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Illinois Students Suspected of Cyberbullying Must Provide Social Media Passwords

TaoPhoenix Re:"Fuck You." (323 comments)

In the same vein as another post I made, make your password ... that.

It could take strong nerves to get minor infractions and even an expulsion. The parent would need to be in on it, to deal with that.

"What's your password?"
"Fuck You"
"What did you say?"
"I said, Fuck you!"
"That's it, young man, you're in detention/expelled" (depending on how long it went on).

(Time passes)
Administrator discovers he was so angry, he somehow managed not to get the password. So he calls the parent.
"Hello, Parent. I need your son's password, because you know, for the children and stuff."
"Fuck you"

(More hilarity)

Rinse and repeat with new passwords.

: )

about two weeks ago

Illinois Students Suspected of Cyberbullying Must Provide Social Media Passwords

TaoPhoenix Re:what made me think I had rights (323 comments)

There's room here for a vicious satire by a really smart teacher in one of those experimental schools.

"Civics 101".
But the curriculum is written upside down, to list the rights with wry tones of voice, then in very well documented fashion, all the case examples are rights abuses.

about two weeks ago

Illinois Students Suspected of Cyberbullying Must Provide Social Media Passwords

TaoPhoenix Re:forced to testify against yourself (323 comments)

Last I knew, there wasn't a severity test to invoke the constitution.

So what if your password was "IStoleAPepsi" ?

I'd love to see the tight-lipped response a savvy lawyer would use on that one!

about two weeks ago

Illinois Students Suspected of Cyberbullying Must Provide Social Media Passwords

TaoPhoenix Re:My password is alt-f4 (323 comments)

Actually, you were just making a "level one" joke, but I'll take to level 2!

Actually make your password Alt&F4!!

Look at it - eight characters, two caps, a number, and three special characters!

And given the technological silliness of the people making this power grab, you get an epic Who's On First routine for the 21st century!

"What's your password?"
"Alt and F4 Bang Bang"
"Yeah, that Cher song. Wanna play it on Youtube?"
"No. I want your password."
"I told you. Alt&f4 Bang Bang"
(Principal does Alt-f4 - Window closes.)
"Hey! You closed my program!"
"I didn't do anything. I'm on the phone, you're at the computer."

(Repeat for fifteen minutes and maybe the school admin will give up! If they survived that one, change it!)

Runner up is this site!
"Okay, I changed it for you. www./..org

about two weeks ago

Your Entire PC In a Mouse

TaoPhoenix Re:In inevitable questions of why... (165 comments)

Yeah, and I'll remark people seem to be forgetting the word "prototype".

And this looks pretty classy for a prototype!


Looking over the criticisms: I see a lot of "edge case tweaks", but not thing fundamentally show-stopping. So if you give this all a bit of a forward-future roll, let's try a few ideas:

1. Keyboard vs Mouse.
Keyboards "tend to be wide". Sure, modern designers found some ways to use that bottom layer well. But computer mice *do* seem to have a fair amount of "dead space" while the thing "embiggens" itself to fit your hand ergonomics. So at least partially using that space cleverly is interesting.

2. "Gaming rage & throwing mouse to wall" and "how do you clean it". Just suppose the design has one layer with the comp "in a removable box" aka a square chunk of the hardware. Yes, it happens to sit in the mouse housing, and there's a few wires in there, but just make the super expensive core removable.

3. Keyboards.
To me it's less of a finicky point of mouse contour shape vs keyboard dynamics. So shove the comp stuff into the mouse, and then people can just buy their favorite keyboards. Notice this includes roll-up ones.

4. HDMI cable.
This is where I want to "roll the future forward". We're also pretty close to "monitor goggles", that look to the eye like a 20+ inch screen. Then have the mouse-comp communicate the signal wirelessly. Nothing stopping the goggles from having a co-processor, like they used to do for arcade machines. I've always wanted to do "computing in thin air". So with just a mouse, roll up keyboard, and goggles, your entire comp fits into a small backpack!

about two weeks ago

Archive.org Adds Close To 2,400 DOS Games

TaoPhoenix Re:Turn Internet Archive into... (198 comments)

"Is there ANY way the community can fork off the Wayback Machine? Because AFAIK that is the only source for many web pages lost to time and it would truly be a crime to lose them forever because this yo-yo has decided to turn Internet Archive into another warez site."

