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Comment: Re:Ummmm ... duh? (Score 1) 351

by stridebird (#49359191) Attached to: Modern Cockpits: Harder To Invade But Easier To Lock Up

You are right, although it's a lot less likely then this current type of very nasty yet very passive crime. Your scenario requires the perp to commit another crime and it's a crime of a very different nature - visceral, physical and in this context likely very personal as the cockpit victim will also be a colleague.

However, with so many flights, pilots and aircrew operating in budget air space and pilots increasingly looking like interns paying for their own training, it's impossible to discount your scenario. Given time, it will happen, basically. If it can, it will.

All this of course takes place in a context of a massive reduction in risk to passengers in commercial flight. These events are, every time, examples of "availability bias" in human decision making.

The most intriguing part of this, for me, is to what extent this event will foster debate on fully autonomous computer flight systems and remote cockpits. I think we will soon see pilots at the front of the plane removed of final authority to command the aircraft controls. The fact that this is technologically available now, practically off the shelf in a hardware store, makes this, for me, an absolute certainty.

Comment: Re:Just put the date on the webpage (Score 1) 68

by stridebird (#49332827) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Happened To Semantic Publishing?

This. They want a semantic web and so far we haven't even got a reliable DatePublished. Technical search is slowly going to shit at the moment on account of this issue. And each lost forum post by bewildered users unable to parse search results for relevance adds further to the problem. Google has date search filters - they should be much more prominent.

Comment: Re:Ummmm.... (Score 1) 319

by stridebird (#49086005) Attached to: Java Vs. Node.js: Epic Battle For Dev Mindshare

Very true, I remember those days too. ASP was always seen as welded to VBScript but it could be coded in JScript too, and the code looked a lot more readable and proper too. I can't remember any round-tripping of code, it wasn't really on the cards. We are talking about the dawn of the DOM at this point here. getElementById() was just below the horizon and IE4 was the only game in town. One feature of ASP/IIS I liked was the Application object, allowing data sharing on an application level. PHP has never had that really. IIS was replaced by apache in 2002 in my career and became irrelevant in web development. It's been at least 5 years since I last met a dev with an IIS/ASP gig.

Comment: Re:true and faithful account (Score 2) 102

You will need an almanac as well, really. I think only Polaris or (possibly) the Southern Cross can be used for fairly approximate latitude without further data or measurement. Sun: noon altitude varies throughout the year. Basically any other body you need to know time and ephemeris. I am only learning astronavigation now but that's how I understand it.

Comment: Infinite vulnerabilities (Score 1) 235

by stridebird (#46793581) Attached to: Bug Bounties Don't Help If Bugs Never Run Out

I see a lot of objections to the word "infinite" being bandied about.

Bugs are fixed by software developers. And software developers introduced the bugs, unwittingly, into the original code in the first place. Some of the bug-fixes will introduce further unforeseen vulnerabilities. So it's quite probable that the true number of vulnerabilities in a system fluctuates, increases at times, and may only reach zero after an infinite amount of time. The assumption that there is a set of vulnerabilities in a system and this set can be reduced to zero by systematically finding and fixing them all one-by-one is clearly overly simplistic. Add software upgrades into the mix, and I think it's safe to assume that all software is buggy all the time.

The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent. -- Sagan