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Comment As always, dodging the salient issue (Score 5, Insightful) 609

Every blurb I see about this story, she defends her decision to use a private email server on the basis that it was "secure." Regardless of the veracity of those claims, the security of the system is not the point. She conducted official government business on an email server under her control. When subpoenaed, she produced all emails she deemed to be responsive to that request and all other "non-business" emails had been deleted and says, "trust me, this is everything."

Security is obviously a concern, but the reason that these rules regarding emails exist is for oversight. Government email servers aren't under the control of the politicians using them, and that mitigates the risk of spoliation of evidence. With that in mind, defending her decision on the basis of security is non sequitur. The ridiculousness of her defense becomes more apparent through hyperbole: Yes, I ate babies, but safeguards were in place to make sure those babies were free of bloodborne pathogens.

Comment Re:Who would have thought so.... (Score 1) 233

Now, THAT is the correct question. A server that keeps no logs is a fairly secure server from which to run a VPS. Ditto proxies. When shopping for something of this sort, the important question to ask is, "What logs do you keep, and how long do you retain them?" Every server makes and keeps logs - there is no getting around that. The lifetime of the logs should depend on administrative necessity. Generally, logs should be flushed every 24 hours. Performance logs, security logs, things that pertain to the ongoing health and security of the server should be retained for as long as necessay - sometimes, for months. But every publicly facing server should routinely delete logs that aren't central to the server's main mission. VPS and proxy servers main mission being to protect the anonymity of it's users.

Shouldn't it be considered a fraud, to advertise they you will protect a user's identity, then maintain logs which can be seized by any government agency that demands them?

From an evidentiary standpoint, a defendant in a lawsuit is fine (in terms of spoliation) when logs are deleted per an established retention/deletion policy, but as soon as they are put on notice that they are a party in a pending official proceeding, they would have to put in place a "litigation hold" and thus preserve "any information that might be relevant" to the opposing party. So, in this case, even if they did delete all their logs every 24 hours, as soon as they were put on notice (served, subpoenaed, etc.) they would have an on-going duty to keep the relevant logs. Now, that doesn't help the FBI in proving past acts, but it would mean HideMyAss would have to release any information from that point forward that the FBI requested, unless they were able to object to the request and get the court to agree that they should not have to do so, either due to excessive burden (time or financial), or that it is privileged data. Unfortunately, the trend is that it is becoming increasingly difficult to withhold data under either objection.

Comment Nature of the beast (Score 1) 81

To state the obvious, the US wants the upper hand in everything. That's the nature of power... doubly so for a world "super power." When you're king of the hill, you perceive everyone as a threat to your supremacy. As such, you want a defense to anything the "enemy" can throw at you. You want to always be 15 steps ahead. The government bureaucracy has always been slow on the uptake when it comes to technology. In years past when the Internet was mostly the domain of nerds and researchers, there wasn't a whole lot to perceive as a threat. Now, everyone and their mother is using email, facebook, etc. That's a lot of information that is largely bypassing the scrutiny of the powers-that-be, and now with the trend of everything being online, they are feeling the fear that the knowledge of insecurity brings.

Comment *sigh* Here's how it works (Score 3, Insightful) 184

It continues to amaze me how naive people are about how the world works, so I'm going to go ahead and break it down. This is a summary of what happens to resources in third world countries:

Because they do not possess the resources, infrastructure, or expertise to mine these minerals, they will have to contract a foreign (probably US) company to do so. To finance the operation, Afghanistan will have to take out a loan from the IMF/World Bank. The corporation(s) doing the mining will reap most of the profits, with a small percentage going to key figures in the Afghan government. The only jobs this will create for the Afghan citizens is menial labor, doing the actual mining. The resources, when gone, will only have benefited the mining/engineering firm(s) involved and the people in power in Afghanistan. Afghanistan will never be able to pay off its loan to the IMF, driving it deeper into poverty, which will, in turn, drive even more locals into the opium trade.

Comment Re:I'd rather hear about a next gen console (Score 1) 286

1. Sure, but not enough to really make a big enough impact to warrant an entirely new system. There's always going to be a bottleneck on performance somewhere, so even if they build a new system with the latest and greatest gfx technology, the visual experience is still limited by something as simple as the read speed of the disc drive. Enjoy those shiny graphics as the cutscenes sputter along...

3. Perhaps not, but it's the only way they'd advance that translates into sales. When you see marketing materials, do you see extreme closeup screenshots of the processor? No... you see screenshots of the games in action... the graphical detail. You can add gigabit ethernet to a console, but it isn't going to make online gaming any faster...the bottleneck there is the servers and ISPs, not the user's hardware. The processor is important, but not important enough to warrant a new console.

Comment Re:I'd rather hear about a next gen console (Score 1) 286

To the best of my knowledge, there has not been any new breakthroughs in television technology, so a new console wouldn't provide anything in the way of graphical advancement-- all we can really hope for is the new games would play in the higher, already existing resolutions. This Natal/Kinect stuff is about the closest thing to a "revolutionary" new control scheme, so that's another frontier that a new series of consoles wouldn't address. There's no new, revolutionary (and practical) data storage systems out there, so disc-based media and hard drives are still the best thing that is going to be incorporated into a new console design. So, I'm legitimately curious... what exactly are you hoping to see in the next generation of consoles that has you so anxious to have your current game library become "obsolete" and have to buy a new console + accessories + games, all for the thrill of having a PS4 or XBOX 720 that delivers essentially the same experience?

Comment Re:What's the angle? (Score 2, Informative) 243

I am a CRM consultant; I work mostly with Dynamics CRM, but I know pretty well also. Some of what you said is true, some isn't.

In Salesforce's favor, they are indeed more flexible, and they have a lot of features out of the box that Dynamics just doesn't have, or require customization to accomplish. Stuff that should be a no-brainer for a CRM system (such as dashboards) are strangely absent from Microsoft's solution (aside from some a measly recent addition to their hosted version), and 3rd party solutions or custom development is the only way you're going to get a dashboard in Dynamics. The out of the box workflow capabilities in Dynamics, though, are far superior to what Salesforce has. It also gives companies the option of going on-premise or cloud, which is important to some companies to have their data in-house. The integration between CRM and Outlook is also in Microsoft's favor, as they damn well should be, since they are both their own products.

All that said, though, Dynamics rarely competes in a "feature" war... the primary selling point for Dynamics is that a lot of their customers are already Microsoft shops, so if they don't already get the product for FREE with some kind of Enterprise licensing agreement, a lot of them still view it as a plus to stick with one vendor. Another big point is that integration with Microsoft's ERP system, GP, is relatively straightforward... a lot of my clients are companies that already had GP, and wanted a CRM for their sales team.

I've helped unhappy Salesforce customers migrate to Dynamics, and I've helped unhappy Dynamics customers migrate to Salesforce. The perception and attitude of the user's is far more a contributing factor to a CRM implementation's success than the actual product itself. It is uncool that Microsoft is having to resort to this kind of bullshittery to try to throw off SF's game, but I'm going to go ahead and tell you that you're dead wrong that Microsoft is going to try to purchase Salesforce. You may not be aware of this, but Microsoft only started developing CRM once Siebel turned down their offer to buy them out. I can guarantee you than any such offer to Salesforce would similarly get turned down.

Comment Re:Ugh. (Score 1) 699

Mike & Ike candies actually do somewhat resemble the rainbow-colored pills featured in propaganda pieces such as "Drugs Are Like That" (recently featured on Now, granted, that has no basis in reality, but this wouldn't be the first time a school's administration has been utterly clueless.

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