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Comment: Fraught? (Score 1, Offtopic) 31

by gstoddart (#48475041) Attached to: Edsac Goes Live, At UK's National Museum of Computing

The arduous task of reconstructing the 1949 behemoth, fraught with little in terms of the original hardware or documentation

So, the word 'fraught' doesn't appear in TFA. And there's probably a reason for that.

Fraught doesn't mean "without the benefit of".

adjective: fraught

        (of a situation or course of action) filled with or destined to result in (something undesirable).
        "marketing any new product is fraught with danger"
        synonyms: full of, filled with, rife with; More
        attended by, accompanied by
        "their world is fraught with danger"
        causing or affected by great anxiety or stress.
        "there was a fraught silence"

So, to continue this egregiously bad bit of writing ....

Wiff his trusty condoms, Ralph fraught he'd be safe, but, alas, he fraught wrong and got the clap anyway.

Bereft, perhaps. But, fraught??? Really???

Come on guys. Don't just use words you don't know what they mean because they sounded cool in another context.

Oh, wait, I'm assuming editors have a grasp of the language and actually read the submissions. My bad.

Comment: Re:So, in essence, Uber's app is malware (Score 4, Insightful) 187

by gstoddart (#48474937) Attached to: Uber's Android App Caught Reporting Data Back Without Permission

But, cynically, how would you even know?

If they're collecting stuff against the app permissions, WTF would you trust them when they say "oh, sure, we've deleted your stuff".

If they collected anything beyond what they had explicit permissions for, you have to assume everything else is a bloody lie.

Comment: Re:It DOES have permission (Score 4, Insightful) 187

by gstoddart (#48474837) Attached to: Uber's Android App Caught Reporting Data Back Without Permission

Google needs to get their shit together.

Google's "shit" is collecting your personal information to use to sell advertising. So, from that perspective, it's mission accomplished.

There isn't a whole lot of ways to reconcile how Google wants to make money from Android, with a desire user privacy.

My best guess is Google has crippled the privacy to ensure that commercial interests trump privacy interests.

Do you think they're going to provide an ability for users to kill off advertising in apps? Especially when Google profits from this?

My guess is this "simplified" permissions model they rolled out this year was specifically designed to ensure better access for apps.

Comment: Re:So, in essence, Uber's app is malware (Score 1) 187

by gstoddart (#48474819) Attached to: Uber's Android App Caught Reporting Data Back Without Permission

Not to worry ... Twitter wants in on that action.

"To help build a more personal Twitter experience for you, we are collecting and occasionally updating the list of apps installed on your mobile device so we can deliver tailored content that you might be interested in," the company said.

Yeah, no, thanks.

Didn't want your app before. Don't want it now.

This whole "free to use, but we get all your data" model of software is producing some pretty shitty stuff which is actively hostile to your privacy.

The only way to win is to not even play. Sorry, but I don't need your app.

Comment: Re:It DOES have permission (Score 0) 187

by gstoddart (#48474695) Attached to: Uber's Android App Caught Reporting Data Back Without Permission

My best guess, either the permissions model in Android is little more than a promise, but it isn't enforced ... or Uber is bypassing it and getting it anyway.

Both more or less suggest the permissions model in Android is defective by design. Because either it's not enforced, or easily bypassed.

I get the sense from TFA that even though these things are not explicitly asked for, it's doing them anyway.

So, either Uber is malware, or Android is insecure by default and there's little you can do without rooting your device.

In either case, what else can you conclude than "App permissions are at best guidelines, and at worst utterly meaningless".

Comment: Re:Why is Android allowing Uber to access the info (Score 1) 187

by gstoddart (#48474519) Attached to: Uber's Android App Caught Reporting Data Back Without Permission

Your options are:

1) Uninstall it, get on with your life.
2) Decide this is so important you don't care about your privacy
3) Root your device and install something which gives you granular control.

From what I've been able to ascertain, rooting my first gen Nexus 7 is hit and miss, and I've not yet decided to take that step.

