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Comment: Re:Surprisingly (Score 3, Interesting) 97

by tlhIngan (#48041835) Attached to: Boeing Told To Replace Cockpit Screens Affected By Wi-Fi

(Is it really a crash risk? That I don't know.)

Potentially as one of the faults is "Display stops working". Whether that means it goes blank, or stops updating (i.e., frozen) is unclear.

Now, it's one reason why there is redundancy - if one display crashes, the PFD (primary flight display, i.e., flight instruments) can be reverted to the other screen (normally showing navigational information). If THAT doesn't work the PFD can be shown on the central displays (usually showing engine and other information), again, two of each.

And the co-pilot has another pair of displays as well that get their information from a redundant system, so 6 displays in total, which can get their information from two different independent sources.

Oh yeah, there's also basic backup instruments too.

Is it a problem? Yes. Is it fatal? Well, you have to be pretty damn unlucky to get all displays to lock up and the backup instruments as well. So a small chance, especially if the crew is inexperienced.

Comment: Re:The average speed has slowed down in Canada (Score 1) 76

by tlhIngan (#48041767) Attached to: Japan's Shinkansen Bullet Trains Celebrate 50th Anniversary

I just drove from Edmonton to Ucluelet (near Tofino on Vancouver Island) and back. Road conditions were great. Hell, I'd even say they were perfect. BC has 120 km/hr speed limits on many stretches of highway now. There are good rest areas, some with picnic tables, proper bathrooms, and a concession truck - even in the middle of what seems like nowhere. I don't know where you got the idea that our highway system sucked but maybe you should come drive out west.

Well, you're also talking about BC which has a natural beauty to it that the views of many BCers differs from the "Rest of Canada". So those rest stops not only are convenient, but the generally are maintained because a surprisingly large number of people DO stop just to admire the scenery.

It's one reason why BC is full of tree huggers and all that who seem hell bent on preventing any more oil pipelines from being built. (Because an oil spill unfortunately forms a nasty blight). Hell, we even think a clear-cut is a godawful sight (it isn't, it's actually a nice way to rebuild the environment and in a couple of years it turns from ugly tree stumps and dirt into a meadow, a decade later you see trees forming and then in a couple of decades it's a young rising forest.).

Also why LNG is OK, because an LNG spill disappears in short order.

Finally, it should be noted those roads are good because it's generally treacherous come late fall and winter. So a rest stop means one can park and wait for daylight rather than try to creep along at night because it is scary. A pothole filled rough road? Might as well just close the road because it'll be too dangerous to drive.

Comment: Re:Advanced? Requires a Jailbreak & manual ins (Score 1) 59

by tlhIngan (#48041659) Attached to: iOS Trojan Targets Hong Kong Protestors

That's great, but seriously, who doesn't jailbreak their iphone? The security of the walled garden is fairly theoretical since there is so much incentive to disable it.

It is a bit like saying that some website can't steal your personal info unless you click through that warning that shows up the first time you use Firefox on a webpage with a non-SSL form.

Generally the number of jailbroken iOS devices has hovered around 10%.

Not too many people do jailbreak because iOS is pretty much good enough, and each revision just adds less and less reason to do so. Sure there's always going to be folks who jailbreak to get it so they can customize every single thing like an Android phone, but for the most part, most user's reasons for jailbreaking disappear each new iOS revision.

(Remember, there are a LOT of iOS devices out there, so when a new jailbreak claims "1 million devices were jailbroken", that pales in comparison to numbers like 50+M iPhone5S's were sold or 10M iPhone6/6+ were sold. ).

About the only reason people consistently jailbreak is... pirated apps, and even those have a non-jailbreak workaround involving cracked apps and enterprise signing certificates (which generally last only a short time because Apple invalidates them quickly). Even then the iOS piracy scene is tiny compared to Android. If you want apps for free, Android's really where it's at. It's far easier to find an app cracked for Android than it is for iOS. Usually because on Android what they do is they buy it, then refund it.

Comment: Re:iOS Attack Vector? (Score 3, Informative) 59

by tlhIngan (#48040251) Attached to: iOS Trojan Targets Hong Kong Protestors

So, the question begging to be asked is whether jailbreaking phones in China by the owner is a common occurrence or if the phones are sold "pre-jailbroken" by a larger agency and able to download and install these hacks at will?

