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Sony Pictures Computer Sytems Shut Down After Ransomware Hack

v1 Re:would prefer EA, Comcast, or Haliburton myself (154 comments)

Companies typically run two sets of books, one for the IRS, one for stockholders. It's legal.

While I don't know if it's legal or not to show your shareholders fraudulent books, I do know it's illegal to try to pull on the tax man. Federal charge of "keeping books" refers to keeping two separate sets of accounting, one for tax purposes and the other being an accurate reflection of your earnings. Basically it's ironclad proof of "premeditated tax evasion".

In many ways, the EPA and IRS have more destructive authority than any other government agencies. So exposing a company's wrongdoings to either of them typically leads to catastrophic results. And you almost never get to cut a deal with them, they'll take you to the cleaners because they know they can.

2 days ago
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Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting

v1 Re:Flip Argument (1087 comments)

it seems though it would have been a much better idea to go ahead and indict him, even if there wasn't sufficient evidence to convict. (or even if they believed he was innocent) That would have had several important effects. First, the indictment itself would have cooled people's heads a little, Second, it would have gotten a lot more media coverage of the evidence, (which we've actually not seen a lot of, because if it DID go to trial, they will need to find jurors that haven't been exposed to it before being sequestered, meaning you either can't get a jury together or you have to make it up from people that have been living under a rock, which isn't a good thing) Third, just overall it would have given people more time to cool down before the possibly inevitable "not guilty" verdict. They've had some time already, but have mostly been using that time to GET people wound up in expectation of the failure to indict. This would have let the air out of their tires I think.

I think the basic rule of thumb here is that as a thug if you go for someone's gun, (or take down someone that has a gun) you really ought to expect to get shot. (by police OR private citizen) The bigger difference there actually is probably whether or not they empty the magazine on you. Joe Citizen will typically empty their weapon, which lowers your odds of survival quite a bit.

2 days ago
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Sony Pictures Computer Sytems Shut Down After Ransomware Hack

v1 Re:would prefer EA, Comcast, or Haliburton myself (154 comments)

Seriously, what important, secret information does a film studio have, besides salary, and royalty numbers?

Embarassing "creative accounting", heavier than expected use of offshore tax shelters and chip-shuffling, two sets of books, other illegal accounting, illegal campaign contributions, those are a lot more likely than the sort of "secrets" you're thinking of. They probably stand a lot more to lose there than from theft of R&D files.

Nowadays your accounting department needs to be the most heavily defended portion of your network, and not due to direct theft. (unless you're in the business of mining bitcoins anyway)

2 days ago
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Washington Dancers Sue To Prevent Identity Disclosure

v1 Re:Open records isn't the issue here (461 comments)

Less than a week after I got plates for a used vehicle I had bought, I had a postcard in the mail to warn me that my "manufacturer's warranty was expired or was about to expire" and to contact them to get it extended.

They're already vacuuming up the public records for marketing. This isn't any different. Why does it matter if its for a stripper's license or a vehicle registration license? Why should someone be able to suck up one list and not another?

The only reason this is in the news is because someone s/auto/stripper to get some headlines.

about three weeks ago
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Researchers Direct Growth of Neurons With Silicon Nitride Microtubes

v1 sounds like emulating natural neuron repair (23 comments)

Wikipedia has a pretty thorough description of the process of neuroregneration, which it sounds like they're trying to emluate here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N... :

Neuroregeneration in the peripheral nervous system (PNS) occurs to a significant degree.[5] Axonal sprouts form at the proximal stump and grow until they enter the distal stump. The growth of the sprouts is governed by chemotactic factors secreted from Schwann cells (neurolemmocytes). Injury to the peripheral nervous system immediately elicits the migration of phagocytes, Schwann cells, and macrophages to the lesion site in order to clear away debris such as damaged tissue. When a nerve axon is severed, the end still attached to the cell body is labeled the proximal segment, while the other end is called the distal segment. After injury, the proximal end swells and experiences some retrograde degeneration, but once the debris is cleared, it begins to sprout axons and the presence of growth cones can be detected. The proximal axons are able to regrow as long as the cell body is intact, and they have made contact with the Schwann cells in the endoneurial channel. Human axon growth rates can reach 2 mm/day in small nerves and 5 mm/day in large nerves.[4] The distal segment, however, experiences Wallerian degeneration within hours of the injury; the axons and myelin degenerate, but the endoneurium remains. In the later stages of regeneration the remaining endoneurial tube directs axon growth back to the correct targets. During Wallerian degeneration, Schwann cells grow in ordered columns along the endoneurial tube, creating a band of Büngner (boB) that protects and preserves the endoneurial channel. Also, macrophages and Schwann cells release neurotrophic factors that enhance re-growth.

