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Comment: Re:or, plan B: (Score 2, Interesting) 603

by xemc (#34248046) Attached to: The ~200 Line Linux Kernel Patch That Does Wonders

I tried this, but it didn't help much.

As I ran out of memory, it will throw away the disk cache (including copies of currently running programs, IIRC) until it's constantly running back to the disk to grab the next chunk of needed code or data. At any rate, I had the exact same symptoms, but perhaps more acutely. A SSD might really help this as the random access thrashing wouldn't delay I/O nearly as much..

Linked to by the article, this might address this situation: http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=ODQ3Mw

My solution was to learn the key combination Alt-SysRq-F - this basically tells the kernel to find the process taking the most memory and kill it. Hitting this (possibly a couple times) was the only realistic way to solve the situation, as I couldn't get to a terminal (due to the system being totally unresponsive) to check the currently running processes. (see also: https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Magic_SysRq_key ) Note: it might need to be enabled, though in my experience it was enabled for some of the mainstream distros.

Microsoft

+ - USITC could ban Motorola Droid within 18 months-> 1

Submitted by FlorianMueller
FlorianMueller (801981) writes "In addition to suing Motorola in a district court, Microsoft also lodged a complaint with the US International Trade Commission. The USITC provides a fast track to an injunction: while court cases most often take years, the USITC could ban imports of Motorola Droid phones within about 18 months. Apple's complaint against HTC was also filed with the USITC in addition to a court. Oracle could complain against vendors of Android-based phones to step up pressure on Google. At any rate, Android is caught in a formidable crossfire of patents covering a wide range of technologies."
Link to Original Source

+ - Make your open source project more human->

Submitted by
paulproteus
paulproteus writes "For most open source projects, just one new contributor would mean a huge increase in energy. But it's exhausting as a project maintainer to file bugs and watch the patches not flow in. If you want new team members, try these strategies that focus on one contributor at a time. They're not designed to "scale"; they're designed to feel human."
Link to Original Source

+ - Bittorrent to Replace Standard Downloads?

Submitted by
Max Sayre
Max Sayre writes "Have you ever tried to download an operating system update only to have it fail and have to start all over? What about patches for your favorite games? World of Warcraft already uses Bittorrent technology as a way to distribute large amounts of content at a lower cost to the company and faster speeds to all of their clients. Torrents are totally in these days. So why haven't they replaced the standard downloading options built into any major OS? No more anxious waiting as download speeds begin to drop... 95% done and you can update all of those servers, 96% or play your current gaming addiction, only to have the connection drop, download die, or power go out. Who knows? Companies like Opera are including the downloading of torrents in their products already and extensions have been written for Firefox to download torrents in-browser. Every day Bittorrent traffic is growing. So why do we insist on prolonging user suffering with these failed downloads? In many countries bandwidth is still at a premium and capped usage limits apply to everyone. Replacing the standard 'download' function in all the major operating systems with default torrenting functionality would see an end to a plague some feel are a punishment worse than death. Failed downloads would no longer be a risk where bandwidth is scarce.

Sites like OpenBittorrent already exist and DHT doesn't even require a tracker. So why isn't everyone doing it? Is it finally time to see all downloads replaced with Bittorrent?"
Movies

+ - Lawrence Lessig Reviews the Facebook Movie

Submitted by
Hugh Pickens
Hugh Pickens writes "Lawrence Lessig — author, Harvard law professor, co-founder of Creative Commons — reviews 'The Social Network' in The New Republic and although Lessig says the movie is an "intelligent, beautiful, and compelling film" he adds that as a story about Facebook, it is deeply, deeply flawed because the movie fails to even mention the real magic behind the Facebook story and because while everyone walking out out of the movie will think they understand the genius of the Internet, almost none of them will have seen the real ethic of internet creativity that makes success stories like Facebook possible. "Because the platform of the Internet is open and free, or in the language of the day, because it is a “neutral network,” a billion Mark Zuckerbergs have the opportunity to invent for the platform," writes Lessig. "And that is tragedy because just at the moment when we celebrate the product of these two wonders—Zuckerberg and the Internet—working together, policymakers are conspiring ferociously with old world powers to remove the conditions for this success. As “network neutrality” gets bargained away—to add insult to injury, by an administration that was elected with the promise to defend it—the opportunities for the Zuckerbergs of tomorrow will shrink." Lessig laments that the creators of the movie didn't understand the ethic of Internet creativity and thought that the real story was the invention of Facebook not the platform that made such democratic innovation possible. "Zuckerberg is a rightful hero of our time," concludes Lessig. "As I looked around at the packed theater of teens and twenty-somethings, there was no doubt who was in the right, however geeky and clumsy and sad. That generation will judge this new world. If, that is, we allow that new world to continue to flourish.""

+ - Neurosurgeons use MRI-guided lasers to kill tumors->

Submitted by breadboy21
breadboy21 (856238) writes "In the seemingly perpetual battle to rid this planet of cancer, a team of neurosurgeons from Washington University are using a new MRI-guided high-intensity laser probe to "cook" brain tumors that would otherwise be completely inoperable. According to Dr. Eric C. Leuthardt, this procedure "offers hope to certain patients who had few or no options before," with the laser baking the cancer cells deep within the brain while leaving the good tissue around it unmarred. The best part, however, is that this is already moving beyond the laboratory, with a pair of doctors at Barnes-Jewish Hospital using it successfully on a patient last month. Regrettably, just three hospitals at the moment are equipped with the Monteris AutoLITT device, but if we know anything about anything related to lasers, it'll be everywhere in no time flat."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Hey, I don't mind.. (Score 1) 832

by xemc (#33624116) Attached to: Intel Wants To Charge $50 To Unlock Your CPU's Full Capabilities

As long as I get a $50 break on a new CPU!

