Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Cellphones

Customer Asks For Itemized Bill, Verizon Tells Her To Get a Subpoena 415

Posted by Soulskill
from the customer-is-always-right-when-backed-by-a-court-of-law dept.
suraj.sun writes with this quote from an article at Techdirt: "A woman, who called Verizon to try to find out about the $4.19 she was being charged for six local calls, was told by Verizon reps that the only way it would provide her an itemized bill was to get a lawyer and have the lawyer get a subpoena to force Verizon to disclose the information. Instead, the woman went to court (by herself) and a judge told Verizon (.docx) to hand over the itemized bill info. 'It is a basic matter of fair business practice that a consumer should be able to contact a utility about a charge on a bill and learn what the charge is for and learn that the charge was correctly applied. The only verification that Verizon's witness could offer that a charge like [the customer's] $4.19 measured use charge was accurate and billed correctly was her faith in the accuracy of Verizon's computer system. The only way that Verizon would offer any information about a past charge in response to a consumer inquiry was to require that customer to hire a lawyer and subpoena their own usage information. By no reasonable standard could this be considered reasonable customer service."
Sci-Fi

J.J. Abrams Promises 'Fringe' Will Die Fighting 392

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the walternate-for-president dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Fringe creator J.J. Abrams has said of the show's much-maligned move to Friday nights, 'Fringe deserves to live beyond season 3. If we're going to fail, let's go down doing the most bad ***, weirdest, interesting, sophisticated version of a series that we could possibly do.' Previous announcements about the move were more defensive, claiming that Fringe's shift to Fridays was an attempt to draw younger viewers back to the 'dead zone' of Friday nights. But season three has been confused enough in tone and approach that it's no surprise to hear yet another contradictory statement about its future..." Good episodes of Fringe have been great TV. I've really enjoyed the first half of the season and am looking forward to seeing what they do with it. A lot of mediocre SciFi has been shut down recently (Caprica? SGU?) and a lot of bad SciFi continues (V?) but Fringe flirts with greatness with regularity. I hope it makes it... even though on Friday it's not likely.

Comment: Cyberwar is for the incompetent (Score 3, Insightful) 117

by alexwcovington (#34299306) Attached to: The US-Soviet Cyber Cold War

Cyberwar! It's like war, but for people too dumb to protect themselves.

Don't put critical systems or private data on anything attached to the public Internet. Regularly verify the physical integrity and isolation of all secure systems. For everything else, make regular backups to prevent wiping attacks. This is basic vigilance to protect vital assets.

What I'd like to suggest to every cheap-ass corporate exec that is counting on the government instead of internal IT staff to protect their networks, is to listen to how stupid that sounds.

Security

The US-Soviet Cyber Cold War 117

Posted by samzenpus
from the mutually-assured-ddos dept.
Roberto123 writes "A security expert with the NSA says a cyber cold war is being waged that has significant parallels to the Cold War between the US and Soviet Union. Dickie George says the way to fight the cyber cold war is by building security into technology, making it transparent to the end user, continually monitoring networks and updating their security software."
Businesses

Japanese Game Developers Go West 84

Posted by Soulskill
from the bring-ideas dept.
donniebaseball23 writes "More and more Japanese game studios and publishers are looking toward the West. But as the industry becomes more global, is this really such a bad thing? From the article: 'Gameplay is an art that transcends borders, and it simply makes good business sense to keep your eyes open for opportunities no matter where they present themselves, as Zenimax, EA and THQ clearly have. Far from ruining the Japanese gaming industry, it may in fact save some of the best Japanese developers from considering retirement or a career change. They'll be able to make games on their own terms with their own original IP, and shouldn't it ultimately be about these creative types being able to realize their visions?""
Encryption

Sophos Researcher Suggests Password 'Free' to Spur Wi-Fi Encryption 332

Posted by timothy
from the has-some-drawbacks dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In the wake of concerns about FireSheep sniffing credentials from people using unencrypted public WiFi hotspots, a security researcher has proposed that the problem does not just lie with big websites like Facebook, but also with those who provide free wireless internet access. Chet Wisniewski, a researcher at security firm Sophos, proposes that all free WiFi hotspots should be encrypted — with the password 'free.' ''I propose standard adoption of WPA2 and a default password of "free." Whenever you wish to connect to complimentary WiFi, you select "Courtyard Marriott" or "Starbucks" like you always have, but you are then prompted for a password. Just type "free". It's not hard. In fact, operating system vendors could even program your PC to automatically try the password "free" before prompting you for a password on the assumption that you might be selecting a free service.'"

