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Congress Suggests Moat, Electronic Fence To Protect White House

gavron Military bases have moats (212 comments)

I live in Tucson, Arizona. We have one air-force base and one army national guard base. Both have a moat around them and a fence on both sides of the moat, and a bridge to the inspection station.

Here's a picture of the bridge over the moat.

Note the lack of water. Tucson, Arizona. It's a dry heat.

If it's good enough for military bases, it's good enough for the President. Also Congress. And if they continue to perform so well in representing us, they can be forced to swim it.


about a week ago

25th Anniversary: When the Berlin Wall Fell

gavron Re:Darmok (151 comments)

Darmok and Gilad.

At Tanagra.

about two weeks ago

Russia Takes Down Steve Jobs Memorial After Apple's Tim Cook Comes Out

gavron Re:Because (430 comments)

You have something against half-naked gay horses?


about three weeks ago

Russia Takes Down Steve Jobs Memorial After Apple's Tim Cook Comes Out

gavron So clearly Android is the best. (430 comments)

Res ipsa loquitur.

Glad we finally put that one to rest.

Thank you, Russian oligarchs, putocrats, and dictators.

Now that we've settled that, next up on /.... who's smarter, Hillary Clinton or Martha Bush. Hint: there's no right answer.


about three weeks ago

Windows 8 and 8.1 Pass 15% Market Share, Windows XP Drops Below 20% Mark

gavron Microsoft has done a TREMENDOUS job (192 comments)

Instead of focusing on the problems in Windows (inherently insecure, a spaghetti mess of trying to make things compatible all the way back to single-user Windows3.1, supporting obsolete drivers that don't respect sandboxing, etc.) and therefore being a magnet to malware of all kinds, people are EXCITED by the "new versions" of window dressing (no pun intended) Microsoft keeps bringing to market.

It's like buying new deck chairs for the Titanic. The color is right. The pillows are fluffy. Who cares if the end result is you drown in a cold dark sea.

about three weeks ago

Sierra Nevada Corp. Files Legal Challenge Against NASA Commercial Contracts

gavron Sierra Nevada - - I love their beer! (127 comments)

I love their beer!

Really they want to challenge because the government favored Boeing by 1.5B over SpaceX which they favored by 900M over SV?

It's all fair in a corrupt faux government.

Cure the "bitcoin replaces fiat currency and that's what makes the yoke of governments work" music.


about 2 months ago

Ask Slashdot: Who Should Pay Costs To Attend Conferences?

gavron Enjoy the conference and enjoy the show (182 comments)

Your description of the work environment sounds great, and it's awesome you recognize and appreciate that. High pay comes with high stress, high responsibility, and worse working conditions. Lower pay comes with less stress, and better working conditions. You have that -- be happy!

Your employer can't pay for you to go to the conference. That they offered to pay for the training (if you get yourself there) is better than zero! Some would call it half-assed but it's all about that glass with water and how you see it.

Treat it as a vacation to Las Vegas (one of the cheaper places to visit) and during that vacation... IF YOU SO CHOOSE you can attend a seminar/conference that your employer is willing to pay for. If you don't, it's a vacation.

Hotels are inexpensive both on and off The Strip. Rental cars are unnecessary but $20/day (seriously). Food is plentiful and cheap so long as you walk through a casino to get to it. Drinks are free while gaming. There are shows all over the place.

If it was my job and I really wanted to attend this conference I'd book a reasonable hotel (I love Mandalay Bay or MGM or Planet Hollywood) close to the conference, get a flight in on a cheap air carrier (American formerly AmericaWest and SouthWest and JetBlue are three popular options), take a $9 shuttle or $20 cab from the airport, and party my little ass off until conference time. I would get myself tickets to see a show or two while out there.

Instead of begging for $$$s, ask who wants to come with and make it into a party-atmosphere for a small group. Well worth digging into the credit-card for the once-in-a-decade experience. Have a bachelor's party/bachelorette party atmosphere without the wedding. Skip the limo :)

Enjoy the trip. Enjoy the show!

