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Comment You're naive. (Score 2, Interesting) 411

Didn't make enough money, pure and simple. ANECDOTE FOLLOWS:


Bought a 1959 Chevrolet Apache 31 pickup truck in 1978. Motor blew up within fifty miles and I replaced it with a freshly rebuilt 235 L-six motor. Brand new.

Guy at the California Emissions Control Testing Center (actually, a major auto-repair shop which shall remain nameless here) say's "There's no smog control cannister on this truck. Can't pass it." I had to argue with him and make him look up the concept of a grandfathered vehicle, same thing that got me out of no seatbelt tickets later - but I digress. Mechanic dude, clearly unhappy that he can't sell me over a thousand dollars of unnecessary work to retrofit a PCR and catalytic converter on my Chevy, finally insists on probing the exhaust pipe.

His probe didn't even wiggle. Read around zero. Guy now insists that the probe is broken and he can't smog certify my truck. Another hour of arguing gets me the shop manager who's going to prove they can't smog my truck by probing his. Lo and behold! the needle obediently shows his truck is a filthy (yet legally compliant) pig. My truck, OTOH, still reads essentially zero - hey, it was essentially a brand-new, properly installed and tuned small-block six-cylinder engine.

Finally (after several more dirty looks and argument) I get my truck smogged in the state of California.


Any questions about why states do the smog control inspection thing? Anybody here still gullible enough to think it's actually to protect the ecology?

Comment Half the comments here are based on a fallacy. (Score 1) 96

People here are assuming that this is intended to be a consumer technology. It isn't.

First, it takes a specific, intentional, not free step to implement this. Unless the manufacturer of a given device thinks security will be important enough to its customers to warrant a self-destruct they're not going to incorporate this. It's not like hardware manufacturers are thinking "Oh what the hell - consumers won't mind if our widget costs more than the competition's, let's build in an auto destruct and use Majel Barrett-Roddenberry's voice" or even "we can blow 'em up the day after the warranty runs out and defy everyone to prove our product isn't just plain crappy."

Second, it isn't fully tested yet. They're incorporating stresses into a component whose durability must now be examined - as previously noted, some highly specialized applications might benefit from a "failure before compromise" behavior, but most won't. Will these things spontaneously shatter five years after manufacture? Can this be triggered by anything other than the designed mechanism? Be a shame to have these things fail every eleven years because of sunspots, after all.

Finally, this is not the only tamper-resistant technology ever created. I can recall many items of military hardware which incorporate operationally similar safeguards, and it deserves remembering that the people who want to learn military secrets often have the resources to do ridiculous things like manually reassembling a three-dimensional puzzle consisting of thousands of nearly microscopic pieces. Combine this with our existing technologies and you end up with an incredibly effective tool . . . that's tool, not solution. Like anything else of security (and especially military security) multiple layers are the only possible approach. Multi-layered security includes physical security, information security, and resource security. This technology could serve as part of a tamper-deterrent system.

Comment Does this mean we don't need dark matter anymore? (Score -1, Redundant) 92

As far as I can tell, dark matter is just the modern equivalent of the cosmological constant - "I dunno, but if we fudge-factor in n it all works!". If we're finding supermassive black holes are more numerous than previously thought, might the extra mass be enough to account for some of the anomalies currently attributed to dark matter? We already know singularities are inherently hard to detect unless they happen to be feeding on something.

Comment Gee, it's just like the A-Bomb! (Score 1) 55

Even our politicians have caught on that you can't stuff the genie back into the bottle. I wonder how long it'll take the entertainment industries of various nations to catch on.

Illegal filesharing could conceivably nuke the entertainment industry - not completely, but enough to get their attention. They should consider an alternative to the adversarial approach - deploy their own fileshares and make it economically and technically desirable to use those sources. It would be like nuclear power for the entertainment industry. But no - they just seem interested in garbage like the TPP, torrent cache posioning, idiotic lawsuits, domain takedowns and other WMD technologies. Entertainment is becoming the North Korea of industries.

Comment Re:Telnet shell? (Score 1) 216

Telnet is a great diagnostic tool. I wouldn't use it for connectivity, but to see what's happening on a specified network port somewhere it's great. Microsoft still provides the telnet client, even with Windows 8.1 - PuTTY not required. Then again, the average Windows user should probably use PuTTY's telnet client - the averagre Windows user actually shouldn't use Telnet at all, but at least PuTTY makes it point 'n' click easy.

Comment Personally, I prefer Cygwin's OpenSSH client. (Score 1) 216

Unlike PuTTY (which is a fantastic piece of work, BTW), I understand the OpenSSH client. I guess my UNIX roots are showing.

With that said, I do routinely install PuTTY - I've gotten tired of the old arguments:

(ME): "What ports should I use on the jump server, and is Netcat installed there?"

(COWORKER): "Just click on PuTTY and go to the Tunnels part . . ."

(ME): "Can't you just tell me what ports to use?"

(COWORKER): "The only way I know how is in PuTTY."

Anybody but me ever felt the urge to punch the monkey?

"Of course power tools and alcohol don't mix. Everyone knows power tools aren't soluble in alcohol..." -- Crazy Nigel