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Bomb Threats Via Twitter Partly Shut Down Atlanta's Hartsfield Airport

Zocalo Re:Other than the obligatory security theatre... (109 comments)

Aside from the few hundred lives vs. a few thousand lives if the plane was actually hijacked and attempted another 9/11 style crash into a metropolitan area there is another reason you might want a chase aircraft - obtaining camera footage of the plane should the threat prove genuine and the plane is blown up. I would imagine such data might prove quite useful to the resultant investigation in terms of narrowing down where the bomb was located, how powerful it was, whether it was carried on or checked, and potentially even narrow down who might have got the bomb onboard.

2 days ago
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Science By Democracy Doesn't Work

Zocalo Re:So what was the result?? (456 comments)

Is climate change real and not a hoax?: Yes (98:1) - Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) voted "Yes"

Do humans contribute significantly to climate change?: No (50:49) - All the Dems plus a few Reps votes "Yes". Key to that result however is that before the vote Sen. Lisa Murkoswki (R-AK) took exception to the word "significantly", which I actually think is a reasonable point given the available data that tries to quantify our contribution to the changes.

The question that remains unanswered is how many of those 50 that voted "No" in the second vote would have voted differently if the contentious "significantly" wasn't present. That's almost certainly more than zero, so it appears that the disconnect between what US politicians and scientists believe about climate change and AGW might not be as far apart as some are portraying it, and might not even exist at all.

4 days ago
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There's a Problem In the Silk Road Trial: the Jury Doesn't Get the Internet

Zocalo Re:Jury of your peers (303 comments)

That sounds like it ought to be a good idea - actual peers rather than essentially random people - but I'm not sure that would actually work too well for the lawyers. Essentially one side, whether they realise it or not, is trying to "prove" something that is incorrect; at a simple level a defendant can't be both innocent and guilty of the same accusation (jokes about Schroedinger's cat aside). In situations where the prosecution's lawyers know that their case is a house of cards or the defendant's lawyers know that their clients are guilty it's in their best interests to make sure that anyone competent in technical issues to be discussed doesn't make it through jury selection in order to make it easier for them to bamboozle the rest.

about two weeks ago
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Radio, Not YouTube, Is Still King of Music Discovery

Zocalo Re:URL Broken (126 comments)

From the original submission, this is the link that you are looking for. Yep, it's a industry rag reporting on Nielsen data. No way that's not going to be a victim of lies, damn lies and statistics...

about two weeks ago
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MI5 Chief Seeks New Powers After Paris Magazine Attack

Zocalo Re:Would that help? (319 comments)

It's definitely part of the solution and can definitely help in some situation, but it's not the best general approach and has the highly likely side effect of perpetuating the problem by creating more extremists as a result of the actions taken again existing ones that goes wrong. This has clearly been happening in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and everywhere else this approach has been used where many extremists cite past attacks against earlier extremists that have claimed the lives of friends and family (innocent or otherwise) as their motivation. As you note, it also gives the terrorists exactly what they want; forcing those they are attacking onto the backfoot and reducing the freedom of the people to the point that there's not really all that much difference between the control enforced by the state and the control the extremists want to enforce.

The wake of the attack on Charlie Hebdo has given us a look at a far more effective general solution in my opinion, and one that ought to be used far more than the usual approaches of guns, smartbombs, mass surveillance and security theatre. The use of "Je suis Charlie" has been a rallying cry by which people can stand up and be counted as being opposed to what the extremists are trying to achieve. More importantly it has done so in a way that does not offend those that the extremists probably believe they are acting on behalf of so that they can (and have) stand up and make a statement to the effect that this is not what they want - something simply reprinting the original images does not. Demonstrating to extremists that, actually, most people - including those you think you are fighting for - don't feel the same way ought to make at least some of those that are not just in it for the violence to start questioning whether they are on the right path after all, and maybe stand down without any further bloodshed - on either side.

about two weeks ago
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Inside Cryptowall 2.0 Ransomware

Zocalo Re:Cyptowall is very sophisticated (181 comments)