Tucson AZ
Full disclosure: I go to Vegas about 4 times a year.

about 2 months ago

NSA Director Says Agency Is Still Trying To Figure Out Cyber Operations

gavron Clue #1: Nobody calls it Cyber except Doctor Who (103 comments)

While you're looking for "the cyber threats" you might as well just buy a modern dictionary. Nobody calls anything "cyber" anymore and the number two threat is malware... right behind the number on threat... the NSA.

Cyber-think your way out of that one, NSAmen. Time is short. The cybermen are coming.

about 2 months ago

Mysterious, Phony Cell Towers Found Throughout US

gavron Cut the cable -- See who screams (237 comments)

Take one out of action. See who responds. It's not that hard.

Make sure your lawyer is on speeddial.


about 3 months ago

Microsoft Shutting Down MSN Messenger After 15 Years of Service

gavron Slashdot editors on weekends are 3 year olds (127 comments)

Oh I'm sorry.
Slashdot editor's on weekend's are three year old's.

It's sad to be illiterate. It's even sadder to be illiterate and not know's it's.

about 3 months ago

ICANN Offers Fix For Domain Name Collisions

gavron Re:1993 All over again (RFC-1935) (101 comments)

The distinction is lost when the trailing period is left off.

NAME should in some search list match matching TLDNAME if one exists,
but the ambiguity if NAME exists in NAME.TLD (or, hello, name.GOBSofCCTLDS) let alone
NAME.subdomains.TLD means it's now a user problem.

The point of RFC-1535/1536 was to provide predictability in the resolver's traversal of its
available options. Computers are supposed to be predictable, predictive, and repeatable.

And yet... some domain resolver lookup yesterday may fail tomorrow because unrelated to
the domain in which NAME is being resolved, ICANN has alowed NAME. to be registered.



about 3 months ago

Google's Satellites Could Soon See Your Face From Space

gavron Re:2x the resolution? (140 comments)

No. It isn't. That's why there are two dimensions to it.

X x Y (see, two dimensions). That's not linear. OP is right. 25cm is 4x the resolution of 50cm.


about 3 months ago

FCC Reminds ISPs That They Can Be Fined For Lacking Transparency

gavron Still no jurisdiction (38 comments)

Lots of posters are asking why ISPs are not getting fined... why the FCC hasn't done anything... and nobody's asked the important question: "What CAN the FCC actually do?"

This article by CommLaw (really great outfit that analyzes communication, broadband, ISP, VoIP, and carrier law) puts it in great perspective:

The FCC is unable to regulate ISPs since they deregulated them and declared them not to be common carriers. The reason that the FCC won't make ISPs be common carriers is (as has been discussed before countless times) the incumbent carriers DON'T WANT the ISPs to get the privileges (and lower rates) of being carriers... so they lobby hard to prevent anyone else from being carriers.

That leaves the FCC in the position of putting out these stupide "reminder memos" because they really have no enforcement actions to take. That's why they've done nothing.


about 4 months ago

$10 Million Lawsuit Against Wikipedia Editors "Stragetically" Withdrawn

gavron Wikimedia SCREWED UP (51 comments)

They should have filed a response. ANY response. That locks the case in and makes it impossible for the complainant to withdraw it without consent.
Then they could have filed the SLAPP response.

By delaying (likely to get way too many unnecessary ducks in a row, but that's how lawyers work) they now have lost that opportunity. The complaint will be filed again -- not necessarily in California -- and including elements that can't be dismissed by SLAPP elements.

What a shame.


about 4 months ago

Rightscorp Pushing ISPs To Disconnect Repeat Infringers

gavron DMCA safe harbor irrelevant and hard to get (92 comments)

The real question cleverly ignored by these rights-maximalists is
"Is the ISP/provider responsible for the content posted by others."
the answer is no. There is no secondary liability to ISPs nor
reponsibility as per the CDA sec 230.

Now if the ISPs *ACTUALLY INDUCE* (see Napster and possibly Mega,
or so USDOJ says), then there is a POSSIBLE liability.
THAT's the only thing providers need to fear, but instead they knee-jerk
take down material.

Note that the DMCA notice is not "DMCA Takedown notice" but rather
"Notice of ***CLAIMED INFRINGEMENT***" (emphasis mine).

