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Comments

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The Single Best Overview of What the Surveillance State Does With Our Private Da

ygslash Link the report itself please (1 comments)

OK, it's interesting. But please add a link to the report itself. Don't just link to an article about the report and paste text from it.

about 6 months ago
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Azerbaijan Election Results Released Before Voting Had Even Started

ygslash Re:Cryptographically signed elections? (266 comments)

This same thing happened in the US. I forget the new station, but they released stats on the election days before it happened. whatever, no one would ever believe it happens here though...

Here's the story. It was KPHO in Phoenix, Arizona. They displayed a banner at the bottom of the screen announcing the exact percentages by which Obama defeated Romney with 99% of results in - more than two weeks before the election.

The station claims it was a mistaken display of a test graphic. Could be that's what happened in Azerbaijan, too, if we want to give them the benefit of the doubt. Do we?

about 6 months ago
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Azerbaijan Election Results Released Before Voting Had Even Started

ygslash Re:Cryptographically signed elections? (266 comments)

Only a handful of mathematicians would trust that.

Paper ballots with independents actually conducting the election taking ballots and counting them, etc, with overseers from all political parties welcome to watch the entire proceedings, from start to finish.

Simple and transparent.

No, even the mathematicians wouldn't trust it. See Bruce Schneier's 2006 essay that explains why.

Use paper ballots. Period.

However, crypto can still add value - it can go a long way towards preventing fraud and errors even in a paper ballot election. Scantegrity is an open-source system, invented by Rivest (the "R" in RSA), Chaum, and other researchers, that helps secure a paper ballot election by supplying each voter with a simple verification code that can be written down. The codes in no way compromise the anonymity of the voters, and cannot be used to determine what vote was cast. But they can be used by individual voters to verify that their votes have been counted correctly, and by election officials to verify that ballots have not been tampered with and that the results have been tallied correctly. The overhead cost of the system is low.

Scantegrity has been used successfully in two real elections - municipal elections in the Takoma Park, Maryland in the U.S. But so far it doesn't seem to be catching on very much. I guess it doesn't quite suit the needs of the big money electronic voting industry.

about 6 months ago
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Sick of Your Local Police Force? Crowdfund Your Own

ygslash Hyde Park, Chicago (330 comments)

When I was a graduate student at University of Chicago, the University's private police force was the third largest police force in Illinois, after the cities of Chicago and Springfield. That may still be the case. The University police patrolled the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago in which the University is situated. Hyde Park is surrounded on three sides by high-crime neighborhoods, and on the east by a park along the shore of Lake Michigan, but it was safe to walk the streets of Hyde Park at all hours of the day or night. University police patrol cars could constantly be seen cruising slowly up and down every street. In those days before cell phones were popular, you could walk up any street almost without ever taking your hand off an emergency call box. When I first visited Hyde Park for my interview, I remember being told the exact boundaries of where it was safe to walk. That included things like "make sure to walk only along the south side of 47th Street, never along the north side of the street."

about 6 months ago
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Everything You Needed To Know About the Internet In May, 1994

ygslash Re:Let us not forget (168 comments)

...and good old command line ftp.

Shhh.... I still use the goold ol' command line FTP.

Maybe it's finally time to graduate to lftp?

about 7 months ago
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New Haskell library Capabilities: a brand new step in securing functions

ygslash Not the right approach (2 comments)

Using the type system to achieve finer-grained control of capabilities is certainly a good idea. But some Haskell experts have commented on the Haskell reddit that the right way to do that is to use the classic monad transformers. This "new" approach is actually just a re-hash of an older approach that actually doesn't really work well. See this comment for more details.

about 8 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Recommendations For Non-US Based Email Providers?

ygslash Re: hushmail (410 comments)

Their TOS explicitly states they can and will decrypt emails if asked to by law.

They can only do that if they have your key. If you use their web interface to generate your key, or to send and read email, then they can be forced to decrypt your email. But if you generate your key yourself and use it to encrypt and decrypt locally, your are fine.

They are not worth looking at

I think that's a little harsh. They're doing the best they can, and they are being very honest about the inherent limitations.

about 8 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Recommendations For Non-US Based Email Providers?

ygslash Re:hushmail (410 comments)

Except HushMail won't hesitate to deliver a unique java client-side applet embedded with a keylogger to intercept the target recipient's passphrase.

