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Comments

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Favorite "Go!" Phrase?

Hotawa Hawk-eye Re:Adam West (701 comments)

Redirecting funds and materials from Wayne Enterprises R&D for his own pet projects. Or to put it more bluntly, embezzling.

I'm more curious about how he ensured that the construction workers who build the Batcave and brought in all the heavy equipment (especially the Bat-Computer) kept their mouths shut. Sure, Wayne would have paid them well for their discretion, but surely SOMEONE would have bragged "Yeah, well I helped build the Batcave!" after getting too drunk one night. Or is there a pile of bones at the bottom of the Batcave that ensure the workers' silence more completely than money?

about a week ago
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YouTube Issuing "Report Cards" On Carriers' Streaming Speeds

Hotawa Hawk-eye Re:C'mon. The tubes analogy really is a good one. (110 comments)

The "information superhighway" analogy isn't perfect, but I think it is close enough to correct to be a useful analogy while being familiar enough for laymen to understand.

You can think of the Internet like our system of roads. There are major interstate highways; these are the backbone of the Internet, with many lanes of bandwidth. Smaller highways connect to the major interstates; these are run by your ISPs. Even smaller roads lead from those smaller highways to your home. When you send an email or type the address of a website into your browser, that message is broken into small pieces (say small enough to fit in a motorcyclist's pocket) that are carried along the roads, highways, and interstates to the destination of the email or the computer that hosts that website. If one of those small pieces gets lost, the destination computer sends a message back asking the sending computer to send another copy of that piece.

At the interchanges between the interstate and the smaller highways and the smaller highways and roads, there are stop lights, yield signs, signs describing how to get to certain destinations, and other traffic control mechanisms. As a road becomes saturated with messages on motorcycles, the "highway patrol" will tell messengers to wait their turn before proceeding onto the road, or to take a detour to another less congested road. By detouring messages to different roads, messages can still get through even if one road is busy, damaged, or blocked by censorship.

The principle of "network neutrality" or "net neutrality" is that all the motorcycle messengers on a road are treated the same. But some ISPs have noticed a lot of messengers wearing the Netflix logo on their jackets traveling their highways, and so want to restrict how many Netflix messengers travel on their highways for free at the same time. [While I use Netflix in this explanation, this could also affect other companies that send lots of messengers along the Internet.] Their plan for "fast lanes" is to set up a toll booth on their highways, and if too many Netflix messengers want to go through at once they'll have those messengers wait in line. Alternately, Netflix could pay them to set up an "EZ-Pass" lane to the highway; if Netflix is willing to pay a higher toll, the ISP will let those messengers pass through the tolls more quickly. Opponents of the "fast lane" plan worry that if an ISP has many EZ-Pass lanes for various companies, it will result in messengers whose companies DON'T have EZ-Pass (like small start-ups that can't affect the EZ-Pass) being stuck at the tolls for a long time while their competitors' messengers fly through unslowed.

Another possible solution to the problem of congestion on the Internet would be for companies to make the interstates, highways, and roads broader so they can carry more traffic. In the real world, we can't always expand roads with more lanes because of existing buildings lining them or other constraints. In the Internet, those land-availability constraints don't really apply (though there are a few other constraints.) However, one constraint that exists both for real-world roads and for Internet roads is that expanding roads with more lanes costs money.

about three weeks ago
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TSA Prohibits Taking Discharged Electronic Devices Onto Planes

Hotawa Hawk-eye Re:Incoming international flights (702 comments)

One example: a person flying from India to a destination A in the US has a short stopover in a different US city B. Are they going to be rescreened before boarding the flight from B to A? Maybe, maybe not. [Let's say someone breaches security and forces EVERYONE to be rescreened.] If they had to run from the gate where their flight from India to B landed to make their connection from B to A, they may have a dead battery (India to the US is a pretty decently long trip, I've heard) and may have had no opportunity to recharge it.

about three weeks ago
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Goldman Sachs Demands Google Unsend One of Its E-mails

Hotawa Hawk-eye Re:E-mail? (346 comments)

Don't put anything in an email that you wouldn't put on a postcard. If you MUST email sensitive information, encrypt it before sending -- the encryption is the envelope.

about a month ago
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Baton Bob Strikes Back Against Police That Coerced Facebook Post From Him

Hotawa Hawk-eye Re:lol mimes (203 comments)

how does a mime have a "verbal altercation"?

