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Comment: duh (Score 1) 248

by markhahn (#46778783) Attached to: SSD-HDD Price Gap Won't Go Away Anytime Soon

with spinning rust, you might re-engineer the bulk process that coats your disks, but the boost in recording density depends on changing the parameters of the head. bulk process and one device. compare to flash, where to boost density, you have to tweak each storage cell, controlling for defects and manufacturing flaws, where the yield of each cell multiplies, so defects are exponentially likely.

disks (and to some extent tape) will always have scaling advantages over litho-fabed storage.

you can certainly argue that latency and bandwidth also suffer by the same process - but for the most part, disk performance really is fast enough for most uses. it's a bit surprising that more disk vendors haven't tossed onboard a small flash chip (to all lines of HDs).

Comment: the concept of IP is the problem (Score 2) 103

by markhahn (#46741409) Attached to: Why the IETF Isn't Working

"Intellectual Property" that is, not Internet Protocol. IETF succeeded when participants were motivated by something other than staking out as much turf to monetize. The basic premise of modern business is "do whatever it takes to get away with as much as possible", which is emphatically not part of the thought process that brought us TCP/IP, SMTP, SSH, HTTP, etc.

The problem is lawyers and MBA weasels who tell everyone that monetization is their primary duty, and that lockin and the resulting "rentier" revenue streams are the ideal course.

Comment: network effect iff vendor lockin (Score 3, Insightful) 260

by markhahn (#46496629) Attached to: The Era of Facebook Is an Anomaly

lockin/networkeffect is so much easier a business model than competing based on excellence.

it's an interesting question to ponder: at what level of clue do customers begin to care? does the mass market ever reach that level? implicitly, sure - a service won't succeed which can't interoperate at least well enough. but how many customers really understand the concept of protocol or API - understand it well enough to realize that it permits vendor-independent services?

Comment: Fascism and demographics (Score 1) 309

by markhahn (#46484597) Attached to: Russia Blocks Internet Sites of Putin Critics

Obviously, this kind of thought-control, especially when combined with state capitalism/oligarchy/kleptocracy, is what we in the west would call Fascist. It is perhaps an interesting real-life demonstration of newspeak that much of Putin's fervor, at least for public consumption, is directed *against* Fascists in Ukraine. For him, the f-word means neo-nazi, or perhaps just ultra-nationalist for any nation other than greater Russia. It's really weird and mindbending, but you can find a lot of his undiluted propaganda on the web (rt.com, plenty in youtube, and planted comments on just about any relevant news article in any media...)

I find this fascists calling each other fascists thing quite interesting, but it seems to depend on a highly prepared political environment. The ex-USSR population seems to be uniquely primed to equate fascist=nazi, with all the baggage of WW2 (including the meme that the hard part was fought in Russia, not western europe, and that the cold war was essentially a continuation of WW2, with nazi-derived forces still conspiring against The Fatherland.) I imagine that works best for the older generation, but surely any Russian under 30 must look at the internet and see something closer to the truth...

Censorship

Russia Blocks Internet Sites of Putin Critics 309

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-net-for-you dept.
An anonymous reader writes in with news about Russias censorship of internet sites critical of President Vladimir Putin. "Russia blocked access to the internet sites of prominent Kremlin foes Alexei Navalny and Garry Kasparov on Thursday under a new law critics say is designed to silence dissent in President Vladimir Putin's third term. The prosecutor general's office ordered Russian internet providers to block Navalny's blog, chess champion and Putin critic Kasparov's internet newspaper and two other sites, grani.ru and ej.ru, state regulator Roskomnadzor said. The move was the latest evidence of what government opponents see as a crackdown on independent media and particularly the internet, a platform for dissenting views in a nation where state channels dominate the airwaves. Ej.ru editor Alexander Ryklin called it 'monstrous' and a 'direct violation of all the principles of freedom of speech,' More at EFF, and in earlier stories at the The Huffington Post, and Deutsche Welle, which notes, 'This year's report by Reporters Without Borders on World Day against Cyber Censorship condemns Russia as one of the "Enemies of the Internet." "Russia has adopted dangerous legislation governing the flow of news and information and freedom of expression online," it concludes.'"

Comment: MOAR IETF! (Score 1) 77

by markhahn (#46278169) Attached to: Oops: Security Holes In Belkin Home Automation Gear

IETF made everything possible, but has unfortunately been somewhat abandoned, or at least isn't functioning as a mooring-of-sanity as it used to. In some ways, this is inevitable, since the e-world is big enough that even a small company can do its own thing, and still succeed big.

This matters for IoT, since most cloud-enabled IoT devices do totally random things: poke through firewalls with UPNP, shove your private data into some random website, potentially over insecure protocols. (Or protocols that could be secure, but are implemented poorly or are simply in need of an update.) At some level, the problem is really that the easy path, for any given cloud vendor, is to set up their own cloud infrastructure (though it might be layered on Amazon, etc). This is bad for the customer because what happens when the company crashes, or gets bought and dissolved, or when the company just decides to stop supporting the device?

