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Comment Re:I hear Hillary participated in this study (Score 2) 72

This was a classic case of little lies leading to big ones. NOBODY ever cared for one instant whether this guy was for the Iraq War in 2003. 70% of the population was for it. A normal person would say, "well, I guess I forgot I said that, since after all this was 13 years ago". But that almost sounds like an apology, or at least admitting to an imperfection- which he will not do unless an ISIS fighter is behind him with a sword. Instead he has to double down and construct an imaginary alternative universe of conspiracy theories where people are spreading malicious lies about him, trying to insinuate that he favored the Iraq War- as if anyone ever gave a flying fuck in the first place.

Comment Re:I hear Hillary participated in this study (Score 3, Funny) 72

...and she voted for the Iraq War. Donald Trump did not vote for the Iraq War, was against it, and said so. I hear people have tapes of Donald Trump saying he was for the Iraq War. It's all fabrications, all lies. Donald Trump does not tell lies. Donald Trump is a very honest person, very decent person. The best. The best. And all these people faking audio tapes, making all these fraudulent, phony, tapes, are all linked to Hillary's campaign rigging the election. All these people coming out of nowhere, saying "Trump, even though I never met him, he was for the war, I heard him say so on the radio." No witnesses. All lies. It's a huge scam, people, a huge scam. Donald Trump exhibits only a narrow subset of normal human behaviors which does NOT INCLUDE PATHOLOGICAL LYING but does include referring to himself in the third person- that makes me smart.

Comment Re:Told ya (Score 1) 207

I didn't predict it would fail, but I didn't predict it would succeed either. In my heart I couldn't think of many bigger wastes of money (maybe spending $1.5M on Trump's election campaign?) but frankly products from Apple I thought couldn't possibly gain traction have ended up leaping off the shelves.

The talk about the Apple Watch felt like the talk about the iPhone - which if you remember, when it finally came out, wasn't programmable, had a 7 hour battery, was stuck on EDGE, and in some ways was inferior to some of the better flip phones (which had apps, and SD cards, and you could Opera Mini on them, and the battery would last for days, etc.)

But it was a success, even in its crappy 1st generation form, and most of us who shrugged at the time feel like we probably shouldn't predict the impending doom of a new Apple product hyped at Daring Fireball, lest we be made to look stupid again.

I still don't see why you'd want a watch that requires you do more than glance at it to tell the time.

Comment Re:Secure the gateways (Score 1) 330

The easiest security is to not give access. People with baby monitors want to view the video stream. They really don't want to use the debugging back door to run a shell command to allow the devs to troubleshoot a problem.

The servers should limit themselves to "How should I connect to this? It's device ABC, with password hunter7" ("I see you're on IP, hey, so's the device, you can connect directly on!") vs ("I see you're on IP, the device isn't (and I'm not going to tell you where it is), so you'll have to use me. Want a video stream?") and proxying the absolute minimum only.

That would be a meaningful improvement in security that would reduce the ability of their devices to be hacked.

Comment bollocks (Score 1) 175

Bollocks on their predication rate. Real forecasters report skill. By contrast, actual progress on predicting the North Atlantic Oscillation, perhaps an achievable goal, would be huge.

Both of these issues are covered in Judith Curry on Climate Change, a podcast from 2013 which, as it happens, I consumed yesterday.

Concerning the rush to embarrass themselves by reporting their weather prediction rate, it's because of the taxonomic land grab.

Host: I wonder how you feel about how your particular field has changed as you've grown up in it and been out for 25 years. ... Do you feel that we are making progress in the scientific world on this particular topic? Or are we in trouble?

Guest: I think we're in big trouble. When I left graduate school, nobody called themselves a climate scientist. They were an atmospheric dynamicist or a geochemist or a physical oceanographer or things like that. And we were all focused on increasing fundamental understanding. And that was the focus. It was the breakthrough in understanding, changing the way people think, was what mattered. And somebody who published too many papers was probably looked at with suspicion--they are doing the quick and easy stuff; they are not really digging in. It was potentially superficial.