A "safe harbor" doesn't mean that a LACK OF A SAFE HARBOR means
instant guilt/civil liability. That is a fact lost on most knee-jerk ISPs.

ISPs should pull up their big-boy shorts and quit taking it in the pants
from every email-script that tells them to take down content because DMCA.

my script verifies that this is true under oath and here's my script-copied
pgp signature because dmca.

about 5 months ago

Apple Kills Aperture, Says New Photos App Will Replace It

gavron FREE app that doesn't exist MAY HAVE less features (214 comments)

So a FREE app (#1) for a small subset of people will soon be replaced by another FREE app (#2) for a small subset of people and the author thinks that #2 will have less features than #`1 but of course it will only affect a small subset of people.

Well tea in China may get expensive next year too.

Don't be beholden to one company, be it Apple, ChinaTeaCo, or anyone. Then you don't have to whine when one app you didn't pay a dollar for FREE app (#1 or #2) you don't feel like wadding up tissues and crying. Man up. Or woman up. Either way quit whining.

Free market. Haven't heard about it? That's where you can go buy things not made by Apple. Then you're not beholden to their stupid movements, bowel or market.


about 5 months ago

Wikipedia Editors Hit With $10 Million Defamation Suit

gavron Re:RTFA (268 comments)

...don't get convicted for it...

If you read the original article... the daily dot says "Collins and Barry were acquitted in 2005, the AP added."
If you read the AP article the headline "Former Prisons Chief, Viapro Exec Acquitted" gives you a clue that
the content includes "A federal judge acquitted a former Texas prisons chief and a Canadian businessman..."

Acquitted is LIKE convicted only just the exact opposite.


about 5 months ago



Time Warner Parting Itself Out

gavron gavron writes  |  about 5 months ago

gavron (1300111) writes "We all know about TW Cable being acquired by Comcast (subject to regulatory approval) http://corporate.comcast.com/t... but news from today is that their non-cable business is being purchased by Level3 for almost 6 BILLION dollars. http://dealbook.nytimes.com/20... .

What used to be the former "largest media and distribution company ever" (AOL Time Waner) is now nothing more than a garage of pieces being parceled off to the first available bidder. This might be good for consumers, but recently Time Warner (and Comcast) won awards for consumer hatred. http://time.com/106016/comcast..."

MIT's report on Aaron Swartz is out - MIT claims neutrality

gavron gavron writes  |  about a year ago

gavron (1300111) writes "Mit has released their report on the Aaron Swartz incident. They also include an MD5 fingerprint. Sadly for MIT's great cryptography genius, having the signature on the same page as its reference and the same site as the file means nothing. More on MD5 hashes here. Noted crypto researched Bruce Schneier said MD5 had to go almost ten years ago."

Nortel Patent Sale gets DoJ Review

gavron gavron writes  |  more than 3 years ago

gavron writes "The US Department of Justice will review the Nortel patent sale to the entity formed by Apple, Microsoft, and others.

This is the same sale that the Canadian authorities declined to review because the $4+BN deal was valued by them at less than $750M.

The patents were originally bid $900M by stalking-horse google. It is believed they are to be use against Android and open-source."

Link to Original Source

ACLU sues DHS over unlawful searches and detention

gavron gavron writes  |  more than 5 years ago

gavron (1300111) writes "The ACLU has filed suit against DHS for TSA conducting illegal searches and detention. In the instant case it was a Ron Paul staffer with campaign dollars. The suit seeks to address TSA searching anything that has nothing to with increasing security on aircraft and instead doing unlawful 4th amendment violating searches (such as those of laptops, thumbdrives, etc.)

As TSA has more and more work to meet its mandate of only screening half the luggage... the suit suggests the best of use of its resources is to focus on its mandate, not harassing innocent travelers."

SPRINT tracks its users movements, convo and data

gavron gavron writes  |  more than 5 years ago

gavron (1300111) writes "SPRINT has a series of commercials where they indicate clearly the contents of the phone and data conversations their customers are having. Here are quotes from one:

"Welcome to the Now network. Right now 379 couples are splitting up, 253 by phone, 42 by email, and 84 by text message. 13,000 people are streaming Pandora on a bus[so they're tracking user too?], 3700 people just found all their friends on Loot. 92 just realized they were in the exact same place. That's happening now..." Etc.

