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Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'

Obfuscant Re:Yup, Hegel 101 (526 comments)

Please go do some fact checking. There are absolutely no credible sources that ever backed this nonsense

You're right. Official US government spokesmen are not a credible source. I'm sorry you missed that the comment was more of a statement about our government officials and stupid pronouncements of cause than an actual assignment of such.

I could have used the example of the riots over a newspaper cartoon.

yesterday
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Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'

Obfuscant Re:Yup, Hegel 101 (526 comments)

Anyone believing the "terrorist" propaganda must somehow also believe that the DPRK has millions of bomb strapping terrorists stationed in the US ready to flock into Star and AMC to bomb people for watching a comedy.

Yes, because it takes millions of "bomb strapping terrorists" to blow up a bus load of civilians or a local school. Everyone knows that a successful terrorist attack takes millions of perpetrators.

Try "one". All it would take is one McVeigh-style ANFO device parked outside a big city theater to create a panic, helpfully propagated by the news media, just as they helpfully propagated the news about the millions of armed, I mean, ONE armed nut who took hostages at a Lindt store in Oz.

No movie theater manager wants to be the "one" that the "one" shows up at.

And if you doubt that a "movie" can trigger a violent reaction from political reactionaries, look no further than the Benghazi attacks that were caused by a movie.

yesterday
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Hackers Compromise ICANN, Access Zone File Data System

Obfuscant Re: fire them (103 comments)

"Return-Path" is an SMTP header

SMTP doesn't have headers. SMTP is a protocol for message transport.

thus changing the "From:" envelope address.

There is likewise no "From:" envelope address. There is an envelope-sender (the argument to the SMTP "MAIL FROM" command) which is often inserted into a "Return-Path" header in the message, and is used in the mailbox separator "From" line in mbox email storage.

... still can't stop phishers from forging the "From:" header, which is just part of the body of the e-mail.

The "From:" header is a header, not something in the body of the message. As a header, it is subject to rewriting by transport agents.

Unfortunately, the envelope address usually never gets to the MUA,

The MUA has access to all headers in an email, including "Return-Path". It is usually never shown to the user, but a good MUA will have an option to show raw email, including headers. Why? For just this reason.

If you use an MUA like Outlook that hides all the technical info, it's easy to be fooled.

Well, there you go. I did say a GOOD MUA ...

There are several issues at play here:

1. Employees at a company that manages a huge part of the control of the Internet can't detect phishing email by looking at the address replies will go to.

2. The email system at said company creates email replies based on information that is supposed to be used ONLY for the transport system to report delivery issues.

3. The offline verification process intended to stop such fraud worked, which makes this a non-story from the beginning.

yesterday
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Time To Remove 'Philosophical' Exemption From Vaccine Requirements?

Obfuscant Re:No (1039 comments)

Who's responsible ...

The parent, who is responsible in general for a child.

Being selfish is rarely good for society.

Totalitarianism has a pretty strong negative track record in that respect, too.

about a week ago
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Facebook Offers Solution To End Drunken Posts

Obfuscant Re:No thanks (134 comments)

Of course, it's also likely to gamify alcoholism: "Dude, Facebook says I've posted drunk for 100 days in a row, that's gotta be some kind of record."

Posting a picture of someone who is drunk is not the same as "posting [while] drunk". This prompt will not stop the latter.

about a week ago
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Time To Remove 'Philosophical' Exemption From Vaccine Requirements?

Obfuscant Re:No (1039 comments)

Who's responsible if your child has a bad reaction to the vaccine and dies or is permanently disabled?

And who is responsible when people who have reasons you approve of for not getting vaccinated kill or cripple other people? (Claiming that children who aren't vaccinated are doing either one is simply ridiculous, but that's what you get from AC oftentimes.) That child who is allergic to the vaccine has just as much chance of spreading the diseases as one who isn't vaccinated for other reasons. And one who has a compromised immune system and can't be vaccinated is more likely to get that disease and spread it. Should those children be removed from the general population to protect the rest of us? Aren't they killing or crippling others?

And then what happens when the government decides that other things are required? E.g., lot of people are highly allergic to peanuts, so shouldn't peanuts be outright banned to protect them? If you have a Reeses PB Cup in your pocket, you are killing or crippling other people, you know...

