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Comment Re:NSA launches project FUD against Trucrypt (Score 4, Insightful) 233

The problem is that the HDD is designed, given the head, recording signal, and surface material, to only support the original capacity under the signal theory that covers the current method of recording. It does NOT matter that in theory, the disk material MAY be able to save far more data with a different head, and signal method. Only the current method matters. But the owners of Slashdot will allow periodic FUD articles to appear that DISCOURAGE people from using proper file erase tools, on the basis that its actually a waste of time, because the NSA can still get your data no matter how you erase it.

You sure YOU don't work for the NSA? The recording capability is what it is, but the reading capability is whatever you can put in a $100 consumer drive operating at 100MB/s with 1 error in 10^14 bits accuracy. What you can do with a >$1 million electron microscope at 1/1000th the speed at 1/1000th the accuracy is another matter. You might not want a 0.1 MB/s drive that corrupts a bit every megabyte but for forensics that's plenty. Never mind that all modern drives just pretend to offer you a linear disc, in reality it remaps a whole sector if a single bit fails. How much compromising info can you write in 4023 out of 4024 bits of a 4K sector? It's not useless but everything you hope to achieve with erasing is better achieved with encryption. Nor are they mutually exclusive, if you want to wipe your encrypted drive for that extra unrecoverable feeling go ahead.

Comment Re:Needs more context (Score 1) 75

I doubt fiber will ever make it in the home market aside from storage attachment. The only way to persuade a typical commodity user to plug anything in these days is if they can charge their battery of it. Will likely see penetration of PoE,PoE+,etc and 10GBase-T, but not much beyond that.

I doubt anything has a future in the home, to the home it'll be fiber (23% here in Norway now and rapidly rising) that plugs into a box in the closet that splits it off into TV, phone, wireless and copper wire internet service and so on. GigE over copper is plenty for in-home distribution, even for compressed 4K material unless you've got a big family all watching different things with quad-BluRay quality. Anywhere you're likely to want an Ethernet port you have wall sockets, so no point in powered varieties. Nobody cares about having a 10GbE home network and it'll take forever until you have >1GBit internet connections. Now I'm not going to go 640kB on you and say forever, but for the next decade I see absolutely no demand for anything more.

If anything the trend is the other way around, you supply power and everything else is wireless even over short distances. That the latest standards have poor range and don't penetrate obstacles well means they work better in apartment buildings due to less interference. Actually in my building it works so well that I'm starting to wonder if it's deliberate, non-interfering materials in apartment-internal walls and blocking materials in walls to adjoining flats. Doesn't seem to have any effect on cell phone signals though, but I receive my own wireless AP extremely well and the others much weaker - I suspect out the window to other buildings in sight. It's the interference that kills wireless performance.

Comment Re:Great little article (Score 1) 211

Every one of these points hits the nail square on the head.

The key to take out of this is: document document document! At minimum you should have a set of instructions to re-build your dev and build environment. "Insert the <your company> dev workstation image v4" is not allowed to be a step! Your elaborate continuous integration multi-tree setup and mountain of environment setup scripts and template directories are great until the guy who set it up takes off and you have to upgrade something. Ideally a set of instructions talking to the motivation of certain decisions, roadblocks encountered, etc.

One thing the article doesn't have is have lots of 3rd party tools and keep the license servers/license files on whatever box is most convenient for the dev working on it at the time.

He left out the best method: Hand write everything in assembly language...

Comment Challenge the impossible... (Score 5, Informative) 86

After 46 million years, however, any DNA would be long degraded.

That's what they used to say about Neandertal DNA. Turns out the DNA does indeed begin to fragment but you can still piece it together for a very long time after it begins to degrade. In this case that statement is it's probably right and 46 million years is too long and even if you could recover some Dino DNA (from any source) it will be fragmented beyond recovery with current technology. Even so, we should not stop trying to defy established notions of what is impossible. A Scientist at Yale University recently discovered that pigments do not degrade, they sometimes fossilise which is an amazing discovery since it means that if we find fossilised dinosaur skin, feathers or insect exoskeletons for that matter we can figure out what color long extinct animals were. It was almost a scientific axiom that we would never know what color dinosaurs were and it certainly blew me away when I found out that was wrong.

