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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).

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Comment: Re:And what good would it do? (Score 1) 388

by Tom (#49369385) Attached to: Why the Final Moments Inside a Cockpit Are Heard But Not Seen

If this guy was suffering from depression, no background checks or security measures would have filtered him out. Depression is a civilisation disease, caused by the fucked-up society we have created around ourselves, the non-stop pressure, the endless competition, the constant message that you're not good enough that everyone is sending to everyone else. The artificial fear for survival that our governments create to drive wages down and create the economic pressure that corporations than exploit to get people to work under conditions that our parents would've scoffed at.

The solution is not in more pressure, the solution is in making a society that is made for human beings, not for robots, stock markets, the goddess of economic growth or any of the other crazy things that we're sacrificing millions of lives to.

Comment: Re:Conditional recording (Score 1) 388

by Tom (#49366917) Attached to: Why the Final Moments Inside a Cockpit Are Heard But Not Seen

There could be streaming capability to the ground

Because never in the history of the world has any such capability been abused.

In the case of Germanwings, ground control would have been able to see what's going on once they detected the loss of altitude.

And then do what about it? Collectively praying that FSM picks up the plane with his tentacles?

t stifles me that in 2015, a young troubled copilot can end 150 lives in a way that can easily be prevented with simple technology.

Technology is not a panacea. Add one thing to make flying more safe (locked cockpit doors), create another problem without which a catastrophy could have been prevented (locked cockpit door).

Something I learnt in my first leadership position: When someone has an idea, ask them about the downsides and potential issues. If they can't think of any, they haven't thought it through enough.

Comment: Re:And what good would it do? (Score 1) 388

by Tom (#49366877) Attached to: Why the Final Moments Inside a Cockpit Are Heard But Not Seen

Follow the money. Who is asking for video cameras?

The last thing you would have seen would have been a smug face and a victory sign. Maybe not in this crash, but in the next. That, my friend, is headlines material. That's a breaking story right there. That picture is worth a hundred times its weight in gold, even if you print it on the most heavy paper you can find.

Comment: Re:Ikea (Score 2) 65

by Tom (#49364081) Attached to: Ikea Refugee Shelter Entering Production

That's a meme, but also a lie. As IT people especially, we can take a big hint from IKEA in this regards. Their documentation is short, mostly visual, always step-by-step and gives the user exactly the information he needs, with none of the unimportant blabla that many blow up many other documentations from the necessary 3 pages to the actual 30.

If the instructions for Windows were made by IKEA, thousands of IT support people would be out of jobs because users could actually do simple tasks by themselves.

Comment: Re:Ikea good points (Score 1) 65

by Tom (#49364073) Attached to: Ikea Refugee Shelter Entering Production

And don;t forget to put a price on convenience: instead of waiting 4-8 weeks for your new stuff, you get to take it home and use it right away

This.

When my girlfriend moved in, we needed some new furniture. The huge wardrobe took three weeks to be delivered, and then one more week to exchange an (important) part that was broken in transport.

We both dislike IKEA a lot, but we went there to buy some dressers. Half of what they have on offer is trash and the other half ugly, but we went home with two pieces of the one dresser that's not a shame to have in your bedroom. Because we didn't want to have her clothes in luggage and bags waiting for furniture to be delivered. It's not the 16th century anymore where people had to go into the forest to chop down trees every time they wanted to have a table.

Comment: bullshit (Score 1) 257

by Tom (#49352371) Attached to: Generate Memorizable Passphrases That Even the NSA Can't Guess

This is total bullshit, and dangerous at that.

Firstly, a lot of software out there still has password length limits, sometimes silently discarding additional characters. You will still need ordinary passwords now and then.

Secondly, no normal human will type a five, six or more words passphrase every time they want to unlock their screen. They will do it for three days while they're hyped on how secure they are now, and then it'll become something they hate, and then they'll change it back to "123".

Thirdly, this is a bit more tricky, the real world security of almost every password scheme I've come across in 15 years of IT security experience is several orders of magnitude lower than the mathematical assumption. Because we consistently forget to take the human factor into account. Maybe some extreme nerds will actually follow this guideline, more normal people will discard words they can't remember for words they can, change things "a little" for convenience, and generally sabotage the whole system without even realizing it. It's the same as with passwords, all over again. Yes, on paper, a password has on the order of 10^16 possible combinations. But in reality, taking into account how people actually choose passwords (even ignoring the whole "password" and "123456" problem!) the actual diversity is more on the order of 10^9. Same here. You think using dice removes the human factor. omg do you underestimate humans!

