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Carmakers Promise Not To Abuse Drivers' Privacy

James-NSC If a corporation has to "promise"... (98 comments)

... it's because they've already broken it and are acting on the advice of legal and/or PR spin.
Seriously, when was the last time a corporation promised you anything that they stuck to?

about 3 months ago

Washington Dancers Sue To Prevent Identity Disclosure

James-NSC Re:a historic relic no longer tolerated. (461 comments)

There is a distinct difference, in places like Pakistan, Iran, UAE and "Best Korea" strip clubs do indeed exist, and rhysweatherley is right in that "average Schmoe is not rich enough or well connected enough to swing an invite"

They key difference though is in the US/Western strip club, the women are not required to turn tricks, whereas in underground clubs I seriously doubt they have the freedom to say no.

about 3 months ago

The Great IT Hiring He-Said / She-Said

James-NSC Re:There's a clue shortage (574 comments)

Apple is bringing a data center to Northern Nevada, just outside Reno. Problem is, their entry level requirement is that you've worked at a minimum of 10k server data center previously (select Reno) for their "Site Services Tech" position it's "4+ years experience working in a large data center (10,000+ servers)..

Problem is, there aren't any 10k centers in Northern Nevada, yet they got oodles of tax breaks to "make local jobs".

Someone didn't think this through.

about 3 months ago

2600 Profiled: "A Print Magazine For Hackers"

James-NSC Re:2600 meetings (71 comments)

I too attended 2600 meets for quite some time many moons ago and it was a great way to meet new people, share tips/tricks and just generally socialize with "like minded folk".
I'll second your "unwanted LEO attention" but we got ours for a pretty good reason. The average meet was around 10 to 15, but at the time attracted mainly young computer enthusiasts - the vast majority hadn't even graduated high school. Even though I was still in my early 20's at the time, I'd taken on the roll of elder statesman and, towards the end of my tenure, was bringing teaching aides to each meet and sharing basic skills like soldering, circuitry, and the theory behind voiding warranties. I have to say, seeing that "light bulb" moment when someone learns something is uniquely rewarding
After being worn down on the beggs and please, I finally acquiesced and did a practical demonstration. At the time there was a cheap gadget at Radio Shack that had an acoustic coupler on one side, a 10 pad on the other, and a wee bit of memory for storing phone numbers. You would enter the number, hold it to the pay phone, and it would play back the tones but - with a few minor tweaks - you could convert it into a box of many colours.
While I was doing a demonstration on how to make one, by first going over (ala Q & A) the circuitry inside, discussing which parts were replaced, why, what they did, why they did it et al - making it much more of a learning experience and less of a phreaking one, a young chap snuck off with the working version and decided to test it out on the payphone in front of the book store where we met and the sight of a 14yr old holding a strange device to a phone & laughing maniacally was enough for the book store owner to call the ol' bill.
Suffice to say, we all learned something that day...

about 3 months ago

The Guardian Reveals That Whisper App Tracks "Anonymous" Users

James-NSC Re:Well (180 comments)

Yep, this would be right out of their play book, where step 1 would be to discredit "security applications" and create distrust of encryption - to change the public opinion of it.

The director of the F.B.I., James B. Comey, said on Thursday that the “post-Snowden pendulum” that has driven Apple and Google to offer fully encrypted cellphones had “gone too far.” He hinted that as a result, the administration might seek regulations and laws forcing companies to create a way for the government to unlock the photos, emails and contacts stored on the phones.

