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Comment The danger of commonality (Score 1) 273

What this entire concept fails to acknowledge is that when everyone learns the same thing, you lose the benefits of everyone having a different educational experience. If we all learn exactly the same things, we take the risk that everyone fails. Why not do things differently in every state to see what works? Somebody needs to learn from basic experimental design...

Submission + - Do NDAs trump the law? Florida cops say it does when using their stingray (

schwit1 writes: Police in Florida have offered a startling excuse for having used a controversial “stingray” cell phone tracking gadget 200 times without ever telling a judge: the device’s manufacturer made them sign a non-disclosure agreement that they say prevented them from telling the courts.

The shocking revelation, uncovered by the American Civil Liberties Union, came during an appeal over a 2008 sexual battery case in Tallahassee in which the suspect also stole the victim’s cell phone. Using the stingray — which simulates a cell phone tower in order to trick nearby mobile devices into connecting to it and revealing their location — police were able to track him to an apartment.

Submission + - Microsoft to continue supporting Windows XP in China (

hypnosec writes: Microsoft has decided to continue supporting Windows XP in China unlike rest of the world where it will be pulling the plug on 14-year old operating system on April 8, 2014. Microsoft announced its decision through a post on its official Sina Weibo account on Sunday. Redmond will be partnering with local security vendors to continue supporting Windows XP. It is not yet clear how Microsoft will be chalking out the support strategy. It is not entirely clear why Microsoft is extending support for Windows XP in China as itself has noted that 70 percent of users in the country haven't updated their systems in the last 13 years.

Comment echo on supportive high schools (Score 1) 124

One of my teachers in high school gave me relatively unfettered access to a mac clones that had been booted from the computer lab. My experiments in getting mklinux working on it directly tie to my current career. I have relatively little doubt that my current career stems from having unstructured access to a computer and an internet connection. Sadly, our educational institutions are addicted to structure -- I would probably be doing something much less interesting if it weren't for a teacher that bent the rules and let me do something that might today be viewed as potentially dangerous.

Comment Re:"Concerns" (Score 2) 61

You damn well should be concerned about random medical devices made in someone's garage.

It's really not that simple. Almost anyone on slashdot is unbelievably wealthy by comparison to the the average denizen of our world. Risks that are unacceptable for a wealthy person are very acceptable for someone who has nothing. Think about it: if your choice is between certain death due to heart failure or using a pacemaker assembled by a tinkerer in his/her garage, a rational person would be willing to accept additional and substantial risks. Admittedly, I don't want a pressure cooker in somebody's kitchen to sterilize medical devices that I will be using, but I can certainly understand why someone else would.

Comment What a prize (Score 1) 260

top prize being a trip to the sponsoring company's headquarters to interview for a job

Last time I checked (a bit over a year ago), the normal cost of that "prize" is to spend a few hours on making an updated resume. Granted, I may be on the lucky side of having the experience needed to open doors, but I suspect that as a rule skilled people find more convenient ways to get doors open.

That stated, if the potential job had a particularly impressive salary, I might change my mind.


Submission + - Yahoo! Pushing Java Version Released in 2008 (

futhermocker writes: From TFA:

"At a time when Apple, Mozilla and other tech giants are taking steps to prevent users from browsing the Web with outdated versions ofJava,Yahoo!is pushing many of its users in the other direction: The free tool that it offers users to help build Web sites installs a dangerously insecYahoo! has offered SiteBuilder to its millions of users for years, but unfortunately the tool introduces a myriad of security vulnerabilities on host PCs.SiteBuilder requires Java, but the version of Java that Yahoo! bundles with it isJava 6 Update 7. It’s not clear if this is just a gross oversight or if their tool really doesn’t work with more recent versions of Java. The company has yet to respond to requests for comment.


Submission + - Everything you know about password-stealing is wrong ( 1

isoloisti writes: An article by some Microsofties in the latest issue of Computing Now magazine claims we have got passwords all wrong.

When money is stolen consumers are reimbursed for stolen funds and it is money mules, not banks or retail customers, who end up with the loss. Stealing passwords is easy, but getting money out is very hard. Passwords are not the bottleneck in cyber-crime and replacing them with something stronger won’t reduce losses. The article concludes that banks have no interest in shifting liability to consumers, and that the switch to financially-motivated cyber-crime is good news, not bad.

Article is online at site (hard-to-read multipage format)
or pdf at author’s site.

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