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Comment: Re:Permnent Markers (Score 1) 250

by jiriw (#46317981) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Do You Label Your Tech Gear, and If So, How?

Keyboard hijack should not be a problem. Remote login on the machine you intend to analyse the foreign hardware device on... Do not use a GUI that defaults keyboard input to itself, do not use one of the main TTYs , so a keyboard hack which cycles through the available '[ctrl]F1-7' targeting the default Linux virtual terminals available can't find any one logged on. Use an OS that doesn't auto-mount (which eliminates several Linux distro's, but at least you can make them behave, if you want to) or, even worse auto-executes at mount. Analyse the hardware make-up of the device at leisure before you manually mount the partitions yourself and take a look at the software. Did I miss something? Please tell :) Always happy to learn.

What's more of a show stopper is the nasty rumour about direct memory access bugs in USB chipsets which might actually give malign devices an attack vector that way. Don't know what's true about that one 'though. The last time I saw it mentioned, was about that security researcher that claimed sensitive information (and even attack code updates) from a trojan spread through his air-gapped machines using modulated data on sound waves emitted from one laptop's speakers to another one's microphone.

Comment: Re:Use a dremel tool ... (Score 1) 250

by jiriw (#46317823) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: Do You Label Your Tech Gear, and If So, How?

Actually... if the object was made by metal, that would be the 'only' way. The only objects I bothered to physically label are my laptops and they aren't of the 'ultra expensive' kind... so I use a soldering iron for that.

For hand-held digital devices (a PDA in the not too distant past, now a smartphone), I've only put a message of ownership on the lock screen.

Comment: Re:Open Source is better. (Score 1) 148

by jiriw (#46274507) Attached to: Dear Asus Router User: All Your Cloud Are Belong To Us

My experience is, in general, Asus makes decent featurefull router firmwares. However, I like tinkering and moar ;) options so my RT-AC68U soon got DD-WRT on it and some custom scripts. Multiple WLan segments with their own SSID so I have a public and private channel, multiple VLAN segments, one for DMZ, one for local lan, one for 'experiments'. Everything with a proper IPTables script which runs at boot... Custom DNS lookup table. It's just fun to hack router.

A clunky interface doesn't matter to me, as long as it has the options I need. At the time I flashed my router I couldn't find a Tomato firmware for it, else I sure would have given it a spin...

What I do miss with the RT-AC68U is '3rd party' binaries support. It's a shame Optware, or something similar, doesn't work yet on the AC-68U. I did try something with a crosscompiler but I have not yet had good results. I'd really want to run bind and postfix on it... amongst other things.

Comment: Re:Nutritional value ? (Score 2) 225

by jiriw (#46262681) Attached to: Scientists Create Pizza That Can Last Years

Well ... maybe they also use some heat/radiation methods to kill bacteria?
The article mentions using iron filings to remove the oxygen, which makes me suspect they use an air tight container. So, if you manage to not have any bacteria in there, in the first place, and that air tight container is any good, I don't suspect anything living to take a bite from that slice, except when somebody actually intends to do so.

Comment: Re:Spacial concerns (Score 1) 156

That's where this comes in. Call it a trackball for your feet (although it's actually concave) with added thigh-strap.
Then there's also projects working on representation of your body in the 3d world, including relative position of your various body parts, like Stem. Combine these three and everything first-person should be quite immersive without you falling through a window, tripping over garden tiles or being run over by the school bus. As long as you're okay with poor feedback when you bump into something virtual or slice through your favourite adversary with a katana of your choice. They didn't fix that part to satisfaction yet.
With Oculus Rift alone, your immersion will only be adequate for vehicle simulation, racing games and maybe some top-down strategy.

Comment: Re:They Should Lose Public Protection (Score 4, Interesting) 225

by jiriw (#45830973) Attached to: Public Domain Day 2014

Are you "deprived" of food, because you have to pay for it?

(3) If the person who has an abundance of it is unwilling to provide* at any reasonable price, yes.
(4) If the food is purposely made** to spoil fast, sometimes even before you were able to take a bite from it.
(5) If you have to pay the producer of your piece of food over and over again*** in full, if you want it to last or if you want to eat it in another venue than you originally intended.

(* publishers that let works go 'out of print' but still prosecute 'alternative means of distribution'. It is called artificial scarcity and is something very common when dealing with monopolies.)
(** certain DRM mechanisms come to mind.)
(*** LP, Cassette, CD. Celluloid film, Video cassette, Laser disk, DVD, Blu-ray. Digital distribution with various restrictions. Multiple devices for playback, or the inability to be able to.)

