Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?
What's the story with these ads on Slashdot? Check out our new blog post to find out. ×

Comment Re:They hired a low bid contractor! (Score 1) 71

Not too much of a difference these days that I can see. Except in the case of the government you, at least theoretically, have Constitutional protections.

The SC has said very little about privacy in the last many decades, but the basic principle is that you have no right to privacy for information that has ever been shared with anyone else. So you have no constitutional protections. You have some *very* weak protections through the privacy act. Depending on what state you live in, you likely have more legal protection in the case of data breaches at private companies.

Comment Re:Over 20 million employees? (Score 1) 71

The most shocking statement in this article, to me, is that there are more than 20 million government employees in the US...that's over half the population of Canada!

It's not 20M current employees.

It's everybody who's worked directly for the government or worked as a contractor who needed regulary access to a government facility or needed a security clearance (probably mostly contractors) since 2000, and maybe before. And people who applied in that period and got as far as the investigation forms and were declined. It's everyone who filled out one of three forms: SF-85 (people in non-sensitive positions), SF-85P (people in "public trust" but not national security positions, and SF-86 (security clearances secret or higher), including all the information from the investigation.

Comment Re:Some notifications already out (Score 3, Informative) 71

The first one was about 4M people, all direct USG employees. The second was at least 22M people, a very large fraction of whom are contractors who work for companies of various sizes and need regular access to USG facilities or sensitive information. It's more significant information about many more people, and they've done pretty much nothing about it other than blame China for doing exactly the same thing the the US would have done (and may have...)

Comment Re:They hired a low bid contractor! (Score 1) 71

Yes I do. And if you think you haven't lost SSN; or the equivalent in your country; age, sex, address, and other information from banks, retailers and other companies you are naive.

The OPM breach is a whole lot more than that for anybody with a clearance. It includes lists of friends, neighbors, associates, their contact information, things that they know about you that may not be in any database, how long they've known you, plus financial information, in some cases medical information, all neatly collated and verified for millions of people.

Comment Re:They hired a low bid contractor! (Score 1) 71

This isn't credit card data we're talking about here, this is just about all the information you can get on someone.

And has been collated and verified through alternate sources. It's not like you can give a bunch of fake information every time you renew your access (security clearance or otherwise) - they check it against what they already have and what they get from other agencies and your references and follow up if there are significant changes/differences.

Comment Re:Assume it's all out there. (Score 1) 71

Well it's worse now.

It wasn't clear if that laptop had all the content of the SF-85/85P/86 forms, I don't think they admitted to it being more than the information they used as default passwords for the eQIP system plus basic ID information of who they belonged to. The OPM breach is the complete contents of the forms that everyone filled out since 2000, plus all the investigation data (not much if you're an SF-85, but potentially quite a lot if you're an SF-86). And they had such poor security that they pretty much gave it all away.

Comment Re:12 Month Isolation (Score 1) 81

These guys went around the world submerged in 60 days: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

And it's likely that other US subs have spent as much or more time submerged since then, though it may not be publicly advertised, or even acknowledged.

Subs are much larger than the mars dome thing, but may have less area per person. WWII era subs were pretty small for the number of people aboard and could do ~60 day patrols without getting off the boat, though they would surface (mostly at night) and people could get a little fresh air occasionally.

Comment Re:It doesn't work. (Score 4, Insightful) 396

And for a process supposedly based on data, it ignores the largest data point that has been validated with over a 100 years of research: after 40 hours your employees aren't contributing anything. In knowledge based economies it's even lower, after about 30 hours you're just killing time.

Just quoting this part, but the rest of your post is a worthwhile read, too--I'd mod it up if I had points.

I've seen a lot of people who "work 80+ hour weeks" it's pretty rare that any of them are doing even 30 hours of productive work most of the time. In some cases they're such a mess that they're breaking things and moving things backwards. It's one thing to have a crunch and work double for a week or two or three. Sometimes it happens, and in many cases you can even be productive for it. But when people try to sustain it, it breaks things. Where I am, QA are expected to stop you from working if you've been on shift more than 12 hours and are touching hardware. Or even if you look tired. And if it's friday and there's a big task that has to get done? Sometimes the best thing you can do is send everybody home-- stuff gets broken on friday afternoons and weekends when everybody's tired and in a hurry.

Comment Re:"cost online publishers" (Score 1) 528

Some advertisers per impression.

If they're getting paid per impression it would be very easy for them to serve ads that can't be easily blocked and are unobtrusive-- serve them from their own servers as part of the content and have an audit trail so advertisers can verify. Much like newspapers do. Nobody, as far as I know, chooses to do that. They'd rather just plug in a bit of code to let advertisers stick in their content, no matter how irritating.

Comment Re:How shit like this starts (Score 1) 480

Years ago I worked in the lab in a small company that addressed that very easily - we just put everybody in the lab in lab coats. Once you put on the lab coat, it doesn't really matter what you're wearing as long as you have closed toed shoes (which we had anyway). The type of lab work we were requiring didn't really need lab coats, but they also weren't particularly inconvenient or uncomfortable, either.

Where I am now, I can pretty much wear plain t-shirts and jeans every day, and shorts when it's warm, but I keep jeans around in case I have to go into a smock-only cleanroom (you have to have long pants, or else find a full bunny suit).

Comment Re:In other news (Score 1) 430

If only there were some type of a device that could provide unlimited communication wirelessly over a large area with only a small initial investment...

That would be great if I only ever needed to talk to co-workers, and there were only a few other roaming people on the site, rather than 5000+. I need to talk to a lot of external people (can't give them radios) and giving everybody who travels around the site a 2 way radio would make for some awfully busy radio traffic. Not to mention that it would be easy for anybody to listen in on all that as well.

Comment Re:In other news (Score 1) 430

There was a group of employees who managed to get company issued cellphones. These employees never took them off premises and were never on call. They left them at their desks to charge every night.

There are legitimate use cases for cell phones in the case you describe. I work on a 500+ acre work site with hundreds of buildings and my work takes me all over the site to the extent that there are days when I don't even see my desk. If I didn't have a company issued cell, it could be days before people got ahold of me by phone. It would still be perfectly reasonable to have a company issued phone, even if I never took it home.

Promising costs nothing, it's the delivering that kills you.