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Watch a Cat Video, Get Hacked: the Death of Clear-Text

mi Re:https is useless (166 comments)

It's one they are granted when evidence is presented to a court for a warrant. In a public hearing.

That's not how things are spelled-out in the Constitution. And it does not make any sense. A public hearing will alert the suspect.

I'm pretty sure that the past decade has taught us that government does not respect this constitutional requirement.

No, we've known it for much longer.

So, they should get a time out from those powers until they can demonstrate that they know how to behave.

They are not children, to whom such an approach may be applicable. Nor will the criminals be willing to join the "cease-fire" you propose... Bad as government's intrusions into privacy are, they have neither killed nor raped many people.

Not even the scariest abuses — when police get a "hint" obtained with unwarranted search and perform "parallel reconstruction" — have targeted innocent people. Not yet. The time will surely arrive, but for the time being it is the IRS — not the NSA — that is used to suppress opposition. Them and the government's power to audit . But not the eavesdropping.

We have the Constitution, we just need the government to obey it. The previous President was often accused of "shredding" the document, but the current one is actually doing it.

In other words, we have the laws already — we just aren't following them. Creating new laws will not help that...

I would rather take my chances with the armies of terrorists and child molesters

How about fraudsters, thieves, rapists and murderers, embezzlers of public funds and bribe-takers? I don't think, I'm willing to have even a 10% higher rate of those things in exchange for unbeatable https.

about a week ago
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Watch a Cat Video, Get Hacked: the Death of Clear-Text

mi Re:https is useless (166 comments)

Two and a half centuries ago we allowed the government those powers

No, actually. All governments before that have always asserted the right to search anyone and everywhere. We didn't "allow our government" to do this or that — we explicitly disallowed everything else. This may seem like hairsplitting, but it is historical truth — and you seem like you need refreshing of your perspective...

The sort of crimes the NSA catches have nothing to do with you and I in our daily lives.

NSA is not going to ask for a warrant any more than Alan Turing was asking for one, when he monitored all radio traffic he could — in an attempt to catch the enemy's transmissions. That organization's activities are beside the point, really — as long as they don't prosecute in US courts.

There are, unfortunately, a large number of other crimes, which the bad old eavesdropping helps solve/prevent — whenever the bad guys need to communicate, law enforcement has a legitimate need to be able to listen. Few of these crimes are Internet-specific — the same things we are discussing with regards to the Internet have been said back and forth decades ago about telephone.

They protect megacorps [...]

Oh, sorry, I didn't notice, you are an "anticorp" sort — I wouldn't have bothered with such an idiot. One percent much?

But now that I typed most of the answer anyway, you may as well have it. Remember to logout and, please, don't hate.

about a week ago
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Watch a Cat Video, Get Hacked: the Death of Clear-Text

mi Re:https is useless (166 comments)

That is a discussion we should have.

We should. But, unless you are going to suggest, the government ought not to have such powers at all (as pla argues below) — ever — then this is not the place for this discussion.

Because if, in your opinion, sometimes they do legitimately need this capability, then they ought to remain able to circumvent https — without spooking the subject.

about a week ago
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Watch a Cat Video, Get Hacked: the Death of Clear-Text

mi Re:https is useless (166 comments)

If the state can forge certs, the state can redirect your traffic to their youtube proxy and insert the malware just behind the fake thing you authenticated with.

And that is, how things ought to be — unless we want to strip the state off their power to search us (and trail us).

Yes, the state ought to need a proper warrant to exercise that power. But, without the described capabilities, police would not be able to do, what the warrant allows (and their job demands!) them to do.

about a week ago
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DARPA Uses Preteen Gamers To Beta Test Tomorrow's Military Software

mi Re:Ender's Game (84 comments)

Does the end justify the means?

Winning a war — especially that for your very survivaldoes justify risking the soldiers' well-being — and even lives.

about a week ago
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The Billion-Dollar Website

mi I'm shocked, SHOCKED... (194 comments)

I can't be the only one shocked, SHOCKED to discover, the government is inefficient and wastes money. I mean, after the staggering success of everything else it operates — things like US Postal Service or Amtrak — it is certainly most disappointing to encounter a government program, that fails to live-up to our high expectations.