If you don't use their web interface at all - neither to generate your key nor to send and read mail - then that's not a problem.

about 8 months ago
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IXWebHosting suffers DDOS attack against DNS for more than a day

ygslash UPDATE: DNS now available (1 comments)

At this moment IXWebhosting DNS is available again. Their status blog is here. They report that they there might continue to be "a few intermittent issues".

about 10 months ago
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Hendren Global Group: US Bugging EU, Japan and Others in Latest NSA Scandal

ygslash Too wordy (1 comments)

Cut it way down in size and submit again.

about 10 months ago
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New In-Memory Rootkit Discovered By German Hoster

ygslash Re:yank out the sticks (91 comments)

My understanding of Hetzner's report is that it works like this: there is a backdoor on a Nagios server (not clear whether that means a backdoor in Nagios itself, or some other kind of backdoor on a server whose purpose is Nagios monitoring). The attackers are able to use this backdoor to gain root on other servers within Hetzner, which they use to modify key daemons on those servers. The daemons are modified in memory as they run, and I'm sure the attackers are careful not to generate any logging events. So nothing at all is touched on disk for the servers being attacked. Nothing.

The backdoor on the Nagios server probably does persist across reboots. However, that also may be something that is remote in origin. For example, perhaps the backdoor is hidden in the Perl code of some Nagios module which is regularly updated by Hetzner (and probably plenty of other data centers) from some remote repository which the attackers have compomised. There doesn't even need to be any trace of the backdoor on the Nagios server most of the time. It only needs to be present for a few seconds every once in a while, say, once every few weeks, because the daemons it attacks are long-running processes.

about 10 months ago
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MariaDB vs. MySQL: A Performance Comparison

ygslash Oh, come on, just use PostgeSQL (112 comments)

Where's all the posts proclaiming the infallibility and universal superiority of PorsgreSQL?

Oh, you're right. There you go then.

(Seriously, is there a stipulation in the licences that obligates you guys to reply to threads about mysql?)

Actually, no. It's in the design, the features, and the source code.

about a year ago
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Hybrid RotorWing Design Transitions From Fixed To Rotary Wing Mid-Flight

ygslash Who will try this thing? (86 comments)

Will you be the first one to try flying one of these things? Oh no, don't look at me. No way.

about a year ago
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High Tech Vending Machines Transform IT Support At Facebook

ygslash Re:Same Typical Vending Problems? (210 comments)

Now Logitech can produce a commercial in which a short Facebook employee gets four or five Microsoft mice out of the machine, then stands on them in order to reach the higher-up button to get a Logitech mouse.

about a year ago
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US DOJ Claims It Did Not Entrap Megaupload

ygslash Baseless? (246 comments)

Dotcom's claims were only "baseless" in the sense that they were not base and evil, unlike the DOJ's behavior in this case.

about a year ago
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Four Cups of Coffee A Day Cuts Risk of Oral Cancer

ygslash Re:That's great... (151 comments)

...but what does it increase the chances of? Well, besides drug (caffeine) addiction?

I'll bet the rate of cancer morbidity among heroin users is extremely low.

about a year ago
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What "Earth-Shaking" Discovery Has Curiosity Made on Mars?

ygslash Re:I really hope... (544 comments)

Based on past experience, I think it will probably be indeed very interesting, but not "earth-shaking" for most people.

about a year and a half ago
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Sony DVR Useless After Rovi Stops TV Guide OnScreen

ygslash What's the problem? (321 comments)

Everyone could always use another paperweight.

about a year and a half ago
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The Chaos Within Sudoku - A Richter Scale Of Difficulty

ygslash Please fix typos (2 comments)

There are many typos in this submission. It appears to be a blind copy-and-paste from TFA, with some problems due to Unicode characters ("eta") and some text just missed.

This is an interesting article, but please fix the submission.

about a year and a half ago

Submissions

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IXWebHosting suffers DDOS attack against DNS for more than a day

ygslash ygslash writes  |  about 10 months ago

ygslash (893445) writes "The DNS servers of IXWebHosting, a major domain name registrar, have been targeted by a massive DDOS attack against their DNS servers for more than 24 hours. The attack is still ongoing at the time this post is being written. All domains hosted by IXWebHosting are gradually becoming unavailable as their TTLs expire and the domains drop out of DNS caches around the Internet. Some details about this attack were posted on the company's support blog — but now their own domain name has passed TTL and can no longer be resolved. If anyone has an IP address for IXWebHosting, or some other way of finding out information about this attack, please post it in the comments. Are incidents like this evidence that the venerable DNS system is no longer robust enough to keep the Internet running in the modern era?"
Link to Original Source
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Parallella Open Parallel Hardware Platform Gets Kickstart Funding

