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Comment Sigh, this again (Score 4, Interesting) 294

It's already covered in the UK govt report: https://www.gov.uk/government/...

Flip to page 75. The report is fairly well written, and surprisingly not someone trying to prove pre-defined results via poorly conducted experiments.

This is only applicable to mechanized vaping tests. Essentially, you need to burn the vaping chemicals rather than atomize them. As someone that quit vaping, I can testify that you know when your vaping unit get cranked to the max while being in your pocket and fried the coils, along with some of the nicotine liquid. It is extremely unpleasant. Theoretically a person could continue to try to inhale the results, but it would be a spectacularly unpleasant experience. It's extremely noticeable

. It's called a 'dry hit' and it's pretty rare under normal circumstances. I've had... three, maybe? It's certainly not good for you, but probably not as bad for me as my old pack a day of cigarettes would be if I continued smoking.

Submission + - Worst Mass Shooting in U.S. History (cnn.com) 17

An anonymous reader writes: From CNN:

"Fifty people were killed inside Pulse, a gay nightclub, Orlando Police Chief John Mina and other officials said Sunday morning, just hours after a shooter opened fire in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. At least 53 more people were injured, Mina said. Police have shot and killed the gunman, he told reporters.

The shooter is not from the Orlando area, Mina said. He has been identified as Omar Saddiqui Mateen, 29, of Fort Pierce, about 120 miles southeast of Orlando, two law enforcement officials tell CNN.
Orlando authorities said they consider the violence an act of domestic terror. The FBI is involved. While investigators are exploring all angles, they "have suggestions the individual has leanings towards (Islamic terrorism), but right now we can't say definitely," said Ron Hopper, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI's Orlando bureau."

Comment Re:Why not press the switch (Score 2) 170

Because people other than the US might try to jam US GPS, and the Navy maybe wants to see how well they operate when a hostile foreign entity jams GPS? In other words, routine training but not something they want to advertise. Given that the US owns GPS, they don't need to jam it. Which everyone seems to be missing. They do need to train for GPS being shot down or failing.

Comment Re: I can see this as an environmental disaster (Score 1) 460

All of the mobile fuel systems I've seen have a meter. It's calibrated yearly, usually. Fleets need that for accounting purposes. Only uncaliberated ones I've seen have been on farms, where the farmer owns all of the equipment and doesn't particularly care about fine detail of how much fuel goes in the tractor vs combine. 'Around 50 gallons' is good enough.

It'd be trivial to add a thermal printer an interface on the meter so you get a receipt.

Comment Useful and necessary, if it works (Score 1) 44

In my opinion, anti-virus software has somewhat matured enough that most home users or small businesses, that remotely have a clue, use it. There's not a good analog for reading SIEM, event logs, etc. Solutions exist, but they tend to be cumbersome or expensive.

Even I pretty much just rely on snort's registered user ruleset, rather than the subscription. It would be a very nice spot for heuristic or AI to monitor. Call me paranoid, but I'd want it in addition to the generic static rulesets.

Comment Re:News for nerds, how? (Score 1) 406

Close. All Social Security surplus funds MUST be used to buy Treasury bonds. Social Security Trusts (there's two of them) must use the extra cash to buy special (which means non-transferable) interest-bearing federal government securities. The Treasury takes the money from those sales, and puts it in general revenue.

Trust Fund obligations or liabilities are considered "intra-governmental" debt. So far, the US government has paid off every bond it has issued, more or less.

Comment Re:News for nerds, how? (Score 1) 406

Er. Technically, there is already a trust fund for surpluses. However, by law, it is spent on non-transferable bonds from the Treasury. It contains no 'liquid' funds. That cash raised from selling the non-transferable bonds is then put into general revenue and spent. Whenever we reach the inversion point, the Treasury department will have to pull money out of general revenue to pay off those bonds.

If you ignore the accounting terms, the money is essentially spent and will have to be repaid from the US government's general revenue in the future. This is by law, so even if you abolish the wage cap, you'd essentially just be raising general taxes and not financing Social Security except on paper. It's inaccurate to say 'Social Security is broke' as Social Security must be cash flow neutral (all funds are either dispensed via benefits or be used to buy bonds), it is accurate to say all of the surplus funds have turned into future liabilities on future budgets.

