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Comment Re:Unavoidable (Score 2) 62

I'm sure that some don't end up in handcuffs simply because the backlog of unpunished actual-bad-guys is so long that nobody even thinks about going after the white and grey hats, unless they embarrass the wrong person or company.

It's also possible, though, that they managed it by perfectly licit means: millions of people pay to have AV companies grovel over their files and send some amount of data back to the mothership; and since certificate problems will affect the behavior of any program that uses the OS-provided certificate store(which is most of them, Firefox being the major exception); anyone with access to a decent slice of web traffic can probably infer the presence or absence of a given certificate on every IE and Chrome user who passes through.

Comment Re:Unavoidable (Score 5, Insightful) 62

The only consolation is that 'superfish' was clear evil, executed with some degree of effectiveness; while the current Dell thing appears to be unbelievable failure at even the concepts behind safe certificate handling; but without an overt evil objective.

It is, at least, possible, that stupid will be cured by enough 3rd party testing; but evil is harder to expunge.

That said, the level of stupid on display here(especially for a company that is supposed to know how to, say, sign and deploy device drivers; and run a website with a secure order form) is pretty terrifying. Bugs are bad; but at least some of them are subtle. Adding a trusted root cert with an easily extractable private key to a huge number of customer systems isn't a 'bug', it's insanity.

Comment Good God; Why? (Score 1) 25

Why would so many companies(some with actual software development experience; and others dangerously willing to try, like Adobe) put up with Pearson software?

I realize that testing isn't a core competency and whatnot; but Pearson provides software; as written by people who shouldn't be allowed to write textbooks; but who are dangerously good at writing contracts. It couldn't possibly be worse if Adobe took a stab at writing a testing module based on some hideous combination of shockwave Xtras and Coldfusion. Hell, extending Lotus Notes to test people for specific credentials, as well as test their sanity, would produce a better result. Why? Why Pearson?

Comment Re:Legality? (Score 1) 290

Actually, people quite regularly ask /. for legal advice from what I've seen here over the years. And IMO, why not? It's not like anyone with any sense wouldn't consult a real attorney first if they were really going to take something to court. But I figure they're just putting out "feelers". Some people on here probably are lawyers by profession and others probably went through legal battles already over similar issues. It's useful to get a rough idea of it you have a case worth making the effort to find a good attorney for and pursue.

Comment Re: pilots once they start flying their unmanned.. (Score 1) 190

Imagine if RC cars were a relatively new thing.. and people started attaching cameras to them and driving them on the freeway around emergency responders.

There are already laws in place to punish anyone doing such a thing. Just like there already are for flying model airplanes in the way of real aircraft.

Comment Re:Infringing on the freedom of the press (Score 1) 190

Because vehicle registration like that is a state-level activity, not a federal activity. And congress, in the 2012 FRMA law, explicitly fended the FAA off from doing some of this stuff. But the Obama administration is trying yet another counter-constitutional end-run by acting at the DoT level instead of the FAA level, and the task force is recommending that EVERY RC FLYING ANYTHING, including a kid's 9-ounce fixed wing toy plane, make that kid subject to federal registration and fines if he doesn't. Yeah, 9 ounces. 250 grams. Are you paying attention?

Comment Re:Speaking of recruitment... (Score 1) 385

The 'not living in a vacuum' issue is sort of the whole point: my question is whether we lose more by having garden-variety not terribly dangerous losers 'radicalized' into more dangerous ones; or whether we gain more by having an outlet for people to make their intentions clear by running off to fight in Syria. This obviously isn't an ideal scenario; but given the difficulty we've had in distinguishing between the merely disgruntled and the actively dangerous; that sort of clarity has some value.

Comment Speaking of recruitment... (Score 3, Interesting) 385

Aside from the intelligence advantages of having people who are comparatively difficult to infiltrate in person voluntarily post lots of stuff to online services almost entirely within western jurisdictions; I have to wonder how much of the freak-out about ISIS' Twitter Accounts!!! is reasonable, and how much of it is a petulant reaction from western military and intelligence officials who have no real experience with not enjoying substantial media cooperation and the ability to keep things 'on message' as they prefer.

They certainly like to talk about 'radicalization' as though it is something that can insidiously corrupt anyone exposed to enemy propaganda, regardless of their prior circumstances; but what do we actually know about the impressionability of these 'radicalized' targets? Does it actually work on anyone; or primarily on people who were somewhere between deeply skeptical of, and overtly hostile to, 'the west' in the first place?

In the same vein, given that there are nontrivial numbers of people who are anywhere between skeptical and hostile; are we actually worse off if the sinister terrorist propaganda incites them to leave and go join the glorious struggle in jihadistan? Yes, having more recruits available makes our attempt to pretend that Iraq isn't a total clusterfuck harder; but it also means that the people who most actively dislike us are no longer living next door and brooding; but off getting themselves killed, or enjoying their medieval theocracy.

I'd certainly wan to avoid having people leave and then return; that is just asking for trouble; but are we actually worse off if the people who like us least have an exciting relocation option?

Comment Re:Apple Music (Score 1) 460

I have no interest in defending Android's attempt at having a 'back' button, which is indeed riddled with inconsistency and confusion; but it seemed worth a mention because being able to say 'whatever I just did, undo it' is an important aspect of making a UI discoverable(especially when the screen size is such that the icons and labels don't have as much room to be descriptive); and it is an area where Apple went from doing it pretty well to not even bothering. Android is pretty lousy; but nobody writes articles about their declining standards; because that's just expected(and, given what Android used to look like, it's not clear that there was much room to get worse).

As for right-click, it is true that Apple OSes have supported right click for quite some time; but that doesn't change the fact that Apple was by far the most aggressive in requiring that a single-button mouse be treated as a first-class use case, with additional mouse buttons or keypress and click combinations treated as optional alternatives. With the possible exception of some esoteric X11 window manager, I don't know of anything that required a multibutton mouse; but the default baseline in Windows was always two buttons; with alternatives to right-click often being pretty clunky; and sometimes nonexistent in 3rd party software.

Comment Re:I just can't see it. (Score 1) 34

I think that the plan is to keep squeezing the humans, larger caseloads, less training, lower pay and status, until the quality of human-provided care is sufficiently grim that you'll accept the efficient neutrality of the robots as the lesser of two evils.

The process certainly hasn't been completed; but there are some good examples to be found in areas of medicine that are(whether anyone is willing to say it in so many words or not) seen as largely futile cost centers: nursing homes seem to provide a lot of the good horror stories; lots of frail old people, aggressive cost cutting in staff/patient ratios and staff salary and qualifications, and then grandma isn't being checked often enough to keep ghastly bedsores away.

It's not that 'telemedicine' doesn't have potential, or valid use cases, being able to consult with colleagues, even if you are out in the sticks, is obviously helpful; and there isn't much sense in having a country GP also doing his own labs, cultures, and x-ray film developing in the evening; but, as in other areas where automated interfaces are being pushed as a replacement for humans, cost cutting will end up being a major use; presumably by a mixture of directly replacing some jobs, where possible, and allowing others to be filled with cheaper, lower skill, people because now the expert systems and the remote specialists are handling the tricky questions.

All power corrupts, but we need electricity.