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Comment: And this means...? (Score 1) 190

Do we know who these employees were? Do we know what this means for Freescale? For all we know these were accountants and advertising execs, and have no real long-term effect on the company.

Now don't get me wrong, that's not to say that the loss of these people is any less bad, but I have to wonder if we're overestimating the importance of the fact that there were Freescale employees on the flight.

Comment: All thanks to OpenBSD, eh? (Score 5, Informative) 49

by Kichigai Mentat (#46362163) Attached to: Yes, You Too Can Be an Evil Network Overlord With OpenBSD
This isn't news. This isn't news at all! And it isn't even remotely shocking. TCP/IP tells you where a packet came from and where it wants to go, so that information is pretty easy to sniff, and originally Ethernet was just one big coax cable and everyone just shouted into, hoping the other machine would hear them, so it's no shock that something like this could sit on the network and collect all this data. There's nothing inherent about OpenBSD that makes this special.

Comment: Re:Criminals with honour! (Score 2) 84

by Kichigai Mentat (#46279397) Attached to: Silk Road 2.0 Pledges To Compensate Users For Stolen Bitcoins

Are the SR2 operators in it for the con, or are they in it for the future?

I think they're in it for the profit, because I highly doubt they're in it for altruistic purposes. These aren't monks sitting in a monstary, eating only food they grow themselves, running the site off donated servers and bandwidth powered by solar cells and batteries. These are people living in the industrialized world, who buy groceries and pay for electricity and hardware.

Drugs are a high-margin business. If they wanted to prove the economic viability of a marketplace that exists independently of any government, then why weren't they focusing on selling the kinds of things purchased more openly and by a larger segment of the population, like a BTC-powered Etsy or CobornsDelivers, and put it up on the open Internet where anyone could find it, instead of hiding it on the darknet?

I mean, if it was all about proving the viability of such a market, then do your proof-of-concept first, and then start pushing the point once you have some clout. If you're just in it to be a prophet of Bitcoin, then what does it matter if someone else beats you to the punch and sets up their own marketplace of illicit goods?

Besides, the story seems flakey. There have been allegations that this was an inside job from the beginning, where they first claim to have been robbed as a result of transaction malleability, and yet there's a lot of controversy over whether or not transaction malleability can even be exploited at this scale. There's certainly a lot of theory that points to these guys not being entirely on the level, but they sure aren't altruists.

Comment: Re:Criminals with honour! (Score 1) 84

by Kichigai Mentat (#46279011) Attached to: Silk Road 2.0 Pledges To Compensate Users For Stolen Bitcoins
You're saying that it's good for a company to treat its employees like slaves (because that's essentially what unpaid workers are) as long as you get your money?

Because here's the trick: Bank of America has insurance, and I'm willing to be that Target has some too. So they would never be put in a situation of making their employees suffer for their blunders.

In fact, people whose credit card and debit card information has been stolen likely will have a less stressful time getting their money back, because all they have to do is report the charges as fraudulent, and then it gets stored out between the banks and Target. I have zero liability.

Funny, suddenly corporate capitalist America seems downright responsible, and doesn't resort to abusing their employees.

Comment: Re:Criminals with honour! (Score 1) 84

by Kichigai Mentat (#46278927) Attached to: Silk Road 2.0 Pledges To Compensate Users For Stolen Bitcoins

They're protected far more than the people who will **assuredly** be getting their bc's back.

And strangely enough, anyone who gets their bitcoins back will still be taking a loss on it. Since the "hack" at SR2 the price of Bitcoin dropped. So someone may have had, let's say, 1.5BTC previously valued at (I'm pulling numbers out of my butt right now, but the logic holds up nonetheless) $500/BTC, meaning you had equivalent to about $750 tied up there. Now it's roughly $300/BTC, and you get your 1.5BTC back. Now the actual value of what you have is only $450.

That's a $300 loss because of market fluctuations due to what happened at SR2. That's not $300 loss because of another exchange tanking, or legislation being passed in some country. That's $300 lost directly because of the actions of the people promising to return what they lost. I wouldn't be happy about that one bit, as they have directly reduced my buying power.

Comment: Re:Better service than any legit company (Score 1) 84

by Kichigai Mentat (#46278799) Attached to: Silk Road 2.0 Pledges To Compensate Users For Stolen Bitcoins

If the airline employees were on board with it, then there would be no problem.

Yeah, but why would they? It's not the mechanics' fault, or the fight attendants' fault. It's not the fault of the people throwing bags into the bellies of the plane. It's not the fault of the people processing the tickets, or the engineers maintaining the website. Why would they feel like they have to suffer because of someone else's mistakes? They have to eat, they have to pay their own debts, they have to coverall their own expenses too (like rent, electricity, phone, etc). They're not going to get back-pay, are they? And in reality, that would never happen. Except under certain exemptions that would be illegal under federal law of the United States. And it would be a PR nightmare. Employees would quit, quality of service would suffer, and the company would collapse.

Throughout the years, though, airlines have suffered numerous disasters, and despite the fact that they're constantly operating on the edge of bankruptcy, they've never been put in such a position. Want to guess why? Because they have insurance. They pay insurers to cover them when such things arise, so that they aren't put in the position of compromising the stability of the business (or violating the law) when things go sideways.

