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Comments

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How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?

Virtucon Re:FOSS is still safer... (364 comments)

We don't but that goes with any product out there. The difference is software has things like License Agreements and Terms of Service most of which give the software vendor no liability whatsoever for their product if it fails to perform. Imagine if you bought a car with a License Agreement that said "you have a license to use this vehicle however we assume no liability for it's use or damages caused by or within the vehicle." In the case of software vendors when problems are found they shrug their shoulders and introduce a patch or fix. If the software is no longer supported, they'll just direct you to their professional services folks and sign you up for custom support or the sales department to get you to buy their latest offerings.

Another aspect of vulnerabilities like this isn't from a security but also a safety perspective. Bad software has killed people. Read "Fatal Defect." It's an older book but it's a fascinating study of bad software design that's actually killed people.

11 hours ago
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How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?

Virtucon Re:Overstating the case (364 comments)

There are companies that sell vulnerabilities to anybody with deep enough pockets. They're looking at software constantly to find exploits and I wouldn't be surprised if open source wasn't on the menu for them as well. I think open source does lead to quicker fixes once they're discovered by white hats out there unlike closed source models where a company has a vested interest in not disclosing exposures while either muddling through a fix. Case in point, the fact that Oracle knew about the zero day vulnerabilities in Java for months before addressing them. The problem is that businesses and developers seem to shrug that off rather than saying it's not acceptable and other companies just follow the same pattern. In the case of Oracle it didn't hurt them much at all and validates their lousy business practice on addressing vulnerabilities. Just looking now, in early summer 2012 when the news hit, their stock sank to $25.61/share and it just hit $42 on 4/2. So in under two years that's an almost 64% increase in their stock price.

11 hours ago
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How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?

Virtucon Re:Even a bestselling novel can have a typo (364 comments)

We're surrounded by tiny errors in the world. Heck, they're even built into our DNA.

Speak for yourself! I just got my 23andMe report and it says there are no errors, therefore I'm special!

11 hours ago
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How Amazon Keeps Cutting AWS Prices: Cheapskate Culture

Virtucon Re:Business/First class is absurd (133 comments)

It's the bigger seat and room you get in First/Business. Those make a difference if you have to fly long distances (7+ hours) week in and week out.
Try it sometime to see what I mean.

yesterday
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UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

Virtucon Re:Nuclear is obvious, an energy surplus is desire (421 comments)

Well you had to live during the whole TMI episode to understand the panic it created. Sadly it was a turning point for nuclear power in this country. After that Jimmy Carter pulled the permits for all proposed nuclear plants and stopped the TVA for example in their tracks on 4 plants that were in progress. He and his buds in congress the bureaucratic nightmare that is now the DOE. That kind of knee-jerk reaction pushed investors away and you have to look around and see that. Until 2013 there has been no ground-breaking on new plants since 1977, the same year as TMI. So if you want to see how one administration can doom an industry in this country, look at TMI and the ripple effects. TMI was minor but the public became afraid and movies like the "The China Syndrome" didn't help either. These plants were built on investments mostly through bonds or by the Federal Government in the case of the TVA and investors want safe returns on their money and because of TMI, nuclear became a pariah in the US. Look at the whole Yucca Mountain situation if you need a refresher course on how jammed up things can become.

I won't argue that nuclear power is cheaper overall, in most cases it isn't. It is efficient given the size/complexity of the plant and the output it produces. It's cleaner than coal or burning gas on many levels. It is a political football and if you look at the closing of San Onofre you can see that everybody including DC based ass-clowns want to get into the act. I used to surf at San Onofre beach right next to the plant and it was always great because the water was warmer from the cooling water released back into the ocean near offshore. It was fine then, it'd be fine now but politics is politics as they say.

That's why authoritarian/autocratic societies will be able to expand the use of nuclear power faster than democracies and while we may push for solar nuclear is in the same boat as to why we don't consider large hydro projects either in this country because a) we've pretty much exhausted most of aquifer systems necessary for large scale hydro b) environmental impact studies take decades and we might hurt the fish (see snail darter for a reference) c) tree-hugging morons who are the same idiots against nuclear power. These folks still tool around in pre-1980s VW vans for example and vacation at Burning Man. Sure we can do more wind power but now we kill bald eagles, hawks and other birds so that's bad oh wait, what about more solar? Yeah, with nearly 100% imported technology we give away our engineering skills, money and competitive advantage to nations ultimately selling us out now and for future generations.