Nay, this may even chill our collective enthusiasm for making food and shelter a government's responsibility too — you can't be healthy without nutrition and a roof above your head, can you, so it only would've seem natural to further expand the government's omniscient and benevolent control into that direction. But not any more... Not quite...

about a week ago
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Web Trolls Winning As Incivility Increases

mi Trouble-makers are nothing new (456 comments)

And unless social networks, media sites and governments come up with some innovative way of defeating online troublemakers, the digital world will never be free of the trolls' collective sway.

Theft, rape, and murder are still with us despite millenniums worth of efforts to get rid of them...

Why would trolling be any easier to dispense with?

about a week ago
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DARPA Uses Preteen Gamers To Beta Test Tomorrow's Military Software

mi Re:Ender's Game (84 comments)

There will always be another war, another enemy

Aliens are remarkably hard to find, actually. Even in that Science Fiction book there was only one race encountered.

it seems that mankind keeps track of its history this way

Possibly. But that's irrelevant — unless you are arguing, humanity should punish its war-mongering self with suicide so that "better" species can develop and take over.

about a week ago
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DARPA Uses Preteen Gamers To Beta Test Tomorrow's Military Software

mi Re:makes sense (84 comments)

Does anyone else remember when "America's Army" came out, just before the Iraq 'war'? It was a free first person shooter, and a very advanced game (for the time). Coincidence? I think not...

Well, in that case, what is the meaning of the new game, where you shoot members of the Tea Party? Celebration of tolerance? Respect for other people's opinions?

Please, don't hate.

about a week ago
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DARPA Uses Preteen Gamers To Beta Test Tomorrow's Military Software

mi Re:Ender's Game (84 comments)

That's only accurate if you ignore the cost incurred by the child-soldiers themselves, as elaborated even more in the subsequent books.

Compared to saving the human race that "cost" is a pebble in the Universe. For even if humanity prevailed through other means, it would have taken longer — meaning (much) higher losses and expenses. Many more children would've suffered the loss of their parents and older siblings, for example.

about a week ago
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DARPA Uses Preteen Gamers To Beta Test Tomorrow's Military Software

mi Re:Ender's Game (84 comments)

Well, in "Ender's Game" the plan resulted in a wonderful victory for our side... It is a sad story because of the genocide of the enemy, but not because children's abilities were creatively used by the military.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Black Tuesday Patches Bring Blue Screens of Death

mi Slashdot and Windows? (179 comments)

If you're hitting a BSOD, you can help diagnose the problem

You should also close your /.-account — and never come back, for all I care...

about two weeks ago
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The Benefits of Inequality

mi Re:Equality of OPPORTUNITY or RESULTS? (254 comments)

A bump living in the tunnels of a New York metro

A "bump" born and raised in America — the land of milk and honey, where millions of immigrants (legal and otherwise) not only do well despite the culture-shock and the disadvantages of having to learn a new language, but also manage to support their extended families back home — such a bump has no one but himself to blame for lacking anything he wants, but can not afford.

about two weeks ago
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California May Waive Environmental Rules For Tesla

mi Is Tesla "green"? (327 comments)

waive certain parts of the nearly half-century-old California Environmental Quality Act

This seems to affirm the giant elephant in the "save the Earth" room: Tesla (as well as other products relying on highly-capable batteries) aren't all that "green". It may be a great car to drive, but if one needs violates environmental regulations — and not the recent ones — to make it, then green it is not.

Oh, and then comes the problem of disposing of those wonderful batteries — or recycling them...

about two weeks ago
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Where are the Flying Cars? (Video; Part One of Two)

mi Did the would-be inventor catch Ebola? (107 comments)

Had the Wright brothers, Henry Ford, or Nicola Tesla fallen to something like "How to live United" propaganda and gone to "help the poor", how much longer would it have taken for the affordable air-travel, mass-produced cars, and the numerous other wonders to appear?

Especially, if they traveled to the Third World and caught something nasty?

Thankfully, such "sacrifice" was not very popular 100 years ago. Unfortunately, it seems to be all the rage nowadays...

about two weeks ago
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The Benefits of Inequality

mi Equality of OPPORTUNITY or RESULTS? (254 comments)

The word "equality" is meaningless without the clarification: equality of what? Hair color? Penis size?

