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Submission + - Petition: Require the Transportation Security Administration to Follow the Law! (arstechnica.com)

BaileDelPepino writes: Today Ars Technica writer Jim Harper published an Op-Ed entitled "TSA should follow the law", in which he details the TSA's blatant disregard for the US Court of Appeals' order to take comments from the public and publish its policy on using its "body-scanners" in US airports.

Harper has begun a petition on Whitehouse.gov to force the Obama administration to address the matter.

The petition requires 25,000 signatures by August 8th in order to force administration to comment. Let's show the administration and the TSA the power of slashdot!

Comment Re:So fine them money they already didn't spend? (Score 5, Informative) 46

I actually read some of the complaint. Surprisingly, it has nothing to do with the fact that they only offer unencrypted WiFi. It's the fact that they actually lied to consumers, saying they use "industry standard practices" to protect customers' privacy, but actually do nothing of the sort. In fact, their level of incompetence seems impressive.

Here are some of the salient details from the giant list of Wyndham security screwups (ellipses and emphases mine)

a. failed to use ... firewalls
b. allowed ... storage of payment card information in clear readable text;
d. ... permitted Wyndham-branded hotels to connect insecure servers to the ... network, including servers using outdated operating systems that could not receive security updates or to address known security vulnerabilities;
e. allowed ... well-known default user IDs and passwords ... easily available to hackers through simple Internet searches;
f. ... did not require the use of complex passwords for to ... property management systems ... Defendants used the phrase “micros” as both the user ID and the password;
g. failed to adequately inventory computers connected to the ... network;
h. failed to ... conduct security investigations;
i. failed to ... monitor ... network for malware used in a previous intrusion; and
j. failed to adequately restrict third-party vendors’ access to ... property management systems ...

Comment Re:Clearly... (Score 1) 367

There is a protocol for that now: it's called WebSockets. Sure, the protocol will be useful for other stuff too, but I can definitely see UI being one major use.

So, once WebSockets support starts to gain traction with developers (browser makers are already doing a pretty good job of supporting the draft specs), mark my words: the UI frameworks will come. I'd start building it now if I had the time.

Comment Re:Which is why... (Score 1) 286

I very much doubt that Canon law and Vatican law have anything to do with one another. Canon law governs the Church and all Catholics, not the Vatican state. The Church is distinct from and exists independent of the Vatican state, although it is physically seated there.

Now, the Vatican state law may or may not reference Canon law; I wouldn't know.

Comment Re:The purpose of confession, to the cynical (Score 1) 286

Thus the purpose of confession is so that the Church has the goods on everybody in the community.

This is such a load of rubbish, it's a crying shame that you got modded to +5 Insightful.

You can think what you will about the usefulness of confession, but you should find out what you're talking about before you show off your ignorance.

The fact of the matter is that if we Catholics had anything to fear after going to confession, we wouldn't do it. We're not as dumb as you seem to think.

You see, priests are not allowed to act on specific information they receive in confession in any way, so they don't. I have zero fear after I've gone to confession that the priest will reveal my sins to anyone. In fact, he's not even allowed to mention my own sins to me outside of confession. For that reason, most priests actively try to forget everything they've heard in the confessional.

But just in case you're uncomfortable (bearing your soul can be embarrassing), there's almost always an option to go to confession with a screen between you and the priest. You and the priest can't even see each other. So, unless you know the priest really well, he's going to have no idea who you are.

And, in conclusion: if a priest ever did break the seal of confession, his bishop would basically crush him to dust.


Submission + - Some Sites Using Unkillable HTML5 Cookies (threatpost.com)

Trailrunner7 writes: Two years after a widely publicized study in which they identified the risks of Web sites silently installing persistent Flash cookies on users' machines, a group of researchers has done a follow-up study that found not only are some of the same sites still re-spawning Flash cookies, but many other sites are using new technologies such as HTML5 to store cookies and at least one was using cache cookies to uniquely identify users even when they've disabled cookies and are in a private browsing session.

"This respawning employed the cache to mirror values, specifically ETags. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of this ETag tracking 'in the wild.' ETag tracking and respawning is particularly problematic because the technique generates unique tracking values even where the consumer blocks HTTP, Flash, and HTML5 cookies. In order to block this tracking, the user would have to clear the cache between each website visit. Even in private browsing mode, ETags can track the user during a browser session. Additionally, the ETag respawning we observed set a first party cookie on hulu.com. This means that other sites subscribing to the kissmetrics.com service could synchronize these identifiers across their domains," they wrote.