Comment: Re:So... (Score 1) 84

by Kichigai Mentat (#46278705) Attached to: Silk Road 2.0 Pledges To Compensate Users For Stolen Bitcoins

Basically they are doing more than a bank would do...(banks only return a limit amount unless you are paying for platinum type accounts)

Nnnooooooo.... banks are typically insured for FDIC, which all deposits up to $250,000. In the case of a credit union, NCUA also covers up to $250,000. That keeps your money safe if someone steals your debit card information, robs the bank, or if the bank collapses. It's insurance: the insurer pays out. The bank doesn't have to do a thing.

Now if you're putting more than $250,000 into a single account under a single ownership category, that's your own fault for not doing due diligence and taking appropriate steps to insure your money. Through different types of accounts you can set aside $1.5 million under FDIC protection. You can get private deposit insurance in many areas, like the Depositors Insurance Fund in Massachusetts. That's the kind of thing you would talk to a weather management adviser about, and if you're socking away more than $1.5m, something tells me you can afford (and probably can't afford not) to hire an adviser to protect that money and cover any associated expenses.

This is all publicly available information. It's not like these $250,000 limits on FDIC/NCUA coverage is done in some kind of fine-print method meant to swindle people out of their hard earned cash. Hell, I don't even have to lift a finger if something happens to my deposits at my credit union. I just get my money back. The rest is between the credit union and NCUA.

Comment: Re:In other news (Score 1) 84

by Kichigai Mentat (#46278513) Attached to: Silk Road 2.0 Pledges To Compensate Users For Stolen Bitcoins

How ignorant of you to think that the purveyors of that particular road would only accept payment in the form of cash or bitcoin.

There are plenty of cannabis dispensary workers in Colorado and Washington right now that likely get paid in a different form of green.

How is that even relevant? From what I understand The Silk Road (and 2.0, and Utopia, and other like sites) was more like eBay, with various vendors hawking their wares, than the dispensaries anywhere in the US. And even if it wasn't, it's not like this different green is free, either. They'd be taking a loss somewhere, and chances are that it wouldn't be sustainable. I mean, they can't not sell things and expect to raise money to repay what they owe. They'd be giving away profit to employees.

And from what I'm hearing, dispensaries are paying their employees in actual money, not goods in trade. They're too closely scrutinized to try and get away with treating their employees like slaves, and it doesn't matter how much their employees might like to smoke: they still have to pay bills and buy food, and I highly doubt they're going to do an end-run-around their employers and sell the stuff on the black market.

Same story for Silk Road employees. Landlords don't take drugs in lieu of rent money.

Comment: Re:Criminals with honour! (Score 1) 84

by Kichigai Mentat (#46277709) Attached to: Silk Road 2.0 Pledges To Compensate Users For Stolen Bitcoins

Define 'protected'.

Well, according to the Visa and MasterCard contracts you sign, you, the consumer, are not liable for fraudulent or unauthorized usage of your credit card credentials. Here's Visa's statement and here's MasterCard's. Just for fun, here's Discover and American Express's, both of which promise zero liability if you act like a rational human being. And since 1998 the FDIC covers about $250,000 in losses relating to your bank account, including unauthorized use of your ATM card. So looking at all of those liability statements, since the data breach was not the result of gross negligence on the part of the cardholder, the cardholder is not liable for any fraudulent charges made in their name.

Furthermore if anyone steals my credit card, bank card, ATM card or card information, or if something happens to the bank, like a robbery or the bank folds (provided my bank is FDIC insured, of which nearly 7,000 banks are): I, the consumer, am not liable. Either my credit card company knocks it off my bill (in the case of credit card fraud) or the Federal Government covers the losses up to $250,000 per bank (in the case of ATM card fraud or bank losses).

Those are all legally binding contracts in the United States. The European Union has similar systems in place, and has had deposit insurance since 1994, though that just covers the minimum coverage mandated under EU regulations (current minimums are €50,000, as of 2008, more information here). Most countries cover up to €100,000, including Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Slovakia (among others). The UK covers up to £85,000 in a rather complicated scheme of percentages, and the Irish government will guarantee all the money in your bank accounts.

Certainly seems safer than putting your money in an escrow account controlled by a marketplace known for its illicit drug trade, and whose predecessor was taken down amidst a murder-for-hire scandal.

Comment: Re:blackberry (Score 1) 37

Why would we hate you? It's the disjointed user interface of BBX that most of us have trouble stomaching. That and the lackluster native app selection. There was a lot I really liked about my old BlackBerry Curve, but RIM did a poor job of attracting third party developers, and made a total hash of the touch interface in the latest OS iteration.

It's very much how I felt about Nokia and Symbian. Great hardware, and the OS wasn't too shabby, but there were a lot of things you just couldn't do on the platform simply because no one was writing the programming to do it. Also the S60 email client was beyond basic.

Comment: Re:Oh FFS! (Score 1) 37

This seems to be the part that everyone is forgetting about why BlackBerries were so popular among IT professionals. You just drop BES into your setup, and now connected BlackBerries can be managed like any other part of the infrastructure. It's encrypted, you control the server and all the data, and you can do all sorts of remote provisioning and security tasks. It's the same reason that many companies still like using Microsoft Exchange: they control the servers, and hence the data.

It's not like Android or iOS where the system has to (and does, on its own) phone home in order to use basic, built-in services. You can't just plunk down your own private Gmail or Siri server inside of your racks.

This process can check if this value is zero, and if it is, it does something child-like. -- Forbes Burkowski, CS 454, University of Washington