In the context of politics, the following two equalities are usually meant by the arguing sides — even when neither side makes their own meaning explicit:

Equality of Opportunity versus Equality of Results .

The "all men created equal" concept is about equality of opportunity: you start with (roughly) the same things as everybody else and whatever you achieve (or not achieve as the case might be) is due to your own industry, frugality, and, perhaps, genes. We might be created equal (subject to gene variations), but what we do after the creation is up to us.

The equality of results is the opposite: whatever you do, you will have (roughly) the same things at the end: if you are more successful than average, the State will tax you to ensure the results of the less successful aren't too different from yours — a concept lovingly referred to as "spreading the wealth around".

A large number of politicians made careers of conflating the two equalities — by harping at the absence of latter and implying, the former does not exist. Such demagoguery patently dishonest not only in theory, but also in practice...

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Corporate Open Source Policy?

mi Re:Move into the Future (57 comments)

originally that was the author/inventor, but that ship has long sailed - now it's corporate profits almost exclusively

The "inventor vs. corporation" distinction you are trying to make is without difference . For an inventor to use his invention — whether he himself forms a company to profit from it or sells the invention to an existing company — either way the intellectual property must be controlled by him initially. In this regard nothing has changed since "last century".

We know, what was happening before "intellectual property" was invented — unless they had other sources of income, poets and writers (creators of easily copiable wares) were starving. Inventors, likewise, either went unrewarded for their inventions or were forced to monetize it themselves — and rare is a human, who is both a good inventor and a good businessman. As usual, leftists proclamations are dragging humanity into the past in the guise of "progress"...

artificial scarcity

There is no such thing.

This is the term Marxists use to justify spreading other people's wealth around, that's all. Oh, sure, music and movies can be copied indefinitely and designs and algorithms can be used by anyone once created. But all of those creators need very material things to sustain themselves — and neither food, nor shelter, nor (gasp!) healthcare can be copied via torrent.

Some companies are willing to release software to the wild, others do not. Basing one's employment decisions on that is, indeed quixotic.

about two weeks ago
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Sniffing Out Billions In US Currency Smuggled Across the Border To Mexico

mi Re:What does MY money smell like? (158 comments)

Or she could have obeyed the law and filled out the one page form

And there is nothing wrong with mandatory ID-carrying either, is there? "Papers please" much?

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Certified "green" buildings consume more energy than regular structures

mi mi writes  |  about 6 months ago

mi (197448) writes "The "greenness" of a building is measured as EUIs — the higher the number, the more energy the structure is consuming relative to its size. Environmentally-aware construction is supposed to have the LEED-certification by U.S. Green Building Council (a private environment-protection group).

Washington, DC was the first city to mandate LEED-certifications for all new construction in 2010. Today the city-wide average EUI for LEED-certified buildings is 205, whereas the non-certified buildings average 199..."

Link to Original Source
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Lenders look at social media to check on loan-applicants

mi mi writes  |  about 7 months ago

mi (197448) writes "We know about Human Resources departments checking job-applicants online. Well, the lenders are catching up too. Writes Wall Street Journal:

Lending companies are looking at potential problems such as whether applicants put the same job information on their loan application as they posted on LinkedIn, or if they shared on Facebook that they had been let go by an employer. A small business that draws negative reviews on eBay also could undermine its chances of getting more credit, lending companies say.

Myself having neither Facebook, nor Twitter, nor LinkedIn accounts, I am wondering, if I am at a disadvantage — these are the people, who already consider imperfect credit history to be better, than no credit history at all..."
Link to Original Source

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Britney Spears' music used to deter pirates

mi mi writes  |  about 10 months ago

mi (197448) writes "Blasting Western music seems quite effective against the people, who hate Western culture in general, according to the article in Mirror Online, and Britney Spears' tunes proved to be a great deterrent indeed. Second Officer Rachel from Aberfoyle in Scotland said: “Her songs have been chosen by the security team accompanying our tankers because they thought the pirates would hate them most."

The music is currently used as a second line of defence and is broadcast when initial calls from armed security guards on board fail to deter the pirates. The speakers can be aimed solely at the pirates so as not to disturb the crew. “They’re so effective the ship’s security rarely needs to resort to firing guns," — says Rachel.

