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Comment Re:Smokescreen? (Score 2) 78

Or a false flag justification for their attacks.

Actually, I was thinking it was a false flag explanation to give them cover for the growing insolvency of their own financial system. Blame it on the West, and all of a sudden Putin isn't running Russia into the ground...he's mounting an intrepid defense against a global conspiracy against Russia!

Comment Nope! (Score 2) 624

A major issue is that everyone is talking about "the" problem. There is no "the" problem...there's an entire ecosystem that includes entities that are wont to do bad things, economic and social drivers that incentivize them to do these bad things, and technological functionality that empowers them to do these bad things. Social media sites and apps...in their current incarnation (including the entire ecosystem of supporting back-end processes, business arrangements, etc.)...fall into the latter. Social media is a valid place to go after the problem, even though it's not the only one; like most significant problems, what works best is a multi-pronged effort to address as much of the end-to-end chain as possible.

Comment Re:Facebook is poisoned brand with gamers (Score 5, Insightful) 116

This is dead on arrival, as Facebook is poisoned brand with gamers. They might attract casual Facebook gamers, Farmville and the like, but they already have these.

Indeed. My first thought after reading this was, "There's no way I'm going to let those privacy-rapist cunts get their hooks into any part of my life...and Steam works just fine."

Comment Re:Sociopaths gonna sociopath. What's new? (Score 1) 259

He was saying:

"Mind you don't walk into my fist, glasshole".

Seriously, this study is skewed. It only covers people who would consent to walk down the street wearing google glass.

Very true, but there's also another effect: the "observer effect." Basically, if someone is aware that their behavior is being observed and monitored, that often has an impact on the behavior itself. The 800-pound gorilla equivalent of this is the exercise in acting class where a student is made to sit down on a solitary chair facing the rest of the class...and is told to "just relax and be yourself."

I have to think that strapping a Google Glass onto someone's head and making them walk down the street is going to have an impact on their behavior...especially if they A), are very uncomfortable wearing it, or B) are very happy about wearing it. I could see how both groups would look away from people they saw as being less-privileged, for ironically different reasons. I could see how group A would feel uncomfortable displaying an item that conveys a certain "elitist piece of shit" image, while group B might embrace the image and consider themselves above the peons as a result.

Comment Re:What does this even mean ? (Score 5, Insightful) 367

That's a big "if", is currently false and will be false for hundreds of years still. This is declared intent to cause injury, making it a bit past borderline illegal. It is poorly thought through immoral marketing buzz. There is no positive angle to this "story" or even much to say except Mercedez-Benz has decided to let the interns do PR.

Actually, it's not that big an if.

Earlier this year, at a roundtable on connected car security headed up by the NHTSA, the chairman of the NHTSA stood up and cited some interesting numbers. A bit more than 32,000 people had died in vehicle-related accidents the prior year, and about 97% of those were the direct result of, and I quote, "driver error or driver choice." He went on to point out that autonomous vehicles would, if done correctly, eliminate most of those deaths. A car that will refuse to drive in certain conditions if, for example, the tire pressure is too low on one or more tires, or the brakes require more than a certain amount of force to slow the car to a certain standards...these are the less-obvious ways in which such cars are safer. Obviously, they can't drive drunk, don't commit road rage, and don't have any sense of ego about saying that they are having trouble with their eyesight. The car can be objective about its limits, its skills, and any impairment it suffers due to weather, maintenance issues, or any other potential problems. Just the degree of data logging alone that is inherent to autonomous vehicles is already producing useful information about how to prevent crashes, and that's before there are any such vehicles for sale. (And I hear it now..."Tesla sells autonomous vehicles!...but Tesla's system doesn't count, as evidenced by the fact that the maker of that system has cut ties with Tesla, basically saying "It's not supposed to be used that way!") Cars have reached the point where humans are the main source of the risk, and while the technology isn't quite ready-for-market, it's not "hundreds of years" away and it's very, very promising.

And no, what Mercedes is saying is not intent to cause injury. It's a statement about which injury to try and prevent in situations where...as this has been discussed for quite some time now...an injury is deemed inevitable. They have not said, "our cars will drive through schools for no particular reason, just to annoy Jzanu,." They have said, "our car's logic knows what's in the car, what's going on with the car, and can directly control the car. It does not know that much about the rest of the world, so we believe the odds of the best possible outcome in a situation with no good outcomes lies with letting the car preserve its own passengers."

And there is absolutely nothing illegal about that whatsoever. It's the same logic behind why paramedics don't run, ambulances slow down through intersections where they can't see past a certain distance, and a whole bunch of other situations where you have to weigh risk of one bad outcome against risk of another one.

Comment Fixed that for you... (Score 1) 370

"Melinda Gates was encouraged to use what is now a nearly 40-year-old computer and the best language that was available back then in 1980. Her kids have been exposed to much more modern stuff."

And seriously...why does this turn into a discussion over why "there's no beginner's programming language currently shipping with Macs"? The OP seems to have no opinion on what SHOULD be but certainly seems to think it's a shame that Melinda Gates doesn't do something about Apple's policies on programming languages.

Never mind that it's incredibly easy to install the dev tools needed to start working with Swift...or that many kids that I know have started experimenting with that, even going so far as to put apps on the App Store, which even generate a bit of revenue and expose them to the full end-to-end system of software development. It's not "included" as a "beginner's programming language," so let's call out Melinda Gates over it.

I know Microsoft isn't exactly considered saintly here at Slashdot, but seriously?

Comment Is the problem with the trackers? (Score 1) 160

It seems to me that 90 percent of people will gorge on Cool Ranch Doritos when given the chance, too...that doesn't mean that eating healthy is a flawed proposition.

