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Comment Re:Password Security 101 (Score 1) 56

I recently read my boys (12 and 8) Lauren Ipsum: A Story About Computer Science and Other Improbable Things. It's sort of like computer science meets Alice in Wonderland. In one of the chapters, she has to guess a password. She notices that the little old lady working security (who looks the passwords up in a big book) takes longer to deny access as Lauren gets closer to the right word. So when she gives "About", the lady says "A... B... O... No", but if Lauren gave "Abrupt", the lady would say "A... B... R... U... No."

Even my 8 year old say the problem with this "password security." Not just giving Lauren clues as to where her given password went wrong, but the ability for Lauren to keep guessing over and over until she got it right. If an 8 year old can spot the hole in your security, maybe it's time to improve your system.

Comment Re: This is a bad idea. (Score 1) 196

I agree. As a recent example, a woman I know on Twitter was harassed by a group of people. Her "crime"? She adopted two white kids and two black kids and this group of white supremacists couldn't let that stand. I looked through some of their tweets and felt like I needed to bleach my eyes/brain. (The tame tweets called her black children "things" and "pets." I won't repeat what the non-tame ones said.) Many of the people said they went to her website, downloaded all photos of her kids, and planned to use them in malicious ways. When they were reported, they accused her of harassing them for reporting them for harassment. (I've found that bullies often declare you reporting their behavior as "wrong" but see their actions as completely fine. They try to set the rules to be in their favor.)

Now, I'm all for free speech, but if you're harassing someone (not disagreeing with them, but actively harassing), then you shouldn't be surprised if you're booted from the service. Not doing this will make people less likely to post on your service for fear of coming under attack.

Comment Re:Advertising Bubble (Score 1) 212

You'll also find plenty of blogs posting PR content verbatim. I get requests from PR companies all the time for my blog. They want me to promote their product using their words and I'll get "paid" in high resolution images of their product or to be entered for a chance to win one of the products. I ignore/delete these requests (after all, my credit card company doesn't let me pay off my bill using high resolution images) but too many people jump on board and do whatever the company says. They mistake company-provided content with quality content and hurt their blogs in the process.

Comment Re:Too Bad (Score 2) 212

It used to be that ExpertsExchange would show the answers but hide them under a "pop-in" window that wouldn't go away unless you paid... Or unless you used developer tools to remove the elements causing the popup. Then you could read the content for free. Sadly, they've caught on to this and now don't even serve up the answer on the page. (Which, to be honest, is the proper way of doing things. Not that I agree with their business model, but if you're going to do that you don't put the content on the page and then hide it since it's trivial to reveal it.)

Comment Re:Ignore the hype, pay attention to the science (Score 4, Insightful) 511

Obligatory PHD Comics: The Science News Cycle.

At their most specific, the scientists might say that Climate Change means we'll be more likely to get stronger storms more often, but the media reports it as "Scientists say Current Storm X is directly caused by Climate Change!!!"

Comment Re: Unearned Platforms Given to Moral Guardians (Score 1) 238

The whole "right to free speech" thing is irrelevant.

People have the right to publish works glorifying child abuse, genocide or Clippy the Office Assistant, it doesn't mean that they're exempt from debate or criticism.

If you decide to exercise your freedom of speech by saying that rape should be legalised, you can expect a strong reaction, and not just from radical feminists.

I'd agree with your overall point but point out that this isn't free speech being irrelevant but instead showing that the right to free speech extends to both sides. If someone posts a "rape should be legal" article, that's their free speech right but it's also my free speech right to disagree with them and argue that rape should be illegal. If one "rape should be legal" author finds themselves drowned out by dozens of people saying "keep rape illegal", that's not infringing on his freedom of speech - it's everyone exercising their freedom of speech as well. (Your right of free speech doesn't mean people have an obligation to listen to you.)

Comment Re: Obligatory (Score 1) 667

It's funny you should mention a bell curve. The other day, while thinking about this, I pictured society as a bell curve progressing over time. What was "perfectly normal societal behavior" two generations ago winds up being "highly racist comments" nowadays. One of the problems with these fringe groups is that they see the bell curve passing them by and long for the days when they were in the middle of the curve. (Whether they ever actually would have been in the middle or whether they are glamorizing the past and putting themselves in the middle is another story.) The more the bell curve passes them by, the more desperate they get to pull it back and the more they are willing to resort to behavior that shocks the current "normal society."

