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Comment: Re:Astronomy, and general poor night-time results. (Score 3, Informative) 540

by fluffy99 (#47528473) Attached to: Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

Also the fact that it won't prevent future changes to vision. I'm thirty now, and my vision still continues to slowly get worse. I fear I'd be paying for a 5 year reprieve from glasses and then be back to wearing them with side effects I also have to live with for the rest of my life.

I had PRK since I had too much correct to do normal lasik. Its essentially lasik but they don't cut a flap first, has a longer recovery time, but is actually more accurate than lasik. I went from a -10.5 diopter prescription with contacts (pretty thick if I wore glasses) to 15/20 vision without. The only noticeable side effect was a very slight halo effect around bright objects at night. This is caused by the edges of the laser correction area becoming visible when the iris is fully dilated. For heavier corrections the max diameter of the correction area depends on the prescription and how much material they can take off in the center of the correction area, and for lasik how big they can cut the flap.

I made it about 10 years without glasses after that and now use very light prescription glasses mostly for driving and reading. I still don't need glasses for most things, and its awesome to see the alarm clock in the middle of the night without having to fumble for glasses first. I also don't worry about losing a contact and having to drive home with very impaired vision. I don't regret the decision at all even though I'm back to wearing glasses.

Comment: Re:Why did he roll like a pussy? (Score 1) 877

What the fuck does the 1st amendement have to do with this? The airline is a business and they have every right to decline to do business with you and refuse to fly you anywhere. The airline is obligated by FAA rules to disallow disruptive passengers on their planes, so yelling at the agent or refusing to comply with their reasonable instructions means they are legally require to remove you from the plane. If you yell at the McDonalds counter jockey, don't be surprised when they refuse to sell you a burger and ask you to leave.

Comment: Re:Customer service? (Score 5, Insightful) 877

I would fire the agent for starters, and whoever was involved.

The gate agent was correct in telling him he could move back in the line to join his kids, but they couldn't cut in line and move up to join him. That's the policy and they tell you this when asking you to line up. The guy was in the wrong and then whined on twitter about how they didn't bend over to kiss his ass. His tweet naming the person could be construed as harassment or slander.

Pulling him off the plane was a poor reaction, even if the intent was just to just to ask him to delete the tweet or at least revise it to delete the persons name. I suspect the agent threatened to call security and have him removed because he continued to be an ass, but that would be a one-sided opinion just like the guy claiming they were rude and threatened him.

Comment: Re:So in other words, it will be just like Firewir (Score 1) 355

by fluffy99 (#46996703) Attached to: Can Thunderbolt Survive USB SuperSpeed+?

This is exactly what I came here to post. It's a shame, because FW400 was far superior to USB2.0. The problem lay with the peripheral manufacturers who didn't want to put in more expensive controllers and dual-ports on their enclosures. Heck, wasn't the iSight the only webcam for Firewire? No demand=no supply=high prices. FW800 was pretty much the same. Better tech, limited market, high prices, bang, whimper. I love that my old Mac Mini can transfer data between 3 daisy-chained FW400 drives much faster than it can transfer to a single USB2.0 drive, but the fact that enclosures are expensive and basically non-interchangeable with any of my other devices makes it a pretty niche market.
Thunderbolt will probably follow the exact same progression, right down to the "new" faster Thunderbolt. Sure, its PCI-E, but 95% of consumers don't know, care, or need that capability. They buy on price and availability, plain and simple.

One of the security failures of firewire was that it provided direct access to memory. In other words a malicious external device could gain complete control of the computer. Having your peripheral interface be PCIe is just as bad. USB for all its overhead is still more secure (assuming you finally fix some of the stupid windows autoexecute bugs)

Comment: Re:Apples and oranges (Score 1) 113

by fluffy99 (#46830379) Attached to: OpenSSL: the New Face of Technology Monoculture

With open-source software, a monoculture isn't that bad a thing, as the Heartbleed exploit has shown. ... How fast was a fix available for Heartbleed?

Heartbleed showed that a monoculture, particularly one relying on poorly written and barely reviewed code is a bad thing. OSS or not. That the source code was fixed so easily just highlights to me how the heartbeat feature it was never properly reviewed or tested, and how people using openssl or incorporating it into their products never questioned it. The many eyes argument fails when you realize how few qualified programmers looked at the code. Given how wide spread openssl is, getting that fix rolled out to all the s/w and h/w that have it embedded is a nightmare. Just think of the Billions being spent to audit and test across enterprise networks, and update all that software.

Sure openssl will get more scrutiny for a while, but it doesn't fix the underlying fallacy that OSS automatically means quality code regardless of whether its commercial, free, or otherwise licensed. Or that OSS projects quite often have a shoestring budget, lower quality programmers, and less far less review than closed, proprietary software.

Comment: Re:Wat? (Score 1) 582

by fluffy99 (#46763715) Attached to: How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?

You seriously think that black hats bother with reading millions of lines of code in the hope of finding an exploit when all they have to do is play with the data sent to services/applications and see if it misbehaves. Which is why exploits are equally found among closed and open softwares.

This is true, and exactly how this was found by Codenomicon. Having access to the source code actually makes it far easier to turn the bad behavior into a working exploit, particularly for something like buffer overflows. Although in this case, there wasn't much work needed as the bad behavior was returning the contents of memory in response to a bad parameter.

Comment: Re:Open source was never safer (Score 1) 582

by fluffy99 (#46763677) Attached to: How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?

