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Comment Re:All the jokes aside... (Score 4, Interesting) 95

Indeed - I remember nearly 20 years ago the categories of damage that a computer virus could do:

Wiping the hard disk = "Minor" (if you have a backup, then recover from the backup)

Random bit swaps in data files = "Catastrophic" (undetected for long enough that even on a long backup cycle, they are all infected. Worse than that, subtly corrupted files are far harder to correct than merely deleted ones)

Comment What goes around, comes around (Score 5, Interesting) 450

In the original space race, when the Soviets launched a satellite, it was seen in the west as a proxy for an ICBM - the (correct) theory being, that a nation firing a sub-orbital rocket was "interesting", while a nation launching an orbital craft meant they could, potentially, hit "anywhere" (subject to orbital inclination and other similar factors)

Now that the Soviet Union has fallen, to be replaced by "friendly" (yeah, right) Russia, other nations can launch satellites with impunity (China, India etc). Most of them are, if not "friendly" to the west, are at least "not complete and utter fruitbats" (that's a technical term BTW).

North Korea (DPRK), though, is still transitioning from the "complete and utter fruitbat" of Kim Jong-Il to Kim Jong-Un, so that, at this stage, it is hard to say whether the new Dear Leader's plans for satellites are peaceful or not.

Assumption 1: it is peaceful, so an out of control satellite is, as USA, Russia and several others have found out, merely an expensive mistake
Assumption 2: it is deliberately provocative, (we launch a satellite, so an ICBM is easier), so an out of control satellite is... well what, exactly?

Let's not forget that part of DPRK's posturing is directed inwards - their recent "nuclear accident" ( - to quote wiki "No neighboring nations have claimed any detection of radioactive isotopes characteristic of a nuclear explosion.", even though their news media hinted it as such, means that even an unsuccessful satellite will still be seen as a "we are a major power" - when broadcast to those in DPRK

So... where from here? DPRK joins the space race. That is still a concern. Does it matter that the satellite failed? Only if it was intended to be "just a satellite" If it was a "proof of concept" for an ICBM, then a wonky orbit is still an orbit


Submission + - China lands J-15 jet on Liaoning aircraft carrier (

BeerCat writes: The BBC reports

China has successfully landed a jet fighter on its new aircraft carrier for the first time, officials say. A Chinese-made J-15 fighter landed on the 300m (990ft) former Soviet carrier during recent exercises, China's defence ministry said on Sunday.

Comment Re:Facebook? (Score 1) 398

I was almost going to agree with you totally - Facebook is more "at the table of the gang of three" than "one of the gang of four".
But then I thought about whether it is more than "just clicks", in the same way that the iPod dominated the MP3 market because it wasn't just a music player - it was the whole package of player+easy music management (and later an easy online store).

So, with Facebook having the app integration far better than MySpace did, (boosted by the near symbiotic relationship with Zynga in the early days of both Zynga and Facebook), and with things like Skype integration coming in, they are, for now, in the "whole package" piece.

Well they stay at the top table? I suspect that their choice of Microsoft (FB uses Bing search and maps, as well as the Skype integration) means that, if Microsoft can think of themselves as a service provider, rather than an OS provider, then they could acquire Facebook. The problem is that Microsoft has had a tendency to acquire things and made them "Windows only", even when they started out multi-platform, that it is probably a good thing that they haven't bought out Zuckerberg. Yet.

Will Microsoft be one of the "gang of four"? As others have said, probably not until Ballmer steps down.

Comment Re:Problem... (Score 1) 116

I propose writing on titanium or aluminum sheets. Most of the writing would be in tiny microscopic font to get some decent data density -- like microfilm of the 80's, but with better long-term durability.

On the first page we could put normal-size writing as sort of a primer. Then the text would get progressively smaller until it's microfilm-sized, so the reader would get the point that the rest of the tablet is in tiny letters. We could put a diagram explaining the properties of a magnifying glass, and how to make one.

A bit like the plans for the Rosetta Project:

The text begins at eye-readable scale and spirals down to nano-scale.

Comment Problem... (Score 1) 116

It's all very well having something that can be read "with an optical microscope and appropriate software", but if the planned life is in the millions of years, then you have to hope that the science of optics hasn't been lost. And as for software, that will be hard to read far, far sooner (see the Domesday Project as an example:

Comment Re:Know your enemy? (Score 2) 34

I think you could be right - it's 'tick boxing', which is beloved of corporate IT departments.

Corporate IT: "Do you do ..."
Vendor: "Yes, we do"

C IT:"What about security?"
V: "Obvious - we attended BlackHat"
C IT: "OK, I'll take that as a given"

PHBs will stop there. Non corporate IT will want to know "But what about DefCon. And, what did you _actually_ do at BlackHat"

Comment Know your enemy? (Score 3, Insightful) 34

"Some have speculated that Apple's decision to attend the conference is rooted in their desire to make further inroads in the enterprise market while others believe it's a sign that Apple recognizes the growing importance of having a more open relationship with the hacker community"

Or maybe it's to find out at first hand what the black hats are planning - the quid pro quo is to make some presentations.

Comment Re:Cool Idea (Score 1) 339

Thinking about the mouse, there are some mini-mice available. However, since most of a mouse is empty space, then how about a wireless mouse that is worn on the end of your index and middle fingers like a thimble (the click switches moved to be on the fingertips). Not sure if it's been done before.

For the keyboard, there keep being articles about foldable / rollable keyboards coming "Real Soon Now". Or go down the projected virtual one.

As someone else had commented, instead of a projector, projector glasses might work.

All in all, an interesting "back to basics" hardware project

Comment Re:The cloud fills a nitche (Score 1) 213

Neither one has to displace the other. It's like music and movies. You don't really consume one to the exclusion of the other.

I watch movies and listen to music. I don't "consume" them.

The only time music would be "consumed" is if you adopt Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night" metaphor as literal - "If music be the food of love, play on"

Comment Re:Interesting technology (Score 1) 601

Sounds more to me like Microsoft and the media companies are being scammed.

Yep. And by a Russian company with "Pirate" in their name.

Forgive me for what I'm about to type, but: "LOL!"

LOL indeed.

Sounds like a classic Trojan Horse attack (on MSFT and the RIAA / MPAA). They want so much for it to be true, that they have been blinded to the source of this "solution"

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