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Comments

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Ask Slashdot: Why Isn't There More Public Outrage About NSA Revelations?

Weezul Agreed (610 comments)

We've all the institutional responses now. That's extremely interesting news.

Also, I'd imagine Greenwald, et al. released the simplest revelations early. At present, there are many shocking revelations remaining, but they're much too subtle for the public. Tor's effectiveness was already much too subtle.

about 10 months ago
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Could Snowden Have Been Stopped In 2009?

Weezul Re:Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (Latin) (247 comments)

Not really. NSA employees and contractors routinely engage in LOVEINt and BIZINT now. Who else is the NSA going to hire?

We're not talking about them selling NSA secrets to China. We're talking about them selling HSBC or UBS secrets to Goldman-Sacks. An NSA employee might not even do jail time for this. Booz Allen would not lose future contracts for this.

about 10 months ago
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Nobel Winners Illustrate Israel's "Brain Drain"

Weezul Re:Lawn darts / Pay Gap (214 comments)

In most sciences, professors only make between $60k and $120k, although obviously faculty managing really really big labs could make more.

about 10 months ago
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Lockheed To Furlough 3,000 On Monday, Layoffs Also Kicking In

Weezul Wealthy? (341 comments)

I'd agree historically, but today defense pries money from the hands of the middle class and spend it on the upper-middle class and wealthy, which I guess you just said too.

There is a larger picture here though :

Keynesianism works. Economic activity is increased when the resources are distributed more evenly because this increases the chance that any given person has the resources to do any given thing they might wish to do.

But Keynesianism is just a hack as implemented. What's actually goes on is : Technology reduces the need for work. So money gets wasted on make work, like most management, administration, law enforcement, finance, defense, etc. Eventually we start running out of easily justifiable make work though, creating a recession. Keynesianism gets interpreted as "avoid recession by making more make-work, even less justifiable make work".

What happens when our culture internalizes the need to make stupid make work? Well, we squander hundreds of billions on defense, law enforcement, Wall St., etc. And our justifications for all this make-work lauds them so highly that real work like education, healthcare, bridge repair, etc. get neglected. All this Keynesian spending on make-work creates way too much corruption, distorts needs, etc.

So we must eliminate all this make-work : Cut defense back to pre-WWII levels. Cut law enforcement back to 1960s levels. Just fyi, law enforcement is the only category of discretionary spending that increased as a share of GDP since 1972. It caused an enormous portion of our national debt. Reduce bureaucracy across the board. etc.

Won't that throw the economy into chaos? Not if you simultaneously shorten the working week and remove most exempt categories from FLSA. You still spread the money around, but you do so by pushing people to spend more time away from work.

We're already doing this through facebook, slashdot, etc., which turn people's work hours into play hours, but that's a pretty stupid way to do it. In particular, people cannot really work on hobbies that benefit the world if they're spending so much time in the office.

about 10 months ago
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Science Magazine "Sting Operation" Catches Predatory Journals In the Act

Weezul Umm no (194 comments)

Clicks are not the problem. Journals don't get any money from advertisement clicks. Real problem is :

At present, "Open Access Publishing" mostly means "Author Pays". If the author is your customer, then obviously you publish whatever they want. We must abandon the extortionate academic publishers like Elsevier all together by building an arXiv overlay filters that take over the journal's role of reviewing and declaring papers important. And these must be paid for by tax money because the customer should be society.

Just like with universities, Britain has rampant grade inflation because the students all pay 15k USD per year (9k GBP). St Andrews has a 98% graduation rate. A 98% graduation rate tells me the university did basically no "selection" on their admitted students, all selection occurred when an admissions person read their test scores from high school. In other words, the student is the customer and the product is a little piece of paper. This is why Britain sucks so bad at engineering and must create that blatantly bullshit ranking system by THES to make themselves look good.

In continental europe, almost everyone who finishes high school can attend university without paying, but the universities select students by failing out the shitty ones, well society is the customer and the students are the product. It's infinitely more fare because gaming the system in high school does nothing and people who never really hit their stride until the find challenging material do well.

about 10 months ago
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German NSA Critic Denied Entry To the US

Weezul Oh shut up with bush comparisons (352 comments)

Bush did different bad things, but mostly the bad things compound.

There are other informative links here : http://www.metafilter.com/132486/Snowden-documents-shed-light-on-Shiban-Akbar-and-Trojanov-cases

about 10 months ago
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Snowden Docs: Brits Hacked Accounts of Belgian IT Admins

Weezul Consequences? (126 comments)

Any chance the GCHQ people will do time in Belgian jails?

