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Comment The Sales Pitch (Score 1) 632

I wonder if the gun lobby will be quoting the statistic they very much like to ignore in order to sell this gun? "Reduces or eliminates the possibility of you being shot with your own gun which, as people have been telling us for quite some time now, the odds of increase substantially when you take possession of a gun. Also, it will prevent your gun from being used without your authorization."

I can see this tech introducing a lot of investigative and prosecutorial cans-of-worms too.

Comment Re:Whats the alternative? (Score 1) 863

I couldn't agree more. I can not for the life of me understand how that man still has a job. I can not think of even one (1), not a single product that has been rolled out under his tenure that was a success. He should have been fired after Longhorn and definitely after Vista. I have no idea at this point how he is still holding on to his job.

The Internet

Submission + - Biggest DDoS in history fails to slash interweb arteries (

SternisheFan writes: "The massive 300Gbit-a-second DDoS attack against anti-spam non-profit Spamhaus this week didn't actually break the internet's backbone, contrary to many early reports.

The largest distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) assault in history began on 18 March, and initially hit the Spamhaus website and CloudFlare, the networking biz hired by the spammer-tracking outfit to keep its systems online, at 90Gbps. After failing to knock the organisation offline, the attackers targeted CloudFlare's upstream ISPs as well as portions of the networks at internet traffic exchanges in London and Amsterdam.

The volume of this second-wave attack, which began on on 22 March, hit 300Gbps, an unnamed tier-1 service provider apparently told CloudFlare.

By far the largest source of attack traffic against Spamhaus came from DNS reflection, which exploits well-meaning, public-facing DNS servers to flood a selected target with network traffic — this is opposed to the usual tactic of using a huge botnet army of compromised computers.

DNS reflection attacks involve sending a request for a large DNS zone file to a DNS server; the request is crafted to appear as though it originated from the IP addresses of the victim. The server then responds to the request but sends the wad of data to the victim. The attackers' requests are only a fraction of the size of the responses, meaning the attacker can effectively amplify his or her attack by a factor of 100 from the volume of bandwidth they control.

CloudFlare reckons there were 30,000 DNS servers involved in the attack against Spamhaus, which might have been launched from only a small botnet or cluster of virtual servers. The attack against Spamhaus and CloudFlare proved there is a serious design flaw in the underpinnings of the internet, one that security experts such as Team Cymru and others have been warning about for years — although the use of DNS servers in DDoS attacks is rare, Rob Horton from NCC Group told El Reg."

Comment Thought Jailbreaking was legally allowed? (Score 1) 112

I thought it was only unlocking a phone to use it on any carrier that recently became "illegal" due to a change at the library of congress.

IIRC there was a court case or some legislative action a year or 2 ago that made it illegal for manufacturers to stop people from jailbreaking their phones.

How is Apple geting around this, assuming I'm not misinformed? If they are just "fixing bugs" they should have the "Allow apps from anywhere" option that sFurbo mentioned above long ago!

This is written on a MacBook but I have less love for Apple every day. It's like an old marriage that's jumped the shark.

Comment Let's face it. (Score 2) 292

We're people and we suck. The only thing that matters is what this employer can do for you when you finish working there.

Are they going to be an asset for networking or as a reference? Are they going to get you more work by recommending you? Are they going to be bringing you back for more work?

Your answers to these questions will dictate how much time you should spend supporting the new hire.

It's just business.

Comment Sign the petitions to have Ortiz and Heymann fired (Score 1) 326

I hope everyone is signing the White House petitions to fire these 2 prosecutors for overreach in this case.

Petition for Carmen Ortiz:

Petition for Steve Heymann:

I know, I don't have a lot of faith in this petition system but, I'm hopeful that enough people will keep making noise on this one that some action will actually be taken. With this latest development that politics at least played a role in Aaron's persecution they should be jailed for bullying but we all know prosecutors don't go to jail so at least they should be fired and disgraced. Imagine if people don't make enough noise, nothing is done, and in 5 or 10 years these jerks are sitting on the bench as Federal Judges!

Comment Re:He was never facing 124 years of imprisonment (Score 1) 116

No, wrong!

Thats why you have a lawyer that explains to you how things work. Most people plea because they are actually guilty and realize that it is in their best interest to do so.

Plenty of people have pled to charges they are innocent of or to charges that are harsher than they deserve because they fear a much more unreasonably harsh outcome of a trial that they don't have the resources to defend themselves at. The whole plea bargain system should be done away with. Prosecutors should use discretion in determining charges and more cases should go to trial. In the case of someone who is guilty why should they get a deal for nothing more than making it easy for the investigators and prosecution by not going to trial?

