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  • OscarCP

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    Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 1,961 total)
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    • in reply to: New Election Systems use Vulnerable Software #1875454

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      Quoted by Bluetrix from an US Senate report: ” States should rapidly replace outdated and vulnerable voting systems. At a minimum, any machine purchased going forward should have a voter-verified paper trail and no WiFi capability.

      I entirely agree. It might mean verifying the electronically kept tally by scrutinizing paper ballots by hand, using a proper statistical sampling method (no need to go over all the paper ballots to make a verification), unless someone contests the voting results and a recount is ordered (“hanging chads” anyone?)

      Electronic polling with results available in near real-time over the Internet certainly makes it possible to get the results, by and large, of an election the same night of the poll. But what is the hurry here? Elections are meant to decide who will be running the country, state or town, for the next several years. So “don’t just sit there: hurry up and go mess up something” (as the old Navy saying goes, only using a somewhat stronger language than “mess up”) seems an appropriate description of the “fast, all-electronic approach” to me. How does it sound to you?

    • in reply to: July updates come with a few warts #1875446

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      Thanks, Susan. I appreciate your clarification concerning the telemetry added with the July patches and hope you are right. Also hope that these do not mark the start of endless offers to upgrade to Windows 10 and of endless patches meant to make my transition a taste of upgrading Nirvana that I will keep squishing into the “hidden” group.

      MS telemetry per se has never really bothered me in terms of the safety of my personal information that, as you explain, it does not collect. But MS has never been really good at making things, both hardware and software, as we all have learned by now, and well might, totally unintentionally, create undesirable things such as, using some imagination here, trap doors for malefactors to exploit…

      As to the new format of your (now bi)monthly updates of the Master Patch List, I must confess that I liked somewhat better the old format (one of a few reasons: I did not need to launch a different application to look at it, when it was all in one Web page) but I imagine that you have your good reasons for doing it now this way, if nothing else, maybe to simplify your life a bit.

      Thanks for your always helpful advice over the months since you joined Woody’s.

      Group B, Windows 7 Pro, SP1, x64, plus Mac+Linux (Mint)

    • in reply to: Getting to the Real iCloud Drive Folder on a Mac #1875017

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      These are some additional items in that command I usually find quite useful:

      To see more information: file permissions, whose file it is, when it was created, how big and, of course the name of the file and to see also the same information about files that are hidden:

      ls  -l -la filename

      To see them so the first listed is the more recent and the files are listed in ascending order by their ages:

      ls -t … filename  where …” is any choice of one or more of the other switches (“la, ls…”)

      For a full information on all the functions of this command:

      man  ls          (This brings up on the screen a rather long listing of all the features of ls. To turn the pages with information on what can be done with this command, hit return or the spacing tab.)

       

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • in reply to: New Election Systems use Vulnerable Software #1874991

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      People make the key decisions are probably in way over their heads with the practical and technical issues they never thought or knew about before they started the implementation of an insufficiently tested system, but trying their best to look good or, at least, not terrible. Has anybody in charge of this mess in the making ever heard of the concept of “making pilot tests” before going all out with the wholesale implementation of a new way of doing things? Particularly things that really matter?

      • This reply was modified 1 day, 13 hours ago by
         OscarCP.
    • in reply to: AMC Eagle – a truly amazing car #1874696

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      Maybe someone could show this video to Tom Cruise. It might give him some ideas for something to do in the next “Mission Impossible” movie, such as to race both uphill and downhill in hot pursuit of, or from some evil character, the slopes of the Matterhorn, or K2, or some other convenient hill like that.

      When I was a kid, an uncle of mine bought an already old AMC’s Nash. Mechanically, it wasn’t a great, or even a good car, but we all loved it dearly all the same and, somehow, my uncle managed to take us, a cousin and me and his father, our grand father, in it a for long trips during summer vacations without serious mishaps, although the car was often in a mechanic’s garage in between such excursions.