Sign language.

about a month ago
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Boston Trying Out Solar-Powered "Smart Benches" In Parks

Hotawa Hawk-eye Re:Interesting... (119 comments)

From the article, "City officials said the first units in Boston will be funded by Cisco Systems, a leader in development of smart city solutions, at no cost to the city."

As for why Boston got them first, rather than other cities around the country, my guess would be because they're a local product. "The high-tech benches were invented by MIT Media Lab spinoff Changing Environments, a Verizon Innovation Program."

about a month ago
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IRS Recycled Lerner Hard Drive

Hotawa Hawk-eye Re:Fox News? (682 comments)

The IRS guidelines on how long businesses should keep tax records for at least 2 or 3 years, in some circumstances (not involving filing a fraudulent return) they recommend up to 6 or 7 years.

The Internal Revenue Service -- Do As We Say Not As We Do.

about a month ago
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Hackers Ransom European Domino's Customer Data (including Favourite Toppings)

Hotawa Hawk-eye Re:Good hack (100 comments)

Yeah, it sucks for the actual Nigerian finance minister.

If I were Domino's, I would consider offering a reward (less than 30000 Euros but still significant) for information leading to the arrest and conviction of these hackers.

about a month and a half ago
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Aliens and the Fermi Paradox

Hotawa Hawk-eye Who's to say we're not being watched now? (686 comments)

Before diplomats from one country meet with diplomats from another country on Earth, they study everything they can about the situation and their counterparts. What if aliens are monitoring our communications to learn more about us -- what we do, why we do it, what we believe, how we're likely to respond to different scenarios, etc.? No one says that even if aliens came to Earth the first thing they'd do is find some schlub and say "Take me to your leader." Nor is it unlikely that a race capable of crossing the void between stars could hide from us, say by looking like a comet or asteroid.

about a month and a half ago
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Patent Troll Ordered To Pay For the Costs of Fighting a Bad Patent

Hotawa Hawk-eye Re:but (191 comments)

So John Smith files suit against MegaCorp Inc. (with a legitimate claim) but MegaCorp's army of lawyers buries Smith in motion after motion, draining his coffers dry. When he loses (because he doesn't have enough money left to continue) he's on the hook for the millions of dollars in expenses MegaCorp's army of accountants can somehow link to the case.

There needs to be some protection for this situation, but there also needs to be consequences for "spaghetti suing" -- filing lawsuits against anyone and everyone and seeing which ones get settled and which ones stick. Maybe a superlinear increase in the cost to file suits based on the number of suits you've filed? If you want to file suit in a given issue against two or three people, you're not going to pay much extra, but if you want to sue a hundred people separately you're going to pay through the nose. [And you're not allowed to "lump together" people without showing a good reason to lump them together.]

about 2 months ago
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UPS Denies Helping the NSA 'Interdict' Packages

Hotawa Hawk-eye Re:Physical interdiction of trucks? (207 comments)

Why interdict the trucks? The requirements to be a UPS driver are likely much lower than the requirements to be an NSA agent. Have an agent get hired by UPS as a driver, then have that driver "specially handle" packages headed to certain locations. Unless the package is a rush delivery, is a recipient really going to notice that it took an extra couple hours or even an extra day to travel between Cisco's manufacturing or shipping location and their home or office?

