Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?
Polls on the front page of Slashdot? Is the world coming to an end?! Nope; read more about it. ×

Comment: They seem to fire their best talent for politics! (Score 2) 300

by stevew (#49196283) Attached to: Mozilla: Following In Sun's Faltering Footsteps?

Maybe they are where they are partially because they force people out or actually fire them for the employees' political beliefs.

The CEO that stepped down because of a vocal bunch who didn't like his politics is the first to come to mind. He was one of the founders of Mozilla! Likely a big voice in it's innovation.

I also have a personal friend who helped a client in the British government - and he was let go because his boss got angry - the British government has been known to spy on some of it's inhabitants apparently, and helping the client doomed my friend.

Comment: Re:What the Hell (pun intended) (Score 1) 29

by stevew (#48096011) Attached to: Nobel Prize In Chemistry Awarded To Trio For Microscope Advancement

All I can say is that Weo is one of the smartest guys I know (his wife is no slouch either!)

He has been involved in Laser related research since I met both of them back in the 1980s. He also has some note from ham radio world where he and N6KL wrote something called ARESDATA that provided a real time database available on packet radio.

Comment: Avoid submitting Resumes through the Web (Score 2) 479

by stevew (#47978959) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Finding a Job After Completing Computer Science Ph.D?

I was unemployed for about 6 months at the beginning of the down-turn 3-4 years ago.

I submitted maybe 10 resumes a day through Dice/HotJobs, etc. I live in Silicon Valley and have 30+ years as a chip designer. I learned a few things through the process.
1) Submitting your resume seems pointless. I NEVER received a call from that process.
2) Use your network of friends. I finally DID get a call from someone I'd worked with 15 years before and received a 2 month contract position that got me back into the job market. I maintained these relationships/contacts through LinkedIn.
3) I had kept my resume unsearchable because I was technically "furloughed" and my original company was still paying my family health insurance. I didn't want to loose that. As soon as I had the contractor position I formally terminated my relationship with my previous employer and was free to advertise. I got two interviews and one job offer within about a week of making the resume searchable on Dice.
4) Use/abuse head-hunters.They know where the jobs are!


Comment: Re:as good as a pair of pliers to drive in a nail (Score 2) 112

by stevew (#47927293) Attached to: A DC-10 Passenger Plane Is Perfect At Fighting Wildfires

How well is that going to work in CA where the big problem is just finding water at the moment? We won't talk about all of the incidence recently where millions of gallons were released like at UCLA (Uggh!).

Actually having been to a couple of wild-land fires with what was then called CDF in an auxiliary capacity I do have some knowledge of the process. The reality is that just plain H2O is used as often as retardant, and that all kinds of aircraft are put in to service for air-drops.

The big thing about the DC-10 is carries a lot of H2O! It is also going to be limited as to what areas it can drop in. CA is a hilly place and there are some terrain features where it wouldn't be safe to take such a large aircraft. We also have copters and smaller fixed wing aircraft in use. They all play a part.


Comment: Good timing for this suggestion NOT! (Score 3, Insightful) 322

by stevew (#47820563) Attached to: The Argument For a Hypersonic Missile Testing Ban

So this comes along just as Russia drops the word "Nuclear" to remind everyone that they have them.

Are you naive enough to believe the Russia would bother to show up to negotiate about this?

One also wonders what the people of Ukraine think about such a well timed suggestion.

Comment: Rsults are results that are already published! (Score 2) 422

by stevew (#47231035) Attached to: GOP Voters To Be Targeted By Data Scientists

Why don't these guys simply pay attention to a scientific poll that was already run in Eric Cantor's district to see how successful this idea is!


First time in history that Majority leader of the House has lost his seat- all because he supported some form of immigration reform.

That worked well for him didn't it.

Comment: Re:So what? (Score 2) 272

According to an article in last weeks Aviation Week and Space Technology - you are ignorant.

The value of commercial experimentation on the ISS has taken an unforseen upswing. Real companies are paying Real money to put experiments of different varieties on the ISS.There is a back-log of customers.

I'm thinking the Dragon from Space-X is a nice answer to the Russian suggestion. I also think their minister needs some remedial science classes to learn about the law of gravitiy.... you can't possibly reach escape velocity with a trampoline ;-)

Comment: Re:Exactly what I was thinking (Score 1) 365

by stevew (#46189177) Attached to: Do Hypersonic Missiles Make Defense Systems Obsolete?

