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+ - Amnesty International Releases Tool to Combat Government Spyware

Submitted by Gordon_Shure_DOT_com
Gordon_Shure_DOT_com (3919347) writes "Human rights charity Amnesty International has released Detekt to tool which finds and removes known government spyware programs. Describing the free software as the first of its kind, Amnesty commissioned the tool from prominent German computer security researcher and open source advocate Claudio Guarnieri, aka 'nex'. While acknowledging that the only sure way to prevent governments surveillance of huge dragnets of individuals is legislation, Marek Marczynski of Amnesty nevertheless called the tool ( downloadable here ) a useful countermeasure versus spooks. According to the app's instructions, it operates similarly to popular malware or virus removal suites, though systems must be disconnected from the Internet prior to it scanning."

+ - Wells Fargo refuses to honor 30-year old CD because they can't find it->

Submitted by BUL2294
BUL2294 (1081735) writes "The Consumerist and KPHO-TV Phoenix are reporting the story of a widow who attempted to cash a Certificate of Deposit (CD) at Wells Fargo that had been issued to her late husband for just over $18,000 in 1984. She has been battling with them since 2009, after finding the CD among other paperwork, and a decision in the court case is expected in January. The CD was issued by First Interstate bank, which merged with Norwest, which was bought by Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo has no record of the CD, but the physical document itself mentions that it has to be surrendered to receive payment, or could have been paid out by signing an indemnity form--which they also do not have. In addition, there's a fight over whether the CD is worth $60,000 or $400,000, as the CD was self-renewing and was issued when interest rates were 10.9%.

Ultimately, this is a case of data getting lost within 30-years worth of mergers and system changes. Both the existence of this instrument and its terms are probably on some long-lost tape that may no longer be readable, or paper copies were shredded years ago. That being said, we entrust that our banks and regulators can dig up such historical information... So what happens when they can't? As was evidenced during the US mortgage crisis, banks are terrible at appropriate document retention, so how could they prove what was paid out and when? More importantly, how much of banks' historical / legacy accounts are complete guesses?"

Link to Original Source

+ - Wells Fargo refuses to honor a 30-year old CD because they can't find it

Submitted by BUL2294
BUL2294 (1081735) writes "Consumerist and KPHO-TV Phoenix are reporting on a story where a widow attempted to cash at Wells Fargo a Certificate of Deposit (CD) that was issued in 1984. She has been battling with them since 2009 and the case has gone to court. The CD was issued by First Interstate bank, which was bought by Norwest, which was bought by Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo has no record of the CD, but the physical document itself mentions that it has to be surrendered to receive payment. In addition, there's a fight over whether the CD is worth $60,000 or $400,000, as the CD was self-renewing.

Ultimately, this is a case of data getting lost within 30-years worth of mergers and system changes. Both the existence of this instrument and its terms are probably on some long-lost tape that may no longer be readable, or were shredded decades ago. That being said, we entrust that our banks and regulators can dig up this information historically... So what happens when they can't? More importantly, how much of banks' historical accounts are complete guesses?"

+ - After Silk Road 2, eyes turn to 'untouchable' decentralized market->

Submitted by apexcp
apexcp (931320) writes "

Following a wave of Dark Net arrests that brought down the famous anonymous drug market Silk Road 2.0, all eyes have turned to a marketplace called OpenBazaar that is designed to be impossible to shut down.

Described as the “next generation of uncensored trade” and a “safe untouchable marketplace,” OpenBazaar is fundamentally different from all the online black markets that have come before it, because it is completely decentralized. If authorities acted against OpenBazaar users, they could arrest individuals, but the network would survive.

"If you're thinking about OpenBazaar as Silk Road 3.0, you're thinking about it much too narrowly," Patterson said in an interview last night. "I actually think it's much more powerful as eCommerce 2.0."


