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ARIN Is Down To the Last /8 of IPv4 Addresses

Aaden42 Re:About time! (278 comments)

And best yet, ISP’s will have an excuse to charge you extra for not-upgrading their infrastructure so you can continue to do what you already do for additional cost and no material improvements to your service. Brilliant!

yesterday
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Supreme Court Upholds Michigan's Ban On Affirmative Action In College Admissions

Aaden42 Re:Justice Sotomayor... (386 comments)

Here goes my karma out the window...

I tend to think that a candidate’s belief in an imaginary sky fairy who sends psychic messages to a man (never a woman!) in Rome that all his followers must comply with or else spend an eternity in burning agony is somewhat more material of a limitation to said candidate’s ability to lead than is the color of their skin.

You can say what you like about Obama’s religious beliefs or lack thereof; but all else being equal, a Catholic president of any race would cause me more concern (a goodly bit) than a non-Catholic president of any particular race (no concern whatsoever, at least for race, though other religious belief systems are equally or more troubling).

Personally, I’d substitute “Catholic” with “devoutly religious, any denomination,” but since we started talking about JFK...

yesterday
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Supreme Court Upholds Michigan's Ban On Affirmative Action In College Admissions

Aaden42 Re:Justice Sotomayor... (386 comments)

False.

Sotomayer thinks that the states’ voters should not be able to make that determination but that instead it should be incontrovertible policy pushed down by the Federal government leaving the states powerless to modify it.

The decision wasn’t made on the basis of whether racial qualifications should be allowed or disallowed. It was made based on whether that determination is allowable to make at a state level.

Now, I tend to agree that furthering the cause of Federalism run WAY over its intended bounds in favor of the Feds against the states is despicable, so our overall views of Sotomayer are in line, but at least cast aspersions for the correct reasons.

yesterday
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Tech People Making $100k a Year On the Rise, Again

Aaden42 Re:Illustrates the need for more H1B visas (191 comments)

What exactly do you think paying non-citizens less to do the same work Americans could do accomplishes in terms of net positive?

I don’t dispute your assertion that allowing more H1B’s would drive down tech salaries, but as a tech worker NOT among the six-digit salary range myself, I can’t conceive of a possible way that’s a good thing.

That said, having interviewed a number of H1B candidates, I’m of the impression that adding more marginally skilled labor to the labor pool doesn’t help anything at all. Highly skilled people demand high salaries. At least for the H1B candidates who have come my way, they’re no better in aggregate than the “average” non-H1B candidate. Quite a few of them are significantly less skilled in the areas we’re looking for.

Opening the floodgates to throw more “resources” at the problem doesn’t help the fact that exceptionally skilled programmers are (well...) exceptional and generally difficult to find. Compensating them commensurate with their skill is good business sense since if you lose them, your odds of finding more are slim.

2 days ago
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Tech People Making $100k a Year On the Rise, Again

Aaden42 Re:$100k today the equivalent of $80k in 2004 (191 comments)

I’m sure anybody not currently making six figure salaries would still love to have one.

Well... Except for those making seven or eight digit salaries, but they pretty much get what they want anyways.

2 days ago
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Tech People Making $100k a Year On the Rise, Again

Aaden42 Re:$100k today the equivalent of $80k in 2004 (191 comments)

At least blame the right faceless government agency. Inflation money hasn’t been actually printed on paper since perhaps before Jimmy Carter. The Federal Reserve just shifts the bits a couple of spots towards MSB on various too big to fail entities’ bank account records. Same effect, just less of that messy ink to deal with...

2 days ago
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IRS Can Now Seize Your Tax Refund To Pay a Relative's Debt

Aaden42 Very simple fix (631 comments)

There’s a very simple fix for this and other “seize your refund” enforcement issues like Obamacare fines.

Ensure your withholding amounts are set as low as statutorily permissible. Squirrel away sufficient cash to be able to pay any additional amounts owed. On April 15th, you send the government a check for the difference, having kept any interest earned throughout the year. Much better than having let the government keep your money interest free all year, then maybe not even give it back to you because they decide they don’t have to.

about two weeks ago
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MtGox's "Transaction Malleability" Claim Dismissed By Researchers

Aaden42 Re:sounds like it really was sheer incompetence... (92 comments)

then I’m VERY sure that you had a LOT of other security flaws unpatched on your servers.

