Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:Why are banks pushing this crap? (Score 1) 135

by ShaunC (#48586619) Attached to: Bank Security Software EULA Allows Spying On Users

Why are banks pushing this crap in the first place?

For one, because they believe it allows them to shift liability for fraud onto the consumer. "Oh, your online banking credentials were compromised and your life savings was irrecoverably transferred to Outer Elbonia? And you didn't have our Trusteer software installed, as required by our terms of service? Very sorry to hear that, I guess you're shit out of luck, maybe you can ask the federal government to bail you out (insert raucous laughter here)."

Comment: Re:Again I ask... (Score 1) 49

by ShaunC (#48585813) Attached to: "Lax" Crossdomain Policy Puts Yahoo Mail At Risk

It isn't just slow migration. Yahoo has been contracted to manage email for a lot of older ISPs, they host mail for a whole lot more than just users. There are millions of people who use the Yahoo Mail interface because that's what their ISP switched to.

For example, 20 years ago I had a dialup internet account through my telco at the time, BellSouth. My email address from that service, which I still have, is BellSouth no longer exists, it was swallowed back into ATT when the government decided that monopolies were a great idea again. For a year or two, the BellSouth webmail interface continued to exist, then it was shuffled over to the domain, and several years ago ATT decided to move all of their users over to Yahoo. If I want to check my email through the web, I'm taken to Yahoo Mail. (Yes I'm aware of options like mail2web.)

As far as I know, the same is true for customers from all of the Baby Bells that were re-absorbed back into ATT, and there are plenty of smaller ISPs who gave up on hosting their own mail in favor of paying Yahoo to do it for them. There are many, many people interacting with Yahoo Mail every day who have never had an email account and probably don't use Yahoo for anything else.

Comment: Re:Papers please (Score 1) 207

by ShaunC (#48577717) Attached to: In Iowa, a Phone App Could Serve As Driver's License

In my state it's illegal to operate a motor vehicle without having the physical license with you. They can certainly look you up as you described, but you'd get a ticket for not having your license in addition to whatever infraction got you pulled over. I wonder how long before it becomes a crime in Iowa to be in possession of a smart phone without the state-mandated identification app installed?

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 190

by ShaunC (#48569915) Attached to: Fraud Bots Cost Advertisers $6 Billion

I used to subscribe to TotalFark for $5 per month, it was worth it for the ability to see and comment on all of the non-greenlit stories. When Fark started going downhill, reddit came about; now I pay them $4 a month to suppress ads (natively) and access extended features. I see a lot of promise in the "freemium" model, not just for discussion sites but for pretty much any type of service. You build out something basic and provide that for free, then offer some combination of ad removal, better access, and bonus features for those who are willing to fork over a couple of bucks.

I haven't yet found a compelling reason to pay for Slashdot, though. Maybe if they gave subscribers a Bennett filter?

Comment: Re:Silly backwards lobbyists and authorities (Score 5, Insightful) 251

by ShaunC (#48567401) Attached to: Peter Sunde: the Pirate Bay Should Stay Down

OK Genius, if piracy becomes the norm, how does new content get paid for?

Piracy has been the norm for 20 years and has been mainstream for at least 10 of those years. There is no lack of new content that I've noticed. Lack of new ideas, maybe; recently we've seen that even Sony's own employees are tired of the same formulaic Adam Sandler dreck coming out year after year...

Enjoy a future full of Amish Mafia, Real Housewives of what-the-fuck and other horrible drivel because that's going to be the only kind of content that makes money and it's going to push all high quality content off the airwaves.

Game of Thrones, American Horror Story, House of Cards, Breaking Bad, there's a lot of quality programming recently that's making money hand over fist, piracy or no piracy. Half of it is even on free-to-air TV channels to start with.

Comment: Re:This whole Sony story (Score 2) 80

by ShaunC (#48564781) Attached to: New Destover Malware Signed By Stolen Sony Certificate

I think his point is that even billion-dollar enterprises, who can well afford to hire entire teams of information security and risk management professionals if they cared to do so, frequently don't bother. While IT in general is seen as a cost center and is often woefully underfunded, it at least exists, because management recognizes at some level that without employees to build and maintain that infrastructure, they wouldn't be able to check their email or load up their dashboards and revenue charts. Information security has no such tangible or visible benefit, and thus falls into the category of "why would we pay people for that?"

The Sony case is interesting because this time around, unlike TJ Maxx, Target, Home Depot, et al it wasn't millions of faceless plebeian customers who got fucked over. No, this time the victim is the company itself. Nobody's going to fix this by issuing a boilerplate apology and offering victims a free year of useless credit monitoring service. The corporation is the one suffering (oh, the schadenfreude!); this actually scares enterprise management types, it's a threat that can be quantified. Sony's misfortune comes with the benefit that it's certainly cajoling a few other companies into taking a second look at their own security situations.

Comment: Re:This lawsuit will be dismissed. (Score 4, Informative) 291

by ShaunC (#48561541) Attached to: Comcast Sued For Turning Home Wi-Fi Routers Into Public Hotspots

You can opt out of the binding arbitration clause, not that they advertise this fact. I believe you're "supposed" to complete the form within 30 days of commencement of service, but I don't know whether or not that requirement itself is legally binding.

Comment: Re:The Click is Dead Anyway (Score 3, Insightful) 285

by ShaunC (#48556169) Attached to: AdNauseam Browser Extension Quietly Clicks On Blocked Ads

If you really want to avoid detection and behavior tracking, I highly suggest you entirely disable cookies entirely (yes, I realize this is not worth it at all), otherwise you will not have accomplished what you had hoped.

Self-Destructing Cookies is pretty nice for those who find it impractical to disable cookies entirely.

Comment: Re:If you think about goes beyond wearable (Score 1) 99

by ShaunC (#48551069) Attached to: Civil Case Uses Fitbit Data To Disprove Insurance Fraud

So, if an insurance company thinks you are lying about your disability claim, they could ask law enforcement to grab up the X-ray of that broken ankle you suffered playing in the beer softball league.

If an insurance company thinks you're lying about a disability claim, they aren't going to bother with law enforcement or medical records or some dubious fitness app. They'll hire a $300/day private investigator to follow you around for a few days and get photos of you at the golf course. He'll be checking all of your social media, he's probably going to be in your credit and phone records as well, via legal gray areas. If it's a worker's comp claim, they'll have him tail you until the day you go back to work. Insurance will happily pay a PI $10K a month to follow a suspected fraudster on a $100K claim. They only have to win that bet one out of ten times to break even.

Comment: Re:diff between drone and remote control (Score 1) 325

by ShaunC (#48548611) Attached to: Heathrow Plane In Near Miss With Drone

A by-internet operated drone brings no such level of responsibility or accountability.

Internet operated drones? Even with the more modern RCs, even with higher-end transmitters, you still need line of sight to operate them; we're generally talking 2.4 GHz here. Aside from the military, I don't think anyone is sitting around in their flight ops chair controlling RCs miles away. If you encounter a "drone" somewhere, the operator is nearby.

If entropy is increasing, where is it coming from?