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Comment: Terrible "Article" (Score 4, Informative) 83

by txoof (#49312471) Attached to: LightEater Malware Attack Places Millions of Unpatched BIOSes At Risk

The "article" is three paragraphs and a few quotes full of FUD. There's no real information in there; it contains no good suggestions as to how to check for or deal with bios infections. It takes three clicks to get to a site that actually has some of the research, but that's just a static page listing conference topics. Don't waste another minute on this nonsense.

Comment: Re:Best defense is not to care (Score 5, Interesting) 107

by txoof (#49155351) Attached to: Blu-Ray Players Hackable Via Malicious Discs

I suppose not caring works, but it seems like this is a great vector to turn hardware players into Zombies. If I were a criminal, I could think of a lot of things that could be done with even 1% of the world's internet connected players. Do you really want your Blu-Ray player to be part of a botnet sending spam or participating in denial of service attacks?

If for no other reason, think of the impact on your bandwidth and electric bill. I certainly don't want a house full of hackable hardware. When (if) the internet of things arrives without security and 10% of the fridges, air conditioners, electricity meters, washing machines, pet doors, TVs and driers are all hacked because manufacturers couldn't be bothered to secure them, I think you'll probably care. It will bring the interwebs to its knees.

Comment: Re:Nothing New for Sony... (Score 5, Interesting) 391

by txoof (#48744619) Attached to: Sony Thinks You'll Pay $1200 For a Digital Walkman

This highlights the one and only problem with Sony: It is always too expensive.

I think the product longevity issue that Sony has *might* be a slightly bigger problem. I don't have any real data other than my personal experience, but I have owned a slew of Sony products and with the exception of our two Sony CRT TVs growing up, they have all shat them selves within 18 months. The two TVs we had when I was growing up lasted for over 8 years each. I think the second one needed to have a transformer replaced at some point, but that was about $20 in the early 90's.

Other than those two products, my personal experience has been awful. I don't think I ever had a sony walkman that lasted more than 6 months due to stupid things like belt clips that were TOTALLY inadequate for doing anything other than standing still. My Sony amplifier shat itself the same month the warranty ran out. The display crapped out and was eventually repaired by re-soldering and bending the PCBs. My Sony car stereo crapped it's display about a year after I bought it. No amount of blowing, hitting, or poking around inside could fix it. The digitizer in m Sony Clie (late Palm Pilot clone) shat its self a few weeks after the rotary encoder at the base of the display filled with pocket lint and stopped working. After the Clie disaster, I have refused to buy a Sony electronic device. I'm not going to get burned again.

Comment: Re:Time to lose Daylight Savings Time (Score 1) 310

by txoof (#46490835) Attached to: Daylight Saving Time ...

I live in Southern Norway and during the morktide (dark time) the sun doesn't rise until well after school starts even with daylight savings time. Sometime in early November is the last time you can see the sun before or after school. In North Norway the sun doesn't rise at all during the dark time. We've come up with good solutions like plastering kids with reflectors and teaching children to pay attention to cars. We also teach drivers that pedestrians have the right of way in intersections NO MATTER how STUPID they are acting. Though we still do the stupid DST dance, it really doesn't change much of anything. The sun goes away, the morning is dark and for the most part kids are pretty safe.

Comment: Re:Time to lose Daylight Savings Time (Score 1) 310

by txoof (#46440955) Attached to: Daylight Saving Time ...

Ever had to implement a timezone aware software application?

Ever had to deal with DST support in said application?

Thought not.

The suffering involved is reason enough for DST to go the way of the Dodo...

Making timezone calculations in an application is ridiculously painful even with helpful TZ libraries. In my last program I just decided to ignore DST in my calculations and just fudge everything. This is particularly annoying because it needs to calculate the time in New York, but the computer it lives on is currently in Norway and North America and Europe switch their clocks at seemingly random times each year.

For this particular program it doesn't matter *too* much, but it does lead to weird failures occasionally. Fortunately it's not in a production environment, it's just something that runs around the house.

Comment: Re:Time to lose Daylight Savings Time (Score 4, Informative) 310

by txoof (#46439883) Attached to: Daylight Saving Time ...

There are many logical arguments for time change. Whether the benefits outweigh the costs is what is at issue. Welcome to alternate viewpoints, population you don't count, you just want to rant.

