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The iPad Is 5 Years Old This Week, But You Still Don't Need One

SecurityGuy Re:iPad is a luxury? (300 comments)

They are still called phones because that is the primary reason most people carry them around. It may not be what they use it for the most, but it is still the core reason a person owns it.

I don't think it is. I had a dumbphone and upgraded to a smartphone because I wanted a mobile web platform in my pocket. It happened to make my dumbphone unnecessary, so I no longer carry one. I, at least, did not buy a smartphone because I needed a cell phone. I *had* a cell phone already.

3 days ago
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The iPad Is 5 Years Old This Week, But You Still Don't Need One

SecurityGuy Re:iPad is a luxury? (300 comments)

A $700 smart phone is, too. Here in .us, a lot of the price is buried in your 2-year contract, so people see it as a $200 smart phone.

Calling it a phone is also a misnomer. It's a small computer that also makes phone calls. If all you want to do is make phone calls, buy a dumbphone. Having a moderately powerful, always connected computer in my pocket is nice--but admittedly, it's still a luxury.

3 days ago
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White House Drone Incident Exposes Key Security Gap

SecurityGuy Bad guys don't follow rules (235 comments)

This issue is at the core of a lot of misunderstandings about security in general I see. People expect to be able to solve security problems by creating a framework of rules. Sometimes they're societal rules (aka laws), sometimes they're software like writing a client that can only access a server in a particular way, and assuming no one can access your server in a way not supported by your client (hint: other people can write code, too).

Writing rules won't keep people intent on harm from flying drones at things they want to damage. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to figure out how to keep those drones from doing damage EVEN WHEN they aren't following the rules.

A Phalanx-style interceptor with beanbags would probably work, and be comically appropriate for a threat posed by glorified toy helicopters.

4 days ago
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Illinois Students Suspected of Cyberbullying Must Provide Social Media Passwords

SecurityGuy Re:The only correct answers: (323 comments)

The correct answer is "No, you have no authority to demand I give that to you." The first implies I'm only refusing because I don't know. Abuse of authority should be called out for what it is.

about two weeks ago
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Illinois Students Suspected of Cyberbullying Must Provide Social Media Passwords

SecurityGuy Nobody read the law, huh? (323 comments)

It says nothing about giving passwords. It says schools have to create and follow a policy, and that they have to investigate claims of bullying. Nowhere in that law does it say that students have to actually cooperate with the investigation. Investigating could be as simple as questioning the involved students. Perhaps reviewing their public profile. Perhaps having the alleged victim show the evidence using the victim's login WITHOUT giving that to anyone.

School districts who claim this law gives them the right to demand account credentials are...well, I'll be polite. They're wrong.

about two weeks ago
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SOTU: Community Colleges, Employers To Train Workers For High-Paying Coding Jobs

SecurityGuy Re:2-yr code, no devel edu == hacks, healthcare.go (200 comments)

Fair enough. My experience of CC teachers was variable. My calculus teacher was atrocious. I had an English lit prof who thought it was reasonable to have students read aloud. I dropped that course in a heartbeat. I had a good biology teacher, and my Anthropology course was excellent. I seriously consider teaching CC myself now and again, mostly because I think I'd like it and, as you say, have some experience I want to share. Sadly, they require a masters in the field you want to teach. I have one, but not in math or comp sci, the areas I'd most enjoy teaching.

The real problem with the whole "Let's teach everyone to code" idea? Not enough coding jobs, even if you did train this many people. How about we train everyone how to fix cars? Then we can all make money fixing everyone else's car! Oh, wait...