I think this says more about the prevailing view of security. Every programmer is told "NEVER roll your own encryption". The default result is that most programmers never even look at the code and instead assume it MUST be safe since the infallible "experts" wrote it. What we are seeing here is not the fault of open source vs closed source; it is about voodoo programming being considered good security practice.

I'm not saying that everyone should be rolling their own encryption, but people should be looking over the experts implementations instead of assuming they are perfect (this bug could have been caught by any number of "normal" programmers had they simply taken the time to looked).

The irony is that the openssl authors chose to roll their own malloc implementation instead of using the default, trusted one which would have likely crashed instead of facilitating the leakage of memory. (I still blame the fundamentally flawed nature of C for even allowing this)

Comment: Some real statistics. (Score 2) 367

by fluffy99 (#46600251) Attached to: More Than 1 In 4 Car Crashes Involve Cellphone Use

An NHSTA sponsored study says at any given moment during the day, 5% of Americans are driving while using a cell phone.. The study has some caveats - it relied on phone surveys, visual road-side observations, and only goes up to 2011, so may be significantly under-reporting cell phone usage. I estimate that number is closer to 10% based on casual observation while driving. So in a two -car accident that gives a 10% chance of a cell phone used in one of the cars. If the real cell-phone usage number is closer to 15%, then the 26% number is meaningless as it's typical of the overall population regardless of cell phone use.

When I see a stupid driving move, the person is invariably holding a cell phone to their face, talking and gesticulating wildly while they're the only person in the vehicle (hands-free), looking down at something (texting or dialing), or it's a woman putting on makeup while driving.

Comment: Re:When are the bank runs going to happen? (Score 1) 704

by fluffy99 (#46488891) Attached to: Bitcoin Exchange Flexcoin Wiped Out By Theft

And then, how many people are keeping the bitcoins themselves without adequate off-site backup?

In the general population maybe 5% of people have off site backups. Do they suddenly become wiser when they have bitcoins? Maybe a bit. But I'll bet it's still far less than half that have a proper backup system.

How exactly do you "backup" a bitcoin to protect it from theft? Backing up the coin info does zero good if someone already managed to effect a transfer of that coin. It's no more helpful than having a copy of your last bank statement after someone cleaned out your account (expect perhaps for FIDC insurance might payout on the loss).

Certainly, you're an idiot if you only keep the information in one place and risk losing it due to a simple HD crash. Safety of the coins from accidental loss was the allure of these exchanges. No-one really considered the theft aspect hard enough.

So has anyone tracked those coins to see where they went? The good (or bad) aspect of bitconis is their traceability. Did they eventually end up buying goods or getting cashed out somewhere?

Comment: Re:RFC 2468 -- I remember IANA (Score 4, Insightful) 279

by fluffy99 (#46488829) Attached to: U.S. Aims To Give Up Control Over Internet Administration

Sixteen years after Jon Postel attempted to bring DNS root zone control authority under IANA, finally, the dream of internationalization of the root DNS/internet infrastructure is becoming a reality. A moment of silence please, for Jon Postel, IANA.

This carries big implications in NSA's spying/QUANTUM program, which use U.S. control of the DNS system to exploit systems.

Really? Tampering with the DNS root servers is something that everyone would notice. It's not something NSA would be likely to start tampering with. Manipulating DNS at local levels perhaps, but certainly not at the root.

I'm more concerned about US Govt manipulation of DNS at the behest of corporations for copyright enforcement by killing websites. We've already seen that happen

Comment: Re:LIGO is a money pit (Score 1) 70

by fluffy99 (#46488755) Attached to: The Earth As a Gravitational Wave Detector

LIGO is enormously more sensitive (~12 orders of magnitude), than this seismic measurement but in a different frequency band (~100Hz), so both are valuable measurements sensitive to different types of GW sources .

LIGO itself is a phenomenally difficult project, but with big payoffs. There is the basic physics of understanding how gravity works, but there are also technology spinoffs. The extremely low loss mirror technology developed for LIGO is not being used for other applications, including telecom. The high Q optical cavities are used in commercial measurement devices for measuring tiny concentrations of materials in gasses . There are likely many other spin-offs from the project.

Near as I can tell, most of the technology flow (at least recently) is in the other direction, i.e. now that extremely low loss mirrors, etc are available they are upgrading LIGO to use them. Obviously they have a special use case and deserve kudos for developing their own fabrication techniques and applications of the technology.

The "big payoff" hasn't happened yet and isn't clearly defined. What exactly would the payoff be? I can see how correlating an observed perturbance as measured by this large scale interferometer with xray telescope data from an observed cosmic event could lend credence to therories about gravity waves.

Comment: LIGO is a money pit (Score 3, Insightful) 70

by fluffy99 (#46486547) Attached to: The Earth As a Gravitational Wave Detector

They've sunk over a billion into the Hanford and Livingston observatories. The LIGO observatories from 2002 to 2010 were only operational for a very small fraction of the time, plagued by equipment problems, never acheived the design sensitivity, and NEVER detected anything useful. Most of their data was contaminated by local noise, including the highway a few miles away. They blindly collected terabytes of raw data that has never been fully analyzed and they have minimal local data analysis capability.

Now NSF is pouring even more money into it in the hopes they can improve the sensitivity and actually detect something? At best they might record a perturbance that is correlated between multiple sites (they also partner with an Australian site I believe), of which the value of that data is still debatable.

I wish the NSF would pull the plug on this waste of resources and invest in something more useful like cleaner nuclear power.

Your program is sick! Shoot it and put it out of its memory.