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Comment Re:Repeat after me (Score 1) 371

"There are no other obvious variables."

Yes, actually there are. From my testing (in a different post) I showed that you get different rates with each new load as long as you aren't sending cookies. Whatever he was doing to test cookie-wise was wrong (which should have been obvious considering he was re-installing browsers to clear cookies, wtf?).

So yes, this was absolutely a case of correlation != causation.

Comment User-agent is not relevant (Score 1) 371

$ for i in {1..2000}; do curl 2>/dev/null | grep "as low as" -m 1 | cut -d ">" -f 3 | cut -d "%" -f 1; done | sort | uniq -c
        420 2.30
        499 2.70
        428 3.10
        653 3.50

So for 2000 samples (with the default curl user-agent) we get
2.3% (~21%)
2.7% (~25%)
3.1% (~21%)
3.5% (~33%)

Now let's try it again with a firefox for windows user agent.

$ for i in {1..2000}; do curl --user-agent 'Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20101012 Firefox/3.6.11 Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 6.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/20101012 Firefox/3.6.11' 2>/dev/null | grep "as low as" -m 1 | cut -d ">" -f 3 | cut -d "%" -f 1; done | sort | uniq -c
        395 2.30
        536 2.70
        450 3.10
        619 3.50

So for 2000 samples (with the firefox user agent) we get
2.3% (~20%)
2.7% (~27%)
3.1% (~23%)
3.5% (~31%)

This deviation does not seem statistically meaningful to me, I would conclude that user agent is not relevant, at least not between firefox and curl.

Comment Who cares what diseases or afflictions he has? (Score 0, Redundant) 452

"Gary McKinnon, still suffering from Asperger's syndrome, depression, anxiety, and panic attacks, has one last chance to avoid extradition from the UK to the US to face charges of hacking into NASA and Pentagon computers in search of information on UFOs."

I'm sorry, what relevance does his Aspergers, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, or ingrown toenails have to do with anything? He broke into government systems repeatedly, end of story.

Comment Not our claim... :-) (Score 5, Informative) 353

As a co-author of this work, I should be clear that we never suggested that we have a perfect spam filter per se, simply a new tool that has the benefit of being orthogonal to existing techniques. For _existing_ botnets, our filters are extremely good, but the paper is also quite clear about the variety of ways that spammers might try to evade the approach.

Comment RAID is not back up (Score 1) 611

The expression "RAID is not back up" is meant to illustrate that if you're only copy of something (ergo you're working-copy) is on RAID, that is not enough. Significant hardware failure, file corruption through application or OS, or file deletion by accident or a virus - any of these will destroy your local data even if it is RAID'd.

If your working copy is on computer A, however, and you're backing up to a RAID on computer B (or NAS B, whatever), that is back up. It is not fantastic back up (offsite, multiple layers of redundancy, encrypted, yada yada yada), but it is back up.

In short, "RAID is not back up" should be rephrased as "RAID alone is not back up."

Comment XP Support forever (Score 1, Flamebait) 567

By the time that XP downgrade issue comes up XP will be 9 years old, how long are they supposed to be supporting this OS? People love to bag on microsoft for security, but when they try to kill off the largest security flaw on the internet today, the ubiquity of the XP machines where (almost) everyone is running as administrator, people freak out. Windows 7 finally brings the ability to actually use windows effectively without being administrator and without getting asked for your permission to allow something every 6 seconds. This is a very Good Thing(TM).

You've had plenty of time to test for incompatibilities, and if you haven't done it yet start now; Win7 beta is freely available for you to test with right now, I think you'll find most things work fine. As a side note, if you find some legacy apps that don't play with Windows 7, a good workaround to get the abilities of windows 7 while still using that app is throwing it in a VM. Not painless but better than sticking with a dead OS.

If you truly want the internet to be a safer place then you should want XP gone as quickly as possible.

Comment Re:Stanford's patent policy. (Score 1) 221

Sorry, but this is generally incorrect. The Baye-Dole act (with us since 1980) gives universities to rights to patents funded with Federal $$$. To make this situation more clear, many universities have faculty sign IP agreements explaining how such rights will be considered in various contexts. Indeed, most universities will claim patent rights on inventions made during your period of employment even if not funded by the government. Patent revenue is generally shared, but precisely how varies quite a bit among institutions. Faculty-founded startups directly based on university patented research almost always license those patents from the university. There are pro/con arguments about whether or not this is all good policy, but this is what actually happens.

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