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Comment: What do you really want to accomplish? (Score 1) 49

by pla (#47559047) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Open Hard- & Software Based Security Token?
If you only want a semipublic file share, just stand up a free AWS Linux instance and lock it down to SSH/SFTP. You get a few GB of free cloud storage (I don't actually know the limit, but I have 8 online now and have never paid a dime), and can sleep well knowing that a breach just means standing up a new instance rather than the end of your career.

You only really need to let people get onto your corporate network if you want to set up "real" remote access such as VPN or, as you mention, one of those crazy-expensive RSA Citrix gateways. And no offense, but the very fact that you have asked Slashdot how to do this on the cheap suggests that you really shouldn't do it at all (aside from my "safe" suggestion above).

Comment: Re:Wow ... (Score 2) 204

by Solandri (#47558905) Attached to: A 24-Year-Old Scammed Apple 42 Times In 16 Different States

Visa/MC and the banks have security measures in place, merchants who follow the process aren't liable for loss from fraudulent cards. Asking for ID provides no additional protection to merchants and to the extent they rely on it instead of established Visa/MC processes it can lessen security.

The info on the ID is the security measures Visa/MC have in place. They allow a merchant to enter info like address or phone number, and their computers will tell the merchant whether or not it matches the address/phone they have on file for that card. When you pay for gas with a credit card and the pump asks you to punch in your zip code, it's not collecting marketing information. It's using the zip code as a (rather flimsy) security measure to protect against someone buying gas with a lost/stolen credit card. Yeah you can ask the customer to recite their address, but any burglar who stole the card from a house or mugger who got their victim's entire wallet would know the address. A photo ID with that info, while fairly easy to fake, requires a bit more effort on the part of the thief.

Credit card security is in the dismal state it's currently in because Visa/MC/Amex have successfully transferred all the damage from fraudulent transactions onto the merchants. Since they lose practically no money to fraud, they have very little incentive to improve security. (The exorbitant interest rates are to cover the cost of credit card holders who default on their debt.) For market forces to work correctly, financial penalties for risks which fail must be linked to financial profits when those same risks succeed. What Visa et al have done is decouple the penalties from the profits (profits go to them, penalties to the merchant), leading to a situation where they are not penalized when the risks they take (poor security) fail. Consequently there is no motivation for them to improve credit card security beyond the laughable state it's currently in.

Comment: Re:It's actually worse than that (Score 1) 43

Even the enumerated powers are too centralized for me. As has been proven ever since Shay's rebellion, subsidiarity and solidarity with close neighbors, will not be tolerated. The good part of the old pre-Westphalia kingdoms was that assassination was always a solution.

Comment: Re:Might fine police work there, Lou! (Score 1) 136

by pla (#47556857) Attached to: London Police Placing Anti-Piracy Warning Ads On Illegal Sites
But the article makes it clear that "Neither the police or Project Sunblock are paying the website in question to display the police message". They're just suppressing the banner display, and displaying a police message instead.

Yep, I made a mistake. I presumed that the police would know better than to enter into a conspiracy to commit outright theft of service and libel in their efforts to appease the recording industry. One crime doesn't justify another. Mea culpa.

Except, in your zeal to find something in my post to go all "princess of vitriol" over, you seem to have failed to notice my key point - No one visiting piracy sites mistakes them for legit. Would you care to respond to that, or would you prefer to latch on to a typo somewhere in this post?


Pathetic is deciding you know how the system works without R'ing TFA

"The system" has rules we can know a priori. The police can't just choose to ignore them out of expediency. "Pathetic is" accepting criminal behavior just because it carries a thin veneer of official approval.

Comment: Re:Yes it should ship! (Score 1, Insightful) 92

by gmhowell (#47556803) Attached to: Samsung Delays Tizen Phone Launch

"Apple didn't come from behind in the smartphone market. They created the market. "

Well, that's one view into the reality distortion field.

And I bet if he had said something along the lines of "Apple came from behind in the smartphone market and knocked the heretofore industry leaders on their asses", you'd have an equally useless and snarky rejoinder.

Sometimes the inverse RDF is just as strong as the RDF itself...

Comment: Re:When going into business with Friends (Score 3, Interesting) 114

by pla (#47556705) Attached to: How Gygax Lost Control of TSR and D&D
This should serve as a cautionary tail of what can happen when you go into business with friends and or relatives. As soon as big money starts being made...unfortunately the greedy side of human nature tends to rear it's ugly head.

The arrangement made sense right up until TSR actually started making real money. When you and your friends bust your asses to build a business, and have no substantial income or assets to fight over, running it as a labor-of-love makes perfect sense. But once they started bulk-hiring new staff and pulled off 5000% growth over five years - Why the hell didn't they hire a competent CFO???

No one in the inner circle had a clue about how to run a business, because they all wanted control to remain in the hands of gamers - Hey, cool, most of us can appreciate that concept. But they could have avoided all the acrimony and eventually selling out to Wizards-of-the-CCG simply by bringing in someone with a clue in a non-shareholding executive capacity.

Sad, really.

Comment: Might fine police work there, Lou! (Score 2, Interesting) 136

by pla (#47556475) Attached to: London Police Placing Anti-Piracy Warning Ads On Illegal Sites
Police said the ads would make it harder for piracy site owners to make their pages look authentic

No one confuses Rapidshare for BMG's official site. People go there specifically to download pirated content, full stop. Seeing police ads might scare a few people with the paranoia of thinking "the man" has caught them, but the other 99% of visitors will just thank the police for subsidizing their favorite warez sites.

Truly pathetic, Boys in Blue (Hmm, do Bobbies wear blue?)


The move comes as part of a continuing effort to stop piracy sites from earning money through advertising.

By... Um... Buying banner ads on piracy sites? BRILLIANT!

Comment: Re:When going into business with Friends (Score 1) 114

by plover (#47556467) Attached to: How Gygax Lost Control of TSR and D&D

Going into business with friends or relatives is not a problem.

Just treat it like a business. When your cousin comes to work for you, you're under no different obligations as an employer than you would be if they weren't you cousin.

Actually, that's a real problem for most of us. A familial bond is one of care and protection. Family means that you defend other members of the family, even when they're stretching boundaries. And we have different levels of permission based on context, where the boundaries outside of the family are different than the boundaries inside the family. For example, if a kid gets into a schoolyard fight, the father might defend the kid's behavior; but if the same fight occurred between siblings, he might punish both equally.

A sociopath has no problem flipping the switch, to decide that they can ignore the family ties. For the rest of us, it's not that easy. (Please note that I'm not saying people who successfully hire and manage family members are sociopaths! I'm just saying it's hard.)

Looking at it another way, if it were "not a problem", if it was easy to treat family members equally, the phenomenon known as the 'Son of the Boss' wouldn't exist. But it exists everywhere.

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