First there are really two types of missile defense systems. Those that worry about ICBMs, and those that are "theater" defense.

The US Missile defense system that is costing so much money worries about the first class, i.e. missiles coming from thousands of miles away that are ballistic in nature. We have a limited number of shots for such a defense - and really we're worrying about bad actors like North Korea or perhaps Iran. These guys are going to have a limited capability to throw things at us. So a small number of shots is about right.

These systems can NOT defend against Russia - who can throw several hundred missiles our way.

The theater defense systems are things like the Patriot or the SM3 (I think) that the Navy carries. These have some ballistic defense roll - but their main job is to worry about shorter distance ballistic missiles or air-breathers like the Exocet that was used in the Falklands war. A Hypersonic missile is going to fall into this class and indeed I believe such systems would be out-classed by a Hypersonic weapon today.

Perhaps with the next generation Laser weapons there might be a chance to defend against multiple salvos - but those aren't fielded yet.

Comment: Re:Latency? (Score 2) 37

by stevew (#45968821) Attached to: Three Videos On Codec2 and Open Hardware

I've used codec2 daily in the ghpsdr-alex branch for controlling SDR over Linux remotely.

It is deployed on the Android App glSDR that you can find in the Android Market.

The app provides a GUI with spectrum & waterfall along with Audio from the radio being controlled. Codec2 is used to provide a low-overhead transport that survives the Internet quite nicely.

I've used the app with my 4G phone quite successfully.

Now to the question of latency. When I connect to my own radio with a real-time playback PLUS the codec playback running at the same time, there is a fraction of a second delay - perhaps 100ms-200ms at a guess.

So bottom line is there are real applications for Ham Radio already deploying this technology.


Comment: From Comp.Risks 7.73 What really happend (Score 3, Interesting) 51

by stevew (#45310979) Attached to: 'Morris Worm' Turns 25: Watch How TV Covered It Then

Date: Tue, 8 Nov 88 21:40:00 PST
From: (the tty of Geoff Goodfellow)
Subject: NYT/Markoff: The Computer Jam -- How it came about