Comment: yes, they are (Score 1) 159

by Tom (#49348935) Attached to: Many Password Strength Meters Are Downright Weak, Researchers Say

In fact, they're ridiculous. I've given a couple presentations on password strength, and password meters are to password strength what the TSA is for air travel security - a better-than-nothing baseline approach that is mostly for show.

The problem is that we have nothing better to offer at this time, even though most security experts agree that passwords are a solution whose time is over.

Comment: ethics (Score 2) 176

by Tom (#49348881) Attached to: German Auto Firms Face Roadblock In Testing Driverless Car Software

For example when faced with the decision to crash into a pedestrian or another vehicle carrying a family, it would be a challenge for a self-driving car to follow the same moral reasoning a human would in the situation

Or maybe it would follow better moral reasoning. Ours is not perfect, it's just whatever evolution came up with that gave us the best species survival rates. That doesn't mean it's really the most ethical solution.
For example, in a post-feminist society, let's assume for arguments sake that gender discrimination has been overcome, wouldn't we also do away with "women and children first" - which is a suitable survival approach in a species fighting for survival in the african prairie, but hardly for the dominant species that already is overpopulated.

Comment: Re:Bashir of course! (Score 1) 191

by danaris (#49334609) Attached to: Your favorite Julian?

Good television? Today? I'll agree some of it is good but 90 percent is pure mental drivel. The wildly popular Kardashians make me want to vomit. If that was all that was on I'd have no TV. Watching grass grow or maybe watching paint dry is more interesting than most of what passes for entertainment today.

TV today is better than it was 5-10 years ago. The reality show craze has faded somewhat, and though the genre is clearly going to stick around, we still have some damn good shows on TV today—things like Mad Men, Game of Thrones, and The Walking Dead, just to name a few.

Yeah, there's crap on TV. There's going to be crap in the visual programming lineup as long as there remains a visual programming lineup, because some people will pay to see crap.

All that said, what I was mainly talking about was the television available in the '90s (when DS9 came out) as compared to what was available in the '60s (when the original Star Trek came out).

Dan Aris

Comment: Re:It is moving to one standard internal (Score 1) 204

by Sycraft-fu (#49331901) Attached to: Apple Doubles MacBook Pro R/W Performance

Overhead on the CPU and in terms of interconnect latency. Because USB is higher level, it incurs a decent amount of load on the CPU. No big deal for basic use, but you wouldn't want it for your main drive or the like. Also USB's latency isn't great, on the order of 100 microseconds or so. Fine for many uses, but high by SSD reckoning and not something you want time critical system components on. PCIe latency is so low you tend to measure it in cycles, not in time.

Also 20Gbit/sec doesn't cut it for some of the internal shit. Graphics and compute hang on 16x slots those are 16GByte/sec in the 3.0 spec (half that in 2.0) per direction (it is completely full duplex). That's 128gbits/sec. For all that it is still extremely performance limiting if you regularly have to use it to access system RAM.

Really interfaces usually are designed for purpose, and not everything is compatible. When you are trying to balance cost, speed, complexity of implementation, complexity of signaling, distance, etc, etc something has to give. There's reason to have PCIe for internal connections, USB for devices, and Ethernet for network, and not try to cram all that in to one bus that is not well suited to them.

Comment: It is moving to one standard internal (Score 1) 204

by Sycraft-fu (#49325391) Attached to: Apple Doubles MacBook Pro R/W Performance

These M.2 drivers are PCIe. It is a different slot form factor, but it is just PCIe.

USB would not be desirable for internal system use, too much overhead. It is well designed for the purpose it has but you wouldn't want it for everything.

There are reasons to want multiple transports, different ones are good at different things.

Comment: Why would you care? (Score 2) 204

by Sycraft-fu (#49324131) Attached to: Apple Doubles MacBook Pro R/W Performance

It went from "faster than matters" to "even faster than matters". All SATA drives are fast enough, you don't notice the difference between normal ones and ultra fast ones.. I have a Samsung XP941 (the "proprietary" drive that you can easily buy) and a regular 840 Pro in my desktop. You can benchmark the difference easily, but you don't notice it, at all, in day to day operation.

Comment: Re:Bashir of course! (Score 4, Insightful) 191

by danaris (#49320431) Attached to: Your favorite Julian?

...So you don't find that, among your club, DS9 is the runaway favourite of the various series? Because that's certainly the case among those I know.

I've encountered a few (mostly online) who rant bitterly that it was a terrible soap opera of a series, and that the only real Star Trek had Kirk and Spock, but I think most fans these days are more interested in what actually makes good stories and good television than holding onto a particular image of "what Star Trek should be" that's now nearly 50 years old. (If only because there are more people left alive who grew up with actual good television than those who grew up with what was available when the original Trek came out...)

Dan Aris

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