Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:This is why BLOBs are a bad idea (Score 3, Informative) 154

If they don't use BLOBs, wouldn't that just mean the vulnerabilities are baked into silicon?

Your device generally includes some sort of CPU, which is usually programmed in C. It might also include a gate-array program, which is written in verilog or VHDL. Backdoors and bugs live in both of these things.

Comment No Prototype (Score 3, Interesting) 163

The important thing to know about this company is that there is no prototype yet. The news is that they are "Working with FAA", but given that they don't actually have an airplane,

even one worthy of the "Experimental" designation, there hardly seems a point in working with the FAA.

We'll get electric aircraft eventually. I suspect not from these folks, and we might have to wait a bit longer for the battery technology.

Comment This is why BLOBs are a bad idea (Score 2, Insightful) 154

Many driver manufacturers insist on providing BLOBs (binary loadable object files) for drivers to load into their devices, or they have the firmware stored in their devices. What we can't see probably has security errors that we can't fix, but as this shows, the bad guys can find them.

Your system already has backdoors like this. In drivers that load BLOBs and devices that run proprietary firmware, and in the Intel Management Engine.

Comment Was a crime or a tort committed? (Score 4, Insightful) 421

I haven't figured out what law yet, but I get the feeling that blocking all functionality of a customer's electronic device out of spite, and specifically a device for access control to a dwelling, might not have been a legal act. There might be penalties under civil or criminal law.

I'd cut more slack for an Open Source developer who simply refused to help the user because of abusive language, since that developer isn't being paid and the user didn't pay anyone for the software or service. But to lock out a paid customer...

Comment Mistitled, misdirected, and mistaken (Score 0) 146

Not all liberals are against nuclear power, and given that coal seems to be the conservative sweetheart at the moment it doesn't make much sense to blame liberals for this.

All of that said, there's really only one remaining reason to build a nuclear plant today rather than put up wind or solar power. And that's water desalination. It needs lots of power to work. Other than that, centralized power generation is dumb when it can be decentralized without high cost or poor environmental impact, and when solar and wind end up being less expensive than their nuclear equivalent and power storage seems to be becoming practical.

Comment Re:So I will earn $20,000 more a year now right... (Score 1) 352

Or your job will move overseas. If your employer can get the necessary work done overseas (and this depends on the enterprise), your employer can pay even lower salaries there than if the workers came to live here.

So, this may drive your employer to consider exporting the jobs rather than paying more for US citizens.

Comment Re:what's the metric here? (Score 1) 260

The SRBs should not be judged on their own, they are a component of a larger reusable launching system that did not reach economical practicality. The big point here is that SpaceX has a really good chance of reaching economical practicality and lowering the cost per pound to LEO.

It's sort of like comparing the Wright Biplane to the Ford Trimotor, which is arguably the first practical passenger aircraft.

Comment Re:Just wait for Falcon Heavy (Score 3, Insightful) 260

The only way to view this that makes sense is to view it as a cost proposition of dollars per pound lifted to a given orbit. An expendable Falcon 9 flight already costs less per pound to low earth orbit than the same flight using the Space Shuttle. SRBs alone could not complete the mission, it's the whole Shuttle system that you have to cost. A reusable Falcon 9 lowers that cost. The question becomes how great an economic efficiency SpaceX can develop, based on how low they can drive the cost of recovery and reuse and their fixed costs.

Comment Re: What's your track record? (Score 1) 260

Recovery in orbit is an interesting proposition, you don't have to carry anything related to re-entry. But it turns out you do have to carry a lot of other stuff: you have to maintain the low-earth orbit, which decays, and you have to deal with one thing that's missing from the current Falcon 9 upper stage: a loiter capability. It doesn't have solar panels and it isn't set up to survive cold for more than a few hours. There is also the matter of getting upper stages to some common point (maybe could be done slowly with electric engines rather than fast with the main rockets) and getting fuel up to them so that they can be re-used.

Slashdot Top Deals

The most important early product on the way to developing a good product is an imperfect version.