I wouldn't think that the mechanism by which you perform your backups would make much difference to Cryptowall; how you manage and how long you retain them is far more likely to leave you with a safety net. Unless it gets caught in the act, once Cryptowall gets onto a PC, it encrypts the data first and only then makes its presence known to the victim, so if you've updated your backups in the meantime surely they're as good as useless, regardless of how they were taken? The only way backups might save you from a Cryptowall ransom seems like it would have to be that you still have a known good set that predates the initial infection and (maybe) some incrementals that were backed up before they were encrypted.

about three weeks ago
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"Disco Clam" Lights Up To Scare Predators Away

Zocalo Re:Useless site (49 comments)

Because by forcing you to enable JavaScript to view their content they get more options for trying to serve you some ads and tracking you as well? If there's not an obvious "print view" or some other workaround I generally respond by just voting with my feet and closing the tab because I'm not going to be enabling JavaScript on a random site unless it's for content I *really* want to see. I suppose you could also get pissy about it because it's highly unlikely that such sites would comply with things like disability legislation requirements for screen reader compatibility and the like, but that's too much effort for me.

about three weeks ago
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FCC Says It Will Vote On Net Neutrality In February

Zocalo Re:when-all-the-astroturfing-is-accounted-for dept (81 comments)

That's not too far removed from the truth though, is it? Replace "will" with "apathy" and you're pretty much dead on the money. Then again, to really be apathetic you've got to be aware of the issue in the first place, and I doubt that the vast majority of The People are even aware that this issue might even concern them, let alone understand (or take the time to understand - we're back to apathy again) the issues enough to make an informed decision.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Should We Do About the DDoS Problem?

Zocalo Re:BCP38 (312 comments)

The trouble is, it doesn't help with many modern DDoS's

On paper, no, but it might still have benefits. I implemented SPF with "-all" for several domains some years ago which, on paper, merely allows recipients checking SPF to negatively weight/discard emails falsely claiming to be from those domains - it does absolutely *nothing* to prevent spammers from spoofing the domains, yet within two weeks of the SPF records going live the domains stopped being used for joe-jobs and we never saw a single bounce, presumably because they were no longer as attractive to spammers compared to softer targets. In BCP38's case there could be a similar side benefit in that malware that knows its host is part of a BCP38 compliant network has less value than one that is not, and therefore might not participate in as many (or any) DDoS attacks. I've no idea of this is the case or not though; I certainly don't recall reading about any malware that is BCP38 aware...

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Should We Do About the DDoS Problem?

Zocalo Re:BCP38 (312 comments)

If I read the GP's post correctly they were not suggesting that the backbone ISPs implement BCP38, but that they don't peer with edge ISPs that don't implement it.

The place to implement BCP38 is definitely as close the edge of the network as possible, long before it gets near the core of an ISP's network, let alone starts hitting up their BGP peers; ideally on the CPE, but failing that on the first capable router on the ISP's network. Why more So-Ho routers don't implement at least partial BCP38 by default has always baffled me; they usually have *one* network, seldom more than two, and often just a single IP on the LAN side, with the entire rest of the internet is on the other - how hard can it be to correctly block spoofed packets by default? That still leaves networks with their own IP allocation that are multi-homing with multiple upstream ISPs, but if someone is that big/technically inclined then they ought to be able to implement BCP38 themselves (I do this at my SoHo), work with their ISPs to sort out the config on their upstream routers, or just man up, do their own BGP and effectively act as an ISP.

about a month ago
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Sony Accused of Pirating Music In "The Interview"

Zocalo Re:Sauce for the goose (180 comments)

I actually didn't say whether it was a civil or criminal case, but that's actually moot since almost all of the "sauce for the goose" cases on whose petard people are proposing hoisting Sony were also civil cases. Those are often the ones where the studios factored into their damages claims the number of times a track was downloaded *from* the plaintiff via Kazaa, eMule, BitTorrent or whatever, and then applied an insane multiplier to arrive at their "punitive damages" figures. Using Google Play doesn't change things. Sure, the singer's studio could issue a take down under the DMCA, but where's the fun and profit in that, when Sony is *also* infringing copyright by distributing the track without a valid license - exactly the same setup that many of the plaintiffs in those civil cases brought by the studios were sued for?

