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Comment Re:DJ Kardio and the Beatskippers (Score 3, Informative) 108

The problem is that people see "wireless" and think "wireless network a.k.a. WiFi". These devices are programmable using wireless communication, but they are not on WiFi. They communicate with a "programmer", a device that is placed on the patient and used to change the treatment protocols. The issue is that this communication is not encrypted and it is vulnerable to a replay attack. That means with a USRP module and a some GNU Radio know-how, you can mimic the programmer device from a long way away. This lets you send commands like "disable treatment 1". The reason this is potentially lethal is that while the pacemaker cannot be turned off by the programmer, this is part of the UI, not part of the pacemaker! So if treatment 1 was the only one currently enabled, the UI would not let the doctor send "disable treatment 1" but the pacemaker would still accept that command should it receive it. But that's a slow kind of lethal. It just means that if the patient has an issue that needs correcting, the pacemaker won't correct it. This particular model has another thing it can do. It has a built in defibrillator. That way of the patient needs zapping, the pacemaker can be told to do it, rather than needing paddles (which would potentially fry the pacemaker). This mode is also activated by a wireless command. One that can be sent using a replay attack. Normally after a shock, the pacemaker would reestablish rhythm. But not if all treatment protocols are turned off.

So although these devices are hackable, it's not a remote hack unless you happen to hack a computer that's close to the patient, and that has a radio you can control with GNU Radio.

That's not to say these devices don't touch WiFi at all. To avoid frequent doctor's appointments, the hospital can give you a device that will connect to your home network and act as a relay. This doesn't let them reprogram the pacemaker remotely, what it does is transmit telemetry remotely so the doctor can check up on you daily without needing to schedule an appointment. As I understand it, this relay runs Windows XP and is full of holes (but I repeat myself). This lets hackers potentially access lots of confidential medical data, but doesn't let them kill you.

Comment Re:It's been a while (Score 1) 86

The "God-like creative power" comes from simplifying "P=NP" as "it's as easy to recognize a correct answer as it is to come up with one". I've seen people then go from this simplification to "proving" that P!=NP because "it's harder to write a song than to listen to it". It's nonsense for a lot of reasons. The most striking is the assumption that for every single mental task that humans attempt, we always use the absolute most efficient algorithm in all of existence. Reversing that to say that "proving P=NP proves that it's easy to create artistic works (and proving something is possible gives you the power to do it instantly)" is new to me though.

Comment Re:Using your advertised space != Abuse (Score 1) 330

Slashdot is the one calling it abuse. Microsoft said that a small number of users using 75+TB have been impacting their ability to offer service to the vast majority of customers, so they are imposing a limit after a 1 year grace period, and offering a prorated refund to anybody who feels that 1TB is not enough to justify an Office 365 subscription.

Comment Re:Nice it won't break or crack. (Score 2) 111

But you can have one of each. In this case, the OLED display is covered in two layers. One is like you say, easily scratched, but not easily shattered. This is covered by the "shatterproof" warranty. The outer layer is glass (or at least something hard, clear, and scratch resistant?) and it's not covered. This isn't as shitty as it sounds, because the top layer is user replaceable. If you drop your phone and the top cover shatters, you do not need to take it to a repair shop. You can buy a replacement cover and swap it out yourself.

Comment Re:GPL vs LPGL (Score 1) 311

They can talk to each other, depending how they do it. Just having two programs chatting doesn't always make them a "single system".

Can I release a non-free program that's designed to load a GPL-covered plug-in?

It depends on how the program invokes its plug-ins. For instance, if the program uses only simple fork and exec to invoke and communicate with plug-ins, then the plug-ins are separate programs, so the license of the plug-in makes no requirements about the main program.

If the program dynamically links plug-ins, and they make function calls to each other and share data structures, we believe they form a single program, which must be treated as an extension of both the main program and the plug-ins. In order to use the GPL-covered plug-ins, the main program must be released under the GPL or a GPL-compatible free software license, and that the terms of the GPL must be followed when the main program is distributed for use with these plug-ins.

If the program dynamically links plug-ins, but the communication between them is limited to invoking the ‘main’ function of the plug-in with some options and waiting for it to return, that is a borderline case.

Comment Re:Charges? (Score 1) 225

I can't either, but based on the list of initial charges: Conspiracy to Traffic in Narcotics, Conspiracy to Traffic in Forged Documents, Conspiracy to Hack (or whatever the legal term for hackery is), Money Laundering, Engaging in a Continuing Criminal Enterprise aka "Kingpin" charges, Conspiracy to Commit Identity Theft, and Conspiracy to Traffic in Stolen Information. The "hacking, identity theft, stolen information" was viewed as too reduntant so two of them were dropped. I can't find which one remained, though.

Comment Re:Simple question (Score 3, Informative) 110

In case you haven't looked at the pictures: Take a look. So, is it true that the internals are lopsided so that that one engine actually is thrusting colinear with the center of mass, like you seem to assume? Nope! If the internals were lopsided then the wings would need to be asymmetric or it would suffer some pretty serious torque when gliding. The reason the engine is offset is that the origional design called for two engines. This was overkill for the amount of thrust required, so they cut one out. It would have taken some redesign to have the single engine back in the center, and since it gimbles far enough that it can still produce a thrust vector colinear with the center of mass, there was no reason to do so.

So to answer the actual question "It works by turning the engine a little bit to compensate".

Comment Re:How do you pee? (Score 1) 288

It's not a kill switch that destroys your computer. It's a kill switch that shuts it down after flushing the disk cache (under the assumption that, as a career criminal with a vested interest in keeping your evidence locked down, you have an encrypted file system). So if you go use the bathroom, your PC turns off. If you have a SSD it will take you literally several seconds to boot again and remount your encrypted file system. Slightly inconvenient, but much better than if the police are able to rip your laptop away and attach a robotic device / intern that fucks with the mouse to keep the screensaver from unmounting the encrypted file system before they've had the time to duplicate the contents.

The secret of success is sincerity. Once you can fake that, you've got it made. -- Jean Giraudoux