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Comment: Re:My good friend at CU. (Score 1) 156

by pissoncutler (#44139769) Attached to: Unix Guru Evi Nemeth Missing, Feared Lost At Sea

I read "UNIX System Administration" cover to cover in preperation for my first big job interview, and it helped me land the job (and jump from Appalachia to Silicon Valley). I owe her (and her co-authors) for many years of employment and adventures. I hope she and her sailing companions are found safe and sound.

Comment: Re:Whew! TSA flew much too close to sane policy .. (Score 2) 298

by pissoncutler (#43920227) Attached to: TSA Decides Against Allowing Small Knives On Aircraft

I didn't just invent this model, it's used at Ben Gurion in Tel Aviv.

The checkpoint screens take a few seconds each, they aren't reading you a long prepared statement and checking to see if you respond yes or no. They are looking you in the eye and asking you about your day; they are trained to pick up on your reaction and filter through lots of people quickly. This doesn't move the line outside the airport, as you suggest, it divides the crowds into smaller pools of potential victims and creates "rings" of security. If a terrorist detonates a bomb in the outermost ring, they will likely take out themselves, the security officer and maybe the vehicles immediately adjacent. Worst case, 10-15 people MAX. If the same terrorist makes it to the security line on a holiday weekend, how many people are within the blast radius? I think 10-15 would be a minimum.

As I said in response to the comment above, I'm more of the opinion that the risk/reward equation for a terrorist attack on an airport has shifted and the September 11th attacks would be very difficult to replicate. The passengers on three of those planes assumed (like we all did) that hijackers just wanted money, or to make a speech and that smartest move was to let the authorities deal with it. No one will make that mistake again.

Today's terrorists (homegrown or otherwise) want to maximise casualties, and leave the speeches to be found after the fact. The best way to handle this is to screen and isolate, or to accept that such attacks represent such a statistical minority of deaths from violent crime and spend our security money elsewhere.

Comment: Whew! TSA flew much too close to sane policy ... (Score 5, Insightful) 298

by pissoncutler (#43919219) Attached to: TSA Decides Against Allowing Small Knives On Aircraft

Instead of making folks discard completely non-threatening items, TSA should look into *actual* security.

The airport should have a series of series of checkpoints. Every vehicle that pulls onto the property goes past a guard that asks you how your day is going (screen #1). At the ticket counter, a friendly agent asks if you are enjoying the weather (screen #2). Drop off your bags, some other random, friendly question (screen #3). Lastly, at the x-ray / metal detector / body scanner, the attending agent looks you in the eye and chats with you again (screen #4). Every station should be manned by trained security personel empowered to flag you for greater scrutiny. Add to that randomized patrols and searches.

The staged checkpoints also reduce the likelihood of an attacker targeting that massive line to get through security. (In the TSA system, no one waiting in that line has been through any prior screen.)

Stagger the checks and ensure redundancy. It's not cheap, it would require TSA to hire/pay much better than they do now, but it would get you better security. Banning Swiss Army Knives and hockey sticks doesn't make anyone safer.

Comment: Re:Maybe they should have signed this petition ins (Score 1) 429

by pissoncutler (#43362093) Attached to: Aaron Swartz Prosecution Team Claims Online Harassment

In response to my own comment, I should add that I don't encourage or endorse violence against these folks (or even harassment) -- the correct method is to peacefully work with the system to advocate change and to seek punishment for egregious violations such as the prosecution of Mr Swartz. (In re-reading my comment, I think it came across a bit harsher than was intended).

tl;dr Their (alleged) lack of honor in dealing with Mr Swartz doesn't give us a pass to also act dishonorably.

Comment: Re:Maybe they should have signed this petition ins (Score 1) 429

by pissoncutler (#43361845) Attached to: Aaron Swartz Prosecution Team Claims Online Harassment

I haven't seen any response to either the petition to discipline Carmen Ortiz or Steve Heymann, but I'm hoping the White House knows that tech professionals are watching.

The actions of these prosecutors is just an example of what is wrong with the system. I have a number of friends and family in law enforcement, but I have to say that my reaction to the recent news of harassment (even attacks) on prosecutors is ambivalence. If their version of "justice" is extorting a plea, they deserve anything they get. I feel sorry for honorable men and women who are stuck in a profession that no longer values anything other than expedience.

Comment: Re:Sorry Bruce, but that is total nonsense. (Score 1) 403

by pissoncutler (#41353035) Attached to: The Linux-Proof Processor That Nobody Wants

Thank you for adding some facts to this Intel-bash-fest. The CloverTrail processor was designed with Microsoft specifically for Windows 8. That's like saying that if Logitech makes a left-handed trackball, they are anti right hand.

Intel isn't anti-Linux. Intel has been one of the biggest contributors to Linux for the past decade.

"The top 10 organizations sponsoring Linux kernel development since the last report (or Linux kernel 2.6.36) are Red Hat, Intel, Novell, IBM, Texas Instruments, Broadcom, Nokia" ref: http://www.linuxfoundation.org/news-media/announcements/2012/04/linux-foundation-releases-annual-linux-development-report

Comment: Re:Where did Apollo 18 land? (Score 2) 269

by pissoncutler (#37321354) Attached to: NASA Reveals New Images of Apollo Landing Sites

I'm sure Hollywood has taken some license with the story, but I don't think it's fair to call it pure fiction. The actual Apollo 18 moon landing is just as real as any of the other moon missions, they were all filmed on the same soundstage in Studio City...

Hold on, what's Buzz Aldrin doing here? Buzz, why? ... NOT IN THE FACE ... Oh the humanity...

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