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Comment: Re:Brand? (Score 1) 150

by hey! (#49633499) Attached to: 17-Year-Old Radio Astronomy Mystery Traced Back To Kitchen Microwave

I'd like to know which brand of microwave lasts 17 years?

Any brand, so long as it was made more than 25 years ago or so.

My kids like to watch vintage TV shows, and in one sitcom from the early 80s there was a plot line involving a TV remote -- this was back when remotes were still an expensive novelty. I paused and pointed out the thing in question. It was huge blocky moster of metal and wood, and looked like it had been forged by Durin in the deeps of Mount Gundabad. While virtually everything they use is incomparably more sophisticated than that thing, nothing approaches the build quality; physically it's all injection-molded crap that's been designed to be discarded after two or three years and replaced.

We can thank Bill Clinton and his China trade deals for amazingly cheap consumer goods that are designed to fail after a couple of years and be impossible to repair.

Comment: Re: Without Legal Mumbo Jumbo (Score 1) 78

It's worse than that. If they were ACTUALLY interested in fixing the problem, they would want to have someone who would actually understand the disclosure. At least the lawyer would ask if there was a technical write-up he could pass on to an engineer. However, the correspondence published showed no interest in the technical information whatsoever except for making a vague threat should it be released.

Their intentions are quite clear.

Comment: Re:To think I once subscribed to this site (Score 1) 214

So actually bothering to read the government's account of what it has done makes you a "leftist" then? And then telling other people what you found is "harassment"?

It must be easy to whip up that old self-righteous anger when you're so -- let's say, "semantically flexible".

Comment: Re:Deny them the pleasure of security by obscurity (Score 2) 78

You know, it's possible to disclose that a vulnerability exists without disclosing how to exploit it. The letter from the lawyer also states that the firm is interested in discussing this further but was rebuffed by the "researcher". How are they supposed to know if the exploit is real or not if the "researcher" in question refuses to disclose the PoC to their lawyer. I'm pretty certain that a single phone call resolved the "are you working on their behalf" question. At that point (verification) he should have simply given the vendor the PoC and a few more days before putting people at risk.

Had the vendor shown any actual interest in addressing the issue rather than burying it, they probably could have gotten an extension. Instead, they chose to squash any inclination to good will by prattling on with vague DMCA threats.

If the nature of the attack isn't released in detail, how does anyone learn from the mistake? As for the details, what good does it do to tell the lawyers? Might as well tell the mailroom guy. If they were serious about learning from their mistake, they would want him to discuss it with an engineer. Perhaps if the disclosure is public, one of the engineers might hear about it in a coherent enough form to actually fix something.

They made specific claims about their security product that have been determined to be untrue, what's your solution? Let them keep selling weak security to high security facilities?

Comment: Re:Correction (Score 1) 68

Amusingly, fortnight is a well defined term still in reasonably common use in many English speaking countries. There is no ambiguity.

I suppose that's an apt analogy since the judge wrote the ruling in contemporary English as well with an equal lack of ambiguity.

Considering the number of archaic words one finds in some legal documents, you might be hard-pressed to notice that your contract was re-written into Ye Olde English. :-)

Comment: Re:Not my problem (Score 5, Interesting) 156

by hey! (#49631333) Attached to: Extreme Secrecy Eroding Support For Trans-Pacific Partnership

The issue isn't secrecy OR expansiveness, or even both. The problem comes when you add fast track to those two.

Fast track is intended to strengthen the US negotiator's hand in trade deals. Here's how it works. By granting the President "fast track", Congress agrees to vote on the treaty exactly as negotiated by the President within sixty days, only forty-five of which the bill is in the hands of the relevant committee.

Fast track developed in the Cold War era. The idea was for situations like this. Suppose we we are discreetly negotiating with the Kingdom of Wakanda for access to their vibranium reserves. But we're worried about the Soviets getting wind of this, so we keep everything on the DL and rush like hell to get the deal through Congress before they can stick their oar in and queer the deal.

And for a relatively simple quid-pro quo type deal negotiated on the side in a bi-lateral world where you're with the commies or not, this procedure makes sense. But not for a massive, complex, multi-lateral accord that will govern the economic relations between twelve nations, and which took ten years to draft. How the hell is Congress supposed to examine something like that in forty-five days?

Comment: Re:Laws that need to be made in secret (Score 2) 156

by hey! (#49630841) Attached to: Extreme Secrecy Eroding Support For Trans-Pacific Partnership

There's nothing wrong with drafting a treaty in secret, it's often necessary. But you can't make it so hard to examine the treaty and debate it during the ratification process.

That's because ratifying treaties puts more restrictions on Americans in the future than anything else Congress can do. Treaties pre-empt local law and pre-existing federal law. Congress can pass contradictory laws in the future but those would be considered unilateral abrogations under international law and undermine US demands that other countries live up to *their* treaty obligations.

So if there is something dodgy in a ratified treaty for practical purposes you're stuck with it. Anything which hinders the Senate's ability to examine and debate the treaty in detail undermines the Senate's constitutional role. It is not an exaggeration to call something like that a step toward tyranny.

Comment: Re:News? (Score 1) 409

by ceoyoyo (#49629807) Attached to: The Programming Talent Myth

People develop, or lose, motivation all the time. You're born with the motivation to do things like look at faces, imitate people around you and eat. More complex motivations are born out of experience and necessity. Lots of people are motivated to do things if there's a sufficient reward involved.

Comment: Re:Seriously ? What a non story (Score 1) 403

by ceoyoyo (#49629767) Attached to: No, NASA Did Not Accidentally Invent Warp Drive

Your statement is based on theories that aren't exactly widely accepted yet and/or very liberal use of the term "space".

The measurements NASA made of their EM drive, if they're correct, are just the kind of space warps you'd need to go faster than light. The NASA test was firing a laser through the device and measuring how fast the light travelled. The answer was, in some cases, faster than c.

We cannot command nature except by obeying her. -- Sir Francis Bacon