I'm often shocked at how few people realize this. It's not inherently a bad thing (cheaper than borrowing from other sources, for example), so long as folks understand the money is being spent now and has to be repaid later.

Comment Has to be political (Score 3, Interesting) 29

Once upon a time, when I was doing network security, I got thrown out of IT and into export control. They gave me enough money that I didn't quit. Logic was it was technical, byzantine and required insane attention to detailed regulation that'd make Cthulu go insane. Hey, infosec is virtually the same parameters.

Short story long, generally the US has among the most byzantine and archaic export control regulation in use by first world countries, specifically ITAR. It's largely unchanged from the 1970's/1980's notion of 'high tech', so you get a lot of interesting stuff that ends up on the US munitions list. Europe in general doesn't have nearly the same level of export control, and gives a substantial advantage in the global defense contracting world.

That said, many Euro defense contractors have extremely tight relations with their export licensing agency. They dance to the tune very closely, which does actually reduce the amount of legislation or regulation. As a government entity, why bind yourself with written rulings when your customers will do exactly what you tell them? I can very well imagine, and would be shocked to see otherwise, that any Euro export related tech organization that did not have extremely tight relations with their export licensing agency would be punished at least this harshly. Expect a LOT of foot dragging. Not enough for this company to win in court, just enough to cause them to lose business or go bankrupt.

Comment Well, their choice (Score 1) 34

I get that they want to take their ball home and stop playing. Guessing that they're not happy that vendors didn't play nice to or with them. Nothing wrong with that position either. But they could offer the DB for others to download. Maybe someone could do a better fork, or find a better way to work with vendors.

Not remotely saying that some/most vendors do a crap job with security disclosures and patching in general. But some folks don't make it easy to get along with.

Comment Re:No amount of evidence is enough (Score 2, Insightful) 245

Most sane people agree that climate change is a thing. I certainly do. Ice core samples show it rather convincingly. I'm also mostly fine with our recent sample collection though I think the datasets aren't as good as some people believe. They rarely are for large scale projects, but still there's a natural bias towards thinking your collection methods are always better than they really are. Third party auditing to try to correct bias gets expensive and politics get involved as well.

On the other hand, there's legitimate issues. There's a very vocal component of climate change that are constant Apocalypse callers. You would be a good example. "Cries of the billions who will suffer." Folks have a hard time taking serious action based on this especially when we've been hearing "end of humanity within five years" for over a decade.

The other hand is that there's no good supplied solutions. I mean, concrete realistic options that have a full roadmap, reasonably accurate cost projections and acceptably accurate levels of risk and mitigation. If it costs $10B to fix 80% of the problem, but $10T to fix 99.99% of the problem, well... Maybe we should explore that 80% solution, as it's much more realistic to implement. Any solution that is too expensive or too restrictive simply won't be implemented, because human nature and common sense. Humans will simply not voluntarily remove 90% of earth's population or go back to living in yurts. I place myself in that bracket. I think it's an issue that is meaningful, if not overstated by some, that I'd be willing to pay if it could be mitigated in a meaningful but not ruinous process.

Think the chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) ban. We paid an economic price for less efficient or more expensive alternatives, but it did the job well enough. That's not strictly a climate change thing. I've seen plenty of projects were people were shocked that a business or government unit didn't want to spend tens of millions of dollars for vague promises with absolutely no numbers backing them up.

Comment Re:GearVR owner here (Score 0) 176

Until they can cure the motion sickness aspect, there's going to be a significant percent of the population that can't use the product.

VR has been around and useful for many decades. Pilots have used it, I've seen some engineering applications, etc. Just not for mainstream consumption. And we're still not there for whatever 'universal consumption' of VR turns out to be. For broad usage, you need a pretty powerful but not obscene desktop. Another five years should bring common desktops up to the level of power needed by today's VR headsets.

I'm firmly neutral on this tech. Maybe we'll get the Multiverse, maybe we'll get the next of 3D TVs where it goes virtually nowhere.

Comment Re:This is TOO EASY to prevent (Score 1) 26

I don't disagree, but reality can be more complex than mere technical issues.

Encrypting the data with strong crypto is very good, but what happens if the password picked is trivial?
If a computer is hijacked with malware, it is possible to use a person's actual email utility and compromised passphrase.

Technology is always a good thing, but it is no substitute for competent, well trained employees.

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