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Comment Re:Everybody List What You Think Went Wrong (Score 3, Insightful) 392 392

It has happened over and over and over again, and seems to be the hallmark of this decade in tech: take a working project...

...and that's where I have the problem, because really, I think D2 is terrible, and D1 is far too ridden with bugs and limitations that exist because /. was once running on a 386 in Malda's closet over a 14.4 modem.

Of course, there's a good case to be made that the existing code base should just be fixed, namely:

- Remove sillier numeric limits for D1.
- Unicode. It's 2015, there's no excuse. Page widening is not a problem with CSS's max-width. - Some CSS clean up.

Which would probably not take anything like as much time as Beta was going to, but, oh well...

Comment Re:Everybody List What You Think Went Wrong (Score 3, Insightful) 392 392

1. The complaints about beta I felt were misplaced. They shouldn't have made the beta default for anyone (and perhaps they should have refined it just a little more first...) but I think Slashdotters seriously overreacted to what was an easy to opt-out of test of a new UI. (And frankly, with D1 broken - thanks Pudge - and D2 horrible, I was looking forward to someone doing something about the /. UI.)

2. I'm pretty sure that if they'd covered GamerGate in depth, you'd - based upon what you've written here - been so unhappy you'd never have come back.

3. I go the other way - there was a failure to ensure discussions wouldn't be derailed by trolls and anti-diversity fanatics, especially in the aftermath of a somewhat extreme anti-diversity campaign in one corner of tech. Slashdot's articles were of interest to some of us, unfortunately the massive wave of abusive moderation and anti-diversity crapflooders meant we couldn't have an adult discussion about the issues.

Where we agree however is that, much as I'm reluctant to attack anyone by name, the types of articles that were posted by Haselton were never right for Slashdot.

Haselton wasn't even the first time they did this. Real Slashdotters remember a guy called Jon Katz who Malda brought in largely to introduce original commentary - just like Haselton. It was a disaster. Slashdotters became increasingly annoyed by the posts, just as with Haselton.

Why did Slashdot do it again? No idea. I'm guessing they thought it might be worth a try again, perhaps thinking it was Katz, not this kind of commentary, people disliked.

As an aside, when I used to blog more actively, people (nobody working for Slashdot I might add) asked me if I should offer to write similar pieces for Slashdot et al. Leaving aside my appalling writing skills, this is why...

Comment Re:If you have physical access... (Score 1) 75 75

It doesn't really mean that, though that helps. It means that at some point you must have had a way to inject your software onto it. That might mean physical access to the computer. Or it might mean physical access to the operating system image before it was loaded onto the computer. Or it might mean physical access to the bespoke software image before it was loaded onto the computer.

One scenario, for example. You work for a company that produces software to control lottery random number machines. You insert, suitably obfuscated, code working on this principle into the software before release. The code is audited, but as all eyes are on modules relating to the retrieval and display of the random number, your code is largely ignored and just assumed to be poorly written, not evil, per-se.

Your accomplice then gets a job as a janitor at SuperMegaBall HQ, one of your clients. They're able to use a cellphone to extract the secure login credentials, which you then crack, and said accomplice is then able to gain full access to the computer with the credentials and upload a software update that'll give you the numbers you want.

This is so foolproof I could work as the scriptwriter for "Scorpion". *kills myself*

Comment Re:Why even use an electronic safe? (Score 1) 141 141

Cheap ones, yes. They are especially vulnerable to tampering, just like cheap keyed locks and cheap electronic locks. Sometimes these locks can simply be opened by bouncing or hitting the safe just the right way. The more expensive locks can be defeated but it takes more time, patience and skill. You get what you pay for, and high security dial locks go from $100 to over $1000 (just for the lock).

Comment Re:Why even use an electronic safe? (Score 1) 141 141

It really depends on what you are keeping in there. Mechanical spin locks take time to open and have an extremely low Wife Acceptance Factor. Good for cash and valuables but not so good for jewelry or shared stuff, or for guns you keep for home security. Keyed locks have the disadvantage of requiring you to carry the key, and like spin locks they are not so good for stuff you may have to get out of there in a hurry, but good for cash, jewels and documents. Electronic locks are great if you need your safe open in a hurry, or where you want convenience: good for guns & car keys you want to keep safe from your kids or an amateur burglar.