Probably a mix of both, because the #1 reason to jailbreak these days seems to be... pirating software. I mean, the iOS 7.12 jailbreak was done by a bunch of Chinese people to promote... their Chinese app store. Which happens to conveniently be filled with pirated apps. (It was one of the things that led to the original iOS7 exploit to be questioned).

So effectively the users jailbreak to get "free apps" from the Chinese app store that also happens to install malware along with it.

I'm guessing the Chinese store must have a lot of pirated apps, because piracy on iOS is just at a lower level - at least on Android there are entire "daily packs" that contain new and freshly updated paid apps on your favorite torrent site (which can be RSS fed to your torrent client). iOS apps ... not so much. Maybe a fraction and not as convenient to get.

Comment: Re:Hope He Continues (Score 2) 423

by tlhIngan (#48038347) Attached to: The $1,200 DIY Gunsmithing Machine

know a lot of people want to blame guns for many problems but that is a rather cheap excuse and avoidance of the fact that the public needs improved living conditions so that there are less violent people who act out irrationally. Without much hope of a decent future we do have far too many people who act out. We also have prisons that make only token gestures at rehabilitation of inmates and a mental health system that is a national disgrace.

But that's just an excuse as well because other countries have the same problems with mental illness, homelessness, poverty, etc. But the availability of guns is far lower so the rates of homicide and other deaths due to guns is also far lower.

Canada has roughly 1/3rd the per-capita gun ownership rate (roughly 300M guns in the US (1 per person), 10M in Canada (1/3rd per person, or 1 in 3 own a gun)), but still the same (if not more) issues with homelessness and poverty (especially among Native Americans). It's considered a bad year when the death rate due to violence (including knives and the like) approaches double digits in a city of roughly a half-million people. (Deaths due to guns is lower).

So I wouldn't blame just the crazies for the whole problem. Presumably a violent culture where owning a gun is more for "protection" and less for utility (e.g., recreation, hunting, etc).

Though if you really want to be truthful, most homicides are committed by handguns more so than long guns like the AR. It's just that the AR probably "looks scarier" and may be a good weapon if you're going to do a mass killing, but those generally tend to be fairly rare events.

Comment: Re:So eBay would survive (Score 1) 73

by tlhIngan (#48029861) Attached to: eBay To Spin Off PayPal

eBay and Paypal are mutually beneficial. Paypal is absolutely reliant on ebay for sheer volume. It's their foundation.

But I just don't think sellers liked being cornered into having to accept PP 99% of the time.

eBay is off it's core market, chasing more lucrative opportunities. Problem is, they don't own that other market (amazon, alibaba), never will, and are pissing off their base with every new change. It's the curse of needing constant growth in our economy.

Well, eBay and Paypal are fundamentally tied together.

eBay is a marketplace, but they don't do payments. Paypal does payments, and more importantly, Paypal lets random joe customer pay with a credit card to random jane seller WITHOUT a merchant account.

That's the key, because Amazon and Google and others are pretty much buyers are regular consumers, sellers are businesses (who may be single person owned and operated, but still has a business entity). Whereas sellers on eBay are made up of several groups, from standard companies to someone who found something in their attic one day. And the latter are NOT able to traditionally get a merchant account, which means they normally could only take limited forms of payment (cash, cheque, money order). Which over the Internet is... a stupid idea (who wants to go out and send a letter, wait a week, blah blah blah, when you can enter your credit card number and pay within minutes?).

Now, the eBay-Paypal split is probably to answer some of eBay's biggest customers (i.e., the people that run whole companies) to allow for alternate payment methods - including their own credit card payment system (or Amazon or Google), to be more flexible. Though you can probably guess eBay will mandate some form of credit card payment must be allowed, even if it means for most joe sellers, Paypal. (Again, because who wants to win an auction, then go out and get a money order by lining up at the post office, then mailing it out snail mail, and hope it gets there a couple of weeks later...).

Paypal has competition in all areas except person-to-person payments (well, they technically do have competition there too if you count bitcoins, but until someone makes it so I can buy bitcoins with my credit card and it magically all works like Paypal, it's a complex option).

eBay has network effects though - competition with eBay tends to be very niche or not at all. Because face it - eBay has customers, and sellers know that. And buyers know eBay sells practically everything. If you want me, as a seller to use something else, you better provide something good (usually in the form of lower fees). If you want me, as a buyer to use something else, you better provide something good for me (usually in the form of lower prices).

