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Comment: Re:The President doesn't micro-manage this stuff (Score 1) 134

This is about technological implementation, and it's part of NSA's purview as a spy agency to explore technologies that further their ability to do their job. Part of that is discovering weaknesses in cryptographic systems which are trusted by the people you want to spy on.

The NSA also plays a counterintelligence role, and they're falling short of that if they don't take action to notify developers of a widely used Internet infrastructure utility that their software contains a critical exploit. If they can exploit it, so can the spy agencies of any other government with the skills to do so.

Comment: Re:Demand all you want (Score 5, Informative) 667

by Dachannien (#46551535) Attached to: Creationists Demand Equal Airtime With 'Cosmos'

(The Soviets saw Star Wars as a complete joke.)

Not true. Gorbachev was scared shitless over SDI, and it was really the only big sticking point in negotiations that could have reduced nuclear weapon stockpiles far more drastically in the 1980s than what actually happened. The Soviets responded to the threat of SDI by ramping up production of ICBMs and nuclear warheads, on the theory that it would be cheaper to overwhelm SDI with ridiculous numbers of targets than to try to devise a technological countermeasure or to produce an SDI of their own.

For reference, I highly recommend this book.

Comment: Re:Babylon 5 (Score 1) 276

by Dachannien (#46537053) Attached to: Interviews: Ask J. Michael Straczynski What You Will

Also, none of the movies were particularly good. The series is, full stop, better than star trek; But the movies were meh at best.

Are you kidding? B5: In the Beginning was amazing, to the point where I'm torn when introducing someone new to the series whether to show them ITB first or just start with the Season 1 pilot.

That said, Legend of the Rangers, with its Tae-Bo based human interface scheme, was horrible.

Comment: Re:Well ... what do you expect (Score 5, Interesting) 479

As I recall it, Saddam said the UN inspectors were welcome, as long as there were no American inspectors there, because he was convinced they were CIA spies.

No, Saddam didn't want the inspectors there because he didn't want actual evidence to get out that he didn't have WMDs. He was more afraid of Iran than he was the US, and he said as much after he was captured and before he was executed.

Comment: Cognitive dissonance (Score 4, Informative) 120

by Dachannien (#46299877) Attached to: Drive-by Android Malware Exploits Unpatchable Vulnerability

Vulnerable devices are any device that is running a version earlier than 4.2 (in which the vulnerability was patched) which is a staggeringly large amount of the market.

The vulnerability is in Android itself rather than the proprietary GMS application platform that sits atop the base operating system so it is not easily patched by Google.

But apparently not so difficult as to make it impossible? Is there something I don't understand here, or was this summary just horribly written?

Comment: Re:Nutritional value ? (Score 1) 225

by Dachannien (#46266249) Attached to: Scientists Create Pizza That Can Last Years

I still have a collection of really tiny Tabasco bottles. One with every meal, you know.

An old Army Special Forces sergeant once explained to me that before an op, they would take a bunch of MREs apart and toss out all the extra things they didn't need, like duplicate silverware and such, and pack the rest up to take with them. But they always made sure to take some Tabasco, because with a little bit of that, "you could eat the crotch out of a dead camel."

Comment: Re:Is this the begining of the end for BTC (Score 4, Informative) 135

by Dachannien (#46231425) Attached to: More Bitcoin Exchanges Forced Out of Sync After Massive DDoS Attack

It's not just the exchanges that have to have confidence behind them. The exchange (or, at least, some Bitcoin owner out there) has to have confidence in the short seller as well. This is because the short seller borrows BTC to sell on the exchange. The short seller is then expected at some point to pay back the lender in BTC to cover the loan. Because of the additional routes for anonymity that Bitcoin provides, the short seller could abscond with the non-BTC currency as long as they can launder it, leaving the lender high and dry.

As you noted, regulations, law enforcement, and substantial recordkeeping on the part of brokerages keep this from being particularly successful in normal equities trading. If nothing else, a brokerage might require a short seller to keep cash on hand sufficient to cover the short sale, and then call in the debt if it looks like their cash on hand is coming close to being insufficient to cover. (Some brokerages let you use a margin account for this as well, if you have good credit.) The short seller would then be unable to run off with the cash because the brokerage would not release the funds until the short sale is covered. This is a solution that some Bitcoin exchanges might have problems with, because they would be keeping government-issued cash on hand in a customer account as well as BTC, which opens up several other cans of worms.

Comment: Re: Why are network providers allowing FORGED pack (Score 1) 158

by Dachannien (#46220397) Attached to: DDoS Larger Than the Spamhaus Attack Strikes US and Europe

Filtering ingress packets with RFC1918 source IPs may be useful in some circumstances, but it doesn't help in amplified attacks.

The source in these cases will always be a legitimate uninfected machine that is just doing its job (such as a DNS or NTP server). The source IP will be whatever IP the requester expects to see, such as the destination IP of the initial request.

In amplified attacks, the forgery occurs in the initial request packets, all of which have the source IP of the DoS target, which must always be an actual external IP. This is where egress filtering is useful, because none of these requests should have an IP outside of the subnet serviced by the egress filter.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying. -- Woody Allen