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Comment: "It's just metadata" (Score 3, Informative) 145

by PigleT (#47424021) Attached to: UK Gov't Plans To Push "Emergency" Surveillance Laws

The BBC news is reporting that apparently it's not as bad as it could be because it's not storing the content of phone-calls made, just who was called and when.

Anyone who wants to know just how powerful mere "metadata" actually is should go read http://kieranhealy.org/blog/ar... .

Comment: Assumption (Score 1) 737

by PigleT (#46739639) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

"computer science and related professions useless"

Hardly. All this does is show an assumption that the life of the modern geek is wasted on frippery such as social sites, etc.

Maybe we won't have electricity for a while. We'll remember, and recreate it. Meanwhile, a knowledge of computability, efficiency and optimization, security and ethics is transferable to other fields.

Comment: Don't block anything (Score 1) 187

by PigleT (#46692217) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: User-Friendly Firewall For a Brand-New Linux User?

Security by blocking bad things is a very bad idea, a completely false sense of security.

Couple these together instead:
default-deny (got that much correct);
incoming, open stateful continuations of established connections;
incoming, open ports for services you run (e.g. web- and dns-servers, etc), with rate-limiting per source.

iptables will allow this, no problem.

There is no point in "automatic" firewalls that detect bad things and block sources; all they do is clutter-up your firewall rules for the sake of an event that (1) comes under default-deny and (2) is already history - people doing bad things are mostly operating fire-and-forget.

Comment: Re:How many of those where linux pc's again? None (Score 2) 110

by PigleT (#39547191) Attached to: Researchers Say Kelihos Gang Is Building New Botnet

It's a simple case of majority-ism. Most facebook users will be on Windows and probably IE, so if you're going to make a trojan, to make your job easy that's who you target.

Security isn't limited to exploits in the scope of a user's OS; it's all about privacy, and messing in their web-identified spaces also counts as a security violation.

Comment: Re:Why is everyone picking on Toyota? (Score 1) 437

by PigleT (#31655090) Attached to: Do Car Safety Problems Come From Outer Space?

Those of us who own a toyota have been to their website and checked the system that tells us whether our cars are affected.

I'm lucky - my Rav4 is a particular vintage that claims not to have the problem.

The greater majority of other Toyota owners probably do have the problem, if a check of the affected models (most) and vintages (most) is anything to go by.

The fact that they have a webpage addressing the problem tells me (a) it's got big publicity (b) they sort of care (c) their investigations have led them to find some criteria whereby they can tell a particular car is susceptible or not. That tells me maybe they know what it is, and that talk of cosmic radiation is just speculative BS.

Comment: Re:Is there realy a problem? (Score 1) 437

by PigleT (#31655046) Attached to: Do Car Safety Problems Come From Outer Space?

Scary anecdote, although the plural of anecdote is not data(TM).

There may still be the effect of brakes failing "suddenly" - in this past winter, I left the car for 3 days, probably with damp brakes and it froze overnight etc. Sure enough, setting off, the first couple of corners had no brakes (insert scared yelling here) but they came back with increased use just fine.

So you'd need a bad coincidence: wet/damp/frozen brakes, not burnt in, *and* a runaway accelerator. That reduces the chances some.

Comment: Re:Why they tell you to turn off your phone... (Score 1) 437

by PigleT (#31654992) Attached to: Do Car Safety Problems Come From Outer Space?

We once had a honda civic in the family that flipped half its valves off as it felt the urge.

Cruising at 70mph along a flat bit of motorway: suddenly it decided it needed more valves and sidled up to 85mph, all without moving my foot at all.
Same journey, trying to overtake up the middle of a motorway, going uphill: it decided it didn't need the "power" and halved the valves, killing the speed to barely 50mph forcing an apologetic swerve back into the slow lane.

Never driving one of *those* again.

If a camel is a horse designed by a committee, then a consensus forecast is a camel's behind. -- Edgar R. Fiedler

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