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Comment In other words... (Score 1) 111


An attacker could first remotely compromise the boot flash firmware on a MacBook by delivering the attack code via a phishing email and malicious web site.

So, in other words, the user has to be a complete moron in order for this attack to work. I know there are still a small percentage of people out there that still click on every email link they get, but I would hope that phishing is a dying art and not much would ever come of this. I know that most of the people I supported would not be this amazingly stupid, nor would many in the entire company. Again, this sort of email attack vector is drilled into the heads of office workers everywhere as something to NOT fall for. The firmware vulnerabilities still need to be addressed, though ongoing training and social engineering will mitigate the possible threat a great deal.

Comment Re:The missing part of this story's coverage (Score 1) 510

The chain of evidence is destroyed. The cops let the owner take the device home with him. As such, his "evidence" will not be of any value in court. The height will be judged to be as high as the witnesses claim.

WRONG! That would be in a criminal case. The drone operator is bringing civil charges and his altitude evidence would be admissible there. It may still need to be verified, and I do think that the altitude will be adjusted due to it being measured from sea level not starting ground level. GPS does not work that way and the DJI Phantom 3 does not have a barometric altimeter. This may also explain why the shooter is only being charged by the state with mischief and gun discharge offenses and not destruction of property.

Comment Re:The missing part of this story's coverage (Score 1) 510

There is only one SCOTUS case that touches on this where a guy in NC sued the govt because airplanes were buzzing his house. It's grey, but it's not as nuanced as you may think though not specifically defined.

The landowner owns at least as much of the space above the ground as he can occupy or use in connection with the land. See Hinman v. Pacific Air Transport, 9 Cir., 84 F.2d 755. The fact that he does not occupy it in a physical sense—by the erection of buildings and the like—is not material.


Comment Re:Might want to reconsider paying the fine... (Score 1) 510

Anyone remember those cheesy little balsa-wood toy airplanes they used to sell at the grocery store, with a rubber band-driven propeller? Would cost a $2-3? By your 'definition' you could be flying one of those, have someone shoot it down with a BB gun, and the guy with the BB gun goes to prison and has a felony on his record the rest of his life, in addition to the $250k fine.

Those are not controlled aircraft. There is a significant difference between a paper or balsa thrown "plane" (rubber band propeller or not) and an RC or full-sized aircraft. One being they have pilots or some sort of control mechanism for sustained flight and obstacle avoidance.

Comment Re:Might want to reconsider paying the fine... (Score 1) 510

The FAA can have any opinion it wants, but the FAA isn't the one making the decision. A judge will decide whether a sister swatting down her brother's mall-bought $10 RC helicopter is a 20 year federal/$250,000 crime, or if that is asinine. Same goes for this guy and the pervert's few hundred dollar RC quad-copter.

Why is the drone operator a "pervert"? He was using the drone to go check on a friend's house while they were out of town and had to fly over some property to do it. In flight, his drone was shot down by a jackass with a gun and no knowledge of what was actually legal or not, as displayed by his discharge of a fire arm in city limits! P.S. If the brother wants to press charges on the sister, he'd be within his rights. It's not up to you to decide what is or isn't asinine when it comes to the application and enforcement of our laws, and we're all glad of it. As you stated, it's up to the judge.

Comment Re: Might want to reconsider paying the fine... (Score 1) 510

FAA regs say that over congested areas (cities, towns, etc.) that the minimum altitude is 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle in that area. The obstacle can be man made or natural, but you have to remain a minimum of 1,000 feet above that. In non-congested airspace the minimum is 500 feet above the surface or any person, vessel or structure. This is FAR-91.119. There is a maximum for RC aircraft of 400 feet, though.

Comment Re:Google's Titan Aerospace did this in 2014... (Score 1) 34

No, the solid piece of bullshit is the linked article from one of the kids on the design team. The Qinetiq Zephyr 7 holds the official endurance record for an unmanned aerial vehicle for its flight from 9 July to 23 July 2010, lasting 336 hours and 22 minutes (2 weeks / 14 days). And, 81.5 hours is NOT more than four days. It's three days, nine hours and 24 minutes. This kid that wrote the linked article is on the UAV team and is a PhD candidate in engineering! Not only did he lie about the record he can't count! Where the fsck are the "editors" on this one?!?!

Comment Re:jQuery is not JavaScript (Score 1) 293

I'm sorry, but if you don't have a fundamental understanding of [insert programming language here] then knowing its associative frameworks won't make you a decent, let alone good developer for that language. You need to understand 1.) programming concepts in general, and 2.) the basic syntax and grammar of [insert programming language here] in order to qualify for a paying gig doing steady work with that language. Only knowing the frameworks and not the basics of a language tells me that you like to take shortcuts and are not interested in investing the time to really understand what you're doing, two qualities you DO NOT WANT in a programmer/developer. If you understand a language then you can work with any framework, not just the hip, hot one today, and that's what employers worth their weight want. If I'm hiring someone new to work with/for me to do JavaScript work, they damn well better know JavaScript and how to do things that the framework does without the framework. Sure, reinventing the wheel is dumb, but you better prove to me you know how to make a wheel before I let you use someone else's.

Comment Re:Charges? (Score 1) 225

What are the 5 actual charges of which he was convicted? I've looked an numerous sites and none of them really spell it out.

Why not Google it and find out. Or, just visit the Wikipedia page on Silk Road (marketplace) and go to the references and download the PDF complaint filed in New York against him. BTW, it was seven charges, not five. And no, I am not linking to things for you!

Comment Re:Grant money and politics are the problems (Score 5, Informative) 444

Half? In many fields (like medical research) it's essentially all, and there's no "at some point." Many places offer one or two year starting faculty appointments, at the end of which you're expected to have a major grant (success rate is somewhere around 10% on those). So you better get busy writing applications. Once you're established, you better keep writing them, because now you've got a lab full of people depending on you for their livelihood.

It's well more than half their in engineering disciplines as well. I worked for a research university for two decades and know that the more successful professor/researcher spends almost all their time on grant writing, with the best ones getting buy-out of their salaries so adjunct instructors can be brought in to teach their classes while they and their grad students focus on fulfilling the needs of one grant while working on the next three or five proposals. These faculty will often teach one undergrad and one grad class and that's about it. The rest of the time they are doing project management and business development tasks with the occasional sabbatical where they actually get to do research themselves. These profs also travel a lot in order to keep connections to research collaborators at other universities, private sector companies that either benefit from their research or are supplying equipment or other needs for their research and with program directors of NSF funding areas that are either current or former colleagues. They are, basically, mini-CEOs once they get to the point where they are pulling in $1 million or more per year in grant funds.

Don't sweat it -- it's only ones and zeros. -- P. Skelly