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Researchers Design Bot To Conduct National Security Clearance Interviews

Zeorge It's a risk assessment (102 comments)

That's what the security process is about. They know they can never know everything but they can make an informed "best-guess". Someone who has engaged in illegal/immoral behaviors in a consistent manner over time is a risk. Someone who has never done anything and has references is less of a risk. Most people though have done stuff in HS and maybe college but no longer partake in said behaviors, this is documented, and an interview is conducted to make a risk assessment on the individual. If you are low enough on the scale then you get the clearance. As you deal with different clearances/jobs/roles there may be actual personality/behavior tests, etc.

For the US you can look this up, the manual is published and freely available.

Yes, yes, yes, the system can be gamed but that's a different topic.

about a week ago

More Forgotten Vials of Deadly Diseases Discovered

Zeorge They are from 50+ years ago! (55 comments)

Wow, they really need to clean up their storage lockers more often. That being said, I don't know how they lost track of them unless it was a specific person doing research at both places and they moved their materials. I wouldn't be surprised if there are/were reams of related research materials.

about two weeks ago

Maldives Denies Russian Claims That Secret Service Kidnapped a Politician's Son

Zeorge Re:Consipricy nuts, go! (100 comments)

How is it the fault of the US Government when news agencies are going at each other neck-and-neck, to have the latest, sensationalist story (to drive up ad revenue)? There may be some underlying Interpol related stipulation or other legal framework that has to be followed first before any details can be released. The Secret Service HQ is in DC, Maldives are in the Pacific, factor in time zones, operatives working, relaying info, people having to sleep, etc. So, the timeline makes sense. Having a PR statement is important but not as important as other legal things that need to be taken care of first.

about three weeks ago

Australian Police Use Telcos For Cell "Tower Dump" of All Connected Users' Data

Zeorge Ed Snowden will get sold soon enough... (60 comments)

After all, Obama imposed financial sanctions against Russian officials and Putin's inner circle, can't even use MasterCard or VISA. So, it's only a matter of time before the hard currency those guys have dries up or they get tired of money laundering. Probably won't be a direct trade, some political savvy will be applied to make it look like neither bowed to pressure, etc.

about three weeks ago

Amazon's Android Appstore Coming To BlackBerry

Zeorge Now, now childrens... (76 comments)

BlackBerry might be a day late and a dollar short on them realizing that have a diminished market share, but they are trying!

Is it too hard to believe that they could not reinvent themselves as an Android device with a robust enterprise capability set? That market still exists and that's what made them viable originally.

In retrospect they should have been thinking of this awhile back as more and more organizations simply want a better smartphone. The iPhone is the most appealing due the sandbox nature of its design and Apple has been steadily been working on enterprise specific improvements. I don't think Apple wanted to fully commit to that as BB had a sizeable market share, factor in risk, ROI, it probably did not make sense, back then. Now, different story, waning of BB hardware and software and I know the USG is looking at iPhones.

about a month and a half ago

Ikea Sends IkeaHackers Blog a C&D Order

Zeorge More than an issue of "source" (207 comments)

An agreement to use Ikea or its likeness (which is what this is about) might be percieved as the allowed use of Ikea products in the manner which they have not designed to be used as such (which is probably another issue at hand).

When I say designed, I mean in terms of safety and expected useful life, etc. All you need is that "one guy" who modifies a table or chair and their is a catasrophic failure that results in personal injury.

The cost of drawing up such an agreement that is valid across all Ikea sectors and all locations throughout the world is going to be very very expensive. I work at a multi-national company and there is a whole lot of work involved on any multi-national activity. It costs a lot of time and money. Way more than what is making in ad revenue.

about a month and a half ago

Ikea Sends IkeaHackers Blog a C&D Order

Zeorge Doesn't work that way (207 comments)

Lawyers cost money and it will cost more than $1/year in order to have a lawyer even pay part-time attention to in order to maintain any agreement between the two. Typically, a company pays a firm to protect its trademarks, the upfront cost for a lawayer, who is a patent attorney, who will specialize in protecting an international "brand", will be quite expensive.

The costs to have someone can be rougly broken down as so: their hourly rate, benefits (health/dental, retirment, education, etc), mandated yearly compliance training (if any), administation fees (HR, mangment), office space (if they are not located at the customer site), IT and telco services, and finally, profit.

As you can see, that is way more than $1/year. You simply can not make money if you do stuff for free. You have to charge in order to make ends meet and retain talent.

about a month and a half ago

Bitcoin Security Endangered By Powerful Mining Pool

Zeorge Read the article (281 comments)

No, really, you should take the same amount of time it took you to type that sentence, scan the article, and you'll find the name of the company:

MegaBigPower with a PO Box in Silvana, WA

about a month and a half ago

Ask Slashdot: PC-Based Oscilloscopes On a Microbudget?