      • This reply was modified 2 days, 16 hours ago by
         OscarCP.
    • in reply to: AMC Eagle – a truly amazing car #1874509

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      I think that, at the top of the climb, the drivers and their cars got to a level area where a nice road went by.

      I was hoping to see them climbing down the same way they went up and am really sorry they did not oblige: it should have been quite a bit more exciting than going up, I’m pretty sure of it.

    • in reply to: Facebook fined 5 Billion #1874463

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      There is more information here:

      https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/12/ftc-fines-facebook-5-billion-for-privacy-lapses.html

      (The request to turn off the add blocker that pops up can be popped off by clicking on a button at the lower end of it, and so become able to read the article).

       

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • in reply to: Using AI to Detect Discrimmination #1874422

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      There is some interesting information on AI-caused problems in this site:

      https://www.techrepublic.com/article/the-10-biggest-ai-failures-of-2017/

      In general, this type of algorithms does offer some benefits, but also can create serious problems. Biases based on the way information used to train neural network algorithms has been collected (e.g., of mostly cardiology cases of patients of European descent) then results in bias in the AI results (misdiagnosing people with a different ancestry). According to a number of articles I have seen recently in publications such as “New Scientist” (of the “Nature” group of scientific publications), “Scientific American” (in the July 2019 issue) and elsewhere, face-recognition AI technology is a prime example of “not ready to be brought to market” that is being brought to market all the same. Particularly problematic is biased training that can lead to AIs identifying as criminals or trouble-makers to some people, in part, because of their ethnicity. It is particularly worrying when used by the police and the national security agencies, and also as  the tool of repressive regimes to keep track and gather evidence against opponents that can be used to find, prosecute and, or even “disappear” them. Some governments, in the US at the municipal level so far, for example San Francisco, have banned its use by their own agencies and police departments. I understand that some kind of preventive action is also under discussion in some states as well as at the national government level, although I am of the impression that these are early days in this respect. In the case of its use by democratic governments respectful of their citizen’s rights, one potentially serious problem is that mistakes in identifying the correct subject based on a scan of photos might produce the wrong suspects and completely innocent people then have their lives turned upside down as a result.

    • in reply to: IBM and Red Hat #1874243

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      Let us not to forget Fedora, the quasi-GNU distribution and sibling, or close relative of Red Hat:

      https://www.redhat.com/en/technologies/linux-platforms/articles/relationship-between-fedora-and-rhel

      Red Hat, IBM, and Fedora

      https://www.gnu.org/distros/common-distros.en.html

      Any opinions about it?

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • in reply to: WIN 7 administrator password #1874228

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      Some thoughts that probably have also occurred to Bill: If it came to extreme solutions, after all one’s own efforts have failed, instead of taking an ax to it, as helpfully suggested by dear TSF wih her cartoon, I much rather (as was recommended already here much earlier on) find myself a good computer repair shop with expert technicians that can fix both hardware and software problems to take the ailing machine there, after finding the place through some previous research, including asking for recommendations from people who work in computers themselves, etc. And if that fails or is not practical (e.g., if one lives in a small town far from any large city), then I’ll seriously consider buying a new computer (or perhaps an old new computer: sometimes refurbished machines can be a good buy, I understand) and will start researching that possibility as well. But, in such a case, I’ll remove the hard disk, to keep its data from falling in the wrong hands, backing up its contents first, if that is still possible (there are other ways to get that done if the old PC can’t do it anymore, although some may cost money), and then recycle the old computer.

      Bill: once, many years ago, my first PC, running Windows 98, would no longer boot up. Someone recommended to me a nice lady that worked on it and, after a couple of days gave it back to me once more in good working order. Thanks to her, I could keep on using it for another year. By then it was seriously running of space in the hard disk no matter what I did and also was no longer capable of coping with the new developments on the Internet, particularly the then novelty of streaming TV programs and movies. But other things were not working too well also: the machine had become too slow to keep up with the world, or the world to fast for it. Then I bought my next PC, running Windows XP.