What evidenced based arguments can you site? The rationale I have read for DLS involve saving electricity, but as this article suggests, not only does DLS not save electricity, it may actually use more. It also goes on to cite studies that suggest that DLS may actually cause heart attacks. Farmers tend to hate DLS because they get up when the need to get up with no relationship to the clock. When the time jumps around, they still get up when they need to get up, they're just suddenly one hour out of sync with the wall time.

Though to be fair, it may save some traffic accidents due to allowing more people to drive home in the daylight and it may provide more revenue for some retailers. Though there's plenty of evidence to suggest that sleep disruption (like moving someone's wake and sleep time) causes more accidents. The cited article studied shift workers, but it applies to anyone who's regular sleep cycle is suddenly disrupted.

All in all, it looks like DLS shifts on whole causes lots of hassle, probably costs money and lives and should its self die a quiet death in retirement.

Comment: Re:Time to lose Daylight Savings Time (Score 1, Insightful) 310

by txoof (#46439627) Attached to: Daylight Saving Time ...


There's no logical argument for the time change. None. The farming argument doesn't make any sense. Farmers don't give a rip what the wall-time is. They get up when it's time to get up and get the work done. They go to bed when the work day is done and they're sleepy. If you have to get up at 3:30 to milk the cows, you get up at 3:30. If the wall clock suddenly says it's 4:30, you still get up at the same time because the cows, corn, and sun don't give a flying FSCK what the wall clock says.

As far as providing more natural light in offices, that may have been true in 1930 when buildings were built without central HVAC with window access for everyone in mind. Though there's precious little evidence that DLS made a bit of difference in the then either. Now all but the "greenest" buildings (and some WalMarts) have their lights on during the work day weather the sun is shining or its pitch black outside.

And my rant continues with the horrible effects on your health. Suddenly changing humans sleep patterns is terrible for general healthfulness and sleep cycles.

In short take your DLS and shove it where the sun will never shine

Comment: RFID? (Score 2) 130

by txoof (#46397701) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Automatically Logging Non-Computerized Equipment Use?

Adding RFID tags to equipment and encouraging people to swipe it out as it is used might be a good idea. But short of adding a supply clerk or using a badge system I don't see many other options. Maybe there's some work-study budget for a freshman to sit in the lab and check out equipment?

I heard on Freakonomics about putting up web cams and paying someone in a far-off land to ensure hand-washing compliance. Perhaps a system like that might work.

Comment: Saving face? (Score 5, Interesting) 237

by txoof (#46126837) Attached to: Now On Video: GCHQ Destroying Laptop Full of Snowden Disclosures
What the hell was that? They threatened to shut down the Guardian if the media wasn't handed over; it appears though that they didn't have the balls to go through with the threat. Instead they came up with this bizarre compromise that involved 'destroying' the data. Why do this? Was it just a way for the government to save face and not have to back down from some crazy ass redline that threw out there? They must know that the files were immediately duplicated and spread around the world. That was by far one of the strangest things I've ever seen a newspaper do.

Comment: Re:A piece of paper in a drawer (Score 3, Interesting) 381

by txoof (#45896165) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How To Protect Your Passwords From Amnesia?

A trusted executor is really the way to go here. Store the passwords in an encrypted format and then give the key to a trusted party that will only unseal the encrypted database in the event that you are incapacitated. For added security, split the key into multiple parts and give it to multiple parties. It would probably be best to transport the key in a physical format and make it clear that the importance of the document.

In a work place setting, give the keys to supervisors that are mutually responsible for the systems in question. In a personal setting, give the keys to family members that are trusted. Be sure to provide step-by-step instructions as to how to decrypt your data. If you are so unfortunate to not have trusted family or friends, pay a law firm to administrate this service and act as your executor. For a fee, the law firm can be instructed to only unseal the data in the event that certain standards are met (such as a declaration of incompetence by N medical professionals).

Comment: Re:Suggests Meaning, Yet Lacks Any (Score 1) 458

by txoof (#44598663) Attached to: My SSID Is...

I use a made-up word that suggests latin and/or greek roots but actually has no meaning whatsoever. It's amazing how simple it is to create such words and discover that people who should know better will pretend to be familiar with them in conversational context, lest they appear ignorant of something they suspect they should have learned in school.

What do you mean? Embiggen is a perfectly cromulent word.

Hackers are just a migratory lifeform with a tropism for computers.