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Comment: Re:MY data in AMAZON's cloud ?? (Score 1) 121

by darkmeridian (#49354625) Attached to: Amazon Announces Unlimited Cloud Storage Plans

What people need to realize is that rolling your own data storage solution increases the risk of being hacked, losing data due to disasters, or losing remote access to files due to stupid crap like a router dying. If you're just using a NAS to store your porn, then that's fine. You'll just torrent the files back again. BUT if you are talking about pictures from your childhood, business files, or other critical documents, you seriously need to consider if you have a sufficient backup policy with off-site storage, and if you're going to be disciplined enough to update your disaster recovery plans.

I used to believe in rolling your own solution, until Synolocker came out. It became clear to me that Synology had no idea what it was doing with regard to security. I finally gave up and move my data over to Google Drive for Work. Sure, I'm giving data over to evil Google. BUT, I have access to my files anywhere with Internet access; I have two-factor authentication with the FIDO U2F app; I have a copy of the files on my computer as well as a backup in the Google cloud, which is pretty much a million times better than anything I can cook up.

I also don't have to worry about hard drive failure, updating firmwares, etc., etc.

Comment: Re:Memorizing site-unique passwords isn't possible (Score 3, Interesting) 257

by darkmeridian (#49350141) Attached to: Generate Memorizable Passphrases That Even the NSA Can't Guess

Your personal email is the most important account you have for the reason you set forth: you can use it to reset passwords to all of your other accounts! That's why I use Google Mail along with the FIDO U2F dongle. This makes my email really secure.

Comment: Re:We desperately need unflashable firmwares (Score 1) 120

by darkmeridian (#49291649) Attached to: Persistent BIOS Rootkit Implant To Debut At CanSecWest

I agree 100% that manufacturers should spend the extra ten cents to make things "writeable/flashable". Users will probably freak out that their flashes are flashing but the upgrade in security would be worth it. Dell would probably have to put a special button in the back that you have to hold down in order to get a flash through. The NSA, would, of course, intercept and flash the crap out of any computers going to "bad places" but they wouldn't flash everyone's computer. Right? Right? Right?

Comment: Re:Funded by the NSA? (Score 2) 322

by darkmeridian (#49283169) Attached to: Microsoft Offers Pirates Amnesty and Free Windows 10 Upgrades

At any other point in time, I would have laughed at such conspiracy theories. However, there is a good chance that the NSA simply wants to keep its backdoors. Now, there may not be intentionally backdoors in Windows, but certainly, as Stuxnet has revealed, the NSA has a very good understanding of the security flaws in Windows. Why risk losing good intel because of a new operating system that is based on Linux?

Comment: Re:depressed (Score 3, Interesting) 123

by darkmeridian (#49253491) Attached to: Mass Surveillance: Can We Blame It All On the Government?

The only way to avoid technical surveillance is to keep everything sensitive away from email or phone calls or instant messages. There is no way to avoid being the target of the NSA and CIA if they really want to get your data. None at all. The NSA and CIA are creating these techniques against countries such as Russia, China, and Iran with devastating success. (Look at the Iranian nuclear weapons program getting hacked by Stuxnet.) You have no way to avoid the hacking of your data if they are really set in doing it.

Now, you can try to make your data so computationally intensive that the CIA/NSA hopefully will not go out of their way to hack your accounts. Email is NOT secure. But you can use PGP or whatever to try to encrypt your emails. You can encrypt your hard drives to try and avoid hacking. You can avoid the iPhone and move to an open source cell phone firmware such as Cyanogenmodâ"at least you have a CHANCE of someone finding any NSA/CIA backdoor. Use anonymous VPN religiously to avoid having the same IPs.

Otherwise, there's nothing much you can do except to decrease your electronic footprint. Everything you put out there is hackable.

Comment: Re:Yes. What do you lose? But talk to lawyer first (Score 1) 734

by darkmeridian (#49196873) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Should I Let My Kids Become American Citizens?

You are insinuating that the Chinese government are sending infiltrators in a long game to influence American elections but you're completely wrong about that. The rich Chinese people are having kids in the United States as a Plan B if China decides to kill everyone when the political winds change.

Let me explain. In China, almost every way of making big money is technically illegal. The government owns all the land, and the means of production are owned by the government or government oligarchs. The rich got that way by breaking laws, and bribing the right people. Once in a while, there are political changes. New people are installed; older ones fall out. Then when there's a consolidation of power, the laws are suddenly enforced against you. That means that the disfavored are facing long jail terms or even execution.


You have Chinese nationals buying real estate in the United States and European countries as a Plan B. Their kids are raised outside Chinese, if they can afford it, to make sure that they don't get ensnared in any uprisings. If things go wrong, then you can escape with your life to the United States.

Comment: Re:Is it finally happening? (Score 3, Interesting) 112

The end game that Intel is considering is everyone running Windows 10 or 11 on their phones using Intel processors. Android can go run on whatever cheap architecture is out there, but if you want to run full-on Windows, you'll have Intel and pay a premium. Or at least, that's what Intel hopes.

