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Comment Re:Holy crap ... (Score 1) 66

The security difference between chip-and-signature and chip-and-PIN matters in only one case, and that is if your physical card is stolen from your wallet. Skimmers, data breaches, shoulder-surfing, all the hacking attacks won't yield the secret key inside the chip, preventing it from being counterfeited. If you don't like the security of your chip-and-signature card because you're afraid your card might be stolen, ask your bank to issue you a chip-and-PIN card instead. If your bank won't, there are plenty of other banks who will, and who will be grateful for your business.

Visa and the retailers originally figured U.S. customers would prefer chip-and-signature because it makes selling things "easy". But that's a pretty stupid attitude, because lots of people (including you and me) are wary about identity theft. Customers need to complain to their banks so that they learn we'd rather have PINs than signatures.

Overall credit card security will still remain terrible for a long time to come because static mag stripes still exist, and online card-not-present transactions still use static authentication data like CVV2 codes. What really needs to happen to actually improve security is that mag stripes and static numbers like CVV2 need to be flat-out outlawed. The recent "liability shift" is the opening salvo in the conversion, but we're probably still a decade away from actual security.

Comment Re:I dunno... (Score 1) 212

Except it's getting really hard to find a "dumb TV." Most of the people that *I've* talked to don't want a smart TV, but fewer and fewer companies making TVs are willing to make TVs without including "smart" features.

Paradoxically, if you want a reasonable number of HDMI ports (so you can attach your own devices) you have to get a smart TV.

Well, it is only smart IF, you connect it to your network. Just leave it disconnected from your network and the internet, and it stays "dumb".


Comment I dunno... (Score 2) 212

I mean, I like to watch stuff on my tablet or phone when I'm out and about and have a moment, or maybe dining alone from time to time.

But at home? That's a different story. I enjoy watching movies especially on a LARGE screen tv 60" or larger preferably. I rarely go to the movie theater anymore, due to pricing and all the damned idiots that won't shut up, noisy kids, etc.

I like to recreate the movie experience at home...and I have a sound system I've built over the years to run with a nice large picture.

No, I don't watch much traditional "network" type television...hell all that turned to stupid "reality shows" or contests of some kind (I remember when the FoodTV and cooking channel used to actually SHOW people cooking with recipes and techniques)...I tune that out.

Of late, good content has started to reappear, like Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, etc. However, with these, I tend to let them finish an annual run, and then binge watch them over a week or so.

But I'd not enjoy good sit down viewing like this with friends or family, or hell, even by myself on a 12", 7" or less size picture.

I want this on a nice LARGE high quality screen. Yes, I am bemoaning the loss of the plasma screen, I still think it has the best blacks, but still.

Of course my eyes are getting worse too..but I don't understand why so many folks seem to be, as this article posits, to be watching everything from a damned cell phone or tablet.

Comment Re:Works for me (Score 1) 136

Manufacturers have long made custom versions of products for specific store chains, and not just TV sets. Pots and pans, clothing, furniture, most products are available to any store that's willing to pay for them. Some stores (like Walmart) have a specific price point, so the manufacturers produce a model without the chrome-plated knobs, the low contrast screens, and use only the cheapest cloned capacitors and dubious quality power supplies.

There's a lot of marketing power in it, too. Not only do they get to offer big TVs for ridiculously low prices, it's also safe to tout benefits like a "150% price match guarantee", when they have the exclusive contract to sell that exact model.

Comment Re:What's Unusual? (Score 1) 91

This new piece of malware shows sophistication of design, but that's not unheard of. Older malware was often customized by compile time switches and definitions; this just abstracts some of that away.

Many people (i.e. journalists and managers) think of malware authors as pimple-faced script kiddies hacking in their mothers' basements. They think that large, well-designed projects require teams of skilled developers who would only do so for a fat paycheck.

What's happened now is that vulnerabilities are so profitable that the threat landscape is no longer the exclusive domain of the single hacker - criminal gangs want a piece of it. They can afford to pay team salaries to engineer a solution.

And malware authors have learned to avoid the biggest risks of getting caught. In the old days a virus writer would also be the distributor. Modern authors get paid by selling their exploit code, along with customization and support contracts, to gangs of attackers. The attackers take on the risks, the developers collect fat checks. In some cases of vertical attacks (ATM skimmers for example), the "owner" of the malware uses cryptography to encrypt the skimmed data, preventing the low-level attackers from profiting from the stolen data. The profits go to the top first, and the paychecks cascade down (assuming honor among thieves.)

So what's newsworthy here is that they believe this malware to be further evidence of a new breed of well organized criminal software developers.

Comment Re:What purpose does registration serve? (Score 1) 192

It's so when your drone does $terroristaction they know were to send the SWAT team.

So, the new way to "SWAT" people you don't like, have their doors broken down, to either steal their drone and do something nefarious with it, or likely could be just as easy as finding out your target's serial number, and just etching that onto ANY drone, as that with the emergency reactions to things, likely they will be happy to get an address and break down your front door and shoot your dog, etc...

Comment Re:I hope... (Score 1) 192

Unless it has to interact with multiple state and federal systems with diverse data formats running on equipment and software that is decades old, and no longer supported, and connecting all of that to the more modern systems of third party private sector companies whose vested interest is in seeing all all fail... then it should be fairly smooth sailing....

I"m willing to bet that indeed it will come at least CLOSE to having all of those parameters you mentioned.

I can't imagine that it won't in some if not many ways have to interact with states, and likely they want to tie it in with several other stove pipe systems. That's just how federal computer projects all seem to "work"...and I use the word "work" here lightly....

Comment Re: Torrent (Score 2) 311

I should be able to easily buy a silencer. In fact most gun owners should be REQUIRED to own silencers to reduce the amount of hearing loss and noise pollution around gun ranges.

It isn't that hard to get a permit for silencers. The best way, I'm looking into, is forming a Gun Trust with some friends. Basically it is a corporation for specially licensed arms. It is nice in that with these, you can generally bypass the local LEO having to sign off on the things like silencers and other things. It is much easier to get your weapons you want within the gun trust set up that as an individual.

Comment Re:Awww (Score 3, Interesting) 93

Because neonicotinoids are among the safest overall pesticides that have ever been developed. They very effectively target insects, but have very minor effects on mammals. The LD50 of Safari is over 2000 mg/kg of body weight in rats. They're rated category III by the EPA, which means 'slightly toxic and/or slightly irritating.'

The big problem is with bees. Neonics are supposedly 150X more lethal to bees than to any other insect genera.

The EU has already banned neonics (possibly because population density is higher and bees may be more shared than in the US); the US is dragging their feet.

"For the love of phlegm...a stupid wall of death rays. How tacky can ya get?" - Post Brothers comics