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Comment: Re:Why such paranoia ? (Score -1) 237

So your situation is something you saw on 24?

Unless the guy is live streaming 24/7 then your goon can brick the whistleblower's phone with an actual brick.

Also, look at real whistleblowers and try to explain how the government would have stopped Snowden with this power? Stop imagining spy drama fiction.

They wouldn't stop Snowden (only) with this. They would, however, be able to keep the story about what's happening in Ferguson, MO (for example) from ever trending on Twitter, simply by killing every phone talking to a particular tower.

To be clear: I'm not suggesting the Feds (black helicopters and all) would do it. I'm suggesting the enlightened minds of the Ferguson Police Department, who have already demonstrated the depth of their acuity, would be perfectly willing to use such a tool, if it were (somewhat) legally available to them.

Comment: Re:BRILLIANT (Score 1) 131

by grcumb (#47691713) Attached to: Facebook Tests "Satire" Tag To Avoid Confusion On News Feed

[satire]That's a fucking brilliant idea! I really really really mean it. Sincerely.

I think that's sarcasm, not satire.

Is it? I wasn't aware. Clearly sarcasm must have some association with satire, because making sardonic statements seems to be the first thing I want to do when I'm writing satire. Then I take someone's stupid idea, and extend it, by including absurd examples of where their (il)logic would/should take them....

... Which I did on the very next fucking line.

Stephen Cobert's show is satire of Bill O'Reilly.

Do tell. Next you'll be telling me that The Daily Show isn't real news.

Because Jon Stewart never uses sarcasm when he indulges in acts of satire.

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P.S. I'm still being sarcastic. And by aping your tone, satirical, too.

Comment: Re:So what's the problem here? (Score 2) 134

by grcumb (#47686621) Attached to: Bezos-Owned Washington Post Embeds Amazon Buy-It-Now Buttons Mid-sentence

Nobody is forcing you to read the Washington Post. Nobody is forcing you to buy anything from Amazon. You can easily avoid both of them, if you want, without any harm or negative effects to yourself. So what's the big deal here?

Just because neither of us hangs out with him doesn't mean I don't get to tell you what a giant douchebag Jeff Bezos is. That's one of the joys of the First Amendment, my friend! Freedom of speech is the freedom to bitch inanely about things that don't directly affect you.

You, of course, are equally free to tell me to shut the fuck up, or to take your own advice and not bitch about something that doesn't interest or affect you....

... But if you do decide to keep talking about the problem, and maybe even about how to address or resolve it, then you see the true glory of Open Public Dialogue - the very thing that makes Slashdot such a lovely place to be. :-)

And no, I am not being in the least bit sarcastic, Sheldon.

Comment: Re: Who gives you the right? (Score 1) 163

by grcumb (#47686259) Attached to: Knocking Down the Great Firewall of China
For the record, this is the 'Great Satan' argument. By castigating outside influences as Other, and associating them with a group or nation that the populace has been indoctrinated to hate, it's possible to reject an idea without ever actually considering the merit of the idea itself. Thanks to the hard-working censorship peons from the People's Republic of China for this updated version. The Iranian one was getting old, and we're WAY past blaming the Jews.

Comment: Re:https is useless (Score 1) 166

by grcumb (#47682539) Attached to: Watch a Cat Video, Get Hacked: the Death of Clear-Text

TL;DR: "just fix everything" is great in principle, pretty much impossible in practice.

Okay, so go back to the top of my post and read it again for my response to 'It's too hard.' :-)

If you think that 'just fix everything' is what I'm saying, then you haven't even done me the justice of thinking about what I'm suggesting. I am saying that we geeks should know better, that we should do what we did in the 80s and 90s and turn our collective back on the well-trodden path and build our own internet, only this time with hookers and blackjack. Then I offered a few key suggestions about things we as geeks could fairly easily work on to move us in that direction.

