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Comment Hopefully improved. (Score 4, Informative) 272

One of the early releases I downloaded had the amusing "feature" of downloading every message in the background - not just headers, full messages, with attachments. According to the bug report, this was intentional, so that your folders would be accessible without being connected to the network, but it never seemed to know where to stop. It was *constantly* and repeatedly downloading messages, and ate 40 some-odd gigs before I noticed it and went back to 2.


Comment What? (Score 1) 200

Until they stop relying on toxic, storable propellants for their manned launchers, and get a better handle on range safety (referring to the first LM-3B launch which took out a village - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2qVaXFhu7NE)... how about *no*.

The propellant issue alone ought to be a show-stopper. We knew storable propellants were a horrible idea during Gemini, but did it anyway for expediency. There was legitimate question whether, during an abort, the astronauts would manage to escape what was termed the BFRC - Big F-ing Red Cloud - created when the booster's tanks ruptured and burned.


Comment Backports FTW (Score 2, Interesting) 211

Congratulations. It's now your job to check every *single* *freaking* *package* where the DISA specs proscribe a particular version, and see whether or not your vendor backported the security fix. Usually the DISA specs will contain a vulnerability id (CVE-ID or similar) that you can reference against. Google is your friend. The overall process is murder. It's a big reason why I got out of government IT. On a related note, I find the Linux vendor practice of keeping old version numbers, but backporting new fixes into their own trees (Red Hat's "version x.y.z-ELsomeothernumber" system for example) to be categorically infuriating, but that's a different rant. --jwriney
The Military

Cold-War Era Naval Vessels Up For Grabs 165

mcleland lets us in on a Wall Street Journal story about two cold-war era, formerly top-secret vessels the US Navy is trying to give away. At issue are the Sea Shadow (the ancestor of all modern naval radar-evading technology) and the Hughes Mining Barge (a floating dry-dock and more-or-less base for the Sea Shadow). While the ships are being 'given away,' there are multiple regulations involved, making the gift a very costly one. "A Naval Museum is 'a bloodthirsty, paper-work ridden, permit-infested, money-sucking hole,' warns the Historic Naval Ships Association. Because the Navy won't pay for anything — not rust-scraping or curating — to keep museums afloat, survival depends on big crowds."

Mars Lander Faces Slow Death 212

Riding with Robots writes "It's the beginning of the end for the Phoenix Mars Lander. As winter approaches in the Martian arctic, NASA says it's in a 'race against time and the elements' in its efforts to prolong the robotic spacecraft's life. Starting today, mission managers will begin to gradually shut the lander's systems down, hoping to conserve dwindling solar power and thereby extend the remaining systems' useful life. 'Originally scheduled to last 90 days, Phoenix has completed a fifth month of exploration in the Martian arctic. As expected, with the Martian northern hemisphere shifting from summer to fall, the lander is generating less power due to shorter days and fewer hours of sunlight reaching its solar panels. At the same time, the spacecraft requires more power to run several survival heaters that allow it to operate even as temperatures decline.'"

Why Microsoft Surface Took So Long To Deploy 187

An anonymous reader writes "Nearly a year after all the fanfare unveiling a new touchscreen tabletop interface, Microsoft's Surface computer will finally appear in select AT&T stores later this month. Popular Mechanics tech editor Glenn Derene, who first introduced us to Surface in May, seems to have done a complete 180 in this rant, blasting Microsoft for being more obsessed with Surface's novelty as a magnet for image-conscious partners while messing up a rare hardware device — and, surprisingly, the simple software he was told came with it. From Microsoft's official excuse in the article: 'It's actually been a good thing for us,' Pete Thompson, Microsoft's general manager for Surface, told me. 'We were anticipating that the initial deployments were going to be showcase pilots using our own software applications on units to drive traffic. What our partners have decided is that they want to skip that stage and go to an integrated experience where they build their own applications. That's pulled the timeline until this spring.'"

As long as we're going to reinvent the wheel again, we might as well try making it round this time. - Mike Dennison