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Comment: Re:I must be the outlier (Score 1) 89

by idontgno (#47565483) Attached to: Comcast Confessions

I'm not quite sure why Comcast hasn't emiserated the in-store situation yet

There are practical limitations in a brick-and-mortar situation. There are a limited number of behind-the-counter folks, and having to hassle a not-gonna-be-a-customer for an extended amount of time makes the lines at the counter grow and grow. Since it's the same counter (and workforce) used to generate business by selling hardware and service, it's counterproductive to sabotage that by extensive "retention" operations. Not to mention that the desperate, wheedling, infuriating conversation that results would be witnessed by everyone else in line; and no matter how dumb, most of the mammals in line may notice that and wonder if doing business with Comcast would be such a good idea.

Whereas a boiler-room telemarketing op has none of these risks and liabilities.

Moral of the story: deal with Comcast where they have some incentive to deal decisively: their own showrooms.

The Military

Nuclear Missile Command Drops Grades From Tests To Discourage Cheating 9

Posted by Soulskill
from the D-for-darn-good dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Earlier this year, just over half of the military officers put in charge of U.S. nuclear launch facilities were implicated in an exam cheating scandal. The Air Force conducted regular exams to keep officers current on the protocols and skills required to operate some of the world's most dangerous weapons. But the way they graded the test caused problems. Anything below a 90% score was a fail, but the remaining 10% often dictated how a launch officer's career progressed. There might not be much functional difference between a 93% and a 95%, but the person scoring higher will get promoted disproportionately quicker. This inspired a ring of officers to cheat in order to meet the unrealistic expectations of the Air Force. Now, in an effort to clean up that Missile Wing, the Air Force is making the exams pass/fail. The officers still need to score 90% or higher (since it's important work with severe consequences for failure), but scores won't be recorded and used to compete for promotions anymore. The Air Force is also making an effort to replace or refurbish the aging equipment that runs these facilities.

Comment: Re:Wow ... (Score 2) 353

by idontgno (#47559453) Attached to: A 24-Year-Old Scammed Apple 42 Times In 16 Different States

Other than mentioning that the store declined the debit card (which is by definition an interaction between the POS and the credit/debit clearinghouse).

But since you've raised the issue, you've shown exactly where you missed the boat.

The exploit is completely OUTSIDE of the POS<->bank interaction. (Cuz, "debit refused"). The exploit occurs in the "call a fake bank, offer up a fake reference number, have the Apple Store drones accept it as proof of a valid credit/debit transaction" phase AFTER the machine-to-machine part.

Apparenly, you've fallen for the same trick the Apple Store drones did: fixating on the machine-to-machine debit transaction (which failed as expected) and completely neglecting the social engineering that followed.

Comment: Average EA customer's take on the issue (Score 2) 222

by idontgno (#47558623) Attached to: Free Copy of the Sims 2 Contains SecuROM
Homer Simpson has agreed to download this free software for Bart's birthday

Electronic Arts: Take this software, but beware it carries a terrible DRM!

Homer: Ooh, that's bad.

Shopkeeper: But it comes with a free frogurt!

Homer: That's good.

Shopkeeper: The frogurt is also cursed.

Homer: That's bad.

Shopkeeper: But you get your choice of toppings.

Homer: That's good!

Shopkeeper: The toppings contain potassium benzoate.

[Homer looks puzzled]

Shopkeeper: ...That's bad.

Homer: Can I go now?

Comment: Re:Wow ... (Score 4, Insightful) 353

by idontgno (#47558439) Attached to: A 24-Year-Old Scammed Apple 42 Times In 16 Different States

I understand the long-running and much-honored Slashdot tradition of not reading TFA, but couldn't you at least have read The Fucking Summary?

When his debit card was inevitably declined by the Apple Store, he would protest and offer to call his bank — except, he wasn't really calling his bank. So he would allegedly offer the Apple Store employees a fake authorization code with a certain number of digits....

There was ample dumbshittery (and liability) to assign here, but it's all on the Apple Store drones. No bank involved.

Comment: Re:Customer service? (Score 1) 878

Shrug.

In air travel, there are only really three sizes of carry-on luggage: Fits under the seat, fits in the overhead, and should have been checked in.

If a $30-$50 checked bag fee would alleviate your anxiety about staking your inviolable claim to the overhear rack, why don't you spend it? Life's too short to be voluntarily stressing yourself (and intentionally putting yourself into competition with other passengers) over completely avoidable shit.

Space

Preparing For Satellite Defense 118

Posted by Soulskill
from the road-to-kessler-syndrome dept.
Taco Cowboy sends a report into China's development of anti-satellite technology, and efforts by the U.S. and Japan to build defenses for this new potential battleground. Last year, China launched what they said was a science space mission, but they did so at night and with a truck-based launch system, which are not generally used for science projects. Experts believe this was actually a missile test for targets in geostationary orbit. U.S. and Japanese analysts say China has the most aggressive satellite attack program in the world. It has staged at least six ASAT missile tests over the past nine years, including the destruction of a defunct Chinese weather satellite in 2007. ... Besides testing missiles that can intercept and destroy satellites, the Chinese have developed jamming techniques to disrupt satellite communications. In addition, ... the Chinese have studied ground-based lasers that could take down a satellite's solar panels, and satellites equipped with grappling arms that could co-orbit and then disable expensive U.S. hardware. To defend themselves against China, the U.S. and Japan are in the early stages of integrating their space programs as part of negotiations to update their defense policy guidelines. ... Both countries have sunk billions of dollars into a sophisticated missile defense system that relies in part on data from U.S. spy satellites. That's why strategists working for China's People's Liberation Army have published numerous articles in defense journals about the strategic value of chipping away at U.S. domination in space.

Comment: Re:could use a turret (Score 1) 90

The article's about a half-scale prototype. The real deal is supposed to be lightly armored and have a few self-defense machine guns. The real deal will also be too big to be an actual tactical vehicle, comparable in size a current LCAC.

That said, there were interesting experiments in putting self-contained 30mm antitank gun pods onto the cargo deck of LCACs, making them into ghetto gunships, and I bet that would work here too. Something to make beach defenders keep their heads down long enough for the landing craft to land and disembark.

Security

The Hacking of NASDAQ 76

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the tales-of-hacking-and-intrigue dept.
puddingebola (2036796) writes Businessweek has an account of the 2010 hacking of the NASDAQ exchange. From the article, "Intelligence and law enforcement agencies, under pressure to decipher a complex hack, struggled to provide an even moderately clear picture to policymakers. After months of work, there were still basic disagreements in different parts of government over who was behind the incident and why. 'We've seen a nation-state gain access to at least one of our stock exchanges, I'll put it that way, and it's not crystal clear what their final objective is,' says House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, a Republican from Michigan, who agreed to talk about the incident only in general terms because the details remain classified. 'The bad news of that equation is, I'm not sure you will really know until that final trigger is pulled. And you never want to get to that.'"

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