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Comment Re:Only SOME Optical Media Is Durable (Score 1) 361

I wonder if it's that as readers got faster, they have less time to deal with errors from disks that were crap to start with, so errors that have been there all along are now causing visible issues.

I remember a study that found there were problems caused by writing CDs at slower speeds on hardware designed to write faster -- causing more write errors. I've always written disks at the fastest available speed, which might be why I never ran into that issue. (Tho I still have an old 4x unit should I ever run into it.)

Comment Re:Yes, Because Optical Media Is Durable (Score 1) 361

Commercial disks are pretty durable, as you say (unless exposed to weather, then they fall apart fairly quick). The only commercial disk I've seen fail were bad out of the box. But burnables, not so much. Mine have done well (my oldest ones are still readable) but I lived in the desert. Dampness and CDRs do not play well together, as they're not completely sealed around the edges, so I'm not surprised by tales of woe.

I still use CDRs and DVDRs for sneakernet to the DOS machine that doesn't speak network or USB, and occasionally for a specific type of backup (movie or album) but no longer routinely use them for system backup. I can get a whole stack of DVDs on a single 128GB flash drive (not to mention backup is much faster and needs far less babysitting), and per the torture tests I've read about, flash drives beat everything else for durability (retaining data through all manner of abuse; one even partially survived being shot).

And until recently I was still using them for live CDs for testing OS distros, but along came that bootable-flash-drive app and now I have 40+ distros on a single flash stick, plus a place to save files convenient to whatever I'm testing.

I never did acquire a Blu-Ray, tho I suppose now that prices have gotten sane I'll pick one up just so I have it if I need one. Which might be never at the present rate (I don't buy BR movies, so what is it good for? burned BR are reputed very unreliable, failing in as little as six months.)

Comment Re:We need this (Score 3, Insightful) 217

we need people actively looking into making those new type of batteries instead of just researching them and never do anything with the research

You haven't been paying attention.

Like photovoltaic solar panels (which can now be had for under a dollar a watt WITHOUT subsidies, more than an order of magnitude improvement over the last decade or so), DEPLOYED battery technology has been improving, drastically.

Of course most of the breakthroughs don't get deployed. That's usually because better breakthroughs come along before they get that far.

Comment Re:Clean OS install (Score 1) 361

I use optical media for installs, too.

Mostly because they're a more convenient (and better supported than USB sticks) way to build a system onto a fresh(ly wiped) machine.

Also because they're an easy way to insure I didn't accidentally carry over any data from the pre-wipe configuration or the machine I used to download, or got hit with a "catch the machine before it updates" attack while net-loading or updating from the distribution version to the latest bugfixes. (I go to the net for the initial update through an external firewall machine with tight reach-out-only rules.)

Yes, it's not a defence against some of the NSA or "remote-administration feature" style of attacks, through the BIOS, drive firmware, CPU-vendor silicon "management engines", persistent threat malware on the download machine, etc. But it's a start. (Also: If those are any good they keep hiding, so at least they stay out of my way while I'm trying to get some work done. B-b )

Comment Re:Never that specific program (Score 1) 499

Don't forget to take the platter out and smash it up whichever way you want. If the NSA can get the data off a drive that's being zeroed several times and platter smashed up, they deserve a trophy.

Grind it into dust.

Smashing the platter helps some. But taking it out of the drive just saves them a step.

When a surface has been overwritten a couple times you're not going to have much luck trying to read it with the ordinary heads, even with tweaked signal and head-positioning electronics.

But a scanning magnetic-force microscope makes the last several layers of writing visible to the naked eye (observing the false-color image on a monitor or printed page).

Comment Re:Too secure for insecure? (Score 1, Interesting) 499

Hillary did do something wrong but the punishment for it would never be jail time. People keep focusing on this shouting lock her up. The worst she would have endured if she was a normal member of the state department would be a removal from her job and revocation of any security clearance.

And revocation of retirement benefits. And a felony conviction, with the resulting future denial of a number of civil rights (such as the right to posses a gun) and - yes - federal prison time.

Are you saying that the government would never enforce some of the more severe portions of the law? They seem to enforce it just fine when dealing with low-level functionaries (or even high-level officials who happen to be conservative.)

There is entirely too much corruption throughout our government.

Yep.

We need to fix campaign finance in a big way.

Yes - by completely repealing any campaign finance legislation at any level.

Buying advertisement is political speech. That, even more than any other forms of speech, is precisely one of the rights that is recognized and protected by the First Amendment. (It just happens purchasing advertisements enables the "speaker" to talk to more people than he can by standing on a soapbox in the park.)

Campaign financing laws are bait-and-switch. They claim to level the playing field, blocking the deep-pocket guys and the incumbents from having an advantage over the ordinary citizens and upstart challengers. But they actually penalize the grass-roots organizers and challengers by imposing complex red tape and arcane limits and requirements with draconian penalties for non-compliance (which incumbents' and professional lobbying organizations already know how to handle - or have the financial backing to challenge in court).

They're incumbent protection laws. Which is exactly what you should expect them to be. They were written by incumbents.

Comment Building a huge-- and legal-- music collection. (Score 2) 361

I still need an optical drive because my latest obsession is buying used CDs for $0.25-2.00 and ripping them. I'm able to get all the albums I couldn't afford when I was a starving single person, and all the ones I missed during the '00s when my tastes were different.

I mostly still use WMP for this, because it has the one neat feature that allows it to start ripping as soon as a CD is inserted without even pressing a button. This allows you to save a minute or two if you have to rip a stack. I'm about to ditch it for Freerip, however, because WMP does occasionally fail to rip a track (which can be missed because the track listing disappears when the disc is ejected) and usually hangs on startup for no apparent reason until the system is rebooted. WMP is discontinued, so these issues will never be fixed.

Comment So you have to disclose it to the government (Score 1) 29

30.8 5G Provider Cybersecurity Statement Requirements.

(a) Statement. Each Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service licensee is required to submit to the Commission a Statement describing its network security plans and related information, ...

So the applicant has to publish his whole security architecture in order to get a license.

On one hand this conforms to the best practices recommendations of the security community: Expose the algorithm to analysis and keep the security in the keying secrets.

On the other hand this gives the government the opportunity to pick-and-chose only those systems it can break.

Oh, gee. Which way will it work?

Comment Same model NAME! (Score 1) 31

Latest phone supported is the international version of the Galaxy S III (I9300) ... Note: The U.S. version of Galaxy S III is a different motherboard and chip - the same model number on a different device.

The same model NAME on a different device. Model number is different, which is how you tell for sure you got the right one.

Comment One word: Replicant (Score 1) 31

Replicant

Android. Fork of Cyannogen Mod that is fully Open source. Even the drivers and firmware. Latest phone supported is the international version of the Galaxy S III (I9300) (2G and 3G but no 4G LTE). (Note: The U.S. version of Galaxy S III is a different motherboard and chip - the same model number on a different device.)

Stable release is a couple years old (4.2) due to thinning of the development crew. But the project got new blood (post-Snowden) and a 6.0 port (for the 19300 so far) is in alpha.

Some devices (WiFI, Bluetooth, user-facing camera) require closed firmware, which you can load separately. (It's supported but not distributed with the base distribution.

Some (3-D graphics acceleration, GPS) are just not supported. (Use 2-D graphics and, if you really want your phone to know where you are, a plugin GPS device based on a different chip.) GPS is not supported because the phone's GPS chip also requires a proprietary CPU-land driver, which is an open-source no-no.

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