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Comment test run (Score 1) 166

Which manufacturing capacity does ISIS have left? Which engineers have not yet run away from the sinking ship?

Someone is using ISIS as a test run for their latest toy, and it's not the Russians (they would test by themselves). Expect the US or some of its allies to use weaponized small drones in the next war against the next terrorists, the result of "years of military research".

Comment This is insanely obvious (Score 1) 262

Manning should get a full pardon and a medal of honour. S/he has done more for this country than Biden ever did, and that was after getting a forcible deployment against regimental doctor's orders.

The worst Manning is truly guilty of is exploiting severe violations of DoD regulations by the unit s/he was in. Those violations, and not her actions,compromised national security, as did Manning's superior officer. Those people were under strict orders on not deploying the severely mentally ill into Iraq and to withdraw clearance from such folk, but violated those orders in order to look pretty. That is a serious crime. A crime they, not Chelsea, are guilty of.

Under DoD regulations, computers holding top secret information may NOT be secured by just a password and may NOT support USB devices. I was working for the military when they did the cutover from passwords to passwords plus Class III digital certificate on a smartcard. The USB restriction has been there more-or-less from the introduction of USB, as it violates Rainbow Book standards requiring enforceable multi-level security.

I should not have to point this out on Slashdot, half the three digit IDers were probably involved in writing the standards! And the rest know all this because we had to look the bloody stuff up to get the NSA's SELinux working!

She was also under orders, remember, to ensure that no war crime was concealed by the military. Concealing a war crime, even if that's your sole involvement, is a firing squad offence under international law. Has been since the Nuremberg Trials. Nor is it acceptable to be ordered to carry out such a cover-up. You are forbidden from obeying such orders on pain of death.

Those are the rules. The U.S. military's sole defence is that nobody is big enough to enforce them. If someone did, the U.S. population would be noticeably smaller afterwards. We know that because of Manning.

But Manning's service doesn't end there. Military philosophers, tacticians and strategists will be poring over those notes for decades, running simulations to see when, where and how the U.S. was eventually defeated in Afghanistan and Iraq. They will compare actions carried out with the military philosophies the U.S. officially abandoned in favour of modern theories. They will search for ways in which the new approaches worked and where they should have stuck with the traditional.

Because modern computers can run millions, even billions, of tactical simulations in just a few hours, it is certain that, inside of a decade, someone will have done this and published a book on where the military went wrong and where the Taliban and Iraqi army went wrong as well. This core material allows for that.

These wars may turn out to be our Sun Tzu Moment, when through cataclysmic defeats at the hands of, essentially, barbarians (and make no mistake, they're defeats), a systematic analysis of all that went wrong will be conducted in order to produce a guide on how to have things guaranteed to go right.

Without Manning's data, this couldn't happen. Direct footage, real-time tactical information, logistics, international political interactions, there's enough there to actually do that.

I'd prefer it to be us, because nothing stops the next terror group to form from performing the same study. Historically, it has been shown that a smart army can defeat a confident opponent with superior technology and ten times the numbers, or with inferior technology and a hundred times the numbers. No reason to assume these are hard limits.

If it is us that figures it out, the Pentagon (still fixated on Admiral Poyndexter and his psychic warriors) won't be involved, it'll be people on the outside with more nous and fewer yes-men. And for that, Manning deserves the highest reward.

Besides, it'll annoy the neoconservatives and that's worth their weight in gold-plated latium.

Comment Re: Bradley Manning needs a HOSTS file (Score 1) 262

Define "male". Not in terms of social norms - those vary between societies. And, since you didn't accept the suggestion of a genetics test, you don't get to use that either. Historical records are of no interest, you weren't there when they were made so you can't vouch for them. Besides, plenty of species have individuals change gender. History proves nothing.

You could try a neurological test, but I'll wager you that it shows Manning to be female. The feelings come from the brain, there's no such thing as a spirit outside of hard liquor.

So what have you got to offer?

Comment Re:Lini batteries (Score 1) 67

Well, it relates to two things - energy density, and how fast that energy can be extracted.

Energy density is obvious - the more energy you can store per unit volume, the more potentially dangerous it is. Since Lithium based chemistries have some of the highest densities around, well, it also goes that they are the most dangerous.

Internal resistance is also important because ti tells you how fast that energy can be released. Again, Lithium chemistries do well here. And the thing is, you want a low internal resistance - it means at high loads, you can extract more of the useful electrical energy the cell contains (rather than it being wasted as heat), as well as use it in loads that have varying demands. A car, for example needs to be able to extract a lot of energy quickly to get moving, and many other devices as wel, like laptops where the electrical load changes depending on whether you spin up the hard drive, or activate the GPU, etc. In fact, not having to design around the battery means you can do pretty silly things like put desktop parts in a laptop and know you can draw that kind of power out of the cell.

