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Comment: Re:WTF? (Score 1) 166

by drinkypoo (#46793963) Attached to: Heartbleed Sparks 'Responsible' Disclosure Debate

But we were talking about mitigating measures. That is almost never patch and recompile, it's things like turning off a service, changing the firewall rules

But we're talking about this in the context of Heartbleed, where pre-patch mitigation involved disabling critical services... A patch is what was needed here, and nothing else would suit.

Comment: Re:Porsche Boxster E (Score 1) 338

by drinkypoo (#46793955) Attached to: Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"

Out of curiosity, what do you think of Audi's recent decision to save weight by switching from copper to aluminum wiring? Every instinct I have tells me not to trust it.

I have found a shitpot of broken COPPER wires on my 1997 A8, in places like the wiring leading to the left side knock sensor which doesn't even flex much since it's attached to the fuel rail. I guarantee you that it will go badly.

Comment: Underlying assumptions are false (Score 1) 227

by jd (#46793425) Attached to: Bug Bounties Don't Help If Bugs Never Run Out

Ok, the envelope game. You can rework it to say the second envelope contains the next vulnerability in the queue of vulnerabilities. An empty queue is just as valid as a non-empty one, so if there are no further flaws then the envelope is empty. That way, all states are handled identically. What you REALLY want to do though is add a third envelope, also next item inquire, from QA. You do NOT know which envelope contains the most valuable prize but unless two bugs are found simultaneously (in which case you have bigger problems than game theory), you absolutely know two of the envelopes contain nothing remotely as valuable as the third. If no bugs are known at the time, or no more exist - essentially the same thing as you can't prove completeness and correctness at the same time, then the thousand dollars is the valuable one.

Monty Hall knows what is in two of the envelopes, but not what is in the third. Assuming simultaneous bug finds can be ignored, he can guess. Whichever envelope you choose, he will pick the least valuable envelope and show you that it is empty. Should you stick with your original choice or switch envelopes?

Clearly, this outcome will differ from the scenario in the original field manual. Unless you understand why it is different in outcome, you cannot evaluate a bounty program.

Now, onto the example of the car automotive software. Let us say that locating bugs is in constant time for the same effort. Sending the software architect on a one-way trip to Siberia is definitely step one. Proper encapsulation and modularization is utterly fundamental. Constant time means the First Law of Coding has been broken, a worse misdeed than breaking the First Law of Time and the First Law of Robotics on a first date. You simply can't produce enough similar bugs any other way.

It also means the architect broke the Second Law of Coding - ringfence vulnerable code and validate all inputs to it. By specifically isolating dangerous code in this way, a method widely used, you make misbehaviour essentially impossible. The dodgy code may be there but it can't get data outside the range for which it is safe.

Finally, it means the programmers failed to read the CERT Secure Coding guidelines, failed to test (unit and integrated!) correctly, likely didn't bother with static checkers, failed to enable compiler warning flags and basically failed to think. Thoughtlessness qualifies them for the Pitcairn Islands. One way.

With the Pitcairns now overrun by unemployed automotive software engineers, society there will collapse and Thunderdome v1.0a will be built! With a patchset to be released, fixing bugs in harnesses and weapons, in coming months.

Comment: Re:Myopic viewpoint (Score 1) 338

by drinkypoo (#46788553) Attached to: Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"

Mercedes have produced a few concept EVs over the years, like their all-electric AMG, but nothing serious. They clearly viewed it as a far off technology, much like many of the people on Slashdot who still can't quite accept that it works and actually makes pretty much the best luxury performance sedan you can buy.

Well, as I've stated above, the problem is selling them. The kind of people who buy their cars aren't buying the arguments about electrics, it doesn't matter if they're right or wrong. They're the ones with the money.

If Mercedes became convinced tomorrow that they could sell more EVs than dino drinkers, that's the direction they'd head. If they can make balls-out concept EVs, then they can make an actual car.

I just (yesterday) found a module with a bright sticker that says PROTOTYPEN in the E-Box of my A8... egads!

Comment: Re:Myopic viewpoint (Score 1) 338

by drinkypoo (#46787725) Attached to: Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"

I don't find it to be ugly, it just looks like another car to me. If you compare it only to the insipid selection of blandmobiles that we get here in the USA, I suppose it looks a little fruity. However, it is definitely better kitted than a base econobox. You can get all the same features on your shitpile, but it will cost more than 10k.

