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Comment Argh... (Score 1) 534

Ok, so I get it, I really do. Google, Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, etc. all are funded by advertising that is how they make their money. It is their only business model. That being said, using mobile Facebook app I find a bunch of friends posting articles with the most horrific of advertising, the worst of the worst. The Facebook app browser doesn't let you block any of it. It's near impossible to even read the article with floating popups top and bottom banners and inline ads with buttons to fool you into click next in a slide show. Most of the articles are not even worth reading. But if I do want to read it, I can open with Safari and then my adblocker engages and suddenly the article is readable! The advertising is messing with the user experience in terrible ways. Especially on mobile as the screens are small.

It's these annoying ads on mobile that are horrific. Now FB is inserting suggested content into the news feed. They are also filtering the newsfeed and messing with the order of my friends posts. I rarely use FB on a desktop browser but when I do I definitely use an adblocker.

About the only way I can see if they are going to be aggressive about this is if they start using JavaScript extensively to make it darn near impossible to decipher. They load JavaScript into the browser then feed an encrypted stream to the browser and use the script already running in the browser to decode and render the page. Add many levels of abstraction and strip all the whitespace and it will make it difficult though not entirely impossible for the adblockers to decipher. They could scramble URLs, hostnames, etc.

I think they will shoot themselves in the foot over this... It would be a nail in their coffin and they would be headed the way of MySpace in no time flat. The new generation doesn't even use FB cause it's mostly old farts on FB now and their parents.

I like keeping in touch with family and friends on FB. I keep my friends at a small tight list. But I would drop it in a heartbeat if they pull any shenanigans.

Comment Pineapple (Score 2) 109

A Pineapple is a home made device using a small router connected to a cellular hotspot. Every computer actually broadcasts the networks it has saved in order to locate one of the networks. The Pineapple sees these probes and instantly becomes that wifi network allowing them to connect without a password. Then all traffic is passed onto the hotspot but at this point the attacker is a man in the middle and can intercept all traffic. Unless the user is using encryption such as SSL, VPN, there is quick a bit of information that can be obtained. Also any zero days could be attempted to hack their device.

Walk through any airport with a Pineapple and you will hit 1,200 people easily. The Pineapple is cooler than setting up multiple phony hotspots because it can fit in your pocket or laptop bag and you can just walk around scooping up connections to investigate.

Comment Da Is Good Comrade! (Score 1) 519

Da is good plan dear comrade. Every one buy in on such good plan. We take from the rich and spread the wealth. Next we supplant the rich with ourselves, send anyone in our way to the gulag or exile to Siberia and disappear the rest. Workers of the World Unite! Be sure to indoctrinate those youth to be good party proletariat fodder. The useful idiots are so very helpful, waging revolutions and not thinking due to the marijuana. They will soon stand in line for toilet paper like the rest of us good comrades.

Is big shame our economy couldn't keep up with the Americans, no matter how our people starved, how much we stole from Ukraine and how many fake military bases we built to fool their satellites. It make no difference those pesky Americans simply outspent us every time. Comrade Putin he is rebuilding Mother Russia and threatening those dirty Yanks with Nato fly-by's and near misses at sea. But again, those filthy Americans got those ungrateful Saudi's to over produce oil and that American ingenuity at fracking oil from shale caused the price to drop so far that we may actually run out of money! Our comrades in Venezuela are starving and it's starting to hurt the Chinese, wish we could play the Yen games with our Ruples...

Our last hope is Hillary, but it's going to cost us plenty. That bitch won't do for the party alone, we must pay to play I am afraid. Come ve drink vodka with Bernie tonight and tomorrow we bury him.

   

Comment Experience with Government & Police Computers (Score 1) 393

I don't know enough about this particular event to have a full opinion, the initial video did not show the whole story, the second video doesn't tell the whole story. Apparently, Alton flashed a gun and threatened a homeless man, police were called and Alton was armed. Alton resisted arrest and while wrestling with him still resisting, Alton reached for the concealed firearm and was subsequently shot dead. I watched both videos, Alton was clearly not cooperating and although he was on his back both officers (not small men by any standard) were struggling to get him rolled over and cuffed and Alton was not having any part of it. Now perhaps the officers were far to aggressive at first but the call they had was a man with a gun who had threatened someone else already. They were on high alert, they don't know Alton all they know there is this armed guy that is a threat. Not to mention that Alton was a very large guy. Was it murder? No it's not like they walked up to him pulled a gun and shot him in the head. That's murder. They tried to make an arrest and the suspect got violent and resisted.