IETF should be thinking along the lines of a *local* data hub that you own, that your devices talk to over a simpler, standard protocol. Not that security can be ignored just because traffic is local, but an extra level of indirection makes all the difference in hardware as well as software. Whether that local hub is intelligent, whether it has storage - open question. And maybe devices need to fall back to trying to talk to the external cloud. But customers will eventually realize that they should want their own data to at least potentially be under their own control, not inherently subject to the vagaries of some whispy, transient external cloud. You don't want your fire alarm dependent on random external sites, or your internet-enabled door locks, or your thermostat, etc.

Comment: provenance (Score 2) 112

by markhahn (#46219077) Attached to: IBM Employees Caught Editing Wikipedia

let people perform whatever edits they want, but track the provenance of *everything*. let readers select some function of provenance as a rendering option, with the default being provenance of a pretty high standard of quality and non-conflicted-interest. letting people attach endorsements or upvotes is a pretty valuable kind of metadata anyway.

the problem seems to be the very idea that wikipedia should present a single, canonical version. absolutes are only found in faith, not the real world...

Earth

GOP Bill To Outlaw EPA 'Secret Science' That Is Not Transparent, Reproducible 618

Posted by timothy
from the as-if-it-were-that-simple dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes "Fox News reports that Republican lawmakers in the House are pushing legislation that would prohibit the EPA from proposing new regulations based on science that is not transparent or not reproducible. The bill introduced by Rep. David Schweikert, R-Ariz., would bar the agency from proposing or finalizing rules without first disclosing all "scientific and technical information" relied on to support its proposed action. "Public policy should come from public data, not based on the whims of far-left environmental groups," says Schweikert. "For far too long, the EPA has approved regulations that have placed a crippling financial burden on economic growth in this country with no public evidence to justify their actions." The bill, dubbed the Secret Science Reform Act of 2014 (HR 4012), would prohibit the EPA's administrator from proposing or finalizing any rules unless he or she also discloses "all scientific and technical information" relied on by the agency in the regulations' development including all data, materials and computer models. According to Schweikert's press release a 2013 poll from the Institute of Energy Research found that 90 percent of Americans agree that studies and data used to make federal government decisions should be made public. "Provisions in the bill are consistent with the White House's scientific integrity policy, the President's Executive Order 13563, data access provisions of major scientific journals, the Bipartisan Policy Center and the recommendations of the Obama administration's top science advisors.""

Comment: vapid idiots are running the store. (Score 0) 204

by markhahn (#46165343) Attached to: Gnome 3.12 Delayed To Sync With Wayland Release

the big problem is that all this desktop crap doesn't matter. oh, sure, it's pretty. does it get work done? compared to, say, OLVWM from ages ago. sure, I think wiggly windows are a cool hack, and like to use a GPU to make things smoother. but most of this desktop stuff is just masturbation-by-coding. dbus, systemd, wayland, most of gnome, any form of skinning, etc.

yes, X-over-ssh is non-negotiable. it would be great if the X-now-wayland wankers did their wanking on some more-async, lower-bandwidth interface that didn't throw the baby out with the bathwater. VNC, I think not. Xcb was about the last good idea to come from these people...

pretty soon desktops will be completely irrelevant, since the only GUI of the future is html*.

Comment: click-bait? (Score 5, Insightful) 628

by markhahn (#46016555) Attached to: 200 Dolphins Await Slaughter In Japan's Taiji Cove

No, this is not clickbait.

Normal, mentally-healthy humans have a lot of empathy - otherwise we're psychopaths. Sure, the amount of empathy varies - mainly as a function of whether the animal in question tends to act human-like. We should embrace this, not cynically write it off - empathy *IS* humanity.

Yes, that also means that anyone who is intelligent and reflective will be uncomfortable with eating meat, concerned how the animal died, and of course what kind of animal it was. This is basically orthogonal to issues of environmental or ecological impact.

Comment: unlocked doors (Score 2) 195

by markhahn (#45932337) Attached to: Hackers Gain "Full Control" of Critical SCADA Systems

These systems are the moral equivalent of leaving your door not just unlocked but ajar. It doesn't change the morality of anyone trespassing to steal or destroy, but it does make the owner much more culpable. We do not face a threat to our cyber-infrastructure, but rather have irresponsibly left the infrastructure unprotected, and should not be surprised that people of varying motives might take advantage.

We do not need a cyber-infrastructure police force, unless they're actually tiger teams who publicly shame the idiots who leave their systems unprotected...

X

23-Year-Old X11 Server Security Vulnerability Discovered 213

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the stack-smashing-for-fun-and-profit dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The recent report of X11/X.Org security in bad shape rings more truth today. The X.Org Foundation announced today that they've found a X11 security issue that dates back to 1991. The issue is a possible stack buffer overflow that could lead to privilege escalation to root and affects all versions of the X Server back to X11R5. After the vulnerability being in the code-base for 23 years, it was finally uncovered via the automated cppcheck static analysis utility." There's a scanf used when loading BDF fonts that can overflow using a carefully crafted font. Watch out for those obsolete early-90s bitmap fonts.

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