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Comments

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FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

NotSanguine Re:In later news... (669 comments)

At the same time, just modifying the PID is far from "destroying" the device. If FTDI's driver did something that actually did damage to the hardware, I might be more sympathetic. Let's say you take your car into a dealership and they flash the ECU so that the car won't start. No physical damage was done, so it's all good.

There's the rub. For your analogy to work, it would need to read something like this:
Let's say you take your car (a Honda, for example) into a dealership and they see that it's not actually a car manufactured by them, but a car that copied their designs and sells cheap knockoffs with 'Honda' written in all the right places, and change proprietary settings in the car electronics so that the car won't start. No physical damage was done, so it's all good.

No, it's not right and it shouldn't have happened. But caveat emptor.

yesterday
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FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

NotSanguine Re:In later news... (669 comments)

Regardless of whether they were permanently 'bricked' or not, your initial comment was about 'technologically ignorant users' somehow 'requiring' them to support the fake product - the driver can simply refuse to work with the device.

Now, however, you take that 'technically ignorant user' who went out and bought say 3 x 4GB USB dongles that happened to have fake FTDI chips in them, unaware of that fact of course, who then copies his business critical data, say 3 years worth of work, onto all 3 of them (for safe keeping)... then his machine auto-updates his driver (because, again, he's a technically ignorant user) and suddenly he can't get to his data... in fact, again, technically ignorant, he tries all 3 dongles (if the first one fails, try the backup(s) right?).

Now, he can't even take them to another machine that maybe didn't get the driver update, or a Linux machine without the proprietary FTDI driver... sure, it's 'fixable' by him say paying an IT geek (a non-technically-ignorant person) to reprogram the USB ID, but that's a cost he is incurring because of what FTDI did to his devices. And that isn't to mention that perhaps he needed that data to bid on a potential $million contract with someone, on a deadline that he's now missed because of what FTDI did to 'damage' his devices.

He most certainly, if it can be proven that FTDI is *deliberately* breaking (even temporarily) the devices in question, has a good case for damages from FTDI.

Actually, what I said was:

I'll say it again. FTDI went about this the wrong way, but just as ignorance of the law isn't a defense, a consumer's ignorance of technology shouldn't require a manufacturer to support those who steal their designs and profit from them.

Since (based on what you wrote) you misunderstood my statement, I'll explain. I make two points:
1. FTDI blundered badly (whether that bites them with legal action, we'll have to see) by having their driver reset the PIDs of counterfeited FTD232 chips to '0'.
2. Many folks posting on this thread (not you, BTW) seem to be making the argument that FTDI should somehow suck it up and support counterfeited chips with their drivers. That isn't the case, IMHO. Caveat emptor.

You pointed out that:

Now, however, you take that 'technically ignorant user' who went out and bought say 3 x 4GB USB dongles that happened to have fake FTDI chips in them, unaware of that fact of course, who then copies his business critical data, say 3 years worth of work, onto all 3 of them (for safe keeping)... then his machine auto-updates his driver (because, again, he's a technically ignorant user) and suddenly he can't get to his data... in fact, again, technically ignorant, he tries all 3 dongles (if the first one fails, try the backup(s) right?)

[emphasis added]

As TFA (and much of the discussion here) points out, the chip in question (FTD232) is a USB/Serial converter (UART) and isn't used for flash drives -- nor is the driver, so your example isn't realistic. Sure, modifying the PID will inconvenience users, but it doesn't put anyone's data at risk.

The updated driver modified the PID setting (to a value of '0') on hardware not manufactured by FTDI that was using FTDI's assigned VID/PID.

One more time: I do not think that FTDI did the right thing and I suspect it will come back to bite them in the ass. But FTDI did not damage anyone's hardware.

yesterday
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FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

NotSanguine Re:Is this legal? (669 comments)

So you would have no problem at all if I secretly modified the EPROM data of your car's computer so that it no longer starts up? I haven't permanently broken your car you see, you should be perfectly capable of fixing the damage yourself if you can figure out what I did.

Is reading comprehension an issue for you? I said, and I quote:

this will likely produce a nasty backlash against FTDI, as they went about this the wrong way.

Or is it just that you want to argue with someone?

2 days ago
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FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

NotSanguine Re:In later news... (669 comments)

car anlology time.

