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Comments

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"Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

BronsCon Re:So close, so far (555 comments)

To both you and the poster directly before you, I say this:

If I just say "viruses", some dumb chump chimes in to tell me it's "virii". In attempting to avoid that exchange, it seems I've brought the attention of two even dumber chumps.

5 days ago
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"Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer" Pulled From Amazon

BronsCon Re:So close, so far (555 comments)

That is true, the closest thing I have to a manager at my current job (the CEO of the company) can't code worth shit and gets viruses (virii?) all the damn time.

about a week ago
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Multi-Process Comes To Firefox Nightly, 64-bit Firefox For Windows 'Soon'

BronsCon Re:Tempting (181 comments)

No. Just no. You see, I don't care if someone else has intolerant thoughts or opinions, and neither should you; after all, who the hell am I (and who the hell are you) to judge what's in someone's head, when only they know how it got there? So let them vocalize, let them write, let them scream. You don't have to listen to it and you don't have to read it. We have laws for a reason and, if someone's intolerance reaches a level that causes them to violate one or more of those laws, well, that's what the laws are there for. Likewise, there is a reason we don't have laws against holding certain thoughts and opinions, and why free speech is not only not deemed illegal, but an integral part of the US Constitution. If you live elsewhere, of course, that does not apply, but you should still be able to see my point.

And no, you've got that logically backwards: saying it's hypocritical not to eat people just because you eat potatoes is like saying it's hypocritical not to tolerate murder just because you tolerate speeding. Intolerance is a negative, tolerance is a positive; take (and pass) a logic 101 course and you'll learn why that matters.

about two weeks ago
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Multi-Process Comes To Firefox Nightly, 64-bit Firefox For Windows 'Soon'

BronsCon Re:Tempting (181 comments)

Ah, the Wounded Gazelle Gambit, aka playing a victim.

Wherein did I claim to be victimized by anything? And that's where I stopped reading your post.

about two weeks ago
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Your Incompetent Boss Is Making You Unhappy

BronsCon Re:How about rotating the boss hat? (204 comments)

It's extremely brilliant, actually. It's useful to have your employees be able to follow the workflow for as many aspects of your company as possible, which often means getting them to work in as many departments as possible. How do you get someone to willingly move from engineering to accounting? A promotion, of course!

about two weeks ago
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New NXP SoC Gives Android Its Apple Pay

BronsCon Re:NXP is a huge secure element provider. (122 comments)

The point is that this shows the depth of what can be done given the current implementation and spec design short-comings

Except that these aren't shortcomings of the spec and, in fact, are never presented as such by Nohl and Lell. Quite the opposite, it is stated in their presentation that you (as a user) want these design features, the ability for a device to be multiple things (e.g. a video and audio device, a-la a webcam) and the ability for a device that can't talk to its driver to reattach itself to the bus as a CD-ROM drive to provide the driver. They referred to these as features, not flaws, and very clearly placed the blame on the devices, stating that the fix is to make the devices themselves not reprogrammable. I'm not arguing these points, as Nohl and Lell have already done so.

I think we've addressed everything else, so I'll clarify this one: the reference to DMA was to FireWire et al security issues

I was actually referring to you saying the following:

There is a DMA component, a quick search reveals they haven't fixed that either yet. Bah.

And, in any case, the OS providing virtualized DMA for Firewire (and it is an OS feature, though I'd genuinely love to be wrong about that, so please point me to a source that says I am) does nothing to stop a Firewire device from injecting a rootkit into RAM during the boot process. Virtualized DMA is also no longer Direct, nor is it as fast, so it's really not an ideal solution. Firewire keyboards also exist (the PowerBook Pismo's keyboard was connected via Firewire), as do Firewire webcams (e.g. a Firewire device that's actually two devices), and you can get Firewire ethernet controllers. What that means is that, from a technical standpoint, the only thing I can't confirm without testing devices directly is whether or not I'd be able to find a Firewire device I could reprogram to do exactly what Nohl and Lell did with USB. If one can be found that can be reprogrammed, one can be found to host something akin to BadUSB; let's call it BadWire.

And, that says nothing of Thunderbolt, which many people use for permanently-connected displays and drives. That also uses DMA (in fact, it exposes one or more PCI-Express lanes, depending on which revision of the spec is implemented). A Thunderbolt controller could emulate a flash drive, ethernet controller, and a USB controller with a keyboard attached, and do these very same things. And I think you've missed that, for any of these attacks (via USB, Firewire, or Thunderbolt), an infected device need not be the initial route of infection; that could, instead, be the method of persistence (and re-infection), which negates your argument regarding the Firewire devices you use being more or less permanent.

