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Comment Re:Ken Thompson, Anyone? (Score 1) 472

Here's the problem: When did you last perform this analysis? If you didn't do it, when did someone else last do it? How do you know you can trust the person who claims to have last done the analysis?

Ultimately you MUST trust someone. Because all modern systems are far too complex for any one person (or team of persons) to fully understand and analyze. It would NOT be unreasonable to spread a single backdoor across multiple components (especially if the implementation of those components isn't the best documented code). Such a backdoor would be extremely difficult to find even WITH assembly and source code auditing.

Submission + - Official: Microsoft to acquire Nokia Devices and Services (

symbolset writes: REDMOND, Washington and ESPOO, Finland – Sept. 3, 2013 – Microsoft Corporation and Nokia Corporation today announced that the Boards of Directors for both companies have decided to enter into a transaction whereby Microsoft will purchase substantially all of Nokia’s Devices & Services business, license Nokia’s patents, and license and use Nokia’s mapping services.

Under the terms of the agreement, Microsoft will pay EUR 3.79 billion to purchase substantially all of Nokia’s Devices & Services business, and EUR 1.65 billion to license Nokia’s patents, for a total transaction price of EUR 5.44 billion in cash. Microsoft will draw upon its overseas cash resources to fund the transaction. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014, subject to approval by Nokia’s shareholders, regulatory approvals and other closing conditions.

Comment Re:Finally Fixing the Date stuff (Score 1) 434

Interesting. I've always used "syntactic sugar" to mean language features that are fundamentally implemented in the front end. For example C++ lambdas are effectively syntactic sugar - it's a clean syntax that wraps an anonymous class declaration (with the lambda capture values being class members and the lambda body being an "operator()" method).

Another example is C++ reference parameters - under the cover most C++ compilers implement reference parameters as pointer to type parameters and the reference parameter access is syntactic sugar for pointer indirection.

These examples are simplifications but they serve to demonstrate my thinking.

Comment Re:Start Button in 8.1 is useless. (Score 1) 543

Or right click in the bottom left corner of the screen and select "command prompt" or "command prompt (admin)" (you can replace command prompt with powershell if you're so inclined). Or "Win+R cmd".

Win+R cmd works fine on XP, Vista, Win7, Win8 and Win8.1, the right click thingy works on 8.0 and 8.1.

Comment Re:Cuts both ways (Score 1) 848

You just pushed a major hot button. Where's the evidence of massive voting fraud? Please note: I don't mean voter registration fraud - the incentives that enable voter registration drives provide a significant incentive for voter registration fraud (cf: Acorn and the recent GOP sponsored voter fraud in the 2012 election).

However in a presidential election year, there are vanishingly small numbers of in-person voter fraud. In several elections where fraud was claimed (Washington's governors race in 2004, Minnesota's senatorial race in 2008), very few actual cases of fraud were uncovered.

In the US, there is almost no evidence of in-person voter fraud. If there were, I could see a need for voter ID laws. But there isn't. So what is the point of voter ID laws? Why would politicians be sponsoring legislation to address a non-existent problem?

One theory about why voter ID laws are proposed is that voter ID laws provide a barrier to people who don't have a government sponsored ID (since you need to have a government ID to vote and getting the ID can be difficult). It turns out that the set of people without government sponsored ID tend to live in urban areas (where the need for a drivers license is ameliorated by mass transit). And guess what: Urban voters tend to vote Democratic.

Comment Re:Monoculture (Score 4, Insightful) 314

How exactly does this work? If we had a monoculture (like we had with IE6), people code to the monoculture, standards be damned. If WebKit implements a standard badly, no amount of complaining by Microsoft and Mozilla will cause the WebKit folks to change their browser rendering to be compliant. And just like what happened with IE6, web developers will ignore the standard in favor of the WebKit implementation. We're ALREADY seeing this happen - webkit has sufficient market share that sites don't bother building standards compliant version of their mobile site, they just write for webkit and consider their work done.

History has shown that if you have a monoculture, standards are irrelevant - the only thing that matters is the one implementation.

