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Comment: Anarchists are morons, that's why (Score 1) 155

by Sycraft-fu (#46802917) Attached to: Cody Wilson Interview at Reason: Happiness Is a 3D Printed Gun

Or even worse "crypto-anarchists" which is what this guy calls himself (no I don't know what it is supposed to mean). They don't really think through what Anarchy would mean, what it would entail, nor do they look at history and realize that Anarchy quickly becomes a chase where the strongest rule. No, they just think it'll be magic and pixie dust without a government. Everyone will be free to do what they want and the world will be an amazing place.

They don't see government as creating order, they think that it just happens magically and government just gets in the way.

Seriously, if you ever talk to someone that thinks they are an Anarchist you'll discover that either they:

1) Don't understand what Anarchy is, and actually want something else.

2) Have very poor knowledge of history, sociology, human interactions, law, and well, pretty much everything. They like the idea of Anarchy because to them it means they can do whatever they want and they really haven't considered the ramifications much further.

You don't find any that have a well reasoned and carefully thought out position on it, because it is the kind of thing that you quickly figure out doesn't work.

Comment: People are great at ignoring labour (Score 1) 149

by Sycraft-fu (#46802621) Attached to: $42,000 Prosthetic Hand Outperformed By $50 3D Printed Hand

I see that all the time in IT with people wanting to cowboy up solutions cobbled together from a bunch of random shit. Yes, you can do that, and it can be made to work. However how much time will it take to do and support? Because unless your time is free, you need to factor that in.

Labour is a big part of the cost of pretty much anything you buy. Software is the ultimate example. The materials and distribution cost of software is minimal even if done on physical media. However that doesn't mean it is free to produce. It takes a lot of labour, in the form of programmers writing the code, QA testers reviewing things, support staff, and so on, to make the product happen.

Physical devices are no different, they just have higher materials costs. However all the labour cost is there. People had to design, build, test, etc, etc, that product and they all need to be paid since they all like to eat, have a place to live, and all that jazz.

Comment: He's just an idiot (Score 4, Insightful) 155

by Sycraft-fu (#46800409) Attached to: Cody Wilson Interview at Reason: Happiness Is a 3D Printed Gun

There are all kinds of people, you can see them here on Slashdot, that know fuck-all about materials science and think 3D printers are magic. They think they are universal constructors, replicators, or whatever other sci-fi tech than can make anything and everything, just in a primitive form. So they think they can advance from playing with plastic to making metal parts that are as strong as forged metals and electronics and so on.

This is, of course, absurd. Anyone with basic MSE knowledge knows that there's a big difference between what you can potentially extrude using a process like a 3D printer does and how you have to make other various materials. It isn't as simple as just printing metal (which I've no doubt we'll see soon), not all metal processes are created equal.

So he doesn't know what he's talking about with regards to materials, which is why he thinks he's such a visionary, and he also knows fuck-all about anarchy. He's one of those loons that thinks an anarchy with no government control would be some kind of utopia instead of what it actually is, a place like Somalia run by warlords.

It all makes me laugh anyhow since he's in the US and could just go buy better parts over the counter anyhow. Oh wow, you can 3D print a lower receiver for an AR-15 that breaks after a little bit. Neat. Or you could just go and buy an AR-15 lower milled from an aluminium billet that will last several lifetimes.

Comment: Re:No, you might want to take a closer look (Score 1) 360

by Sycraft-fu (#46797557) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Hungry Students, How Common?

Reading and comprehending posts isn't your thing is it? You just like to skim and then jump to conclusions to try and support your narrow world view.

I noted that my sister has no trouble, she has a generous grant (a scholarship if you like, but it works a little different) and her expenses are handled. However I have a full understanding of what those expenses are, and that they not paid for all students.

So maybe more reading, less jumping to conclusions.

Comment: Re:I'd seriously think about a dedicated router (Score 1) 99

by Sycraft-fu (#46797469) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Which Router Firmware For Bandwidth Management?

If you like Ubiquiti you could look at their Edgerouter Lite. I'm real happy with mine. $100 and it'll outperform monowall and pfsense on way more expensive hardware. With a basic NAT setup, plus SPI firewall (the basic "permit established and related, drop others" rules) I've measured it at over 500mbps throughput. It probably would do faster, it's CPU wasn't fully loaded, that is just as fast a test server as I could easily get to.

Now of course it is more on the routing, less on the firewall n' such so if you need powerful firewall config, it isn't as much your thing (and won't get as good performance). If you load it down with too much stuff it'll slow way down, particularly since part of its speed is derived from hardware acceleration on its chip, so if tons of stuff is hitting the software it won't be as fast.

