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Comment: I use the red bar in Explorer (Score 1) 170

by davidwr (#48214267) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Smarter Disk Space Monitoring In the Age of Cheap Storage?

Windows 7. :P.

Seriously though, you do have a good question. Every environment is different. A stable environment with very little fluctuation can be a few hundred MB (plus whatever the OS needs for temporary files) away from capacity for years on end - set the alarm at that level plus 1. A drive that's used for archiving everything-ever-created in a video-editing shop will grow to infinity quite fast - set the alarm so you catch it in time to add more space and consider a second alarm that monitors for increases in the rate of growth. A "temp drive" that fluctuates wildly but has only hit 75% once and probably never will again can probably have the alarm set at 76%.

Comment: Telnet has its place (Score 1) 60

by davidwr (#48212675) Attached to: Cisco Fixes Three-Year-Old Telnet Flaw In Security Appliances

However, being accessible by even a single machine you don't trust is not one of those places.

A place where it is helpful: Isolated networks such as in a test lab that you control. The fact that it is NOT encrypted can be a great asset in debugging if you are looking at packet-capture logs. Sure, there are other solutions but if telnet/telnetd are readily available and they get the job done without causing any bad side-effects in a particular use case why not use them?

Comment: This should be much more nuanced (Score 1) 164

by davidwr (#48212411) Attached to: Proposed Penalty For UK Hackers Who "Damage National Security": Life

Just like there are different "levels" of theft and manslaughter/murder, there should be different levels of "damaging national security."

The penalty should be based on the harm done, the intent, and if applicable, the degree of recklessness.

Also, existing charges should be used instead of this charge where applicable. For example,if I harm national security with the intent of exposing someone to grave danger and they die as a result, then a murder or similar charge is more appropriate than a charge of "damaging national security."

That said, I can see some rare, hypothetical situations where a crime that comes under the umbrella of "damaging national security" charge could rightfully deserve a life sentence. However, like the various "levels" of a murder charge, the "levels" of a "damaging national security" charge need to be defined as separate crimes with different "elements" that the prosecution would need to prove.

Regarding whistle-blowers - there needs to be some formal process to encourage responsible whistle-blowing, while not encouraging malicious, dubious "whistle-blowing" (e.g. you are mad at your boss, so you look for nit-picky violations knowing that by merely reporting anything your "whistle-blower" status will mean you will win big money in a lawsuit if you are fired in the next year or two).

Comment: How many people will die from this? (Score 1) 690

by davidwr (#48206769) Attached to: FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

How many emergency communications systems will go down because a device died right after applying a Microsoft-delivered patch?

How many emergency communications systems will go down because of some recently-patched-by-Microsoft vulnerability got through because the administrator took an extra day or two beyond what he already does to thoroughly validate that Microsoft patches wouldn't brick his system?

In short, how many people will die because of this? Here's hoping the answer is "less than 1".

Comment: Most metal impants are "hackable" (Score 2) 79

by davidwr (#48203125) Attached to: DHS Investigates 24 Potentially Lethal IoT Medical Devices

As I pointed out a few weeks ago, most implants with electronics or metal can be "hacked" by targeting them with microwaves. Sure, so can the human body but you don't need as much power to disable a possibly-life-sustaining electronic device as you to do cook flesh. Even metal parts will heat up (and cook adjacent living tissue) with less power than the human body.

However, if my heart is dying and I have a choice between getting an implantable artificial heart even knowing that I could be killed by someone armed with a microwave gun or dying waiting for a human donor, I'll take the artificial heart.

Comment: OT: ":Fine money should be burned (Score 2) 398

by davidwr (#48194945) Attached to: Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

Money collected as punishment for crimes should be destroyed either literally or as a bookkeeping entry, so nobody* benefits from its collection.

Ditto punitive damages from civil suits.