Of course, that assumes, as Nohl and Lell said, "that [the] devices can be reprogrammed", which, really, is the crux of the attack.

As an aside, you can flash the firmware of a hard disk or SDD via SATA, as well, while the system is booted and operational; while it can't act as a keyboard, it can store a rootkit. And the attack principle is the same: modify the device's firmware.

All of that said, yes, I think we did both learn things here.

about two weeks ago
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AT&T To "Pause" Gigabit Internet Rollout Until Net Neutrality Is Settled

BronsCon Re: if only (307 comments)

Cox ain't half bad in Ohio, where available. From the sound of things, I should be glad we have Comcast (as much as I have them) in Walnut Creek, though; I haven't heard anything good about Astound, either.

about two weeks ago
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AT&T To "Pause" Gigabit Internet Rollout Until Net Neutrality Is Settled

BronsCon Re: Yeah right (307 comments)

They built our network for us, using our tax dollars, and our parents', and our grandparents'. They're only able to claim it as their own because there aren't enough of us who both know that fact and care enough to do anything about it to actually accomplish the task of reclaiming it from them. They should have to lease space on it from the public, just like any other provider wishing to use it.

about two weeks ago
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New NXP SoC Gives Android Its Apple Pay

BronsCon Re:NXP is a huge secure element provider. (122 comments)

No, those are both very good sources for information on the problem SRLabs discovered. In fact, I referenced their presentation (one of the links on Bruces post that I suggested you review). Your understanding if the issue at hand is still way off, which is why I referred you to the USB spec, so you can educate yourself. The only way in which a BadUSB "infection" can persist on a host is if that "infection" modifies files on the host, just as with any other infection. It's persistent on the affected USB device, and there's no way to tell if a device is affected by the issue (well, there is, I've mentioned it, but we'll assume you didn't identify the affected device prior to wiping the system it was connected to), which acts as an avenue for continued attack, or re-modification of the same files on the host even after the host has been cleaned up. That's not host persistence through any special means unique to BadUSB; host persistence, again, come from files being modified on the host, as with any persistent infection, while the device remains affected by the issue in order to repeat its attack should the host be cleaned up at a later date. That means the following is incorrect

there is no persistence nor propagation of the threat once the bad hardware has been removed, unlike with the USB

as it implies that the threat necessarily persists after the hardware is removed. This is only the case is the modified firmware on the USB device (again, this is a flaw in the device, and not all devices allow their firmware to be rewritten) modifies files on the host to make it so.

nor does DMA allow for BIOS/EFI corruption

I haven't seen where BadUSB does, either, but I may be wrong about this. Can I get a direct quote, since it's clearly eluding my eyes? It would be most appreciated. (nay, I have indeed found the quote and will discuss it below)

This line, from the BadUSB homepage (linked from your post) would seem to support your claim of host persistence:

To make matters worse, cleanup after an incident is hard: Simply reinstalling the operating system – the standard response to otherwise ineradicable malware – does not address BadUSB infections at their root.

However, when you read the rest of the paragraph, Nohl and Lell go on to elaborate that this is because:

The USB thumb drive, from which the operating system is reinstalled, may already be infected, as may the hardwired webcam or other USB components inside the computer.

Ah, and there it is, actually, I do see a quote for the claim I questioned just a few lines above:

A BadUSB device may even have replaced the computer’s BIOS – again by emulating a keyboard and unlocking a hidden file on the USB thumb drive.

However, given the understanding of how a BIOS of EFI image would be replaced (this isn't something that can generally be done while a system is booted into an OS; on systems where this is possible, that is a flaw in the BIOS/EFI and not in USB), it becomes clear why keyboard emulation is required; the device would have to emulate a keyboard during boot and send the correct key sequence to enter the BIOS/EFI flash utility, then flash a correct BIOS or EFI image, lest the system fail to boot afterward. Either, or both, of us could be wrong on this point, and we won't know until they release further details, but I'm basing my position on knowledge built over nearly 3 decades of experience, and having read and understood the specifications for the technologies involved.

