Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Rubber-hose cryptanalysis (Score 1) 510

I recall reading about some experimental cryptography schemas that create purposeful decryption collisions between two different filesystems. One that is a dummy filesystem that contains nothing interesting, and another that is the active filesystem you want to hide.

Depending on the key provided to the decryption system, it returns one or the other data stream from the encrypted data.

Something like that would work very well even against disk imaging attacks, since you could provide a valid key, and the cops would succeed in decrypting the data, only to find nothing of interest.

Comment Re:Netbooks are gone? (Score 1) 240

Picked up a Samsung Chromebook 3 at Walmart for around 90$. Cheap. Super duper cheap.

It has a paltry 32gb internal storage, but I dont use it. Instead, I installed crouton, and set up a chroot on a big microSD card. By default, crouton wants to use a very old revision of ubuntu. (Trusty, I think...) It has no problems setting up a Xenial or newer one though. It just complains at you something terrible when you tell it to install anything other than trusty, and after that shuts the hell up and works as expected.

Regardless, this is an Intel based chromebook, so the chroot can drive WINE like a champ.

It is a 1.6ghz dual core Intel system with 2gb of RAM, with ZRAM enabled. Has wifi, bluetooth, HDMI out, and the like.

No physical HDD, so dropping isn't an issue. The CPU is actually a 2ghz chip that is downthrottled for heat dissipation reasons, so it has no fan inside. Internal battery lasts 8 hours in active use.

It weighs less than a pound.

It works just fine for me as a netbook. I can run some limited office productivity software on it (Office works in WINE if you know what you are doing-- and OpenOffice works native, due to linux) I have a choice of browser, I can multitask, and do local saving. Works great. Just a little inconvenient, because I have to start the chroot every boot. (there ARE ways to make it boot automatically when chrome starts, but meh.)

Really, if it werent for the chromebooks using some bizzarro ACPI based keyboard and sound hardware that normal Linux does not know how to handle, it would be the go-to hardware for linux chromebooks to turn them into inexpensive netbooks.

Comment Re:Value of the open source ecosystem and communit (Score 5, Insightful) 109

Gnome3 and its ilk, are the result of developers (and especially designers) not listening to their userbase.

"But the menu based metaphor systems are so... OLD!" is not a justifiable excuse for not respecting user feedback about your choices as the dev team/designer.

The same same is true for things like Pottering's systemd.
"Script based inits, like found in sysv init, are just so OLD!" is not a justifiable excuse for its removal.

If you are a developer/designer, and you disagree with my attestation that just because something is old does not mean you should remove it (or replace it with something else), take this to heart:

The air you breathe now is several MILLION years old. Why not replace that old, ancient air with something new, and edgy-- like ionized plasma freshly born from inside a star!? No, you don't like that idea, because your lungs aren't able to handle highly energetic plasma? Fancy that-- your end users have systems that are not able to handle having the init system changed willy-nilly either.

Comment Gatekeepers worried (Score 2) 109

Those things Google mentions-- like "Permissionless innovation" and the like-- those frighten the shit out of businesses who revolve around gatekeeping.

You see, to stay relevant in such an atmosphere, one has to actually be innovative, stay innovative, and be among the most innovative. That costs money and effort. Innovating early, then stagnating the market with gatekeeping and patent abuse allows them to reap big financial rewards for years while doing nothing but placating shareholders. (See, EG, the likes of Oracle.)

Google is *really* telling them that their market abuse strategy is doomed to failure, because innovators will not be discouraged by their heavy handed attempts to stop them, and the internet amplifies that innovation.

Expect lots of denial, gnashing of teeth, and doubled-down litigation in the near future.

Comment Re:MS used to ban people for useing there own hdd' (Score 5, Informative) 266

USB2.0 is faster than many optical disc drives, AC.

For reference, the max bandwidth of USB2.0 is 480mbit, or about 60MB/sec.

A typical DVD drive (we will even say that this is a fancy 12x drive, just to give it the benefit of the doubt), such as found in an xbox360, has a max potential bandwidth of 132mbits. (16.5MB/sec)

So YES, AC. A "Fast" USB2.0 device is one that favors the top possible speed allowable by the bus, which mechanical disk drives have no problems whatsoever providing.

The drives in question were capable of sustained sequential reads in excess of 40MB/sec, and arbitrary random reads of about 20mb/sec.

The Microsoft branded flash module? about half that.

Comment Re:Seems simple to me (Score 1) 266


Say they are responsible for disposal of the unit.

If the end user is NOT the owner, they do not have legal right to destroy or dispose of the product after it reaches end of life, because they are only renting.

That means that in order to be responsible with their product lifecycle, they have to plan for disposition, and provide a mechanism for the end user to return old product for proper disposal.

