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Comment: This is WONDERFUL! (Score 1) 207

by grep -v '.*' * (#49146757) Attached to: Surgeon: First Human Head Transplant May Be Just Two Years Away
Hey, this is great, for multiple reasons:

Trouble losing weight? Nooooo problem anymore!

Trying to sell black market organs? Forget all that nasty slicing and dicing; just grab the entire bag instead.

Lawsuit deniability: *I* didn't hold that gun on the bank teller. The hand in that body did. (probably only works for the first few lawsuits though.)

I guess they use Futurarama's Head-in-a-Jar while they're swapping heads?

Gives a whole new worry in the bar scene, though: "Hey girl, you've got a GREAT body." She frowns and squints back: "Why do you say that?"

Comment: Does anybody really know what time it is? (Score 1) 508

by grep -v '.*' * (#49142249) Attached to: Machine Intelligence and Religion
So, let's boot up a Muslim AI.

Now, it's got to pray 5x a day. Does it get beheaded because its NTP server is out of sync? (And that looses it's terror slightly when you can simply attach it back again -- that is if it even has one.)
Is it apostasy if you swap out a ROM?
Does it get one shrink-wrapped virgin with 72 interchangeable parts, or 72 "no user serviceable parts inside"?
Is it a sin if you don't agree to their EULA?
What is this guy going to think about all of this?

And as long as I'm !PC here: "AIs running around with a reason to discriminate, hate, and kill folks that believe differently than they do." Sounds like ISIL absorbed some Apple/Microsoft/Google fanboys. Just think -- ACTUAL Flamewars! And just wait for the rabid liberal/conservative bots: we need to get this running first: XKCD virus aquarium vs an real-life one.


Yes, I know, it's nothing at all to joke about. But I'm an atheist living in the bible belt -- I've been scared for decades and these local people don't want to kill me, just convert me ... if they don't ignore me to start with. ISIL wants to kill us both -- tEofEimF. And if I don't make jokes about it, I'd be a blithering idiot (... hmph, maybe it's not helping much after all.)

Comment: Re:So much for the 2nd Amendment (Score 1) 316

by grep -v '.*' * (#49126411) Attached to: FedEx Won't Ship DIY Gunsmithing Machine

In a related story, rest easy with that 45 under your pillow because you've won the war

But I have two pillows -- when is FedEx going to deliver my other 45?

and "focus on real problems"? What?? -- do you have ANY idea how uncomfortable it is to sleep on uneven pillows?

-----

Gun control is being able to hit your target.

Comment: Re:But... (Score 1) 253

Instant web access can supplement, but it also can be an overused crutch that inhibits critical thinking and learning skills

DING! Do you want to passively just "know the answer" and probably forget it by the next time you query, or "understand the answer" by reasoning it out and having those save memory tracks (slightly) more available to you next time?

Even if I've completely overestimated "understanding it", you've had to spend more time actually thinking about it, so there is a better chance you'll remember it.

Comment: Re:Um, (Score 2, Interesting) 112

by grep -v '.*' * (#49099523) Attached to: TrueCrypt Audit Back On Track After Silence and Uncertainty

we DON'T know if 7.1 was safe to use or not.

Isn't that kinda the point of a security audit?

Really, my personal tin-foil take (and I know actually know, I'm just guessing from the reported results and my internal biases) is that the TC authors were "given an offer they couldn't refuse" and forced to hand over the control of the website and code signing keys to someone else.

THAT they did -- but they were not told NOT trash the brand beforehand. So in my happy little fantasy world they put that weird final notice and gleefully handed over the control keys to the code, knowing that no one would ever use any new code originating from it again. Thus complying with the letter of the law, if not quite the imposed spirit of it. (And then survived to tell the tale, or at least managed to survive the encounter. I hope.)

On a completely different topic, antagonizing people with guns is never a smart thing to do. But sometimes it is the right thing to do. Maybe we should ask Paul Revere or another American patriots from years past -- I hear they bothered men with guns a long time ago, too.

(I don't suppose we could give DC -- it's not a state -- back to the British and fund a new capital somewhere? I'd suggest somewhere in Washington State; that way we wouldn't have to change the stationary THAT much.)

Comment: Re:What it really reveals (Score 1) 112

by grep -v '.*' * (#49098227) Attached to: TrueCrypt Audit Back On Track After Silence and Uncertainty

I had a high-security scenario ... [and] was happy enough that everything was traced back the sources enough to make me feel secure.

