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Comment: No sensible person ever though it was impossible (Score 2, Informative) 157

by daveschroeder (#48027003) Attached to: Apple Fixes Shellshock In OS X

But even here, again, when you look at a typical OS X desktop system, now many people:

1. Have apache enabled AND exposed to the public internet (i.e., not behind a NAT router, firewall, etc)?

2. Even have apache or any other services enabled at all?

...both of which would be required for this exploit. The answer? Vanishingly small to be almost zero.

So, in the context of OS X, it's yet another theoretical exploit; "theoretical" in the sense that it effects essentially zero conventional OS X desktop users. Could there have been a worm or other attack vector which then exploited the bash vulnerability on OS X? Sure, I suppose. But there wasn't, and it's a moot point since a patch is now available within days of the disclosure.

And people running OS X as web servers exposed to the public internet, with the demise of the standalone Mac OS X Server products as of 10.6, is almost a thing of yesteryear itself.

Nothing has changed since that era: all OSes have always been vulnerable to attacks, both via local and remote by various means, and there have been any number of vulnerabilities that have only impacted UN*X systems, Linux and OS X included, and not Windows, over very many years. So yeah, nothing has changed, and OS X (and iOS) is still a very secure OS, by any definition or viewpoint of the definition of "secure", when viewed alongside Windows (and Android).

Comment: Re:I dunno about LEDs, but CFLs don't last (Score 1) 595

by orgelspieler (#48003663) Attached to: The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy
I've wondered about the bulbs I got for the can lights in my kitchen. They specifically say they're rated for can mount, but I'll be surprised if they last more than a year. The CFLs supposedly rated for can lights only lasted 6-8 months. I assume that was a thermal issue, since two different brands had the same lifespan. I love the color of the newer white LEDs, waaay better than CFLs.

PostgreSQL Outperforms MongoDB In New Round of Tests 147

Posted by Soulskill
from the there-can-be-only-lots dept.
New submitter RaDag writes: PostgreSQL outperformed MongoDB, the leading document database and NoSQL-only solution provider, on larger workloads than initial performance benchmarks. Performance benchmarks conducted by EnterpriseDB, which released the framework for public scrutiny on GitHub, showed PostgreSQL outperformed MongoDB in selecting, loading and inserting complex document data in key workloads involving 50 million records. This gives developers the freedom to combine structured and unstructured data in a single database with ACID compliance and relational capabilities.

Comment: Re:These people are doing it to themselves (Score 2) 903

by orgelspieler (#47994797) Attached to: Miss a Payment? Your Car Stops Running
You are wrong. You may know whether you have paid or not, but the little computer telling your car not to start doesn't. There is a used car dealership in the Houston area well known for having these installed on their cars. They apparently have a high frequency of false positives. They always attribute it to problems with their database, but I suspect they just have lazy people doing their accounting.

Comment: Re:What's your suggestion for intelligence work? (Score 1) 504

by daveschroeder (#47938235) Attached to: Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

An oversimplification. The US, UK, and allies variously broke many cipher systems throughout WWII. Still the US benefitted from this.

What if the Germans were using, say, Windows, Android phones, SSL, Gmail, Yahoo, and Skype, instead of Enigma machines?

Comment: What's your suggestion for intelligence work? (Score 1) 504

by daveschroeder (#47938053) Attached to: Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

I presume you wouldn't say it was "wrong" of the United States to crack the German and Japanese codes in WWII... when US adversaries (and lets just caveat this by saying people YOU, personally, agree are legitimate US adversaries) don't use their own "codes", but instead share the same systems, networks, services, devices, cloud providers, operating systems, encryption schemes, and so on, that Americans and much of the rest of the world uses, would you suggest that they should be off limits?

This isn't so much a law enforcement question as a question of how to do SIGINT in the modern digital world, but given the above, and given that intelligence requires secrecy in order to be effective, how would you suggest the United States go after legitimate targets? Or should we not be able to, because that power "might" be able to be abused -- as can any/all government powers, by definition?

