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Comment: Re:Applause for Google (Score 1) 126

by iamgnat (#46822407) Attached to: AT&T's Gigabit Smokescreen

They filter/firewall residential DHCP service to keep you from running servers (http, https, ftp etc) but they don't tell you this directly.

The only port I've found blocked is SMTP. I ran servers on 22, 80, and 443 plus others for a long time before I just got tired of my logs filling up with people trying to break in. I still run the servers but just moved them all to different ports to cut down the noise.

Also, they have pretty crappy traffic management so even though I pay for 25/25Mbps connection, I can pretty much count on only getting that when speed checking on their servers. Any real traffic can never approach that, even in aggregate.

No problems there either. I frequently actually get higher rates than I'm actually paying for and have been seeing that on all the various plans I've had over the years. I'll see sustained rates (30+ seconds) about 2-5Mb higher than my "limit", but I'll see spikes (2-5s) 10-15Mb over.

I have a lot of complaints about Verizon and FiOS, but the Internet portion of the service has always been top notch for me and is the only reason they keep getting my money (no one else that serves my neighborhood can compete with the speeds/price Verizon offers).

Comment: Re:Now the next step... (Score 3, Interesting) 143

by iamgnat (#46048025) Attached to: US Supreme Court: Patent Holders Must Prove Infringment

I'll be the contrarian here and state the belief that this ruling isn't so good.

The major issue, of course, is that there is massive abuse to the system, but if you look at what the system is supposed to do I think this ruling turns things more decidedly in the favor of large companies.

The idea of the patent system was that anyone could patent their grand idea and then have legal backing to protect it in court from someone that uses the idea without consent. The filing fees were also designed to be low to keep the barrier of entry low enough that "the little guy" could get the same protection as the big corporations.

Prior to this ruling (ignoring the shake downs by trolls) an individual or small company had a chance of winning a patent case against much larger entities (motions and legal wrangling aside) as the process of discovery forces the defendant to show their cards and prove they aren't infringing with no upfront cost to the plaintiff.

With this ruling, if you come up with the next great search algorithm (software patent absurdity aside) and Bing/Google/Yahoo steals it you now have to foot the bill for the discovery. Without the court order you also aren't going to get very far in that process as they aren't exactly going to welcome you into their office, sit you down at a console, and give you access to their code.

So what this ruling does, in my opinion, is give the larger companies the right to violate patents from smaller entities with near impunity. It also (as someone suggested further down regarding OSS projects) gives rise to a whole new possible "reverse-patent" trolling business scheme.

Basically this ruling, I think, has made things worse.

Comment: Re:NoScript (Score 1) 731

by iamgnat (#45998833) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are AdBlock's Days Numbered?

If informative page or site decides to screw you over, you're the one boned. Not the site.

Very little information on the web that the average person would access (e.g. not something really obscure) is only going to be found on one site. There are other places to get the same information. More specifically, most of the worst offenders of javascript and ad garbage are just blogs regurgitating information from more reputable sites. So you as the user are not getting boned at all by moving on to better places.

If enough people get fed up with a sites practices (formatting, 1 paragraph per page click throughs, javascript crap, ads, etc..) then either the site will resolve the problems that keep people away or they will disappear into the cruft of the internet like so many crappy sites before them.

The real problem is that "we" want everything on the internet to be free to "us", but it costs someone time and resources to put it there. The paywall model failed a long time ago for average sites (yes there are still some around, but not nearly like it was in the late 90s) and ads are what sprung up to try to fill the revenue void. The site owners have every bit as much of a right to want to recover their costs (and hopefully make a bit of a profit) for their work as anyone else does for the work they do. How long do you think the company you work for would keep going if none of it's customers paid for it's product/services?

Comment: Re:Stick with what works... (Score 3, Interesting) 174

by iamgnat (#45748691) Attached to: DHS Turns To Unpaid Interns For Nation's Cyber Security

Ooo! Outsiders worked so well before! Snow-den! Snow-den! What fun.

If youi're taking a snipe at contractors vs govt personnel here on this one, there really isn't much a difference in the loyalty or trustworthiness of the two.

If you're working on something security related, you have to sign the same forms saying you're liable to the same laws and penalties if you divulge secrets, etc.

It isn't like the govt. worker is held to any standards higher than the contractor is, if working on the same system/data.

And a secret clearance background check isn't any more thorough for a govt employee than it is for a contractor, they pretty much use the same exact methods and entities for them.

