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Comment: Re:A felon with misdemeanor convictions (Score 1) 720

by Linsaran (#48542923) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can a Felon Work In IT?

For those of us not from the US can someone please outline the difference between felony and misdemeanor? Sure, I can guess, but a summary would help. Also, some other posts are talking about felons not voting. WTF is up with that?

Generally a felony is considered a more serious crime. There's no hard guidelines for what constitutes a felony vs a misdemeanor, it all comes down to what the individual laws say the offense is. Loosely, if it involves jail time for a first offense it's probably a felony. Many misdemeanors are punishable by fines, with jail time only being recommended for repeat offenders/those who cannot/refuse to pay the fine. Some states (not all) have laws restricting the voting rights of those with felony convictions on their records. Many states simply restrict those who are presently incarcerated from voting. The reasons include the logistical challenges of setting up in prison voting being difficult, but there is usually some sentiment that convicts shouldn't vote as well. Some of the more ultra conservative states actively restrict ex-convicts from voting as well, but that is far less common.

Comment: Re:Typical!! (Score 1) 271

by Linsaran (#48340393) Attached to: Dealer-Installed GPS Tracker Leads To Kidnapper's Arrest in Maryland

Easy fix there. Just add a cheap motion detector that activates the GPS. Car gets towed, sensor knows it, starts GPS, it transmits like usual until car stops moving for 20 minutes.

That doesn't fix the always on problem. If you're not getting power except when the car is running, a motion sensor set to activate when the car is being towed is useless.

Comment: Re:symbols, caps, numbers (Score 1) 549

by Linsaran (#48139201) Attached to: Password Security: Why the Horse Battery Staple Is Not Correct
Sure, if you're attempting to brute force a live system that would be a basic security practice. But what about when an attacker has acquired your password hashes via some other method? It's not like you can stop them from plugging away at the hash over and over again until they get a match, and then use that match in the real world. Actually, it's probably faster to try and dictionary/brute force a hash table (even if it is salted) than to attack a live environment.

Comment: Re:Problem? (Score 1) 286

Again, arguing semantics, but see my point about depriving someone of liberty. If I put you in a padded cell the first time I see any indication that you have any inclinations that you 'might' at some point think about committing a crime the system works In theory. (heck if we want to be really oppressive about it, I can envision a system where the only way to get a baseball bat is to requisition one at an approved 'practice cage') I agree that practicality aside this would require huge increases in manpower for both the surveillance and enforcement side of the puzzle, and that society as it is right now would never stand for that sort of invasion of privacy, but slippery slope man.

Comment: Re:A detail being left out here: (Score 1) 286

While possible, I doubt the case would have reached a conviction in that case, (or at least there would have been a slap on the wrist style plea bargain) rather than a full blown 'fruit of the poisonous tree' style evidential suppression. Instead I expect the defense would have looked for a more mens rea style defense. Granted fighting that sort of fight would require a somewhat capable lawyer with a decent understanding of the technical details of the case, but given the ultimate result of this case, it doesn't seem like the defense was lacking adequate legal council.

Ultimately I think being able to say you won (or pled out) the case because you accidentally downloaded a mislabeled file would sit better with most people who might inquire about it in the future, than saying you won the case because of a legal technicality that prevented the court from being able to 'prove' your guilt.

+ - Comcast Tells Customers to Stop Using Tor Browser->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Comcast agents have reportedly contacted customers who use Tor, a web browser that is designed to protect the user’s privacy while online, and said their service can get terminated if they don’t stop using Tor. According to Deep.Dot.Web, one of those calls included a Comcast customer service agent named Jeremy..."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Problem? (Score 4, Insightful) 286

These child porn cases where the perp 'wins' are always tough. On the one hand there is the emotional plea to protect children and what not, but the other side of the coin is that such 'save the children' type laws are almost invariably used (abused?) in cases they were never meant to cover. A similar case can be made against anti-terrorism acts (such as the much maligned PATRIOT act) following 9/11. When people get too emotionally invested in something they tend to over react, often failing to consider the longer implications in a 'knee-jerk' reaction to make sure this 'never happens again'.

