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Comment: Re:Big risks (Score 1) 178

by harrkev (#48390019) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is Non-USB Flash Direct From China Safe?

No. No chance of security problems other than possibly having malware pre-loaded in a file on the drive. If you have auto-play turned off and format the card, it should be just fine.

Now, it is still likely that it is a fake. It might be very small, very slow, or die a very early death, but that would only endanger your data on there and not your computer itself.

You may be asking "Why is this the case?" The reason is that the "U" in "USB" stands for "Universal" A USB device could easily present itself as a hub with an Ethernet adapter, keyboard, mouse, and storage all rolled into one. Hell, it could even throw in a virtual MIDI keyboard, scanner, printer, and joystick if it wanted to. From what I understand, this is the crux of the security problems with USB.

An SD card, on the other hand, is strictly for storage. It uses an interface similar to SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface), and is, in fact, really SPI on some of the slower modes. There is no way for a SD card to pretend to be anything else besides an SD card. People have actually wedged WiFi interfaces into an SD form-factor, but you need drivers for those, which means that you need to either install the driver yourself, or the bad guys have to get the driver into Windows Update -- not likely in either case.

Comment: Re:Dumb idea ... Lots of assumptions .... (Score 4, Insightful) 694

by harrkev (#48370101) Attached to: US School Installs 'Shooter Detection' System

Curtailing access to them means that some people cannot get them. That may be a problem...

People talk about keeping guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. Great in theory, but is MUCH more problematic in practice. Mental illness is not binary -- it comes in various degrees and kinds.

Should a person who hears voices telling him to kill people be denied a gun? Probably.
Should a person who compulsively washes his hands be denied a gun? Probably not.

If a person is on anti-depressants be denied a gun? What if they stopped taking them (this could be good or bad)? What if they stopped taking them last week against their doctor's orders? What if they stopped taking them 20 years ago?

Suppose a person is dangerous enough to require having their rights to arms removed... Who makes that determination? Does it just take one psychologist? Should it take a board of 3 or 7 doctors? Should a judge be involved?

If the person gets better, how are their rights restored? Once again, who makes this determination? What are the criteria?

And suppose a person already HAS guns. Maybe they are a hunter, and love hunting. Because they are afraid of loosing their favorite recreation, they AVOID seeking mental help. Is that a great idea?

Suppose a woman has some mental health issues and is denied a gun. However, her ex has a criminal record for violent offenses and has threatened death against the woman. Should the then be allowed to own a gun to protect herself? If so, who makes this decision? How long would it take for this issue to go through the courts? Would she even live that long?

Seriously. just focusing on the guns is ignorant. Just saying "don't give them to lunatics" is easy to say, but much harder to do in practice. When there IS a school shooting, what is the first thing to happen? People show up to help, with guns.

Comment: Re:Dumb idea ... Lots of assumptions .... (Score 1) 694

by harrkev (#48369651) Attached to: US School Installs 'Shooter Detection' System

Amen. A much better way to reduce school shootings is to identify WHY kids want to shoot people. Maybe invest money in training for teachers to identify bullying? Maybe hire another counselor to talk to troubled children?

Given the rare nature of school shootings, you average kid has an approximately equal chance to be struck by lightning.

School shootings are tragic, but they are also rare. If you want to save a child's life, there are MANY better places where the money could be spent.

Comment: Re:Dumb idea ... Lots of assumptions .... (Score 1, Insightful) 694

by harrkev (#48369559) Attached to: US School Installs 'Shooter Detection' System

You say that like stabbings and shootings are the same.
Guns weren't invented because they made killing harder.

So, if guns are banned, then the next step is to ban all knives, because school stabbings also kill people. OK. Knives banned, but people are still beaten to death. Time to ban baseball bats and golf clubs.

Seriously, for every gun used in a murder, there are over THIRTY THOUSAND that are NOT used in a homicide. Also, guns are used to PREVENT crime nearly a million times a year (about 800,000 by the middle-of-the-road estimates).

Grow up. Guns are not evil -- they are tools. If guns are inherently evil, then why do we give them to police and soldiers?

Government

Ex-CBS Reporter Claims Government Agency Bugged Her Computer 235

Posted by samzenpus
from the watching-you dept.
RoccamOccam writes A former CBS News reporter who quit the network over claims it kills stories that put President Obama in a bad light says she was spied on by a "government-related entity" that planted classified documents on her computer. In her new memoir, Sharyl Attkisson says a source who arranged to have her laptop checked for spyware in 2013 was "shocked" and "flabbergasted" at what the analysis revealed. "This is outrageous. Worse than anything Nixon ever did. I wouldn't have believed something like this could happen in the United States of America," Attkisson quotes the source saying.

Comment: Re:Easily done: (Score 1) 331

by harrkev (#48196889) Attached to: 3D-Printed Gun Earns Man Two Years In Japanese Prison

Well, since you asked:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D...

