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The NSA's New Partner In Spying: Saudi Arabia's Brutal State Police

NicknamesAreStupid How the NSA could 'spy' on Americans 'legally' (125 comments)

This post highlights the possibility that the NSA could spy on Americans in America by working with a foreign partner to act as a proxy in exchange for the NSA spying on their people, sort of like wife-swapping. Obviously, it would not be Saudi Arabia, as they lack the resources for such a grand effort. However, the British could do it quite well. More importantly, it fits with the American business trend of outsourcing and off-shoring work. As for Saudi Arabia, they see like a good place to outsource 'enhanced interrogation'. It would be ironic, too, given that we have so many Americans who would be more than qualified to do the dirty work. I guess they could move to Riyadh.

about 4 months ago
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Former NSA Director: 'We Kill People Based On Metadata'

NicknamesAreStupid Re:Thanks for nothing. (155 comments)

The difference between a republican and a democrat -- a donut blimp. Figure it out.

about 6 months ago
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US Nuclear Missile Silos Use Safe, Secure 8" Floppy Disks

NicknamesAreStupid Not as Safe as You Think (481 comments)

The last machine that I recall using 8" disks was an NEC PC 8086. Running DOS 2.1, it was shaped like a microwave oven. That was in the mid 1980s. The diskette held about a megabyte, and there was no HDD.

The DDN network is likely an X25 WAN with bisync lines (RS422 or V35), a.k.a. ARPAnet. Bisync was notorious for going down due to 2-bit errors, making data look like control characters. I had a script that could reset a line, and you couldn't tell if the signal had gone down. That meant it was possible to tap into it. Diskettes could carry malware, and as several have mentioned, machines that booted from them were victims of some of the first PC viruses. Theirs probably boot from socketed EPROMs, which are easy to swap. All this was architected before network security was an issue. Fortunately, most terrorists are too young to know about these antiquities. However, if the Air Force believes it is invulnerable because it is ancient, then we are doomed.

about 7 months ago
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Why Are We Made of Matter?

NicknamesAreStupid Why go negative? (393 comments)

Antimatter is so derisory. Must we put such a polarizing label on something we do not fully understand? If people referred to me that way, I would not hang around, either.

Of course it matters that we are made, and whatever we are made of quantum-wise, we should be proud, even if it destroys us when we come together.

I vote for calling it 'matter-of-fact'.

P.S. I appreciate StartsWithaBang renaming it from, "Why are we layered fatter?"

about 8 months ago
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How the Internet Is Taking Away America's Religion

NicknamesAreStupid Not So Fast (1037 comments)

The Internet once again gets too much credit. Johannes Gutenberg started it all.

about 8 months ago
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Apple Refuses To Unlock Bequeathed iPad

NicknamesAreStupid I'm just fuckin' with ya (465 comments)

It would not be the first time the deceased left a will with a prank inside. Given the vulture-like disposition of some relatives, she might have left the map to her fortune inside the iPad. I would. Without the password, the data would be lost, as the password is used to encrypt the data.

about 9 months ago
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Bitcoin Inventor Satoshi Nakamoto Outed By Newsweek

NicknamesAreStupid I heard from a totally unreliable source . . . (390 comments)

. . . that it was actually the K**h brothers who contracted with the Russian Mafia to invent Bitcoin, and they set Nakomoto up as the fall guy. I'm sure it is totally bogus, in spite of the salaciousness and viral rumor-mongering appeal. Has anyone got any completely unsubstantiated confirmation of this?

about 9 months ago
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Free Software Foundation Campaigning To Stop UEFI SecureBoot

NicknamesAreStupid Re:Bread buttered (355 comments)

This is the end of the motherboard era. LIke Mainframes (that are doing well, BTW), the motherboard has seen its heyday. Intel is de-emphasizing them in favor of processors for mobile, and AMD is looking pretty sad, see http://www.techradar.com/news/upgrades/graphics-cards/motherboards/computing-components/processors/computing/pc/why-the-pc-of-2020-could-be-bad-news-for-modders-1117302

As a desktop guy from way back (my 1st was a H89 that I built myself), I find this news to be depressing. However, the handwriting is on the wall. Once the volumes of desktops drop, the motherboard will become the exotic anomaly and hardware hacking will be the domain of the Raspberry PI generation.

about 2 years ago
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High-Frequency Traders Use 50-Year-Old Wireless Tech

NicknamesAreStupid Re:Time for FOPDOS? (395 comments)

Fog will do it, too.

about 2 years ago
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Netflix Ranks ISP Speeds

NicknamesAreStupid Has anyone noticed recent performance declines? (186 comments)

I live in the shadow of Google but have AT&T DSL and use it to watch Netflix. In the past six months, performance has deteriorated significantly, dropping from an average of 1.35Mbps to 800Kbps and sometimes less. AT&T has tested the link to the CO and found it meets their service level standards.

