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+ - The CIA's Social Mining Department->

Submitted by bsquizzato
bsquizzato (413710) writes "The Associated Press is running a story about the CIA's Open Source Center: "a team known affectionately as the 'vengeful librarians'" who work out of "an anonymous industrial park in Virginia, in an unassuming brick building" scouring social networks and other online media to keep up with the world's current events and opinions on American actions. This should come as no surprise, but it is quite interesting that President Obama is briefed daily on the latest hot topic tweets and Facebook posts."
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Comment: Re:A science? (Score 1) 173

by bsquizzato (#37633478) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Good, Relevant Usability Book?

What is graphic design? An art? A science? It's both. It's the science of using art wisely to get a point across, bring attention to something, create a focal point, whatever. There is clear theory associated with that kind of stuff -- about how humans react and process visually. I think usability falls along the same lines.

Comment: Then there's the controversy... (Score 1) 386

by bsquizzato (#37552328) Attached to: HIV Vaccine Trial Shows 90% Immune Response

Even if a vaccine ever ends up being approved for HIV, there's no doubt that there is going to be a whole wave of controversy around actually vaccinating people, as is the case with the HPV vaccine. Since so many parents think that vaccinating their kids for HPV is just giving them another "green light" to have sex when they're younger, I am sure the HIV vaccine would be met with that same response, if not an even greater one. It will be a huge hindrance to a great achievement.

Comment: Re:It's a shame... (Score 1) 668

by bsquizzato (#37264026) Attached to: Measles Resurgent Due To Fear of Vaccination

Wait, and this isn't Darwinism at work either?

Actually, the people most at risk are those who cannot be vaccinated: the very young, and those with weak immune systems. If not for them, I wouldn't care about this sort of thing; for those who choose to ignore science and lose their children to easily preventable disease it's nothing more than Darwinism at work, but it's a tragedy when people die because their neighbors are fools.

Comment: Re:Won't be easy .. or simple. (Score 1) 206

by bsquizzato (#36768096) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Connect Scheme For a 2-ISP Household?

DNS doesn't have to be an issue, if the router can forward DNS requests. Most of the time in a simple home network the router serves as the name server for all the hosts inside the private network. It gets the real DNS IPs from the WAN, but all your hosts point to the inside router IP and it forwards DNS requests along.

It sounds like he wants to use the DSL as a *backup* for his Wifi, not run them both at the same time with complete split routing. But even still, you might be able to statically configure the router DNS and enter in both ISP's name servers. That way it'll do a lookup to both ISPs for a given hostname.

Comment: Gnome3 and Unity... What's the difference? (Score 1) 258

by bsquizzato (#36187736) Attached to: Preliminary Benchmarks: Unity vs. Gnome-Shell

I started using Unity a few weeks ago. Now just taking a glance at the new features in Gnome3 seems like the same new features are offered... The sidebar, new window management, quick search to launch applications. Am I missing something? Are these 2 totally different projects that are delivering practically the same features to the end user?

Comment: Summary is misleading (Score 1) 90

by bsquizzato (#36118452) Attached to: Call Interception Demonstrated On New Cisco Phones

There's no details about anything in that article. Aside from the single picture of one 7975 phone showing RickRolled, it doesn't list vulnerable phone models at all. (Also strange is that the 7975 is a model that doesn't handle video calls on the phone itself, so I'm not sure how a video is playing on it). Despite that, the summary here on Slashdot tells everyone that Cisco's 7900 series of phones is vulnerable with the link given for its "Latest IP Phones". There's more models of phones that Cisco makes ... 3900 series, 500 series, 8900 series, 9900 series, 6900 series to name a few more ( Of those, the 7900 is not the newest.

At least pull your facts from the article, please.

Comment: Waiting for them to wake up... (Score 1) 270

by bsquizzato (#35733148) Attached to: iPad Just Another TV Set?

The only thing I want cable for is sports. More specifically, the one I care about most is NHL hockey. So, that's 1 or 2 channels out of however many hundreds I have to pay $60 for to buy in on HD/digital service. I would gladly rely on HD antenna for "general TV watching" and streamed media for the sports. I'm already paying for fast internet (from my cable provider, imagine that), why not make good use of it?

Well, thank God the NHL offers Gamecenter Live so I can watch NHL on my Roku! Oh wait, the NHL blacks out all my local teams games so that I either have to 1) go to the game or 2) buy cable to watch it. (yes, #3 option is a proxy. Which is against the service agreement, and is a big hassle in itself to get a reliable one unless I know someone with lots of bandwidth willing to run a reliable server in another city.)

Well, guess what, I don't care *enough* to pay the extra $60 to watch my local games. And I'm not enough of a sports nut to watch all these other NHL teams play, and I'd guess I'm not the only one that falls into this market demographic. You could have our subscriptions NHL, but with these stupid policies you get $0.

Comment: Re:So...obvious solution then? (Score 1) 98

by bsquizzato (#35494956) Attached to: Encrypted VoIP Meets Traffic Analysis

Now take hundreds of thousands of calls like yours running through your service provider's network, being transferred to other providers networks, etc. Or, hundreds/thousands of calls running w/in a large enterprise such as from branch offices to HQ. Bandwidth costs money. In situations like these, you try to conserve bandwidth any way you can.

Comment: Re:So...obvious solution then? (Score 3, Interesting) 98

by bsquizzato (#35492550) Attached to: Encrypted VoIP Meets Traffic Analysis

Not so obvious --- now you have a much less efficient use of bandwidth to deal with.

The article describes the method used to detect phrases ...

At a high level, the success of our technique stems from exploiting the corre-lation between the most basic building blocks of speech—namely, phonemes—and the length of the packets that a VoIP codec outputs when presented with these phonemes. Intuitively, to search for a word or phrase, we first build a model by decomposing the target phrase into its most likely constituent phonemes, and then further decomposing those phonemes into the most likely packet lengths. Next, given a series of packet lengths that correspond to an encrypted VoIP conversation, we simply examine the output stream for a sub-sequence of packet lengths that match our model.

Essentially, you gather enough information about how a VBR codec could encode a speech phrase you are looking for, then predict where it was spoken by looking at the "data bursts" being sent in the media stream. We'll need to research a way to "scramble" this predictability that's more efficient than using fixed bitrates, which eats up un-needed bandwidth.

Neckties strangle clear thinking. -- Lin Yutang