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Comment: Re:Sigh. (Score 1) 234

by Savage-Rabbit (#48717301) Attached to: NSA Says They Have VPNs In a 'Vulcan Death Grip'

One small point, it you really do all of this you will stick out like a sore thumb because you will be relatively easy to find in a sea of unencrypted data. Police have actually caught offnders like that. Better yet, the NSA, unlike the cops has compromised most VPN and SHTTP service providers so you will be one of a rather small number of people whose signals traffic they can't decrypt which narrows things down even more. You can usen couriers but you had better be damn smart about how and whewe from they do their transmitting because pattern analysis can still narrow down your location. If one of them uses the same internet cafe too often the next thing you know a van is permanantly parked outside your house to be followed by Virginia farmboys in ninja commando outfits smashing through your doors and windows.

Comment: Re:Is there any protection against SMB worm ? (Score 1) 177

by Savage-Rabbit (#48641045) Attached to: Hackers Used Nasty "SMB Worm" Attack Toolkit Against Sony

Hacking activities are happening around us, from companies managing parking garages to Sony to Staples to whatnots ...

I've read Schneier's article which in essence telling us that there is no foolproof way to prevent hacking attempt

I do reckoned that "foolproof" in the IT field is nothing short of fairy tales, but still, I do think there ought to be ways, online and offline, that we can do, to at least cut down, to minimize, our companies' exposure to the (oft state-sponsored) hacking groups

Any link (or links), suggestion, recommendation, whatever, that you guys (and gals) can share?

Thanks !

Is there any protection against SMB worm ?

I've always considered SMB to be a steaming pile of crap for reasons that have nothing to do with security and this incident just adds another steaming shovel full of manure to that pile. The best protection agains SMB worms is not to use crap like SMB but pick something more secure instead, that is to say if such an animal even exists. In that case you can either try to find a vendor who offers a similar product and does a better job of testing and patching it than Microsoft does or go with an Open Source alternative which gives you the option of hiring a third party to test and patch it to your satisfaction. Mind you even if SMB is a pain to use the problem does not necessarily have to be with Microsoft. The problem could actually be with your systems department being lazy and negligent about patching their SMB software and the problem could also be with lax, amateurish or even non existent security policies or if you do have a proper security policy the problem could be a complete failure to enforce it. In that case you really only have one alternative and that is to light a fire under your people, fire them if they put up a fight and hire some proper sysadmins and a security chief with the same attitude toward instilling professionalism and security awareness in your employees and a marine drill sergeant has toward making proper soldiers out of every batch of teenage drama queens he is handed by the recruitment office.

Comment: Re:About Fucking Time (Score 1) 435

by Savage-Rabbit (#48621347) Attached to: In Breakthrough, US and Cuba To Resume Diplomatic Relations

Make no mistake, this is about nothing less than money and power, and has nothing to do with the fact that it may be long overdue.

Actually, I'm guessing that this has more to do with the fact that Obama is now a lame duck President who is desparately looking to establish some sort of lasting legacy.

Plus he has nothing to loose by pissing off the Republicans who aren't going to approve a single bill his administration pushes anyway even if they had to do it to save their lives. Hell, half of those people don't even believe he was born in the USA. Of course Obama is going to veto all the most important stuff the Tea party and the Republican want to do so basically everything is exactly like the Tea-baggers and Republicans like it. Congress will be in complete and utter gridlock for at least another two years, four if you get a Democratic president (read: Hilary Clinton, which will have every Republican/Tea-bagger reaching for his vampire killing kit). Every time I despair over the state of politics in my own country I take a look at the US congress and the way your Republicans and Democrats are behaving like a bunch of petulent kindergarteners to remind me that things could be a lot worse. Compared to the lot of morons you guys have managed to vote into office my lot looks like a panel of Nobel prize winners.

Comment: Re:You don't know your Bible or your history (Score 2) 880

by Savage-Rabbit (#48599711) Attached to: Apparent Islamic Terrorism Strikes Sydney

In the book of Numbers, chapter 31, Moses orders the murder of every man, woman, and child in a city that was promised to his own people. When his army came back with children prisoners of war, he rebuked them, ordered them to slay the male children on the spot, and allowed them to keep the female children for themselves as spoils of war (there are plenty of other stories similar to this about the OT, and involving Moses specifically).

So, yeah, warlord.

And about Constantine founding Christianity...

When the religion was illegal by Roman law, there were many separate Christianities with very different beliefs (and they quarreled with one another, as well as with the Jews that wanted to stay Jewish). Once Constantine decided to make Christianity the official religion of Rome, he also picked the specific set of churches that he agreed with and established their representatives as the proper religious authorities. They promptly declared the other varieties of Christianity to all be heresy, had their books burned (some recently recovered in the Nag Hammadi library revealing just how different these Christianities were).

So, Christianity (or at least Catholicism) as we know it today was very much the work of Constantine.

