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Comment Re:Sounds iffy (Score 5, Insightful) 237

It's pretty easy to run water through a gas chromatograph / mass spec and see if it has anything other than water in it, and how much of that stuff it has. A bit harder to figure out exactly what the pollutant is, but if you have a sample of the fracking water it's easy to look at the peaks the fracking water has and see if they appear in the drinking water even if you don't know the identity of the chemicals.

Comment Re:Alert (Score 1) 382

At least the ones we get down here are more useful.
Amber alerts come in as texts. This one was the first I ever heard. It was a loud screeching, and this message popped up on the screen:

"Tornado Warning in this area til 7:15PM EDT"

I was driving home, and had the radio on. I could see a nasty storm a few miles away. The warning beat the broadcast radio EAS message by about 5 minutes. The radio broadcast said where the tornado was spotted. It was only about 5 miles away.

The next day, I asked coworkers who were in the area. No one else got the alert. I guess the system still has some serious bugs.

Comment Re:Attaboy (Score 1) 1501

For one, the Linux kernel probably has the fastest development rate than any other kernel out there.

For another, given that it is the kernel, I think it is good for people mucking about with it to be scared. There should be *very* compelling reason to change the status quo in kernel land before any attempt is made.

In therms of a flame ware improving a product, I think it is often better than the alternative. It's better to hash it all out, for better or worse, than sidestep discussion for fear of hurt feelings. I've seen the alternative, projects where people are more politicking than getting work done. Conversation fleshed out by more sycophants than meaningful discussion. Passive aggressive discussions where you just aren't sure what is really under the surface.

Comment Re:I'm amazed... (Score 1) 1737

In Florida, as I recall the questionnaire, it asks if you're a convicted felon, and/or if you are currently currently charged for any felony. There are also questions about misdemeanor charges involving violent crimes, such as domestic battery. There are also questions on mental health history, and drug use/abuse history.

As of the moment that was acquitted, he can legally buy a new firearm. He is not current charged with, no convicted of, any crimes which would disqualify him.

Regardless to what the court outcome was this time, he was the person who used the firearm that killed Martin. His name and face are well known. There are still people who are and will continue to be upset with the event. If he's smart, he's already arranging to move far away.

Comment Re:not surprised at racism and naive WASPs (Score 1) 1737

Most of us with CCW permits train our ass off

You're not from Florida, are you?

Here, to get a CCW, we're only required to take a BS class, and to show "proficiency" with a firearm. The class is training on how to fill out the form. The "proficiency" test is to fire one shot. There may be better places doing the training, but that's the majority. From there, a set of fingerprints and a photograph are sent off to FDLE, who gives them to the FBI to verify you have no serious criminal background.

You can get a firearm with a lot less. You pay, and ID information is sent off to FDLE to verify you have no serious criminal background. You can pick up the weapon in 3 days.

There are people, like myself, who *have* gone through a lot of training. We are the exception. I would say the vast majority who own firearms and have CCW permits, have had no formal training beyond the single shot to demonstrate proficiency. Many of them have had and continually renewed their CCW for many years.

Comment Re:like anything else.. (Score 1) 580

I mention that example because there is probably a Turing machine with input that can be fully described in modest time by a human, but which can't be determined to halt even using the entire resources of the known universe converted optimally into a computer and run for the rest of eternity.

That depends entirely on what algorithm you try to use do determine whether the given TM will halt on the given input. Some algorithms might be able to determine it quickly, some might take a long time before finding the answer, and others won't ever be able to determine whether or not it will halt.

The point is that there is no single algorithm which will be able to determine the correct answer for all possible pairs of TMs and inputs.

Comment Re:Fixed that for you (Score 1) 387

Powershell is an oddball that is part python, part perl, and part bash, with heavy amounts of .Net thrown in. While very potent, that makes for some... extraordinarily peculiar constructs and surprisingly ambiguous reaction to certain pipeline flows (e.g. the datatype of seomthing returned being an array type or a singelton type based on number of results can have disatrous results when code tested with just one match suddenly hits an array, or vice versa).

Things like perl/python are not interactive shells for good reason, and bash is a terrible syntax for efficient complex programs for good reason.

I will give them the pipeline operator is a handy shorthand for an iterator operation however.

Comment PS is also.. (Score 1) 387

An example of 'NIH' After years of people pretty much wanting a damn bourne shell, they... made something totally different. People wanted nicely interopable ssh access, they got the hellish monster of powershell remoting over WebServices.

Now if you are a *pure* MS shop, then *anything* but cmd was a great help and the extraordinarily complex nasty crap underlying all their remoting and WMI is tucked away so you can't see just how much it is terrible.

Now MS recognizes that most datacenters are hetereogenuous. What is their answer? Linux should just start acting like Windows: http://blog.serverfault.com/2013/06/03/cross-platform-configuration-management-is-hard/

Seriously, in their efforts to be more 'friendly' in a mixed datacenter, they decide the answer is the world would be so much easier if they can continue to ignore decades of established behaviors of others and just get those competitors to simply change their mind.

Comment They won't... (Score 1) 41

Carriers will treat it as a smartphone. When the central point of the OS as evidenced by the name is full blown web browsing, it's going to be treated as a peer to android/ios devices, period.

With Android as it is in Jelly Bean, firefox os has a very uphill battle ahead of it. If it managed to release prior to ICS, *maybe* it could have had an in, but as it stands Android is just too capable and clean. That's not to say something better can be done or that people like me nervous about just *how* much control Google gets to exert would be interested, but I'm not going to assume for a second that constitutes enough people for a viable mobile platform.

Comment Re:War! (Score 1) 259

    Well, as he was explaining a fictional universe to someone who attempted to troll in reference to said fictional universes, he was right.

Not necessarily. Halo effect fallacy.

Sexy aliens get better ratings? I think it's a little early to make that judgement.

Comment Re:Secure Boot ISN'T! (Score 1) 135

Can you tell us how it's easy to get around Secure Boot?

Well, that rootkit had to go through quite a few hoops to avoid detection. A different set of hoops are in order here.

It'd be hard to hide a MS hypervisor because they are so bloated, but a linux hypervisor can be constructed in under 24 megabytes, which is essentially a rounding error in the typical EFI boot partition as created by MS. So the rootkit is a linux bootloader, kernel, and initrd with qemu and such. The rootkit has to fake a *lot* more stuff to fool extremely comprehensive security software (e.g. if it bothers to look at every single device in great detail, then it would have to emulate every single device). This hinges mostly on how comprehensive the security software is expected to be (and whether that security suite compromises to tolerate 'P2V' type changes) and how dedicated the malware authors are (history has shown them to be... extremely dedicated).

The concept is solid enough, but the implementation is flawed. As a consequence of mandating that the factory burns in the signing key, it pretty much forces MS to sign competitor payload or be seen as anti-competitive. This means your Microsoft install implicitly trusts software from Red Hat, Canonincal, VMware, Attachmate, and really anyone else who may enter the ring. There is no way that MS is providing adequate auditing to assure those paths aren't vulnerable and it shouldn't have to. Because it must be installed into firmware before an OS touches it, there is also *no* reasonable opportunity to provide any assurance of customer provided content like configuration.

As to that root kit you mentioned, MS could have protected itself from that without SecureBoot or any boot signing. MS could have made MBR writes from within their OS forbidden without an extreme warning. No OS bothers to do that, but it would have been actually a pretty defensible move on their part to mitigate root kits.

The problem is that Secure Boot gives MS control of the entire ecosystem but in doing so missed an opportunity to provide something that *would* have worked better and allowed MS to avoid vouching for anything but their own software at boot time.

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