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German NSA Committee May Turn To Typewriters To Stop Leaks

bruce_the_loon Re:Photocopy (244 comments)

They'll be bringing in a mimeograph machine to make the copies. Oh gods, the recollections of primary school and helping the secretary run off the couple of hundred copies of the latest school raffle sheet. By hand crank.

about two weeks ago
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Norway Scraps Online Voting

bruce_the_loon Re:What logic! (139 comments)

In South Africa, absentee ballots have to be applied for ahead of time, an electoral commission officer accompanied by one or more party representatives goes to the person, gives them the ballot paper and retrieves it in sealed double envelopes as soon as the person is done with it.

It is labour intensive, but it prevents trouble from happening.

about a month ago
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IRS Lost Emails of 6 More Employees Under Investigation

bruce_the_loon Re:Massive conspiracy (465 comments)

About 1.02996826% of a Library of Congress. :)

about a month and a half ago
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IRS Lost Emails of 6 More Employees Under Investigation

bruce_the_loon Re:Massive conspiracy (465 comments)

Given average email size of 75kB, compressible attachments, a 5:1 compression ratio and LTO 6 uncompressed 200MB/s write speed, 18 minutes of tape would be roughly 14.8 million emails.

about a month and a half ago
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Auditors Release Verified Repositories of TrueCrypt

bruce_the_loon Re:Subscribe (146 comments)

Hey, how did you get hold of the IPv6 address for my bathroom^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^Hsecurity camera system?

Signed, the janitor at St Trinian's School.

about 1 month ago
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NRC Human Spaceflight Report Says NASA Strategy Can't Get Humans To Mars

bruce_the_loon Re:Why go to another gravity well? (206 comments)

I, for one, would happily spend 2.5 billion dollars to destroy the gold fetish.

about 2 months ago
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Bug In DOS-Based Voting Machines Disrupts Belgian Election

bruce_the_loon Re:overly complicated (193 comments)

4K? Huh?

The Atmel megaAVR series ranges from 4Kb to 256Kb code space. The Arduino Uno boards have been running the 32Kb chip since rev 1.

about 2 months ago
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Bug In DOS-Based Voting Machines Disrupts Belgian Election

bruce_the_loon Re:Paltry (193 comments)

South Africa just did it that way and it works well. First you count the total ballots, still folded, then you count the votes and that way nobody can add other ballots in during the vote tally to make up numbers. No cellphones etc allowed in the hands of the counters, elections officials or party observers during the count.

Got one addition to the process that we don't do. No results should be released from a polling station until every single station has finished counting and certified within the station. Forget this running TV tally and all that crap, if the numbers in each station remain secret until all stations are ready to report, then you can reduce the risk of "finding" additional votes in the trunk of a car.

about 2 months ago
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IT Pro Gets Prison Time For Sabotaging Ex-Employer's System

bruce_the_loon Re:Duh... (265 comments)

It's the latter and seems to be confined to the United States at the moment. European and Asian forces seem to get the cooperation they need and African forces, those countries who have them, are way too busy with actual crime to bother with making crimes up.

about 2 months ago
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Robbery Suspect Tracked By GPS and Killed

bruce_the_loon Re:use a foil-lined bag. (450 comments)

Signal blocked right until you pull the bottle out again. Then it pings home with your home address.

about 2 months ago
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Emory University SCCM Server Accidentally Reformats All Computers Campus-wide

bruce_the_loon Re:An...accident..? (564 comments)

There's a link at the end of the by user block. Used the Slashdot homepage option.

about 2 months ago
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Emory University SCCM Server Accidentally Reformats All Computers Campus-wide

bruce_the_loon Re:An...accident..? (564 comments)

This is semi-maximum damage and disruption. The users PC's would still work, albeit with no personal data. Given the way SCCM formats and dumps, there is a change of data recovery with any of the post-format recovery tools like EZRecovery, Recuva etc.

Max disruption would be to deploy a DoD-level hard disk wipe utility configured for 20 passes.

about 2 months ago
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Emory University SCCM Server Accidentally Reformats All Computers Campus-wide

bruce_the_loon Re:An...accident..? (564 comments)

This isn't the update server section of System Center (WSUS), it's the machine deployment system (Configuration Manager), and it can quite easily do this if left as-is out of the box with multiple technicians on it. And it can be done accidentally.

