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Comment: Re:srm -v -z (Score 2) 72

Well, it confounds it at any rate. But completely filling the device's memory 33 times in a row is pretty likely to overwrite everything at least once or twice - even the hidden "failure reserve" space if it's included in the wear leveling (and if it's not, then it doesn't yet hold any sensitive data, so there's no problem). Guttmann's values may be irrelevant to today's storage media, but that many repeated rewrites of anything still mostly does the job.

If you were an engineer in charge of destroying data printed on paper, and you decided on shred then burn then stir the ashes in water, how many times would you repeat the cycle in order to be sure the data was destroyed? Hint: if your recommendation is greater than one (in order to be pretty sure), check your job title, because you're probably Dilbert's pointy-haired boss.

Drives today work almost nothing like the drives of 20 years ago. They don't paint bit-bit-bit in a stripe, they encode a set of bits in every pulse of the write head. Alter it a tiny fraction, and it becomes a completely different set of bits, one that error correction won't be able to overcome.

Old disks were recoverable because the mechanisms weren't precise, and the data was written with big chunky magnets to assure it was readable. All that slop has been engineered out on order to achieve today's remarkable areal densities. One overwrite is all it takes - as long as you're overwriting it all.

Comment: Misuse of FOIA (Score -1, Troll) 174

by _KiTA_ (#47443793) Attached to: NSA Says Snowden Emails Exempt From Public Disclosure

First off, lets begin with this: The Freedom of Information Act is NOT a fishing lure. It is not designed to request all the emails of a certain employee, nor should it. The FOIA is designed for targeted requests for specific information, not blanket demands so conspiracy theorists can try to dig for "evidence." The NSA should have ignored this FOIA act or pointed that out.

Second off, this story (and the multitude of Greenwald/Snowden cult of personality reposters) is missing the most important thing in the NSA's response, the last sentence:

“For your information, there are no emails indicating that Mr. Snowden contacted agency officials to raise concerns about NSA programs.”

That's the real story here. The FOIA request was trying to show that Snowden tried to warn the NSA about abuses but they ignored it, the fake story Greenwald and Matthew Keys are trying to push is that the NSA is somehow hiding it, the real story is that Snowden, Libtard hero, never even tried to whistleblow.

He's no patriot, he's just a cowardly little shit.

Comment: Re:And then throw it in a fire (Score 3, Informative) 72

This.

What is the value of a used device? Compare that to the risk of the data on that device going to a malevolent third party.

I've had people saying "oh, look at all these hard drives, you should totally sell them on ebay and I bet you could get $10 apiece for them!" Adding up the time I would waste running DBAN or sdelete or whatever, and keeping track of which ones have been wiped, and double checking to make sure everything is really gone, it's not worth the time.

A big hammer and a punch, driven deeply through the thin aluminum cover and down the platter area, takes about a second and leaves nothing anybody would bother trying to recover. You can quickly look at a drive and say "yes, this drive has been taken care of", or "hey, there's no jagged hole here, this drive isn't destroyed." The aluminum cover contains the shards if the platters are glass. I don't care who handles them after destruction. There's no worries about toxic smoke. And if you have to inventory them before shipping them to a recycler, the serial numbers are still readable.

Smashing a phone wouldn't destroy the data on the chips, so a fire is a somewhat safer option.

Comment: Re:Ranges from bad to terrible ping times (Score 1) 76

Won't argue with actual ping rates through Iridium. Merely pointing out that the lightspeed limits on the ping rate is in the vicinity of 75 ms. The rest of that is hardware issues, not issues with the satellites being so very far away. Note that a straight up-down-up-down query-response using only one Iridium satellite should have a FOUR millisecond round trip at lightspeed.

Comment: Re:Triangle (Score 1) 76

I did. I assumed an upward leg to a satellite near the horizon, relay through five other satellites to the other side of the planet, then a downward leg. Then back.

Note that I was only discussing speed of light lag, not lag caused by archaic hardware and other problems that apply equally well to links NOT using satellites.

In other words, a satellite link should be ~75 ms worse than a wireless link that doesn't go through a satellite.

Assuming satellites using Iridium's orbits, of course. A geosynchronous satellite would have MUCH worse ping rates, if only because you have ~500 ms for a straight up-down-up-down query-response loop, even without having to relay to other satellites.