c.1988 N.Y. Times News Service, 8-Nov-88

      Computer scientists who have studied the rogue program that crashed through
many of the nation's computer networks last week say the invader actually
represents a new type of helpful software designed for computer networks.
      The same class of software could be used to harness computers spread aroun
the world and put them to work simultaneously.
      It could also diagnose malfunctions in a network, execute large computations
on many machines at once and act as a speedy messenger.
      But it is this same capability that caused thousands of computers in
universities, military installations and corporate research centers to stall
and shut down the Defense Department's Arpanet system when an illicit version
of the program began interacting in an unexpected way.
      ``It is a very powerful tool for solving problems,'' said John F. Shoch, a
computer expert who has studied the programs. ``Like most tools it can be
misued, and I think we have an example here of someone who misused and abused
the tool.''
      The program, written as a ``clever hack'' by Robert Tappan Morris, a
23-year-old Cornell University computer science graduate student, was
originally meant to be harmless. It was supposed to copy itself from computer
to computer via Arpanet and merely hide itself in the computers. The purpose?
Simply to prove that it could be done.
      But by a quirk, the program instead reproduced itself so frequently that the
computers on the network quickly became jammed.
      Interviews with computer scientists who studied the network shutdown and
with friends of Morris have disclosed the manner in which the events unfolded.
      The program was introduced last Wednesday evening at a computer in the
artificial intelligence laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology. Morris was seated at his terminal at Cornell in Ithaca, N.Y., but
he signed onto the machine at MIT. Both his terminal and the MIT machine were
attached to Arpanet, a computer network that connects research centers,
universities and military bases.
      Using a feature of Arpanet, called Sendmail, to exchange messages among
computer users, he inserted his rogue program. It immediately exploited a
loophole in Sendmail at several computers on Arpanet.
      Typically, Sendmail is used to transfer electronic messages from machine to
machine throughout the network, placing the messages in personal files.
      However, the programmer who originally wrote Sendmail three years ago had
left a secret ``backdoor'' in the program to make it easier for his work. It
permitted any program written in the computer language known as C to be mailed
like any other message.
      So instead of a program being sent only to someone's personal files, it
could also be sent to a computer's internal control programs, which would start
the new program. Only a small group of computer experts _ among them Morris _
knew of the backdoor.
      As they dissected Morris's program later, computer experts found that it
elegantly exploited the Sendmail backdoor in several ways, copying itself from
computer to computer and tapping two additional security provisions to enter
new computers.
      The invader first began its journey as a program written in the C language.
But it also included two ``object'' or ``binary'' files -- programs that could
be run directly on Sun Microsystems machines or Digital Equipment VAX computers
without any additional translation, making it even easier to infect a computer.
      One of these binary files had the capability of guessing the passwords of
users on the newly infected computer. This permits wider dispersion of the
rogue program.
      To guess the password, the program first read the list of users on the
target computer and then systematically tried using their names, permutations
of their names or a list of commonly used passwords. When successful in
guessing one, the program then signed on to the computer and used the
privileges involved to gain access to additonal computers in the Arpanet
      Morris's program was also written to exploit another loophole. A program on
Arpanet called Finger lets users on a remote computer know the last time that a
user on another network machine had signed on. Because of a bug, or error, in
Finger, Morris was able to use the program as a crowbar to further pry his way
through computer security.
      The defect in Finger, which was widely known, gives a user access to a
computer's central control programs if an excessively long message is sent to
Finger. So by sending such a message, Morris's program gained access to these
control programs, thus allowing the further spread of the rogue.
      The rogue program did other things as well. For example, each copy
frequently signaled its location back through the network to a computer at the
University of California at Berkeley. A friend of Morris said that this was
intended to fool computer researchers into thinking that the rogue had
originated at Berkeley.
      The program contained another signaling mechanism that became its Achilles'
heel and led to its discovery. It would signal a new computer to learn whether
it had been invaded. If not, the program would copy itself into that computer.
      But Morris reasoned that another expert could defeat his program by sending
the correct answering signal back to the rogue. To parry this, Morris
programmed his invader so that once every 10 times it sent the query signal it
would copy itself into the new machine regardless of the answer.
      The choice of 1 in 10 proved disastrous because it was far too frequent. It
should have been one in 1,000 or even one in 10,000 for the invader to escape
      But because the speed of communications on Arpanet is so fast, Morris's
illicit program echoed back and forth through the network in minutes, copying
and recopying itself hundreds or thousands of times on each machine, eventually
stalling the computers and then jamming the entire network.
      After introducing his program Wednesday night, Morris left his terminal for
an hour. When he returned, the nationwide jamming of Arpanet was well under
way, and he could immediately see the chaos he had started. Within a few hours,
it was clear to computer system managers that something was seriously wrong
with Arpanet.
      By Thursday morning, many knew what had happened, were busy ridding their
systems of the invader and were warning colleagues to unhook from the network.
They were also modifying Sendmail and making other changes to their internal
software to thwart another invader.
      The software invader did not threaten all computers in the network. It was
aimed only at the Sun and Digital Equipment computers running a version of the
Unix operating system written at the University of California at Berkeley.
Other Arpanet computers using different operating systems escaped.
      These rogue programs have in the past been referred to as worms or, when
they are malicious, viruses. Computer science folklore has it that the first
worms written were deployed on the Arpanet in the early 1970s.
      Researchers tell of a worm called ``creeper,'' whose sole purpose was to
copy itself from machine to machine, much the way Morris's program did last
week. When it reached each new computer it would display the message: ``I'm the
creeper. Catch me if you can!''
      As legend has it, a second programmer wrote another worm program that was
designed to crawl through the Arpanet, killing creepers.
      Several years later, computer researchers at the Xerox Corp.'s Palo Alto
Research Center developed more advanced worm programs. Shoch and Jon Hupp
developed ``town crier'' worm programs that acted as messengers and
``diagnostic'' worms that patrolled the network looking for malfunctioning
      They even described a ``vampire'' worm program. It was designed to run very
complex programs late at night while the computer's human users slept. When the
humans returned in the morning, the vampire program would go to sleep, waiting
to return to work the next evening.

            [Please keep any responses short and to the point. PGN]

If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker to come along would destroy civilization.