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Comment Re:The attackers (Score 1) 136

> This wouldn't involve the ISP, it'd be entirely within the router. The router could access any DNS server,

Until that individual router device fails DNS, as occurs quite frequently, and then _every_ device behind the router becomes quite useless. This happened to various AWS services when their internal DNS for their private customer VLAN's, their "VPC", failed. Running customized DNS from a router is a popular practice and is often done _extremely_ badly, often because the creators of the routers do not really understand DNS.

Comment Re:Why does the ESA have a worse record of landing (Score 2) 84

NASA picked up a lot of experience putting landers on the moon. The Soviets also sent a lot of moon landers, but never really ironed out the bugs (had a lot of failures). Those problems followed them to Mars where they went 0 for 6 (well, 1 for 6 but the single success ceased communicating after 14.5 seconds with no useful data received).

Comment Re:Oh Boy (Score 1) 138

Current Li-ion batteries only have about twice the energy density of NiCds. The reputation NiCds got for having lousy energy capacity was due to a memory effect. If you kept recharging the battery before it had been fully discharged, it "learned" the low charge state as its new zero state, and you lost that bottom portion of its capacity (due to crystalline growth).

Rechargeable batteries have increased about 2x in energy density in the last half century, and about 3.5x in the last century (from lead-acid to li-ion). So claims of a 10x increase in the near future are going to be met with a lot of skepticism.

Comment Re:Who should we blame? (Score 0) 136

The people that did it.

Certainly, but they had help. Not surprised at this point, but somehow still disappointed to find no mention of "Microsoft", "liability", or even "blame" (beyond the titular question).

If there were liability for the customers' harm, then the makers would design and implement hardware and software with more concern about security and abuse. Not saying Microsoft invented the idea of avoiding responsibility (and actually unable to think of anything that Microsoft actually did invent), but they perfected it. Thereby Microsoft became rich and successful and the model for other companies. Latest reports are pointing the fingers at Chinese manufacturers, but they just sold what the customers wanted, secure in the legal protection of "You can't sue us no matter how much harm our devices cause."

Oh well. Pointless to spend more thought or time on Slashdot these days, especially in speculating on possible improvements. This article will disappear in a few hours, but maybe I missed something "funny"... Okay, found the only post with a funny mod, and it wasn't. Not surprised.

Comment And what about Wi-Fi (Score 3, Interesting) 161

I'd love to see a more thorough technical analysis done. Put a debug tool that monitors the system in real-time. Analyze every sports stadium and their network and equipment infrastructure. And put out a whitepaper that details everything.

Do we know if every NFL stadium has dedicated AP equipment with isolated and prioritized vLANs routing on-the-field device data directly to-and-from their supporting hardware infrastructure? Do we know if every device works with a clean OS install before every game? Are the servers consistent in every stadium? For all we know, someone may have patched two switches together across an old 100Mb link just to get things operational, or someone's running the hosting software on some old P4 server that can't handle the demand, or someone swapped the away team's AP with a cheapo D-Link unit they got at Target, or sixty thousand smartphones are choking the Surface tablet traffic.

It's easy to blame things on Microsoft, especially when your profession is football and not IT. But, in my experience, more often than not, someone screwed up the infrastructure side of the equation.

Comment No, they handle 1.2% of all retail sales (Score 2) 65

TFA says they handle 15% of all online retail sales, maybe 20%-30% if you include third party sales handled through Amazon. Online sales comprise only 8.1% of all retail sales. So Amazon's (very small) slice of the whole pie is just 1.2%, possibly 1.6%-2.4% if you include their third party affiliates.

Amazon barely cracked the top-10 stores in retail sales for 2015. There's a tendency for people who like to be online to over-exaggerate the effect of the Internet. Retail sales are still very much a brick and mortar business.

Comment Re:Scientists have proven (Score 5, Insightful) 325

To date, the Clinton campaign has not once attacked the veracity of the emails.

Not. Even. Once.

They have bobbed, weaved, prevaricated, projected, and otherwise produced non-sequitur "answers" to the questions about the content. But not once have they said "well, that one there, that's false, we never said that." Instead we get tall tales of Russians hacking the DNC -with no evidence - just the Clinton campaign's say-so.

All attacks are upon the messenger(s) and not the facts. And it's amazing how these emails match up with reality.

That tells me a lot. It tells me that the emails are real, and that once Hillary assumes office, the heat is not going to be off. [grumpy cat]Good[/grumpy cat].

Karma is a bitch.


Comment Re:For all the night shift Tesla owners (Score 3, Informative) 80

Localization of the power source doesn't matter. Everything is interconnected by the grid anyway, so only total generation and total consumption matter. Say everything except your Tesla uses x kWh.
  • Original case: x kWh generated, x kWh consumed.

Now add the Tesla and solar panels on your house:

  • Work night shift, Solar panels generate y kWh, Tesla consumes y kWh to charge (set them both to y to simplifiy):
    x + y kWh generated, x + y kWh consumed
  • Work day shift, Solar panels generate y kWh which is sent to the grid, Telsa consumes y kWh from the grid to charge:
    x + y kWh generated, x + y kWh consumed. Same as above.

Basically, if you work the day shift, the addition of your solar panels at your house reduces the amount of power the coal plant needs to generate by y kWh. When you plug the Tesla into a charger at work, it increases the amount of power the coal plant needs to generate by y kWh. And the whole thing is a wash. Exactly the same as if you charged the Tesla at home using (only) power from your home solar panels.

