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Comment: Re:It's great! (Score 1) 125

by wbr1 (#48660633) Attached to: Comcast's Lobbyists Hand Out VIP Cards To Skip the Customer Service Wait
This is not your run of the mill ogg or mp3 codec. These codecs are typically VBR (variable bit rate), this means that the level of compression varies based on what the codec and network conditions dictate. If you swing the bitrate enough you WILL hear changes in volume and quality that sound like a flanging effect.
You can :rolleyes: when you know more than just bb smiley code. Until then, hand in your geek creds please.

Comment: Re:It's great! (Score 2) 125

by wbr1 (#48659009) Attached to: Comcast's Lobbyists Hand Out VIP Cards To Skip the Customer Service Wait
It is distorted and fading in and out because somewhere (perhaps multiple somewheres) along its path it is being compressed with a lossy compression designed for human vocal ranges and not muzak. When the system was mostly analog, this did not happen, however high and low frequencies were cut, resulting in a tin-cannish sound if you listened for it.

Comment: Wait, what... (Score 1) 51

It’s been over a year since Ulbricht’s October 2013 arrest, an event that catapulted Silk Road into the national spotlight and shook the Dark Net, the seedy subsection of the Internet not indexed by Google

So we are supposed to accept that anyone on the up and up should be tracked and indexed by Google? Are we supposed to look at it as seedy when it helps people organize and communicate in oppressive regimes?

Comment: Interesting note about cryptoviruses (Score 4, Informative) 83

by wbr1 (#48624607) Attached to: Over 9,000 PCs In Australia Infected By TorrentLocker Ransomware
Most are rather dumb. They will encrypt standard file types such as jpg and doc, but leave really critical stuff (qbw, pst, etc) alone. I guess the writers, not knowing what files being encrypted in a user profile might brick a machine only go for easy targets. They will readily encrypt any attached drive as well, following the same ruleset. If your backup program stores in a standard .zip or in the clear, it will be encrypted too. The best safety net is an online backup that does versioning so you can roll back to pre-infection versions of files.

One last note, in about 5%-10% of the cases I have worked on, I was able to recover files from VSS. Most of these variants attempt to disable VSS and delete the shadow copies, but they either are not successful or do it slowly. Yanking the drive from the running environment and looking at it with shadow explorer on a clean box can sometimes save some data. Here in the US Cryptorbit variants seem to be the most frequent I see (cryptodefense, cryptolocker, howdecrypt, etc). They have really exploded in the past month. A recent fake ADP email that was making it through spam filters was responsible for a lot. The linked site downloaded a zip containing an exe with an adobe pdf icon. If you have a suspect exe, see if it has been analyzed n and you can get a good breakdown of its precise behavior.

Comment: And who pays???? (Score 4, Insightful) 772

by wbr1 (#48558373) Attached to: CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations
The taxpayer.. for all of it. The beatings, the reports, the politicians and bureaucrats dickering over minutia.
Who doesn't pay? Those responsible for such atrocities. We increasingly live in a society where a few - IE military and intelligence brass, the rich, the police, and corporations and individuals with the money to play the game can do nearly anything with impunity.

This meets the definition of tyranny - arbitrary or unrestrained exercise of power - and we live it every day, but most do not see it. The question is, is the natural state of being for humans - people abusing their power over others, or can it be changed and transcended?

Real programmers don't bring brown-bag lunches. If the vending machine doesn't sell it, they don't eat it. Vending machines don't sell quiche.