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Comment: Re:What workload would actually work with this? (Score 1) 51

by zrq (#41106873) Attached to: Baserock Slab Server Pairs High-Density ARM Chips With Linux

I agree it probably is a proof of concept with limited applications at the moment, but how about something like Hadoop, that was designed to work on a distributed set of cpus and discs.

Comment: Re:Espionage/Assassination (Score 1) 196

by zrq (#39642013) Attached to: McAfee Claims Successful Insulin Pump Attack

With an aging population it seems terribly interesting that it could be possible to go after people wirelessly.

This is the important part, not now, but in the future. This is just a demonstration of what is possible, and how the mistakes that are being made now may effect all of us in the future.

From a recent talk by Cory Doctorow,

As a member of the Walkman generation, I have made peace with the fact that I will require a hearing aid long before I die. It won't be a hearing aid, though; it will really be a computer. So when I get into a car—a computer that I put my body into—with my hearing aid—a computer I put inside my body—I want to know that these technologies are not designed to keep secrets from me, or to prevent me from terminating processes on them that work against my interests.

We need to change the way that the industry and the regulators think about these kind of devices. Security by obscurity is just not good enough.

As patients (now and in the future) we should require/demand that all of the software in these devices is open source or they won't get certified for use as implants.
Many people on this site have said something along the lines of "If I were designing these devices then I would use [xyz] to make them secure".
The important point is that geeks like us aren't designing these devices, and for the companies that are designing these devices security isn't a priority.

Good security is expensive, both in terms of employing extra staff with the relevant expertise, and in terms of developer time to implement and test it. Unless peer reviewed security is required by their customers or government regulations, then it is just not enough of a priority to justify the additional cost.

The worst result from this kind of research would be that our politicos jump at a sound bite solution and make it illegal to own or design a device that could intefere with implanted medical devices. Preventing the good guys from testing their own devices, while making it easier for the bad guys by allowing manufacturers to get away with poor security.

The best result from this kind of research would be that we make peer reviewed security and open source code part of the requirements for certification of implanted devices. But that won't happen unless we keep pushing to make it happen.


+ - English Wikipedia to go dark January 18 in opposit->

Submitted by zrq
zrq (794138) writes "On January 18, 2012, in an unprecedented decision, the Wikipedia community has chosen to blackout the English version of Wikipedia for 24 hours, in protest against proposed legislation in the United States — the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives, and PROTECTIP (PIPA) in the U.S. Senate. If passed, this legislation will harm the free and open Internet and bring about new tools for censorship of international websites inside the United States.

Wikipedia administrators confirmed this decision Monday afternoon (PST) in a public statement ("

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Say what? (Score 1) 173

by zrq (#35131124) Attached to: Last.FM To Require Subscription For Mobiles and Home Devices

I did the same. I used to listen a lot, and I discovered several artists that I hadn't heard of before, and bought quite a few albums as a result.

I had a monthly subscription, and I thought it was well worth the money. I wasn't that interested in the big name bands, what was interesting were the less well known artists from their huge database of music from around the world. But like you, I cancelled my subscription when they cut the "my loved tracks".

It was nice while it lasted, but .. the world moves on.


Which Language To Learn? 897

Posted by kdawson
from the future-proofing-the-skillset dept.
LordStormes writes "I've been a Java/C++/PHP developer for about 6 years now. However, I'm seeing the jobs for these languages dry up, and Java in particular is worrisome with all the Oracle nonsense going on. I think it's time to pick up a new language or risk my skills fading into uselessness. I'm looking to do mostly Web-based back-end stuff. I've contemplated Perl, Python, Ruby, Erlang, Go, and several other languages, but I'll put it to you — what language makes the most sense now to get the jobs? I've deliberately omitted .NET — I have no desire to do the Microsoft languages."

Comment: Re:End users hate the registry? (Score 1) 645

by zrq (#34173462) Attached to: Should Being Competitive With Windows Matter For Linux?

Agree with you apart from the '.' in '.config'.

.... apps dumping hidden config files willy-nilly in my home is annoying as hell.

Not only is there no standard, but the convention of using hidden directories makes things worse.
Add to that the fact that many apps mix data (cache) and configuration (passwords) under the same hidden directory and it makes backing up the users settings a non trivial task.

Comment: Re:Hook me up with PV! (Score 1) 410

by zrq (#33646902) Attached to: Online Shopping May Actually Increase Pollution

Amazon don't store their inventory in the trucks. The trucks just collect the items that have been sold and deliver them to the consumer.

Amazon use large warehouses to store the inventory, large warehouses to store the data centers that coordinate the inventory, deliveries and purchases, and UPS use large warehouses to park the trucks when they aren't out delivering. All those warehouses will have nice big flat roofs - as opposed to the various sized odd shaped small roofs of all those individual brick and mortar stores.

I agree it would be good if the brick and mortar stores put up solar panels. But I don't agree that brick and mortar stores would somehow be better at providing solar power than online stores would. It would be better if the individual brick and mortar stores AND the large warehouses used by the online stores all used their roof space to generate some form of solar power.


+ - Google accused of hearing government secrets->

Submitted by zrq
zrq (794138) writes "The BBC are running a story entitled Google's Street View 'snoops' on Congress members where they report on accusations from Consumer Watchdog that the "Google Street View project may have collected personal information of members of Congress, including some involved in national security issues".

The accusations are based on a report from Consumer Watchdog that discovered a number of high profile politicians are running unsecured open wifi networks that may have been intercepted by a Google Street View car.

From the BBC's story : " Google's popular Street View project may have collected personal information of members of Congress, including some involved in national security issues. "

From the Consumer Watchdog site : "Rep. Jane Harman, D-CA, chair of the Intelligence Subcommittee of the Homeland Security Committee and former member of the Intelligence Committee has at least one wireless network in her Washington, D.C., home that could have been breached by Google, Consumer Watchdog said.".

To me, this seems to be backwards, emphasising the wrong aspect of the report. As far as I know, they don't have any evidence that Google actually did intercept anything important. Rather, they seem to be accusing Google of being complicit by being in at a location where they could, potentially, have heard important information that shouldn't have been broadcast in the first place. Kind of like standing in the garden shouting secret information through a megaphone, and then arresting anyone who passes by because they might have heard you.

I would have thought that the important bit of the story should have been : "Research by Consumer Watchdog suggests that : Rep. Jane Harman, D-CA, chair of the Intelligence Subcommittee of the Homeland Security Committee and former member of the Intelligence Committee, has an open home network that may be broadcasting sensitive information to anyone who passes by her house". "

Link to Original Source

"We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company."