Great explanation of how patients can experience partial to total return of motor and sensory function following an injury that severs nerves.

also they have a very impressive article on neurons themselves: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... - great reading for anyone interested in science/biology

about three weeks ago
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Terrorists Used False DMCA Claims To Get Personal Data of Anti-Islamic Youtuber

v1 Re:the problem is elsewhere (389 comments)

because **aa already have armies of computers filing hundreds of thousaands of them a day, automatically.

good idea, but they beat you to it.

about three weeks ago
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Terrorists Used False DMCA Claims To Get Personal Data of Anti-Islamic Youtuber

v1 the problem is elsewhere (389 comments)

Google isn't the problem here, they did exactly what was expected of them. The law itself ("safe harbor") isn't really a problem either. The problem is that there's no meaningfull check and balance. It's a very one-sided thing. The law wasn't written by all parties invoved, it was written singlehadedly with one side's interests in mind.

If someone cries "rape!" and gets a man arrested, and then we find out that it was just a girl scorned that didn't like her BF had cheated on her, SHE is now up for legal charges "filing a false statement" as well as a target for a civil suit.

No such balance exists with DMCA. Anyone can file a DMCA claim, and the recipient is legally obligated to take action. They're not [i]required[/i] to take action, but if they don't, they accept legal responsibility if the DMCA filing was lawful. So it's not really "optional" for them, even though it may appear so.

Then, if the filing turns out to be iffy, inaccurate, or even deliberaly misleading, there are NO penalties or liabilities of any kind for the person that filed the fraudulent DMCA notice.

This has several effects, and only some of them are really noticed. First, the victim has no recourse. They have no legal basis to sue the filer. No law has been broken, so law enforcement has no teeth either. But it doesn't stop there. The victim's only possible relief is a civil suit against the middleman tha received the notice. (google in this case) They have a pretty good defense since they can argue (as above) that although not legally obligated, they actually WERE obligated, indirectly. Also, google has no recourse against the filer. If they have to stage a legal defense against the victim, it's on their nickel, they can't recover any of the costs from the filer because google acted "voluntarily".

The only way out of this for google is to do research before acting on the notice. This causes all sorts of problems because not promptly taking the material down forfeits their protection, and there will be a cost to this, which is unrecoverable, regardless of the outcome.

Provisions for accountability need to be added to the law. Not so much to protect the victim, but to protect the intermediary, so they can act in the victim's best interst instead of as the filer's whipping dog. Do that, and it would (A) reduce the number of false claims, (B) make people think more carefully about filing a claim, (C) give the intermediaries some teeth to go after fraudulent filings. Once that's in place, the back end of the process will only be activated when there's a much better change it's necessary and appropriate.

Looking to change the back end of this process just isn't productive. The changes need to be made in the middle.

about three weeks ago
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Disney Patents a Piracy Free Search Engine

v1 Re:Contradiction? (164 comments)

OR I dunno, they could work on being MORE POPULAR with people looking for their product, instead of trying to force/control their customers?

nah, that'd never work. not that we'll ever try it.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Do I Make a High-Spec PC Waterproof?

v1 think military (202 comments)

I've got some old radio gear from the military, and when you're dealing with a 300w uhf transmitter that needs to go into an unpressurized area of an aircraft, you have to go down this same road, because it needs to be AIR-tight (to a large pressure differential), not just WATER-tight.

One unit I have here is a tube type amp. Tubes are NOT efficient. Their solution was to make a hermetically sealed case (complete with pressure gauge and what looks like a bicycle tube valve on the outside. A part of the inside is a heat exchanger, and a fan runs internally to circulate air around in the case. There's a 1x1 hole in the back for intake, and 1x1 hole on the bottom for exhaust. That, along with about 24 1/4" bolts and a large gasket, allows this amp to remain sealed, pressurized, and cooled at 30,000 ft. Note that while there was a fan on the inside exchanger, the unit itself had no external moving parts. The slot you dropped the radio into in the aircraft supplied the moving air into and out of those external holes for the external side of the exchanger.

