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Comments

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Florida Man Faces $48k Fine For Jamming Drivers' Cellphones

a-zarkon! Re:bicyclists are why I don't ride a bicycle (358 comments)

Where is this land of the bike lane you speak of? I would totally use that if they had them around here. Just a lot of country roads and thankfully usually not a lot of traffic where I am. I ride alone and hug the side of the road as close as I'm able. What really irritates me is the people who seem to have a real issue with bikes. Full size pickup truck who misses your handlebar by about 3 inches as they pass you at 45-50 mph on a 30 mph street. No traffic coming, could easily move a half a foot to the left, but would rather see how close they can get without actually hitting you. This is a small percent of motorists - but it's definitely something you can expect to have happen at least once per ride around here.

about a month ago
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New MU-MIMO Standard Could Allow For Gigabit WiFi Throughput

a-zarkon! Re:Cool, but (32 comments)

Are they providing you a Gig Internet connection? If not, then it doesn't really matter so much if you have a Gigabit-capable wireless connection. On the other hand, if you need Gig wireless connectivity between devices/systems within your network - you might consider springing for a wireless infrastructure to support that kind of connectivity.

about 4 months ago
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Threatened Pandemics and Laboratory Escapes: Self-fulfilling Prophecies

a-zarkon! Re:Better Idea (94 comments)

Storms. Yes - this. Definitely sees occasional storm surge tides and hurricanes. Support issues notwithstanding, Antarctica would seem to make more sense. Possibly deep underground in the middle of a large desert might make more sense too.

about 4 months ago
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Threatened Pandemics and Laboratory Escapes: Self-fulfilling Prophecies

a-zarkon! Re:Better Idea (94 comments)

Plum Island is hardly isolated. It is located in Long Island Sound (more like a large lake than open ocean) between Long Island NY and the CT coastline. Plum Island is home for a lot of seabirds, which would be one easy vector to transport disease to the mainland. There are migratory seals in the area in the winter, though I'm not sure if they go to Plum Island specifically.

about 4 months ago
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Drone-Assisted Hunting To Be Illegal In Alaska

a-zarkon! Re:What's the difference (397 comments)

Scale. Presumably even drone-assisted hunters are operating within quota and bag limits set to maintain healthy population. Factory fishing operations basically round up every fish in their path. If they catch off-species they'll dump the by catch back over the side (regardless of whether it's still alive). Same as if they end up over the quota - over the side it goes. Fishery "management" of the US East Coast has been pretty poorly implemented if the goal was the long term viability of the fishery. Hopefully it's not quite so awful in other places.

about 4 months ago
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WPA2 Wireless Security Crackable WIth "Relative Ease"

a-zarkon! Re: Eh... (150 comments)

It undoubtedly will be fixed with adoption of an enhancement to the existing protocol or an entirely new protocol. We saw that with the evolution from WEP to WPA to WPA2. The challenges are that this will take time for a fix and new standard to be determined and the processing capability of the currently deployed wireless infrastructure. There is a fair likelihood that today's access point will not have enough horsepower to efficiently process the next generation authentication and encryption protocol. This means that there is a period of time where a known exploitable vulnerability exists and there is no fix available (time to determine the short and longer term fix + time for everyone to move to the new infrastructure supporting the new standard.) This is how it has always been with wireless, and probably how it always will be. It is similar to anti biotics, eventually resistant bacteria become prevalent, diminishing effectiveness and spurring the need to find new drugs. If we are smart, we have already been working quietly on WPA v3 and this will be announced shortly and adopted quickly when we reach the point that WPA 2 is demonstrably capable of being compromised by a savvy motivated individual vs. a govt funded team. In the meantime VPN always has been and remains a viable option for wireless security.

about 4 months ago
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Researcher Offers New Perspective On Stuxnet-Wielding Sabotage Program

a-zarkon! Re:Rocket the security world? (46 comments)

Stuxnet prevents a nuclear exchange, Skynet initiates one.

about 8 months ago
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I'd rather be spied on by ...

a-zarkon! E) All of the above (324 comments)

You don't get to pick which state agencies are spying on you. The reality is that it's probably all of the above plus a bunch of other ones that aren't listed.

Going along with some of the comments - you do maybe have a choice in some of the other entities that are spying on you (Google, MSFT, Facebook, etc.) The question is whether you want to avoid all useful Internet services in the interest of your own privacy. Bottom line - if you're accessing something, someone is recording that access and probably selling or commoditizing that recorded data point in a dozen different ways. Possibly/probably including giving or selling that data to foreign and domestic intelligence agencies.

