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Comment: Stupidity is abundant these days (Score 4, Informative) 83

If I break into your house, and then walk into your main hallway, and then say, "There is a security flaw in your home! From this point in your hallway I can listen to any room, or walk down freely into any room." As you're looking at your front door splintered from the battering ram I hit it with to get in, would you call it a "hack," a flaw or something to be concerned about how your hallway(s) go through your house? No, you'd say, "The hallway is fine, I need a stronger front door. BTW, the Glock I'm holding is loaded."

When I start to read, "SS7 was designed in the 80s," I already know I'm dealing wtih a mental midget. Actually, SS7 begain due to the first ever hackers. Remember 2600? As in, 2600 Hz was the signaling frequency for a landline switch. Throw that tone, and you could make calls (for free if it was a payphone). Hence, telecoms came up with an idea to do out of band signaling, which eventually became SS7. So, saying you can "hack" SS7 is very misleading because all SS7 does is coordinate call set up. That "ringing" you hear as you wait for the far, distant switch to reply that the called line is available, is a "comfort tone," as SS7 does it's work. Besides cutting down on fraud, SS7 keeps circuits available, because if the called number is busy, or unavailable, there's no point in setting up a line between your local switch and the switch at the far end.

In the deepest bowels of a switching office, usually near the back, you'll see SS7 racks. These connect from and between local, long-distance and other switches. It's what you'd call, "Back Office," network, similar to the network used by the telecoms to manage their servers your traffic go across but you'll never touch. Such as 3G data going through PCF after it's left the mobile switch, and before it hits an internet backbone ATM. So in simple terms, you'd have to break in, figure out the network, and then figure out a 2nd break in to get to the SS7, and then you'd be in a very small part of the network.

Honestly, if you're going to be doing that much effort, you're NOT going after SS7. Just hack the 3-letter agencies or other LEO server for court-approved wiretapping that is hanging off the switching network and you're in anything, everything, anywhere.

Comment: Moodle (Score 1) 2

by rwa2 (#48623963) Attached to: what is best way to build a site for course content dissemination?

I've set up these moodle sites for my wife for her classes:

It's a snap to set up, and can be as simple or featureful as you're comfortable with. She says it's a lot easier to use than the commercial options like Blackboard as well, so she would use our own Moodle site even when her schools had some other thing paid for and available.

As for my own volunteer classes, I just rock it old school with an html page on my server in emacs in a persistent screen session.

Comment: Re:... or a brilliant PR move. (Score 1) 580

by rwa2 (#48623933) Attached to: Top Five Theaters Won't Show "The Interview" Sony Cancels Release

So the irony is that I actually worked for Disney for a few years. So yes, I did go to the theater to see some of their stuff in the past decade, but only because the company gave us tickets for lack of any other perks in our area. And yes, I do get caught up by watching movies on long airplane trips every so often, so I did see parts of Gravity and Elysium and Transformers and the thing with Smaug. But the discount airline we fly has a really crappy DVR system that apparently can't handle VBR streams very well, so it would just start stuttering and skipping over any action sequences with lots of motion.

Yeah, I don't have a TV either, so the other irony is that I worked on designing and building multi-million dollar AV systems for distributed Command and Control theaters.

But whatever, it doesn't count since we spent plenty of time binge-watching serials back when we had Netflix, so just forget I said anything that might have obliquely supported the bit about the PR move :P

Comment: Re:As with all space missions: (Score 1) 198

by rwa2 (#48618775) Attached to: NASA Study Proposes Airships, Cloud Cities For Venus Exploration

I hate to bring politics into a science discussion, but unfortunately politics is what determines funding. And politics is what put humans on the moon.

Yes, putting humans anywhere in space (or anywhere hostile to biological habitation) is basically a super-expensive camping trip. That never stopped us in the past from building capsules that can take humans to the bottom of the oceans or hurtling across the skies or stationed at the south pole and other places where robots could do the job just as well or better.

Politically, will countries / corporations be able to "own" the resources (or even just the science / IP) discovered in space without a human presence to plant a flag and occupy? I mean, we're not to that level of competition yet, but say sometime in the future when we're mining asteroids and there's a really valuable asteroid that everyone's trying to claim. Would we consider it legal for the first mining robot to arrive to claim the entire thing? Or is it fair game for whichever robot gets there first to take their fill? Is it an act of war for a robot to knock out / disable a competing country's robot? It obviously is if you're knocking out a human-inhabited space colony, but otherwise you're just squabbling over money.

Anyway, I'm glad that NASA is doing the math on what is at this point just a proposal / thought exercise. No harm in having thought things through, in the off-chance that Venus was suddenly struck with a strong case of unobtanium-fever.

Comment: Re: This is not the problem (Score 1) 658

by rwa2 (#48618451) Attached to: Economists Say Newest AI Technology Destroys More Jobs Than It Creates

Huh, well, I learned something... I always thought they were getting their "checks" for free. ... I'm still working on building up that minimum average daily balance so I qualify for free or reduced orders on checkbooks... must be nice to have enough to go platinum and not have to worry about that.

Comment: A big boat! (Score 3, Interesting) 113

by spaceyhackerlady (#48618335) Attached to: New Cargo Ship Is 488 Meters Long

I live in a port city and see lots of ships, but I'm not sure this baby could even enter the harbour here.

It's far bigger than what the Panama Canal can handle (maximum 290 meters long), as well as the Saint Lawrence Seaway (225 meters). The Panama Canal was designed for the largest ships of the day, RMS Olympic and RMS Titanic.


It's not so hard to lift yourself by your bootstraps once you're off the ground. -- Daniel B. Luten