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Comment: Re:Sell it to black hats then... (Score 3, Informative) 143

> Black hats are not some cartoonish sinister force

I've worked with both white hat and black hat crackers. Most black hat crackers, by an overwhelming majority, are an _very_ cartoonish. That cartoonish and mostly incompetent majority does not pay their bills, they do not protect the confidentiality of their targets or of their colleagues, they violate their agreements, and they will attack the accounts and systems of the people who have already paid them once.

Are there black hat crackers who keep their deals and their word? Yes, there are I can think of several I consider professional colleagues. They break laws, but they turn around and sell their services to vulnerable clients to shore up their defenses, and I applaud their work. I would expect them be willing to pay a modest sum for a zero-day exploit to add to their toolkit. But they're very much the exception. Go spend some time on the IRC chnnel "4chan" to get a much better sense of what the average black hat cracker is like.

Comment: Re:Sell it to black hats then... (Score 1) 143

Black hats are even less likely to pay. There's no binding contract to do an illegal thing, no lawyers, and many black hats will simply attack your systems if you try to deal with them, the only loss if they try to rip you off is to their "reputation", and in general they do not care or use a sock puppet anyway.

Comment: Re:Disgusting. (Score 5, Interesting) 675

by Antique Geekmeister (#49535629) Attached to: Except For Millennials, Most Americans Dislike Snowden

> Real change and progress in politics comes only as the old people die off and are replaced by the young. It's a slow process!

It seems almost as if the survey didn't include my age group, or many of my colleagues from my age group. Some of us remember the 1960's, the frauds and nonsense of political and federal abuse against Vietnam protesters, and the Nixon era abuses of federal power quite well: Distrust of "the man" was fashionable, but demonstrably justified. And we had older acquaintances who remembered the "House Committee on UnAmerican Activities" of John McCarthy, and who'd lived with state enforced segregation in schools, or with being in American concentration camps for the Nisei, or in European concentration camps for being Jewish, gay, Communist, crippled, or for struggling against the invading armies.

Names change, and techniques of abuse change. So must the demands for liberty, and freedom.

Comment: Re:Not sure about cause of whooping cough epidemic (Score 2) 605

They're only "completely effective" when so thoroughly and effectively used that the bacteria or virus is completely eliminated. That's why smallpox is believed eradicated, there haven't been any new cases since 1978. Polio has repeatedly been close to eradication, but has failed in countries like Nigeria and Pakistan.

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

The vaccine was tied in local political and religious leader's speeches to harassment of Islam, with claims that the vaccine was designed to sterilize them. By the time the vaccine supply could be examined and verified as untainted by local leaders, it was expired and no longer safe to use. This is why polio remains an infectious disease: according to the "Global Polio Eradication Initiative", Nigeria and Pakistan have the last major reservoirs of existing polio cases, and until it's cleared out of those nations, all other nations are at risk and have to spend their limited medical and educational resources on annual vaccination drives to prevent a resurgence, much like that from Pakistan in 2013. And immunization is _banned_ by Islamic militants in parts of Pakistan. And innocent refugees from the fighting there remain a dangerous vector for polio to be brought to other communities.

Politically, I'd be hard pressed to invent a more dangerous mix of medical issues, religion, and politics if Israel hadn't already been caught forcing refugee women to accept birth control shots, and some of the women injected hadn't thought they were flue vaccines.

                          http://www.theguardian.com/wor...

Note especially that it was the government of _Israel_ doing this, and Israel is an icon of Western civilization and religious strife for Muslim countries. It lent credence to the most paranoid concerns of the Islamic who've been banning immunization. I admit that it quite incensed me at the time because it discredited the genuine immunization efforts of WHO and helped waste the polio eradication effort in Nigeria.

Comment: Re:...and adults too. (Score 2, Insightful) 605

> Please, please, please stay in that messed up state of California, where you can't balance a budget, manage water resources, or do anything else right...

> Don't come to Texas, you're not welcome here with your commie views...

