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Comment: Re:Encryption would have been too slow (Score 1) 149

by bsDaemon (#46664987) Attached to: TCP/IP Might Have Been Secure From the Start If Not For the NSA

At the time the Internet was the (D)ARPANET and export to other countries wasn't really on the horizon anyway. I think had this gone into place, the headline would be "Internet may have been commercially adapted decades sooner, if not for built-in security mechanisms."

Comment: Re:Why are the corps against this? (Score 2) 158

The way I heard it described on the news this morning, the proposal was to allow you to "cancel a phone like a credit card," which sounded to me like you could call up with the ESN and have it black listed and they would have to do it. Right now, the phone companies have a conflict of interest in that they get to sell you a knew phone, and sell another service plan to your old phone, assuming it stays in the country. They make probably at least as much, if not more, off of cell phone theft than the muggers who swipe it out of your hand on the Metro do.

I think there are other proposal that allow you to have the phone bricked via some technical control, but it seems like that is open to all kinds of abuse.

Comment: Re:Unconstitutional (Score 2) 158

Regulation of Interstate and International Commerce? They could ban the importation of devices which do not have this feature. Maybe they can't require you to purchase a phone that has it, but they can make it impossible not to. Or, do you know of a cell phone that was made entirely in the town/state you live in and which doesn't at any times cross state borders? Didn't think so.

At least, that's the argument that they'll make -- the same one they always make when people claim that the Federal government doesn't have the "constitutional authority" to do something. Arguing against it isn't going to get you very far, whether or not you're right.

Comment: Re:"... as a means to reduce theft." (Score 1) 158

With Rolex, when you buy it the jeweler usually registers it with Rolex for you. If it is ever sent for servicing (which legitimate owners should do about every 5-7 years if they actually care about the movement of the watch), Rolex checks the registration and check to make sure that it hasn't been stolen. Pawn shops could (but many probably don't) call Rolex and ask. Other thing is -- don't forget to have the registration updated in your will or something, otherwise your children might be in for a hassle if they send it for servicing. At least, this is how the dealer explained it to me.

So, assuming the watch gets sent for servicing (most likely by whomever buys it after the thief hocks it), there is sort of a remote kill-switch for Rolex.

Comment: Re:That's all the proof I need .. (Score 2) 137

by bsDaemon (#46390381) Attached to: Russians Suspected of Uroburos Spy Malware

The USSR was no where near as powerful as the USSR that was presented via propaganda (from both sides). I would argue that Russia has much of Europe in a tighter noose now via natural gas exports than they did during Soviet days. Many of the gas lines also run through Ukraine by necessity, which is probably what this is really about as opposed to any feigned concern for Russian speakers in Crimea. It is true that Russia doesn't have as many satellites in its sway as it once did, but that's also largely to do with the evolution of the EEC to the EU as well as US and British pushes to get former Soviet states into NATO. However, while Russia doesn't have the political sway that it once did, that doesn't mean that regaining as much of that sway as possible isn't a motivator for Putin.

Regaining degraded national prestige and empire has been a motivating factor for both Hard and Soft dictators throughout history. Not to Godwin this, but the precursory actions in WWII involved annexation of German-speaking areas that were lost to the German Empire after WW1. Likewise, Mussolini laid claim to much of the non-European territories formerly held by the Roman Empire (There is a reason why he adopted the fasces and why man hole covers in Italy are stamped SPQR these days). I believe that it is short sighted to say that because Russia does not have the influence that it once did that Putin will not try and gain as much of it back as possible.

The major difference is that the USSR was an Ideology State, much like the United States is. It was meant to be the shining beacon for radical, revolutionary socialism and communism and as such enjoyed the support of left-wing workers' groups, academics and politicians around the world, whom they also supported in turn. The Russian Federation is a nation state based on the historical territory of a specific set of ethnic groups bound together by history, blood and language. It's much more like South Korea in that way, and that lack of ideological status is what will keep them from regaining Soviet-era sphere of influence. Beyond money, it isn't like anyone will be driven to spy for Russia these days who isn't a Russian. There are no Reds lurking in the halls of power looking for juicy secrets to pass to their ideological brothers in arms.

With regards to your initial points, I'll accept my overstatement on Ukrainian deaths. I had that number stuck in my head for a long time. I may have been confusing it with similar Chinese issues (Communism tends to kill large numbers of people via stupidity as well as malice). However, I don't think that Yeltsin stating that he chose Putin to be his successor can necessarily be taken at face value. If a stone-cold killer had one over on you, what would you do? The fishiness comes from the resignation as opposed to a coupe. A coupe can be attributed outright. The fact that Yeltsin resigned, put a former intelligence officer with ties to the legal and illegal oligarchy (many of whom were also former KGB officers who leveraged those positions for economic gain after the fall of the Soviet Union), who then was able to play a shell game of power to where he has been either President or Prime Minister since 1999, smacks of strong-arming to me. However, that is supposition. I'm not in possession of any intelligence on the matter that hasn't already been made public.

