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Encryption

OpenSSL Cleanup: Hundreds of Commits In a Week 141

Posted by timothy
from the the-good-kind-of-competition dept.
New submitter CrAlt (3208) writes with this news snipped from BSD news stalwart undeadly.org: "After the news of heartbleed broke early last week, the OpenBSD team dove in and started axing it up into shape. Leading this effort are Ted Unangst (tedu@) and Miod Vallat (miod@), who are head-to-head on a pure commit count basis with both having around 50 commits in this part of the tree in the week since Ted's first commit in this area. They are followed closely by Joel Sing (jsing@) who is systematically going through every nook and cranny and applying some basic KNF. Next in line are Theo de Raadt (deraadt@) and Bob Beck (beck@) who've been both doing a lot of cleanup, ripping out weird layers of abstraction for standard system or library calls. ... All combined, there've been over 250 commits cleaning up OpenSSL. In one week.'" You can check out the stats, in progress.

Comment: Re:As a skeptic, this alarms me. (Score 1) 334

by EmagGeek (#46794201) Attached to: VA Supreme Court: Michael Mann Needn't Turn Over All His Email

This isn't Mann's critics pursuing him. This is part of a lawsuit that Mann filed against a journalist who criticized his work.

Mann filed the lawsuit, and the person he sued filed for subpoenas to get at Mann's emails because he believed that would reveal information he could use to defend the lawsuit.

This is a terrible decision, because it means you can be sued for libel (which is saying something abot someone that is alleged to be untrue) and then be prohibited from obtaining material to defend yourself (by showing that what you said is, in fact, true).

It is made worse by the fact that Mann is a government employee, because if this becomes the precedent, it will open the flood gates for government oppression via the civil court system, which has a lower standard of proof than the criminal system. If you criticize the government or its political employees, they can sue you, and you will be prohibited from obtaining evidence to defend yourself with.

"Shut up and swallow what we tell you" is basically what the court signed off on in this case.

Comment: Use is Voluntary (Score 1) 137

by EmagGeek (#46778017) Attached to: Industry-Wide Smartphone "Kill Switch" Closer To Reality

From CTIA's site, it appears to be an addon software tool, NOT part of the O/S or hardware:

Each device manufacturer and operating system signatory of Part I of this "Smartphone Anti-Theft Voluntary Commitment" agrees that new models of smartphones first manufactured after July 2015 for retail sale in the United States will offer, at no cost to consumers, a baseline anti-theft tool that is preloaded or downloadable on wireless smartphones that provides the connected capability to:

Remote wipe the authorized user's data (i.e., erase personal info that is added after purchase such as contacts, photos, emails, etc.) that is on the smartphone in the event it is lost or stolen.
Render the smartphone inoperable to an unauthorized user (e.g., locking the smartphone so it cannot be used without a password or PIN), except in accordance with FCC rules for 911 emergency communications, and if available, emergency numbers programmed by the authorized user (e.g., "phone home").
Prevent reactivation without authorized user's permission (including unauthorized factory reset attempts) to the extent technologically feasible (e.g., locking the smartphone as in 2 above).
Reverse the inoperability if the smartphone is recovered by the authorized user and restore user data on the smartphone to the extent feasible (e.g., restored from the cloud).
In addition to this baseline anti-theft tool, consumers may use other technological solutions, if available for their smartphones.

Source: http://www.ctia.org/policy-ini...

AT&T

Bidding At FCC TV Spectrum Auction May Be Restricted For Large Carriers 91

Posted by samzenpus
from the helping-the-little-guy dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Rumors have surfaced that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will restrict bidding at their TV spectrum auction in 2015 to effectively favor smaller carriers. Specifically, when 'auction bidding hits an as-of-yet unknown threshold in a given market, the FCC would set aside up to 30MHz of spectrum in that market. Companies that hold at least one-third of the low-band spectrum in that market then wouldn't be allowed to bid on the 30MHz of spectrum that has been set aside.' Therefore, 'in all band plans less than 70MHz, restricted bidders—specifically AT&T and Verizon (and in a small number of markets, potentially US Cellular or CSpire)—would be limited to bidding for only three blocks.' The rumors may be true since AT&T on Wednesday threatened to not participate in the auction at all as a protest against what it sees as unfair treatment."

Comment: Re:Structure vs Outcome (Score 1) 803

by EmagGeek (#46765721) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

Yep. Intelligent, educated, gainfully-employed people are breeding much less because they cannot afford to do so. So much of their money is being confiscated and given to unintelligent, uneducated, unemployed, unproductive people to breed like bunny rabbits and create an overwhelming population of voters who will keep the power mongers in power.

Comment: Happens in hardware, too (Score 1) 225

by EmagGeek (#46765651) Attached to: How 'DevOps' Is Killing the Developer

In a past life, I worked for a company that developed control hardware. I loved designing hardware and software, and I could focus on it. When the time came to build prototypes and manage BOMs and shop vendors for parts and all the niggly crap that surrounds actually building something, there were people who did that.

One day, all of those people were laid off, and we engineers had to start doing all of that work ourselves. Suddenly I was spending 20% of my time doing my job, and 80% on my time doing the jobs of all of the support people who got canned.

I didn't stay too long after that, and neither did any other engineer who was good enough to get a job during a recession.

Comment: I mail them a check (Score 1) 385

by EmagGeek (#46756655) Attached to: Slashdot Asks: How Do You Pay Your Taxes?

I send in my pound of flesh yesterday.

Some third party companies accept credit and debit card payments on behalf of the IRS for a fee. I think you can also just put your routing and checking number on your 1040 form and they will debit your payment directly via ACH.

As far as filing, my accountant prepares the 50 or so schedules and forms that I need to send in every year...

Sci-Fi

Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful? 733

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-the-end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it-and-i-feel-disenfranchised dept.
An anonymous reader writes: "Young people, when choosing a profession, are often told to 'do what you love.' That's why we have experts in such abstruse fields as medieval gymel. But let's talk hypotheticals: if there's a worldwide catastrophe in which civilization is interrupted, somebody specializing in gymel wouldn't provide much use to fellow survivors. In a post-apocalypse world, medical doctors would be useful, as would most scientists and engineers. The bad news for Slashdotters is that decades without computers would render computer science and related professions useless. What do you consider to be the most useful and mostly useless post-apocalypse professions? How long would it take for society to rebuild enough for your profession to be useful?"
Earth

Study Rules Out Global Warming Being a Natural Fluctuation With 99% Certainty 856

Posted by Soulskill
from the let's-blame-the-dinosaurs dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A study out of McGill University sought to examine historical temperature data going back 500 years in order to determine the likelihood that global warming was caused by natural fluctuations in the earth's climate. The study concluded there was less than a 1% chance the warming could be attributed to simple fluctuations. 'The climate reconstructions take into account a variety of gauges found in nature, such as tree rings, ice cores, and lake sediments. And the fluctuation-analysis techniques make it possible to understand the temperature variations over wide ranges of time scales. For the industrial era, Lovejoy's analysis uses carbon-dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels as a proxy for all man-made climate influences – a simplification justified by the tight relationship between global economic activity and the emission of greenhouse gases and particulate pollution, he says. ... His study [also] predicts, with 95% confidence, that a doubling of carbon-dioxide levels in the atmosphere would cause the climate to warm by between 2.5 and 4.2 degrees Celsius. That range is more precise than – but in line with — the IPCC's prediction that temperatures would rise by 1.5 to 4.5 degrees Celsius if CO2 concentrations double.'"

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