Estimates over the number of defensive gun uses vary, depending on the study's population, criteria, time-period studied, and other factors. Higher end estimates by Kleck and Gertz show between 1 to 2.5 million DGUs in the United States each year.[1]:64â"65[2][3] Low end estimates cited by Hemenway show approximately 55,000-80,000 such uses each year.[4][5] Middle estimates have estimated approximately 1 million DGU incidents in the United States

I also love the "FOR THE CHILDREN" argument. To stop child porn, we need to outlaw all encryption. To protect our children from obesity, we have to outlaw fatty foods. Sheesh! Grow up!

Also, lots of children are killed by cars each year. Do you propose banning cars? How about a woman who scares off an intruder with her gun. Is her life and the lives of her children worthless? Put your agenda away and put on your thinking cap.

Government

Journalists Route Around White House Press Office 111

Posted by samzenpus
from the indirect-route dept.
Tailhook writes Pool reports written by White House correspondents are distributed to news organizations via the White House Press Office. Reporters have alleged that the Obama White House exploits its role as distributor to "demand changes in pool reports" and has used this power to "steer coverage in a more favorable direction." Now a group of 90 print journalists has begun privately distributing their work through Google Groups, independent of the Press Office. Their intent is to "create an independent pool-reporting system for print and online recipients."
Power

Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project 571

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-don't-have-long-to-invent-Mr.-Fusion dept.
Lockheed Martin claims it has made a significant breakthrough in the creation of nuclear fusion reactors. The company says it has proved the feasibility of building a 100MW reactor measuring only 7 feet by 10 feet. They say the design can be built and tested within a year, and they expect an operational reactor within a decade. The project is coming out of stealth mode now to seek partners within academia, government, and industry. "Lockheed sees the project as part of a comprehensive approach to solving global energy and climate change problems. Compact nuclear fusion would also produce far less waste than coal-powered plants, and future reactors could eliminate radioactive waste completely, the company said."

Comment: Re:Leader quotation bingo (Score 1) 264

by harrkev (#48083135) Attached to: Brits Must Trade Digital Freedoms For Safety, Says Crime Agency Boss

Same with guns. Venezuela enacted a complete gun ban with "gun surrender centers", with heavy penalties for anyone non-police/non-militia to own one. Now, gun crime is 1/1000 what it was a few years ago, and their gun bans are an example to the world of reducing crime.

Yeah. It works GREAT. Same old tired argument. If you actually ban all guns, then gun crime will go away. But then you need to ban fists, knives, ropes, poison, etc. I guess you COULD show up to the funeral of a person stabbed to death and proudly proclaim "You should be thankful that they were not shot to death." Let me know how well that works for you...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C...

Venezuela is currently among the countries with the highest murder rates in the world.

And looking on that wiki page, the graph sure looks like murders are increasing. But at least less people are shot, right?

By the way, similar story in Australia. Harder to get guns. Murder has dropped, but violent crime overall has INCREASED in the last three decades. In the USA, violent crime and murder have dropped more than Australia during the same period.

Comment: Re:Why just guns? (Score 1) 264

by harrkev (#47885099) Attached to: Using Wearable Tech To Track Gun Use

I'm actually unsurprised by the way it dropped - lead was removed from gasoline, and as a result you've had a generation of people grow up without lead poisoning. This lessening of brain damage means that people have better impulse control etc.

Exactly. If, instead of reducing lead, the government had simply banned guns, and we still had lead in gasoline and paint, how well do you think that would have worked out? With people still having behavioral problems, and using knives and baseball bats instead of guns, do you think that the 49% drop in the murder rate would have still happened. Thank you for proving my point. Crime is a symptom of a deeper problem, and guns are NOT the cause of the problem, they are just tools that criminals use, but they are used MUCH MORE by honest people.

So, in this case:

* Banning guns -- little effect

* Banning lead in the environment -- great effect.

There seems to be no movement within the gun owning community to put a lid on such nonsense, which is disturbing.

And what do you expect? The honest gun owners are very much AGAINST crime, just like all of the honest non-gun owners, but how are gun owners supposed to "put a lid" on crime. If I have a gun to defend myself, do you expect me to put on tights and be "Super Shooter Dude" running around saving the city by myself? Then I would be called a "vigilante," which is generally frowned upon. Wishing crime away won't make it go away. Disarming honest citizens will also not stop criminals.

Here are the facts:

1) Guns are common. Almost one for every person in America.

2) Gun crime is actually relatively rare. You just notice it more because it makes the news.

3) How rare or common gun crime is generally depends on how much poverty you have in the area.

4) Criminals will not obey laws. That is why most mass shootings happen in "gun-free zones." I guess a guy who wants to kill a bunch of people is also willing to ignore a "no guns allowed" sign. Whodathunk?

I do not know what the solution is, but I do know what it isn't. Don't forget the famous quote:

For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.

More gun laws will just serve to greatly inconvenience honest people, and do little to stop the real criminals.

