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Comment Good feedback! (Score 1) 88

Bricking insecure devices has a nice upshot - the cost of a returned device isn't just the profit - because all of the handling and
coping has to be done (so far) by a human, the actual _cost_ to the distributor or manufacturer of a failed device is often the
loss of profit on the whole minimum order quantity to the distributor - the whole crate.

That's why if you get a DOA item from Amazon, they often don't even want it back, they send you another on your word of
honor- not because they're so nice, but because (absent evidence of fraud) IT'S CHEAPER TO JUST SEND ANOTHER
RATHER THAN RECEIVING THE ORIGINAL DOA UNIT BACK AND DISPOSING OF IT UNTESTED. It's not free, just cheaper.

But just because it's cheaper, doesn't make it nonzero. Every bricked device replaced under warranty costs $$ and every
device that fails, in warranty or out, costs reputation. How much would you pay for an iPhone if the battery stopped
holding charge after between three days and six months of use?

Bottom line: it's damn expensive to adequately secure an already-damn-expensive IoT light bulb. And as BrickerBot
expands (and no doubt improves, just as the original chemotherapy drugs were improved) the cost to make a secure
IoT device is going to skyrocket.

Which may effectively doom IoT for consumers. Industrial IoT is a different game with different rules and the most
important is that airgapping is feasible.

Comment Two reasons- Training and Reliability (Score 1) 388

There are two reasons to NOT change the software - or at least the view seen by the users:

1) Training - learning an application represents a significant investment in time and mental energy. Making a significant change in the interface (or worse, the actual workflow) means relearning the app, sometimes from worse-than-scratch because you already know what's wrong! So, if you have to relearn, you can relearn another app that doesn't have the feature and workflow churn.

2) Reliability - adding code adds bugs. Code that once worked fine now doesn't. This again forces users to consider if it's time to learn another application and workflow simply to get away from the bugs.

Comment Re:I don't even know my passwords (Score 2) 652

Using 2FA authentication won't work to stop them.

They ALREADY ask you to allow inspection of electronics. If you refuse to give them the password, expect to not get your phone, laptop, or tablet back till you either give them the password or they image the whole thing for NSA's "enhanced decryption".

Comment Okay, what's the business model then? (Score 4, Insightful) 234

Which leaves us with the interesting question of LastPass's business model.

1) Advertising? Knowing every site you visit - AND YOUR PASSWORD?

2) "We have a benefactor". Yeah. Except that maybe that benefactor is the NSA. Or is it the GRU? Or is it the MSS (China's NSA)?

No matter how I slice it, I can't figure out an angle that isn't kinda creepy.

Comment Re:Is the implication that fresh water is bad? (Score 1) 159

Submerging plants in drinking water reservoirs is doubleplusbad. Not because of the carbon emissions, but because the rotting plants will give the water a bad taste for fifty years or so.

When the state of Massachusetts built the Quabbin reservoir in the 1930's, they did their level best to take out all of the wood and plants that would rot; clearcutting the forests, relocating, demolishing and carting, or burning farm buildings in place. Only the stone foundations remained. They even removed the railroad ties of rail lines. The result was a reservoir that is still the major reservoir of Boston to this day.

Comment Yet another reason why Adblocking and Scriptblocki (Score 4, Insightful) 96

Yet another reason why adblockers and scriptblockers are essential.

Not just because ads chew up your pay-by-the-byte bandwidth, but because they are actively serving up malware.

Sorry, all you ad-supported sites... find another business model. Your current methods are dying a very painful death.

Submission + - ORWL Open and secure computer Not So Open.

Dr. Crash writes: ORWL (the open-sourced physically secure computer) crowdsourced on CrowdSupply has revealed their licensing model.... which isn't closed, but not much better.
* Schematics only "rendered" — as PDF, impeding mechanized analysis for holes. "Source" (i.e. Cadence files) requires an NDA
* PCB layouts are available only as Gerber files. "Source" (i.e. Allegra files) again requires an NDA
* Mechanical CAD files and BIOS: Only via NDA.
Is it just me, or does it strike other readers that for a computer that's supposed to be open-sourced and inspectable, releasing only the equivalent of "assembly code" (PDFs of the schematic, Gerber files) and requiring an NDA for the BIOS and mechanical security just doesn't cut it? in particular, revealing only the PDF'ed schematics and the Gerbers make it essentially impossible to improve the device, and without the BIOS being inspectable, the security of the whole system is completely compromised.

Read the release info yourself at: https://www.crowdsupply.com/de...

Comment Don't bother - even if your password is strong.... (Score 1) 210

Unless there's money involved, I don't bother with a strong password.

Why? Because even if my password protocol and tradecraft are bulletproof, most sites aren't. Sites get
compromised so often that even a good password will fall in a year or two. Or your password _manager_ gets
compromised.

So... why bother? Start with "Password#1!" (which almost all sites will accept as "strong" and
when (not if, when) that compromises, move to "Password#2". And so forth.