The other thing that was looked down upon, say in the 1980s, was doing something that was too applied, working to deal with regional problems or something like that. That was viewed as soft core; it was what the people did who couldn't really make fundamental contributions to understanding, so they moved on to some of these applied topics, which were useful in some way to regional decision-makers.

I would say in 2000--it was a gradual transition, but I think circa 2000 there was a switch to people finding it beneficial to self-label them as a climate scientist. There was a lot of money, research dollars in this area; there was a lot of influence to be had, in terms of sitting on panels and boards and committees and being interviewed by journalists and being invited to testify in front of Congress. And so the value and the influence of the scientist sort of switched into that dimension where your measure of influence was not so much how you increased our fundamental understanding of how the oceans worked, but it was really to what boards and committees you sat on, your press, and your influence in policy, being invited to testify in front of Congress, and whatever. So I've seen that switch.

The problem is, the concern that I have for the health of our field, is that there's still a lot of fundamental things that we don't understand. The climate models aren't good enough. We need to go back to basics, increase our understanding about the non-linear dynamics of all these ocean oscillations and complexity of the system and things like that.

There are a lot of fundamental things that are getting short shrift, that the sex appeal in our field right now and a lot of funding is to do what I call mock 'climate model taxonomy', where people are analyzing the output of climate models and finding something interesting, alarming, or using them to infer that we won't be able to grow grapes in California in 2100 or something like this. This is the stuff that gets published in Nature and Science and PNAS. People get a press release.

Note that the word "useful" as I chose to hear it, is entirely confined to the domain of career advancement and the writing of committee-room position papers.

Two things about Russ.

One is that he doesn't connect as much as he should. He's (since) done other podcasts which talk about how the regional nature of congressional representation makes politics in America intensely regional. This is why the phrase "grapes in California" is so revealing. Only when your claims are sufficiently regionalized do you become grist for the mill, where the constant circulation of dollars sets up its own giant, oscillatory loops.

The other thing is that Russ loves to hide behind "we can't know". "If we can't know, leave things alone" eminently suits the Koch brothers ("alone", by definition, means business as usual). Russ goes mainly that far in padding their empire. The Kochs probably consider Russ as a tiny public-service inoculation against Grand Plan Reformist Flu.

On the flip side, the intro to Hardcore History contains the gravelly line from Edward R. Murrow "we are not descended from fearful men.ï" True that, except when fearfulness plays to an activist industrialist world order. Russ is, sadly, within the domain of human agency, a fearful man.

Russ's answer, therefore, to decision making under extreme uncertainty is to fall back on an ideological crap shoot. Just put the invisible hand on the steering wheel, responding to local, distributed information on a global scale. What could go wrong? Lots of things. Would it be more or less than what could go wrong it we actively attempted to steer by overselling science. Hard to say.

There's no shortage of examples of atrocious steering. There's no shortage of examples of atrocious non-steering. Please enjoy your stay on the N=1 blue marble. In a nutshell, name your spin.

Comment Re:Snowden also did something illegal (Score 3, Interesting) 350

And how do you think the media would have reacted if the Trump campaign did something like this to elicit a violent response?

They covered it, which is why you're being obtuse and this entire "scandal" is an exercise in BS designed to muddy the waters and give cover to Trump by creating a false "both sides" narrative.

There is precisely one side, one side, in this discussion where the CANDIDATE FOR PRESIDENT has SUPPORTED VIOLENCE ON HIS BEHALF. You know that. O'Keefe knows that. It's precisely why most of us are so fearful he might become President. It's unheard of in modern political history for a Presidential candidate to incite violence on his behalf.

And while he's constrained - a little - by the law right now, the fact he's willing to support violence by his supporters means we have good reason to believe that - if Trump wins - there will be no fair elections in 2020. Because as President he can and probably will prevent any legal consequences for those who threaten and deal out violence against his enemies.

Hillary Clinton has not in any way endorsed violence. And frankly, the best Trump's supporters can do to muddy the water is find some low level operative who says he might hypothetically support an operation designed to expose the fact that Trump's supporters are violent.

So with respect, stop pretending you're arguing any legitimate point here. You're not. You're trying to normalize violence in an election. You need to ask yourself if you're going to continue to do so, or whether you have the guys to re-evaluate what you've been calling for.