Steven Jones, of the Security Association for the Maritime Industry, said the US police and military were the first to use music to quell rioters.

Security industry is well aware of the power of music — and is cautious not to exceed humane limits. Justin Bieber, for example, is not used, because officials are wary of violating Geneva Conventions."

Link to Original Source
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NASDAQ shut down earlier today and is struggling to get up

mi mi writes  |  1 year,1 day

mi (197448) writes "The NASDAQ exchange has abruptly halted all trading in early afternoon today, August 22, 2013. At the time of this writing (15:32) they remain down despite the earlier promises to reopen at 14:45, 15:10, 15:25...

The nature of the problem remains a mystery and may turn out to be anything — from a varmint chewing through some critical wire to the decision to switch to Microsoft back in 2005."
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Companies in China learn to bypass government's firewall

mi mi writes  |  1 year,1 day

mi (197448) writes "According to the article in South China Morning Post, it is common for corporations in the country to reach out to the "real" Internet by using their own lines out to Hong-Kong. Recently, some luxury hotels started offering the access to guests. Of course, some sort of "communications with the local government" have taken place before this apparent violation of the country's federal law was attempted.

I, for one, can't wait for these folks to start getting a bigger say on how the Internet operates."

Link to Original Source
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Computer keeps sending cops to the same house

mi mi writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mi writes "

Embarrassed cops on Thursday cited a "computer glitch" as the reason police targeted the home of an elderly, law-abiding couple more than 50 times in futile hunts for bad guys. Apparently, the address of Walter and Rose Martin's Brooklyn home was used to test a department-wide computer system in 2002

Police have tried to remove the address from their databases for years, but it keeps popping up... This is the scariest part of the government collecting personal data — they can't expunge it, even if they sincerely try to... And if they are even a bit insincere, they can always explain keeping it by a "computer glitch"."
Link to Original Source

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Leak of Congress' ethics-investigators documents

mi mi writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mi writes "A document describing investigations of the House Ethics committee was accidentally leaked through peer-to-peer software running on a PC of a "junior employee" working from home. Although the employee was quickly fired, the embarrassing details are now well known.
At the time of this typing, no mention of the documents on WikiLeaks. Not yet..."

Link to Original Source
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Nigeria shuts down scam websites

mi mi writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mi writes "Nigeria's anti-corruption police said Friday they had shut down some 800 scam websites and busted 18 syndicates of email fraudsters in a drive to curb cyber-crime the country is notorious for. 18 arrests were made. Maybe, the amount of "From the Desk of Dr. Foo Bar" e-mails will drop for a while."
Link to Original Source
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Plagiarism-detection software find Shakespeare

mi mi writes  |  more than 4 years ago

mi writes "Software intended to help essay-graders to detect plagiarism was used to attribute — with high probability — a hitherto unattributed play (The Reign of Edward III) to Shakespeare. It seems, the work was co-authored by Shakespeare and another playwright of the time, Thomas Kyd."
Link to Original Source
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White House admits harvesting e-mail addresses

mi mi writes  |  about 5 years ago

mi writes "After people appeared on Fox News complaining, White House admitted to not be using the Confirmed Opt-In (a.k.a. Double Opt-In) for adding new addresses to their list of subscribers.

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs offered the classic spammer-defenses: "we hope they were not too inconvenienced," — and: "we suggest that they unsubscribe from the list by clicking the link at the bottom of the e-mail."

I still remember — in the 1990ies — spammers covering themselves up with something like: "Under Bill S.1618 Title III passed by the 105th U.S. Congress, this letter can not be considered spam..." Now, the most technologically-advanced Administration is sanctioning the spammer's other excuse: "What's the big deal? Just press 'Delete'!""
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Palin's e-mail account broken into

mi mi writes  |  more than 5 years ago

mi writes "A private e-mail account of Republican Vice-Presidential nominee Sarah Palin was broken into and detailed screen-shots published. The publishing site defends the stunningly unethical action with: "It's newsworthy and we will not be taking it down!""
Link to Original Source
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Craigslist forced to reveal a seller's identity

mi mi writes  |  about 6 years ago

mi writes "The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts has won a judgment compelling CraigsList to reveal the identity of "Daniel", who tried to sell two tickets to the Oscar-ceremony recently. The plaintiff's argument against such sales is scary and can be taken very far very quickly: "If you don't know who's inside the theater, it's very difficult to provide security".

