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Comments

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Snowden Seeks To Develop Anti-Surveillance Technologies

bsDaemon "Develop" or "Instigate the development of"? (129 comments)

Nothing I have read about Snowden indicates that he is actually some sort of uber-hacker or capable of the type of software engineering that this proposal would entail. Is his plan just to use his name to fundraise (In bit coin, I guess. I doubt many people are stupid/brave enough to attach their name to a donation towards anything to do with this guy) and attract talent, or is he honestly going to try and release code himself, which will probably be of poor-to-average quality and expect the world to adopt it?

I mean, let's be honest: Either way, whether he's going to just try and brand the stack or contribute, we have technologies that are perfectly good (that is, however, not to say perfect) already -- its just they aren't particularly widely deployed. How many organizations are running IPSec internally, other than just for site-to-site VPN tunnels? How many organizations are deploying DNSSec outside of governments and the military? How many organizations are using PGP or similar asymmetric encryption between employees? Making it easier might help, but chances are that the vast, vast majority of individuals aren't going to jump on any of these technologies in any great numbers unless they are mandated to (like at work, where they don't have a choice), but it isn't as if the government is going to make it a requirement that you try and "spy proof" your computer and communications.

2 days ago
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Apple and IBM Announce Partnership To Bring iOS + Cloud Services To Enterprises

bsDaemon Re: The end is nigh (126 comments)

Wireshark... unfortunately, no iOS port yet.

about a week ago
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German NSA Committee May Turn To Typewriters To Stop Leaks

bsDaemon Re:So what? they can be tapped to. (243 comments)

Is that non-networked PC in a TEMPEST-compliant location? How sure are you of that?

SIGINT is some fascinating stuff.

about a week ago
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House Majority Leader Defeated In Primary

bsDaemon Re:Not your business? (932 comments)

I understand that. However, I am more concerned with seeing that the underlying principles and processes are upheld with integrity than I am in the outcome being favorable to me. My job is to make sure that I have representation that I agree with, not to spend all my time and money sticking my dick in everyone else's pudding. The members of the legislative bodies are then supposed to (*ghasp*) work together and compromise with each other to address issues that need addressing. I know that's a lost art these days, but still.

about a month and a half ago
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House Majority Leader Defeated In Primary

bsDaemon Re:Democrats voted (932 comments)

I met him, too. I just had significantly less interaction with him. Several of my friends speak highly of him. In my experience with other Sociology professors though, I must say that the department harbored some of the most willful ignorance I have ever encountered in my life and while I'm sure he's a nice guy, I expect nothing more from him than I observed in the rest of the department.

I don't immediately write someone off because of their party affiliation. Despite the trend towards "national" parties, I would still say I generally prefer a Virginia Democrat to a New York Republican. In this case, I doubt I can be so certain though.

But, once again we are going to find a choice between a qualified embarrassment and an feel-good disaster. Either way, the people of the district are going to be gyped in ways that they don't see until it is too late.

about a month and a half ago
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House Majority Leader Defeated In Primary

bsDaemon Re:Democrats voted (932 comments)

So would George Soros and any number of rich progressives and socialists. You don't need to single out the Koch Brothers.

That said, my issue isn't with money in politics, it is with the demise of Federalism as a governing principle. As a Virginian (and now as a Marylander), I don't consider it any of my business who represents people in say, California. I would never give money to a race in a state in which I don't live in, and have never really bothered with a district other than my own either. I can't vote in California (although they probably wouldn't bother to stop me), and I don't need representation from California.

When I worked in the political world, I used to have that argument all the time -- people wondering why I refused to get mad at, say, Nanci Pelosi for doing what she does. It doesn't matter if I like her or not, so long as she accurately reflects the will of her constituents. If she doesn't, then that's a problem for them -- not me over here on the east coast.

However, I also have an issue with people using the tactic of injecting themselves into their opponents primary in order to try and cause them to choose the worst candidate rather than trying to select the best candidate that their party can themselves. It's that kind of bullshit tactic that leads to polarization and animosity. Unfortunately, it seems as if that's the type of thing you need to do in order to have your voice heard, because if enough people are doing it then being honest becomes a liability. (And that, right there, is what is wrong with America today).

about a month and a half ago
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House Majority Leader Defeated In Primary

bsDaemon Re:Democrats voted (932 comments)

It's also possible that he had a switch flipped in the last 8 years, too. A lot has happened during that time and people change.

about a month and a half ago
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House Majority Leader Defeated In Primary

bsDaemon Re:rumor is dems voted for him (932 comments)

