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"BadUSB" Exploit Makes Devices Turn "Evil"

stephanruby Re:How is this viable as an attack medium? (204 comments)

Which is to say, if you find a USB drive in your company's parking lot, toss it in the trash if you can't find the original owner.

Actually, you should immediately tell the security people to look for suspicious usb thumb drives in the parking lot. And the next chance you get, you should hand the thumb drive to a person in IT who understands the potential threat of what you're giving him.

Worst case scenario, it will just be a false alert.


Popular Android Apps Full of Bugs: Researchers Blame Recycling of Code

stephanruby Re:Not surprised (146 comments)

Why does anyone install an app on Android that didn't come from F-Droid?

Aside from the fact that I don't like any of the games F-Droid has to offer.

It's because...

Wait for it, wait for it...

...I don't really care. Believe it or not, but not everyone is as privacy conscious as you are.

5 days ago

Popular Android Apps Full of Bugs: Researchers Blame Recycling of Code

stephanruby Re:What alternative could be built? (146 comments)

Oh, and block apps from writing to most of the external SD card, but they can do whatever they want to the internal one. Guess Google doesn't like privacy or SD cards.

That's just incorrect. For the internal memory, an app can't overwrite another app's private data, it can't even read it without special interfaces (assuming a non-rooted device). An external SD card on the other hand is deemed insecure by definition since it can easily be pulled out and placed into another device. So an external SD card was chosen as an easy way to store, share, and manage media files between different applications.

5 days ago

Nasty Business: How To Drain Competitors' Google AdWords Budgets

stephanruby Re:Geotarget your AdWords (97 comments)

One reason that advertising is so confusing with Google is that they been gobbling up hundreds of different advertising companies in the online space.

5 days ago

Ask Slashdot: Where Do You Get (or Share) News About Open Source Projects?

stephanruby Re:Google? (85 comments)

What's wrong with just googling for stuff

Googling usually works for me, but I browse the results with the image tab. This way, I only take a look at open source projects with actual screenshots.

In any case, the original question seems to be asked from the point of view of a marketer. A developer will often know where to advertise his open source project for the type of community he's catering for. That's the key. Know your community of users. Know where they hang out and what they read. And once you have a couple of users that recommend your open source project (assuming they like it), then your project will start to gain page rank in Google, and other indexes.

Just to give you a personal example. As an Android developer, I often hear of relevant open source Android projects I can use on DevAppsDirect, Android-related meetups, StackOverflow questions, and through Google searches. And obviously, if I was a different kind of developer, or if I was a different kind of project manager with a different kind of community/user focus, my sources could be very different.

about a week ago

Man Booted From Southwest Flight and Threatened With Arrest After Critical Tweet

stephanruby Re:The lesson here isn't to be quiet, but... (894 comments)

to tweet her rudeness after you land.

He could have done both.
d tweet4me +4h
This way, he doesn't lose out on the rage of the moment, and he'll confuse Kimberly when she tries to yank him and his two kids from the wrong plane that's about to depart.

about a week ago

Man Booted From Southwest Flight and Threatened With Arrest After Critical Tweet

stephanruby Re:2nd tweet (894 comments)

I would have made a 2nd tweet that Southwest threatened police intervention due to the 1st tweet then asked for the city police (not the airport police)

What's the advantage of getting placed in a city jail over an airport jail? Is the prison food better at the city jail?

about a week ago

Chromebooks Are Outselling iPads In Schools

stephanruby Re:What do I think? (223 comments)

That said, it doesn't provide in home internet access, satellite or 3g coverage...

Citation needed. I am aware that some Chromebooks come without data, but I actually read the article and I don't see anywhere where they differentiate between Chromebooks with mobile data (and wifi) and Chromebooks without data (but only wifi).

My first Chromebook came with 2 years of free 3G Verizon service at 100MB per month (if you want to buy more than the free level of service, you can prepay for more, but there is no danger of getting charged when you go over that amount, once above that quota and if you're away from a wifi hotspot, the internet just stops, not only that but the indicator for how much data is left is very good, you can always tell how much you have left). Granted, 100 MB per month is a tiny amount of data, but I have it turned off by default, and I only use it for emergency email/lookups.

On my second Chromebook, it came with 3 years of free 4G/LTE data on Verizon. Again, that amount is 100 MB per month, which again is really tiny, but it's great to have in case of emergency.

The best thing with Chromebooks is that they're cheap, they're easy to replace if damaged, and they have a lousy game selection. Personally, I hope that it stays that way. I actually don't like the recent development of placing touch interfaces on some of the Chromebooks. It increases the battery consumption and increases the likelihood that kids will play more with it.

about a week ago

UK Users Overwhelmingly Spurn Broadband Filters

stephanruby Re:Question: (115 comments)

If was the CEO of TalkTalk, I would be upset. Now that every ISP is required to have parental controls, their perceived competitive advantage has pretty much disappeared.

It would be like the US mandating the same thing for cell phones, then there would be no reason for parents to pay for Disney phones as a result and no reason for that division of Disney to exist anymore.

about two weeks ago

AirMagnet Wi-Fi Security Tool Takes Aim At Drones

stephanruby Re:Battery lasts for only 12 minutes (52 comments)

How much damage can one do with that? Seems easier to sneak up close and hide in a bush while cracking in to someones network using a laptop.