    • in reply to: Checking and repairing the SSD/HD of a Mac. #1874857

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      Ales5723: Thanks for the advice. I took it and looked into those two procedures you mentioned by doing a Web search and that way got the instructions for using the Disk application and also how to check on the S.M.A.R.T. status. The result I got: the SSD is just fine. What might have been those “Unsolved issues” I got from the Webroot software? I still have no idea, except that it is not a problem detected by doing the checks with those two macOS built-in procedures. So I think I’ll just give this whole thing a rest.

    • in reply to: Checking and repairing the SSD/HD of a Mac. #1874845

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      My understanding is that the Webroot software, when one checks the disk with it, produces this very terse report to the effect that either everything is OK or not. Something like running Windows’ CHKDSK, but with no details given as to what the problems may be. If one would like to fix those problems in the disk, whatever they are, then one could run the “Repair Disk” feature. The “problems” are not malware infections, but things like corrupt files.

      I am not satisfied with this and would like to use something a bit more communicative and preferably backed by recommendations from others here.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • in reply to: IBM and Red Hat #1874249

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      b: Thanks for that link to a very interesting and well-written article.

      I feel inclined to agree that LINUX may not have a large mass-market presence any time soon. Although there is the point that MrJimPhelps has made about how Red Hat, with the support of IBM, if successful enough with big “Enerprise” organizations public and private, might open the door of the PC mass-market to LINUX. This is a very new development that the article does not address.

      But there is more to this than “Mass Market” in this corner and “Enterprise” in the other. There are also niche markets. I have been in several of those, on and off, for a good many years (when not using Windows), bouncing, as opportunity has dictated, between niches where UNIX, or various flavors of LINUX, or FreeBSD, or OS X/macOS are used. The real question about niches, I think is: How big, exactly, can a niche get and still be called a niche? Postage-stamp sized? Football-field sized? Kansas corn-field sized? Texas sized? Yes, there are many distros, but their niches are not all of the same size. Ubuntu has evolved into something approaching the user-friendliness of the Windows or the Mac GUIs — as well as the availability of helpful how-to-do-this-and-that dedicated Web sites — although I don’t think it is there quite yet. Given what I need an OS for the most, I don’t much care if it is “there” or not, but newcomers used to the more ergonomic (for lack of a better word) GUIs of the two big commercial mass-market systems, might very well care. Ubuntu (and in this I am lumping it with some of its forks) is big-ish and may be getting even bigger-ish, stretching its niche bit by bit and getting more and more sort-of-mass-market-ish. That is, at least, my personal impression born from first observing what is going on and then internalizing the observations: I have neither the statistics nor can offer any quotable sources to back these assertions, I’m afraid.

      Be that as it may, maybe this time something really interesting is blowin’ in the wind. Maybe Red Hat+IBM turns out to be more than the sum of its parts. Maybe Ubuntu will get a Mediterranean size niche (of much less than a Pacific-Ocean size, like Windows, but of a respectable size all the same) Who knows? Let’s keep watching, see what happens.


    • OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      My endorsement above is to the Moderator’s Note.

      I believe that, in addition to the fact that news coming from the Dark Internet hardly deserve to be considered as, at best, nothing more than well-intentioned gossip (that some times might be correct and some times, totally off the wall), a link to a place there can be also, potentially, a link to a Web site infested by malware and converted into a slaved source of malware itself — besides who knows what other really nasty things that might be lurking there.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • in reply to: Roundup of Mac News #1874203

      OscarCP
      AskWoody Plus

      Hah! I knew it! It’s just like watchmaking! Seriously: Thanks for the video: I really loved it! It it was such a treat to be able to see, for the first time, the intriguingly complex inners of my laptop (or one much like it) in such a clear and detailed way.

      And I also know this now: if I followed the video to dismantle my laptop in order to make some repairs myself (although watching the video with the screen separated from the box and put some safe distance away will be admittedly tricky, but I’m sure I’ll manage) knowing myself I feel pretty sure that afterwards I’ll get some hardware bits and pieces, chips and pentalobe screws, on the working table, entirely for free, that I can keep as spares in case the ones back in the machine need replacing.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
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