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Comment They're still trying? (Score 0) 224

Seriously, I thought this project was dead a long time ago. Or maybe I was using a recent version, and it just *felt* dead, because it was SO FAR BEHIND. Don't get me wrong, I think free options are great, and I got through most of college using OpenOffice. At the time (early 2000s), it was pretty much feature-equivalent to MS Office. Then MS Office got better, and OpenOffice just sort of... didn't. If LibreOffice is still actually under development, maybe I'll give it a shot on one of my Linux systems. Modernizing the UI is a good step, as last time I used it it still LOOKED like a product from 2000.

Comment Re: There is only one goal (Score 1) 555

Power steering doesn't "lock solid," it becomes "much more difficult to steer." The only way steering "locks" is if the ignition turns to the point of locking the steering wheel, or something very catastrophic mechanically happens to prevent the mechanism from turning. I've had a full-size bus I was driving lose power while going down the freeway. It became MUCH harder to steer - I was leaning out of my seat, grabbing the wheel hard with both hands, and pulling HARD to keep it going where it needed to go, but it didn't "lock solid." It was simply much, MUCH more difficult to steer. My life and the lives of my passengers potentially depended on it though, so I made it happen.

Having my life or the lives of those around me depend on a crap "smart gun" firing when needed... there's no simple way to MAKE that fire if it loses power.

Comment Re:Windows 7 Perfect? Spare me (Score 2) 349

Naw, no trolling... not much anyway. When I say "close to perfect," I mean something closer to "the best desktop OS UI that's been created yet, by anyone, where most things 'just work.'" And I say that writing this from a Mac that I've been using as my primary daily laptop for two years - and I STILL hate the UI. The multi-monitor/projector support is TERRIBLE, Finder has one of the worst file explorer layouts I've seen, it's about a 10-step process to switch from normal headphones to USB or back, my task bar or whatever it's called in MacLand shrinks to where I can hardly see what I'm clicking if I open too many things at once, the network settings are disjointed, and it's not even possible to use a shortcut key to lock the desktop when I'm walking away from my desk! (And no, a "hot corner" is NOT THE SAME, even though that's the dirty cheap hack I have in place as a substitute).

So, compared to that hot steaming mess in the road, Windows 7 is pretty close to perfect.

Comment These were already solved... (Score 4, Insightful) 349

...back in 2001, the year of Linux on the Desktop. Seriously, getting a desktop "right" is hard... Apple certainly hasn't figured it out yet, none of the Linux camps have figured it out... it's hard. The only one that may have come close to perfecting it was Microsoft with Windows 7, and then they went and screwed it all up after they had it.

Comment Re:Wrong conclusion (Score 1) 77

"See that guy? He's crazy! Let's go for an easier target." Crazy = unpredictable = bad target. On the other hand, I've been told they probably avoid me because I look like I might rip someone's heart out with my bare hands and eat it, just to see if it tastes like bacon. So skipping is not always necessary to be a bad target.

Comment Re:Self encrypting hard drives are WORSE! (Score 1) 73


Real SED drives implement this standard, which includes the disk changing the key - it's how Instant Secure Erase works, among other things (old key is thrown out, new key is generated by the hard drive). If the WD product really behaves as described in that link, then I'd agree - that implementation of the controller is flawed (and also, not TCG/Opal compliant, I'd wager). More than likely, the drive inside the enclosure implements the standards correctly (or nearly so), and the problems are in the USB controller side of things. SED drives are not very user-friendly, and WD was probably trying to mask that.

Comment Re:Self encrypting hard drives are WORSE! (Score 3, Informative) 73

You've clearly never researched how SED drives work. No one has "the key for the drive," it's generated by the drive on the fly. The drive ships unsecured, and when you secure it, it generates a new encryption key using the passphrase you supply. When you Instant Secure Erase the drive, it throws out the old keys and generates new ones. You can revert the encryption settings back to factory default, but you lose all data in the process. On top of that, on the better drives, all of this is reviewed by NIST for FIPS compliance.

Software encryption requires a couple of sufficiently motivated and clever Russians to break. Proper hardware encryption requires far more motivated, clever, and trained NSA engineers.

Comment Re:Summary lesson: Physical access trumps all. (Score 2) 73

With SED drives, depending on the system architecture, the key to unlock them is often stored on the controller (think servers, here). So, if you steal a drive or find a drive in the rubbish bin, etc., you can't access it, but if you get the whole server or the drives + controller, you have full access, nothing else required. The big benefits to SED drives are: 1) MUCH faster than software-based FDE. The encryption basically happens at drive speed, and when you build a larger array, there's no slowdown - the encryption scales with the number of drives, since each disk has its own controller doing the encryption. 2) Instant Secure Erase - this wipes out the encryption keys in the drive's controller, rendering the original data permanently unrecoverable (assuming the encryption itself isn't broken). So, you can dispose of the drive (or RMA it) without worry that your corporate secrets are going to float out into the world. So, expensive "keep your hard drive" support plans can go away, as can expensive drive shredding services.

Comment Re:Hmmmm (Score 1) 181

It probably depends on the hospital/clinic. Where I was, they asked for payment when I left. They didn't ask for evidence of my ability to pay when I arrived, about to collapse and puking on their floor. They treated me first (for a full day), then asked for payment. Contrast that with a trip to the ER I had in the US, where I had just been stabilized after anaphylaxis from an allergic reaction. While I was still being wheeled back, they were asking how I was going to be paying for that, if I had insurance, etc., trying to determine my ability to pay (presumably so they could determine what level of care to give me).

I would probably put both "individual pay" and "fully socialized" above our current system, or maybe a mixture, but one where there's true competition instead of the mess we have now.

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