Legal issues aside it's all going to be moot anyway. Sony won't want a DMCA takedown interfering with the money the film is currently making them, and they definitely won't want to face an embarrassing copyright infringement case. If all had gone to plan, Sony would have paid the artist's studio some money - most likely either a lump sum or a figure derived from ticket sales - they'd have taken their cut and paid her the rest, and that's almost certainly still the way things will go. So, some studio execs (maybe lawyers, maybe not) will almost certainly have a chat in the next few days, a number will be thrashed out, some money will change hands, and that will be the end of the matter.

about a month ago
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Sony Accused of Pirating Music In "The Interview"

Zocalo Re:Sauce for the goose (180 comments)

Why limit to just the legal downloads when the **AA's lawyers certainly don't? Remember, according to the *AAs, it's also a crime to *facilitate* theft, so by making available the movie that includes the copyrighted track surely they should also be liable for all the several million torrented copies, plus all the legitmate pay-per-view downloads from Google etc. too?

While I suspect this is probaby just a case of office incompetence and someone forgetting an action that will probably be quickly cleaned up with a check in the post, I dearly hope this does end up going to court. Watching Sony's lawyers try and get themselves off the hook without setting precedents that anyone else being sued for infringing copyright can use would be priceless.

about a month ago
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Finn Linked To Lizard Squad Christmas Attack

Zocalo Re:Erm (51 comments)

The two are not mutually exclusive, especially if the effect of the security flaw is compounded by multiple connections, for instance being able to use the exploit to turn a child process into a zombie and another child to be spawned until resources are exhausted. There's two security flaws there; the ability for a remote client to zombify the children and not having a cap on the maximum number of children in the config.

about a month ago
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Sony To Release the Interview Online Today; Apple Won't Play Ball

Zocalo Re:Good news! (227 comments)

Erm. No. Not even if you paid me to.

Unless you actually find Seth Rogan funny and might get some enjoyment out of watching the film the only think watching this is going to do is help make Sony and their new distributors a pile of money for what is, by all accounts, a completely terrible film that is probably going to clean up at the Raspberry's next year. You know, *Sony*, those complete arseholes behind that rootkit thing a few years ago, and not to mention all that other douchebaggery that's been smeared all over the media for a couple of weeks now? You *want* to give money to those pricks?

Just putting it on release is good enough to give the bird to Kim Jong-Un (assuming he cares in the first place since there is no way that anyone in NK outside the inner circle even knows the film exists), there's no need to help Sony survive any longer than absolutely necessary as well.

about a month ago
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Amazon "Suppresses" Book With Too Many Hyphens

Zocalo Re:LOL ... w00t? (292 comments)

Not with any consistency it seems. They are apparently fine with Ernest Vincent Wright's Gadsby which doesn't even include the letter "e" once in the main text (there's a nice bit of humour/irony in there being an ebook version though), with all the readabilty issues you might expect that to bring. The works of James Joyce also still seem to be listed, come to that, so I'm somewhat curious as to just how this "readability filter" get applied. I sure hope it's not just based on reader comments, because if it is a group like Anonymous or /b/ is about to have a book censoring field day.

On the otherhand, if they can start with some of the religious dogma out there...

about a month ago
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Denmark Makes Claim To North Pole, Based On Undersea Geography

Zocalo Re:duh, it doesn't have to be complicated (191 comments)

I didn't say that resources were not the issue (obviously they are), I said that's not the job of the UN panel. Their original purview was to bring an end to the Cod Wars by defining the boundaries of exclusive economic zones (one form of territorial waters, typically set at 200 nautical miles) based on geography in terms of land mass only, not what resources might lie in or under the ocean. Interestingly, looking at the available maps, other than fish, there don't appear to be many known resources in area of the Danish claim - although that's most probably due to lack of surveys.