The old motorola maxtraks were mostly solid-state, but used tubes for their internal PA amp. Instead of a heat exchanger, they used passive radiation for cooling. The power transistors that inverted the AC to run the tubes were bolted onto the sides, were completely covered, but were attached to a large chunk of slightly finned aluminum. It didn't radiate very efficiently, but they didn't generate a LOT of heat, and the plates had a relatively large surface area, so it was enough.

The tubes on the back were a very different story. Normally you cool tubes with air convection, or in much larger applications, with a built-in water jacket. These were placed sideways in the back, and a LARGE hunk of aluminum fitted over them. The inside of the aluminum was curved to wrap around the outer 1/2 of the tube, and be in contact with it. The outside of the aluminum had many large, durable fins. So these tubes were kept cool by passive radiation.

Those maxtraks were made to be tossed (literally) into the back of a squad car and go on high speed joyrides without damage. They were tanks, and used NO air circulation.

I doubt you can use an air exchanger like in my first example, but there it is for reference in case you can use it. You're more likely to go with the second example, and just use a sealed case with a large passive heatsink. You could also just go with the heat pipe and radiator you have for the CPU already, and move that part of it out from the middle a bit, and run the exchanger line(s) out of the main enclosure, exposing the radiator to the outside. That would be fairly easy to waterproof, but most of those exchangers are made of copper and may not fare well when exposed to water. You will also need some sort of a screen / filter to keep the fins clean. The maxtraks didn't care about that, their fins were large plated aluminum, and spaced far apart. Much more durable than a modern heat pump radiator.

You could take inspiration from any modern day solid state amplifier. Even the audio amps would be worth a look, though they don't actually deal with anywhere near as much heat dissipation. (efficiency can get pretty high at audio frequency, and VERY poor at high radio frequency, making good cooling necessary) Many designs use extruded aluminum with fins on the top and two sides. Salvage a chassis off a burned up audio or rf amplifier like this, and go from there. Waterproofing the enclosure will probably be your bigger challenge than cooling.

about a month ago
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CHP Officers Steal, Forward Nude Pictures From Arrestee Smartphones

v1 yeah yeah whatever (275 comments)

pictures, or it didn't happen.

about a month ago
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State of Iowa Tells Tesla To Cancel Its Scheduled Test Drives

v1 Re:Rent a Tesla for $1 (335 comments)

So, we've gone from a society where "only rich old white men could vote" to a society where "only rich old white men can get elected".

This is improvement?

about 2 months ago
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FAA Clears Movie and TV Drones For Takeoff

v1 Re:No special privleges (50 comments)

But as the months have passed, it has come under increasing pressure from U.S. companies to make a ruling.

So nice to see the government only getting off their butts when a company demands they get back to work....

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Keep Students' Passwords Secure?

v1 this is a learning experience (191 comments)

Don't expect them to get it perfect the first time. And depending on their age, don't start them off with what you'd consider the best final approach. You're in a school, treat it like any other learning experience.

Just using passwords may be a new experience for some of them. Start with the basics. I wouldn't focus too much to start with on "strong passwords", they can work on that later. For now, work on selecting a password they can remember, NOT sharing their password, and changing their password as needed.

Once they've spent some time on that and feel more comfortable with it and don't feel like the world is going to explode if they forget their password, move on to password security. Using stronger, longer passwords, using different passwords in different places, password managers, advoiding and dealing with a password lockout, password resetting, etc.

This is just one of those "things they should have taught us in school", treat it as such. Like time/money management, basic cooking, resume writing / job huting etc.

about 2 months ago
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Text While Driving In Long Island and Have Your Phone Disabled

v1 Re:Maybe driver vs passenger doesn't matter (364 comments)

I can see other issues, like not being able to use it while in a cab or bus

I really don't see that as a problem. Very few text messages are so urgent they cannot wait a little while.

But how would you like to find yourself on a bus that's been hijacked by a wacko with a gun or knife, (happens from time to time) and no be able to call 911 until he decides to let the bus stop?

about 3 months ago
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Text While Driving In Long Island and Have Your Phone Disabled

v1 Re:Maybe driver vs passenger doesn't matter (364 comments)

My suspicion is that they will simply not bother discriminating.

Every GPS I've laid my hands on in the past two years has had a motion-lockout enabled on it. (all garmin... maybe it's a Garmin thing?) It won't let you into most of the menus while it senses it's in motion. So me as the passenger, trying to plug in the destination, I have to dig through the menus to find the option and disable it. (I think they bury it on purpose)

One that's off, all the gps functions return to normal and it can be used while in motion. I can't imagine them doing it any differently on a cell phone. Just a matter of not giving the owner the option to disable it.