This would remove the financial incentive for governments to fine people and remove the financial incentive for plaintiffs to seek high punitive damages. The stated "justice/deterrence" purpose of fines and punitive damages would remain.

*I'm ignoring the theoretical, negligible gain in the value of everyone else's dollars as global supply of US dollars shrinks by the amount of the destroyed money and the not-necessarily-theoretical hit to the local or national economy if money that would otherwise be spent on goods and services by the person paying the fine and/or by the government collecting the fine is lost.

+ - Dr.Who to teach kids to code ->

Submitted by DCFC
DCFC (933633) writes "The BBC is releasing a game to help ten 8-11 year olds get into coding. Based on Dr.Who, it alternates between standard platform game and programming puzzles that introduce the ideas of sequence, loops, if..then, variables and a touch of event driven programming...and you get to program a Dalek to make him more powerful, apparently the BBC thinks upgrading psychopathic racist death machines is a good idea."
Link to Original Source

+ - Britain May "Go Medieval" On Terrorists And Charge Them With High Treason ->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The British government have been discussing charging Britons that swear allegiance and fight for ISIS with the crime of high treason under the medieval era Treason Act of 1351. It is estimated that between 500 — 1,500 Britons fought for ISIS. Civil rights activists consider the idea “ludicrous” although it is unclear if they think there is a free speech or conscience issue. Treason was punishable by death until 1998. The last person to be executed for treason by Britain was William Joyce who was hung for his role as the Nazi propagandist "Lord Haw-Haw.""
Link to Original Source

+ - Ebola Outbreak Could Make Nation Turn to Science

Submitted by (3830033) writes "Andy Borowitz writes at The New Yorker that there is a deep-seated fear among some Americans that an Ebola outbreak could make the country turn to science. According to Borowitz, writing tongue in cheek, leading anti-science activists expressed their concern that the American people, wracked with anxiety over the possible spread of the virus, might desperately look to science to save the day. “If you put them under enough stress, perfectly rational people will panic and start believing in science," says Harland Dorrinson, a prominent anti-science activist from Springfield, Missouri. Dorrinson adds that he worries about a “slippery slope” situation, “in which a belief in science leads to a belief in math, which in turn fosters a dangerous dependence on facts.”"

+ - Speech driven keyboard drivers, why do they only exist in Android/iOS? 1

Submitted by ntrcessor
ntrcessor (821638) writes "I have several clients who are visually disabled, or have other disabilities the make typing a difficulty for them. I noticed that they still prefer to have something with tactile feedback. I also noticed that they liked the fact that on Android and iOS devices they could speak commands, and even type by speaking. Great.

Sans expensive 3rd party add-ons, none of the OS's for desktops seem to integrate this ability directly into the OS. Even with accessibility turned on, my experience across the board, is that one must speak into a "dictation" application, and some how paste that content into the desired app. Experience has also show that if disabled people were all obscenely rich, they could afford the 3rd party add-ons to make this a less cumbersome task.

The least expensive route I found for this doesn't work well, and that was Nuance combined with an iPhone for input. Assuming the user is starting from scratch, we have the cost of a new computer, the Nuance Software, and the iPhone, which pushes the cost easily over $1000, and it's still involves lots of training for the user. The one that didn't involve so much user training isn't directly available in the US, and costs $3000 for the middleman piece that combines the Nuance and another piece of software called Jaws. Between Nuance, and Jaws, that's $1000. The easy part is apparently just adding enough speech recognition to be able to launch a few commands. I have accomplished this in all 3 with minimal effort. But on the typing front, still no joy.

Why is it then, that while it is demonstrably possible to have a keyboard level input done by voice recognition, that none of the major desktop OS's support this out of the box? (Linux,Windows, MacOS). I'm asking because I'm trying to solve this on an affordable basis for the truly disabled, who need it. Unfortunately my skills in programming, are currently not near the level they would need to be to supply keyboard drivers for any platform. Let alone one that involved a speech API."

Air is water with holes in it.