That is more expensive than you realize, because it basically doubles the costs of shipping on a product's life cycle, *AND*, it introduces a whole other branch of regulatory issues that the company must then conform with to meet necessary EPA (or other regulatory agency) requirements to assure that toxic heavy metals, and other potentially hazardous materials contained in the hardware are disposed of PROPERLY.

Watch that shit vanish FAST.

Comment Re:MS used to ban people for useing there own hdd' (Score 5, Interesting) 266

Want to know the actual difference between a "legitimate" HDD, and a not-legitimate one?

A small PNG image file loaded onto some magic sectors, and an 8 byte magic number written directly afterward. The drive's firmware was default factory, but only a small handful of drives were supported.

That image was of the microsoft logo.

Yes. The presence or absence of that little png file is SO TOTALLY going to change how a game is played online. /s

No-- Microsoft KNEW that they were vastly overcharging for a COTS component that was not special in any way except for the data stored on the platter, which is very inexpensive to replicate. They did not care. They were the gatekeepers, and were milking people dry by purposefully selling base systems without HDDs, or with very tiny ones, while pushing digital downloads.

Know what else? When it came to the "USB" storage options, I put various very high speed USB2.0 devices that I had PERSONALLY TESTED the raw performance of and verified that they were bitching fast, on my 360 to see if MS was full of shit when the console did its own testing-- Sure enough, it was premium bullshit. It would consistently say the device did not meet recommended speed requirements. Know what I did? I went out and bought one of the shitty USB memory sticks MS was hawking, and tested it myself. It underperformed compared to the units I had been attaching. The magic? The USB string-- For real.

Bullshit. Premium bullshit all around, and people just ignore it, because there is no alternative. Fuck that noise.

Comment Re:xWare reverting (Score 2) 266

Dont be retarded. It can be serviced by something like u-boot and a functioning uart, or jtag interface. Things that are usually there, just without pins soldered on. I think the cost increase is about .01$ to populate those pins. The software in the device is ALREADY THERE to flash the firmware initially at the factory. Documenting how to connect, what the cable pinout is, the voltage, and providing a rescue firmware image online would meet the requirements.

This is not some crazy thing where they would have to add missing functionality. It is a situation where they just need to provide some docs, an online download, and populate some pins they already have pads for on their device, in 90+% of cases.

Comment Re:definitions? (Score 5, Insightful) 266

Much of that "difficulty" is artificially introduced by the console developer, to discourage experimentation and reverse engineering attempts, in order to keep the console "secure."

EG, things like the E-Fuses in the 360 preventing the flashing of older firmwares over the top of newer ones, etc.

They ONLY reason they exist, *IS TO BRICK CONSOLES*, when people attempt to gain control of the console.

Comment Really!? Say it ain't so!! (Score 1) 266

An industry that makes bank on people buying replacement consoles and software titles to replace "damaged" product, fighting to prevent end users plugging that revenue stream!?


For those that dont understand how software can be an issue:
Suppose that Nintendo or Microsoft or Sony decide that they want to not tie software downloads to a user account, but instead to a hardware unique key. Now when your console dies, that's all she wrote.

Another possibility is that they fear that tools to recover data (which would naturally develop from open standards and tools to 'repair' a console, such as from a failed firmware update semi-brick) will allow users to back up their downloads, and or, share pirated content.

Nevermind that at least in Nintendo's case, the ability to fake an install ticket on Wii-U allows users to download directly from Nintendo's NUS service, and install titles on their wii-u free of charge. This outstanding, existing, channel for piracy takes second fiddle to trying to plug a hypothetical future one. (because that makes total sense! /s)

In reality, Nintendo and pals are worried that people will keep obsolete consoles well past their expected service lifes, and that this will impact the residual revenue stream of re-released titles later. (Like all the times they have released the zelda titles. 3 times each now for Twilight princess, twice for WindWaker, more than 5 times now for the original NES zelda titles, etc.) They are worried that these old consoles will develop cult follower status, that indie developers will continue to develop for those consoles without paying developer licenses or royalties, due to their being past end of life-- (much like say, Tepples who posts here does for NES and SNES) heaven forbid if any of those are better than what Nintendo/MS/Sony/etc, are currently offering-- or worse, game houses decide to target an obsolete platform just to avoid platform license fees using open SDKs.

They fear losing the privilege of being the gatekeepers, and becoming less relevant in the face of very powerful obsolete consoles remaining in the market.

That they would be terrified of right to repair is a no-brainer.
The reality that the public requires this right is also a no-brainer.

One of those has to win out, and consequences will follow.

Slashdot Top Deals

"It says he made us all to be just like him. So if we're dumb, then god is dumb, and maybe even a little ugly on the side." -- Frank Zappa