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Michigan Latest State To Ban Direct Tesla Sales

lamber45 Link to law (256 comments)

1981 version

2014 version

Difference in clause (i):
@@ -1,7 +1,8 @@
(i) Sell any new motor vehicle directly to a retail customer other than
-through its franchised dealers, unless the retail customer is a nonprofit
+through franchised dealers, unless the retail customer is a nonprofit
organization or a federal, state, or local government or agency. This
-subdivision does not prohibit a manufacturer from providing information to
-a consumer for the purpose of marketing or facilitating the sale of new
-motor vehicles or from establishing a program to sell or offer to sell
-new motor vehicles through the manufacturer's new motor vehicle dealers.
+subdivision does not prohibit a manufacturer from providing information
+to a consumer for the purpose of marketing or facilitating the sale of
+new motor vehicles or from establishing a program to sell or offer to
+sell new motor vehicles through franchised new motor vehicle dealers
+that sell and service new motor vehicles produced by the manufacturer.

about a month ago
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Gmail Recognizes Addresses Containing Non-Latin Characters

lamber45 Re:Next wave of phishing? (149 comments)

No, they're not allowing gmail accounts to use non-ASCII local parts yet. However, mail to/from other domains can have non-ASCII local part and domain name. If that other domain allows a random user to create an account "róót", that's about the extent of the possible phishing.

about 4 months ago
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Should Newsweek Have Outed Satoshi Nakamoto's Personal Details?

lamber45 Re:I think it's reasonable, if it was accurate (276 comments)

There is value. If the creator wrote it on his free time after working 30 years in a probably thankless job he couldn't tell his family about, there's hope for me to do something similar, or at least I should advise my sons to get a good education and a stable job. On the other hand, if he was a 15-year-old kid who flunked most classes in school and spent the majority of his nights playing video games, I'd better get my sons each a latest-model gaming rig, because that ship has sailed for me.

about 9 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do With Misdirected Email?

lamber45 Haven't had this issue with GMail, but with other (388 comments)

My GMail (and Yahoo! as well) username is (first name)(middle name)(last name), all fairly common [in fact at my current employer there are multiple matches of (first name)(last name), and my father has the same (first name)(last name) as well], and I have not had this problem with either service. Perhaps using initials instead of full names is part of it; or your last-name may have different demographic connotations.

I did, however, recently have that problem with a Comcast account. When the tech visited our home for installation, he created an account (first name)(last name) @comcast.net . I didn't actually give it out anywhere, yet within a few months it was filled with a hundred or so messages for someone in another state. I did try responding to one item that seemed moderately important, and whoever got the response [the help-desk of some organization] didn't seem to grasp that I had no connection with the intended recipient. Since I hadn't advertised it anywhere, it was easy to change the username, to (my first initial)(wife's first initial)(my last initial)(wife's last initial)(string of digits) @comcast.net. While this address appears to have been reused, apparently Comcast no longer allows address reuse; I tried using a previous ID that I had used a long time ago, and it was not available.

Since you ask for advice, I recommend two courses of action:

  • 1. As long as you still have access to that address, when you receive anything that is clearly misdirected and potentially of high value, deal with it politely. Don't use a "form response", instead personalize the response to the content of the message. CC the intended recipient on the response, if you are able to divine who it is. Once you've dealt with the matter, delete the whole thread. For newsletters, try following an "unsubscribe" action, if that's not available mark as spam.
  • 2. Consider an exit strategy from your current e-mail address, no matter how much is attached to it. See the Google help posting "Change your username". For the new address, try a long nickname or full first name instead of first initial; or maybe add a string of numbers, a city your contacts will recognize, or a title. Give your important contacts plenty of advance notice, post the new address with the reasons you're switching [perhaps with a list of the confusing other identities as well] on your "old" Google+ profile. After a reasonable time (say six months or a year), delete your old account. Make sure you change your address at all the "various sites" you've registered at before doing so, in case you need to use a password reset function.

