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Comment: Re:No sovereign immunity (Score 2) 534

Dude! Stop with all the acronyms please! (I'm European)

Wow. I had no idea that Europeans couldn't Google acronyms. Did Google firewall your nation or something?

I tried:

Better, possession of un-taxed National Fostering Association items.

Especially if anything is select fire and made after '86 since the only non-mil and non-low earth orbit that can possess such are Friend for Life holders with the Society of Toxicologists to deal in National Flute Association stuff....

Comment: Re:By this logic... (Score 1) 235

by pmc (#46793889) Attached to: Bug Bounties Don't Help If Bugs Never Run Out

Nope - you didn't mention time horizon in your article. Top tip - describing finite things as infinite is bad style.

What seem to have wanted to say is

1) that the number of bugs in a non-trivial piece of software is sufficiently large that they will probably not all be found before the software is obsolete. Which is dull but probably mostly true (given the wriggle room in "non-trivial" and "probably")

2) that offering a bug bounty because of this large latent pool of bugs is pointless.

This second one is just not valid because

1) bug bounties encourage reporting of bugs
2) not all bugs are equal - there are different costs for finding them in a particular product and a bug bounty will encourage people to find and report the easier ones.
3) There are finitely many black-hats. As the easy-to-find bugs in the pool are exhausted then the cost per bug to the black-hat increases in this product.

At this point the black hat has a choice - pursue finding harder bugs in product A (which has a bounty) or go for the easy to find bugs in product B (which doesn't). Blackhats are running a business - they will go for the return on investment in product B.

This neglects the very large positive advantages of reporting which others have covered earlier (discovery of systematic issues, healthy ecosystem of investigators, disincentive to black-hats).

At this point your "bug bounties are useless" falls apart because it neglects the fact that black-hats are running a business - spending $10million to find a bug in Apache will not happen because the blackhats cannot get a return on their investment. They will spend $10k looking for exploits in Flash, or PDF, or other low hanging fruit.

Comment: Re:My answer (Score 1) 525

by pmc (#43324347) Attached to: Fighting TSA Harassment of Disabled Travelers

That's true - the Spanish speakers.

And your dictionary compilers:

America

1 either continent (North America or S. America) of the western hemisphere
2 or the Americas the lands of the western hemisphere including North, Central, & S. America & the W. Indies
3 United States of America

from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/america

Comment: Re:No Commentary = FAIL (Score 1) 82

by pmc (#41034561) Attached to: The Olympic Live Stream: Observations, Recommendations, Predictions

Some commentators are OK, some are dire for the sports. The nadir, the very worst, is Mark Lawrenson (football, or soccer for the former colonists) - just unspeakably bad and has never said anything of note or interest during any football game (he does more than the Olympics, so his uselessness is of vast scope).

The one I really don't get is the commentary opening and closing ceremonies. Why on earth do they think the artistic part of the ceremony needs commentary at all? Some idiot warbling "Here's Kenneth Branaugh giving Caliban's speech from the tempest" over Caliban's speech from The Tempest. Why? Do they feel the need to interject things like "Oh course, Jason Bourne is played by Matt Damon, whose first film role was in Mystic Pizza" during a tense chase sequence in the film?

I can just about (if I were being charitable) see the point of a bit of background for the more ceremonial parts of the event - flag carriers and that sort of thing. But even there - the crowd in the stadium get by perfectly well on the stadium announcers, so just be quiet.

And breathe

Comment: Re:The license fee thing... (Score 1) 82

by pmc (#41034513) Attached to: The Olympic Live Stream: Observations, Recommendations, Predictions

In the UK there are a few ways of getting the broadcasts: OTA (aka Freeview), Sky (commercial Sat), FreeSat, Cable, and internet streaming. We've got Freesat, and there were 25 additional HD channels (taking the number of Olympic HD channels up to about 27). All free. It was an embarrassment of riches. Bit of a gap in the fencing - lets to to live weightlifting, via the beach volleyball.

For example the opening ceremony you could have
1) Normal with commentary
2) Without commentary
3) Captioned commentary for the deaf

You simply could not pay for this anywhere else in the world.