The CraigList's handling of the case may be even scarier, however — instead of fighting tooth-and-nail for the user's privacy, as we expect Google, Yahoo, and AOL, and even credit-card issuers to do, CraigsList simply did not show up in court and lost by default."

Link to Original Source
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Fugitive sues C.C.-issuer for aiding his capture

mi mi writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mi writes "A short article describes attempts by a disbarred lawyer, who pleaded guilty of statutory rape, to sue American Express for violating its pledge "to withhold customer information from third parties". It seems, the man was captured when police obtained information about where his credit card was used.

His crime is repulsive to most, so there will be little sympathy, but the legal implications are interesting. Was AmEx compelled to disclose the information by the authorities, or did it volunteer the information? In the latter case, what will the company do, if the next suspect-on-the-run is accused of, say, copyright violations, or threats against President, or terrorism — will it consider the magnitude of the accusations and the available evidence, or always cooperate with the police?"

Link to Original Source
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France to outlaw "inciting thinness"

mi mi writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mi writes "Yahoo! and others report, that "encouraging severe weight loss" may soon become a crime in France. The National Assembly has already approved the bill. The law would punish "inciting others to deprive themselves of food" to an "excessive" degree with prison time and/or fines, even though the doctors still say, the link between anorexia and media images "remains hazy"."
Link to Original Source
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French gendarmes switching to Linux

mi mi writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mi writes "French paramilitary police will be switching their 70000 desktop computers to Ubuntu "every time they have to replace a desktop". The move is expected to affect 5000-8000 machines in the first year alone. The cost of the OS is cited as only the third of factors:

The first is to diversify suppliers and reduce the force's reliance on one company, the second is to give the gendarmerie mastery of the operating system and the third is cost.
They started migrating away from Microsoft by switching to alternative office and web-browsing software first."

Link to Original Source
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Chinese dissident taken from house- to real arrest

mi mi writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mi writes "Yahoo! is carrying an AP article on the recent arrest of Hu Jia on the charge of "inciting subversion of state power".

Gross violations of Human Rights by Chinese government are nothing new. What's special about this case, is that the victim has spent 223 days under house arrest by the time he was taken away from his home (and newborn daughter). Despite the house arrest, he was able to continue his work, including participating remotely in a European Parliament hearing..."

Link to Original Source
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Amazon fights off a federal customer-list subpoena

mi mi writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mi writes "While prosecuting a tax-evasion case against a used-book seller, federal prosecutors contacted Amazon requesting identities of his customers, so that some of them can become witnesses. The company refused to divulge the customers' identities and the judge agreed:

"The subpoena is troubling because it permits the government to peek into the reading habits of specific individuals without their knowledge or permission. It is an unsettling and un-American scenario to envision federal agents nosing through the reading lists of law-abiding citizens while hunting for evidence against somebody else."


The Feds eventually withdrew the subpoena."

Link to Original Source
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Hurricane-research UAV to be tested on Noel

mi mi writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mi writes "USA Today is reporting on an unmanned aircraft developed to research hurricanes being sent into Noel. It should reach the eye of the storm at around 10pm tonight, November 2nd. The whole flight is expected to take about 20 hours:

"Unmanned flights at very low altitude are important since they give us unique insights and continuous observations in a region of the storm where the ocean's energy is directly transferred to the atmosphere just above. Attempting this type of research flight with our hurricane hunter aircraft would risk the lives of our crew and scientists," said Joe Cione, hurricane researcher at NOAA's Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory in Miami, and project manager for the Aerosonde field study.
"

Link to Original Source
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"Home-made" helicopter in Nigeria

mi mi writes  |  more than 6 years ago

mi writes "Yahoo! carries an article describing a helicopter, that a Nigerian physics undergraduate has put together from various parts: Honda Civic's 133hp engine, seats from an old Toyota, and parts of a Boeing 747, which crashed nearby some years ago. The thing has already been flown several times.

If a 24 year old student can do it — while also repairing electronics to supplement his income — where is my flying car?"

Link to Original Source

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