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Comment: Re:...the science? (Score 1) 380

by unixan (#35264736) Attached to: Science Channel Buys Rights To Firefly

Okay, yay Firefly and all that. But the science? I'll be very interested to hear how interplanetary travel, which takes a matter of days, almost invariably results in passing within a couple hundred feet of another ship headed the opposite direction at a few feet per second relative velocity. ...very small solar system? With a couple hundred planets?

As a matter of fact, the whole show occurred in a single large solar system with lots of inhabitable moons: here's a list and here's an official map.

True, the passing in different directions (if they really were different directions) at small relative velocities was a bit unrealistic. We suspend belief for the purposes of plot, lest we bore a prime time TV audience with why being interdicted by a military vessel requires hours of burn time.

Comment: Re:Hoax (Score 1) 305

by unixan (#34351632) Attached to: US Government Seizes Torrent Search Engine Domain

The DNS is slowly rolling over. For example:

- Each of the GTLD servers ([a-m].gtld-servers.net) are delegating to ns[12].seizedservers.com

- Comcast's national opt-out DNS (75.75.75.75) has changed the delegation.

- OpenDNS.com's free filtering DNS (208.67.222.123) still delegates to ns5[12].domaincontrol.com, for about the next 3200 seconds (53 minutes) when its cache of the NS records expires.

Comment: Re:What do you expect (Score 1) 450

by unixan (#33503698) Attached to: Tech Sector Slow To Hire

If you look at financial reports for companies that are having increases in earnings you find that these corporations are either (a) hoarding cash, (b) using extra cash for acquisitions, or (c) instituting share buyback programs...

Do you actually observe the economy and research these things, or do you just get your talking points from Glenn Beck?

Excellent question. Did you? :)

My employer (a public company in the $5-10B market cap range) is most definitely increasing earnings, and hiring more workers. Oh, they also are debt-free, profitable and "(a)" sitting on a pile of cash, but that happens to work as protection against "(b)" being bought out and thus losing the workers they currently have.

No, I didn't expect you to research my particular employer, but, the grandness of your assertions aren't protected simply by accusing G.P. of lack of research.

Comment: Re:So, why not? (Score 3, Insightful) 113

by unixan (#33492924) Attached to: Plagiarizing a Takedown Notice

Might as well save the money that a lawyer would charge to cut and paste this document.

On the flip side:

A. This is results in very asymmetric lawyer costs. The recipient is going to have to spend lawyer time to defend against it that the sender didn't just to send it.

B. By not spending time on a decent lawyer to ensure the takedown is unique and covers the case law for their own jurisdiction, Commodore may have unwittingly given up any legitimate rights they might have had in this dispute.

C. Lawyers are truly valuable at convincing clients to not start legal disputes. By not vetting this by a lawyer, they may started a snowball of subsequent legal costs that could've been avoided entirely if/when they lose. A neat trick used by some defendants, when they're sure to recover most of their defense costs in the end, is to drag out the legal dispute just to teach the other side a lesson.

Comment: Re:Google's in it for the long haul.... (Score 1) 89

by unixan (#33472956) Attached to: 2010 May Be the First Year YouTube Turns a Profit

If only the Mozilla Foundation had the balls to include an ad blocker which dealt with Google Adwords

Do I detect a non-user of AdBlock Plus? It's been featured on the Privacy & Security page of addons.mozilla.org for ages now, and occasionally featured on the front-page as well.

Yes, it works just fine with Google text-based ads, too. I haven't seen them in months.

Comment: Re:Open hardware? (Score 1) 152

by unixan (#33425264) Attached to: Apertus, the Open Source HD Movie Camera

Is open hardware really that big a problem? It's not like opening a Fab is cheap.

The hardware behind Apertus is actually Elphel. They make "open source" cameras based on existing chips. The video codec is performed by an FPGA (loaded with GPL-licensed firmware made by Elphel).

Here is more about the hardware.

Comment: Re:Comparing Apples to Rocks (Score 1) 379

by unixan (#33301504) Attached to: Microsoft Silverlight 4 vs. Adobe Flash 10.1

Additionally, Silverlight is plain broke in some aspects that make it less useful for developers, not just users.