The issue is not as black and white as it is being made out to be by some people. It is an indirect risk (like second hand smoke), and the risk is a problem only because a lot of people are exercising the freedom.

about a week ago
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Canadian Supreme Court Rules In Favor of Warrantless Cellphone Searches

Obfuscant Re:The dissent (105 comments)

Why do they need a warrant to search your car if you're driving around in it?

Because it would be hard to argue that the area under your spare tire in the trunk is in your "immediate control" and thus subject to search based on your arrest. And even for areas that might be argued are under your immediate control, waiting to search until they have a warrant means there would be no "but you didn't have a warrant" defense at trial.

You might as well face it, if they arrest you in your car and impound it, they'll get the warrants they ask for.

Why do they need a warrant to search your house if you are there?

Fourth Amendment? Other than 1) what is in plain sight, or 2) within reach and might hide a weapon.

about a week ago
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James Watson's Nobel Prize Medal Will Be Returned To Him

Obfuscant Re:why should he have it (234 comments)

Watsons crime, namely that hes an old crumudgeon, isnt the issue for me. I tolerate the acerbic opinions of the elderly in regard to race, sexuality and gender, and try to view them as contextual expressions of a generation that was cheated into believing nonsense.

That's pretty much the same thing the old curmudgeons say about you, you know?

about a week ago
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$35 Quad-core Hacker SBC Offers Raspberry Pi-like Size and I/O

Obfuscant Re:XBMC Finally? (139 comments)

The Raspberry Pi is kind of in a weird situation, and I can't understand why it really caught on. On one hand, it's overkill for little electronics projects where something like an Arduino would be much better suited. On the other hand, it's not quite powerful enough...

This bed is too hard, this bed is too soft, this bed is just right. Yes, it's overkill for trivial tasks, it's underkill for high-powered computational tasks. It's just right for lots of things in between. I've got one running a Winlink RMS gateway using a Pi-TNC for radio to internet communications, and another as the gateway computer (just inside the router) for a data collection network to provide ntp, smtp, snmp, logging, etc services on the network. I had a second one on the same network to control two cameras that needed serial commands. And another that does nothing but collect temperature data and put it on the net.

And sometimes just being able to program in a real programming language is valuable. Like the serial command to cameras program that I was able to write and debug on a desktop and then port with only trivial changes to the Pi when it came time to put the final network together.

about a week ago
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$35 Quad-core Hacker SBC Offers Raspberry Pi-like Size and I/O

Obfuscant Re:Wonder if the OTG port can be used as a periphe (139 comments)

I can think have 5 ways you could have accomplished the goal of network configuration without a keyboard and mouse off the top of my head.

6. Pull the "hard disk" off the Pi and stick it in a card reader on any other computer, edit the files you need to and put the disk back.

7. Use the native DHCP client on the Pi to let it get an address from your existing DHCP server and ssh into it.

about a week ago
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Ofcom Will Remove Mandatory Ham Callsign ID Interval, Allow Encryption For Some

Obfuscant Re:Another view (57 comments)

They could do all that, but really, would they bother? Just to save the cost of a frequency license? That sounds rather far-fetched.

And yet, this reports the abuse of ham radio by the Indianapolis, IN, USA police department. You can read about FCC actions, for example, this one, which is typical of the kinds of illegal use commercial operations make of ham radio.

about two weeks ago
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Ofcom Will Remove Mandatory Ham Callsign ID Interval, Allow Encryption For Some

Obfuscant Re:bad idea (57 comments)

I transmit that I'm listening from time to time when I am listening. I don't CQ because I don't have anything that I particularly want to talk about while I'm driving with family in the car.

There are those who would claim that your listening announcement IS calling CQ. I hold the opinion that "it's nice that you're listening, if you wanted to talk to someone you'd say that."

about two weeks ago
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Ofcom Will Remove Mandatory Ham Callsign ID Interval, Allow Encryption For Some

Obfuscant Re:bad idea (57 comments)

Do you have their call signs? I'd love to know. Encryption is not legal. If I open a hinternet, I cannot encrypt it.

Are you in the US? If so, yes, you can. You are not encrypting it for the purposes of obfuscating the meaning.

"If these changes allow ham radio in the UK to increase in usage,

That says neither that it is needed nor that it was intended for that purpose.

give me the citations then.

Here. While it includes an HF component, the local transport is almost exclusively via packet.

Tell me exactly why it is not possible to incorporate Amateur radio into hospital emergency communications plans without encryption?

Because the hospitals are eventually going to ask for it.

