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Comment Re:NVidia Blocking VLC on Dual-GPU Laptops (Score 1) 40

He replied to this question on Twitter: https://twitter.com/videolan/s...

In short, he has no idea why NVidia is targeting the vlc.exe executable directly in their driver. At his suggestion, I've asked NVidia for an explanation on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/mekki/stat...

Perhaps if enough people retweet it they'll actually give an answer. It just seems so ridiculous.

Comment NVidia Blocking VLC on Dual-GPU Laptops (Score 2) 40

I missed the chance to submit this question. Perhaps it's not too late?

On dual-GPU laptops, the NVidia control panel silently prevents VLC from running on the higher-end discrete video card (and it cannot be selected as the option is greyed out), forcing it instead to run on the lower-powered integrated (usual Intel) video card. Changing the executable name from "vlc.exe" to "notvlc.exe" allows it to run on the discrete video card, suggesting that it's a deliberate targeting by NVidia. Many users have reported it for years, but it is unknown why (c.f.: https://forum.videolan.org/vie...). I can confirm that it's present in the most recent NVidia driver (as of August, 2016).

What did you do to piss off NVidia and how are they getting away with this overt targeting of VLC? Are there talks going on behind the scenes to resolve the issue?

Submission + - Left-pad.io - String Manipulation As A Service (SMAAS) (left-pad.io)

celest writes: Self-described JavaScript Hero candidate and self-taught generalist Gabriel Gironda launches tongue-in-cheek solution to the recent left-pad problems as Left-pad.io String Manipulation As A Service (SMAAS) to "provide all the functionality of `left-pad` AND the overhead of a TLS handshake and an HTTP request" with the amazing slogan "Less code is better code, leave the heavy lifting to `left-pad.io`, The StringExperts."

Comment Citation is a form of professional respect (Score 5, Insightful) 303

Perhaps it's because I'm an academic and my use of Stack Exchange relates to my research projects, but I'm having a hard time understanding why people would object to citing the source of a snippet of code. I have always cited and linked to the profiles people who were kind enough to help me with my code on Stack Exchange, not out of license obligation, but out of professional respect.

In academia, citing the work of others is commonplace. It's super easy to insert a comment in your code with a link. Putting the licensing and legal interpretations aside for a moment, why wouldn't you just want to do this out of respect for another professional?

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Comment Rsync Script + Cron job (Score 1) 118

Rsync is simple, lightweight, has been around forever, and gives you incredible power. Assuming by "manage centrally from a console" you mean that you have remote admin access to all the computers in the scope, it's as simple as a cron job running your Rsync script. You can trivially make several versions for different use cases (Linux vs. PC) and only have to configure the setup once in the cron job. After that, you only need to touch it if you make changes.

Rsync can push deltas to any remote server you have access to via a wide range of protocols. The rest of your IT team will appreciate that you're only sending deltas and not sending full copies every execution and hogging bandwidth.

Here's a link to get you started: https://wiki.archlinux.org/ind...

Good luck!

Comment In Canada, term "engineer" is legally protected (Score 4, Informative) 568

In Canada, it's not so much a matter of programs "should not" as "must not" call themselves "engineers". The terms "engineer" and "engineering" are legally protected in all jurisdictions in Canada, much like the terms "lawyer", "medical doctor", etc.

Programmers who are not licensed professional engineers may not call themselves engineers. The computer science and computer/software/electrical/systems engineering programs at Canadian universities are very different. The engineering programs are accredited at the national level (http://www.engineerscanada.ca/accreditation-resources) to ensure a minimum standard of education for the practice of engineering. There are also post-graduation examination(s) and internship requirements (typically 4 years) prior to licensing. There is no such accreditation for non-engineering programming/related programs.

Further, programmers who are not licensed professional engineers may not do the work of engineers, even if they don't use the term. Many companies have trouble with this one. The definition of what constitutes engineering work can be found here: http://www.peo.on.ca/index.php... - For example, a programmer who is not a licensed professional engineer may not design the software controlling a self-driving car because life and safety are at risk.

Laws & regulations: (For Ontario, but similar in all Canadian provinces/territories): http://www.ontario.ca/laws/sta... & http://www.ontario.ca/laws/reg...

Comment Important part is ability to hop past fried switch (Score 1) 303

The important part of the described attack is its ability to hop past the fried switch, possibly more than one level, to affect devices elsewhere on the network, possibly hundreds of meters away. That makes it distinct from traditional ethernet killer or hammer attacks.

With about 15 minutes of research and looking at electrical diagrams and discussion with a colleague, I figured out exactly what device he's using. If I can figure it out, so can anybody. Out of respect for the author, I won't disclose it either, but I'm sure most of the Slashdot crowd could figure it out as well. The device in question is not expensive and is portable as he describes and has the right electrical properties to not fry the voltage shielding on the ethernet cables while being able to bridge circuit gaps in a sustained manner, as he demonstrates with the 4-5cm spark distance. It is also distinct from lightning strikes because of the variable duration of application and precision with which it can be controlled, which can result in more damage than a large burst of lightning.

With some tweaking, it is conceivable that a single ethernet port in an unattended area like a hotel lobby or university public area (both of which are common) could be targeted such that in just a couple of seconds, damage could be done to devices throughout the building, even devices not directly connected to the switch to which that ethernet port is wired. It's unclear how many hops are theoretically possible, but I suspect at least 2. Research in a controlled lab environment would be worth exploring.

That's a threat worth serious consideration. None of the network architecture in the many different places I have worked was ever designed with this sort of attack in mind; a fried switch was considered the worst possible scenario. This is much worse. At the very least, it should remind people that unprotected ethernet ports can be a huge risk and encourage them to improve physical security design.

Submission + - Sharing Lessons from Creative and Innovative Open Source Strategies (opensource.com)

celest writes: I shifted from engineering to study management because of my frustration that most problems related to the adoption of open source in organizations were not technical in nature. To curate some of the most important lessons from my research, I am editing a special issue of the Technology Innovation Management Review (http://timreview.ca) open access journal with the theme of open source strategy. The vision of the special issue is:

To showcase how organizations have actually implemented their open source strategies in practice, both to sharpen our theoretical understanding of how open source strategies work, and to provide real-world examples of the successes and failures of different ways of implementing these strategies. The intent is to highlight both the breadth of possible different open source strategies and to examine innovative models in more depth in order to better understand how they can be adapted to different organizations and different industries.

Opensource.com has generously showcased our call for authors and we welcome submissions from Slashdotters who have implemented creative open source strategies in their organizations.

Comment In Canada Engineers Are Required to Write the Code (Score 1) 664

In Canada, the public is protected from such software bugs by statute, in the same way the public is protected from medical screw ups: a professional engineer is required by law to write any software code where safety is on the line. Just like when a new bridge is constructed and must be designed and validated by a professional engineer who is an expert in structures and who becomes professionally liable for the project, the same is true for software. If safety is on the line, a professional engineer who is an expert in software and/or computer systems (as the case may be) must design and validate the code and they become professionally liable for the software. Unfortunately, too many companies ignore the law.

Source: Professional Engineers Act of Ontario (http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/html/statutes/english/elaws_statutes_90p28_e.htm ) and Professional Engineers Ontario (http://www.peo.on.ca/). There are similar acts and professional associations for all provinces and territories in Canada.

Full disclosure: I'm a professional computer engineer registered in Ontario with PEO.

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