Submission + - Apple Finally Approves Google+ App For iPhone (computerworld.com)

CWmike writes: "Apple approved the Google+ app for the iPhone on Tuesday, and posted it to the App Store. Only an iPhone version of Google+ was available. It's unclear whether Google has created an iPad-specific app. Still, the app may not be available to everyone immediately, said Vic Gundotra on Google+, who heads Google's social division. Two weeks ago, a Google employee said that the company had submitted Google+ to the App Store. 'The Google+ iPhone app has been submitted to the App Store (no not today, sometime prior to today) and is awaiting approval,' said Erica Joy on July 4. According to that timeline, Google's app took twice as long as the vast bulk of submitted apps to win Apple's approval."

Comment Re:Steam-punk appeal (Score 1) 505

In my experience, yuppie guys in the 25-35 range love analog wristwatches, and it has nothing to do with having a "novelty from a bygone era." Being in that demographic myself, I think it's ultimately about being a manly man. (And frankly, I think the analog wristwatch is a quintessentially manly sort of thing.)

What man doesn't like a simple accessory that is both functional and stylish? I love having an analog wristwatch because I know what time it is no matter where I go, and I don't have to look around like an idiot wondering where the clock is. I look in the same place every time, and I get the answer every time in half a second flat (no fumbling around with my smartphone required).

Furthermore, having an analog wristwatch says to the people around you, "I want to be taken seriously." As a professional, I think that's an important message to send, and you just can't send that message while wearing your Timex Ironman.

Besides, every girl's crazy about a sharp-dressed man, and wearing a classy watch makes a man look extra sharp.

Comment Whiskeys (Score 1) 722

I used to give my boxes human names that I liked (like "Peter" and "Vincent"), but lately I've decided to start naming them after whiskeys. I started with "wild-turkey". Next up:

Comment Bad Summary (Score 1) 11

The summary misquotes the original article as about drinking and polygamy. The original is about drinking and polygyny. The difference being that "polygamy" is having multiple spouses, while "polygyny" is having multiple wives. Contrast with "polyandry", which is having multiple husbands.


Submission + - IE8 Dev Tools Don't Suck 1

BaileDelPepino writes: IE finally has developer tools that don't suck! With every other release of IE, development was a pain and debugging was a nightmare. Now IE has some decent tools--in fact, the IE includes lots of the best features of Firebug.

I'm giving IE8 and its dev tools a spin today, and I have to say I'm impressed. Now, I'm not planning on abandoning Firefox+Firebug for general development purposes just yet, but I still found a couple of compelling new features in IE, including the integrated javascript debugger, javascript profiler and the (really killer) "trace styles" feature.

Even if you're like me and are loath to give up your favorite web development tool combo, I think we can still all celebrate the fact that we finally have decent baked-in tools for debugging those nasty IE-only problems.

I should also point out that version 8 includes a version 7 compatibility mode, so there's very little reason not to upgrade if you can.

Comment Re:TFA About Reading-Disabled Students (Score 2, Interesting) 630

TTS is not the same as an audiobook performance, nor does it have that possibility any time soon.

For many intents and purposes, TTS *is* the same as an audiobook. Nobody really believes that TTS is actually copyright infringement; not even the folks in the book industry. They just know that eBook + TTS will compete with their audiobook offerings for the people who like to, say, listen to a book while they drive. Crying "copyright infringement!" is just the most convenient tool at their disposal to protect their bottom line. Now, I'm not saying that I'd be satisfied with a robotic voice croaking out the text of my book, but when faced with a choice between re-buying your content in audiobook format and letting HAL read to you for no additional cost, a lot of people will put up with HAL.


Louisiana Rep. Preps State Bill Banning Human-Animal Hybrids 422

mikeljnola writes with an excerpt from NOLA.com that says state senator Danny Martiny (R-Kenner) will introduce a bill to the Louisiana legislature on April 27 to "'make it illegal to "create or attempt to create a human-animal hybrid, ... transfer or attempt to transfer a human embryo into a non-human womb ... (or) transfer or attempt to transfer a non-human embryo into a human womb."' With budget cuts all around, our struggling state is concerned with the eminent danger of human-animal hybrids. The upside is that the odds of the Louisiana becoming the Bayous of Dr. Boudreaux are now even slimmer."

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