All Alton had to do was kneel and put his hands on his head and keep his mouth shut. Tell the officers he is indeed armed and where the firearm is located. Allow the officers to cuff him and remove the firearm for the officers own safety. If Alton is a legal concealed carry permit holder he would know these things. Now, brandishing a firearm in public is indeed illegal just about everywhere it is a threat of deadly intent and he probably would have been arrested and jailed and he would likely have lost his firearm and his permit. If he was not a licensed gun permit holder he would have been jailed and charged with a much more serious crime. Root cause of Alton's death? Do not fight with the police, just don't do it. Especially when armed. This one sways in favor of the officers.

The other recent shooting in Minneapolis was due to a frightened officer who panic'd. That was a truly tragic event, it never should have happened. The car was pulled over for a broken tail light. The driver was asked to produce his license and registration which is standard procedure. He correctly informed the officer that he was a concealed carry permit holder and he was armed. At this point the officer drew his weapon, again, standard operating procedure. What happened next is the bad part. The victim was complying but there was some form of communication breakdown and he reached to get his wallet and the officer shot him four times. This all took place in mere seconds. You never ever take your hands off the steering wheel and do not make any sudden movements! Wait for instructions and move slowly when ordered to move. Do not move till ordered to move. Be calm and clear. In this situation a police officer will want to cuff you and search you and the officer will then be the one to remove your weapon from your person. You certainly do not want the officer thinking you are reaching for the gun, no not ever.

You can hear the officer swearing repeatedly after the shooting throughout the video, he didn't want to shoot the guy. The officer knows he screwed up. At the same time the victim did in fact reach for his wallet where the gun could have been holstered. Truly tragic. The poor girlfriend had to watch him in pain, bleed out and die. Horrific. She was right her boyfriend didn't need to be shot dead.

The officer failed to properly manage the situation. As soon as he was told the driver was armed he went into an instant frightened mental state. He's likely never had to draw his weapon before let alone shoot someone. First words out of his mouth should have been, place your hands on the steering wheel and do not move. Freeze. Next words would be calmly explaining what happens next. "Sir, I want you to remain perfectly still. I need to secure your firearm and we are going to do this nice and slow. Do not move till I tell you to move. I will be cuffing you for both our protection and removing your firearm you are not under arrest. Do you understand? Please place your right hand outside the drivers window (attach first cuff), give me your left hand. Officer opens door with suspects hands engaged and has him step out slowly. Next step is to cuff both hands behind his back and lay down face first on the ground. Then he can ask where the firearm is located or just pat him down and remove it. Then unload it ensuring the chamber is clear. Help the suspect upright and seat him on the car bumper. Collect the ID/registration/gun permit and take the firearm back to the police car to check everything out. If everything was in good order, he can have a talk with the driver and just for a broken tail light give him a verbal or written warning. Now the passenger and child were in the car, he could have called for backup to assist in securing everyone carefully. There was absolutely no reason for this to have gone the way it did. It was a tragic accident and that officer is in pretty big trouble. If the driver really did reach for his waistband then the driver made a serious error. At the same time he's a civilian he's clueless about the police training. He was polite and cooperative but that one little movement and a frightened cop resulted in his death. Is it murder? No but it's absolutely terrible.

Police need better training that is for sure. They need to learn how to diffuse a situation and not escalate it. They need to know that black men are rightly angry and they need to find some way to calm things down. You don't rush in and abuse your authority right off the bat. You approach slowly and talk calmly. You tell them what you are doing and why. Howdy, seems we had a call in the area about a man with a gun. My partner over there is going to draw his weapon but that's just a precaution. Are you armed sir? You are not under arrest, I just need to secure the weapon and then we can talk about what happened. Please do not resist, stay calm. I do need to cuff you as a precaution, again you are not under arrest. Kneel down on the ground and put your hands on your head. Cuff him and that's it. Now if the guy suddenly gets agitated and mouthing off and waving his hands that's a very big problem. It's about respect not about an officers authority.