Comment: Re:does it work through walls? (Score 1) 155

by jiriw (#45335441) Attached to: Chinese Professor Builds Li-Fi System With Retail Parts

Infrared currently is used as a point-to-point connection where (most of the time) there has to be a clear (as in: only air) path from one node to the other. It's mostly used as a device-to-device type of connection, not as a network of devices.

Li-Fi should integrate into the lighting plan of rooms, should be capable of operation using reflections instead of direct point-to-point. Of course, reflections and re-transmissions probably cause signal degradation if no filter capability exists so the software protocols should be able to compensate or, if unable, scale back to lower network speeds. The same for 'foreign' light sources (the sun included). Individual light points should act as repeaters with one point in a room connected to the 'regular' network being enough to provide the entire room (however large it may be) with full network access. At least, those are the 'promises' I heard about Li-Fi.

And, indeed, being unable to penetrate walls can be an advantage.

Comment: Re:Not a defence of libraries (Score 2) 149

by jiriw (#45142475) Attached to: Neil Gaiman On Why Libraries Are the Gates to the Future

Indeed, his whole speech was in defence of libraries and of fiction... Actually, I think, in a broader scope it was defending people's possibilities to imagine. You could (partly) do that with (moving) pictures and theatre as well but he laid emphasis on written material - both the writer and the reader side of it. I think that's a justified emphasis because written material leaves more to the imagination and there is more of it.

One of the most basic ways to be able to fulfil that, people's possibilities to imagine, is through physical libraries. If everyone was born with a (mobile) internet connection, free of censorship, small enough in cost that it is affordable even in hard times and of liberal capability, a virtual form of libraries might be able to take over (some combination of e-reader, wikipedia and specialized chat system inhabited by the readers and 'virtual' librarians might do the job). Do remember, currently, young people first need to have some capability to navigate the internet, learn to handle a device capable of acting as an e-reader and learn some things about e-books and how to get them on their device before they can start reading them. Compare that to libraries for which they only need some push to actually pass that 'scary' librarian at his/her desk and their own two feet to walk to the library in the first place. Also, while there are still people in developed nations (not to mention the nations that are still developing) that have no easy access to internet, physical libraries have a very substantial role to play.

I read Mr. Gaimans (edited) lecture on the website of 'the guardian' from the link in the article. It made me remember all the emotions and wonder I felt while reading through all those fantasy and science stories I have... and the times I (try to) put something on paper as well (try to, because there are too many things I am interested in, including reading and therefore I mostly lack the time. Maybe that will change one day. The day I will stop imagining probably is the day I stop living).
I didn't hang out a lot in libraries as a child... but I did every now and then... and always loved the stories I read. At the end of (equivalent) high-school I still had a few reservations about reading due to the mandatory reading lists I had for the foreign languages I chose as subject (English and German. My native language is Dutch). But it didn't withhold me from also finding pleasure in reading. Also in much of the literature I had to read for those language subjects. It was at my early twenties that my interest in fantasy reading really took off and at that age I had enough income (savings form a Saturday job in earlier years, then student, then regular jobs) to buy the books I wanted to read, second hand and I had the internet to search for reviews and interesting authors. Still I buy most of the stories I read in physical book form. I find that form of reading superior for all situations except when mobile and weight-restricted. I do have a smart phone and I do have a very capable tablet. I'm very familiar with computers and the internet... still I find, for stories, hard copy a joy to read above all others.

Of course this is very much my own opinion and I do think everyone is entitled their own. When reading the lecture, however, I found myself both logically and emotionally agreeing with it and I hope more people will.
For it is the politicians mostly concerned with making the decision to do so, my opinion is that a policy involving the closure of public libraries is one of the worst things a politician could do apart from outright lying or doing something criminal.

Comment: Re:Nice! (Score 5, Informative) 246

by jiriw (#45100553) Attached to: EU Court Holds News Website Liable For Readers' Comments

For the TL;DR people:

The ruling states a number of very specific conditions. I'll start with the answer your question...
-The site was held liable for the offensive comments that were made anonymously, because those comments weren't traceable back to the original authors. To hold the site liable was deemed 'practical'.
-A disclaimer of liability doesn't mean squat if you can't properly divert that liability.
-The site was found to have generated income out of the posting of those offensive comments. Therefore holding the site liable was found 'reasonable'.
-The site did not take any proactive steps to remove the offensive comments.
-Given the nature of the article, offensive comments were to be expected and the site should have taken extra care with this article, which it didn't.