Any chance the U.K. will get an astronomical fine?

about 10 months ago
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Linus Torvalds Admits He's Been Asked To Insert Backdoor Into Linux

Weezul Re:No, it might not (576 comments)

Thwarted Linux backdoor hints at smarter hacks (2003)
http://www.securityfocus.com/news/7388
Apparently it exploited the = vs == distinction in C. Just imagine how easily you could hide a backdoor in C++ or Java though with all the overloading!

Recent post-Snowden discussion : https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=6410779

about 10 months ago
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Linus Torvalds Admits He's Been Asked To Insert Backdoor Into Linux

Weezul Amusing, but.. (576 comments)

There is more risk of being caught implanting a bug in Linux :

Imagine you send Linus, Alan Cox, etc. an NSL telling him to implant some bug himself. What could go wrong?

First, Linus is famous. Are you going to lock him up for violating the NSL and telling everyone about it? Even if he doesn't violate it, he could obtain the resources for a court fight by merely hinting. NSLs aren't usually challenged, but several lost in court.

Second, Linus could quietly tell another kernel developer or security researcher who then "discovers" the bug. Again, you cannot prosecute Linus himself so easily because he's famous. In fact, any court case eventually exposes that you're inserting backdoors, which makes a mess.

You might attempt this through another less famous kernel developer, but his patches likely receive more review, and he could still quietly leak the bug.

So what do you do? Just make the patch as useful as possible, make the insecurity created a subtle and plausibly deniable as possible, and submit the patch through extremely public channels. Don't involve crazy unpredictable developer types if at all possible. That's how you minimize your chances of exposing your backdoor program.

about 10 months ago
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Cyanogen Mod Goes Commercial To Make "Available On Everything, To Everyone"

Weezul Re:ugh! too mainstream! (230 comments)

There will obviously be way more cyanogenmod now, but the question is :

Can we trust them now that they're a corporation?

How many developers are Americans subject to National Security Letters?

about 10 months ago
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GitHub Adds Support For Diffing 3D Files

Weezul offline (29 comments)

Real question : Is the tool that crates these diffs open source?

It'd be pretty lame to want to diff a couple revisions but need to push the changes to the public to see the diff.

about 10 months ago
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Google's Encryption Plan To Stifle NSA's Dragnet Will Raise the Stakes

Weezul Yes and no (216 comments)

Google is against anything that makes people not trust Google, including the NSA. Google would happily keep all your data secret, except from their own advertising algorithms. but Google would also sell your data to the NSA for what they consider "fair market value", which given the preceeding is a lot higher than the NSA wants to pay for it.

Google pays a computational price for encrypting your data, but it's worth it if either
(a) the NSA is now forced to buy your data from Google, instead of stealing it like they currently do, or
(b) people trust Google more as a result.

Google wants to publish the number of NSLs it receives to (a) make people feel more confident and (b) make the NSA, DEA, FBI, etc. evaluate more carefully the data they request. Why is (b) good for Google's bottom line? I think, if the agencies are spending more personnel time on the data they request, that data appears even more important, so Google can charge more for the data the agencies really want, while incurring less risk.

Google is still a company, but it's a company run by a founder. Founders almost always make them behave much less like psycopaths than Wall St CEOs.

about a year ago
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US Intercepts Iranian Order For Attack On US Embassy In Iraq

Weezul Re:Keep the Distraction Machine Running (433 comments)

In the interview I linked in the other comment, Gleen Greenwald points out that, actually Saxby Chambliss made these claims, not afaik the NSA.

Representatives and Senators have outright lied to the press about intelligence matters frequently, both before and during the Snowden scandal, especially the warmonger ones like Chambliss.

about a year ago
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US Intercepts Iranian Order For Attack On US Embassy In Iraq

Weezul Re:Keep the Distraction Machine Running (433 comments)

It this story an ought right lie? Yes, I believe so. Why?

Why are we learning about this? Well, obviously the NSA is simply trying to justify itself against the backdrop of everything Snowden exposed.

Imagine the NSA, etc. actually intercepted this order. What does that mean? If it's real intel, then they burned both that intel, and their ability to decode future communications form Iran. Alright, maybe Iran sends blustering bullshit messages to Iraqi Shiites all the time, but even if so the NSA should want to ability to gain some sense and intel from that bluster.

