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


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Umm (Score 3, Insightful) 42

You might just need to read past the first sentence of TFA to get an answer to your question. For me, this was a big deal.

âoeI then proceeded to Lufthansaâ(TM)s website and using his last name (which was encoded in the barcode) and the record locator was able to get access to his entire account. Not only could I see this one flight, but I could see ANY future flights that were booked to his frequent flyer number from the Star Alliance.â

That's not a problem with the information being on the boarding pass. That's a problem with the website's security model. It's obvious that this data should be on the boarding pass. It's also obvious that shouldn't be enough to log in and check records.

Comment Re:Bad design? (Score 4, Interesting) 42

Your subject says it all ... bad design.

Is it actually bad design? It's fault-tolerant design. If there's a problem with their network, they can still retrieve the data from the boarding pass itself. Protect your boarding pass, and you won't have a problem. You were already planning to treat it as a secret, right?

Comment Usage changes meaning (Score 1) 66

"Decimated nearly half the population" means less than 5%. You can't just ignore the prefix 'deci' because everyone uses it incorrectly, dictionary.

"Decimate" hasn't meant "killed every tenth man by lot" for a lot of years. It's usually not used with exact percentages, but it's often used for percentages other than ten.

Comment Re:My question is ... (Score 2) 41

I have no clue where you're coming from. You rightly point out that life takes energy, but then proceed to consider internal sources of energy as worthless, when in reality in the universe far more things are exposed to internal energy than external. And radioactive decay-driven energy sources are only one. For example, Encelaldus's heat seems to be driven by the serpentization of rock, which also releases hydrogen, a potential food source to microorganisms. There are numerous chemical means which can release vast amounts of energy - yes, nuclear energy is many orders of magnitude more dense, but non-radioactive elements are also orders of magnitude more common.

Anywhere that there is heat and fluids (or solids that can undergo solid-state convection) can experience that heat being turned into harvestable forms of chemical energy, because chemical equilibriums are different at different temperatures. For example, at STP conditions, N2 + O2 is favorable, while at high temperatures NO2 is more favorable. N2 + O2 that goes to higher temperatures and forms NO2, which then comes back down to the lower atmosphere, is bringing a source of chemical energy with it.

Since heat differentials can and will be readily converted to chemical energy wherever it's associated with convection of any variety, then any source of heat is a fuel for life - and heat most definitely doesn't only come from nuclear decay - or chemical reactions. It comes also from the rebalancing of layers to a lower gravitational equipotential. It comes from impacts. It comes from tidal heating. It comes from thermal cycling in elongated orbits. It comes from mass loss due to solar wind exposure. There's a vast range of potential heating sources in the universe that can create heat differentials. And heat differentials make exploitable chemical reactions.

You make blind assertions that "these environments wouldn't be likely because of their composition". What do you know about this? You have a sample size of one of chemical processes that have created life. We can't even see deep into our own world to see what other alternatives might exist at higher pressures, let alone in other worlds. Heck, underground doesn't even mean particularly high pressures. Dwarf planets can have Earth-surface pressures at hundreds of meters or even kilometers depth. And life on Earth exists fine in the deep sea, wherever there's energy to support it, where pressures are at over 1000 atmospheres

Deep environments might prove even more prone to organic chemistry. In general, pressure is usually associated with faster reaction rates. You also often have more complex arrangements of possible chemical phases for each compound at higher pressures than with lower pressures. Water for example over its possible temperature range at a particular depth might have 3-5 potential ice phases, a liquid phase, a supercritical fluid phase, and a gas phase. This leads to a much greater range of possibilities for reactions to potentially exploit, because each chemical in each of its phases has the potential it interact with each other chemical in each of its other phases, or in the case of non-metastable forms, at least many of its other phases.

Common theories for the origin of life on Earth usually assume that it wasn't the sun that powered the first forms of life, even though that's the most convenient source of energy on our planet. Photosynthesis is much more complicated than most forms of chemosynthesis. Environments like black smokers, volcanic pools or acidic waters within deep iron-rich minerals seem like far more likely candidates.