Comment Re:not entirely false (Score 4, Interesting) 394

There is masses of half-assed, broken, wretched and downright brain-damaged open source code out there, and anyone who claims otherwise doesn't know what they're talking about. Much of it is written as a quick and dirty hack to solve an individual's problem and then released, with scant regard to long term maintainability. Yes, there are some gems, but they are hidden amongst many many times more garbage. The good thing is you can fix it, if needed, and the software will evolve. But typically commercial software has gone through that process several times before it gets to market, because despite what people here may say about microsoft, not many people will pay good money for completely broken crap that doesn't work.

Many companies have paid ridiculous amounts of money for code that doesn't work, particularly custom and semi-custom code. The NHS in the UK scrapped a >10 billion GBP - that's 16 billion USD - national healthcare system. Vertical integrators that have a stranglehold on certain professions are often full of horrible, horrible code. Insane amounts of spaghetti code have been made by cheap outsourcing companies to go into "commercial software". Closed source has its gems. Open source has its gems. But as a broad generalization it's the pot calling the kettle black, both have a huge spread. Often it's just good vs better or bad vs less mediocre and the question to pay or not depends on whether a $50k+ worker could be 1% more effective - that's $500 - with that tool or not.

Personally I find there's a difference of layers, closed source software doesn't sell unless it looks good on the surface with user interface and hand-holding documentation, comes with buzzword compliance, feature checklists and fancy demos of the capabilities. Open source is more grab it, put it through its paces and see if it works for you. Doesn't have to be so pretty to look at, but be a solid workhorse with detailed technical documentation but often a high learning curve. It's usually more about manpower though than anything else, often you realize there's five open source developers trying to compete with a hundred closed source developers and it's not so much a better of the quality of the coders but simply about being outgunned.

Comment Re:Only true in some circumstances (Score 1) 394

The same applies to some open source projects. If you're willing to throw the resources at a project; whether that be your own patches and improvements, or financial resources, you're likely to get what you want out of project.

I've seen some of this so-called "superior" closed source code, and some of it is insanely awful, poorly documented cruft.

Comment Re:Firearms unit (Score 1) 292

Not to mention the perpetrator-victim relationship, in the UK and most of Europe a knife is enough. Depending on where you are in the US if you tried to rob anyone with a knife chances are you'd get the wallet while you're up close then get held or shot at gunpoint as you're trying to get away. If you have to assume your victim might have a gun (legally or illegally) the only "safe" way to rob them is to control them at gunpoint from start to finish. As I understand it guns are not that terribly hard to acquire here in Europe but they are usually overkill to commit the crime and they rarely let you get out of a situation you couldn't escape with a knife. Unless you intend to kill but most murders around here happens in close relations with victims in "stabbing distance", not gang violence on the street. And of course to an armed robbery you send armed police...

Comment Re:DOUBLEPLUS (Score 0) 292

Since you keep making these claims, you must have some evidence. Can you present it? Or is this just a crank theory of yours?

He's a crank. Sure, it might be possible that some things are not all as they seem but he's on a roll that everything is some sort of conspiracy or false flag operation. Nothing is as simple as crazy religious fundamentalists shooting up an easy low-security target for huge publicity and terror factor.

Comment Re:server ban? (Score 1) 169

While I don't know if it was for the same reason everywhere I was helping out at an ISP when the first server bans were instituted and the reason they did it was guys were running Quake and other FPS servers and pretty much killing the bandwidth for everybody. If they ran a popular game server even when they were down it was getting pings up the ying yang from guys trying to hook up and the infrastructure, at least where I was at, simply couldn't handle it.

Comment Re:First world problems. (Score 1) 791

Are you being obtuse on purpose, or are you just an iFanboy? All that matters to the user is how it FEELS and I got news for ya pal, while I haven't tried the $60 one yet i HAVE sold a couple of the $80 ones and ya know what? They could not be happier! Its responsive, plays all their fav games, plays movies, they love the hell out of them.

So you keep right on waving the iFlag and watch as the numbers keep going down down down. Last figures i saw had them losing almost 10% from last year and that trend? WILL continue. At the end of the day ALL that matters to Joe and Jane Consumer is "will it do what i want it to?" and the answer is most certainly YES IT WILL.

Comment Re:Democracy (Score 5, Insightful) 264

Last I checked, Democracy is what gave us the Surveillance State.

Gilbert: There is one difference. In a democracy, the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.
Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

It's not exactly an accident that the NSA legitimized their mass surveillance through the PATRIOT act.

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