Transaction malleability is a lot different than having an unpatched OpenSSL on your server or something. Security bugs in unpatched software are a thing that are well-understood by sysadmins and security researchers. Weaknesses in the cryptography underlying Bitcoin are truly understood by perhaps a handful of people on the Earth at this time. It would be nice to presume that an organization positioning itself as an exchange for Bitcoin would have that expertise on staff, but you can’t meaningfully compare the two things. Additionally, this isn’t an unpatched security flaw where upgrading to Bitcoin 1.1 would have fixed the issue. It’s a weakness inherent to the Bitcoin protocol which may or may not be able to be repaired without invaliding all existing BTC transactions.

The research in TFA seems to confirm the existing belief that this attack is very unlikely to pull off in the real world, therefore the severity of it seems low.

there are SURE to be a LOT more hidden flaws bleeding bitcoins like crazy

Really? Please do share your cryptography credentials that qualify you to analyze the Bitcoin protocol and arrive at this certainty. Unless you’re prepared to present “a meaningful interpretive dance that compares and contrasts cache-based timing, and other side channel attacks and their countermeasures,” (http://www.moserware.com/2009/09/stick-figure-guide-to-advanced.html), I rather doubt you’ve got the background to comment meaningful on undiscovered weaknesses in the Bitcoin protocol.

about two weeks ago
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MtGox's "Transaction Malleability" Claim Dismissed By Researchers

Aaden42 Re:Flawed assumption (92 comments)

You don’t seem to understand the purpose of Bitcoin, or what a Ponzi scheme is...

... Or what money is. Fiat currency has no value other than to 1) Pay your taxes, and 2) Conduct business with others who mutually agree that said currency has an effective value. Within about 15 miles of me, there’s at least one pizza joint and one car dealer that will accept Bitcoin in exchange for their products.

No argument that BTC is less widely accepted than most other currencies, but don’t conflate wide acceptance of a currency with it having an intrinsic value. At the end of the day, one dollar bill is worth exactly what I can exchange it for, no more (with the possible exception of it having some *limited* intrinsic value in terms of heating/energy should it prove more valuable to simply set fire to it rather than exchange it for some other fuel source). I could if I so wished exchange BTC for pizza or a car, so that’s value in my book.

Granted, BTC’s volatility in terms of value makes it a risky choice as “money,” but it isn’t worthless.

about two weeks ago
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Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

Aaden42 Re:I think this is bullshit (1746 comments)

You presume much. Just because I suppose gay marriage doesn’t mean I voted for Obama.

I’ve never been a fan of voting for the “lesser” evil.

about three weeks ago
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Brendan Eich Steps Down As Mozilla CEO

Aaden42 Re:I think this is bullshit (1746 comments)

you lose your right to claim to be pro free speech after advocating a boycott

This is so utterly false, I don’t even know where to start. Eich had every right to speak in support of Prop 8 or anything else he might like to, but I also have the right to express my distaste of his bigoted ideas by withholding my support of any organization which he runs.

I’ll defend to the death his right to *say* whatever he likes, but there’s no reason in the world I need to do business with someone whose views I consider to make them a reprehensible human being. The idea that not giving someone your money is equivalent to silencing their right to free speech strikes me as an incredible sense of entitlement. There’s nothing about the right to free speech that entitles you to say anything you want without consequences of having said it. Freedom of speech means the government can’t silence you, but that protection begins and ends with the *government*. How any individual chooses to interact with you as a result of *your* free speech is as much a matter of *their* free speech as you being free to say it in the first place.

There’s nothing about supporting free speech that requires me to also support every person who speaks an opinion I disagree with. By your logic, I should vote for a politician whose views I disagree with because if I voted against him, I’d be infringing on his right to free speech. That’s preposterous and misguided and flat out foolish.

about three weeks ago
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Fluke Donates Multimeters To SparkFun As Goodwill Gesture

Aaden42 Re:Good PR Move (250 comments)

Calling support for a multimeter? What planet are you from? Short of it breaking and needing a replacement under warranty, you plug it in, spin the dial to the mode you want, and away you go.