Comment: Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (Score 1) 86

by CrimsonAvenger (#47437571) Attached to: Lyft's New York Launch Halted By Restraining Order

This is the reason why people have so much debt: the entire economy has become a "competitive market" where those participating in it - employees - barely survive, no matter how much it produces.

No, people have so much debt because they insist on buying things they can't afford. No, you really don't NEED a Tesla. Or even a new car. A five-year-old used car will do fine. Nor do you NEED the latest tech toy. Etc, etc, etc.

Now, admittedly, Fed policy with regard to the Housing Bubble (basically, pump money into the economy until the height of the bubble is the new normal) has driven housing prices to nearly unsustainable levels, at least till the inflation in housing prices spreads more generally through the economy over the next five years or so.

Comment: Re:Ranges from bad to terrible ping times (Score 1) 76

ping times are going to vary from bad (Iridium) to very bad (nearly half way the the moon for geostationary),

Two things:

Iridium orbit is ~780 km. Which means worst case ping times (due to the satellites) should be around 75 ms.

Geostationary orbit is 35786 km up. Lunar orbit is 384400 km up. Note that "less than one tenth" is NOT "nearly halfway".

Comment: Re:Problem traced (Score 4, Informative) 92

by plover (#47437271) Attached to: Chinese Hackers Infiltrate Firms Using Malware-Laden Handheld Scanners

The "scanner" portion of these devices is typically an embedded system that drives a hardware sensor, and speaks USB out the back side. You could probably open one up, solder a cable to the right points on the scanner board, and you'd have exactly the simple and transparent scanner you requested.

But because the business wants a truckload (no pun intended) of functionality out of these scanners, they need it to have more capabilities. First, it needs to be on the network, or it won't give them any benefit. Next, it needs to be multi-tasking so it can display alerts, etc. Its primary task may be to inventory the stuff coming off a truck, its other tasks may include assigning work items to line employees, displaying alerts on the supervisors' screens, punching the timeclock for breaks, and possibly even employee email. To a lot of businesses, a browser based interface lets them run whatever kind of functions they want, without the expense of continually pushing a bunch of apps out to a bunch of random machines. So taking all that together, embedded XP is one (bloated) way of meeting all that.

So while the scanner itself is simple, it's the rest of the hardware in the device that was infested with XP and other malware.

Comment: Re:Why is Obama doing this . . . ? (Score 2) 215

You may not know this, but the President of the United States doesn't have an office in the NSA, and doesn't have direct access to their leadership or decision-making.

Actually, he DOES have direct access to their leadership and decision-making. He's the PRESIDENT!

All he needs to do is pick up his phone and call the NSA Director, tell him to get his ass over to the White House RIGHT NOW, and, lo, the NSA Director will be heading toward the White House.

Then he tells the NSA Director words to the effect of "Stop this shit, right the F**k now!", and lo, it will be stopped.

And if that doesn't work, there's the "Fire him, right now" option. Like when Truman fired MacArthur back in the day.

Remember, he's the President. Head of the Executive Branch. Which includes both CIA and NSA. They all work for HIM, not the other way around.

The fact that this is still going on does not show a lack of power on the part of Obama, it shows agreement with this on the part of Obama.

Comment: Re:To what end? (Score 1) 215

Germany wants its own trade deals in private.

While you can negotiate a trade deal privately, it's pretty much impossible to operate one privately. After all, at least one other country has to know the details, and most (if not all) of the economic effects are easily detectable....

Comment: Re:My daughter (Score 1) 200

I have a daughter born in 1999.

A bit younger than my daughter, so your daughter has a higher chance than mine (and my kid's chances are non-zero) of living in three different centuries (20th, 21st, 22nd).

I'm thinking that noone has ever done that (unless you count some Biblical codgers)....

Comment: Re:So... (Score 1) 303

If Lloyd Blankfein and others who attested to the veracity of their financial reports even after they were repeatedly warned their mark-to-market was completely unrealistic, which in turn led to the largest financial disaster in over 70 years, are not being prosecuted for false reporting, I don't see why the police should be.

Especially as in this case no one was harmed. Can't say the same thing about the millions who lost their money or homes, can you?

Gosh that takes me back... or is it forward? That's the trouble with time travel, you never can tell." -- Doctor Who, "Androids of Tara"

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