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Raytheon's Riot Program Mines Social Network Data For Intelligence Agencies

DoraLives Re:forest and tree analogy (119 comments)

Actually, having a crystal clear picture of what the Great Swarm is doing provides an exquisitely crisp background against which one can pick out very fine details indeed when it comes to excursions from that background.

It's the excursions that they're looking for and keeping a close eye upon.

As the detail of the background becomes sharper and sharper, so too does detail of the excursions.

about a year and a half ago
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When Was the Last Time You Used a Landline Phone?

DoraLives As a computer guy with a lot of older clients... (329 comments)

...I find myself dealing with land lines a lot.

Furthermore, trying to set people up with Google Voice, and the dedicated phone number that goes with that, can be exceedingly pesty when attempting to verify your legitimacy using a cell phone. For some reason or other, Google doesn't like a surprising fraction of cell-phone numbers, and refuses to verify with them, but it's never failed yet with a good old fashioned land line. Does anybody know why this is?

about a year and a half ago
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Hello, I'm a Mac. And I'm a $248 Win8 PC.

DoraLives Re:I can assure you... (642 comments)

I beg to differ.

I've been doing home computer repair for the general public for literal decades. I used to do it as a side job or for charity, but it's been my sole income for many years now. Bottom line: I've got a fair amount of experience working with equipment that's on the failing end of its life cycle, all of which has been entrusted to the tender mercies of your typical non-savvy user.

And I'm a pattern recognizer, too.

And nowadays the pattern is one of complete random events, for all classes of home computers.

I've got people with ten year old eMachines running XP who's hardware continues to run without the slightest issue, and I've got people with brand-new three-thousand dollar specialty machines who can't catch a break, with bad motherboards, PSU's dying and taking other components out with them when they go, hard drive failures of every stripe and color, and on and on and on.

I've decided that there's really no sensible difference in equipment anymore, so far as reliability goes.

It all comes out of the same factory in China somewhere, and none of us really know what the hell is going on over on that end of the production cycle.

It has become a crapshoot, plain and simple.

Used to be, more expensive, "quality" computers could be expected to last longer, but no more.

They're all using the same components from the same vendors, and if that's not enough, the batch-to-batch variabilities and imponderables are now completely impossible to keep effective or meaningful track of anymore.

And what once was a clear pattern of "quality" goods giving a nice return on investment, has now become random noise.

Nowadays any of it can fail for any reason at any time. May as well get the cheap stuff and try to cut your losses up front.

about 2 years ago
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SurfSens Brings Surfing Into the Computer Age

DoraLives Re:LOL (42 comments)

> I wasn't aware surfers were such violent degenerates,
> in addition to being the airheads they're traditionally portrayed as.

It's worse than you imagine, by far.

Surfers are dangerous thugs, and they will issue beatdowns at the slightest provocation, or even no provocation at all.

They roam in packs, speak in a near-incomprehensible dialect, and evade all duties to god, country, family, and work in a crazed hedonistic pursuit of some delusional "perfect wave."

The most cursory of examinations of surfing culture as exposed by media fact-finders will inform you that surfing damages its practitioners in some way that reduces their mental capacities to that of a troglodyte.

If you govern, you should always view surfers as an especially insidious fifth column. If you employ, never ever hire a surfer, as they are inveterate shirkers. If you're thinking of entering into a relationship with a surfer, do not, because they are completely unreliable and cannot be counted on to adhere to even the most basic of familial obligations. If you see them in the water, do not approach them, but instead calmly leave the area prior to notifying the authorities.

Despite its malevolent foundation, surfing culture has infected the minds of young people around the world, and seems to still be spreading.

To combat this pernicious infection, it is recommended that you boycott all things associated with surfing and surfers.

Do not buy surfing-related apparel. Do not watch videos of tanned bodies in the peak of youthful health flying as if on magic carpets though crystal blue dreamscapes of water. Do not fall prey to the seductions of charismatic groups of surfers, living lives that you can neither imagine nor approve of, as you perform your tasks as a good conscientious member of society.

Stamp out this virulent infection now, before it is too late!

more than 3 years ago
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Facebook, Microsoft Team Up Against Google

DoraLives Re:Recipe for disaster (297 comments)

Where is the spot in Facebook where I tell it my deep dark secrets that I don't want to be shared with anyone?

It's where they interpolate between known datapoints and in so doing, create a more-detailed-and-accurate-than-you-might-like image. And it will be an evil thing, whether the image so drawn is even accurate or not.

I shall leave it as an exercise for the student to determine exactly how this might be so, and to further demonstrate with valid examples how this might be so.

Carry on.

more than 3 years ago
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Silent, Easily Made Android Rootkit Released At DefCon

DoraLives Re:Oh how clever... (133 comments)

If you're going to believe in advertising, you might as well believe in magic anyway

Have a closer look at most of the people all around you.

Now read what you just wrote, once again.

more than 4 years ago
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Impressing Security Upon End-Users Visually?

DoraLives Re:Yell at them and make them feel like shit. (157 comments)

This actually worked at the small enterprise where I take care of things. A user managed to get their machine mucked up with a bunch of spyware and adware by clicking in a forwarded email. I cleaned the machine and then management called a meeting a day or two later. Had every one of the employees in attendance. I gave the standard presentation about email safety, as well as general internet safety. I sat down. The director stood up and informed everyone in the room that the next time a machine needed to be cleaned as a result of operator error, the bill for my services (not cheap) would be deducted from the relevant employee's next paycheck. A sheet of paper was then passed around, with the same directive written on it, and all employees were instructed to either sign or lose their job. They all signed.

That was two years ago. Have not had a SINGLE instance of any malware on any machine, since that time. People now ask me every time they have any doubts about what they're doing, and I've headed off a few potential catastrophes since that started happening.

I'm guessing it's not a coincidence.

more than 4 years ago
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Schneier, Journalist Poke Holes In TSA Policies

DoraLives Re:Strictly speaking the system worked (296 comments)



It's not like we didn't already know the whole damn thing was a charade in the first place.

And I can't know what was "proved," but I can certainly conjecture that he's temporarily made things worse for the rest of us.

Once the eager beavers in security get wind of this little tale, you may rely upon the fact that they're all going to see to it that they never get singled out for being unacceptably lax on the cattle they process for a living.

Great.

Just what I wanted.

More damn bullshit going through security at the airport.

more than 5 years ago

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