Absolute privacy on the Internet is a zero sum game. The only way to win is to not play.

about 8 months ago
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Motorola Uses NFC To Enable Touch-to-Unlock For Smartphones

a-zarkon! Re:12 digit? (87 comments)

To confirm - power-down reboot doesn't clear the lock on your phone? If that's accurate, that's cool. Can I ask which phone and OS you're running?

about a year ago
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Home wireless security level?

a-zarkon! Re:Disabling SSID Broadcast - Less Secure (438 comments)

Yes. The point I'm trying to make is that if:
1) You set your SSID to "my_secret_ssid" and then disable broadcast
2) You configure your laptop to connect automatically to "my_secret_ssid" and check the box that this is a non-broadcast ssid

Then
3) Every time you bring your laptop to work or the airport or the donut shop, it will start beaconing to look for "my_secret_ssid".

Evil nefarious types have the tools to look for those beacons and automatically reply with "my_secret_ssid" to trick your machine into connecting to them. Theoretically they can then pass this connection to a legitimate network connection, but leave themselves in the middle. You and your laptop won't necessarily know that this has happened.

How to avoid this: Don't automatically connect to wifi, and don't configure non-broadcast SSIDs on your machines any longer than you need to.

about a year ago
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Home wireless security level?

a-zarkon! Disabling SSID Broadcast - Less Secure (438 comments)

Disabling SSID Broadcast should not be considered more secure than standard WPA2/PSK. Clients configured to connect to a hidden SSID will beacon constantly to see if that SSID is available. Take a look at Hotspotter to see if you can figure out why that might not be a great idea. Also, whether you are broadcasting SSID or not, your network is pretty easily found by anyone who is actively looking for wireless networks in the area. This equates to introducing a potential vulnerability for your client systems and no increase in security for your network - so broadcast away. Your best bet is a complex pre-shared key. Change it once in a while if you're paranoid. Tunnel over VPN or SSH if you're really paranoid.

about a year ago
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Discovering NSA Code Names Via LinkedIn

a-zarkon! Re:Simple explanation (201 comments)

That grammar is correct. Phonetically, the "N" begins with a vowel sound so "an NSA" is correct.

FTFY - Grammar police should endeavor to avoid use of the double negative.

1 year,16 days
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NASA's NEXT Ion Thruster Runs Five and a Half Years Nonstop To Set New Record

a-zarkon! Re:Perfect analogy for NASA (184 comments)

Interesting argument. What does it cost to feed and maintain a horse? What is the maximum speed and range of a horse? Can a horse power air travel? The energy cost efficiency of internal combustion is pretty hard to beat with today's technology.

That undersea oil was there 100 years ago, but there was more readily available oil that was easier and cheaper to get to so we didn't have a motivation to go after the harder stuff. Technology also improved to enable us to go after the harder to retrieve resources.

We've been approaching peak oil for twenty years now. What is the forecast for hitting peak iron or peak nickel? Maybe that will be motivation to drive us after the asteroid resources or maybe it will be motivation to more aggressively recycle our local resources. If you look at the pyramids in Egypt and the coliseum in Rome - a lot of the stone work was recycled into building materials for nearby construction. Yes, they had stone quarries they could have gone to get material for the new construction, but it was cheaper and easier to re-use the easily scavenged stones from the previous generation's efforts. Similarly as we hit the back side of peak oil maybe it will push us back to horses - or maybe (hopefully) drive investment into wind, solar, hydro, and nuclear.

about a year ago
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NASA's NEXT Ion Thruster Runs Five and a Half Years Nonstop To Set New Record

a-zarkon! Re:Perfect analogy for NASA (184 comments)

But there is also every element you can find on earth floating around in ridiculous abundance, and easier to access too

I appreciate a good sci fi yarn as much as the next guy, but do try to keep in mind the "fiction" aspect of it. In fact, the overwhelmingly defining characteristic of space would be the tremendous amount of emptiness that it is comprised of. The vast distances just within our own solar system immediately decry the abundance and easy access to useful resources. That will hold true at least until you solve the problem of cheap and efficient energy. I would argue that when you have solved that problem, you will still be able to fix the earth's issues at the same or lower cost than going out in to space. (Props to the termite infested house analogy posted earlier.)