By the way. I am not a "prepper" or a "survivalist." At least not much. I have been through a couple of hurricanes. I know what it is to be completely without power and water for a week or so -- and it is not fun. After any disaster it may take the government a few days to a week to come to your rescue, so you need to be prepared to meet your own needs for up to a week. That is just common sense. I am not preparing for the end of the world.

In my case, I just want my children (yes, I have children) to know and love the freedoms that I grew up with. And, if some scumbag wants to attack one of my daughters, I plan on teaching them how to defend themselves. I would rather have a scumbag wind up being shot than one of my daughters wind up being raped. I also do not like people telling me what to do for NO GOOD REASON. There is a speed limit on the roads -- that makes sense, so I happily obey (well, mostly). I believe in being nice to other people. But, telling me that I cannot own a rifle when I have not hurt anybody and have no plans to hurt anybody is just plain stupid.

Comment: Re:Why just guns? (Score 1) 264

by harrkev (#47884559) Attached to: Using Wearable Tech To Track Gun Use

Perhaps the declining rate of crime in the US is due to the declining rate of gun ownership

Oh. One more thing. The homicide rate in the US has dropped by 49% from its peak a few decades ago. Are you going to claim that gun ownership has dropped by 49%?

I bet the 49% drop in the homicide rate is a complete surprise to you. It must frustrate your attempts to live in fear.

Comment: Re:Why just guns? (Score 1) 264

by harrkev (#47884461) Attached to: Using Wearable Tech To Track Gun Use

An awful lot of "ifs" in your conclusions regarding the comparative crime rates between Australia & the US. I will note that you still have a lot of room to make up in the murder rate.

Perhaps. This is a complicated issue. I do not run around and claim that banning guns will make the sun always shine and make flowers sprout on every street corner. If you would actually look at the graphs that you can make yourself from the data on Wikipedia, you would find that the correlation between (more guns == less murder ) is actually rather weak.

Let me put it this way, if gun laws actually made much of a difference one way or the other, then all of Chicago would have roughly the same murder rate. However, that is NOT the case. Some areas (the poorer ones) can have several shooting deaths in a weekend, while other areas of the same city, with the SAME LAWS can go murder-free for multiple years. Why is this? Clearly, the laws are not the only thing to consider here.

Let me put it another way... Some people claim that Chicago's crime problem could be improved by making guns harder to get in other states, because guns are imported from elsewhere. However, guns are very readily available in Wyoming, and yet that do not have anywhere near the same problems. If availability of guns == more murder, then why are these other states not having the same types of problems since the guns are locally available. If somebody at Chicago points their finger at Montana and say it is their fault, that is pretty stupid when Montana has no problems.

And as to Australia, they have a totally different economy, different history, and a somewhat different social social structure. DO you think that those things might make a difference? Russia has very few guns, but a murder rate about five times higher than here. I could point to there and say "see, PROOF that banning guns leads to more crime," but then I would be a liar because I am over-simplifying a very complex topic.

Perhaps the declining rate of crime in the US is due to the declining rate of gun ownership

Perhaps, perhaps not. If YOU want to take away MY rights, then you might want to have a bit more proof than "perhaps."

You have a situation where a declining number of ammosexuals are stocking up on guns, driven by fear & paranoia that someone is coming to take them away.

You are not paranoid if they really are out to get you. Somebody really DID come and take them away (or at least most of them) in the UK and in Australia. At lease one US Senator has stated that they would like to take them all away.

Finally, some more real numbers here... The USA had 8,855 firearm murders in 2012. There are an estimated 270,000,000 guns in the USA (this is the lower figure of the estimate). That means (assuming one gun per murder) that 0.003% of the guns in America are used in murders. Yes, 1/300 of one percent. Wow, sure sounds like a problem to me.

Let's put this in perspective. There are approximately 230,000 sexual assaults per year. The approximate number of males in this country is approximately 150 million. This means that approximately 0.15% of all males perpetrate sexual assault (assuming all assaults are committed by males and no male commits more than one assault). So, the average male is 47 times more likely to commit sexual assault than the average gun is likely to commit a murder.

Also, compare this with motor vehicles. The average car is also four times more likely to cause a death than the average gun is to commit a murder.

Maybe all men should required to keep their male parts under lock and key, with the key provided by a police officer if sufficient need is demonstrated? Maybe every male should go through a background check or have his manhood removed? Furthermore, concealed carry of your manhood would be illegal in California and Illinois.

This sound absurd, but you want to talk about is 30 times more absurd since the average male is 30 times more likely to commit sexual assault than the average gun is likely to commit murder.

So, please, take a deep breath and realize that guns are NOT a threat to you. It is the CRIMINALS that you have to worry about. An honest citizen, even if you gave him 20 guns, would not harm you unless you were trying to harm him. Please stop the fear. Wolves have teeth about the same size as a golden retriever. Yet should your fear of wolves require pulling the teeth out of all dogs?

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