It bears repeating that a BIOS or EFI that can be written from within a live OS is, itself, flawed, and that is not a flaw in USB. To clarify, on such systems (for example, a Sony VAIO laptop I own, which uses a Windows-based utility for BIOS updates*[1]), malicious software running within the OS can rewrite the BIOS or EFI. That includes a binary stored in "a hidden file on the USB thumb drive" (note the direct quote from your source). It's also a flaw in the BIOS or EFI implementation of the affected system; in the case of BadUSB, it is one that is exploited by a USB thumb drive pretending to be a keyboard in order to send keystrokes to copy and execute a hidden file from its own storage. Again, not a flaw in USB, but a flaw in the device which was reprogrammed to behave as another device.

Since I managed to find that last quote on my own, but I still cannot find any reference to DMA in relation to BadUSB, I'll ask, instead, for a quote or reference for that. Again, greatly appreciated.

Also, for reference, Nohl and Lell's actual presentation, not just the slides. Pay special attention to these highlights:
2:03 where the USB device began emulating a keyboard and deployed a virus onto the system (very visibly)
6:30 where the USB registration process is explained
7:58 where it is explained what is actually being exploited (quoted below, for easy reference, but don't take my word for it, hear it for yourself when you watch the presentation) is explained
8:30 where the process of "infecting" the USB device is explained in depth
the second demo at 14:02 where they demonstrate infection of a stick (where the behavior is very visible, as the device disappears and reappears during the process)
demo 3 at 15:15 where they infect a second system (again, visibly, as they are using keyboard commands sent from the keyboard BadUSB is emulating in order to do anything at all on the host system)
16:42 where it is explained that on a Linux system (due to system architecture, so this will apply on all POSIX-compliant systems, including OS X and the BSDs) they are only able to affect the current user's account and one would require root privileges in order to propagate the infection to a new USB device (though an additional exploit to the screensaver binary, assuming one is in use, is explained, as well)
18:03 where it is mentioned that the emulation target needn't be a keyboard (implying that emulation of other devices is, in fact, what they're talking about; because it is)
18:14 where they demonstrate emulation of a network controller (again visibly, the device shows up as an ethernet controller)
20:36 where it is explained what they tried (and failed) to demonstrate during the 18:14 demonstration; emulation os an ethernet controller and DHCP server to change DNS settings
24:47 where the demonstrate an attack from an Android phone, which creates another network device (as above at 18:14) and implements the attack described at 20:36 (this is actually available on the BadUSB homepage)
28:14 where they actually do give details regarding the BIOS/EFI exploit, which incidentally match up with what I explained above, requiring that the computer be booted from the stick; though, they do take a different direction and load a rootkit prior to booting, rather than reflashing the BIOS/EFI, and they optionally emulate a keyboard to force booting from the stick if necessary (note that reflashing the BIOS/EFI would also be possible at this point, I'm not denying that; in fact, it's exactly what I said, above)
32:25 where the mechanism of persistence is explained, precisely as I described it above; re-infection via the infected USB device
34:20 where defenses are discussed; especially:
38:53 where disabling firmware updates on USB devices is mentioned, even touted as the ideal solution, evidence, again, that this is a device issue (as alluded to at 7:58)

They very clearly explain what they're exploiting, here, and it does, in fact, require cooperation of the host system "that the computer does not know how many devices are currently connected and that they can change their persona at any point in time [...] assuming, though, that USB devices can be reprogrammed (quoted from 7:58)". They also make it clear (during the 8:30 explanation) that it took considerable work to work their exploit into the firmware of the device. One can extrapolate from this that the work is not only device-specific, but firmware-specific; that is to say, the code that infects one USB device will not work on another, and it may be noticed that the firmware version has changed if the work was done against a different version of the firmware, even for the correct device.

In short, per their actual presentation as presented at BlackHat 2014, it is exactly as I say, reprogramming a USB device to behave as another device, fully with the cooperation of the host system (including the OS or, during boot, the BIOS/EFI). They are not native English speakers, so you can't fully rely on their written word to be fully accurate; watching the actual presentation should clear up the facts for you, though. Definitely watch it through the end, paying close attention to the last thin that is said as the video fades out.

about two weeks ago
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New NXP SoC Gives Android Its Apple Pay

BronsCon Re:NXP is a huge secure element provider. (122 comments)

Really, familiarize yourself with the USB spec, then apply that knowledge to what you already know of the security vulnerabilities discussed in the articles we've both linked to. For the record, Wired isn't exactly a first-class source.

about two weeks ago
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New NXP SoC Gives Android Its Apple Pay

BronsCon Re:NXP is a huge secure element provider. (122 comments)

in fact, several attack vectors occur before the OS is even in play

In fact, only one theoretical attack, based on a host controller violating the USB spec, occurs before the OS is in play (for purpose of a USB keyboard, the BIOS or EFI is the OS). This was discussed earlier in this very post and it is not BadUSB.