Looking at this another way, if it was cheaper and easier to get iron, gold, or boron by mining asteroids I'm pretty sure someone would be doing it right now. The reason they aren't doing it is because it's cheaper not to. Something about skipping the roughly 180M mile round trip to the asteroid belt probably explains that.

about a year ago
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Bruce Schneier: A Cyber Cold War Could Destabilize the Internet

a-zarkon! Re:Forcing old world views on the new world? (124 comments)

You don't need to bribe people, just leave a compromised USB key in the parking lot. Or if you're more industrious, host an industry-specific "lunch and learn" for the target audience. Make sure everyone goes home with a trojan door-prize - iPad, smart phone, camera - something that can deliver your payload and will likely be hooked up to a computer for registration or activation.

Cost of 20 steaks + 20 iPads is pretty affordable, even for a malefactor of limited means.

about a year ago
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Bruce Schneier: A Cyber Cold War Could Destabilize the Internet

a-zarkon! Re:Easy solution (124 comments)

Hmm, well that needs to extend one level past the "enemies" to include all of the countries/geographies/etc. that do connect with the "enemies." You don't launch your exploits from your cyberwar directly from your connection. First you compromise a bunch of systems in other countries and use those as the launch point. Possibly nesting this several layers deep. Yep - just like in the "hacker" movies. You are creating plausible deniability and muddying up the water for anyone trying to figure out who is really behind the attack. This approach is also in pretty much direct opposition to the whole concept of the global economy. If you prevent Internet commerce and communications with large countries deemed to be the "cyber enemy" but who also happen to be a "major trading partner" it will certainly be disruptive to that trade. Go ahead and ask the obvious question as to why we are trading partners with our enemies - I can't figure it out either.

about a year ago
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Planetary Resources To 'Claim' Asteroids With Beacons

a-zarkon! Re:A bit hard to enforce.... (221 comments)

Really? I think the defining characteristic of space is the mind boggling emptiness of it all. Resources are not abundant, as there is a whole lot of nothing between us and anything else.

If outer space really is the land of milk and honey, we'd be mining already. The reason we don't is because it is more expensive to do it "out there" than it is to do it "down here."

about a year and a half ago
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Microsoft Fails Antivirus Certification Test (Again), Challenges the Results

a-zarkon! Re:This is why (228 comments)

Drive-by download exploit of browser or browser helper applications is prevalent. Firewalls won't help with these, and AV software can struggle with this vector as well.

Also, for the pattern-matching component of AV software, this technology is pretty reliable once a new variant is discovered and the AV vendors know about it. There is usually a window of time when a new variant is released and infecting systems *before* the pattern is added to the AV software. This means that there are some lucky winners who have been infected. These are new variants and not necessarily targetting 0-day vulnerabilities.

about a year and a half ago
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Valve Begins Listing Linux Requirements For Certain Games On Steam

a-zarkon! Re:Uneducated Virtualization Suggestion (332 comments)

*slaps head* Yep. Java should do it, but you're also dead on with respect to the slowness.

about a year and a half ago
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Valve Begins Listing Linux Requirements For Certain Games On Steam

a-zarkon! Uneducated Virtualization Suggestion (332 comments)

Maybe this is how it already works - but if it isn't here's an avenue I would investigate:

Shouldn't it be possible for Steam to build a hypervisor type environment? If they have a common hypervisor they port the game once to run in that environment. Then all they need to do is get their hypervisor running on Windows, *NIX, MAC, whatever.

There's definitely some additional processing overhead on this, but it seems that it would be a very efficient model once you have the hypervisor built. I would think you could probably push the specs/API/etc to the game publishers and have the game developer team adopt their game to the platform.

I don't know anything about how Steam works under the covers so maybe they're already doing this. I'm curious, but not enough to do the legwork.

about a year and a half ago

Submissions

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Gladiator Grave Found in UK

a-zarkon! a-zarkon! writes  |  more than 4 years ago

a-zarkon! (1030790) writes "Scientists have discovered a grave site in York containing 80 skeletons of people presumed to have been gladiators. Skeletons show evidence of bite marks that appear to have come from lions, tigers, or bears (oh my!) Evidence also leads them to believe the men came from areas throughout the Roman empire and shows evidence of heavy musculature and weapons training from a young age. Full story available from CNN at http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/europe/06/07/england.roman.cemetery/?hpt=C1"
Link to Original Source

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