This simplistic view that the only purpose of the government in a free and democratic society must be to somehow subjugate, spy on, and violate the rights of its citizens is insane, while actual totalitarian and non-free states, to say nothing of myriad terrorist and other groups, press their advantage. And why wouldn't they? The US and its ever-imperfect system of law is not the great villain in the world.

Take a step back and get some perspective. And this is not a rhetorical question: if someone can tell me their solution for how we should be able to target technologies that are fundamentally shared with innocent Americans and foreigners everywhere while still keeping such sources, methods, capabilities, and techniques secret, I'm all ears. And if you believe the second a technology is shared it should become magically off-limits because power might be abused, you are insane -- or, more to the point, you believe you have some moral high ground which, ironically, would actually result in severe disadvantages for the system of free society you would claim to support.

Comment: Re:Whoosh (Score 4, Insightful) 97

by orgelspieler (#47931989) Attached to: How Flickr Is Courting the Next Generation of Photographers

They were the primary choice for sharing photos amongst photographers back before Yahoo! bought them out. Yahoo! systematically destroyed everything that the photographers liked. At every turn they ignored the feedback of PAYING users. Some of the most talented artists dropped out and went to deviantart, or some others I can't remember the name of. These days they switch to Facebook, or just started hosting their own photos.

Exploring new artists became challenging and tedious. It seemed like the only way to make the front page was to have some washed out HDR crap. The community has dwindled dramatically; maybe not in numbers, but the sense of actually belonging to a community of like-minded artists has certainly faded. I hardly post, and most of my contacts hardly post anymore either. I primarily use it for a place to keep family photos instead of my art photography.

United Kingdom

School Installs Biometric Fingerprint System For Cafeteria 231

Posted by samzenpus
from the paying-with-one-finger dept.
An anonymous reader writes with news about a school in England that has introduced a cashless cafeteria system that is raising some privacy concerns among some. Stourbridge students will soon be able to pay for their lunch without searching their pockets for change. Redhill School has spent £20,000 updating its dining facilities and introducing a cashless catering system. The system will allow parents to deposit funds into students catering accounts, to be debited by the pupil's biometric fingerprint scan at the point of sale. Headteacher Stephen Dunster said: "The benefits are that pupils are less likely to lose cash, parents know their children are using their dinner money to buy nutritious food and there will also be a system to alert staff if students are purchasing food that they may be allergic to."

Comment: Re:Poor Math Skills (Score 1) 171

by orgelspieler (#47882409) Attached to: Universal Big Bang Lithium Deficit Confirmed

So "100% more" and "2 times more" both mean "double"? My understanding when I was learning word problems many, many moons ago was that "N times more" means (N+1)*original value. On the other hand "N times as much/many" meant N*original value. Are they teaching it differently these days? Not trying to be cheeky, just concerned that the language has changed without me knowing it.

The phrase "three times less" is frequently used to mean "one third of," but it is ambiguous. I don't think there's much consensus anymore on whether it's acceptable practice or not. I personally hate it, but I've even seen it on word problems from major test makers.

But really in general reporting, there are much more egregious math/science mistakes, like "exponential," where using the wrong phrase leads to a misrepresentation of the facts, not just a misunderstanding of semantics. Another common problem is when talking about probability things. I have heard respectable people say "most people ..." when referring to, say, 40%. Let's focus on these blatant errors first, then we can move on to bad units like "volts of energy." These are all things I'm sure everybody on /. can agree to hate.

Comment: Re:hmmmm (Score 3, Funny) 275

by orgelspieler (#47879755) Attached to: California Tells Businesses: Stop Trying To Ban Consumer Reviews

My favorite bad review response ever:


Incredibly rude disgusting fat slob insulted me and my family. Needed a table for five wife and kids in line midway to counter, I decide to sit down (just had hip replacement) and this idiot approaches and tells me to order or get out. This punk needs for someone to adjust his attitude.