We therefore conclude that, if they are not lying here, then they're directly placing our Iraqi allies in harms way, as well as American security contractors, merely to earn themselves political points. I'd consider that treason if they were endangering American solders. It's not treason endangering allies, but it's still extremely despicable behavior and very short sighted. I therefore choose to believe this story is an ought right lie because the alternative paints the administration and NSA as far worse.

Now why fabricate or tell this story now? In fact, the Department of Defense claims the NSA "does ***not*** engage in economic espionage in any domain, including cyber" (asterisks in original quote), but Greenwald says :

"One big problem the NSA and US government generally have had since our reporting began is that their defenses offered in response to each individual story are quickly proven to be false by the next story, which just further undermines their credibility around the world. That NSA denial I just excerpted above has already been disproven by several reports (see, for instance, the letter published in this article, or the last document published here), but after Sunday, I think it will prove to be perhaps the NSA's most misleading statement yet.

So tonight or tomorrow we likely learn that the NSA conducts economic espionage against friendly nations.

about a year ago
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Indiana Man Gets 8 Months For Teaching How To Beat Polygraph Tests

Weezul Youtube (356 comments)

Could we please get a reputable source to respond to this conviction by creating a free* online course on beating a polygraph?

* Yes, you must buy or make your own polygraph machine to take the otherwise "free" course.

about a year ago
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First Portions of Aaron Swartz's Secret Service File Released

Weezul Re:MIT/JSTOR redactions == cowardice (89 comments)

Agreed. I think people know that Prosecutors Stephen Heymann and Carmen Ortiz are the ones who need to pay for Aaron Swartz death by losing their jobs. Any MIT and JSTOR employees involved should be penalized by people remembering them and obstructing their promotion within those organizations, but tempers have cooled enough that they shouldn't be getting death threats now.

In any case, these documents will help focus anger back on Heymann and Ortiz. Example :

Prosecutor Stephen Heymann Compared Aaron Swartz To Rapist

about a year ago
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Study Finds 3D Printers Pay For Themselves In Under a Year

Weezul Re:Apropos lowest retail cost (322 comments)

Aliexpress and Ebay are always cheaper than say Amazon, assuming you're fine waiting one month. 3D printers get you the part now though.

Also, these house hold items could usually be improvised for free, like using a coat hanger for a shower ring or super gluing the old ring back together.

1 year,1 hour
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Asus CEO On Windows RT: "We're Out."

Weezul Re:maybe next time lose the lockdown (246 comments)

I missread the title as Anus CEO ..

I'm glad a company of Asus' stature is abandoning Windows RT. :)

I saddened there is no knock off brand called Anus. :(

1 year,20 hours

Submissions

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RSA warns developers not to use RSA products

Weezul Weezul writes  |  about 10 months ago

Weezul (52464) writes ""RSA has recommended that developers desist from using the Dual_EC_DRBG random number generator — which happens to be the default in RSA's BSafe cryptographic toolkit." "Dual_EC_DRBG is the random number generator voted most likely to be backdoored by the NSA.""
Link to Original Source
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PyCon Twitter Callout Incident

Weezul Weezul writes  |  about a year ago

Weezul (52464) writes "Adria Richards of the spam emailer SendGrid overheard two men seated behind her at PyCon make a sexual joke amongst themselves about "big dongles". Apparently one had previously said "I would fork that guys repo", which apparently she took as a (gay) catcall of sorts, although whether the comment was even an intentional double entendre remains unclear. In response, Ms Richards photographed the two men and asked her 9k twitter followers to identify and berate them. She also reported them to officials at PyCon. As a result of the twitter storm, one of the men was fired by his employer PlayHaven. Ms Richards defended her actions saying "I realized I had to do something or she would never have the chance to learn and love programming because the ass clowns behind me would make it impossible for her to do so." Earlier at the conference, Ms Richards publicly cracked jokes about attendees putting socks in their pants to mess with TSA agents."
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Controversy Over Violet Blue's Harm Reduction Talk

Weezul Weezul writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Weezul (52464) writes "The Ada Initiative's Valerie Aurora got Violet Blue's Hackers As A High-Risk Population (29c3 abstract) talk on harm reduction methodology pulled from the Security BSides meeting in San Francisco by claiming it contained rape triggers.

It frankly asinine to object to work around hacker ethics as "off topic" at such broad hacker conference. Is Appelbaum's 29c3 keynote "off topic" for asking hackers to work for the "good guys" rather than military, police, their contractors, facebook, etc.?