Me, I've mostly decided I need fewer apps, run my tablet in airplane mode most of the time, and would rather use a web browser than most apps.

As you said, Android's permission model is completely broken. Which means I've mostly decided I don't trust what it's telling me.

Comment: Re:Why is Android allowing Uber to access the info (Score 1) 187

by gstoddart (#48474481) Attached to: Uber's Android App Caught Reporting Data Back Without Permission

Well, the problem is apps ask for every damned permission just in case, and give little explanations as to why. That whole permission which says "this can cost you money" ... WTF does that mean? In what context?

And the other thing is Google won't give the ability to have discrete permissions on apps, or come back later and revoke some. I frequently get annoyed because I can't think of a single reason why an app actually needs a given permission.

Now, if the app can access this stuff even if it has no permission -- then, yes, this is indicative of the fact that security in Android is crap to begin with.

I've said for a while, what I really want is the ability to go into an an app, and selectively turn off individual permissions. And the ability to click something which says "revert permissions to requested".

It's my damned device, I want control over it.

But, am I really surprised that every app is likely accessing far more than it should because greedy corporations feel entitled to it? No, sadly, not at all.

I have no interest in Uber. But hearing this, I have even less -- because they're either shady, or incompetent. Neither of which is good.

Comment: Re:How about transfer rate and reliability? (Score 1) 178

by gstoddart (#48473979) Attached to: Consortium Roadmap Shows 100TB Hard Drives Possible By 2025

1 TB has enough data for every man woman and child who ever lived to write a 1500 page book!

That's awesome and all ... but this isn't 1988, and we're not storing just text files any more. Nobody is writing 1500 page books to fill up their hard drives.

My iTunes folder is around 400GB, which includes my music and any digital copies of movies I've gotten. An HD version of a movie rings in around 5GB or so. I've still got dozens of DVDs I plan to rip so I have them on-line.

I just recently bought about 60 CDs which I need to rip, and the next BluRays I buy will include digital copies. So, realistically, I'll add another 100GB or so in the next few months.

I have about 100GB of photos, because I have owned digital cameras for the last decade.

I know people with children and HD video recorders who have massive amounts of pictures and videos. They blow through space like you wouldn't believe.

nd please do not give your niche use case in a reply

if you think my use case is niche, you're either clueless, or still only holding onto a bunch of text files.

My 2TB HD is about 50% free, and gets backed up to two separate 2TB HDs. I expect to be more like 40% free within six months.

But do I know a lot of fairly normal people without overly extreme data requirements who can blow past 1TB pretty fast.

So, I think your assertion nobody is using that much space is pretty much unfounded.

Seriously, look around you at what people are actually doing with computers. It might surprise you.

But, hey, like your namesake ... 640K ought to be enough for anybody, right?

Comment: Re:Burial customs? (Score -1) 200

by gstoddart (#48472279) Attached to: Health Advisor: Ebola Still Spreading, Worst Outbreak We've Ever Seen

No, the entitled assholes are the ones who feel no reason to stop doing the very things that are spreading the disease.

Wow, speaking of entitled assholes.

Do you understand the average education levels in Africa? The average wage? The living conditions?

Has it occurred to you that people simply do not understand some of this mumbo jumbo about how the virus spreads? That the entire continent (including the medical people) struggles with this stuff?

Are you really that much of a smug and out of touch western douche that you think the Africans do this stuff out of a selfish sense of entitlement?

So, yeah, the heck with skin color. Let's focus on Westerners who sit around and act like they have the solution to the worlds problems, when in fact they're so ignorant and clueless about those problems as to sound like fucking idiots.

Seriously, do you ever go out of the basement and actually interact with humans? Or do you just sit in your smug chair thinking of ways to be an even bigger asshole?

I'll tell you what, you go to a Baptist church and tell them they need to give up a "ridiculous part of their culture". Or try it at a Mosque.

Hell, try it at a gun range and do us all a favor.