True, however you can only vote in one, iirc -- I left VA a few years ago for MD, where we have party registration and closed primaries, so I don't remember whether they took names down and compared who voted in which on what day, or ran the primaries on the same day and gave you the party ballot you asked for. I only voted in one primary while I lived in VA (where I lived for most of my life, but primaries were never a huge deal where I lived)

about a month and a half ago
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House Majority Leader Defeated In Primary

bsDaemon Re:rumor is dems voted for him (932 comments)

They have a candidate on the ballot in the general election. No one was willing to sign up to run because the assumed Cantor would be the nominee and they would stand no chance. However, they picked a candidate via convention rather than primary. If you're going to try to be dismissive, at least be dismissing the right things.

about a month and a half ago
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House Majority Leader Defeated In Primary

bsDaemon Re:Democrats voted (932 comments)

Correct. Allowing outsiders to inject themselves as spoilers into an internal race isn't fair. This is why party registration and closed primaries make sense. That's at least ore fair than doing the entire nomination via convention and forgoing primaries all together.

I went to RMC ('06), so I've met Brat before. I've also done political work (07-08) and had many interactions with Cantor. Frankly, I think that Brat is a better person one-on-one, but that Cantor is probably better to have been the nominee and retained the seat. Frankly, I'm surprised by Brat's immigration stance -- he never seemed the type to me when I was in school, but I never took any of his classes. Pretty sure I remember him from College Republican meetings and don't recall that topic ever being addressed though.

That sociology professor running against him can suck it though. I don't like that guy at all.

about a month and a half ago
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Gun Rights Groups Say They Don't Oppose Smart Guns, Just Mandates

bsDaemon Re:There Is No Demand For "smart guns" (584 comments)

Anyone who can afford a smart gun can afford to not live in Detroit. Therefore, I doubt either of those headlines would ever be written with "Detroit" in them for real.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Back Up Physical Data?

bsDaemon Re:Fairly easy (245 comments)

A key buried far away from the lock to which it goes is probably perfectly safe. It is, however, ridiculous, but I wouldn't trot out "security through obscurity" for it. However, numbers in the cell phone would likely be able to tie the key to a lock, and that's the most glaring vulnerability right there. (Also the stupidest part of the plan).

Additionally: since the fact that the key exists has been announced, security through obscurity isn't really applicable. To wit: I know you have an account, and I know you have a password. I do not, however, know your password. The password is secret, but the fact that it exists is known and is therefor not obscure. Likewise, one can assume the existence of a private key in a public/private key pair. The secrecy of the key is necessary for the encryption scheme to work as intended, but existence of key isn't denied, therefor not obscure.

about 3 months ago
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TCP/IP Might Have Been Secure From the Start If Not For the NSA

bsDaemon Re:Encryption would have been too slow (149 comments)

At the time the Internet was the (D)ARPANET and export to other countries wasn't really on the horizon anyway. I think had this gone into place, the headline would be "Internet may have been commercially adapted decades sooner, if not for built-in security mechanisms."

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Preparing For Windows XP EOL?

bsDaemon Re:No problem (423 comments)

Run it in a VM and pass the hardware through to the hypervisor?

about 4 months ago
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Second Federal 'Kill-switch' Bill Introduced Targeting Smartphone Theft

bsDaemon Re:Why are the corps against this? (158 comments)

The way I heard it described on the news this morning, the proposal was to allow you to "cancel a phone like a credit card," which sounded to me like you could call up with the ESN and have it black listed and they would have to do it. Right now, the phone companies have a conflict of interest in that they get to sell you a knew phone, and sell another service plan to your old phone, assuming it stays in the country. They make probably at least as much, if not more, off of cell phone theft than the muggers who swipe it out of your hand on the Metro do.

I think there are other proposal that allow you to have the phone bricked via some technical control, but it seems like that is open to all kinds of abuse.

about 5 months ago
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Second Federal 'Kill-switch' Bill Introduced Targeting Smartphone Theft

bsDaemon Re:Unconstitutional (158 comments)

Regulation of Interstate and International Commerce? They could ban the importation of devices which do not have this feature. Maybe they can't require you to purchase a phone that has it, but they can make it impossible not to. Or, do you know of a cell phone that was made entirely in the town/state you live in and which doesn't at any times cross state borders? Didn't think so.

At least, that's the argument that they'll make -- the same one they always make when people claim that the Federal government doesn't have the "constitutional authority" to do something. Arguing against it isn't going to get you very far, whether or not you're right.

about 5 months ago
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Second Federal 'Kill-switch' Bill Introduced Targeting Smartphone Theft

bsDaemon Re:"... as a means to reduce theft." (158 comments)

With Rolex, when you buy it the jeweler usually registers it with Rolex for you. If it is ever sent for servicing (which legitimate owners should do about every 5-7 years if they actually care about the movement of the watch), Rolex checks the registration and check to make sure that it hasn't been stolen. Pawn shops could (but many probably don't) call Rolex and ask. Other thing is -- don't forget to have the registration updated in your will or something, otherwise your children might be in for a hassle if they send it for servicing. At least, this is how the dealer explained it to me.

