Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:more NOS and less lense flare (Score 2) 324

The idea of a transporter that can safely put people (or anything else with about the same mass...) onto planets in other star systems is just too huge a break in the balance of power. It's literally an apocalyptic weapon; unless you can figure out how to put transporter-proof shields around every valuable target you've got (and remember here that a planet counts as a valuable target, if you can beam a big enough antimatter bomb much less some "red matter"). It's a modern stealth bomber when your enemies have nothing newer than steam engines. The Borg don't have anything that comes close to being as effective a weapon, and they have single ships capable of defeating fleets and time travel tech (First Contact).

Comment: Re:Am I alone in not being bothered by the lens fl (Score 1) 324

The lens flares were excessive but were not by any means the major problems with the movies. I actually thought the 2009 film was pretty well done too, for all that the "sci-fi authors have no sense of scale" thing was taken to an absurd level even by Star Trek standards.

Into Darkness contained so much shit I really can't forgive it for the excessive suck, though. The idea of a transporter that can put a few hundred pounds of mass safely on the surface of a planet in another star system, for example, is an absurdly overpowered superweapon along the lines of a modern nuclear missile submarine during WW1. That was far from the only problem with Into Darkness, but it was more than enough. Nothing else in the show makes sense once you have something like that. Then again, with extremely rare exceptions, Star Trek has never appreciated the military prowess of the transporter.

Comment: Re:Action movies are boring. (Score 1) 324

The episode is "Fortunate Son", season 1 episode 10. Directed by LeVar Burton (who has apparently directed a lot of Trek since his days on TNG). http://en.memory-alpha.org/wik...

Of the handful of Enterprise episodes I've seen (most, unfortunately, from season 1), it was one of the better ones. I'm told the show got better in later seasons but I have never seen anything from later than mid-season-2. It's not *all* dross, though.

Comment: Re:MITM legalized at last (Score 1) 290

by cbhacking (#48663817) Attached to: BT, Sky, and Virgin Enforce UK Porn Blocks By Hijacking Browsers

That was a (reallllllly stupid) bug in Debian/Ubuntu, then. Making it that easy for an attacker to interfere with the update process in a way that leaves no sign of the interference is just plain moronic. Simply blocking the outbound request - about all an attacker can do when it's over TLS - would have been detectable as "hey, where's my update server go?" Allowing the attacker to manipulate the update list - I hope to hell they couldn't manipulate the actual updates, for example to supply outdated DEBs instead of ones that fix bugs - is nothing less than a security vulnerability in the OS. Maybe not a critical one (unless the update packages aren't sent securely) but still a vuln, and a terrible idea.

Yes, your ISP shouldn't be intercepting your HTTP requests. But your OS should *never* be using plaintext HTTP for anything remotely serious.

Comment: Re:Except that.. (Score 1) 276

by cbhacking (#48656553) Attached to: TSA Has Record-Breaking Haul In 2014: Guns, Cannons, and Swords

A good point indeed. I'd be more worried about somebody in top physical condition and well-trained in any offensive martial art than about the average person with a box cutter. Yes, technically the blade can do more damage, but the trained fighter is still going to be a lot harder to stop.

Similarly, I'd be more worried about somebody with a short-barreled semi-automatic pistol than somebody with an AK-47 or a .50 sniper rifle. The rifles have way more firepower and probably more magazine capacity, sure, but they're also unwieldy as hell in the confines of an airplane, and the whole "walk very close behind somebody with your weapon muzzle just behind their heart, telling them what to do" deception is really hard to pull off when your weapon is three feet long.

Of course, the TSA is not, and never has been, focused on what an intelligent person would be worried about. It's merely the natural symbiote of the fearmongering politicians: make the populace terrified, and then show yourself to be doing something about it! The fact that it lets you divert lots of tax dollars to your buddies who make fancy scanning machines is the cherry on top...

Comment: Re:And how many were terrorists? Oh, right, zero. (Score 3, Insightful) 276

by cbhacking (#48656487) Attached to: TSA Has Record-Breaking Haul In 2014: Guns, Cannons, and Swords

Not only does it let you lock the gun, but there is no way in hell any airport or airline is going to let themselves be "the one who lost a passenger's gun", because that means some criminal somewhere just got their hands on a firearm that they were responsible for transporting safely. If you want your luggage to arrive safely, a starter pistol or flare gun or similar are probably among the best insurance options you can buy.

Comment: Re:I blame Microsoft (Score 1) 148

by cbhacking (#48639003) Attached to: Critical Git Security Vulnerability Announced

Just because .NET APIs call down to Win32 APIs, which call down to NT APIs, doesn't mean that they aren't all different APIs. Same for the POSIX APIs (which, like Win32, chain to native NT APIs). The POSIX ones always specify OBJ_CASE_INSENSITIVE, the Win32 ones do if you specify FILE_FLAG_POSIX_SEMANTICS, and I don't even know if .NET supports enforcing case-sensitivity... but they are still separate APIs. Nobody in their right mind writes user-mode software against the native NT API unless they absolutely have to, and not only because it's prone to occasionally changing in non-backward-compatible ways.