Comment Trump is a moron? (Score 0) 751

Who cares what a wanker from the EU who no doubt is a brilliant physicist thinks about American politics? Can't really call it the UK if they answer to the EU? This is like caring what Kanye West thinks about Trump... Hawking is entertaining on Big Bang Theory but that's about it. Movie stars seem to believe their politics are elite, I beg to differ. It is still Power to the People in this country, we select our own president thank you very much for your unrequested input we will be sure to comment on your next choice in prime minister.

Trump is a whole lot smarter than many give him credit for. For example, he has the whole media wrapped around his little finger. The man has spent chump change so far on the campaign while his opponents burned through over a 100 million dollars combined. The congress approval rating is at an all time low and the GOP leadership greatly despised for being elected in two landslides since Obama was elected but actually going against their election promises and doing nothing. The people are absolutely angry beyond the establishments ability to comprehend. So long as Trump stands against them and fights he will continue to sway the public. The man can do no wrong, the people are that angry. The Democrats have managed to piss off the worker unions and many of their members are voting for Trump instead of for Hillary, regardless of the union's leadership position. Trump is drawing in many infrequent voters and many Democrats who have awoken to the fact that their party as it currently stands is no longer their party. It has moved so far left it is unrecognizable. They may have been asleep for the last ten years but they are fully awake now. Trump is accomplishing massive feats of political prowess with what looks like very little effort.

The media keep putting Trump on air and hosting debates because their viewership ratings are through the roof and they cannot abide letting a competitor gain advantage of all that advertising money. Whenever the media cycle of hype slows all Trump need do is make an outrageous statement that supports the general feelings of the people but clearly crosses boundaries and the cycle spins back up to full speed. No publicity is bad publicity. It keeps people talking about him and provides him free access to the media.

Meanwhile his enemies, those in the GOP establishment (the career politicians who care not for the people nor this country but seek only to be re-elected and to increase their wealth and power) attack him relentlessly only to be soundly defeated every time. The number of primary votes made in favor of Trump greatly exceed all known records. Trump is making speeches (of which there is little being said) and he's drawing enormous crowds, filling stadiums and arena's to capacity with thousands left outside! The protestors only number in the 100's some of these events drew more than 20,000 people.

His most brilliant move so far was to offer to debate Bernie Sanders after Hillary Clinton refused to debate him prior the California Primary. So Trump stepped up and offered to debate him so long as they can collectively raise 15-20 million for women charities. Now this is smart in several ways. First, it makes Hillary look irrelevant. But the real reason is Bernie is an unabashed Communist who doesn't care if anyone knows it. Bernie thinks he can win a debate with Trump but he's in for a surprise if he underestimates the man. A debate in the public arena of ideas showing what the Democrats truly believe would be disastrous for not just Bernie but the entire party. They would lose even more congressional seats. Bernie would put Obamacare away in favor of nationalized healthcare putting all the insurance companies out of business and he's in favor of free government colleges. Both of which cannot be paid for, there isn't enough money. In order to pay for it he would raise taxes not on just the 1% but on the middle class. Even with all those taxes it would still not be enough money. It would bankrupt the country and we are already teetering on thin ice... Socialism/Communism worked so well for the old Soviet Union, Vietnam, Venezuela, Brazil, etc. It sounds wonderful but it is not realistic and when the money runs out it collapses. It is financially unsustainable.

