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Verizon

Verizon Injects Unique IDs Into HTTP Traffic 141

Posted by Soulskill
from the doing-the-wrong-thing-badly dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Verizon Wireless, the nation's largest wireless carrier, is now also a real-time data broker. According to a security researcher at Stanford, Big Red has been adding a unique identifier to web traffic. The purpose of the identifier is advertisement targeting, which is bad enough. But the design of the system also functions as a 'supercookie' for any website that a subscriber visits. "Any website can easily track a user, regardless of cookie blocking and other privacy protections. No relationship with Verizon is required. ...while Verizon offers privacy settings, they don’t prevent sending the X-UIDH header. All they do, seemingly, is prevent Verizon from selling information about a user." Just like they said they would.
Space

Hawking Radiation Mimicked In the Lab 66

Posted by samzenpus
from the old-bob dept.
Annanag writes *Nothing* escapes a black hole, right? Except 40 years ago Stephen Hawking threw a spanner in the works by suggesting that, courtesy of quantum mechanics, some light particles can actually break free of a black hole's massive pull. Then you have the tantalizing question of whether information can also escape, encoded in that so-called 'Hawking radiation'. The only problem being that no one has ever been able to detect Hawking radiation being emitted from a black hole. BUT a physicist has now come closer than ever before to creating an imitation of a black hole event horizon in the lab, opening up a potential avenue for investigating Hawking radiation and exploring how quantum mechanics and general relativity might be brought together.
Piracy

FBI Says It Will Hire No One Who Lies About Illegal Downloading 580

Posted by timothy
from the could-make-for-some-lonely-offices dept.
wabrandsma writes with this excerpt from The State Hornet, the student newspaper at Sacramento State On Monday, Sacramento State's Career Center welcomed the FBI for an informational on its paid internship program where applications are now being accepted. One of the highly discussed topics in the presentation was the list of potential traits that disqualify applicants. This list included failure to register with selective services, illegal drug use including steroids, criminal activity, default on student loans, falsifying information on an application and illegal downloading music, movies and books. FBI employee Steve Dupre explained how the FBI will ask people during interviews how many songs, movies and books they have downloaded because the FBI considers it to be stealing. During the first two phases of interviews, everything is recorded and then turned into a report. This report is then passed along to a polygraph technician to be used during the applicant's exam, which consists of a 55-page questionnaire. If an applicant is caught lying, they can no longer apply for an FBI agent position. (Left un-explored is whether polygraph testing is an effective way to catch lies.)

Comment: Re:Wait... (Score 1) 315

by uvajed_ekil (#48099895) Attached to: Fusion Reactor Concept Could Be Cheaper Than Coal

I thought the biggest roadblock to adopting fusion energy was that it doesn't work? (I'd like to be positive and add "yet" to that sentence, but still.)

You just described the whole problem with fusion power more concisely than I though possible. Basically, it is an enviable goal, and looks completely theoretically feasible, but we just haven't worked out how to do it yet. We're working on it, and we're not far enough along yet to even know exactly what route to take, but we should get there eventually. Being far from a goal and not knowing how much time or money it will take can only stifle progress, so it is in the public interest to subsidize fusion research however we can so we keep making progress. Just because you aren't somewhere yet doesn't mean you shouldn't go.

Comment: Re:"will present results Oct. 17 (Score 2) 315

by uvajed_ekil (#48099811) Attached to: Fusion Reactor Concept Could Be Cheaper Than Coal

Please post again after completing 6th grade earth science. Thank you.

I know this guy is posting as AC, but he doesn't deserve the -1 moderation and condescending remarks. Thermal pollution as a contributing factor to global warming is real, and in my opinion not discussed enough.

But when considering thermal pollution levels, you must also acknowledge that the shift to favoring thermal pollution would be more than balanced by the decrease in other types of pollution that contribute directly or indirectly to global warming. That is the ultimate point of current fusion - a lesser overall negative impact on our environment (and that means it has to be cheap, of course). Not only are we already generating direct thermal pollution, we are compounding that with our poor management of carbon, plus our brutal extraction methods, highly radioactive waste we still don't really know how to dispose of, etc. etc.

