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Comment: No, he just never gets it in the first place (Score 1) 297

by Sycraft-fu (#47698101) Attached to: WikiLeaks' Assange Hopes To Exit London Embassy "Soon"

Diplomatic status is granted by the host country, it is not automatic. What happens is a country says "We want this person to be our ambassador to you." The host country, if they are ok with that person, says "Ok we grant this person status as an ambassador and the immunity that comes with that." However there's no immunity, and related things (like an amount of time to leave the country) until then.

Immunity is not a one-way street. A country can't say "This person is a diplomat, you have to give them immunity."

Comment: Re:Desperate to have a wank. (Score 2) 297

by Sycraft-fu (#47697227) Attached to: WikiLeaks' Assange Hopes To Exit London Embassy "Soon"

Yep, prior to that, he wasn't in any legal trouble in the UK. They were going to ship him off to Sweden, because they'd received an extradition request that their courts had determined legal, but he was in no trouble there.

However, as soon as he fled to the embassy, he broke UK law. So now he's in trouble in the UK, if nothing else. Regardless of the validity of the allegation in Sweden, he broke UK law by fleeing the extradition.

Comment: No congress is usually more clever (Score 2) 115

What usually happens there is that you get a job with a lobbying firm or their clients when you leave. There is no direct tit for tat, it is just a generally understood thing. They lobby you, you do what they want. When you leave, they'll pay you very well to then go and continue lobbying the next guy. Extremely shady, but not outright illegal.

This sounds like a straight up bribe, which is illegal, money in exchange for a contract.

Comment: Ummm, not at all (Score 5, Insightful) 323

by Sycraft-fu (#47688139) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: How Dead Is Antivirus, Exactly?

Anti-virus is still extremely useful. It is not an end in and of itself, it isn't a panacea that will keep you safe from everything, but it is a useful layer of security. The only true defense that has any chance is defense in depth, layers of security. So that when one layer fails, and they WILL fail there's no perfect security, other layers stop the problem.

AV is a useful layer. It screens for known threats and good AV gets that list updated multiple times per day. So it can flat out stop any known threat from getting on a system. It can scan things as they download, before they execute, and block known threats.

That is useful, particularly against the kind of threats normal users face. They don't usually face highly specialized and targeted threats, they face something that sneaks in through a bad ad in a compromised ad network or the like.

We make plenty of use of AV at work and it has done a great job cutting down on compromised systems, and cleaning up systems that do get compromised (which generally don't have AV). I certainly wouldn't rely on it as the be-all, end-all, but it is a good layer of security.

It's also a pretty cheap one. You can have MSE for free, which has about a 90% catch rate, or for $40ish per year you can get one with a much higher catch rate (NOD32 being my preference). That's not a bad price for a useful layer of security.

Comment: Ya (Score 1) 58

It seems like the press has run out of new interesting things to report with regards to spy agencies, so rather than do some informed discussion on the stories or something, they are digging for shit.

Yes, we know, spy agencies spy. That is their purpose, that is the reason they get funding. If this shocks you then you've had your head in the sand. Now if you think governments shouldn't have spy agencies, ok, but that is a different argument (and you might want to look in to why they do). But acting all surprised that they spy, and use known tricks to spy, is stupid.

It also takes away from the real issue, the story that needs to be discussed: That spy agencies were illegally spying on their own populace. THAT is the story that should be getting coverage. However it seems like the press did their thing on it, and now wants to move on to "something new" no matter how irrelevant it is.

If the GCHQ is spying on other countries, Brits shouldn't be concerned. That is why they have a GCHQ. If the GCHQ is spying on their own subjects, they should be concerned, since that is illegal.

Comment: Yes (Score 5, Insightful) 127

by Sycraft-fu (#47682211) Attached to: Switching Game Engines Halfway Through Development

A game engine is a very, VERY big enterprise to make, particularity if you are talking one with modern 3D graphics. It is a big undertaking even for a company who's done it before and has a decent team of people. You will spend a lot of time and effort on it, and it still might not end up being very good.

Game engines get a lot of that low level hard work out of the way. That's why they are so used. You see even large development studios with big budgets license an engine because the cost of doing so is far less than the cost of properly developing their own.

If you want to build a game engine, that's great, but make that your goal. Build an engine for its own sake then, if you have one that seems to work well, think about using it for a game. Don't set off to make a game form the ground up, it isn't likely to happen.

