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Comment: Re:How do you (Score 0, Troll) 311

by mrchaotica (#47511697) Attached to: The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

Why do you feel you have to defend yourself against accusations like this? Have they been leveled at you?

They have, and they've been leveled at you, by the article itself, which made blanket statements about all men.

This woman thinks I'm asshole with no self-control for no other reason than because I have a penis. And she thinks I'm the one who's sexist?!

Not once have I ever felt the need to "defend myself against accusations like this." Why? Because it's pretty easy to avoid being a condescending sexist asshole...

Indeed. I have a suspicion that the opposite is also true: that the women who complain about these things are themselves the female equivalents of the condescending sexist assholes they're complaining about.

Comment: Re:Wait, wait... (Score 1) 124

by mrchaotica (#47511025) Attached to: Exodus Intelligence Details Zero-Day Vulnerabilities In Tails OS

If other people are attacking you, should you lay down all your weapons and hope they do the same?

Are people attacking Exodus via TOR? If not, then what ethical justification does it have for involving itself as the NSA's mercenary?

I'm all for self-defense; it's aiding aggression that I find unethical.

Hacking without responsible disclosure is always unethical, and what others choose to do is irrelevant.

I think this is an incredibly bold statement. I think it's a bit hard to judge the ethics of exploiting a computer "in a vacuum", the context certainly matters. Let's take a hypothetical situation: if a computer was used as the trigger for a bomb which was going to go off and kill 100 people, would it not be ethical to hack in to the computer and disable it? [we can assume it also has all the fancy triggering mechanisms in place.. capacitive sensing in case someone gets too close, tilt/shock sensors in case something tries to move it, etc]

Clearly, I'm failing to understand -- what is there about your hypothetical situation that precludes responsible disclosure?

Also, responsible disclosure is sort of tautologically ethical because it does consider context (that's what the "responsible" part means). If you're not sure what kind of disclosure is responsible, then the only ethical option would be to forgo the hacking.

The other thing is you have to consider that "cyber weapons" mean governments can gain intelligence or affect systems without hurting people. Stuxnet is an interesting example. How many lives would have been lost if instead someone bombed the Iranian nuclear facility, or killed off Iranian scientists (yes, I know this still happens anyway, sadly)? Stuxnet was a virus that infected the public's computers as well. Based on our discussion so far I would expect you to say something like "well sure, maybe it's better than bombing, but having neither would be even better". That's a totally understandable stance, but again, that isn't the world we live in. I think it's a step in the right direction to at least try to minimize deaths.

Being forced to choose the lesser of two evils doesn't mean you should become the active accomplice of that evil.

Besides, on a more practical note, you're also failing to consider the rest of the collateral damage. By supporting Exodus's position, you're saying that hypothetically saving the lives of the Iranian scientists is worth hypothetically risking the lives of TOR users worldwide.

Comment: Re:Wait, wait... (Score 1) 124

by mrchaotica (#47510147) Attached to: Exodus Intelligence Details Zero-Day Vulnerabilities In Tails OS

So you seem to be saying hacking is never ethical.

Hacking with responsible disclosure is ethical. The fact that it may not be possible to do so profitably is irrelevant.

Hacking without responsible disclosure is always unethical, and what others choose to do is irrelevant. The fact that somebody else is acting unethically is not an excuse for you to act unethically too!

So no, I guess what I'm saying is that if Exodus weren't selling bugs to the government, we would be worse off, not better.

No. We're exactly equally bad off in either case. An attacker is an attacker. I have no confidence whatsoever that giving the NSA the exploits helps the American public, but even if I did the act of doing so would still be unethical!

Didn't your parents ever ask you rhetorical questions like "if your friends all jumped off a bridge, does that mean you should do it too?" or tell you "the ends do not justify the means" when you were a kid?

Comment: Re:Wait, wait... (Score 3, Insightful) 124

by mrchaotica (#47508913) Attached to: Exodus Intelligence Details Zero-Day Vulnerabilities In Tails OS

The arguments I'm used to hearing go something like "but it's obviously unethical, they should just responsibly report and disclose vulnerabilities they find". But this is a total crap argument. The options Exodus has aren't "sell to governments" or "responsibly disclose for little to no fee". The options are "sell to governments" or "go out of business". So maybe someone will say "fine, they should go out of business, then we will all obviously be safer!".

