Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment Re: Most of the blame should fall on Microsoft (Score 1) 268

And that certification should disallow actions like FTDI took. If a self-certifier fails to follow the rules, they should have to, in the future, go through an outside party from an 'approved certifier list' to get certification. Certifiers on the 'approved certifier list' who fail to follow the rules would be banned forever from being certifiers and forfeit a bond.

Microsoft is the agent pushing this crap to your machine under their moniker, therefore they have significant responsibility for the content. Microsoft is really hurting themselves by allowing this to go on -- esp. when this specific company had previously proven themselves to be untrustworthy.

Comment Most of the blame should fall on Microsoft (Score 1) 268

I can see why FTDI has done this -- although I would rather they would track down the board builders who use the fake chips and those that sell their boards and sue them.

However, I'm trying to figure out what Microsoft's interest in pushing this. Did they just not test this case (surely, after the last time, they should be testing this)? Accepting such drivers will just discourage people from 'auto updating' and they seem bent on encouraging that behavior, not discouraging it.

(Although, in my case, Microsoft had already managed to get me to stop taking updates as I got tired of having to carefully check each one to see if it was another undocumented driveby update to nag me to upgrade to Windows 10 from 8.1).

Comment Re:I want every ballot to have a "none of the abov (Score 1) 171

When I really don't want to vote for any listed candidate (using paper absentee ballots), I overvote -- I just vote for everyone for that office. This prevents anyone from altering my ballot before it is counted so it appears I voted for a specific candidate. No, I'm not paranoid.

Comment Re:I'd love to see "None of the Above" (Score 1) 171

How many decades should the U.S. let the office of President remain unfilled even though there's a Presidential election every two weeks? Or, would the current President/Vice President just get to rule for decades even though everyone hates them (and they were disqualified from running again on the first ballot decades earlier because 'none of the above' won).

Comment Re: One word (Score 2) 171

How would that make any sense? The second place candidate can be VERY unpopular in a lopsided election.

If a universally popular Presidential candidate got 99.9% of the popular vote, and the second place candidate (a serial pedophile) got 0.1% of the vote (having cornered the pedophile vote, the anti-establishment vote, and the "unable to mark ballot correctly" vote), why should someone that less than 1 in 1000 voters wanted as President be one heartbeat away from becoming the President?

Comment Re:what happens... (Score 1) 464

No one (including police and military personnel) ever "needs" a gun. Just as they don't "need" fluids or food or medical care. However, in all cases, the consequence of not have a gun, fluids, food, or medical care may be death. So, I think you need to define "need".

Here, however, are a few instances (well more than the number of fingers on one of your hands, assuming that you're human and have a normal anatomy) where guns were quite useful to those that had them.

Comment Re:Freedom of the Press (Score 1) 186

A qualified person has to review every bit of the video and redact as needed.

When an officer enters your home and has the bodycam on, it's nobody's business what's in your home unless it's part of a criminal investigation (vs. just a fishing expedition by reporter or by a thief casing houses with the help of the police video). If a child rape victim is being interviewed in the field, the audio and video of that interaction should not be made available "just for the asking" (except, as necessary, as part of a criminal case or, perhaps, a complaint by an involved party about how the interaction was handled) for pedophiles to jerk off to. If police respond to a domestic violence call and the wife has locked herself in a utility closet and is naked, when she comes out and the bodycam captures her state of undress, that's not something that should be released for every perv on the internet to post to porn sites. The list goes on and on.

If the request is not for a specific officer at a specific time but for something like "All video showing interactions between Latino officers and African American residents between 12/1/2015 00:00 and 1/1/2016 00:00", careful examination of the material is required and someone qualified to make a judgement call on if a resident is "African American" or not.

Getting the video is the easy part, vetting it is the hard and expensive part.

Without specifics of the request and what type of review was needed, it's hard to know if the charge is unreasonable. It does sound a little high to me, but it might be perfectly reasonable.

Comment Re:Freedom of the Press (Score 1) 186

However, police must be consulted and have input into the process. How would a third party,without consultation with police, know that a particular person talking to a police officer (perhaps just by their clothing or stature et al even if the face is obscured) could cause that person to be identified (rightfully or wrongly) as the "snitch" whose information resulted in three gang thugs being convicted and sentenced to life without parole for killing a child in a misdirected drive by shooting?

If we don't handle such cases very conservatively as bodycams become more prevalent, after one retaliation murder, citizens in crime ridden neighborhoods will be LESS likely than ever to talk to police. This is rather opposite from the goal of "community policing" advocates.

I think we need more experience with this before we put too many processes in place to solve problems that are not problems.

The main intent of bodycams seems to be to resolve what happened during a couple minutes of a particular officer's career. If there's a specific request for a timeframe around a particular event, if the police refuse to provide the unedited footage or redact stuff that the requester wants, the courts can be called on to resolve the issue.

Comment Re:Freedom of the Press (Score 1) 186

At a minimum, one trusted person (not just an admin) would need to review the entire video once even if nothing was found to redact. This person may have to research ongoing investigations or determine if releasing a specific portion would compromise an investigation and may have to determine if someone is an at-risk informant. If something needs to be redacted, there's additional video editing required (perhaps by another person).

It seems reasonable that each hour of video released would require a minimum of one person-hour of review and maybe several person-hours. $190/hour isn't necessarily excessive.

Remember, also, this person/these persons may need to be paid overtime (and union wages and pension contributions...) to fulfill the request if it's to get completed in a reasonable timeframe.