Comment And This is Surprising Because??? (Score 1) 532

1. Many years ago, the number of Macs at USENIX Conference outnumbered Linux/Unix on laptops
2. Linux doesn't run on laptops very well at all, issues with drivers. (yes some hardware works but not much choice)
3. OS X is BSD Unix under the hood and almost all Linux software runs on it
4. You can run Adobe & Microsoft apps on Mac as well as all the Open Source Linux/BSD/Unix stuff
5. Parallels & VMware Fusion work very well on Mac, you can connect to vSphere as well
6. Macs can be automated using all those open source tools (yes PowerShell is cool but it's not *NIX)
7. Managing Macs in the IT Enterprise space is surprisingly easy and can save IT a lot of money, Google & IBM are doing it now https://youtu.be/BK9VokNpgzY
8. Most development is web / cloud based and runs on Linux with some Unix
9. Most mobile development is on iOS & Android and a Mac can do both (yes there's Xamarin but that's just evil weird)
10. Windows drives Unix/Linux developers out of their ever loving minds with frustration

It is little wonder why Mac is a developers dream machine. They are no longer a threat at the server level, Linux has won that war. They interact with Microsoft rather well but they really shine in *NIX environments. Since the cloud is running Unix/Linux and Docker is making great strides using Container technology. Running Windows Servers delivering C# Client/Server, Middleware, makes little sense. The whole world is moving to tiny optimized cloud based virtual machines running virtual networking, etc. Linux lets you strip out all the extraneous junk to build a very optimized machine for a single purpose such as a database, email, etc. The savings on wasted RAM/Storage/CPU, etc. is huge. The cloud platforms can burst CPU dynamically, etc.

Comment Fair Trial?!?! Reality-Check (Score 2) 488

Snowden broke many laws and confidential secrecy agreements, he put lives at risk, he notified enemies of the state about tactics, methods, and abilities in intelligence gathering. That allowed our enemies to change their tactics to avoid detection and to go after those names that were leaked. Not going to change the fact that he will spend the rest of his life in prison. Any trial that would occur would be purely about him breaking those laws and proving it. It is irrelevant that he uncovered shady government practices proving the spy agencies broke laws (well laws known to be public anyway). He won't be allowed to testify about any of the secrets he stole in a public court. This is intelligence and that game has always been less than legal. Spy agencies break laws, it's what they do and in the real world it is a necessary evil. So there is no way he will get a fair trial because his idea of a fair trial is to put the government on trial during his defense and he simply won't be allowed to do that. He cannot present secret evidence even if it is now public knowledge. In the 1940's he would have had a speedy secret clandestine trial and taken out back and shot by firing squad and his next of kin would have been fed a lie if his body was even returned. Enemies of the USA would have just disappeared him entirely. Maybe sending his personal belongings, teeth, jewelry, and a bit of ash back to the family in a cigar box delivered by a Nazi Youth courier on a bicycle.

9/11 changed things, the enemy is among us. The spy agencies now have to spy on Americans. The shooter in San Bernardino was an American with an immigrant wife from Pakistan. Americans are traveling to Syria to train and fight with ISIS. Americans are providing material support to terrorists. Enemies are crossing the Mexican and Canadian borders unopposed. Just look at the public list of terror attacks since 2000 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrorism_in_the_United_States#2000s). What do you think they are going to do? Of course they are going to spy on Americans, they have no choice. How many attacks have they prevented or stopped? We may never know...

Where do I stand on Apple's iPhone encryption? I like the fact that its heavily encrypted to protect my privacy but I hate the fact that terrorists will now use a newer iPhone 6 and up, disabling the finger print scanner, setting a strong password with a wipe after 10 attempts set, utilizing the secure enclave chip, turning off iCloud backup and Find my iPhone features, disabling GPS Location Services, disabling the control center and notifications while locked and using Messages iOS iOS for end to end encryption or maybe a third party app with similar encryption. Apple provides a pretty darn good solution for the terrorists. At the same time, I want that protection for myself but I also want the bad guys to get caught. It's a real world Catch-22 for sure... What's behind all this pressure on Apple? Well the 3 letter agencies are plenty cheesed off they can no longer spy on iOS devices like they used to. I mean a smartphone is a gold mine to them. Imagine turning on the microphone and using it to eavesdrop or obtain your GPS coordinates showing where you have been. The metadata alone is super useful. Snowden revealed they were accessing smartphones at will for quite some time!

