Posts by ML1


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21) Message boards : Politics : I have been slimed.. (Message 1503406)
Posted 6 days ago by Profile ML1
And about time too... How did the food industry get away with such fraud in the first place?!


FDA rules that honey with added sweeteners can no longer be called 'honey'

... The FDA regularly detains honey imports and tests them after finding drug residues and unlabeled added sweeteners.

Only manufactures that do not add sugar, corn syrup or other sweeteners should label their products as pure 'honey,' the FDA said in draft guidelines posted online.

The proposal aims 'to advise the regulated food industry on the proper labeling of honey and honey products to help ensure that honey and honey products are not adulterated or misbranded,'...



However... That carefully worded phrase begs the question of whether parts of the food industry can still get away with unregulated silliness...


We are what we eat...
Martin
22) Message boards : Politics : Climate Change, 'Greenhouse' effects: Solutions (Message 1503197)
Posted 6 days ago by Profile ML1
Another and potentially a rather large part of the story:


Cities on frontline of climate change struggle

Half of the world's population now lives in cities - a proportion that's set to rise to two-thirds by 2050. Yet cities are vulnerable to the worst impacts of climate change precisely because their locations are fixed...

... cities can play [a vital role] in cutting greenhouse gas emissions. This should come as no surprise, since urban centres are responsible for three quarters of global energy consumption and for 80% of greenhouse gas emissions.

"In a sense, they are the carbon criminals of this world, but they also provide us with really good opportunities,"...

... [for] directed alteration of the built environment to, for example, increase its energy efficiency and reduce energy consumption. ...



Interestingly, locally our council are already following one of the examples in that article. Some rather old dull street lighting are being replaced with new LED street lights. We get a multiple win all round with the same or greater light for much less energy consumed. They are also almost maintenance free for a very long operational life. The replacement will likely quickly pay for itself just in reduced running costs...

The new can be very much better than the old...


All on our only one planet,
Martin
23) Message boards : Politics : Climate Change, 'Greenhouse' effects: Solutions (Message 1503188)
Posted 6 days ago by Profile ML1
At least one helpful solution?

Metal that floats on oil

Thanks for that.

That's certainly part of the near-term story.

However, before we need to mine and recycle too much of that stuff, hopefully there will be enough development quickly enough to allow surface science chemistry and nanofabricated surfaces to move us onto much better tech.

There are other ways yet still. As mentioned by someone else earlier, this story is to pull together a much wider story of multiple tech, politics, people, and culture.

And all, hopefully, in time to give us and our planet enough breathing space to allow us to reach a non-controversial non-detructive zero population growth.


Can all that be done in time despite the desolation being wrought by the pollution and FUD and corruption of the dirty fossils?...


All on our only one planet,
Martin
24) Message boards : Politics : I have been slimed.. (Message 1503173)
Posted 6 days ago by Profile ML1
A brief Sunday magazine experiment:


Can you [easily, lazily] live without processed food?

The white stuff you sprinkle on your food is back in the headlines. Whether it's salt or sugar, it seems many of us may be consuming too much. So how easy is it to live without processed food for a week?...

... The week has been enlightening - and it's definitely something I will do again.

But without a lot of forward planning and preparation, it's impractical for many.

I could have opted for a more varied diet such as grilled fish and steamed vegetables, but without my own personal chef or a job working from home, that was beyond me.

So how did I do? According to Victoria Taylor, not too badly. She says based on a comparison with my "control" week, my salt and saturated fat intake were both reduced by half.

The main reason for me - as a non-meat eater - was giving up bread and cheese, which, while not conventional processed foods - can be relatively high in salt and saturated fat...



Are really so many people now incapable of cooking or preparing food for themselves?!

Even I can make my own bread! Ok... So that's with the help of an automated breadmaker device and 15mins to put in the flour and bits and minimal salt :-)


We are what we eat and we are a part of the world we live in,
Martin
25) Message boards : Politics : I have been slimed.. (Message 1503168)
Posted 6 days ago by Profile ML1
Critics of GM crops said that no matter how big the scale of the environmental benefits, they believe that consumers will not be interested.
Luddite!