It's got a couple of complicated twists I don't yet understand though.

Elsewhere we see stories that skies alive if someone torrents a Justin Bieber song, say a homeowner's sister in Kansas or something, they wind up with a multi thousand dollar lawsuit threat and a settlement offer of ten grand.

And this isn't War3z0074evar.mobi either.

It's Internet Archive. And it's not a faux-hidden little secret section you need a handshake and a passphase to get into. It's x thousand chunks of stuff at a time, with thundering Slashdot-and-media articles to proclaim it around the world.

One of the disturbing aspects of copyright law is how long rights holders can sit around before pulling a trigger to enforce something. (Where, isn't Trademark something you have to defend 'promptly' or lose?) So, it's months later since that last round with the other old games ... So 7000 works at that $300,000 clip ... why isn't one of those copyright troll jerk companies drooling at a billion dollar pot of gold?

To me that's the "hypocrisy" of copyright enforcement.

So it's like some strange card game where Internet Archive is holding a pair of aces in the open, and the other two we don't see, and they're going all in and we can't rationally figure out why someone isn't calling their bluff.

about three weeks ago

Canadian Anti-Piracy Firm Caught Infringing Copyright

TaoPhoenix Re:suspect he didn't even realize he was infringin (61 comments)

I'm sorry, but I would like to stand in friendly relations to you but ratchet up the rhetoric where it needs to go on this kind of stuff.

"...suspect he didn't even realize he was infringing". No. Just no. But before we get to the big ticket reason why, let's go to an extremely important edge case why.

Look at YouTube. Look at the multi millions of things posted by random accounts. (Who really identifies with handles like grap3fruuit77 anyway?!) Account posts a song, let's say it's Justin Bieber, because this is a Canadian story and I'm sure he has a fan up there. Up goes the song, and the comments say: "I don't own this song! I'm just posting it!"

We should get a slashdot researcher to get 10,000 of these people into a sports stadium on an off day and ask them all "Sure. You don't own it. So why did you post it?" ... Because we're in the middle of an unspoken civil revolution that is subconsciously trying to evolve the meaning of copyrights. It just feels different because it's Not A Cat Picture and/or Not On Facebook.

Now let's look at this guy. He's a "Managing Director, Operations" for a copyright attack dog. Of *course* he realizes he's infringing. He just believes he's above petty little laws for peons. And for a time, he might be.

We need a quiet little voice for the people with big bucks to take these specific kinds of cases, where the copyright guys break their own rules, and pound them into the ground. No settlements, and keep after them if they play shell-company-monte.

Sure, random mid execs in a grain and textile company, whatever. Managing Directors for Operations for copyright attack dogs, no.

about three weeks ago

Supreme Court To Decide Whether Rap Lyric Threats Are Free Speech

TaoPhoenix Re:why just 5 mod points aren't going to cut it (436 comments)

"And this is why just 5 mod points aren't going to cut it."

Weird - this story?!

And there are over 130 of those spam posts... that's far more than I've seen in a *long* time!

They need to downmod those at the admin level with a script so you can save your legit mod points for good things!

about 2 months ago

Mozilla Launches Browser Built For Developers

TaoPhoenix Re:another pointless UI facelift (74 comments)

Actually, they hid Aurora and went back to one of the older square layouts!

I had to use Classic Theme Restorer to add back a couple of minor buttons and colors though.

about 3 months ago

Stanford Promises Not To Use Google Money For Privacy Research

TaoPhoenix Re:General Fund (54 comments)

" If all money goes into a general fund, there's no distinguishing "whose" money it is..."

Sounds to me like an easy accounting exercise.

So don't put it in a general fund. Make a Restricted Account for privacy research. Then when you do privacy research, just make sure it comes from there and only there. Also make sure none of Google's money gets in there. Standard GAAP should handle that like a snap.

