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DEA Presentation Shows How Agency Hides Investigative Methods From Trial Review

number11 Re:Fruit of the poison tree (266 comments)

Well, not to state the obvious, but you could actually not do the crime!

You could not do rolling stops at stop signs, not spit on the street, and not "forget" to add those few bucks you made at the yard sale onto your tax return, too.

As long as you're not doing or advocating anything that upsets the (current, whatever that may be) government. Whether that's whistleblowing, opposing some local official's actions, telling people that government officials who violate the law should go to jail, being a PITA, whatever. Keep your mouth shut and don't raise your head, and you'll be ok. There's a religious and ethnic element (Muslims and brown people and black people and people with funny names are at far greater risk), but anybody who threatens the status quo, whether that's the town council or the ruling party, can be a target.

about a year ago

Nagios-Plugins Web Site Taken Over By Nagios

number11 Re:Copyright violation. (119 comments)

So, Nagios copied the nagios-plugins website. What's the statutory penalty for copyright violation? And does each page view by an outside party count as a new violation?

about a year ago

NYT: NSA Put 100,000 Radio Pathway "Backdoors" In PCs

number11 Re:wait a second.... (324 comments)

The NSA shouldn't be spying on US citizens in the US without some good reason to believe they aren't innocent, and then not without a warrant, it's unconstitutional and evil.

And if they do, they should be prosecuted and sent to prison. Any of them who assists in that (because we're far beyond the "was only following orders" defense). And if the prosecutors don't do their job then they're a part of the problem.

Unfortunately, the USG is part of the problem.

about a year ago

Multivitamin Researchers Say 'Case Is Closed' As Studies Find No Health Benefits

number11 Re:supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults (554 comments)

I live in the Northeast. There are several things in season. Potatoes and squash are very much in season and fairly cheap to boot.

My definition of "in season" would be, soon after something is harvested, and grown reasonably locally. That said, potatoes and squash do have a very long shelf life after harvest, and are easily available. In that context, potatoes are "in season" all year.

I never cook beans for 4 hours. That's just stupid, not to mention wasteful of energy. I soak them for 12-24 hours, then cook them for 20 minutes.

Slow cooker recipes for beans tend to run 10-12 hours (that's without soaking, soaking involves a longer attention span than I can bring to the task.. beans that got forgotten and have soaked for a week get pretty disgusting). Otherwise, parboil/soak a few hours, and simmer another few hours.

If I'm feeling monied, I throw in a touch of wild rice. If not, then white rice.

With the beans? I use a rice cooker. Your way is probably a tad cheaper (no expense of separate heating, and one less piece of hardware), but I'd bet my rice comes out better. Eh, to each his own.

There is no excuse to eat at McDonalds. If you care about your health, you make time to prepare your own food on a budget.

Nobody (well, not me) is advocating McDonalds. Their only benefit is fast. It's expensive and not very good.

1 year,2 days

Multivitamin Researchers Say 'Case Is Closed' As Studies Find No Health Benefits

number11 Re:supplementing the diet of well-nourished adults (554 comments)

If you buy things that are on sale and in season, you can easily make meals that are in the $4 per meal and much better for you than McD's.

Dude, in most of the northern USA, the only thing that's in season at the moment is snow. While it is very cheap, and the yellow stuff may even be mineral fortified, it's far from a balanced diet.

Hell, buy a bag of dried beans, onion, meat, etc....make a pot of chili that you can eat on for 5+ meals and it is in that range.

It will, so long as you don't mind waiting 4 hours for that first meal. And so long as you haven't grown to hate chili.

Make a big salad, and grill some chicken that was on sale...you can get several meals out of that for that price range, and is much healthier for you. And no, it doesn't go bad in a day or two. Buy what's on sale each week and work from there.

Well, the salad goes bad pretty fast. And the only forms of chicken that rate as edible are fried (bad for you, and a tremendous PITA to make and clean up after), and cut up in stir fry (which requires other vegetables, if they haven't turned into brown slime in the fridge).