Nope.

More a case of very healthy suspicion and cynicism for a part of the food industry that cares nothing for the health of the end product nor the means by which they strive to make monopolistic profits.

The highly publicized supposed exception for "golden rice" is a complete sham to try to give one attempted positive example. There are better more effective and cheaper ways to improve a populations diet than attempt a monopolistic expensive and dubious vitamin addition...

For all such food-GM, the environment and the very consumers themselves be damned.

Note that there are no, that is zero, beneficial Genetically Modified foodstuffs. In all cases, the GM is to boost the use of associated agribusiness fertilizers and poisons. That is bad for forcing the use of dangerously susceptible monocultures over vast areas that literally poison our environment and denude what we consider to be common wildlife.

In stark contrast, much better and more healthy and far longer lasting benefits can be had by using better farming practices.


Better non-monopolistic farming is very likely cheaper and more robust also...

All in our one world,
Martin


(Note: GM for MEDICAL uses is very differently motivated and controlled and very definitely is beneficial. However, the same development conditions as is placed on medical-GM would stop all foodstuffs GM immediately dead.)
26) Message boards : SETI@home Science : Arecibo Observatory operational after repairs to fix earthquake damage (Message 1501928)
Posted 9 days ago by Profile ML1
http://www.planetary.org/blogs/guest-blogs/2014/0409-arecibo-observatory-earthquake-repairs.html


That IS good news Yo - lets hope funding stops being a problem! :)

Unbelievable! The world's premier interplanetary radar, and so far the world's only radio dish of that size, and...

The NSF look to be abandoning it.


Is this where blindly stupidly ignorant petty politics go far far too far?...

Keep searchin',
Martin
27) Message boards : Politics : Linux hits the world (cont #2) (Message 1501667)
Posted 9 days ago by Profile ML1
Fixed isn't until someone knows they need a patch.

No auto-patch = serious security flaws.

Welcome to the world of Winlux!

Well...

For my Linux desktop systems, they prompted that an update was ready that same day. Sure enough, for those interested to look at the updates list, the SSL fixes were in there for everything affected. The update took a mere few seconds. (That's the efficient beauty of modular systems!)


Sorting out the various servers is more of a chore due to needing to update the security certificates. You simply DO NOT want that to be done automatically!


However, from all this, the biggest hit (or possibly benefit) is for the users: You'd best rework all your online passwords to something new and easily non-obvious.


And perhaps this does highlight a danger in the freedom of no-cost availability breeding complacency. Then also, it is the same freedom that found the problem also...

Meanwhile, for the proprietary stuff hidden behind secrecy: Literally, who knows?!

IT is very much what we make it...
Martin
28) Message boards : Politics : Au Revoir (Message 1501649)
Posted 9 days ago by Profile ML1
...how about... I come out with some OUTRAGEOUS statements to drag you back in? :)

Is this just a thinly veiled ruse to hint that he's merely gone on holiday To France...?


:-P

Hasta La Vista!


(Ooooops! Wrong country! :-) )

Keep searchin',
Martin
29) Message boards : Politics : Au Revoir (Message 1501414)
Posted 10 days ago by Profile ML1
Is this an apt thought for a "swan song" amongst the 'politics'?


Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass. Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann, "Desiderata"



And you're never 'too old' for anything! ;-)


Keep searchin',
Martin


ps: Is not "Hasta la vista, baby" a much more apt title for this thread?! :-P
30) Message boards : Politics : Linux hits the world (cont #2) (Message 1501347)
Posted 10 days ago by Profile ML1
All by the power of FLOSS for a high profile security hiccup that has been able to be discovered from the code and quickly cleaned up:


Fears over 'heartbleed' security bug found in software

... 'Serious' vulnerability

A huge swathe of the web could be vulnerable because OpenSSL is used in Apache and Nginx server software. Statistics from net monitoring firm Netcraft suggest that more than 53% of the web's servers that between them host more than 500 million websites run these programs. It is not yet clear how many of those servers use the vulnerable versions.

The bug in OpenSSL was discovered by researchers working for Google and security firm Codenomicon.

