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Comment Re:Here's a historical (unknown) point-of-interest (Score 1) 85

Each warhead is manufactured differently and as a result, the timing of the operations needed to set it off differ. If the right key isn't present, then the timing parameters are decrypted wrong and the warhead doesn't go off.

I'm not sure of the specifics of this case, but nuclear warheads in general will explode with inaccurately timed lens explosives. It will have much less mass go critical before the reactions start, and thus will go BOOM instead of BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM, but it will most likely attain some level of criticality and react.

Comment Re:Same setup for MacBook, except for online backu (Score 1) 132

I currently use BackBlaze, and it's soooooo damned stable, light-weight and easy to use... I wonder if there's self hosted alternative?

BackBlaze stores your private key on their servers:

That doesn't seem very private to me. In fact, when you want to restore your data, the data is decrypted on the BackBlaze server, then zipped and the zip file is sent with the unencrypted files. You can add a passphrase to the private key, but again this passphrase needs to be entered into the BackBlaze website so that the files can be decrypted on the server. They promise not to store the passphrase. I love promises.

Comment Re:Hope the bastard gets a nice long stretch (Score 4, Insightful) 53

I dread to think what could happen to some of the information about those kids and who might use it to target youngsters if he's sold it. VTech have been criminally negligent here too so one would hope some heads role, but this little turd really deserves the book thrown at him.

My daughter just this week received a VTech tablet as a gift. We could not connect it to the network due to this hack, and it took me a few minutes to put one and one together to realize that _this_toy_ was the one whose network was hacked. Of course, I had just warned her a few minutes beforehand about entering personal information into the device.

As a parent of a child with this tablet, I am _happy_ that this guy broke in. The VTech company is completely negligent, and I'm furious that they would not encrypt the communications and have such egregious flaws. I'm a software developer and I know that all software has bugs, but this isn't a bug. This was a choice by VTech to use unencrypted communications and to not use best practices in their DB communications (prepared queries). If this Brit hadn't broken in, somebody with worse intentions would have.

I don't personally verify that my bank has good locks, and I don't personally verify that my health care provider's employees have each received proper certification. I have to trust many entities in my life, VTech was one, but when the bank doesn't even bother to lock the safe, or the health care provider slaps a Dr badge on anybody with a white coat, then we have justified reason to be angry not with those who opened the safe but rather with those who left it unguarded.

Comment Re:Wait, what? $56 million Dollar Website for what (Score 1) 533

The FAA estimates that in calendar year 2014, 200,000 small unmanned aircraft were operated in the NAS in model aircraft operations. During this period, the FAA received 238 reports of potentially unsafe UAS operations.

Your numbers show a ratio greater than 1:1000 for incidents:vehicles. I think that is a pretty good indication that regulation is needed. The goal is not to stop terrorists from using drones, but rather to find the idiot who slammed his drone into a crowd of people while filming in a stadium.

Comment Re:Sign #9 (Score 1) 166

See, I learned to shut the hell up and get out of the way. Now, I suspect there's no "Shut the fuck up and listen to smart people" mode of development but I can tell you that it is quite successful.

In my entire professional life, I've only worked with one boss like that, actually recently. He got a great product, myself and the other devs had a blast and learned a lot, and the code is some of the most maintainable, feature-complete and bug-free code that I've seen outside of popular open-source projects (where code quality matters).

I'd love to work for you.

Comment Re:ULA saves teh station (Score 1) 39

Orbital is developing a new launch vehicle (Antares 200) to replace the Antares 100 which should fly next year. The two Atlas launches are a temporary measure to allow it to meet the requirements of the contract after the loss of CRS-3. It's like United Airlines having a contract with NASA to fly employees between field sites. If after a crash, United decides to stand down its A320 fleet for a few weeks while it fixes the problem and continues to deliver service with the 737. The whole point of CRS is to enable a more Commercial delivery model, which means far less oversight and direction from NASA, in exchange for lower costs by giving the commercial providers the flexibility to choose their approach

I must admit that I have not been keeping up with Antares development and I did not see that the -200 launches have been moved forward. So long as the development of alternative launch vehicles (we will ignore the elephant in the room, i.e. the engines) progresses that I would agree that the implied goals of CRS are being fulfilled.