The fundamental issue is that these trackers were put forth as a magic bullet, with the implicit promise that they will replace willpower, discipline, and self-determination. "Wear our tracker and you'll magically start exercising more and keeping fit," as the implicit promise goes. In truth, they're just another tool...like a jumprope, running shoes, a bicycle, a scale, etc. Having the tool around doesn't mean you will use it correctly. But here's what else is happening: the sales of this tool depend upon keeping the people who buy it happy. So there's a market driver towards devices that overstate activity without doing it to such a degree that you know how much it's lying to you.

Example: Fitbit's products originally were worn on the waist. This way, the activity monitors were actually accurate; they'd measure when you were moving with your whole body, not just your wrist. Now, they're all wrist-worn, and sometimes they think you're exercising when really you're sitting at a bar having two beers. An example of this being so un-subtle as to render the device clearly untrustworthy is the Nike Fuelband, which showed ridiculous amounts of activity in the above-listed scenario. The Fitbit, Withings, and other related devices have slightly better logic but they still false-positive.

So, you get overstated exercise...which makes the wearer feel good (regardless of whether they're really trying or not), but in the long term there's bound to be a bit of "Heyyy..." when clothes don't start getting looser and that number on the scale doesn't really go down much.

These devices are tools, nothing more. There are good ones and bad ones, and both kinds can be used improperly.

Comment Re:How do you know? (Score 5, Insightful) 279

Openelec's entire file system is read only. Given the difficulty of installing something to the image when you want to, the potential for it to be easily and automatically owned by is very low.

This is not a real thing...a device whose total storage capacity is read-only. Let's look at why.

One: if it's all read-only, it can't have a variable password...accounts and passwords need to be hardcoded, because there's no way to store new or changed account information.

Two: if it's at all configurable, you have the same problem: where do you store the configs?

Three: guess what else you can't have if your file system is read-only? Software updates.

Four: let's call a spade a spade here. A more accurate way to make the claim...regardless of how infeasible it would be for any device of significant functionality...is to say this: "Openelec's entire file system is meant to be read only." An innate characteristic of most security flaws is that they permit something that is not intended. It's important to not assume that intended functionality is inevitable and invulnerable. And in this case, that "read only" capability is nothing more than Linux permissions...it's not that the OS invariably is incapable of granting write permissions. In fact, all kinds of things are writing to the file system, I would bet...information about drive mounting, accounts, etc. The file system is not inherently read only.

Assuming that system behavior when used in its intended fashion is also what happens when someone breaks the rules is the root of most security failures.

And now, a citation, called "squashfs howto - make changes the read-only filesystem in OpenELEC"


Comment Re:MS Hates Linux (Score 5, Interesting) 491

It's competition and Microsoft would never openly say they love Linux even if they've made use of it for their datacenters.

That being said, I doubt Microsoft feels they need to shutdown the 1% of users that insist on Linux. There's definitively more to this story.

That's kind of what I was thinking.

The OP seems to be much like "Microsoft comes up with devious plan to make it impossible to install Linux" when the truth may be "Microsoft's Signature program involves keeping users from breaking RAID settings, but the new settings aren't supported by Linux yet."

Comment Re:Um... (Score 1) 537

So, marmot7...why aren't you working to make the world a much better place, if it's so easy? What makes all the other techies responsible for improving your world in the manner you think is most correct?

Hard problems have no simple answers. Being a techie is not like being Gandalf the fucking Magician...the reason that there's so much discussion around hard problems is that, despite the efforts of many, a solution has not yet been found, and being a techie doesn't grant some mystical ability to solve any problem on command.

This is not a moral failing of others, it's just the fact that these are hard problems. And the fact that you don't live in a perfect utopia is not because everyone else is greedy, lazy, selfish or short-sighted. Get over yourself, kid.

No, I've spent most of my working life working for tech companies doing stuff that was making the world a better place in the sense of widgets or services like most of us. I have been active on various side projects but I'm sure there are a lot of people here who are contributing orders of magnitude more than I am to the world.

That's not much of an answer. Let me give you an example of something that would be more effective, as what my answer would be to the question if it were asked of me:

I've helped secure sections of the US power grid that service slightly more than 48,000,000 people. Most recently, for a large power company in the Northeast, I helped resolve a challenge regarding the need to securely link their Distribution Management System (DMS) and Transmission Management System (TMS) in a fashion that would be considered compliant with NERC CIP regulatory standards so that they could utilize a feature known as FISR to automate isolation and resolution of power line failures. Without this solution, they either would be unable to use FISR (which was the whole reason for the new DMS they'd implemented) or would have to spend $4.6 million over the next 3 years applying compliance activities to DMS and a significant portion of their distribution infrastructure. (That's compliance...which is basically the paperwork you have to do to demonstrate that you actually secured it...not security. They already have significant security around their DMS, to a standard that is better than most utilities I've seen.)

Being able to activate FISR, as they have, results in a more stable power grid, better consumer satisfaction, and increased tolerances for them to use renewable resources without risking imbalance between load and generation. This, in turn, also means that they are more cost-effective, and that savings allows them to continue to pursue other grid modernization efforts that they have underway. The cost my company charged for this effort was somewhere under $50,000 (I don't recall the precise number). And this was just one thing I did last year, that I fit in part-time amidst the two primary projects I was working on.

Just because you don't know specifics about who is making the world a better place doesn't mean it isn't happening. Don't assume that everyone's out there chasing a buck and turning their backs on the world. I would say that the tech industry is far more altruistic than most industry sectors out there. You should check out the financial industry sometime...it defies belief.

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