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Comment A matter of priorities (Score 3, Insightful) 212 212

The US government has lost sight of the larger issue here. The tail (NSA and law enforcement) is wagging the dog.

The NSA and law enforcement agencies want to be able to intercept anything, since it makes their jobs easier. However, this runs counter to the larger national interest of the United States.

Which country has the highest level of connectedness and dependence on the Internet? Which country would be worst hurt if a sophisticated attacker was able to penetrate and conduct malicious actions using the systems connected to the Internet? The US, that's who. It is by far in the US's overall national interest to properly secure the Internet and communications infrastructure. Eavesdropping on everyone else is a secondary benefit, in comparison.

The proper role of the President and the Attorney General is to separate the desire of the NSA and law enforcement to make their jobs easier from the greater benefit to the country as a whole. They need to tell the ambitious underlings "NO" in unequivocal terms, then bitch slap them if they keep whining about it.

--Paul

Comment Accessibility for Apple and Microsoft products (Score 1, Informative) 100 100

You didn't say what platform, but this has been an on-going emphasis for both Apple and Microsoft for a long time.

For OS X and iOS, see

http://www.apple.com/accessibi...
http://www.apple.com/accessibi...

For Windows, see

http://www.microsoft.com/enabl...

Hope this helps.

--Paul

Comment End-to-End Audible Voting Systems (Score 1) 480 480

FFS, doesn't anyone do any research before posting stories? 60 seconds of research would turn up the Wikipedia entry on End-to-end audible voting systems. The problem of being able to verify that your vote is recorded as you intended without revealing the actual content of your vote has been solved by several teams. The ones that seem to have the best handle on things are Scantegrity, Pret-a-Voter, and Punchscan (the predecessor of Scantegrity) .

Using Bitcoin (which in fact has anti-anonymity properties) as an engine for voting is like attaching a tractor to a horse carriage. It may get you where you want to go, but it's nothing like a proper motor vehicle.

--Paul

Comment Really, really weak evidence (Score 4, Informative) 158 158

Folks,

The evidence here is really, really weak. The connection is tenuous enough and the original pool of possible suspects via their methodology is large enough that I sure as heck wouldn't rule out a connection via random chance. Until we get better evidence, this isn't worth very much.

Norse Security says as much in The Fine Article:

Stammberger was careful to note that his company's findings are hardly conclusive, and may just add wrinkles to an already wrinkled picture of what happened at Sony Pictures. He said Norse employees will be briefing the FBI on Monday about their findings.

"They're the investigators," Stammberger said. "We're going to show them our data and where it points us. As far as whether it is proof that would stand up in a court of law? That's not our job to determine, it is theirs," he said of the FBI.

--Paul

Comment Re:At that price point, not much... (Score 5, Insightful) 116 116

You'll be getting crap for $100-150. Sorry, but you will. Now that being said, I have found a Syma x5C from Banggood for $63.51 CAD and has a 2MB camera. http://www.banggood.com/Syma-X... [banggood.com] and it's not bad for a beginner but it's going to get broken and then you'll be pissed off.

Not as fucking pissed off as he will be when his $400 drone crashes, eats a prop, gets caught in a gust of wind and wanders out to sea, etc. etc. It's much better to start with a $60 Hubsan or Syma and get some inexpensive practice flying in before moving up to something Phantom-level.

Comment It's not a tank (Score 1) 163 163

Geez how the press gets this sort of thing so wrong. It's not a tank, it's an Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV). It's lightly armored against small arms and small-bore auto-cannon rounds, not against ATGMs, tank main guns, or RPGs.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

The weight at 34 tonnes is much less than that of any current front-line tank (according to Wikipedia the Challenger 2 is 62.5 tonnes, almost double the Scout SV). It is a lot heavier than most current IFV's (e.g., the German Marder at 28 tonnes or BMP-3 at 18.7 tonnes), but that may not be such a good thing. It makes strategic mobility more of a problem and ensures that the Scout SV can't swim across rivers by itself.

Some reporter just cut and pasted from the press release. Feh!

--Paul

Comment Full course available online (Score 4, Informative) 144 144

Folks,

My son took the course last year as a senior in high school via iTunesU.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/co...

It's also available on EdX.

https://www.edx.org/course/har...

Heck, I took it way back thirty-odd years ago. :-)

Also, here's a link to the original article in the Harvard Crimson:

http://www.thecrimson.com/arti...

--Paul

Comment Suggestions for the Apple technologist (Score 3, Informative) 131 131

In chronological order looking forward:

MacTech Boot Camps - http://www.mactech.com/bootcam...
Small, local, inexpensive. Check to see if there's one close to you.

MacTech Conference - http://www.mactech.com/confere...
Larger, both sysadmin and developer tracks

MacIT - http://www.macitconf.com/
Larger, multiple tracks and levels of knowledge

WWDC - https://developer.apple.com/ww...
The granddaddy of them all, but next to impossible to get into these days. Mostly developer focused. May not be useful if you don't already have a deep knowledge base.

MacAdmins - http://macadmins.psu.edu/
The most education-focused of the conferences. Very knowledgeable presenters.

FWIW, I've been a presenter at MacTech Boot Camps, MacIT, and WWDC.

--Paul

Comment If it means faster CentOS development, good (Score 2) 186 186

CentOS 6 was delayed quite a bit from the corresponding RHEL release, for a variety of reasons. If being an unofficial-official Red Hat project means that CentOS 7 tracks the upcoming RHEL 7 release better, then everybody wins. (Conversely, if they turn into Sunacle, then we're likely moving to Debian.)

... when fits of creativity run strong, more than one programmer or writer has been known to abandon the desktop for the more spacious floor. -- Fred Brooks

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