Comment: Re:Mac OS X does support case-sensitive filesystem (Score 1) 148

by cbhacking (#48630537) Attached to: Critical Git Security Vulnerability Announced

So does Windows, though you may confuse the Win32 API if you use it. NTFS is case-preserving and the native APIs are case-sensitive. Win32 functions can use FILE_FLAG_POSIX_SEMANTICS to require case-sensitivity, and Interix (Microsoft's POSIX-on-NT environment that runs in the Subsystem for Unix Applications or SUA) does so by default. I don't know of any way to make Win32 case-sensitive by default without doing some kind of crazy hooking of the relevant APIs or installing a filter driver to enforce it.

Comment: Re:I blame Microsoft (Score 5, Informative) 148

by cbhacking (#48630497) Attached to: Critical Git Security Vulnerability Announced

Actually, Microsoft themselves has an API for accessing NTFS drives in a case-sensitive manner, and I'm not talking about the native NT API or even the FILE_FLAG_POSIX_SEMANTICS Win32 file API flag. All versions of NT from 3.1 (the first) to 6.2 (Win8; it was removed from 8.1) have support for a POSIX operating environment - basically a full Unix-like OS running atop the NT kernel - and for proper Unix-like-ness it is case sensitive.

Mind you, Win32 programs do tend to get confused by it all. For example, CMD's "dir" command will list both "test.txt" and "TEST.TXT" in the same directory, and even correctly note if they have different sizes or datestamps. However, the "type" command (print file contents) on *either* name (or some other-cased version of the name) will instead print the contents of one of the files - doesn't matter what you type, the OS will pick - and it will print it twice (once for each copy of the file with that name).

I've been using the Interix (name of the Unix-like operating environment that runs in the NT POSIX subsystem, as reported by the uname command) build of git for years now. I should probably stop - the repo my package manager used has died, and I haven't bothered to set up a different package manager yet so my packages are outdated - but I am, humorously enough, not vulnerable to this particular attack even with that outdated version.

Comment: Re:Actually (Score 1) 579

by cbhacking (#48628593) Attached to: Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'

And no navy and airforce large enough to protect it as they make their way across the pacific.

I'm imagining an attack sub commander shooting his tubes empty blowing away converted fishing boats loaded down with soldiers and then wondering what the hell to do about the rest of them. On the other hand, we have torp bombers as well, and those can just go back to bas to re-arm. As you say, it's not like North Korea has the air force or navy to protect them against a carrier group.

But yeah, South Korea is in a shitty situation. Strong economy, high-tech society, powerful allies... and within bombardment range of enough heavy artillery to basically reduce their capitol city if NK decides to let all their crazy out.

Comment: Re:This should be free (Score 1) 170

by cbhacking (#48615195) Attached to: Verizon "End-to-End" Encrypted Calling Includes Law Enforcement Backdoor

Well said. More info, for the curious: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C...

A lot of people don't even realize that web browsers have the ability to generate key-pairs of which only the public portion is ever sent to a CA or anybody else. It's actually a fairly sane system. If you need to export the private key (for example, to copy it from your PC to your phone, or to back it up) then you have to do so through the web browser or through whatever keystore it uses (Windows, for example, has a built in one you can access through certmgr.msc, though Mozilla products use their own store instead of the system-wide one).

Comment: Re:Vaccines are totally safe (Score 1) 1051

by cbhacking (#48587027) Attached to: Time To Remove 'Philosophical' Exemption From Vaccine Requirements?

Similarly, the highly-infectious diseases that the current generation of American parents grew up with - chicken pox, the flu, etc. - tend to have minor effects. Some people die of them every year, but the number is miniscule and most people show no sign of having ever been sick a week after the infection runs its course. Compare with things like Polio (used to kill people by paralyzing their chest so they couldn't breathe and suffocate where they lay, though more often it simply left you with misshapen and crippled limbs for life), Smallpox (scars covering your body even if you made an otherwise-full recovery), and so on. I'll bet a lot of the anti-vaccination crowd, whether they know it or not, think that even if they get infected it'll basically mean they have to stay home from school/work for a few days, maybe take some medicine. They don't ever think about things like being confined to iron lungs (not that we use those anymore, but hospitals used to have entire wards full of them)...

Comment: Hoping you arent vaccinated against logic... (Score 1) 1051

by cbhacking (#48586967) Attached to: Time To Remove 'Philosophical' Exemption From Vaccine Requirements?

Slippery slope fallacy ahoy! Just because one decision is made for a sound and logical reason of communal good does *NOT* mean that other (unjustified) decisions will be made even if they are promoted on the basis of communal good. Each choice needs to be evaluated on its own merits. Just because some idiots or fraudsters will try to claim that something unwise should be "done for the greater good" doesn't mean doing things for the greater good is invalid as a reason to do things, and the reverse is also true.

Incidentally, did you know that the government is already empowered to arrest you for spreading infectious diseases. If you knowingly infect other people, or if there's an outbreak and you attempt to violate it, you can be prosecuted as a criminal.

Mind you, if you want to withdraw from society and go live in your own little 21st-century equivalent of a leper colony with all the other plague vectors, be my guest. You won't get many visitors - nobody can be 10% sure a vaccine will protect them, so we are all potentially dependent on herd immunity - but you are sure as hell not welcome to freeload on our herd immunity without a valid medical reason!

"Any excuse will serve a tyrant." -- Aesop