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Comment: How to Deal with Bullies (Score 1) 232

by alphatel (#49302677) Attached to: FTC: Google Altered Search Results For Profit
G have been slowly creeping to the dark side for some time now. Everything is about profit, like any corporation, and there's nothing truly free even when they hand it to you gift-wrapped. And to top it off they are more than happy to use the media to toss aside the FTC's original case dismissal and settlement, when in fact it's pretty clear they did abuse their search power. G is a monopoly. You know it. I know it. We refuse to change our habits and as such continue to empower them.

People rallied against Microsoft for less. We now see how inconsequential a browser is to any OS experience, and G quickly overcame IE and FF simply by producing the best webkit experience.

So we have one choice here. Find and use a new preferred search engine. I know this whole idea sucks because other than porn, most other search engines suck for everything. But if we keep empowering G, they can keep buying their way out of these things and mocking us. I am tired of being laughed at by my search engine, letting it scrape every other site, ranking them based on how much money G will make, and paying them for the hard labor.

No listen, I am serious! I might actually start using a different engine if you can show me it's just half-damn decent.

+ - Google caught altering search-results for profit->

Submitted by mi
mi (197448) writes "We've always suspected, this may happen some day — and, according to FTC's investigation inadvertently shared with the Wall Street Journal, it did.

In a lengthy investigation, staffers in the FTC’s bureau of competition found evidence that Google boosted its own services for shopping, travel and local businesses by altering its ranking criteria and “scraping” content from other sites. It also deliberately demoted rivals.

For example, the FTC staff noted that Google presented results from its flight-search tool ahead of other travel sites, even though Google offered fewer flight options. Google’s shopping results were ranked above rival comparison-shopping engines, even though users didn’t click on them at the same rate, the staff found. Many of the ways Google boosted its own results have not been previously disclosed."

Link to Original Source

+ - In 1998, I told the major labels to create their own iTunes. They laughed at me.->

Submitted by journovampire
journovampire (1284988) writes ""I started to believe that there a simple solution of how record companies could take back some control as the internet age dawned: let’s make... a digital download store owned by all of the major labels, with some independent equity if we can manage it, that can service the market just as we do successfully in the physical world. I brought the idea to the NVPI and raised it. The first response was laughter. Lots of laughter.""
Link to Original Source

+ - Ask Slashdot: Should I let my kids become American citizens? 3

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Dear fellow Slashdotters,

Can you help me decide whether to allow my small daughter and son to become American citizens?

I am American and my partner is Swedish. We have both lived in Belgium for many years and have no plans to leave. I became a Belgian citizen some years ago and kept my American citizenship. My partner has both her original Swedish and now Belgian citizenship. We are not married. Instead we have a registered partnership, which is common in northern Europe, confers most of the benefits of marriage, and raises no eyebrows. However, the American government does not recognize such partnerships so in their eyes I am still single.

Generally, children of American citizens abroad automatically become American citizens themselves at birth. But our kids fall under an exception. Male American citizens who live abroad and have children out of wedlock with a non-citizen mother do not automatically transmit citizenship to their children unless they sign an “affidavit of support” promising to support their children until the age of 18. If you don’t sign before the child reaches 18, the child is not considered an American citizen. This has been upheld by two Supreme Court rulings (Nguyen v. INS and Flores-Villar v. United States). For legal beagles, the relevant statutes are 8 U.S.C. 1401 and 1409.

The kids have Swedish and Belgian citizenship. We could go down to the American consulate and get American citizenship for them any time, but I keep putting off the decision and I am not sure I want to do it at all. Sentimentally I would like the kids to have American citizenship, but there is really only one practical pro to it:

* American citizenship would allow them to live, work, or study in America more easily, if they choose, when they get older.

The cons:

* They would be immediately enmeshed in the U.S. tax bureaucracy, which would require them to file U.S. tax returns for life even if they never set foot in the U.S. This, as I know from experience, is a huge bother, even when you don’t owe anything.
* Sometimes they would owe U.S. tax, though, for example for capital gains, unearned income, and in some countries self-employment income.
* My son would have to register for the draft.
* The decision, once made, is difficult to back out of: renouncing one’s U.S. citizenship costs $2300 and a lot of paperwork.
* They can easily travel to the US for family visits as Belgian/Swedish citizens.
* There are lots of good universities in Europe. And if they really wanted to study in the U.S., it’s not too hard to do as a European.

What do you think I should do? The clock is ticking, and I find it hard to choose between the evil of not being able to be American if they choose, and the evil of unjust, lifelong pursuit by the IRS.

Yours sincerely,
A loyal Slashdotter.

Here are two good relevant links:
https://americansabroad.org/is...
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12..."

+ - Can anyone suggest a credential escrow service? 4

Submitted by talexb
talexb (223672) writes "I have a web site client who would like to have login credentials to take over their web site in the event that I get hit by a truck (heaven forbid). I'm happy to give them this information, but I worry about unauthorized use — the well-meaning client gives them to a friend 'just to look around' and the friend does something that breaks a production web site (yes, I have backups). I'd love to have that information stored somewhere on the web, in a way that's protected and secure, yet easily available by the right person with the right passphrase."