In a blog entry about their findings the researchers said the "serious vulnerability" allowed anyone to read the memory of servers supposedly protected with the flawed version of OpenSSL. Via this route, attackers could get at the secret keys used to scramble data as it passes between a server and its users.

"This allows attackers to eavesdrop [on] communications, steal data directly from the services and users and to impersonate services and users," wrote the team that discovered the vulnerability. They called it the "heartbleed" bug because it occurs in the heartbeat extension for OpenSSL. ...



Diagnosis of the OpenSSL Heartbleed Bug

When I wrote about the GnuTLS bug, I said that this isn't the last severe TLS stack bug we'd see. I didn't expect it to be quite this bad, however.

The Heartbleed bug is a particularly nasty bug. It allows an attacker to read up to 64KB of memory...

... Then the read from memcpy is going to read whatever memory was near the SSLv3 record.

And apparently, there's a lot of stuff nearby.

To be honest, I am a little surprised at the claims of the people who found the Heartbleed vulnerability. When I heard about it, I figured that 64KB wasn't enough to look for things like secret keys...

... The researchers claim that they recovered secret keys, and I'd like to see a Proof of Concept for this. Please contact me if you find one...



Phew!

So as can be expected for FLOSS and Linux, that has indeed immediately hit the world headlines including the everyday general press.


So, no known actual exploits yet and any exploits would have to be from software running on the same platform... Still might be possible for 'phishing' trips to be tried for some cases...


The bug seems to have existed for about 2 years and has been patched in around 24 hours once discovered.

Even so, after you've updated, the advice seems to be to renew all x509 certs and change any passwords that might possibly have been exposed. That's going to make for a long day/week for some people...


And all uncovered and quickly fixed by the power of FLOSS...

Meanwhile in the proprietary world, what unknowns secretly lurk in the proprietary code used by everyone else that has likely secretly copied the same code to be left ignored and hidden like mines under the proprietary cloak...?


You can bet there's a lot of FLOSS eyes checking through all the code around this for some rapid clean-ups. Similarly so for proprietary?

IT is what we make it!
Martin
31) Message boards : Science (non-SETI) : Can missing matter be something unsupected (Message 1501178)
Posted 11 days ago by Profile ML1
There's a very high deja-vu with all that...

Has that not already been discussed and debunked?...


Keep searchin',
Martin
32) Message boards : Politics : Linux hits the world (cont #2) (Message 1501177)
Posted 11 days ago by Profile ML1
Definitely a long way to go...

"HMRC runs 5,000 servers but only 3% run Linux".

Full Report

Thanks for that. All very scary! That is the HMRC you're talking about leaping into new and much more efficient and effective ways of working!!! Very scary...

I like the closing comments that shows some of the ecology of why FLOSS works so well:

... Completing the open source circle, Dearnley said HMRC's experience with Hadoop has enabled it to contribute code back to the open source community. "As we develop in Hadoop we can put it back in the code stream. Even CESG encourages me to do that and it is encouraging for the team."

Dearnley said open source software would define the organisation's future. "It is as much about people as it is about technology – and the people have to believe in it."



IT is what we make it...
Martin
33) Message boards : Politics : Windows8: The Beginning of The End? Or... Win9 v soon!? (Message 1501176)
Posted 11 days ago by Profile ML1
Oh deary deary me... Is this a sign of Microsoft descending into what I personally consider to be the crass bad old days of the scam 'errors' lies and deceit as was done against DRDOS?...


Hyper-V telling fibs about Linux guest VMs

Ignore our 'overly aggressive' warnings, says Redmond, your VMs are healthy

... while Hyper-V really is behaving in ways that make Linux guests look like second-class citizens, the software is telling fibs and all is well.

The article explains that “While running a non-Windows guest such as Linux on Hyper-V, the Hyper-V management console may display messages that indicate that the integration services for the non-Windows guest are degraded and no formal support will be provided unless the integration services are updated.”

Which sounds scary, until Microsoft explains that “This message is overtly aggressive in warning and users should feel free to ignore it...