Has sent health and welfare.

"Health and welfare" is not medical information covered by HIPAA.

One of the first problems that happens, is a paid employee is no longer a volunteer. They can be of course, but their use is limited via amateur radio.

You've already lost that battle. You should keep up with the changes to the regulations.

but I should let you know I am a technical adviser to our local group. So I'm not completely ignorant of emergency amateur radio communications.

Well, I dunno. You've said a lot of things that are wrong. They may have been correct in the past, but times have changed. Just your statement that "encryption is not legal", for starters. Your ignorance of Winlink. That you think there is some limit on government employee's use of ham radio. And that you seem to think that "health and welfare" traffic is what HIPAA is about.

about two weeks ago
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Ofcom Will Remove Mandatory Ham Callsign ID Interval, Allow Encryption For Some

Obfuscant Re:bad idea (57 comments)

Are there really ambulances in England using the ham bands? For transmitting medical data? I guess they use their bands differently than we do here in the US...

It's called "RAYNET" and it is very similar to ARES in the US. Support for emergency services like hospitals and government agencies. Hospitals, at least in this area, get a lot of support from ARES. Hospitals tend to deal with medical data.

about two weeks ago
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Ron Wyden Introduces Bill To Ban FBI 'Backdoors' In Tech Products

Obfuscant Re:It will never pass and not for the reasons (109 comments)

Wow are you wrong. Seriously, overwhelming, jaw-droppingly-stupidly wrong.

And then you provide a quote that proves I am right. Thanks.

It was one of the strangest personal crusades on Capitol Hill: For years, Sen. Ron Wyden said he was worried that intelligence agencies were violating Americans' privacy. But he couldn't say how. That was a secret.

He wasn't "worried" they were, he KNEW they were. He knew and did nothing but issue "vague warnings". It was a SEEcret, you see. And as a US Senator with a mandate to serve the public who elected him, he didn't.

But Wyden (D-Ore.) was bound by secrecy rules, unable to reveal what he knew.

Those "secrecy rules" would not prevent him from writing exactly the bill he's being lauded for writing now. It would not have prevented him from writing a bill to prohibit what was happening. It would not have prevented him from doing a lot of things. All the secrecy laws kept him from doing was telling the public the specifics, but "telling the public" isn't how you get these things stopped. Nothing is still nothing.

Do you know who the Senator was who asked that question that showed that Clapper was lying? Go on. Guess.

Wow, he proved someone lied to congress. He didn't do anything to stop what they had been doing while they were doing it, but after they did it long enough he asked a question. I'm impressed.

Even the people who are with-it enough to know there's a problem, are such morons they can't manage to figure out who their friends are on an issue.

Yes, I agree. And to know who their friends aren't. The fact remains: Wyden could have easily written such a shotgun bill the day he found out what was going on, but he chose not to. He's not the friend you think he is.

about two weeks ago
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Ofcom Will Remove Mandatory Ham Callsign ID Interval, Allow Encryption For Some

Obfuscant Re:bad idea (57 comments)

Nothing in Ham radio requires encryption.

Why yes, it would be wonderful for the same kind of people who play fart sounds on the local repeater to be able to send telecommand signals to amateur radio satellites. Just a great idea. By the way, that's one of the kinds of signals that is explicitly called out in the regulations as allowing encryption.

But the rules don't actually talk about encryption, they talk about obfuscating the meaning. There are a large number of people using what used to be called HSMM -- basically, 2.4G wifi -- and they have encryption enabled. Why is it necessary? To keep Joe Ignorant from using his unlicensed laptop from connecting to a licensed NAP.

Packet Radio has mostly turned into APRS anyhow.

Also wrong.

There is a lot more to Ham radio than whacker's dreams of green vest glory.

Got no idea what you think you're saying here.

The demand for encryption, as I noted before is not to increase usage, it is based on the pipe dreams of Emcomm people, who claim it is impossible to send Health and welfare information that isn't encrypted.

Also wrong. Nobody has said it is needed to increase usage, and "health and welfare" traffic has nothing to do with it. What is involved is the integration of amateur volunteers (and non-volunteers) into hospital emergency communications plans. And now, the excuse that the hams passing that traffic won't be employees of the hospital is gone, because it is highly likely that at least some of them will be. They'll have a radio in their hand they cannot use because HIPAA applies to them.

about two weeks ago
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Ron Wyden Introduces Bill To Ban FBI 'Backdoors' In Tech Products

Obfuscant Re:It will never pass and not for the reasons (109 comments)

Honest question. Why would Republicans not support this bill?

