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Comment Re:No persuasion required (Score 1) 510

The policy I mentioned above only applies to open areas. For closed areas it's a no-phone-at-all/leave-it-outside-the-room policy.

The policies have been evolving though. It used to be much stricter in the days when cameras were the exception rather than the rule. Now it's an attempt to balance the prevalence of smartphones with the needs of security. The real problem seems to be that at the government level the rules are vague and poorly worded at best leaving implementation to the local offices.

Comment Re:No persuasion required (Score 1) 510

Sure. Of course they can. All I'd need to do is a factory restore and not allow iTunes to restore the backup files and I'd be golden.

But the truth is 99% of the job for security is a combination of preventing accidental disclosures and preventing malicious outside parties from trying to compromise hardware. We have clearances and there's a level of basic trust that goes with that. They'll fully admit that if someone on the inside is fully dedicated to causing problems there's not much they can do - at least initially.

Comment Re:No persuasion required (Score 4, Informative) 510

My company does a lot of DoD work. The policy is: no personally owned electronics may connect to company assets. Ever. We can have personal smartphones (but no notebooks or tablets) as long as they do not have a functional camera. For Android phones the only option is to remove the camera or JBWeld over the lens. For my new iPhone the local AT&T store enabled restrictions on the camera with a password only they know and gave me a letter as such. That's good enough for our security folks. It's not a perfect situation as disabling the camera kills things like having Siri dial phone numbers for me (as apparently that somehow involves Facetime) but it's better than any sort of destruction. Plus I was able to get the camera un-disabled (yeah, I know) when I went on vacation for a week and then have it re-disabled.

Comment Re:Sennheiser PX100 (Score 2) 448

The PX-100's are excellent, but their strain relief at the plug end sucks sucks SUCKS. I'm on my 5th? 6th? pair of them now and after a year or two of admittedly heavy use I lose one channel.

But I've tried other on-ear headphones (can't stand earbuds for long periods of time) and none come close to the PX-100s for comfort and sound.

It stinks having to buy a new pair every 18 months or so, but having phones on and music playing is the only thing that gets me through my work day.

Submission + - TV's Coolest Geeks (

Buffalo55 writes: Decades ago, being a geek meant years of abuse, from wedgies and fights after school to a barrage of immature insults (“hey four eyes”), but times have changed. Today, it’s quite fashionable to wear black-rimmed glasses, study calculus and be a genuine know-it-all. TV land picked up on this trend, and delivered a series of shows featuring brainy characters. There are quite a few to choose from, but these five stand out.

Comment We can has iOS 4 Fix Also? (Score 1) 324

Hopefully at the same press conference they'll announce a service pack to fix the buggy abomination known as iOS 4 (although knowing Apple they'll make you pay for it).

I made the mistake of "upgrading" my iPod Touch to 4 and now it won't work through the USB port on my car stereo. Google "ios 4 car stereo problems" and you'll see a huge Apple thread with people posting about this.

Comment Re:Welcome to the Nanny State (Score 2, Interesting) 571

I like my iPod Touch (as close as I'll ever get to an iPhone).

To give you an example of what I'm talking about here, I read Oliver Sachs excellent memoir "Uncle Tungsten" where he recounts his childhood discovery and fascination with chemistry and science in general. He talk about going down to a local store in London around the WWII era and buying sodium, phosphorus, and I think even uranium ore. Then he goes home and experiments and mixes and burns and almost blows his house up in the process - yet he learns a lot and does it mostly on his own using his own creativity.

Nowadays if you build a little rocket in your backyard and set it off, you're liable to get a visit from Homeland Security and be branded a potential terrorist.

I'm not against security, but at what cost?

Comment Welcome to the Nanny State (Score 4, Insightful) 571

This is yet another example of the dangers inherent in over-parenting. "Don't climb that tree!" "Don't find out what dirt tastes like!" "Don't take the toy apart!"

This naturally evolves into the adult version. "Don't take pictures of that bridge!" "Don't try to find out what's behind that wall!" "Don't question anything your leaders tell you!"

It's all part of the plan.

1000 pains = 1 Megahertz