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Comment Wheeler is a nice surprise so far (Score 5, Interesting) 149

Cautiously optimistic about this guy, between this, Net Neutrality, and a few other issues. Hard to believe he was a career Cable TV industry guy with the decisions he's been making for the consumer's benefit. Still expecting a bunch of arrows to start shooting out of the walls Indiana Jones-style at some point, though.

Comment Re:We're all giant security flaws from birth (Score 1) 81

I'm generally small-L, practical libertarian (not one of the psycho variety you describe above) who supports the free market and civil liberties, but I'll absolutely stand by my original statement: if you have knowledge of a serious exploit in a critical medical device like a pacemaker or artificial heart, and you choose NOT to report that information so you can instead profit from it, you should go to jail, and for a long time. Most sane, mainstream libertarian-leaning folks acknowledge that some amount of regulation is necessary for the common good. The ultra libertarians need to grow up a little and stop looking the other way when someone does something as completely immoral as this.

Comment Re:We're all giant security flaws from birth (Score 1) 81

My Dad has a STJ pacemaker with the Merlin at home communication device in question. Merlin is a monitoring device that the implantee sets up next to their bed, and it wirelessly monitors the pacemaker while they sleep. In case of a cardiac event, it notifies the central monitoring facilities and also send info about the status of the patient's heart and pacemaker (kind of like a burglar alarm system). It is a real game-changer and has saved many peoples' lives. Merlin operates over old-school POTS (not WiFi or even Ethernet) which these days is likely a bit more secure than going over the Internet anyway. I don't know enough about the attack vector but it sounds like the Merlin station wasn't suitably hardened, which is incredibly common in so many of these first gen in-house technologies. I doubt a hacker could remotely turn off a pacemaker, and that likely wouldn't kill my Dad anyway, but obviously this issue needs to be fixed (and it will).

Having said that -- hackers gonna hack, and I get it. However, it should be illegal to have knowledge of this type of vulnerability with a medical device and to choose not to report it so you and your pathological buddies can short stocks. I can't think of much that's more greedy and immoral than that. This isn't some server to be taken over -- you're potentially messing with real peoples' health so you can make a quick buck. There is no place in any civilized society on earth for those types of inhuman pieces of shit.

Comment This is what the NSA and FBI *should* work on (Score 1) 81

Instead of wasting time and money doing dragnet email and phone surveillance and conducting bullshit entrapment stings to create fake "terrorists," the TLAs should absolutely exterminate these kinds of human garbage. Seriously, they need to identify and prosecute these fucks with the most extreme prejudice possible. Human greed has no boundaries.

Comment Re:Pixels density (Score 1) 160

Those who *really* need more pixels (e.g., those of us in high-end reprographic work, fashion photography, people shooting landscapes they want to print out wall-sized, etc.) generally get a bigger sensor. Today, that means something like Phase One's 100 megapixel medium format digital back. This lets us initially grab as many pixels as possible and then throw away the ones we don't want later.

Comment Re:Towns/Cities are to blame (Score 1) 160

* Paying the (union) labor to do the job
* Paying the beneifts of the labor doing the job
* Buying the machine and the truck needed to get it to the jobsite
* Keeping the machine and truck maintained
* Insurance of all types: liability, WC, on the equipment and truck, etc.
* Taxes (payroll / business / etc.)
* Accounting / bookkeeping services to take care of the above
* Rent or mortgage for an office / shop to house all of the above
* (Finally) a profit margin

This will get you started, but by adding all of these things up you start to get a pretty clear idea of why things are so much more expensive when you hire someone to do them versus doing them yourself.

Comment What about RAID? What about server room noise? (Score 1) 83

We have dozens of 3.5" drives running in multiple arrays at various RAID levels, in a noisy server room with fans continually blasting over 70 db in the background. This trick might work in a lab, but call me when they've got the same attack vector working in a real data center environment. And, oh yeah, and against near-silent SSDs.

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