"Money" sounds "fungible", but it's not. In many ways, "money" = "$ combined with the source and destination". Or you can do it in reverse, and make Google's money a Restricted Account, and run it backwards in that general fund money can fund anything, but pulling Google's money needs a senior management review that it is "not reasonably construed" as privacy research.

And yes, get Legal on this. Because for example you can tweak a footnote of almost anything to "improve privacy" even if the original research was "Study of Seattle's laws penalizing food wastes in trash."


The world is just becoming messy because those old fluid "neutral zones" are closing up and Flannery O'Connor was right, "everything that rises must converge".

about 4 months ago

Biofeedback Games and The Placebo Effect

TaoPhoenix Re:could be used therapeutically (57 comments)

The Placebo Effect is just our poor bodies reaching some limits vs more and more clever scientific studies.

As I understood it, it was self healing abilities only triggered by "someone gives a damn about me" that we don't easily access every day to fix other problems.

So having computer programs just goes more towards the whole "look, it's now on a computer" we've seen in darker scenarios. I'll stay positive on this note.

If you just stick 300 fortune cookies into a computer program, a few of them will strike home and then you get "therapeutic benefit". (I know, because I have a file of over a hundred of them, from asking my Chinese restaurant to give me a bunch each time. A few of them are really pretty good.)

Studies keep trying to go super narrow to carefully limit "complexity" but I am beginning to think the "Scientific Method" is on the verge of missing "Emergent Results" when they risk small details but leave behind controlling micro-scenarios.

Sideways from the Slashdot tradition, I didn't read the article because one look at the summary says it's too narrow, and it's become the Press's job to "expand them". Some journalists try hard, a few are hacks.

Much more broadly, I have smashed together a few projects I know have helped me.

about 6 months ago

Selectively Reusing Bad Passwords Is Not a Bad Idea, Researchers Say

TaoPhoenix Re: Real Name (280 comments)

"What sort of moron uses their real name on an internet forum?"

Welcome to Facebook and Google's push!

Reversing 20 years of your type of common sense!

I know, I grew up with too, then it changed about 2007.

about 6 months ago

Selectively Reusing Bad Passwords Is Not a Bad Idea, Researchers Say

TaoPhoenix Re:8 character min (280 comments)

Again a guess, but I bet this is about "how much it costs us to upgrade our system".

Underscore I can see, but Space used to be a character that messed up a lot of systems. And I frankly don't have any 20 character passwords, so maybe people lowered it so that users would have any hope of ever remembering their password, however bad it may be.

about 6 months ago

Selectively Reusing Bad Passwords Is Not a Bad Idea, Researchers Say

TaoPhoenix Re: 11 characters (280 comments)

Quick uninformed guess, sounds like someone's sloppy programming problem.

I'll defer to my betters here but it sounds like when someone slammed out the system they just picked some number like 11 for the password length and then someone else did the best they could by making it require lots of stuff.

about 6 months ago

Selectively Reusing Bad Passwords Is Not a Bad Idea, Researchers Say

TaoPhoenix Re:Losing an email account (280 comments)

Years ago in a weak variant of this whole thread, I designed a system of using some nine passwords for the entire net, and for whatever reasons I am to senile to recall, one email account got a weird password that changed a couple of times until I couldn't get in. (Including one suspicious moment but that's another post.)

But fortunately I made my "security questions" sufficiently strange yet unforgettable that after two hours on hold, I got into Yahoo Customer service and fixed it. (For now.)

But you have a point that, that was a "backup account". If the primary ones ever got hacked, people would have access to tons of stuff.

I'm def of the school of "use your passwords every time so you know them" and haven't looked into password managers that sorta bother me. It's one reason why last quarter's Heartbleed story made me grumpy - is every site in existence gonna make me flip my password system now? I don't have a new one yet.

about 6 months ago

Selectively Reusing Bad Passwords Is Not a Bad Idea, Researchers Say

TaoPhoenix Re:Govt vs Corporate (280 comments)

"True. I should have said major corporate standards when I said government. But because of the way the payment card industry works, if FEELS like government. Complete with not following its own rules and having rules for the sake of rules."