Because if you create a back door for the .gov, only the .gov will be able to use it and will never abuse it. pfffft. too bad we don't have some type of golden key instead of a back door...

about 3 months ago

The flying car I'd like in my garage first:

James-NSC Re:Parajet Sky Runner (paraglider + dune buggy) (151 comments)

True on all accounts, but as we're still not even really past "beta" on the whole "flying car" thing, it's a shot in a decent direction. It's not aiming to be a commuter, but as an off-road vehicle with true x-y-z axis access. With a purported 200mi range in the air and off-road capabilities, it sure looks like a viable option (in clear weather) for getting around the outback and other under-paved, under-developed areas.

about 4 months ago

The flying car I'd like in my garage first:

James-NSC Parajet Sky Runner (paraglider + dune buggy) (151 comments)

Here is the real-life flying car that's actually practical: fly-skyrunner.com
It's basically a paraglider attached to an all-terrain dune-buggy. Granted, I don't think it's road legal, but this is the way to go if you want to drive a little and then fly a little.

about 4 months ago

Former Infosys Recruiter Says He Was Told Not To Hire US Workers

James-NSC Re:Foreign US Workers == Obvious (293 comments)

NoteTitle should read "Foreign (greater than) US Workers == Obvious", sorry, been coding today and didn't notice it when I submitted it.

about 4 months ago

Former Infosys Recruiter Says He Was Told Not To Hire US Workers

James-NSC Foreign US Workers == Obvious (293 comments)

Just a quick list of the top of my head:

  • Lower base wage
    • Wages are also taxed differently, taxed less, IIRC there is no SS copay from the employer is there?
  • Lower “burden” cost
  • Less/No worker rights
    • If they’re trouble, deport them
    • For the most part, the Bill of Rights doesn’t apply to non-citizens
    • As an immigrant, that’s what cops/border patrol always tell me anyway
  • Ultimately this drives down overall wages in the country

What’s not to like about these programs?

about 4 months ago

Which Cars Get the Most Traffic Tickets?

James-NSC Re:Moire expensive car, richer driver, that's FINE (261 comments)

And this is why I debadged my A8. Except the grill, I haven't got to that yet. Or the teeny little Audi ovals on the sides. Gonna black out the grill logo shortly. I don't want it to look like I have bags of money. I don't. I bought the car cheap and I'm restoring it, which was stupid but there you have it.

I blacked out all the trim on my 7, even the BMW logo (blue/white) as black/white, the 740iL badge on the back, black - the distinctive BMW front grille, black - even turned the the trunk release button black - her exterior trim was 100% black.

When I drove it, anyone seeing the large high end sedan and wanted to know what model it was would look to the back right corner to see what model I had, and it being in black, they couldn't tell...if anything, it added to the "mystique" of the car, I had quite a few people come up to me and ask if it was a "special edition" or similar. It had no change on the types of drivers that fsk with you just for "appearing" to be Mr. Moneybags (which is great for LEO, don't forget that) - if anything, it brought more attention to the car, granted, YMMV.

...and I totally get you on that last statement, 7 series parts, even those that were basically the same as a 3 were (lol) 7x more expensive. Whenever I had it in the shop my mechanic would always note the "seven series surcharge" I was incurring just by driving that model. *sigh* Even so, at the time I had a 2hr commute and I wouldn't have traded the luxury of that ride for anything - every car since that one has been a PoC by comparison. Ruined cages for me forever.

about 4 months ago

Which Cars Get the Most Traffic Tickets?

James-NSC Re:Moire expensive car, richer driver, that's FINE (261 comments)

Actually, it's quite the opposite, right up to the economic collapse I owned my own business (infosec consultancy for government agencies & T1 infrastructure) and had picked up a Seven Series BMW (which, for their high end +$80K car loses it's value quickly so it becomes affordable to most of us just a few years later) and I found, while driving that "luxury sedan" my LEO experiences were 180 from what they are now, post economic collapse in a beat up ol 95 civic.