Comment Re:Banking passwords are overrated (Score 1) 195

According to the article, at least in the US you're required to show up at a bank in-person to create the account, which means they have a picture of you from the security cameras creating the account. Oh and you need a bunch of forms of ID to create the account.

One of the key pieces of evidence they use is that banking passwords go for pennies - if it was as easy to get the money as you say it is, the account passwords would be worth more money.

Comment Re:Banking passwords are overrated (Score 1) 195

How do you do that transfer without leaving an audit trail? That's the whole point of the article - the transfer is only interesting if they can somehow break the audit trail between your bank account and their bank account.

The common method for this is to use a money mule - the money mule wires the money from your bank account to the mule's bank account. The mule then sends a money wire to the bad guy keeping 10% for themselves.
Fast forward a couple of days when you find the theft. You report it to the bank, they trace the transfer to the mule's account and remove the money from the mules account. Now the bank's reimbursed you for your money (which the federal government requires them to do), , the mule's out the money they stole and the bad guy's got the money. Effectively the bad guy has stolen from the mule, not from you.


Egyptian Court Wants To Block YouTube For a Month 188

First time accepted submitter rogue-girl writes that a "Cairo Administrative Court announced earlier on Feb. 9 that a ruling has been issued to block YouTube within the country for 30 days. This decision comes after a lawsuit was filed back in September 2012 during the turmoil caused by the infamous trailer 'The Innocence of Muslims' spread through the popular video platform. The Court has also asked for all websites having published parts or the entire trailer to be banned for 30 days."
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - The 3D Un-Printer (

An anonymous reader writes: 3D printing is on its way toward becoming ubiquitous. Of course, if you have a printer and want to print something, you need raw materials — the plastic filament that's fed into the machine. It's also likely that while you're learning the ropes, you'll print a bunch of terrible attempts at objects, and end up having to throw them out. Now, Wired is reporting on a device aiming to solve both of those problems. Tyler McNaney's 'Filabot' will break down failed projects as well as many other items from traditional manufacturers, turning it into a filament you can then feed through a 3D printer. 'So far the plastics that work are HDPE, LDPE, ABS, NYLON. More to come on the different types that work.' McNaney sees it as a 'closed-loop recycling system on your desk.' The Filabot's Kickstarter campaign succeeded easily in 2012, and now he and his team are getting ready to launch.

Submission + - Windows Head Leaves Microsoft

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "The Guardian reports that in a shocking move move that comes just two weeks after the launch of Windows 8, Steven Sinofsky, the head of the Windows division at Microsoft is to leave the company. Sinofsky had been at the company for 23 years and had been seen by some as a future chief executive of the software giant but according to reports, there had been growing executive friction between Sinofsky and other top executives at the company. "This is shocking news. This is very surprising," says Brendan Barnicle, an analyst at Pacific Crest Securities. "Like a lot of people, I thought Sinofsky was in line to potentially be Ballmer's successor." Sinofsky's place will be taken by Julie Larson-Green, another Windows executive who has been at Microsoft nearly as long as Sinofsky – joining in 1993 – and will be in charge of hardware and software for Windows. "If this had happened before Windows 8 shipped, I would have worried about potential delays," says Al Hilwa, program director for application software at the research company IDC. "The strategy of folding PC, tablet, phone and set-top into a single platform and ecosystem is the right strategy, and likely will continue to be the strategy of record.""

Submission + - Windows Chief Steven Sinofsky Leaves Microsoft (

CWmike writes: "Steven Sinofsky, the executive in charge of Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system and the driving force behind the new OS, is leaving the company effective immediately, Microsoft announced late Monday. Sinofsky was also the public face for Windows 8 and its new Metro interface, posting constant updates in a Windows 8 blog that charted its development. His last post, fittingly, was entitled 'Updating Windows 8 for General Availability.' The OS was officially launched at the end of last month. According to the All Things D blog, there was growing tension between Sinofsky and other members of the Microsoft executive team, who didn't see him as enough of a team player. But Microsoft's official position is that the decision was a mutual one. Sinofsky had only good things to say about his former employer."

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