Carry on down this path, and you, and America, are in serious danger.

Comment Re:Snowden also did something illegal (Score 1) 350

Sure, here's a top official in the Trump campaign offering to pay the legal fees of anyone who beats up protestors at a Trump rally:


Notice, incidentally, that this isn't some low level idiot in the campaign brainstorming about ways to make their rival look bad by taking advantage of a group already known to be violent, but a high up official promising that those who instigate violence on Trump's behalf will be shielded legally from the consequences of their actions.

Comment Secure the gateways (Score 4, Informative) 330

Reading this is fairly eye opening as it explains the different methods attackers use to gain access to your NAT-"firewalled" IoT device. It was also a useful reminder that IoT items aren't just "IP cameras", but routers, printers, and other stuff that most people have had for years.

You can skip to page 34 for the most important problem with most of the headline devices though (which also explains why owned cameras is a big thing, but less so owned routers): insecure "cloud" servers that provide connectivity to your IoT devices when you're off network. For example, it provides the connectivity that allows an app on your phone to access your baby camera remotely.

The servers typically provide way too much information, and often provide access to the entire camera, not just the video stream. As a result, hackers can, by scanning a range of camera IDs using the server at minimum find out what the public and NAT IPs are. They may be able to send arbitrary packets, including those to backdoor debugging ports, depending on the server, without even needing passwords.

Outside of using that server, hackers become more dependent upon heavy, probably noticeable, scanning, making it increasingly difficult if you don't already have compromised hardware.

My takeaway? Go after the manufacturers. There's stuff they can do right now by patching just two things: the gateway servers they are running right now, and the apps that use them. Yes, in this case, it's worth doing - those here saying "Oh they're all fly by night, you can't reach them" forget that if that were truly the case, there wouldn't be a problem, because the gateways they're running wouldn't be up.

Someone is running the gateways. Those people can fix them right now, and need to.

Comment Re:I say BS (Score 1) 164

If you don't want to be homeless, build a house.

Homeless generally means both "not a landowner" and "has no money" which prevents the former even if they wanted to go there.

If you don't want to be hungry, go fishing.

Buy a license, buy a pole, collect bait somehow, weather considerations, legal locations, seasons, specific game fish, prepping, finding wood to cook with...

If you want to survive, get your ass moving instead of wasting the day pseudo-intellectualizing or lamenting about the unfairness of nature that has always existed since the beginning of time when it blew the first human village up with a volcano and the laws of the universe didn't even blink, let alone give a shit.

No, the universe doesn't, for sure. But people who are worth a shit, do give a shit.

WRT "get moving", to quote a fine summary of just one aspect of the problem, "I'm pretty sure McDonald's has an underwear inside the pants policy" (Source here at 3:31 but by all means, check out the whole performance, it's pretty much spot on from beginning to end.)

Comment where will it end? (Score 1) 84

I won't dream of a single (or multiple) damn quantum thing until I see an equation that describes a real-world superposition scaling limit, species type "immovable object".

I believed in Moore's law because it was on a collision course with the atom, right from day one. Even as a child, I didn't believe in a Laplacian universe, in the sense that the accumulated knowledge required to compute the deterministic outcome could exist in one place—a place smaller than the universe itself—for any value of "smaller" my small mind was capable of entertaining.

I've been reading articles about quantum computing seemingly for decades now, and not a single article has pointed out any practical scaling limit. For all these dunderheads seem to know, we could cajole the entire universe into a state of Laplacian superposition, if only we didn't suck at stacking these tiny little Lego blocks.

No scaling boundary equation widely promulgated = no credibility widely disseminated = very little fantasy action for people who don't believe in giant green men with anger management issues.

Comment Re:Hold down power button and ... (Score 3, Insightful) 421

One thing that /. users don't get is that while that may seem obvious to you, it's not obvious to everyone. That's why the law and regulations are constantly in search of trying to balance citizens from having to be experts about everything they buy/own/need. And the time honoured thought of "oh, only idiots will not do this, and idiots are people who deserve what happens to them" plays nicely into the hands of a dysfunctional society. If you have a "just world" mentality, that things happen to people *because* they deserve it, you may not get out enough.

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