Its like you taking you car into a dealer them finding you got a oil change at a non-dealer mechanic so they brick engine control chips on your cars on board computer and saying its you problem you can fix it you just need to overhaul then engine to get at it and re flash the firmware and it will work fine. So its not broken even though it won't start and requires special equipment and non trivial time money and knowledge to fix.

for all intents and purposes it is broken and they are responsible for breaking it

You know, I was thinking of using a similar analogy myself. However, the analogy just doesn't fit, so I bagged the idea.

A better analogy would be that you bought a car from a dealer who claimed it was a Ford, but when you took it in to the actual Ford dealership, they checked and found that it was a Yugo (yes, I'm old) masquerading as a Ford.

Under those circumstances, it makes no sense to get all butthurt that Ford won't service the car -- they didn't produce it.

Whether or not the Ford dealer has the right to remove any logos or other identifiers (like the USB PID) that make the Yugo look like a Ford is another question. And the answer is probably not, IMHO. But that doesn't mean Ford needs to service such a vehicle, does it?

2 days ago
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FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

NotSanguine Re:In later news... (669 comments)

Nobody could complain if they simply went and made their driver incompatible with the forged chips. If there is no working driver, then the customer would have to complain with the original maker of the hardware and demand a working driver. That's quite within FTDI's rights.

The point is that they attack the firmware of the device involved, which is by no accounts ok anymore. This isn't locking out a competitor, it's destruction of a competitor's hardware. Yes, that competitor didn't act correctly by trying to get a free ride. No doubt about that. By that logic, though, it's just a-ok for any printer maker to trash the printer (e.g. by hosing it with printer ink) should they detect that you use anything but their overpriced original stuff.

We are clearly in agreement here except on a single point: changing the PID is neither attacking the firmware nor damaging the hardware. After a PID change, the hardware (and firmware) is still functional -- as long as either some driver can recognize it or the PID is reset to a valid ID.

It may be that FTDI was unable (or unwilling) to find a way for their driver to stop supporting the counterfeited chips, so they just removed the mask (the PID) on the chip that claimed the counterfeits were genuine. That's not damaging the hardware or the firmware, merely modifying an embedded setting.

All that said, FTDI's actions were not appropriate -- and they will likely end up paying for it in the court of public opinion. However, FTDI's driver did not damage or harm the chips themselves -- and they certainly weren't (as some here have claimed) "bricked."

2 days ago
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The Inevitable Death of the Internet Troll

NotSanguine Good Luck With That (4 comments)

Let's leave aside the folks who actually disagree and want to argue about it. Those are *not* trolls. Nor should they be considered to be trolls.

There are a small number of people who delight in screwing with others. Those are the trolls. They're the people who soaped your windows or TP'd your house on Halloween. They are unpleasant, annoying and sometimes downright nauseating.

However, if we wish to have a free society (I know, it's a pipe dream), then we need to have freedom of expression. Freedom of expression doesn't end just because someone is being a jerk.

Those who act like jerks should be shamed in the forum in which they act thusly. Those who prefer rational, considered discourse should ignore such folks and move on.

tl;dr: Don't feed the trolls. They will eventually go away.

2 days ago
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FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

NotSanguine Re:In later news... (669 comments)

I didn't say it was fair. In fact, I said it was rather underhanded. That said, the manufacturer should provide a driver for their hardware. But that would require more work than just copying someone else's design, wouldn't it?

Given that FTDI invested in the R&D to design the chip and write the driver, I would expect that they should be able to decide if they want their driver to work with chips made by other manufacturers.

I'll say it again. FTDI went about this the wrong way, but just as ignorance of the law isn't a defense, a consumer's ignorance of technology shouldn't require a manufacturer to support those who steal their designs and profit from them.

I tell you what, go ahead and develop a new device and start selling it. I'll copy your design and sell it for 25% of your price, and instruct users to install your software for the device. If you make any attempt to stop me with your software, I'll blame you and suggest you be sued. Sound good?

I'll say it one more time -- FTDI went about this the wrong way.

Their driver should just ignore any device that it can detect as counterfeit and produce an error suggesting that the user contact the actual manufacturer for a driver. Assuming there is no such driver, then the consumer is hosed.

