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Submission + - Senator Paul stands for over ten hours in Senate over NSA bulk data collection. (aljazeera.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Sen. Rand Paul held up a vote on the Fast Track Authority for a eleven hour dissertation on the flaws of the Patriot Act, the replacement the USA Freedom Act, bulk data collection including credit card purchases, the DEA and IRS's use of NSA intel. for "parallel construction", warrant-less GPS bugs on vehicles, as well as the important distinction of a general warrant v a spacific one.

The memes that have been created are clever too, "I don't normally take over C-Span2, but when I do -people watch C-Span2." Of course, the expected #StandWithRand and posting selfies with people actually watching C-Span2.


US-CERT Discloses Security Flaw In 64-Bit Intel Chips 181

Fnord666 writes "The U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) has disclosed a flaw in Intel chips that could allow hackers to gain control of Windows and other operating systems, security experts say. The flaw was disclosed the vulnerability in a security advisory released this week. Hackers could exploit the flaw to execute malicious code with kernel privileges, said a report in the Bitdefender blog. 'Some 64-bit operating systems and virtualization software running on Intel CPU hardware are vulnerable to a local privilege escalation attack,' the US-CERT advisory says. 'The vulnerability may be exploited for local privilege escalation or a guest-to-host virtual machine escape.'" According to the article, exposed OSes include "Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2, 64-bit versions of FreeBSD and NetBSD, as well as systems that include the Xen hypervisor."

China Telecom Companies Pledge To Stop Monopolistic Practices 68

hackingbear writes "China's two telecommunications giants, China Telecom and China Unicom, announced Friday they will substantially raise their broadband speeds while further lowering broadband costs by 35% over the next five years. They also acknowledge the existence of monopolistic practices in reply to a recently launched investigation, which is the first of its kind against major Chinese state-owned enterprises. Being state-owned companies, their profits supposedly belong to the nation, but they have also become 'golden rice bowls' for their management and employees, and their supervising departments and officials." If the Chinese government would like to investigate these companies' monopolistic behavior, I have a suggestion on where to start looking.
United States

Oil May Be Finite, But U.S. Production Is Ramping Up 745

Hugh Pickens writes "The WSJ reports that the discovery of the gigantic and prolific Bakken oil fields of Montana and North Dakota have already helped move the U.S. into third place among world oil producers, and according to Harold Hamm, CEO of Continental Resources, the 14th-largest oil company in America, if fully developed the field in Bakken contains 24 billion barrels, doubling America's proven oil reserves. One reason for America's abundant supply of oil and natural gas has been the development of new drilling techniques, including 'horizontal drilling,' which allows rigs to reach two miles into the ground and then spread horizontally by thousands of feet." Not surprisingly, Hamm considers some of the current administration's loans and subsidies for alternative energy ventures to be misplaced.

German Government's Malware Analyzed 162

First time accepted submitter lennier1 writes "The German hacker group CCC (Chaos Computer Club) has analyzed a piece of malware the German government uses in criminal investigations to spy on a suspect's computer. I'm sure we're all surprised that it's opening security holes for third parties, and violates a related court verdict (and several laws in general)."

Comment Re:VAC (Score 2, Interesting) 203

They decided to use VAC instead of Punkbuster on the PC. Like many of their decisions, this one wasn't well thought out.

I personally feel that the only system I have seen so far with a reasonable rate of success is dedicated servers with some sort of permaban of accounts caught cheating. While by no means a perfect system; my personal experience (with TF2 as that is the only FPS game besides MW2 I have played over the last few years) was that I found a gaming site that ran servers for a variety of games. An extended group of people frequented those servers, creating a community of sorts, and I personally never had much problems with cheaters (that I can recall). Either they were banned/kicked swiftly and effectively, or they never logged on that particular set of servers; or possible a combination of the two. Though it should be mentioned that over the last two weeks, or so, of playing Modern Warfare 2 I haven't really seen a lot of players that I could confidently claim were cheating; though I have seen a few that were ridiculously good. Perhaps that is just me not really paying attention.

Cheating or no cheating, sales or no sales, I personally feel that despite Modern Warfare 2 being a really great game at its core, I won't be playing much more than I have; as it really feels impersonal when all the other players are random. And there is no forum for me to hang around talking some trash between matches and evenings. This of course isn't helped by the fact that Iwnet seem to have about a 30% (number I pulled out of my behind but it is how I have experienced it so far) failrate; disconnects, game closings, kicked from a lobby before you have connected to it, random ping, and people leaving games because a map comes up that they don't want to play (Highrise and Estate seem to see half the "group" leave when they come into rotation) leading to lobby's closing most of the time.

