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Comment: Re: Then again, maybe it _is_ good news. (Score 1) 172

by knorthern knight (#48518963) Attached to: Study: HIV Becoming Less Deadly, Less Infectious

> No, don't tell him that - I'd like to see how he thinks a species can
> evolve against an external threat within one generation and without
> exposing more than a significant minority of its population to that threat.

You are mis-understanding Darwinism. The premise behind Darwinism is that...
* random shit happens during the reproductive process, resulting in random mutations within a species (e.g. Homo Sapiens)
* random shit happens when the environment throws different survival problems at the species (e.g. AIDS)
* the individuals with beneficial differences (i.e. stronger immune systems against AIDS) are more likely to survive, and procreate, passing their AIDS-resistance mutation to their children

This, in a nutshell is "survival of the fittest". The problem quantifying "fittest" is that it depends on the external environment. E.g. Sickle Cell anemia gene carriers (usually African origin) have higher resistance to malaria, which is a net survival plus in African jungles, notwithstanding some anemia. In the African jungles that meant they survived better, and had more children.

Then some were taken as slaves to the US. 200+ years later, the superior malaria-resistance is not helpful, but the anemia side-effects remain, so it's a net minus.

Comment: Re:How (Score 2) 81

by knorthern knight (#48510397) Attached to: FBI: Wiper Malware Has Korean Language Packs, Hard Coded Targets

> WTF, overwrites the MBR? What half assed OS does this attack? Windows?

I'm a linux user, not a Microsoft fanboi, but... have you ever heard of fdisk? Or for that matter...

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/hda bs=446 count=1

to wipe the MBR. If you want to take out the entire hard drive, it's

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=1M

Any OS that can be installed from USB key or a CD can do the equivalant of this.

Comment: Re: Storage (Score 1) 516

by knorthern knight (#48468363) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?

> (We wound up taking down our trees for unrelated reasons - one was
> dead and the second dropped berries all over our lawn rendering our
> back yard unusable and attracting flies.)

Just be thankful you don't live in Toronto. See http://www.toronto.ca/311/know... Even removing a *DEAD* tree will cost you several hundred dollars for the paperwork+approval alone...

> Private tree permit exemptions
>
> A tree that is dead, terminally diseased or imminently hazardous does
> not require a permit, however the applicant must send a detailed Arborist report
> and receive approval from Urban Forestry before proceeding with any tree work.

The cost of a contractor to cut down+remove the tree+stump is additional. An "Arborist" is a licenced professional "tree doctor" with an applicable university degree. Their reports are equivalant to an MD's "medical opinion", and their fees are equivalant to having a medical specialist examine you without medical insurance. And in case you're wondering...

> Fines for illegal tree removal
>
> A person convicted of an offence under City of Toronto Municipal
> Code Chapter 813, Article III is subject to a minimum fine of $500.00
> and a maximum fine of $100,000.00 per tree involved in an offense;
> a special supplementary fine of $100,000.00 is also possible.

Comment: Re: If the FCC actually did its job (Score 1) 67

> Exactly. Caller ID should not be allowed to be spoofed, ever. Make it
> really illegal and start to crack down on any provider that allows it to happen.

Caller ID is too simple. You really need to use ANI (Automatic Number Identification), which is a much more robust protocol. It is accurate because it's used for billing on telephone landlines. Only problem is that it costs money, and I don't know if you can get it on a residential account. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A...

Note that I said it's used for telephone landlines. It can be defeated by using an outbound-only VOIP line.

+ - Rogers ISP MITM process detailed

Submitted by knorthern knight
knorthern knight (513660) writes "Lee Brotherston gives a talk http://blog.squarelemon.com/bl... about how his ISP deliberately MiTM’d his connection. This talk discusses how they did it, how he detected what they did and what this means. This talk covers what he learnt over three months of analysis focusing on the technology involved both on the ISP side and his own. He covers in detail how he went about identifying and mapping the ISPs hidden network components and how they modify IP connections. He briefly covers what this means to customers of their service, and provides technical evidence as well as a walk through how he used open source tools to unmask this Corp In The Middle attack. The slides used for the presentation are available at http://www.slideshare.net/LeeB..."

+ - Google to lease and refurbish Naval Air Base for space exploration->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy (5327) writes "Google has signed a long-term lease for part of a historic Navy air base, where it plans to renovate three massive hangars and use them for projects involving aviation, space exploration and robotics. The giant Internet company will pay $1.16 billion in rent over 60 years for the property, which also includes a working air field, golf course and other buildings. The 1,000-acre site is part of the former Moffett Field Naval Air Station on the San Francisco Peninsula. Google plans to invest more than $200 million to refurbish the hangars and add other improvements, including a museum or educational facility that will showcase the history of Moffett and Silicon Valley, according to a NASA statement. The agency said a Google subsidiary called Planetary Ventures LLC will use the hangars for "research, development, assembly and testing in the areas of space exploration, aviation, rover/robotics and other emerging technologies"

NASA plans to continue operating its Ames Research Center on the former Navy site. Google will take over operations at the runways and hangars, including a massive structure that was built to house dirigible-style Navy airships in the 1930s. NASA said the deal will save it $6.3 million in annual maintenance and operation costs"

Link to Original Source

Comment: They'll catch only stupid criminals/terrorists (Score 4, Insightful) 59

by knorthern knight (#48357803) Attached to: German Spy Agency Seeks Millions To Monitor Social Networks

Only dumb criminals/terrorists would use social networks to plan crimes. Remember how Osama Bin Laden dropped out of sight after 9/11? No cellphones, no landlines, no email, etc. Just communicating via messangers. It took the best intelligence services on the planet years to find him. After the first few splashy cases hit the news, criminals/terrorists will go back to "sneakernet", and the social-network monitoring infrastructure will go to waste.

+ - Systemd again? Debian drops kFreeBSD as official architecture -> 1

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Debian GNU/Linux project has decided not to support its GNU/kFreeBSD distribution as an official release for the forthcoming version 8.0 which is better known as Jessie. One of the reasons for this decision could be systemd, the new init system that will be the default for the Jessie release. It cannot be used with any kernel other than Linux."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Reliable servers don't just crash (Score 1) 928

by knorthern knight (#48284647) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can You Say Something Nice About Systemd?

> It's not like the journal format is some state secret. It's documented
> and there are already several journal parsers to choose from.

Please explain http://lwn.net/Articles/468049...

> From the FAQ:

> Will the journal file format be standardized? Where can I find an explanation
> of the on-disk data structures?

> At this point we have no intention to standardize the format and we take the
> liberty to alter it as we see fit. We might document the on-disk format
> eventually, but at this point we donÂ't want any other software to read, write
> or manipulate our journal files directly. The access is granted by a shared
> library and a command line tool. (But then again, itÂ's Free Software, so
> you can always read the source code!)

Comment: Re:And apps while we're at it (Score 1) 863

> What's wrong with harfbuzz?
>
> It's just a font-shaping library, needed to correctly render south-asians scripts.
[...deletia...]
> And ghostscript is needed to be able to print your spreadsheets. If
> you package a program for a distribution, you want it to work out-of-the-box.

Gnumeric used to work out-of-the-box with this stuff as *OPTIONAL*. What I'm complaining about is that it's now *MANDATORY*. Why the change, when it used to work just fine? What's next? Pull in the entirety of GNOME, complete with systemd?

Economists state their GNP growth projections to the nearest tenth of a percentage point to prove they have a sense of humor. -- Edgar R. Fiedler

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