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Comment: Re:I hope this is a april fools. (Score 1) 187

by f3rret (#49390041) Attached to: Amazon Moves "Buy Now" Into the Physical World, With the Dash Button

No, but I remember the Cue Cat. No less than $185 million was invested in this ridiculous venture. I could never figure out how anyone ever thought this was a good idea, even before the benefit of hindsight. Not only ridiculously impractical, but privacy-invading and prone to security issues? Woot!

Isn't the concept behind that CueCat thing basically the same as what is behind QR codes these days?

Comment: Re: This is great news (Score 1) 124

by f3rret (#49385733) Attached to: Thousand-Year-Old Eye Salve Kills MRSA

Your doctor doesn't want you to know aboyt this 500-year-old remedy for venereal disease.

Hint: it's mercury.

Not every old remedy is good for you. If you get into the history of medicine, you'll find lots of old remedies that are harmful.

I don't know man, I haven't had any disease trepanning or a good blood letting couldn't deal with, well there was this one time where I had to drink a gallon or mercury to get over a...ahem..personal disease.

Comment: Re:So, should I just read reddit? (Score 1) 124

by f3rret (#49385719) Attached to: Thousand-Year-Old Eye Salve Kills MRSA

Then there's marinol. They extracted the THC from pot in some mis-guided effort to get the medicinal effects without admitting they screwed up with the war on drugs. And of course, it was to be far more expensive than even the black market herb it replaced. It failed since they lost at least half of the beneficial effects and potentiated the tendency to cause psychosis. Turns out the CBD is as important as the THC.

Not completely true, yes Marinol was developed because growing weed was illegal, but it was not just pure extracted THC, it was "synthetic THC". As I understood it, the Marinol drug was developed because a lot of people did not want to smoke weed, they wanted a simple and easy to swallow pill.

Comment: Re:It works at least as well... (Score 1) 124

by f3rret (#49385617) Attached to: Thousand-Year-Old Eye Salve Kills MRSA

Killing MRSA is easy. Trivial, even. You can do it with steam, alcohol, or dozens of other disinfecting agents.

Any info about the prophylactic dosage there?

Three or four liters of rubbing alcohol delivered through epidural injection should do the trick, although you might want to hook up a continuous drip through a central line to make absolutely sure.

Comment: Re:Boo hoo (Score 2) 247

by f3rret (#49385177) Attached to: NSA Worried About Recruitment, Post-Snowden

Many, many words

Yes, and the Apollo program was just fireworks with an unlimited budget.

I realize you, and many others, have a lot of axes to grind with the NSA, but they are an organization of skilled people who actually know what they are doing.
If it is so easy to do this, why haven't the Russian internet criminals rolled anything out on this scale? It seems to me that a platform like this would be all kinds of ideal for criminal purposes.

And saying that you cannot put any of your work on a resume is just a boldfaced lie, yes it is true you cannot write on your resume: "I developed the HDD firmware hack that EQUATIONDRUG used" or "I was heavily involved in wiretapping of Burmese embassies in the period from (x) to (y)", but there is nothing stopping you from putting in "I worked extensively with hardware programming and device security" or "I worked extensively with telecommunications infrastructure and security in the South East Asia area".
You cannot say that they don't do product development, yes it is true they probably wont ever make any software you can find on the Android or Apple App stores, but that is not the same as saying that they don't do development, it is just that a lot of the software that the NSA (or more likely, NSA subcontractors) develop are developed for a very limited and specialized audience, anything that does come out of NSA development projects is likely to be quite specialized and obscure.

That said - there is a not insignificant chance that a lot of the advancement in speech-to-text and other speech-recognition projects we have seen over the last years, has code in it that was developed by people who started out doing work on those subjects for the NSA (ECHELON supposed relied heavily on the ability to recognize keywords in recordings), likewise it is also quite likely that a lot of people who worked with and for the NSA are now out in the civilian sector designing datacenters and supercomputers.
It is easy to see the NSA as this big, evil organization that does only one thing: spy on people. And while that is certainly one of their main objectives, you have to remember they are also a large IT business and as such have a large IT infrastructure, and because of the work they do and the requirements that work puts on their infrastructure they were probably into the whole "big data" mindset several years before mainstream commercial, civilian IT companies got there.
Add to this that there is a large section of the NSA that isn't really an intelligence agency at all, they're a Security and Compliance agency that makes sure that DoD, Military and Diplomatic networks meet whatever security standards the NSA specify.

Comment: Re:So... (Score 1) 114

by f3rret (#49385005) Attached to: SCOTUS: GPS Trackers Are a Form of Search and Seizure

Refusing/saying "I don't talk to police" pisses them off, as well - causing them to get their dogs/such. But still....

Unless you are giving testimony in connection to a crime unrelated to you (ie. you witnessed something and are specifically not charged with anything) you should NEVER talk to a cop. The whole "Everything you say, can and WILL"-thing isn't said just to scare you.