about 10 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Do I Request Someone To Send Me a Public Key?

lamber45 Re:Switch to an easier technology (399 comments)

I wouldn't want to trust just the secretary of the other org. However, with public keys (HTTPS, PGP, SSH, anything else similar), it's good for the information on "how to verify" the key to be widely disseminated. For example, the org could put its key fingerprint, and a screenshot of the same as used in common applications, on an indexable part of its HTTPS-protected public website. An individual could put his PGP key fingerprint on his (paper) business card, as fine-print on his resume or CV, and in his e-mail signature. The secretary should be able to say what the key is, and how to verify that.

about a year ago
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Iran Plans To Launch an 'Islamic Google Earth'

lamber45 Real reason is probably the firewall (181 comments)

Right now, GMail, YouTube and Maps are all mixed together (not necessarily 100%, probably possible to do IP filtering, but Google may be moving away from that) ... take maps away and it's easier to block the other two.

about a year and a half ago
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Want to Keep Messages From the Feds? Use iMessage

lamber45 not just iPhone... (153 comments)

On the Android platform, there are third-party, open-source apps available for encrypted voice and SMS. Those are just the ones I'm familiar with; there may be others.

about a year and a half ago
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A New Benefit For Logged-In Readers: Meet Slashdot's ROT13 Initiative

lamber45 Hohagh cnpxntr "ofqtnzrf" (261 comments)

... rnfvre guna qvttvat hc gur pbqr V cebonoyl qvq jevgr ng bar gvzr ...

about a year and a half ago
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New Secure Boot Patches Break Hibernation

lamber45 Makes sense (196 comments)

Hibernation actually is a security hole. I'll ignore the kexec issue for now, but encrypted and checksummed hibernate images would be a good thing, and would be nice on a non-SecureBoot system as well. At a minumum, the hibernation image should carry a checksum of { the image data + the kernel that loaded it + relevant platform data }. That would at least prevent partially booting a suspend image with random corruption. Can SecureBoot also provide a secret key used only to encrypt the suspend image and decrypt it during boot? Or some additional data to feed into the checksum that securely identifies the platform? Or keep the suspend checksum in nonvolatile memory that can only be written to by a trusted operating system?

about 2 years ago
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Does US Owe the World an Education At Its Expense?

lamber45 Re:Couldn't we just charge them tuition? (689 comments)

... except that bona-fide work visas for random foreigners are pretty hard to come by. For many international students, a student visa is the only way to be in this country until they graduate, after which if their grades were good enough they have a shot at an H-1B or a sponsored visa. Then there are the schools that are diploma-mills whose main purpose is to allow their students to work in "practical training" as soon as possible...

about 2 years ago
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Another Java Exploit For Sale

lamber45 Re:Actually, the opposite (150 comments)

Several of your arguments are either false these days, or not as bad (especially versus the alternatives) as you make them sound:

-take 30 seconds to a minute to load

This load-time is for the first applet in a browsing-session, not each one; and "30 seconds to a minute" is an outer figure, on a reasonably modern system it will be less. I've seen Flash-based games that took a long time to initialize, as well.

- fonts and widgets are not native and look weird

Actually, you can have native widgets, with the old AWT components; it's the (slightly newer, still around for a long time) Swing that looks the same on every platform. Whether it's "ugly" is a matter of opinion.

Now, it's true that some people never need to run applets, those who do don't do so every day, and some applets look like something from 1995 because they really were written in 1995, and still work; but the Java plugin is not totally going away any time soon, and I think it's still a good choice for applications with unusual UI requirements that need to run "in" a browser.