Comment: Re:Violation of Equivalence Principle (Score 1) 379

by pmc (#37084128) Attached to: CERN Physicist Says Dark Matter May Be an Illusion

"Mr Einstein's assertion that the photoelectric effect is due to "quanta" of light strains belief. Maxwell's theory already describes light."

-- Someone on Slashdot in 1905

The equivalence principle - the equality of inertial and gravitational masses - is one of the mysteries of physics: no really compelling explanation with why it is the case is generally agreed, just that it is true to a very impressive number of decimal places.

But look through the list of tests and spot the one thing they have in common: they all test matter.

So Hajdukovic's assertion here is, I think, really elegant: take something that everyone supposes is true in areas it hasn't been tested, and assume it is false in those areas. In this case antimatter has the same inertial mass but different gravitational mass from matter. How would the universe be different if this was the case? And, so far as had been modelled, it is almost identical, except that (using a simple model) this allows you to derive the Tully-Fisher relation for the rotation of galaxies.

This is good science - clever thinking, clear assumption, simple test (well, conceptually simple), and a useful light played upon some of the roots of physics. In this case we've extended the equivalence principle way beyond the areas where there is experimental support for it.

Comment: Re:Let's Put This In Perspective (Score 5, Informative) 251

by pmc (#36666372) Attached to: News Corp. Subsidiary Under Fire For Hacking Dead Girl's Voicemail

One reporter and the private investigator have already gone to prison for this: I think wrong-doing has been proved beyond a reasonable doubt by convictions in a criminal court.

In addition News International have setup up a ~£20million fund to pay compensation to those who they have admitted they hacked. I think wrong-doing have been proved beyond a reasonable doubt by a confession and an apology.

What is up for debate here is exactly how evil and corrupt they are - it has been proved that they are evil and corrupt already.

Comment: Extremely Sceptical (Score 5, Insightful) 515

by pmc (#35672540) Attached to: Samsung Plants Keyloggers On Laptops

OK - we have a keylogger that is plainly visible in the windows directory on his machine and.... that's it. Where is the rest of the evidence? It phones home - I presume he has wireshark traces in the acticle with IP addresses that are owned by Samsung.... Nope. Any network traces showing the activity? .... Nope. Naturally he bought another laptop and, without attaching it to any network, discovered the same keylogger.... Nope. Now he has announced this lots of people have looked at their Samsung laptops and found the keylogger... Nope.

But wait - he has the admission of the company itself! Well, actually, a junior helpdesk driod who probably had no idea what he was actually talking about and was just agreeing with him to get him off the phone. Because the alternative is that every junior helpdesk droid in Samsung knows about the highly illegal secret keylogger that is install on every laptop, but none of them thought "I'm tired of being a helpdesk droid, I think a class action suit is a better way of making a living".

There is also nonsense statements - "the keylogger is completely undetectable": Really? Apart from the c:/windows/SL directory, the entries in the registry and everything else that will make any sensible AV product go beserk that is.

Comment: Re: The Alchemists (Score 5, Informative) 330

by pmc (#33889318) Attached to: Sir Isaac Newton, Alchemist

No they didn't - they started off with the four elements of air, earth, fire and water. Then they realised that there were maybe a score of "elements" (even the concept was vague), and there was no systematic organisation or predictive value from it. This took a few hundred years. Most importantly they did not realise the that properties of the elements repeat themselves (which is where the concept of the periodic part of the name comes from).

The comment that they created a "fairly accurate periodic chart" is risible.

Comment: Re:200,000 dollars (Score 3, Informative) 239

by pmc (#33483668) Attached to: Simon Singh Talks With Wired About His Libel Battle

This for some reason is at 5 interesting despite being completely wrong.

What happened was that at the original pretrial hearings the Judge struck out the defence of honest opinion, which would have been a defence against the BCA's claim of libel (not an absolute defence - if the BCA could establish that the opinion was based on malice then it could prevail).

What Simon Singh did win was the appeal against this judgement. Faced with the extemely strong likelyhood that Singh had a suitable defence the BCA withdrew.

He had an earlier win as well by winning the rigth to appeal after having it rejected twice.

"Indecision is the basis of flexibility" -- button at a Science Fiction convention.

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