Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

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: Re:Good grief... (Score 4, Insightful) 670

by skids (#49109159) Attached to: Bill Nye Disses "Regular" Software Writers' Science Knowledge

"Computer Systems Engineering" covers it pretty well -- it's a mix of EE and CS so you end up with a ground-up understanding from transistor to circuit to chipset to architecture to OS to software. Of course, these days there are so many competing standards/products that all do the same thing but differently and so many layers of bloat, it's not humanly possible to know every detail, and the more actual work you do the further you fall behind in "knowlege" compared to someone who manages to find a way to just read books/code for a living and never has to put shoulder to wheel (not that we don't need those sorts of people, as they can see the forest rather than the trees.)

Comment: Re:Big companies need to leave off our WiFi spectr (Score 1) 73

by skids (#49069483) Attached to: Cellphone Start-Ups Handle Calls With Wi-Fi

The problem with congestion is mainly due to most of the crap you could buy up until now only haveing a 2.5GHz antenna and even the 5GHz stuff did not support using DFS channels because radar avoidance is tricky stuff to implement. The problem with beacon pollution (too many SSIDs) will be solved by 11u allowing multiple services on the SSID. Eventually you'll be looking at having a single AP in every room, even for living-room setups, but some of them will be built into computers and appliances because they will also have an 11ad node on there for short range (e.g. "wire free" from cable box to TV) uses. The radios will be turned down low so the signal barely leaves the room, and there will be overlap between cells on different channels.

For a while in the middle of all this, the "11ac Wave 2" stuff will come out and ruin everything. Then people will either stop using that, or the FCC will roll over and open more bandwidth so it can be something other than crap.

Comment: Re:Who's Wi-fi? (Score 1) 73

by skids (#49069431) Attached to: Cellphone Start-Ups Handle Calls With Wi-Fi

I have a hard time picturing wi-fi being all that good for calls since all a cell phone network is, really, is a specialized wi-fi network designed from the ground up to deal with the cell phone use-case

Mostly fixed on newer installations and newer clients. Right now the industry is more or less in a holding pattern waiting for older devices to age out and for device producers to stop making crap radios, because if you turn on a lot of the voice quality features (e.g. 11k,11r for seamless roaming and CAC), a lot of clients devices cannot deal. It is getting easier and easier for corporations to design their campus WiFi for phone use because they control which devices the users are using, but for networks that serve any old commodity device a customer walks in with, a few pieces have to fall into place before voice SSIDs are anything but experimental. 11ac is one of those big pieces because it mandates a 5GHz antenna.

Comment: Re:One small problem... okay, two: (Score 1) 73

by skids (#49069361) Attached to: Cellphone Start-Ups Handle Calls With Wi-Fi

There's help on the way for that in the form of a standard called 802.11u (and a couple systems implemented on top of that with buzzword-friendly names.) It allows a hotspot provider to advertise multiple authentication mechanisms, so you would just need one account with a central IDP to get on the hotspot. It's already out in enterprise-level gear bought recently enough; the challenge is now for IDPs to take up the mantle and offer a RadSec service, and for those IDPs to work deals with commodity equipment vendors and managed-cloud-service vendors to get their IDs inlcuded in the published beacons.

Oh yes, and also waiting on MS Surface tablets to either get fixed to not choke on long beacons, or die a well deserved darwinian market death.

Comment: Re:I blame the FDA (Score 1) 365

by skids (#49054495) Attached to: Smoking Is Even Deadlier Than Previously Thought

anyone who works at cigarette (which contain arsenic, btw, amongst other things) companies, at least at the executive level, should face manslaughter up to capital murder charges.

Move to a dystopian tyranny then. False advertising, marketing to the incompetent, meddling with research, concealing known hazards -- these are the things that companies should be liable for. If we charged every producer with murder for the hazards of their product, you would either starve, or have to grow your own food. In a rational society we know that nothing is without risk and the injustice is when we do not insist those risks are divulged to the consumer.

Comment: Re:Sample size (Score 1) 69

by skids (#49046947) Attached to: Mood-Altering Wearable Thync Releases First Brain Test Data

mood scales, interviews, informant measures, etc. Who cares about the psychophysiology measurements they took

Umm... me? Every time I see a "mood scale" or questionairre used in a study I cringe. These are horribly subjective measures. Stress is a bonafide biological condition and I'm much more convinced by studies that use a biological proxy marker. Not too convinced, given the sample size, but...

Comment: Re:Looks like the bug was in credential sharing (Score 1) 136

by skids (#49040831) Attached to: Microsoft Fixes Critical Remotely Exploitable Windows Root-Level Design Bug

So it would involve some social engineering to get the user to run a malware trojan

Not even wrong. Any machine joined to a domain can be tricked into believing another machine is the server in that domain, and then that other machine installs a new group policy disabling all the protections set up by the legitimate domain admin. No social engineering required, just a way to successfully deliver forged packets or poison DNS.

Comment: Re:Patching is NOT ENOUGH (Score 1) 136

by skids (#49040651) Attached to: Microsoft Fixes Critical Remotely Exploitable Windows Root-Level Design Bug

Well, considering this is an MITM attack that targets a service that is typically only used on private internal networks (That likely use switches), or computers connected to one over VPN this is a bit less serious.

You vastly overestimate the competency of corporate LAN departments. When the LAN is not properly hardened, and it very often isn't, all you need is one owned box/printer inside the broadcast domain to own all the AD Windows clients in that broadcast domain.

Comment: Re:The XP Killer? (Score 1) 136

by skids (#49040603) Attached to: Microsoft Fixes Critical Remotely Exploitable Windows Root-Level Design Bug

1) Are members of an 'active domain' (i.e. corporate machines). ...Microsoft's bread and butter...
2) Are connecting to an exploited domain server. ...no, they just have to be in a place that a fake domain server can forge packets pretending to be from the real one.

Given the state of ethernet security these days (some vendors even still sell brand spanking new switches without ARP/IP validation features) that is not a hard environment to find.

Comment: Re:Well, that makes things better (Score 2) 129

by skids (#49002949) Attached to: CrunchBang Linux Halts Development

power user features can exist even in user-friendly environments

Sure they can "exist" but that does not keep the "user-friendliness" from getting underfoot.

Imagine for a moment that one day you get home, and not only has someone removed all your CD shelves so that safety banisters could be installed on every wall, they have also also baby-proofed your entire apartment so nothing is where you left it, put each of your power tools in its own locked box each with a different key. made all the lights in the place turn on at once when you clap, turned parental controls on your TV on, and entered a one-year contract with a company of tiny elves who will come and rearrange all your furniture every week in new and unusual ways, throw all the food from you fridge out and fill it with bags of pesto, and store the contents of all your wastebaskets in your garage.

That's the level of difference we are talking here.

Comment: Re:What did I miss? (Score 2) 212

by skids (#49001737) Attached to: The Search For Neutrons That Leak Into Our World From Other Universes

Spitballing here, but the level of neutrons that get blocked by shielding is proportional to the amount of shielding, and the level of neutrons that tunnel out is some sigma of the density of the number of neutrons still travelling in the correct direction to hit the sensor, while the level of neutrons that tunnel back is not related to the amount of shielding at all, so measurements at different levels of shielding should create a solvable system of equations. Assuming there is no shielding present in the parallel universe.

"Well, if you can't believe what you read in a comic book, what *can* you believe?!" -- Bullwinkle J. Moose