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Comment: Re:In their defence. (Score 2, Interesting) 417

by mikechant (#46438695) Attached to: School Tricks Pupils Into Installing a Root CA

If we could not filter the ssl sites, there would be no option but to block ssl entirely by blocking all traffic on port 443.

Then that's what you should do. Intercepting an SSL session between (say) a pupil and their bank would potentially be illegal without the permission of both the pupil *and* the bank. And the bank is not going to give this permission. Blocking ssl is the only legally safe solution.
Still, it's your legal risk, up to you.

+ - Bitcoin's Mt. Gox Shuts Down, Loses $409,200,000 Dollars->

Submitted by satuon
satuon (1822492) writes "Mt. Gox’s shutdown is circulating like wildfire. Its repercussions are being felt throughout the world. Mt. Gox was the most public and well-known brand that represented Bitcoin’s exchange market. The company’s shutdown is rumored to be caused by a “hack” or “security breach” that resulted in a loss up to 744,000 BTC or $409,200,000 Dollars. (Based on the approximate value just hours ago from This is truly an unfortunate event that has caused the international community to shake its trust in Bitcoin as evidenced by the massive price drop. This is par the course, when a pillar in the community falls in such a funeral pyre. The best parallel would be the Bear Stearns’ failure during the 2008 global financial crisis. Hopefully, Bitcoin won’t follow in the financial system’s footsteps post-Bear Stearns."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:How about that rented storage? (Score 1) 239

by mikechant (#45812381) Attached to: NSA's Legal Win Introduces a Lot of Online Insecurity

In the UK, almost everything that's "owned" is leasehold.
No, that's not true. No idea where you got that idea from. Maybe you were thinking of central London. Nearly all properties in the UK** are freehold, only about 2 Million are leasehold, mostly flats/apartments. There are about 22 Million properties in the UK, so that's about 10% leasehold.

This mentions the 2 million figure:

**UK: Actually figures may be for England and Wales not Scotland probably, but that covers about 90% of the UK by population so that's good enough for these purposes.

Comment: Re:I wonder . . . (Score 1) 606

by mikechant (#45795923) Attached to: How Ya Gonna Get 'Em Down On the UNIX Farm?

Yes, a CLI CAN be turing complete and a GUI cannot be.

No, you're wrong. Just because *most* GUIs are not Turing complete doesn't mean they can't be. Informal proof: Take a Turing complete text-based language, convert the keywords, structures, operators, constants, variables etc. into GUI editable objects, write a GUI that allows these objects to be assembled in arbitrary ways, e.g. by drag-and-drop, and there you go. Effectively you are visually constructing some sort of flowchart which is mathematically equivalent to a textually expressed program. Some GUI IDEs are actually like this, which shows that the principle is possible in practice.

You might object that such a GUI IDE is not Turing complete on the grounds that it can't do this or that function with the underlying hardware/low-level OS etc.. but that's not valid; a general Turing complete language does not have to have access to lower levels of software/hardware. A concrete example is that many 'normal' text based Turing complete languages might not be able to do direct I/O or access raw devices of any sort, or handle DMA or interrupts, and thus might be unable to perform certain functions (like read the disc partition table for example) without invoking routines in some *other* (lower level) Turing complete language. But that's not what Turing completeness is about; it's about being able to express an arbitrary algorithm on an abstract machine.
Doing this through a GUI may be clumsy in many cases but not impossible.

Comment: Re:Here's What I Know (Score 1) 644

by mikechant (#45567345) Attached to: Officials Say Site Now Performing Well

You had your tooth drilled without anesthetic?

I have this done *at my request* and the dentist does not seem surprised. I find the injections much more painful than the drilling (many of my teeth have been filled so much they seem to have very little sensation left in them). It's just a faint dull pain for a short time, no big deal.

Comment: Re:Upate to the most current (Score 1) 241

by mikechant (#45561845) Attached to: New Windows XP Zero-Day Under Attack

You and the GP are both wrong. The proper way to do it is to risk-assess and cost-benefit analyse every potential upgrade and upgrade or don't upgrade based on the results.
I work on a large number of outsourced mainframes and the decision on whether to upgrade a specific software product for a specific customer is quite complex, and often depends on such things as the software supplier's previous record (do they break things a lot at new releases, etc..), and the criticality of the software involved (crudely, how much money will the customer lose per hour if this facility is unavailable).
The result is that some products are 'frozen' at a particular release (and the risk involved with this option is recorded and reviewed regularly), some are updated occasionally with extensive pre-rollout testing (typically when the current release approaches its end of support date) and some are updated regularly in a routine fashion.

Comment: Re:You have to test the mouse for OS updates now? (Score 5, Interesting) 326

Every time a USB drive was put in, a new device driver, and probably malware, was installed.

It's even worse than that. It reinstalls the device drivers every time you plug the *same* device into a different USB port. I'd hoped this behaviour would go away when my WinXP work PC was replaced recently with a new Win7 PC, but no - plug USB headphones into each of the 4 front USB ports and it reinstalls the drivers 4 times. That's pretty brain-dead.

Comment: Re:Fine Print (Score 1) 196

by mikechant (#45051001) Attached to: Google Wants Patent On Splitting Restaurant Bills

The sociable thing to do (unless one member of the party consumes just half a leaf of lettuce) is to divide the bill by the number of people at the table. Sure, there will be imbalances, but over multiple occasions (in normally reasonable and congenial company) they should pretty much average out.

Up to a point. Personally, I like to be able to drink as much red wine as I feel like, so I always bung in an extra GBP15 (cost of bottle of Merlot at curry house) at the end even if I didn't drink it all. This way I know nobody will be muttering about me 'not paying my way' and I can relax.

Comment: Re:Why so few women sanitation engineers? (Score 2) 608

by mikechant (#44678697) Attached to: Could a Grace Hopper Get Hired In Today's Silicon Valley?

You never see women hanging off the back of a garbage truck. Is this a problem?

30-40 years ago you almost never saw women driving buses in the UK, particularly big double deckers. It was remarkable and would even get an article in the national newspapers. Now it's completely 'normal'. As far as I know the main things that changed was that
a/ Recently it stopped being regarded as 'totally unfeminine' for a woman to be a bus driver (mainly due to the 'early pioneers').
b/ The existing male workers and their unions stopped resisting female drivers (they couldn't justify it any more).
c/ Bus companies were no longer allowed to refuse to employ women "because they had no womens' toilets" etc.
d/ Ubiquitous power steering meant neither men or women needed brute strength any more (side-note - in the UK garbage disposal no longer needs strength any more due to the fairly recent use of wheely bins with mechanical lifts - and this was of massive benefit to the existing mostly male garbage collectors in terms of reduced back injuries etc. - so maybe in 30 years time women garbage collectors will be just as common as women bus drivers are now).

Nobody started forcing women to drive buses; the barriers just slowly came down.

Things change. Just because something is 'how it is' now doesn't mean it's always got to be like that, or that it's somehow 'natural'.

As other posts have pointed out, it's always worth looking at other countries; then you will often find out that (say) a profession like programming which is 90% male in the US is 50/50 in another country where the job does not have the same 'male' image. This must surely undermine the assumption that it's 'just how it is' in relation to the male/female balance and show it's a cultural thing - and lead to the conclusion that the talents of the under-represented sex are being wasted.

Man is the best computer we can put aboard a spacecraft ... and the only one that can be mass produced with unskilled labor. -- Wernher von Braun