Shipping is definitely going to be an issue though, although possibly not for the most obvious of reasons; while a nation cannot prevent international shipping traversing its EEZ, it can set legal boundaries on that shipping within certain UN constraints. With this new claim and a little collaboration between Canada, Denmark and Norway it could theoretically be possible for them to legally prevent some classes of Russian warships entering the North Atlantic from the Arctic Ocean. Regardless of the fun and games trying to enforce that would no doubt entail and even with Putin's current posturing like the cold war never ended, I'd expect some serious opposition from them on this, despite them clearly having little or no claim to the same waters.

about a month ago
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Denmark Makes Claim To North Pole, Based On Undersea Geography

Zocalo Re:duh, it doesn't have to be complicated (191 comments)

Yes, it does. If you were to simply divide up the Arctic Ocean as you describe then you'd have no international waters for shipping routes should the Arctic ever become a viable route between the Atlantic and the Pacific. If one nation's waters extended all the way to the polar cap then they would have a huge amount of control over shipping passing through it that wouldn't otherwise exist if at least part of that open water was free for anyone to access. While the resources will no doubt factor into the discussions, the primary purpose of the UN review mentioned is more about ensuring minimal disruption to potential maritime trade.

about a month ago
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Sony Demands Press Destroy Leaked Documents

Zocalo Re:I find this amusing... (250 comments)

Oh, please, please, PLEASE let them mean that.

If every media outlet there proceeds to print as much as they can about this story then Sony will apparently have NO CHOICE but to hold them responsible and take every single one of them to court. Given David Boies' likely fees that alone will probably end them, let alone any damages that such losing suits will bring, and with the reputation as being the lawyer that drove two companies into Chapter 7 bankruptcy though bad advice it will probably end David Boies too. What's not to like with that scenario?

about a month and a half ago
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Amazon UK Glitch Sells Thousands of Products For a Penny

Zocalo Re:Hmmmm ... legality? (138 comments)

After a few previous high-profile incidents of this kind of error most online retailers have a clause in their Ts&Cs excusing them from obvious mistakes, errors and omissions, and Amazon is no exception. If they'd had a big banner saying "Special Offer!" or some such, or the price difference was less obvious then it was then the might have had to honour the sales, or done so out of good faith if the damage wasn't too high, but in this case they're pretty much home and dry.

about a month and a half ago
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3D Printer?

Zocalo Re:Meh. (175 comments)

Similar view here, although I doubt the quality I'd want will hit a price point I can justify any time soon, and I have limited access to one via a friend anyway. While a 3D printer would be fun to play with, and if I had one I'd use it for stuff just because it was there, right now I don't spend anything near enough on things that I could conceivably make to justify the outlay. With a CNC lathe on the otherhand I could manufacture pretty much anything I'd be likely to use the 3D printer for, out of far tougher materials if required, plus it opens up all sorts of other creative options when using a block of aluminium, wood, or even suitable rocks like alabaster and soapstone. The more intricate 3D sculpture type stuff might not be possible with a CNC lathe, but it seems to me like they have a far broader range of practical applications whereas 3D printers probably have the edge for more creative artistic projects and rapid prototyping.

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

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Star Citizen takes the crowdfunding crown, reboots the Space Sim genre?

Zocalo Zocalo writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Zocalo (252965) writes "Star Citizen, Chris Robert's attempt to reboot the Space Sim genre, hit a major funding milestone earlier today, exceeding the previous record of $4,163,208 secured by the game Project Eternity and more than doubling the initial funding target set by the producer of the Wing Commander series. With Stretch Goals now being passed every few hours bringing new features to the planned game, and David Brabham annoucing a new installment of the classic Elite using a similar funding model at Kickstarter could this be a wake up call for the big game publishers to take another look at the genre?

There's still two days left of Star Citizen funding as well, so if you feel like being a part you can chip in either at the main RSI site or on Kickstarter."

