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Comment Re:It's called JTAG baby (Score 1) 270

The notion of security for a device for which someone has JTAG access is a joke, and I'm not being sarcastic. This article is purely trolling by putting "China" in the title. There is no chip of meaningful complexity made anywhere in the world that is safe from complete pwnage if JTAG access is available. Even if/when someone took the trouble to try and make sure there is no direct access to the key registers via JTAG, I guarantee that there are indirect means to read them. The fact that JTAG access to state elements is often added at synthesis from RTL means the functional designers often have no idea what can or can't be done via the JTAG for a particular chip. Absolutely no subterfuge needs to be imagined for manufacturer-generated JTAG elements to do arbitrary things besides the tiny subset they actually use which is testing. But back to my original point. If you've got JTAG access then there are any number of timing and/or RFI means that can be combined to read (and potentially write) any bit anywhere on the chip. There is no such thing as electronic security without physical security first.

Comment Re:Dates? (Score 1) 194

Yeah, that's what I was gonna say. Not to mention the many virtual worlds and many MPORPGs that preceded WoW. Very weird. But not really so weird when you consider Oracle thinks they have billions worth of damages from Android when OpenJDK is GPL. All it takes for a lawsuit is a lawyer who figures he can make a buck and plaintiff crazy enough to pay.

Comment That some serious myopia (Score 4, Informative) 364

Exactly how far back does your memory go? For decades while Microsoft held power over all computers that mattered the press was overwhelming pro-M$. A big part of that was of course because they poured an enormous amount of money into the publishers' coffers. Even whole publishers owed their existence to M$ and never would be heard a discouraging word (ever heard of Ziff-Davis?). Then there was this little thing of being convicted of illegal antitrust market manipulation and a few folks woke up to the idea that it is possible that not everything M$ puts out smells all that sweet.

Comment Calculus for Dummies rocks! (Score 1) 467

I had to wonder if my alter ego was posting this question, but I knew it couldn't be me since because I'd been out of school for 30 years before returning last fall. Statistics is now a required course for CS at my school and took it first thing (the academic adviser signed me up) and I did struggle a bit because I couldn't follow the proofs involving calculus without help, but I still got an A (we didn't have to know the proofs for the exams). But when I saw the text (Pattern Recognition by Bishop) for the Machine Learning & Data Mining class the next quarter I knew I had to seriously (re)learn some calculus. I looked through a number of books and when I found Calculus for Dummies by Mark Ryan I knew I'd found exactly what I needed, the workbook is helpful too but not essential. Don't bother with Calculus II for Dummies though, it just an ordinary (which is to say useless for the non-naturals) calculus text (although I did pick up PDE from it in a brief look through).

And as it happens, the rules on AP Calculus transfer have also changed and I'm probably gonna wind up taking first year calculus anyhow, although pretty much too late for it to do me much good (it would have been helpful to do that before those classes I mention above). I will probably take it online from a community college rather than at the university though, which is what I'm also doing for the foreign language requirement. Thirty years ago the university didn't make CS majors take a foreign language reasoning that computer languages were foreign. We knew that was a joke then, of course the joke on me is that they fixed it in the interim.

For free online resources, the Kahn Academy videos are pretty good if that form works for you.'

Don't listen to all the noise on in this thread. You're totally The Man for braving the slings and arrows in returning to school. It's actually pretty cool in a lot of ways. Among other things you get treated with a rather large measure of respect as a result of being old(er). That is probably on account of the kids thinking you're likely to be a professor or at least a grad student.

Comment Connexions (Score 1) 95

Connexions ( is a project for open source book material that is designed to enable teachers to "mix & match" books that are then printed on demand. There are 2336 hits for "computer" in the catalog. No idea if any of that is useful to you. There is also content on "open source in education":

Comment Greater GPL (Score 1) 258

This very issue (the soon-to-be-reality of computer systems that can and do claim copyright on their output) is why I called on the authors of GPL v3 to include provision for a "Greater GPL". They summarily dismissed the proposal and said such application of copyright is impossible. They were and are quite wrong about that.

Comment Sun folks often have no clue about Java (Score 2, Insightful) 186

Whatever Phipps' experience (of which I have no knowledge), he clearly doesn't comprehend Java security. The whole key to safe code in networked environments is the use of security policies. That includes, in addition to "fine grained" access control over OS operations, the ability to restrict access to classes in the classloader mechanism. This is the same stuff that happens whether you're doing applets in a web browser or a servlet in a web application container (including Sun's Glassfish).

Comment Be afraid, very afraid (Score 1) 508

Your ideas are being stolen. Not only don't tell anyone what they are, don't even think about them. Hidden in the walls of your dorm are dream snatchers which are recording and patenting every thought you have. Don't think this is a joke or you will regret not taking this extremely important advice.

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