Link to Original Source

+ - More Than 600 Reported Chemical Exposure in Iraq, Pentagon Acknowledges->

Submitted by Coreyfischer
Coreyfischer (3903405) writes "The Pentagon’s disclosure abruptly changed the scale and potential costs of the United States’ encounters with abandoned chemical weapons during the occupation of Iraq, episodes the military had for more than a decade kept from view. This previously untold chapter of the occupation became public after an investigation by The New York Times revealed last month that although troops did not find an active weapons of mass destruction program, they did encounter degraded chemical weapons from the 1980s that had been hidden in caches or used in makeshift bombs."
Link to Original Source

+ - Silk Road 2.0 Seized By FBI, Alleged Founder Arrested In San Francisco

Submitted by blottsie
blottsie (3618811) writes "The FBI has arrested the online persona "Defcon," identified as Blake Benthall, a 26-year-old in San Francisco, who the agency claims ran the massive online black market Silk Road 2.0. Benthall's FBI arrest comes a year after that of Ross Ulbricht, also from San Francisco, who's alleged mastermind of the original Silk Road and still awaiting trial.

The largest of those reported down is Silk Road 2.0. But a host of smaller markets also seized by law enforcement include Appaca, BlueSky, Cloud9, Hydra, Onionshop, Pandora, and TheHub."

Comment: Re:I'm in the job market, and I'm dealing w/morons (Score 1) 574

by BUL2294 (#48311725) Attached to: The Great IT Hiring He-Said / She-Said
But you've made your job that much harder... Think about it. Trying to save a few bucks by merging x-number of available jobs into one job post, where you don't make it obvious that you're hiring for multiple people where each needs SOME of the skills (which you probably can't do because of job site ToS--they probably require you to post each job as one post), you're confusing many of your applicants into thinking you're looking for a "batshit crazy" skillset. Look at the other replies above--most people think that a crazy list of skills under one post is for one insane & underpaid job.

Even the best candidates for a specific skillset wonder "what up with this role?", and you don't hear from them...

Comment: I'm in the job market, and I'm dealing w/morons... (Score 5, Interesting) 574

by BUL2294 (#48307149) Attached to: The Great IT Hiring He-Said / She-Said
So, as I've been in the market for a few months, I'm finding that many of the jobs that glossed over me a few months ago are coming across again... Whether it be a recruiter contacting me (I remember applying for this a while back), a new posting on the company's job search portal of choice (they changed 5 words in the job description), or even a new approach (look, now they're recruiting from my MBA school for this position)... Needless to say, it's infuriating.

Sure, I recognize that I only have 85% of what you're looking for in terms of a skillset; or that you want to pay $5000/year less than my absolute salary floor... But if that job has been open for 3-6 months, the damage caused by it being open (presumably because someone left, and now there's a void that everyone else on the team is not really able to fill) has far exceeded whatever small training costs or whatever you would have to spend on me...

Another issue is that too many companies are still thinking it's the financial crisis, when new recruits were happy to accept 50% cuts in salary to avoid foreclosure or vehicle repossession. This was best described to me by one recruiter--"three asses, one seat". While I've seen some absolutely batshit JDs (where 2 people in the country might have all of these skills), I recently saw one that pissed me off... A company wanted someone who was a SQL Server DBA/BI stack/TSQL & reporting guru, an Oracle DBA/PL-SQL programmer, and a Linux server manager in downtown Chicago--for $95k/year. Good luck finding such a person, with competing technologies, for less than double that...

Another problem that I'm finding is that some jobs are sub-sub-contracted out. I recently saw one in Chicago that needed expert experience in Informatica MDM. Max pay was $46/hr W2. Turns out that MegaCorp contracted out to CompanyX who opened up to numerous companies, CompanyY contacted me with this max rate, asking me to be an employee of CompanyY. My convo w/recruiter: "So everybody has their hands in the cookie jar, and there's nothing left for the guy who's actually doing the work?--What do you mean?--Well, someone with that skillset should be in the $75-100/hr range, but since 2 levels above want to keep their 100% profit margin, $50 becomes $100 and $100 becomes $200, which MegaCorp is probably being billed somewhere around there..."

Finally, don't get me started on "the foreigners"... It seems the boiler-room stock antics of the '80s and '90s have moved offshore, where in some cases I get calls from multiple people about the same job from the same company... They're all in a feeding frenzy, just trying to be the first to pass along my authorization to represent--never mind that I may not be qualified for the role in question. (One conversation went like this... "Well, where in Chicagoland is the job?--Let me submit you and I'll tell you.--You mean you won't tell me where the job is until I agree to let you represent me? It could be an impossible commute...--I need to submit you first...--Fuck off...")

Comment: Jesus Christ, READ TFA! (Score 5, Informative) 398

by BUL2294 (#48196281) Attached to: Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected
I live in Chicago... Read TFA--not red light cams, but SPEED CAMERAS!