Zeorge What's your curriculum going to be like? (172 comments)

I ask as if you can get away with a sound card based O-Scope that's a cheap way, and, you can also find software for spectrum analyzer use as well. Quite possibly, repurpose old PC hardware laying around the school, any laptop will do and would do nicely.

This could be combined with a auto shop for car audio stuff so now you have a blending of science with a hobby/fascination that is very common to high school students.

about a month and a half ago

I Want a Kindle Killer

Zeorge Love the paperwhite (321 comments)

It really is just for reading though and I agree giving it the ability to be able to play audio while reading would be fantastic. I'd pay an extra $20 for that which should more than cover the additional hardware and MP3 license. The e-ink display, coupled with tweaking the font size and therefore the line width allows me to read much faster than a paper book.

about 2 months ago

US Navy Develops World's Worst E-reader

Zeorge I don't understand why they did this (249 comments)

I was in the Navy for eight years and you pretty much bring along what you want to entertain you. I brought along a Basic Stamp kit, a huge wallet of DVDs, we had a media computer for our songs, game consoles, etc.

This is the brainchild of some admiral or captain that wants to be promoted. And, only five? Makes me think that they are going to the ships library (yup we have those too) for use. If anything, the SNCO's will get it and no one else will and even with them the five is not enough.

Just a huge waste of money.

about 3 months ago

How Dumb Policies Scare Tech Giants Away From Federal Projects

Zeorge Hardware costs are pretty good actually (143 comments)

for the US Army there is PM CHESS and if you have a CAC you can access the purchase list. I have looked items up such as monitors, etc, and the price is not bad at all. Is it the lowest? No, but they are also paying for a guaranteed delivery date. That being said, the prices are competitive to big box stores askin to what we would pay as private citizens.

Same with typical IT/IS/telephoney services. The Government can look at the commercial sector and see the rates and they have a baseline. There is some additional cost to do work with the government so that is factored in, but, trust me its very slight.

So... what happens? What makes it cost soo much? I'll do my best to idenfity what I have found.

1) Unqualified people making poor decisions. I see this a whole lot. Someone will get a GS job due to prior military service (as an officer) and have no real PM experience in the technology they are actually dealing with. There is a difference between managing a military division and a product or service that is IT in nature. But, these people find their way in and make horrible decisions. Spend a lo of money on funding prototypes or owrking models amongst various companies. It can just spiral down from there.

2) PM's not famaliar with the technology or services required. I have seen GS's sign off on someone pulling 50 feet of 50 pair CAT3 cable for ISDN for $5k. No, really. This usually happens because the guy/company that did this knows that the GS guy has no clue and he has every economic incentive to "go for it". Even if they GS does find out, he/she will be more concerned about their career than reporting this mistake.

3) Poor requirements analysis as well as poor alternative sources of COTS equipment. This kinda related to unqualified people doing the job. It's difficult to work with the GSs like I do. I mean, there are a lot of times where we are stunned as the GS guy wipes the table off of all the hard work we did coming up with an agnostic specification for a particular product or service they want. We make it agnostic so that we can have as many companies bid on it for them. But, no. They'll wipe that clean and then arbitrarily choose something for whatever reason and then they get fleeced. Not only that, the month of work by a team of four people has still been paid for and that effort was entirely unrealized.

4) No concept of how the money is spent. This is like #3 above. Just wiping out a lot of work over something petty. I have seen high-level GS's summarily reject a deliverable and demand that it gets redone. What they don't realize is that without going through the official process of refusing delivery of a product (or whatever) they are still paying the same people to do the job again. This happens a lot more than it should.

5) Trusting the wrong people. Those GS's might be trusting the wrong GS (who is inept) or rely on the input from a matrix position contractor. I had an issue when I was in the Navy over air pressure sensors. The Navy price was $4k but I could find them for $10 in quantities of 100 from the manufacturer itself. As the port engineer worked for the same company as the manufacturer of the equipment that was to recieve the sensor it went no where. I tried to push it but I just got in trouble, why?