One thing I can agree with with the IPCC is that human activity is fucking up the planet but we live here and in order to live in the confines of our modern society that requires energy. Ultimately energy choices will dictate, as they always have, what nations/regions of the planet will be successful and thrive while others will either wither into pre-industrial decay or keep being places where they mine conflict diamonds and other resources for those successful nations who take an aggressive approach to energy production.

yesterday
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Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

Virtucon Re:Why do people listen to her? (576 comments)

Exactly... Not to mention that depending on where you live your kid has a higher chance of death from a drive-by shooting or random stabbing than a vaccination shot.

2 days ago
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Jenny McCarthy: "I Am Not Anti-Vaccine'"

Virtucon Re:Why do people listen to her? (576 comments)

It's the blond and tits thing. For some strange reason these seem to hold mysterious powers over people. Frankly she's a retarded douchebag but then again so are about 90% of the celebrities out there.

2 days ago
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44% of Twitter Users Have Never Tweeted

Virtucon Re:And on facebook... (119 comments)

I'd think there's enough consensus out there to say that there's never been anything of value on Facebook.

2 days ago
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Commenters To Dropbox CEO: Houston, We Have a Problem

Virtucon Re:Seriously? You Guys Shitstorm Over This? (445 comments)

People should be more worried that former Sen. Chris Dodd is in charge over at the MPAA. It's funny how an ex-politician who swore he'd never lobby is now in charge of one of the most powerful lobbying groups. This position has led to him pushing SOPA/PIPA which failed awhile back but he's still there pushing for more and more things to fuck with your lives online.

And folks are worried about Condolezza Rice @ Dropbox ?

2 days ago
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Pluto May Have Deep Seas and Ancient Tectonic Faults

Virtucon Re:Yes, and... (47 comments)

That must be painful.

2 days ago
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44% of Twitter Users Have Never Tweeted

Virtucon but... but... butt.... (119 comments)

I only signed up to see the tweet from Kim saying she had to buy two airplane seats because she couldn't get her fat ass into the seat or when her sister had to pay extra baggage fees for that melon on top of her head since it was considered a carry-on item.

2 days ago
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UN: Renewables, Nuclear Must Triple To Save Climate

Virtucon Re:Nuclear is obvious, an energy surplus is desire (421 comments)

Oh I don't have a problem with Nuclear energy but most nations don't have the political will to push forward with it. With the cost of each plant possibly in the Billions you also have to wonder if the investment community will back it as well because the money has to come somewhere. I'm also in favor of pushing for more local Solar along the lines of household domestic use considering we're burning through a lot of natural gas just dealing with peak load demands. Then again, I'm not in DC so all I can do is invest in areas where I think it'll help... You know, think globally, act locally but that still means dealing with retarded Gladys Kravitz types who will fight you putting up solar panels on your roof or planting a few more trees in your yard.

2 days ago
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Pluto May Have Deep Seas and Ancient Tectonic Faults

Virtucon Pluto Rulz! (47 comments)

Pluto Rulz! It's still the best planet we've never visited! I say forget Mars, the smart Real Estate investor will be seeking beach front property on Pluto!

2 days ago
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Study Rules Out Global Warming Being a Natural Fluctuation With 99% Certainty

Virtucon Re:What's wrong with girls in bikinis? (833 comments)

Time to start working on that stargate.

Wait, I hope you're talking about the Richard Dean Anderson years right? Even so, I'd still prefer if he'd MacGyver a couple of rubber bands together along with a Duracell or something to come up with a CO2 eater. If not that something that'll poke Pachauri in the eye at least.

2 days ago
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Study Rules Out Global Warming Being a Natural Fluctuation With 99% Certainty

Virtucon Re:McGill Studies Won't Affect Asia (833 comments)

Citation? From what I'm seeing in the press in recent years you'd think it was the last thing on their list.

2 days ago

Submissions

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Protesters picket in front of Kevin Rose's Home

Virtucon Virtucon writes  |  about a week ago

Virtucon (127420) writes "Another anti-tech protest happened this weekend outside of Kevin Rose's home in San Francisco. Kevin Rose, founder of Digg and a Google Ventures partner was targeted with a protest and leaflets were handed out "warning" the neighbors that he is destroying San Francisco.

The anarchistic group protesting Kevin was called Counterforce and has demanded that Google Pay $3 billion. The group has called for the creation of "autonomous, anti-capitalist, and anti-racist communities throughout the Bay Area and Northern California."

I don't know about you but if two women held up a protest banner threatening to snip something off I'd be a bit concerned."

Link to Original Source
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City Councilman Resigns Using Klingon

Virtucon Virtucon writes  |  about 3 months ago

Virtucon (127420) writes "A city councilman in Indian Trail Town, North Carolina has resigned and opted to write his letter of resignation in Klingon. David Waddell is obviously a fan of Star Trek. I wonder if the other council members know what the hell he wrote? I'm sure a nice Qu'vatlh would have sufficed."
Link to Original Source
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23AndMe Ordered To Stop Selling DNA tests.

