Ask Slashdot: Where's the Most Unusual Place You've Written a Program From?
I spent some time writing billing data analysis by candlelight. This, of itself, is not unusual in a developing country (where I lived at the time). But since the client was the electricity company and it was their data being analysed, the irony was not lost on my client who insisted that I never mention this fact to anyone... Well, that's all over now!
First Recorded Observation of Freshwater Fish Preying On Birds In Flight
The article (sorry, TFA) says they witnessed twenty such catches per day. Yet the only video they captured was the one linked?
[Strokes chin skeptically...]
Interviews: Ask James Randi About Investigating the Truth
Do you think there are parallels between the way the charlatans of the paranormal manipulate their victims and the manner in which some highly dubious, if plausible, technologies are promoted?
Mozilla Downshifting Development of Thunderbird E-Mail Client
I don't know a single person - literally not even one - who still uses local mail.
Well now you do - consider the many, many people (such as myself) who are frequently offline or in places where internet connectivity is limited, intermittent and very expensive. Offline email is not an option for me - it's a way of life.
Microsoft Announces 'Surface' Tablet
The most striking thing about the linked Microsoft launch site http://www.microsoft.com/surface/en/us/about.aspx is that it is almost completely free of Microsoft logos or brand style. Could be a brochure from an OEM. Startling.
What Would a Post-Email World Look Like?
So yeah, email has become transparent to me. I receive next to no correspondence through it.
But not no correspondence. So you still use email. And, so long as we still use it, it will not go away.
"Open Source Bach" Project Completed; Score and Recording Now Online
Just the thing for this Tuesday morning. Thanks to MuseScore and Kimiko!
Ask Slashdot: Which Candidates For Geek Issues?
...if they are not named Mitt Romney, then they are all AGAINST Mitt Romney.
If they are named Mitt Romney, they are FOR Mitt Romney.
They are ALL AGAINST Barack Obama.
They are ALL AGAINST tax increases.
They are ALL FOR invading Iran. No, wait, that's not quite right....
It's a Republican primary. Don't expect too much clear blue water between candidates....
Tech Forensics Take Center Stage in Manning Pre-Trial
(1) Net Centric Diplomacy database
Appears to have been trivially downloadable. Manning used Wget to automate the capture of cables from this database. Manning had access to secure networks (SIPRNet) and it was this, rather than any technical expertise, that allowed him to pull all the cables.It seems as if the Net Centric Diplomacy database and its interface (presumably a web front end) lacked any functionality to inhibit automated / bulk downloads, to track or log downloads or to alert operators to suspicious or anomalous patterns of access.
Contrast this with the logging that was available in IntelLink (the SIPRnet internal search engine) that helped link incriminating keywords (Assange, Wikileaks etc) to the IP address assigned to Manning's computer. The defense cannot refute that, while they may be able to undermine the (very poorly gathered) computer forensics from Manning's computer.
(2) Microsoft Share Point server
Appears, also, to have been wide open to anyone on SIPRnet and to have permitted automated (scripted) bulk downloading of files. And, like (1), appears to have lacked any functionality to alert operators to suspicious behaviour.
Contrast this, also, with the logging that was available in IntelLink.
(3) Manning is no expert
First, he used the same password for both his operating system (presumably, his Windows username/password) as for his encryption. Second, he claims to have "zero-filled" his hard disk but had not done so. Third, he used his own computer for the IntelLink searches thereby leaving a trail of evidence.
(4) Lack of expertise seems quite widespread...
The computer environment at the FOB where Manning worked was risible. In testimony, an officer described how "soldiers would store movies and music in their shared drive on the SIPRnet. The shared drive, called the “T Drive” by soldiers, was about 11 terabytes in size, and was accessible to all users on SIPRnet who were given permission to access it, in order to store data that they could access from any classified computer." In other words, in practise, no distinction between storage for movies and music and the storage for classified materials. While the officer told soldiers not to use it for music and movies (and used to delete same as well as reporting the abuse), the practise was prevalent. And despite the 11 terabytes (that is 11 thousand Gigabytes) available for music and movies, this officer cites lack of storage as the reason that some logs (that may have contained evidence) were not maintained. This officer, Capt. Thomas Cherepko, received a "letter of admonishment" for the lax enviroment at this base.
