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Comment: It takes a scandal to fix this kind of thing IMO (Score 0) 227

I personally have seen all kinds of cases where a disaster is required before anybody decides they want to harden their information security.

That said, you might consider just leaking some of these documents to the open internet by simply pasting the URL to public places. For example, put it on twitter and give it an irrelevant but popular hashtag. Then it hits a major news site, and you know the rest.

The trick is doing it without leaving a trail to yourself, otherwise you'll end up like those guys who found that AT&T link to the iPhone accounts.

Comment: Re:how ? (Score 1) 309

by ArmoredDragon (#49159223) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Does One Verify Hard Drive Firmware?

Sure, if there's a competitive reason to do so.

There isn't one. If somebody REALLY wanted to rip off the firmware, they'd just unsolder the chip and buy a matching reader for about $50 from digikey. The skills required to do it aren't terribly difficult, and in fact it requires less skill to pull that off than it does to read from a jtag port.

Any EE worth a shit would be well aware of that, and wouldn't bother disabling the jtag for that reason; if anything they'd prefer to leave it intact to facilitate troubleshooting RMA'ed parts so that they are cheaper to refurbish.

Comment: Re:how ? (Score 3, Interesting) 309

by ArmoredDragon (#49159189) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Does One Verify Hard Drive Firmware?

Off hand I can already think of a technique I myself have deployed (not written by me) when hacking DirecTV smart cards, or what I know Xbox 360 mod chip users do: Use "stealthing" code that presents the data that is SUPPOSED to be there when asked by any existing commands that are used to read the firmware contents, but otherwise the hacked code is what gets executed during normal running operation.

It wouldn't surprise me if whoever wrote this went to such lengths to add this kind of feature to their firmware. I mean look how excruciatingly feature packed stuxnet was.

Comment: Re:ok, so it's not unstoppable (Score 1) 340

by ArmoredDragon (#49157527) Attached to: We Stopped At Two Nuclear Bombs; We Can Stop At Two Degrees.

Oh look at the typical AC ad hom attck, color me surprised. Attacking the person always works if you can't attack the argument, right?

Plants do grow in tundra regions, however the reason trees don't grow tall (as GP pointed out) is because of three things:

- Summer seasons are too short
- Permafrost doesn't permit expansive root systems
- Extreme cold causes decomposition to take longer

However there isn't anything to indicate that it isn't possible for tree growth in the event of warming. Even if the land wasn't fertile enough, that wouldn't prevent this from occurring. Because of the geography, it's possible this area could resemble the conditions of the Sahara desert during previous ice ages (which is believed to be anything but a desert.)

Comment: Re:nice, now for the real fight (Score 1) 631

by ArmoredDragon (#49144707) Attached to: FCC Approves Net Neutrality Rules

I find it odd that there's the sort of idea that government regulation is somehow inherently anti-competitive in the US. If the government wants to be anti-competitive, they'll just say that business isn't allowed to do X and monopolize that function themselves.

There's actually a simple term for that: socialism. Socialism simply means the state controls the means of production in a given market at the exclusion of all others, vis-a-vis a monopoly. I.e. the state itself owns the manufacturing plants and directly hires the individual craftsmen, in addition to telling them what products they will and will not create, and setting prices (typically without the forces of supply and demand influencing them.)

Contrary to what is often repeated on slashdot, the US and even most European countries have almost no elements of socialism. Welfare programs (e.g. medicaid, SNAP, social security) aren't socialism because the government doesn't produce anything; instead it purchases goods and services from private individuals and hands their product to whoever. I.e. it's just a transfer. Examples of socialism in the US might include trash services and water. European governments would also include health services (i.e. the medical staff work at the direction of and are paid by the government.)

Free market, by the way, simply means that the forces of supply and demand determine prices. Contrary to common left wing talking points, a monopoly typically doesn't make for a free market, even if it is a private entity that holds the monopoly. The reason why is because as the sole producer of a given good/service, the prices aren't subject to the normal pressures of supply and demand in most cases (namely because a monopoly power can create artificial scarcity, such as what the company De Beers did for the last 100 years.)

