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Comment: Cable to Cuba (Score 1) 66

by billstewart (#48649629) Attached to: Cuba Says the Internet Now a Priority

The politics that mattered weren't the ones with Chavez, it was the US pressure on anybody else. Cuba's a really convenient place to run cable, and there's some cable there, but the amount of actual service that it was carrying was very tightly restricted because of the US embargoes. The telcos would have been happy to run a lot more of it, but weren't allowed to.

Comment: Modern Cellular is the way to go (Score 1) 66

by billstewart (#48649621) Attached to: Cuba Says the Internet Now a Priority

It's not completely wireless; to get any reasonable bandwidth out to the users, you need fiber to the towers, not just T1 or radio uplinks, but that's not too hard to do. (As another poster says, the telco's run by the government, so they shouldn't have a problem getting permits, just the usual issues with new construction in old cities.)

No reason to use old phones - the newer standards are much more efficient at spectrum usage.

And there's been fiber to the island for a long time; the problem has been that the US embargoes on trade with Cuba severely limited the services the telcos could provide. To the extent that that was caused by Treasury regulations (which Obama can change for two years) rather than law (which requires the Republicans in Congress to cooperate), they can get some of that service running quickly.

Comment: Re:Information density (Score 1) 150

by Grishnakh (#48649587) Attached to: Want To Influence the World? Map Reveals the Best Languages To Speak

Here's some more handy links about this research:


Unfortunately, Latin was not one of the languages they investigated in this research, but I do find it very interesting how Latin, which is one of Spanish's parent languages, is far, far more efficient (in dI/dS terms) than Spanish is, and in fact is probably more efficient and complex than any of its derivatives.

Comment: Re:"very advanced"? More likely... (Score 1) 188

by Opportunist (#48648909) Attached to: Cyberattack On German Steel Factory Causes 'Massive Damage'

I've audited enough crappy systems to say with some faith that there are VERY few systems out there that would stand their ground against an at least halfway organized assault.

And I'm not really disclosing anything that is under tight NDA or similar bull. Anyone who has an inkling of a clue about IT security will come to that conclusion by the hacks that get public alone. Take the Anonymous/LulzSec (or whatever that was called) hacks of some time ago. Now, I don't want to belittle their effort, but when you look at how high profile the targets were and what simple tricks were involved, you can't help but wonder.

I can't think of a single published attack vector they used that was not part of the OWASP Top 10, which is pretty much the baseline for IT security. That's essentially the very least of what you have to have "down" when you're at least remotely concerned about the security of your IT assets. We're talking about the equivalent of having your door locked at night or closing your windows. Very basic stuff that makes you wonder just why it was possible for them to overcome.

You stop wondering when you spend a bit of time in the corporate IT security business. The problem boils down to a single factor: money. And that's where security really has a problem: It costs a ton of money, but makes none. Every cent spent on security is gone with no chance to ever see it again. And you spend a lot of cents on it because not only the people who can do it sensibly are quite expensive, but because security is also usually anathema to productivity. Of all the companies I know, only in a single one security trumps productivity and availability in cases where they are mutually exclusive (and they are usually numerous). One. Out of hundreds.

IT security is much like an insurance. And just like with many "unnecessary" insurances, companies have it mostly due to either legal or contractual requirements. And just as with insurances, they will "waste" only the bare minimum of resources on it, just enough to abide to contract or law.

I think it goes without explanation just why such a Potemkin village of security straw huts won't stand a breeze, let alone some dedicated storm.

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