Now, I do cook most of my own meals. But the pattern is:

      EAT X

This often does not give results that a nutritionist would recognize as "balanced". Hence the multivitamins.

1 year,3 days

NSA Says It Foiled Plot To Destroy US Economy Through Malware

number11 Re:NSA failed to halt subprime lending, though. (698 comments)

Weapons of Mass Destruction != Nukes. WMD *includes* nukes, as well as chemical and biological weapons and probably other stuff I'm not aware of. The fact that people conflate the terms changes nothing.

Quite true. Under US law, "WMD" includes any rifle with a bore larger than 0.50", and anything explosive for use against persons or property, including hand grenades. So of course Saddam's army had WMDs.

1 year,3 days

Six Electric Cars Can Power an Office Building

number11 Re:Electric cars are impressive power houses (296 comments)

My thermostat is at 72 and I walk around shivering. The house is usually settled at 71.5-72.5. I prefer 74.

My thermostat is at 52 (hey, it's 8 outside) and I walk around perfectly happy (I took a nap today not far from the thermostat... with a couple of throw blankets over, of course). It's 56.7 in my office (upstairs, where I am now). Obviously I don't go barefoot and wear only a T-shirt, I dress for the weather. I'd much rather have it be too cold (can always put on more clothes) than too hot (there's a natural limit to how much you can take off)..

1 year,8 days

Ask Slashdot: How Do You Protect Your Privacy When It's Out of Your Control?

number11 Re:When it's out of your control (174 comments)

What good is protecting your brain only? You need to wear it everywhere. They make Faraday suits that look like hazmat suits. The bonus of wearing that everywhere is that you're completely anonymous since no one can tell who you are underneath (the only downside being that you're now the guy wearing the Faraday suit everywhere).

Also line your walls with tin foil. Or at least turn your exterior walls into a Faraday cage and put up steel grates over your windows. You won't be able to steal your neighbor's wifi signal, but at least your neighbors won't be able to throw a brick through your window and steal your stuff either.

Stucco is basically concrete troweled onto steel mesh. If you pay some attention to making sure each piece of steel mesh is electrically connected to the adjoining pieces, and grounded, and used aluminum screen over the windows (or maybe used metallic film coatings on the windows), steel doors, and either installed conductive screen over the attic floor or used steel roofing (the good stuff isn't cheap, but will pretty much last forever, never need to re-roof again), you'd probably have a pretty good Faraday cage.

Maybe add a whole-house low-pass filter where the power comes in. You could get one that provided whole-house surge protection at the same time.

Wouldn't be easy to retrofit, but if you were building, or doing major rehab, it probably wouldn't add much cost.

1 year,19 days

Electric Cars: Drivers Love 'Em, So Why Are Sales Still Low?

number11 Re:Nowhere to plug one in (810 comments)

It wouldn't be hard to have outdoor chargers; the problem is that they suck a lot of juice and you'd attract leeches like nobody's business without some way to charge them and do so securely

I dunno how you'd do it for large apartment buildings, but with the smaller (4-10 unit) ones in cold climates around here it's not uncommon for each unit to have an assigned parking space, with a plugin that runs off the unit's electric meter and can be turned on and off from the apartment. Right now they're intended for plugin block heaters, but no reason you couldn't use the same for a 110V charge, or put in 220V ones.

1 year,28 days

The NSA Is Looking For a Few Good Geeks

number11 Re:world ramifications... (388 comments)

I am probably going to get modded and/or flamed to oblivion for saying this, but listening to that podcast made me believe that not everything the NSA does is bad.

Of course not. Very few things in life are all black or all white. The NSA is like the neighbor who poisons any dog that comes onto his property, and you're pretty sure he shoplifts, but if you need a hand hoisting an engine or a ride to the store, he's always willing to help.