The reality is that we cannot prevent every crime from happening without also sacrificing every personal liberty we have, submitting to constant surveillance and living in conditions that would make the average prison feel like freedom. This is a slippery slope, and I feel that legally this case is a win for the masses, even if it means a guilty man avoids any sort of legal punishment. Course if it's any consolation for those 'he got off too easy' types, Michael Dreyer is probably now isolated from much of his former friends and family, and will likely have difficulty finding work. Even if he does seek treatment for his sexual deviancy, and never looks at or touches another child for the rest of his life; he will always be painted with the brush of a 'child abuser'.

Comment: Re:Bitcoin lost 11.6% of its value this week ... (Score 1) 87

by Linsaran (#47239263) Attached to: Expedia To Accept Bitcoin

In its current form, there's no way any cryptocurrency replaces paypal or credit cards. The major problems: Anonymity, Lack of protection from fraud, susceptibility to loss (lose your wallet, oops.), and user unfriendliness (expecting the average Joe to deal with wallet software and bitcoin addresses is major stretch).

I don't necessarily see all of those things as problems, but let's go through them, shall we.

1) Anonymity: While it is possible for a dedicated person with resources to track crypto transactions (since by it's very nature all transactions are stored in a giant public ledger), the transactions themselves do not identify you. It is in this sense pseudonymous, you know which wallet has bitcoin X in it, since you can follow it's path on the blockchain, but since you cannot identify who a said wallet belongs to without access to information from outside the block chain. As you can create neigh infinite addresses for a personal wallet, and need never give the same one out twice, it's hard to be sure that any given address belongs to any given person. This is not to say that bit coin is untraceable, because it by design is very traceable, it's just that used correctly you can conduct transactions without actually revealing your identity, in much the same way that using cash doesn't necessarily reveal your identity.

2) Fraud protection: On one hand, the fact that bitcoin transactions are irreversible is a good thing, a merchant who accepts bitcoin need never worry about whether they're going to get paid for their services. There is no risk to accept bitcoins because they can never be charged-back, unlike credit cards which can actually result in a chargeback up to 6 months after a sale is complete. As far as someone committing fraudulent transactions using your bitcoins, there is no real protection against that, other than securing your wallet. If someone stole your money clip and spent the cash in it, there's no fraud protection against that either. The lesson to be learned is to better protect your money clip, or in the case of bitcoin, encrypt your wallet.

3) Susceptibility to loss: if you can't be bothered to back up your wallet, then you have no one to blame but yourself. Losing access to your wallet can happen, but with a minimum amount of effort can be prevented. People who fail to do regular back ups of their computers are just tempting fate. And besides, you can lose a real wallet just as easy (arguably easier) than a digital one, so susceptibility to loss is not unique to crypto.

4) user unfriendliness: this is really the only 'problem I really agree with you on, but it's really just a matter of time before the pieces click together.

Comment: Re:At least there's always... (Score 1) 475

by Linsaran (#47009021) Attached to: Comcast Predicts Usage Cap Within 5 Years

While I don't believe for a second that Verizon won't jump on the data cap bandwagon once everyone else is doing it, they haven't spent the last few years pushing data caps onto their customers.

Except that they have. My data plan started at unlimited, then got moved down to 5gb, then got moved down to 2gb, and finally moved down to 2gb shared between my entire family.

You're confusing Verizon with Verizon wireless, a related, but independently managed corporation. You're probably right that Verizon will start pushing caps at some point, but Verizon (the telecommunications company) =/= Verizon Wireless (the cellular phone company)

Comment: Re:Or you could just you know... (Score 2) 187

by Linsaran (#46999293) Attached to: Do Embedded Systems Need a Time To Die?

OpenWRT is so fucking easy to install and configure (easier than some consumer out-of-the-box experiences, even) that there really is no excuse if you expect a secure local network.