I have spoken with other locals who expressed similar problems with Comcast. If you look at the sales of iPads and other tablets, their growth seems to track against this slowdown. Have these new tablets, streaming YouTube, Vimeo, and Netflix, put a strain on the local ISPs? I doubt if theISP's provisioning would keep up with sudden demand.

about 2 years ago
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Wiki Weapon Project Test-Fires a (Partly) 3D-Printed Rifle

NicknamesAreStupid They Laughed at Einstein, Too. (289 comments)

Until Leo Szilard made him famous. You can argue about a theorem, but you can't argue with a nuke. When the next Leo prints an AR-15 and shoots his critics, then Gutenburg will be as glorious as Einstein, and nobody will fuck with a publisher. Someday, they will have a printer that can build an Abrams M1A2. Of course, that tank will be a rare antique by then, but I'll be the first to order one.

1st Amendment meets 2nd Amendment, and they kick ass - William Randolph Hearst had wet dreams about this.

about 2 years ago
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Study Claims Human Intelligence Peaked Two To Six Millennia Ago

NicknamesAreStupid I May Sound Like an Idiot . . . (637 comments)

. . . but he doesn't seem too bright. Guess that proves his point, paradoxically speaking.

about 2 years ago
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Amid Fiscal Uncertainty, Venture Capital Is Way Down In Silicon Valley

NicknamesAreStupid It All Went West (421 comments)

First, Silicon Valley sent the silicon (fabs) to Asia. Then, they outsourced labor to Asia. Then most start-ups needed an "Asian talent connection" (H1-B visa, India/China engineering, etc.) to get funding. Then,the VC set up offices in Asia. Now, those offices fund Asian start-ups. Asia is where the action is, and that is where the money is, too.

about 2 years ago
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Creating a Better Chatbot Through Crowdsourcing

NicknamesAreStupid HIve Mind (49 comments)

This may be a good example of a hive mind implementation. The first being the church, and the second was the corporation. The difference is that a machine might be the parser, instead of another person. There was talk of this kind of machine logic being used by companies in the form of schedulers, automated personal assistants, and management analytic engines -- all based on business policies. Once interconnected, they form a collective intelligence that drives the workers, probably like DNA drives a colony of ants. One might think something sinister, but the results are likely to be unpredictable.

more than 2 years ago
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It's Easy To Steal Identities (Of Corporations)

NicknamesAreStupid Re:Boo frickin' Hoo (140 comments)

Wish they were. People under 18 can't vote, have limited rights to free speech, can't smoke or drink, and generally must be under adult supervision. They can't have sex, either, which means they can't propagate. They also must go to school. Those over 18 are usually the problems, though. They seems to fuck everybody at some point.

more than 2 years ago
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NYC Taxi Commission Nixes Cab-Hailing Apps

NicknamesAreStupid Wait Until We Have Robotic Autos (264 comments)

The car will be the electronic communication device, and there will be no human driver. The unions will not like this. Expect politicians to pass laws that make this one seem "logical and highly intuitive."

more than 2 years ago
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Craigslist Drops Exclusive License To Your Posts

NicknamesAreStupid A Unique Time in the History of Knowledge (63 comments)

As the Internet makes information easier to deliver, the traditional publishers struggle to deal with the separation of content and distribution. This transition is still unsettled because the shift from delivery to filtering is not complete. Someday, we will be able to access almost all data, and the trick will be to find the relevant information. There will be a lot of money made by successfully editing the world's knowledge. Until that model evolves, we are stuck with problems such as this.

It is wiser to know only what you need to know when you need to know it than to try to know everything.