Yes, obviously harm reduction is a psychological hack that need not involve a computer, but this holds for "social engineering" as well. It's simply that hacking isn't nearly as specialized or inaccessible as say theoretical physics.

Worse, there is no shortage of terrible technology laws like the CFAA, DMCA, etc. that exist partially because early hackers failed to communicate an ethics that seemed coherent and reasoned to outsiders."

Link to Original Source
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Aaron Swartz's prosecutor Steve Heymann Should Be Fired

Weezul Weezul writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Weezul (52464) writes "Thanks to a last minute appeal by Aaron Swarz' girlfriend, a petition to fire Boston Assistant US Attorney Stephen Heymann has passed 25,000 signatures, has crossed the threshold required to elicit a White House response. Steve Heymann is the prosecutor in the Massachusetts US Attorneyâ(TM)s office who so aggressively and unreasonably went after Aaron to further his own career."
Link to Original Source
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Paramount claims Louis CK "didn't monetize"

Weezul Weezul writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Weezul (52464) writes "Paramount's "Worldwide VP of Content Protection and Outreach" Al Perry has insinuated that Louis CK making $1 million in 12 days means he isn't monetizing. Al Perry asserted that "copyright law gives creators the right to monetize their creations, and that even if people like Louis C.K. decide not to do so, that’s a choice and not a requirement."

Bonus, slashdot favorite Jonathan Coulton apparently grossed almost half a million last year."
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LolCat Kingpin May Pull 1,000+ Domains from GoDadd

Weezul Weezul writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Weezul (52464) writes "Cheezburger network CEO Ben Huh may pull over 1000 domains from GoDaddy in protest of GoDaddy's support for SOPA. Gizmodo has a list of companies supporting SOPA. Jeff Epstein has instructions for bulk transfers away from GoDaddy. Btw, Adam Savage has also warned that SOPA could destroy the internet as we know it. Reddit concurs that SOPA could destroy them. Finally, two congressional staffers, Allison Halataei and Lauren Pastarnack, who helped write SOPA/PIPA become entertainment industry lobbyists"
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AFL-CIO and big content advocate for internet cens

Weezul Weezul writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Weezul (52464) writes "Today's House Judiciary Committee meeting on the Stop Online Piracy Act excluded any witnesses who advocate for civil rights. Google's Katherine Oyama was the only witness to object to the bill in a meaningful way. In particular, the AFL-CIO's Paul Almeida advocated for the internet blacklist, saying "the First Amendment does not protect stealing goods off trucks""
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Egypt's Mordor becomes a torrent of leaks

Weezul Weezul writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Weezul (52464) writes "In what Egyptian ex-pats are calling the Egyptian Bastille Day, protesters stormed the Egyptian state security services on Saturday 5 March, freeing victims of torture there, detaining security personnel, and have started publishing secret documents on facebook and twitter.
An Egyptian Twitter poster wrote "I almost can't believe I'm witnessing this. We're inside the fortress of terror, our very own Mordor..."

Among the more amusing discoveries has been a room full of sex tapes, including Arab royals like Kuwait's Princess."
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Santorum : Frothy mix of lube and fecal matter

Weezul Weezul writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Weezul (52464) writes "Dan Savage announced plans to relaunch his site spreadingsantorum.com in honor of the senator's expressed interest in a presidential run :

Santorum : The frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex."
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Army officers ordered massacre in Tahrir Square

Weezul Weezul writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Weezul (52464) writes "The senior Egyptian army officers currently ruling Egypt as a military dictatorship ordered the wholesale slaughter of the thousands of protesters in Tahrir Square. Robert Fisk writes that "Mubarak ordered the Egyptian Third Army to crush the demonstrators in Tahrir Square with their tanks after flying F-16 fighter bombers at low level over the protesters [on 30 January]", but when tank commanders on the ground received the orders from senior military officers they instead called their own families for advice. "Fathers who had spent their lives serving the Egyptian army told their sons to disobey, that they must never kill their own people.""
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Why does slashdot not work in Safari?

Weezul Weezul writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Weezul (52464) writes "If you post comments on slashdot using safari, your spelling best be impeccable, as left click simply won't pull up the Mac OS X contextual menu with spelling corrections. Why does this happen? Is there some css we may force upon slashdot that'll correct matters?"

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