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Complaint Challenges Univ. of Hawaii Email Partnership Wth Google

duffbeer703 Re:My old Uni did this. (172 comments)

You're confusing transport encryption with message encryption.

HIPPA doesn't require that you use S/MIME or PGP or some other technology to encrypt the content of your mail at rest. But if you're transporting between systems, you need to ensure that privileged data is protected in transit. There are a variety of techniques that allow you to do that, with a range of advantages and disadvantages.

more than 2 years ago

State Department CIO Interviewed About Post-Wikileaks Changes

duffbeer703 Would this stuff had helped? (24 comments)

At the end of the day, Bradley Manning was a mental trainwreck in a myriad of ways. This wasn't a secret -- he was in the process of being drummed out of the military before his arrest. Seems to me that the human half of the system failed -- someone in Manning's state of crisis should have been cutoff from access to weapons or critical information at some point.

more than 2 years ago

Half Life of a Tech Worker: 15 Years

duffbeer703 Re:It's not age - it's money and misogyny. (473 comments)

Sure, or it could be someone like you assuming that a maternity leave equates to not "keep up-to-date on their skill sets" or that you should give a promotion to good old Bob, since even though he's as dumb as a box of rocks, he's supporting the little woman and kids at home.

more than 2 years ago

Why Do Companies Backup So Infrequently?

duffbeer703 Re:To Tape... (403 comments)


An LTO-5 tape drive is like $2,500.

A 1.5 TB tape is like $50.

100 TB = $6,000.

If you are actually generating 200 TB per day, you're not going to use some cheapo DAS box to hold all of your backups.

more than 2 years ago

Online Social Security Statement In Limbo

duffbeer703 Re:Holy false economy! (160 comments)

Social Security surpluses are just spent in the general federal budget, because the "Social Security Trust Fund" is just a special class of non-marketable treasury bonds. When the surplus goes away in a few years, that money will no longer be flowing into the treasury AND the government will have to start repaying its debt to the system out of other Federal receipts and new debt.

None of this is news or sourced from Fox News. It's fact that can be found in the report issued in 1983 by Senator Moynihan, who was not a "right winger" by any standard and was an advocate for the system. Unfortunately, we have done little to address the problems in the last 30 years.

more than 3 years ago

Online Social Security Statement In Limbo

duffbeer703 Holy false economy! (160 comments)

What microscopic proportion of the Social Security budget is mailing a few statements?

The program is bankrupting the nation. Frankly, mailing statements will save money compared to launching some giant IT project with Oracle, SAIC, Lockheed and the other cast of Federal contracting characters. How many 80 year olds are going to be able to deal with an electronic statement anyway? And how will you identity-proof them?

more than 3 years ago

IBM Watson To Replace Salespeople and Cold-Callers

duffbeer703 Replace IBM Salesmen? (316 comments)

Wait a minute... IBM sells crap by playing golf with the CEO. 2-3 times a year they fly in 50 people from 10 countries to pitch some stupid product, we pick another one, and get "encouraged" to take another look at Big Blue.

I know that Watson mastered jeopardy, but how will it kiss the boss's butt?

more than 3 years ago

Ask Slashdot: What Country Has the Best Email Privacy Laws?

duffbeer703 Re:privacy laws won't fix a broken privacy model (236 comments)

From a practical point of view, an end-user won't be aware of a SSL MITM attack if you re-encrypt using a certificate issued by a trusted CA.

Where I work, for example, we centrally decrypt all traffic and re-encrypt with an cert that we issue and put on each workstation.

more than 3 years ago

Michio Kaku's Dark Prediction For the End of Moore's Law

duffbeer703 Re:This is a perfect example of the world today (347 comments)

Kaku educates the public about where to find his books. That's about it.

Listen to Kaku's radio show sometime if it is still on the air. It's two hours long, about 40% of the show is an advertisement for his book/tv appearance/book signing. There is usually an interview with someone interesting, who gets cut off mid-sentence so Kaku can talk about his book and cut to the radio station's commercials.

more than 3 years ago

Crime Writer Makes a Killing With 99 Cent E-Books

duffbeer703 Re:and so society dies out (445 comments)

This is the hype of the dot-com era coming back to actually roost. This isn't "socialism", it's cutting out the middleman. The actual author is making more money and has more (ie. complete) editorial control over his art.

Cutting out the middleman means returning things like writing to a craft rather than of an afterthought that is part of an industrial process of creating books. Instead needing an army of buyers, marketers, retail placement specialists, etc, you return to the artist and his craft.

more than 3 years ago

What's the Oldest File You Can Restore?

duffbeer703 Re:Better question is how overwritten was the rest (498 comments)

The issue with not turning over disks that once held sensitive info is a check against nefarious employees (deliberately not erasing sensitive disks) or bureaucratic bungling (which box did the erased drives go in again?), not mad Russians with electron microscopes.

more than 3 years ago

The Clock Is Ticking On Encryption

duffbeer703 Re:The U.S. government is VERY corrupt. (228 comments)

Yeah, it probably is bullshit.

In fact if you are a multi-millionaire, you could probably find a talented team of attorneys to fight the unlimited resources of the US government for a few years at $500/hr each to argue the point. Maybe you could find some judge to agree with you.