Applets aren't just games, either. From my current needs:

  • The GIS browser for the city I live in;
  • My employer's expense-submission program;
  • The VPN clients (from two different vendors) for systems I access for work

And that doesn't even include JNLP (Java Web Start) programs, which aren't the same "sandbox" but which also depend on Java platform security for their sandbox.

about 2 years ago
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Hiding Secret Messages In Skype Silences

lamber45 Re:paranoid mode engaged ! (79 comments)

Except that the packet already has at least an 8-byte UDP header, a 20-byte IPv4 (or 40-byte IPv6) header, and a link-layer header of some sort. There's probably some sort of checksum and block padding within those 70 bytes (which may in fact include the UDP or TCP header as well).

Similarly, VNC tunneled over SSH doesn't use 1-byte and 2-byte packets. For a certain block-size for which I did calculations and watched some real-life traffic, actual packet payloads for the different relevant messages are as follows:

  • SSH CHANNEL_OPEN "direct_tcp": 92 bytes
  • KeyEvent (messagetype=4): 44 bytes
  • PointerEvent (messagetype=5): 28 bytes
  • ClientCutText: at least 44 bytes

Since there are only about 90 keys on my keyboard, that seems like a lot of wasted space per packet; but remember that just the TCP and IPv4 headers are 40 bytes, so it's only 51.2% of the IP data, and even less of the link-level data.

about 2 years ago
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New York Culls Sex Offenders From the Online Gaming Ranks

lamber45 Link to law's text (511 comments)

Had to dig a bit to find it (no link in article). The law itself just says that registered offenders have to provide Internet IDs as well as name and address, that the state may disclose them in certain cases, and that a certain subset of offenders may not access a certain subset of websites. How this translates into account closures is that the gaming companies, or whatever, consider the accounts to be in violation of their Terms of Service; for example, the Facebook ones specify:

You will not use Facebook if you are a convicted sex offender.

If someone doesn't like that, they need to sue Facebook; this particular law did not require Facebook to add it.

about 2 years ago
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CyanogenMod Domain Hijacked

lamber45 Re:This would seem to be the guy (143 comments)

Strange thing is that both domains are anonymized now, makes it hard to tell who's who in this argument:

  • Domain ID:D160468854-LROR
    Domain Name:CYANOGENMOD.ORG
    Created On:21-Oct-2010 18:09:32 UTC
    Last Updated On:01-Nov-2012 04:14:02 UTC
    Sponsoring Registrar:eNom, Inc. (R39-LROR)
    Registrant Name:WhoisGuard Protected
    Registrant Organization:WhoisGuard
    Registrant Street1:11400 W. Olympic Blvd. Suite 200
    Registrant City:Los Angeles
    Registrant State/Province:CA
    Registrant Postal Code:90064
    Registrant Country:US
    Registrant Phone:+1.6613102107
    Registrant FAX:+1.6613102107
    Registrant Email:f400f5cbeeb24eebbd31e75924334a65.protect@whoisguard.com

    versus

  • Domain name: CYANOGENMOD.COM
    Administrative Contact:
    Contact Privacy Inc. Customer 0121602432, cyanogenmod.com@contactprivacy.com
    96 Mowat Ave
    Toronto, ON M6K 3M1
    CA
    +1.4165385457

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Little Boxes Around the Edge of the Data Center?

lamber45 Re:Why seperate boxes for tiny resource requiremen (320 comments)

For bootstrapping and security, I imagine. If there's a cold outage, or an extended spike in network traffic, or a misconfiguration on a switch that blocks all network traffic for a few minutes, a few services will need to be working without depending on anything else when everything else is brought online. That might be master NTP, master DNS, master LDAP, or as stated monitoring (so you can see what actually went wrong in one place). And you could run all of them on one box, with two or three similar as backup, but the point of the question is that you don't need a 64-CPU SPARC box for those services even in a large datacenter; and even if you ran it on a 4-CPU x64 blade, that would be harder to find in the dark or with alarms going off than a standalone box.

about 2 years ago
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Google Blocks 'Innocence of Muslim' Video In Indonesia and India

lamber45 Re:why this video? (484 comments)

It's not just this particular video, I'm sure there are a lot of other things the people rioting are upset about: general economic problems, lack of political voice / security in their own country, heavy red-tape for their countrymen who actually do want to study in the 1st world, creeping secularism in their country, scantily-clad tourists from the 1st world on their beaches. If said video hadn't been released recently, there are a lot of other things people could have protested in a riot.

