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Comment: Re:another way to wipe out life (Score 1) 25 25

You set some good deadlines but humanity has an opportunity to transcend these limits.


Type I
"Technological level close to the level presently attained on earth, with energy consumption at 4×1019 erg/sec (4 × 1012 watts)."[1] Guillermo A. Lemarchand stated this as "A level near contemporary terrestrial civilization with an energy capability equivalent to the solar insolation on Earth, between 1016 and 1017 watts."[2]

Type II
"A civilization capable of harnessing the energy radiated by its own star (for example, the stage of successful construction of a Dyson sphere), "with energy consumption at 4×1033 erg/sec."[1] Lemarchand stated this as "A civilization capable of utilizing and channeling the entire radiation output of its star. The energy utilization would then be comparable to the luminosity of our Sun, about 4×1033 erg/sec (4×1026 watts)."[2]

Type III
"A civilization in possession of energy on the scale of its own galaxy, with energy consumption at 4×1044 erg/sec."[1] Lemarchand stated this as "A civilization with access to the power comparable to the luminosity of the entire Milky Way galaxy, about 4×1044 erg/sec (4×1037 watts)."[2]

Comment: Patriot Act Extension and the Autopen (Score 1) 237 237

Another rub on the Patriot Act, or rather the Patriot Act extension, is that it was not signed by the President. The extension bill was the first bill ever signed into law by the "autopen".

Article I, Section 7 - Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. [...]

So it says "he shall sign it", not a robot. Is it law?

Comment: Re:Patriot Act Doesn't Have to Authorize It (Score 1) 237 237

When did the War Powers Act become some nebulous catch all for everything not authorized by law?

Here is the text of the war powers act.

SEC. 2. (a) It is the purpose of this joint resolution to fulfill the intent of the framers of the Constitution of the United States and insure that the collective judgement of both the Congress and the President will apply to the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, and to the continued use of such forces in hostilities or in such situations.

(b) Under article I, section 8, of the Constitution, it is specifically provided that the Congress shall have the power to make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution, not only its own powers but also all other powers vested by the Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any department or officer thereof.

(c) The constitutional powers of the President as Commander-in-Chief to introduce United States Armed Forces into hostilities, or into situations where imminent involvement in hostilities is clearly indicated by the circumstances, are exercised only pursuant to (1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces.

So 1) we are not at war (or quasi-war by specific statutory authorization by the Congress), and 2) the war powers act does not authorize bulk metadata collection. It really only covers the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities. I suppose you could argue that the United States Armed Forces are engaged in hostilities against the citizens of these United States of America though...

Comment: Pride (Score 1) 629 629

Computer teachers and district network administrators hate being shown up by some snot-nose kid. The DA will charge this kid with unauthorized use of a computer system, typically a fourth degree felony, and the school will likely change none of their security practices. After all, becoming a teenage felon is a pretty good deterrent, right?

Who needs a password policy? Who needs two-factor auth? They'll just arrest anybody that embarrasses them.

This kind of crap happened at my high school 20 years ago. They ignored warnings about gaping security holes, coming down hard on the whistleblowers (i.e. me), then saw their network go down when some other kid exploited it months later.

+ - Many DDR3 modules vulnerable to bit rot by a simple program->

Pelam writes: Researchers from Carnegie Mellon and Intel report that a large percentage of tested regular DDR3 modules flip bits in adjacent rows when a voltage in a certain control line is forced to fluctuate. The program that triggers this is dead simple, just 2 memory reads with special relative offset and some cache control instructions in a tight loop. The researchers don't delve deeply into applications of this, but hint at possible security exploits. For example a rather theoretical attack on JVM sandbox using random bit flips has been demonstrated before.
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"This is lemma 1.1. We start a new chapter so the numbers all go back to one." -- Prof. Seager, C&O 351