Link to Original Source
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A glimpse at piracy in the UK and beyond

Zocalo Zocalo writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Zocalo (252965) writes "The BBC has a fascinating look into the music download habits of the UK population based on stats compiled by Musicmetric. The stats, gathered through the monitoring of BitTorrent swarms and geo-locating the IPs, shows the hotspots for music copyright infringement across the UK and regional preferences for certain types of music. Some of the outliers are somewhat unusual though, suggesting some problems with the methodology or sample size, unless people on the Isle of Wight really do prefer trumpet-playing crooner Louis Armstrong to the likes of Rihanna and Ed Sheeran who top the lists nationwide.

Not in the UK? There are some global stats on the "Most pirated near you?" tab of the story. Better yet, if you want to crunch the numbers for yourself all of the data has been made available at the Musicmatch website under a Creative Commons license and a RESTful API to access the data (free for non-commercial use!) is also available."

Link to Original Source
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CNet / download.com trojaning OSS tools

Zocalo Zocalo writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Zocalo (252965) writes "In a post to the Nmap Hackers list Nmap author, Fyodor, accuses C|Net / download.com of wrapping a trojan installer (as detected by various AV applications when submitted to VirusTotal) around software including Nmap and VLC Media Player. The C|Net installer bundles a toolbar, changes browser settings and, potentially, performs other shenanigans — all under the logo of the application the user thought they might have been downloading. Apparently, this isn't the first time they have done this, either.

Fyodor's on the lookout for a good copyright lawyer, if anyone has one to spare."

Link to Original Source
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Free IPv4 pool now down to seven /8s

Zocalo Zocalo writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Zocalo (252965) writes "For those of you keeping score, ICANN just allocated another four /8 IPv4 blocks; 23/8 and 100/8 to ARIN, 5/8 and 37/8 to RIPE, leaving just seven /8s unassigned. In effect however, this means that there are now just two /8s available before the entire pool will be assigned due to an arrangement whereby the five Regional Internet Registries would each automatically receive one of the final five /8s once that threshold was met. The IPv4 Address Report counter at Potaroo.net is pending an update and still saying 96 days, but it's now starting to look doubtful that we're going to even make it to January."
Link to Original Source
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Following protons on a trip to (& through) the

Zocalo Zocalo writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Zocalo (252965) writes "Ars Technica visits CERN and takes an in-depth look at the LHC, providing details on the extensive array of supporting technologies and science that don't get the same level of media attention as the main ring. The article details the various stages and sub-accelerators that protons go through in their roughly 6 million kilometer journey from CERN's proton sources, through to their entry into the LHC's main 26km ring and then onwards to an eventual high energy collision at one of the four detectors. Unsurprisingly, there is no mention of any of Dan Brown's outlandish super-jets and paragliding facilities, but there are plenty of fascinating bits of information about the accelerator and the high degrees of precision involved in its construction and operation."
Link to Original Source
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KDE Software Collection v4.5 officially released

Zocalo Zocalo writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Zocalo (252965) writes "Version 4.5.0 of the KDE Development Platform, the Plasma Desktop and Netbook workspaces, and many applications are released today. The KDE team focused on the usability, performance and stability of many previously introduced new features and technologies — click on the relevant links for the full announcements. Ars Technica has already posted a quick look at the new release of the Plasma Desktop here."
Link to Original Source
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Microsoft to pay providers to delist from Google?

Zocalo Zocalo writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Zocalo (252965) writes "Slashdot recently discussed Mark Cuban's plan to kill Google which was later revealled to be just a thought experiment, but has Microsoft been taking the idea seriously? According to Matthew Garrahan and Richard Waters of the Financial Times, discussions to achieve just that may already be in the early stages with News Corp., and probably with other providers too. Could getting search engine providers to pay for the "privilege" of indexing their sites be a means for old media companies to survive in the Internet era or does Matt Brittin's (Google's UK director) statement that "economically it's not a big part of how we generate revenue" indicate that Microsoft (and News Corp.) are grasping at straws?"
Link to Original Source

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