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Comment Those aren't "real" giga/tera (Score 4, Insightful) 548

Look the metric prefixes up: Giga, tera, etc are base 10. Giga means 10^9, not 2^30. They always have, they predated widespread base 2 usage. The standard SI prefixes are for base 10 as that's one of the big ideas behind the SI system is using base 10 for all units.

Now there are base-2 prefixes that have been introduced, those are Gibi, tebi and so on. If you want to talk base 2 orders of magnitude, you use those.

However using regular base-10 SI prefixes makes sense since basically everythign else in our computers uses that. When a processor says 3GHz it means 3 billion cycles per second, not 3,221,225,472. When a network is "gigabit" it means 10^9 bits per second, not 2^30. When we say DVDs are sampled at 48kHz we mean 48,000Hz not 49,152Hz. It makes sense to display our storage likewise. About the only area where the base-2 prefixes make sense is RAM, since it is actually sold along base-2 boundaries.

Comment I get annoyed as hell with shit like this (Score 1) 548

There are lots of things in the world with stupid names that are not accurate tot heir actual traits for various reasons. However when it specifies a given item then it makes sens to KEEP USING IT rather than to try and change things and screw people up.

An area you see this all the time in is ammunition. Many, many bullets have names that don't match their actual size. For example .380 auto isn't .380 caliber. The bullet is .355, the case is .373. So no matter which measurement you are using, it is wrong. However the round is called .380 auto, so we keep calling it that because people know what it is.

Comment Using a data diode, and careful controls (Score 4, Interesting) 237

If you really care about isolation, like the kind we are talking about for SIPRnet and so on then you need to use data diodes and controls.

A data diode is a hardware device that only allows transfers in one direction. That way you can make sure that when you are bringing data in to the network, no egress can happen, and such. They are very specialty, and very expensive.

However more important than that is proper controls. That means policies and procedures that are followed rigorously. You have to make sure that people are extremely careful with how data is moved from one network to another and what data is moved. You need a process that specifies things like who can decide data to be moved, who approves it, who reviews it, how this is all done and so on.

If this is really important, well don't try to do it yourself based on some posts on Slashdot, you need to hire some experts. You also need to spend lots of time in the design and planning stages, you need to careful consider and document how everything will be set up and all the controls in place.

Comment It may just be runway length (Score 1) 286

The reason they might not bother in Phoenix is most of the time, it isn't a problem. Also it isn't a problem for the bigger jets with bigger engines, it seems, just the small ones. Well those are a somewhat new phenomena. 20 years ago if you wanted to do a jet a 737 was about as small as they got. You either used that or went with a prop plane for really short routes.

The last big expansion to Sky Harbor was in 1989, before those little regional jets were a thing.

Comment It's silly to support HEVC and not VP9 (Score 3, Informative) 205

While HEVC is probably going to be useful in the future, since it does offer good compression and the licensing is likely to get sorted one way or another, VP9 is useful NOW. Google will send you videos in VP9 format if it can since not only is VP9 Google's format, but it gets better per-bit quality than MP4/AVC. Well given that Youtube is, by far, the big name in video hosting for the 'net, makes sense to support it. On top of that, Netflix has started making use of it as well. They are the very biggest commercial streaming service. So between the two it is a massive amount of use.

I can't see why you'd want to add HEVC, which is brand new, still having licensing issues and thus has next to zero adoption before VP9 which is already a major force. I mean shit even Edge supports VP9 these days. Safari and IE are basically the only browsers that don't these days (and IE is deprecated).

Comment Old protocols are a huge problem (Score 4, Insightful) 73

When you take something that wasn't designed with security in mind and try to expand and adapt it, you have a lot of issues. Better to start with something designed for the purpose it is being used from the start.

HTTP is a good example. It was designed as a stateless protocol for transferring text documents with markup. We now rely on it to do stateful transactions for things like shopping carts online and this has lead to tons of security issues since you have to hack on state to a protocol that isn't designed to support it using things like cookies. It would be much more secure had it been designed from the ground up to handle stateful transactions with people.

IP is another great example. There's all kinds of shit in IPv4 that is completely stupid from the perspective of a protocol used on the Internet. Like source routing, where you can specify the routers that a packet must go through, or the fact that you can just claim to be from any IP you want. This is a bad design for a global communications network. However it is that way because IP wasn't designed for a global communications network, it was designed for an ARPA project and it grew. IPv6 fixes a lot of this because it was designed later, around how IP is actually used these days.

Also talking about Xwindows is funny because man you wanna talk security risk, X is a huge. If you have an X server that talks on the network any system on the network can just draw to your local display, and you have no easy way of knowing that it isn't your system. Someone can phish passwords in a very hard to detect way using it. Now of course most distros are smart enough to block remote X using the firewall, and you do something like tunnel it over SSH. However that is a hack, it is putting up barriers around something insecure. If those barriers are bypassed, the insecurity is still there. Better if it were designed secure from the ground up. Then you still put the barriers in place as well so that you aren't relying on any one level of security.