Comment Re:Maximum jobs for citizens breaks capitalism (Score 1) 23

Capitalism cannot work with maximum jobs for citizens, because the "maximum jobs for citizens" means 100% employment, which means that a company cannot just simple fire you and hire someone else...
Exactly my point- which is the economy as the slave to mankind, not mankind as slave to the economy.
  The problem is that people model the economy under various assumptions, and those assumptions may be entirely false. So, both capitalism and communism look great on paper, because of the assumptions made by the modeler.
It's not just the assumptions, it's the ethics. Put the profit motive above ethics, and just about anything evil becomes inevitable.
  However, real life sucks. In truth, people work in an economy because they pretty much have to. If that economy is designed, or based on the principles that its citizens serve the economy then it will begin to exploit the "captive market" of workers. This can be true of any system, capitalism or communism.
That is true. Thus, the definition one needs to change, is real life.

Comment Re:Ugggh (Score 1) 219

Hear, hear. I saw this when I was stationed at Tinker AFB.

Military hanger(s): spotless, orderly, tools and equipment in good working order, work mostly done by E-3s with (light) non-commissioned supervision.

Contractor hanger: dirty, bird-shit infested, disorderly, with most work done by guys making $60k who sat on their asses as much as possible. Both sides used and maintained the exact same class of aerospace ground equipment.

Needless to say, when the boys in suits (whom we grunts referred to as "office fairies" back then) start talking about "public-private partnerships" and "contracts," it's time to duck for cover.


Submission + - White House Panel Seeks Input On Spaceflight Plans (nasa.gov)

Neil H. writes: The Augustine Commission, commissioned by the White House and NASA to provide an independent review of the current US human spaceflight program and potential new directions, is seeking public input on a document describing the preliminary beyond-LEO (Low Earth Orbit) exploration scenarios they're analyzing. The destination-based scenarios, designed with NASA's current budget in mind, range from a Lunar Base (essentially NASA's current plan), to "Mars First" (human exploration of Mars ASAP), to "Flexible Path" (initially focused on several destinations in shallow gravity wells, such as Lagrange points, near-Earth asteroids, and the Martian moon Phobos). The Commission is also seeking input on the issues of engaging commercial spaceflight, in-space refueling, and coordinating human and robotic exploration.

Comment Re:The Definition of "Design" (Score 1) 434

I'll concede that point. After doing some research (avoiding MSM sites, thanks), it's pretty clear that the people in charge of the city and state failed in their duties. Perhaps they were skeptical of "whitey" from the federal government, or perhaps they just didn't care as long as their own families and friends were OK.

As for the death of the girl in the SuperDome, and the conditions there generally, I can only trust the eyewitness account of a good friend.

That doesn't negate the responsibility of people to take care of themselves, however.

Comment Re:The Definition of "Design" (Score 1) 434

I had friends in the Superdome during Katrina. There was no water or food. A young girl was raped and killed in a bathroom; her neck was snapped. My friends, who were from England and New Zealand, had to get together with other white people to form a small circle where they could huddle without being harassed. There was a lot of anger against whites in that place, which is understandable considering that the wealthier (presumably white) parts of the city had left these people behind without the consideration you would show a dog.

Thousands of people were huddled together in the Superdome like animals for days with no food, water or law enforcement. You clearly have no idea what you're talking about.

Comment Welcome to New York . . . (Score 1) 793

Where teachers make upwards of $100k before they retire -- and $75k afterward. Until death.

Where state troopers make upwards of $60k or more with full benefits.

I'm sure there are other examples, these are just the two I know about.

Here's an experiment: try moving to a smallish city or largish town in New York State (outside NYC/Westchester). Try finding a job at a private company that pays the rates listed above, with similar benefits and retirement package.

Good luck.

Most people in (upstate) NY are making in the $30k range, and paying 30% in taxes to support the public employee unions. No wonder we're losing (by some estimates) 500,000 residents a year.

Comment Analog is Opt-In; Digital is Opt-Out (Score 1) 164

It's interesting that surveillance and data retention by the government is framed as a moral issue in these discussions. I happen to think that laziness is at least as big a factor, and it's what really drives behavior in many cases. It's all about the path of least resistance. In the old days of paper-based records, you had to go through several extra steps to keep a record, using a copier, for example (or carbon paper before that). Even the old computer systems had bulky, expensive tape drives which held fairly little data. Assuming you wanted to keep any given bit of information around once you'd grabbed it, you then had to file it, keep it dry, and so on. This meant that data retention cost money in terms of creation, storage and indexing (which they used to call "filing," and it took even more people), so you had to justify the expense of keeping a record of an event.

Fast forward a few decades: nowadays, if you run a network of any kind (even a small one at home), you have various servers, firewalls, daemons, and so forth running all the time, each writing the details of their activities to various logfiles which sit on disk and cost very little to index, search and store. In addition, since the records are created automatically, you have to actually *do something* to get rid of them. That means adding an extra "deletion step", whether it's writing a script or otherwise, which means at least some expertise is required, which means you have to pay someone, and, if you are in government or business, you have to justify to someone why you are spending money to have less information about your systems, users, what-have-you. This is especially problematic if someone can find you blameworthy for doing so. Which they will, especially if it is politically or financially advantageous to do so. And it always is.

All of this is obvious; I'm not saying anything new or interesting here.

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