ygslash ygslash writes  |  about a year and a half ago

ygslash (893445) writes "Adapteva has achieved Kickstarter funding for their Parallella "supercomputing for everyone" project. The stated goal of the Parallella project is to provide a totally open highly parallel hardware platform, with a full set of publicly available NDA-free specs and documentation, for under $100 US. They claim that a credit-card sized Parallella CPU board based on their Epiphany 64-core accelerator will provide 90 gflops while consuming only 5 watts (but I wonder if the under $100 version might only include their 16-core version). On their Kickstarter page, Adapteva promises that "all architecture and SDK documents will be published on the web as soon as the Kickstarter project is funded." Still looking for the link..."
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Los Alamos Fire Idles NSA Supercomputer

ygslash ygslash writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ygslash (893445) writes "Among the many facilities shut down since Monday at Los Alamos National Laboratory due to the approaching wildfire is Cielo, one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world. The National Security Administration's three national laboratories -" Los Alamos, Sandia, and Lawrence Livermore -" all share computing time on Cielo, according to Associated Press."
Link to Original Source
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Los Alamos Threatened by Wildfire

ygslash ygslash writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ygslash (893445) writes "The Los Conchas wildfire in New Mexico threatened Los Alamos National Laboratory on June 27, coming within less than one mile of its boundary. All "non essential" personal among its more than 11,000 employees were instructed to stay away from the facility. In an official statement, the laboratory reported that "all radioactive and hazardous material is appropriately accounted for and protected.""
Link to Original Source
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Feds Recruiting ISPs to Combat Cyber Threats

ygslash ygslash writes  |  more than 2 years ago

ygslash (893445) writes "The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have established a pilot program with leading private defense contractors and ISPs called DIB Cyber Pilot in an attempt to strengthen each others' knowledge base regarding growing security threats in cyberspace. The new program was triggered by recent high-profile hacks of the International Monetary Fund and many others. But don't worry — Deputy Secretary of Defense William J. Lynn promises that the new program will not involve "monitoring, intercepting, or storing any private sector communications" by the DOD and DHS."
Link to Original Source
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Israeli court protects online identities

ygslash ygslash writes  |  about 4 years ago

ygslash (893445) writes "The Israeli Supreme Court refused to force an ISP to reveal the identity of an anonymous talkback poster, thereby preventing a libel suit for labeling an alternative medicine practitioner a "charlatan". In the 70 page decision (to be published online, in Hebrew, within 72 hours), the court weighed the rights of freedom of speech and confidentiality against the right to protect one's reputation, and discussed the procedural complexities of allowing civil suits against anonymous parties while protecting the rights of all involved. The majority opinion of the court was that legislation would be required to allow any legal action in this case. Business Ethics researcher Asher Meir commented: 'If talkbacks were strictly subject to the laws of libel, then people would give them more credence. [The majority opinion of the court] is correct from a judicial point of view, but if we are weighing legislation a basic question would be: How much credibility do we in fact want talkbacks to have?'"
Link to Original Source
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ygslash ygslash writes  |  more than 7 years ago

ygslash writes "The Debian Project has decided that part of the GNU Emacs package will be classified as "non-free" in the next release of Debian GNU/Linux. GNU Emacs, authored by free software pioneer Richard M. Stallman in the 1980's, is an icon of the free software movement. But some of the documentation that is included with GNU Emacs carries a copyright notice that prohibits redistribution in modified form. After several years of struggling with this issue, it was decided that this restriction is not consistent with the Debian Free Software Guidelines."

Journals

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Re: Telcos block FreeConference phone numbers

ygslash ygslash writes  |  about 7 years ago

On Sunday, I submitted a story entitled "Telcos block FreeConference phone numbers". I am posting this journal entry as a follow-up comment.

My original submission was about an email that FreeConference.com sent out to all of its customers. In the email, FreeConference.com claims that AT&T/Cingular, Qwest, and Sprint are blocking access to some of the phone numbers that are used by them to provide free conference calls.

It seems that more free conferencing services, including FreeConferenceCall.com, are affected by this blockage, as reported by the public interest groups U.S. PIRG and PennPIRG. The public interest groups report that AT&T has sued at least one of the free conference call services, claiming that this service is causing them to lose revenues.

Um, yes, when someone provides better service at far lower cost or even free, AT&T is going to lose revenue. As PennPIRG puts it, "AT&T/Cingular should not hold consumers hostage in their billing dispute with free conference call services".

FreeConference.com has now sent out another email to all of its customers, stating that the telcos are only blocking access to "a small set of numbers to one of our many conferencing bridges," and that they are "running our business with minimal interruptions." There is more information on their FAQ.

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