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Comments

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New Permission System Could Make Android Much Less Secure

losttoy Straw on the camel's back (249 comments)

Being a Linux geek since '95 (and somewhat of annoyed-by-all-things-apple person), I bought an Android phone ever since they became available commercially. Did that for five years, ran custom roms and put in an Android patch to maintain a permissions firewall. It was one big PITA from a usability point of view. One day, I saw my banking app looking at my call log and that broke the camel's back, for me. I realized Google simply isn't interested in protecting my privacy. The whole you-can-see-what-perms-app-is-asking-for-before-install is a smokescreen. It doesn't scale. Pushing security problems to the user won't work for 99% of the userbase. Hell, it didn't even work reliably for a Linux nerd like me. By contrast, Apple only exposes a handful of data/attributes to ANY app. An iOS app can't look at or even ask look at my SMS, call log and practically most of the stuff - now, that is a sandbox. Also, from a business point of view, Apple makes money by selling me a phone so yes, they have some incentive above that to milk me for analytics but they aren't Google, who don't make much money when I buy an Android phone. For Google, I am the product. So, I switched to iOS (phones and tablets) and actually since then have switched from Gmail to Fastmail, Picasa to SmugMug. With these switches, my privacy is better protected and even usability is better (Picasa, for me, died when Google started shoving G+ Photos down everyone's throats).

about a month and a half ago
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Cisco's Cloud Vision: Mandatory, and Killed At Their Discretion

losttoy You don't have a facebook brain implant? (307 comments)

You must be one of those nerdy un-social types. Rest of us already have facebook brain implants.

about 2 years ago
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The Billions In Mobile Ad Money Nobody Can Grab

losttoy Push ads are dying, if not dead (203 comments)

The whole ad industry and it's suppliers (Google, FB etc) are run by marketers. The fundamental theory that drives marketing is that the more you advertise, the better you sell (up to a point of marginal returns). No one has seriously looked at this approach to marketing in a long time. The result is that the billions spent on TV/Radio/Newspaper are moving to online advertising. While online advertising offers improved feedback, it basically is push advertising - shoving something in front of you in the hope that you will bite. Well, think for yourself, does that work for you? I, mostly, am supremely annoyed by push ads and I think the age of push ads will quickly die. In the future, marketers will have to engage more personally with buyers and require more humans to interact with buyers to form some sort of trust. The age of holding (and hiding behind) a big megaphone and blasting your message will quickly come to an end.

more than 2 years ago
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"Cyber War" Is Just the Latest Grab for Defense Money

losttoy This is news? (161 comments)

Everything, from serious works of Plato to satire like "Yes, Prime Minister" mention how fear mongering is used to prop up power.

Bernard Shaw wrote "Of government, ‘that foolish gaggle shop’, he says: you will do what pays us. You will make war when it suits us, and keep peace when it doesn’t. You will find out that trade requires certain measures when we have decided on those measures. When I want anything to keep my dividends up, you will discover that my want is a national need. When other people want something to keep my dividends down, you will call out the police and military. And in return you shall have the support and applause of my newspapers, and the delight of imagining that you are a great statesman"

more than 2 years ago
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Your Privacy Is a Sci-Fi Fantasy

losttoy There isn't a problem at all (195 comments)

Only slashdot visitors get all worked up about privacy invasions. As far as I can tell, the rest of the world is pretty happy openly letting everyone know of their social, economic, emotional, physical, geographic or mental status. People want to share all this information. We get a kick out of it. Remember that thing about humans - Humans are social animals. Somehow, we want humans to unlearn their biological craving to share information and close themselves in? Good luck!

about 2 years ago
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U.S. Gov't To Keep Data On Non-Terrorist Citizens For 5 Years

losttoy Buy stock in hard drive manufacturers (186 comments)

One wonders if hard drive manufacturers had some influence on this decision :P

more than 2 years ago
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Facebook: Legal Action Against Employers Asking For Your Password

losttoy Another law? (504 comments)

Right. That is the fix. A new law. Lets make a new law for every issue that crops up and see how long the judicial system lasts.

more than 2 years ago
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NSA Publishes Blueprint For Top Secret Android Phone

losttoy Rogue Apps (172 comments)

Remember, double encrypting rogue apps in AES does not make them good. The traditional approach towards security doesn't work very well in the mobile world especially Android. You have to not only do the regular things like encrypt but have a strict login such that they cannot run any app other than authorized. Not even the HTML5 stuff because it doesn't matter how locked down the phone is - once you allow an app on the phone that can access the data, it is game over.

more than 2 years ago
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FBI File Notes Steve Jobs' Reality Distortion Field

losttoy Re:Old Pot/Kettle drama (337 comments)

So anyone holding a government job, working on a government project or deemed a person of public trust is required to go through a FBI background check, except the political masters at the very top. Boy! that sure makes sense to me :-D Because we all know the masters at the top are beyond blackmail and corruption! Right.

more than 2 years ago
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FBI File Notes Steve Jobs' Reality Distortion Field

losttoy Old Pot/Kettle drama (337 comments)

Wondering if the FBI does background checks on Senate, Congress and Presidential candidates? Pretty sure 99.9% would have the same issues with "dishonesty". My favourite line from the TFA is "Others mentioned that Jobs couldn’t be trusted and that he was able to create a reality-distortion field." Wondering how strong this force field was and was it able to warp the time-space continuum?? :P

more than 2 years ago
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No More SSL Revocation Checking For Chrome

losttoy False choice (152 comments)

I have been running with security.OCSP.require set to true for a long time and haven't really noticed failures. Maybe the stated problem with CRL check timeouts is being overblown?

more than 2 years ago
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Solar Company Folds After $0.5B In Subsidies

losttoy Undercut and destroy (694 comments)

“It is clear that Solyndra was a dubious investment,” representatives Fred Upton, of Michigan, and Cliff Stearns, of Florida, said in a joint statement. The company “is just the latest casualty of the Obama administration’s failed stimulus.”

