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Comment: Re:After H.265 (Score 1) 34

by Kjella (#49362049) Attached to: Another Patent Pool Forms For HEVC

What comes next? H.266? Is anyone working on it? Is it even possible?

Of course it is, the question is if anybody will care. We know there are many better image compression routines than JPEG like JPEG 2000, JPEG-XR and WebP, but it's "good enough" nobody cares and it is now absolutely guaranteed patent free. Same with PNG, there are arguably better compression algorithms but it works. Everywhere but the US the MP3 patent has expired and in 2017 the last patent will expire there too. In 2018 the MPEG2 patents including AAC end, which I think will make AAC the de facto codec for lossy audio.

Video is another ball of fur, there's Theora and VP8/9 and WebM but none have gained any real traction and from what I understand not even MPEG2 is patent free yet while H.264 is 10+ years from becoming patent free. In that kind of marketplace what's another patented codec? I assume the gains for each generation will be less though and with bandwidth and disc capacity increasing we might not care that much anyway. I know it's not the JPEGs slowing down my browsing experience...

Comment: Re:The butting edge (Score 1) 39

by Kjella (#49358457) Attached to: Toshiba Announces 3D Flash With 48 Layers

I got modded down a few times here (unsurprisingly) when I mentioned who needs more than 1 TB besides some niche use. Everyone and their brother went on how creating a NAS from scratch and their database project at work was average Joe stuff and I didn't know what what I was talking about.

I think the Steam hardware survey is a pretty good indication, of the people on steam only 23.5% have >1TB disk space. And they're probably way above average as the average officer worker (no, not you with the MSDN collection and 14 VMs) sure doesn't use that much, nor the kind of people who could use a Chromebook. The "problem" for HDD manufacturers though is that they've killed any interest in anything but $/GB. The most typical big media people have is video and it's accessed linearly and for that hard drives work just fine. Everything else you can put on an SSD. So the incentive to invest is really, really low.

I guess same reason we should be seeing 128 gig ram machines but are not. Simply there is no market but it could easily be done today

Yes, I looked building an 8x8GB rig back in end of 2012 when the RAM market tanked but couldn't really find any reason to. In fact the 4x4GB RAM from 2011 is pretty much the only component I kept when I upgraded last year. By the way, for $2-3k you can now get an X99 mobo, Xeon E5-2603 and 8x16GB DDR4 Reg/ECC RAM but unless it's all about the RAM performance will be very anemic. But I haven't even found the incentive to bump it up to 32GB yet, which I could do any time. It doesn't exactly help that prices have more than doubled the last 2-3 years.

Comment: Re:Compactness and Readability (Score 1) 273

by Kjella (#49357573) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes Some Code Particularly Good?

Well in this case I'd say there's Google and Wikipedia, use them. The source code is not the right place to teach someone about what CRC32 is or when, where or why you might want to use it. It's almost as bad as comments that try to teach you the programming language you're in. If you're implementing something that's not in an RFC or standard of some sort, I'd agree with you.

Comment: Re:Pilots must remain in control (Score 1) 351

by Kjella (#49356183) Attached to: Modern Cockpits: Harder To Invade But Easier To Lock Up

Or they could start making horribly bad decisions because they have no clue what to do when the computer glitches, like with Air France 447. I don't know the number of ways an airplane could break and probably neither does the pilots, they just drive the thing. I'm pretty sure the engineers at Airbus and Boeing can simulate a whole host of instruments failing or malfunctioning to add redundancy and determine which instruments are actually unreliable, probably far better than a pilot. If we increase engine power and our airspeed doesn't go up, are the engine control failing or the airspeed measurements? There's probably other instruments that can tell you the difference, but I wouldn't have much faith in the pilots figuring it out on the spot. Degraded autopilot mode might still be better than manual mode.

Comment: Re:Don't make it impossible, just make it hard (Score 1) 351

by Kjella (#49355957) Attached to: Modern Cockpits: Harder To Invade But Easier To Lock Up

The whole point of the cabin lock-out is that a terrorist can't threaten/torture the code out of a crew member and gain access to the cockpit. All you need to do is add a second terrorist to press the other switch and they now got access to the cockpit. That would be silly.

