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Comment Re:Getting tired here (Score 2) 236

I understand your thinking. Yet, once your eyes have been opened, you can't go back anymore. I know it's a cliche in this audience, but it's really like swallowing the red pill. We now know we were not crazy and there really is an extremely powerful entity out there attempting to break all our most trusted systems. We can 1) ignore it, 2) accept our fate and go kosher (according to 'the system') or 3) fight it. I've chosen 3, mostly because I think this is just the beginning and things can get really dark very fast if we let this stand. I also want to point out that the NSA hires really smart folks, but they are not superhuman. We, as a collective, can outsmart them all, and then we can create open source software easy enough for the masses to use. We've done it before and we can do it again. THEY are not infallible!

Comment Groveland (Score 2) 159

I for one, am more concerned about the classic little towns like Groveland that live out of the tourism coming in and out of Yosemite. My wife and I go to Yosemite at least a couple of times per year, and we always stay in Groveland, a tiny town with such an old gold rush history and character. They've got the Iron Door Saloon, the oldest saloon in California dating from 1852, The Groveland Hotel that used to be a brothel and where every one of the rooms is named like "Lotta Crabtree", "Betty Fries Room" and "Just Juanita".

Right now I'm less concerned about our water supply vs. the lives and livelihood of their residents and rich history of all those places.

Comment Fresh thinking (Score 3, Insightful) 406

What bothers me is that Microsoft has really good engineers but lacks a clear strategic direction. Their massive amount of legacy code plus some seriously bad "assumptions" about what the users want have sustained their decline in the last 10 years. It's a sad state of affairs, having used their products since Windows 1.0 when they were "the rebels".

I know it's just my opinion, but given their deep pockets, they should create an incubator unit or a completely separate start-up with huge funding for a re-acquisition later on (similar to what Cisco is doing with Insieme). The purpose of this group should be to go back to their roots, and re-think the way people and companies are expected to interact with computers in the next 10-20 years timeframe, and create a brand new OS with no legacy code, and anticipating the challenges and threats that will evolve overtime as much as possible.

I've always wondered why airplanes and MRI machines can have "mission critical" OSs and software while we all have to deal with crashes and uncertainty. They have the capability to create and bring to market a practical, usable EAL-7 OS. We know it has been done before, but Microsoft has the capability to make it commercially viable for everyone. And this is only ONE of the things they could do.

Comment Apples to oranges (Score 3, Insightful) 120

The way this post was presented is totally idiotic. The fact that some of these ideas have been around for a very long time means only that technical feasibility was not there yet. Remember Jules Verne or DaVinci for that matter. Many of their ideas have become normal part of our lives, while many others were just product of a fertile imagination.

What I really like about the hyperloop is that the idea is old, but it's been re-thought from the perspective of the 21st century, by someone who has the credibility to make things that everyone else said were impossible a fact.

I, for one, think Elon Musk is one of the greatest minds of our generation, and not only because of the ideas, but because of his attitude of "why not" and "build it and they will come". I'd trust him with my tax dollars any day when I see what he has accomplished, vs. the bozos in the State Government.

Submission + - Inside the Decision to Shut Down Silent Mail

Trailrunner7 writes: Silent Circle’s decision to shut down its Silent Mail email service may have come quickly yesterday, and the timing of the announcement admittedly was prompted by Lavabit’s decision to suspend operations hours before. But the seeds for this decision may have been sown long before Edward Snowden, who reportedly used Lavabit as a secure email provider, was a household name and NSA warrants for customer data were known costs of doing business.

“When the team first delivered [Silent Mail], I congratulated and apologized at the same time, and told them this might be our first legacy product,” said Silent Circle CTO Jon Callas.

Ironically, yesterday when Lavabit, which provided a similar secure email service, announced it was shutting down rather than “become complicit in crimes against the American people,” as owner Ladar Levison said, things moved quickly for Silent Circle’s decision makers.

“When we saw the Lavabit announcement, the thing we were worrying about had happened, and it had happened to somebody else. It was very difficult to not think I’m next,” Callas said. “I had been discussing with Phil [founder and PGP developer Phil Zimmerman] over dinner the night before, should we be doing this and what the timing should be. I was looking at it from point that I want to be a responsible service provider and not leave users in a lurch. [The Lavabit announcement] told me I have to start moving on it now.”

Submission + - How do I request someone to send me a public key?

extraqwert writes: An organization wants me to send them my personal data by email. I certainly do trust them. However, I would like to politely ask them to send me their public key for encryption. The secretary probably does not know what it is. But they do have a pretty good IT department, so they can figure out. My question is, what is the proper wording for such a request? What is the right terminology to use? Should I say ``please send me your RSA key''? ``Public key''? ``PGP key''? Is there a standard and reasonable wording for such a request? (On my end, I am using GNU PGP: http://www.gnupg.org/ ) Any suggestions on how to be polite in this case?

Submission + - Apple board tells Tim Cook to innovate faster

An anonymous reader writes: Has the "What have you done for me lately?" mentality seeped into Apple's board room? According to a recent report from Fox Business News, Apple's board of directors are concerned about Apple's pace of innovation.

Citing "reliable sources", Fox reported that the board is worried that Apple hasn't had a major product announcement in quite some time.