Meanwhile China continues to invest is loss incurring businesses and technologies to under-cut and eradicate the competition.

more than 2 years ago
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Why Companies Knowingly Ship Insecure Devices

losttoy Dev reaction to security bugs (123 comments)

I have worked long and hard in my profession to get devs to fix security bugs. The reaction mostly falls in one of these categories:
1. I do not understand the issue (read, I am just copying code of the interwebs and have no clue about my job).
2. I understand the issue but we are under the gun to release the product.
3. I understand the issue but the vulnerability is theoretical (read, I don't understand anything about large scale production infrastructure)

Bottom-line: Unless a security big breaks functionality, a dev doesn't care.

Sorry to devs who care but after a decade of trying devs to release secure code, my opinion maybe a bit biased.

more than 2 years ago
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Get Cyber-Mercenaries Suggests Ex NSA, CIA Director

losttoy Get rid of Army types (135 comments)

Every time one of these ex-XYZ or ex-Army or current ones open their mouth, it becomes abundantly clear how clueless they are about nature of the digital worlds and how hopeless it is to entrust the DoD/Government's digital security in their hands.

more than 2 years ago
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The View From the Ground At an Indian Call Center

losttoy Capitalism is not the only problem (214 comments)

This article and many other western publication paint the picture that BPOs are the only game in town for young Indians. Not true. Engineers are in very high demand, especially Civil, Mining and Mechanical engineers. College graduates with degrees in commerce or liberal arts also do well depending on the first job they take up. Jobs that service the local market are tougher but have an actual career path. But you won't get to work in a nice air-conditioned office, won't have a car to pick and drop you back and initial pay will be lower than a call center job. Several of my friends who started working for local banks and selling financial products to Indians started off with low pays and jobs that require a lot of enterprise and leg-work. Ten years later, most of them make more money that I do in silicon valley with a respectable 6 figure salary. People (kids really), who end up in BPO jobs get attracted by the initial high salary, party like culture on premises (free food, chicks, parties thrown to retain employees). So can't really blame capitalism for this mess. These young people can chose - start with a good pay and good work environment but boring job and no career path OR start low, work hard but have a viable career ten years down the line.

about 3 years ago
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US Army Spent $2.7 Billion On Crashing Computer

losttoy Marketing gimmick (196 comments)

RTFA and comments on it. Apparently, the linked article is a pro-Palantir marketing gimmick.

about 3 years ago
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Why Businesses Move To the Cloud: They Hate IT

losttoy Re:Of course (538 comments)

IT departments do not care about stupid and retarded. They say NO because they cannot deliver with the resource constraints they have. Example, company wants to launch a new mobile app to complement an existing service. Mobile app takes couple of months to conceive and write. To demo the app, salespeople need to be armed with Android/iOS devices. That means IT must support Android/iOS devices. IT's response - Hell NO! We can only support BlackBerry. It will take a 6 month project to support other devices. Result, you are late to the market by at least 3 months with your app and meanwhile other business steals your slice of business.

more than 3 years ago
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Why Businesses Move To the Cloud: They Hate IT

losttoy Re:Short-sighted and thoughtless (538 comments)

Business hasn't gotten immature and impatient, the market has grown too dynamic for a business to make a 5-year plan and consequently, tell IT their exact needs for the next 5 years. Market conditions change so frequently and rapidly that businesses need technology solutions that can evolve with the market. If IT cannot keep up then it is doomed to disappear.

more than 3 years ago
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Why Businesses Move To the Cloud: They Hate IT

losttoy Re:True then, True now (538 comments)

Businesses aren't afraid of technology, they just want to use it and not get bogged down in details of how IT works. No business person should need to know how IT works. Just like you don't have to worry about how electricity gets delivered to you. You just use it.
Today it's called the cloud, tomorrow they will find a new marketing name but the underlying theme is that in-house shops are on the death spiral. Long back, I read Sun's analogy of the situation with the airplane business. In-house shops are like every organization trying to build their own plane, own airports and own everything. "Cloud" or whatever you want to call it is a shared service. Users do not have to worry about how to build a build, how to fly or who is flying my plane. They just buy a ticket and fly. Similarly, business users do not want/have to know how technology works or pay to build a solution from scratch. They should be able to pay and use what they need. That has been the guiding principle of technology evolution from the days of mainframe.

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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US ISPs agree to warn users on behalf of RIAA

losttoy losttoy writes  |  about 3 years ago

losttoy (558557) writes "All major US ISPs have agreed to work at behest of RIAA to send warnings to customers of suspected content theft. No court or legal system intervention is involved and since everything is in private domain, the RIAA has successfully bypassed the need to lobby Congress or change laws."
Link to Original Source

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