Comment: Re:Mercedes (Score 1) 338

by drinkypoo (#46787701) Attached to: Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"

Let's be honest, if you have an S Class, you would likely travel by plane/first class, not sit 10 hours in an S Class, as comfortable as it is, it's a matter of time lost.

Actually, a lot of people buy an S Class (or the equivalent Audi, a well-kitted A8L) and then put many, many miles on them. It's not a coincidence that there's a bunch of 80's S-Classes with over 300k on them, and 90's S-Classes and A8s with over 200k. These are being driven by businessmen who will be able to write off much of the significant recurring expense of putting many miles on a german car.

In short, these cars are not made worth a fuck. They use components guaranteed to degrade when components which would hold up just fine are available. Rubber bushings (not sure of the material) and EPDM vac hoses when they could be made of polyurethane and silicone respectively and last the life of the vehicle. And everything is crammed into as small a space as possible, because that's how it is today. I have big fat meaty hands, a lot of these cars require me to take some stuff off so that I can take some other stuff off before I can get at a third thing. Even if you have a lift you're best off removing the engine in many cases because you still can't get access otherwise. But sadly, they don't have an engine harness, so you have to disconnect forty things to pull the motor. Perhaps literally; just the coil packs and injectors account for sixteen connectors on a V8.

S-Class and similar are for people with lots of money, and/or people who are playing games with taxes. Not for the plebes. You can own one only if you are a mechanic. The saying is that there's nothing more expensive than a cheap Mercedes. The same applies to VAG cars. You can't afford to own an old Audi if you don't turn your own wrenches.

Comment: Re:Tesla as an expensive POC (Score 1) 338

by drinkypoo (#46787643) Attached to: Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"

but for the money I would rather have an $80,000 Mercedes over a Tesla any day.

For the money that Mercedes will cost you over its lifetime with major mechanical failures, nickel-and-diming you with electrical problems, et cetera, you could buy a Model S for the weekdays, and a used roadster for the weekend.

I suppose you could also buy a land rover or range rover to go next to the Mercedes. I see that a lot. If you get really lucky they won't both shit themselves at once.

Comment: Re:Porsche Boxster E (Score 1) 338

by drinkypoo (#46787625) Attached to: Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"

Mercedes may pooh-pooh that market, but I know of another German automobile manufacturer who seems interested enough.

All the automakers are working on making EVs, including Mercedes. But they have to sell more cars, and they have to make their customers feel good about the money they've already spent. What do you expect they to say when they produce a bunch of petrosuckers?

Comment: Re:"Current infrastructure" (Score 1) 338

by drinkypoo (#46787605) Attached to: Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"

In my country, you may or may not actually be able to even get three phase in the city. But you can get it in the country... where EVs don't work for most people yet, due to range issues.

Actually, where I live I could almost use a GEM car for trips to the store. It's hard to justify spending 5k on a discontinued deathtrap and then another 5k+ on battery upgrades, though

Comment: Re:Tesla needs just a few more things (Score 1) 338

by drinkypoo (#46787577) Attached to: Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"

from a previous story, how would you handle the quick charging of electric vehicles en masse?

The best way is probably battery-swapping. Right now battery tech is moving too quickly for it to make sense to come up with a cross-platform standard for batteries. But when that happens, I suspect that EV battery ownership will largely be a thing of the past, and that the majority of EV owners will join a battery co-op.

battery tech that lets cars go 500-1000 miles on a charge.

You don't need this if you have quick charge/swap. And even if you had it, you would need significant charging and infrastructure improvements to make use of it. "Normal" cars generally have less than 400 miles of range, so if you can solve the charging problem you've solved the whole problem.

Comment: Re:Mercedes, BMW engineers are dimwits. (Score 1) 338

by drinkypoo (#46787553) Attached to: Mercedes Pooh-Poohs Tesla, Says It Has "Limited Potential"

No battery, no regenerative braking or fancy nancy stuff.

I think you will find that batteries are still required.

Just a super sized alternator and a supersized starting motor, some mechanical linkages, clutches to get the damned car to second gear speed. Subaru is apparently coming out with something like this.

Subaru built a prototype where they replaced the torque converter between the engine and a tiptronic slushbox with an electric motor. Because the engine is not run by fluid, it's much more responsive and basically eliminates the problems with a slushbox, and it also provides motive starting force and performs regenerative braking for all four wheels. Presumably they'll need to use 2-way limited slip in all differentials for that to work properly. The Germans seem to have largely gone to using Torsen differentials (which are generally two-way) and solving their problems with ABS. Sadly, the ABS modules are made by Bosch...

Nondeterminism means never having to say you are wrong.