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Syrian Electronic Army Takes Credit For News Site Hacking

Walking The Walk Too bad Canadian Thanksgiving is long past (22 comments)

"claiming responsibility for the hacking of multiple news websites, including CBC News" - CBC being the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. "suggested the attacks were meant to coincide with the U.S. Thanksgiving on Thursday" - which had very little effect on us Canadians, seeing as our Thanksgiving was a month ago. Smooth move, morons.

yesterday
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Ask Slashdot: Choosing a Data Warehouse Server System?

Walking The Walk Re:Microsoft? (147 comments)

Oops, down-modded by accident, sorry about hat. Wish I could undo mods within 10 seconds or something. Posting to undo my mod.

about three weeks ago
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Landfill Copies of Atari's 'E.T.' End Up On eBay

Walking The Walk $50+, really? Can I get $50 for my copy? (107 comments)

I still have a copy that my dad bought me 30 years ago, and as of two years ago it still works fine. It's been used a fair bit, but I'm sure it is better condition than a copy that spent 30 years in a landfill. Are you sure there are people willing to spend $50 for a game with so many bugs (in this case, both programmatic and probably literal)? I'm willing to bet there are so many copies out there like mine, and so many people who hate the game, that nobody will be willing to spend more than $5.

PS: The gameplay and controls were just as bad as I remembered. Getting out of pits without falling back in was hard enough, but finding a way around the glitchy screen transition points was super frustrating.

about three weeks ago
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Shooting At Canadian Parliament

Walking The Walk Re:Parliment Hill != The White House (529 comments)

It's important for non-Canadians to realize that Parliment Hill is not the White House or US Senate. Parliment in Canada is a public commons. There is no security at all on the ground of Parliment and the space is routinely used for large scale public protests and demonstrations, less than a couple of dozen yards of Parliment itself. It's a different ball game.

That's not true. You used to be able to drive onto parliament hill, which was great at Christmas to see all the lights. But in the past few years they've stopped all car traffic except cleared vehicles, they've got Ottawa police providing security along with accusations of kickbacks for the service (I can't find the link as Google is flooded with today's stories on the shooting), they have always had security within the buildings themselves (eg: security guards preventing MPs from entering the House for a vote), etc. Sure we let people in to do tours and such, but you can get a tour of the White House too. Besides, what good would it do to assassinate Harper (our Prime Minister)? He's only PM because his party formed government and he's the current head of his party. Kill him and someone else from his party just takes his place - it would be horrible, but it wouldn't stop our country the way it might if another country's head of state were killed.

about a month ago
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Shooting At Canadian Parliament

Walking The Walk Re:Why (529 comments)

Well, this comes just a few days after one soldier was killed and another injured in what's being called an intentional attack by a "radicalized" Canadian. That attack was south of Montreal (about 2 hrs drive from Ottawa), so there may be no connection, but it does make one wonder. I'm sure people are worried that these two incidents are related, and might be harbinger of more to come.

about a month ago
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Shooting At Canadian Parliament

Walking The Walk Only a few days after one killed south of Montreal (529 comments)

Just a few days ago in a town south of Montreal, Quebec, a man hit two soldiers with his car, killing one of them. They're saying he was "radicalized" and waited in the parking lot for 2 hours before the attack. I haven't seen anyone provide info to tie the two attacks together, but I'm sure the question will come up.

I suppose Facebooks new Safe Check would be useful today - my family have already text me to let me know they're safe, but it would be great to know none of my friends have been hurt.

about a month ago
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Making Best Use of Data Center Space: Density Vs. Isolation

Walking The Walk Re:Blade Servers aren't "new server platforms" (56 comments)

Heck, 13 years ago at a Canadian federal government job we swapped our web servers for blades.

Which was pretty bleeding-edge at the time, since the first blade server was 2001. So not sure what your point about the government is - they weren't late to the party, far from it.

If I hadn't posted on this story, I would mod the above interesting. I just assumed we were at least a couple of years behind the curve. We were buying off the shelf hardware, nothing custom.

about a month and a half ago
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Making Best Use of Data Center Space: Density Vs. Isolation

Walking The Walk Blade Servers aren't "new server platforms" (56 comments)

I read the blog post, and he's just comparing having a beefy server with multiple VMs to instead having a bunch of blade servers. How is this new? Heck, 13 years ago at a Canadian federal government job we swapped our web servers for blades.

about a month and a half ago
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Experiment Shows Stylized Rendering Enhances Presence In Immersive AR

Walking The Walk That's "around chance", not "around change" (75 comments)

I couldn't figure out what this part of the summary meant:

accuracy dropped to 56% (around change)

Then I watched the video in the article, where they actually say:

Participants demonstrated 56% accuracy (around chance)

i.e.: 56% is pretty close to the 50% you'd expect from just guessing. That one letter makes a big difference.

about 2 months ago
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How Hackers Accidentally Sold a Pre-Release XBox One To the FBI

Walking The Walk Re:Stolen by the FBI, not sold to them (67 comments)

Reading comprehension is hard. The group built the mockup and sold it for $5000. The person who picked it up from them claimed to be an XBox enthusiast, but actually worked for the FBI.