Sorry, but I find this a bit of a big error to make.

I'm really torn on who I dislike more, but to *confuse* corporate policies and govt policies feels like a big step backwards!

(Your choice of which) one punches me in the gut and one holds me by the throat, but to *confuse* them doesn't feel right!

about 6 months ago

Selectively Reusing Bad Passwords Is Not a Bad Idea, Researchers Say

TaoPhoenix Re:Banking (280 comments)

I'm old school here.

What is all this "banking info"!? I only do about five things with my bank, and 3.8 of them I can do on my phone just *dialing the automated number*.

Check my balance, pay something to my credit card, look to see if a check has been cashed that shouldn't have been (I've hired a bit of house help), and a couple other things.

When it gets a little weird I hit 0 or say "Representative" to do a couple of fancy things.

What I spend is in my head, I don't need a huge online report to tell me. My five bills are on my desk (including last month's late one!)

I have resisted BOA's attempt to get me to go all online-automated. I theoretically set up a couple of accounts to be online to save money, but not because I need a fancy account. When you wanna know what you can spend, you make a 1.7 min phone call - what else do you need to do?

about 6 months ago

Selectively Reusing Bad Passwords Is Not a Bad Idea, Researchers Say

TaoPhoenix Re:5 characters (280 comments)

"requiring passwords to be at max 5 characters. MY BANK!!!"

I hope not. Even the worst services I have seen want 8 characters. I'll leave it to my betters how fast a cracker program can bust 5!

about 6 months ago

Google's Project Zero Aims To Find Exploits Before Attackers Do

TaoPhoenix Re:They aren't stupid (62 comments)

I'll reply to you, as you're the closest to the angle I was going for.

Cross-posted from another site, with two more sentences here.

Okay, picking my words a little and hoping I get my tone right...

I get that Google (and Facebook and all kinds of other gangs) are *selling info*. It's sleazy, but to me that's "grey hat". It's "we're psychologically manipulating you to make money, but you knew that but we made the services nice and fun/useful so you don't care". I've been reading a huge Star Trek DS9 Re-Watch overview, and that feels so like a Quark move - he's devious but eventually even he draws his lines.

Secret silent software bugs that only X number of governments even know exist is a whole other level of Black Hat. (Really, somewhere in the combo of Heartbleed and the True-Crypt mess I got grumpier than I have been in a while.)

So Google isn't some poor 12 man op with a lonely tech who was beaten by big guys - behind the sales guys there's a *lot* of tech crunching firepower there. So *maybe* the Agencies have a bit of a lead on them, but I'd bet not as big as those Agencies thought.

It's a fascinating twist - Govt can beat up "little guys" a few at a time in a Divide and Conquer strategy, but what if this story catches on, and then Microsoft and Facebook and Apple and Samsung and your choice of others jump in?

(I put Samsung in there because software bugs know no boundaries, so it's specifically a test of geographic negotiations beyond the US level.)

Short Selling jokes aside, can the US even manage to indict the CEO's of all of US tech? Their dealmaking might just be on the verge of coming to bite them. (There was a TV series about all that, corps, totally owning govt openly and outright.)

When we're not busy snarking in the Basement or the Living Room, having a gaping security flaw in software isn't good for any of these companies. So maybe (making up a name) Gennady Li Chandarovskiyij-Maharujshi is the greatest programmer alive at one of the Agencies, but can he really stand up to a world wide team that's now pissed off??

Going all story fiction for a moment, imagine it:
All these companies, led by the big dogs with little guys lending a spare hour;
CEO's around the world getting royally pissed and saying "our products are dominant enough and we have time to put away our micro-jockeying. Let's spend an entire year and 700 billion dollars/whatever to clean this mess up. Grab anyone who has any legit idea whatsoever about software security and let them do whatever they want (jokes aside), no questions asked including extra perks like the 90's like croissant sandwiches in the break room."