But there's a mismatch - buyers don't want to pay eBay prices off eBay, and sellers don't want to sell for much less than eBay because they'd just list on eBay instead. So sellers complain buyers "lowball" bids, while buyers complain that sellers ask so much it's just easier to stick with eBay.

Comment: Re:Graphics appear to be closed/proprietary. (Score 1) 102

Why would this be so hard? "Cheap hardware is more important to us than open hardware" would be sufficient.

More like "Hardware people will want to buy and license from us" versus "Hardware that's open, but no one wants".

3D graphics is a patent minefield, where even data formats are patented as part of the standard.

So an open device with open firmware will mean basically it doesn't work - graphics will be stutter and framerates low. Perhaps video decoding will work out fine. Or maybe not.

Anyhow, the big thing is, ARM goes by what its customers (ARM licensees) want. And the hardware guys want silicon that their customers want. That silicon includes a decent GPU because their OS (Android) makes good use of it. Those customers (the ones taking the silicon and turning them into Android phones) don't care if it's open or closed source - as long as they can stick it in a box and tick off "runs Android".

And none of them down the chain care if it's open or closed source - because they've already gotten licenses for the source code or "it works" and they don't touch it.

That's the real reason - no one cares about open-source drivers because they're not affected by it. The silicon vendor gets source from ARM through their NDA and licensing agreements, the OEM/ODM may or may not get source code (they most likely probably won't care if things work, if they don't, they raise a support question).

Comment: Re:Moron (Score 2) 102

by tlhIngan (#48027635) Attached to: Robotic Taster Will Judge 'Real Thai Food'

Thai food is known for its balance of flavours. It's a delicate balance of a minimum of 2 (but usualy 4) of spicy, sweet, bitter, salty and sour in a dish.

It's also VERY easy to screw up.

As an aside, Jet Tila was appointed the Culinary Ambassador to Thailand for his role as a guide to Thai cuisine. (People from LA and Food Network viewers will recognize the name for he's had numerous appearances on various shows).

I guess we'll have a new Food Network special - Jet Tila vs. this machine.

Comment: Re:Why isn't this auto-update? (Score 5, Insightful) 163

by tlhIngan (#48027533) Attached to: Apple Fixes Shellshock In OS X

I have 10.9.5 and checked for software updates. None. Why do I have to click the link in the slashdot article and manually download the patch?!?!?

Because of many reasons.

First off, the patch isn't complete. Sure there was a patch last week, but did you know it didn't fix the problem? Yes, it fixed the obvious error, but there were still more (and new CVE was opened for Shellshock). Bash devs are still finding more holes related to this issue, and it goes down a deep rabbit hole. This hole may never be full patched for a long time.

Second, there aren't many OS X systems that are exploitable. Remote exploits require a server to take parameters, format them as environment variables and then call the shell (usually through system()). HTTP and CGI scripts are a common vector because that's exactly how they work. Most webservers out there run Linux and there really isn't a special reason to run OS X + httpd + CGI over running it on Linux especially on a public server. So for the scant few servers, those admins can update the shell.

And on OS X, the webserver is disabled by default and most users won't know how to turn it on. I don't think even OS X server has it on by default - given the server is really just a bunch of admin tools nowadays.

Third, well, I don't think many OS X apps actually bother using a call like system() to perform a task - there's probably a native Cocoa API that is supposed to be used instead.

So it's more of a hotpatch for those few machines that are potentially vulnerable. In fact, the patch that was provided last week wasn't fixing the issue, more working around the issue so it's harder to exploit (i.e., instead of an arbitrary variable containing a function, it has to be prefixed with _BASH_FUNC_ in order to be allowed as a definition).

There is currently no root-cause fix for the issue - it's actively being worked on by Bash developers and others. This isn't like heartbleed where the mistake was a little programming oversight - it's a full on design issue that dates back 20+ years. There are probably going to be dozens of patches to fix the issue in the end.

Comment: Re:This isn't going to work. (Score 1) 114

by tlhIngan (#48027345) Attached to: Tor Executive Director Hints At Firefox Integration

I'd love to see more people using Tor, but the experience has to change a lot before we can do that.

Being anonymous and secure on Tor is not easy. It's a major inconvenience to disabling browser features like Javascript, and it requires firm behavioral changes from the user.

Putting a mainstream user into the same environment is simply not going to work.