So, assuming the watch gets sent for servicing (most likely by whomever buys it after the thief hocks it), there is sort of a remote kill-switch for Rolex.

about 5 months ago
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Russians Suspected of Uroburos Spy Malware

bsDaemon Re:That's all the proof I need .. (137 comments)

The USSR was no where near as powerful as the USSR that was presented via propaganda (from both sides). I would argue that Russia has much of Europe in a tighter noose now via natural gas exports than they did during Soviet days. Many of the gas lines also run through Ukraine by necessity, which is probably what this is really about as opposed to any feigned concern for Russian speakers in Crimea. It is true that Russia doesn't have as many satellites in its sway as it once did, but that's also largely to do with the evolution of the EEC to the EU as well as US and British pushes to get former Soviet states into NATO. However, while Russia doesn't have the political sway that it once did, that doesn't mean that regaining as much of that sway as possible isn't a motivator for Putin.

Regaining degraded national prestige and empire has been a motivating factor for both Hard and Soft dictators throughout history. Not to Godwin this, but the precursory actions in WWII involved annexation of German-speaking areas that were lost to the German Empire after WW1. Likewise, Mussolini laid claim to much of the non-European territories formerly held by the Roman Empire (There is a reason why he adopted the fasces and why man hole covers in Italy are stamped SPQR these days). I believe that it is short sighted to say that because Russia does not have the influence that it once did that Putin will not try and gain as much of it back as possible.

The major difference is that the USSR was an Ideology State, much like the United States is. It was meant to be the shining beacon for radical, revolutionary socialism and communism and as such enjoyed the support of left-wing workers' groups, academics and politicians around the world, whom they also supported in turn. The Russian Federation is a nation state based on the historical territory of a specific set of ethnic groups bound together by history, blood and language. It's much more like South Korea in that way, and that lack of ideological status is what will keep them from regaining Soviet-era sphere of influence. Beyond money, it isn't like anyone will be driven to spy for Russia these days who isn't a Russian. There are no Reds lurking in the halls of power looking for juicy secrets to pass to their ideological brothers in arms.

With regards to your initial points, I'll accept my overstatement on Ukrainian deaths. I had that number stuck in my head for a long time. I may have been confusing it with similar Chinese issues (Communism tends to kill large numbers of people via stupidity as well as malice). However, I don't think that Yeltsin stating that he chose Putin to be his successor can necessarily be taken at face value. If a stone-cold killer had one over on you, what would you do? The fishiness comes from the resignation as opposed to a coupe. A coupe can be attributed outright. The fact that Yeltsin resigned, put a former intelligence officer with ties to the legal and illegal oligarchy (many of whom were also former KGB officers who leveraged those positions for economic gain after the fall of the Soviet Union), who then was able to play a shell game of power to where he has been either President or Prime Minister since 1999, smacks of strong-arming to me. However, that is supposition. I'm not in possession of any intelligence on the matter that hasn't already been made public.

However, for the sake of comparison, since Putin assumed control of the Kremlin, the United States has been through 4 Speakers of the House (Gingrich, Hastert, Pelosi, Boehner) and 3 Presidents (Clinton, Bush, Obama). Obama will be out of office in 2016, but I am willing to bet that Putin will be around one way or another for some time to come. As the swap to Prime Minister showed, he is only limited by the conservativeness of his terms, not the number.

about 5 months ago
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Russians Suspected of Uroburos Spy Malware

bsDaemon Re:That's all the proof I need .. (137 comments)

Putin is a former KGB officer (Lt. Colonel) who once referred to the fall of the Soviet Union as "the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century." Communist or not at this point, it almost doesn't matter. Call it the will to re-establish the Russian Empire. Putin likely sees himself as a latter-day Peter the Great, and is currently operating unchecked by a US executive branch and foreign policy apparatus that at best can be said to embody the culmination of Khrushchev's promise to "bury [the us] from within."

Do you not consider it fishy that Yeltsin, who was largely responsible for the dissolution of the Soviet union, and who was seen as having had the support of the US in doing so would "unexpectedly resign" to make way for a hardliner with strong ties to the intelligence services? There is a reason that people call his approach to governing "Soft Stalinism" -- Stalin was crushing opponents and literally airbrushing them out of history before Photoshop was remotely on the horizon.