Yes, but your laptop, or your Android device as proxy, wouldn't have the convenient AR_DRONE_ID#### SSID attached to it, so the security idiots at FUD Networks wouldn't have any idea how to detect those.

about two weeks ago

How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

stephanruby Re:I still can't for the life of me (285 comments)

I saw an online request for help (money) to put iPads into a school (It was via Stephen Colbert's twitter).
Tweeted back the question as to why it had to be iPads, if there are notably cheaper Android tablets out there ... got a reply that they come back with a reply, and then nothing.

So far I'm mostly curious as to why it has to be this specific brand, as opposed to 100 EUR off-brand Androids, and I've yet to see anyone answer that, beyond, "but...iPad!"

I'm not Stephen Colbert, therefore I'm not an authority on the matter, but here are a few reasons:

iPad is perceived to have higher quality educational apps because all the big players in educational software initially targeted the iPad (although, that part won't be true for much longer since the iPad marketshare is shrinking vs. all the other Android tablets).

Stephen Colbert has received free iPhones and free iPads. In fact, he has made a couple of satirical jokes on his show about not wanting to be blacklisted by Apple for all the goodies it gave him. These jokes probably didn't make him any friends at Apple, but I doubt they cut off his supply of free stuff because unlike the other journalists Apple blacklisted for badmouthing it, Stephen Colbert could retaliate so easily. That's what his entire persona is about.

The term iPad currently gets more eyeballs in the press (not to mention Apple has a bigger and more focused PR/branding budget, versus the fragmented PR/branding budgets that the manufacturers of Android tablets have). Also, many people still equate Android tablets with iPads.

The schools with the most newsworthy orders of iPads probably got them at a discount over and above the normal academic discount (or they got paid in other ways, perhaps the school administrators/teachers received free MacBooks, or Apple agreed to fund the school in other ways). The key for Apple is just to get the initial ball rolling. It doesn't matter if its first customers do not pay anything, or even if they have to pay them. The Return On Investments for generating news stories is generally worth it.

about two weeks ago

Dealing With 'Advertising Pollution'

stephanruby Re:Good point (415 comments)

Unfortunately, adblock doesn't seem to work for Slashdot's corporate overlord.

Make the mistake of posting your email address or phone number on, and even if you delete that information right away, you'll still be deluged six months down the road with recruitment spam and phone calls of third party recruiters who don't even bother to read your resume in the first place (yes, had I known this in advance, I would have just given a spamgourmet email address and a throwaway google voice phone number). should just meter the number of potential job-hunters each recruiter can contact, and charge more accordingly. This would limit the incentives and rewards of spamming everyone in their database by the most incompetent recruiters, and actually make useful once again to job-seekers.

about two weeks ago

Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann

stephanruby Re:Modern Day Anti-Evolutionists (497 comments)

"We'll invent something to fix this when the time comes" is not a sound policy, or a policy at all. It's wishful thinking. What if we don't?

Who said we had to invent something new? The rich will build dikes and levees and the poor will move.

about two weeks ago

Meet LibreOffice Volunteer Robinson Tryon (Video)

stephanruby Re:If you can't figure out your web site's font is (26 comments)

If you can't figure out your web site's font issue, how do you expect us to believe you can code a full-blown word processor?

If you ask me, this problem is a political problem, not just a technical one. At some point, you just have to be willing to let go of some of your Firefox users with weird fonts installed. It's not like LibreOffice can afford to rewrite Firefox from scratch.

about two weeks ago

Biofeedback Games and The Placebo Effect

stephanruby Re:Lie detector (57 comments)

Lie detectors are fine if you understand their limits, and what the results mean.

I feel the same way about fortune tellers. Most fortunes told are fine if you understand their limits, and what their results mean.

Thankfully, I'm smart enough to know all of that, because I've actually studied fortune telling just like you must have studied lie detectors and you could say I've become quite the authority on the subject of fortune telling and writing fortune cookies.

about two weeks ago

The Improbable Story of the 184 MPH Jet Train

stephanruby Re:And? (195 comments)

Here, in 'Murica, you must drive your car, citizen! Taking a train anywhere is blasphemy. You will be punished by courteous service, relaxed (but not the most expedient) travel, and sensible security precautions.

To be fair, taking a train to New York, or to San Francisco, is fine. It's only blasphemy when you take a train to a city like LA, where public transportation is a joke, and you end up waiting for a scheduled city bus that never comes.

You might as well just fly and rent a car when you get there, it's actually faster, more flexible (despite the TSA), and much cheaper than the train (assuming you don't mind planning your trips in advance and losing your checked-in luggage as a normal cost of flying in the USA).

about two weeks ago

Sexual Harassment Is Common In Scientific Fieldwork

stephanruby Re:Some people are jerks (362 comments)

You don't seem to be getting my point either.

If the headline had read xx% of field manuals/field web sites do not include a phone number for reporting sexual harassment/sexual assaults to an independent party. Or if it had said yy% of the phone numbers to report such incidents only seem to lead to an anonymous internal university voice mail black hole.

Then, that would be a more constructive news story altogether.

about two weeks ago

Sexual Harassment Is Common In Scientific Fieldwork

stephanruby Re:Some people are jerks (362 comments)

A new survey finds that sexual harassment and assaults occur frequently in the field, with little consequence for the perpetrators or explicit prohibitions against such conduct.

Do we really need explicit prohibitions against sexual harassment and sexual assaults for field work? What about murder or violent assaults? Do we need to explicitly prohibit those as well? Or are those implicitly permitted because they're not mentioned somewhere in a field manual?

about two weeks ago


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