Just another option to look at.

In terms of the realtek chips, ya it sucks but it is what you get for the price. Intel NICs are expensive, because Intel knows they are worth it. They charge more for their chips than other vendors by a good bit, so you don't see them in cheap solutions.

Comment: No, you might want to take a closer look (Score 1) 360

by Sycraft-fu (#46797439) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Hungry Students, How Common?

In a lot of the EU, students from other EU countries don't have to pay tuition fees. Foreign students? Not so lucky, and language doesn't matter. If you aren't from the EU you pay increased fees. For example in Sweden you pay about 15,000 EUR/year for a science degree. In terms of language, you have to already demonstrate a proficiency in English and Swedish just to be able to get in.

Also all of this assumes you can get a visa and get admitted. People from other EU nations, no problem, you can live and work anywhere in the EU, that is a big part of what the treaty means. Non-EU individuals have to get a student visa, the requirements of which vary.

And of course none of that deals with the cost of food, housing, transport, etc. You are on your own for that, barring a scholarship.

This is a subject I have more than a passing familiarity with, as my sister is currently working on her PhD in Europe (at two universities, one in the EU one outside of it). She got a generous grant that pays all her tuition, living expenses, and even some extra but that isn't what all students get. It wasn't as though she just walked in and said "I'd like to go to school here," and they said "Certainly, please come for free!"

Also she even had an easier in than many: She and I hold Canadian citizenships. Canada is a commonwealth country and England is in the EU so that makes a lot of the visa shit way easier than it would be for an American, not that it wasn't still a big production.

It is exceedingly narrow-minded to suggest that an American should just "Emigrate to an actual civilized country instead of a pretend one," for school, as though such a thing were trivial to do and people only did not out of ignorance (not to mention the misplaced cultural supremacy of the statement). No, it turns out that you can't just graduate from an American highschool and say "Well screw the US, I'm off to Europe!" and walk in and go to school for free.

Comment: And often not that useful/needed (Score 2) 360

by Sycraft-fu (#46796839) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Hungry Students, How Common?

Grad school was historically and is supposed to be the sort of thing not everyone does. It is for people who are really interested in a field, who want to start doing some original research (under the umbrella of a professor's overall research) and so on. The sort of thing only for those that are truly interested in pursuing the subject more deeply and pushing the boundaries.

Also most fields don't require graduate degrees. There are some that do (like lawyers), though usually they require a PhD or other advanced degree after it (like professors, medical doctors, etc). However for most an undergraduate degree is all they are after.

However where I work, I see a ton of students that go in to grad school that are hoop jumpers. They see it as the next thing, that will get them a better job. They aren't that interested in the work, and don't have a particularly good understanding of it. They take comprehensive exams instead of doing a thesis, and so on. They try and use more time in school to make up for a lack of talent.

So, if you are thinking of grad school, and it'll be any kind of financial hardship ask yourself: Why am I going? If it is because your field requires it, then ok no problem. Gotta do what you gotta do. If it is because you really love the field and you want to go to a higher level, that's good too, but just understand it'll be a pain financially. If it is "because I'll get a better job," then no, stop right there. That's not a reason to go to grad school, particularly if it is going to be a problem financially. It probably will NOT get you a better job, and will just give you more debt.

Comment: Ahh (Score 1) 360

by Sycraft-fu (#46796711) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Hungry Students, How Common?

So if I just show up in a European country, they'll let me go to university for free? Hint: No they won't.

My sister went to Europe for her PhD. She didn't end up paying... because she got a generous scholarship. That also was what allowed her to get the visa to go. She didn't just show up and walk in to a university for free.

Same way it would have worked in the US or Canada, actually. If she had been accepted to a program with a generous scholarship, well it would have been free.

Comment: Uhhhh... no (Score 1) 218

by Sycraft-fu (#46796145) Attached to: Russia Writes Off 90 Percent of North Korea Debt

Go to Canada some time, one of the US's closest allies. You'll find that you can travel to Cuba freely, buy Cuban goods (cigars being the most prominently advertised as being of Cuban origin) and so on.

The US is the only country that clings to an embargo and it is purely a face-saving maneuver, not wanting to admit it was a bad idea and hasn't worked to unseat Castro.

However for all that, Cuba is still poor... So sorry, you can't blame the big, bad 'ole US for this. Their policy is not helpful, but it isn't why Cuba is impoverished. That lies at the feet of their own government.

