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Eric Holder Severely Limits Civil Forfeiture

v1 Re:Now all we need to do (316 comments)

The problem wasn't that they weren't following the laws. The problem was what they were doing wasn't illegal in the first place.

It can be difficult to get the cops to follow the law. But it's often impossible to get them to "do the right thing".

So this is definitely a good step in the right direction. Don't complain just because we've gone from "impossible" to merely "difficult". Sometimes these things take awhile to straighten out. Be thankful we made some significant progress today.

about two weeks ago
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Google Releases More Windows Bugs

v1 Re:No evidence (263 comments)

Microsoft says there's no evidence these flaws have been successfully exploited.

"...so we're going to wait until the bot herders have sucked in a few million more machines before bothering to patch it."

WHAT is WRONG with you, ms?? If I'm reading that right, google is doing precisely what is necessary to light a fire under MS's ass to get the bugs fixed. It isn't really even that. They're basically telling us they don't consider it to be a big deal until it starts getting exploited. By making that comment, they completely justify (and encourage) Google's actions.

about two weeks ago
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SpaceX Landing Attempt Video Released

v1 Re:Wait a minute (248 comments)

but that means you have to carry more fluid. Unless there's very little fluid normally needed, I don't see how ditching the pumps and motors saved enough weight to put enough additional fluid in the reservoir to matter. I see two lines on a weight graph, a horizontal one for the closed-loop, and a curved line representing the open-loop. At some point these lines cross, and the open-loop becomes a worse option. I'm just surprised that point isn't way earlier for them.

about two weeks ago
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Adobe Patches Nine Vulnerabilities In Flash

v1 Re:Given the track record of Flash (95 comments)

I don't understand how softare that's been around THIS long could still be pumping out "critical" security bugs by the dozen.

about two weeks ago
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Is 'SimCity' Homelessness a Bug Or a Feature?

v1 Re:doesn't meaning anything ... right? (393 comments)

It sure is a good thing that players' behavior as modeled in games has no effect whatsoever on their offline behavior,

Considering all the people that play GTA, I'd tend to agree with that. My car insurance is already too high.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Should We Do About the DDoS Problem?

v1 Re:Carriers (312 comments)

I think we're all in agreement that something needs to be done, but the ethics of disrupting a business's capacity for staying in business is shaky ground.

Imagine... a large car rental place in your city rents out cars on the cheap. They're all identical, impossible to tell apart visually. They have very lax security on them, a basic door lock that's easily broken into without damage, no car alarm.

A criminal gang in the city has started targeting these cars, they're being stolen frequently, used as getaway cars for store robberies and even an occasional bank heist. Security foortage is worthless because all the cars look alike. The thieves apparently have realized if they just dump the cars off where they stole them after they're done without really damaging them, nobody cares. Not the rental place, not the customers. The criminals are impossible to identify or prossicute.

The mayer however is getting pissed off that the rental company is refusing to take any action. The rental co simply does not care, because it's not hurting them or upsetting their customers. Why should they spend money to fix someone else's problem?

What does the mayer do about it? What can he do about it?

This is the botnet problem. So, approach it from that perspective.

The rental co already has a few policies in place. They have monitoring software in the car that is used exclusively to watch for road-rage or dangerous driving. If a customer is driving recklessly and risks damaging the car, they may get a warning from the rental co, or even have their rental remotely disabled for a few days. (copyright DMCA letter anyone?)

So.... since they already have this monitoring system in place, and should already be able to tell when a car is stolen and being used in a robbery.... the mayer forces the rental company to use this information to help curb the problem of their cars being used for public harm.

This is how it would work in any other arena. So why does no one take action against the botnets? Does the rental company's right to run their business like they want to outweigh the serious problem they are facillitating? Of course not.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Should We Do About the DDoS Problem?

v1 Re:Carriers (312 comments)

It's trivial to cut off service, yes, but if an ISP and upstream providers to cut off all offending networks from access, the internet would pretty much go silent.