"What we are able to confirm is that the board is worried about what is in the pipeline. Do they have the right stuff in the pipeline? Do they have innovative stuff in the pipeline? Do they have stuff to keep the momentum going?"

While time will of course tell if Apple, under the helm of Tim Cook, can continue its impressive track record of innovation, it's important to remember that innovation isn't simply something you can turn on and off. Often times, a truly innovative product can only come along when a number of external factors align, paving the way for a product that can have a fundamental and far-reaching impact on the marketplace.

Submission + - Church of Piracy rallies for legal battle in Russia (networkworld.com)

colinneagle writes: File-sharing advocates are seeking to spread the Missionary Church of Kopimism, a religion steeped in file sharing as a philosophical concept, to Russia in an effort to overturn the country's controversial new anti-piracy law. Activists in several parts of Russia — Moscow, St. Petersburg, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan and Khabarovsk — are applying to form an officially recognized church of Kopimism, which they hope will enable them to challenge the anti-piracy law. One couple even participated in Russia's first Kopimi wedding over the weekend, which involves the exchange of vows and silicon chips.

Activists are reportedly planning to file lawsuits challenging the law as soon as the applications are filed. However, Russian lawyers and lawmakers told a Russian news site that the country's separation of church and state will make it difficult to make any progress through this approach.

Kopimism was legally recognized by Sweden's government, where the religion was first founded, in January 2012.

Submission + - Abused children smoke more as teens and adults (washington.edu)

vinces99 writes: Researchers have long suspected some kind of link between childhood abuse and smoking. But in an interesting twist, a new study finds a connection not between whether or not abused children will ever begin smoking but to how much they smoke if they do start. “In other words, people are as likely to smoke whether or not they were sexually or physically abused, but they’re inclined to smoke more if they were abused and have a history of smoking,” said Todd Herrenkohl, a University of Washington professor of Social Work. A paper documenting the work is published online in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Submission + - SOPA died in 2012, but Obama administration wants to revive part of it 1

wabrandsma writes: The Washington Post writes:

You probably remember the online outrage over the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) copyright enforcement proposal. Last week, the Department of Commerce’s Internet Policy Task Force released a report on digital copyright policy that endorsed one piece of the controversial proposal: making the streaming of copyrighted works a felony.

As it stands now, streaming a copyrighted work over the Internet is considered a violation of the public performance right. The violation is only punishable as a misdemeanor, rather than the felony charges that accompany the reproduction and distribution of copyrighted material.

Submission + - First Artificial Burger Gets Tepid Reviews, Billionaire Financier Unmasked (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: "Close to meat. Not that juicy." That was Austrian food trend researcher Hanni Rützler's verdict on the world's first lab-grown beef patty, presented in London today at a tightly orchestrated and widely covered media event. Rützler was one of two people invited to taste the burger assembled from thousands of tiny strips of beef grown by Dutch researcher Mark Post at his lab at Maastricht University in the Netherlands; the other guinea pig was Chicago, Illinois-based author Josh Schonwald. Perhaps the most concrete news to come out of the event was the unmasking of the mysterious billionaire who financed the project to the tune of $375,000. He is Google co-founder Sergey Brin, who has an interest in environmental issues and who praised Post in a video message for thinking big. "There are basically three things that can happen going forward. One is that we all become vegetarian," Brin said. "The second is we ignore the issue and that leads to continued environmental harm, and the third option is we do something new."

Comment Mitigation strategies (Score 3, Interesting) 167

TFA is correct that there isn't anything to patch per se. However, it's possible to mitigate the effects of this by using multiple completely isolated browser sessions for different purposes. Your banking VM should always be used for banking, nothing else. Clear cookies and browser history at the end of the session. All that while other VMs should be used for their own specific purposes with their own security configuration.

This is very well implemented in Qubes OS but can also be implemented via regular VMs. The guys at Bromium have also an interesting approach to this issue via microvirtualization using hardware.

Net/net, the important thing is to make sure that whatever the attacker can get, it's irrelevant in the big picture of things.

Submission + - NSA Surveillance Can Penetrate VPNs (informationweek.com)

CowboyRobot writes: The National Security Agency has a system that allows it to collect pretty much everything a user does on the Internet even when those activities are done under the presumed protection of a virtual private network (VPN). This information comes from whistleblower Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor now protected by asylum in Russia. Described in a 2008 presentation, the system, called XKeyscore, can reportedly track email addresses, logins, phone numbers, IP addresses and online activities (files, email contents, Facebook chats, etc.) and can cross-reference this information with other metadata. The NSA may not be able to crack all encryption but is likely to be able to handle weaker encryption such as PPTP and MS-Chap.

Submission + - Uber Collected Just $9M of Fares in 15 Months in Boston, Barely Denting Cabs

curtwoodward writes: Uber, the well-funded startup that hails cabs and black cars with a smartphone app, is a pretty slick way to book a ride. But how competitive is Uber with the traditional, highly regulated cab market? According to results from the startup's move into Boston, not very. Figures released in a court case show that, over 15 months, Uber processed just $9 million in gross fares (the drivers get most of that). Meanwhile, Boston's overall cab industry is pegged at doing about $250 million a year in fares. Despite the publicity, Uber still has a long way to go.

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