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Comment Re:Good old fashioned crisis management... (Score 1) 285

If you keep saying something, however impossible, eventually you'll get some people to believe you:
they strongly expect you to be shouted down if you're a liar.

This worked for Rob Ford (the druggie mayor of Toronto), and for two, maybe three, countries' rulers during WWII. So if you're a liar, don't stop lying! Redouble your efforts!

Comment Spiffy, like credit-cards (Score 2) 27

My credit-card supplier will issue single-use or otherwise restricted numbers, to use with "untrustworthy vendors". This allows a similar functionality: with the vendor I can be OscarTheSuspiciousGrouch and use a card number that is limited to legitimate stuff.

In both cases I can credibly demonstrate I'm really "Oscar"

Comment dear national security personnel: (Score 5, Insightful) 259

do your fucking job. spying on suspects

not hoovering everything from everyone and thinking a search query will give you magic intelligence. intelligence work is *work*

the encryption is not important. your gumshoe work is. get out of your fucking cubicle you lardass and find these dirtbags

and if you can't do that maybe your useless security theatre job should be axed

Comment Re:It only makes it worse... (Score 1) 85

I think we're in violent agreement (;-))

Like you, I expect that cost-averse vendors will be reluctant to add anything pricey to the board. I was thinking of an independent radio chipset that could be locked down separately form the general-purpose processor, you were thinking of DRM. I understand this is what some cell phones have, and that there is a push toward getting rid of the extra expense...

Comment Slashdot says the author doesn't exist (Score 2) 85 says "The user you requested does not exist, no matter how much you wish this might be the case."

Vint Cerf, on the other hand, definitely exists, and his and Dave Taht's submission to the FCC pointed out that the problem existed, no matter how much you wish this might not be the case.

Comment It only makes it worse... (Score 2) 85

Regrettably, routers are designed to be extremely cheap, and have only one cpu and OS. Specific vendors (as noted in the IETF submission) have publicly claimed that the FCC rules require them to prevent any modification to the device, and lock it down.

IMHO, that gives them "forced obsolescence", and sales at full list price for newer models with bug-fixes.

Comment Re:Barcode scanner = keyboard (Score 1) 79

we reprogram them with the vendors control codes to work as USB ACM (serial)

Yes, you do that, and I do that, because you're absolutely right: wedge mode is a kludge. Problem is, lots of existing deployments do have them set in dumb keyboard mode. Why ? Because the development of that POS appliance or software was farmed out to the lowest bidder (meaning China/India), where the product was made to "work", and the project manager(s) have no idea how barcode readers even work nor why wedge mode is a bad idea.

The same is true of mag-stripe readers. I have seen countless setups in restaurants and movie theatres where the mag reader was in wedge mode. In at least one case the software hid this by enabling/disabling the device when it was expecting a swipe (using an NT filter driver) - but once enabled it would accept any input and pass it through the OS. Now the "good" thing about mag cards is the encoding does not typically support control characters, so you won't be rooting an ATM by that route. I mean... not unless the ATM has a pretty colossal backdoor triggered by a particular string of alphanumeric data.

Comment Re:Marmora (Ontario) wants pumped storage (Score 1) 139

Yes: we're lucky in that we have a former open-pit mine on the top of a ridge, close by a river in a valley (the Crow), with a fall from the bottom of the pit to the surface of the river that's higher than Niagara Falls!

I wan't expecting that: I think of the area as gently rolling, but apparently it's typical of lots of areas along highway 7. Who knew!

Comment Re:I give her 5 stars (Score 5, Interesting) 92

AMAZON: give positive reviews on line, get free stuff.

You don't necessary have to give positive reviews. I've been among the top 1000 reviewers for a decade or so. Just due to my ranking, companies started offering me stuff, but they didn't seem to care (or even notice) that my few thousand reviews ranged liberally from one to five stars, and that if something was crap I wasn't afraid to call it crap. Indeed, even after I accepted free products in exchange for an honest review, I have found the bulk of these to be Chinese crap, at best merely satisfactory for their purpose, and usually horrible, and I've said so in my review. And yet, those same companies continue to offer me the next product they are trying to develop hype for.

I am aware that a lot of reviewers who accept free stuff give invariably positive reviews to keep the goods flowing, but I really don't think that is necessary if your reviewer ranking is squarely in the top 1000. You'll continue to receive free stuff even if you are brutally honest.

The hardest part of climbing the ladder of success is getting through the crowd at the bottom.