I think that's exactly why it's necessary. Most ISPs take very little notice of an obviously infected customer's machine, unless of course it's trying to pour its spam through their SMTP server. Then they immediately get their panties in a twist and pull your plug until you clean up your machine.

The difference here of course being who is the victim. You or me? Not gonna bother. US? Red Alert Ban Hammer Time!

So, your upstream pulling (or threatening to pull) your plug is precisely what's needed to motivate those ISPs. Some are lazy. Most are just too cheap to invest in fixing the problem and would rather bank the dollars than spend them to fix "someone else's problem". Make it their problem. Light a fire under their seat and watch them redirect a processes they already have in place, to fix the problem.

about 1 month ago
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Newest Stealth Fighter's Ground Attack Sensors 10 Years Behind Older Jets'

v1 stealth (279 comments)

Those "sensor pods" are shaped like external fuel tanks. They've got that rounded and curved shape, to make them aerodynamic. Which is horrible for stealth. The F35 has to pack all its baggage inside the fuselage, with minimal openings.

A huge part of this question then becomes a tradeoff between stealth and features. You have to gve up some stuff if you want to be stealthy. So far, on the F35, most of those drawbacks have been "bought out" by spending a crapton on working around them. Stealt VTOL for example was a major PITA.

Considering the already absurd cost of the avionics electronics developed for the F35, tacaking on a completely new ground sensor package (and finding a place to PUT it inside the airframe) would have raised the cost quite a bit. Those sensor pods have been a work in progres for the last 15 years, the R&D is already mostly done. You can't compare that to a completely new package. (and you thought the rest of the new F35 had bugs and glitches?)

about a month ago
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Ars Reviews Skype Translator

v1 video demo? (71 comments)

how can you possibly not link to an a/v demo or review of this, in the thread OR in the review???

I went looking on youtube and found a metric crapton of copies of the MS demo. I don't want to watch the publisher's demo, of course it's going to be flawless. (and quite possibly rigged) They've successfully flooded the actual honest review demos into oblivion on youtube. Anyone got a link to a review with A/V test?

about a month and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: IT Career Path After 35?

v1 Re:42 years old here.. (376 comments)

That's knowing the difference between knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge is what you know that's directly relevent. Wisdom is a combination of what other things you know, plus your skill at adapting them into something useful to help solve a new problem.

In IT, knowledge is fleeting. Like most certs, it expires given time. It ages fast and requires continuous refreshing. Wisdom on the other hand ages like a fine wine. The background experience can age but does so slowly. The skill of application however, transcends time.

Knowledge is good. Wisdom is better. Knowledge with Wisdom is golden

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: IT Career Path After 35?

v1 Re:42 years old here.. (376 comments)

every time I've left a company the old collegues always told me that they have had a hard time to fill the hole of the missing knowledge and workforce that I was giving to the team...but this, sadly, happens only after I've left.

THAT is extremely important to keep in mind. In the end, it doesn't matter how stupid they'd have to be to get rid of you... it's how LIKELY they are to be that stupid that ends up determining you fate.

That's why it's important to go out of your way to make sure "the powers that be" understand your value. It doesn't help you if YOU know how valuable you are, it frequently doesn't matter if your coworkers know how valuable you are, and it rarely will do you any good if they figure it out after you've left. Management needs to know, before they start swinging the axe around.

There's always a little bit of a "consolation prize" if they figure out what a bad decision they made and turn around and hire you back for a bit to pull them out of the fire they started, but depending on who they feel like blaming for the mistake, it can look either very good on a resume or very bad on a background check. Its usually a bad risk, worth avoiding if possible.

about 2 months ago
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Stealthy Linux Trojan May Have Infected Victims For Years

v1 Re:kinda makes you wonder (129 comments)

The NSA doesn't run botnets... well, not many, anyways.