Do people call Sears for tech support on a Craftsman wrench? I’ll grant a multimeter is *slightly* more complicated of a tool, but really only slightly to someone who’s the least bit experienced in that area of tech. I think I got my first MM when I was six years old. Took Dad about 10 minutes to show me how to measure voltage and resistance, and that was when you had to set the range yourself.

about a month ago
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A Call For Rollbacks To Previous Versions of Software

Aaden42 iOS downgrades = security risk (199 comments)

As someone who doesn’t root my iPhone and would prefer nobody else do so, there is a key advantage to me to Apple’s preventing downgrades of the iOS version on a device. If an old release contains a security flaw that would allow access to secured data on the device which a newly patched version would prevent, allowing an install of the older version would allow an attacker to downgrade, exploit the bug, and extract data from my device. Jailbreaking a device amounts to removing all effective protections in terms of access security that the device may provide for data stored on it. Many (but certainly not all) jailbreaks exploited vulnerabilities at an OS-software level, and patching those vulnerabilities made it impossible to jailbreak an updated device. That doesn’t apply to the devices that had exploitable vulnerabilities in the ROM boot block of course; and that was an issue on several of the devices.

Ensuring that older vulnerable versions cannot be installed on my device is a security feature to me. It’s also a limitation of my freedom, and it makes the device less “mine.” Looking at the alternatives and what I *personally* want to do with (and want done to) my iDevice, I’ve decided this is a better option for me. I’m not prevented from using the device in the manner for which it was marketed, and potentially some would-be attackers are thwarted from extracting data from my device. Certainly there’s more that I could potentially do with the device in terms of home-rolled firmware, but I’m at the point where I really and truly don’t want to “hack” on my cell phone with all the potential issues that come with that (battery drain, instability, insecurity, etc.). I want to pull my iPhone out of my pocket and make a phone call. Apple’s update policy doesn’t prevent that, and their QA is reasonably good in terms of the battery drain and related issues being a relative minority of their users. I’m willing to take the risk of updating.

In a perfect world, boot loader security might be accomplished with a key that’s under my control rather than under Apple’s. Maybe a card / USB stick in the box with the private key for the boot loader and a “lose this at your peril” warning. The device could take official Apple updates without the key (better if that was a configurable option), or take any software with the key. Of course the support nightmare that would ensue would be insane, and Apple would never do it as it’s a definite UX detraction for any but the most geeky of buyers.

RMS’ great vision of full control of all of our hardware is a nice one, but in the mean time I’m content to enter compromises with companies that have reasonable histories of “not being evil” in the areas which directly effect me. I’m good with Apple and how they handle their iThing’s. Sure that could change, and I keep my data off-device in formats that would allow me to convert and go elsewhere if need be. Beyond that, I’m not going to lose sleep over the fact that I’m stuck with one-way upgrades of iOS. It’s one of those arguments that I can agree with ideologically, but in terms of practicality and getting things done, it doesn’t negatively effect me.

about a month ago
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Microsoft's Attempt To Convert Users From Windows XP Backfires

Aaden42 Re:Huge office parks are still running Windows XP (860 comments)

Upgrading is always an option. They’ve just decided that the (odds X cost) of potential security issues from not upgrading is lower than the cost of upgrading all of the apps and systems.

Were I an IT-type person in such a company, I’d want hardcopy signed by C-level management expressing it in those exact terms. Something to the effect of, “We acknowledge that there are significant known vulnerabilities in our operating system and browser, that there is a significant likelihood of additional vulnerabilities, particular after the vendor’s end-of-life for patches. We nonetheless choose to run this vulnerable platform in lieu of incurring the costs to upgrade. We acknowledge that IT has made us aware of these risks and absolve IT of any responsibility for security incidents which occur as a result of this choice.”