  • - I never got any "superfluous" tickets (no proof of any documentation, insurance/registration) as, on both occasions, the officer said something along the lines of "people who own these types of cars always have it, no need to prove it sir
  • - I was always called "sir" and treated with the utmost respect without exception - even when one officer found a mandible on my console which caused her to step back, put her hand on her service weapon and ask me "what is that?!" it had fallen off as it usually sits on my rear-view mirror as a talisman (ala Roland Deschain)
  • - I was found passed out drunk behind the wheel, motor running and wasn't given a ticket but instead the officer called my friend, woke him up and had him come get me (that was a double down of cool cop and that he was only there because some worry wort thought I was a stalker, but instead had left a friends party when it was over & was too drunk to drive so I fell asleep in my car) - but still, in a civic, I'm sure i'd be booked for a DUI for being in the drivers seat w/ the engine running
  • - I even crashed it once when I inadvertently turned off the traction control earlier in the day, no ticket, the cop just commiserated with me about what a shame it was to have smashed up such a nice car and that he wasn't "going to add any more to my already bad day"

Conversely, I was driving a VW Rabbit (old) with expired out of state plates, but still within the month they expired (both states - source & destination - allow you to drive the car in the month it expires) and I was pulled out of the car, by two officers *at gun point* (later, according to them, no one had reported anything, but the fact that I was in an old car, with expired plates was very suspicious) they even shouted asking if I had any tattoos, and I said "yes, on my leg" and they replied
"show us"
"I can't do that without dropping my pants officer!"
"drop 'em"
and there I was, pants around my ankles in the parking lot of a 7-11 late at night with two small town cops pointing their guns at me. I *know* they wouldn't have done that had I been driving a BMW 745i - drastically different experiences, all based on the make/model of the car.

about 4 months ago

Medical Records Worth More To Hackers Than Credit Cards

James-NSC HL7 & MUMPS (78 comments)

Even with the turn of the millennia, the vast majority of hospital systems still run on HL7 (Health Level 7) and MUMPS (Massachusetts General Hospital Utility Multi-Programming System aka "M").

HL7 isn't just a standard, but it also describes a protocol used for transmitting patient data which is laughably insecure in the state it was in when I last worked on it in the late 90's. Plain text, no validation, fire/forget, no encryption, no well, no nothing

MUMPS, or M if you prefer, is a programming language designed by the NSA (it must have been, lol, actually it was designed by a couple of Dr's), every variable is global in nature - so if you have an admin token ADMIN, you can set that value anywhere in the running system and it won't care one bit. Rooting M systems is simply a matter of access and knowledge of M.

Oddly, in M, you can also use shorthand, so i == if (IIRC), and it's contextual, so where in a line a value appears determines the values type, so i i i is a valid statement, where each i references a completely different variable/value/object. Insanity at it's best. Here is a great mumps tutorial for those of you that aren't familiar & for those of you who only know "modern" languages, it's a timely Halloween horror show...

about 4 months ago

Scientists Seen As Competent But Not Trusted By Americans

James-NSC I wonder if (460 comments)

(just one example) I wonder if Southern Baptist - of the Fire Brimstone leaning - are seen as "trustworthy" more/less than scientists. I'd wager they are, and I'd double down that it has little to do with how "warm/fuzzy" they come off as.

I'd wager this has much less to do with scientists coming off as "warm/fuzzy" and more to do with most people’s innate distrust of those that deliver either information they don't agree with (or more specifically that doesn't agree with their preconceived notions) or information that makes them feel stupid - when the majority hears about something they are too ignorant to understand, they don't like/trust the person with that idea - but that's just human nature.

While "scientists" do have their problems (journals / peer review circle-jerks / et al) I fear the only way they'll come across as "warm/fuzzy" would be if they "dumb it down" even more and that's not a direction we should be going, as we're already down to -11.

about 4 months ago

Direct Sales OK Baked Into Nevada's $1.3 Billion Incentive Deal With Tesla

James-NSC Connecting I-80 and U.S. 50 (149 comments)

I live in the area and that's going to be a significant change to the landscape. Putting in what will eventually be a high-traffic road into an area (on the 50 side) with people who live there specifically to get away from this sort of thing. It's also going to cut one of the areas where wild Mustangs still roam in half.


Speaking of Mustangs, Mustang Ranch will be a big winner here as they will be located just a stones throw from the new Tesla factory....

about 5 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Recliner For a Software Developer?

