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Comment Re:AV only helps if you are bad (Score 1) 185

Sure, but that trust only extends as far as whoever implemented those security measures and signed those binaries. We live in an era when your own OS may well be spying on you, your new laptop may be shipped with vendor-installed spyware right out of the factory, your new PC's CPU almost certainly has secondary functionality built-in that you can't examine or control, any of those things potentially lead to not just privacy but also system control vulnerabilities, and that's just the threats your chosen commercial partners openly-ish advertise before you get into criminals or state security services physically modifying something between the manufacturer's facility and yours.

Comment Re: AV only helps if you are bad (Score 4, Insightful) 185

Sometimes, but there are no guarantees these days. Once a system has been compromised, it is now almost impossible to make sure it's clean again no matter what you do to recover. In a world with the likes of UEFI and "hidden" secondary processors within CPUs, even wiping the hard drive and reinstalling from known good media isn't a reliable fix. It's all rather depressing, this so-called progress.

Comment Re: AV only helps if you are bad (Score 2) 185

The trouble is, all of that remains true if you have anti-virus software installed. Your odds might be slightly better overall, but AV software doesn't catch everything. In a few cases, AV software has even opened additional vulnerabilities itself.

It's surprisingly difficult to be sure that you're only running what you think you're running in 2016 and that your data is safe and private. That's a real and serious problem regardless of which if any AV tools you run.

Comment Re:Google's reply? (Score 1) 171

I agree it's unfortunate that so many people just rely on headlines, and that those headlines are sometimes less than perfect, but that's just the reality of what happens. Did you hear the one about the Slashdotter who actually read TFA before commenting?

So as long as that remains the reality, news organisations could plausibly be losing a significant amount of the value of their work if others are allowed to literally copy and paste the headlines and maybe some introductory snippets and republish them without doing any of the real leg work required to get the stories.

Comment Re:RAID is not backup (Score 3, Informative) 338

The problem with cloud-based solutions is that the cost for backing up several terabytes of data is typically several orders of magnitude higher than building your own RAID array, and the performance of Internet-based backup absolutely sucks beyond measure unless you're the sort of person whose data needs are measured in tens of megabytes.

  • To back up 2 TB over a typical cable modem (say 3 megabit upload speed) will take you 61 days. Over typical DSL (300 kilobits per second), it will take almost two years.
  • If you lose your original copy, getting the data back will be almost as painful. On a fairly fast cable modem (30 mbps), assuming the cloud-based backup server can completely saturate your downlink (which is by no means guaranteed), it will take you 6 days of continuous downloading to restore the backup. Over 3 megabit DSL, again, that number goes up to 60 days.

The ideal solution, if you can pull it off, would be to build a small concrete bunker in your yard, run power out to it, put a UPS and power conditioner in there to protect against bad power, put a RAID array in there, wire it with Ethernet to your house underground, put a watertight door on the thing, add a power cutoff that shuts down power if water does get inside (e.g. a GFI breaker and an unused extension cord whose output end is lower than your equipment), and hope for the best.

But more realistically, I would tend to suggest an IOSafe fireproof RAID array loaded up with five 6 TB drives (or maybe even 8 TB drives). Put it in a closet somewhere, and hope for the best. If you want to increase your protection a bit, you could also get two RAID expansion cabinets, store them at work, and periodically bring one home, clone your main RAID array to it, and bring it back

Comment Re:good luck with that one... (Score 2) 171

It's a complicated relationship, with pros and cons. Certainly a lot of things get blamed on the EU without any rational justification. On the other hand, plenty of things also get blamed on the EU with some rational justification. There is one particularly evil political technique where something that would never get passed back home gets punted to the EU where it's relatively out of sight, and then comes back usually via a Directive a couple of years later, at which time the government can not only claim they have no choice about implementing it but also say they have no way to influence the details... even while their own representatives and allies within the EU were the ones pushing for the new measures in the first place.

Comment Re:Google's reply? (Score 1) 171

The better news sites do provide more detailed and well-informed content. Unfortunately, it turns out that many of their readers still have the attention span of a goldfish, and thus that their headlines and early commentary are disproportionately valuable to those readers, regardless of the quality or quantity of the additional work from the news reporters.

Comment Re:good luck with that one... (Score 1) 171

Well, I'm with you on that principle as well. I can't see how an alternative scheme such as you suggested could be workable in practice, but if you had proposed some reasonable power of recall I would probably have agreed.

Still, even without that, it helps if we at least elect people who might act in our interests in the first place. Until money is an acceptable substitute for votes, the voters still have all the power on that one if they only choose to use it.

Comment Re:good luck with that one... (Score 2) 171

Yes, because EU. The entire basis for this disagreement was whether or not the UK government was allowed to introduce a private copying exception of the form that it did given the EU rules. If the government were not constrained by the EU Directive, all the questions about whether any harm was de minimis and pricing-in and so on would be moot.

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