Virtucon Virtucon writes  |  about 5 months ago

Virtucon (127420) writes "The Food and Drug Administration has ordered Google-backed genetic test maker 23andMe to halt sales of its personalized DNA test kits, saying the company has failed to show that the technology is supported by science. It seems that 23andMe has been slow in responding to the FDA with regards to the testing and methods used in the Personal Genome Service (PGS) as the main reason for the order. The issues were outlined in the order the FDA sent on 11/22. "
Link to Original Source
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GOCE satellite is falling to Earth but Scientists don't know where.

Virtucon Virtucon writes  |  about 5 months ago

Virtucon (127420) writes "The Gravity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer or GOCE Satellite is expected to fall to Earth this weekend. It weighs over a ton and unfortunately the Scientists don't exactly know where it will land. You can track it here. It should re-enter sometime between Sunday night and Monday morning.

Makr Hopkins, chair of the National Society's Executive Committee said: "The satellite is one of the few satellites in a Polar Orbit. Consequently, it could land almost anywhere,"

The GOCE mission was to create an accurate gravity map of the Earth."
Link to Original Source

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Engineers Create Urine Powered Robot

Virtucon Virtucon writes  |  about 5 months ago

Virtucon (127420) writes "Using the idea that urine can be used to generate electricity, Engineers in the UK have developed a prototype pump that mimics the human heart. This pump presumably could be used to deliver urine to waste powered fuel cells.

‘We speculate that in the future, urine-powered EcoBots could perform environmental monitoring tasks such as measuring temperature, humidity and air quality,’ said lead researcher Peter Walters of the University of the West of England (UWE), which runs the BRL with Bristol University.

Are pee powered robots in our future? Could the technology be used to power vehicles and would you want it? I mean would you buy a $90,000 Tesla if it smelled like urine all the time?"
Link to Original Source

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French Court Orders Google To Block Pics and Links of Max Mosley

Virtucon Virtucon writes  |  about 5 months ago

Virtucon (127420) writes "This one goes to the old adage "closing the stable door after the horse bolted." A French court on Wednesday ruled that Google must remove from its search results photos of a former Formula One racing chief, Max Mosley, participating in an Nazi-themed orgy. Google could be fined up to 1,000 Euros/day for not complying. What's strange here is that Mosley A) Sued in a French Court B) Didn't go after anybody else other than Google and C) has definitely strange tastes in extracurricular activities. In this day and age it's laughable to think that once your private photos/videos hit the Internet that you have any expectation of reigning them in or filtering the embarrassing parts out. Google isn't the only game in town so to speak in terms of Internet search. I wonder if his lawyers checked out Yahoo or WebCrawler? Of course Google plans to appeal the decision to ... be able to show pics of an old man getting er um never mind..."
Link to Original Source
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New Allegations of large scale data collection by the NSA on Google and Yahoo

Virtucon Virtucon writes  |  about 6 months ago

Virtucon (127420) writes "Another revelation of a new program that goes beyond PRISM, this program called MUSCULAR which gets around sticky US laws by relying on the GCHQ. If true this may actually start to get Google, Facebook, Yahoo and Microsoft to start flexing some of the legal and lobbying muscle in Washington to outlaw this kind of crap.
David Drummond, chief legal officer at Google has said:


"We are outraged at the lengths to which the government seems to have gone to intercept data from our private fiber networks, and it underscores the need for urgent reform."

"

Link to Original Source
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California Public Utilities Commission approves Ride Sharing Services

Virtucon Virtucon writes  |  about 7 months ago

Virtucon (127420) writes "Ride Sharing Services such as Uber, Lyft and Sidecar received a big boost today when the California Public Utilities Commission approved rules that would allow them to continue to operate as long as the followed a few rules. This makes California the first state to adopt such rules and is expected to preempt local governments who are trying to clamp down on these services and try to regulate them like local taxi companies."
Link to Original Source
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How do you deal with software publishers who ignore known Vulnerabilities?

Virtucon Virtucon writes  |  about 9 months ago

Virtucon (127420) writes "If you have a software publisher who ignores vulnerabilities or distributes software that has third party dependencies that have vulnerabilities, what do you do about it when they ignore the situation? I mean if they keep distributing updates and the vulnerabilities still are present, other than not using the application anymore or reporting it what can you do? Shame them publicly? Also what if it's a home-use product vs. an enterprise product, do you treat those differently?"
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Labor Department wanted $1 million for e-mail addresses of political appointees.