Comment: Re:We need hardware write-protect for firmware (Score 4, Informative) 324

by alphatel (#49157979) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Does One Verify Hard Drive Firmware?

What good will physical switches do if a virus is waiting for you to flip that switch to write-enable so that it can now infect the HDD firmware? Switches would be useful if you never update the firmware. In which case, eliminate the switch and make the firmware permanently read-only. My point is, we need a more secure way to update firmware.

Unless the virus is resident in Bios, (which can also be protected in the same manner), it would be impossible to be infected if you are in a power off state, then enable your switch/jumper, power on, flash your firmware, then disable the switch/jumper after completion before booting into your OS.

In the old floppy days things were pretty much this way. Time to go back.

+ - Snowden Film 'Citizenfour' Wins Oscar for Best Documentary->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Citizenfour, a film chronicling the living history of Edward Snowden's unprecedented heist of U.S. government secrets, won the Academy Award for best documentary Sunday night—an unusual feat for a movie so critical of a sitting president's policies.

Directed by Laura Poitras, the political thriller captures Snowden in a claustrophobic Hong Kong hotel room in the days leading up to and after the release of the first of batch of classified documents that publicly revealed the sweeping scope of the National Security Agency's mass surveillance of phone and Internet communications."

Link to Original Source

+ - Superfish Added to Windows Defender Database->

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "Lenovo's Superfish adware placed its own security certificate on the machine and created a local man-in-the-middle attack by intercepting encrypted traffic to inject advertisements. By nature such actions are a security threat to Windows, and this is where Microsoft has stepped in. A new definition update for Windows Defender will make it detect Superfish as potentially unwanted software and cause a security alert, with the recommended action being to remove the software immediately. This will also help to protect those who were not aware of issue or did not know how to remove the certificate. It has been noted that from Firefox the certificate has to be removed separately."
Link to Original Source

+ - Online black market 'Darkleaks' lets you trade secrets for bitcoin->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "An anonymous online black market site, Darkleaks, has been discovered which facilitates whistleblowing and helps blackmailers make money from selling confidential and valuable data in exchange for Bitcoin. The decentralized black marketplace is built on blockchain technology and is available to download as a free software package, with its source code published openly on code-sharing site Github. According to a blog post introducing the site, “there is no identity, no central operator and no interaction between leaker and buyers.” This anonymity is assured through blockchain which encrypts the files released when the payment is taken by the ‘leaker’, says developer Zozan Cudi. The developers say that Darkleaks will help “stop corruption and challenge power”, but there seems to be no limit to the files sellers and buyers can trade in, freely and anonymously – “government secrets”, “celebrity sex pictures” and “military intelligence”, among other critical and highly sensitive information."
Link to Original Source

+ - Lenovo pre-installs malware injecting ads and spoofing SSL certs->

Submitted by janoc
janoc (699997) writes "Lenovo is pre-installing adware/malware called Superfish on their laptops which serves ads for products you may be browsing/shopping for, "but cheaper". Unfortunately it also breaks into SSL sessions by installing a false root certificate, allowing for potential snooping on secure sessions."
Link to Original Source

+ - Spyware Developed By NSA Resides In HDD Firmware

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Russian computer security firm Kaspersky has uncovered spyware code buried in the firmware of common hard disk drives. The spyware kit has been customized to support all major HDD brands. Most of the infections have occurred in countries that are frequent US spying targets, such as China, Iran, Pakistan and Russia. Kaspersky declined to publicly name the country behind the spying campaign, but said it was closely linked to Stuxnet, the NSA-led cyberweapon that was used to attack Iran's uranium enrichment facility. A former NSA employee told Reuters that Kaspersky's analysis was correct, and that people still in the intelligence agency valued these spying programs as highly as Stuxnet. Another former intelligence operative confirmed that the NSA had developed the prized technique of concealing spyware in hard drives, but said he did not know which spy efforts relied on it. Kaspersky published the technical details of its research on Monday, which should help infected institutions detect the spying programs, some of which trace back as far as 2001."

Comment: Re:This sounds vaguely familiar ... (Score 1) 215

by alphatel (#49037271) Attached to: Russia Seeking To Ban Tor, VPNs and Other Anonymizing Tools

Obama believes Silicon Valley companies also want to solve the problem. “They’re patriots.” ...

A patriot is "a person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors." Corporations run to whatever country will shelter them. They have no allegiance unless it empowers them financially or otherwise.

Snowden would qualify as a better patriot than any corporation since he is 1) a person (and not in the deluded SCOTUS sense either), and 2) he is prepared to defend it against ITSELF. The setback for him is his country will not let him back without sitting in a jail cell for the remainder of his life.

No amount of careful planning will ever replace dumb luck.

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