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Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

Vokkyt Re:So then they get another warrant ... (504 comments)

Slightly different scenario. Yahoo had the data and refused to turn it over. Apple is in effect ensuring it can never have the data that the NSA is seeking without new code. Warrants, in this instance, can't really be used to compel you to make something you wouldn't otherwise make. That's not the type of a warrant they can actually seek; there is no "do what we tell you warrant".

Apple's entire gambit is to avoid the messiness of the law aspect by just preventing their own access to the data so they have no means to actually comply with such a request. They can't get in trouble for refusal for such requests anymore than they could get in trouble for being asked have Tim Cook shit out a unicorn.

4 days ago

AT&T Says 10Mbps Is Too Fast For "Broadband," 4Mbps Is Enough

Vokkyt Re:10 MPS would still leave us behind South Korea (533 comments)

That's kind of irrelevant when US cities can't match Latvian speeds. The major ISPs can claim they can, but what is advertised is quite frankly no where close to day to day usage.

about two weeks ago

Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

Vokkyt Re:Why? (753 comments)

Technically, they also can just walk around and shoot organ donors to steal organs, but it doesn't really mean they are. There are a lot of nasty things the government could be doing that it isn't.

It's not unreasonable to have a very healthy distrust of government, but in this case GP is right; the current government has historically just been meticulous about their monetary demands. It is more unreasonable to assume that they'd just send out a demand for money with no explanation or reasoning than it is to assume that the GGP is just making up a story to sound cool.

about 2 months ago

5 Years Later, 'Do Not Track' System Ineffective

Vokkyt Re:"A Contract" (254 comments)

If they don't want to offer up the content to those with adblockers or other DNT indicators, then they should just bite the bullet and do so.

It's not that people want their lunch for free, it's that they were provided a lunch without ever discussing the price and then hit with a price some folk didn't want to pay. It doesn't help that the price can often be a lot more than just the annoyance of an advertisement. Drive-by attacked from ads that don't get vetted are still a common reality -- scam websites are still allowed to wantonly display their advertisement and piggy-back off of the legitimacy of websites. You can say caveat emptor for anyone who may follow the ads, but that's really unacceptable; it's getting the user into really awkward, and in some cases dangerous, places when they probably didn't even care enough to really check the content in the first place.

The idea that all content is worth the advertisement cost is flawed -- if paywalled content would stop users from visiting, then it's likely that the content wasn't really worth that much to them. Apathy and laziness are the only thing that takes most people to these sites.

about 4 months ago

Are DVDs Inconvenient On Purpose?

Vokkyt Re:Netflix isn't the cheapest (490 comments)

Interlibrary Loan can get you pretty much everything with similar transit times to Netflix DVD shipping.

about 6 months ago

Bill "The Science Guy" Nye Says Creationism Is Not Appropriate For Children

Vokkyt Re:Bill Nye..... I'm not your serf (1774 comments)

Based on the transcript, I don't think that's what Bill Nye is saying here. From the video transcript:

Evolution is the fundamental idea in all of life science, in all of biology. It's like, it's very much analogous to trying to do geology without believing in tectonic plates. You're just not going to get the right answer. Your whole world is just going to be a mystery instead of an exciting place.

He's not really talking about spiritualism, religion, or any other belief systems; he's talking about a small subset of people bent on eschewing very carefully collected, studied, and reviewed data because they perceive it as an attack on their personal belief system. The Science guy is concerned that bad and irrational decisions are being made under the guise of "its my religion". His purpose is not to decry religion, but to defend science, evolution specifically as it is the target of attacks. I think the thought process is less "don't let religion get into science" and more "think rationally about scientific matters." His plea for "...scientifically literate voters and taxpayers for the future." and "...people that can—we need engineers that can build stuff, solve problems" is less about evolution versus religion and more about ensuring that future generations are trained to think logically; to think things through instead of standing on ceremony, that is, actually try to find the best solution, not just one that someone wants.

Does this mean he's against creationism in the classroom? Probably, because it's inconsistent with pretty much every other scientific model out there. But I don't think he's intending to harp on the idea of there being a creator; just people who want to push their agenda at the expense of education

about 2 years ago

Windows 8 Changes Host File Blocking

Vokkyt Re:Another reason... (1030 comments)

I agree with the first part, but this is about end users, not enterprise managers/users, and it's the silent manner in which it's perform that matters. This is a user instigated change that Windows decides to change without telling the user.