2 days ago
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FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

NotSanguine Re:Is this legal? (669 comments)

Since the common customer will have no idea that it can be done (or how), it is for all purposes *bricked*. Guess who the customer will blame? the manufacturer, not the counterfeiter. So basically FTDI is harming legitimate manufacturers. Hope they get sued into oblivion for that...

If these manufacturers are legitimate, why are they forcing their customers to use a third-party driver from FTDI?

2 days ago
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FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

NotSanguine Re:In later news... (669 comments)

Cut the crap, FTDI modifies the chips in such a way as to not work with any drivers, not just theirs. They are breaking them. Willfully and maliciously.

As I said, it was rather underhanded. However, they are not breaking anything. The device is still fully functional, but won't work with drivers that were made for the real chips.

If you have a problem, contact the actual chip manufacturer or someone along the supply chain to where you purchased the counterfeit and ask for their driver.

What? The manufacturer didn't expend any resources in creating drivers for the chips they manufactured? Sounds like a pretty crappy manufacturer. Perhaps you should use hardware that has drivers instead, no?

2 days ago
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FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

NotSanguine Re:This might have been incompetence, not malice (669 comments)

So FTDI is pissed that counterfeiters are using FTDI PIDs in their counterfeit chips so that the counterfeit chips get the benefit of FTDI drivers. I certainly sympathize with their gripe there. So FTDI is saying, "Don't use our PID" and setting the PIDs to 0 in counterfeit chips.

My guess is that FTDI didn't really think through the implications of that, that setting a PDI of 0 would brick the chip. What they should have done is just set the PID to some generic USB CDC serial port so that the counterfeit chips would no longer use the FTDI driver and would no longer show ups as FTDI chips to the OS.

This very could have been more of an "oops, sorry about that dude" than an "I KILL YOUR CHIP NOW! MOOHAHAHHA!"

Except the chip wasn't, as you put it, "killed." The chip is still fully functional with a driver that will support it. That FTDI doesn't want to support counterfeited chips with the driver it developed for the real article is reasonable.

Why should FTDI support chips it didn't make?

2 days ago
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FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

NotSanguine Re:Is this legal? (669 comments)

Um, no. They're intentionally modifying the device ID on the counterfeit chip so it will no longer work. The average consumer will have no idea this is what's wrong or how to recover. While this isn't necessarily destruction of property, it IS (in the US) a federal hacking crime because it is causing the victim to lose access to their device and/or data.

As I previously mentioned, no real damage is done to the hardware. Various tools are available to resolve the issue and the device itself is not damaged.

That said, this will likely produce a nasty backlash against FTDI, as they went about this the wrong way.

At the same time, resetting the PID points up the counterfeit chip without any ambiguity. I guess that was the point.

2 days ago
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FTDI Reportedly Bricking Devices Using Competitors' Chips.

NotSanguine Re:In later news... (669 comments)

Intentional and willful destruction of another person's property for the base reason that he didn't buy with you but with your competitor? I don't know about your country, but over here in socialist Europe we have consumer protection laws that deserve that name.

I would say that modifying the PID on the chip is pretty far from "intentional and willful destruction." From one of the comments in the support board posting masquerading as TFA:

The driver reprograms the product ID so it won't work.

Price of buying fake chips.

If that is the case you can easily bind the new VID/PID to the correct driver in Linux and it should still work:

Code: [Select]

A vid/pid pair can be added dynamically using sysfs, for example:

echo 0403 1234 >/sys/bus/usb-serial/drivers/ftdi_sio/new_id


Again, if that is the only "damage" done, lsusb should help you find the device, or just monitoring dmesg as you attach it.

And

The new Windows driver reprograms the PID to 0.

More info here:

http://forum.arduino.cc/index....

While it is rather underhanded, had FTDI done this the *correct* way and just interrogated the chip and refused to work with a fake, this would be a non-story. At the same time, just modifying the PID is far from "destroying" the device. If FTDI's driver did something that actually did damage to the hardware, I might be more sympathetic. That's not to say that I think FTDI did the right thing, just that the did not actually damage or "brick" anything. The device isn't broken, it just needs to have its PID reset. Once that happens (and I guess that's what FTDI was trying to do), the end user will be painfully aware that they have a counterfeit chip.

