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Comment: Re:Waste is heat! (Score 4, Insightful) 125

That's fine when you live in an Arctic wasteland, but a good portion of the world population lives in an area where the climate requires active cooling during the summer months. So that waste heat must either be removed using fans or air conditioning, which costs money.

When I lived in a cool city, my Core i7 930 and my wife's Phenom X4 955 were fine. But when I moved to a city where summer temps can exceed 40C, I replaced them with low power (S series) Haswell systems. My July electric bill went down 10% from the previous year. After selling the old equipment, the upgrades will pay for themselves in under 2 years.

Comment: Re:Just disable it... (Score 3, Insightful) 125

One problem with modern electronics is when the manufacturer figures that you're always going to put your device to sleep instead of fully powering it down, so they don't put much effort into optimizing the boot time from a cold power up.

Take for example desktop PCs. There are some motherboards where the firmware initialization is around two seconds. But I've seen it as high as fifteen seconds for a desktop motherboard and over a minute for a server motherboard, even when you have all of the options set to allow the fastest boot possible. That is a very wide difference from one motherboard to another.

When I read motherboard reviews, very rarely is boot time ever mentioned. So is this a chicken-vs-egg scenario where users don't care about cold boot times because they're happy with standby and hibernate modes? Or do users care, but it is so rarely reported that we always end up with motherboards that drive us to standby and hibernation modes?

Comment: Re:This is interesting.... (Score 2) 573

by toejam13 (#49310563) Attached to: Greenpeace Co-Founder Declares Himself a Climate Change Skeptic

Ocean acidification and upper atmosphere particulate pollution are anything but localized. The former is leading to widespread worldwide disruption of the seafood industry, the latter is leading to widespread drought conditions.

Most of the rest are regional at the least, with pollution traveling possibly thousands of kilometers. As example, air pollution from China is being detected in increasing levels along the North American west coast. Heavy metals dumped in streams in Montana can be detected in Mississippi and Manitoba.

The only one in that list that is localized is groundwater contamination. Even then, look at the radioactive creep in the groundwater under the Hanford Site in Washington. It is slowly creeping towards the Columbia River, and is expected to start seeping out within a few decades. The contamination rate will be minimal, but that water is used for both crop irrigation and drinking water.

You have a much better point with your second remark. Rising ocean levels and changing climate will be heavily disruptive. It'll also be slower to happen. China and India are poisoning their agricultural breadbaskets right now. Same with mega-droughts. Good chance that we're going to see widespread famine in Asia within a couple decades unless they radically change their agri-policy.

Comment: Re:This is interesting.... (Score 4, Interesting) 573

by toejam13 (#49310293) Attached to: Greenpeace Co-Founder Declares Himself a Climate Change Skeptic

You've hit on one of the main issues with Global Warming. How much of it is a man made issue and how much of it is due to natural causes? There are a few reports that suggest that the ice caps on Mars are slowly receding too, so it may be in part due to changing solar activity. I see the next battle being exactly how much human activities are to blame.

Having said that, the debate over Global Warming is distracting in how it steers the conversation away from all of the other problems man-made pollution are causing. CO2 emissions appear to be the main factor in ocean acidification. Particulate pollution is a main factor in changing evaporation rates, rainfall frequency and lung disease. Nitrogen oxides contribute to acid rain. Heavy metals and radioactive metals from coal have a number of adverse health effects. Improper fracking installations can contaminate ground water. Tailing ponds can leak and contaminate surface water.

All of this seems to have taken a back seat. To be honest, I wonder if energy companies are quietly happy about this. Global Warming has so many shades of gray that it is easy for energy interests to dismiss it and for people to believe them. Traditional pollution is a lot more black and white, making it hard to wave away as quack science. Changing the conversation is a fantastic way to stop talking about it.

Because if we were talking about how 40-year old coal and oil fired power plants skirt modern pollution controls by doing upgrades under the guise of "repairs", allowing them to keep their grandfathered pollution limits, I think people would be really pissed. What's the point of companies like GE and Hitachi advertising their modern cleaner power plants during the nightly news when nobody is forced to buy them? If that was the center of topic, there would be a better chance of it changing.

Comment: Artists often get little (Score 3, Interesting) 157

by toejam13 (#48977687) Attached to: Major Record Labels Keep 73% of Spotify Payouts

Music artists have often received little from broadcasting. Historically, they've received the bulk of their money from live performances and merchandise. Most of that broadcast money goes to the studios, the producers, the managers, the studio, the songwriter, agents and lawyers. Singers (if they're not also songwriters) usually come dead last.
My understanding is that many new artists have come to realize this scam and are starting to avoid the major labels, using alternate channels of distribution instead. It may not sell as much music, but they get a much larger slice of the pie

Comment: Re:Physics doesn't work like that. (Score 1) 54

by toejam13 (#48881581) Attached to: TWEETHER Project Promises 10Gbps MmW 92-95GHz Based Wireless Broadband

The higher the frequency, the less penetration of solid objects you have.

At -that- frequency, it'll work well for extremely short range, indoor, communications. But as soon as you put something even slightly solid, or damp, in the way, the signal will get blocked.

