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Journal: H2G2: The saga?

Journal by Timex

I was talking to someone at work about how some of the best political wisdom I've heard came from a Douglas Adams book, specifically the bit about how the ones who aspire to positions of authority are those least qualified to have said positions. The conversation then devolved into how the Beeb had created a site to act as a real-life Guide.

Comment: Re:How does it rate (Score 1) 2

by Timex (#47737551) Attached to: Certification: Update

Considering this is my first professional certification, I don't know if I can aptly answer that. I can tell you this:

  • SANS certifications are notorious for being difficult.
  • SANS Certifications are well-known in the industry. These are not some fly-by-night "let's give certs away" things.
  • They certainly are not inexpensive. This certification costs something in the neighborhood of $4,000 to take. The first exam attempt is around $600. If you fail and need to try again, it will cost you around $300 or so.
  • The certification is good for four years.

So... I'm actually pleased at having passed this. :)

Comment: Re:Net Neutrality = Communism (Score 1) 52

by JohnnyComeLately (#47466225) Attached to: Telcos Move Net Neutrality Fight To Congress

Besides, we also have recent precedence on this. There are laws which prohibited certain anti-competitive behavior for newspapers. If you stifle the channels of communication, say the printing press in the 1800s, then you control the narrative(s). Today, the Internet is uniquely in that very same position. If you allow a privately owned organization to take self-serving priorities, with no competitive alternatives available, then you are again in a position where the narrative is dictated. Let's say Comcast buys Fox, and now only Fox content streams quickly. A Comcast subscriber decides to hear the alternative side of the narrative, say from MSNBC or CNN, but they get constant "spinning wheels," as they wait. Occasionally they get resets (as ISPs have been caught doing to P2P), or accidental DNS redirects to blackholes.

Also, the Internet was originally developed by the government and universities, and did not prioritize traffic. Imagine, for example, if GPS were to be "bought" by GE. You can only get fine positioning if you pay $x a month, but if you don't, you get 200m accuracy. Maybe this is your street to turn on, maybe it was a block back.

+ - Watching All Three Transformers Films Simultaneously->

Submitted by bonch
bonch (38532) writes "Red Letter Media, home of the Plinkett Star Wars prequel reviews, sat down to watch the first three Transformers films at the same time. The films synced up several times (particularly the first two), from character introductions to action beats. However, the sheer chaos of the the third acts was like 'a noisy bar' that was impossible to process."
Link to Original Source
User Journal

Journal: Certification fun! 1

Journal by Timex

My employer pretty-well insisted that I get a certification. They went so far as to pay for the training and the first exam attempt.

To that end, I'm working on GCUX through SANS. So far, so good. It's pretty interesting.

From what I'm reading about how to prepare for the exam itself, it would be to my benefit to prepare a thorough index- something in the area of 30-50 pages long. O_O

Comment: Re:If you have the opportunity (Score 1) 433

by JohnnyComeLately (#47069327) Attached to: U.S. Drone Attack Strategy Against Al-Qaeda May Be Wrong

"You may not care about justice, but your organizations lack of concern for those princibles are exactly why I just see them as a gang of murderers."

How do you know what I care about? You don't even have a basic understanding of how a strike or target package gets put together, and yet, come to a stated conclusion. I'll assume this will fall on deaf ears, but take some time to understand a topic before condemning. First, every member in the US military goes through LOAC training every year. If you're a cook or a sniper, you know The Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC). Then, Rules of Engagement (RoE), which any US military member involved with the application of kinetic force (e.g. snipers, infantry, fighter pilots, etc) is trained and held accountable. Then, understand how how the military gets information from people, and then you might BEGIN to understand the premise of what's happening. I can't find open source (read: unclassified) reports on how the target packages are put together, so I'll avoid specifics, but I did allude to it in my original message. This also is still incomplete because there are also Military Lawyers involved. Yes, a lawyer can say, "NO GO," when everything else says, "GO!".

No one hates war more than a war fighter. 100,000+ Americans did not decide they really wanted to go visit Afghanistan for sun and fun, but political and other factors that manifested after Sept 11, 2001 changed things.

