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Comment: Don't sweep it under the rug as collateral damage (Score 1) 9

Is it me or is the mere fact that they automated the takedown notices speaking volumes of how frivolous the whole matter has become? Take them all down and let God sort them out, or how is that supposed to be?

Am I the only one who thinks it's about time for some (serious) fines for frivolous takedown notices? It's not like they don't cost the media providers anything.

Comment: Re:read-only OS doesn't execute random files (Score 1) 38

by Opportunist (#47434867) Attached to: Gameover ZeuS Re-Emerges As Fast-Fluxing Botnet

It got there using a buffer overflow in one of your outdated (read: 2 days since patch) software and also got executed that way. The downloader wrote it into your %appdata%\roaming folder (where it has write access without you needing elevated privileges) and got started likewise.

Why files in %appdata%\roaming can be run at all? Ask MS. I don't see a good reason why files located there should be executable. Actually, there are very few areas in user-writeable areas where execution of files makes sense, and not allowing it would increase security of Windows by leaps and bounds.

Sadly, you need at least Win7 Professional to make it so. Well, it is technically possible to get Win7 Home Premium to perform it, but the hassle is maybe not far away from having to reinstall the system and restore a backup if the malware strikes...

Comment: Re:Alternate use for this technology (Score 1) 86

by Opportunist (#47434787) Attached to: DARPA Successfully Demonstrates Self-Guiding Bullets

It already starts at you having to get that weapon platform to the point where you can fire it. You have to build the weapon platform, you have to build the targeting computer, and then you have to move that all to where you want to employ it. And all that to (hopefully) hit a person who may or may not be still there when you get there and who may or may not be an actual target for you.

In turn, your enemy just needs to send a suicide jockey to your well known base and blow up the checkpoint at the entrance. Even if you kill the first 9 guys it doesn't matter as long as the 10th makes it.

Comment: Re:Alternate use for this technology (Score 2) 86

by Opportunist (#47434739) Attached to: DARPA Successfully Demonstrates Self-Guiding Bullets

Well, it just MIGHT work to give people a reason not to hate the US and instead turn towards the shit that you don't want to go down. It worked like a charm after WW2, didn't it?

The cheapest way to retain the order that you want somewhere is to give the people there a reason to want it, too. That works great if you can show them the benefit of your way of life. Of course, that first of all requires that your way of life must have some benefit for them, though...

Comment: Re:Alternate use for this technology (Score 1) 86

by Opportunist (#47434453) Attached to: DARPA Successfully Demonstrates Self-Guiding Bullets

That's the key in asymmetric warfare. Basically what you need is:

- An expendable population that is not only willing to fight but also to die for you, your goal, your god, whatever.
- Cheap weapons (manpower is no issue, people are cheap)
- And enemy who doesn't have the two above.

If you can muster that, you have won. There is no way short of total annihilation that you could possibly lose.

Comment: Re:Make VM OS read-only unless updating (Score 1) 38

by Opportunist (#47434427) Attached to: Gameover ZeuS Re-Emerges As Fast-Fluxing Botnet

While a good idea, it's not that easy for Windows users. Especially since the "basic" (aka "premium") versions of Win7 come even without the ability to limit execution of files in certain directories (which would surprisingly actually defeat this pus, at least the variants that I'm aware of, my knowledge in this area is a bit dated, though).

Guess you have to pay extra with Microsoft if you want some semblance of security...

Comment: Re:Alternate use for this technology (Score 4, Insightful) 86

by Opportunist (#47434331) Attached to: DARPA Successfully Demonstrates Self-Guiding Bullets

Rest assured that a hack is already in the making.

I don't get the US. I mean, by now you should have noticed that the bigger and more complicated the technology, the more you play into your opponent's hands. First of all, you're using high tech weapons in a low tech war. You can't really fire any round anymore that doesn't cost you more than what your target cost your enemy. Welcome to asymmetric warfare. I don't know why I have to say it, I thought it's obvious: You're essentially in the unfunny situation the British were in when you had your fight for independence. And on top of it you also have to pose as the good guy, you can't even simply level the land and bury what's living under the rubble.

In basically all the wars the US had gotten into lately, they had the superior technology and the inferior position. Let's look at the stats. The US is fighting an enemy who not only doesn't give half a shit about collateral damage (the US at least have to pretend they care, so they can't use the aforementioned "scorched earth" tactics), an enemy that does not identify itself as such (so pretty much anyone and everyone could be hostile), while at the same time those that are NOT hostile may not be touched (since the US want to be the "good" guy and the backlash is considerable when something surfaces). And unlike the average US soldier, the enemy doesn't even give a shit whether he survives the war.

That's not a position from which you can win a war. The US loses unless they win, their enemy wins as long as they don't lose. That cannot be won in a scenario where your enemy is in a position where it does not matter to him how many resources he loses as long as he can inflict damage on you.

Precision bombing and precision shooting is a fine thing if you have a target. That's the main problem the US is facing today. It's trivial for them to eliminate any target anywhere on the planet. The problem is FINDING it.

Comment: Re:And good luck asking for APAP-free medicine! (Score 1) 147

by swb (#47431387) Attached to: Hair-Raising Technique Detects Drugs, Explosives On Human Body

Oxycodone has required a printed prescription on paper for a long time -- no refills, no phone in. I think hydrocodone (aka Vicodin) was scheduled lower and that made it eligible for phone-in prescriptions and refills without a new prescription, although I believe they recently re-scheduled it to be the same as oxycodone.

I have to sign for every prescription, from opiates to my high blood pressure medication to antibiotics. I can't remember not having to sign for them.

Ironically, I think the dependence on paper prescriptions as being more secure than electronic submission is kind of strange. Surely forging a paper prescription is easier than an electronic submission. I'm also surprised the DEA hasn't just created a mandatory centralized opiate prescribing system where all prescriptions are funneled through them.

I'm not endorsing this, mind you, but they could tighten it down to the point where the only way to prescribe a narcotic is for a doctor to log into a DEA terminal, complete with two-factor authentication, complete the prescription form and have it sent to the pharmacy, all under their watchful eye.

"Can you program?" "Well, I'm literate, if that's what you mean!"