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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No-Ip back online after Microsoft Takeover

NicknamesAreStupid NicknamesAreStupid writes  |  about 4 months ago

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) writes "No-Ip, a favorite place for those who cannot get or afford a dedicated IP address for a domain name, just announced they are back online after battling Microsoft, who took down over 20 of their domains by civil court order. No-Ip eventually won in court, but it goes to show how the Big Dogs of the Internet can crush the little ones."
Link to Original Source
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The Internet Turned 40 Today, sort of

NicknamesAreStupid NicknamesAreStupid writes  |  about 6 months ago

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) writes "In spite of the urban legend of Al Gore, May 10th marked the 40th anniversary of Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn authoring the first draft of the Internet architecture and TCP/IP at the Palo Alto Canaba Hotel (once a Hyatt and now a Crowne Plaza). Today, they celebrated at Mitchell Park. Vint, who worn a three piece suit, told stories about booting up a PDP-11 (or LSI-11, according to Ron Crane) at Stanford, talking in his three-piece suit to Congress (who thought that people from ARPA never dressed so well), and how the Internet is more than a bunch of wires or 'tubes'. Others talked about the grandfather of HTML (SGML's creator Charles Goldfarb, IBM), InterOp before patents and corporate greed (Dan Lynch), and one, who shall remain nameless, who outed Vint for being the world's first geek because he wore those damn suits in high school (they went to Van Nuys High School).

BTW, the Cabana is also famous for hosting the Beatles in 1965 and being the design model for Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. A plaque dedicating the authorship by Vint and Bob will be installed at the hotel soon. I assume the Cabana already have one for the Beatles."

Link to Original Source
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Windows XP Black Market

NicknamesAreStupid NicknamesAreStupid writes  |  about 8 months ago

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) writes "As Whoever57 pointed out, there are some who will still get support for Microsoft Windows XP — the 'haves'. However, most will be the 'have nots'. Anytime you have such market imbalance, there is opportunity. Since Microsoft clearly intends to create a disparity, there will certainly be those who defy it. What will Microsoft do to prevent bootleg patches of XP from being sold to the unwashed masses? How will they stop China from supporting 100 million bootleg XP users? And how easily will it be to crack Microsoft's controls?

How big will the Windows XP patch market be?"

Link to Original Source
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The (Korean) Empire Strikes Back -- Samsung Sue Apple on Eve of iPhone 5

NicknamesAreStupid NicknamesAreStupid writes  |  more than 2 years ago

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) writes "What goes around, comes around. Samsung claims to have patents on LTE and is going to sue Apple, including an injunction, for the yet unannounced iPhone 5. Will Samsung succeed in hamstringing the biggest Apple release of the year? You may hate them, but patents are making for a better battle than this year's presidential election."
Link to Original Source
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Help Hacker Dojo

NicknamesAreStupid NicknamesAreStupid writes  |  more than 2 years ago

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) writes "This local 'establishment' has helped many in Silicon Valley get started on the cheap. LIke many successful start-ups, Hacker Dojo is getting a wake up call from the government (in this case, the city of Mountain View) to conform, regulation-wise. Unfortunately, they are not venture funded or going public anytime soon. I've used the Dojo (e.g., there is a weekly iPhone developers meeting on Wednesdays), and many events are hosted there, too. Now, they need money. Since most /.rs are either broke or tight as a shielded metal arc weld, I'm asking for genius ways to raise money for a truly good cause. Try to keep your ideas to the legal ones or at least those where criminal prosecution is unlikely."
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Another Step Forward in Small Scale Electrical Generators

NicknamesAreStupid NicknamesAreStupid writes  |  more than 2 years ago

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) writes "Product Design & Development reports another breakthrough in small scale solid oxide fuel cells. This methane-fueled cell achieves about 50% efficiency at around 2kW, enough to power an average home. It does so by efficiently recycling its heat to perpetuate the process. Of course, this is not practical for most homes, which only have natural gas that contains nearly one fifth impurities. However, that could change if gas suppliers refined their product."
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Unlocking the iPhone

NicknamesAreStupid NicknamesAreStupid writes  |  more than 2 years ago

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) writes "Many outlets are reporting that AT&T will allow owners of iPhones whose contracts have expired to unlock their devices. One might think that a call or a quick trip to their local AT&T store will do the trick, and they do provide this service to people who are currently under contract with a newer phone and want to use their older one. However, AT&T has never made anything 'free' to be 'easy, and this may not bode well for 'former' customers who offer no profitable revenue. For example, when they bought Bell South, they were ordered by the court as part of the acquisition to offer $10/month 'DSL lite' service. The maze in their website which led to this opportunity is now a story of legend (http://blog.chron.com/techblog/2007/06/att-launches-stealthy-10-dsl/). Will the key to this unlocking the iPhone be as byzantine for former customers?"
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Sex and Drinking

NicknamesAreStupid NicknamesAreStupid writes  |  more than 2 years ago

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) writes "USA Today and many others are reporting that male fruit flies turn to alcohol when sexually frustrated. Of course /.'rs never have this problem, either because they are such sex machines or do not know what sex is outside the Internet. Either way, on the heals of another article about vasectomy rates rising 50% during March Madness (see http://yourlife.usatoday.com/health/healthyperspective/post/2012-03-15/vasectomy-madness-promoted-by-urologists-during-ncca-tournament/649151/1), how many of you are sucking on a beer or other alcoholic drink while reading this?"
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The Future of Auto Theft