James-NSC Programming with a broken back (154 comments)

I broke my back a decade ago and kept working throughout. I built - well, I oversaw as I couldn't move - a custom rig using a wall mount for a small TV that, when inverted could hold a laptop upside down in just the right position over the hospital bed I was in for the next six months.

Since then, being comfortable while working is paramount to my survival - I've searched and searched, but in the end, if you want something that works just right *for you*, you're going to have to either build it from scratch or find something close and customize to fit.

For a recliner, if it's against a wall, you could go the TV mount route and have something that swings out when you need it - otherwise you can build a support on one side - recall that you have a lot of room under the chair for giving the side mount a large footprint so it's stable.

Good luck.

about 5 months ago

LinkedIn Busted In Wage Theft Investigation

James-NSC Salaried Employees Get This All The Time (108 comments)

Some companies skirt this rule simply by paying "hourly" employees a salary above $23,600 (per FLSA) then work them 80+ hours a week and call it good. More and more employees, regardless of actual job duties are being paid a salary so they are then "exempt" from any overtime pay, even those that would traditionally qualify under the FLSA & I see this more and more often in the IT sector. If you look at the Computer Employee Exemption - you can make pretty much any IT job fit the bill if you phrase it correctly.

Workers are left with little recourse because:

  • They've been exempt at every job they've ever had, so they no know different
  • Many - even some of the learned ones - do not know how the FLSA applies to them in this situation
  • Everyone around them is expected to work overtime w/out compensation, so it's not unusual.
  • Regardless of what job duties they will be doing up to and, frankly, especially those including "non-exempt" duties they are told by management that they are doing "exempt" duties
  • They have little real recourse, even if they know they are "non-exempt", unless other co-workers join them in a complaint. Co-workers who are unlikely to do so as:
    • There is little perceived gain and significant risk
    • It is expensive to the point of being cost-prohibitive in order to make a successful claim
    • Any employee who were to be successful would likely find repercussions pertaining to employ-ability later down the road. While not legal to do so above the board, it happens nevertheless (just look at all the wage-fixing and collusion in the valley - you actually think they'll hire someone again, or promote them over a co-worker who didn't sue?)

At the end of the day, LinkedIn is far from an anomaly, it is standard business practice - unless there is a top to bottom review by some third party (I don't know if there is even an entity that would be suited for this sort of endeavor), this practice will continue unabated. We will work more and continue to be paid less than what we earn.

about 6 months ago

Ask Slashdot: When Is It Better To Modify the ERP vs. Interfacing It?

James-NSC Vendor vs In House (209 comments)

One of the key problems I've run into, not only in regards to ERP, but in general, is that when you outsource all of your development your future is in the hands of someone who doesn't have your companies best interests as their primary concern. Their primary goal is to get paid and to keep their company in the green, the only way they can do that is to, as you noted, keep putting their hands out. It is not in their best interest to produce a system that is self sufficient, it is in their best interest to keep you on the line.

That said, it's not always practical to in-house everything, so a balance needs to be struck - keep the design and some worker bees in-house and then leverage vendors/contractors to spin up extra bodies for build cycles.

Regarding your single point of failure concern - while valid, a properly designed ERP system with redundancies and load balancing should alleviate the core of that problem. Again, balance needs to be struck, while you want a single place to do all of your ERP functions, it doesn't always make sense to have them in one application that has to be customized to within an inch of it's life in order to do everything it needs to do. This needs to be addressed in the design phase to create logical business units that can sit on separate applications that, ex, communicate with the proverbial mothership via an API

about 5 months ago

Nevada Construction Project Could Be Tesla/Panasonic Gigafactory

James-NSC That's just down the street from me (81 comments)

I think I may go out and do some drone recon on it this weekend, see what's really going on. As long as I just use my GoPro to record video onboard and LoS for tracking, but don't use my FatShark it's not a drone and it's OK, right FAA?

about 5 months ago

The Internet's Own Boy

James-NSC Re:What's so remarkable? (194 comments)

Tell it from both sides and you risk leaving the audience with unsatisfyingly ambiguous feelings about the whole affair; it's almost as if life isn't black and white!

