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Comment Re:Is this the free market? (Score 1) 216

If you didn't understand that ACORN was a scam when you first heard about it, you don't understand people. Same with BlueHippo.

There are times in everyone's life when you look at someone poor unfortunate soul and decide you should do something to help them or lift them up somehow. But to make a business out of doing this? No, sorry, it doesn't work that way. Neither financially or psychologically. What this means is that when you encounter any organization, group or company that seems like they are doing only good, altruistic work 100% of the time there is something wrong. Say, like when you hear about a company that takes people with no credit history or bad credit history and helps them get a computer by financing them. You can bet there is a substantial amount of fleecing going on.

Now, could Dell give 1 computer to poor people for every 1,000 they sell? Sure. Or the equivalent in some form more useful to poor people than a computer. And maybe they do with far less publicity.

So do you think an organization that is dedicated to getting housing for poor people, people with limited means, bad credit history and unstable work history might have some sort of alterior motive? Absolutely. And everything I have read about ACORN since the 1970s indicates that they have been playing games since their very inception. Games that have to do with power, control and influence that have nothing to do with their supposed mission.

Comment Re:Waytago, Dell! (Score 1) 321

You can't _entirely_ trust a machine that you haven't built yourself from individual transistors.

And not even then - because you'll probably introduce vulnerabilities yourself. B-b

However this "feature" is deliberately designed to make the machine untrustworthy - giving several pieces of control and observability to someone elsewhere on the network, overriding the intentions of the operator of the machine and the functionality of any software on it, while hiding this from them and making it inaccessable to them.

[a BIOS] bug [allowing activation of part of the AMT functionality] would be a serious problem, and would almost certainly allow the attacker the ability to execute arbitrary code, and therefore give them the ability to (e.g.) reflash your bios, install a rootkit in your OS, or any other such insidious method of taking over your system. I fail to see why the presence of AMT would make this any worse than it already is.

It makes it worse by having the components for the attack already installed. Without them they must be constructed externally and "squeezed through the crack". With them, the malware is already present - and "properly" so. Thus the vulnerability only needs to be "big enough" to get them activated. The attack doesn't need to bootstrap itself up - just get a state changed, a key inserterd, and/or an already present function activated. The code itself doesn't need to be injected.

The only difference between a compromised machine and an uncompromised one is that there is an authentication method for the attacker and perhaps that the AMT is activated when it should not have been. AMT is designed so the software and user of the machine can't detect that it is operating or what it is doing (except by noticing the effects if they are disruptive). So if you're hosed you don't know it and can't find out.

Sorry: Shipping machines that have "big brother's minion" deliberately built in, no matter for what noble purpose, is too Orwellian for me. It's an extra door from the alley into the vault, with its "security" handled (as far as I can see so far) by obscurity, bypassing all my own layers of protection. Such misfeatures mean the product is off my purchase list.

Comment Re:Freedom of Speech (Score 1) 859

Court records, including the names of the parties involved, are sealed all the time in the US, for a variety of reasons. Germany simply has a different set of reasons than the US does.

Of course, this isn't about Court Records, is it? The Wiki articles in question aren't "court records".

The Germans can do what they like about news articles in Germany. Alas, they don't have the power to extend their whims to news article in other countries....

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