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Comment: Re:And then throw it in a fire (Score 3, Informative) 34

This.

What is the value of a used device? Compare that to the risk of the data on that device going to a malevolent third party.

I've had people saying "oh, look at all these hard drives, you should totally sell them on ebay and I bet you could get $10 apiece for them!" Adding up the time I would waste running DBAN or sdelete or whatever, and keeping track of which ones have been wiped, and double checking to make sure everything is really gone, it's not worth the time.

A big hammer and a punch, driven deeply through the thin aluminum cover and down the platter area, takes about a second and leaves nothing anybody would bother trying to recover. You can quickly look at a drive and say "yes, this drive has been taken care of", or "hey, there's no jagged hole here, this drive isn't destroyed." The aluminum cover contains the shards if the platters are glass. I don't care who handles them after destruction. There's no worries about toxic smoke. And if you have to inventory them before shipping them to a recycler, the serial numbers are still readable.

Smashing a phone wouldn't destroy the data on the chips, so a fire is a somewhat safer option.

Comment: Re:Problem traced (Score 4, Informative) 88

by plover (#47437271) Attached to: Chinese Hackers Infiltrate Firms Using Malware-Laden Handheld Scanners

The "scanner" portion of these devices is typically an embedded system that drives a hardware sensor, and speaks USB out the back side. You could probably open one up, solder a cable to the right points on the scanner board, and you'd have exactly the simple and transparent scanner you requested.

But because the business wants a truckload (no pun intended) of functionality out of these scanners, they need it to have more capabilities. First, it needs to be on the network, or it won't give them any benefit. Next, it needs to be multi-tasking so it can display alerts, etc. Its primary task may be to inventory the stuff coming off a truck, its other tasks may include assigning work items to line employees, displaying alerts on the supervisors' screens, punching the timeclock for breaks, and possibly even employee email. To a lot of businesses, a browser based interface lets them run whatever kind of functions they want, without the expense of continually pushing a bunch of apps out to a bunch of random machines. So taking all that together, embedded XP is one (bloated) way of meeting all that.

So while the scanner itself is simple, it's the rest of the hardware in the device that was infested with XP and other malware.

Comment: Driver support (Score 1) 481

Not to mention that they dropped driver support from the SBLive 5.1/Gold after XP, despite it being a *very* common card in many systems (partly, I believe, because it came with many Dell's and/or possibly HP's).

When Vista/7 came out, Creative dropped it like a hot rock and didn't provide a driver for the newer OS. There is a FOSS driver, but it lacked much of what was supported in the XP driver (while also adding other features).

Comment: Re:USB DACs (Score 1) 481

What, you're telling me that my $5.00 USB "7.1 surround sound" card (that oddly only has two analog jacks) *ISN'T* as good as a high-end soundcard? :-)

Actually, the main advantage I've found for USB vs onboard sound - even with cheap USB - is that they tend to pick up less of the "electrical whine" that a lot of onboard stuff does. Dedicated cards oftimes have better filtering that keeps this out, and the onboard designs are better these days, but I do still find you can actually hear when you're moving the mouse from the background growl of many board-chip audio cards.

Comment: Re:sounds like North Korea news (Score 1) 108

by LordLucless (#47431467) Attached to: Google's Experimental Newsroom Avoids Negative Headlines

Hardly new. Slashdot frequently runs doom-is-nigh, overblown, click-baity summaries for the purposes of drawing in viewers (and thus, revenue). All those stupid social sites use vague headlines ending with "...you won't believe what happens next!" to try and intrigue viewers for the same reason. Calling it "mind control" is setting the bar pretty low.

Comment: Re:What good is filtered news? (Score 0) 108

by LordLucless (#47430953) Attached to: Google's Experimental Newsroom Avoids Negative Headlines

One must ask, what good is news that filters?

All news is filtered. You wouldn't have time to digest every single piece of information generated every day. The question is, what is your news filtered by? I don't see how "upbeat" is any worse than "political", "tech", "sport", or "local".