Then just because one UPS employee knows that the NSA intercepted packages (because they did it themselves) wouldn't mean the UPS organization as a whole knows that the NSA intercepted packages. UPS could truthfully state that the organization had no knowledge of such an activity.

about a month ago
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UPS Denies Helping the NSA 'Interdict' Packages

Hotawa Hawk-eye Re:Possibly... (207 comments)

That wouldn't matter. If Cisco had modified the devices on premises, Congress would just give them a "get out of jail free" (or really a "STAY out of jail free") card like they did the telecoms.

about a month ago
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Botched Executions Put Lethal Injections Under New Scrutiny

Hotawa Hawk-eye Re:Use confiscated drugs (483 comments)

If we need to execute criminals, how about using carbon monoxide? 12,800 parts per million is listed as causing unconsciousness in a couple breaths and death in a couple minutes. We know it can kill (plenty of accidents with blocked exhaust vents as well as suicides) and it's plentiful/easy to obtain.

about 2 months ago
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WikiLeaks: NSA Recording All Telephone Calls In Afghanistan

Hotawa Hawk-eye Re:Surprised Assange has no idea what censorship i (241 comments)

The NSA mission is to use intelligence to find threats to the United States Interests. They see the threat of not getting intelligence more dangerous then the privacy of others. If they were pro-privacy organization then they wouldn't be able to function, as their jobs is to get secrets. Now if you see this, you realize that other then vilifying the NSA, you need to take a step back and work with their bosses to come up new regulations to prevent them from going too far.

Not only do we need to come up with new regulations, we need a way to hold the NSA to those limits, a system of checks and balances if you will.

No, I do not consider the FISA courts to be an adequate system of checks and balances on the NSA. Imagine a baseball game where one of the team's managers was allowed to pull the umpire into their dugout to dispute a call in secret, and when that happened the call invariably went their way, but the other team was not allowed to do the same or even listen in on the discussion. I think there's be quite a few managers from the other teams getting ejected from games for arguing with the umpires over the unfairness of this policy.

about 2 months ago
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RightsCorp To Bring Its Controversial Copyright Protection Tactics To Europe

Hotawa Hawk-eye Re:Misdirection. (196 comments)

United States military spending is the highest in the world (higher than the countries in positions 2 through 9 COMBINED, and some of those countries are our staunch allies.) If you cut out our allies France, United Kingdom, and Germany we outspend the other 11 on the list on that Wikipedia page combined. Who are we afraid is going to invade us? Who are we planning to invade?

If we wanted to cut our spending to the point where we're outspending China and Russia combined by 50% (at which point our spending would exceed the combined military budgets of China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and France) we could drop a little over 226 billion dollars. That's not a small chunk of money.

about 3 months ago
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Did the Ignition Key Just Die?

Hotawa Hawk-eye Re:A switch is a switch (865 comments)

The traditional key is just a security token that allows you to connect the electrical contacts that start and operator your car. Pushbutton start cars replace the security mechanism with something more modern. (Wireless short range, presumably encrypted communication)

Traditional car keys are easy to copy. It's an upside because you can do it at wal-mart for a couple of bucks. It's a downside because it's not really secure.

Traditional car keys are easier to copy, but it's a LOT harder for an external attacker to use those copies to take control of the vehicle during operation. If you're worried about someone using a copied key to take control while it's NOT in operation, that's what a supplemental security system like The Club is intended to handle.

Getting new keys with your pushbutton system involves a bunch of BS with your auto dealer and a non-trivial amount of money. I could see car makers using this issue as a wedge to milk customers when they need new/more keys, but a lot of modern mechanical car keys use special/exotic designs that aren't copy-able by anyone but the automaker anyway.

As more and more cars move to using wireless transmitters, the cost of attacking the system may stay the same (or even increase!) but the benefit of doing so (the number of machines an attacker will be able to attack using that approach) increases. If the benefit to the attacker increases faster than the cost, eventually it'll be worth it for attackers to spend the effort (or buy an exploit that someone else has created) to attack the wireless system.

about 3 months ago
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"Smart" Gun Seller Gets the Wrong Kind of Online Attention

Hotawa Hawk-eye Re:Gun nuts (1374 comments)

To be technical, the text of the 2nd Amendment is:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Many people focus on the last two phrases in that sentence. Not so much attention is focused on the first two phrases, but IMO they're just as important as the last two. Keeping and bearing Arms is a right ... but it's a right, a power that comes with a hefty dose of responsibility (to be "well regulated") as well. Most of you probably know the quote "With great power comes great responsibility." If you can't handle the great responsibility, well, responsibly then perhaps it's better you hold off wielding the great power until you can.