Exactly. Thanks. It's even a little worse, because code is infinitely copyable. 1 mechanic can only work on so many cars. Some number of developers wrote iTunes, which I happen to be using now. How many devices can their work be used on? All of them. Given the sorry state of a lot of software today, what we need is not more developers. It's better developers (or managers, or processes, or audits, etc. I get that it's a lot more complicated than just blaming the developer.)

about two weeks ago
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SOTU: Community Colleges, Employers To Train Workers For High-Paying Coding Jobs

SecurityGuy Re:2-yr code, no devel edu == hacks, healthcare.go (200 comments)

Quite likely, but I don't get your point. You illustrate that formal education isn't required to excel. I never said it was. Some amount of learning happens in 2 years of community college (been there, done that). I've never met Carmack, but I suspect what he's learned about software vastly exceeds that. Unless I'm wrong, and he's some sort of idiot savant, you aren't actually disagreeing with me.

about two weeks ago
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SOTU: Community Colleges, Employers To Train Workers For High-Paying Coding Jobs

SecurityGuy Re:2-yr code, no devel edu == hacks, healthcare.go (200 comments)

Those who end up on the far end of the bell curve won't be those who stop at a 2 year degree in "coding" at a local community college. The very best developer I know has a masters degree, 25+ years of experience, and STILL spends more time learning.

My objection to things like this are the false belief it instills that all you need to do to learn to be good at this is go to community college for a while, where you'll be taught by other people who aren't good at coding. If they were good, they'd be doing it, not making peanuts teaching community college. The second false belief is that it's a ticket to a high paying job. High pay comes with scarce skills. If you send everyone to community college and they actually do become good at coding, it won't be a high paying job.

We should send everyone to a 4 year school and teach them basic economics so they'd understand things like this. Doctors don't make a lot of money because their jobs are important or it costs a lot to train one. They make a lot of money because when you need one, you'll pay whatever you have to, and because there are a limited number of them. In the ideal world, we'd call that 4 year degree high school. It's terrible that people entering the real world don't understand this stuff, and it's why the US electorate falls for nonsense like this time and again.

about two weeks ago
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Researchers "Solve" Texas Hold'Em, Create Perfect Robotic Player

SecurityGuy Re:Perfect? Really? (340 comments)

You're bluffing.

about three weeks ago
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Researchers "Solve" Texas Hold'Em, Create Perfect Robotic Player

SecurityGuy Re:Perfect? Really? (340 comments)

I've played lots of poker. You should read Mathematics of Poker. Bluffing is basic, and would certainly be included in any poker bot's strategy.

about three weeks ago
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Obama Proposes 2 Years of Free Community College

SecurityGuy Re:Free? (703 comments)

Why would you do that, though? Sounds like you're just setting your students up to fail once they transfer.

about three weeks ago
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Obama Proposes 2 Years of Free Community College

SecurityGuy Re:Lets not fix our decaying schools... (703 comments)

It's already taught at the college level. When you enroll, you're tested. If you don't test high enough to skip the remedial classes, guess what you take.

about three weeks ago
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WSJ Refused To Publish Lawrence Krauss' Response To "Science Proves Religion"

SecurityGuy Re:This Again (556 comments)

I think you're confusing religion with any sort of formalized way of living your life. One of the themes of the religion I was brought up in was that you sacrifice now, but get your reward in heaven after you die. According to your empirical test, few people would choose that religion. It made me do things I didn't like (never a fan of going to church) and feel guilty for doing things that probably aren't wrong in any objective sense (who cares if I covet your car/house/wife as long as I don't go any farther?) Of course, deviating from the tenets of that religion is frowned upon and sometimes punished. Not because doing those things makes your life better, but because that religion is true (so they say), and therefore the directives are what God tells you to do. End of story. If God exists, and tells you to do something, there really isn't any argument to make.

Other religions act the same way. In some, converting away from them is punishable by death. Again, not because following their religion makes you necessarily happy, but because it's true. God said do it that way, and to kill people who don't.

I suppose I disagree on your main point. The fundamental "sell" of any religion I've been exposed to is that it's actually true. I'd like to optimize my long term happiness. Most religions have a theory on what happens after you die (including atheism, which would just say nothing happens), and most have a theory on how what you do now affects that. I'd think the actual truth of those claims is very important. If I have to be a Christian or be pitched into a lake of fire for all eternity, then surely I'd do that. If I have to be a Muslim, or have to go to hell forever, surely I'd be a Muslim. Only if neither is true would I really be free to just pick whichever makes my life better, or choose none.

about three weeks ago
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FBI Says Search Warrants Not Needed To Use "Stingrays" In Public Places

SecurityGuy Re:Someone please aware me: (303 comments)

There was a recent decision that 24/7 camera surveillance of a suspect's house required a warrant even though it was somewhat equivalent to parking a police car in front of the house and watching.