That doesn't mean he shouldn't be locked up, though.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Easy, Open Source Desktop-Sharing Software?

number11 UltraVNC Single Click (116 comments)

UltraVNC Single Click is a small (Win) executable customized to connect the user to your address. You run VNC Viewer in "listen" mode. It's very simple to use, doesn't require installing, can be downloaded by the user or sent via email (if they can receive .exe files), works through user NAT. I've been using it for years, directed to my dynamic IP via dyndns. You can customize what the user client looks like. Don't know if it works with Win8 though, and it doesn't work for users running OSX or Linux.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Why Isn't There More Public Outrage About NSA Revelations?

number11 Re:Deep down.. (610 comments)

I am afraid this is more true than we all want to believe. Everyone likes to prove their side is great by showing how shitty the other side is. Well, we now have proof that both sides are happy to screw over anyone who stands in their way, and willing to stand all over the very essence of the country to do it, and have declared themselves above the law.

"Both sides" are the same side. The "government" side. I tend to credit the Democrats, but they don't resist the lure of power much better than the Republicans. What we need is other sides. That could go in different directions. Serious libertarians (Libertarians, Pirate Party) who champion civil liberties (if they at the same time renounced the government gift of corporate existence and the legal fiction of intellectual "property", I'd be on board). On the other hand, Greens and the like. And there's probably a third (or more) hand.

Maybe if violations (such as the NSA) were criminalized. But then we'd need prosecutors with the spine to prosecute, and juries that weren't too brainwashed to convict.

about a year ago

German NSA Critic Denied Entry To the US

number11 Re:Remember all those times Bush blocked... (352 comments)

...critics of the NSA from entering our country?

Me neither.

Once again, Obama proves he's a worse President for civil liberties than Bush ever was.

I'm not sure that the US believes that foreigners have civil liberties. Certainly not the Canadian that Bush had kidnapped and sent abroad for torture.

Actually, the US has always had a tendency to block people from entering the country, if the government didn't like what they had to say. These abuses didn't start with Obama (or Bush) or the NSA. Throughout most of the 20th century, it was communists and anarchists who were blocked from entering. And prominent opponents of [insert whichever war the US is engaged in at the moment. (This sort of abuse is not unique to the USA, either.)

The only way to completely prevent these abuses is to get rid of the border guards.

about a year ago

Belgium Investigates Suspected Cyber Spying By Foreign State

number11 Re:Surely they mean 2001 (158 comments)

Obama was supposedly going to be this guy who would mend relations with foreign entities (frankly I felt embarrassed for America when he does those stupid bows to foreign leaders) and really the only thing he has done to improve America's image is just get elected in the first place due entirely to the fact that most people just assume he's going to do something good for them. Hence he gets the first "Nobel Peace Prize for Absolutely Nothing At All"(tm).

Other than doing nothing more than simply winning the election, he's actually rather made things worse.

Obama is what happens when you have a binary political system. The other guy wanted to steal everything that wasn't nailed down and give it to the rich. Obama said he didn't. The other guy wanted to attack and occupy as many other countries as possible, to show how tough he was. Obama said he didn't. The other guy was an idiot who couldn't talk in complete sentences. Obama was a great talker. The other guy was a rich white dude who'd always had a silver spoon in his mouth. Obama was a black guy who'd been a community organizer.

We believed Obama was a better choice. He likely was. We thought that all things equal, it would be great to have a black guy win the post, that it would improve relations between whites and "others". It probably did, though nowhere near as much as we hoped. We wanted to believe that Obama would be a big improvement, and some people actually got sucked into believing that he would be. He wasn't. After eight years of the dumbest and worst president in American history, the guy who attacked Iraq and flew the economy into the ground, we wanted something better. We got it. But "better" is relative.

