Monday, April 30, 2007

Stasi 2.0


Apparently EU Directive 2006/24/EG [PDF link] forces all EU states to spy on their citizens. We're talking logs of every email, landline, mobile, SMS and VOIP conversation you have, including the geographic location of you in the case of mobiles/SMS. Now I know we already have semi-secret systems like that, but I can't believe they're taking it to the level of having the monitoring of citizens enforced by law. 1984 and THX 1138 anyone?

The link to the actual document is in German, maybe Iris could check over it for me? :P

Can't we have good old Echelon back? Better the devil you know (and can flood with trigger words).

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Jack Thompson Is Made Of Fail

Three posts in one day? :o Anywho, Overlord made a post pointing here. I'd like to go on the record and say that Jack Thompson is one of the most reprehensible human beings in the western hemisphere. Not only did he take advantage of the shooting yesterday to try to advance his arguments, he did it immediately after, so soon that there were not even any official reports yet. He proceeded to mention several findings that there had not been time to find yet, let alone tell anyone about, which of course all supported his arguments.

My name is Tim Buckley. I'm a twenty-four-year-old gamer. I've played every violent game in existence, and I have never killed anyone.

There are millions of gamers just like me, and we're getting sick of people like you blaming your problems on us.

Ignorance causes violence, not video games. Man up and take responsibility.

We outnumber you, and the people that think like you. Don't fuck with us.

Random IMs - PCI Graphics

A friend in need is a friend who can make do with freakishly old hardware.
Dr G: do you happen to have an old graphics card lying around? cos i think i've either fried it or the mobo on my pc
Kemp: in a way, I have an old PCI one
Dr G: i use pci. just need to figure out which bit has esploded
Kemp: note I said PCI, not PCI-E
Dr G: i have that
Kemp: yeah, just warning you that it'll be about as good as a chipmunk drawing the images on a whiteboard

And yay for none-standard abbreviations and their alternate meanings.
Dr G: just need to figure out whats gone south and if it is the gf which i hope an upgrade will come sooner than planned

Perfect Code


The article linked above discusses the attitude towards coding among the team that writes the software controlling the space shuttle and how different it is to the generally accepted norm. Some choice quotes:
What makes it remarkable is how well the software works. This software never crashes. It never needs to be re-booted. This software is bug-free. It is perfect, as perfect as human beings have achieved. Consider these stats : the last three versions of the program -- each 420,000 lines long-had just one error each. The last 11 versions of this software had a total of 17 errors. Commercial programs of equivalent complexity would have 5,000 errors.

The group writes software this good because that's how good it has to be. Every time it fires up the shuttle, their software is controlling a $4 billion piece of equipment, the lives of a half-dozen astronauts, and the dreams of the nation. Even the smallest error in space can have enormous consequences: the orbiting space shuttle travels at 17,500 miles per hour; a bug that causes a timing problem of just two-thirds of a second puts the space shuttle three miles off course.

NASA knows how good the software has to be. Before every flight, Ted Keller, the senior technical manager of the on-board shuttle group, flies to Florida where he signs a document certifying that the software will not endanger the shuttle. If Keller can't go, a formal line of succession dictates who can sign in his place.

Bill Pate, who's worked on the space flight software over the last 22 years, says the group understands the stakes: "If the software isn't perfect, some of the people we go to meetings with might die."

Talk about pressure... And one last one:
Ten years ago the shuttle group was considered world-class. Since then, it has cut its own error rate by 90%.

They have a large enough budget to do what they need, they have formal practices in place to stop problems almost before they come into existence, and they don't get singled out and punished for mistakes (after all, if a mistake makes it through the process then other people also didn't spot it, and there must be a flaw in the process that can be fixed to prevent this happening in the future). Sounds like a perfect working environment to me :-) Now... where can I raise $35 million per year and find a crack team of coders to do my work for me?

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Random IMs - RIAA Botnets

A conversation earlier with Overlord:
getting a torrent and it's on the last few percent, but every piece is failing the hash checks no matter where it gets them from :(
Gay, poisoned seeds suck
hmmm.... most of the failed pieces are from particular subnets, not specific IPs, just groups of IPs in specific subnets
O_o Related, surely
Maybe it's Ree-aaaaa =P
70 peers, almost all in two subnets, and none are getting any of it off me, despite reporting they don't have the full thing (and me having more than them)
Yeah, I'm voting Ree-aaaaaaaa
me too, or just someone very bored with a company's worth of rooted machines. That'd be a really annoying program actually, find as many torrents as possible (random searches on torrent sites would work), advertise that you have a certain percentage of it and just feed garbage to any client that asks. Could be all automated, set up an entire company's machines with it and watch people lose faith in torrents
I'm sure they've thought of it
they could package it with programs ala malware. distributed torrent destroying
=o Ree-aaaaaaaa botnets
:o it's a conspiracy. If you don't hear from me for a while I may have "disappeared"
But wait, if they're on to you, they'll be monitoring your comms

Also, randomly:
LOL, wouldn't that be hilarious
Someone rooting the RIAA's LAN and using it to download music to an FTP server somewhere in China