At this point, it is not legal for the government to force Apple to comply there is no law that says they have to comply. The request is not a warrant because obtaining a warrant in this case is going to be difficult. I don't care what anyone says, this is not about one iPhone, not at all. Apple is right, once they do what the government wants it will open up thousands of additional requests and then foreign governments will do the same. Then the government will ask for more, they will want master private keys to iOS Messenger traffic and other encrypted data on iOS and iCloud. That's exactly how corporate America encrypts their systems with a PKI server issuing keys to each user. When an encrypted email is sent it is still vaulted in the data retention method but it's decrypted by the master key first. Imagine the NSA unlocking all your communications with a master key provided by Apple, Google, Dropbox, etc. They could access anything anywhere at any time. That is the slippery slope of unlocking just one iPhone one time! Before you know it you get pulled over for speeding, the officer takes your iPhone back to his patrol car, plugs it in and can see your speed verified not just this time but every time still in memory. They could keyword search your messages and nail you on other charges. Not to mention the tech will leak at some point, someone outside the spy agencies or law enforcement will gain the ability to do the same. Maybe someone with access will use it to spy on a ex-wife, etc. It will get out, sooner or later. So I don't know, but I do know I don't trust the government to do the right thing, I am looking 25 years down the road and they are not to be trusted with the keys. At the same time I don't want to get blasted with a dirty bomb or a real fusion blast in a major city either.

Comment Baloney (Score 1) 205

Just because Apple hasn't released a TV solution beyond the AppleTV doesn't mean they are not working on it. Just because Jobs killed a TV project also doesn't mean anything. Jobs killed absolutely every project except for Pro laptops & desktops and Consumer laptops & desktops when he took over as CEO. Apple was about to collapse, they were about 4-6 weeks away from financial ruin. Drastic measures had to be taken.

Apple is the only company that can disrupt the TV/Movie industry and deliver such an experience to the regular consumer. No one else can pull it off. The problem is cutting deals with the networks and content owners. HBO is one of the first. HBO has finally realized that Game of Thrones is the most pirated show on the Internet. That is because there are a hundred million plus people who wish to see it but cannot for various reasons. Most of them would pay if there was a way to do it without needing a cable or satellite contract. They have finally opened their eyes and seen the light. They can make more money selling direct worldwide then they ever could by bundling with cable and satellite. Once their sales numbers release, it will begin to make sense to other networks. They might be restricting the streaming to AppleTV and perhaps just the USA for the moment, but they should be ramping up their ability to stream to people worldwide. Because thats were the money is and that's where your customers are. Someone in South Korea, Germany, etc. should be able to connect to HBO Go and subscribe.

The level of piracy is constantly increasing and what's worse for the dinosaur media is that it is getting easier and easier and more and more user friendly. So much so that the executives for these companies should not be sleeping at night. The new consumers want the content but they want the freedom to view it on their own terms. They don't want DRM, they don't want restrictions nor barriers, they don't want annoying ads and they are willing to pay but not too much.

Comment Advantages (Score 1) 700

The primary advantage is you remove distraction and can focus on teaching one on one. If you can remain on task and have a strict schedule your child can advance very quickly. Public school classes are tailored at 3-4 levels of skill and they lump everyone together and frequently, students are left behind or worse held back if the rest of the class is not ready to advance. But if you have individual instruction you can overcome trouble spots and then accelerate the learning tailored to your child's personality and skills. For example, before you kids even reach middle school age they could be speaking and writing multiple languages. They could have advanced reading skills and be tackling algebra before they hit the 8th grade level.

It is much easier for a parent to interact with their own child then for a stranger. You know your child better than anyone. You can provide much more encouragement and when you hit a bump you can regroup and come at it in a different way to overcome the sticking point. You will know best how your child thinks.

That being said, it comes down to you as a parent being prepared to learn more than your child about teaching and about studying. If you can dive in like a Geek in a tech startup you can help your child shine like never before. Most people are capable of a lot more than we think, with the right motivation and hard work your child can exceed your wildest expectations. Certainly farther than any public or private school could take them in a classroom setting. The only way it would be better is if you hired a private tutor with exceptional skill. You must become that private tutor. So if you as a parent are not prepared for that task then it's not a good idea. It takes a lot of discipline as a home school parent.

Forget about worrying about social interaction in public school being lost. Socialize the child with friends, clubs, activities, etc. You are not locking them in the basement or joining a weird cult. Seek out a home schooling group where you can learn from more experienced parents and obtain the proper curriculum materials to meet the state requirements. Then you can exceed them as your child's education grows.