All true, but at least we'd be paying the Fed employee less to screw us over. I did a stint as a DoD contractor and was paid a little more than twice what a Fed doing the same work (in the same group) was getting paid. And I was getting about a quarter of what was going to my contracting company for the position. Hell, given that math I'd be more worried about disgruntled Feds than contractors

Comment: Re: Burnouts are illegal. (Score 3, Informative) 290

by iamgnat (#45652487) Attached to: New Ford Mustang May Have Electronic "Burnout" Button

dump the clutch

In principle I agree with everything you said except that. If you are doing a burnout that means power is already going to the wheels and therefore the clutch is already engaged.

What you are thinking of there is what launch control systems help with (engaging the transmission at the optimal time for the best off the line start) and all of the cars I'm familiar with that have such an option also use transmission and drive line components that can handle torque values much greater than the engine (from the factory) can provide. I expect constant use, however, would shorten the lifespan of wear components (clutch, transmission fluid, etc..) considerably though.

Comment: Re:Side Show and a Game Changer (Score 1) 199

by iamgnat (#45652079) Attached to: Affordable 3D Metal Printer Developed Based on RepRap

I don't think that's really true, at least not in the near term.

Years ago I had something simple made out of steel at a local machine shop and it cost be a bloody fortune for something simple. That's the kind of stuff this will be replacing for the near term. The one off relatively simple things is where something like this printer comes into play and (good) machine shops don't live off of that type of work. What you are talking about is the higher volume and higher skill machining and that will not be replaced anytime soon by a ~$1500 machine. Hell it already hasn't been replaced by the $300,000 machines. Just look at the RepRap itself. We've had that for a few years now and I remember some of the same claims about plastic items, but people still buy all kinds of plastic crap because it can be made quicker, cheaper, and better by the places that specialize in it.

Besides all that, are your ready to trust a DIY printer to build you the barrel of a gun, a new head for your engine, or any other item that has to deal with high stress loads? If so, please stay away from me when you use them

Over time the technology will improve (assuming IP law doesn't get in the way) and of course there will come a time when there is a shift away from manual labor (as is the case with all technology), but my point is that even those machinists that are starting their apprenticeships now don't need to give it up and go learn CAD as there is going to be plenty of work for them for quite some time yet.

Comment: Re: Burnouts are illegal. (Score 2) 290

by iamgnat (#45649837) Attached to: New Ford Mustang May Have Electronic "Burnout" Button

Unless the button magically disables itself on DOT roads, you're not going to see it in a production car.

The GT-R (at least the original, I haven't continued to follow it) limited itself unless the GPS told it you were at a known race track and if I recall correctly one of the recent Mustangs required an extra or special key to enable it's full abilities. So it is possible to limit it's functionality in some way (read: limit their liability when you do something stupid).

Comment: Re:When you have a bad driver ... (Score 1) 961

by iamgnat (#45585263) Attached to: Is the Porsche Carrera GT Too Dangerous?

The driver was a pro. Come back when you've raced something more than your rusty old 70s Datsun.

You realize that there are many classes of cars in pro racing? You realize that each class (and even cars within a class) have different needs of the driver? Yes the basic concepts and principles hold true throughout, but how the vehicles handle those principles can be vastly different. Unless the guy was a Prototype driver his pro experience has little practical application to the CGT.

Also, as a "pro" he should have had the respect for the vehicle to not drive it like that in that environment (hell he should have known better than to drive any car like that in that environment).

Comment: Re:When you have a bad driver ... (Score 1) 961

by iamgnat (#45585111) Attached to: Is the Porsche Carrera GT Too Dangerous?

That being said, the Carrera GT was manufactured in 2004, when car electronics where simply not that good.

That's not true. We have a 2001 996 C4 (~1/4 of the price of the CGT) with PSM (Porsche's stability system) and it is exceptionally good at what it is supposed to do. The problem with such systems is that they are always counter operative to driving aggressively. It's argued by the purists in the Porsche community, but PSM changed the 911 for the better as a daily driver as the cars with it are far less likely to swap ends on you. On the track, however, it has to be turned off to get the most from the car (unfortunately in the AWD models you can never fully turn it off).

So in 2004 the CGT could have had a very capable system, but they chose not to add it because it wasn't appropriate to the purpose of the car. The car is fully controllable and perfectly safe. You just have to understand what you are driving and pay absolute attention to it. It's not like we are talking about a Honda that needs to be "safe" in the hands of the least common denominator. We are talking about a $400k+ (new) purpose built car sold in very small numbers.

This case was simply a matter of someone that did not understand/respect the car doing something stupid (doubly so since he is supposedly a race driver already).

Comment: Re:When you have a bad driver ... (Score 1) 961

by iamgnat (#45584833) Attached to: Is the Porsche Carrera GT Too Dangerous?