Virtucon Virtucon writes  |  about 10 months ago

Virtucon (127420) writes "

The AP asked for the addresses following last year's disclosures that the former administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency had used separate email accounts at work. The practice is separate from officials who use personal, non-government email accounts for work, which generally is discouraged—but often happens anyway—due to laws requiring that most federal records be preserved. The scope of using the secret accounts across government remains a mystery: Most U.S. agencies have failed to turn over lists of political appointees' email addresses, which the AP sought under the Freedom of Information Act more than three months ago. The Labor Department initially asked the AP to pay more than $1 million for its email addresses.

The reason for the $1 million dollar request was to do research including going to backup tapes. Some of the information has been turned over to AP but it still seems that the government just can't get their hands on e-mail addresses for their own people."
Link to Original Source

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Federal Magistrate rules in favor of accused in decryption issue.

Virtucon Virtucon writes  |  about a year ago

Virtucon (127420) writes "U.S. Magistrate William Callahan Jr. of Wisconsin has ruled in favor of the accused in that he should not have to decrypt his storage device. The US Government had sought to compel Feldman to provide his password to obtain access to the data. Presumably the FBI has had no success in getting the data and had sought to have the judge compel Feldman to provide the decrypted contents of what they had seized.

The Judge ruled:

This is a close call, but I conclude that Feldman’s act of production, which would necessarily require his using a password of some type to decrypt the storage device, would be tantamount to telling the government something it does not already know with ‘reasonably particularity’—namely, that Feldman has personal access to and control over the encrypted storage devices. Accordingly, in my opinion, Fifth Amendment protection is available to Feldman. Stated another way, ordering Feldman to decrypt the storage devices would be in violation of his Fifth Amendment right against compelled self-incrimination.

"

Link to Original Source
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Google is pushing back on law enforcement requests for access to Gmail accounts

Virtucon Virtucon writes  |  about a year ago

Virtucon (127420) writes "Ars technica has an interesting article on how Google is handling requests from law enforcement for access to Gmail accounts. With the recent Petraeus scandal where no criminal conduct was found, it seems that they're re-enforcing their policies and standing up for their users.

"In order to compel us to produce content in Gmail we require an ECPA search warrant," said Chris Gaither, Google spokesperson. "If they come for registration information, that's one thing, but if they ask for content of email that's another thing."

"

Link to Original Source
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MIT Researchers find that some Android apps collect information when off

Virtucon Virtucon writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Virtucon (127420) writes "MIT Researchers have discovered that some Android applications collect personal information including Google Maps even when they are off. Maybe Free isn't so great after all?

From the Article: " After evaluating 36 applications — ranging from popular games such as Angry Birds to text-messaging platforms, social media applications and photography applications — researchers found that most applications collect personal information about their users even when the phone is not in operation. Shih and Zhang found that applications tracked everything from location information to stored contacts and the device's Web history.""

Link to Original Source
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Judge Refuses Appeal in Kim DotCom case for extradition

Virtucon Virtucon writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Virtucon (127420) writes "The USA has suffered another rebuff in its attempts to extradite Kim Dotcom, with Judge Winkelmann of the High Court of New Zealand upholding a previous disclosure order made by Judge David Harvey.

The previous order had required the FBI to disclose an extensive amount of documentation to support its application for Dotcom’s extradition. As noted by NZ’s LawGeekNZ blog, the disclosure would cover communications between US authorities and the MPAA and RIAA on behalf of copyright owners.

This had been resisted by the US, which requested a judicial review. This has now been completed, and in a 51-page judgment (available at LawGeekNZ), Judge Winkelmann has dismissed the application."

Link to Original Source
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New Mineral found in Metorite.

Virtucon Virtucon writes  |  about 2 years ago

Virtucon (127420) writes "The new mineral was found embedded in the Allende meteorite, which fell to Earth in 1969. Since 2007, geologist Chi Ma of Caltech has been probing the meteorite with a scanning electron microscope, discovering nine new materials including panguite."
Link to Original Source
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Facebook on a slide based on User Data?

Virtucon Virtucon writes  |  about 2 years ago

Virtucon (127420) writes "A recent report from analyst firm comScore said that unique U.S. visitors to Facebook dropped slightly in May compared to April and March. But an analysis of additional comScore data suggests that the slowdown could be more significant and longer lasting. Falling traffic could be a concern to investors, who justify Facebook's high market value by pointing to its growth potential."
Link to Original Source
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Scientists Create World's Smallest Steam Engine

Virtucon Virtucon writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Virtucon writes "German physicists say they've built a heat engine measuring only a few micrometers across which works as well as a normal-sized version — although it sputters, they admit.

Researchers at the University of Stuttgart and the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems say that the engine does basically work, meaning there's nothing, in principle, to prevent the construction of highly efficient, small heat engines."

Link to Original Source

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