Comment: Re:So... (Score 1) 114

by f3rret (#49384985) Attached to: SCOTUS: GPS Trackers Are a Form of Search and Seizure

They should be forced to read you your rights when they ask so that you can say no with confidence.

The whole "Reading you your rights"-thing, only really applies in cases where you are being charged and questioned.

And strictly speaking, even if you technically have the right to deny the police the right to search your person or vehicle, all that will happen if you do that is that the police will interpret that as evidence of guilt and arrest you, at which point searching you or your vehicle becomes a security requirement - it represents an unacceptable risk to bring you into custody without searching you because you might be concealing weapons, the same applies to your vehicle.

Remember, the police can arrest you for any reason and hold you for up to 24 hours without charging you with anything.

Comment: Re:Boo hoo (Score 1) 247

by f3rret (#49384437) Attached to: NSA Worried About Recruitment, Post-Snowden

The reality is, the initial premise is a total lie. The NSA is a failed organisation and they are not looking for the same kind of people. They are looking for 2nd raters, people who specialise in breaking stuff and not in making stuff. The reality is securing stuff in computers is an order of magnitude harder than breaking security. The breakers are always second rate compared to makers, it is inherent in their cerebral makeup and the 2nd rate breakers know it to the core of their being, hence instead of making, their jealousy drives them to breaking.

The NSA were not particularly skilled at hacking, their targets were not focused enough on security and were easy to break into. Now of course the NSA script kiddie perverts are finding life much more difficult as companies become much more focused on security and are hiring the most skilled makers to make better security. The NSA stuck is now failing and that failure is far worse on the securing things side because of their chosen focus on breaking stuff on employing egoistic perverse script kiddies, incapable of securing stuff.

The US government was warned again and again and again, that in order to effectively secure their systems they must completely separate defensive operations from offensive operations but they were locked into arrogance mode and only listen to their own bullshit and now they are stuck.

If you are bright and interested in security, the real skill and challenge is in defensive operations, 24/7/365 operation of skills, abilities and knowledge, real investigatory skills on any exposed breaks or weaknesses and preventing them from happening again and creating a defence in depth system, giving greater opportunity to catch hacks are earlier less damaging levels. The people do not play well with breakers, not at all, the whole psychology is different.

Yes The Equation Group really seemed "2nd rate" and they sure didn't "make" anything.

Comment: Re:Mystery (Score 1) 447

by f3rret (#49369381) Attached to: Why the Final Moments Inside a Cockpit Are Heard But Not Seen

Only one thing I disagree with - bandwidth costs. The FDR [apparently] records at about 6kB/s (I'm trying to find a source to back that up), so that's 6kB/s per aircraft in satellite data costs. There can be up to 11,000 aircraft flying at any one time, so that totals 66MB/s of bandwidth required globally. I don't believe lack of bandwidth is a factor.

It is if you are transferring that data over a HF link, I mean ostensibly once you are over the pacific or the Atlantic you could switch to communicating over satellite, but in all likelihood, most aviation radio for OTH transmissions are probably HF signals, not sure you have ever tried transferring data over a HF link, but let me put it this way: 9600 bps is considered HIGH speed.

Comment: Re:a reversal to the open cockpit doors of the pas (Score 1) 447

by f3rret (#49369273) Attached to: Why the Final Moments Inside a Cockpit Are Heard But Not Seen

Or maybe change the rules so anyone even suspected of mental health issues isn't instantly and automatically forced out of their career...

I'm all for equal opportunity and right-to-work and all that, but, I really would prefer that the people in control of the thing that lifts me up to 10.000 feet and travels at 500mph is fully certified as "not even a little crazy"

Comment: Re:Not always true... (Score 1) 737

by f3rret (#49349301) Attached to: Germanwings Plane Crash Was No Accident

Absence seizures don't really work like that, and they don't really show up as a new diagnosis in someone that age. A prior diagnosis would have disqualified him from getting a commercial (and probably a private) pilot's license. And automatisms won't don't that. My wife is an epileptologist, I know far more than I want to about these things.

They might not work like that when the condition causing them is Epilepsy, which I agree isn't really a thing that just randomly happens.
That said, there still could be some kind of neurological condition behind this, I am not a doctor so I am not going to argue the specific diagnosis, I'm sure your wife is right.

The thing that makes me think there was something physically wrong (be it drugs or pathology), is the fact he is reported as "breathing normally" during the whole thing, even if he was a terrorist or suicidal, he would still have the fight or flight reaction, and there is no way rapidly approaching a cliff wall and knowing you are going to die and kill 200 (or however many) people in the process would not trigger the fight or fight response, and one of the main symptoms of a big adrenaline surge is an increase in breathing and heart rate.

The solution of this problem is trivial and is left as an exercise for the reader.

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