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Comment: Re:But... (Score 1) 490

Try comparing something more clear-cut: murder rates: it is 4x higher in the US. So you tell me, if you believe your fictional statistic about 8x the violent crime in the UK, but only 1/4 as many people die, that means "violent" crime is 1/32 as lethal in the UK vs the US..

You also have to correct for other oddities, like the distinction between "Manslaughter" and "Murder" in some countries but not others, or how England and Wales primarily publish their "solved" homicide (convictions and similar) rate. If you kill somebody and get away with it, that death doesn't count in the UK.

The USA is not uniform, my home state has a lower homicide rate than the UK. And while America is touted as being socially and economically advanced, there are large areas which lag behind in these areas. If you don't discuss the violent crime rates of the European Union as a unified whole, why do so for the United States? Also, many US states have a higher non-firearm homicide rate than other nation's total homicide rate; even without guns, Americans manage to kill one another at a higher rate than in other countries.

Comment: Alarm partition/zone and automatic arming (Score 1) 408

Aside from the cheapest alarm systems, there is usually an option to have partitions and zones such that you can set the server rack or closet to always be armed except when you are actually working there, so you don't have to rely on your housemates setting the whole-house alarm.

A good alarm system won't

  • prevent

burglary, but will ensure that the intruder spends the minimum amount of time looking for valuables.

Comment: Re:And any idiot with a soldering iron can bypass (Score 3, Informative) 765

by Nonesuch (#46981479) Attached to: A Look at Smart Gun Technology

A recent report by Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states "“almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year.” (Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. Priorities for Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press, 2013.)

I've never seen a gender breakdown of defensive gun use, but with a lower bound of a half million annual, the 250K number is not unreasonable. Even the extremely anti-gun Violence Policy Center estimates average annual defensive gun uses at around 67K.

Comment: Re:Do the states that allowed people to carry guns (Score 2) 274

by Nonesuch (#46950801) Attached to: First Arrest In Japan For 3D-Printed Guns

require the people carrying a gun to also carry liability insurance and carry proof of that insurance with them anytime they are carrying their gun? I hope so, but probably not.

I think that if we are required to carry liability insurance and proof thereof for something as mundane as driving a car we should require the same for carrying something that is designed specifically to kill other people.

Several states do not have compulsory auto insurance, why should states mandate any insurance?

There are multiple facets to the inanity of the "CCW should require liability insurance". One of the biggest is that insurance doesn't cover an intentional act, it covers accidents and similar unforeseen occurrences. No insurance company would underwrite a policy covering "any and all" possible adverse incidents involving carrying a handgun, only unforeseen occurrences.

I think the "free market" could solve the gun problem in the US in a hurry. Insurers would simply make it so expensive to carry a gun that people would have to give up on the idea.

You think wrong. Firearms incidents of the type that could be covered by a liability policy are so vanishingly rare that the actual insurance rates would be minimal. Or do you want to require people to carry an imaginary type of insurance policy which covers all possible liability from carrying a gun, including intentional acts?

States get away with compulsory auto insurance only because "driving a car" is not an enumerated constitutional right, If gov't tried to require mandatory "Speech insurance" for posting on Slashdot and all other public speech, would you favor that as well?

Comment: Re:People are willing to trust some random softwar (Score 2) 251

You are naive. This piece of software has probably not seen one single competent analysis even now.

You'd be surprised. The union of people who are competent with IDA Pro (and similar tools) and people interested in Bitcoin is a surprisingly large set. Find a provable backdoor in an application like this and you've got yourself a very good candidate for at least a DEFCON talk, maybe a job at Matasano.

Comment: Range? (Score 1) 734

by Nonesuch (#46049501) Attached to: Will Electric Cars and Solar Power Make Gasoline and Utilities Obsolete?

Are there any non-hybrid consumer cars with anything close to the miles-per-tank of even the worst fuel economy modern gasoline powered car?

Sometimes I will drive +120 miles (in sub-zero weather, or 100F in the summer) to get to a jobsite, work there for 4 hours, then drive back the same day. I can do this and not need to stop for gas, but with an electric car I'd have to hope that the work site has provisions for charging, assuming the car even has a range of 120 miles with the heater or AC running -- Tesla roadster wouldn't make it.

Comment: Re:Reefer madness? (Score 2) 382

by Nonesuch (#45929125) Attached to: Daily Pot Use Tied To Age of First Psychotic Episode

Frankly, this "timing is a big fucking conspiracy" card is tedious, which we also see played e.g. by the NRA when tighter gun control laws are proposed after a mass shooting incident. Same thing with AGW, after a destructive hurricane or storm. There is never an "ideal time" to report study results. People who disagree should respond to the substance of the study, including its methodologies and perhaps on the legitimacy of the data. Not "gee why alla sudden so much interest in this seems funny doncha think?"

Since you bring it up, check out the recent FOIA documents obtained by Judicial Watch regarding Mayor Bloomberg's organizations actions in the hours following the Sandy Hook shooting. Specifically, look for this email, sent just after midnight, where they discuss what legislation to try to ram through in the aftermath. There's a good analysis here. Turns out, there really are conspiracies by gun control and anti-drug organizations to "leverage" high-visibility events to "surf in blood".

