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Comment: Re:how ? (Score 1) 222

by eth1 (#49158713) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Does One Verify Hard Drive Firmware?

You, the individual, can't hope to keep up with organizations that can out-spend you hundreds to thousands of times in terms both man-hours and money. How can you even know if the code you download off the manufacturers' web sites hasn't been tainted during production? Your only hope is to stay below their radar, or have enough trusted people around you or time on your hands to personally go through the code and verify it. I'm betting, even in their mom's basement, hardly anyone has time for that.

This. We have reached the point where electronic security for most individuals is simply not possible. The problem is that it's "hard," and most people that aren't security professionals (and even some that are) will never understand how things like encryption, asymmetric keys, etc. work. Which means that in order to secure themselves, they HAVE TO trust someone to take care of those details for them. But any company these days essentially has to be assumed to be under the control of a government, or will instantly fold when pressed.

And even if you're comfortable managing keys and such, you probably can't write your own software (especially strong encryption algorithms) and build your own hardware.

Comment: Re:How's this any different... (Score 4, Interesting) 114

by eth1 (#49115041) Attached to: Lenovo Hit With Lawsuit Over Superfish Adware

Many "enterprise" (lol) class proxies (deployed by corporations to "protect" their internal networks") do the exact same thing.

Totally different:
1. In a proxy, the key used to sign MITM traffic is on a device not accessible to anyone but the admins, not stored on a PC (probably improperly secured) that other malware could access.
2. A good proxy will check certs on the server side of the connection. The one we use will either "pass through" certificate errors, or allow us to block sites with invalid certs entirely.
3. A proper setup will use the URL categorization to not MITM certain traffic. We decrypt anything that's blocked (you have to in order to deliver a block page without cert errors), but that's not a big deal since it never even talks to the server. We also don't decrypt healthcare, banking, shopping, etc.

Comment: Re:Time for men's liberation (Score 1) 369

by eth1 (#49069573) Attached to: Two New Male Birth Control Chemicals In Advanced Stages

Men have had good access to birth control for a long time. Condoms are not new. They weren't even new in the sixties. Vasectomies were new in the sixties but aren't now. It's not clear that there's anything to liberate. Men are about as liberated as we're going to get.

Condoms? A 2% chance of failure isn't a chance I'd like to live with (not to mention the annoyance of using them)

Male birth control pills would have a similar problem. For a woman, 99.9% effective means that she's only fertile, on average, once every 80 years or so. THOSE odds, I'll take.

99.9% effective for a male means there's still almost 300,000 viable sperm every time.

Comment: Re:Since when are terms of service court enforced? (Score 1) 77

by eth1 (#49069471) Attached to: Company Promises Positive Yelp Reviews For a Price; Yelp Sues

So they are violating Yelp’s terms of service!? Since when have anybody's terms of service been enforceable in a court of law? It is immoral to lie, but of course it's not illegal, because politicians do it all the time. So why should it be illegal to pay somebody to post fiction on the Internet? Maybe some lying politician will introduce a bill to make it illegal?

Actually, I'd be curious how Revleap is violating the terms of service. Revleap might not even have to use Yelp's site directly to pull this off, and thus wouldn't be bound by any terms of service. The people actually posting the reviews might be in violation, but that's not who Yelp is suing.

Comment: Re:Not quite comparable (Score 4, Insightful) 215

by eth1 (#49055693) Attached to: Japan Now Has More Car Charging Points Than Gas Stations

Actually if you're comparing it to public filling stations, number of cars filled per hour or per day would probably be a better comparison.

A single gas pump can probably do about 12 cars per hour (5 minutes for the full transaction). If it takes 6 hours to charge a car, that single pump could fill as many cars as 72 charging stations. Or 7.2 or so 30-minute Supercharger stations (6 + 20%, since it doesn't fill to full, and you'd have to stop and tie up another charging station sooner).

Comment: Re:A smart phone is rarely convenient (Score 4, Insightful) 248

by eth1 (#49051085) Attached to: Smart Homes Often Dumb, Never Simple

I think the missing key in current smart home options that most people can actually afford to purchase, is reliable voice control. I know Google's acquisition of Nest (and whatever Apple gets around to doing) will make a big difference here, but I can already say that I'd be a lot happier with my "smart" lighting if I had:

A: More money for more components such as light switches and socket replacements.
B: Voice controls that were as responsive and reasonably reliable as the Amazon Echo, which gets it right a surprisingly large amount of the time.

But the GP's point still applies. Voice control is still just re-implementing the dumb light switch, making it more complicated and prone to failure (although it would be an improvement over a smart phone or remote, and definitely useful for mobility impaired, etc.).

The key is automation. If you're not doing that, the whole exercise is relatively pointless (IMO).

Comment: Re:Navigation Map Updates (Score 1) 157

by eth1 (#49002809) Attached to: Automakers Move Toward OTA Software Upgrades

While some carmakers today offer over-the-air software upgrades to navigation maps and infotainment head units,

Others, such as Toyota, want to charge you $250 US for a one time update to the maps. Then they wonder why I still have a Garmin stuck to my windshield. Thanks for nothing Toyota.

