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Comment Re:FBI Word games (Score 1) 242

"With good reason, the people of the United States -- through judges and law enforcement -- can invade our private spaces," So, get a warrant and shut up!

And what good will a search warrant do, when the only person capable of unlocking the device will plead the fifth? What can a wiretap warrant do against end-to-end encryption? Let's try not to be intellectually dishonest here, to use a familiar analogy here if DRM prevents you from exercising fair use it's as if that right doesn't exist. A warrant that can't be exercised is nothing, pretending that we don't understand that doesn't lead to a honest discussion.

This isn't technically new, common folks have had the capability to lock everyone out since at least PGP and Bestcrypt back in 1991 and 1995, respectively. I actually expected a big clash over unbreakable encryption more than a decade ago, but using it was technical, inconvenient and complicated so it never became popular. So the police silently cursed it instead of drawing attention to it as it would only point out the police's blind spots.

Fast forward 20 years and through increased computing power, hacking and abuse it's finally going mainstream with companies starting to make regular consumer products so strong and convenient common people do it. And since it's happening anyway, the police are now making a big stink about it. Warrants have lived like a shade of gray, they don't have total and random access and it's not none whatsoever. I still think technology will force our hand to pick black or white.

There's certainly downsides to both no privacy and absolute privacy. People are going to want to have their cake and eat it too, some kind of happy middle like most people prefer a free and democratic nation instead of anarchy or totalitarianism. I mean to me it's rather obvious what's the lesser evil, but to be honest I'm glad the police can still kick down real world doors if necessary. The world would look quite differently if we had impenetrable fortresses one and all.

Comment Re: Weirdly specific statement (Score 1) 55

What is the limiting factor? Buildup of CO2?

People need a certain amount of oxygen for their metabolism, you need to carry that much. CO2 effects the blood pH: too little and the body is too alkaline, too much and it's too acidic. So, you need to maintain a precise amount of CO2 and remove the rest. The scrubbers in the space shuttle were able to regenerate the CO2-absorbent material after use, so there was use of power but material wasn't consumed.

Beyond this, you need to control temperature and humidity. The other requirements than atmosphere for crew survival are that you water, feed and shelter the crew, maintain orientation, and maintain a G-force envelope that doesn't injure the crew.

Comment Re:problems, lol (Score 2) 208

I write web services for remote clients to send information to. 50 msec includes the time to establish a TCP connection to the nginx frontend (written in C!), then to run a little bit of Python code to massage the request and either store it in a database (probably written in C, or maybe Java) or fetch data from one, then to return the results to the remote client. At a previous employer, my code did that about 80,000 times per second, averaged 24/7. At the shop before that, we load tested to 500,000 requests per second but it was only for a few minutes sustained at a time.

When was the last time you personally wrote code to handle 500Kops? Did you know that those durn whippersnappers at Google runs a big chunk of their stack on Python and that they'd laugh at our tiny it doesn't matter to the end user. If we could have reduced a 50ms transaction to 10ms by altering the speed of the light signals carrying our requests, we probably would have. But since we live in a universe with physics, the best we could possible hope for was to reduce the time spent in application code to 0.000ms and thereby drop the entire transaction time to 49ms.

Comment Re:AMD May Nearly Catch Up (Score 1) 86

Now if only they would support their older hardware. They seem to be cutting the support cycle shorter and shorter and the only real support software wise seems to be coming on the Linux side.

Intel does their part, perhaps you have them confused with Microsoft? They want to terminate Win7, but it is after all a seven year old OS in the extended support phase. The problem here isn't that it's running out of support, it's that I don't want any of their newer products. And I don't really have any right to demand they make the products the way I want them or support age old software because I don't like the new. I suppose I'll eventually have to "upgrade" it to a Wintendo because I don't really give a fuck about Microsoft spying on that and use a different OS for everything else. But it won't be today...

Submission + - September 19th SpaceX Launch will be visible across California, Nevada. (

Bruce Perens writes: The nighttime launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 containing Iridium satellites at 9:49 PM PST Monday September 19th from Vandenberg AFB SLC-4 is likely to be visible across California and in some Nevada locations. Although Vandenberg has a landing pad for the Falcon under construction, this will probably be a drone-ship landing and some California observers might see two of the landing burns.

Comment Re:problems, lol (Score 1) 208

Or, you know. You could actually learn how to write good code at the most powerful level. That's a radical thought.