That's why ABS is there.

Actually no that is not why ABS is there. As you said, you can't cheat physics and removing the brakes (no matter how much of a fractional amount of time) is not going to make you stop faster.

The point of ABS is to prevent skidding which gives you better control during the braking maneuver. Once your wheels break traction and start skidding, nothing you do with your steering wheel is going to change a damn thing. The idea of ABS it to keep you from skidding so that you are still able to control the car (e.g. swerve to avoid the object that caused you to brake suddenly).

Comment: Re:what? (Score 4, Insightful) 258

by iamgnat (#45391277) Attached to: US Postal Service To Make Sunday Deliveries For Amazon

All you need to incentivize spending money wisely is privatization; if you waste money you suffer consequences (get fired),

I'm not saying the other guy is right, but you've never held a real corporate job have you? Waste is rampant in all major companies and the executives responsible for it don't get fired (they may leave for "family reasons", but they take their bonuses and parachutes with them).

The problem with Michael's argument is that just because a company is in the red doesn't automatically stop waste. In fact in some cases it makes it worse as all the little fiefdoms within continue to fight for their piece regardless of how it impacts the rest of the company or if they really need it.

Comment: Re:Brazil spies on us? (Score 3) 239

by iamgnat (#45337431) Attached to: Brazil Admits To Spying On US Diplomats After Blasting NSA Surveillance

Countries like France and Germany have larger economies than the UK so could trivially be doing the same kind of blanket spying GCHQ has been doing but they don't.

International spying is not a trivial thing that is solved purely by money. China, Russia, the UK, and the USA are the only major players because they are the ones that have been doing it for a long time (China is the upstart, but there are multiple reasons for their quick up take beyond just money) and continue to focus on it.

I would agree that some of those countries focus their resources in other places which indeed impacts the technical ability (both toys and ability to use them effectively) of their agencies, but if they suddenly redirected resources it wouldn't change things in the near term.

So yes I genuinely believe there are countries who don't do what the NSA and GCHQ does, not because they can't,

I'm sorry, but you are childishly naive about human nature if you truly believe that. For it's security a nation needs to know as much as possible about both it's friends and foes. That is an undeniable fact. The question becomes one of balance with the other things that is expected of the government. A central similarity between the main players is that they have allowed (willingly or not) their governments to go to extreme ends for "safety".

I would also point out that a few months ago the average American would have (equally naively) argued that the US doesn't go to the levels that has now been made clear. Just because a spy agency hasn't been caught doing such things doesn't mean that they aren't doing it and to trust that they aren't is sticking your head in the sand.

Pretending "they're just jealous that they can't do this" which is what you're basically implying just gives them an excuse that is not valid and that they do not deserve.

I'm not pretending anything. The whole point of spying is to get as much data as you can about the target. That's it. Nothing more. The problem comes into when there is little or no oversight to control how far that goes. In the US the oversight (such that it is) isn't ruled by some moral compass (and I doubt it is in most other places either). Such oversight is done through politics so each decision comes down to either "how can I benefit" or "how will this hurt me" in regards to the political career. There is no room for purity in successful politics or spying.

Comment: Re:Brazil spies on us? (Score 5, Insightful) 239

by iamgnat (#45336227) Attached to: Brazil Admits To Spying On US Diplomats After Blasting NSA Surveillance

The main difference is that this is happening on Brazilian soil.

Actually I think the main difference is technical superiority. If the <insert country upset about the NSA that also has their own spying programs> had the same capabilities as the US, does anyone in the real world really believe that they wouldn't be doing the same damn thing? In espionage you don't say "well we could tap the phones of the leader of the target country/organization, but that wouldn't be nice so we'll just tap the low level people instead". The whole point of what any of these agencies do is to get as deep into their target as possible.

I'm not excusing some of the things the NSA has done. I'm just pointing out that there is no large scale government out there that doesn't have a spying program and those spying programs are equally as greedy as those in the US (even if they aren't as capable).

Comment: Re:Hmmm... (Score 1) 159

by iamgnat (#45279431) Attached to: Car Hackers Mess With Speedometers, Odometers, Alarms and Locks

When you get clocked doing 20 over and you tell the cop that your speedometer is broken let me know if their words aren't "Tell it to a judge."

By saying that to the cop you are showing that you are aware of the situation which makes you at fault since you are showing prior knowledge. That's different than getting your speedo calibrated after the ticket and finding it under reporting. Unless they can find evidence to the contrary the reasonable assumption of the later case is that you had no way to know it was broken.

"The chain which can be yanked is not the eternal chain." -- G. Fitch