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Meet the Military's Cyber-Security Forces 148

destinyland writes "How exactly would the military fight a cyber war? In August 2009, the U.S. Air Force activated its new cyberspace combat unit, the 24th Air Force, to 'provide combat-ready forces trained and equipped to conduct sustained cyber operations.' It's commanded by former Minuteman missile and satellite-jamming specialist Major General Richard Webber. (And under his command are two wings, the 688th Information Operations Wing and the 67th Network Warfare Wing, plus a combat communications units.) Meanwhile, to counter the threat of cyber warfare, DARPA is still deploying the National Cyber Range, a test bed of networked computers to test countermeasures against 'cyberwar.' (According to one report, it provides 'a virtual network world — to be populated by mirror computers and inhabited by myriad software sim-people "replicants," and used as a firing range in which to develop the art of cyber warfare.') The Obama administration has even added a military cybersecurity coordinator to the National Security team."

Becoming Agile 193

IraLaefsky writes "The appropriately titled Becoming Agile: In An Imperfect World by Greg Smith and Ahmed Sidky offers a realistic path to the family of Agile practices which have become prevalent in software development in the last few years. This family of approaches to software development has been widely adopted in the past decade to replace the traditional Waterfall Model of software development, described in a 1970 article by Winston W. Royce 'Managing the Development of Large Software Systems.' The Waterfall Model stressed rigid functional and design specification of the program(s) to be constructed in advance of any code development. While the this methodology and other early formal tools for Software Engineering were infinitely preferable to the chaos and ad-hoc programming-without-design practices of early systems, these first tools ignored the fallibility of initial interviews used to construct initial design and often resulted in massive time and cost overruns." Read below for the rest of IraLaefsky's review.

Comment Re:10+ is winning... (Score 1) 958

You are probably correct there--I'm from the states in the 10+ category (studied abroad last spring and got to travel about quite a bit), but my guess is that I'm the exception rather than the rule. My aunt, for instance, just just last week left the country for the first time in her life, and she's married to a professor and in her fifties. I've also known people who have never left their home state, let alone the country.

Comment Re:LOL: Bug Report (Score 1) 421

Well, I must concede that I've only gotten as far as the POSIX standard in my computer science curriculum, so I'm not as familiar as I could be with system workings at the operating system level. I certainly agree with you that placing hardware specific code in a part of the operating system meant to generalize the algorithmic interaction with mass storage devices makes very little sense.

My understanding is that there is a logical representation of the bytes available on a physical disk (at which level the file system operates), and device drivers and hardware components translate that in some fashion into physical bytes, possibly generating this translation on the fly rather than as a simple bijection of "fixed logical byte maps to fixed physical byte". Wouldn't an algorithm implemented at these lower levels still be able to use the fact that more data is being written at a time to make more intelligent decisions about where to physically place that data?

Comment Re:LOL: Bug Report (Score 1) 421

A big limitation with flash drives is that repeated reads and writes to a given sector of storage "wear it out" and cause failure more quickly than the same amount of reads and writes to a given sector on a traditional disk device. The generally accepted solution is to use an algorithmic approach to distribute reads and writes evenly throughout the disk (note: transparent to software developers, at least above the kernel level), and this is what the GP is talking about--more time between physical disk writes means that there is more opportunity for an algorithm to decide intelligently where different pieces of the written data should go.

S3 Linux Driver Outperforms Its Windows Twin In Nexuiz 75

An anonymous reader writes "Chrome Center has done some benchmarks with the proprietary S3 Chrome 400/500 Driver on Linux and Windows. They compared Nexuiz frame rates on a Phenom II system with a S3 430 GT — the surprising result: The Linux driver outperforms its Windows equivalent, offering frame rates about twice as high on average. The question now: Is the Linux driver that good or the Windows driver that bad?"

A Teacher Asking Students To Destroy Notes? 931

zwei2stein writes "I found this question with far-reaching implications in the off-topic section of a forum I frequent: 'My economics teacher is forcing us to give up all of our work for the semester. Every page of notes and paper must be turned over to her to be destroyed to prevent future students from copying it. My binder was in my backpack, and she went into my backpack to take it. Is that legal?' Besides the issue with private property invasion, which was the trigger of that post, there is much more important question: Can a teacher ask a student not to retain knowledge? How does IP law relate to teaching and sharing knowledge? Whose property are those notes?"

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