Comment: Re:As plain as the googgles on your face (Score 1) 56

by Sloppy (#47427477) Attached to: The Future of Wearables: Standalone, Unobtrusive, and Everywhere

As intrusive as the Google Glass has proven to be, it will only be worse when observation recording tech is more difficult to detect.

I disagree. The exact opposite: when people stop noticing, they will stop caring. It won't be perceived as intrusive anymore, and people will be less annoyed by it.

It's the conspicuousness of the camera in Google Glass, the constant reminder that you might be recorded, that makes most people feel creeped out. For the previous decade leading up to that product, nobody cared about small+cheap camera tech itself. And people walk/drive by fixed-position cameras all the time, and don't give a fuck there either. Peoples's behavior shows that "intrusiveness" happens when a cameras looks like a camera, and I suspect it also has something to do with being face-level, literally "in your face" and you're making eye contact with it, unlike the case with less conspicuous cameras. It was never about privacy; it's some aspect of self-consciousness kind of related to privacy, but a different thing.

You might say "maybe you, but I sure care. Hell yes it's about privacy." Of course you say that. I'm talking about how people behave and the emotions they display. Not their innermost secret thoughts that they are always terrified to express in voting booths or policy decisions, yet are happy to speak of on the Internet.

You know, the Internet, where they don't have a camera in their face making them all self-conscious! The Internet, where instead of a terrifying 1x1 pixel image that makes you think "WTF is that? That's weird! Are you watching me?" you now instead see a bunch of "like buttons" which are obviously for liking things, not getting your browser to send a request to an unrelated tracking server.

In addition, there's a certain inevitability about it all. The cameras have been there a long time, there are more today, and there will be even more tomorrow. You can't do anything about it, except stay at home. So you'll either accept or you'll go insane and get selected out. You'll handle it. (Contrast that to Google Glass, the one small camera out of the hundreds out there, that you actually recognize and is also rare enough that there's little social cost to shunning. With GG you can refuse to accept and also stay within social norms, so GG is different.)

Comment: Criminal acts (Score 1) 98

I have a sideline job doing computer servicing/repair. Since the issues between Russia/Ukraine have ramped up, there's also been a noticeable uptick in online/banking fraud coming from Russia.
Thankfully the banks seem to be on the watch for this - the notify customers of unusual transactions, e.g. western union, to Russian accounts - so most of my work is just ensuring that machines are clean after the fact.

I won't say that this is state-sponsored, but likely more to issues alluded to with this guy: mainly that Russia doesn't seem to be very cooperative in dealing with known international criminals - especially with the poor international relations of current - and the criminal element are taking advantage of this.

Comment: Re:Bitcoin isn't money but it's still a financial (Score 1) 132

by Sloppy (#47424471) Attached to: Judge Shoots Down "Bitcoin Isn't Money" Argument In Silk Road Trial

Bitcoin's primary purpose is to traffic/launder money and goods.

Objection. Will stipulate that its primary purpose is to traffic. But I call mega-bullshit on its primary or even secondary purpose being to launder, though there might be a way one could use Bitcoin for that.

Comment: You don't exist. Go away (Score 1) 586

by phorm (#47424377) Attached to: Normal Humans Effectively Excluded From Developing Software

I've actually had servers say that to me.

Usual cause: trying to execute certain commands while logged in as a user that no longer exists in /etc/passwd.

Also known as "oops I overwrite /etc/password!".

Bonus points if you get this while logged in a root. An associate of mine discovered that it's bad to use system variable names when he had this one in a script he ran (as root):
    deluser $USER

Comment: Re:because it fucking is (Score 1) 209

Perhaps so, but keep in mind those older models *still* resell for more than many others, and before the release of the PS4 you could see good condition CECHE01's selling for $100+ over the price of the regular models. When the PS3 first came out, the price jump over other consoles also included the blu-ray drive etc, and generally better build quality. The PS3 did have some issues, but the RROD and laser-burn (cheaping out over a 5c bumper, geeze) issues on the XB360 were legendary.

My understanding is that the main difference was in the chip that supported the older hardware, so why not just make it an option which could be easily added? A little socket for the chip and a dip-switch or jumper would probably do.

The confusion of a staff member is measured by the length of his memos. -- New York Times, Jan. 20, 1981

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