Finally, most systems will enable the keyboard USB device, so any claims of the original device not being supported are moot, since it can spoof itself as anything at any time, including the keyboard.

Wow! Now that is BadUSB! And if it spoofs a keyboard, it can do anything a keyboard can do. Nothing more. You can do some pretty awful things with a keyboard (as you've shown), but nothing on the level you're freaking out about. Spoofing a network adapter and sniffing and logging network traffic (think 3TB external drive with a reprogrammed controller, plenty of potential storage space) is a much more effective means of attack, also possible via BadUSB. But, again, it requires cooperation from the host and the network interface would be a listed device. You could sniff bus traffic, as well, I suppose, but at that point, why not just spoof a device whose driver implements DMA and rifle through RAM looking for the data you're after?

So I say that your claim,

A USB device without a driver does nothing. Period.

is wholly incorrect in context of BadUSB.

Actually, it's wholly incorrect in the context of reprogramming a host controller that violates the USB spec, or a device that sniffs bus traffic between insertion and timeout. It's spot on in the context of BadUSB.

I suggest you shed some of that hubris you're carrying around, apparently it is interfering with your reading comprehension.

Unless I'm misinterpreting this:

Their central finding is that USB firmware, which exists in varying forms in all USB devices, can be reprogrammed to hide attack code.

you, sir, are wrong. That's what BadUSB is, reprogramming a device to behave as another device. Nothing more. Does it enable a variety of attack vectors that were previously impractical? Yes. But it doesn't do so entirely silently. I suggest you familiarize yourself with the USB spec to further your understanding on this matter.

about two weeks ago
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New NXP SoC Gives Android Its Apple Pay

BronsCon Re:NXP is a huge secure element provider. (122 comments)

The controller on the host can still be reprogrammed, for instance

In theory. In practice, it is the controllers on the devices that are being left in a programmable state; host controllers conforming to the spec aren't programmable from the USB bus, so a system susceptible to such an attack would be so in spite of the USB spec, not as a result of it. This is not BadUSB.

and the bus communications can be sniffed

Yes, as with any serial bus. However, the spec allows for shutting down ports with no recognized device connected, so the device would have to be recognized, or the host controller not compliant with the spec, for this attack to work. This is not BadUSB.

Nothing anywhere states that these are only done once the OS finally recognizes the device

Indeed, a device can come up on the bus and sniff traffic until the host shuts it down after a timeout. It'll take a few removals and reinsertions to get the data your after, having to sniff in 500ms increments. Theoretically, this could work, but it's not practical as it requires an immense amount of cooperation from your victim; though, retrieval of the sniffed data would be as simple as picking the device out of their trash when they throw it away, thinking it's broken. Also, this is not BadUSB.

about two weeks ago
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New NXP SoC Gives Android Its Apple Pay

BronsCon Re:NXP is a huge secure element provider. (122 comments)

Slashdot doesn't like posts with too many quote blocks in them, so I have to break up this reply.

I reviewed them more carefully. I get the following: if the USB bus is active and in use, at least some of the attack vectors work.

BadUSB, by name, is a specific attack that requires cooperation of the host.

Perhaps part of the miscommunication is that BadUSB isn't just 1 attack, but many different potential ones. I wrap them all up (perhaps incorrectly for this discussion) as a single attack vector.

And there's our problem, yes. Perhaps, now that we've identified that, it's worth continuing this conversation.

While being a supported device certainly expands the range of attack possibilities, being unsupported by no means eliminates the threat.