Twenty million Ukrainians starved to death during forced collective farming in the first five-year plan of the Soviet Union. Leon Trotsky [Lev Bronstein] was a Ukrainian by birth (in much the same way that Joseph Stalin was a Georgian, the Bolshevik Revolution wasn't particularly Russian in nature). The animosity between Russian-speaking and non-Russian-speaking peoples in the Ukraine CANNOT be separated historically from rise nor fall of the Soviet Union, nor with the Crimean War when Russia first conquered Ukraine and brought into its fold the first time -- hence why Trotsky was able to participate in the revolution at such as senior level, and why Ukraine was there to suffer so greatly so early under the Soviet system.

And regardless of any status of moral authority after the Iraq war, the fact that the US got involved in Iraq in the way we did doesn't take away from the issue at hand in Crimea now, any more than "But NSA!!!" makes actions by FSB (or, more likely, criminal organizations who have quid-pro-quo agreements with FSB) any less bad.

about 5 months ago
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Headhunters Can't Tell Anything From Facebook Profiles

bsDaemon headhunters suck (209 comments)

I get contacted on linkedin a few times a month by recruiters. Half the time it is people who work for companies and actually want to talk to me. The other half it is third-party head-hunters, and what they want is for me to tell them anyone who may be interested: ie, they contact me, a stranger, and ask me to do their job for them. Of course, they usually offer a finder's fee of some sort, but if a recruiter/headhunter doesn't have his or her own bag of tricks, or even an hr professional subscription to LinkedIn, then what good is he/her?

As for recruiting internally, I have had to coach the recruiters at the company I work for as to what the look for, what type of candidate is acceptable for different departments, etc. I nearly have the company record on employee referrals, and now managers in other departments will often times come to me and ask if I know anyone rather than relying on "talent acquisition" to find them someone suitable. But hell, at $2500 a pop, its almost like a nice little part-time job, so they can keep being as useless as they want to be as far as I'm concerned. There's never going to be a substitute for a vouch from a trusted source, no matter what type of "screening" HR ever gets a hold of.

about 7 months ago

Submissions

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Ex-NASA Cheif O'Keefe Dies in Alaska Plane Crash

bsDaemon bsDaemon writes  |  more than 3 years ago

bsDaemon (87307) writes "CNN is reporting that former NASA head, Sean O'Keefe, has died in a plane crash in Alaska. The information comes from EADS North America, where he has been serving as the CEO. According to the story, the NTSB is citing inclement weather as the cause of the crash."
Link to Original Source
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Lucasfilm Backs Off Light Saber Issue

bsDaemon bsDaemon writes  |  more than 3 years ago

bsDaemon (87307) writes "It appears, according to a CNN.com article that Lucasfilm Ltd is backing off its crusade against Wicked Lasers and their "light saber"-like hand held laser, stating that the 'The potential for confusion is now "significantly reduced,"' according to a press release issued by Lucasfilm and referenced by a CNN.com story. However, Wicked Lasers did end up adding additional safety features, including tuning down the default power setting, as well as adding a safety lock to the device, as well as having gone out of their way to make sure every one knows they are not affiliated with or endorsed by the 'Star Wars' creators in any way."
Link to Original Source
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25 Years of Cisco

bsDaemon bsDaemon writes  |  more than 4 years ago

bsDaemon (87307) writes "Today is the 25th anniversary of Cisco as a company, and to mark the occasion they are encouraging employees to volunteer a total of 200,000 hours to their local communities. From the article: "I can think of no better way to mark Cisco's 25th year than focusing even more of our employees' talents and energy on community service," Chambers said. "Helping people connect and collaborate is not just core to our business — it is core to our values.""
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Magnite may reveal life on mars

bsDaemon bsDaemon writes  |  more than 6 years ago

bsDaemon (87307) writes "According to New Scientist, researchers at JPL intend to search for magnite deposits on Mars, thinking that it may be a key to finding traces of life on the red planet. Magnite is produced by some bacteria on Earth, so if they find the mineral on Mars, it could contain evidence of similar bacteria having taken hold. From the article: "Bacteria produce magnetite crystals in a very narrow size range, whereas 'non-biogenic' minerals occur in a variety of sizes and shapes. The variations in size mean that different kinds of magnetite have distinct magnetic properties.""
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Quamtum effects on camera allow for ghost imaging

bsDaemon bsDaemon writes  |  more than 6 years ago

bsDaemon (87307) writes "New Scientist is running a story about Ghost Imaging with digital cameras due to quantum links between photons. The technique allows an image to be taken of an object that can't be directly seen. Some possible implications being mentioned are for satellite imaging through clouds or smoke. FTA: "The same method could one day be employed to produce satellite images of objects hidden behind clouds or smoke, using the sun's radiation as the photon source, says Shih. Doing that may require a photon counter beneath the clouds, but could allow a top-down view not possible using conventional methods." I suppose that in the future, there may really be no place to hide?"

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