But, well, it's not really clear that's the case. If Exodus (or Vupen, or whomever) quit, it's not like suddenly the government would stop looking for exploits. And if the US government did, it's not like China or Russia would. And if they did, it's not like criminal organizations would stop. You aren't going to stop vulnerabilities from happening or being sold. Game theoretically, it seems like the right choice is to keep the US government snatching up what vulnerabilities it can to keep in its back pocket for espionage. Not doing so would be a huge blow to US intelligence agencies, when every other major government out there is working on the same capabilities.

So what you're saying is that what Exodus is doing is unethical, but criminals would do the same thing anyway, so we might as well ignore Exodus' unethical behavior because they're on "our side?"

Fuck that, and fuck you!

Comment: Re:Classic game theory ? (Score 1) 506

Us schmoes with our mortgages are under iron clad obligations to pay down to the last penny.

On the contrary: this is why debtor's prisons were abolished in favor of bankruptcy laws. The elites realized that it's more efficient to keep the schmoes working instead of locking them up when they (inevitably!) default.

Comment: Re:Definition of a successful intercept... (Score 4, Insightful) 379

by willy_me (#47505669) Attached to: MIT's Ted Postol Presents More Evidence On Iron Dome Failures

It would be cool to find out just what the real statistics are. I'm pretty sure, though, that Israel classifies this information as a state secret and we may never know in our lifetimes.

The rockets generate more psychological damage then physical. As far as weapons go, they are rather pathetic. All the iron dome really has to do is to make those it protects feel safe. If statistics have the potential of damaging this feeling of safety then you ca be assured that they will be kept secret.

The other purpose of the iron dome is to limit the desire to fire the rockets in the first place. If one thinks their efforts are in vain then they are less likely to follow through. If Israel can convince members of Hamas that their rockets are not working then there will be fewer rockets launched at Israel.

Comment: Here's what's wrong (again... still) (Score 3, Insightful) 81

These laws are toothless. "Must answer within 20 days"... or what? With no one held immediately culpable, the law is precisely meaningless.

Heard of anyone going to jail for this?

Heard of anyone paying a fine for this?

Even heard of anyone losing their job for this?

Compare: If you don't do something the government desires you to do, there will be consequences.

This is just like the constitution: "Highest law in the land" -- violate it -- as SCOTUS and congress have done over and over -- and the consequences? Nothing.

Just so you taxpayers know your place. The laws aren't for the government. Those are just laws "for show." The real laws are just for you. Because, you know, they care about you.

Comment: Re:Don't buy cheap android (Score 1) 286

by gfxguy (#47501155) Attached to: Why My LG Optimus Cellphone Is Worse Than It's Supposed To Be
My last phone was an Optimus V from Virgin... The only problems I had resulted from me rooting and installing a clean version of Android, so I can't blame LG. I would have kept it... it was a bit slow playing angry birds (not what I bought my phone for, though), but I could use it as a mobile hot spot. When I upgraded to a 4G phone, I lost that ability... and didn't want to root it after the earlier problems I'd experienced. But here's the thing: I didn't encounter bugs like the author describes. It worked the way it was supposed to. I didn't mind the camera wasn't all that, I didn't have keyboard problems (although it seems like you can install a third party keyboard app that should fix those problems... not that you should have to). I see a lot of complaining about the author of this article, but I think he raises some good points... I'm reminded of Bill Gates saying that people didn't care about bug fixes, they wanted new features!

Comment: Re: Hmmm (Score 5, Informative) 200

by gfxguy (#47500421) Attached to: New Toyota Helps You Yell At the Kids

Not good enough... we also traded in the minivan when the kids were a bit older, but our small SUVs only get around 23MPG... I'd traded in my 93 Civic that routinely got over 35MPG, now you don't even get that in a Civic or other small car without it being a hybrid or something... with very few exceptions. I may get a Mazda 3 or 6, though. They get upwards of 35.

I will say this, though, to actually contribute to the conversation about minivans... I had no problem driving one, and felt no stigma about it. All the people buying giant SUVs and justifying it because hey, once or twice a year they may buy a big box item and save on delivery! Or they need to carry a lot of passengers... Our Honda Odyssey carried 7 people a lot more comfortably than any SUV I've been in, and when you needed cargo space it was right up there with the big boys when you folded the rear seat down... even more than a lot of big SUVs; add decent towing capacity and overall better mileage, and the only reason for most people not to get one was the "stigma." Unless you're towing a yacht, or need to go off roading, a good (200hp+) minivan is a much more logical choice.

Take your work seriously but never take yourself seriously; and do not take what happens either to yourself or your work seriously. -- Booth Tarkington