Just like the Boston Tea Party wasn't about the price of tea alone, it was about taxes in general, and more beyond that about the right to self-government.

more than 2 years ago
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Iran Universities To Ban Women From 77 Fields of Study

lamber45 Re:Hey Iran, stop copying (585 comments)

Actually, BYU has been coed since 1886 (or earlier?). I live in a college town (outside Utah), so a lot of families in the LDS congregation I attend have at least one parent in school; it seems like more of those are men, but in several families the wife is the one attending graduate school. And three of my siblings have graduated from BYU, so far, including my two sisters; my sisters both earned graduate degrees as well.

And apparently Ann Romney went to BYU, although French is admittedly not a "technical" subject.

more than 2 years ago
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Facebook Says Your Email Is @Facebook

lamber45 Re:There is not even a way to remove it! (346 comments)

If that's the only reason to have validated the account, you might as well go ahead and deactivate it, then ask for it to be permanently removed:

FAQ "What do I have to do to permanently eliminate my account?"

Before doing so, you might want to do the following, just to be safe:

  1. 1. Download a copy of your data, keep it somewhere safe.
  2. 2. Announce on your wall that you will be deleting your facebook account permanently soon, and that anyone who wants to stay in touch needs to take note of alternate contact-info.
  3. 3. Make note of alternate contact-info for anyone you might want to stay in contact with; send them an FB message if nothing else
  4. 4. Attach alternate e-mail addresses to your account, so that you'll be deleting them all at once
  5. 5. Wait some time (a week? a month?)

Of course, none of this stops someone from creating an account purporting to be you, with a similar-sounding name, and a throwaway address at some web-mail provider that looks similar to yours. Keeping a FB account open doesn't do much to avoid it, either, except that someone who searches on your name get two hits and have to decide between them.

more than 2 years ago
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Time Warner Cable Patents Method For Disabling Fast-Forward Function On DVRs

lamber45 Re:Next (298 comments)

Counterexample: my wife found a box of DVDs of "1000 classic commercials" (mostly from the 1950s or earlier, many of them black-and-white) and bought it, I don't know where. Our 8-year-old son watches them sometimes for fun; it's a lot safer than what would be on a random TV channel. The ones that talk about products that don't exist, or make outlandish claims, are especially funny.

more than 2 years ago

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Journals

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Who I'm planning to vote for, and why

lamber45 lamber45 writes  |  about 2 years ago

I should say first of all that I'm really proud of Mitt Romney, I identify with him, and I suspect he might make a good president. He was born in the state where I grew up, he's a member of my church, and he has a history of business and state-government success. Even more personally, my parents went to his father's funeral and I used to listen to his niece's talk-radio show as a teenager.

With all that, however, I think Barack Obama is a better choice this year for president, and I would like to see some portion of the Republican delegation in the House replaced as well. There are things the current administration has done, or not done, that don't sit well with me, but regarding the core issues of the economy and the deficit, Obama has shown that he can tackle them, and Romney tells an unproven story of what he would do.

It's important to distinguish between each candidate's "agenda" and his party's "platform". The democratic party has elements that are working to remove checks and balances on induced abortons, legalize strange research with left-over embryos, remove the traditional support or prepference for traditional forms of marriage, and take away the right to bear "arms", meaning actual weapons that could kill someone. The Republican party has elements that want to make English the official language of the United States and waste public-education money on vouchers for attendance at sectarian or other private schools. Those are all things I object to, but they'll mostly be decided at the state level (although they might come to the SUpreme Court) and neither candiate spends a lot of time talking about them.

Instead, the main issues are the economy, the deficit, the recently-passed health-care law, foreign policy against Iran, North Korea and China, foreign policy in Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya and Syria, and (for Obama) immigration reform.