As I said, poorly executed and likely to cause some backlash, but no hardware is damaged or destroyed. Unless you're an idiot.

2 days ago
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Technology Heats Up the Adultery Arms Race

NotSanguine Re:Paranoia Strikes Deep (304 comments)

Because throwing your kids' lives into turmoil is the better course? For some people quietly cheating is a better option, believe it or not, many marriages survive affairs and are still rated as average to above.

Children are not oblivious. They can tell when there are problems in their parents' relationship. What sort of relationship role models are parents who have really dysfunctional relationships? They give a really horrible idea about what romantic relationships *should* be to the children exposed to them.

That's not to say (for all the not-so-deep thinkers out there) that a couple should split up at the first signs of problems, but when it becomes clear that the issues in the relationship are intractable, staying together "for the children" is not only dumb, it may well be harmful to the children later in life.

about a week ago
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Technology Heats Up the Adultery Arms Race

NotSanguine Re:Already gone (304 comments)

After all, marriage implies consent to sexual relations.

Eh? Not so much. Consent is the only thing that implies consent to sexual relations, nothing else does. Marriage does *not*.

Marriage is a contract which *may* acknowledge a sexual relationship, but that contract is not consent to sexual relations.

Consent is not optional, friend. Non-consensual sex is rape, regardless of those involved.

about a week ago
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Password Security: Why the Horse Battery Staple Is Not Correct

NotSanguine Stay Away From Single Points of Failure (547 comments)

Assumptions:
1. People aren't very good at choosing hard-to-guess passwords
2. Complexity (Case, numerics, special characters) don't significantly add to entropy
3. Password managers can create and store high-entropy passwords
4. Password managers must be secured with extremely strong, crack resistant passwords
5. People need to set the passwords for (4). See (1) above

And there's the rub with TFA's assertion that password managers are the band-aid to help us past the era of passwords. If we can educate people to create strong, memorable passwords/passphrases for the password manager, then people can do the same for other passwords. Which makes a password manager redundant.

If we cannot educate people to create strong, memorable passwords, then the likelihood is that password manager passwords will be just as weak as those the TFA is decrying, rendering password managers just one big target.

And since a password manager presumably contains lots of passwords for a variety of logins (including sensitive accounts), it becomes a much better target (especially when you can steal the password DB and perform offline cracking activities) than trying to crack passwords online.

The author of TFA is correct that there are issues with passwords, but his recommendation is poorly thought out and might be even more hazardous than the problem it purports to mitigate.

about two weeks ago
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Vax, PDP/11, HP3000 and Others Live On In the Cloud

NotSanguine Re:It's VAX, not Vax (62 comments)

Apologies. I messed up the link:
v7 Unix.

Incorrect.

BSD Unix was born on the PDP-11; the VAX-based Unix OSes started being available in June 1979, whilst the first VAX (VAX-11/780) was released in October 1977, with VMS as the OS. VMUNIX (the Unix OS kernel that supported the VAX's virtual memory capabilities) came out at the end of 1979.

That is correct. It was based on Bell Labs v7 Unix, which DEC ported to PDP-11 and VAX, and renamed V7M. Ultrix was the follow on to V7M and was first released five years later, in 1984.

Ken Olsen expounded on the DEC's relationship with loved UNIX:

One of the questions that comes up all the time is: How enthusiastic is our support for UNIX? Unix was written on our machines and for our machines many years ago. Today, much of UNIX being done is done on our machines. Ten percent of our VAXs are going for UNIX use. UNIX is a simple language, easy to understand, easy to get started with. It's great for students, great for somewhat casual users, and it's great for interchanging programs between different machines. And so, because of its popularity in these markets, we support it. We have good UNIX on VAX and good UNIX on PDP-11s. It is our belief, however, that serious professional users will run out of things they can do with UNIX. They'll want a real system and will end up doing VMS when they get to be serious about programming. With UNIX, if you're looking for something, you can easily and quickly check that small manual and find out that it's not there. With VMS, no matter what you look for -- it's literally a five-foot shelf of documentation -- if you look long enough it's there. That's the difference -- the beauty of UNIX is it's simple; and the beauty of VMS is that it's all there. [emphasis added] -- Ken Olsen, President of DEC, 1984

about two weeks ago
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Vax, PDP/11, HP3000 and Others Live On In the Cloud

NotSanguine Re:It's VAX, not Vax (62 comments)

Incorrect.

