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Comment What use? (Score 2, Insightful) 79

Despite the examples given in the parent, I can't honestly think of a single practical use for an input device like this (as has been mentioned, Microsoft has a really warped idea of what qualifies as a "GUI"). I mean what would you use it for? A mouse may not be the perfect hardware for controlling your virtual world, but it's amazingly versatile. You can also let go of a mouse. I can just imagine a surgeon using this and then having to sneeze, or playing WoW with your new MUI device getting killed because you had to scratch your nose during combat. Driving?! Are they insane?? If you're not moving your hands from the wheel, what part of you IS moving?! I don't often flex my muscles while driving as that can often lead to involuntary sudden deceleration.

Comment Re:Immoral is what it is (Score 1) 331

It mostly "seems" to be the republicans based on the media you choose to pay attention to. Make no mistake both parties are equally guilty and as long as they both succeed in keeping the populace sedated and distracted from what government is really doing, neither party really cares who has the majority.

Comment It was because we focused on the negative effects (Score 1) 257

Those articles that mentioned planes and fire and brimstone falling out of the sky should have focused on the positive e.g. guess what, that hardware you bought late this year? The warranty's going to extend itself another 99 years. Heck bring it in even after 12 months, and we'll stick it to The Man.

(And to the OP the reason the damage was minimal was because we DID have people making sure that there wasn't going to *be any damage.)

Comment Re:This kind of hype was exactly the problem (Score 1) 257

Part of that hype was deliberate FUD from elements of the USA permanent government.

In the Veterans Administration and presumably a number of other agencies, during the 3 years from 1997 to 2000 there was a major drive to get every computer "Y2K Compliant". And the tests for compliance were made strict enough to ensure that entire operations had to have brand new CPUs (and associated interfaces and so on) across the board. Y2K was quickly seen as an excuse for emergency authority to spend much more on new hardware than the budget called for.

The FUD was aimed primarily at high level management and professional staff who controlled or influenced disbursement of discretionary funds. But as those persons became concerned that the IT infrastructure would crash in flames around them unless they bought the new toys, they naturally talked with their counterparts in the private sector, and the FUD spread further.

Darlene and John, I'm looking at you. You, and other mid level managers, flexed your ethics to push your agenda, and a shitload of unnecessary new equipment was bought and installed. You would have upgraded the network to fiber optics if only you could have dreamed up an argument that CAT5 itself was maybe not Y2K compliant. Meanwhile, programs to assist veterans with PTSD were delayed or curtailed. Way to go, guys. Zippity-doo-dah.

Comment Windows 7 (Score -1, Offtopic) 86

I just tried to fix a neighbour's new Toshiba laptop which came with Windows 7 home premium installed. I have fixed similar Toshiba machines with Vista. The difference between the two is so small as to be negligible, both in speed as well as 'features'. The Windows 7 panel might be nicer than the Vista/XP/2000/w98/w95 panel and the somethat less torrential flood of UAC prompts is an improvement but I really do not get why Windows y is being portrayed as the second coming while Vista is painted blacker than black.

If you like Vista you will like Windows 7, if you dislike Vista you most likely will also dislike Windows 7. Some anecdotal evidence comes from the experience I had about two hours ago...

The new Toshiba my neighbour bought did not want to connect to his wireless network while it does connect to mine as well as the one in the shop where he bought it (which he found out when he brought the thing back to complain). Other machines with other operating systems have no problems connecting to the same router so the router is OK. Debugging this problem was made impossible by Internet Explorer and the panel crashing all the time. This might be due to his installing of some Norton crap product. The machine bluescreened three times in a span of 20 minutes while it was only in use for light web browsing (looking for a new 802.11 driver for the RealTek chipset in the machine). The only way to get the machine to be in a usable state was to start it with a Ubuntu 9.04 CD. Unfortunately Windows 7 did not want to recognize the Windows Mobile (!) phone which was used as a temporary storage device for the downloaded driver.

I ended up giving the neighbour the Ubuntu CD with some instructions on how to use it for browsing etc. As to whether I will retry getting that machine connected with Windows 7 or just try to downgrade it to XP or upgrade it to Ubuntu I don't know yet. For now he can at least use the machine he bought, no thanks to Windows 7.

Comment Schneier characterizes the CNN piece as... (Score 1) 582

"a rewrite of an older article of [his]".

Most of the piece, clearly, isn't specific to this attack... but I think that's actually his point here: he didn't *have to* write a fresh piece for this, since the problem hasn't really changed, *just* because this particular guy wore Semtex boxers on a plane.

The problem is what it always is, and Security Theatre isn't going to change it.

*I* tend to think that what Bruce ought to do is to write one or more general circulation pieces on the issue, explaining the underlying background even more deeply than he generally does, and sell them to Popular Mechanics. And GQ. And Playboy. And The Atlantic. Etc....

Comment Hardware problem? (Score 1) 539

Why did you not just give them access to the logfiles. Just setup a new apache on port 8080, do a few symlinks to bring the log files into the default html folder, update config to follow symlinks, add a .htaccess file and you are done. Should not take more then 20 minutes.

How exactly did you expect them to help you, if you are the only customer with problems, and you don't give them any access to your log files.

And it's time to change hosting provider if they really did the "bringing it down and poking around through my logs" part, because there is no reason to bring the server down to look at the log files. They could just copy them.

Comment Re:This attack was perfectly succesful (Score 1) 809

Great point. I was over-focusing on the economic / hassle factor. You're correct that a potentially even greater impact is the fragmentation of our society based on profiles and stereotypes. I travel to Israel regularly where profiling (say - at a club or the airport) is a 100% accepted practice. Why - it works. The downside - a 2 tier society.

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