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Comment Re:Reasons why I don't like the Internet of Things (Score 1) 115

If your fridge or furnace can be turned off completely by remote (or even locally), you're doing it wrong. Think for a moment what you are automating. The temperature, not the furnace. Your thermostat will be controllable, the furnace will remain just a dumb unconnected piece of equipment, but smart enough to remain operating within acceptable limits even if the thermostat is compromised. I have a fairly comprehensively automated home, but with full control or even the ability to operate devices outside their normal limits, you could do very little actual damage there, and cause a minor inconvenience at best. It's good to be careful and wary of any connected device, but at some point it's just fearmongering and/or a complete misunderstanding of the actual risks.

By the way, I'd be happy to accept liability for any damages such as the ones you describe, if I were selling you a home automation setup.

Comment Re:Reasons why I don't like the Internet of Things (Score 1) 115

HA setups typically store very little data, what little is there is hardly worth taking, and certainly not worth worrying about. If a router in my house were open, I'd be much more worried about the stuff they could steal off my computers and NAS than the stuff stored in my "things". Besides, if data is exposed through a flaw in my router, there would still need to be someone aware of that fact and in a position to collect and exploit the data. If instead you are using IoT-devices, your data is harvested and abused by default with a 100% certainty, by the mothership.

Comment Re:Reasons why I don't like the Internet of Things (Score 1) 115

I'm a fan of home automation (a hobby of mine that's increasingly turning into a business). I, and many fellow HA enthusiasts, are firm proponents of the LAN of Things, or even a Separate Network - Controlled By a Hub That is Only Allowed To Connect To the Internet Under Strict Conditions - Of Things. There are plenty of useful ways to automate your home (no, nothing essential or life-changing, but sometimes very convenient), but very little of that requires data to leave the house. And when it does, it should only happen on your own terms. And cameras? The ones around my house have their power cut off externally when we're home, and show a light when they are on (a separate dumb LED on the same power supply). No use taking any chances there.

Comment Re:This is why ISIS wins (Score 1) 475

Seems to me most mission planners would avoid going near borders of countries they do not have an alliance with, or at the very least announce their missions up front to their more-or-less-allies (something Russia often neglects to do, and other nations active in the region have already complained about that). And Turkey is fast ceasing to be a civilized nation. This incident has all the rancid stink of a pissing contest gone wrong.

Comment Re:This is why ISIS wins (Score 5, Insightful) 475

Those parties are not really fighting amongst themselves; but they do have different interests in Syria. While their common goal is to fight IS, they each want to use this conflict as an opportunity to back their own horse in this race. Russia bombs the "moderate" rebels opposing Assad, while the rest likes to support those rebels. Meanwhile, Turkey bombs the Kurds.

By the way, Russia has a long history of violating the airspace of other nations. I'm surprised there hasn't been such an incident earlier.

Comment Re:Torrent (Score 1) 302

Thing is, this law will do nothing about making 3D-printed guns less accessible to be used for criminal purposes. It's still trivial to go and download the schematics and feed them into the printer. Sure, you'd be committing a crime merely by doing so now, but if you're 3D-printing it specifically to go and shoot one, I don't think that you actually care.

In any case, home-made AKs are probably not a good baseline. They still require a reasonably well stocked workbench, and some machinery for things like the barrel. But a single-shot shotgun can literally be made out of two pieces of pipe and a screw, all readily available in any hardware store - and is still more deadly than any of these 3D-printed plastic toys (and for bonus points, no-one is likely to recognize it as a shotgun, especially when it's disassembled).

Comment Re: Torrent (Score 1) 302

I thought silencers were a hollywood invention

In USA, at least, "silencer" is the legal term for the device, as used in the National Firearms Act that sets up the regulatory framework.

As to how much relation the Hollywood type has to the real thing, it depends on the specific depiction and the specific real thing. Modern efficient suppressor designs combined with subsonic ammunition that is specifically designed to be suppressed can be pretty damn quiet, especially out of longer barrels where pressure is lower at the muzzle, and in bolt-action or other manual action firearms where the action itself doesn't make any noise during firing.

visible laser beams

You can actually kinda sorta get that IRL sometimes, with a sufficiently powerful laser (which rifle laser sights often are), because it will light up the dust in the air, or particles of water when it's humid (esp. outside).

Comment Re: Torrent (Score 1) 302

The problem is that you still have to pay $200 and wait for several months to get one (and it's not a permit, by the way - it's a tax stamp; it does nothing other than produce some revenue for the state). And if it breaks or wears out, you have to pay the same for the next one. And the prices on them are very high largely because of the regulatory environment. And all of this is has no rational basis whatsoever.

Also, while it's legal on federal level, some states specifically ban silencers.

Comment Re:WTF is with the US utility tie-in? (Score 1) 141

Even Crimean Tartars are OK with that

You mean, the ones that are permitted to talk about it, as opposed to being banned from Crimea and otherwise prosecuted for "extremism"?

Of course, the very idea of holding up high the results of a referendum on secession in a country where merely distributing leaflets promoting "separatism" can land you in prison for several years is supremely ironic. At this point, it doesn't really matter what Crimeans think, because joining Russia is a one-way ticket - wanting to get out is a crime.

Comment Re:Fuck Mozilla (Score 1) 311

As I recall, the last big battle in IE vs NN war was over "layers", and that was IE4 vs NN4. NN added a proprietary <layer> element and a bunch of related markup, while IE repurposed <div> by extending CSS (or was it still a draft then? I think CSS 1.0 was already done?). Consequently, you had many websites working only in IE or NN, because they used one approach or the other (some people redid their websites in both, but that was expensive). And from what I recall, I saw way more NN4-only sites back then than I did IE4-only sites. It wasn't until IE5 that "this site is best viewed in Internet Explorer" became essentially the default.

Comment Re:Wouldn't this lead to Natural Selection? (Score 3, Insightful) 166

On the flip side, programmers may receive better answers on SO than the ones they had come up with themselves, and gain new insights in programming patterns, use of SDKs, etc. That sort of learning and sharing of knowledge is encouraged and facilitated in other fields for good reason, and I've learned a good many things that way myself. As long as the answer explains or shows how to solve the problem instead of actually solving it completely. Post text or pseudocode rather than complete working code fragments. Same way you teach your kid how to fix a punctured bicycle tyre: don't fix it for him, but let him fix it under your guidance.

Comment Re:Smells like FUD (Score 1) 106

It also is much harder to figure out the specific person who carries the hacked pacemaker. With normal ransomware, you don't have to know anything about the person who owns the hacked computer, since the same computer is delivering the ransom note. It does make a lot more sense to hold a city, a hospital, or the manufacturer to ransom.

Every cloud has a silver lining; you should have sold it, and bought titanium.