Good luck with that.

Also, how well have gitmo done with the objective scales of justice? Not so good.

more than 3 years ago

The Clock Is Ticking On Encryption

duffbeer703 Re:The U.S. government is VERY corrupt. (228 comments)

You would be charged with murder. Shooting at policemen is a bad idea, whatever the scenario.

The agents, although technically violating some law or policy, were acting in good faith in pursuit of justice.

more than 3 years ago

EPA Knowingly Allowed Pesticide That Kills Bees

duffbeer703 Re:Snippy "Free Market" Comments (410 comments)

There's a difference between being responsible and acting in good faith and letting your narrow self-interest damage others.

When a chemical company invents a pesticide or hebicide that enables farmers to grow more food or avoid some sort of difficult or dangerous manual labor, that's a good thing. When pesticide has wider-ranging effects that can negatively effect the greater environment or economic fortunes of others, and that same company obfuscates or actively funds research to deflect attention, that is a bad thing.

Many people who claim to be "capitalists", but who are actually aspiring plutocrats, have a very shallow understanding of how markets work and have picked up this near-religous faith that whatever makes a business happy is good. That's not necessarily true -- business also needs to be a good neighbor. If one of the side-effects of your business activity is contibuting to the destruction of a form of life that is a key part of the food chain, you are an enemy of free markets and our free society.

more than 3 years ago

China's Politburo Behind Google Cyber-Attack?

duffbeer703 Re:headline? (142 comments)

Since Assange claims to be in regular contact with the US government and leaks lots of stuff of questionable value, there's a good chance that he's a total fraud. Supposedly this was all leaked by that army PFC... so the data have been sat on for months.

If you read magazines like the Economist or Foreign Affairs, you've already read paraphrased summaries of all of this stuff. My guess is that these leaks contain misinformation to misdirect folks like the Chinese who have already hacked State Department networks and probably have a limited collection of these already.

Think that sounds far-out? Just Google "Operation Mincemeat".

more than 3 years ago

Evaluating Or Testing Utility SCADA Security?

duffbeer703 Re:VPN (227 comments)

I agree with you almost completely. The only exception that I take is assuming that a competent IT staff is available.

This may be a given in industrial settings, but municipal government is an area where you often don't even have an IT function -- the role just doesn't exist in the organization. I would guess that this is even more likely to happen in sewer and water districts, which are often quasi-independent government entities on their own that are dominated by a combination of appointed political hacks who need help tying their shoes and civil engineers who think in terms of pipes and backhoes.

more than 3 years ago

Preventing Networked Gizmo Use During Exams?

duffbeer703 Re:Open Notes & Well-Designed Exams (870 comments)

Furthermore, I think any physics or math exam that requires a complex calculator really has a wrong approach. Assuming everyone at this level has already demonstrated their ability to perform arithmetic several times over, the calculator should only be there to free them from making mistakes on the menial number crunching (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, squares, squareroots, proper value of e,Pi, etc...). The exam should test for core concepts: ideas where you simply must understand the knowledge through prior practice and learning.

One problem: In your hypothetical world, where hypothetical students just use their notes and other aids, the students probably don't have a clue, since they can't do basic math because some idiot math teacher back in 4th grade decided that understanding the process of using a multiplication table was enough. And using notes as a reference isn't fair either, since some dumbass english teacher decided that actually having the ability to write legibly was ho-hum in the era of the internet.

about 4 years ago

Preventing Networked Gizmo Use During Exams?

duffbeer703 Just say no. (870 comments)

If you can't hack using a standard 4 function calculator, than you can't hack physics either.

I also hate to be rude, but most universities require that students speak and read english. While I can appreciate the fact that a Korean may not have the best grasp of written English, I also think it that individual's responsibility to learn the language or work outside of class to create notes in his or her native language. I sat through a number of situations in school where I was struggling with difficult material while foreign students were either talking during exams in their language, "sharing calculators" or similar, blatant examples of cheating that went unchallenged due to the political situation at the university.

After being written up in the campus newspaper, one professor "took a stand" by curving everyone's grade up one letter grade, essentially bribing the class into submission.

about 4 years ago

Freetype Lands In... Microsoft Office?

duffbeer703 Re:Must burn. (212 comments)

It's done in a Mac Business Unit separate from the Office team.

about 4 years ago

Building a Traffic Radar System To Catch Reckless Drivers?

duffbeer703 Re:Um... shouldn't traffic lights come first? (483 comments)

This article is about someone in a third world country who is literally witnessing death and mayhem on his front step and wants to shame the local police into doing something about it. Some folks are skewing the comments to talk about how speedtraps suck, etc.

Some municipalities abuse speed laws for revenue purposes, and some cops write dumb tickets such as your scenario. That's why we have courts.

If you don't believe that speeding is a major factor in car accidents, Google for articles citing NHTSA. Look at the numbers yourself and make your own judgement.

Also consider that you may be a driver with better skills than average. My wife's a great driver... I'd happily hold an uncovered cup of hot coffee while she drives. I'm an awful driver, and my passengers would be chugging the coffee down before I put the car in drive.

There are many drivers on the road who are dumb, illiterate or otherwise inept. Do you trust their judgement?

about 4 years ago


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