Comment Re:How soon until x86 is dropped? (Score 1) 146 146

I'm not sure I've heard anyone suggest ARM is superior. It happens to be fulfilling a good niche as an architecture that provides decent performance per watt. But you're not seeing anyone wanting to use it in areas where power isn't a concern.

I suspect ARM will eventually be the architecture that's supplanted, not ix86 or ix86-64. Intel's getting good at producing low power ix86 family CPUs - I have one in my tablet, and the mobile space isn't really wedded to any architecture, but the desktop space is.

Comment Re:I have no fear of AI, but fear AI weapons (Score 1) 280 280

Well, robbery would be a bit tougher than general mayhem. In the foreseeable future you'd probably need a human in the loop, for example to confirm that the victim actually complied with the order to "put ALL the money in the bag." Still that would remove the perpetrator from the scene of the crime. If there were an open or hackable wi-fi access point nearby it'd be tricky to hunt him down.

This kind of remote controlled drone mediated crime is very feasible now. It wouldn't take much technical savvy to figure out how to mount a shotgun shell on a quadcopter and fly it to a particular victim (if you have one). That's a lot less sophisticated than stuff terrorists do already; anyone with moderate technical aptitude could do it with off-the-shelf components. I'm sure we'll see our first non-state-actor controlled drone assassination in the next couple of years. Or maybe a hacktivist will detonate a party popper on the President or something like that.

Within our lifetime it'll surely be feasible for ordinary hackers to build autonomous systems that could fly into a general area and hunt down a particular victim using facial recognition. People have experimented with facial recognition with SBCs like the Raspberry Pi already.

You can forbid states from doing this all you want, but as technology advances the technology to do this won't be exotic. It'll be commonplace stuff used for work and even recreation.

Comment Re:Update Clashes (Score 1) 314 314

You know, it kinda makes sense, but given that I've had months where I've been unable to play a specific game or two (without turning off various features that severely degrade performance) because "the latest driver" from AMD/ATI has had one issue or another, with no bug fixes available short of running the unsupported beta version, the idea of being forced to upgrade a driver that is currently not causing any problems is a definitely negative to me.

It'd be one thing if display card drivers were always being updated to fix bugs/security holes, but in practice, 99% of the updates I see are actually to support new cards (which isn't something I need or want a software update for), or to fiddle with the hardware optimization in theory to improve performance (which might be useful, but there's no reason to force such an update on people.)

Windows Update needs the ability to "pin" versions much as apt-get does. For security updates, fine, force them, but if an update is solely there to "improve performance" - or will have no affect whatsoever, it absolutely needs to be blockable.

Comment Re:Same likely holds true... (Score 1) 247 247

The same thing could likely be said of all obtrusive advertising: it is a nuisance not a benefit.

They aren't exactly the same, because interstitial ads aren't just obtrustive, they're interfering. You can't simply mentally resolve to ignore them; if you want to continue you've got to either follow the ad or find a way to dismiss it. This presents the user with a Hobson's Choice: physically respond to the ad, or go back.

A lot depends on how motivated you are to get at the content. If it's something you've clicked out of idle curiosity, you'll back away. If it's something you really want to see you'll fight your way through. Since so much traffic on the Internet is driven by idle curiosity, the 69% figure doesn't surprise me at all. What would be interesting is to disaggregate that figure by types of target content.

Comment Re:How about this... (Score 1, Informative) 181 181

They might cut their bandwidth cost in half. Computational cost for each video will possibly increase

You'll be surprised what can be done with a codec like MPEG-1 if you have unlimited computational power. Much of the point of better codecs is to reduce the computational power needed to achieve a substantial reduction in bandwidth for a given level of quality. So while it'll likely increase, the amount is unlikely to be substantial, not even a doubling of processing power.

How much net work could a network work, if a network could net work?

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