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Comment: Long history of this happening at SFO. (Score 2) 248

by cybergrue (#44424783) Attached to: Second SFO Disaster Avoided Seconds Before Crash
There is a long history of this type of incident at SFO. Check the Accident section of the Wiki entry,. Probably the best known of these types of incidents was the Japan Airlines Flight 2 incident in 1968. The pilot landed his plane in the bay 2.5 miles short of the runway. Amazingly, there were no injuries, and because the he landing gear was extended, most of them didn't even get wet. I was going to say everyone walked away, but actually they had to wait for boats to pick them up. Furthermore, the plane was salvaged and returned to service.

When asked what happened, the pilot stated "As you Americans say, I fucked up."

Comment: Re:IP-level blocks (Score 1) 449

by cybergrue (#38452232) Attached to: Coders Develop Ways To Defeat SOPA Censorship
Umm, my local ISP does this now. Well actually it throttles all encrypted traffic so much it makes it hard to use. A colegue of mine discovered he could not use his banks encrypted site at home, but had no problems at work. A cryptic reply from the ISPs tech support implies that certain sites are white-listed, and that his bank's site had been added to the white-list. Immediately afterword, he had no problems accessing his bank's encrypted web site. And its not just ssh connections. Certain games use encryped communications to talk to their servers, which led to problems as well, the most prominent was WoW, which uses a bit-torrent like protocol to transfer game updates.

This news is old, and the ISP has said that it will stop, but the point I am making is that it is technically feasible to do this, and the Powers that Be don't care if the internet is usable or not by the little people (you and me).

Comment: Re:IP-level blocks (Score 5, Insightful) 449

by cybergrue (#38447658) Attached to: Coders Develop Ways To Defeat SOPA Censorship
It has been said that the Internet routes around problems (censorship), however there are plenty of choke-points (transoceanic cables for example) where a reverse DNS look-up could be used to filter the IP addresses of the packets going through. And before you say encrypted VPN, the technology already exists and is being used to detect and block encrypted traffic (Pakistan and Turkey) on the network.

Yes it is possible to get around these countermeasures, but it will not be easy and probably result in a significant decrease in transmission speeds (sending and receiving). And when these techniques become widely known, they will be blocked in turn.

In short, this legislation will break the Internet. Laughing at the dumb politicians who don't understand technology is a dangerous thing to do because there are no simple workarounds that will keep the Internet working the way we know it if this passes.

Comment: Re:Question for those more knowledgable than I (Score 1) 139

by cybergrue (#36976156) Attached to: Earth May Once Have Had Two Moons
I agree. The prevailing theory of why the Moon's sides are so different is because the tidal lock caused the magma flows on the near side. This smoothed things out on the near side while as you stated, the far side was exposed to more meteor impacts. Also, the magma flows are thought to be relatively (in geographic and astronomical terms) recent and possibly ongoing, hence erasing any signs of older impacts under the lava.

What probably happened here is someone decided to model what would happen if the Earth had multiple moons and then realized they would eventually collide.

Image

Websites That Don't Need to Be Made Anymore 161

Posted by samzenpus
from the do-not-want dept.
They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but there is a finite number of social networking or selling websites that the world needs. Here is a collection of the eight kinds of websites that absolutely don't need to be made anymore. I'd add dating sites and anybody who uses pop-up ads myself, but I think that would eliminate half the Web.

Comment: Re:I see lousy coders.... everywhere (Score 1) 359

by cybergrue (#31793864) Attached to: How To Find Bad Programmers
Umm. I think that depends on which standard version of C++ you are using.
Classes in C++ were originally implemented as a C struct with function pointers for the methods. (Long Long ago in a ... ) and the public/private aspect was hacked on top. I haven't kept up with the latest C++ standards to know how much this has changed over time but I do believe that this is one of the areas where it is now very different from the old implementation and as a result inherently incompatible with C.

Comment: There is more to it (Score 4, Informative) 238

by cybergrue (#29230897) Attached to: Big, Beautiful Boxes From Computer History
Enigma started out as a commercial product marketed to commercial entities (mid 1930's) and early versions were sold to the public. IIRC, technical details were published (patents, etc) and it was from these commercial models that the Poles did a lot of their work. When Poland was invaded, the Polish cryptography team made its way to England and helped kickstart the Allied effort.

After figuring out how the machines worked, it became a simple matter to brute force the machines (try every combination) using mechanical means, ie the Bombes. This was simpler then it sounds because of some exploitable weaknesses (the same letter will never encryt to itself, the wiring in the disks wasn't changed, etc) The Bombes tried every possible combination of settings of an encoded message looking for the string "EIN" (German for one, Turring himself was said to have come up with this neat little hack) These possible decrypts were passed on to a human to check if the made sense. Remember that this was all done with a mechanical system. Late in the war, when the Germans were changing their codes every hour, this system was able to keep up.

Comment: Re:Not entirely accurate (Score 1) 272

by cybergrue (#25456971) Attached to: Kentucky Judge Upholds State's Gambling-Domain Grab
Umm, its a lot more complicated then that. The addresses are resolved using DNS server, so you could have competing DNS updates changing the addresses on the fly. (Ky send update changing the ip to a Ky site, the gambling site owner sending a competing request changing the ip back to their original site, and so on) It would be like sending two letters (to the same address) one minute apart, and having the first arrive in Paris, while the next letter get sent to Ky. I don't think the DNS system was set up or designed for this kind of thing (automated competing update requests would resemble a DNS DoS attack), so it would cause lots of problems.

The trump here is that the top level DNS server for the .com space is located in the US, whereas the off-shore gambling sites are not, so Kentucky has a legal advantage here.

btw, this is not the first time this has happened. A few months (years) back, a Spanish travel agency had its .com domain name seized because it arranged tours of Cuba (for Europeans) because the .com registry was located in the US.

Is it any wonder that the rest of the world wants an international body overseeing the internet.

United States

Report is Critical of US For Dumping E-Waste Overseas 152

Posted by samzenpus
from the not-in-my-backyard dept.
coondoggie writes "In what may be the least astonishing news of the day, some major US companies who say they are environmentally recycling electronic waste — aren't. Rather more startling — they are dumping everything from cell phones and old computers to televisions in countries such as China and India where disposal practices are unsafe to people and dangerous to the environment. Controlling the exportation of all of the e-waste plops on the doorstep of the US Environmental Protection Agency which is doing a woeful job, according to a scathing 67-page report issued by the Government Accountability Office today."

Life would be so much easier if we could just look at the source code. -- Dave Olson

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