When you have to choose between dreadful and not-quite-as-bad with a few good points, you do the best you can. The fact that the result isn't great doesn't mean that the other choice wouldn't have been worse.

about a year ago

Google's Encryption Plan To Stifle NSA's Dragnet Will Raise the Stakes

number11 Re:Arms race (216 comments)

One thing your forgetting and I will continue to remind people of, what about the other agencies that are doing far more then the NSA and yet the media/press continues to its communist like reporting, by failing to report the other agencies and or anything else including companies heavily handed involvement with cooperating behind the public's back.

Of course other agencies (e.g. the DEA) are doing this. So hustle up some whistleblowers to make that newsworthy. Hustle up stories about how normal citizens (not druggies or drooling pervs, not that either taking drugs or drooling should be a crime) can be hurt by this.

The "news" follows what's hot,

about a year ago

Epic: A Privacy-Focused Web Browser

number11 Re: Interesting (223 comments)

Check out SecretAgent (for Firefox). It automatically rotates the user agent string the browser reports through a list of about 50 possibilities. Happens every time you restart the browser. Your browser may be unique today, it may be unique tomorrow, but it won't be identified as the same unique browser both times..

Actually, SecretAgent seems to rotate with every page load. And not just the user agent, but some other headers, too. I find it works best if you edit the list of possibilities to remove the ones that often display screwy (few websites are optimized for Mosaic anymore).

about a year ago

Epic: A Privacy-Focused Web Browser

number11 Re:What about on the "Web" itself... (223 comments)

Uhhhh...its already been reported that NSA is running several Tor exit nodes to collect the data, you DO know this, right?

You don't have to be an exit node to run Tor. You don't even have to run as a relay, though if you can, that helps everybody's speed.

about a year ago

Epic: A Privacy-Focused Web Browser

number11 Re:Interesting (223 comments)

Can either of them defeat Panopticlick? I don't see anything on Epic's site about hiding font lists.

It doesn't, either. I just tried installing it.

Your browser fingerprint appears to be unique among the 3,356,831 tested so far.

Currently, we estimate that your browser has a fingerprint that conveys at least 21.68 bits of identifying information.

It's mostly the font list that gives the show away.

about a year ago

New Snowden Revelation: Terrorists Attempting To Infiltrate CIA

number11 Re:And in other news (250 comments)

I'd be surprised if terrorists were not trying to infiltrate the CIA.

I doubt it, unless you're including agents of assorted national governments as "terrorists". Private groups aren't going to have the resources to long-term plant members who may never find anything relevant. If your thing is fomenting revolution in Chechnya, having somebody end up being second attache to the embassy in the Philippines or monitoring the cocaine trade in Colombia is a waste you can't afford.

Now, I'd be surprised if the governments of Russia, China, Israel, Cuba, India, Pakistan, et al. were not trying to infiltrate the CIA. They've got long time horizons and resources that the poor schmuck who's humping a cannister of poison gas from Saudi Arabia to Damascus can only dream of.

about a year ago

New Snowden Revelation: Terrorists Attempting To Infiltrate CIA

number11 Re:The terrorists are already here. (250 comments)

There's really no need to hire someone in Damascus.
Just send the chemicals from the CIA to the Saudi Mukhabarat, they'll pass it on to Al Nusra or an like-minded affiliate and BOOM there's your red line.

And there are stories already, where some rebels tell an AP reporter that their guys were just transporting/storing the shit for another group, and didn't know what it was, and there was this accident, and a bunch of their guys got killed.

Could even be true. Of course, it could be a cover story for a rebel gas attack intended to be blamed on the government ("we didn't do it on purpose!"), or one rebel group setting another up to take the fall, or it could be Syrian government disinformation (Russian news sources are carrying this story), or it could just be another rumor in the fog of war.

Meanwhile, Obama says the US has proof it came from the Syrian government, of course the details are secret, but he wouldn't lie to us.

You can't trust anybody to be telling the truth in situations like this. Everyone may be lying.

about a year ago


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