Clarificiation on the IP Address Security in Dropbox Case 147

Posted by samzenpus
from the read-all-about-it dept.
Bennett Haselton writes A judge rules that a county has to turn over the IP addresses that were used to access a county mayor's Dropbox account, stating that there is no valid security-related reason why the IP addresses should be exempt from a public records request. I think the judge's conclusion about IP addresses was right, but the reasoning was flawed; here is a technically more correct argument that would have led to the same answer. Keep Reading to see what Bennett has to say about the case.

Comment: Re:Duh ... (Score 1) 205

by gstoddart (#48468325) Attached to: Hacker Threatened With 44 Felony Charges Escapes With Misdemeanor

There must be a revolving door between federal prosecutors and banks. If the prosecutors leave the banks alone or just fine them a couple of months profits, they will have a lucrative job waiting for them when they leave the government.

There's more truth to that than you might realize:

The people who have been setting government economic policy for the last two decades are usually drawn from the financial industry which almost destroyed the global economy.

So, the lying, cheating bastards who got us into this mess, are the lying, cheating bastards in charge of deciding what to do next.

At which point you more or less assume the whole system has been corrupted to be in the hands of the financial industry. Leaving them free to come up with more policies which favor them, and remove even more regulations which were intended to stop this stuff in the first place.

Which some of us will argue has been the intent for the last half century.

Because some people believe what is good for the crony-capitalists is good for society. Or, at least they believe if they can keep telling us that lie sooner or later it will be too damned late to do anything about it.

Comment: Re:Duh ... (Score 5, Insightful) 205

by gstoddart (#48468111) Attached to: Hacker Threatened With 44 Felony Charges Escapes With Misdemeanor

Ten years ago I would have said you were a crank.

In all honesty, ten years ago I would have said I'm a crank.

But, the reality is, over the last bunch of years, we're seeing much more "victory at any costs" coming both from the legal system and the politicians. Facts and the law are secondary to agendas and posturing.

We're seeing more and more examples of "the law and your rights are too damned inconvenient so we're going to ignore them".

We see Federal law enforcement lying about their secret spying capacity and going to great lengths to conceal it.

We see those same entities writing a hand book for how to commit perjury to about where they got their evidence in order to get a conviction and gloss over some of the shadier bits about how they operate. Effectively it's a "how to frame someone we believe is guilty but didn't legally obtain the evidence".

The companies who caused the economic meltdown? Bailed out, and forgiven so we don't introduce any more instability, totally ignoring what amounted to billions of dollars worth of Ponzi schemes.

The legal system has been co-opted to serve the interests of commercial entities, who more or less write laws which governments pass for them.

And, increasingly, we see the governments of Western nations getting together to do this shit to all of us.

So, yeah ... not so long ago I would have been a crank. But, not so long ago, none of this stuff was real, it was the stuff of fiction.

I keep saying, what was fantastical fiction 10-15 years ago is commonplace. And if it keeps going that way, we're pretty much fucked.

In my mind, we've pretty much reached the point where the surveillance state being in partnership with (and in some cases working for) an oligarchy or corporations who don't give a shit about anything but their own profits, and who have the means to change and control anything which they find inconvenient.

It doesn't seem like there's enough tinfoil on the entire fucking planet to NOT end up sounding like a paranoid loon when you look at what's actually happening.

I'd like to go back to a nice normal "slightly crazy" like before. But the world doesn't seem like it's trending in that direction.

Comment: Duh ... (Score 5, Insightful) 205

by gstoddart (#48467665) Attached to: Hacker Threatened With 44 Felony Charges Escapes With Misdemeanor

Prosecutors are no longer interested in evenly applying the law in a sane manner.

They're interested in high profile retribution which is intended to send a message which says "don't mess with us, or we'll do this to you".

And, somehow, at the CEO level when there's massive fraud and malfeasance ... absolutely nothing happens.

Because the justice system is dependent on how much money is in your bank account, and who your friends are.

The reason that every major university maintains a department of mathematics is that it's cheaper than institutionalizing all those people.