Sadly, the long tail of the bell curve probably means that these people will be around for quite awhile, getting more and more desperate to get society to conform to their view of what it should be.

Comment Re:This time... (Score 1) 105

Unlike past efforts, our NEW copy protection scheme will totally work.
By the way, by any chance, would you happen to be in the market for a bridge?

When the content industry acts like this, I imagine them like they are a little old lady by a slot machine. Sure, the last 200 coins she inserted didn't pay off, but this coin will DEFINITELY win the jackpot. Sure, the last 200 or so DRM schemes broke, but this one will be unhackable. The difference is that the little old lady will eventually hit the jackpot if she plays long enough. The same can't be said of DRM schemes.

Comment Script Kiddies and Inside Jobs (Score 1) 84

I wonder how script kiddies and inside jobs skew the results.

In the case of script kiddies, these are people who are running a program to detect vulnerable points in various systems. They can run this script while doing something else so (as another poster pointed out), they can be working a legitimate job during the day while the script runs and then making money by hacking the vulnerable servers at night. In this case, making $15K isn't a "low wage" but a "nice side income." (Especially if they don't report it on their taxes - hey, what's a little more crime if you're willing to make money via criminal activities?)

In the case of inside jobs, I would think that the person would be a) more likely to make more money off their hack and b) need to spend less time on their hack. Since I work in IT, I have elevated permissions for many systems. If I wanted to, I could use this to gain access to data that would sell for a lot of money on some shady sites. To be clear: I would never actually do this, but someone in a position like mine but with less moral restraint could easily pull it off. They might even go undetected and remain at their day job, making their hacks a side income (like the script kiddies). Or they might move from job to job, waiting until they have high enough access to get sensitive data before moving on.

Comment Re:This is why (Score 1) 229

No, because Amazon isn't your ISP. Your ISP isn't saying that you can upload unlimited photos but have a cap on everything else. Amazon is providing a service for a price. If you subscribe to Prime, you get unlimited Photos cloud backup but only a certain amount of space for all your other data. If you pay them $60 a year, you can get unlimited space for all types of files. This isn't involve Network Neutrality any more than having two products for sale on Amazon but only offering Prime 2 day shipping on one of them.

Comment Re:This is why (Score 1) 229

I was talking to my wife about cloud backup options. Right now, we backup our computers to two external hard drives. In theory, one of these drives would be taken off-site, but in practice that never happens. I was looking at Backblaze and Amazon for backup. (I have about 1TB of files to backup.) My wife was concerned about Amazon because she feared that they would look through our uploaded data or something. Quite honestly, I don't think they would, but I have no proof that they wouldn't (it's impossible to prove a negative).

I know this is somewhat off-topic but has anyone used Amazon's cloud backup service? (The full $60 a year version, not the Prime Photos-Only service.)

Comment Re: Obligatory (Score 4, Insightful) 667

I was just having this conversation with a co-worker. It's the greatest strength and greatest weakness of the Internet. You can use it to find people who are into tabletop gaming, sports, photography, or any other interest you might have. Unfortunately, you can also use it to find people who agree with you in your hatred of GROUP A, that society would be great if we could turn back the clock to before emancipation, that nobody should offend anybody ever, or any other fringe group. And the same multiplier effect that lets one blogger take on a giant corporation can be used by a roving band of random kooks to harass a person for activities that society at large would find completely normal. (For example, a person I know is being harassed by white supremacists because she has 2 white kids and 2 black kids.)

The trick is figuring out how to prevent the abuse of the Internet's power while not limiting the good uses of its power. Unfortunately, I don't think this is solvable.

Comment Re:You must be new here (Score 1) 1832

I'd second this. Reading the "disagree mod" and "factually incorrect mod" discussions, I wondered if it would be possible to tag posts like this and have the tags appear alongside the other mods.

For example:

The Earth is flat (+3 Insightful, -4 Factually Incorrect, -3 Disagree)
by SomePoster
Here is an overly long post explaining why the Earth is flat......

In the example above, the +3 Insightful is used for the actual moderation. So browsing at +3 would show this post. However, the "-4 Factually Incorrect, -3 Disagree" would show that 4 people think this isn't factually correct and 3 people disagreed, These might not factor into the actual mod score, but they could be displayed for context. Yes, this would be abused, but keeping it from affecting mod score and just having it be display only might limit this abuse.

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