Intelligence evolving within creatures that live in liquids? Oh, we've never seen that before! ;) Except, of course, for the fact that the second-most intelligent category of mammals are aquatic (cetaceans), and the most intelligent invertebrates (mollusks) live there too. Rather, the oceans tend to be highly competitive environments, and thus good breeding grounds for intelligence.

The only reason that our deep seas seem less rich with competing life is that our deep seas are usually relatively energy devoid. Which says absolutely nothing about subsurface layers on other planets. Wherever our deep seas are not energy devoid, such as around black smokers, they tend to be flush with life.

Comment Re:ZFS is nice... (Score 2) 202

No. RAID isn't better handled at other layers. If you don't know about the filesystem semantics then you need NVRAM or journalling at the block level to avoid the RAID-5 write hole. RAID-Z doesn't have this problem. If you're recovering a failed block-level RAID, then you need to copy all of the data, including unused space. With ZFS RAID (all levels), you only copy the used data. There are numerous other advantages to rearranging the layers, including being a lot more flexible in the provisioning.

It's also a mistake to think of ZFS as a layer. ZFS has three layers: the lowest handles physical disks and presents a linear address space, the middle presents a transactional object store, and the top presents something that looks like a filesystem (or a block device, which is useful for things like VM disk images).

Comment Re:ZFS is nice... (Score 1) 202

2GB/TB is recommended if you're doing deduplication. That said, performance degrades quite smoothly. I've got a machine with 3x4TB drives in RAID-Z with only 8GB of RAM. Disk performance isn't great, but I mostly access it via WiFi and it's absolutely fine for that. Eventually I'll get a new motherboard for that can handle more than 8GB of RAM...

Comment Re:My question is ... (Score 2) 41

I think it's silly in the regards that we have precisely one datapoint about the sort of environments in which life may exist, which is pretty terrible in terms of making any sort of definitive statement. I'd much rather they keep their options open, check out a wide range of environments, and just look for signs of "things that are hard to explain", whatever they may be. "Hmm, this body has both a strong oxidizer and a strong reducing agent in its atmosphere - how is that happening?"

I'm not saying "check planets in random order" or anything of that nature. Just that I don't think it's critical to obsess over being sure to examine them in order of "earthishness" from highest to lowest. We need to be looking at a diversity of worlds.

Heck, we don't even know whether the surface of a body is the best place to look, most life in the universe might be in sub-crustal layers for all we know. Certainly would partially help explain the Fermi paradox, if it were such that we rare "surface dwellers" have a far easier route to the cosmos than something that needs to be under gigapascals of pressure to survive and whose radiating transmissions, if any, would be blocked by their planet's crust.

Comment Re:DMCA needs to die (Score 3, Insightful) 32

This has nothing to do with the DMCA, this is a straight out copyright infringement lawsuit being filed.

The real problem is that the methods the copyright holders (or the copyright enforcement goons acting on their behalf) are using to identify torrent users aren't good enough and its good to see at least one judge willing to call these enforcers out on it.

Submission All Malibu Media subpoenas in Eastern District NY put on hold

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: A federal Magistrate Judge in Central Islip, New York, has just placed all Malibu Media subpoenas in Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, and Staten Island on hold indefinitely, due to "serious questions" raised by a motion to quash (PDF) filed in one of them. Judge Steven Locke's 4-page Order and Decision (PDF) cited the defendant's arguments that "(i) the common approach for identifying allegedly infringing BitTorrent users, and thus the Doe Defendant, is inconclusive; (ii) copyright actions, especially those involving the adult film industry, are susceptible to abusive litigation practices; and (iii) Malibu Media in particular has engaged in abusive litigation practices" as being among the reasons for his issuance of the stay.

Comment CDDL and GPL don't mix (Score 2) 202

Regardless of what Ubuntu has convinced themselves of, in this context the ZFS filesystem driver would be an unlicensed derivative work. If they don't want it to be so, it needs to be in user-mode instead of loaded into the kernel address space and using unexported APIs of the kernel.

A lot of people try to deceive themselves (and you) that they can do silly things, like putting an API between software under two licenses, and that such an API becomes a "computer condom" that protects you from the GPL. This rationale was never true and was overturned by the court in the appeal of Oracle v. Google.

Nothing recedes like success. -- Walter Winchell