Okay.... don't use the word "password". Use "Starbucks#1". Or "Galactica#!".

Other than a very few sites worthy of _trying_ to protect (your bank and maybe your primary email) one password
shared across all sites is more than adequate because compromise is inevitable. Make the cost of
compromise as close to nil as possible; that's the optimal behavior. I mean, who cares if your brownie
recipe gets trashed?

And never, ever store a password that can be turned into money on anything more connected than a
post-it note in your wallet next to your Benjamins.

Comment Advertising is DEAD. Find another business model (Score 5, Insightful) 398

The unfortunate truth is that once someone experiences the speed and cleanliness of adblocking, they simply won't go back. Not ever.

And, as explained in a previous post, the second thing they do is show their friends. And their relatives. And their social contacts.

And so it expands, like neutrons in a nuclear warhead; the chain-reaction gain is greater than 1 and the constraint of business models
("we don't take your word for the claim that the ad was shown") will either have to break down, or the whole business is "game over".

My advice to webvertizers: update your resume and find another line of work.

Comment Blockng ads for years.... (Score 1) 307

I've been blocking ads for years.

Every so often, I have to use my wife's computer and it's slow and grindy and the web pages take forever to load and forever just to switch tabs. Even though her computer is newer, bigger, and faster than mine, hers might be more convenient.

And the web pages are so full of ... crap. It's hard to see what the good stuff is. Just so busy.

Then I realize the problems... she's not running Adblock. She's not running Noscript. She's letting Flash run. She's not running Ghostery or Privacy Badger. Her computer is getting POUNDED by a few hundred sites all doing PUSH notifications and similar crap.

All of which counts as bytes trying to get down that DSL pipe. No wonder I can't watch Netflix on the Wii if she's got fifty tabs open, forty-nine of which she's not looking at but which are still running ther Javascript "just in case she looks".

Advertisers, you killed the Web by a steady diet of saturated-fat video ads and flash animations and strung it out on the taut wires of a thousand tracking sites. Your deserve to eat the rotting corpses of your clients, your competitors, and finally yourselves, for you have made the web UNUSABLE without adblocking and scriptblocking.

No, I won't comment that the web content is a continuous flow of "will someone PLEASE think of the !!!" angst-stream articles written in coffeeshops upon macbooks, nor buzz-generating puffpieces meant to assuage the doubts of nvestors, nor the unending ur-narcissism of Facebook.

No, that's a whole 'nother rant.

Comment Re:Israel hasn't vowed to "wipe Iran off the map" (Score 1) 441

We weren't celebrating the killing of 350,000 Japanese.

We were celebrating the not-having-to-kill 70,000,000 Japanese.
Remember what had happened just five months earlier, in March of 1945?

A little test invasion on an island called Iwo Jima. Iwo Jima was defended by 20,000+ Japanese.

Of that 20,000+, only 216 survived.

On that scale, killing _only_ 350,000 people starts looking like the best deal in town.

Comment Open Source == DOES get a fine tooth comb. (Score 1) 73

I am the prime author of CRM114 (the spam filter) and IT DEFINITELY GOT CHECKED BY SMART PEOPLE. There were at least a dozen people who would dependably read the code, and they'd find the pickiest things (luckily, not anything serious; thank you Valgrind!)

So, it's absolutely, demonstrably, provably (read the mail archive!) the case that at least SOME mail-oriented open source gets the all-orifices examination, and that examination is effective.

Whether or not security software gets the same thing, I can't say for sure, but I'd be surprised that it didn't. The recent set of security vulnerabilities only shows that old code didn't get the same care as newer code.

Comment Been EXACTLY there. Here's the right way to do it (Score 1) 224

I've been in EXACTLY that situation.

The solution is to make the license explicit and separate from the employment agreement.

This avoids situations where the IP license does (or does not!) expire when you leave the company.

Is it a paid-up-once license, valid forever, or renewable on a yearly (or even monthly) basis?

Does the license include the right to relicense (i.e. can the company sell a license to produce stuff based on your IP to third parties to manufacture and sell)

Does the license follow the company, if the company is bought out by $MEGACORP?

Yes, we had lawyers on it. Yes, everyone agreed that this was the way to go.

Comment Re:How is a password written down "worse than noth (Score 1) 169

Most people don't have a private, lockable office.

Most people don't even have an office that has a door.

They have a cubicle, and one without a lockable file drawer... (as though typical office furniture locks weren't jokes to anybody with two paper clips and the MIT Lock Picking Guide)

Some people don't even have a cubicle. Look at an "Open Architecture Office"... they have one two floors down. I'm not sure if I would pick that or pick McDonalds as better or worse.

That's the problem. You need to keep the security token (be it a yellow stickie-note or an RSA key) on your person, all the time.

And it still doesn't stop a good phish, or the next Heartbleed.

      - Dr. Crash

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