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Comment: Re:it could have been an accident (Score 1) 733

by mellon (#49345407) Attached to: Germanwings Plane Crash Was No Accident

The frustrating thing about this is that as soon as the method that the terrorists used to take over the planes in 9/11 was understood, the take-over-the-cockpit scenario became much harder, because now you have to defend yourself from all the passengers as well as the crew. There was no downside to adding the door security, but it was superfluous, and now we can see that it has a serious downside.

I think the problem here is thinking in terms of absolutes. What was needed to address the 9/11 scenario was a change to the balance of power, not a perfectly secure cockpit. Having a lockout that prevents crew from accessing the cockpit is too much security, because while it mitigates one risk, it creates another risk, and the second risk isn't particularly less likely than the first.

Comment: Re:Captain Obvious (Score 2) 160

by mellon (#49249631) Attached to: LAPD Police Claim Helicopters Stop Crimes Before They Happen

As a general rule, it's preferable not to have continuous noise. I only ever spent a brief time in LA, but the helicopters were really disturbing. I wouldn't be surprised if the stress they cause increases violence and shortens lives. But the lives it shortens are civilian lives, so I guess it's okay.

Comment: The retro bulbs look fantastic. (Score 4, Informative) 328

by mellon (#49245877) Attached to: New Crop of LED Filament Bulbs Look Almost Exactly Like Incandescents

We have a bunch of these--had to mail order them, since they aren't available at retail yet. They look very realistic, and produce a nice warm light. I wouldn't want them for my only lighting, but compared to the old fake edison bulbs, they are fantastic--no stupid excess of heat, and much more efficient.

Comment: Re:In other news (Score 1) 609

by mellon (#49233169) Attached to: Clinton Regrets, But Defends, Use of Family Email Server

If they set up a guard to keep people out, that's pretty disturbing. My mom is in a nursing home right now for rehab following knee surgery at the moment, and they do not have security guards at her nursing home, nor did they at the previous one she went for rehab when she had hip replacement surgery. Both of these were real nursing homes that also have rehab centers.

What nursing homes do have are people at the front desk who prevent you from leaving if you aren't supposed to. This is to protect Alzheimer's patients and other patients with dementia, who could easily wander off into traffic. But a security guard preventing people from coming in to visit patients is weird. It's pretty routine for clergy to visit folks in nursing homes, so a home that prevents them from doing so would be raising a really big red flag. If you have a home like that near where you live, you should do something about it, not just sit there criticizing.

Comment: Re:As if SMTP were ever secure... (Score 1) 609

by mellon (#49232685) Attached to: Clinton Regrets, But Defends, Use of Family Email Server

First of all, having the NSA as your IT security team, even if it were true, is a double-edged sword. But secondly, that is not in fact the NSA's remit. The NSA may advise on security, but they don't operate it. And as you are no doubt aware if you follow the news, the government is not notoriously full of clue when it comes to IT.

Comment: Re:As if SMTP were ever secure... (Score 3, Interesting) 609

by mellon (#49232647) Attached to: Clinton Regrets, But Defends, Use of Family Email Server

A moral dilemma is when you're trying to figure out whether to kill one person to save three, not when you are trying to figure out where to store your email. That's an IT decision. Just because the right thing to do is clear to you in the abstract doesn't mean it would even be clear to you in practice. How would you feel about carrying two phones? How would you feel about having your private email on a government server? When you read science fiction, does the character with the smart phone carry two of them so that she can have access to her secure stuff and her regular stuff? Hell no.

So yeah, of course we can armchair quarterback it, but let's not pretend it's not political.

Comment: As if SMTP were ever secure... (Score 5, Insightful) 609

by mellon (#49232407) Attached to: Clinton Regrets, But Defends, Use of Family Email Server

The sad irony here is that the Clinton presidency was the first where they had to set up a real email presence, and they hired some really smart people to do it. They did a great job. But that was a long time ago, and things have moved on. So they're getting criticized for using SSL 2.0 for transport security, which is a valid criticism now, but is still better security than most people have. And of course it's not like security on government servers is better. So this is kind of obviously a deliberate attempt to create a fuss over something that really isn't as significant as it's being pumped up to be.

On the plus side, maybe more people will start using strong TLS transport security for their email...

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