Yup. At this frequency, walls and vegetation are essentially opaque to RF. This will be useful for in-room or sub-kilometer line-of-sight deployments. Great for Phoenix (little rain, few tall trees), horrible for Seattle (damp, heavily forested).

One good thing about hitting 25 GHz or higher is that indoor APs and outdoor APs don't fight with each other the way that they do at 2.4 or 5.8 GHz (lower co-channel interference). So you can have a PTMP or mesh network running in dense areas like New York City. But with the range limitations, it'll need to be a dense network in order to get any sort of coverage. Your hop count is likely to skyrocket if you're using a mesh. High speed, horrible latency.

Comment: Even in China and India, English will dominate (Score 1) 578

by toejam13 (#48723527) Attached to: What Language Will the World Speak In 2115?

In many eastern nations, English is so widely used because it is seen as a neutral language. Many people in southern China who speak Yue Chinese (ie, Cantonese) dislike speaking Mandarin, which is a mutually intelligible language. Likewise in India where there are 7 major language groups comprising over 120 languages and over 1000 dialects and minor languages, many Indians (especially of the upper caste) prefer to use English as opposed to a non-local language. In these cases, English will thrive if only as a dominant second language.

India comes up again for another reason, which is the British Commonwealth. English is widely spoken in these member countries, which comprises a good chunk of the population in Africa and Asia.

Comment: Re:voicemail to email (Score 1) 237

by toejam13 (#48662859) Attached to: The Slow Death of Voice Mail

Voicemail to text is probably the best evolution of voicemail. Speech to text has gotten very good, so there is no reason that we can't have the system perform a S2T on a message, then sending that message as a text. Keep the original recording around in case the translation is wrong, but delete it once the text has been deleted.

Comment: Re:I'm Using C++ (Score 4, Informative) 421

by toejam13 (#48645559) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is an Open Source<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.NET Up To the Job?

The C standard library provides an API to all your system resources.

The C standard library (libC) provides a very basic API to some of your system resources. You have to include a large number of other libraries in order to obtain a feature set similar to the Java and .NET frameworks.

And in addition to the IO, thread and math limitations that the AC above touches on, there are several other major problems facing the core C libraries: wchar support, qword support, socket support and overflow safe functions. There has been significant balkanization between the BSD, GNU and Microsoft camps on these topics, making cross platform development difficult. I've written a lot of wrapper code over the years dealing with the issue.

The nice part about the Java and .NET frameworks is that they eliminate most of the problems I mentioned and several of the issues the AC brought up.

But I do still find the C libraries, Java framework and .NET framework all lacking. They're good for about 80% of all cases, but I seem to find myself thumping on the native APIs far more than I thought I should. I'm really annoyed at how often I find myself using PInovoke under C#.

My hope is that with the Core .NET moving off to the open source camp, maybe Microsoft can start focusing on adding C# bindings for the rest of WinAPI. The day I can write code without having to use a PInvoke is the day I'll stop writing C/C++ code.

Comment: Re:Stupid (Score 1) 396

by toejam13 (#48631801) Attached to: Google Proposes To Warn People About Non-SSL Web Sites

This is a dumb idea. A very dumb idea. Since we're assuming MITM, what happens when I inject javascript into the page? Even assuming the browser prevents me from leaking the PROT header, I can still have it make arbitrary requests using your session.

Encrypting the content length header and adding an encrypted checksum (or cryptographic hash) of the payload would help detect JS injections, URL rewrites or other forms of malicious modification. Marking your user session cookie as HttpOnly should also help sandbox it from JS hijacking.

What happens when I just block the original response, pretend your session died, and serve up a bogus login page that gives me your credentials?

Introducing a new URL protocol for HTTP-Mixed could help prevent that. It would indicate that HTTP header encryption was a requirement and that the client refuses to proceed without it. So when the user hits refresh on their client after an hour, your bogus site would then need a counterfeit certificate in order to survive the PROT ClientSSL <-> PROT ServerSSL challenge.

The best way to deploy such a system would be to use HTTPS for your site's landing page. If the client's browser supports HTTPM, you could step down to it for pages deeper in your site. Otherwise, stick with HTTPS.

In some ways, HTTPM would be analogous to FTPES in the FTP/FTPS world. FTPS clients know to issue an AUTH TLS command shortly after starting an FTPES connection and refuse to continue if a FTP-503 Unsupported server response or a failed TLS handshake occurs.

Comment: Re:Stupid (Score 1) 396

by toejam13 (#48626723) Attached to: Google Proposes To Warn People About Non-SSL Web Sites

Utilizing a client IP address as a means of identification is highly unreliable unless that client is on the same network as you. Proxy servers, cache servers and NAT devices can masquerade multiple devices under a singular IP address. Worse, some organizations load-balance outbound connections across an array of those masquerading devices. Every TCP connection could originate from a different IP address. The same is true when the client itself is multi-homed, such as a mobile device utilizing both cellular and wifi simultaneously.

And while the payloads of cookies can be hashed to obscure sensitive information that is stored in clear-text, it does not prevent the theft of the cookie itself. I may not know the true value inside of it, but I may not care. I might want it just to tailgate on an authenticated session. To avoid that, you need to encrypt both the cookie payload and its name.

This process can check if this value is zero, and if it is, it does something child-like. -- Forbes Burkowski, CS 454, University of Washington