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Submission + - SWAT teams in MA assert they are private entitites not subject to FOA (

sam_handelman writes: The North Eastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council, an umbrella organization for SWAT Teams in MA, has asserted in court that they are a private entity not subject to freedom of information act requests. According to a report in the local paper, the Eagle-Tribune They have taken down their website, which was cited by the ACLU and contained the following gem: that NEMLEC was established in 1963 out of a fear and distrust of civil rights advocates.

Submission + - A new technology for astroturfing (and the same old Union corruption)

sam_handelman writes: New Voice Strategies (N.V.S.) has developed a technology which takes astroturfing to a new level: VIVA Idea Exchange(TM). You give them a message, and they will find you stakeholders whose input, using "proprietary algorithms", will then be molded to reflect your message. The former President of the Mass. Teachers Association (MTA), Paul Toner steered a contract to purchase N.V.S.'s services for the National Education Association (parent of the MTA). Who would have expected, the leaked preliminary N.V.S. NEA report shares action items with the report that Arizona Charter School Association purchased. In comments on the report, the teachers who wrote the N.V.S. NEA disclose that they were pressured, but still wish to pursue their algorithmic appointment as spokesmen, so the technology works to that extent. In other surprising news, Paul Toner, having lost his bid for the NEA board, is now President of N.V.S..

Comment Re:Passwords don't need to be killed (Score 2) 383

Actually, a solution very similar to what you describe are currently beeing developed as SQRL - Secure Quick Reliable Login. The main highlights and uniqeness of this is:
  • There is no trusted third party. There is the only a) the user and b) the website (and also notice that each website will receive different identities, so no cross site spying).
  • The creator, Steve Gibson, is doing this just because it is a good security solution and have no other interests. He has a long track record of being an security expert, starting the podcast Security Now! in 2005, currently up to 467 episodes.

Comment Re:Not going to work... (Score 1) 408

Selling little bottles of very expensive water with labels that very carefully imply that they do, indeed, cure diseases (while legally not saying anything of the sort) to people who don't know any better is what gets people up in arms.

I've come to the conclusion that victims that falls prey to homeopathy are probably similar to those victims that falls prey to nigerian scams.

When you receive an email from someone claiming to be Prince/Minister/whatever of Nigeria with some large amount of money they need to transfer, suggesting you could be a middle man for a fair share, it is common knowledge that this is scam and fraud. So since Nigeria is so heavily assosiated with this, on the surface it does not make sense for the scammers to continue to claim to be from Nigeria since that would potensially put off more potential victims, right? Well, that is true but it turns out that there is still a benefit for the scammers to continue to claim to be from Nigeria because that also acts like a very good filter to only get responses from those naive persons that will fall victim to the scam.

I think the same goes for homeopathy, Yes, the pyiscs clearly proves that this does not work, but it works nevertheless!. If you are naive enough to fall though that filter, then you are a good victim.

Submission + - Google Boosts Security of Gmail Infrastructure (

wiredmikey writes: Google announced on Thursday that its Gmail service would use added encryption to protect against eavesdropping and keep messages secure. "Starting today, Gmail will always use an encrypted HTTPS connection when you check or send email,” Gmail security engineering lead, Nicolas Lidzborski, wrote in a blog post.

Lidzborski said that 100 percent of email messages that Gmail users send or receive are encrypted while moving internally. “This ensures that your messages are safe not only when they move between you and Gmail's servers, but also as they move between Google's data centers—something we made a top priority after last summer’s revelations,” he said.

Joseph Hall, chief technologist at the Center for Democracy and Technology, told AFP that Google's encryption "would make it very difficult" for the NSA or others to tap into email traffic directly. "I'm reluctant to say anything is NSA-proof," Hall said. "But I think what Google is trying to do is make sure they come through the front door and not the back door."

In December, Microsoft said it would “pursue a comprehensive engineering effort to strengthen the encryption of customer data” in order to protect its customers from prying eyes and increase transparency.

Submission + - Microsoft pays for positive XBox One coverage, requires breaking FTC rules ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft, partnered with Machinima, has put forth a promotion for YouTube personalities — make a video about the XBox One and get money for it. Problematically, they also require that the review not mention anything negative and not disclose that they're getting paid, which breaks FTC disclosure rules. Microsoft has a well-known history of astroturfing, but is this the first proof of them doing it illegally?

Comment Re:first post (Score 1) 196

No, the ++ operation will take place before the next sequence point (super important concept! If you do not fully grok sequence points, you are not really programming C). The end of a statement is one sequence point, a function call is another sequence point.

Here you have two modifications to i before that, and that is what is invoking undefined behaviour (in the same way i = array[i++]; is also undefined behaviour since i is modified twice before the end of the statement).

Comment Re: He is not an expert... (Score 1) 303

Do you have more information on Apple's security track-record? Seems to me to be much better than Microsoft or Android.

No, this is not true. Two main notes:

1) The only reason people hear about Android "malware" is because antivirus companies are allowed to provide antivirus software for Android. Rarely do they mention that it's people downloading pirated apps from shady third party app stores after they've disabled all the security features.

2) All those "jailbreaks" for iPhones? Those are ALL security exploits. If they can be used to jailbreak the phone, they can be (and have been) used to completely pwn the phone.

Comment Re:Where's the led notification? (Score 1) 773

No way, the Google Now widget is indispensable.

When I turn on my phone in the morning, it tells me how long it'll take me to get to work, the current weather, any out-of-the-ordinary movement of the stocks I have in Google Finance, flight information if I have any coming up, release dates of video games movies or albums, etc. etc.

Pretty wonderful, and way more "magical" and "innovative" than anything Apple has done recently.

Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty. -- Plato