State Department Joins NOAA, USPS In Club of Hacked Federal Agencies
And now is probably the BEST time to be doing it. Threat of physical retaliation is extremely low for most major powers, but the intelligence that can be gained - both in terms of identifying potential weak points in infrastructure and systems, and ways to improve defence against attacks - must be priceless.
MARS, Inc: We Are Running Out of Chocolate
Just a quick note to say thanks for your comments in this thread. Fascinating to learn some more about the chocolate industry and what the hell chocolate is. As an Australian that recently moved to the US I have been surprised about the weird tasting chocolate that is commonly available (e.g., Hershey bars) and now have a better idea what to look for.
Would love to know what you make so I can look out for it in the stores (... if there's anywhere in Ohio that stocks them!)
Pitivi Video Editor Surpasses 50% Crowdfunding Goal, Releases Version 0.94
More OSS video editors is great. I backed openshot a while ago, not because I have any interest in video editing (or watching videos - would much prefer to read) but because I think it'd be great to wrest some of the power away from the commercial options.
Australian Post Office Opens Mail Forwarding Warehouse In the USA
With the Republicans scoring big in the election, the US dollar hit a high (apparently because they're pro business) against the Aussie dollar, which is now the lowest it's been for 4 years after a gradual slide over the last few months.
This would have been fantastic 2 years ago but now we're just facing the original Australia tax - a poor exchange rate. Might still be a few things that you can get a good deal on though.
Microsoft Partners With Docker
What you might want is a Windows VM (or more than one) inside your Windows that you use for Internet downloads.
At the moment I just run separate VMs, but it's a bit heavyweight.
Remember Docker isn't secure. Process that want to escape can escape.
Hmm, that seems counter to the Docker security model - the processes are not supposed to be able to get out of their container ... or so it claims. How do Docker processes escape?
Microsoft Partners With Docker
... I'd actually rather see Docker in the user space for Windows. There are zillions of Windows applications that would benefit from Docker-isation - being able to download things off the Internet and more safely run them is something I've wanted for ages.
There are various application sandbox things for Windows (e.g., Sandboxie) but I haven't seen anything open source that is as reliable and commonly used as Docker seems to be.
I think it'd be OK on the server side as well, but I'd love to be able to download nice jailed Docker versions of most Windows apps so I can run them without having to worry too much about what they're doing in my userspace.
Confidence Shaken In Open Source Security Idealism
I think some of Schneier's words apply here:
"I tell people that if it's in the news, don't worry about it. The very definition of "news" is "something that hardly ever happens." It's when something isn't in the news, when it's so common that it's no longer news -- car crashes, domestic violence -- that you should start worrying."
If this had been a story about a Windows exploit it's unlikely it would have been reported in the mainstream in a similar manner. Even if it had it's unlikely anyone would have paid attention; even the non-technical public is massively desensitised to stories about Windows security issues.
If anything, I'm now /more/ confident about open source security. This demonstrates that when people find problems, they fix them quickly and efficiently. Who knows what is happening in closed source software?
Firefox 33 Arrives With OpenH264 Support
Just curious, what has been breaking for you? What UI features have changed in some significant way since Australis?
SINCE Australis? Nothing major. In a recent version they changed the right click context menu to include icons for reload/back/forward, which irritated me - change for the sake of change. (Also the keyboard shortcut for Private Browsing no longer works - might be a plugin? Not sure.)
Things like that seem little but when you've been using Firefox for years - which I have, every day, for work - little changes like that mean the platform loses a lot of stability, which is one of the things that is most important when you're trying to get things done.
I'm not at all opposed to new features. I don't even care about feature bloat that much. But they should be opt-in. And at the very least, you should be able to opt-out without having to install some third party plugin. Having a new UI/UX forced on me just feels ... rude.
Australis prompted me to install Classic Theme Restorer so I could restore the browser to the way I'd been using it for /years/. (Here's my +5 post about why I disliked Australis.) Enough has been written about Australis so I won't whine about that any more.
Firefox 33 Arrives With OpenH264 Support
Just upgraded then with that grim sense of foreboding that I now get with Firefox upgrades ("what's going to stop working this time? how is the UI I've been using for many years changed now?")
I lost all my cookies - upon reload after the upgrade, I noticed I was logged out of a bunch of websites (including anything using Google Accounts and Slashdot). YMMV.
Remote Exploit Vulnerability Found In Bash
Fixed in wheezy (v7), but not squeeze (v6). Status: https://security-tracker.debia...