No. It's not. To you, or the typical computer tech-savvy /. reader, maybe; but we're not average consumers. My father-in-law is well above average in that he bought a Linksys router rather than depend on the FIOS installed default, and he actually changed the password, but he's not going to reflash it any more than I'm going to rebore my car engine's cylinders with a hand drill. And the various older neighbors who I assist with network stuff, who think the Internet is broken if a web site changes its format, would have no clue whatever.

The REAL question we should all be asking is, If OpenWRT can be so much better, then why is the commercial stuff *not* better?

Step 1, find out what runs on your router (at wikidevi or similar) step 2, download the firmware image (there are even multiple forums with helpful folks to ask if you arent 100% sure) step 3, flash it the same way you would a normal firmware update, step 4 change the default password, and enjoy your new LAN! The only excuse is not knowing... there is no actual technical knowledge required, just basic keyboard/mouse skills, and reading comprehension.

Step 1, presumes that people are aware there are alternative firmwares for their router, which most non-technical people would not realize, if they even know what a firmware is in the first place.

Step 2, presumes that people can navigate a forum, or possibly multiple forums to find the link to a file that they're looking for. Considering how many people must click on those stupid 'download now' ads that end up on half the file managers out there, and end up with some spyware laden crap on their machine when they were looking for a driver or some nonsense, I don't trust non-technically inclined people to figure that out either.

Step 3, presumes they know how to do a normal firmware update, again non-technical people might not even know what firmware is.

Step 4, most non-technical people have less issue with whether something is secure, and more issue with whether something works. The reason so many people use dumb ass passwords like 'password1' is because they're easy for them to remember. They either don't realize that password1 is a bad password, or they don't care as long as it's easy for them to remember.

TL;DR people want stuff that works, and doesn't require they reinvent the wheel to make it work. In their mind a commercial router should work out of the box, without needing to do open heart surgery on it.

Comment: Re:Freedom of Speech? (Score 0) 328

by Linsaran (#46667603) Attached to: Federal Bill Would Criminalize Revenge Porn Websites

See people got it in their head that the 1st amendment is about 'freedom of speech', which is really a very loose summation of what the 1st amendment really is. The first amendment is to guarantee that you cannot be politically silenced. It is to guarantee that you can peaceably assemble, and discuss whatever the fuck you feel like (ostensibly for the purpose of enacting political change). It guarantees that if you choose to espouse something which may not be popular, as long as your speech is not inciting dangerous behavior, the government will not attempt to silence you. If you are attempting to start a riot via hateful demonstrations, it is not protected. If your speech is damaging to another party (such as a political rival), and you do not have sufficient evidence of it's validity, it is not protected.

The problem is that the amendment has been taken too broadly to mean that any form of expression should be protected against censorship. And while I am anti-censorship in all of it's forms, the 1st amendment was not meant to guarantee your right to show pictures of titties on the internet for the purpose of titillation or any other non-political purposes.

Comment: Re:Who'll spit on my burger?! (Score 3, Insightful) 870

by Linsaran (#46581727) Attached to: Job Automation and the Minimum Wage Debate

You're a human being with a reasonably competent understanding of basic technological concepts. There is a LARGE portion of the population who does not meet this criteria. [/understatement]

There are people who cannot grasp the concept of putting 3 color coded wires from one box into the back of another box. There are people who cannot understand the difference between their tv remote and their cable remote, and are probably the same people who need someone to clearly show them how to use their remote even though the purpose of each button is clearly labeled. Switching inputs on a TV between a cable box and a DVD player is a challenge to these sorts of people. And these are some examples of a technology (the tv) practically everyone is familiar with, the examples I've given are not new technological developments for TVs, these sorts of capabilities have existed on TVs since the 90s, giving roughly 2 decades for people to become familiar with them. But it still confuses the heck out of a good 20% of the population.

These are people who have trouble working their microwave and you expect them to suddenly work a touch screen order taker, and not screw it up? Not likely. And guess who these people are going to blame for their failure to operate? I mean it obviously wasn't their fault that your machine didn't understand that when I said only ketchup, I meant I didn't want mustard, I still wanted the pickles and onions.

Most public domain software is free, at least at first glance.