From TFA:

The unknown attackers--who are probably backed by a nation-state, according to Symantec

Even Symantec thinks it's a government operation. We're just starting to see them, but I think there's a lot more government-run botnets out there that haven't been outed yet. These sophisticated, highly targeted malware like Stuxnet are all government-run botnets.

They either made them, or as you suggested, took them over for their own use. (that's actually a good idea, and I'd bet the more common option outside of say china or NK... those two I could really see rolling their own botnet) It's not like anyone's going to put up any resistance. You don't call the cops when someone steals your cocaine.

about 2 months ago
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Stealthy Linux Trojan May Have Infected Victims For Years

v1 kinda makes you wonder (129 comments)

just how many botnets the NSA is actually running?

about 2 months ago
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Fraudulent Apps Found In Apple's Store

v1 Re:Security? (89 comments)

not prevented, just greatly reduced.

Though even just looking at raw numbers isn't even fair. Apppl's store inventory dwarfs all of the others, and still numerically has fewer scams. It ought to work the other way around unless the wall is performing very effectively.

But bottom line here is some reviewers just got fired, and those that remain were harshly threatened. Reminds me of the recent peer reviewed journals that got caught with some lazy reviewers rubber stamping to boost their productivity numbers.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: IT Career Path After 35?

v1 Re:42 years old here.. (376 comments)

sounds like me. 43 here. Just recently signed on to manage a few hundred machines at a local college. Experience certainly helps with knowing how to make things that will work well in the long-term.

It also tends to mean you have a very broad skillset. I know I do. And everything I've learned up to this point is relevent for the job, it's like my work up to this point has been building me up the skills that I need to be a perfect fit for this position.

Time is the only thing that will turn you into that jack-of-all-trades person that makes you a valuable employee in your position as well as to help everyone around you. I can help the network guy trace cables, the DB guys troubleshoot the web forms, script automation, heck I was even assisting with a power failure in a lab recently. The best way to be a valueable employee is to be very good at what you do, plus be useful to everyone around you that does related work. It's the one-trick-ponies that get laid off first. Make sure that everyone around you realizes just how useful you are to the company in your position, and to them as well.

Remind them that your experience is an asset to everyone in the room. To everyone in the building.

about 2 months ago
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Finland Dumps Handwriting In Favor of Typing

v1 Re:Just cursive, or all writing? (523 comments)

Not to mention I can't actually manage to *read* most people's cursive writing, no matter what era they were taught it in.

I think the skill of being able to read it is more important than write it, but they're both still useful. I worked with college kids up until this year, and several times I was brought in papers written by customers with problem descriptions for me to "read to them" because nobody in the store besides me could read cursive.

Sad. very very sad.

Excluding when I sign my name to something, I really can't rememer the last time I needed to WRITE something in cursive though. I usually just write in individual letters. (neatly though) I wonder how these people sign their names nowadays? "X" ? It must be making forensics people's jobs a lot harder trying to analyze block letters rather than the admittedly much more stylized / personalized cursive.

about 2 months ago
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Gilbert, AZ Censors Biology Books the Old-Fashioned Way

v1 Re:What the hell is... (289 comments)

contraception doing in a Biology textbook? Shouldn't that be taught in Health class?

I can see a small crossover in biology and contraception, since contraceptives do interact with biology. Not so much for the condom, but very much so for the pill ("how does it work?") and then getting into male contraception, and also sterilization (tube tying in both genders) I can see where that has a biology application.

But adoption, how the heck does that belong in a biology textbook???

about 2 months ago
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Sony Pictures Computer Sytems Shut Down After Ransomware Hack

v1 Re:would prefer EA, Comcast, or Haliburton myself (155 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.

about 2 months ago
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Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting

v1 Re:Flip Argument (1128 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.

about 2 months ago
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Sony Pictures Computer Sytems Shut Down After Ransomware Hack

v1 Re:would prefer EA, Comcast, or Haliburton myself (155 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)

about 2 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 3 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 5 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  |  about 6 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 7 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 8 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  |  about 9 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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