Discontinuing the use of older protocols is a good idea for security, when possible. It isn't always possible, of course, I mean IPv4 is still far and away the most widely used IP spec. But you stop using them when you can (and indeed modern OSes will prefer IPv6 when they have both available).

Comment Congress won't allow it (Score 1) 45

The reason big government contractors get so much work is not because most government agencies would prefer it that way. Most would rather do things in house. any efficiency arguments aside, it makes their little empire bigger. Rather it is because there is pressure at the top to do business with contractors who, unsurprisingly, are big donors.

Comment No shit (Score 4, Insightful) 263

Particularly since cellphones as they actually were/are, meaning phones that work with individuals radio "cells" and move between them need computers to work. They don't have to be amazing computers, but they need some computer logic to handle dealing with dynamic frequency assignment and handoff between towers.

That one piece of a technology, even an important piece, existed at a given time doesn't mean the tech could happen. Many devices require a confluence of a number of technologies before they can happen.

Smartphones are an example. They aren't particularly a novel idea, we've seen shit like them in sci fi for a long time. However to actually be a thing on the market we needed a lot of shit:

--Processors had to get fast enough at a small enough size
--Displays had to get small, light, and low energy
--Batteries had to get sufficient energy density
--Silicon based storage had to evolve to usable levels
--We needed wireless digital communication
--We needed the Internet (or something like it to have something worth connection to)

Without any one of those things, you don't have a workable smartphone. That they started to rise to prominence when they did isn't some amazing stroke of genius or luck, it was because the various technologies had reached the needed point.

Comment Ya no shit (Score 1) 418

When we bring someone on, they do NOT get root/admin to critical servers their first day. They have to be off probation first, which is 6 months where I work. Even then, credentials for things are not on a document. That is just asking for them to get lost or stolen. They are given on a wallet sized card, written specially for that person, and they are instructed to keep them safe until memorized.

The reason is, of course, to prevent fuckups, as well as to make sure we trust them fully. The idea of giving someone full access to critical stuff on day one is stupid. Shit it sometimes takes more than a day for them to get access to e-mail and all that just because of all the other things they need to do.

This is 100% on the company. Have working backups, CHECK YOUR BACKUPS, and don't give a new hire a sheet with access to your critical data.

Comment OpenVPN isn't bad (Score 3, Informative) 44

It is fairly easy to set up and supports new protocols. Linux seems to support it reasonably well and its Windows implementation isn't totally retarded.

However really, it is worth your while to invest time and effort in learning IPSec. I know it is a pain in the ass, I've done a ton with it. However it is powerful. The reason it is complex is that it can be used for basically everything. It is a general purpose encryption and authentication method for IP. It is also a mandatory part of the IPv6 spec so going forward it is just going to be a thing that all systems will have.

It also has the benefit of being widely supported. While not a lot talks OpenVPN, nearly everything already talked IPSec.

Comment As a simple example (Score 2) 227

Motive can determine what kind of crime something is. So let's say you hit someone with your car and killed them. Suppose you did it because:

--You were swerving to avoid hitting someone else, your motive was to avoid hurting another person, not to hurt them. That would likely be no charge, but at most Involuntary Manslaughter since there was no malice, no intent to kill.

--You swerve to hit them because you believe you see them strangling an animal, and it makes you fly in to a rage and want to hurt them (but not necessarily kill them). That would be First Degree Manslaughter.

--You swerve to hit them because they are a person you hate and they flip you off and you decide that fuck it, they deserve to die for disrespecting you. That would be Second Degree Murder.

--You swerve to hit them because you set out to kill them, you were looking for this particular person with the express intent of killing them when you found them. That would be First Degree Murder.

In all cases they are dead because you swerved in to them with your car. However the law can treat you very different based on your intent in the case. It is codified in to law that why someone did something matters, a whole lot.

Comment Ya I've never understood this Facebook paranoia (Score 2) 189

It is not like it is mandatory, and I don't see it going that way either. I know a lot of people who use Facebook all the time, who are glued to it. I know a lot of people who use it occasionally but don't give much of a fuck. I know a lot of people that don't use it at all (I'm one of those). This spans all ages too. There is this false idea that every single younger person is glued to Facebook so in the future it'll be the only way to communicate. Nope. Plenty of our students don't give a fuck about FB, whereas others love it. Same shit with older people.

So far I've seen no indication that not using Facebook makes you an outcast, unable to get jobs, unable to travel, or anything like that. As such if you don't trust it, don't feel what you give up is worth it, or just plain don't care, then don't use it.

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