NicknamesAreStupid NicknamesAreStupid writes  |  more than 2 years ago

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) writes "Over the past twenty years, car theft has declined as new models incorporated electronic security methods that thwarted simple hot-wiring. The tide may now be turning, as cars become the next Windows PC. The Center for Automobile Embedded Systems Security has posted an interesting paper from UCSD and UW that describes how modern cars can be cracked. Unlike the old days of window jimmies, these exploits range from attacks through the CD or iPod port to cellular attacks that take inventory of thousands of cars and offer roaming thieves Yelp-like choices ("our favorite is mint green with leather") with unlocked doors and running engines."
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How Small Can You Get -- a Two-Finger Camera

NicknamesAreStupid NicknamesAreStupid writes  |  about 3 years ago

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) writes "This pair of finger bands make it hard to see (without using a magnifying glass) just how far camera miniaturization will go. Yeon Su Kim has created a camera that you operate like a handheld camera without the handheld camera. What's next? Probably the elimination of the hand. But wait, there's more! It also does video, plus the camera uses Bluetooth!"
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Broken Heart Syndrome

NicknamesAreStupid NicknamesAreStupid writes  |  about 3 years ago

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) writes "The Journal of American Medical Association reports that stress cardiomyopathy or, more specifically, takot subo cardiomyopathy can cause real damage to human hearts. It seems to affect female hearts almost eight times as much as males'. This extrapolates to saying a metaphorically "broken heart" is actual physical damage to the human organ. Warning: slash-dotters should not be such heart breakers."
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The Datacenter is the New Box

NicknamesAreStupid NicknamesAreStupid writes  |  about 3 years ago

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) writes "Terry Chay (http://terrychay.com/), 'PHP Terrorist' and renown PHP architect/programmer gave a talk last night at IGN on how the cloud is transforming development programmers into DevOps. One of his most notable points (and there were many) was that 'the datacenter is the new box' (taken from Jason Hoffman at Joyent). He goes onto show how setting up a fully integrated LAMP implementation in the cloud is now easier that bringing it up in your rack. Terry points to an entire ecosystem of companies such as Orchestra,io, dotCloud, Pagodabox, ZippyKid, and others that allow you to program the cloud like you once programmed your server but with out the SysOp. BTW, if you take the 'terrorist' thing seriously, you should consider working for the TSA."
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The End of the Internet as Congress Knows It

NicknamesAreStupid NicknamesAreStupid writes  |  about 3 years ago

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) writes "Congresswoman and Silicon Valley defender Zoe Lofgren predicts that House Resolution 3261, entitled, "To promote prosperity, creativity, entrepreneurship, and innovation by combating the theft of U.S. property, and for other purposes." or, in short, "Stop Online Piracy Act" will effectively kill the Internet. See http://news.cnet.com/8301-31921_3-20126590-281/rep-lofgren-copyright-bill-is-the-end-of-the-internet/ for a simple-minded summary. This bill, which looks like it would give America the opportunity to build a national Internet wall that might rival China's, covers everything from the sale of military weapons to illegal drugs to, you guessed it, pirated movies and songs. Fines go as high as $30 million, and violations can be as small as two songs in six months. There are very generous immunity claims for ISPs that act as Stasi to enforce these rules. Zoe, the best Internet wonk in Congress (and the best first name), vows to fight it. Of course, these are enough holes for any large multinational corporation to pilot a supertanker of copyright, trademark, and patent protected goods and services through without a snag. However, if you cannot afford the legal cover, the penalties will put you into debtors' prison and more. Minor issues such as "how do we really enforce this on other countries?" are glossed over. So, is Congress about to kill the Internet or just make the term "a Congress of baboons" seem indistinguishable from a congress of baboons? P.S. I dare you to RTFB. It is 78 pages."
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The Real Job Threat

NicknamesAreStupid NicknamesAreStupid writes  |  about 3 years ago

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) writes "The NYT reports on a book by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew P. McAfee (MIT director-level staffers), Race Against the Machine, stating that the true threat to jobs is not Indian or Chinese outsourcing — it's the machine! Imagine the Terminator flipping burgers, cleaning your house, approving your loan, handling your IT questions, and doing your job faster, better, longer, and cheaper. Now that is apocalypse with a twist — The Job Terminator."
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