Has the buck stopped at the Captain? I believe that points 1, 2 and 3 suggest a culture of information security so poor as to merit serious enquiry in its own right. Manning probably did break several laws in gathering and communicating the cables to WikiLeaks and, if convicted, must face the music. But the ease with which he did this ought to be cause for far more concern than we are seeing in the media. The US Army appears to be throwing Manning under a bus, but only a slap on the wrist for Cherepko. That is unjust. Lets see how this unfolds...
Afghanistan Biometric Data Given To US
A reporter from The New York Times, an American of Norwegian rather than Afghan extraction, voluntarily submitted to a test screening with the B.A.T. system. After his fingerprints and iris scans were entered into the B.A.T.’s armored laptop, an unexpected “hit” popped up on the screen, along with the photograph of a heavily bearded Afghan.
The “hit” identified the reporter as “Haji Daro Shar Mohammed,” who is on terrorist Watch List 4, with this note: “Deny Access, Do Not Hire, Subject Poses a Threat.”
Hilarious, until this "hit" is used to trigger a missile strike on your house. this example illustrates why outputs of biometric comparisons should be human-adjudicated when anything other than a parking-space is at question.
Book Review: Digital Evidence and Computer Crime
Is it like "Ewen"? "Yawn"? "Evan"? "Yohan"? "Eeeeeeee-yooooo, e-yo, eleven"?
It's Irish and is pronounced Owen (O-wen). Naturally, Mr. Casey may have a different view!
Other great Irish names - Niamh (Neve), Saedbh (Sive) and Maedbh (go on, guess - "bh" is like "v")
HTC Unlocks Its Own Phones
Google has released two phones ever, both of which are easily rootable.
Easily by the average /. reader - but I suspect that HTC would like to see that bar lowered significantly. I imagine that a hardware vendor (HTC, for example, but it could be anyone) wanting to put a serious hand-held device into an enterprise environment would like to make it simple to cut the umbilical chord to Google.
Or just to offer power users more options to rid themselves of the constant sucking noise of Google (and Facebook and Yelp and the rest of the bottom-feeders) eavesdropping on our every action, thought, movement.
This may be FUD, but there's a grain of truth in there somewhere!
Ask Slashdot: Ebook Reader for Scientific Papers?
FTA: It seems right now that this particular niché is not being served: or is it?
Why do so many people have a problem with this word? I can put up with the US pronunciation (i.e. "nitch") though I grew up in Ireland and England pronouncing it what I presume to be a slightly French way - i.e. "neeesh"
But how in heavens did we arrive at "niché "??
FTC To Open Antitrust Investigation Against Google
The agency's five-member panel of commissioners is preparing to send its formal demands for information to Google within days, these people said
Can't they simply google the information?
EG8 Publishes Report In Noninteractive, Nonquotable Format
For all their guff on http://www.eg8forum.com/en/accessibility/ about making it accessible, you still have to download the PDF via the Flash "app".
It all looks like the sort of shiny UI that is necessary when your key customers are heads of state and the like - frequently clueless about and impatient with technology.
Anyone actually read it? It's still downloading
Why Apple's DUI Checkpoint App Ban Is Stupid
FTA: Somehow, I'm thinking that Steve Jobs circa 1984...would have told U.S. senators sending threatening letters about computer-based info sharing to take a hike.
All companies that go public will eventually drop or morph core values when these conflict with shareholder value (variously defined as profit or share price). Apple are no different.
My phone is ...
I have never, ever, bought a network-locked handset. Sure, I pay more, but the freedom to travel the world and pop in a SIM wherever I go, plus the leverage when dealing with telco's at home more than compensates.
Make Your Own DHS Threat Level Display At Home
As pretty as thas is, this is Slashdot and I'd have expected one or more of the following features:
(1) Internet connection
(2) Out of circuit, redundant internet connection
(3) A link to some DHS Threat Level status source with automated update of the status on the device
(4) some stupid social networking linkage (since it's so bloody ubiquitous...)
But, nice box.
Yahoo Lays Off 600; Free Beers and Jobs Flow
One San Francisco brewery is offering a free beer to people from Yahoo who show their termination letters.
I see a huge business opportunity there - www.yahooterminationletters.com
What security policy will the TSA adopt next?
Not naked, but certainly in an adult-sized romper suit. No pockets, no metal, comfortable. No hand baggage either. Breeze through security.
Might attract attention overseas, but should fit right in at home...
Demerara has no journal entries.