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Comment Re:That won't last long... (Score 1) 780

He didn't follow their advice and continue to wonder around the school with it, not obeying other instructions, which could be seen as suspicious.

You don't arrest people because you're suspicious. This culture of fear is a terrible thing and it really needs to stop.

You see a kid with something that might be potentially dangerous, you approach him and ask him, "what's that?" He shows it you, tells you it's a clock. You look at it, you let him explain it to you. At that point, you said, "cool" and leave him alone because it's clearly not dangerous. There's no reason he should put it away, there's no reason he shouldn't have it on him. The next person who sees it and is concerned should simply follow the same procedure and ask.

Doing anything beyond that is completely unjustified. If he tried to pass it off as a bomb, that'd be another thing, but everyone who asked was told it's a clock. He deserves a settlement for the shit he was forced to go through. I don't know about the amount, but that's all up to the lawyers.

Comment Re:Wouldn't this lead to Natural Selection? (Score 2) 167

You overstate the capabilities of stackoverflow. I have 30K+ karma there. Right now the most upvoted answer to "How do I track location with GPS on Android" is badly broken. It has been for 5 years. I've wrote my own answer to combat it, but as the original answer is 5 years old it doesn't get the upvotes it needs to drown it out. I see questions on how to work around the bugs in the original answer on a weekly basis, still can't kill it.

Just because an answer is highly upvoted, used, or commented on SO doesn't mean its right. It means its worth looking into. But using it without testing and understanding is unprofessional and will cost you more time than you'd save by using SO.

Also- I almost never see comments about why code works, limitations, etc. Sometimes it happens, but not all that frequently.

Submission + - Structural Engineer Destroys the Fallacies of Bridge Destruction (

szczys writes: Suspension bridges like the Golden Gate Bridge and the Brooklyn Bridge are favorite victims for movie makers but are almost always shown to perform in violation of the laws of physics. Structural Engineer Alex Weinberg couldn't stay silent any longer. He covers how bridge collapses in several major films should have looked. The biggest offender? Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises.

Comment Re:Convenience is the enemy (Score 1) 73

Well, yes, the drive remains unlocked in sleep mode but locks if you hibernate. Someone with hardware that doesn't suck cloud easily resume from sleep, let the bios unlock the drive and then switch the hardware over to the PC of choice and copy off the decrypted data.

This is not a strike against the encrypting drives, it's a question of user training: the drive is locked in these situations and unlocked in those. If you want it locked, do this not that.

Comment Re:News At Eleven (Score 1) 108

Like seizing Tormail and using it to install malware in Tor users browsers? I agree, the FBI should be putting some of their own in federal prison for these crimes the same as anyone else would be. If anything police should be punished more severely for breaking the law than anyone else.

I'm not familiar with that case, but if they did so without a warrant, then yes, absolutely. I agree entirely with your sentiment, I do think law enforcement should be held even more strictly to the laws than everyone else.

Comment Re:News At Eleven (Score 1) 108

What are your thoughts on warrantless use of stingray?

That's a very good analogy, and I had to go read about how it works in order to answer your question.

I think I'm ok with the use of stingray to intercept communications as it happens today, but think it should be treated as a security flaw and the method shouldn't work in the future. It works by forcing nearby cell phones to connect to it, but in order for the call to be completed it must also connect to a legitimate cell phone tower in a man-in-the-middle attack.

Ideally, the cell phone companies should fix the protocol with stronger authentication between phone and towers, to prevent such attacks. Then, in order to operate a stingray in this mode, a warrant would be required that would compel the mobile company to provide the police with a valid key for use by the stingray device for a particular tower, for a given period of time.

Comment Re:News At Eleven (Score 4, Insightful) 108

'Consultants' perform wide-scale, warrantless, attack against large number of individuals not even suspected of wrongdoing on behalf of FBI under the guise of 'research'(probably not IRB approved); FBI thanks them for their assistance and introduces the fruits of an operation that would have been dubiously legal in scope even with a warrant; much less without one.

I'm the first to complaint about warrantless search of Americans, but I don't think this qualifies. If you're going to install software on computers you don't own in order to capture information, you need a warrant. If you're going to ask a private company to hand over data on their users, you need a warrant. If you're going to capture information that passes through your own hardware, even if it's encrypted, that's fair game. If you find a way to break the anonymizing network by creating your own fake relays to do it, as far as my judgement goes, the data was yours to play with, because it passed through your relays, and the research was legitimate, because you did find a flaw on the network.

The only thing I see wrong with this entire operation is that we have laws against what people can or can't take. It's their life, their bodies, their decision, and the FBI is wasting resources going after people who pose no danger to society (at least as far as Silk Road 2.0. The first Silk Road had the guy in charge trying to hire a hit man. Definitely not just a drugs thing. The investigation was legit, the research was legit, and it gives the Tor Project something to think about as far as improving their network.

Comment Re:It's a trap! Don't do it! (Score 1) 24

If there's any kind of farm in the neighborhood (aside from the gardening stores which refer to themselves as farms) then the closest you are to the city is the far edge of the suburban strip. Farms can't afford to operate on normal suburban land prices or pay the requisite property taxes. When suburbia expands, farms close and sell to developers.

Except there was no housing bubble in that area. What we paid was scarcely more than what that same house sold for 15-20 year earlier.

That wasn't a red flag for you? That at the same time other locations were doubling in value, the neighborhood you were considering was flat?

Yet they go for the 30 year mortgage because they can't afford the payment of a 20 year on the same house.

There's a word for those folks: suckers. If you can't afford a 15 year mortgage on a house, you can't afford the house. Buy smaller.

If you have the diligence and the right bent of mind, it can be smart to get a 30 year mortgage and regularly make extra payments to principal instead. That way you're not compelled to make a larger payment when you have a thin month or three. But if you can't -afford- to make the larger payment the bottom line is that the house is too much for you.

I do not count that in as part of our losses. You can challenge the validity of that rationale if you want

I believe I have. If you haven't figured every way in which a transaction impacts your financial standing then you don't know whether you've gained or lost money on the transaction, making any claims of gain or loss suspicious at best.

Comment Re:What exactly are you backing up? (Score 1) 118

we want to manage these backups centrally from a console

You don't want to do that, you only think you do. That needlessly creates a security problem by intentionally installing a remote control vector. What you want is a central notification system so that if a machine expected to back up does not, you find out about it and can send on the IT staff.

What i.r.id10t alludes to is also correct: figuring out how you can restore a machine to operation is step one. That determines what form the backups can be stored in which, in turn, determines what backup tools you can use. Linux machines can be restored by booting from a live CD, writing individual files back to disk and then running "grub install." Can Windows do that, or will you need to grab a full disk image of the C: drive every time you do a backup?

Theory is gray, but the golden tree of life is green. -- Goethe