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Proof-of-Concept Malware Captures Every Tap On Smartphones Or Tablets

SSpade Nothing new (39 comments)

This approach - recording an image around each click - has been used by malware that attacks the on-screen keyboards used by some online banking systems for several years. (They use the online keyboards as an attempt to avoid keyboard sniffers getting account numbers).

This does is it on (insecure) mobile OSes rather than desktop OSes, but seems to be otherwise identical.

about 6 months ago
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The Dismantling of POTS: Bold Move Or Grave Error?

SSpade You're thinking about the wrong issue. (582 comments)

If you think your current POTS line is circuit-switched, or will work if your local exchange is disconnected from the network, think again.

A bigger concern is that while POTS isn't as robust as, say, cellular or VoIP against some sorts of damage it *will* work during a prolonged power outage (as long as the generator at the local exchange stays fuelled). VoIP won't, at all, unless there's power at the subscribers home. Cellular even if you can keep your cellphone battery topped off somehow, I wouldn't bet on power to the cell towers being as robust as to a local POTS exchange.

about 8 months ago
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Ubuntu Touch On a Nexus 7: "Almost Awesome"

SSpade Re:Almost what? (116 comments)

Moderately Mediocre is 12 major releases beyond Almost Awesome, so we'll see it in late 2019.

about 9 months ago
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Former Microsoft Privacy Chief Doesn't Trust Company, Uses Open Source Software

SSpade Re:Routing Connections from Point A to Point B (199 comments)

I'm pretty sure that you don't really know where the physical hardware using the intermediate IP addresses shown in the traceroute actually was. Reverse DNS tends to show who owns it, *not* which country it's in. And geoip services are doing well if they can identify the right country in Europe, let alone anything more accurate than that.

Even if you did see routing like that, and it really did go to the cities you claim, it still wouldn't be that odd - when routing is optimized at all it's optimized for cost, rather than distance. For long-haul the two tend to go together, but for relatively short distances in the well-connected first world they don't.

about 10 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is There a Good Device Holster?

SSpade Purse (296 comments)

I think what you're looking for is a purse. Pick a design and a colour and own it.

about a year ago
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First Laptop With Full-Sized Solar Panels Will Run On Ubuntu

SSpade Seems like a terrible design (155 comments)

A separate set of solar panels could be used to power / charge things other than a laptop, and a set of solar panels connected by a cable would let you sit in the cool shade while using the laptop during the day, rather than having to sit out in the sun (where it's hot and you can't see the screen).

Assuming it's real, which I have some doubts about - a couple of square feet of solar panels provides enough power to drive four or five laptops?

about a year ago
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OS X Malware Demands $300 FBI Fine For Viewing, Distributing Porn

SSpade Re:Ok? (173 comments)

It's not malware. It's just a webpage.

Gullibility isn't OS-specific.

1 year,8 days
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Inside the Electronic Frontier Foundation

SSpade Re:EFF is a mixed bag (98 comments)

"Executive Summary: Any measure for stopping spam must ensure that all non-spam messages reach their intended recipients."

That's impossible to do, other than by delivering all messages to their intended recipients - whether that be spam, malware, or legitimate email.

1 year,16 days
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Inside the Electronic Frontier Foundation

SSpade EFF is a mixed bag (98 comments)

The EFF want to ban your spam filters - they consider them to be "censorship", and unacceptable (unless there's never, ever a legitimate email accidentally blocked for any user - which isn't possibly, even theoretically).

http://w2.eff.org/spam/position_on_junk_email.php

(Old document, but still their current position).

1 year,16 days
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Verizon Accused of Intentionally Slowing Netflix Video Streaming

SSpade There's a reason Cogent is inexpensive (202 comments)

It's partly because they're big, but it's also because they're cheap.

about a year ago
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E-Sports League Stuffed Bitcoin Mining Code Inside Client Software

SSpade Re:Computer Trespass (223 comments)

If they used fraud or deception to install malware to take control of peoples machines to, say, send spam, that'd be solidly criminal.