BSD Unix was born on the PDP-11; the VAX-based Unix OSes started being available in June 1979, whilst the first VAX (VAX-11/780) was released in October 1977, with VMS as the OS. VMUNIX (the Unix OS kernel that supported the VAX's virtual memory capabilities) came out at the end of 1979.

That is correct. It was based on Bell Labs v7 Unix, which DEC ported to PDP-11 and VAX, and renamed V7M. Ultrix was the follow on to V7M and was first released five years later, in 1984.

Ken Olsen expounded on the DEC's relationship with loved UNIX:

One of the questions that comes up all the time is: How enthusiastic is our support for UNIX? Unix was written on our machines and for our machines many years ago. Today, much of UNIX being done is done on our machines. Ten percent of our VAXs are going for UNIX use. UNIX is a simple language, easy to understand, easy to get started with. It's great for students, great for somewhat casual users, and it's great for interchanging programs between different machines. And so, because of its popularity in these markets, we support it. We have good UNIX on VAX and good UNIX on PDP-11s. It is our belief, however, that serious professional users will run out of things they can do with UNIX. They'll want a real system and will end up doing VMS when they get to be serious about programming. With UNIX, if you're looking for something, you can easily and quickly check that small manual and find out that it's not there. With VMS, no matter what you look for -- it's literally a five-foot shelf of documentation -- if you look long enough it's there. That's the difference -- the beauty of UNIX is it's simple; and the beauty of VMS is that it's all there. [emphasis added]
-- Ken Olsen, President of DEC, 1984

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Is Mars One ready to colonize the Red Planet?

NotSanguine NotSanguine writes  |  about a week ago

NotSanguine (1917456) writes "A non-profit organization called Mars One announced in 2012 its mission to colonize Mars using existing technologies. Last month, a group with from MIT published a paper which claims that current technologies are insufficient to support humans on Mars for extended periods.

According to Andrew Owens, one of the paper's authors:

It's not that Mars colonization is unfeasible; it is just that technology development will be required to make it feasible.

"

Link to Original Source
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New dates rewrite Neanderthal story

NotSanguine NotSanguine writes  |  about 2 months ago

NotSanguine (1917456) writes "The BBC reports on research detailing the decline of Neanderthals in Europe. The international research team tested samples from over 400 Neanderthal sites, resulting in a new timeline for the decline and extinction of Homo Neanderthalensis, hinting at a much longer period of coexistence with modern humans. A summary of the research is available on the Nature web site.

From the BBC article:

The results provide the clearest insight yet into the interaction between our ancestors and Neanderthals, when they first encountered each other and why the Neanderthals went extinct, according to the lead researcher, Prof Thomas Higham of the University of Oxford. "I think we can set aside the idea of a rapid extinction of Neanderthals caused solely by the arrival of modern humans. Instead we can see a more complex process in which there is a much longer overlap between the two populations where there could have been exchanges of ideas and culture."

"

Link to Original Source
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Compromise struck on cellphone unlocking bill

NotSanguine NotSanguine writes  |  about 3 months ago

NotSanguine (1917456) writes "The US Senate has passed a bill (S.517) today allowing users to unlock their phones when moving to another provider.

From a recent article at thehill.com:

“Consumers should be able to use their existing cell phones when they move their service to a new wireless provider,” Leahy said in a statement. “Our laws should not prohibit consumers from carrying their cell phones to a new network, and we should promote and protect competition in the wireless marketplace,” he said. Grassley called the bipartisan compromise “an important step forward in ensuring that there is competition in the industry and in safeguarding options for consumers as they look at new cell phone contracts.” “Empowering people with the freedom to use the carrier of their choice after complying with their original terms of service is the right thing to do,” he said. The House in February passed a companion bill sponsored on cellphone unlocking from House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.).

"

Link to Original Source
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Forensic Genetics And The Law

NotSanguine NotSanguine writes  |  about a year ago

NotSanguine (1917456) writes "C-SPAN Covered the 2013 10th Circuit Bench And Bar Conference in Colorado Springs, CO. While this isn't new (from August, 2013), the topics and issues covered were both interesting and pertinent to many discussions about how DNA technology can be used in legal contexts.

