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Comment Re:It's like watching a train wreck. (Score 1) 462

Reality check time. The country is broke. The days of get a job for the government because it is a job for life are over, one way or another. We in the Tea Party want to do the cutting while we still have choices, you apparently want to keep your gravy train rolling until it goes over the cliff.

To close the budget gap we have now means everything gets cut some, some gets cut all the way out. Raising taxes is simply madness in this environment, especially since the problem is too much spending, not too low taxes. Taxes as percentage of GDP are plenty high already, it is spending as percentage of GDP that is way beyond WWII levels. It is very doubtful that any tax increase in this environment would actually increase net revenue to the government. So cutting spending is the only game in town since under Obama economic growth is improbable.

I respect your beliefs, but I wish to understand something. Most of the people I talk to in the Tea Party movement seem to be against all taxes and regulation. I've only come across a few who were moderate in this stance, and when I try to talk with them regarding the full outcome of eliminating all taxes and regulation, they give me very rude treatment.

What do you say to your fellow party members who've gone off the bend? They are the majority of what is off-putting for me about the Tea Party. I agree we need some fiscal discipline, but radical responses are not the answer, and I can't get past that in most of who I've talked to.

Comment HR Gone Wild (Score 1) 434

Who are the HR people and Lawyers that think these things up? This is a state agency right? Shouldn't we be able to, as taxpayers, demand the identity of whoever thinks up these foolish decisions that cost the state in litigation costs? I'd like to know so I can either vote them out of office, or not vote for then if they decide to run for office.

Comment Re:This is why I don't use facebook (Score 1) 434

I use Facebook to determine the intelligence level of the person I'm dealing with.

If you have a Facebook account, you've already failed my job interview. You can't be trusted to make intelligent decisions with data, so you don't need to work at this organization.

So I ask for a Facebook login, but I never look, the only correct answer is 'i don't have one'

I take it you hire no Jonathan Smiths....

Comment Re:Wow (Score 1) 832

"Just because you haven't found it yet doesn't mean it doesn't exist!"


Ah, yes I remember this: What the Tortoise Said to Achilles. Or, more generally, the descent into logical madness...

Unfortunately the only way out of that sort of tangled mess is Nature's Solution: Pain. Just because you refuse to believe that walking off a cliff will cause you pain does not mean that the laws of physics agree.

Comment Re:This doesn't sound like a good idea (Score 1) 279

This is honestly a freaking *great* idea. Do you know how most messages pass around in a deployed environment now? They send someone- a "runner" from one end of the post to another. It is the most ludicrous thing I've ever seen. We spent all this money developing the encryption infrastructure that civilians use at the drop of a dime(literally!) and we can't take advantage of that for passing messages around a post? Especially time-sensitive information? It's past time that we put some of the star-trek technology we've developed to use.

Comment A Sysadmin's Lamentation... (Score 5, Informative) 116

I was there in 2008 during the midst of this. At that time, there were significant problems with security on the network terminals that we all used to access the internet. In most places, we were limited to two or three ways to access the internet (not NIPERNET.) Either computer labs operated by Spawar (government contractors) ,computers operated by Cyberzone (A commercial entity) or, if your FOB was large enough, in-room/tent access provided by the MWR (Morale Welfare and Recreation.)

Now all the computers that were in use there used satellite up-links to access the internet. Too many users would max the link, and access to the web would slow to a crawl, or worse. Think 5 - 10 minutes to load a web page. Now after a long day (or two, or three, or more!) out on mission, people would roll back in the gate, tromp off to the internet and eat, often in just that order and go to bed. Most of the time people were sending and receiving email and pictures from friends and family, baby pictures, movie clips and the like. Most of the time, these would be put on flash drives so people could see them later in their tents and so on.

The computers that were operated by the Cyberzone and Spawar rarely if ever had their anti-virus up to date. Worse, the anti-virus updates would take so long to download (hours!) that people would give up on doing them. The MWR and Post Exchange were often great about getting laptops out to troops in remote locations. However there was often no way to get software updates to these PC's. The situation was ripe for trouble.

Many people did both their office work and home use on the same computers, as the situation demanded.

While I was there in 2008, we began seeing signs of the SillyFDC worm and agent.btz in increasing numbers. We were able to track it back to the Spawar and Cyberzone computers, but we had no way to convince the people there to update their anti-virus. The PC's that were on NIPERNET at the time had restrictions on the use of flash drives, but those were not fully enforced. No-one is sure who “Crossed the Streams” but both worms started showing up in more and more NIPERNET computers. The largest problem in stopping it was that we were not in charge of policy of our own computers. We knew that the worms spread through the use of autorun, but we could not get people to bring in their flash drives to have them scanned. Worse, we could not disable autorun on the NIPERNET PC's. We had no access to the local policy on the machines (or anti-virus updates!) We were able to finally contain things by disabling autorun on personal computers, sacrificing one of our personal laptops to doing nothing but scanning possible infected drives, and quarantining known infected PC's from use.

We were never able to get updates for the anti-virus for the NIPERNET PC's, but we eventually discovered and distributed ClamWin for personal computers, though.

We received word about the no-flash-drives rule about 3 months later. That generally made things more difficult, as there were quite a few places that had no network access; a flash drive was the only way to move documents about. More people ended up doing work on their personal computers and ignoring the government ones after that.

Things that would help defend against this in the future:

Spawar, Cyberzone, and MWR should be required to keep on their networks a basic SAN that has updated anti-virus, security patches and run a script to update that when network traffic is low. That way, individuals can get their updates from local storage rather than trying to pull hundreds of megabytes over a slow network link.

If you have a computer while downrange, you should be required to make sure that it's security is up to date, and download patches (from the SAN) at least monthly. Anti-virus should be done as frequently as possible.

NIPERNET needs to have some method of having local administrators modify their systems. Many times, the local S-6 (Communication and Networking Support) shops weren't even allowed to administer their own local domains. Local administration, as in the adding of updates, modifying of policy and adding/deleting users was done by contractors, who often were vacant for months at a time. This is after the Army spent good money training the local Soldiers to be A+ , Microsoft and even Cisco certified. These were people who had years worth of training before being let loose, the Army should let the local admins run the local networks, with the option of the higher-ups stepping in if there is likely to be trouble the locals don't know about.

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