This week I learned Silverlight on IE8 (remember, that's its same-vendor browser), after receiving cookies from a webserver, completely fails to include those cookies in an HTTP POST request. What... the... <expletitive>?

Comment: Re:Graphical Pattern Lock Usage (Score 3, Interesting) 185

by unixan (#33217218) Attached to: Touchscreens Open To Smudge Attacks

However, I figured out through trial and error, that you can actually double back on buttons you've activated and activate buttons that are non-adjacent to active ones by drawing in the blank space in between buttons. This should be a criteria for a strong graphical pattern lock

I also noticed this, shortly after I got the idea to use an unlock pattern. Once you noticed those two aspects (ability to draw between buttons, and harmlessly slide over already-activated buttons), the permutations multiply.

With those in mind, here is how unique a randomized unlock pattern can be:
4 dots = 1624 permutations (as weak as a 3 number password!)
5 dots = 7152 permutations (much better, but not by far)
6 dots = 26016 permutations (at least as strong as a 4-digit bank card PIN)
7 dots = 140704 permutations (about as strong as a 5-digit bank card PIN)

As a bonus, choosing more dots reduces the ability for a smudge attack to succeed. But only if you choose a pseudo-random one. Don't kid yourself, one that you come up on your own is biased in favor of a like-minded (i.e. homo sapien) attacker.

To help, here's a quick bit of shell code to easily generate a strong unlock code for an Android phone. It numbers the dots like a telephone: top-left button is 1, top-middle is 2, top-right is 3, ...etc. Just draw the dots in the pattern indicated.

rand -N 9 -M 9 -u | perl -ane '%seen=();%bad=qw(13 2 17 4 19 5 28 5 31 2 37 5 39 6 46 5 64 5 71 4 73 5 79 8 82 5 91 5 93 6 97 8);$last=0;print map {$next=$_+1;$combo=$last.$next;if ($bad{$combo} and not $seen{$bad{$combo}}) {()} else {$seen{$next}=1;$last=$next;$next,"\n"}} @F'

Comment: Grandstanding (Score 4, Insightful) 107

by unixan (#33124952) Attached to: Connecticut AG To Grill Amazon, Apple Over E-Book Price Fixing

This is just grandstanding by a politician running for office. Neither Amazon nor Apple are headquartered in Connecticut, which makes the appropriate action for this state AG to make a filing to the FTC.

Except, of course, filing with the FTC just doesn't sound as exciting to voters.

Comment: Re:A regular bank account? (Score 1) 242

by unixan (#33104142) Attached to: Alternatives To Paypal's Virtual Credit Card Service?

If you never get a credit card or loan of any type, you will not have a credit history. This will be very bad later, when you need to apply for credit or a loan, you will be denied, or require a cosigner, and pay a much higher interest rate..

Bullshit. I bought a house without a credit history, without a cosigner, with lower interest rate than anyone else I know. I merely had to prove my identity, my steady income, my steady bill-paying history, and have a 20% down payment documented in a bank account.

While my loan broker had a smaller choice of banks to choose from, the ones available were falling over themselves to offer me a 15-year loan. (This is no fault of the banks, but a no-credit 30 year loan according to Fannie Mae's post-bubble rules would've been unfeasible. I didn't want a 30-year anyways.)

Comment: Re:UFFSA (Score 1) 637

by unixan (#33102562) Attached to: Tor Developer Detained At US Border, Pressed On Wikileaks

What law did he break? What was he accused of? Why was he detained? What right do they have to ask such questions?

Welcome to law enforcement procedures. Of course you're allowed to have an opinion. But, say, your legally allowable opinion on your neighbor's yard maintenance might be a motive for why your neighbor is dead, for example. And 12 hour interviews are completely allowed. You just need to know your rights and how to use them; for instance, explicitly saying you invoke your right to remain silent until you have a lawyer present.

Now, is it reasonable for the FBI to suspect Jacob Appelbaum is involved in the wikileak and put him in the box for 3 hours? THAT's another question...

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