Let's not forget either that Constantine's personally approved proper religious authorities didn't just clamp down on Christians that didn't agree with them they embarked on a campaign of destroying, pillaging, desecrating, vandalising pagan temples, tombs and monuments as well as raping and murdering adherents of these religions who weren't willing to see the light and accept the state approved flavour of Christianity (i.e. the same basic package heretic Christians were treated to). Examples of Christian intolerance and willingness to subject minority religions and secular groups to extreme persecutions and violence (which is a base insult to everything Christ preached) are legion.

You can find examples of such violence and intolerance beginning at the moment Christianity became dominant enough to be able to afford committing such atrocities and they continue until today with one of the latest, worst and most frequently forgotten being the mass murder of Moslems in Bosnia by Christian Croats and Serbs. It pisses me off every time Christian fanatics in my community try to portray Christianity as the religion of love charity and peace while Islam is the religion of war and hate, yet whenever I bring up the subject of Bosnia and what was done there in the name of Christianity they are unwilling to even discuss the issue. The obvious conclusion is that Christianity is not an inherently violent religion any more than Islam is even if some of it's adherents have found clever ways to user these religions to rationalise acts of violence and downright inhuman criminal acts like blowing yourself up on a bus, sawing peoples heads off on camera, torching places of worship or setting up a concentration camp camp where the local Christian perverts can get their rocks off raping moslem women. I don't really see the difference between the way the Serbs behaved with their rape campaigns in Bosnia and the way ISIS is doing by selling Yazidi women in markets in Syria like cattle at an auction.

Comment: Re:EUgle? (Score 0) 237

by Savage-Rabbit (#48477689) Attached to: Google Should Be Broken Up, Say European MPs

Huh. I just Googled "Free email account" and the first three links were, and Google's GMail came in fourth. I guess Google doesn't understand how to properly bundle/discriminate against competitors given they're not doing what you say they can/are doing.

I suppose this could not possibly be because Google dialled down the abuse now that they are under the microscope of the EU competition authorities? I have to say I am in awe of how you managed to render any anti competitive investigation of Google's business practices unnecessary with a single web search!

Comment: Re:EUgle? (Score 1) 237

by Savage-Rabbit (#48477675) Attached to: Google Should Be Broken Up, Say European MPs

We tended to scream because we were forced to pay for Microsoft's software when we bought computers, and despite non-Microsoft software being the preferred software for some types, Microsoft bundled their lesser-software with their OS and even when we changed to something else, made it prompt to try to become the preferred application again.

When I open my web browser, if it's Microsoft's, I default to Microsoft's Bing search engine. If I choose a different browser then I probably default to Google, but I can change it and it stays changed. I am also not required to use Google as my default start page, and I can visit any site on the Internet that I choose. I am not required to use a search engine if I know the URL that I want to go to, and even if I use Google to search for the name of another company that does something that Google also does, I get that company's result first, not after Google's own product. Funny enough, Bing's search for "maps" brings up Google's maps for me as the top link.

I don't think that Google takes away the consumer's choice in the way Microsoft's policies do. Microsoft doesn't provide links to competitors' software. Google may provide links to their own services first, but they don't provide only links to their own services.

Personally I think they'd have a much better argument, though still incomplete, arguing on Android instead in how it uses Google Mail and other Google services, but since Apple is so strong in phones and tablets that would be hard to support.

Like I tried to explain to presidenteloco this isn't about a monopoly per se. What we are talking here is Google leveraging their search engine monopoly to take away the consumer's right to choose services that compete with Google's which IIRC is one of the things people got their panties in a twist over when Microsoft tried to do it, i.e. Microsoft decided to get in on the some segment of the software business , so they built their own Microsoft brand specialist software and bundled it with their OS with the result that hardly anybody bothered to investigate competing alternatives. They took away consumer choice by leveraging their dominant desktop OS to kill off competitors just like Google is now leveraging its dominant search engine to put links to the products of competing service providers on the second page of search results or some similar skullduggery. That's a conflict of interest. It was recognized by German law makers back in the 12th century that it's a bad idea for a physician to be his own apothecary because they invented diseases so that they could sell drugs to cure them and for the same reason it is bad for Microsoft to have their consumer and OS software operations in the same business unit and for Google to have the same business unit that handles web searches also pushing Google services. It encourages them to abuse one to gain a competitive advantage for the other.

Comment: Re:uh, no? (Score 1) 340

by Savage-Rabbit (#48395815) Attached to: Alleged Satellite Photo Says Ukraine Shootdown of MH17

> that the airplane was hit by a continuous rod warhead

It absolutely was not. The images of the fragments *clearly* show shrapnel, and there isn't any evidence of anything hitting the plane that's longer than maybe an inch.

And you are basing this on what? A few low resolution pictures in some news reports?