But it does eliminate the threat we're discussing here.

about two weeks ago
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Multi-Process Comes To Firefox Nightly, 64-bit Firefox For Windows 'Soon'

BronsCon Re:The Paradox of Tolerance (181 comments)

Financing a group isn't intolerance, it's quite the opposite, you're showing tolerance and acceptance of that group. Financing a group that promotes intolerance may be an intolerant action toward who- or what- ever that group is intolerant of, and that may be rightly actionable. In general, I think I agree with the point you were attempting to make, but I can't be sure as you didn't really succeed in making that point.

about two weeks ago
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Multi-Process Comes To Firefox Nightly, 64-bit Firefox For Windows 'Soon'

BronsCon Re:The Paradox of Tolerance (181 comments)

There is no need to be tolerant of the views of murderous dictators, rabid extremists, or any other group which opposes freedom and tolerance.

Their views, actually, yes; their actions, no. There's no need to adopt their views, yourself, but by what course of action do you make your intolerance known? Are you any better than them for taking that action? Their views are hurting nobody. But go ahead and stand up against their actions, I think we can both agree that is only right.

about two weeks ago
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Multi-Process Comes To Firefox Nightly, 64-bit Firefox For Windows 'Soon'

BronsCon Re:Tempting (181 comments)

Victims should just stand there quietly and let the bully beat them up, otherwise they're just as bad, dammit!

Really? That's what you got out of my post? You just go looking for fights, don't you? There's a far cry from intolerance, which is an opinion, and beating someone up, which is an action. Getting up and leaving the room, and peacefully protesting are also actions which arise from intolerance. I have the right to do both of those and I'd love to see you stop me from doing either.

There is nothing hypocritical of being intolerant of intolerance. Rejecting someone else's claim to authority over how you live is not the same as claiming authority over them.

It's amusing that you conflate authority with intolerance while, at the same time, implying that those are the only two things one should not simply tolerate. Someone smoking a cigarette in the same room as me isn't being intolerant of me, nor are they enforcing any authority over me; are you saying that makes it wrong for me to be intolerant of their actions? I should just sit there and deal with it? Nope, I'm intolerant of smokers (in general, though I have a few friends who smoke around me, but only after asking it it's okay, and only outside) and I'll ask them to snuff it or I'll leave the room.

You see, "tolerance" is simply a shorthand for a vision of the world where people are free to live as they will, while intolerance is ultimately about excersizing power over them.

No. I'm not going to argue your incorrect definition of tolerance as it's suitable in this context; however, intolerance is just what the word says, the inability to tolerate something. For example, I'm intolerant of ignorant posts like the one I'm currently replying to; as a result, I attempt to correct the ignorance. I'm not telling you you have to believe what I believe, but I would like to point out that what you say in the first line of your post applies here; twisting the words I wrote in an attempt to make them into something more sinister yo either force me to reply to defend myself or accept looking like an asshole is a bully tactic. It's also a dick move and I'm intolerant of actions that fall under either of those classifications, regardless of the opinions those actions stem from.

In other words, tolerance is about liberty and intolerance is about authoritarianism.

No, intolerance is about acceptance and intolerance is, well, the opposite. There are intolerant opinions and intolerant speech, which everyone should have the right to (in the US, that's the First Amendment to the Constitution); after all, the only other way to find out your coworker is violently intolerant of people who wear red shirts is when he's bashing your skull in for wearing one. Which, of course, would be an intolerant action; and a violent one, at that. I wouldn't step in to stop it because it's intolerant, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't step in to stop it; a violent act is still a violent act.

And no amount of rhetoric bullshit is going to put those fighting for tyranny and those fighting against it on even moral footing.

Finally, something we agree on!

So basically, it's okay for a homophobe to use whatever power is in his disposal to harm other people based on his beliefs

No. It's okay for them to hold their own opinion, though. Hell, it's okay for them to voice their opinion. Imagine a world where it wasn't okay to hold or voice unpopular opinions; are you sure you wouldn't run afoul of those in power? I'd imagine you'd be put to death in short order in such a society.

but it's not okay for his victims or their allies to fight back?

Got-damn you're dense. Since when is holding an opinion an attack on someone? And where did I say violence and authoritarianism were tolerable? Go right ahead and be intolerant of whatever you want, that's your right; just know that it's hypocritical to be intolerant of intolerance. Intolerant actions? Gotta accept those in general, but go ahead and step in when those actions move into any number of other categories, including violence and criminal activity. Intolerant speech? Well, as long as you keep it to yourself; if you speak out against it, well, isn't that a bit hypocritical, too? Intolerant thoughts? Tolerate them, or prepare for massive cognitive dissonance.

about two weeks ago
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Multi-Process Comes To Firefox Nightly, 64-bit Firefox For Windows 'Soon'

BronsCon Re:Tempting (181 comments)

Actually, no. See, people have the right to be intolerant, and begrudging them that right is, plain and simple, as bigoted as denying any other right for any other reason. That, of course, is on top of being entirely hypocritical, being intolerant of intolerance, and such. You don't have to agree with someone else's opinion in order to allow them to have it.