Texans insulting Californians for water management is quite ironic, at least to anyone who ever reviewed the history of the Dust Bowl. Texan mishandling of water and agriculture were key contributors to the Dust Bowl drought and economic and agricultural ruin of the 1930's. I'm afraid that California is headed the same way, but but it seems unfair to castigate other states for a problem Texas has itself had so profoundly.

Comment: Re:Jesus fucking Christ on Roller Skates (Score 3, Insightful) 202

> I even agree that the papers should be accessible.

The papers are accessible. It's the extensive organization and indexing, which takes time and research and developers and databases to produce, that make JSTOR so useful and with Aaron Schrwartz was replicating wholesale. JSTOR is a non-profit, doing their level best to make the information as widely available as possible. They're generous with free subscriptions for libraries and schools with fiscal issues, and many if not most of their subscribers allow free individual access, to non-members, with JSTOR's blessing.

Comment: Re:A Travesty (Score 1) 202

Names, dates, times, and places, please. I've encountered too many script kiddies blaming everyone else but themselves for getting caught, and I've not seen _any_ of them punished to match the extent of wasted time, money, and sometimes risk to others they've caused. And yes, I remember the 60's when people blamed "the man" for their inability to take care of themselves or anyone else.

Comment: Re:A Sympton of the Problem (Score 1) 302

by Antique Geekmeister (#49525509) Attached to: Futures Trader Arrested For Causing 2010 'Flash Crash'

> hat's stupid. You only need to delay settlement by seconds, force the buyer to hold for 6 minutes, and the HFT system is broken.

Yes, and good riddance to it. It's arbitrage on a tremendous scale, sicking thought and personal investment right out of hte market into the pockets of those with the fastest connections. The "high frequency trading" market became very strange when companies started selling FPGA's to connect directly to the fiber optic feeds leaving the stock exchanges. I understand a number of extremely expensive data centers low latency network basically fell apart when that technology became commercially available.

Comment: Re:this leads to losing control over our computers (Score 1) 66

by Antique Geekmeister (#49518479) Attached to: How Security Companies Peddle Snake Oil

Close it, no. But have you carefully examined "Trusted Computing". The idea is to enforce key based hardware authentication and data access in the boot loader that loads the operating system, the kernel itself, the applications, the system files, and in attached media. It's presented as a security stack, but the implementation is aimed at DRM at every level of the software stack. And the private keys are held in escrow, mostly by Microsoft, with retains the root keys to sign new keys or to revoke old others, so the system can be used to allow "authorized" access for others or to revoke your own access to your own data.

The system is quite dangerous if you fear that the central escrow holding user's private keys will be handed over to abusive governments, or revoked to block access to personal data. I'm afraid I've seen no technical or political reason yet to assume that it will _not_ be abused.

Comment: Re:I'm shocked, I tell you! (Score 1) 173

The "real facts from the fictional story" is an intriguing phrase.

Different versions of Superman's origin have appeared in different comic book timelines, including some where Superman gestated in the "rocket ship" sip sent to Earth. I was thinking particularly of The Man of Steel" mini-series, which rebooted the Superman storyline after the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" restarted many DC storelines. I felt at the time that it was one of the better super hero reboots after the "Crisis" stories let DC discard decades of conflicting continuity.

Which of these is "canon" can tie lawyers, editors, and fans into intriguing debates, and you've a point that I left out the other versions. I must admit that I've enjoyed different authors with different stories of the same concept.

Comment: Re:I'm shocked, I tell you! (Score 1) 173

"Truth, Justice, and the American Way" made me think of Superman's decades long heroic ideal of justice, and overwhelming power deployed in the most postive and helpful ways possible. Interestingly, Superman renounced his US citizenship because it "wasn't enough anymore".

                            http://www.washingtontimes.com...

Comment: Re:Unless (Score 1) 299

To the best of my limited historical knowledge, the number of dead was raised considerably after the fall of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union, which included roughly half of those 30 million estimated deaths, lied about their population and economy both during and after the war. This came out in historical records made available with less political and propaganda control after the fall of the Soviet Unioin.

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