Practical fusion could quickly eliminate our reliance on fossil fuels, more quickly than other alternative methods of power generation are proliferating, anyway. It seems like we should be able to achieve sustainable reactions someday, but how far off that is I have no idea, and no one can say what the lag time between that and widespread implementation might be. However, the goal seems realistic and worthwhile. We need some supporting technical breakthroughs, which could come in quick succession or could take quite a while, but we basically know how to do it, and it would be a huge upgrade. The thermal pollution of fusion-based power generation is not a remotely legitimate reason not to pursue it, thus you're probably not going to read much about it.

Comment: Re:Miracle Occurs here. (Score 0) 315

by uvajed_ekil (#48099659) Attached to: Fusion Reactor Concept Could Be Cheaper Than Coal

You would think they would prefer coke for eponymity.

Yeah, and even though I have heard and uttered their name enough times to know how to pronounce it, when I read it my first thought is still "crotch." Not just because their name is sometimes mispronounced to rhyme with crotch, which is undeniably hilarious (on a seventh grade level), but also because I think of them as being miserable, crotchety old turds who are as undesirable as a smelly old, gross crotch, and listening to them is one level worse than being kicked in the crotch.

Comment: Not surprising (Score 1) 208

by uvajed_ekil (#48099387) Attached to: Ross Ulbricht's Lawyer Says FBI's Hack of Silk Road Was "Criminal"
It is not surprising at all that Ulbricht's attorney is pressing hard to try to get all of the significant evidence excluded. It is a standard (if desperate) legal tactic, especially when the evidence is extremely damning. This case looks like it will essentially be decided by what evidence is allowed, since the evidence the government has should make convictions a slam dunk. Getting the court to believe that the FBI's hack was illegal (and perhaps uncovering their true methods) is about the only thing that is going to get the guy off.

Comment: Tails, Kali (Score 1) 303

by uvajed_ekil (#48099299) Attached to: What's Been the Best Linux Distro of 2014?
The article is a bit fluffy and their favoritism for Arch is a bit puzzling, but props for their mention of Tails. It is nice because it makes security and privacy much more simple to achieve if you follow a few basic steps, which is useful. It does a good job of filling the niche of a light, portable, usable distro that covers your tracks well.
But they did leave out another good distro that is also frequently used in live mode, Kali - my favorite distro for, um, "penetration testing." Yeah, "testing," that's what we use it for...

Comment: Re:Same as it's been forever. (Score 1) 303

by uvajed_ekil (#48099215) Attached to: What's Been the Best Linux Distro of 2014?
Very well said, and accurate! And that it is why it is hard to name a winner of the "best distro" contest - there are so so many with so many different target audiences and points of emphasis that it becomes impossible to simply and concisely rank them all. So while this is a silly exercise I think you actually answered it correctly, on all points. I like Mint and Mint-Debian, I would definitely use RHEL for enterprise use or CentOS for a university or large non-profit (or with admins much more capable than myself), and Gentoo and Slackware users are unique breeds. Everything else is redundant, aside from personal preferences and all the niche uses you can dream up, which are incalculable. So I for one am glad we have choices AND that we can acknowledge some clear leaders (or starting points, I guess) for certain categories, at least.

Comment: Re:Arch (Score 2) 303

by uvajed_ekil (#48099129) Attached to: What's Been the Best Linux Distro of 2014?
"But what makes Arch our winner is this: for the large part, its information applies to other distros."
That is very funny of them to say, since I'm not sure how that makes Arch itself a "better" distro than the competition (and since Ubuntu and Debian help apply to many many distros) though something to remember when you get tired of Arch and switch to Ubuntu or Mint. That said, the Mint forums have been an excellent resource for me. If I have a problem or can't figure something out, I first Google it, then Google it with "Ubuntu" as a search term, then if necessary I can ask a question in the Mint forums and generally have it answered within 24 hours. I have precisely zero intention of switching to Arch, but maybe I'll try their wikis and docs next time I have a problem.

The flow chart is a most thoroughly oversold piece of program documentation. -- Frederick Brooks, "The Mythical Man Month"

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