Comment: Re:If you have the opportunity (Score 1) 433

by JohnnyComeLately (#47068895) Attached to: U.S. Drone Attack Strategy Against Al-Qaeda May Be Wrong

An airstrike does not happen in your scenario for two main reasons (among many others): Source grade and single source rules.

First, your Guy C is an unknown. His source report will grade him very low. It will be low because he's never reported before, nothing he said is corroborated through 3rd, unrelated sources and for some other reasons. All source reports are given a grade and only reports above a certain grade are acted upon. The rest are treated as, "stuff you might read on the internet."

Second, no strike package is getting approved with a single source HUMINT...even if it's graded at the very top (reliable from previous experience, etc). I don't want to get more specific but let's say very smart people are 3 steps ahead in thinking this scenario through and how to avoid the mistakes.

Your scenario does play out with the DEA in the US, but that has absolutely nothing to do with this article or my previous comments.

Comment: Role of DMCA and free markets (Score 4, Interesting) 58

by JohnnyComeLately (#47067119) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Jennifer Granick What You Will

Do you see free market innovation thriving with DMCA despite the apparent lack of innovation?

Articulation of my question: When I buy a car, I can modify it. If people like my modification they can view it at my leisure and tinker themselves. GM doesn't sue me, and if I open a business to work on other GM cars to do similar GM vehicle modifications, then I have little legal exposure. However, with DMCA, GM can shut down a video if it's "suspected" I've infringed on a digital asset, and I can't legally sell modifications of their digital asset. This is why we see every new technology for digital streaming of data run a gauntlet of legal hurdles, which in turn stifles new innovation in the area of digital property.

Comment: Re:Correlation vs correlation (Score 4, Interesting) 433

by JohnnyComeLately (#47066979) Attached to: U.S. Drone Attack Strategy Against Al-Qaeda May Be Wrong

Very good articulated and supported point which is valid, however, the targeting is no longer the guys with an idea. Meaning, 5 years ago you'd have targeted the emplacers (the guy with a shovel, or in your analogy, an idea). With time, the lesson was learned the effect was small and it is relatively ineffective. Now, you go up the chain and after those who enable others to become more effective. Let me give an example, let's say AQ has three targets in the US: A general officer, a private and an NCO (Non-Commissioned Officer).

Taking out the General is symbolic but has very little impact on the effectivness of the US Army. If you take out a private, there are 10-20 others identically trained and with similar levels of proficiency. However, the NCO leads several squads. The NCO is a trainer, mentor, coach, knowledge manager and adult babysitter.

Taking the NCO out has a real effect on the battlefield as General Officer orders may not get correctly implemented, new troops may not come up to speed (read: battle effective) as fast, etc.

So, the best target for having an effect on battle is the NCO. The US and NATO are not after the General or the Privates... yes if there's a target of opportunity, a real threat, and the RoE/LoAC allows, a shot is taken, but the active targeting is at the NCO level. I wish I could be more specific but I won't. Just as most of what you read in mainstream or see in the movies about computers, technology, etc is wrong, so is the supposed, "wanton carnage from UAVs bombing everyone." I spent 3 years watching hundreds of strikes and you couldn't even apply most of what I read here to the exceptions, much less the "norm." People read a few articles and suddenly are experts on tactical military operations 1/2 way around the world (ignoring the few who incorrectly refer to it as "strategic bombing").

Comment: Re:If you have the opportunity (Score 3, Informative) 433

by JohnnyComeLately (#47066813) Attached to: U.S. Drone Attack Strategy Against Al-Qaeda May Be Wrong
You're pretty close which is good considering the lack of credible information available in this article, and in general on /. The drone strikes don't get a few henchmen and one or two leaders. Are leaders targeted? Absolutely. However, the real push is to get the people who have an __EFFECT__ on the battlefield. If killing bad guy A leaves an organization, which has a deputy, without a leader, but killing bad guy B eliminates a guy who trains 10 others every week how to create bombs, then guy B get's the prioritized assets (an armed, eye in the sky escort if you will). The author of this cited article doesn't really understand who's targeting and who's effectively taken out. I don't know if it's because a university researcher stateside doesn't/won't have a need-to-know and the clearance to review SIGINT, HUMINT, and other intellegence on the effects of UAV strikes. I can say her stated conclusions are detached from reality.

It's time to boot, do your boot ROMs know where your disk controllers are?