I did, and that's why I'm using Python. I'm capable of writing web services in C, but who the hell's got time for that craziness? Also consider Amdahl's Law: in most of stuff I write, the "running code to process data" bit is a teensy portion of wall clock time. Much more is spent in socket handshaking or waiting for database queries to finish. Out of a 50ms request lifecycle, perhaps 1ms is spent inside a box that I have complete control of. Even if I rewrote it in assembler (C is for high-level pansies) to be 1000x faster, the request would still take 49.001ms. An assload of work porting security-sensitive code into an untyped languages so that the end result can be 2% faster? Yeah, no. My boss would fire me with a quickness if I proposed that.

I'd be much more likely to rewrite performance-critical code in Go or Rust. They're as fast as C but without the death of a thousand cuts like gotofail waiting to ruin your careful planning. Life's too short to waste it hacking in languages that hate you and make you want to look incompetent.

Submission + - Grumpy Cat Wants $600k From 'Pirating' Coffee Maker (

Eloking writes: Grumpy Cat is not pleased, yet. Her owners have asked a California federal court to issue a $600,000 judgment against a coffee maker which allegedly exploited their copyrights. In addition, they want damages for trademark and contract breach, and a ban on the company in question from selling any associated Grumpy Cat merchandise.

grumpcatThere are dozens of celebrity cats on the Internet, but Grumpy Cat probably tops them all.

The cat’s owners have made millions thanks to their pet’s unique facial expression, which turned her into an overnight Internet star.

Part of this revenue comes from successful merchandise lines, including the Grumpy Cat “Grumppuccino” iced coffee beverage, sold by the California company Grenade Beverage.

The company licensed the copyright and trademarks to sell the iced coffee, but is otherwise not affiliated with the cat and its owners. Initially this partnership went well, but after the coffee maker started to sell other “Grumpy Cat” products, things turned bad.

Comment Re:Unsustainable pricing on high tech gadgets (Score 1) 110

It doesn't cost $800 to manufacture an iPhone. More like $100. In the US it would maybe be $150. It is Apples greed that is the blame.

There are always lines around the block on launch day. People cheerfully buy tens of millions of each iPhone. If people are willing to pay that price without a gun to their head, and there are alternatives that they could buy instead but they choose to buy iPhones anyway, how do you justify describing it as greed?

Comment Re:Necessary, but a waste of time. (Score 1) 38

Unless they are in disposable positions, their manager rightly points out that they're valuable members of the HR/Finance/Sales team, and that if their CEO writes them an email ordering them to give something up, they're going to follow orders.

I mostly agree with you, but I think you might have missed my intent...

Why does a random HR employee have the ability to send an export of all employee data to an external address? Why would the CEO legitimately need to ask anyone to send them data (as in, the data itself, not a link to an internal webpage or file)?

Yes, people will always make mistakes, and non-techies will never keep up with the latest social attacks - Thus my point; not saying someone should lose their job for an offense they don't even understand, but rather, that they shouldn't have the physical capability of accidentally causing such a breach.

Though rare, this counts as one area where we could take a tip from high-security government agencies - No removable media, no direct internet access, no email attachments can leave (or enter) the local network without some form of sign-off by InfoSec, etc. And yes, of course people will always find ways around such technical barriers, but at that point it becomes a lot harder to claim ignorance instead of malice.

Comment Re:Phase 2 testing (Score 1) 175

Cool. Now do the same thing 6 more times, without resurfacing.

If he can do it for two months straight around the clock without snapping, my money would be on him doing two years too if he had to/wanted to. Elizabeth Fritzl did 24 years trapped in a cell in the basement, eventually no matter how bad the situation is it eventually just is. Same goes for people with severe disabilities and such, if I ended up in a wheelchair I'd get very depressed right away. But if I live through that first phase I don't see myself saying I've lived a year in a wheelchair but a year and a day is too much. I'd either have found a reason to live - or not - long before that.

Comment Necessary, but a waste of time. (Score 1) 38

I can easily see the theoretical value in this. In practice, this will just scare and confuse 99% of non-IT people.

Corporate cybersecurity must operate in such a way that it doesn't require the end users' cooperation, or it will fail. Sure, you can teach people best practices, how to spot phishing attacks, not to use the same password on every system they use; but as soon as you move beyond that, you've set yourself up for complete failure.

Submission + - Proposed "Startup Visa" to Allow Entrepreneurs to Stay in US for 5 Years (

speedplane writes: New York Times reports that the Department of Homeland Security has proposed a new visa that would would permit startup entrepreneurs to stay in the U.S. for up to five years. The new regulation requires entrepreneurs to have a 15% stake in a company founded in the last 3 years and at least $345k investment from an established U.S. investor (so your rich uncle can't just buy you a visa). While clearly targeted towards the tech industry, the proposed regulation is not limited to tech. The regulation also does not require congressional approval, so after a 45 day comment period, this piece of immigration policy is expected to be implemented.

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