Comment: That doesn't really explain it (Score 1) 218

by Sycraft-fu (#46795239) Attached to: Russia Writes Off 90 Percent of North Korea Debt

So the US won't trade with them. Ok, but while the US is a large nation, it isn't the be-all, end-all. Canada, the EU, China, Russia, they are all perfectly ok to trade with Cuba. So Cuba has access to most of the world for trade goods. Yet, they still have an extremely low standard of living.

Sorry, but the US boogeyman thing doesn't play, not in this day and age. Cuba has a large responsibility for the problems in Cuba.

Comment: Underlying assumptions are false (Score 1) 234

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: One thing not pointed out (Score 4, Insightful) 85

by Andy Dodd (#46788889) Attached to: Samsung's Position On Tizen May Hurt Developer Recruitment

In the case of Android Wear, if a developer targets that platform, they won't be limited to *just* Samsung.

This doesn't surprise me. While Android Wear likely won't compete much with the "mostly dumb" smartwatches that consist of only a display and UI for the phone they're tethered to (Sony Smartwatch, Pebble - both of these are able to achieve hardware cost reductions and battery life that Android Wear will never be able to match, putting AW consistently in a different price/functionality market segment than SW and Pebble), Android Wear was a DIRECT competitor for Galaxy Gear - both are in the "High standalone functionality" category. At least by hardware design, that is - a watch running Android should be able to operate almost entirely standalone, using a phone only as a data connection in a manner similar to Google Glass. Unfortunately Samsung totally fucked up Gear and while its hardware capabilities should have made it MORE capable of standalone operation than any other smartwatch out there, Gear wound up the LEAST capable of standalone operation instead - being the ONLY smartwatch which required one of a few specific models of phone as opposed to "any Android phone" (Sony) or "any Android phone or iOS" (Pebble)

By virtue of being in direct competition with Gear (e.g. identical market segment) AND the fact that it's superior, Wear is going to *crush* Gear. (Wear won't likely crush Pebble or Sony Smartwatch since they have the capability to play in a much lower-cost market segment than Wear will be able to due to having significantly lower hardware requirements.)

Comment: Re:I'd seriously think about a dedicated router (Score 1) 99

by Sycraft-fu (#46787633) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Which Router Firmware For Bandwidth Management?

Ummm, if you bothered more than a cursory glance at my thing you'd notice I AM advocating open solutions. Monowall is FreeBSD, with some mods and a nice WebUI stuck on it for configuration. EdgeOS, that runs on the ERL, is a fork of Vayetta, which is a fork/mod of Debian.

Both are open solutions but both are under active development and support by a team. Hence I'm a pretty big fan. Monowall was last updated in January, and they still support their legacy version for old hardware like WRAP systems, and their new version for more powerful systems. EdgeOS was updated in March, and they have an alpha for the next version going you can opt in to.

On the other hand the OSS firmwares are half-abandoned it seems. When I Google for Tomato I get a page that talks about it as a WRT54G firmware and looks like it hasn't seen updates in 5-8 years. Further down there's a "Tomato USB" mod on it that was updated in 2010 and still runs on 2.6.

This sort of thing does not engender trust in long term viability or freedom from bugs/exploits.

Also there's the issue that some of us have high speed needs. My Internet connection is 150/20mbps. So I need something that can support that. Triple stream N is pretty much the minimum (dual stream N maybe can in ideal cases) and AC is a better choice. Also the "router" part of the router needs to be able to keep up with that kind of speed, even when I've set up my firewall rules and such.

Finally you seem to confuse reliability with swappability. Sure, you can have a whole host of cheapass old routers and if one dies, put in a new one. However it is hard to do when you need more powerful, and thus expensive, hardware but also that isn't reliable, that is just having extras. I'd rather just have something that has less issues, that works for years on end with no problems, and not have to mess with it. That's what you get with something like a monowall box.

Also like I said, one component may need replacing before others. My Edgerouter Lite will last me a long time, unless it breaks, since it can handle around gigabit speeds with the setup I have (I've tested it). However if I get much faster Internet, I'll need a new cable modem, since mine is only 8x4 stream, and to go much above where I'm at you usually want 16 streams down. Likewise if my WAP is likely to get replaced sooner than the ERL, but probably not as soon as the cable modem.

I can have latest tech where I want it, older tech where I don't and it is all good. Also in my experience setups like that are extremely reliable.

Thus mathematics may be defined as the subject in which we never know what we are talking about, nor whether what we are saying is true. -- Bertrand Russell