No-one likes that in a movie.

Quite the contrary, had Gibson included the Roman perspective in "Passion" I would have enjoyed that movie a whole lot more.

Roman Citizen: You taking the chariot out tonight?
Roman Soldier: Yea, me any my cohort are going to do some drive by crucifixions...

about 7 months ago



Best Alternative Client for Outlook/M$ Cloud Mail

James-NSC James-NSC writes  |  about 9 months ago

James-NSC (1414763) writes "My company is switching from onprem mail to a hosted "Exchange Online". This requires Outlook 2013, however, O13 is a *really bad* mail client — particularly in it's search function. Worst case I'll use two clients, one for actually interacting with my email and Outlook to interact with it's services, but it would be super handy if there was a good client that also supports all of the various added "functionality" bundled with Outlook. As I'm sure I'm not the first to be subjected to the "everything is better, because Cloud!" line of IT executive reasoning, what have my fellow /.'rs used as a mailer in this setup?"

Arts & Crafts

James-NSC James-NSC writes  |  more than 3 years ago

James-NSC (1414763) writes "I like to do arts and crafts. I’ve been saving up motherboards for a while as a new medium and I started working on it last night. I wore the same gear I wear while painting – fine particulate respirator and safety goggles. I just cut some templates out of some motherboards and when I was done I used the shop-vac to clean myself & workspace up before removing my mask. Even after 5+ minutes, in a well ventilated area (not as well as it should have been apparently) my first breath was pins and needles. I’m looking into containment and exhaust solutions – ala baby’s first iron lung, but seriously, am I nuts? Are these materials just too toxic to work with?"

Security/Privacy Advice

James-NSC James-NSC writes  |  more than 5 years ago

James-NSC (1414763) writes "My employer is changing its policy towards employee use of social networks. I've been asked to give a 40 minute presentation to the entire company (attendance is mandatory) on the security and privacy concerns pertaining to social networking. While I was putting it together, I ended up with some miscellaneous information that pertains to security/privacy in general. Ex: the emerging ATM skimming (mainly for our European employees), a reminder that email is not private, malware/drive-by in popular search results, things of that nature. Since these don't really fall into the slated topic, I've ended up with a section titled "While I have you...". I'm going to have the attention of every employee and with attendance being mandatory, I thought it would be a great opportunity to give advice on security/privacy issues as a whole and not just those pertaining to social networks. As it's an opportunity that one seldom gets, I'd hate to not utilize it to its full potential. If you had the attention of an entire company with employees in the US, UK, Asia and Australia, what advice would you give?"

Best of Breed Windows Based Network Montitoring?

James-NSC James-NSC writes  |  more than 6 years ago

James-NSC writes "I've recently been promoted to head of security for my company. The "security" I inherited is, at best, atrocious. As the in-house IT employee with the most security experience, I was selected for the position, but my experience comes from a purely *nix environment, and I'm now in a "Windows Only" shop. I really need a tool which can monitor ports on specific IP's, network saturation/use levels, etc — so I can be abreast of what's going on in the network BEFORE problems arise. Basically, I need eyes on my network which the previous security guy didn't seem to think was necessary. As it's a "Windows Shop" — having the ability to monitor Exchange, SQL and other M$ network apps is a definite plus. I've been looking at Sonic Wall, Juniper, eEye, Object Planet and Fluke, but I'm hoping the /. Community can suggest some network monitoring gem's (well beyond raw packet analysis) that I haven't heard of or evaluated yet. Searching web is, well, it is what it is — I'm looking for actual use/case from users who actually use it in their day2day and can steer me clear of ones that look good on the demo, but when it comes down to it, don't deliver and conversely, those of you that have stuck with one vendor for years. This would be for the internal network only."


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