The right solution is always having two persons in the cockpit. That way one would have to assault and incapacitate/kill the other which is a pretty big psychological barrier compared to turning a few knobs and waiting for impact. Anyone in mortal danger will also put up a good fight and hopefully alert other crew, who may then try to unlock the door and divide the attacker's attention. Or with luck maybe the attacked person can manage to hit the unlock switch.

It's not a perfect system but you should also realize the current crash was probably not the fastest way to crash the plane. There's almost certainly a "you're malfunctioning, give me manual control" override on the flight controls and after that a pilot could send the plane nose down in a spin which would make it almost impossible for any other crew to reach the cockpit within a matter of seconds, be almost impossible to recover from and with impact in less than a minute from flight altitude. The Germanwings pilot crashed it slow because he had all the time in the world as long as he kept the captain locked out.

Comment: Re:Memorizing site-unique passwords isn't possible (Score 2) 255

by Kjella (#49349625) Attached to: Generate Memorizable Passphrases That Even the NSA Can't Guess

The real solution is to use password management software like KeePass, LastPass, or 1Password. Lock your password program with your good password from Diceware, and use unique, truly random passwords for all the websites you've registered on.

At the cost of travelling around with the keys to the kingdom. Imagine you're on vacation and you want to pop into an internet cafe and log into /. because abstinence. Except it has a keylogger/trojan that'll steal your key file and your master password. Now you've compromised your email, online bank, ebay, paypal, steam and all the other passwords that might really matter. Personally I tend to keep three:

1) My mail, because it gets all the password resets.
2) My bank, but it's using two-factor anyway.
3) My "assorted junk" password where I might lose my forum account or whatever that doesn't *really* matter.

I really try not to use the first two on an untrusted device unless I really have to, because afterwards I need to change it. In fact if I know I will need to use it I'll change it on a trusted device up front and restore it later, good memorized passwords are a pain to relearn.

Comment: Re:Still waiting for a "hackability meter" (Score 1) 158

by Kjella (#49346733) Attached to: Many Password Strength Meters Are Downright Weak, Researchers Say

What we need is a meter on a web site describing how much effort they put into server security, how big their target profile is (how many entry points they have) and a sign that says "??? days since a total data breach!", and then the user can decide if they want an account there at all. How's that coming?

Are you secretly planning to use it as a Dunning-Kruger meter and avoid all that self-rate as 10 out of 10? Because if you think you'll get anything else useful out of it, I want some of what you're smoking...

Comment: Re:Still waiting for a "hackability meter" (Score 2) 158

by Gaygirlie (#49346503) Attached to: Many Password Strength Meters Are Downright Weak, Researchers Say

In that case, even a password of 'veronica' should be strong enough to last until the breach is discovered (days?), the user notified

Considering how awfully many cases there have been where it has taken the company weeks or even months to notify anyone of the breach I'm going to have to disagree on that.

Comment: Re:Still waiting for a "hackability meter" (Score 3, Interesting) 158

by Gaygirlie (#49346381) Attached to: Many Password Strength Meters Are Downright Weak, Researchers Say

The plain simple truth is that complexity of a password is barely relevant at all when compared to the threat of an outright data breach at a provider. Who cares if your password is 'veronica' (your daughters name) or `myL1ttleBr0ny%` since an attacker isn't going to bother with brute forcing anything but '123456' and 'password' because they will get tarpitted by any reputable provider before they can guess anything out of a dictionary more than 5 entries long.

Your basis for saying bassword-complexity is irrelevant is that bad people would be doing online brute-forcing? They do matter somewhat when it comes to online-cracking, but the real relevancy doesn't lie there. The passwords matter when it comes to offline brute-forcing: the more complex the password the longer it'll take to crack it even if you have the hash for it. With good passwords and well-done hashing and salting you may end up cracking them for weeks by which time whoever you obtained them from will hopefully already have made their users change their passwords.