Seriously, if you get less you should pay for less. They'd still be competing with their other chips (and AMD's).. so it's not like you shouldn't get what you pay for.
That being said, this is like Intel creating a similar avenue as overclocking.. getting more performance from a cheaper chip. I'd really be tempted to get a crippled / cheaper CPU and just crack it to get the full-price speed.

Comment: Re:How this works (Score 3, Informative) 239

by xemc (#33209152) Attached to: New Toshiba Drives Wipe Data When Turned Off

According to the article, it uses this "Opal" storage spec. (didn't find it on wikipedia..)
Below from: http://www.trustedcomputinggroup.org/resources/storage_application_note_encrypting_drives_compliant_with_opal_ssc

Storage Application Note: Encrypting Drives Compliant with Opal SSC

This document provides examples of the communication between a host and a storage device implementing the TCG Storage Security Subsystem Class: Opal SSC and the TCG Storage Architecture Core Specification.

Examples are provided for the following scenarios:.

        * Discovering whether a storage device supports Opal SSC
        * Taking ownership of the storage device
        * Activating the Locking SP
        * Changing the Admin1 PIN in the Locking SP and adding users
        * Configuring Locking Objects (LBA ranges) *
        * Unlocking ranges
        * Erasing a range
        * Enabling the MBR shadow
        * Un-shadowing the MBR
        * Reverting the TPer
        * Reverting the Locking SP
        * Using the DataStore table

For further reading, here's what looks like the spec:
http://www.trustedcomputinggroup.org/files/static_page_files/9FE14508-1D09-3519-AD7D21A695E9B8EE/Opal_SSC_1.00_rev3.00-Final.pdf

Comment: Re:Favorite Quotes from TFA (Score 1, Informative) 197

by xemc (#33048782) Attached to: Free Software, a Matter of Life and Death

The article also links to: http://cio-nii.defense.gov/sites/oss/Open_Source_Software_(OSS)_FAQ.htm#Q:_Doesn.27t_hiding_source_code_automatically_make_software_more_secure.3F

Excerpt:

    Q: Doesn't hiding source code automatically make software more secure?

No. Indeed, vulnerability databases such as CVE make it clear that merely hiding source code does not counter attacks:

        * Dynamic attacks (e.g., generating input patterns to probe for vulnerabilities and then sending that data to the program to execute) don’t need source or binary. Observing the output from inputs is often sufficient for attack.
        * Static attacks (e.g., analyzing the code instead of its execution) can use pattern-matches against binaries - source code is not needed for them either.
        * Even if source code is necessary (e.g., for source code analyzers), adequate source code can often be regenerated by disassemblers and decompilers sufficiently to search for vulnerabilities. Such source code may not be adequate to cost-effectively maintain the software, but attackers need not maintain software.
        * Even when the original source is necessary for in-depth analysis, making source code available to the public significantly aids defenders and not just attackers. Continuous and broad peer-review, enabled by publicly available source code, improves software reliability and security through the identification and elimination of defects that might otherwise go unrecognized by the core development team. Conversely, where source code is hidden from the public, attackers can attack the software anyway as described above. In addition, an attacker can often acquire the original source code from suppliers anyway (either because the supplier voluntarily provides it, or via attacks against the supplier); in such cases, if only the attacker has the source code, the attacker ends up with another advantage.

Hiding source code does inhibit the ability of third parties to respond to vulnerabilities (because changing software is more difficult without the source code), but this is obviously not a security advantage. In general, “Security by Obscurity” is widely denigrated.

Comment: Favorite Quotes from TFA (Score 0) 197

by xemc (#33048714) Attached to: Free Software, a Matter of Life and Death

In one experimental attack conducted in the study, researchers were able to first disable the ICD to prevent it from delivering a life-saving shock and then direct the same device to deliver multiple shocks averaging 137.7 volts that would induce ventricular fibrillation in a patient. The study concluded that there were no “technological mechanisms in place to ensure that programmers can only be operated by authorized personnel.” Fu’s findings show that almost anyone could use store-bought tools to build a device that could “be easily miniaturized to the size of an iPhone and carried through a crowded mall or subway, sending its heart-attack command to random victims.” ..

Though the adversarial conditions demonstrated in Fu’s studies were hypothetical, two early incidents of malicious hacking underscore the need to address the threat software liabilities pose to the security of IMDs. In November 2007, a group of attackers infiltrated the Coping with Epilepsy website and planted flashing computer animations that triggered migraine headaches and seizures in photosensitive site visitors.13 A year later, malicious hackers mounted a similar attack on the Epilepsy Foundation website.14

Comment: Re: Coffee (Score 0) 547

by xemc (#31861144) Attached to: How Many Hours a Week Can You Program?

Hey, are you a coffee drinker?

For myself, I've noticed that if I drink lots of coffee, I can think really fast for a few hours (note: fast != better), but then I've tuckered myself out and I can't keep going at the end of the work day.

Try cutting back your caffeine intake and see how it compares. Let us know how it goes!

Thus spake the master programmer: "When a program is being tested, it is too late to make design changes." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"

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