To my mind, that sounds just like the blatant lies spewed out to 'trash the competition' as was done for:

How MS played the incompatibility card against DR-DOS: Real bear-traps, and spurious errors


Is the new Microsoft next going to call Linux a 'cancer'...?


IT is what we allow it to be...
Martin


All just my own personal observations and opinions as always...
34) Message boards : Number crunching : WinXP EOS -> it's really unsafe after April 08, 2014? (Message 1500637)
Posted 12 days ago by Profile ML1
Is that any worse than all the new exploits that seem to be exploding through the Linux world of late Martin?

Yes, very much so. (And I've not seen any such dramatic headlines as 'exploding'. There's just the usual 'security company' scare-articles to try to start up anti-virus business for Linux. Ever wondered why anti-virus is pretty much a Windows-only business?)


Over in the Linux world, there are some (old) ongoing high profile break-ins where users have given away their login details for their websites... All the usual problems of keeping your credentials safe as is needed for any system.

There are no exploits/vulnerabilities in anything like the way we continue to see for Windows, and certainly nothing like losing your computer to a jpg image or a text file!... Windows still holds all the world records for the variety and persistence of malware infections...

But I'm sure all that is better for another thread...


IT is what we make it...
Martin
35) Message boards : Number crunching : WinXP EOS -> it's really unsafe after April 08, 2014? (Message 1500633)
Posted 12 days ago by Profile ML1
And for a scary alternative:


How Microsoft can keep Win XP alive – and WHY: A real-world example

Redmond needs to discover the mathematics of trust

Sysadmin blog: What if Microsoft announced it's not ending support for Windows XP next Tuesday after all, and instead will offer perpetual updates (for a small fee, of course).

Something inside me, somewhere between my sense of humor and soul-crushing cynicism, drove me to turn that dream into an April Fool for this year. But all cruel joking aside, there's a very real discussion to be had about this...



IT is very much what we make it...
Martin
36) Message boards : Number crunching : WinXP EOS -> it's really unsafe after April 08, 2014? (Message 1500629)
Posted 12 days ago by Profile ML1
The problem for the "WinXp EOS" is that there is a steady stream of exploits and bugs that are common across all versions of Windows that Microsoft issues updates for. The first set of updates that fix things for all versions of Windows except WinXP will leave WinXP as a known open target to be exploited by the 'bad guys'.

The firewall on your router should protect you from 'port based' attacks from the internet. However, that does NOTHING to protect you from all the many other ways that Windows gets subverted...

For example, recent fixes have been to stop jpg images and text files from pawning your Windows computer! (If you use Outlook or any auto-preview in such as your file manager/browser, no user interaction needed to get clobbered by those, all by the power of email and or web advertising images...)

And there's a steady stream of similar hum-dingers...


So... Come the next few days, WinXP is not going to spontaneously combust (unless the Microsoft "WGA" switches you off). However, sometime soon after, you must expect a series of new exploits to be quickly doing the rounds around the internet for which your anti-virus may well not protect you.


And then... Why still hanging onto WinXP? Really is there nothing better?


IT is what we make it...
Martin
37) Message boards : Science (non-SETI) : Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (Message 1500454)
Posted 13 days ago by Profile ML1
Einstein Said Nothing Can Move Faster Than Light? Yet if we magnify light that is far away is that light not moving faster than itself because we magnified it?...

More fundamentally, information cannot 'travel' faster than the speed of light. That includes all of such as imparting an action or such as moving particles or propagating radiation... Look up the idea of "light cones".


When you try to magnify a beam of light, you in effect spread out the light beams so that a small image is expanded to become a more spread out and bigger image. That causes the magnified image to be dimmer. The speed of the light forming the light beams stays exactly at the same speed of light.

(A bit of further detail: If you use a glass magnifying glass, then the speed of light in the glass is less than the speed of light in air. So, the light from the air impinges the air-glass interface and slows down to the speed of light for glass. That is the refraction effect that allows the curved surface of the magnifying glass to produce a magnified image. The light 'speeds up' again at the following glass-to-air transition and will undergo further refraction.)