So you've compiled "everything" from source code? Then you're all good to go -- the code will be exactly what the compiler produced, but NOT necessarily what the source code actually says.

Huh? See Reflections on Trusting Trust, from back in the pre-NSA days where one special guy could easily log into any Unix system: "I could log into that system as any user."

He's not BSing or joking, either.

Comment: Re:Um, (Score 4, Interesting) 112

by grep -v '.*' * (#49098175) Attached to: TrueCrypt Audit Back On Track After Silence and Uncertainty

[Backdoors are hard to find.] At this point with the exiting statement of the developers only a fool would trust Truecrypt with anything important.

Let's see: only a fool trusts things that actively lose data. (ie, bitrot, or email systems used by important people. If it's important, have 2+ independent copies)

So let's posit that TC is "sane", that it doesn't actively corrupt your data (Actual disk bitrot is another matter.)

Is it secure? (Ignoring keyloggers, CPU tampering, OS-file I/O interception, not to mention on-bus DMA controllers that have direct access to physical memory, and other out of band things? You could argue they need to detect this but they aren't an A/V vendor and you do halfway have to trust your hardware. Oh, visit CC PIN hacking via a IR camera to see your hardware "betray" you.)

Well, given a correct encryption key, things work correctly; given seemingly any incorrect key, things don't -- a very good start. So they need to protect the working in-memory key (because it's game-over if not.) They erase it if enough idle time has passed and try to keep it from being swapped out to disk. Process memory isolation is great, but in both cases the OS itself can do whatever it wants. So you have to trust the OS, at least a bit.

So, what everybody actually means: is the encryption secure? Can someone who doesn't know my password read my data due to stupid password handling, bad encryption routine choices (ROT-26), or leaky code of good routines? (Say perfect AES file encryption, but the unencrypted source file moved to the recycle bin, never mind about any corruptible buffer or stack overflows. [That's an example; TC doesn't encrypt single files.] ) Are there password collisions, ie password are actually case-insenstive? or silently truncated after 2 characters?

I suspect that you're (humans) the weakest link because of the XKCD wrench, an easily guessed password, or your likes/habits that could lead to your password. If you can't type your password it's not going to work, and you have to remember how to type it.

It seems to boil down to do you trust the vendor to act in good faith every step of the way? Let's see: -anonymous vendor, +access to source code that compiles to the released binary, +routine usage that makes sense, +updates over time, -weird final message. Personally, i trust them more than MS's native BitLocker, which is sane but has a (understandable) business-released AD key recovery function. (It's not your data but the companies, and they have keys to continue read it.) But is BL actually secure? Dunno, can't tell; we have to trust MS completely on that.

If it (TC v7.1) was good to use the day before sunset, it was good to the use day after too, until known problems arise or non-OS support kills it. But YMMV -- trust whom you see fit. So being curious: what are you using, if not TC?

Comment: Re:The title is the problem. (Score 2) 145

How does a copyright encourage creativity in a dead person?

A brand new story by Dr Seuss is about to be published, and he's been dead for 2 decades -- just because you're dead doesn't mean you're just completely wasting away doing nothing.

Edgar Allen Poe might soon write another story from beyond the grave, perhaps assisted by a medium (such as: The Tell Tale Heart still Feeds My Slothful Grandson from Royalties.) Thus, we of the RRAA (Reading and Riting Association of America have to be prepared for this impending possibility and keep all of his works under exacting publishing control and lock-and-key. (If would be horrible if anyone could just talk about a raven(tm) anytime they wanted. Or, if there were people that somehow made a profit while watching or listening to the sound of other peoples beating hearts .... hey, waaaait....)

Personally, I'm more interested in if a medium channeling Walt Disney -- who would get the eventual rights? Disney (Mr), Disney (tm), or the medium(i)?

+ - Your hard disk has a virus -- your hard disk FIRMWARE.-> 1

Submitted by grep -v '.*' *
grep -v '.*' * (780312) writes "News link vs Kasperskys' news release link.

The [Kaspersky won't name] has figured out how to hide spying software deep within hard drives made by Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba and other top manufacturers,

Kaspersky published the technical details of its research on Monday, which should help infected institutions detect the spying programs, some of which trace back as far as 2001.