Regarding the economy and deficit, Obama has taken and still calls for a balanced approach, planning to allow certain tax cuts to expire and cutting spending in many areas but also "investing" in areas that should have long-term benefit, such as education and alternative-energy research. Romney says he would not raise taxes and would cut a lot of spending, but would also increase military spending. Of course the president himself has little power over the budget beyond approving or vetoing a bill that originated in the House, and issuing executive orders to dispose or not dispose of discretionary funds; which is why it would be helpful to have more people in the House who can actually talk to each other and make long-term plans.

For the health-care law, Romney says he'll nullify much of it his first day in office, then work on a replacement. Since insurers and employers are already changing their computer-systems and policies to conform to its requirements, that would wast a lot of effort, and is causing much uncertainity.

In foreign policy, Obama has shown that he can negotiate and lead in a complex world, where we compete with coutries more populous than ours, and worry about their citizens' political rights, but worry more about nuclear-weapons development by much smaller states and terrorist attacks by a variety of non-state actors. Romney talks big, and perhaps he would be just as good a negotiator once actually in office; but his arguments with the President during the last debate over exactly what he said at a Rose Garden speech shortly after the attack on the embassy in Libya sound lik partisan bickering, not evidence of a clearly better policy or understanding on his part.

On immigration reform, I personally would support another amnesty like the 1986 one for Central American undocumented immigrants, raised caps on other kinds of immigration, and new programs to bring (or keep) more people here with advanced technical skills. I realize that some people think we need more border security, a limited controlled regularization procedure instead of amnesty, and only slightly raised caps on the H-1B program or something like it. The bill the Senate considered, but that did not become law, for comprehensive immigration reform a couple years ago was, in my opinion, an excellent compromise, and an essential step in the right direction at that time. One component of that was the DREAM act; as its sponsor, of course Obama supported it; unfortunately, Romney tore even that piece apart, with lukewarm support for one sub-piece and no support for another, and given his stance on that issue alone I cannot support him.

In the local races that affect me, I am supporting a Democtrat for State Senate (who I know personally from my son's first-grade P.T.A.), and a Democrat for the House (because his opponent has disagreed with me on everything I've ever actually written a letter to him about).

I should say again that I will be proud to be an American if Mitt Romney is elected; and as others have said he may tun out to be a pragmatic and unifying administrator, but as a practical matter, I expect to vote for Barack Obama, and I encourage my fellow citizens to do the same.

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President calls for tax reform, immigration and a balanced budget

lamber45 lamber45 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Watched the State of the Union address yesterday for the first time in years. President Obama opened by listing his recent military accomplishments: approving the operation to assassinate `Usama bin Ladin, withdrawing "all American troops" from Iraq. He went on to touch a laundry-list of things he wants to improve in America, many of which require bills from Congress. He asked for fairer taxes in several places. He repeated his call for three-part immigration reform, in the middle of comments about jobs and education: the DREAM act, permanent visas for STEM college graduates or potential entrepreneurs, and a better-funded Border Patrol (although he pointed out that illegal crossings from the south already appear to be down). He did not set a specific target date for no deficit spending, but talked about the need to borrow less in several places. In the end he called on Congress to think of themselves as soldiers and public servants, not as an elite group that had a right to pay lower taxes.

The speech is also reported on the White House website and, of course, in the minutes of the House.

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Facebook

lamber45 lamber45 writes  |  more than 7 years ago The title says it all. At my younger sister's instigation, I finally created a facebook profile for myself. It's all right; really good for something done in PHP. The event-planner looks better than the Yahoo! calendar. One of these days I'll get around to writing my own mail-client and calendaring-frontend in Java or perl/Tk...

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lamber45 lamber45 writes  |  more than 8 years ago Last night I created a Wikipedia account and a user page. No more anonymous edits... Not that I plan to contribute a high volume any time soon; but it's cool to have another account.

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