Thing is, know what else is energy dense and can release a lot of it quickly? Explosives.

Comment Re:False premise (Score 1) 478

The PC isn't dying. Not at all. Despite tablets and mobile devices, there's a lot of work that can't easily be done on them. There are lots of jobs that still require or are much easier when done on a PC. This question is built upon a premise that is false. As long as there's work that requires a PC, and there will be for the foreseeable future, the PC sure isn't going to die.

Even Steve Jobs said in a Post-PC world, we'd still have PCs.

He likened a PC to a truck. In other words, they're a pretty much all around do-anything machine. There will be better machines that do certain things better than a PC, but there will always be a need for a PC.

And we've seen it - maybe a couple of decades ago you needed a PC for everything, and everyone had at least one PC for everyone. Nowadays with smartphones and tablets, you'd still have a PC, or maybe 2 PCs, but everyone else can be happy with tablets and smartphones and other devices (like set top box media players). There is still a need, and we're going to see the PC stick around until the end of time.

Granted, PCs will probably get more expensive, as we don't need so many of them (if you have a family of 5 people, 5 PCs means you buy cheap ones back in the day, but when you're down to one or two, it doesn't matter so much). But it also means we won't be stuck with bottom of the barrel crap that Best Buy sells now .

Comment Re:And that's a bad thing (Score 1) 133

It's not just the modules themselves; npm is also horrible.

For starters, npm is non-deterministic. Yep, you've read it right: you can install the same packages on two different machines, but if you do it in different order, you can end up with different dependency trees. And yes, despite what the npm maintainers say, it can result in different versions of packages being installed for the same set of version constraints.

Then there are major bugs that have been open for over a year, and can be blocking (as in, no way to install a package) if you happen to be the unlucky one who is affected... but there's no fix. The bug still says "needs repro", despite 80+ comments and 24 upvotes on it, and one of npm developers saying that he "ran into this a few times".

Comment Re:"clear" is an exaggeration (Score 3, Interesting) 128

They're skirting the bottom edge of comprehensibility, the voice in the samples is by no means "clear". You have to focus very closely to understand that is being said much of the time, and even then, repeated listenings are sometimes necessary.

In other words, it's being efficient.

The brain has a very powerful voice and audio decoder. (In fact, the brain's wetware is so powerful to compensate for relatively poor sensors - but coupled with the power of the brain, they become much more powerful detection devices. The downside to the economy in hardware with powerful software combination is artifacting - though we usually call those things illusions).

So the codec basically saves transmission bytes by making the brain do a lot of the signal recovery work.

Of course, in Amateur Radio, SSB can be really bad and you have to do a lot of deciphering anyhow.

Comment Re:Not really a big deal. (Score 1) 276

The real story here is that Giuliani is now a goddamn cybersecurity advisor, not that this personal site is crap. The guy was hired not because of competence but because he spent the entire campaign kissing Trump's ass.

It's not a "personal website". It's the website to his Infosec company.

That's why he was hired as cybersecurity czar - he owns a computing security company!

Comment Re:"Super Cheap"? (Score 1) 371

With the coupon they're $9.99 and no company is going to sell this stuff under the cost of production. The only reason they're still $100+ is because the original EpiPen is $600 and because they have no competition. Soon the EpiPen will be $100 too, at CVS at least, but until it's generally available for $100, you won't see the price drop.

The cost of the drug inside is under $1. The autoinjector is mass produced and probably costs another $1 to make.

Epi Pens were under $150 each before Mylan saw they had a monopoly and jacked the price up like many other drug companies. Because you cannot substitute other autoinjectors in a prescription, if you are prescribed an epi-pen (and who isn't, they're well known) you can only get one.

They can sell the things for $10 and still make an easy profit because it doesn't cost very much to make. The drug's generic, and the rest of it is plastic.

Comment Re:Compromise (Score 3, Informative) 111

Different problem.

Yes, the provider could initiate a man-in-the-middle attack against all users from the start. However, let us assume that he didn't do that, for various reasons that are for a seperate discussion.

In such a scenario, Alice conversation with Bob is secure. It requires only the initial secure key exchange. Once that is complete, they are fine.

But with the backdoor of silent key-renegotiation, the provider can at any time decide that now they want to eavesdrop into this or that conversation. Say, because a government agency asked them nicely, or a FB employee looked up that woman he met last night in the database and found her WhatsApp number...

It is a different scenario with different ramifications.

Comment missing the point (Score 4, Informative) 111

He is missing the point.

The article is not speaking about an encryption flaw or anything like that, but about a backdoor - a feature that allows Facebook, without any code changes on your device or other intrusion - to eavesdrop on any conversation you are having.

A good encryption would be impenetrable even to the vendor. It should not allow the keys to be changed underneath you. It should not warn you afterwards about this fact, and only if you have a special option enabled, but it should tell you before it does a key change, and require your consent.

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