6) Afraid to admit to a mistake. No really, we are all human. We make the best decision with the information we have been provided with at the time, usually we try and do this. But, sometimes a factor was not accounted for or simply put a bad decision was made. They'll just keep going. There is such a desire to be the perfect boy scout that no one will admit it when they drop the ball. And, this can get really bad when they are all doing it. They all know it and silently acknowledge it but they just keep truckin' along because it's not "their" money.

about 3 months ago

Apple Can Extract Texts, Photos, Contacts From Locked iPhones

Zeorge I concur (202 comments)

If all companies would detail how they deal with LEA's then everyone would be the wiser. And, if it's as simple and direct as this, even better. This is about the same as a search warrant for a private container (which might be how a phone is seen in court). I really like this approach via Apple, they'll have LEA but only if there is a valid and legal reason. Not just witch hunting or easter egging.

about 3 months ago

Actual Results of Crimean Secession Vote Leaked

Zeorge Have any idea what you are talking about? (557 comments)

Sounds like you are playing a video or board game. Any ways, so many other countries from the "eastern block" have joined or are on their way to be part of the EU. Russia doesn't want to as it has its own resources and its own oligarchy in place and those people don't want to impact their lifestyle. That whole country is an oligarchy of monopolies that permeates everything from food to infrastructure. They'd have to give that up to join the EU.

about 3 months ago

Google Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit Over Default Search on Android Phones

Zeorge Netscape vs MS, again... (221 comments)

Man, you'd think history would not repeat itself so soon, but it has! I never agreed with that Netscape/MS lawsuit as it did nothing for the consumer, nothing. Don't understand how it's "wrong" that when using a a MS or Apple or Google product yields the default use of another bundled product from the same manufacturer. Just install your own software already and be done with it!

about 3 months ago

How Amazon Keeps Cutting AWS Prices: Cheapskate Culture

Zeorge Writers have no practical experience (146 comments)

They can write, one even authors papers (whoo) but if they actually understood what they wrote about they'd realize what you had just said: no point in buying COTS when you are creating your own. You'll just waste money and time trying to get it to work. Just make it right the first time.

about 3 months ago

How Amazon Keeps Cutting AWS Prices: Cheapskate Culture

Zeorge Re:Business class is a misnomer (146 comments)

Direct flight from Dulles to Tokyo (and back), only flew coach. That was on US Government sponsored travel. They don't care, it's simply cheaper. The only time I have heard of people flying business or above was if that was in the contract, and the customer missed that part. It's rare to find that now a days unless the ROI is high enough. But, you really need to look at those ticket prices to see what I am talking about. There is a quantifiable difference between a coach and first-class ticket. You can seriously buy a decent car for a first-class ticket to a far destination.

about 3 months ago

Engine Data Reveals That Flight 370 Flew On For Hours After It "Disappeared"

Zeorge Why have the ability to turn off the transponder? (382 comments)

I'm just asking you as you seem to know how the overall picture works. To me, it makes no sense. I'm just curious as to me it thinks you'd want that guy on ALL the time.

about 5 months ago

All Else Being Equal: Disputing Claims of a Gender Pay Gap In Tech

Zeorge Women make less because they are smarter (427 comments)

They took a look at the single guy, fresh out of college, who wails himself against a wall for that extra few percent and they are like: have it! They apparantly figured it out awhile ago that getting that last few percent relates to an exponential increase in effort and it's just not worth it. Why work 60+ hours a week (+50% increase in hours) for a +7% increase in pay?

about 5 months ago

Financing College With a Tax On All Graduates

Zeorge Require government service as an option for repay? (597 comments)

As a real-world example, there are STEM and IT programs that offer a full-ride PLUS a stipend. The Information Assurance is one where they pay for your tution plus a $17k/year stipend. Your obligation is two years of government service. You also get internships and the GS service is a 7/9/11 path going up a level every 6.5 months. If you get a MS in IA then it is a $22k stipend and a 9/11/13 path. A good deal all-around for everyone. Also, if you drop out you have to pay it all back. So, the simplify, you can have two options: the one above or the "payback via tax". I like the first option as it also gets someone a job. Have a short grace period of 6 months and after which point they fall into option 1. If they land a job elsewhere they then pay via taxes. You will still have to qualify for the program like any other but you'd let the school and it's associated state handle that.

about 6 months ago



How Often Do You Change Your Wireless Lan Password?

Zeorge Zeorge writes  |  about a year ago

Zeorge (1954266) writes "I was reading up on passwords and how a WPA is considerbly more secure then WEP. However, I realized that as I never have changed my password, it is still a question of "when" my wifi will be hacked if someone wanted to. Which begs me to ask other fellow Slashdotters, how often do you change your Wireless Lan password?

1) Password?
2) "Set-it-and-forget-it!"
3) Weekly
4) Monthly
5) Quarterly
6) Yearly"


Zeorge has no journal entries.

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