Good question. And completely unanswerable based solely on the description of the bill here on /.. (How DO you properly end a sentence that ends with '/.'?)

But if you read the bill (pdf), you might find some clues. For example:

(a) IN GENERAL. -- Except as provided in subsection (b), no agency may mandate that a manufacturer, developer, or seller of covered products design or alter the security functions in its product or service to allow the surveillance of any user of such product or service, or to allow the physical search of such product, by any agency.

How broad can you get with your paintbrush? An interesting interpretation of this might be that the FCC regulations for emissions no longer apply, because a cellphone can be "surveilled" by following the signals it emits using the FCC standards. E911 info is FCC mandated surveillance, as well, in very broad terms.

Maybe the "exception" paragraph?

(b) EXCEPTION. -- Subsection (a) shall not apply to mandates authorized under the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (47 U.S.C. 1001 et seq.).

So this law is already watered down by CALEA. And what is a "covered product"? Here you go:

(2) the term "covered product means any computer hardware, computer software, or electronic device that is made available to the general public.

Emphasis mine.

Or maybe it will be voted down when it becomes an amendment, as it was in the house?

In the House of Representatives, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) took up the issue of government encryption rules earlier this year. She passed an amendment to the annual defense funding bill ...

She didn't actually pass the amendment, she proposed the amendment and the house passed it. In any case, it was a rider to an otherwise unrelated bill. It is a standard ploy to attach unrelated things, and when one side votes against the part they don't like, they get painted in pubic as being against the other part they could accept. That's why there is talk of a "line item veto" from time to time, to remove the President from the "all or nothing" game.

Or maybe they'll vote against it because of what it is: a political game played by a master gamesman, who chose now to do something when he could have done it long ago. All this NSA stuff that got leaked -- he knew it before it got leaked. He's on the committee that has regulatory oversight to that agency. Did he do anything when he found out what they were doing? No.

about two weeks ago
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Ron Wyden Introduces Bill To Ban FBI 'Backdoors' In Tech Products

Obfuscant Re:It will never pass and not for the reasons (109 comments)

Lame duck sessions are the ideal time to get controversial bills passed. Lame ducks can vote on anything they want without giving a shit about constituents, contributions, or their caucus.

This applies only to those who were not re-elected to congress. All the rest -- that majority -- still have to worry about the next re-election bid.

about two weeks ago
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Ron Wyden Introduces Bill To Ban FBI 'Backdoors' In Tech Products

Obfuscant Re:It will never pass and not for the reasons (109 comments)

If he really gave a rat's ass about it, he wouldn't have waited till he was in a lame duck Senate to propose this.

This, in spades.

If he really gave a rat's ass, he wouldn't have sat back before the NSA/Snowden revelations saying "you don't know the half of it". He was on the Senate committee that oversees such things and was fully briefed on it, and did nothing to stop it.

This is all about getting some good press for himself and possibly the Dems in general,

That's what Wyden is all about. I live in his state. I've seen him work and how he runs campaigns.

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Comcast encrypting basic digital cable

Obfuscant Obfuscant writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Obfuscant (592200) writes "Comcast of Oregon, the friendly cable company that once allowed people with ClearQAM-equipped TVs to eavesdrop on other people's On-Demand programs, has decided to encrypt even the Digital Starter channels it was carrying in the clear. These are the channels that anyone paying for digital service gets. The reason: to prevent signal theft.

They're claiming that they cannot simply trap out the digital channels from those getting the analog Basic service, even though the digital goodies start way up at channel 64 and the analog tops out at 30. "Traps don't work", according to customer service. (Someone please explain why RF traps care what modulation is on the frequencies they filter out, or how a trap that makes analog signals undetectable will provide a viewable digital signal when even an unfiltered digital signal drops out on a regular basis.) This is the same cable company that used to be able to trap out channels 31 and above if you didn't have Expanded Basic.

They point the finger at the program providers — like ESPN and SyFy. "It's a contractual requirement" for people who are paying for the programs to be prevented from using their own DVRs to record them for later use. "Of course we'll rent you a Comcast DVR..."

Perhaps it's time to dust of those old copies of the Cable Consumer Protection Act of 1992, which deals specifically with this issue."

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