US Govt is slowly winning the PR war against "Anonymous", but what if the Big Tech companies with tips from millions of freelancers all unite and say "Thanks for all the fish, yummy, now watch what you made! We have a worldwide "team" of over a *thousand* software people (and four space aliens, only three of which you know about.) Do you *really* wanna keep doing this? Or can we just get back to selling people's info for money?"

At least in my imagination I wanna believe we're on the verge of Tech calling Govt's bluff that they've been going "Divide and Subdue" too long, and the beautiful part is all the bribery is (mostly) illegal - how can they even pretend to shout about 770 companies and 12,345,845 freelancers all spending an entire year on software security?

So that's my message of daydream hope!

about 6 months ago



Sopa-II : H.R. 1981 "Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act"

TaoPhoenix TaoPhoenix writes  |  more than 2 years ago

TaoPhoenix writes "Here we go! As many of you predicted, SOPA would be rebuilt worse than ever by switching the Copyright flavor to a "Protect the Kiddies" flavor. You were right. H.R. 1981, entitled "Protecting Children From Internet Pornographers Act", has just been sponsored by Lamar Smith, the same lead proponent of SOPA. That was fast! Unfortunately it has a built in cheapo argument ready as a talking point. It also has some nasty and costly data retention clauses that weren't even in SOPA. Are we ready to do another Blackout Day? I don't think we have too many of those left before the fragile Internet coalition becomes exhausted. So, two questions: How do we stop this bill, and how do we win a victory permanent enough that we don't have to do this every single month?
Business Insider version: http://www.businessinsider.com/anonymous-and-internet-advocates-wheres-your-hr-1981-outrage-2012-2
David Seaman's Youtube videocast http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBVqm2W56c8"

Link to Original Source

How do users download their Slashdot posts?

TaoPhoenix TaoPhoenix writes  |  more than 3 years ago

TaoPhoenix writes "With the passing of the CmdrTaco era, mant of the old regulars are looking to sum up their posting careers at Slashdot. I'm sure I have a couple thousand posts and I don't even qualify for a lawn. Yet as of recently, there was no clear method in place for a user to receive all the posts in a nice text file. For a site that does detailed observations about the evils of data lockins, have other users developed a method to retrieve their posts in an efficient manner without too much difficulty?"

New Angle on the War on Terror

TaoPhoenix TaoPhoenix writes  |  more than 3 years ago

TaoPhoenix (980487) writes "The celebrations are slowing down. But Yahoo cautiously introduces an entirely new direction for the official discourse — "Frenemies". The rumblings for years "there's no way Bin Laden lasted this long without serious help" are true. The article asks the key question: "Why can't the United States just declare Pakistan a hostile enemy?" Then it treads lightly on the answer: "...(they have) the fastest growing nuclear arsenal in the world and a bitter ongoing fixation on the ambitions of neighboring rival India."

However, Bin Laden was the figurehead of the US decade long theme of "The Post 9-11 World". Are the reasons given enough to justify the costs, open and hidden, of that colossally expensive "War on Terror" campaign?


Link to Original Source

YROffline - SnowZilla condemned

TaoPhoenix TaoPhoenix writes  |  more than 6 years ago

TaoPhoenix writes "Apparently generating tourist traffic to your town is less important than living on a road quiet enough to hear nature. Historic cultural landmarks deemed unsafe should be torn down rather than structurally supported. Thus local officials decide in Airport Heights, in Alaska.

Billy Powers, whose yard was SnowZilla's home, urged officials to Think Of The Children. 'The kids had spent hours and hours of work on it,' Billy Powers said on Sunday. No luck — and if he tries to rebuild it, he could be arrested."

Link to Original Source

TaoPhoenix TaoPhoenix writes  |  more than 8 years ago

TaoPhoenix (980487) writes "The first time it happened, I shrugged it off. Now it's confirmed. My search results from Yahoo are being redirected to other sites. Can anyone else confirm this, or is it a local problem indicating it's time for me to scrub my machine?

A. Exactly two false results appear. The third time the correct site arrives, and stays stable.

B. Google has no such trouble. AltaVista, which appears to use a less tuned, older copy of Yahoo's database, also correctly delivers the link.

