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Comment They can still be useful (Score 1) 215

Pagers tend to have better reception than cell phones, at least fairly recently when I last looked this up for my own curiosity. Also, many paging companies have "TAP" servers that you can dial into with a modem to send pages. This is could make a nice last-resort fallback for when a data center has lost network access and you can still provide outbound alerting via a backup landline.

Comment Why is the splash screen cyan? (Score 1) 93

It seems like emulated old versions of Windows end up with cyan where they're supposed to be white, and it's been this way for ages. I used to run Win 3.1 under PC-Task on my Amiga to handle one specific business app, and the splash screens even back then were cyan instead of white. That's still true in my browser just now when I launched a couple of the article's emulators. Why would that be? Is there some bug in ancient VGA hardware that Windows exploited to render white instead of greenish-blue?

Comment Re:Wait a mintue (Score 4, Informative) 234

The former. All modern browsers except Firefox have decomposed their browser into multiple processes, so that a compromise from one site will only gain control over an unprivileged (i.e. isolated from other stuff the user cares about) process. They also run plugins in separate processes and have fairly narrow communication paths between them. Firefox is still a massive monolithic process, including all add-ons, plugins, and so on.

This basically means that you just need one arbitrary code execution vulnerability in Firefox and it's game over. In contrast, if you have the same in Chrome, Edge, or Safari, then it's just the first step - you now have an environment where you can run arbitrary exploit code, but you can't make (most) system calls and you have to find another exploit to escape from the sandbox. Typical Chrome compromises are the result of chaining half a dozen vulnerabilities together.

Comment Re:This is a big bitchslap to Mozilla (Score 4, Interesting) 234

It also scales based on processor resources. They hit serious TLB scalability issues at around 17 processes (varies a bit between CPUs, in some systems - particularly mobile - you'll hit RAM limits sooner), so if you have more tabs open than this, you will start having multiple independent sites share the same renderer process.

Comment Re:tom (Score 1) 119

Typically not to end users though. Microsoft sold the BASIC that computer vendors (including Apple) burned into ROM. Microsoft QuickBASIC for DOS contained a compiler that could produce stand-alone .exe or .com binaries, though the free QBASIC that they bundled with DOS 5 and later was a cut-down version that only included the interpreter.

Comment Re:Turing Evolved (Score 2) 202

Robots don't feel those emotions, and have committed no massacres on that scale. I trust robots more than I trust humans.

Do you trust a gun? Do you trust a bomb? Of course not, because the concept is meaningless: neither will cause harm without instructions from a human. Both can magnify the amount of harm that a human can do. Autonomous weapons, of which landmines are the simplest possible case, expand both the quantity that a person can do harm and the time over which they can do it.

During the cold war, there were at least two incidents where humans refused to follow legitimate orders to launch nuclear weapons - in either case, the likely outcome of following the orders would have been the deaths of many millions. The worst atrocities of the second world war were caused by people 'just following orders'. And you think that it's a good idea to remove the part of the chain of command capable of disobeying orders.

Comment Re:Uh... let me think about it (Score 1) 539

The person in your story was relying on his ability to read a map, which sounds pretty reasonable, and his ability to read a compass (which was not such a good plan, if he didn't sanity check it with the direction of the sun). The people in TFA, however, are carrying a device that tells them their precise position in the world to within a few metres. If you're not periodically checking and saying 'hmm, I want to get from here to here and I'm nowhere between the two points' then I think that counts as a bit stupid.

Comment Re:Let's get real (Score 1) 255

Agreed. But it would be impossible to take out the US submarine (and probably ballistic missile) capability with car bombs - even if you had an unlimited number of them with no danger of discovery. Thus, your country would still be destroyed completely. North Korea, of course, does not have unlimited numbers of these bombs and if they did, more bombs means more likelihood of discovery. So while a car bomb nuke is enough to cause quite a bit of terror and carnage, it would certainly not win a war.

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