Comment: Re:Livingston PortMasters (or similar) (Score 1) 104

by Nonesuch (#45380445) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Tools For Managing Multiple Serial Console Servers?
Sounds very similar to what we developed. Parallel evolution? Or just creative re-use of obsolete Portmasters?

When we got more powerful hardware for the SSH bastion host, I wrote a set of daemons and scripts which would maintain one 'screen' session for each console port. At startup it would enable logging, make a 'telnet' connection, and then disconnect the session and leave it idle. When a user wanted to access a port, they'd run a menu tool (setuid launcher and Perl, iirc) that would give them a list of sessions to which they were entitled access, and also show the status of each screen session -- alive, dead, or in use by somebody else. When you attached to a screen, the script would send a 'title update' escape sequence, so with PuTTY your terminal titlebar shows what device you were attached to, no more pasting into the wrong window!

The main reason for using screen was that when you attached to an existing session, you didn't just get a blank prompt like 'tip' or telnet, you were dropped into a session with the latest output on the screen and scrollback available to go back hundreds of lines. So if you were trying to connect to a Cisco router that had just frozen, instead of seeing nothing, you saw the panic message it had last emitted. Also gave an audit log of everything executed on every console, going back basically forever.

Saved the company $$$$$$ with this build, between not spending money on half-ass Digi appliances and faster diagnosis and recovery when devices went braindead (especially in lights-out remote data centers). By the time I was downsized out of the corp, we had 3-4 deployments across multiple cities/countries.

Comment: Re:Livingston PortMasters (or similar) (Score 1) 104

by Nonesuch (#45364039) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Tools For Managing Multiple Serial Console Servers?
We did the same, but isolated all portmasters on a standalone switch, as the product line has been dead for years and the security in the product was pretty minimal even when Livingston and then Lucent was actually supporting the Portmaster. I think this guy is more asking about the software to handle the connections/auth/logging/etc rather than asking about a hardware solution?

Comment: Re:It's the Muslims !! (Score 1) 416

by Nonesuch (#43489527) Attached to: FBI Releases Boston Bombing Suspect Images/Videos

What about Timothy McVeigh? Are you saying it's ok for US military veterans to kill kids at a day care center? Are you saying it's justified for NRA members to blow up buildings?

Nice slander there. Timothy Mcveigh was a former member --he joined while he was in the US Army, but later quit the NRA, viewing its stance on gun rights as too weak.

Comment: background check for ammunition purchase (Score 3, Interesting) 1591

by Nonesuch (#42603251) Attached to: New York Passes Landmark Gun Law

I dunno, the background check for ammunition purchasing would be enough to have me move out of New York. This means every time someone goes to the range to do some target shooting, they have to get a background check if they buy a box of ammo to shoot?

This will increase the number of calls into the check system by orders of magnitude. Today the usual NICS background check turnaround times vary by time of day and what else is going on (gun show weekend == one to four hour turnaround). And there's no mandate that the state return results in a timely manner, so access can be artificially manipulated by downstaffing the background check office or otherwise ensuring that the checks take an excessive amount of time. And there are stores which sell ammo but not firearms, so these will need to have access to the system.

Adding an extra hassle to each ammunition purchase pretty much guarantees that people are going to buy the maximum amount of ammunition allowable with each purchase, and also pool together purchases for groups of friends. Or just drive across state lines and buy their ammo in a "free state".

Comment: Re:tax guns (Score 1) 528

by Nonesuch (#42349065) Attached to: Makerbot Cracks Down On 3D-Printable Gun Parts

It seems obvious at this point that guns, even legally owned, are safety hazard for everybody. If you own a car, you must pay for insurance.

Laws on this vary by state -- in several states auto insurance is not mandatory, and if the owner doesn't intend to operate the car on public roads, there is no title, registration, or tax to be paid -- all the paperwork is around vehicles which operate on public roadways. A track car that I transport on a trailer, or farm vehicle that only incidentally uses roads, is not taxed, licensed, or registered.

Most states are the same way with firearms, there is no permit or registration or fee unless you want to obtain a state-issued permit to carry concealed (available in 49 of the 50 states). Imposing an annual tax on a constitutional right has already been struck down by the supreme court, just read up on the history of the "Poll Tax".

Comment: Re:The police have a need to be safe just like us (Score 1) 1013

by Nonesuch (#42348593) Attached to: Using Technology To Make Guns Safer
Existing laws (e.g. New Jersey) mandating safety features specifically exempt the police.

If anybody "needs" user-restricted handguns and these other features, it would be law enforcement. I'd go so far as to say that these should be mandatory for LEO on and off duty, and optional for the rest of us.

Comment: Re:Math fail (Score 1, Informative) 101

by Nonesuch (#42301729) Attached to: UK Internet Porn Blocking Rejected
Actually, it does add up, when you consider the breakdown of the total people polled:

There were more than 3,500 responses to the 10-week consultation - which included those from members of the public, academics, charities and communication firms as well as 757 from parents.

So parents made up less than 20% of the total respondents, and some parents were in favor of no filtering of any kind. Even in the UK, people understand that government shouldn't be in the business of filtering lawful material, and that automatic opt-out filtering has a chilling effect.

"Just think of a computer as hardware you can program." -- Nigel de la Tierre