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Comment: I doubt it was North Korea (Score 4, Insightful) 234

For one thing, if North Korea was capable of this sort of hack they've got more tempting targets to use that capability on. And it's just a bit too convenient, coming on the heels of a disappointing performance by Sony, for SPE to suddenly get an excuse to get out from under another apparent flop. My bet is the hack's just another in a long string of breaches by the usual gangs of malcontents, aided and abetted by corporate obliviousness to security, and various parties are just taking advantage of superficial connections for their own reasons.

Comment: Re:Network Level (Score 1) 97

by Todd Knarr (#48640371) Attached to: Staples: Breach May Have Affected 1.16 Million Customers' Cards

There should be more isolation, yep. When I handled POS the terminals had no local storage at all, they were network booted from images on the site server and the LAN they were on had no outside access at all. The site servers were on our own wide-area network that connected them to corporate, and there were only two network segments (Development and Support) that could connect to the site servers (sites couldn't even connect to each other). Access to the Dev and Support networks from the rest of the company was highly restricted, and any unexpected access from Dev or Support netted you a phone call and/or an in-person visit from the support manager to find out what had blown up.

I can think of ways to get malware out to the POS system through all that, but all of them involve physically being in the basement of the corporate headquarters where the Support and Development department offices were located and any unknown face would've had to avoid 2 managers and 3 secretaries before being grabbed by the scruff of the neck by Cory and hustled back upstairs (because if Cory didn't recognize you you were not supposed to be down there).

Comment: Re:Unrelated to Github (Score 2) 147

by jeremyp (#48632267) Attached to: Critical Git Security Vulnerability Announced

No it isn't.

Both NTFS and HFS+ are file systems that are case insensitive and case preserving (by default). They work as designed. They have always worked that way as the people who ported git to those platforms should have known.

Just because you don't like the way NTFSD and HFS+ work and it makes the programmer's job a little harder doesn't mean there is a bug.

Comment: Points at the end of the article (Score 1) 173

by Todd Knarr (#48604053) Attached to: The GPLv2 Goes To Court

I'd note that the 3 points at the end of the article aren't unique to open-source software but apply to all third-party software you use in building your software. And those points are harder to address for proprietary third-party software than for open-source, because any software component may contain other components you aren't directly aware of and without the source code it's a lot harder to scan proprietary libraries to detect those included components (and it may be impossible if the included components are themselves proprietary because the people who wrote the scanner may not even know those components exist let alone have access to their code to create the necessary detection routines). Or they may be easier to address, if your license for the proprietary libraries doesn't include a right to redistribute then the answers become very simple if rather limiting and any less-restrictive licenses for other components become irrelevant.

Comment: Not incompatible (Score 5, Insightful) 161

by Todd Knarr (#48589905) Attached to: Former iTunes Engineer Tells Court He Worked To Block Competitors

Apple argues, and Schultz agrees, that its intentions were to improve iTunes, not curb competition.

I'd note that the two alternatives aren't incompatible. It's entirely possible to intend to improve iTunes while also determining that the best way to improve it is to block all competitors from accessing it (doing that would, among other things, eliminate bugs due to incorrect accesses and malformed music files and remove an inconsistent user experience due to badly-written software from other vendors). After all, when AT&T was banning all other vendors from connecting equipment to it's phone network it was only intending to protect the network from damage due to incorrectly-designed equipment (or at least so it's testimony went). In neither case do intentions alter the end result.

Comment: Re:class act (Score 1) 171

by jeremyp (#48580709) Attached to: Julian Assange Trying To Raise Nearly $200k For a Statue of Himself

But when a prosecution can't even be bothered to determine that someone is one

The issue of whether Julian Assange is a rapist or not would have been settled years ago if he had not skipped bail. He would have been taken to Sweden and interviewed about the accusations. Maybe as a result of that, there would have been a trial and hopefully he would have been found guilty if and only if he did rape somebody.

Right now, he's a fugitive from justice, which makes me think that he is not confident that he would be acquitted of the rape allegations. You can talk about the danger of extradition to the USA, but he was in the UK for a while before he ran away and the USA made no move to extradite him. I don't think that is a real danger.

Comment: It's the production line (Score 5, Interesting) 113

by Todd Knarr (#48579423) Attached to: Study Explains Why Women Miscarry More Males During Tough Times

Times of stress/trouble usually mean a loss of population. The arithmetic's simple: one woman can bear one child every 9 months to a year, while one man can sire multiple children in that same time. That means that adding female offspring at the expense of male will make it easier to recover the population loss. And of course sacrificing the least resilient male offspring favors the ones that'll survive the longest and sire the most children. The fun question is how the mechanisms that've evolved to make this happen actually work. Figuring that out's going to keep researchers occupied for the next century or two.

Comment: San Francisco already did this (Score 5, Interesting) 178

by Animats (#48567503) Attached to: LA Mayor Proposes Earthquake Retrofits On Thousands of Buildings

San Francisco already did this. Almost all the masonry buildings in SF have been reinforced since the 1989 quake, and now the rules are being tighened on wood buldings. If you've been in an older building in SF, you've probably seen huge diagonal steel braces. That's what it looks like.

All new big buildings meet very tough earthquake standards. The bridges and freeways have been beefed up in recent years. Overpass pillars are about three times as big as they used to be. Two elevated freeways were torn down after one in Oakland failed in the 1989 quake. The entire eastern span of the Bay Bridge was replaced with a new suspension bridge. The western span was strengthened, and there are now sliding joints, huge plates of stainless steel, between the roadway and the towers.

Comment: The corporate AI (Score 4, Insightful) 417

by Animats (#48566135) Attached to: AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us

What I'm worried about is when AIs start doing better at corporate management than humans. If AIs do better at running companies than humans, they have to be put in charge for companies to remain competitive. That's maximizing shareholder value, which is what capitalism is all about.

Once AIs get good enough to manage at all, they should be good at it. Computers can handle more detail than humans. They communicate better and faster than humans. Meetings will take seconds, not hours. AI-run businesses will react faster.

Then AI-run businesses will start deailng with other AI-run businesses. Human-run businesses will be too slow at replying to keep up. The pressure to put an AI in charge will increase.

We'll probably see this first in the finanical sector. Many funds are already run mostly by computers. There's even a fund which formally has a program on their board of directors.

The concept of the corporation having no social responsibiilty gives us enough trouble. Wait until the AIs are in charge.

"Hey Ivan, check your six." -- Sidewinder missile jacket patch, showing a Sidewinder driving up the tail of a Russian Su-27