From the site description:

Panelists talked about genetics, forensics, and their use in the criminal justice system and society.They discussed the DNA evidence routinely used in criminal cases as well as in investigations of mass graves, missing persons, and for identification.After the break, Nita Farahany talked about how behavior sciences impact the legal system, and Hank Greely talked about whole genome sequencing, the implications of pre-natal genetic testing, and the privacy and ethical issues raised when everyone’s genomes are known and stored.Speakers used PowerPoint during their presentations.Images included skeletons, mass graves, and DNA sources.Panelists responded to questions from members of the audience after their individual presentations and as a group.

"

Link to Original Source
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Network Solutions Outage?

NotSanguine NotSanguine writes  |  about a year ago

NotSanguine (1917456) writes "Network Solutions, Inc. DNS servers are not responding to name resolution requests. The corporate website (http://www.networksolutions.com) appears to be down as well.

Has anyone else seen these issues, or have any information as to what may be going on?"
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Some of My Best Friends Are Germs

NotSanguine NotSanguine writes  |  about a year and a half ago

NotSanguine (1917456) writes "Michael Pollan of the New York Times writes:

I can tell you the exact date that I began to think of myself in the first-person plural — as a superorganism, that is, rather than a plain old individual human being. It happened on March 7. That’s when I opened my e-mail to find a huge, processor-choking file of charts and raw data from a laboratory located at the BioFrontiers Institute at the University of Colorado, Boulder. As part of a new citizen-science initiative called the American Gut project, the lab sequenced my microbiome — that is, the genes not of “me,” exactly, but of the several hundred microbial species with whom I share this body. These bacteria, which number around 100 trillion, are living (and dying) right now on the surface of my skin, on my tongue and deep in the coils of my intestines, where the largest contingent of them will be found, a pound or two of microbes together forming a vast, largely uncharted interior wilderness that scientists are just beginning to map.
...
Justin Sonnenburg, a microbiologist at Stanford, suggests that we would do well to begin regarding the human body as “an elaborate vessel optimized for the growth and spread of our microbial inhabitants.”

I, for one, welcome our (not so) new bacterial overlords."
Link to Original Source

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A Trail of Clicks, Culminating in Conflict

NotSanguine NotSanguine writes  |  about 2 years ago

NotSanguine (1917456) writes "Technology companies are up in arms about the FTC's pending rules change which would require explicit parental permission allowing websites to gather a wide range of data on children 13 and under.

From the NYT Article:


“If adopted, the effect of these new rules would be to slow the deployment of applications that provide tremendous benefits to children, and to slow the economic growth and job creation generated by the app economy,” Catherine A. Novelli, vice president of worldwide government affairs at Apple, wrote in comments to the agency.

But would that be a bad thing? As reported in the New York Times last week, Matt Richtel of the NYT writes:

There is a widespread belief among teachers that students’ constant use of digital technology is hampering their attention spans and ability to persevere in the face of challenging tasks, according to two surveys of teachers being released on Thursday.

So, will the new FTC rules end up helping children (by enhancing their privacy and, if industry pundits are right, reducing the amount of content available online for children — thus enhancing their attention spans), or will the negative effects on corporations have as deleterious an effect on the economy as to measurably reduce the quality of education?"
Link to Original Source

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Official Stirs Texas City With Talk of Rebellion

NotSanguine NotSanguine writes  |  more than 2 years ago

NotSanguine (1917456) writes "Manny Fernandez of the NY Times writes:

LUBBOCK, Tex. — A hearing on a proposed tax increase had just started at the county courthouse here Monday when Grace Rogers, a retired teacher, addressed local leaders. Ms. Rogers said she supported the idea of increasing the property tax to 34.6 cents per $100 valuation from 32.9 cents to finance the hiring of additional sheriff’s deputies — with one reservation. It was that, she said, “it does not fund a paramilitary to create an insurrection and rebellion against the United States.”

County Judge Tom Head is calling for the tax increase as he is concerned (or so he told Texas broadcaster Fox34) that If President Obama is re-elected, we should expect cvil unrest and that the president would send in United Nations troops to pacify the populace. Monies from the tax increase would be used to pay for “...trained, equipped, seasoned veteran officers..." to fend off the blue helmeted invaders."
Link to Original Source

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Ask Slashdot: Quality FOSS/Commercial Enterprise Printer Client Management

NotSanguine NotSanguine writes  |  more than 2 years ago

NotSanguine (1917456) writes "We are nearing completion of Windows 7 (x64) images for our VDI and physical devices. Our Windows XP images included an in-house developed printer installation tool accessible to end-users.

