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Comment: Re:srm -v -z (Score 1) 40

>Furthermore, the wear-leveling strategies used in flash mass storage devices negates any attempt to securely wipe them short of physical destruction.

Well, it confounds it at any rate. But completely filling the device's memory 33 times in a row is pretty likely to overwrite everything at least once or twice - even the hidden "failure reserve" space if it's included in the wear leveling (and if it's not, then it doesn't yet hold any sensitive data, so there's no problem). Guttmann's values may be irrelevant to today's storage media, but that many repeated rewrites of anything still mostly does the job.

I don't know that I'd trust it to wipe vital military secrets, but it should do a good enough job for most anything in the civilian realm.

Comment: Re:Who likes their utility? (Score 2) 59

>Why? Shareholder value?
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It seems simple enough to me: increased customer satisfaction (aka reputation in a captive market) means you can inflate your prices and/or reduce the quality of service with less backlash.

I can't think of any other reason a monopoly would care about it's reputation.

Electricity providers though, there I could see some motive. They are beginning to lose their monopoly with solar becoming a viable and cost-effective alternative in most places. If you can pay for ten years worth of electricity up front you can get the next 10-20 years after that free.

Comment: Re:A legend of OS design (Score 1) 130

by Immerman (#47424785) Attached to: Prof. Andy Tanenbaum Retires From Vrije University

Ah, but is it the man or the deserving that the past tense is referring to? Perhaps he deserved a good retirement 20 years ago,but has since become a world-champion puppy-kicker and is no longer deserving of it?

And no, I don't actually know enough about the guy to make any such assertion.

Comment: Re:Skimmed through (Score 2) 94

by Immerman (#47424737) Attached to: Single European Copyright Title On the Horizon

I suspect the prank take down obstruction was intentional, surely the publishers lobbying for the law realized it could otherwise be easily used against them. As for good faith, I think that comes down to interpretation. It should only take one reasonable judge smacking down a "good faith belief" in the infringement of a clearly non-infringing work to establish new precedent - say one of the many cases where a similar title was the only common element. Of course IANAL, so perhaps "good faith" clearly allows for inflicting hours or months of legal difficulties on someone without doing even 2 minutes of common-sense confirmation first, but there seems to be considerably overlap between the concepts of "good faith" and due diligence"

Comment: Re:Not surprising. (Score 1) 709

by Immerman (#47399061) Attached to: When Beliefs and Facts Collide

All of science is based on the idea that something for which there is no evidence probably doesn't exist. Maybe gravity is actually based on the actions of invisible fairies, but unless and until you have *evidence* of the existence of such fairies the broader scientific community is going to say you're nuts. Similarly claiming the mind has it's roots in magic/soul/etc. Unless and until you have evidence that there is something outside normal physics involved, the default assumption is that there is not. Occam's Razor is not without it's flaws, but it is extremely efficient in trimming out the vast bulk of magical thinking from the scientific community.

Comment: Re: Any Memory?? what judge will go on just that? (Score 2, Informative) 415

by Immerman (#47398895) Attached to: Police Using Dogs To Sniff Out Computer Memory

Actually diddling kids has been standard practice in many cultures until fairly recently - it's only in the last few centuries that it's begun getting a bad name in the West. Hell - take the word "erotic", derived from the Greek "eros" - an emotion that was accepted to only be possible within the confines of a relationship between an adult man and a young boy - something that was openly embraced at the time.

Moral of the story: don't assume that your modern moral compass is of any use in determining historical reality.

Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn't the work he is supposed to be doing at the moment. -- Robert Benchley

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