Here's the scenario as it likely happened.

  • Technician finished a master PC install task sequence and tested with one PC. Now he is ready to deploy to his computer lab.
  • There are two options for failure here. SCCM allows for collections of machines to be built for all purposes (data gathering, deployments etc), so he probably puts a quick group together and gets that step wrong and the collection includes all computers in the AD tree. One of our technicians did this after two years of using SCCM regularly.
  • Or he goes hunting for an existing collection and ends up selecting the default All Systems collection which includes everything. If there are a lot of collections or his is named too similarly.
  • After another hundred odd clicks, he hits deploy and SCCM sends a message to the client service on all computers in the selected collection to run the new deployment task sequence. Including the SCCM server because it also has a client and is in All Systems collection or gathered in an incorrectly specified collection.
  • Each PC then downloads the image, reboots and wipes itself with the image. The server, also in the collection, will do the same at some point.

We've had two near-misses with misconfigured collections and one hit with a different problem* which cannot have happened in this case. SCCM isn't the most intuitive user interface and if you're being pressured by users or trying to get out of the door for the weekend, you can stuff it up easily.

Our solution was to restrict access to the built-in collections and to build collections per computer lab which are presented as read-only to the technicians. And then gave them a day of lectures. It sort of works.

* The other problem was caused by image dumping with Ghost of an image that was sysprepped, but had the SCCM client still installed on the image. Because of that, several dozen PCs had clients with the same client ID, like the Windows GUID, but separate and not cleared by a sysprep. The technician later built a SCCM image and deployed it correctly to one PC in a personal collection. Unfortunately SCCM populated the deployment list based on the client ID of the PC in the list and hit quite a few overnight. Luckily a lot of the machines in the batch were off overnight. I don't think this is the case because it hit the server too and that would have received a new client install during the SCCM installation.

about 2 months ago
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Can Thunderbolt Survive USB SuperSpeed+?

bruce_the_loon Re:So in other words, it will be just like Firewir (355 comments)

Just had a look at my local online camera shop. None of the Canon home, prosumer or pro-broadcast cameras have FW anymore and only the Sony pro-broadcast cameras have it, not their prosumer or home devices. Sad.

about 3 months ago
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London Black Cabs Threaten Chaos To Stop Uber

bruce_the_loon Re: Buggy whips (417 comments)

Except according to the government, they are NOT bypassing the law. Transport for London says that Uber is legal, then Uber is legal no matter what the LTDA thinks.

about 3 months ago
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NASA, France Skeptical of SpaceX Reusable Rocket Project

bruce_the_loon And so what? (333 comments)

Why not let SpaceX try and find out for themselves. They know their engines and have tested them for reuse long before they started building Grasshopper and the test protocols for Falcon 9.

The Merlins are designed to stop and start, and have done it successfully on the launch pad with the launch aborts experienced during their test flights. And SpaceX probably has a set that they've run on a static test pad for a full flight profile, then dusted them off, checked the bearings and seals and ran them again. And again. And again.

The SSMEs are excessively complex systems that have a much greater thrust than the Merlins. They need a full strip and rebuild because of their complexity.

about 3 months ago
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Chinese E-Commerce Giant To Enter US Market

bruce_the_loon Re:Wha? (32 comments)

More likely PRC will be Hong Kong in 30 years.

about 3 months ago
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Skepticism Grows Over Claims That MH370 Lies In the Bay of Bengal

bruce_the_loon Re:Economics (126 comments)

There was an article a couple of weeks back around the time the pings were supposedly detected where the Malaysian government wanted to start the process of declaring the passengers dead so the compensation process could start and the families threw their toys out of the cot.

The decision to declare the passengers dead is independent of finding the wreckage and can be done without proof of death, although having the passengers show up alive later can be embarrassing and difficult to correct. There is an agreed upon seven year maximum waiting window, but that can be shortened.

Wreckage or not, compensation will be paid.

about 3 months ago
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Microsoft Cheaper To Use Than Open Source Software, UK CIO Says

bruce_the_loon Re: Recruiting policy (589 comments)

Word 2013 does open and save ODT files.

about 3 months ago

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