Comment: No candidate list, no proof of vote (Score 1) 236

by alexwcovington (#34112880) Attached to: An Anonymous, Verifiable E-Voting Tech

Removing the candidate list seems like an dangerous complication to the system. The system can verify that a ballot was collected, but there is no possibility to correct a ballot that was miscounted.

Once removed, voters cannot verify for themselves who they marked their ballot for. On the counting side, it allows for fraud simply by changing the correspondences.

Also, if someone cracks the servers, they could replace or delete every ballot in the country, causing detectable but widespread chaos as every ballot would have to be rescanned.

United States

An Anonymous, Verifiable E-Voting Tech 236

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i-didn't-see-what-you-did-there dept.
Kilrah_il writes "After the recent news items about the obstacles facing E-voting systems, many of us feel it is not yet time for this technology. A recent TED talk by David Bismark unveiled a proposal for a new E-voting technology that is both anonymous and verifiable. I am not a cryptography expert, but it does seem interesting and possibly doable."
Open Source

Desktop Linux Is Dead 1348

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the oh-no-he-didn't dept.
digitaldc writes with this quote from PCWorld: "It kills me to say this: The dream of Linux as a major desktop OS is now pretty much dead. Despite phenomenal security and stability — and amazing strides in usability, performance, and compatibility — Linux simply isn't catching on with desktop users. And if there ever was a chance for desktop Linux to succeed, that ship has long since sunk. ... Ultimately, Linux is doomed on the desktop because of a critical lack of content. And that lack of content owes its existence to two key factors: the fragmentation of the Linux platform, and the fierce ideology of the open-source community at large."
Security

Unspoofable Device Identity Using Flash Memory 145

Posted by timothy
from the double-edged-sword dept.
wiredmikey writes with a story from Security Week that describes a security silver lining to the inevitable errors that arise in NAND flash chips. By seeking out (or intentionally causing) defects in a given part of the chip, a unique profile can be created for any device using NAND flash which the author says may be obscured, but not reproduced: "[W]e recognize devices (or rather: their flash memory) by their defects. Very much like humans recognize faces: by their defects (or deviations from the 'norm') a bigger nose, a bit too bushy eyebrows, bigger cheeks. The nice twist is that if an attacker manages to read your device identity, he cannot inscribe it into his own device. Yes, he can create errors — like we did. But he cannot control where in the block they occur as this relies solely on microscopic manufacturing defects in the silicon."
Communications

Digital Radio Mondiale, a Better Standard Than US-Adopted IBOC? 134

Posted by timothy
from the why-do-you-hate-freedom dept.
Gsparky2004 writes "Over at Engineering Radio, Paul suggests that Digital Radio Mondiale (or 'Digital Radio Worldwide') may be a better alternative than the US-adopted, proprietary IBOC system. But he's concerned that the FCC is too far down the 'IBOC is the way!' road and won't accept an open source alternative, even one that may work better." For a slightly more pointed take on the matter, check out this anti-IBOC site, which paints IBOC as something akin to the devil himself.

Comment: So just forget about home users? (Score 4, Interesting) 107

by alexwcovington (#33671648) Attached to: FCC Set To Finalize Rules For Next-Gen Wireless

Allowing these devices to power up through a 50 mile radius basically speaks to the market the manufacturers are working toward.

These "white space devices" are going to be industrial-scale. They will cost tens of thousands of dollars and will have to be set upon a pretty tall tower or building to even be safe from an EMR standpoint.

It's not home networking. It's not even local area networking. This is a business model for Wireless ISPs that doesn't include an FCC licencing and application process.

That's it. Big Whoop.

Space

+ - The Best Near-term Future of Space Exploration?->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Much fanfare has been made about manned missions to moons and planets but little has been done about travel to the asteroids, that is until now. NASA has announced a trip to the asteroids by 2025. This type of mission has great potential for positive economic return based on the fact that no effort has to be spent on getting in and out of a planet's gravity well. Yes, we should go to the planets, but we should master mining the asteroid belt for resources first because it is easiest. What do you think?"
Link to Original Source

No amount of genius can overcome a preoccupation with detail.

Working...