The exposure of these new spying tools could lead to greater backlash against Western technology, particularly in countries.

the authors of the spying programs must have had access to the proprietary source code that directs the actions of the hard drives. "There is zero chance that someone could rewrite the [hard drive] operating system using public information."



I was wondering how this would work since the SATA HD firmware on the drive isn't directly executed by the OS CPU. Then I realized that it is in control of sending code that *IS* executed by the CPU, of course; "all" it has to do it add interception code to the boot-up sequence exactly like a virus. Problem solved, and to remove the virus you have to reinstall everything AS WELL AS replace your hard disk. Just one won't cut it.

I'm in the US, and wonder why anybody buy anything technical from us now-a-days when we have a government that seems to be slowly self-destructing. Money? Power? Privilege? Elitism? Protectionism? Weasel-ism? Stupidity-ism? Hell if I know.

"There is zero chance that someone could rewrite the [hard drive] operating system using public information." — Read: I can't think of how to do this therefore it can't be done.

So how soon do does the government restrict access to source code? After all, only evil hackers deal with source code that they didn't write themselves. And everyone knows that binaries are gibberish and completely random; that's why only computers run them — that's why Windows is so secure and no one looks for early info for Patch Tuesday problems (or any other software's recently released detailed problems, for that matter.)

On a different topic, I once wrote an intel 8048 disassembler so we could lobotomize and reflash an Epson dot-matrix printers' control codes and sell them at (believe it or not!) a profit. (We told them we'd support warranty issues, not the OEM, so no funny business.) So with that admission, I guess I'll soon become the official greeter: "Welcome to GitMo — would you like the swimming, diet, heating, or the insomnia suite?""

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Toss em in the deep end (Score 1) 289

I've never been able to intuitively understand social interaction.

Well that's easy. Logic, computers, and numbers are always there and never lie to you. If they do it's because you misunderstood. And if they actually did, then that becomes an interesting problem in and of itself.

People, on the other hand, people ... ehhh, never mind.

As a side topic -- I do NOT process visually, like over 60% of the population does. A lot of the time I literally couldn't understand what they were talking about. Vision is to keep from running into walls and furniture, at which I am only mostly successful at.

Comment: Re:Emergency? (Score 1) 120

by grep -v '.*' * (#49023573) Attached to: Arkansas Declares a High School CS Education State of Emergency

Probably anyone in Arkansas who earns a CS degree ends up moving somewhere else anyway.

Nope, not quite all. Although I have to say all of the other 7(!) people getting a BS in CS at the U of A Fayetteville back in the mid-70s long ago moved away; I never did.

I've got 3 friends with CS degrees from here that are still here; everyone else I know has moved out of state including mechanical and chemical engineers -- and then one friend that does NO COMMENT for NO COMMENT. I suspect that his Doctorate certificate is written in invisible ink as well .... or maybe it really IS just a blank sheet of paper.

Comment: Re:What do you expect? (Score 2) 252

by grep -v '.*' * (#49015431) Attached to: AP Test's Recursion Examples: An Exercise In Awkwardness

If I was tasked with writing a program to list the digits from zero to six, I would write this:

Sorry, that's an F. You've got a horizontal list there, the end-user wanted a normal-style vertical list instead. Can't you interpret standard specifications correctly???

Off to the short bus!

Comment: What other science are you neutral about? (Score 1) 297

Well, I'm neutral about neutrons, fairly positive for protons, but highly negative about electrons. I get just sick over germs and am a bit attracted to gravity, but just explode if introduced to someone who's ideas are too petty. (Anti-matter.)

I'm shocked at times over the abundance of electromagnetism and find astrophysics rarely smashing, while thermodynamics leaves me lukewarm. I'm still all tangled up over string theory and hot then cold on Global Warming.

My ideas on evolution change over time but my religious ideas are absolutely static. Psychology is just nuts. I'm a bit wish-washy on politics -- or is it the other way? -- but terrorism just makes me blow my stack. I'm not sure I even believe in metaphysics while philosophy just seems to be all talk, and the occult really gives me the creeps. (Spirits belong in their bottles, not evaporated and floating around in the air.)

I first started thinking about the Big Bang, but finally, the expected Big Crunch far, far in the future leaves me

PS -- Oh, and I'm Cuckoo for Cooko-Puffs!

Have you ever noticed that the people who are always trying to tell you `there's a time for work and a time for play' never find the time for play?

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