Science Fair Entry Shuts Down Airport Terminal
So it seems that TSA Bob is suggesting that separating pieces of your custom electronics may help your luggage get through TSA screening. Since this device was found in carry-on baggage I don't know how much that would help. I often travel with custom and semi-custom electronics in my checked baggage and I've never had a problem (although I regularly find the "searched by TSA" card when I reach my destination). A couple things I do:
-Put custom electronics in my checked baggage whenever possible
-Put the parts in separate containers whenever possible
-Separate batteries, antennas, and other accessories from the devices
-Try not to travel to Phoenix (nothing to do with custom electronics or TSA, I've had two bags seriously damaged at PHX)
Also, be aware that "rubber-ducky" type antennas show up as a thin metal blade/wire on x-ray. I've had my carry-on's searched a couple times because I forgot to put an antenna in my checked baggage, although it's never been a problem once I took it out of the bag and showed it to the agent.
Supreme Court Says Gov't Employee Texts Not Private
From the article:
"The court in December refused to hear a related appeal from Arch Wireless, now a unit of USA Mobility Inc., the nation’s largest provider of paging services. The 9th Circuit court said the company violated a federal electronic-privacy law by providing the transcript without seeking Quon’s permission".
So the Supreme Court ruled that the department had the legal authority to review the pager messages, but the 9th Circuit says the service provider violated a federal law in turning over the records without Quon's permission?
The Truth About the Polygraph, According To the NSA
Not sure how this got a tagged as an NSA video, it's from the DSS. The DSS is the organization responsible for granting security clearances. The process they're describing is the polygraph you take to receive certain security clearances. Anyone who is taking this polygraph has applied for a Top Secret-level security clearance. This process is pretty much the same for anyone applying for these clearances, doesn't matter if they'll be working at the NSA, another three-letter agency, in the armed forces, or for a private defense contractor.
MATLAB Can't Manipulate 64-Bit Integers
MATLAB isn't strongly typed, and by default variables are floating-point (I think 64-bit is the standard if type isn't specified). Makes sense for scientific programming. You need to go out of your way to use integer types in MATLAB, and the only reason I've ever had to do it is when trying to convert MATLAB scripts to C code to run on fixed-point processors. I do think that not supporting 64-bit integer operations is an oversight but I don't think it affects the vast majority of MATLAB users.
Suggestions For Learning FPGA Development At Home?
A cheaper alternative that's well below your price point would be CPLDs (complex programmable logic devices). Much less capable than an FPGA but also much cheaper. Xilinx makes the CoolRunner line, Altera makes the MAX line, and I'm sure there are plenty of others. There's a $63 Xilinx development kit available from digi-key:
Resisting the PGP Whole Disk Encryption Craze
If they have clusters that are processing classified data then those clusters can only be accessed from classified terminals which are physically controlled. I don't believe it's possible to partition a "section" of an unclassified machine to do classified processing. If classified machines are talking across an unclassified network then they've got Type 1 encryption devices sitting in between them and the network. Protecting classified resources is completely different than protecting unclassified resources since there's already mandatory physical security around classified machines.