Did you read to the end? I saw this quote:

While he was traveling in Prague, "I actually woke up, and lo and behold there is five grand sitting in my bank account," Wheeler said. "It came through, and we went 'OK!' and we sent it."

Where he said "we" (his group) sent it. Then I read the very next bit:

Around August 9, 2012, someone identified in the indictment as "Person A" went to Leroux's residence in Maryland and picked up the device. Person A was instructed to send the device to an address in the Seychelles. But Wheeler said he heard through the group that the package never arrived.

Where he said that "Person A was instructed to send the device" and "he heard through the group [xbox enthusiasts who paid for it] that the package never arrived." So the story says that a group paid for it, he gave it to someone with instructions to send it to that group, then the group said it never arrived. The article continues with:

According to the indictment, Person A -- whose real name Wheeler said he knows -- gave the package to the FBI.

So the guy was supposed to send it to the purchasers (who you'll recall complained that it never arrived), but he gave it to the FBI instead. There's a follow-on quote where Wheeler says the FBI bought the device, but that seems to contradicts his earlier statement that his first warning about being caught was that the purchasers complained the shipment never arrived.

about 2 months ago
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Could Maroney Be Prosecuted For Her Own Hacked Pictures?

Walking The Walk Re:Need to show intent (274 comments)

You can be convicted for just looking at pictures.

I'm assuming you're talking about someone else (e.g.: an adult) looking at the picture a child took of herself. Which would show that person's intent to use as child porn, right? But it wouldn't by itself show the child's intent to create or distribute the image as child port. The OP's point was about "[t]aking pictures of yourself", not looking at pictures. I think the OP was saying that if the person taking the selfie didn't intend for it to be shared, then the act of taking that pic wouldn't be considered as creating child porn.

The point makes sense to me, but I'm not a lawyer (and I live in Canada), so I can't comment on whether American law works like that.

about 2 months ago
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How Hackers Accidentally Sold a Pre-Release XBox One To the FBI

Walking The Walk Stolen by the FBI, not sold to them (67 comments)

From the way the article describes it, the FBI actually stole the group's home-made XBox-like computer. The group used stolen login credentials to get the XBox specs and built a rig to spec with parts bought from NewEgg. Apparently a group of XBox enthusiasts paid $5000 for it (they knew it was a home-made rig), but then the guy who was supposed to send it to them handed it to the FBI instead.

To summarize: Group builds a computer with same specs as XBox. Group agrees to sell it to another group, and is paid $5000. During delivery it instead ends up in the hands of the FBI.

about 2 months ago
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Home Depot Confirms Breach of Its Payment Systems

Walking The Walk Chip and PIN cards affected too (111 comments)

I'm in Canada, and we've been using chip cards for a few years now. I just called my bank 45 minutes ago after noticing a fraudulent charge on my credit card from August 30th. Since I bought a bunch of stuff at Home Depot in May/June, I'm assuming they managed to clone my card from the stolen data. The charge was only $4.56, at a gas station halfway across the country, so I would guess that someone was testing the clone to see if it was a valid card number (maybe testing one number from a batch of 100s or 1000s, to see if the numbers were legit.)

Just so we're clear, I'm not saying the fraudulent purchase itself was made using the chip. I only ever use chip + pin when making purchases, but I suppose a cloned card could use NFC (eg: PayWay) for a purchase that small, or even just the magstripe, neither of which requires them to have compromised my pin. My point is that I thought I was being safe using chip + pin, but still got hit regardless. Fortunately, banks seem to be good about this sort of thing, and my new card is on its way.

about 3 months ago
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Restoring Salmon To Their Original Habitat -- With a Cannon

Walking The Walk Re:just a little bigger... (147 comments)

Goddamn it - Funny and Overrated shouldn't be next to each other in the moderation drop-down. Now I have to post here just to undo my mistake. Is there a way I could suggest to Slashdot devs that Overrated be moved up to be with all the other downmods at the top of the drop-down list, rather than tucked in between Funny and Underrated, so I don't hit it by mistake?

about 3 months ago
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How a Solar Storm Two Years Ago Nearly Caused a Catastrophe On Earth

Walking The Walk Low probability of getting hit by CME (212 comments)

I don't see what the fuss is about. The odds of being hit by a CME have to be quite low. Let's work it out together:

  1. To make the math simple, let's first assume CMEs can be fired in any direction.
  2. For a CME to hit the Earth, it has to occupy the same space as us at the same time.
  3. The Earth is approx 1 AU from the sun at any given time; so to hit the Earth, the CME has to hit a particular spot on a sphere of space 1 AU in radius.
  4. So the probability of a given CME hitting Earth is approximately equivalent to the ratio of half the Earth's surface area (since only half faces the Sun at a time) to the surface area of a sphere with a radius of 1 AU.