Comment: Re:Absolutely crucial (Score 1) 137

A good start would be what is proposed in the press release: Harmonized VAT rates and rules for digital goods.

The problem is that unifying VAT and classifications basically regulating half a tax system without regulating the other half. You can tax income and you can tax consumption and there's pros and cons to both. If we're forced to lower our VAT, the other taxes would probably increase to compensate or the other way around. In addition many of the VAT brackets are made for a specific purpose because the goods are either particularly good or bad for society, like taxing books less (knowledge is good) and tobacco more (very bad for public health).

For example, around here we have about half VAT on food. If we can't keep that exception, prices would rise 10%+ on the spot. So would our taxes, in practice we'd probably funnel that money into agricultural subsidies instead which would make our food cheaper, thus creating an even more heavily protected, subsidized agriculture. And the things we want to punish, just add other taxes instead of VAT, unless the EU wants to regulate all consumption tax. That would be a tough sell, I think.

What products and services end up in what VAT bracket is sometimes controversial, for example here in Norway at the moment there's 0% VAT on buying a physical newspaper and 25% VAT on a digital newspaper, because it doesn't meet the criteria for an exemption. Also eating at a restaurant and takeaway ended up in different brackets, so if you take your burger outside and eat it on the sidewalk it's cheaper than sitting down at McDonald's. We have an exception for culture, they were probably thinking more like theater, opera, concerts but exotic dancers won at court as an "artistic performance".

Not saying it can't happen, but if it does it's a big step on the way towards a "United States of Europe".

Comment: Re:Leave then (Score 1) 861

by Kjella (#49339635) Attached to: Gen Con Threatens To Leave Indianapolis Over Religious Freedom Bill

No one is forcing you to associate with anyone. But as a BUSINESS, you will provide the same service to everyone regardless of race/creed/religion/etc.

Funny, that never seems ot work when the elementary school teacher also dances at the local strip club. Then it's never about non-discrimination based on job performance and all about your employer's right to not associate with you anymore. Let's face it, you've picked some attributes that have hardly anything to do with your job performance like race, religion, sex etc. and "blessed" them while other equally irrelevant attributes can get you fired on the spot.

And a white baker should not have to serve a black customer, right? (...) You may not like being "forced" to serve black people.

I'm not sure why you need to put "forced" in quotes. If you're a white supremacist running a self-owned bakery and wouldn't serve a black customer voluntarily, then clearly it's involuntary aka forced. As forced as the health and safety regulations and paying your employees minimum wage I guess, but it's something the government tells you that you must do. Now I know certain libertarians try to make great leaps of logic to act like they're different, but fundamentally they're not. If you want to throw out all government regulation, you also throw out what keeps the baker from refusing to serve the black guy.

Comment: Re:He's just in a hurry to get to the future (Score 1) 78

by mcgrew (#49338655) Attached to: The Kevlar Kandidate Wants A 7-Day Workweek, No Days Off

I don't vote party, except that I avoid both D and R whenever there's a candidate who doesn't want to put half the people I know in prison for smoking pot.

If anyone but Bruce Rauner had run against Quinn I would have voted for the Republican, becuase Quinn just wasn't a good governor. I think Rauner will be even worse, maybe even as bad as Ryan(R) or Blago(D), both were crooks. I don't know if Rauner is a crook but his policies are terrible. There were only two named on the ballot, so it was indeed a choice between two evils.

Look, Republicans are against the Social Security I paid into all my life and am now enjoying, against unions, without which I would have no pension, against the single payer health care system which has countries with it in place enjoying half the costs we face with far less infant mortality and longer life spans (Obamacare is really Romneycare in disguise); against the Medicare I again paid into and will get in a couple of years; against food stamps (that's simply un-Christian, yet they claim to be Christians?); against taxes (again, an un-Christian stance). Tell me, what Democrat views that the Republicans don't share are detrimental to me, a middle class retired guy?

But both parties are against pot legalization, for our insanely long copyrights, and quite a few more where there really isn't a valid choice.

The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent. -- Sagan