Comment Re:Freedom of the Press (Score 4, Insightful) 186

When someone, say "Big Mike" Brown, is shot by police, it's known when and where it happened. Releasing five minutes of video in response to a specific incident once the investigation is done would cost little and would still be extremely useful. One does not have to "trust the police" to release the video. One does have to trust them (or those related to them) to not redact stuff that is relevant but such redaction will be obvious and can be dealt with by the courts if needed.

Seriously, if you had kids and some pedophile was raping one of them and a cop wearing a body cam came across it, would you want the video of your kid being raped to be on the internet forever because someone "has the right to bodycam footage"? How about video of the body of a loved one who died in your house in a horrible accident?

Comment Re:Freedom of the Press (Score 1) 186

No, they are not useless. When a specific event occurs, usually just a few minutes of recording is needed to better understand what happened and, just a few minutes worth need to be cleared for release. This was a broad request for almost 200 hours of video - the fact that such a request is quite expensive to fulfill does not mean that the cameras are 'useless'.

Comment Re:What I would use (Score 1) 276

Second, it's safer as one device can't destroy an entire train full of people.

Umm... Just because it hasn't been done, doesn't mean it won't - esp. with HSR. When (not if) it happens, rail travel may become as annoying as air travel.

There's a lot of track to protect. And with drones and robotics available to the "bad guys", it's hard to protect the track from small, but powerful explosives being planted at key points on the track in a curve (carefully timed for detonation based on train approach/position) to result in a train flying off the track and, if the perp is clever, falling some distance, at a high speed. That will be pretty bad for the passengers.

One advantage of airplanes are that you can control what gets in/on them because they are only on the ground in controlled areas - that's what causes the TSA hassle to the typical passenger. On the other hand, planes are, of course, vulnerable to ground based missiles/artillery, but those are hard to get. And, if you DO manage to get explosives or something similar on board to destroy the plane in flight, you may be able to result in quite a few injuries/deaths on the ground - but, this is probably hard to predict except right under places, mostly approach/departure, where the planes are at low altitudes.

My guess is that the first terrorist induced high speed derailment will cause not only dramatic moves to protect track, but also, in classic security theater fashion, apply much the same standards to trains as planes to the extent those standards are intended to prevent bringing explosives aboard (box cutters are not as much of a problem on trains - but then, with armored cockpit doors, they shouldn't be a problem anymore on planes).

Comment Re:This is the least of the problems with SO. (Score 5, Insightful) 303

With so little detail, it's hard to say for sure, but it sounds like you were likely wrong.

First, the fact that something is flushed from a register is NO guarantee that it will be visible to other processors at any particular time in the future. Sure, most architectures and implementations with most workloads will move it "fairly quickly" from caches to 'main' memory shared by all processors. But "fairly quickly" is undefined - one instruction? Two? 20? Seven clock cycles? Six?. Worse, once the register is actually flushed to main memory by the processor doing the write, there's no guarantee that other processors will see the updated value when accessing the physical address at any particular time in the future -- the 'stale' version of the data may be sitting in L1 or L2 cache for an arbitrary period of time (and this is usually even longer and more unpredictable and, in my experience, the more common source of concurrency problems in code written by amateurs who have never carefully read even the memory model section of even one hardware architecture spec).

Second, C makes no guarantees about when a register (or even what a 'register' is - esp. on a particular architecture) is flushed to to the L1/L2/L? cache/memory. Particular implementations on particular architectures at particular optimization levels may do so when you expect -- but they also may do something quite different.

When you're programming in a high level language, you should adhere to the rules of the high level language and not make assumptions about how the compiler, runtime, and underlying architecture work as you have no idea when a new version of compiler, a new version of runtime, or a new revision of hardware etc will be used with your code and invalidate your assumptions -- and that's not even considering porting to an alternative architecture in the future.

The fact that an OS vendor coded something a particular way does not mean that it's a good idea for you to do it. They know what hardware their OS targets (including multiple architectures, each of which will likely have different implementations of key concurrency control primitives) and will patch their code if needed. As well, in the case of Microsoft, both the microprocessor vendors and (to a lesser extent) system builders test their implementations on Windows before alpha release so if there's a discrepancy, either the hardware will likely be changed or Microsoft will issue a bug fix for that hardware. Note that the underlying OS even almost certainly has all sorts of "hacks" in it to get around errata in specific steppings of Intel microprocessors. Depending on the OS, just stepping through the assembly code for a library or system call may be especially misleading unless you have verified that that's really the code that runs on EVERY implementation of the hardware/OS etc.

Of course, if you know that your code would never need to run on another compiler, run-time, architecture, implementation of the architecture (including clock rates, memory speeds), or even stepping of a microprocessor and you understand all the layers well (perhaps implemented them yourself) have at it -- but, please, do us all a favor and just write your code in assembly so it's clearer to those who may follow you what you did rather than leave others trying to guess what you assumed about the underlying infrastructure.

For the rest of us that know things change, when writing in a high level language, be professional and follow the specs and use available OS libraries for synchronization needs where available. I've had to implement my own in the long distant past (including to replace a horrible implementation of CriticalSections back in the early days of Windows NT), but those days are mostly in the distant rearview mirror now that most everything has been multicore for at least 15 years.

If you're even thinking about 'registers' when considering correctness of concurrency when programming in a high level language, you are almost certainly doing something wrong.

Slashdot Top Deals

New systems generate new problems.