Google says:

  1. 1 AU = 149,597,871 km
  2. Surface area of a sphere is 4*pi*r^2, so our orbital sphere has an area of approx 2.8 x 10^17 km^2.
  3. Surface area of the Earth = 510,072,000 km^2, or 5.1 x 10^8 km^2

Therefore the probability of being hit by a given CME is (2.8 x 10^17) / (5.1 x 10^8) = 5.5 x 10^-8, or a 0.0000055% chance.

Now the number of CMEs per year is actually higher than I expected, which I suppose explains why we do in fact get hit between 0 - 70 times per year. However the number of annual large CMEs is quite low, with none of the sites I visited actually agreeing on the number (most seemed to agree it's less than 5 per year in a solar maximum.) Let's say there are 5 per year. That only brings the chance of being hit by one of them up to 0.000028% per year. So if I live to be 100, the chances I'll see one in my lifetime are only 0.0028%.

caveat: These calculations ignore CME cross-section (essentially width and height) and duration (essentially length), since I couldn't find any accurate information on those. If you find those, you can factor them into these calculations by multiplying by the cross-section, multiplying by the % duration that the CME's strength is high, and multipyling by the Earth's average orbital velocity. That will modify the probility to take into account the volume of space the Earth occupies while the CME is traversing the edge of our 1 AU sphere, and how much of the surface of the sphere is touched by the CME.

about 4 months ago
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Judge: $324M Settlement In Silicon Valley Tech Worker Case Not Enough

Walking The Walk Re:Misleading summary (150 comments)

It isn't as if another version was already submitted earlier, perhaps with a better summary for the editors to use:

http://slashdot.org/submission...

The accepted story was submitted by itwbennett, and links to a story on itworld.com. I think it's a fair assumption that it was submitted by Amy Bennett, ITworld's Managing Editor. According to her achievements, she's had 2^9 submissions accepted, from which we can conclude that Slashdot editors probably prioritize her submissions. I imagine her submissions are fairly well written, link to a somewhat reputable source, and have already been deemed interesting enough to the IT crowd for a story on ITworld. So they get fast-tracked, and other worthy submissions are reviewed later, deemed to be duplicates, and discarded.

Would be nice if her submissions lead off with the fact that she was the managing editor for ITworld though, just to make it clear that she's just trying to feed traffic to her own site. (Which is a valid action if the story is original and interesting, but should require a disclaimer.)

about 5 months ago
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Parenting Rewires the Male Brain

Walking The Walk Re:Other factors can ease parenting "instinct" in (291 comments)

So far, I haven't been getting much advice that is critical of our plans, except from one person: my very traditional mother, who is probably secretly horrified that my husband is going to stay at home.

I've got two kids and a third due in about 9 weeks. My best advice to parents-to-be is to ignore all the advice you'll get (small joke there.) Everyone you meet will think they know better than you what being a parent will be like, and that they know best how you should raise your child. Many of them will then offer that advice in strong terms, even when you clearly don't want/need it. Listen to them, nod politely, and go on doing it the way you think best.

... perhaps there's a chance that I'll become more maternal. I worry about it.

Annecdotal, but: We both became more maternal/paternal when our son was born. I had trouble bonding the first couple of weeks - they just cry, sleep and poop the first while, and nursing didn't go well (apparently the stats are that 50% of women have trouble with nursing for the first child. Ignore anyone that pressures you for or against nursing - it's your choice to try and for how long.) But taking time to just sit quietly and take care of him, hold him when he's sleeping, stuff like that helped us bond. Looking back now, I do wish I'd taken some videos of us having that quiet bonding time.

So, trust yourself and good luck - it's a hell of a ride, but totally worth it!

about 6 months ago
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California City Considers Restarting Desalination Plant To Fight Drought

Walking The Walk Re:And with that yoiu get POWER! (420 comments)

... or you use pumps to pressurize a bunch of salt water and use a membrane to filter out the salt. Again pressurizing the water consumes a lot of energy.

Couldn't you just drop a container into the ocean, one with only two openings - one with your membrane for salt water in, the other opening for desalinated water out? The deeper you put it, the more pressure outside the container that pushes the salt water through your membrane. Then you could use a low power pump to slowly remove the clean water through a hose attached to the other opening.

about 7 months ago
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Lessig Launches a Super PAC To End All Super PACs

Walking The Walk Re:For those of us not in the US (465 comments)

PAC is short for Political Action Committee and it is a way of buying politicians. What is boils down to is a way for many people to combine their political contributions into one entity. (sarc) If the PAC supports your issues then that's ok. (/sarc)

If you have enough money to buy politicians in lots of half a dozen, is it a 6-PAC?

