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Comment: Re:Need laws on effects, not technologies (Score 1) 108

by Spamalope (#46763885) Attached to: 52 Million Photos In FBI's Face Recognition Database By Next Year
Thus they'll have the pictures from drivers license photos. They'll make it mandatory for exercising your constitutionally guaranteed rights(* exclusions apply, complaints accepted in 'free speech' zones only) - so press passes, licenses of all types (esp. for guns) will require it.

Comment: Re:Internal billing is dumb (Score 2) 130

by Spamalope (#46398105) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Automatically Logging Non-Computerized Equipment Use?

The problem is the management structure leading to internal billing sounding like a good idea! Flat rate the costs unless they're really significant and you can't gauge who the users are. Make the flat rate based on 'reserved' units. i.e. a portion of the resources have 'priority' access for a dept. based on the amount the dept. allocated to the budget. They are still shared, but the sponsoring dept. has priority access. Infrequent users use the 'free' equipment or any 'reserved' unit not currently in use. Frequent users can fund additional 'sponsored' units if they need more. While imperfect, it's better than treating each bit of equipment like a rent-way rental.

The AC's idea of an RFID timeclock in the room is great if you must internally bill. A crude measure of usage should work if your office politics aren't toxic. If you really have problems with equipment abuse, you can use a webcam and review it only if there is unreported damage. Review the footage only with a managers approval with public knowledge every time it happens (with penalties for snooping) and you'll make junior NSA drama less likely.

Still, internal billing is very expensive operationally.

Comment: Re:surprised!!!! (Score 1, Interesting) 704

by Spamalope (#46397245) Attached to: Bitcoin Exchange Flexcoin Wiped Out By Theft

Which one is next?

The one the governmental actors target? We know they want to discredit bitcoin. Why not make the effort profitable too? Stealing bitcoin discredits bitcoin while providing 'clean' funds for covert operations. Win-Win!

The folks who created Stuxnet could do this without a doubt. Why is anyone assuming this is being done by 'criminals'?

Comment: Re:What is the big deal with VAIO? (Score 1) 204

by Spamalope (#46174741) Attached to: Sony Selling Off VAIO Computer Business

Add to that all the bloatware that Sony installed as standard and I really can't find an advantage.

At work a secretary played a Celine Deon CD on her PC, infecting it with one of the Sony root-kits just as I was making purchasing decision. I'm sure you're shocked to learn I placed Sony in the 'Hell No!' list.

Should the Sony Vaio division use their severance pay to hire hits on the Sony media division execs? They excluded Sony from consideration from a bit more than $100k of purchases I made...

Comment: Re:One can only hope (Score 1) 206

by Spamalope (#46171033) Attached to: Lawmakers Threaten Legal Basis of NSA Surveillance

Its time to put this experiment to bed. Like prohibition, which lasted 13 years, the Patriot act (now 13 years old), and damage it has caused needs to be rolled back. Not just Section 215, but other major portions of the act as well.

Like Cointelpro, they'll just rename and reshuffle the programs while still doing exactly what they want. You can't reveal they're back at it without committing a felony after all...

Comment: Re:I can image the meetings... (Score 1) 385

by Spamalope (#46164739) Attached to: HP To Charge For Service Packs and Firmware For Out-of-Warranty Customers

Please. We're talking about firmware here. It's pretty well tied to a clock. They don't have to release jack shit. All they have to do is code the time-released bug in the firmware before it even leaves the factory. Wow, your RAID controller failed suddenly 3 months out of warranty? Imagine that...

Nope, my HP server used a different trick. The raid array reports a discharged ram battery after a certain date, forcing the array to stop write back caching. Swapping array controllers and batteries showed that the motherboard firmware not the raid controller is the source of the problem.

Comment: Re:Bugs (Score 1) 385

by Spamalope (#46164451) Attached to: HP To Charge For Service Packs and Firmware For Out-of-Warranty Customers
A friend had one of those HP laptops. The wireless NIC failed first. HP support lied and said it was a Windows issue and she'd have to pay. They played the 'Windows problem' card again when it started locking up with video corruption. Once it failed completely just as the warranty expired they stalled for a few weeks then told her it's out of warranty so sorry!

I found reports showing that her failure was characteristic of HP's Nvidia problem, and that HP had instructed its support folks to lie. We called back and didn't get results without demonstrating a willingness to sue for fraud. HP of course, sent a replacement with the same hardware defect.

As for the current actions, I've not got full purchasing authority for our IT department in the server room. We've got 7 HP servers now. There won't be another. I can go with Supermicro or another white box.

Comment: Re:Yea. So? (Score 1) 306

by Spamalope (#46099573) Attached to: US Forces Coursera To Ban Students From Cuba, Iran, Sudan, and Syria

It seems perfectly reasonable to me that the United States not share its knowledge and higher education with its enemies.

Why? A good general education program in Iran/Afghanistan would do a lot more to help fight the Taliban then the $4,000,000,000,000 they just wasted.

I meant "Iraq", obviously. The USA hasn't started on Iran and Syria yet.

Could that be why Iraq and Afghanistan aren't on this list of banned countries? Outrage!

Comment: Re:Years Away? I call Shenanigans (Score 1) 108

by Spamalope (#45905211) Attached to: Blackhole Exploit Kit Successor Years Away

You have a creative mind, but this has already been solved by non-persistent disks.

If your files and backups have been transparently encrypted for 6 months to a year that will not help you one bit. The key was on a malware server, and only copied to ram so your backup has no copy of the key. Your backups and off line disks newer than a year (or as long as the ransom folks care to wait) are all encrypted.

installing a low level driver. It will encrypt files, and backup programs will back up the encrypted stuff (a la Microsoft's EFS), but the user won't know because the driver will allow reading/writing for a period of time.

In the enterprise, incremental datastore backups as with PHDvirtual would save pre-infection data as long as your backup retention is long enough but the damage would still be severe. Using a transparent driver is really deadly. Hot spares and such would just be hit along with the primary systems.

So what if the ransomware targets existing encrypted backups? Target companies that must encrypt for secure off site backups (HIPAA), swap out the key and hold it for ransom when they need to do disaster recovery. (Say, because your malware wiped the production servers...)

Comment: Re:tracking 20th century style (Score 1) 189

by Spamalope (#45903475) Attached to: Carmakers Keep Data On Drivers' Locations From Navigation Systems

Back in 1980s some do-gooders who want to punish those that frequent pron stores would note the license numbers of their cars, go to DMV to get address. Then send a letter with idea it is the wife that will open and read the letter about where their husband was at.

Today they'll use location data to see if you're part of anything those in political power oppose. If you are you'll be on the IRS audit list, the 'pull out of line' TSA list (if not on the no-fly list), and the 'pre-approval always denied' healthcare list. Why should anyone worry if you have nothing to hide?

Comment: Re:Stronger headlights (Score 1) 295

by Spamalope (#45875615) Attached to: CES: Laser Headlights Edge Closer To Real-World Highways

Why yes I did look it up. I looked up a number of different systems in use. BMW's site has some ad-copy type information regarding the light turning as you do.

Not quite the same systems I assume since the Motorcycle has a banking system. But okay.

My 2001 SLK320's xenon headlights auto level every time I turn them on. You can visibly see them adjust each time. While I've never put a load in the trunk while the headlights are on to test to see whether they adjust continuously, just filling the trunk while the car is off will not result in oncoming drivers being blinded. Crappy aftermarket lights do that.

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