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We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Taylor Mali's Pizza poem for Pluto (Score 1) 196

by rlh100 (#49162367) Attached to: One Astronomer's Quest To Reinstate Pluto As a Planet

There is always Taylor Mali's Pizza poem for Pluto:

I is a poem about a planet mnemonic:
My very educated mother just served us nine pizzas
Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto

He also has a great poem about teachers and I love his spell checker poem.

Comment: RFID and strong authentication in a clean room (Score 1) 127

by rlh100 (#48472765) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Biometric Authentication System?

In a clean room, swiping a badge each time is hard. Use RFID in a wrist band. The hand needs to push a button. Put a reader next to the default button so pressing the button authenticates with RFID. For non-default operations requires a RFID swipe. Could the reader be an IoT (Internet of Things) device?

Strong authentication with an RFID device in a clean room environment is easy. Put the RFID wrist band on under the bunny suit. Require the user to authenticate on a computer with their RFID wrist band inside the clean room before anything will work. Two users can not swap wrist bands because they would have to wear them outside the bunny suit which is visually obvious.

A wrist band could work easily any manufacturing environment if the company does not need strong authenticati

Weak authentication is easy. Strong authentication is hard.

Comment: Massive Ancient Landslides In California (Score 1) 44

by rlh100 (#48428051) Attached to: Researchers Discover Ancient Massive Landslide

Many years ago I took a geomorphology class in college. Geomorphology is the study of the landscape and the geologic processes that shape the contours of the land. We had a lab where we identified landslides using aerial photos and a stereoscope. I already had some experience looking through a stereoscope and identifying landslides so I was finding lots of them. The professor walked by and noticed. He said "OK Robert, now look for larger landslides." They were harder to see because they were older. But they could be identified by their surface mottling and shape. So I start to see them and there are lots of them. The professor was impressed and he said "OK, now step back and look at the entire hill side." When I did this I realized that the entire hillside was one massive landslide. Ridge to valley bottom. Probably on the order of a square mile. He suggested that at some time in the past the entire hillside slid. Probably the result of a 1906 type earthquake in the middle of a very wet winter when all the soil on the hillside was saturated with water. It blew my mind.


Comment: Re: Yelling "Fire" in a movie theater (Score 1) 716

by rlh100 (#48328837) Attached to: Bounties vs. Extreme Internet Harassment

Yelling "Fire" in a movie theater is far less terrifying than receiving a death threat. But people do not yell "Fire" in theaters because it is considered socially unacceptable even as a prank. Why are we not raising the same level of social pressure when people send death or rape threats?

Death or rape threats are never a joke just like yelling "Fire" in a theater is never a joke. This is especially true for a woman or girl when they receive one. It is really bad to teach women that they should "Laugh it off" or "Get a thinker skin" in response to a direct threat to their personal safety. Is this how you want your daughters or sisters or mothers to be treated?

Comment: Walking on water (Score 5, Interesting) 54

by rlh100 (#48286149) Attached to: Khrushchev's 1959 Visit To IBM

Kind of off topic but we have a picture of my father, Jack Harker, walking on water in front of the sculpture. He was manager of "The Labs" and was working with manufacturing to introduce their first Winchester disk drive. The technology was not moving successfully from the lab to the shop. There were some tremendous technical problems in mass producing the drives. Manufacturing gave a very aggressive schedule for solving the problems. My father replied that if they could meet the schedule, he would walk on water.

Manufacturing meet the schedule and the disk drives were delivered. My father had a plywood platform built and painted dark placed just under the surface of the reflecting pool. True to his word, there he was walking on water with the sculpture in the background.

A picture I did not understand fully until after his death.

Jack Harker, one of the fathers of the disk drive industry, a manager's manager, a great dad.

Comment: Performance monitoring (Score 1) 170

by rlh100 (#48218049) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Smarter Disk Space Monitoring In the Age of Cheap Storage?