Prosecutors don't just pull random people off the street and charge them. Investigators collect evidence which they present to the prosecutor. Then the prosecutor decides if there is enough evidence to present to a grand jury / judge. It is only after the judge / jury looks at the evidence and decides that there is probable cause to believe the suspect committed the crimes that an indictment is handed down.

No, you missed a very important step in the process. Once the investigators and prosecution determine they have something to charge a defendant with they go back to the defendant and threaten them with what they have and the worst case scenario to try to scare them into cutting a deal. The investigators want it to close cases quickly which helps their career paths and the prosecutors want it because it's an easy win that also benefits their personal aspirations. These deals are cut in interrogation rooms and holding cells way before anyone gets in front of a judge to consider anything other than bail.

Also, prosecutors may not pull random people off the street and charge them but cops certainly do. Maybe you've never lived in a place like Oakland or LA where cops can and do stop and search (almost exclusively non-white) people for literally nothing more than walking down the street. I can assure you that it happens all the time. Why do you think it is so hard for people who live in these places to stay out of the system or to get out of it once they're in?

Even when you plea, it is the judge that actually determines the sentence, not the prosecutor.

By the time it goes to a judge the deal is done and the judge's signature on the plea deal is a formality. Have you ever heard of a judge ruling that the terms of a plea agrement are unreasonable or unfair and sending it back to the prosecution to come up with something better? I haven't.

Comment Re:Aaron Swartz wasn't a snitch (Score 1) 116

I'm not comparing the actions of Sabu with Swartz and I know far less about the details of the Sabu case than I do about Swartz. I was only pointing out that the heavy handed treatment from the prosecution was pretty much the same in both cases.

Who knows, had Sabu and Swartz not been intimidated by the prosecution telling them they were going to throw them away for the rest of their lives they might have chosen different courses of action than becoming a snitch and suicide. The system sucks and until that is fixed it's hard to blame people for their actions when they are being mentally tortured by draconian prosecution tactics without any real recourse to defend themselves. This sort of thing never happens to people who have millions to defend themselves with and that simply is not equal justice under the law.

Comment Re:He was railroaded just like Aaron Swartz (Score 1) 116

I'm a man without a country and that weighs heavy on my mind. It sucks to not be able to feel proud of where I come from anymore

Where you came from is your past. Where you came from is your family. You can still be proud of that.
A country (or a nation, if you like) means nothing. It is just a political line on a map.
You can not be proud of things where you have no influence. You can be satisfied or even happy that they are there, but you can not be proud of them.

You're quite right about that and thank you for reminding me.

The answer that they give is always that it does not matter, so why ask the question in the first place?

My answer would be that it does matter but, I wish it didn't.

In my experience I have only been able to form close friendships with other expat Americans that share a similar belief system and set of values as me. That has not been for lack of trying either. I have acquaintances and colleagues from all over the world and, despite being quite well traveled when I arrived, being around them has taught me more than I ever imagined about how little I know of the world and other cultures. Despite this learning, debate and exchange of ideals, which definitely is a bonding experience, if I was in trouble and needed real help the call would go out to a fellow countryman. It's something that the vast majority of expats I know also experience and agree with me on.

With all the weirdoes and sickos that come here for all the wrong reasons, like Mr. AC troll above, you become very careful and selective about who you make friends with. That may be more of an issue for Thailand than other countries but I'm in touch with a lot of expats in other countries too and it definitely is a factor everywhere. Also, people come and go a lot so one must prioritize who they put the time in with to form close friendships.

It may be possible for where you come from to not matter when you're on holiday or for casual friendships and acquaintances but when it comes to making real, long-term, friendships it does come into play.

One thing that is much better here than in the US is that never is the first question from someone you just meet, "So, what do you do?" and I'll take "Where do you come from?" over that one any day.

Thanks for your reply, I have a feeling that you're the kind of person I could be good friends with. :)

Comment Re:He was railroaded just like Aaron Swartz (Score 1) 116

I don't blame GWB exclusively or even primarily, it was just the final straw that broke the camel's back. Clinton and congress did plenty to contribute to the state the country is in and it all started decades ago. GWB probably is my least favorite president, certainly in my lifetime, and I was just taking a jab at his dumb ass but I really did go to the computer and buy my ticket right after Peter Jennings announced he was re-elected. I had started planning to leave quite some time before that.

Yours is a good post. It's too bad you felt you had to post as AC but I think I understand why you did and don't blame you.

Comment Re:He was never facing 124 years of imprisonment (Score 2) 116

It's not about what the judges choose to do or what the sentencing guidelines say. It's about prosecutorial intimidation e.g. "you're going away for the rest of your life or you cooperate" which occurs way before a judge ever gets a chance to rule on sentencing.

This is why the vast majority of cases are closed with a nolo contendo (no contest) plea bargain and never even make it to trial. There is very little justice left in the US (in)justice system for the average citizen without vast resources to defend themselves.

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