Comment: Re:Because capitalism, idiots. (Score 2) 243

by ArmoredDragon (#49132993) Attached to: The Peculiar Economics of Developing New Antibiotics

Most people who espouse socialism as the solution to a given humanitarian problem always seem to ignore that socialism tends to grant the most favors to whoever is best connected (read: best friends with) the resident politicians.

This is because socialism is defined by one fact: The state owns and controls the means of production. This means that nobody except for the politicians get to decide which people get to work on what. So unless your particular needs are at the forefront of Comrade Leader's attention, then the state resources don't go towards your given cause. (Think about it this way: Imagine if it took an act of congress just to devote people to work on your particular illness instead of doing congress's own pet flavor of the year project.)

This means that if you're terminally ill, nobody gives a shit unless you happen to be close friends with Comrade Leader.

In our system, nobody cares much if you're terminally ill, but if enough people share your condition, then somebody out there might dedicate resources (and people) to working on a cure if they think they can have some kind of reward to show for it. Will every disease that will ever exist get cured in our system? Probably not, and the reason why is because there just isn't enough man hours in the world to do that kind of thing for all of the world's most rare diseases. However the chance your condition will be cured is measurably worse in socialism.

Comment: Re:Because capitalism, idiots. (Score 1) 243

by ArmoredDragon (#49132913) Attached to: The Peculiar Economics of Developing New Antibiotics

Probably because it's impractical as hell. Assuming that your own immune system doesn't destroy the phage first, most bacteria actually have very good resistance to that kind of thing. Unlike in the case of multi-cellular organisms with an immune system, they have mechanisms where they can shed bad RNA, and they can adapt to new virus strains within a single generation (anywhere from a day to a week, depending on the bacterium.)

Right now the technology for it just isn't there, and probably won't be there until proteinomics advances quite a bit.

Comment: Re:How do you confirm somebody's gender online? (Score 1) 286

by ArmoredDragon (#49116765) Attached to: An Evidence-Based Approach To Online Dating

No, it's not


Chondrolaryngoplasty (commonly called tracheal shave) is a surgical procedure in which the thyroid cartilage is reduced in size by shaving down the cartilage through an incision in the throat, generally to aid men and women who are uncomfortable with the girth of their Adam's apple.

Comment: Re: Test by translating back (Score 2) 60

Some meanings are lost in translation because the target language has no analog to what you're trying to say. Not even the best interpreters can work around this problem when it occurs in some cases.

That said, I highly doubt a computer program could either.

Comment: Re:How do you confirm somebody's gender online? (Score 1) 286

by ArmoredDragon (#49108239) Attached to: An Evidence-Based Approach To Online Dating

To claim that there's a significant number of transgender people out there like this is simply ridiculous.

I've only encountered 3 in my life, and two were from people I know who had the exact situation I described happen. I think for both it was just kind of a date that didn't last longer than a few minutes.

Tip: look for an Adam's Apple.

That's just cartilage, isn't prominent in all men (and is even prominent in some women) and even failing that it's not terribly expensive to have trimmed. Considerably less expensive than a boob job and even less expensive than bottom surgery.

In my actual experience, hand size is the biggest giveaway, followed by voice, and occasionally you see that their breasts look too far away from their shoulders (because their shoulders are too broad.)

I remember going to this bar and this tranny with really big tits walked by, but then he spoke as I watched him grab his drink and my first thought was "no."

Neither hand size nor shoulder width are terribly apparent in pictures though. I guess it's like buying a used car that looks good in the picture, but when you get up close to look at it, it has a shitty paint job.

Comment: Re:Take your space (Score 1) 290

by ArmoredDragon (#49108115) Attached to: How Walking With Smartphones May Have Changed Pedestrian Etiquette

I'm going to be 100% honest here and say the situation shown in that video has never applied to me. When my phone beeps or rings and it isn't already in my hand, I don't bother with it, even when I'm not driving (probably because 99% of the time those beeps ore rings are events or people that I don't care to deal with right at the moment.)

That said, I use my phone the same way somebody would use a map or a GPS unit that is sold for the express purpose of being used while driving.

"Who alone has reason to *lie himself out* of actuality? He who *suffers* from it." -- Friedrich Nietzsche