Comment: Re:uh, no? (Score 4, Insightful) 340

by Savage-Rabbit (#48395807) Attached to: Alleged Satellite Photo Says Ukraine Shootdown of MH17

I've watched the Russian original, and it's very weird. Their claim is that pilot first strafed the cockpit with guns which resulted in cockpit detaching from the aircraft, which they claim Dutch investigators have confirmed. The goal was apparently to silence the crew and prevent calls for help. Then the aircraft fired a heat seeker into the engines causing aircraft to spin out of control and crash.

Their other point on the other hand sounded much more reasonable. They note that BUK missile makes a very brightly visible plume and persistent smoke trail as it goes through its trajectory, and there were apparently no confirmed instances of footage of this in relation to the plane. Considering just how obviously exceptional it would look in the sky and how many photos there are of pretty much anything weird happening in the warring region, it does sound odd that no one got any footage of the missile. It should be visible for tens of kilometers in all directions.

Overall, the case is getting stranger with every revelation.

Why would they bother with the missile if they had disabled the flight deck?

Because this is is an really strange story that does not make sense on any level. I would have expected better fiction, even from a conspiracy theorist. The fighter in that picture looks like a MiG-29 or a Su-27 to me. The UkAF has both of these fighters and they can fire BVR missiles. BVR missiles are big fat 3.5-4 meter long monsters with a massive range and a large warhead intented for air to air use for anything up to bomber and large transport sized aircraft. The main BVR missile variants used by the RuAF and the UkAF are the R-27 (Nato code: AA-10) and the newer R-77 (Nato code: AA-12). The range of the AA-10 and AA-12 BVR missiles is something like 80-110 kilometers. I'm not sure if the Ukrainians have any AA-12s but they definitely have the older AA-10 whose seekers they have extensively upgraded to the point where they are still able to sell the AA-10 abroad for use on modernized MiG-29s and SU-27/30s with other air forces. So why the hell would a Ukrainian air force fighter have had to shut up the crew of MH17 with gunfire before downing the airliner with a WVR missile (presumably an AA-11, 7kg fragmenting warhead) when they could have picked MH17 off with a more powerful AA-10 radar guided missile (which has a 39 kg fragmenting warhead) that more closely mimics a BUK? I'm pretty sure that even if a UkAF fighter had fired a BVR missile from a 60 degree cone behind MH17 to make sure the crew did not see it coming (a more realistic scenario), they could still have fired it from about 25 km away and that missile would have come like a bat out of hell for the crew of MH17. They wouldn't have known what hit them, i.e. no need for gunfire and with a 39 kg warhead... you can imagine the rest.

Comment: Re:You don't have it straight ... (Score 2) 328

If he taught people to beat a polygraph and **always** said to never lie to government investigators he would not be in trouble.

So it's okay to lie to other people?

And his methods are universal. I find it funny how people can teach about beating a pseudoscientific lie detector without a problem up until someone tells them that they're going to use the methods to beat a government polygraph test. Then it's somehow 'bad.'

Word! Here's another similar conundrum: Is it OK to teach people how to manipulate a ouija board session until you teach people how to manipulate the outcome of a ouija board session being run by the government for the purpose of contacting the spirit of a murder victim in order to solve that person's murder? This is a completely ridiculous situation no matter how you look at it. Polygraphs are pseudo science and as such a completely unreliable metric for determining truthfulness. It's not the people who teach others to beat these gizmos who should be answering to a judge. The ones who should be in deep trouble with the law are the government officials who use polygraphs despite their glaring shortcomings as investigative tools, who pressure people into taking polygraph tests and who convince juries that refusal to take a pseudoscientific test is equivalent to an admission of guilt.

Comment: Let me get this straight... (Score 1) 328

... a former police officer has been dragged into court by the U.S. Department of Justice for teaching people how to beat a pseudoscientific method of detecting whether somebody is lying, a method that itself isn't even admissible as evidence courts in most parts of the world? What's next? Will the surgeon general drag people into court for pointing out that when consuming a homeopathic remedy with 30C dilution, one would need to swallow a volume greater than all the water present in all the oceans of our entire planet in order to stand a good chance of swallowing just one molecule of the original substance?

Comment: Re:Huh (Score 4, Insightful) 223

by Savage-Rabbit (#48386107) Attached to: Comet Probe Philae To Deploy Drill As Battery Life Wanes

"It seems to me the design and/or planning of this mission were poorly thought out"

Is the funniest fucking thing I've heard all day. Do you have any idea how well thought out this mission was? FFS look at the trajectory it took 10 YEARS(!) to get to the comet. And you think they overlooked the fact that the comet is craggly?


True, it's easy to throw snide comments at the people who designed this mission but until now nobody really even knew any details of what the surface of a comet looks like. Furthermore landing on Mars is difficult enough, the success rate for landings on the Martian surface is something like 30%. Getting a probe to rendezvous with a comet and land on the surface is a way bigger achievement. Finally I'm not exactly surprised that some systems failed after almost a decade in space. I just hope they manage to milk the maximum amount of data out of this probe.

The confusion of a staff member is measured by the length of his memos. -- New York Times, Jan. 20, 1981