If Defender noted that it was making a change to the hosts file, this would not have exploded to 500+ comments (well, okay maybe there would be enough ms bashing for that), but it would be a different tune altogether.

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: How To Best Setup a School Internet Filter?

Vokkyt Re:Don't (454 comments)

Maybe this works differently at lower level education, but a Dean in a university setting alone isn't enough to demand specific access rights that go against the agreed upon policy. For the Universities I've done IT for, typically the technology committee has either the Provost themselves or the assistant to the provost sit in on policy meetings which are finalized by the head of IT, the Provost, and select other special interest members who are involved in policy making. While a Dean could certainly raise enough fuss to have the committee to convene, they alone would not be enough to actually move the committee to action.

(Usually) The stereotypical "loud" administrative person doesn't really have much clout in the real world, especially with legal policy. Ultimately, it comes down the what the lawy say, and if the lawyers fear action, they will almost inevitably side with the perceived safest outcome.

more than 2 years ago

New Version of the MaControl Trojan Spotted In the Wild

Vokkyt PPC Support? They're nicer than Apple (77 comments)


Kaspersky Lab’s researchers analyzed the Mac OS X backdoor and concluded that the malicious application is a new and primarily undetected variant of the MaControl backdoor, which supports both i386 and PowerPC Macs. However, Kaspersky Lab’s system detects the malicious variant as “Backdoor.OSX.MaControl.b.”

more than 2 years ago

Apple Auto-Disables Old Flash Players In Mac OS X 10.7.4

Vokkyt Re:Imagine (155 comments)

Not if you give them a means to install it. As would appear to be the case based on the number of malware infections that people have willingly installed as well as all the crapware that gets put on machines, put a button that says "download" or "install" in front of them and they will do it. Which is exactly what Apple did.

more than 2 years ago

Apple Blocks iOS Apps Using Dropbox SDK

Vokkyt Re:users are instead pushed to Dropbox's website (356 comments)

Apple's position seems to be the upsell for premium storage, not so much the fact that you're taken to the website. A few users on the Dropbox forum discussing the matter even mentioned that they weren't keen on how a lot of services did this. I have to agree with an earlier post that it looks like Dropbox and Apple are already figuring things out. The dev in question is more perturbed than Dropbox seems to be over it.

more than 2 years ago

Mac Flashback Attack Began With Wordpress Blogs

Vokkyt Re:Not really a surprise (103 comments)

I would hope the general response by tech journalists to Mac Malware is an inquisitive one. It's certainly my reaction, since it is still a fairly unique occurrence.

Macs and Malware are an annoying thing to read about because you have to dig through so much Pro/Anti Apple uselessness to figure out even the most basic information about the malware, like "what's it doing?" or "how do I know I'm infected?". I think when I read this on /. initially, it wasn't until ~ the 200th comment that someone posted the F-secure update on the malware which was really informative. The original article was a very brief description of what the malware did and then a doomsday prophecy for OS X.

Obviously, this is anecdotal, but the concerns that the users I support have are less "Pfft, My mac is invulnerable" and more "Does this affect us?". There was so little actual data on the malware that most of my users just heard second-hand from the few vocal anti-Apple folk on our campus about how the OS X sky was falling.

Apple does have some growing to do with security, but I think that the security community and the tech community in general needs to grow up a little when reporting on OS X. I get it -- Apple's old marketing is coming back to bite them in the ass, and it's an embarrassment that makes for a phenomenal opportunity to make fun of Apple. But if you're a security firm breaking a story on malware, you should probably start with just the facts, and leave the jabs to an editorial. As it stands, pretty much any Mac malware has a script:
1. Declare something has been found
2. Provide the known number of infections, strongly suggest it's far greater (without any evidence thereof)
3. Declare this a sign of the end of OS X's innocence
4. Say how OS X has enjoyed a period of invulnerability due to marketshare, and that period is now gone as we expect to see more and more malware infections just like this one.
5. Repost the same story 9 months later when another mild infection occurs, update the story to use the new infection name.