Response from the owner:

This is the fat slob. I wanted to put some context around Mr Scaccia's review. First, no disputting it, I'm fat. I take issue with the rude and slob parts. I shower every day. I say please and thank you. But, fat, unfortunately I can't dispute that.

OK, let's talk about our interaction yesterday. I was in the dining room as I am almost every Saturday and Sunday when we start to get really busy. We had a medium sized line (probably about 15 people) and we were seating groups as they ordered so that everyone could get a table before they get their food. I call it Kindergarten rules. if someone is in front of you, they get to go first. I came around the corner and Mr S was at a table that had been put together for 8 people as was a man caring a baby carrier who was also looking for a table for a larger group. I asked Mr S if he had ordered yet and he said he hadn't and I told him that we would get him a table once his group had ordered.

I couldn't get anything more out of my mouth. Mr S said "well if we can't have a table then we will just leave." I did not approach Mr. S and tell him to order or get out, I said that we would get him a table once his group had ordered. After he proclaimed that if he didn't get a table right then that he would leave, I told him to have a nice day.

This really isn't a position I ever like to be put in. We don't have a line to the door every saturday and sunday because we are bad at what we do. The line is there because we take care of our customers and all their requests, just as we would have taken care of Mr. S. I was still going to try to save this relationship, but what Mr. S did next shocked me so much that I froze. He threw his menu on the table, moved toward me and belly bumped me out of his way and stormed off. (I'm not sure if he noticed the video camera that hopefully caught all of this directly next to the flat screen in the corner as he pushed me out of his way)

I then proceeded to help the group of 8 with the baby and the group of 7 with the elderly couple who had waited in line and ordered, get their tables after they had ordered, as I did for the next hour and a half every other large group who walked in and calmly waited in our long but quickly moving line. I wish I had a much bigger restaurant and a much smaller stomach but the facts are the facts.

Mr S would have hopefully spent this morning back in Louisiana writing a great review about this little mom and pop restaurant in Houston if he had only let us do our job, but he chose to give me an ultimatum where I can't win. Let him take a table before two groups who were in front of him, making a family with small children and a baby stand and wait or the group with the elderly couple stand and wait. I feel I did the only thing I could and wish Mr. S the opportunity to reflect on this situation and see the big picture.

Brock Silverstein Pecan Creek Grille


Newly Discovered Asteroid To Pass Within Geostationary Orbit Sunday 101

Posted by Soulskill
from the how's-that-space-program-coming-along dept.
theshowmecanuck writes: A newly found asteroid the size of a house will give earth a close flyby this weekend. It will pass just below satellites in geostationary orbit, and above New Zealand around 14:18 EDT / 18:18 GMT / 06:18 NZST this coming Sunday (Monday morning in NZ). "Asteroid 2014 RC was initially discovered on the night of August 31 by the Catalina Sky Survey near Tucson, Arizona, and independently detected the next night by the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope, located on the summit of Haleakal on Maui, Hawaii," NASA officials said in a statement.

Comment: Re:Boycott (Score 1) 91

Why not just do a mass cancellation of service and show these corps that we have that control over them? We all have internet on our phones

Do I really need to spell this out for you? I'll give you a hint. It rhymes with corn. It is also the most common answer to any question having to do with the internet.

Comment: Re:Little Boxes (Score 1) 579

by orgelspieler (#47785603) Attached to: Why Women Have No Time For Wikipedia
My wife says, "Men are waffles. Women are spaghetti." But as for Wikipedia not lending itself to flow, you've never played the random walk game. Start on a Wikipedia page, click the nth link on that page. Say the third link that's not a pronunciation or disambiguation link. Go from there. You'll be surprised how you can go from Pokemon to Pipe Organs in the same walk. [citation needed]

I think it's a fun way to waste a lunch hour when there's not good articles on /.

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