For instance, the person quoted in the summary as issuing a death threat directed at the employee? Yeah, IMO they're not handling the responsibility very well at all. I wouldn't have a problem with that person's gun or guns being placed out of their reach while they learn how to play well with others.

about 3 months ago
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Anonymous's Latest Target: Boston Children's Hospital

Hotawa Hawk-eye Re:That is why social Hacking is Bad MmmKaa. (329 comments)

In addition to considering the risks, consider the limitations and the probabilities. If Boston Children's Hospital had an unlimited IT budget, they could buy the best hardware and security staff money could buy. Similarly, if they were a front for an organized crime operation, they'd want full control over their IT because it's likely they'd be attacked (by law enforcement.) Finally, if this was Kabul Children's Hospital in Afghanistan, they'd want to spend more on security (both physical and virtual) due to the higher likelihood of being attacked (both physically and probably virtually.)

But I suspect BCH doesn't have a security staff armed with machine guns because they estimated the probability of a group of armed individuals attacking the facility at "extremely small." Similarly, they opted for the hosting they did rather than something more secure and expensive because they estimated the probability of an electronic attack as extremely small because who would attack the network of a HOSPITAL for CHILDREN in Boston?

In my opinion, there's a right way to fight this fight -- as the family is doing, through the courts. I think Anonymous is fighting the wrong way and it's going to come around to bite Anonymous in the ass sooner or later. If anyone is caught and prosecuted for this, you bet the prosecution is going to paint them as someone who endangered the lives of sick children and that would resonate strongly in jurors' minds. The defense would have a tough time counteracting that characterization. That characterization is likely to leak into the media's depiction and characterization of Anonymous.

about 3 months ago
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'The Door Problem' of Game Design

Hotawa Hawk-eye Re:Easy answers (305 comments)

Of course there need to be some limits on the world, because the technology isn't infinite; good game design should make those limits look natural so that the player never even notices that the limit is there.

So let's say for sake of argument that you're playing a first-person shooter set in a warehouse. Which is preferable:

1) Having a door to the outside world that is locked and never opens, because the game designers didn't want to model the entire planet or introduce a "You can't go that way" arbitrary boundary.
2) Having a warehouse with no doors to the outside world, because the game designers didn't want to model the entire planet or introduce a "You can't go that way" arbitrary boundary.

I suppose if your setting is either magical enough or science-fiction enough to have some form of teleportation, you can say "A wizard/Scotty gets people in and out of the warehouse." Between those extremes, unless your game's backstory is that the warehouse was built around the current occupants (or their ancestors) and that it's big enough to support the needs of those occupants (food, water, sanitation, breathable air, etc.) there needs to be some way to get in or out.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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California Senator Yee (Brown v. EMA) indicted on corruption charges

Hotawa Hawk-eye Hotawa Hawk-eye writes  |  about 4 months ago

Hotawa Hawk-eye (976755) writes "California state Senator Leland Yee, known for sponsoring the law banning the sale of violent video games to minors that was overturned in Brown V. Entertainment Merchants Association, was indicted by the FBI on public corruption charges Wednesday morning. According to the article, targets of the early-morning raids in this case are expected to appear in court Wednesday afternoon."
Link to Original Source
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"A Memory of Light" To Be Released January 8, 2013

Hotawa Hawk-eye Hotawa Hawk-eye writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Hotawa Hawk-eye (976755) writes "Tor Books has announced that the release date for the final volume in the Wheel of Time series of books, A Memory Of Light, will be January 8, 2013. [Barring a Mayan apocalypse, of course.] The fantasy series, started by Robert Jordan and continued by Brandon Sanderson after Jordan's death, will span 15 books and over 10,000 pages."
Link to Original Source

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