6 million is a decent number of Macs, and it's really frustrating to know that they are being targeted now. So let's change the style of reporting to something actually useful instead of the same rehashed doomsday prophecies OS X has been getting for the last 4 years.

more than 2 years ago

Indian Man Charged With Blasphemy For Exposing "Miracle"

Vokkyt Re:A better question... (796 comments)

And what if that god is inferior to another? Or the antithesis of the true god? What if the true god actually stands for many things you disagree with.

Pascal's wager is a cute little thought, but it doesn't really stand as a foundation for faith.

more than 2 years ago

Canadian Man Releases Open Source Star Trek Tricorder

Vokkyt Re:Impressive but some bugs... (109 comments)

Have you considered the possibility that you're being stalked by someone with a personal cloaking device?

more than 2 years ago

MacControl Trojan Being Used In Targeted Attacks Against OS X Users

Vokkyt Re:Microsoft (: (187 comments)

Yes and no. The PDF exploits that were used in the past were patched by the jailbreak community. There are cydia packages which closed it on your newly jailbroken device, the assumption being you had your SHSH blobs backed up for a restore to a vulnerable vanilla firmware should you need it. I'll admit it's been awhile since I read up on it, but I think that all the Jailbreakme's used a userland exploit to Jailbreak, and then recommended patching immediately, less the exploit be used against them.

more than 2 years ago

Interview With Suren Ter From 'You Have Downloaded'

Vokkyt Re:Worthless (366 comments)

Could you imagine though? I know in dormitories people will print to wherever on the network, regardless of whether or not they have a printer. You could probably see some cool stuff.

more than 2 years ago

Google: IE Privacy Policy Is Impractical

Vokkyt Re:Impractical to who? (258 comments)

If you were not signed in to G+, and hadn't opted in to targeted ads, then no, Google did not go around your express privacy choices. See how it works, genius? If you weren't opted in, then you got no cookie, put there against your wishes or not. Why is that so hard to figure out?

I kind of get what you're saying here, but that's really weak justification for functions that are difficult to claim that a user consciously opted in or out of. Analogies aside (since there will be no little black dress of an analogy for this), what it comes down to is should Google respect the browser security settings? Whether or not it is part of theToS ( and Privacy), Google is still using a work around to circumvent the security settings determined by the user's browser. As was noted by one of the above posters, I don't think you can have the unread Google policies apply while the unchecked security policies do not, and even if were so, no part of the agreement as listed on their ToS suggests that you offer permission to circumvent your security policy to do so.

IANAL (as all posts should be prefaced), but per Google's own Terms of Service, they should not do anything or discontinue service until you meet the necessary requirements. On top of that, the "you opt in when you use Google's Services" idea, that the cookie is of benefit to the user not detriment, is also not justification for making this a universal process. Perhaps someone really does want the ad services, but another may not. The work around seems to affect both users in that instance, regardless of their stance.

more than 2 years ago

Will "Do Not Track" Kill the Free Internet?

Vokkyt Re:Did AdBlock kill the free internet? (260 comments)

Should they put it up our of charity and the good of their hearts? No, absolutely not, but as consumers, we should have the choice when we do and do not pay, and automatically opting you into payment, whether it's a monetary payment or my privacy, is removing that choice.

There are many websites which openly ask you to please disable your adblocker when you access them, and willing participants should do just that. Ars Technica did something like this last year some time (, and I feel that this is true of most things. Whether it's a news site I like, or a particular streamer for a game, if I find the content useful and I wish to support the person, I disable the blocker on that domain.

What I don't think is that any site I go to automatically deserves the same treatment. It's an assumption that by visiting that I am interested in a long term investment, whether it's via ad networks or subscription.

more than 2 years ago

Senators Recommend FTC Perform Antitrust Investigation Of Google

Vokkyt Re:Consumers give monopoly position to Google (315 comments)

I don't think it's really a choice if all you know is Google. I'm not meaning to slight or promote Google or any other search engine here, but most consumers just know what's put in front of them, and that's why things like what the default search provider on a piece of software is tend to be really important. At this point, I wouldn't say Google is so much a choice as it is a brand name applied to the process, just like all adhesive bandages are Band-aids to most people.

more than 2 years ago


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