Good luck getting that of course, but I’d be looking for a new job either way...

about a month and a half ago
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RadioShack To Close 1,100 Stores

Aaden42 Re:two words (423 comments)

I prefer a little oxygen in my cables when I’m watching movies. The actors’ faces get this weird blue tint without it.

about a month and a half ago
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RadioShack To Close 1,100 Stores

Aaden42 Re:two words (423 comments)

In my experience, when I need That Part on a Sunday afternoon, I’m not likely to get it from Radio Shack either. There are times I’d be willing to pay the retail price premium to get what I need. It’s a moot point when they don’t even stock basic discreet components or plugs half the time.

about a month and a half ago
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Bitcoin Exchange Flexcoin Wiped Out By Theft

Aaden42 Re:surprised!!!! (704 comments)

Why do you assume governments want to discredit Bitcoin?

An “anonymous” currency that actually carries a permanent record of every transaction ever conducted in it? Sounds like a law enforcement wet dream. I wonder if they’ll consider it worth the work* and the wider understanding of BTC’s true “anonymous” nature to work backwards and de-anonymize many of the BTC wallet ID’s used to make Silk Road purchases. I’d be shocked if most buyers took the necessary steps to make their wallet ID’s completely untraceable to them.

* And it’s only “work,” assuming that the nature of NSA’s various data capture and analysis programs haven’t been watching the blockchain from day one and correlating & de-anonymizing every wallet ID as they went. Wouldn’t really take that much given the scope of the data capture they seem to have. All it takes is one browser submit of your wallet ID through the same browser or even IP that your Amazon or Google or whatever cookie has been seen from, and they have a name to go with the ID.

about a month and a half ago
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Bitcoin Exchange Flexcoin Wiped Out By Theft

Aaden42 Re: When are the bank runs going to happen? (704 comments)

it’s provided by payments the banks make to be FDIC insured.

This is true only so long as the Office of Thrift Supervision does its job effectively, and in recent history it’s been doing a piss poor job. OTS is supposed to seize a failing bank prior to the value of its assets dropping below the sum of FDIC insured deposits. The sale of the bank and its assets (loans it owns essentially), whole or in pieces to other banks should equal or exceed the amount of insured funds, and depositors are made whole without tax payers taking a bath. Usually the obligation of the deposits is assumed by the purchasing banks, so any eventual withdrawals come from the new bank’s assets.

The problem is when OTS waits too long, and a failing bank has slipped past the point where it has the assets to cover its deposits. In that case, any bank purchasing the assets and liabilities would insist on either a discount on the price (to offset the value of the deposits they would eventually have to pay back) or outright cash as part of the transaction to ensure they’re not taking a loss in the transaction. At that point, the money comes from the FDIC fund to make up the difference. FDIC is “insurance” in the sense that banks pay into it, but it’s backed by the full faith and credit of the United States of America. That means if the fund comes up short, every penny past that point comes directly out of the tax payers.

The FDIC insurance fund is maintained at a very low percentage of the overall deposits at risk. I think the requirement was raised to 1.35% in 2010, but that target isn’t required to be reached until 2020. The number of banks that failed as a result of various sub-prime related issues put a strain on the fund because OTS consistently waited until the banks were deeply in the red before acting. My cynical self says they were playing the “wait & hope” game, hoping the banks managed to ride it out without going under so they wouldn’t need to close them. Didn’t work out so well for a lot of banks.

At least as of 2010, the FDIC fund was in pretty bad shape as a result: http://www.zerohedge.com/artic...

So it’s true that FDIC insurance isn’t provided by the government, at least up to the point the insurance fund holds. Pat that point, any shortfalls are paid for by the government, IE You.

about a month and a half ago
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Microsoft's Attempt To Convert Users From Windows XP Backfires

Aaden42 Why a torrent? (860 comments)

I misread:

The response was a torrent of abuse from Windows 8 users

And the first thing to pop into my head was why in Finagle’s name would anyone torrent Windows 8? Talk about a waste of bandwidth...

about a month and a half ago
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Google Ordered To Remove Anti-Islamic Film From YouTube

Aaden42 Re: Ridiculous assertion (321 comments)

Sorry... What I intended to say was, "If there's any *reasonable* suit with the slightest chance of surviving appeal outside the Ninth Circus..."

about 2 months ago

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