If you can only afford a third of that, then it's a 2-Pac.

about 7 months ago

Submissions

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YouTube Considering An Ad-Free, Subscription-Based Version

Walking The Walk Walking The Walk writes  |  about a month ago

Walking The Walk (1003312) writes "YouTube is looking at creating a paid-subscription model that would allow users to skip the ads on their videos. (A more condensed summary from CBC.) No firm date has been announced, and it sounds like tentative steps right now, but YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki did mention that ad-enabled music videos would still be offered. (Can we extrapolate that all types of ad-enabled videos would still be offered?)"
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Heartbleed: Revenue Canada breached, 900 SINs leaked

Walking The Walk Walking The Walk writes  |  about 7 months ago

Walking The Walk (1003312) writes "The Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) released a statement yesterday explaining that they had been notified of a breach of their system. The CRA attempted to avoid being compromised by halting online tax returns, taking down Netfile and other related websites affected by Heartbleed. The statement indicates that affected individuals and businesses will receive notification by registered mail, "to ensure that our communications are secure and cannot be exploited by fraudsters through phishing schemes.""
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Snowden Document: CSEC spying on Canadians

Walking The Walk Walking The Walk writes  |  about 10 months ago

Walking The Walk (1003312) writes "It seems the NSA isn't the only agency doing illegal domestic spying. According to a Snowden document obtained by the CBC, Canada's Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC) has apparently been tracking domestic travellers, starting from when they first use free wifi at an airport, and continuing for days after they left the terminal. From the article:

The document indicates the passenger tracking operation was a trial run of a powerful new software program CSEC was developing with help from its U.S. counterpart, the National Security Agency. In the document, CSEC called the new technologies "game-changing," and said they could be used for tracking "any target that makes occasional forays into other cities/regions."

The CBC notes early in the article that the spy agency:

is supposed to be collecting primarily foreign intelligence by intercepting overseas phone and internet traffic, and is prohibited by law from targeting Canadians or anyone in Canada without a judicial warrant.

Predictably, CSEC's chief is quoted saying that they aren't allowed to spy on Canadians, so therefore they don't. As observed by experts consulted for the story, that claim is equivalent to saying that they collect the data but we're to trust that they don't look at it."

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Canadian Spy Agencies Deliberately Misled Courts

Walking The Walk Walking The Walk writes  |  about a year ago

Walking The Walk (1003312) writes "Canada's spy agency deliberately withheld information from the courts in an effort to do an end-run around the law when it applied for top-secret warrants to intercept the communications of Canadians abroad, a Federal Court judge said Friday. CSIS assured Judge Richard Mosley the intercepts would be carried out from inside Canada, and controlled by Canadian government personnel, court records show. However, Canadian officials then asked for intercept help from foreign intelligence allies without telling the court. 'It is clear that the exercise of the court's warrant issuing has been used as protective cover for activities that it has not authorized,' Mosley wrote in redacted reasons."
Link to Original Source
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Company offers scholarship to Dawson student who exposed security flaws

Walking The Walk Walking The Walk writes  |  about 2 years ago

Walking The Walk (1003312) writes "The Dawson College computer science student who was expelled after discovering a security breach in a system used by students across Quebec has been offered a scholarship by the company behind the software.

"We will offer him a scholarship so he can finish his diploma in the private sector," said Edouard Taza, the president of Skytech.

Taza said he also reached out to Hamed Al-Khabaz, 20, and offered him a part-time job in information technology security."

Link to Original Source
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Quantum measurements leave Schrödinger's cat alive

Walking The Walk Walking The Walk writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Walking The Walk (1003312) writes "Your co-workers who keep using Schrödinger's cat metaphor may need to find a new one. New Scientist reports that

by making constant but weak measurements of a quantum system, physicists have managed to probe a delicate quantum state without destroying it – the equivalent of taking a peek at Schrodinger's metaphorical cat without killing it. The result should make it easier to handle systems such as quantum computers that exploit the exotic properties of the quantum world.

"

Link to Original Source
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Walking The Walk Walking The Walk writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Walking The Walk (1003312) writes "Jaycar Sunswift III broke the Transcontinental World Record today, by an incredible 3 days! As previously mentioned on slashdot, the UNSW Solar Racing Team started their 4000km journey across Australia 6 days ago. Cloudy weather the first two days couldn't slow them down, and they raced into Sydney in 5.5 days, surpassing the previous record of 8.5 days with ease. Several news agencies were on hand to meet the team on their triumphant arival. Read about the team's history and previous attempts on their site, www.sunswift.com"

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