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Submission + - XKEYSCORE: NSA'S Google for the World's Private Communications->

Advocatus Diaboli writes: "The NSA’s ability to piggyback off of private companies’ tracking of their own users is a vital instrument that allows the agency to trace the data it collects to individual users. It makes no difference if visitors switch to public Wi-Fi networks or connect to VPNs to change their IP addresses: the tracking cookie will follow them around as long as they are using the same web browser and fail to clear their cookies. Apps that run on tablets and smartphones also use analytics services that uniquely track users. Almost every time a user sees an advertisement (in an app or in a web browser), the ad network is tracking users in the same way. A secret GCHQ and CSE program called BADASS, which is similar to XKEYSCORE but with a much narrower scope, mines as much valuable information from leaky smartphone apps as possible, including unique tracking identifiers that app developers use to track their own users."


"Other information gained via XKEYSCORE facilitates the remote exploitation of target computers. By extracting browser fingerprint and operating system versions from Internet traffic, the system allows analysts to quickly assess the exploitability of a target. Brossard, the security researcher, said that “NSA has built an impressively complete set of automated hacking tools for their analysts to use.” Given the breadth of information collected by XKEYSCORE, accessing and exploiting a target’s online activity is a matter of a few mouse clicks. Brossard explains: “The amount of work an analyst has to perform to actually break into remote computers over the Internet seems ridiculously reduced — we are talking minutes, if not seconds. Simple. As easy as typing a few words in Google.”

Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Nuclear? (Score 1) 308 308

Those of us who have to run our air-conditioners 24/7 seven+ months of the year disagree.

Maybe that's telling you something about the hospitality of the climate in which you have chosen to live.

(I've lived in Phoenix, so I know what you're talking about - but the level of waste of not only electricity, but water, involved in making that place liveable is staggering.)

Comment Re:Not donating to private charities is easy (Score 1) 235 235

You have not identified any "fallacy".

Your posts are almost entirely fallacious reasoning. Red herrings, non-sequiturs, false dichotomies, straw men, circular reasoning, ad hominem. A veritable smorgasboard of broken reasoning. But that is to be expected from people that start at a conclusion and then try to reverse-engineer a trail of reasoning to reach it.

You have not identified any corporation, that quadrupled the price of its offering without improving quality (or due to spike in cost of raw materials).

You have not supported your premise that education today is identical to education in the 60s, nor that outcomes today are worse (or unimproved), let alone provided evidence - or even a rationalisation - that this change is a direct outcome of publicly-funded education.

The best performing education system in the world is generally considered to be Finland's, in which private schooling is all but nonexistent. Indeed, pretty much all the highest performing countries have education systems that are primarily publicly-funded. On top of that, widespread - near universal - high levels of education and literacy have only come about relatively recently with the wide availability of publicly funded education.

Consequently, the argument that publicly-funded education is inherently inefficient or low-performing is simply ridiculous on its face, and the argument that private suppliers can achieve the same outcome - given many millennia of failure to do so before the rise of public education - is sketchy, at best.

As I answered that poster and idiots like him. I want the government to [...]

You have failed to justify why these are the only two functions Government should perform. What you'd "like" is entirely up to you, but it carries no more weight than what I'd like - and at least what I'd like has some basis in reasoning, fact and evidence rather than ideology, paranoia and fear.

Statists expecting more from their government are, no doubt, welcome to Cuba and North Korea and the even much nicer Germany or Greece.

What's a "Statist" ? Someone who thinks Government has one more responsibility than you do ?

Comment Re:Not donating to private charities is easy (Score 1) 235 235

Fallacies are not convincing, so you could at least do us the courtesy of making them amusing. Though the absurdity of extremist positions does carry a certain amount of humour in itself.

Even a superficial look at the increase in productivity vs wages over the last few decades and how workers are being ripped off by "KKKorporations" will put paid to the idea that "only a government-backed racket can get away with such a thing".

As another poster said. If you want to live somewhere without Government, there are several of them. None are particularly nice places to be, however.

Comment Re:Not donating to private charities is easy (Score 1) 235 235

Although I do not like to follow this train of logic, it's important to point out that some laws are not immediately enforced at gunpoint.

Yes. Like tax laws. Glad you agree the original poster was just engaging in ideological claptrap. Not quite sure what the point of the rest of your post was.

Comment Re:Not donating to private charities is easy (Score 1) 235 235

People's food needs in the absence of government coercion are already taken care of by private actions: farming, jobs, and in extreme cases by charity.

No they’re not.

Education provided by the government is at least 2 to 4 times as costly as it needs to be for a good education.

Source, and please define “good education”.

All but the poorest parents can afford to pay for teachers, and private education reduces the likelihood of government indoctrination, whether such indoctrination be Nazi, communist, religious, or whatever.

But apparently protecting kids from private forms of indoctrination is bad ?

One is that the level of funding required is difficult to achieve, []

I’m sure communities can pass the hat around and raise money proportionate to the amount of protection they need. Or would that be too much Government ?

[] another is that protections against anti-public abuse are difficult.

No they’re not. If your private police force or army get abusive, you just fire them and hire someone else.

Yet another is the possibility of inter-corporate warfare.

Please elaborate on how that would be legal.

Army and police forces are expected protect a given land area; their funding and control should be tied to their land areas as directly as possible. That means governmental control or some other mechanism very much like governmental control; private industry doesn't qualify.

The same logic applies to education, and clearly in no way precludes privatisation in your mind.

Comment Re:Not donating to private charities is easy (Score 1) 235 235

But I do think, that spending thus-collected funds on anything not threatening the very survival of the country — such as defending from external enemies or maintaining law and order within — is immoral.

So letting the country's people starve, or not giving them an education that increases the economic prosperity of the country, is no threat to its existence ?

Please justify why the army and police cannot be substituted by private industry.

Comment They Do Cool Stuff (Score 1) 125 125

My next door neighbor in Celebration just had hernia surgery at the Nicholson Center done using this technology, it's pretty amazing. Minimal invasivness and very efficent. It's nice to see Celebration getting good press for this type of thing.

Interestingly, residents in Celebration have access to the very best fiber connections, competitive to Google but from a smaller regional telecom. For $60/month residents get 1000/1000 internet. On the town message board, residents routinely post their Speedtests with tests in the high 900 Mbits.

Submission + - Sourceforge staff takes over a user's account and wraps their software installer-> 11 11

An anonymous reader writes: Sourceforge staff took over the account of the GIMP-for-Windows maintainer claiming it was abandoned and used this opportunity to wrap the installer in crapware. Quoting Ars:

SourceForge, the code repository site owned by Slashdot Media, has apparently seized control of the account hosting GIMP for Windows on the service, according to e-mails and discussions amongst members of the GIMP community—locking out GIMP's lead Windows developer. And now anyone downloading the Windows version of the open source image editing tool from SourceForge gets the software wrapped in an installer replete with advertisements.

Link to Original Source

Comment Re:OS/2 better then windows at running windows app (Score 1) 387 387

My understanding is that NT had quite a bit of OS/2 in it.

It doesn't. They are completely different architecturally. NT was a 32-bit, multiuser, heavily multithreaded, built-for-SMP, portable, mostly-microkernel OS.

OS/2 was... Not.

Seeing that MS had rights to OS/2 and wanted a new OS in a hurry following the breakdown of their partnership with IBM, it would be suprising if they had not used parts of OS/2.

In a hurry ? It was five years between the start of NT's development ('88) and its first release ('93).

In case of injury notify your superior immediately. He'll kiss it and make it better.