Comment: Re:Work smart not hard (Score 1) 417

by Sycraft-fu (#47681681) Attached to: Swedish Dad Takes Gamer Kids To Warzone

The whole Middle East is a wonderful argument against using exposure to war as a deterrent to war. There is generational hatred there, the wish to kill people for wrongs going back decades or centuries. Conflicts that breed more hatred and new conflicts. Violence being seen not just as a feasible solution, but the first line.

If exposure to war was such a good cure for future wars, the ME would be extremely peaceful right now. Instead, it is one of the most violent places in the world.

As you say, what it does is lets people see it as a viable option. It also desensitizes them to war. You kill a man, it messes with your head. You kill your 100th man, it is just something you do. If death, destruction, and suffering is the norm, then what's it matter if you cause some?

You can see this same kind of thing in terms of kids who come from the ghetto. You might think "Man, they will really hate that and work hard to stay away from drugs and crime, get an education, and get out." Instead it is the only life they know, and they most often get caught up in it. You get generations of problems because the children grow up knowing an environment of crime, poverty, etc and that is just how things are for them.

Comment: Maybe you should think of the children (Score 1) 417

by Sycraft-fu (#47681197) Attached to: Swedish Dad Takes Gamer Kids To Warzone

Think of the fact that something like this might give them PTSD. Dealing with a war zone can be traumatic for adults with training, experience, and perspective. It can be far worse for children.

Also it does rather seem to be an unnecessary risk. While childhood has risks to be sure, part of your duty as a guardian is to minimize those risks as feasible. You weigh risks vs rewards, and try to find safe options when possible.

So maybe taking kids to a war zone is not the best idea. Maybe a better idea is to talk to them, watch some movies, read books, perhaps have a friend who's a war vet have a conversation.

Of course this strikes me as a journalist being a press whore. He's doing this because he can make it a story, not because he's being a good father.

Comment: Yep (Score 1) 417

by Sycraft-fu (#47681041) Attached to: Swedish Dad Takes Gamer Kids To Warzone

The DoD has developed one video game, America's Army. It is not particularly popular, in part because they seem to be overly concerned with keeping things somewhat true to the army. You have to do a basic training set before it'll let you play, like you have to go and qualify using the rifle in game. Can't play unless you do. Wanna be a medic? You have to take an in game class that lasts like a half an hour, and then take a test. In the game itself it works similar to actual military wargames in that you always are the US Army, and you play again "OPFOR" the Army's professional opposing force (basically you see your team as army, the enemy as OPFOR).

It isn't "realistic" because really nothing can accurately simulate the horrors of combat, but it is really not something that glorifies combat. It could be called an elaborate army training simulator. Want a taste of what training in the army might be like? This is a reasonable starting point.

As you say, CoD is NOT developed, or endorsed, by the government. Call of Duty is owned by Activision Blizzard, a public company in California. It is developed by 3 teams (alternating years) Infinity Ward, Treyarch, and Sledgehammer Games, all California companies that are subsidiaries of Activision Blizzard.

Comment: Ya I don't understand the hate on FPS games (Score 2) 417

by Sycraft-fu (#47680315) Attached to: Swedish Dad Takes Gamer Kids To Warzone

Are they realistic to war? Of course not. But then, I haven't seen any games that are realistic to anything. Their point is to be fun, not realistic.

You seem to be fairly typical for the military types I know (which is more than a couple) in that they quite enjoy the make believe of FPS games, despite having experienced the reality of combat.

While not quite as extreme, I can point to myself and enjoying computer/hacker games like Introversion's Uplink. I'm a network and systems administrator professionally. I know quite a bit about network security and how this stuff really works, and I don't at all believe black hat hackers that bust in to systems are glamours, they are criminal dickheads. However, I enjoy Uplink. It is not at ALL realistic. It is a fictional version of hacking on fictional computers ins a fictional Internet. And it's fun.

I'm not sure why people get so worked up about FPS games, like they are changing attitudes on war or anything. No, they are just games, and it turns out humans really can tell the difference between fiction and reality.

Comment: We can't do unpaid internships (Score 1) 557

by Sycraft-fu (#47665583) Attached to: Apple's Diversity Numbers: 70% Male, 55% White

What we can do is hire students. We rarely get female applicants. We hired the last one who applied, she was the daughter of our business manager. She stuck around for like a year, but decided she wanted a job that had night hours (we are a day only shop) and left.

We also are not allowed to discriminate and offer positions to only one gender, or race. EEOC is really big here. If we open a position, it must be open to all.

"Don't talk to me about disclaimers! I invented disclaimers!" -- The Censored Hacker