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Comment Re:Let's get real (Score 1) 235

> Nuclear "artillery" is costly beyond belief, extremely limited in usability,

I didn't say that nuclear artillery is a good idea. (In fact it strikes me as anything but ... "You expect me to do what? Screw that, I'm going to go find an enemy and surrender") But I don't see how the artillery round can weigh much more than a few hundred kg and the system still be mobile. ie. within limits, shrinking a nuclear warhead once you have one that works probably is not anywhere near as difficult as building one in the first place.

Comment Re:Let's get real (Score 1) 235

I know next to nothing about nuclear or thermonuclear warheads other than that a modern thermonuclear warhead is pretty damn small. But I suspect that downsizing a bomb once you have one that works probably is not that big a deal. e.g. the US exploded its first nuclear weapon in July 1945. By 1953 the US was deploying a nuclear artillery system. I think it unlikely that the warhead for that was more than a few hundred kg. But what do I know?

Comment Re:Nerve connections for muscles (Score 2) 94

Does this mean that we're going to see our senators and representatives doing Japanese style mass exercise sessions every morning with weights? After all, if there is one thing in this divided country that most folks agree on, it is that many of our elected representatives could use a few more brain cells.

Comment Let's get real (Score 5, Interesting) 235

Now and for decades to come, North Korea would be very unlikely to use an ICBM/IRBM to launch a nuclear bomb. The missile might not work and neither might the payload after being subjected to the stresses of lift-off and re-entry. Assuming they wanted to blow up Washington, DC, I should think that they would simply smuggle the warhead into the US using the same routes used by smugglers to import carload lots of Cannabis then deliver it using an elderly Toyota purchased on credit . (Be a bit difficult to repossess THAT one when the payments stop).

Comment Re:Ummmm ... (Score 1) 87

> Those of us who have been around long enough know damned well not to take a day-one update, because companies have become lazy and sloppy and don't find out what they've missed until some poor schmuck has it go wrong.

Probably the wrong diagnosis. It's not that (all) companies are lazy. It's that testing software is difficult at best and pretty much impossible if what you are testing is complicated.


But the right prescription I think. Avoid this stuff if you possibly can. Given any luck the folks hoping to profit from it will all go broke and have to find jobs in some other sector of the economy. Something better suited to their talents and skill set. Something in food service perhaps ...

Comment Re:Whatever happened to the do not call list? (Score 1) 251

Too hard to enforce. We get three or four robocalls plus one or two nuisance "surveys" every day. The robocallers almost never display a real phone number. How can the authorities track down and execute (robocalling is capital offense, right? If not, it should be) Rachel from Cardholder Services without her phone number?

Comment Re:compatibility mode (Score 1) 148

> Don't you find it the least fucking bit odd that a camera made in 2015 will work with XP, works under Linux, Even works in OSX 10.4 or higher (I checked) yet it won't work in Windows 7?

After a decade plus of supporting Windows PCs, I ceased to find any Windows behavior odd. Windows is a humongous, amorphous, poorly documented, blob of code, trying to be all things to all people. I can't see any evidence that anybody inside or outside Microsoft understands it, and I can't think why anybody with a choice would voluntarily use it.

But faced with the problem, I think I'd try a VM with Windows XP or Linux. Might work and if it doesn't the OP might learn something useful from the effort. If linux is tried, look at dmesg,lsusb.and the like. Maybe there will be a clue there.

Comment Re:Huh? (Score 1) 699

"Wow, all this time I could have been running "rm -rf /" with reckless abandon ..."

You mean that you don't have a "rm -fr /" line in your /etc/crontab file? If you wish to have a secure system i think you need to add it.


Security is too important to procrastinate about.

(And yes, I'm joking .. I think)

Comment Re:Isn't this what --preserve-root is for? (Score 4, Insightful) 699

Is there anything that prevents code that really needs to write the UEFI from unmounting a default read/only file system and remounting it as read/write? Have the crazies deprecated mount and umount? And really now, how much need to write UEFI is there likely to be in any configuration not designed by complete lunatics?

Comment Re:Isn't this what --preserve-root is for? (Score 4, Insightful) 699

"To my understanding, you can't boot anymore, at all. If we could simply boot to BIOS and reflash the firmware this wouldn't be such a big issue."

That's entirely too sane. I think you can probably scratch BIOS programming from your list of possible future occupations. You'd have to take a LOT of drugs and stay stoned in order to comply with modern practices

An even better answer would be to try the following concept: A BIOS is a simple and robust, non-writable boot system residing in Read ONLY Memory. BIOSes are small, simple, things that have to be written well since you only get one shot at doing them. Once your device goes into production, you are stuck with whatever the code does.

Note that doesn't preclude insane complexity in the layers of code that are loaded by the BIOS. Modern programming practices can live on .... just not in the lowest level of boot code.

BTW, why do folks think that a design that allows users to inadvertently irretrievably cripple hardware can possibly be secure? If you can accidentally brick the damn thing from a keyboard, what do you think hostile agents can do once they've penetrated your system?

Comment Nonsense (Score 1) 67

"Total nonsense!!! The brilliant technical minds creating our computer software, firmware and hardware would NEVER (cough ... sputter .. ) put users at risk"

Maybe if I practice that over and over maybe 50 or 100 times , I'll be able to get that out with a straight face.

Comment Re:They tried it before with Cablecards (Score 2) 167

"But the cablecos just made the Cablecards a pita to install..."

Exactly. And your cable company may simply pretend not to know what you're talking about when you try to order a cable card. And the satellite companies don't do cable cards although I've been told they are supposed to.

If CableCompanies etc drag their heels with the cards, what are the chances that their software interface is going to be reliable and comprehensible? Is it going to work with more than one OS.? Is it going to be in a constant state of flux? I'm sure the FCC means well, but this scheme better be so simple that even Comcast can't screw it up and there have to be legally binding, non-waivable financial penalties for non-compliance. And even then, my bet is that it probably won't work right or well.

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