In fact, I'd wager most Tor users who were "discovered" were not taking basic precautions - they just plainly sent identifying information over it through an exit node. I mean, it's well known the NSA runs a pile of exit nodes for the purposes of monitoring Tor, and Tor isn't a magic bullet that magically makes you disappear. But it's been advertised that way (especially when the Snowden revelations came out and everyone said "Use Tor!"), and users will be users and use their Facebook, Twitter, and online shopping at Amazon and others over Tor assuming "they're magically protected".

Well, they are, sort of. It's just the whole anonymization thing doesn't work when the user sabotages it by being non-anonymous.

So no, even if every Firefox user used Tor by default, nothing would really happen. Just Tor would get slower from all the YouTube and other traffic sent by users who go forth and de-anonymize themselves by logging into the sites.

Comment: Re:Android version req - long time coming (Score 1) 413

It depends on what the apps are. For example, the text message interface may be counted as one of the 20 "apps" but it is a requirement for a functional phone.

Well, that would be Hangouts now, replacing the AOSP Messages/SMS app with an all in one messaging system that combines Google Hangouts, SMS and other media.

But the other sare like Google Play, Google Play Store Music, Google Play Movies, Google Play Books (which really seem just duplicates of Google Play Store), then there are the likes go Google+, GMail (which doesn't replace the mail app), Google Search

Comment: Re:HL7 & MUMPS (Score 1) 78

by tlhIngan (#48021827) Attached to: Medical Records Worth More To Hackers Than Credit Cards

Here is a great mumps tutorial for those of you that aren't familiar & for those of you who only know "modern" languages, it's a timely Halloween horror show...

The Daily WTF features a few MUMPs, uh... code. A shorthand overview and a collection of MUMPS articles. If it wasn't so specialized and used in so few areas, they'd probably have to institute a "no MUMPS stories" policy to avoid being flooded.

Comment: Re:Maybe not so silly (Score 1) 89

by tlhIngan (#48020277) Attached to: Blood For Extra Credit Points Offer Raises Eyebrows In Test-Mad China

Well, the problem is it takes advantage of the educational system and gives a reward for donating.

The problem is in Asia, there is a strong fixation on "the big test". The one that determines your future - do you score high enough that you can CAN go to university, or are stuck doing a trade, or even worse, labourer?

(No, I don't think there's anything wrong with the trades, but in Asia, a plumber or electrician is seen as a lower level of prestige than an office worker).

It's why there is a high rate of teen suicide (the pressure imposed means many succumb, before AND after), and why many will literally study themselves to death (wake up, go to school, come home, do homework, study, study, study, study, study, go to bed). Students who "pass" (i.e., get university) often are rewarded handsomely for their hard work (luxury cars, condos, video game machines, etc). Students who fail, well, if the family is well off, they'll send them overseas to study at a UK or US university. If not, they get shamed and may even be disowned or kicked onto the street with little more than the clothes on their back.

Rewarding donations is not a new idea, but it has to be done VERY carefully because most of the time it results in the most desperate doing the most donations when they can least afford to do so (and at the detriment to themselves and the blood bank who may end up with substandard blood (e.g., infected, etc)).

Comment: Re:Why the preference for video? (Score 1) 97

by tlhIngan (#48020125) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Multimedia-Based Wiki For Learning and Business Procedures?


Videos aren't easy things to produce, and properly producing them will take longer than writing them up.

That said, there is value in doing a video - it can be easier to show complex steps by doing it in a video that one can pause and rewind as well as show things like where you turn around the object rather than try to illustrate it.

However, that doesn't mean you shouldn't have a text description, and you shouldn't have long videos - no more than a couple of minutes. If it's a long procedure, then have multiple videos because the user may only need help in one area and having to sit through everything else gets old quick.

Comment: Re:C=128 (Score 1) 165

by tlhIngan (#48019887) Attached to: Why the Z-80's Data Pins Are Scrambled

If the 6502 and Z80 waveforms for various instructions are examined, it quickly becomes apparent that the Z80 effectively divided its clock by 2 before using it. This is why, for the technology available in any particular year, they had comparable performance but the Z80 used twice as many clock cycles.

Actually, the problem was the ALU of the Z-80 was only 4 bits wide. So processing an 8 bit operand required two trips through the ALU, thus incurring twice the number of clocks or half the effective clock rate..

The 6502 and others had an 8-bit ALU which meant they could do an 8-bit operand in half the clocks.

Thus spake the master programmer: "After three days without programming, life becomes meaningless." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"