The compensation of damages awarded to the plaintiff is €320 (US$433) (I didn't omit a 'K' here or something. It's just that, €320).

Comment: Re:Definition of Scrooge (Score 2) 65

by jiriw (#45034087) Attached to: Yahoo To Offer Bug Bounty Rewards Up To $15,000

I don't know...

Yes, someone did notify you of something you probably didn't realise yet. And it might have become a problem for the company later on... if the wrong people found out just that. That person did it freely and out of his/her own good but it doesn't necessarily makes your job easier (maybe even harder because now you have to solve this while there are already enough other problems on your plate). It won't reduce your workload... your employer has enough other things for you to do... it won't get you to that pub a minute earlier than your employer allows you to leave for the weekend (and that might be even later now). You won't tell that to the person who made that bug report 'tough. You're glad there are people actively want to involve themselves in the security of the product you're proud to work on even 'though they do it without prospect of financial gain.
As a small thank you, you send the person a gift certificate paid from your own money, effectively saying 'Here is an hour of my time in wage. Please spend it on something you like to' (give or take... My reference is my current hourly wage, after taxes, as an IT professional, which is a little more, but not much).

Of course there is nothing wrong with a proper reward program, financed by the actual company. If these bugs take at least some skills and resources to track, and are that valuable it would be rather cheap for a company not to have one. That having said, a pay check for services rendered from a company is totally different from an employee paying you a small token out of his/her own pocket while the direct value for that employee is, at least, questionable.

Comment: Re: even better (Score 1) 88

Those older technologies might be more wasteful in spectrum use... they most of the time are technologically less sophisticated which means easier to maintain in wartime.
An AM radio is much simpler to build and operate than your latest incarnation of an 'industry standard' 'packet switched' consumer communication device with built in audio compression. The latter needs several black boxes called 'microprocessors' and other hard to replace stuff. The former needs only a hand full of analog semiconductors or a few tubes. For some things, bandwith is not the primary concern. Also, many of those black boxes mentioned earlier don't mix very well with 'space'.

Comment: Innovation is waning? Don't think so! (Score 4, Insightful) 417

by jiriw (#42760351) Attached to: Are There Any Real Inventors Left?

To start with the actual lightbulbs: High yield white light LED technology. Sure, the photoelectric effect has been known for about a century. It took a while for the first practical applications to be available. LEDs being one of them. But you can't compare those little signalling LEDs of a few decades ago with the current lightbulb replacing LED technology. Of course this technology is a mix of other technologies, but quite a few of them are quite recent (as in max. decades old, not centuries).

The article mentions the Telephone as a truly innovative invention. But doesn't that in its turn used microphone, speaker and signal transportation technology of that time?

If the time frame for 'recent' is 'last half century' or so, I'd say there have been true inventions in, optical disk technology, various microprocessor advancements, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence hardware, gene manipulation, solar cell technology and various other fields. Too many to mention.
If algorithms can be inventions as well, we have never been as innovative as we are now. Look at all the new search technologies, data-mining for targeted ads, again AI algorithms, mostly visible to the general public in computer games, audio and video compression codecs, speech recognition, synthesis and language translation... the list goes on and on...

Comment: Re:Hubris and Nemesis (Score 1) 53

by jiriw (#42560329) Attached to: Molecular Robot Mimics Life's Protein-Builder

Disturbing Ancient Non-Linear systems is a recipe for disaster.

What are you blabbering about? They're not disturbing an ancient system, they are making an entirely new one. That the end-result, a small string of amino acids, is about the same, is the only thing it has in common with the ribosome. Humans already make custom proteins on a massive scale... in yeast tanks with genetically modified yeast, for example. And that works a lot faster than this little Rotaxane thingie.

From TFA:

The ribosome, the molecular machine that translates our genetic code to build the body’s proteins, is a mechanical marvel. Now, chemists have invented a nanomachine that can achieve a similar feat.

That doesn't sound like they are making a Frankenstein's monster, protein by protein, now... does it? Please read the article(s) first before you sprout any nonsense. There are genetic engineering processes commonly used today which are definitely much more dangerous than a piece of molecular Meccano, stringing a small peptide (sorry if I make it sound simple, it's still an enormous achievement to get something like this working and I'm not a biochemist so I'll have to treat the parts that go beyond my knowledge with proper awe ;) )

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