This tool (written in VB6) will not run without installing a whole bunch of ancient libraries. As such, we'd like to obtain a new tool.
Management does not want to expend resources on scripting a new tool or updating the old one.

The environment consists of Windows systems in an Active Directory environment without print servers.
All printer assignments would be direct IP connections to the (mostly) HP printers.

I know there are a number of commercial tools out there, but I have no experience with them and competent reviews (AFAICT) are far and few between.

Do any /.ers out there have any recommendations for FOSS or commercial Windows printer client management tools with end-user interfaces?

Required Features:
1. Display available printers (preferably from data stored in AD)
2. Automated install of user requested printers and drivers (stored on a shared network resource)
3. Centralized management of printer/driver resources
4. Web or GUI-based for non-technical users


Nice to have features:
1. Remote client management of printer definitions
2. Remote batch installation/change/remove functions


Any suggestions, recommendations or information would be greatly appreciated!"
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Justice Dept., FBI to review use of forensic evidence in thousands of cases

NotSanguine NotSanguine writes  |  more than 2 years ago

NotSanguine (1917456) writes "From The Washington Post Article:

The Justice Department and the FBI have launched a review of thousands of criminal cases to determine whether any defendants were wrongly convicted or deserve a new trial because of flawed forensic evidence, officials said Tuesday. The undertaking is the largest post-conviction review ever done by the FBI. It will include cases conducted by all FBI Laboratory hair and fiber examiners since at least 1985 and may reach earlier if records are available, people familiar with the process said. Such FBI examinations have taken place in federal and local cases across the country, often in violent crimes, such as rape, murder and robbery.

"

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Spearheads and DNA Point to a Second Founding Society in North America

NotSanguine NotSanguine writes  |  more than 2 years ago

NotSanguine (1917456) writes "In a follow up to my earlier post, the New York Times reports that a team from the University of Oregon has published a paper (paywalled) detailing recent finds in caves near Paisley, Oregon that point to non-Clovis people living in the area at the same time that the Clovis People inhabited North America. From the New York Times article:
"Stone spearheads and human DNA found in Oregon caves, anthropologists say, have produced firmer evidence that these are the oldest directly dated remains of people in North America. They also show that at least two cultures with distinct technologies — not a single one, as had been supposed — shared the continent more than 13,000 years ago.""

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Earliest Americans Arrived in Waves, DNA Study Finds

NotSanguine NotSanguine writes  |  more than 2 years ago

NotSanguine (1917456) writes "Nicholas Wade of the New York Times writes:

North and South America were first populated by three waves of migrants from Siberia rather than just a single migration, say researchers who have studied the whole genomes of Native Americans in South America and Canada.
Some scientists assert that the Americas were peopled in one large migration from Siberia that happened about 15,000 years ago, but the new genetic research shows that this central episode was followed by at least two smaller migrations from Siberia, one by people who became the ancestors of today’s Eskimos and Aleutians and another by people speaking Na-Dene, whose descendants are confined to North America

The study, published online (this is a paywalled site, sorry.) investigated geographic, linguistic and genetic diversity in native American populations."
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Florida accused of concealing worst tuberculosis outbreak in 20 years

NotSanguine NotSanguine writes  |  more than 2 years ago

NotSanguine (1917456) writes "The state of Florida has been struggling for months with what the Centers for Disease Control describe as the worst tuberculosis outbreak in the United States in twenty years.

Although a CDC report went out to state health officials in April encouraging them to take concerted action, the warning went largely unnoticed and nothing has been done. The public did not even learn of the outbreak until June, after a man with an active case of TB was spotted in a Jacksonville soup kitchen.

The Palm Beach Post has managed to obtain records on the outbreak and the CDC report, though only after weeks of repeated requests. These documents should have been freely available under Florida’s Sunshine Law."