A lot of people don't seem to get this. The marginal increase power use doesn't have to be directly connected to the marginal increase in power generation to have the same effect. This is also why you should conserve electricity even if you're in the Pacific Northwest which is powered mostly by hydroelectric. Any reduction in your consumption means a little bit of hydro power is left over and can be transmitted to the rest of the country, and a coal plant elsewhere needs to burn a little less coal. Exactly the same as if someone living next to the coal plant conserved electricity.

For the same reason, EVs are predominantly powered by electricity from coal and natural gas, not by renewables. Those are the two power generation sources which are flexible enough to ramp up with increases in demand. EVs are only powered by electricity from renewables if you wouldn't have built the renewable plant if you hadn't bought the EV. If you would've built the renewable plant anyway, then it results in a marginal decrease in the generation from coal and gas, while the addition of an EV results in a marginal increase in the generation from coal and gas. So the EV's power is coming from coal and gas. This is the case even if the electricity from your solar panels are going straight to your EV. If in the absence of your EV the electricity from your solar panels would've instead gone onto the grid, then by putting it into your EV you are depriving the grid of those kWh, and a coal/gas plant elsewhere needs to generate those kWh.

Tesla understands this, which is why they're trying to link home solar installation with EV car purchases. If you can link the two, then the purchase of the EV results in the installation of PV solar generation which would not have existed without the EV. And then you can truthfully say the EV is being powered by electricity from solar.

Comment Re:If the point was ... (Score 4, Insightful) 317

There's no proof that it has anything to do with Wikileaks, but in a world of IoT devices with no thought toward security, anyone who cares to do so can mount DDOS with the power of a national entity.

What's the point of doing what Assange and Wikileaks have been doing without any moral position? He isn't helping his own case.

Comment Re:Legal? (Score 2) 265

No, of course it is not legal to set a trap to intentionally hurt someone, even if you expect that the trap could only be activated by the person committing property theft or vandalism. Otherwise, you'd see shotguns built into burglar alarms.

Fire alarm stations sometimes shoot a blue dye which is difficult to remove or one which only shows under UV. Never stand in front of one when pulling the lever! But they are not supposed to hurt you.

And of course these booby traps generally are not as reliable as the so-called "inventor" thinks and tend to hurt the innocent.

Comment Re:Thankfully NASA took the pictures (Score 1) 108

NASA was much the same before the Challenger accident. The PR people had way too much power - enough to force a launch to proceed when the engineers were saying it wasn't safe.

I'm willing to cut the ESA a little slack here. Nobody was really hurt by trying to de-emphasize the lander's failure, and the bulk of the instruments are in the orbiter (which will also serve as a communications relay station for future missions). So while the mass media obviously was focused on the lander's failure, from a scientific standpoint the orbiter's success was the bigger story.

Comment I would believe it. (Score 3, Insightful) 223

I'm quite left of center and the hate for Hillary among my group is probably as bad as the Trump fan hate for Hillary, and people have been complaining about posts disappearing.

Editing content makes you responsible for the content itself, as you are exerting control over it.

I believe practices like this are ridiculously dumb.

Especially since I consider "hate speech" a great idiot filter. It allows me to keep my friends list trimmed. Just like a Confederate flag is, or Trump signs in the yard. But that's my own choosing. I don't want Facebook choosing for me.

Yeah, I know, if it's free you are the product. The problem is that the telnet chat that everyone used has been abandoned (even though it's still up after all these years).


Comment Cheap chargers (Score 4, Insightful) 190

I agree, it's a genuine possibility. I've ordered enough things off Amazon to be genuinely concerned about the state of cheap Chinese chargers being sold through there. There's no good reason to allow a vendor to sell a product that is unsafe, uses counterfeit labeling to bypass US electrical safety inspections and regulations, and easily threatens the safety and welfare of consumers. We can hang Samsung out to dry when its batteries catch fire, but we can't do the same to Amazon for selling us this junk?

My own anecdote: Our school district ordered 10 HDMI-to-VGA adapters recently from Amazon. They were Chinese-direct w/ Engrish instructions and the like, but I knew I was going to get that. What I didn't know I was going to get were incredibly, incredibly cheap 5V 1A chargers, only one of which was spot-on 5V, three more were within +/- 5% of 5V, five were about 5.5V (which still worked, but is not as safe and out-of-spec), and one that would start at 5V for about a minute, then float up to about 20V, before floating back down to 5V. Needless to say, the video adapter paired with the one that floated up to 20V had its display glitch out every-so-often, and even after I tried using a good 5V power adapter, the video adapter was permanently glitchy at that point.

About a month prior, I bought some other video adapters that also were powered by 5V 1A power adapters, but the stickers on the power adapters said they were 9V 1A adapters, even though my multimeter said they were running at 5V. (Sticker also said they were UL listed. Probably just as truthful as the 9V spec was.) I didn't trust those adapters worth a dime, but I wanted to see what was inside them. Unlike the wall-warts of yore, most cheap adapters now (including these) can be opened with a single screw. Inside was a little PCB stuck to the inside plastic cavity with simple double-sided tape. Most shocking to me: The PCB boards were hand-soldered, as evidenced by two of them having etches scraped into the board where solder appears to have overflowed onto other joints, plus that some joints were cold, some were gigantic blobs, and it was generally very sloppy solder work. Also concerning: the wires connecting the plug to the PCB were also hand-soldered on both ends, and more-than-half the joints were cold. One of those wires was also rusted out, and broke off the plug as the device was opened. (There was no tugging on the wire; just twisting it snapped the wire off.) Finally, one of the transistors had leads about 1/2" long off the PCB, and the transistor was bent so hard that one of its leads was dangerously close to a capacitor lead, all on the high-voltage side of the PCB.

This explains why Amazon can make a profit selling 5V USB adapters for $1.50 each, or 5V power adapters for $2.50.

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