A common carrier has a duty not to snoop on its users' data without a warrant and even more so not to disclose the nature of the contents, even if in aggregate. I know SPRINT wants to pretend that they have a 4G network (whatever _that_ is) but the way to do it is not to disclose the nature of the use of their current network. This is a perfect example of a carrier using confidential data for marketing purposes (or lying and making it up — take your pick, this isn't a Lesley Smith Ethical Problem, it's simple ethics.)

P.S. A sample of such commercial is found on youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlwBO36OeUQ&feature=PlayList&p=C6266A165E8490AE&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=44"

UK government offical wants "ratings" for

gavron gavron writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Ehud Gavron (1300111) writes "The UK's Culture Secretary wants all English-language websites to have a rating to "police the Internet" and "protect the children." The story at http://uk.reuters.com/article/UKNews1/idUKTRE4BQ0KN20081228 starts off:

"LONDON (Reuters) — The kind of ratings used for films could be applied to websites in a bid to better police the Internet and protect children from harmful and offensive material, Culture Secretary Andy Burnham has said.

Burnham told The Daily Telegraph newspaper, published on Saturday, that the government was planning to negotiate with the administration of U.S. President-elect Barack Obama to draw up new international rules for English language websites.

"The more we seek international solutions to this stuff — the UK and the U.S. working together — the more that an international norm will set an industry norm," the newspaper reports the Culture Secretary as saying in an interview.""

Dell Mini 9 GPS "Hack" is a fraud

gavron gavron writes  |  more than 5 years ago

gavron (1300111) writes "There are plenty of stories on the net about hacking a Dell Mini 9 to have a built in GPS. All of the stories in http://tinyurl.com/3nw3gz reference the same original story at http://tinyurl.com/64doqq .

Having thought this was a great idea, two of us bought the same exact GPS USB dongle, and did the same exact mod to our Mini 9's. Both of our receivers were unable to pick up any satellites. When taken back outside the case and the USB connector put back on, on the outside of the case it works fine. The moral of the story is it does not work inside the Dell Mini 9, and the original story is a put-up job.

Before you read the methodology please note we did this with two different Dell Mini 9's and two different USB dongles (of the same type) with 100% repeatability of the steps below. I encourage any doubters to do the same.

1. Buy the same USB dongle (GT730F). (Done)
2. Hook it up on a USB port and see it work amazingly well. (It does).
3. Connect it as per the instructions in the MyDellMini article above. (Done)
4. Receive... receive... receive... (Narry a satellite to be found).

1. Verify connection. USB has 4 pins. We know that it's responding so +5V and GND are right. That just leaves TX and RX. We know it enumerates on the USB so that validates it for us, but just for those of you who don't know USB handshakes... we're able to see it communicate with us (and tell us no satellites) so TX is good. We tell it to change its baud rate and it does. RX good. Just for good measure we do a bidirectional communication by doing a new ephemeris dump. All is good.
2. Verify that the top of the case has direct access to the sky.
3. Run gpsd -N -D 4 and look for anything strange. Um. It's not seeing any satellites.

1. Unsoldered the wires, removed the device.
2. Re-attached the USB connector to the board (that was not fun — nice job ScottH!)
3. Connected it to an external USB port

1. Satellites? (Green blinking light says yes have a fix)
2. Software? (Yes, both gpsd+xgps and SkyTraq's GPS Viewer.EXE+wine see birds all around)

False Positive:
A false positive would occur if we THOUGHT there was a problem but there really isn't. In this case it works outside, works inside but does not receive satellites, and works outside the case afterward. The only change is the physical location and USB bus (not relevant under Linux).

This is therefore NOT a false positive.

False Negative:
A false negative would occur if we thought there was NO problem, but there really was. In this case we think there's a problem, and we duplicated it, and we removed all other factors other than physical location and USB bus (again not relevant under Linux).

This is therefore NOT a false negative.

The original author must have a Dell Mini 9 made up of an incredibly different substance than the ones we have, as ours did not allow satellite signals through. Either that or his fu is stronger than any of ours. Don't even ask me how his "video" works.



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