're ramming it anyway? Well, as I said, that's a special kind of stupid.

It isn't like these guys went trigger happy and went after someone who was doing nothing at all. Trying to drive through a military check point on a military base sends a specific enough signal that I think to expect to NOT get shot in that context makes you an idiot.

Ramming gates on a military base isn't something you can reasonably expect to fall under the domain of things you can do without Really Fucking Bad Consequences.

I'm among the first to complain about government over-reach. But fucking with armed military personnel under strict orders to keep everybody out? Definitely not that.

Comment: Re:Ballsy, but stupid ... (Score 5, Insightful) 289

by gstoddart (#49371641) Attached to: Attempted Breach of NSA HQ Checkpoint; One Shot Dead

Seems like further evidence that the NSA believes it can do *whatever* it wants to any peasant that puts a toe out of line. I question whether lethal force was necessary in this case.

While true that apparently the gate crashers didn't shoot anybody

1) This wasn't the NSA, directly. It was the US Army guards from what I can tell.
2) If you try to crash a gate guarded by any Army, I think you should reasonably conclude you might get shot

I dislike the NSA as much as any nerd, but by the time you're talking about the people who guard military bases and other secure compounds you kind of need to understand these guys are deployed under a set of orders which says "we'll be polite as long as that is possible, and then we'll be significantly less so".

Maybe you think the armed guards on a military base should say please and thank you and be friendly, but there's usually big giant signs that say "do not taunt the lions, they will bite".

It's hard not to see getting shot as a completely logical outcome of what happened.

Comment: Freedom to discriminate == no protection ... (Score 4, Insightful) 980

If you and your religion wish to be able to discriminate against someone on the basis of your religion, then you and your religion should correspondingly lose the legal protection of being discriminated against.

If you are such a whiny idiot that you think it should be OK to say "we don't serve your kind here", then you should have no legal or moral basis to claim that someone shouldn't be able to do the same to you.

This is giving religion an extra special place in law ... protected from being discriminated against, while getting a special exemption to discriminate against someone else.

So either shut up, and accept that you have no other ways you're legally allowed to discriminate against someone ... or accept that it should also be someone else's right to refuse you because of your religion.

There is no in between, and any claims your religion is so precious as to require you receive rights nobody else has is complete crap.

Sorry, but the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and ISIL want to have a society based on religious exceptionalism.

Which makes people who want to have religion be a special thing in law are full of shit, self entitled people, and are actually the enemies of a free and open society.

Comment: Re:Question (Score 1) 30

by gstoddart (#49370841) Attached to: Future Firefighters May Be Guided By "Robots On Reins"

You know, I should think the more help you can give these guys the better.

Because if it can lead the firefighters in, it could also have applicability in guiding victims out while leaving firefighters with free hands to watch out for other hazards as they follow the people out.

I should think most of us should STFU about what firefighters need and don't need -- if someone who runs into burning buildings says this could help save lives, I'm sure as hell not going to arm-chair quarterback that.

What's wrong with a little basic research? Often it has benefits in ways nobody thinks of up front.

Comment: Re:It makes sense (Score 2) 189

Oh, horseshit ... what's the waiting list for a Harley Davidson?

What's that? You don't think there is an air of luxury and exclusivity here?

America has never been egalitarian. In theory, anybody can become a rich douchebag and have more money than most.

But built into this has always been the notion someone will be rich and someone will be poor.

So, either you're all butt-hurt over the fact you didn't get signed up, or you're pointlessly wailing how unfair it is there are products which aren't available to just anybody on the day of release.

Me, I refuse to worry over how a bunch of people are feeling exclusive and cool to buy a product I don't care about.

[Crash programs] fail because they are based on the theory that, with nine women pregnant, you can get a baby a month. -- Wernher von Braun