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Comment Secure devices, securely accessed (Score 1) 44

When they start making devices based on Genode, and can generate a Private/Public key pair for authentication by pushing a button, and share the public pair via a local web page... I'll be interested.

As long as these things are running some version of Linux, Windows or that ilk, they won't be secure, no matter how many updates and patches you apply vigorously.

Comment How about securing things correctly for a change? (Score 3, Insightful) 220

There are security models and systems perfected in the 1970s in response to the data processing needs of the air war in Viet Nam. There are commercially available systems which work for multilevel security. This model can be ported to the open source world, if enough people are interested. I'm waiting for the Genode project from Germany to get something I can use in the next few years, and I hope there will be others.

I hereby suggest we just eliminate the possibility of a cyber-war, instead of getting stuck in an arms race.

Comment Only idiots trust computers that trust programs (Score 1) 77

If your operating system isn't smart enough to require a list of resources to feed a program you want it to run, you lose.

If you built your entire civilization on such a stupid foundation, you lose.

Anyone smarter than that can wipe you off the face of the earth, unless you can survive long enough to correct your deeply embedded mistake.

Comment The technical problem was solved 40 years ago (Score 3, Insightful) 36

The information processing need to handle both classified and top secret data in the same computer system in order to direct air traffic for the Vietnam war resulted in honest-to-goodness multilevel secure systems in the early 1970s. The Rainbow books tell you how it's done.

The reason we're all mired in shit these days is that nobody believed multilevel security was something normal computers used. Unix was named as a joke to mock Multics, which aspired to have multi-level security (and did in the end, if I recall correctly).

If your OS doesn't ask for a list of resources to use to execute a program, it isn't secure. MacOS, Linux, Windows don't... the only thing I know of coming down the pike is the Genode project from Germany.

Comment It's all about the Insurance Profits (Score 1) 191

When you have middlemen (Insurance Companies) and administrations working to maximize profit, all being paid by the procedure... the quality of each procedure is far less important that the quantity. We need to put health back in the drivers seat as the #1 priority... which isn't going to happen until we Nationalize health care... even then it's not guaranteed to happen.

Comment See Also: The Adolescence of P1 (Score 1) 227

There is an old story, set in the days of mainframes about a programmer who hacks together a small AI to steal time on mainframes, which eventually becomes self-aware. It was plausible enough back then, I'll be surprised it it doesn't happen by random chance in the next 10 years.

It is widely acknowledged that no system is secure, if an advanced persistent threat has made it a target.... and an AI could be that threat, imagine a bot-net specifically trying to spread itself out like an algal bloom across all the systems on the internet, getting smarter as it goes.


Comment Wrong data structure (Score 1) 70

They need to fork Wikipedia, and add some directed tree flags to it. Skill META can be considered to belong to multiple parent categories, and has multiple meanings because of the vagaries of language META.

Any attempt to shoe-horn this into a tree is going to fail. Oh... and their search function is dead.

Comment Re:No big issue (Score 1) 146

The recurrent weakness in US military thinking (and procuring) is that small numbers of fancy, high tech stuff can beat large numbers of low tech things.

This is also the same reason the Nazis tanks lost their battle against he Russians... most of them failed due to mechanical problems, only a smaller amount of them were destroyed in combat. One might almost think that all those scientists from Project Paperclip infected us with the need to do fancy things.

Comment Re:One last thing (Score 1) 517

So you are arguing against widely distributed small generators on that basis? They provide LOCALIZATION OF PRODUCTION by their very nature, so I suggest you be a bit more honest about your reason for objecting to them.

As nuclear is far more reliable

If there were thousands of little generating plants, we wouldn't need a big heavy duty grid... but solar is not a generating plant. It is a sometimes available source of energy which perturbs the balance of the grid over the time frame of seconds.

The Grid is a system designed to reliably deliver power from a set of fairly reliable constant power sources. Those sources were designed to go online and stay at design load for many months at a crack, then have a scheduled maintenance outage. and then do it again. There are stresses associated with each transition, which are cumulative, and result in finite lifespans for things like generator shafts.

Yes... a generator shaft is a big dumb piece of steel... until you start to think about it and dig deeper. It was probably cast in a spinning mold with a vacuum applied to cause any defects to be located in the center of the shaft. Those defects are then bored out, and thus you have a nice, strong, reliable piece of steel good for 5 decades of service, with a huge margin of safety. This huge margin considered 12 outages and/or unit trips per year, a safety factor of probably 20 for good measure, and an outrageous 50 year service life.

Since the 1950s... plants now cycle far more often thanks to big cheap nukes.... cutting that margin way back. Now you want to cycle them every time a cloud passes through the neighborhood of a large solar installation? They won't last 5 years at that rate.

The stresses on the whole grid from crappy politically special flowers will eventually collapse the grid unless some heavy, HEAVY upgrades are done... which just ain't gonna happen.

Solar/Wind is going to kill the grid... just wait and see.

Help! I'm trapped in a PDP 11/70!