First off, because of state law, the speed cameras can only issue a ticket for going 6+ over the limit. So, 25 in a 20 school zone, or 35 in a 30 "near a park" zone is OK. Second, the 6-10 MPH over the limit is a $35 ticket. BFD. Only when you do 11+ over the limit (e.g. 41 in a 30), that's when it shoots up to $100. Finally, speed cameras are NOT allowed on Lake Shore Drive, Lower Wacker, and (obviously) Interstates.

On top of that, because of state law, the city had to paint "SAFETY ... ZONE" on the street in each lane, along with putting up extra speed limit signs with "PHOTO ENFORCED", by every camera installation, on that street and on all intersecting streets...

Comment: Re:Why a government site? (Score 1) 120

by BUL2294 (#48196177) Attached to: Overwhelmed By Recall For Deadly Airbags

Pass a law saying car companies must have recall information easily accessible on the web.

Just looking up Toyota, Ford, and GM (all USA), each allows you to go to their respective websites and type in a VIN to let you know if there's a recall associated with your vehicle... So while there isn't a law to that effect, they already have this. If you're too lazy to go to the manufacturer's site to look up your vehicle by VIN for the 1 or 2 vehicles you may own, either from the government or the manufacturer, then I don't know what else can be done. This is on top of the paper mail and e-mails you are likely getting. And on top of any lawyer ads you might see on TV--"Are you injured? [Automaker] had many recalls... Sue them!"

Comment: Re:Back up to optical media (Score 2) 268

by BUL2294 (#47911557) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do After Digitizing VHS Tapes?
Seriously, cloud based backup is not the panacea you want to believe that it is. Think about it... With "unlimited storage for $5/mo", how does a company like BackBlaze have any viability? Right now, if you were to store 10TB of data (which has been thrown around in some of the other posts), their ROI is insanely high. Even if they went cheap and bought SATA 3.5" drives, a 4TB drive (on Pricewatch) will run $118, or $28.3167/TB. Let's say they can buy drives in bulk at $25/TB, 10TB would cost them $250 worth of equipment. At $5/month, their break-even point is at 50+ months--and that's assuming NPV is not important...

Now, let's throw in Visa/MC charge fees, bandwidth costs, additional hardware for RAID, office overhead, other equipment, legal / NSA requests / DMCA takedowns, etc., and the simple ROI of 50+ months easily balloons to 100+ months--if not out to infinity. There's no way a company like that is viable at current media prices, especially since your data is available on-demand (e.g. no delays for their tape to transfer to HD media)...

Viability of your backup solution is just as important whether it's longevity of tape & a physical drive you actually buy or the business plan of a cloud-based option.

Comment: 2GB RAM is plenty for Win8.1 x86... (Score 1) 215

by BUL2294 (#47704583) Attached to: New HP Laptop Would Mean Windows at Chromebook Prices
I can confirm that Windows 8.1 x86 on 2GB RAM runs great--even on a 5-year old netbook. I loaded Win 8.1 Pro on a 2009-era Dell Inspiron Mini 9 (it had a now-unsupported XP) with an x86-only hyperthreaded Atom processor & IDE SSD--and it flies. I even put a new Intel 802.11ac WiFi-Bluetooth miniPCI card in it. I can't use Metro apps (1024x600 screen doesn't meet Metro's 1024x768 requirement, darn it), but after loading Start8, I don't care. I have a very portable little desktop machine that flies with Office 2010, Firefox, etc.

My only complaints are that Chrome actually performs quite poorly on sites with heavy AJAX (specifically Yahoo Mail), and that Flash is better off left not installed (darn). But Firefox appears to be much better optimized for low-end hardware, so I just use Firefox with no Flash.

Comment: Re:For Win9, MS should go back to Service Packs... (Score 1) 304

In addition, the "monthly updates" are generally security fixes that exists to solve a security hole--where proper interaction with the component shouldn't cause problems before or after the applied fix. They generally solve one security problem within the component (e.g. buffer overflow at xxxxxxxxxxxxxx when called by yyyyyyyyyyyyyyy). That's why they've generally been trouble-free. Microsoft has recently gone on-record stating that Patch Tuesday will now be getting more such non-security feature updates, and they won't be optional.

There are never any bugs you haven't found yet.