There's an intuitive difference between the fact that a human being can hear you talking on the cell phone if they're nearby, and having a device that listens to every cell phone call AS IF it was a human being standing next to every person on both sides of every conversation within range. Courts are beginning to understand that.

about three weeks ago
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FBI Says Search Warrants Not Needed To Use "Stingrays" In Public Places

SecurityGuy Re:Someone please aware me: (303 comments)

I don't understand how it isn't exactly wiretapping. Perhaps that's what the judge will say. One can hope.

about three weeks ago
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WSJ Refused To Publish Lawrence Krauss' Response To "Science Proves Religion"

SecurityGuy Re:This Again (556 comments)

I argue that truth matters. Religions are more than just stories that make people happy. They tell people what to do, and how to live. Sometimes those things are harmful. "Abraham, I want you to kill your son for me." Now, if that's really God saying that, and there's an afterlife and a heaven that you're both going to, then fine. Abraham's son will feel momentary pain, Abraham will miss him for the rest of his life, and then they'll be reunited in heaven.

What if it's not true, though?

This happens today. Some nutjob hears voices and kills their kids because "God told me to" or "they had the devil in them".

Some religions tell you to kill the infidels, or conversely, Christians had the crusades where they did the very same thing. In both cases, because their religion said so.

That's the most extreme example, but religions aren't just going to a place of worship and being nice to each other, and so it matters very much if they're true. That truth underpins their authority to tell you how to live, and the correctness of the choice to live like that.

about three weeks ago
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WSJ Refused To Publish Lawrence Krauss' Response To "Science Proves Religion"

SecurityGuy Re:This Again (556 comments)

Religion has numerous, concrete benefits, which I listed above and which you haven't responded to at all.

Yes, that's been shown to be true. So has the placebo effect. The apparent fact that believing a thing makes you happier or healthier doesn't make the thing actually true. That gets back to my point about religions either being true or not. There are thousands of mutually contradictory religions. It's not possible for them to all be true, therefore there are people out there who are happier and healthier because they believe stories made up by other people long ago. Maybe there's one true religion, or set of religions that are close enough, but that still leaves a lot that are just wrong. If religion means something, we should see the happier or healthier effect in the people who picked the right one. Do we? Or is simply believing something good enough?

about a month ago
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WSJ Refused To Publish Lawrence Krauss' Response To "Science Proves Religion"

SecurityGuy Re:This Again (556 comments)

Really, I think the strongest arguments for how incredibly unlikely our intelligent civilization is come from what we know about evolution and the big bang - the universe would be very, very different if some things had gone slightly different at the big bang

We have no idea how likely or even possible it was for those "things" to go differently. We may be a very probable universe. There may be many improbable universes, of which we are one. If things had gone slightly differently, maybe we'd be debating this on Mars. Maybe life would be everywhere. Wild speculation is rather pointless, and doesn't argue for religion at all. Religion is just more comfortable for people who are uncomfortable admitting that we just don't know some things.

about a month ago
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Ancient Planes and Other Claims Spark Controversy at Indian Science Congress

SecurityGuy Re:Not equivalent (381 comments)

There's a rather vast gulf between saying such a thing COULD happen because Asia had advanced math before the West, and presenting evidence that such a thing actually did happen.

It's Wright, by the way. Sounds the same as write, but it's spelled differently.

about a month ago
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Ancient Planes and Other Claims Spark Controversy at Indian Science Congress

SecurityGuy Re:...and... (381 comments)

So does the United States, a federation that believes in angels and that god is on its side

The US is composed of 300 million people, some of which believe that.

...and which requires school children to recite a pledge of allegiance every day

No they don't. When I was a kid, pretty much everybody recited it in elementary (primary) school, but by high school (the last 4 years) it was soundly ignored by pretty much everyone.

about a month ago

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