A better question is why the hell would you spend $3k on their stupid "navigation package" when that amount of money would buy a brand new Garmin every year (with current maps included) for THREE DECADES??

Comment: Re:Hmm... I thought it was *my* vehicle. (Score 2) 157

by eth1 (#49002757) Attached to: Automakers Move Toward OTA Software Upgrades

It does have some advantages. I got the Scion FR-S the day it came out. The original firmware had a number of small issues and one very serious one.

At a specific load and intake volume, the car wouldn't push enough fuel. It ended up being dangerously lean and it was found that those who stayed at that point for too long would have a catastrophic failure from their direct injector seals melting, necessitating a full block replacement.

An ECU update came out a while later that fixed it, but nobody was notified. Cars coming in for service don't get it automatically -- the techs aren't even told about it. 99% of those original cars remain unupdated. Anyone who chooses some "spirited" driving on a hot day is at risk.

An OTA update would solve issues like this really smoothly for a lot of people. I'm all for it.

My fear is that the easier it is for manufacturers to update the software, the sloppier it will be on initial release. You already see this with computer software. It'll be terrible until six months after the cars go on sale (and maybe longer). Then they'll give up entirely a few years later when the new revision comes out.

I appreciate my 14-year-old car with manual, physical switches and buttons for everything more every time I get in a new car these days.

Comment: Re:Problem. (Score 3, Insightful) 124

by eth1 (#48994307) Attached to: Programming Safety Into Self-Driving Cars

"People are unpredictable. What happens if the person is not doing what they're asked or expected to do, and the car is moving at sixty miles per hour?" Zilberstein asked.

So the car is travelling at 60 MPH on automatic when a situation arises that requires the car to switch to human-control ... and there might be a problem with the human not reacting correctly?

I think that the problem would be expecting the human to take control and do anything useful at that speed if the programming couldn't handle it.

It more like it's unreasonable to expect a person to be able to sit and pay enough attention to what's going on when they're not engaged in the task at all. I either want full control, or no responsibility for control.

Comment: Re:Rule #1: Don't take the piss (Score 1) 101

by eth1 (#48965929) Attached to: Building a Good Engineering Team In a Competitive Market

What I meant by 10-15 years worth of raises was that I would have had to stay there that long to equal the increase I got by moving on after a handful of years (at my last job, you'd get +$1-2k/yr regardless of merit, and I got +$25k for jumping ship).

I agree that being somewhere for along time with no promotion can be a red flag, but I've also worked places where they'd rather hire externally than give someone too big of a raise.

I also tend to choose jobs based more on what I can learn than what I can earn. Then, so long as you can learn, the money comes naturally. My current job has so many opportunities to gain experience with technologies I haven't worked with before that I'd probably stay here for a while even with no raises at all, knowing that I'll be worth a ton more when I did finally leave (but they actually have a sane promotion path, with technical track positions all the way up to SVP/EVP level).

Comment: Re:Backpedalled? (Score 1) 740

by eth1 (#48964791) Attached to: New Jersey Gov. Christie: Parents Should Have Choice In Vaccinations

I'm willing to compromise, however. Don't vaccinate your kids, and they are not allowed in a school, daycare, public park or anywhere else where they may come into contact with other children.

As much as I normally hate litigation, I'd kind of like to see anyone contracting something dangerous like measles from someone who chose not to vaccinate turn around and start suing the shit out of them. People might not listen to sense, but they probably will listen to their pocketbooks.

Even parents that that have to quarantine their children who are too young to be vaccinated due to exposure and have extra expense or must miss work might be able to have standing.

Comment: Re:Rule #1: Don't take the piss (Score 4, Insightful) 101

by eth1 (#48963197) Attached to: Building a Good Engineering Team In a Competitive Market

... and pay-rises.

This is usually the problem right here. The last two times I've switched jobs, I ended up with a pay bump equal to about 10-15 YEARS worth of the wimpy raises I got for keeping my valuable institutional knowledge at the same place.

The limits most places put on promotions & raises mean you're usually shooting yourself in the foot if you stay someplace more than a few years.

Comment: Re:Rent seeking (Score 1) 570

by eth1 (#48869973) Attached to: Microsoft Reveals Windows 10 Will Be a Free Upgrade

indicating Windows would be software that users subscribe to, rather than buy outright

No thanks. Just like with Adobe CS, it looks like it's time to buy up some licenses before they disappear. I have no interest in renting my software.

Renting software, especially non-essential software, is one thing, but renting the OS, without which the system won't even function, is more akin to renting ransom-ware. (good move M$, he said sarcastically)

It doesn't really make sense for MS to use a subscription model for the OS, even from their perspective. I would actually be perfectly willing to pay $20-30/yr, but the problem is, what happens when I stop paying, or some kind of problem occurs with the system? If it totally locks you out, you'd have people lining up with pitchforks and torches. If it just stops getting updates, you have a bunch of insecure Windows boxen, that would make MS look bad. You could potentially turn it into nagware, but you'd still have people just ignore it. Same with doing nothing - people would pay for the first year, then stop. So, you charge several years' worth of "subscription" up front, and then provide updates until the EOL date.

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.