To assume that I simply want to snap my fingers and effortlessly get all that and a pony is to fundamentally misunderstand what it is to be a geek. We build things for ourselves. When things don't work the way they should, we change them.

Now, I'm not suggesting you're not a True Geek (or Scotsman, for that matter). I'm just saying that if you're going to say 'too hard' about a situation such as this...

... No, fuck it. I am saying you're not a Real Geek :-)

Comment: Re:https is useless (Score 2, Interesting) 166

by grcumb (#47681953) Attached to: Watch a Cat Video, Get Hacked: the Death of Clear-Text

Going to slashdot is safe? No SSL here.

GCHQ has already spoofed Slashdot in the past. So no, going to Slash dot is not safe.

If they want you, they can't get you?

All right then. Let's all just roll over and die, why don't we?

Look, I get your cynicism, but don't let it run to fatalism. There are things you can do:

  • - Stop making it easy on them. Stop using Windows. Seriously. Understand that what's convenient for you is often convenient for them.
  • - Stop using proprietary software at all. Yes, yes, HeartBleed nothing is safe bla bla bla. I'm not talking about safe, though; I'm talking about safer. And FOSS is, objectively, a safer environment, and will remain so even after it becomes popular.
  • - Start building and using federated, encrypted, decentralised, peer-to-peer systems. I honestly don't know why geeks didn't do this years ago, but why the fuck is Facebook the state of the art in social media? I mean, seriously. It's not only a privacy disaster area, it's a badly polished piece of shit to boot. We know that They don't like TOR because it's harder for Them. We know That they don't like bittorrent because it's harder for Them. So why the fuck are we not taking a clue from that and creating a UseNET we can go back to? I mean, I get why the peons don't, but we're geeks, for fuck sake. That used to mean something.
  • - Start re-imagining an internet whose physical characteristics resemble its protocols. At the outset, we thought it would be cool to have generic protocols that ran more or less transparently on any old network at all. What we didn't realise was that just because stupid networks were possible, that didn't mean they were inevitable. The whole ICANN/ITU fiasco is all the evidence we need to see that the world's telcos have begun to realise how much ground they've lost and they want it back. But that doesn't mean we have to give it to them. Mesh topologies using low-power devices are the only we we cut them back down to size.

You can get all fatalistic if you like, but if your only response to the encroachments of authority is to run further and faster, then (apologies to Scotsmen everywhere) you're not a real geek.

Comment: Re:Quit with the idiotic "internet of things" meme (Score 2) 141

by grcumb (#47658829) Attached to: Study: Firmware Plagued By Poor Encryption and Backdoors

That's how language works. Deal with it.

Dealing with such toxic bullshit only ensures it will spread around more, even if only slightly. I'd rather point out why it's garbage.

Yes, but the entire article is low-brow drivel. I have no idea why this was the source they chose to link to (though it might go a long way toward explaining the tone and content of Slashdot's discussions these days...). I mean, check out this para:

The murky world of firmware sometimes makes it hard to figure out which products might be affected. Manufacturers often rely on tools and development kits that are widely used across industries, so the flawed firmware can end up in product sold under lots of different brands.

It's hard to know whether this 'writer' even teh English. But worse, the content is almost anti-information. What the fuck is a 'murky world'? People use generic toolkits? Sold to more than one company?! Who is this Adam Smith and where do I get his pamphlets?!?

Worse, the author[*] is implying that this is somehow an inherent flaw that might prove to be a fundamental difficulty. In truth, it's an aspect of software development that has been there since the very first computers existed. And what's more, we know how to fucking deal with it. Instead of massaging the conscience of halfwit managers, maybe he could have offered a bit of illumination concerning the decades of precedent for dealing with software quality, and explaining how these principles can (or cannot) be applied to firmware.

The thing that drives me toward despair is that the article - the whole publication - is clearly aimed at corporate decision-makers.

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[*] With apologies to all real authors everywhere.

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