C. This effect is now at 100% frequency."



Aphelion SciFi Fantasy Horror Poetry Webzine in 2013!

TaoPhoenix TaoPhoenix writes  |  about 2 years ago

Okay, here we go!

I shall post a promotional piece for the Science Fiction - Fantasy - Horror - Poetry webzine Aphelion.

It's been around since 1997. However we gradually lost the "regular" posters through attrition and we haven't undertaken much marketing at all. This post is "semi-unauthorized" aka ad-hoc.

This campaign:
You're one of two crews I would like to encourage to join and post a note about at least a couple of stories! They do have a focus on newer and developing writers, so go REAL EASY on the comments - if you see something that a writer could have improved, PLEASE work REAL HARD to soft-ball it!

As part of a bit of backstory that we don't need to visit here, in this somewhat fragile year it's important to get a couple of really nice newcomers, because there is a potential bit of culture clash. They do not have the Anonymous Coward theme with all that entails, nor are they in tune with our top 10 "inside jokes" such as Frosty Ps0t, You Insensitive Clod, In Soviet Russia, and many types of posts that dance around the Funny-Flamebait line here. Also be very careful with the FTFY and Grammar posts. It's true Mechanics do have a place in writing, but the usage tone culture here of those posts is generally too aggressive for Aphelion.

But y'all have modded me up a bunch of times, so I must have been interesting a few times at least, so let's really get all you geniuses to go give them the best ya got, 'cause you're all smarter than me!

This is the only High Volume promo web post I am doing right now, because it's one of only a few sites I have followed for all these years (somewhere about 8!), so I don't feel it's much to ask one Journal post to grab some of you who have been feeding me Chocolate Donut +1 upmods all these years.

I would love to get _____ number of really enthused new visitors who plan to stay for at least a few months. For a site the size of Slashdot, we'll get a decent few at a minimum, and if we have the cure for the Woes when y'all don't like This Hour's Story, we might get a lot! Let's go all KickStarter-y with some fun milestones.
17 - Just because I like the number 17, and the lowest non-insulting goal.
25 - Round Number
32 - How could we not include this one!?
50 - Round Number
64 - Another obvious one
75 - Round Number
But then it gets a bit scarce, until ...
100 - Round Number
128 - The Comp Numbers will get a bit thin in a min
200 - Round Number
256 - QuarterFinal Compy number
500 - Stretch Goal Round Number
512 - Stretch Goal Compy
1000 - Last Round Number
1024 - Last Compy number

I have no right to expect more than that so I'll start to reign all this in soon!

For you login-metrics fans, they put in an aggressive anti-spam measure in this year, but please don't go all Gamey on me and try to break it! It's meant for 4th rate twerps who went all CopyPasta at the Ragu Factory. Just play nice. But do holler to me if it causes any of you actual trouble getting in, and I'll give you a Secret Decoder ByteCoin. Signed by the Retired Lieutenant Taco Vendor from down the street. Or something.

The Lead intro page:
http://www.aphelion-webzine.com/ - typically a graphic that changes for each issue
They do a "Flip" where the current month issue is on a "hardlocked" set of links by story/item category such as Short Stories. So if you get busy, and want to go back next month, they'll be gone (temporarily!) and replaced by the new issue. There's a big topic in Archives, but that's another day.

The intro Editorial by the senior editor:

Short Stories:


"Features:" - most usually an instructional article on writing but a few other things sometimes

I would appreciate it if interested people would drop a note here too, just to close the loop so I both know who is headed over there, but also for the data check of that signup-test.

On the first two posts over there (because any single one might vanish from visibility because I am turbo posting this week!) to mention that me, Tao sent you from Slashdot. Plus it's an excuse to Cross Brand and all those other fun business terms! Go Slashdot! (Hi Dice!)

Watch the horde of smart people show up and impress the hell out of them!


Obligatory disclosures etc.
I am the Archives Editor over there, a position which involves fluidly evolving things generally oriented around fiddling with info about the magazine issues, rather than actually writing stories for them.

I apologize for the "soft links" because I don't know how to make them Clickable. But then I told ya y'all were smarter than I am!

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