Keep searchin',
Martin
38) Message boards : Science (non-SETI) : Cosmic coincidence. (Message 1500450)
Posted 13 days ago by Profile ML1
... Remember that the Electron is a convenient fiction to describe and control what we think is going on at the atomic level. We have been successful of course in handling electricity and the electron even if it doesn't really exist in the way we portray it,

What do you mean with convenient fiction? Surely the research on quantum scale has been refuted yet?

I guess he is alluding to how we can remarkably precisely describe what effects to expect. Yet, we cannot visualize or describe exactly what is actually "mechanically" happening at the atomic (subatomic) level.


Keep searchin',
Martin
39) Message boards : Politics : Windows8: The Beginning of The End? Or... Win9 v soon!? (Message 1500392)
Posted 13 days ago by Profile ML1
...Most performance review sites all say the same thing: Windows 8 performance is far superior than most previous versions of Windows. Of course, you won't find the reports if you don't look for them.

The items being compared have a sound of desperation about them. Really should you be worried about speed of text rendering?! (Is the old stuff really that slow to notice?!!) Also note the repeated message only that "Win8 is 'faster' than previous versions"...

Sorry, but I'm sure I can claim better results for my install of Mageia4 Linux on an old AMD system that has been brought back to life with an SSD when the old HDD died. I may go to the trouble to give similar timing measurements for comparison...

Further thoughts/surprise:

The comment: "Many people make it a habit to create a personalized system image and reinstall Windows every 6 to 12 months to improve their hardware's performance. Microsoft aims to make that chore a little easier..."

and also the euphemism about updates 'delaying things' give a bit of an 'ouch'.

You just shouldn't suffer such 'slowdowns' and need to 'reinstall'!

Also note that Linux has automatically supported that since the very beginning (last millennium!) installing a whole new system all without touching your own user data. Simply install and configure a new system and carry on as you were, all your data/documents and desktop settings are still there as before. Nothing special for that. Then also, you have the freedom to upgrade every few months to stay 'leading edge', or you can stay steady on a long-term-release for years (I've only recently upgraded a system from Mandriva 2009 to Mageia 4 (2014) for example...).

In comparison: To achieve the same on Windows (since the days of 3.11WFW!), the trick is to know what you are doing and manually juggle the partitions and registry keys so that your user data safely resides on for example a "D:" drive...


I'm not sure about the Windows copy now being slowed down because it also does a 'malware scan' of all files being copied... Ouch for that on various counts.


There's some reports about the new Microsoft boss now trying the angle that Microsoft is now the "underdog" and needs some motivation and sympathy! My take is they need to vastly improve the reliability and user usefulness of IT for the users.


IT is what we allow it to be...
Martin

[edit]
Strange days: Microsoft has become an ‘underdog’
[/edit]
40) Message boards : Politics : Windows8: The Beginning of The End? Or... Win9 v soon!? (Message 1500385)
Posted 13 days ago by Profile ML1
I think you need some help with your Google-fu:

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2406668,00.asp

http://www.extremetech.com/computing/138177-under-the-hood-of-windows-8-or-why-desktop-users-should-upgrade-from-windows-7

http://www.zdnet.com/windows-8-vs-windows-7-benchmarked-7000002671/

http://www.pcworld.com/article/2012834/windows-7-to-windows-8-the-systems-biggest-improvements.html

http://www.cnet.com/news/microsoft-explains-how-windows-8-smokes-windows-7/


Most performance review sites all say the same thing: Windows 8 performance is far superior than most previous versions of Windows. Of course, you won't find the reports if you don't look for them.

The items being compared have a sound of desperation about them. Really should you be worried about speed of text rendering?! (Is the old stuff really that slow to notice?!!) Also note the repeated message only that "Win8 is 'faster' than previous versions"...

Sorry, but I'm sure I can claim better results for my install of Mageia4 Linux on an old AMD system that has been brought back to life with an SSD when the old HDD died. I may go to the trouble to give similar timing measurements for comparison...


[edit]

Note that today's computer hardware should be more than fast enough and the software good enough that speed simply should not be a problem. Everything should literally be faster than the blink of a human eye...

[/edit]

IT is what we allow it to be...
Martin


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