You're welcome to hang on to your logical fallacy, though. Have fun with it.

about two weeks ago
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New NXP SoC Gives Android Its Apple Pay

BronsCon Re:NXP is a huge secure element provider. (122 comments)

Have you reviewed the two links Bruce added to his post on the issue? I suggest you do. The attack works by a USB device being reprogrammed to behave as a different device; logically, that would require that the host system recognize it as that device. A USB device without a driver does nothing. Period.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Should John Seek Overtime Pay or Insist on Maintaining His Current Arrangement?

BronsCon BronsCon writes  |  about a year ago

BronsCon (927697) writes "A friend of mine recently came to me for advice regarding how to handle a situation with his employer. I advised him to contact an attorney, because any advice I could provide would likely be poor. But, his situation has made me curious; so I'd like to describe it here and pose the same question to the Slashdot community.

My friend, we'll call him John, has been working for a California-based company for several years in a position covered by IWC Article 4 (PDF warning, sorry) under the assumption that he was exempt from sections 3-12 (which includes the section relating to overtime pay); he recently decided to read over the law, as well as the exemption that could possibly apply to him, the Professional Exemption and the Employee in the Computer Software Field exemption, and discovered that given the current terms of his employment, he is in fact not exempt from any provision of Article 4. He also believes that his employer sincerely mistook his position as exempt and does not wish to punish them for what he believes to be an honest mistake.

For the duration of his employ, John has more or less been allowed to come and go as he pleases and has received frequent commendation for the level of work he puts out, so it would appear that his loose schedule has been beneficial for all involved, up to now. What prompted him to review the IWC documents was a sudden insistence from his boss that he was not working reasonable hours because "every other salaried position requires 50-60hr workweeks".

Here's the rub; he does not want to pursue the unpaid overtime, because this would bankrupt the company and put him out of a job, and he is worried that suing his employer may well make him unemployable. He simply either wants things to continue on as they have been, foregoing overtime pay in exchange for a high degree of freedom in his working schedule (which typically equates to coming in between 8:00 and 8:20 rather than at 8:00 sharp, taking 20-30min breaks rather than 10min, taking an occasional long lunch, and typically staying 30-90min later than most of his coworkers to make up for all of it, as well as working weekends to get things done that didn't get done during the week), or adjusting the working relationship into full compliance with IWC Article 4.

John's development work is largely done solo, he is always present for meetings, which are not held regularly, and his work is frequently completed ahead of schedule and under budget. There are no team members twiddling their thumbs while John is out getting coffee or walking off a heavy lunch before returning to the office.

I'm curious to see how Slashdot's advice will align with John's lawyer's advice, as well as what John will actually do in his situation. So, Slashdot, what would you do?"
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55.000+ Twitter usernames and passwords leaked

BronsCon BronsCon writes  |  more than 2 years ago

BronsCon writes "Today anonymous hackers leaked more than 55.000 hacked twitter accounts username and password through Pastebin. It was very shocking to see such a massive number of Twitter accounts are hacked. Also celebrity accounts are hacked. Links to all 5 pastebin pages of credentials are included in the article, so you can search for yours."
Link to Original Source
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Steve Jobs Dead at 55

BronsCon BronsCon writes  |  more than 3 years ago

BronsCon writes "Jobs, 55, has been instrumental in turning Apple into the dominant producer of portable music players, a leader in the smart phone business and, with the iPad, the inventor of a new category of modern tablet computers. Today, Apple announced that he has passed away, shortly after resigning as CEO of the company and the day following the announcment of the iPhone 4s"
Link to Original Source
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One Free Website For Every City

BronsCon BronsCon writes  |  about 4 years ago

BronsCon writes "San Francisco Bay Area based web design/development firm Gutensite is giving away one Free Pro website to one person or organization in every city, world-wide. By creating a regular Free Lite site with the promo code "MYCITY" you will be eligible to win the prize, a free upgrade to the Webmaster package for one year, a $420 value.