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Moody's Cuts Credit Ratings of 15 Big Banks

NotSanguine NotSanguine writes  |  more than 2 years ago

NotSanguine (1917456) writes "Moody's Investor's Service says they're concerned about risks to the big (including the "too big to fail") banks. Predictably, the banks try to deflect the issue by claiming that Moody's is living in the past and all that risky stuff should be considered water under the bridge. So which is it? Are the banks still engaging in risky activities which could give us a repeat of 2008, or is Moody's just looking to shake down the banks?

Or is it both? Where was Moody's during the housing boom? Busy giving high ratings to instruments jam-packed with bad loans. It's kind of hard to trust these guy now, eh?"

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Web Sites Shine Light on Petty Bribery Worldwide

NotSanguine NotSanguine writes  |  more than 2 years ago

NotSanguine (1917456) writes "The cost of claiming a legitimate income tax refund in Hyderabad, India? 10,000 rupees.
The going rate to get a child who has already passed the entrance requirements into high school in Nairobi, Kenya? 20,000 shillings.
The expense of obtaining a driver’s license after having passed the test in Karachi, Pakistan? 3,000 rupees.
Such is the price of what Swati Ramanathan calls “retail corruption,” the sort of nickel-and-dime bribery, as opposed to large-scale graft, that infects everyday life in so many parts of the world.

Ms. Ramanathan and her husband, Ramesh, along with Sridar Iyengar, set out to change all that in August 2010 when they started ipaidabribe.com, a site that collects anonymous reports of bribes paid, bribes requested but not paid and requests that were expected but not forthcoming."

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Scannable Condoms Allow Users to 'Check-In' During Safe Sex

NotSanguine NotSanguine writes  |  more than 2 years ago

NotSanguine (1917456) writes "Want to take social media to the next level? Chances are you’ve probably never heard of “checking in” when you have sex, or more specifically when you and your partner are engaging in protected sex.

Now you can brag to the world you’ve just got laid by checking in to a new geo-location website with details of where, why, who you used a condom with, and how the “safe sex was”"

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Marijuana Smoking Does Not Harm Lungs, Study Finds

NotSanguine NotSanguine writes  |  more than 2 years ago

NotSanguine (1917456) writes "A large new government study has found that smoking marijuana on a regular basis, even over many years, does not impair lung function.

The study, abstract here (full JAMA article paywalled), concluded that "Occasional and low cumulative marijuana use was not associated with adverse effects on pulmonary function." By contrast, the researchers found that compared to nonsmokers, marijuana users performed slightly better on lung function tests, though the improvement was minuscule."

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Plan to Widen Availability of Morning-After Pill I

NotSanguine NotSanguine writes  |  more than 2 years ago

NotSanguine (1917456) writes "Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Wednesday overruled the Food and Drug Administration's decision that emergency contraceptives be sold freely over the counter, including to teenagers 16 years old and younger.

The pill, called Plan B One-Step, has been available without a prescription to women 17 and older, but those 16 and younger have needed a prescription — and still will because of Ms. Sebelius’s decision.

FDA Commissioner Dr. Margaret A. Hamburg, wrote that all the studies and experts agreed that young women would benefit from having easy access to Plan B.

The agency’s scientists, she wrote, “determined that the product was safe and effective in adolescent females, that adolescent females understood the product was not for routine use, and that the product would not protect them against sexually transmitted disease.”

This is a cabinet officer in a *Democratic* administration, and a female one at that, doing such a blatantly anti-women, anti-choice, anti-good sense thing! Geez Louise!"

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Journals

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I Made A Foe Today

NotSanguine NotSanguine writes  |  about a month and a half ago

I'm not really sure why. I don't recall ever interacting with that user before. I guess they don't like the things I have to say.

It seems to me that a better way to handle that would be engage me in conversation so we can both explore our views.

At the same time, if that's the way this person feels, I can handle it. If it was me, I'd just ignore them. But if someone wants to expend their energy hating, who am I to say they shouldn't?

I took the easy way out, I guess. I friended the user who made me a foe. I expect that may annoy them, but that's not my problem.

It does feel a little strange, though. After years on /., no one else has done that. Perhaps I'm gaining an (anti)following? Who knows?

It also prompted me to write my first journal entry. I'm not too happy about its content but I really just wanted to talk about this momentous occasion.

I'VE FINALLY MADE THE BIG TIME!!! WOO-HOO!

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