Sending spam probably costs the owner of the compromised machine much less than bitmining does (in additional energy costs, cooling costs and possibly accelerated degradation of the GPU, possibly leading to failure). I'm not seeing how the same standards don't apply.

about a year ago
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Washington AG Slams T-Mobile Over Deceptive 'No-Contract' Ads

SSpade It's a political story (371 comments)

One that says much more about Bob Ferguson than it does T-Mobile.

about a year ago
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Video Game Industry Starting To Feel Heat On Gun Massacres

SSpade Guns don't kill people ... (1006 comments)

... spreadsheets kill people.

Ban Excel!

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Mac To Linux Return Flow?

SSpade Re:You and me both (965 comments)

Can't argue with any of that.

But you don't have to choose just one of those. Virtualization is easy. Pick the best of each OS.

I have an OS X laptop, and I'm quite happy with the UI and most of the basic desktop apps (other than Safari, which is the poster child for "QA gone to shit").

But I do a lot of my work in an ubuntu instance that's running in vmware - it has a partially shared filesystem so I can work in ubuntu while editing the files I'm working on in an OS X native editor like sublime text if I want to. Or I can run emacs/X11 on ubuntu, displaying on the OS X desktop.

I even have a Windows instance, for those rare times when I really need to use Word or IE or Minesweeper.

about a year ago
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Oxford Temporarily Blocks Google Docs To Fight Phishing

SSpade Re:that's a misrepresentation problem (128 comments)

Google offers free services. People will attempt to abuse them. That's no great surprise, nor is it specific to Google.

When someone abuses Googles services in a way that's a threat to other users there are only two ways to mitigate the incident. The best, by *far*, is for Google to stop the abusive behaviour. The other is for the affected parties to block access to (some subset of) Google. Those are really your only options.

Google is (based on externally visible behaviour) worse at mitigating abuse up-front by discouraging attempts to abuse their service, and at responding to reports of abuse, than other companies - and this appears to be an intentional choice by Google, based on their corporate culture. The tradeoff there is that people are more likely to just block Google servers, in response to the never ending trickle of abusive behaviour.

That's Google's problem. Well, actually, Google don't generally appear to think any of this is a problem at all - and *that's* the real problem as far as the rest of the Internet is concerned.

about a year and a half ago
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Oxford Temporarily Blocks Google Docs To Fight Phishing

SSpade It's a Google problem (128 comments)

Google docs is massively abused for phishing, and there doesn't seem to be much action by Google to prevent that.

If Google paid more attention to preventing or mitigating abuse using their network, or even paid active attention to reports of abuse, people wouldn't have to resort to blocking them.

about a year and a half ago
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FTC Gets 744 New Ideas On How To Hang Up On Robocallers

SSpade Re:It's not really an FTC problem (281 comments)

Because bringing a lawsuit is ridiculously expensive and time consuming. Spending months-to-years of time and lawyers salaries to go after a small spammer just isn't worthwhile. The telcos involved, however, can just shut them down without much difficulty or cost - if they choose to do so.

about a year and a half ago
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FTC Gets 744 New Ideas On How To Hang Up On Robocallers

SSpade It's not really an FTC problem (281 comments)

The FTC aren't in a position to really handle robocalls and SMS spam, other than acting as a last resort legal hammer for egregious cases.

The telcos, on the other hand, could *trivially* stop the vast majority of it if they had any interest in doing so. But they don't have any interest in that - they get paid by the various crooks doing this sort of thing. And it doesn't cost them any customers - what are the customers going to do, move to a different US telco that's just as bad?

about a year and a half ago
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One Musician's Demand From Pandora: Mandatory Analytics

SSpade Re:I think not (227 comments)

What this artist is asking for is entirely reasonable because this information is already available to the distributor.

Also available to the distributor is all the information about the other artists you listen to. And your zip code, your email address, your age. Possibly, depending on what sort of account you have, your home address and your credit card number. I'm pretty sure that she wouldn't ask for your credit card number, but I'm sure she'd love to have your email address.

about a year and a half ago

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