Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Banks vs Manchester. Law, no. Indexes by publis (Score 1) 284 284

The Founding Fathers explicitly made the Senate a "house of the States", where Senators, essentially acting as agents of the state legislatures, had the power to amend or veto bills produced in the House of Representatives. However, being unelected, Senators while enjoying greater prestige than Representatives, were also in a position where their powers were not democratically derived. The "check" as it were on the Senate was that any significant interference in bills would inevitably be viewed somewhat more dimly, which is how it has worked out in most Westminster parliaments.

With the 17th Amendment, the Senate gained the democratic legitimacy which in facts leads to the greater possibility of this seeming end-run around the requirement that money bills originate in the House. You don't really find this happening overly much in Canada, where the lack of democratic legitimacy means that Senators usually do not feel they have the right to alter taxation or spending bills. In the UK, of course, explicit measures were put in place in the 1911 and 1949 Parliament Acts that heavily restrict the House of Lords' ability to tamper with such bills.

Comment Re:Brilliant (Score 1) 75 75

The trouble here is that the rest of the monitor is pedestrian as all hell(gosh Samsung, 1920x1080 on a 27 inch screen! I can practically taste the future...) and the presence of the charging widget in the stand suggests that you aren't going to be VESA mounting this one. If you really care about 'de-cluttering', you are much better off having your monitor float conveniently above your desk, not being stuck with the lousy stock stand.

At least the color scheme is atrocious.

Comment Re: A plea to fuck off. (Score 1) 327 327

It's not hard to understand why using passwords is so popular; basically all software supports it as an authentication method, it requires only hardware that you can safely assume that all your users have; and even an idiot understands it well enough to do it dangerously weakly but more or less correctly.

What is frustrating is how few even offer the ability to do anything else. There has been some uptake of shitty little cellphone-based systems(either using SMS or some 'authenticator app'); but RSA-type fobs are pretty much exclusively for accessing corporate systems(and, as a fundamental limitation of their design, they can only be securely used to authenticate against one entity; since, unlike asymmetric key systems, the authentication server must know the initialization seed values of the fob in order to validate authentication attempts, so anyone in a position to authenticate you could impersonate you anywhere else the same fob was accepted); and certificate-based auth is either something you do yourself for SSH(often without secure hardware for storing the certs) or something you basically have to do work for the DoD to encounter.

I'm actually currently in the process of trying to switch banks because, when I inquired about authentication options that weren't pitiful bullshit, they gave me what amounted to "that's adorable; add three or four factors of ten to your account with us and maybe I'll transfer you to somebody who gives a fuck." Blizzard cares more than that. FFS.

Comment Re:Futile (Score 5, Interesting) 265 265

It's similar to the situation at the end of WWI. Versailles called for wide-ranging disarmament among all the belligerents, which was all well and good in theory. In reality, of course, a great deal of the R&D that had gone into new weaponry; tanks, planes, ship designs, and so forth, still existed. In fact, the most valuable commodity of all, the German plans for the 1919 campaign that never was, still sat in archives, just waiting for someone to come along and dust them off.

The cat is out of the bag, has been out of the bag for a few decades now. When most of us look at devices like Mars Rovers, we're impressed by the technology and science, and yet that very same technology is easily adaptable to building autonomous weapons. Even if the Great Powers agreed, you can be darned sure they would still have labs building prototypes, and if the need arose, manufacturing could begin quickly.

Comment Re: A plea to fuck off. (Score 4, Insightful) 327 327

The frustrating thing is that we have better technology available; but we mostly can't use it because sites don't support it. PKCS#11 is older than God, and ICs to suit are nice and cheap because SIMs also use them; but when was the last time you saw a non-state site supporting that? The RSA style auth fobs are also better, as long as you don't let somebody steal the seed data(looking at you RSA) and they don't even need a card reader on the client device. Whatever the 'FIDO' people are messing around with is immature and barely adopted; but also is better than passwords. Aside from a few token "we'll send you a text message and call it two-factor" options, and amusing little pace-of-adoption quirks that make it easier to get a hardware token to protect your WoW account than your bank account, the sites that control the login options haven't done a damn thing in two decades.

Comment Re:Workstation Tests (Score 1) 75 75

Isn't that the only reason to care about this particular part? The laptop version is of interest because it has the distinction of being the fastest GPU(and probably pretty close to the fastest CPU) you can buy in any laptop too small/thin/etc. for a discrete GPU. The desktop version is just a solution looking for a problem unless the extra cache makes it better than other i7s.

Comment Re:NVidea's problem, not Microsoft's (Score 1) 308 308

It's also not comforting that these windows update drivers are breaking all over the place; because(at least for GPUs) the ones on windows update have historically been the relatively conservative option. They are frequently behind the curve compared to the direct-from-vendor ones; but are also supposed to be the ones that aren't breaking things just to improve some benchmark score.

Comment I've had issues with the Win10 NVIDIA drivers... (Score 3, Insightful) 308 308

Usually the problem is something like, "it isn't giving me the newest driver" or simply the poor quality of the drivers in the first place. (For awhile there, if I clicked on the start button, it would cause my screen to reset!) And a lot of "your driver stopped responding so we turned it off, then back on again."

In some ways, I like that the drivers are being pushed to me automatically, but at the same time, if I'm doing multiple reinstalls in a single day, I've already downloaded the drivers... I don't need them to be downloaded YET AGAIN, every install...

Comment Re:Never understood (Score 1) 428 428

Lawyers are paid to advance their employer's interests, not to achieve correctness. If one wrote up a contract that was so full of shit that the entire thing got tossed they would indeed get poor marks(this is why contracts usually insist on 'severability', so that any sections determined to be bullshit shall have no effect on the remaining sections). As long as they can avoid that, though, any advantage that they can derive by inserting scary-but-groundless language is pure gravy. If somebody doesn't know that it is baseless, or can't risk fighting about it, you get compliance without even needing the law on your side. If they do, well, it's just a severable clause, so no harm done.

It's an ugly sort of business; but pragmatic.

Comment Depends who you ask... (Score 4, Interesting) 214 214

At Facebook, it's memcached, with an HDD backup, eventually put onto tape...

At Google, it's a ramdisk, backed up to SSD/HDD, eventually put onto tape...

For anyone who can't afford half a petabyte of RAM with the commensurate number of computers? I have no good ideas... except maybe RAM cache of SSD, cache of HDD, backed up on tape...

Using something like HDFS to store your data in a Hadoop cluster of file requests, is likely the best F/OSS solution you're going to get for that...

Comment Re:Banks vs Manchester. Law, no. Indexes by publis (Score 5, Insightful) 284 284

Largely, I expect, because that was the principle in effect in the British Parliament. It's a common feature of most, if not all, bicameral legislative assemblies, and it dates back to that division of powers between the House of Commons and the House of Lords in Britain. The problem comes from the fact that the US Senate is elected, and thus it gains the democratic legitimacy to significantly tamper with bills. It's a debate being had in Canada right now, where we're trying to decide whether to reform or abolish our Senate. The fear up here is that an elected Senate (Canada's Senators are appointed by the Governor General in the name of the Queen on the advice of the Prime Minister) would become like the US Senate, a competitor to the lower house, and that the supervisory role would be abandoned. Even in the UK the Lords' tendency to try to overrule the House of Commons reached the point where the Parliament Acts of 1911 and 1949 were pushed through and give the Government an override power at second reading so the Lords cannot block a bill.

If you think nobody cares if you're alive, try missing a couple of car payments. -- Earl Wilson