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Comment Re:Secrets die with the creator (Score 1) 74

As opposed to modern society: when the computers die knowledge goes with them.

I don't envy the jobs of future historians 1,000 years from now trying to recover what happened in our day. Even if physical media survives that long (which it won't), how will they discern the methods required to read the information back? It's hard enough trying to recover data from 30 year old floppy disks given that you can't buy 40 TPI magnetic heads any more and 80 TPI magnetic heads often won't read the fatter tracks.

Comment Re:Interesting (Score 1) 479

An engine cannot become clean without any hardware modification.

There should be a whole bunch of asterisks on that comment.

I get really annoyed at the mass media's reporting on this issue as a "defeat device", as if VW have added a physical piece of hardware to their engines to cheat the tests. It's the ECM software that's at issue, not some bogus defeat device. The ECM software has control over all sorts of things: air flow, fuel flow, fuel/air mix ratios, injection timings, dwell timings, etc.. Before fuel injection all this used to happen in hardware with stop screw adjustments, cam-valve clearances, etc.. If the engine is otherwise well designed then an ECM software update may be all that's needed to rectify the issues.

Comment Re:Web HTML browsing was stateless... that started (Score 1) 84

Firefox hacks mentions a 20 cookie per client connection limit. That appears to be true today.

It's not a limit, that was a recommendation from the original Netscape Cookie Specification. It's up to the individual browser implementors what limits they place on cookie size, cookies/domain, total cookie counts and even max cookie age. I have seen some web sites in the Top 1000 Alexa site list, for example, spu out over 60 Set-Cookie headers in response to a simple GET / HTTP/1.1 request - and that's just for the source page, not even any of the linked resources.

If you're still browsing mainly HTTP pages (not HTTPS) from a desktop-based computer I highly recommend getting hold of Privoxy and configuring it to eat the Set-Cookie headers for you. I'm sure there are other tools out there that achieve a similar result, but cookies are only a very small part of the identity tracking problem.

Comment Re:Bug is I can modify code signed by Apple (Score 1) 66

The root of the problem is that it checks a signature on the -executable-, not the -package-.

I think you've got that ass-about-face. Gatekeeper only checks the signatures on .app files - Apps or Applications as downloaded from the App Store and various web sites. The .app files are essentially .zip archives containing a bunch of executables, library files, media content, configuration data, etc. Every other executable on the system is not even checked by Gatekeeper which is why people are still able to use Homebrew and MacPorts to download, compile and execute *nix software.

The attack scenario allows a malicious .app file to be trusted which then turns around and downloads other executable content and is then able to run that because that other content is not checked by Gatekeeper.

Comment Re:Scroogled! (Score 2) 103

To be fair to Microsoft (yeah I know, unusual for me), Skype was logging all conversations long before they got bought out my Microsoft. There have been many complaints over the years as people couldn't expunge their Skype chat history as the ability to do this disappeared and reappeared through various versions. This become an even more common issue with iOS (due to iCloud syncing), Android (Google Sync) and Windows Phone as well.

Comment Re:Catch the rounded ones early (Score 1) 300

On the other hand it may make us unemployable as ordinary people nick our jobs...

Unlikely. We had to take art subjects all through primary school and again in high school years 8-10. How many of us became Michelangelos? It was an interesting way for us to explore our creativity and to better understand art when we look at it in the real world but comparatively few of us actually came out of it wanting become artists to make a living at it.

Comment Re:It's not about "Uber" (Score 1) 233

The issue is that monopolies like taxis get so focused on profits or whatever, that they forget they only get income from customers. With no competition, why should I treat my customers well?

Don't know what it's like where you are, but here taxis are relatively expensive because of the annual Taxi License fees that the state government charges. I can understand the taxi services getting upset when Uber drivers come in offering the same service but avoiding the license fees. The way to solve the problem isn't trying to restrict Uber's operations with new laws and court battles, it's dispensing with the Taxi License fees to make it an open market.

Comment Re:Why don't Steam make WINE configs? (Score 1) 281

This is a good idea in theory, but the big problem is that wine is a godawful mess which breaks every time you upgrade it.

Correct. Not only is it nearly impossible to install .NET Framework 3.5 under Wine, a pre-requisite for XNA-based games like Magicka, each subsequent version of Wine breaks things that were already working. e.g.: games like HALO don't work on Wine 1.1.25 or later because the memory manager changes broke things that depend on running at fixed addresses.

Comment Re:Linux represents 0.7% of sales (Score 1) 281

Huge effort for nothing.

I think it's a chicken and egg issue, really: the sales figures are crap because there are comparatively few *nix versions to sell.

If you look at the first few Humble Bundle packs (in which all titles were available for Windows, linux and OS X) the figures were closer to 60% Windows, 40% linux and OS X. Unfortunately the more recent Humble Bundles are just clearance packs and 90% of the titles are Windows-only that are additionally past their shelf life. Very disappointing, Wolfire.

I'd be curious to see the per-platform breakdown of sales on places like GoG.

Neckties strangle clear thinking. -- Lin Yutang