Comment Re:And the difference to the NSA is? (Score 1) 94

I bet that there, the government has the legal authority to do this, so what's the big deal? Here we have that pesky thing called the constitution, and the government still does the same even though they knew it was sketchy at best, but probably illegal.


Oops, the NSA already has their cert installed in Firefox, IE, Chrome, and other web browsers as well by default:

So this is an issue of Kazakhstan just catching up to the US.

Comment Re:Interesting implications for diplomacy (Score 1) 118

The USA's continued cooperation with Russia on the ISS mission has been one of the many things that keeps me assured that we're not going to just completely devolve into war, because nobody wants to come to blows over that particular asset. And now we're trying to get out of ISS involvement "as quickly as we can."

Cooperation with Russia on the ISS is quickly being replaced by confrontation with Russia on ISIS.

Comment Re:ULA saves teh station (Score 1) 39

Because its a service provider contract. SpaceX and Orbital have been contracted to provide a service, not a product. You don't cancel your flight when an A319 shows up at the gate rather than a 737.

I'm aware of the issues behind the CRS program. I'm pointing out though, in terms of your analogy, that in fact it was fully expected and desired that the A320 would be designed and produced more affordably than the 737, and that defaulting to having the Airbus development team charter a 737 as a backup is not only a waste of a launch that could have gone towards developing the A320, but rather further entrenches us in the dependence on Boeing's product.

Comment Re:ULA saves teh station (Score 1) 39

"The whole idea of the CRS missions was to encourage the development of new technologies"

Not really, the idea was to bring down launch costs using contractors on a fixed contract cost. NASA doesn't really care how they achieve this, they can use a rocket design from the 60's as long as it is reliable and cheap. It is pushing contractors towards newer methodologies (UAL Vulcan, SpaceX Falcon reusable) but doesn't necessarily require new technology.

Though techinically you are correct that the contracts do not state the technologies required, it is pretty much implied that new technologies would be developed in order to meet costs. Nobody was expecting that a simple restructuring of the paperwork involved, including the addition of a middleman between NASA / DOD and ULA, would lower launch costs.

Each launch using the legacy technologies is another launch opportunity for testing new technologies lost.

Comment Re:ULA saves teh station (Score 1) 39

Why didn't NASA just buy station resupply flights from ULA instead of making a bad deal with the incompetent SpaceX or ATK the having to buy backup them as well?

Though worded as a troll, this is a very good question if it would be reworded as such:
Why is NASA letting the Orbital CRS-4 mission ride on a ULA rocket through a third-party contractor?

The whole idea of the CRS missions was to encourage the development of new technologies to free us from the use of the Altas and Titan rockets. Sure, the rocket is pushing a Cygnus capsule to the station, but the rocket used is no less important (in my personal opinion the rocket is more important for the CRS objectives) and this is a completely wasted chance to refine the Antares design, even if it would have taken considerably more time to get the cargo to the station. From the launch on an Atlas, it looks like Antares development is over and thus Orbital should lose their CRS contract.

If Orbital cannot produce a suitable rocket, then the mission should have been scrubbed and the cargo launch contracted to either ULA or SpaceX. Letting a CRS launch "default" to an Atlas rocket when the independently-designed (ha! not even that, Antares uses Russian engines) rockets is unavailable or unreliable is completely contrary to the goals of the CRS program, and rather entrenches NASA into the Atlas.

Comment Re:Wikipedia (Score 1) 508

For those that cant be bothered to click the wikipedia link, a shibboleth is a mythical creature, like the minotaur or the shakira.

Actually, the truth is funnier than that. The word is Hebrew in origin, used to distinguish race because the Effriam tribe could not pronounce the "sh" sound.

The word means simply "oatmeal", and the children of Effriam would pronounce their oatmeal as "siboboleth" (no "sh"), which made them easy to identify.

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Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!