I wonder how that'll get along with the "any cell phone must be able to dial 911 even if it has no service and is locked" law? They got that one supported by all the manufacturers, and this wlll probably require a similar amount of effort to pull off.

I can see other issues, like not being able to use it while in a cab or bus. But waaaah all you want about that, you shouldn't have used your phone illegally in the first place, endangering the lives of others. That's just part of your punishment.

about 3 months ago
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3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room

v1 Re:How about... (819 comments)

I'll forgo my mod pts today to make a comment on this I've been wanting to say.

The problem is the first time you fly with an airline you have no idea how crammed they are versus the competition.

What they really ought to be mandated to do is provide physical examples of their seating and storage at the terminal. No more of this guesswork as to what's going to fit in the bin, what's going to fit under the seat, whether or not SirEatsAlot can squeeze into a cattle class seat without "spilling over". No questions as to whether or not my knees can clear the seat in front of me. Seats shown with seat in front in reclining position with a "this is what your fellow passenger is allowed to do to you" sign.

This is mainly an issue of not being able to see the product before paying for it and only after your purchase is non-returnable. This ought to already be illegal. You ought to be able to sit down in a demo seat at the terminal, get out your laptop, realize there is NO space to use it, say "screw that!", get a refund, and get up and walk to the terminal across the way and rebook on another airline.

about 3 months ago
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First US Appeals Court Hears Arguments To Shut Down NSA Database

v1 Re:It's amazing (199 comments)

Our entire government seems to think the constitution can be superseded by any other law whatsoever

That's just what I was thinking. It seesm they're arguing "Now that we have the patriot act on the books and it allows this, the constitution doesn't count.'"

Wait, what?

about 3 months ago
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Deputy Who Fatally Struck Cyclist While Answering Email Will Face No Charges

v1 Re:yet if we did it (463 comments)

quoting the report:

"a person s negligent if he does something that a reasonably careful person would not do in the same situation or fails to do somethign that a reasonably careful person would do in the asme situation". ...
"to establish the crime of vehicular manslaughter, the People would be required to prove that Wood's encroachment into the bicycle lane, nuder the circumstances, was negligent." ...
"the fact that Wood did not apply his brakes or swerve to avoid the collision indicates that he did not see or notice Olin until the moment of impact." ...
"Wood's entry of 'Yes I...' followed by '][\NOKKO' is also consisten with him utilizing his MDC at the time of collision" ...
"Based on all of these circumstances, the People cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Wood's momentary distraction in the perfomance of his duties constituted a failure to use reasonable care"

So... he was negligent, he was negligent, he was neglegent. But in summary, he wasn't negligent. Either that or texting while driving isn't negligent. Which I'm pretty sure has gone onto the books in most states by now. If he felt he had to respond immedidately to a message with obvious indications of serious urgency (such as keywords like "bro") he should have done like the same advice he would have given anyone else while ticketing them for texting while driving, "next time, pull over and do your texting from the shoulder".

I also found this particularly insulting in the latter part of the report:

"It is significant to note that the driver in the vehicle directly behind Wood's patrol vehicle, Andrwe McCown, also failed to see Olin in the bicycle lane prior to the collision"

Look back at the witness accouns and see "something equally significant that we aren't going to mention again":

Ashley McCown was the passenger in that vehicle. (the one following Woods patrol car) She stated that she noticed Olin in the bicycle lane prior to the collision"

Of course the driver of the following car didn't see Olin, he doesn't have xray vision to look through the patrol car, his passenger is in the correct place to see around into the right bicycle lane. It look s like the person writing that report was making a number of stretches trying to justify not pressing charges?

Someone with more time on their hands needs to type up and post that report online in searchable format. I can't help but wonder if they deliberately put it up in image format to meet their legal requirements without making it easily quoteable and searchable...