The hardware is getting fast enough to put Windows on a phone. The Dell Venue 8 Pro is over a year old and runs Windows 8.1 in a small form factor on an old Intel Baytrail. It's not a far leap to expect a Windows phablet about the size of a Galaxy Note 4 that runs freaking Windows. Windows RT got eaten up by Windows 8. Windows Phone will eventually get eaten up by Windows 8 as well.

Docking will be wireless and easy. Just walk up to a BT keyboard/mouse and connect to a Miracast device. If your phone supports wireless charging, just drop your phone on the charging pad. Are you afraid that you'll lose your data if you lose your phone? Don't worry! Use Microsoft OneDriveâ"it's 100 GB free for two years! (Don't ask how much it'll cost later.)

Is Intel cost-competitive with other mobile solutions? Probably not. But why chase commodity markets on SoCs when you can ride along the Windows/Office monopoly?

Comment: Re:Live by the sword... (Score 4, Informative) 186

by darkmeridian (#49127395) Attached to: Jury Tells Apple To Pay $532.9 Million In Patent Suit

Apple files a bunch of crazy patents and design patents (such as for the curves of their phone) but at least they sell products. Trolls that simply buy up patents to sue people with are a much worse problem because they aren't contributing anything to society. They are basically rent-seekers who glom off the efforts of others.

Just the same, I agree with you 100% that Apple bought into the game, made the game expensive, and then now cannot complain about the game.

Comment: These Guys Are Fucking Geniuses (Score 3, Interesting) 115

You can hate the NSA all you want, but I have to tip my cap at their utter genius.

Beyond the technical similarities to the Stuxnet and Flame developers, Equation Group boasted the type of extraordinary engineering skill people have come to expect from a spy organization sponsored by the world's wealthiest nation. One of the Equation Group's malware platforms, for instance, rewrote the hard-drive firmware of infected computersâ"a never-before-seen engineering marvel that worked on 12 drive categories from manufacturers including Western Digital, Maxtor, Samsung, IBM, Micron, Toshiba, and Seagate.

The malicious firmware created a secret storage vault that survived military-grade disk wiping and reformatting, making sensitive data stolen from victims available even after reformatting the drive and reinstalling the operating system. The firmware also provided programming interfaces that other code in Equation Group's sprawling malware library could access. Once a hard drive was compromised, the infection was impossible to detect or remove.

Comment: Problem Exists Between Chair and Keyboard (Score 4, Insightful) 129

by darkmeridian (#49021633) Attached to: The Technologies That Betrayed Silk Road's Anonymity

I think the knee-jerk response is to say that the problem exists between the chair and keyboard. Just reading the article makes it impossible to draw another conclusion. He was nabbed in a public library before he had a chance to turn his laptop off so nothing was encrypted. Similarly, ARE YOU TAKING NOTES ON A CRIMINAL FUCKING CONSPIRACY? Why would you ever keep data in plain text even if the hard drive is encrypted? I am not expecting the FBI to raid me at any time, but just out of caution, I have my computer encrypted using Bitlocker (yeah, I know) and all data at rest is stuck in a hidden TrueCrypt partition. If I want to access it, I have to sign in separately. But most hilariously, he had a stupid freaking Facebook page that linked him directly to his true identity and Silk Road.

However, this only underscores how difficult it is to have operational security for any complex business. At some point, he needs to keep track of all transactions, with reasonably easy access. It's a pain in the ass for me to repeatedly log in and access data. I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to conduct business. I guess the bottom line is that physical security is crucial.

Comment: Re:Their buying clout alone should end this deal. (Score 1) 105

by darkmeridian (#48980341) Attached to: Staples To Buy Office Depot For $6.3 Billion

This shouldn't be a problem with Staples would be competing with other big freaking businesses. Costco, Amazon, Newegg, and Walmart are all competitors with Staples for office supplies. If Staples decided to jack up the price, then consumers wouldn't wait to move their business. And if Staples wanted to play hardball with their vendors, then the vendors would simply take their business to other outlets. I buy lots of paper, toner, and K-Cups. Hammermill, Brother, and Keurig aren't going to get pushed around by anyone.

Comment: Re:Great (Score 3, Insightful) 105

by darkmeridian (#48980305) Attached to: Staples To Buy Office Depot For $6.3 Billion

I am a small business owner, and I have to say that this is not the case. The Internet is the great equalizer. I can buy toner and paper online from NewEgg, Amazon, Costco, W.B. Mason, or Walmart. If Staples decided to jack up the prices, then I'd simply order somewhere else. I don't like splitting up my vendors, either. If I order toner and paper from one company, then I'm usually going to take my coffee and other stationery business somewhere else. The vendors all know this so they're always trying to use paper as a loss-leader to get your business on the other items.

Comment: Diet and Exercise (Score 3, Insightful) 958

by darkmeridian (#48969193) Attached to: Science's Biggest Failure: Everything About Diet and Fitness

Science has been inconsistent on diet. However, it's hard to blame science for fat people because science has basically said that you have to: (1) count calories; (2) eat fruits and vegetables; and (3) exercise. On the margins, science might be wrong on moderate alcohol consumption, healthy fats, etc. But the average America is fat because they're not exercising, and eating ridiculous amounts of unhealthy foods that scientists have always said was dangerous as fuck.

Don't forget that scientists discovered the link between smoking and lung cancer.

When some people discover the truth, they just can't understand why everybody isn't eager to hear it.