Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re: Nonsense (Score 1) 385

by tangent (#48622691) Attached to: Sony Leaks Reveal Hollywood Is Trying To Break DNS

Follow the thread back to HBI's first post. ("Idiots") He's the one who brought up the hosts file. I've just been trying to explain the real world consequences of doing that, in order to puncture the idea.

His other vague notion ("shadow DNS") explains nothing. Who would administer it? What protocol would it use, and how does that solve anything.

All we've got here are handwavings on par with third rate 1980s cyberpunk novels.

Comment: Re: Nonsense (Score 1) 385

by tangent (#48621077) Attached to: Sony Leaks Reveal Hollywood Is Trying To Break DNS

So, no ChromeBooks, tablets, or smartphones allowed on your darknet, then? No IoT, unless you're willing to blow the BoM cost, power draw, or physical size budget?

Who manages this monster file, anyway? Some central authority, perhaps? Nope, that gets is right back into the same paper canoe.

How often do you sync? With DNS, new info propagates effectively instantly, barring caching. Do that with your system, though, and the whole planet has to resync just because Joe Babatunde of Nigeria decided to re-IP his CounterStrike server. Even with rsync, you just increased the load time of every page on the Internet by at least 10x. Congrats on setting back all the progress we've made on the World Wide Wait by 2 decades.

Keep in mind that you're trying to replace a protocol that fits into a single UDP packet, for the most part.

Comment: Re:Nonsense (Score 1) 385

by tangent (#48618305) Attached to: Sony Leaks Reveal Hollywood Is Trying To Break DNS

Distributed darknet crypto-geeks have a pretty poor track record of creating unbreakable systems, too.

SSL/TLS: Launched 1994, sold as impervious, significantly compromised roughly once a year ever since

PKI: Same story as SSL, except you also get fun design decisions that allow foreign governments and corporate IT to impersonate any host they like

Tor: Launched 2002, all onion layers pierced by 2012, requiring only sufficient funding

Bitcoin: Decentralized, anonymous, encrypted to the hilt, billed as economically sound, it goes through market crashes that make Wall Street look sane, is infested with more scum an villainy than a Tattooine nightclub, and in the end isn't really all that anonymous anyway, for much the same reason that a Tor veil can be broken.

Silk Road: Launched 2011, collapsed 2013.

Silk Road 2.0: Re-launched 2013, shut down 2014.

Comment: Nonsense (Score 2) 385

by tangent (#48617983) Attached to: Sony Leaks Reveal Hollywood Is Trying To Break DNS

DNS was created in 1984 to replace the old flat HOSTS.TXT system, at which time the file contained only "several thousand" entries, according to one source I found. Maintenance and distribution of the file was already becoming a problem by that point.

The oldest actual HOSTS.TXT file I found for download was from 1990, and contained about 9,200 lines. (No link; don't want to spam someone's Internet history server just to prove a point. Do your own Googling if you don't believe me.)

There are single data centers with more than a few thousand public-facing IPs in use.

As for this vague handwavy idea of a shadow domain name system, what's going to make that immune from the same sorts of attacks? There's this vague notion that if it's distributed and encrypted, it will be impossible to kill, but guess what? DNS is distributed and encrypted already.

Comment: Re: A pretty low requirement (Score 1) 432

by tangent (#47197973) Attached to: Turing Test Passed

That's exactly my point. Whatever goal the CS community sets for itself on the road toward AGI, as soon as we achieve it, we redefine "intelligence" to not include it.

At some point, we're going to have a machine competent enough to demand its voting rights, then we get to fight the 1860s-1960s civil rights battles all over again. "It can't vote, it's just a computer!"

Comment: Re:A pretty low requirement (Score 5, Insightful) 432

by tangent (#47190773) Attached to: Turing Test Passed

I'd say we keep raising the bar.

"If a computer can play chess better than a human, it's intelligent."
"No, that's just a chess program."

"If a computer can fly a plane better than a human, it's intelligent."
"No, that's just an application of control theory."

"If a computer can solve a useful subset of the knapsack problem, it's intelligent."
"No, that's just a shipping center expert system."

"If a computer can understand the spoken word, it's intelligent."
"No, that's just a big pattern matching program."

"If a computer can beat top players at Jeopardy, it's intelligent."
"No, it's just a big fast database."

Comment: Re:The US gov has turned rogue ! (Score 1) 272

That last paragraph isn't too clear. Allow me to clarify it.

If if all rights are individual rights, then any law that denies specific individuals the freedom to exercise that right is unconstitutional. You can't say, "This right belongs to these people over here, but not to you because you are not in this special class of people." There are no special classes, as far as the US Constitution is concerned.

Comment: Re:The US gov has turned rogue ! (Score 1) 272

"rights" are individual

What does that mean?

Some people interpret the 2nd amendment to the US Constitution as protecting a right of the states or of "the miltia". This legal dodge is intended to let them say that the right does not belong to the citizenry individually, giving justification for gun bans. That legal theory was shot down six years ago in DC vs Heller, but that doesn't stop some from persisting in misinterpreting the amendment.

That is to say, if all of the rights protected by the US Constitution are individual rights, laws that deny free exercise of those rights are unconstitutional.

Comment: Re: It has a combined address/search bar (Score 1) 688

by tangent (#46874543) Attached to: Firefox 29: Redesign

At least they don't commit the inverse problem, where a single word is blindly assumed to be a search term just because it doesn't contain a dot or slash.

Chrome, Safari and IE all commit that UX sin, which is really annoying when you're trying to go to an internal LAN web server by name.

Chrome and IE let you hack around this by appending a slash (e.g. "myserver/") but Safari doesn't. You end up creating bookmarks purely to avoid having to type the FQDN or explicitly prepend "http://"

Comment: Re:Was FORTRAN really that hard? (Score 5, Informative) 224

by tangent (#46868965) Attached to: 50 Years of BASIC, the Language That Made Computers Personal

FORTRAN wasn't the language in 1964 that you think of as FORTRAN today.

Most people's concept of FORTRAN is FORTRAN 77 or its descendants, which was 13 years in the future from BASIC's introduction.

At the time of BASIC's introduction, FORTRAN IV was the current version.

FORTRAN wouldn't be ANSI-fied for another two years as FORTRAN 66, so every version had machine-specific features. Also, because FORTRAN's development was largely driven by IBM until FORTRAN 66, all the non-IBM versions were "nonstandard." Imagine if, today, every computer came with a C compiler and there were no ANSI or ISO standard to constrain its behavior. The last common reference would have been K&R '78.

Another fun feature of early FORTRAN was fixed column layout, common among languages invented in the punched card era. That is, you had to do things like start all statements in column 7 or later, because the first 6 columns had other meaning.

Early FORTRANs also had very primitive program structuring concepts, hardly raised from the level of assembly language.

Read through the Wikipedia article. You'll probably be shocked at how primitive FORTRAN was in the early 1960s.

In the sciences, we are now uniquely priviledged to sit side by side with the giants on whose shoulders we stand. -- Gerald Holton

Working...