However, for the sake of comparison, since Putin assumed control of the Kremlin, the United States has been through 4 Speakers of the House (Gingrich, Hastert, Pelosi, Boehner) and 3 Presidents (Clinton, Bush, Obama). Obama will be out of office in 2016, but I am willing to bet that Putin will be around one way or another for some time to come. As the swap to Prime Minister showed, he is only limited by the conservativeness of his terms, not the number.

Comment: Re:That's all the proof I need .. (Score 1) 137

by bsDaemon (#46388715) Attached to: Russians Suspected of Uroburos Spy Malware

Putin is a former KGB officer (Lt. Colonel) who once referred to the fall of the Soviet Union as "the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century." Communist or not at this point, it almost doesn't matter. Call it the will to re-establish the Russian Empire. Putin likely sees himself as a latter-day Peter the Great, and is currently operating unchecked by a US executive branch and foreign policy apparatus that at best can be said to embody the culmination of Khrushchev's promise to "bury [the us] from within."

Do you not consider it fishy that Yeltsin, who was largely responsible for the dissolution of the Soviet union, and who was seen as having had the support of the US in doing so would "unexpectedly resign" to make way for a hardliner with strong ties to the intelligence services? There is a reason that people call his approach to governing "Soft Stalinism" -- Stalin was crushing opponents and literally airbrushing them out of history before Photoshop was remotely on the horizon.

Twenty million Ukrainians starved to death during forced collective farming in the first five-year plan of the Soviet Union. Leon Trotsky [Lev Bronstein] was a Ukrainian by birth (in much the same way that Joseph Stalin was a Georgian, the Bolshevik Revolution wasn't particularly Russian in nature). The animosity between Russian-speaking and non-Russian-speaking peoples in the Ukraine CANNOT be separated historically from rise nor fall of the Soviet Union, nor with the Crimean War when Russia first conquered Ukraine and brought into its fold the first time -- hence why Trotsky was able to participate in the revolution at such as senior level, and why Ukraine was there to suffer so greatly so early under the Soviet system.

And regardless of any status of moral authority after the Iraq war, the fact that the US got involved in Iraq in the way we did doesn't take away from the issue at hand in Crimea now, any more than "But NSA!!!" makes actions by FSB (or, more likely, criminal organizations who have quid-pro-quo agreements with FSB) any less bad.

Comment: headhunters suck (Score 1) 209

by bsDaemon (#45870277) Attached to: Headhunters Can't Tell Anything From Facebook Profiles

I get contacted on linkedin a few times a month by recruiters. Half the time it is people who work for companies and actually want to talk to me. The other half it is third-party head-hunters, and what they want is for me to tell them anyone who may be interested: ie, they contact me, a stranger, and ask me to do their job for them. Of course, they usually offer a finder's fee of some sort, but if a recruiter/headhunter doesn't have his or her own bag of tricks, or even an hr professional subscription to LinkedIn, then what good is he/her?

As for recruiting internally, I have had to coach the recruiters at the company I work for as to what the look for, what type of candidate is acceptable for different departments, etc. I nearly have the company record on employee referrals, and now managers in other departments will often times come to me and ask if I know anyone rather than relying on "talent acquisition" to find them someone suitable. But hell, at $2500 a pop, its almost like a nice little part-time job, so they can keep being as useless as they want to be as far as I'm concerned. There's never going to be a substitute for a vouch from a trusted source, no matter what type of "screening" HR ever gets a hold of.

Comment: Re:Isn't this what the Taiwanese believe as well? (Score 1) 262

by bsDaemon (#45283075) Attached to: Taiwan Protests Apple Maps That Show Island As Province of China

Yes. And RoC had the permanent seat in the UN Security Council until we (the US), decided to change our recognition of 'China' to the PRC instead of the RoC, in order to try and open divisions in the Communist Bloc during the Vietnam War. I know what Taiwan is and where it comes from. She's a Mandarin speaker and definitely 'Chinese' in an ethnic sense. She just hates being called Chinese for some reason, probably political. I don't know... maybe it's like calling a Scot and Englishman or something, but I've never been brave enough to try that :)

Comment: Re:Isn't this what the Taiwanese believe as well? (Score 5, Informative) 262

by bsDaemon (#45280323) Attached to: Taiwan Protests Apple Maps That Show Island As Province of China

My wife was born in Taiwan. She and anyone in her family gets extremely angry if you refer to them as "Chinese," despite being ethnically Chinese, speaking Mandarin, etc. Good luck convincing her, her family, or frankly anyone else Tawainese I've ever met that they're "part of China" and that there is "nothing they should object to."

That said, this is a result of using ISO codes instead of FIPS codes. We had a customer escalation come through a while back about Taiwan being listed as a province of China in our geolocation information. We had switched from a FIPS 10-4 source to an ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 source, which ad the side effect of pissing off our Taiwanese customers.

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