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Comment: Re:My old Uni did this. (Score 1) 172

You're confusing transport encryption with message encryption.

HIPPA doesn't require that you use S/MIME or PGP or some other technology to encrypt the content of your mail at rest. But if you're transporting between systems, you need to ensure that privileged data is protected in transit. There are a variety of techniques that allow you to do that, with a range of advantages and disadvantages.

Comment: Would this stuff had helped? (Score 3, Insightful) 24

by duffbeer703 (#39596425) Attached to: State Department CIO Interviewed About Post-Wikileaks Changes

At the end of the day, Bradley Manning was a mental trainwreck in a myriad of ways. This wasn't a secret -- he was in the process of being drummed out of the military before his arrest. Seems to me that the human half of the system failed -- someone in Manning's state of crisis should have been cutoff from access to weapons or critical information at some point.

Comment: Re:Holy false economy! (Score 1) 160

by duffbeer703 (#36704956) Attached to: Online Social Security Statement In Limbo

Social Security surpluses are just spent in the general federal budget, because the "Social Security Trust Fund" is just a special class of non-marketable treasury bonds. When the surplus goes away in a few years, that money will no longer be flowing into the treasury AND the government will have to start repaying its debt to the system out of other Federal receipts and new debt.

None of this is news or sourced from Fox News. It's fact that can be found in the report issued in 1983 by Senator Moynihan, who was not a "right winger" by any standard and was an advocate for the system. Unfortunately, we have done little to address the problems in the last 30 years.

Comment: Holy false economy! (Score 1) 160

by duffbeer703 (#36702096) Attached to: Online Social Security Statement In Limbo

What microscopic proportion of the Social Security budget is mailing a few statements?

The program is bankrupting the nation. Frankly, mailing statements will save money compared to launching some giant IT project with Oracle, SAIC, Lockheed and the other cast of Federal contracting characters. How many 80 year olds are going to be able to deal with an electronic statement anyway? And how will you identity-proof them?

Comment: Replace IBM Salesmen? (Score 1) 316

by duffbeer703 (#36678918) Attached to: IBM Watson To Replace Salespeople and Cold-Callers

Wait a minute... IBM sells crap by playing golf with the CEO. 2-3 times a year they fly in 50 people from 10 countries to pitch some stupid product, we pick another one, and get "encouraged" to take another look at Big Blue.

I know that Watson mastered jeopardy, but how will it kiss the boss's butt?

Comment: Re:privacy laws won't fix a broken privacy model (Score 1) 236

by duffbeer703 (#35832392) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Country Has the Best Email Privacy Laws?

From a practical point of view, an end-user won't be aware of a SSL MITM attack if you re-encrypt using a certificate issued by a trusted CA.

Where I work, for example, we centrally decrypt all traffic and re-encrypt with an cert that we issue and put on each workstation.

Comment: Re:This is a perfect example of the world today (Score 1) 347

by duffbeer703 (#35550526) Attached to: Michio Kaku's Dark Prediction For the End of Moore's Law

Kaku educates the public about where to find his books. That's about it.

Listen to Kaku's radio show sometime if it is still on the air. It's two hours long, about 40% of the show is an advertisement for his book/tv appearance/book signing. There is usually an interview with someone interesting, who gets cut off mid-sentence so Kaku can talk about his book and cut to the radio station's commercials.

Comment: Re:and so society dies out (Score 1) 445

by duffbeer703 (#35434054) Attached to: Crime Writer Makes a Killing With 99 Cent E-Books

This is the hype of the dot-com era coming back to actually roost. This isn't "socialism", it's cutting out the middleman. The actual author is making more money and has more (ie. complete) editorial control over his art.

Cutting out the middleman means returning things like writing to a craft rather than of an afterthought that is part of an industrial process of creating books. Instead needing an army of buyers, marketers, retail placement specialists, etc, you return to the artist and his craft.

Comment: Re:The U.S. government is VERY corrupt. (Score 1) 228

by duffbeer703 (#34658050) Attached to: The Clock Is Ticking On Encryption

Yeah, it probably is bullshit.

In fact if you are a multi-millionaire, you could probably find a talented team of attorneys to fight the unlimited resources of the US government for a few years at $500/hr each to argue the point. Maybe you could find some judge to agree with you.

Good luck with that.

Also, how well have gitmo done with the objective scales of justice? Not so good.

Comment: Re:Snippy "Free Market" Comments (Score 2) 410

by duffbeer703 (#34545206) Attached to: EPA Knowingly Allowed Pesticide That Kills Bees

There's a difference between being responsible and acting in good faith and letting your narrow self-interest damage others.

When a chemical company invents a pesticide or hebicide that enables farmers to grow more food or avoid some sort of difficult or dangerous manual labor, that's a good thing. When pesticide has wider-ranging effects that can negatively effect the greater environment or economic fortunes of others, and that same company obfuscates or actively funds research to deflect attention, that is a bad thing.

Many people who claim to be "capitalists", but who are actually aspiring plutocrats, have a very shallow understanding of how markets work and have picked up this near-religous faith that whatever makes a business happy is good. That's not necessarily true -- business also needs to be a good neighbor. If one of the side-effects of your business activity is contibuting to the destruction of a form of life that is a key part of the food chain, you are an enemy of free markets and our free society.

Comment: Re:headline? (Score 2, Insightful) 142

by duffbeer703 (#34370270) Attached to: China's Politburo Behind Google Cyber-Attack?

Since Assange claims to be in regular contact with the US government and leaks lots of stuff of questionable value, there's a good chance that he's a total fraud. Supposedly this was all leaked by that army PFC... so the data have been sat on for months.

If you read magazines like the Economist or Foreign Affairs, you've already read paraphrased summaries of all of this stuff. My guess is that these leaks contain misinformation to misdirect folks like the Chinese who have already hacked State Department networks and probably have a limited collection of these already.

Think that sounds far-out? Just Google "Operation Mincemeat".

... when fits of creativity run strong, more than one programmer or writer has been known to abandon the desktop for the more spacious floor. -- Fred Brooks

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