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Comment Re:For them theoretically hacking a private org? (Score 1) 332

For them theoretically hacking a private org?

It's not that it's a public organization or a private organization that matters. What matters is that another nation-state is attacking a US entity.

One of the most important jobs of the federal government is to protect us from other nation-states; to "provide for the common defence." The US would mobilize a defense/counterattack if Russia bombed your warehouse, so is it really so hard to imagine they'd do the same if Russia attacked your data warehouse?

That Russia apparently went after a political organization certainly makes things expedient. But even if they had gone after something else, when you have a nation-state attacking, you take action. If nothing else, what the heck is a single corp/org/person supposed to do against the entire cyberwarfare division of Russia?

Comment Re:Facebook is entertainment, not news (Score 1) 113

Facebook is entertainment, not news

It's not about what it's designed for, it's about how it's used. And people are increasingly treating whatever trends at Facebook as actual news.

Facebook is news if enough of the population treats it as such.

Comment Re:Let's teach critical thinking (Score 1) 212

It's a sad indictment of American intelligence that we have citizens who actually believe the government wants to be paid in iTunes gift cards.

There are almost 300 million people in the US over the age of 14. And to steal a line from George Carlin, consider how dumb the average person is, and then realize that half the population is dumber than that.

When you have a sample size that large, there are going to be some people who, if nothing else, came up short in the genetic lottery when it comes to intelligence. There's nothing "American" about it; some people just aren't blessed with the intelligence of the average Slashdot reader. And this is why we have consumer protection laws, because their limits make them vulnerable, especially to much smarter people.

Comment Re:HDD price milking (Score 3, Interesting) 161

The HDD pricing situation pre-flood was unsustainable. Everyone was losing money in a madcap attempt to hold on to their market share and have the other guy go out of business first.

If not the flood, then something else would have happened to reset prices. The HDD market is still a big market, but you can't make a business of it by losing money. Current prices are (unfortunately) about where they should be for a mature market given the operating costs and SSDs eating into higher profitability high-performance drives.

Comment Was Already Approved For "Generic" Tier Rebates? (Score 2) 198

As much fun as it is to use Mylan as a punching bag these days, there's a final point in the Ars article that leads me to think this is hardly in the bag for the Feds.

The question of whether Mylan had misclassified EpiPens came up during a recent Congressional hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Mylan CEO Heather Bresch, defending the company's prices at the hearing, stood by the classification. She noted that EpiPen was classified as a generic before Mylan bought the drug in 2007.

And if that's true - that Medicare was already applying the âoenon-innovator multiple sourceâ rebate schedule to the EpiPen back in 2007 - then that makes this case a lot murkier. The Feds would then have to make a case as to why the drug can and should be reclassified at the higher âoesingle sourceâ tier. It's clear that in practice the EpiPen is a single source device, but the conflict at the heart of this is one of bureaucracy and not medical practices; the Feds would need to justify both the higher rate now, and why they're not culpable for approving the lower rate in the first place.

Given how long that this is going on, I suspect that this isn't an easy case to prove, otherwise the Feds would have done it already. Instead it's probably being brought back up now to either apply additional pressure to Mylan, or to strike while the political iron is hot.

Comment Re:Some time back. . . (Score 1) 120

The problem is that Amazon has separate feedback mechanisms for the product and the seller. And in the case of the former, they commingle all the product reviews together regardless of the seller. No matter if you buy a roll of tape from Amazon, Bob's Warehouse (fulfilled by Amazon), or Alice's Emporium (self fulfilled), the product review will be listed for all. So Amazon isn't wrong about negative seller feedback in a product review being unhelpful. The problem is that seller feedback isn't very obvious to buyers.

Comment Re:The white flag is up for OS-level security (Score 1) 172

So this is basically saying that we can no longer depend on the OS to protect us against privilege escalation attacks. The bad guys will have to concentrate on breaking out of VMs or, at least in this case, attacking through the access that the Edge VM has to system resources.

No modern OS is immune to privilege escalation attacks. Even a formally verified OS would probably still be susceptible to them due to unexpected interactions. Never mind hardware based attacks such as race conditions and rowhammer. If someone is dedicated enough, and has enough resources, sooner or later they'd find a chink in the armor.

Instead you try to do the best you can, and then you layer on defense in depth on top of that. If someone is going to break in, then you can at least slow them down and force them to fight another kind of complexity.

Comment Seen it First Hand (Score 1) 47

It's a shame the Cisco blog is linked second, because it's a great (yet short) read.

Since the end of last month one of my very low volume email accounts has been on the receiving end of a new spam campaign trying to give me malware. The emails I've received exactly match the emails in Cisco's graph So it's neat to see what's behind it - in this case the Necurs botnet running at full tilt.

Considering this account was receiving virtually zero spam before, it's definitely a major uptick in spam.

Comment And Thus the Reason for Swift 2.3 (Score 4, Informative) 148

What TFS doesn't do a good job of explaining is that with Swift 3, Apple has essentially forked the project into two parts. Besides the newer version 3, Apple is also continuing to develop/support Swift 2.x. The already-released Swift 2.3 is Swift 3's counterpart for developers who would like to stick with Swift 2.x code.

Swift 2.3 is a minor update from Swift 2.2.1. The primary difference between Swift 2.2.1 and Swift 2.3 is that it is intended to be paired with Apple's macOS 10.12, iOS 10, watchOS 3, and tvOS 10 SDKs. It also updates the underlying LLVM and Clang versions to match with those in the Swift 3 compiler.

I don't imagine Apple will support Swift 2.x forever. But for the time being, Swift 3 is only as source-breaking as you want it to be. Developers who need Swift 2 compatibility can roll on with 2.3.

Comment Re:WTF??! (Score 1) 125

Emacs users have more time for commenting on slashdot.
What else are they going to do while waiting for Emacs to load?

Meanwhile vi users have to post multiple times to make up for their small user base. Otherwise no one would remember that poor vi exists.

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If I have not seen as far as others, it is because giants were standing on my shoulders. -- Hal Abelson