Interesting things to monitor are I/O rates and read/write latency. More esoteric things might be stats about most active files and directories or percentage of recently accessed data -vs- inactive data. But these are more analysis than monitoring. What other parameters would a sysadmin want to look at?


Comment: 30 year war? No. 30 year battle? Yes. (Score 1) 425

by rlh100 (#48080543) Attached to: Former Department of Defense Chief Expects "30 Year War"

If we treat this as a war, we will be fighting, killing and destroying for 30 years changing little. Most of the death and destruction will happen to the civilian population. We need to treat this as a battle for the hearts and minds of the Muslim world. We have to change attitudes and how they treat each other. Break the cycle of tit for tat, I kill you because you killed my father/brother. This will take a generation or more.

Comment: More constructive difference between xen & bas (Score 1) 81

by rlh100 (#48054301) Attached to: Xen Cloud Fix Shows the Right Way To Patch Open-Source Flaws

Pre-disclosure and a quarantine period is useful for both infrastructure security bugs like xen and widely deployed security bugs like bash and openssl.

In the case of an infrastructure bug the quarantine period allows the service providers a chance to patch and restart their services before their customers become vulnerable.

In the case of a widely deployed security bug it give the OS/software vendors the chance to investigate the bug. Create patches and test/verify their patches and pre-stage them so when the bug is disclosed publicly sites that do automatic updates are already patched.

I think the two week window used by xen is a good window balancing giving time for people to fix the problem but limiting the time between discovery and public knowledge/exploit.

Comment: Re:They're not gamers. (Score 1) 276

by rlh100 (#47743885) Attached to: Among Gamers, Adult Women Vastly Outnumber Teenage Boys

Hum... Afraid that women will cut into your male dominated world? I doubt women game in a "man cave". But maybe in a "woman's lair". I know that both of my college age daughters actively play games most every day.

And why does playing Candy Crush make you any less of a gamer than some blood drenched single shooter game?

Comment: Water and food for 4 days (Score 1) 191

by rlh100 (#47743803) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Prepared Are You For an Earthquake?

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area so the risk of a major quake that will disrupt power, water and roads is very real. I have 12 one gallon bottles of water in their boxes bought when they were on sale for a buck a piece. I store it in my basement next to the outside door so I can probably get to them even if the house has major structural issues.

Water is important. You can live for a week or more without food. But no water will do you in after a few days. In a major earthquake, it is very likely that the water system will fail. Broken pipes, lack of power, contaminated supply, etc.

Food is probably not a big issue. You probably have 4 or 5 days of food in your kitchen. Those cans in the back of the cupboard, soup mix, rice, beans or other dry goods. It may not be very appetizing, but it is food.

In America we are lucky. In the event of a major earthquake or other natural disaster, the rest of the country will rally. Food, water, tents, bedding will be brought in in a matter of days. You just have to plan for the first 96 hours.

Comment: Offsite backups (Score 1) 191

by rlh100 (#47743725) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Prepared Are You For an Earthquake?

The importance of offsite backups for personal data or data for a small company can not be stressed enough. In a major quake fire is a very real danger. Natural gas lines break and a spark can start a fire.

Offsite backups do not need to be fancy. I have two 1 TB USB drives I use for backup. I copy all of my data to one drive and then take it to my parents house. I then do backups to the second drive. Every month or so, I swap the two drives. If the drive in my house gets destroyed I only loose a month of data, not all of my data. You could also backup to the cloud but I would rather not have the cloud provider grubbing through my personal data.

The two USB drives solution is low-tech and low-cost. You just have to remember to swap the two drives every now and then.

Comment: Smartphone violent muggings (Score 4, Interesting) 299

Why Law Enforcement in California pushed for the law was that there is a real problem with violent smartphone robberies. The victim steps away from her friends to talk on her smartphone. The thief hits her from the back so she falls forward grabbing her phone and runs. She would not see who the thief was. This is an every weekend occurrence in San Francisco and the San Francisco Police don't like this. A kill switch would make smartphone theft less profitable.

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