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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How to handle a wifi leech camping in your store?

v1 v1 writes  |  about 2 years ago

v1 (525388) writes "I work for a small computer sales/service shop, in back as one of the repair techs. We have a private wifi here for our store demos, on the same "public lan" we use for no-check-in service like running updates for customers. A grubby older gent had his computer here for such service and his laptop got our wifi password saved on it. Now he's here waiting at our door at open every morning, and stays in the store at least several hours every day, camping in one of our two front courtesy chairs browsing etc, spooking our customers. Sometimes he's here all day long till close. How do you kindly shoo away someone from camping your wifi like this? We could change the wifi pw but the gm doesn't think that would be courteous."
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Susan Crawford for FCC Chairman

v1 v1 writes  |  about 2 years ago

v1 (525388) writes "Susan Crawford is trying to get onboard at the FCC as chairman, and looks determined to restore common sense and competition to broadband in the USA. “The rich are getting gouged, the poor are very often left out, and this means that we’re creating, yet again, two Americas, and deepening inequality through this communications inequality,” Check out the video, sign the petition, and maybe the USA's internet will climb out of the gutter. Her main focuses are to break up collusion between the providers and content providers, and to break up franchises, monopolies, and local barrier laws that have blocked competition, raised costs, and stifled speed in most of the american market."
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Jobs resigns from Apple

v1 v1 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

v1 (525388) writes "Looks like all the news outlets are picking up on the big story today, Steve Jobs has resigned from Apple. He's not giving specifics, but says he's no longer "fit" to run the company. It's probably fair to assume it's due to health reasons. Jobs offered Tim Cook as his suggested replacement at the board meeting."
Link to Original Source
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Radio Shack solicits DYI'ers for feedback

v1 v1 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

v1 (525388) writes "It looks like someone has managed to wake up The Shack as to their complete loss of DIY customers, and they're asking for your feedback on how to get them back on track as the local do-it-yourself parts source. They appear to be drawing heavy fire for the same few issues, low part inventory, high prices, no kits, pushing common junk. (cell phones etc) Stop by their feedback blog and give them a piece of your mind. Maybe there's still a chance of them regaining their sanity."
Link to Original Source
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Microsoft fingers Yahoo for Windows 7 data overuse

v1 v1 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

v1 (525388) writes "The glitch apparently exists in the code which tells Windows Phone 7 how to fetch new messages from Yahoo Mail, one of the world's largest free e-mail services. The error means that the system downloads up to 25 times more information than it needs to."
Link to Original Source
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How often do you reboot your primary computer?

v1 v1 writes  |  more than 4 years ago

v1 (525388) writes "- many times a day — a few times every day — once a day (don't count sleeping) — a few times a week — a few times a month — a few times a year — what's this "reboot" you speak of?"
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Poll: How do you track your bank account balance?

v1 v1 writes  |  more than 5 years ago

v1 (525388) writes "How do you track your bank account balance?
* keep a balanced checkbook
* significant other balances the bank book
* check current balance when depositing paycheck
* use computer to track balances
* it doesn't matter, I'm always overdrawn
* mom/dad transfer in money whenever the balance gets low
* Cowboy Neil balances my bank book for me"
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Pakistan's Benazir Bhutto assassinated

v1 v1 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

v1 (525388) writes "Yet another assasination attempt was made on Pakistan's former Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, this one finally successful, the latest in a string of assasination attempts by suicide bombers. Quoting CNN, "Bhutto, who led Paksitan from 1988 to 1990 and was the first female prime minister of any Islamic nation, was participating in the parliamentary election set for January 8, hoping for a third term." Bhutto's comments regarding investigations into the recent attempts on her life were charitable at best, "The sham investigation of the October 19 massacre and the attempt by the ruling party to politically capitalize on this catastrophe are discomforting, but do not suggest any direct involvement by General Pervez Musharraf." The attacks are widely believed to be coordinated by the military who are currently holding power in Pakistan."
Link to Original Source

Journals

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smile for the day

v1 v1 writes  |  more than 2 years ago

you have the distinct honor of having the first nick I've seen on slashdot that actually managed to pry a smile from my face :) thx

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fear and government

v1 v1 writes  |  more than 6 years ago

V for Vendetta: People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

Sadly, this results in the government passing laws in self-defense, that turn the tables. Which is basically where we are now.

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v1 v1 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

>> My user number is probably lower than yours.

ahhh but my username is probably shorter than yours.

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do we count starting at 0, 1, or 2?

v1 v1 writes  |  more than 8 years ago

just looking at your sig

> Slashdot dupes an article SIX TIMES

It appeared to be six posts, so that would be five dups, wouldn't it? (would you call something posted twice, "two dups"?) Though I suppose if you want to get all mathemagical about it you could call any two "dups", so that'd be what... 15 dups?

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