Facebook's Auto-Play Videos Chew Up Expensive Data Plans
If you're logged into Facebook, this link should take you straight to the settings page where you can disable the auto-playing of videos:
This should work for most people - although my brother (on Mac OS X) was not able to see the 'Videos' sub-menu (which for me appears in the list on the left at the very bottom).
I only use the FB website on my mobile (the constant addition of new permissions turned me off the app), and am not sure if you can disable it within the app.
33 Months In Prison For Recording a Movie In a Theater
I don't think anyone here disagrees that what he did was wrong and he should be punished - certainly most of the comments I've seen agree with that.
I think most people just disagree with the severity of the sentence - jail time for a single instance of copyright infringement just seems completely disproportionate. Putting him in jail costs a fortune - thanks, privatised prisons - and doesn't seem to do much for rehabilitation (in many cases, doing the exact opposite).
Extensive fines, community service, etc - there are other options.
How Does Tesla Build a Supercharger Charging Site?
And for comparison, just how long does it take to build a gas station?
A great question; I suspect it's a while.
Certainly to get rid of a gas station - at least in Australia - is a big deal. There have been a few removed from my area in the last couple of years; I was amazed that the sites sat empty for so long (premium real estate!) but then discovered that there are regulations from our EPA about how they need to be cleaned.
I think it's a minimum of one year before they can be "reclaimed" for other use. I suspect an electric charging station doesn't require that kind of overhead!
Comcast Drops Spurious Fees When Customer Reveals Recording
But then those new shareholders might start getting a taste of the sweet sweet dividends possible when you're owning an unregulated, monopolistic company that makes ridiculous profits and change their tune.
New Car Heads-Up Display To Be Controlled By Hand Gestures, Voice Commands
My partner is a vision and attention researcher, so I've absorbed some fascinating information about how vision and attention are related.
You can be looking at something but not actually paying any attention to it. Further, your attention works differently at different depth planes - so while you might be focused on the HUD thinking that you're still aware of what's happening on the road, you almost certainly are not.
This sounds like an interesting device but - based on my partner's research and what she's said about it - it doesn't seem like it deals gracefully with issues of attention. I think there's definitely the potential for regulatory restrictions on devices like these if greater risk is demonstrated.
UK To Allow Driverless Cars By January
I actually went to a talk last night by someone from the Ohio State University that has been working on autonomous cars for ~20 years.
He talked specifically about licensing in Nevada - they have licenses available now but only for testing purposes: http://www.dmvnv.com/autonomou...
Google Looking To Define a Healthy Human
Huh. That sounds like a good idea. Take a little from everyone and use it to benefit people as they need it. You might not need it now, but others will, and when it's your turn it'll be glad it's there.
Nah, probably too crazy to work.
Dropbox Head Responds To Snowden Claims About Privacy
You realise dropbox is free, right? Why should they do something expensive like offer encryption on a service that is (a) free, and (b) for sharing files. Sharing's hard if your stuff is encrypted, and sharing is the source of most of Dropbox's value.
I'm a paying Dropbox customer.
I would love a feature that lets me client-side encrypt my files before they go to their server; one where the keys never left my machine - being aware that if I lose them, I lose all my data.
I would want the client software to be open source though and suspect that might not be in their interests.
Ultimately though I think they've made a conscious choice to not offer a feature like this not because they don't want to or because NSA, but because they see it as a support nightmare.
I tried a few of the alternatives that do client side encryption - Wuala and SpiderOak. I found them completely painful compared to the simplicity and elegance of Dropbox.
The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist
The 1% are just playing the game that US politicians were happy to sell to them. I can't fault them for their scummy behaviour. I can't hate them for taking advantage of a system that is broken.
Your elected officials are supposed to be standing up for the citizens, not selling out their office - and their country - to the lobbyists that basically seem to control the fate.
The really sad part is everyone feels stuck in this two party system, this horrible false dichotomy that has been carefully manoeuvred by interest groups to accomplish basically nothing - except preserving the status quo. Well, and sending it on this downward spiral into a scary police state.
I wish I could contribute to Lessig's Mayday campaign, because it is one of the few genuine attempts at reform, but I'm not a citizen or permanent resident (though I currently live in the US). I volunteered some time to help their technical team and wish I could do more.
NASA Names Building For Neil Armstrong
His biography First Man is a great read. Armstrong seemed like a classic "Right Stuff" guy; I'm sure the book paints him in a positive light but after reading it I couldn't think of anyone else I would want to be the first person to set foot on the moon in the name of humanity.
I think a better tribute from NASA would be to get us back to the moon. Maybe they could name the first permanent settlement there after him?
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