The first sites have a higher chance of winning (see rules for details). But even if you don't win the Grand Prize, everyone will still get to keep their free site, or get 25% off the first full 3 months if they eventually decide to upgrade to a Pro site."

Link to Original Source
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BronsCon BronsCon writes  |  more than 7 years ago

BronsCon writes "Who/What is your favorite...


US President
Game Console
CPU
OS
Joke
Slashdot Editor


If you don't get the gag, please don't vote. Thank you."

Journals

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Talk about it

BronsCon BronsCon writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Recently, I was flamed for making a "joke" of HIV (see below).

Said by an AC: I recommend a guerrilla trademark war: we simply need to decide what STD now gets the street name of "scrabble".

Said by me: HIV. It's about as active as scrabble and gets just about as much attention from the general populace. A ton of people have it but nobody really talks about it anymore.

Said by another AC: Why don't you grow a FUCKING brain cell. You are a fucking moron for taking something as serious as HIV and turning into the latest joke on slashdot. There are people who are FUCKING DYING because of HIV and I'm sure that none of them find you funny. I'm also sure you would stop laughing if you had an HIV test come back positive.

Said by me: Should I fax it to you, or is a simple scan and email enough?
I was actually going for insightful, rather than funny. A ton of people have HIV but nobody really talks about it. Just like Scrabble.
P.S. -- Who's the moron now?

-----

In all fairness, he's right, I don't have HIV. Dumb luck on his part.

Lord knows I've had some close calls; an ex fiancé who contracted it from a guy she cheated on me with and a girl I dated for a while who called me a few months after we broke up, insisting that I get tested. Dumb luck on my part.

Assigning the nickname 'Scrabble' to HIV might be the best thing to happen to it. If it gets people talking about it, if it raises awareness, beyond using it as an insult, it's a good thing.

If it raises awareness among corporations that, when they take something dear to us, we will take something dear to them in exchange ("Let's hang out with Kevin, he has Scrabble!" becomes "Don't sleep with Kevin, he has Scrabble!"), it is a good thing. But only if it's true.

I have a "FUCKING brain cell". In fact, I have many of them. Enough to realize that anything that gets people talking about an important issue is a good thing. Enough to realize that only a complete moron would flame someone for pointing out a problem such as people not talking about such an issue.

I stand proudly by the positions I take. I feel that, if something is not worth saying, it's not worth taking the time to say; if it is worth saying, it's worth taking credit for having said it.

Let it be known that I truly feel compassion for anyone who has Scrabble; the board game, or the illness.

top

Our problem.

BronsCon BronsCon writes  |  more than 6 years ago

I recently posted this in a discussion here on /. and decided it beneficial to all that I make it more accessible by placing it here, in my journal, as well.

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Here's the (general US population's) problem, as I see it.

Copyright was created to ensure that artists (I do consider coding to be an art-form) had an opportunity to earn income from their work before it could be freely copied or any derivatives could be made of it.

This led to fewer creative works being created in a given time frame than before, as most works are derivative of existing works. The best stories are those which expand on what we already know, right?

The government and pseudo-fascist corporations have begun to realize three things. First, that we, view copyright, in its current state, as a problem. Second, that they make a ton of money by exploiting the current state of the copyright system. Third, that by allowing us access to any creative means, they are allowing us the resources to overcome the current copyright system.

Thus, the ever-increasing system of restricting creativity, until it is illegal to express any thought contrary to their view of being paid for every peak and valley of every sound and light wave that we receive, which could have possibly originated from one of their exploited works.

Look through my post history. I don't typically post this kind of conspiracy-theorist drivel. I feel strongly enough about this issue in particular, however, that I will not sit idly and watch what little remaining freedom we have in this once great country be stolen from us, just as our once great wealth has been.

Now is the time to act. Not tomorrow. Not next week. Not next month. Not when Bush is replaced by the next pseudo-democratic-republican leader and you realize they're lying, too.

Now.

Before we lose the ability to create.

The terrorists don't have to fight anymore. We're doing it to ourselves.

We vote our freedom away by electing officials who have a proven track record of deception. We spend our freedom away by buying from companies who restrict how we can use our (or their, depending who you ask) products. We give our freedom away by continuing to do business with corporations who ship jobs and, with those jobs, our economic strength, to other countries, while many on our own soil can not find employment.

We routinely sell our freedom to the highest bidder and can do nothing but cry in disappointment when they never pay out.

Right now. This is the only time we have. Act.

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