There is much to be learned, especially the old fashioned way. Children with means in the 1800's were pushed a lot harder and further than today's children. The ideas of rote memorization should not be underestimated. All the new techniques are complete bull pucky! We now know that young children have a brain that can absorb information rapidly, that ability drops as the child gets older. Start them young and you can be amazed.

Public and even private schooling is absolutely terrible in the USA. Go read up on old fashioned education and you will feel stupid indeed. Our forefathers with a classical education would mop the floor with anyone from today's generation. They would just need to become acquainted with technology advances.

Comment Re:What to do... (Score 1) 224

Oh yeah, have fun watching your credit reports like a hawk for the rest of eternity. If you do encounter any identity theft, it is practically a full time job to keep on top of it and fight back. You will need to keep all correspondence forever and you will be using a lot of registered mail. Get everything in writing. Read up on the laws that protect you from debt collectors who are not allowed to harass you. Be prepared to fight the credit bureaus to remove fraudulent items off your credit report, etc. See Clark Howard's website, he has a ton of useful information about identify theft, freezing your credit, etc. http://clarkhoward.com/

Comment What to do... (Score 1) 224

1. Consult an attorney in person, one with the initial interview free. Consult two more attorneys as a second opinion. If she is absolutely sure she gave the correct email to the bank then you can pursue legal action. Regardless, the bank should not have sent confidential information to an email address without some form of encryption. Most banks would send a secure message via their online website, an email just notifying you there is a secure message waiting for you, etc. I don't know of any laws that require this but it is standard financial business practice in todays world if you wish to keep your client data secure.
2. You don't need a credit monitoring service but they can be convenient. It is possible to contact all three credit bureaus and freeze your credit, there may be a small fee involved. You can then thaw your credit temporarily when necessary. This will prevent identity thieves opening new lines of credit in your name. Anyone trying to do so will be blocked by the credit bureaus themselves. This is basically what LifeLock does on your behalf. LifeLock does offer additional services that may be of value.
3. Make sure all your email and major online accounts have two factor authentication.
4. Do not reuse passwords with these important online accounts

If identity thieves breach your email account they can then reset the passwords on various online accounts as they will receive the email confirmations. Two factor authentication aims to help stop this by sending a text to your cell phone with a code. Also notifying you that someone is trying to access your account or has completed account access. At the least, you know someone did something you were not expecting.

In future do not perform major banking loan operations online. I recently opened a loan and had to physically go to the bank in person, providing certain confidential information such as pay stubs, drivers license, and to sign the documents closing a loan. They refused to do this online and had no process to do it securely. I guess, I will keep this bank! When I had to refinance a mortgage, the bank was remote but they contracted with a local lawyer so I was able to go to that nearby office and sign papers till my hand cramped, then sign some more. They used a secure courier to send the documents to the bank's main office to complete the loan.

I work for a financial company and they have systems in place to perform secure email. An email is sent with an encrypted attachment. The email connects back to the server. The user authenticates and the attachment is decrypted via public/private key pair on the web page. They cannot forward this email, it can only be opened by the original recipient. The encryption certificate expires and the data is wiped after 30 days. The recipient would have to print or save the content to keep it. If an employee tries to email confidential information it is forwarded through the secure email system that then encrypts the data and replies back to the employee informing them of the policy of never using email to send confidential information and that their email was sent securely on their behalf. The incident is logged and both IT security, Risk Management, Compliance and the employees manager is notified of the infraction. Remedial training would be implemented.Repeat infractions are investigated.

A financial reputation is critical in todays world. For a company to do business in an insecure manner is a major red flag. I would switch banks. Hope the loan wasn't completed...

Comment Low blow (Score 1) 681

The tweet like previous tweets was a snarky comment meant as a dig against Christians. It annoyed me when I read it. His explaination is not an apology. Am I offended? At first I was but the Bible stresses us not to take offense.

While watching Cosmos I enjoyed most of it till he attacked Christianity now and then. Carl Sagan wasn't a Christian but he didn't attack Christianity. I mean if you are an Athiest why bother? Much of science is theory and only some of it can be proven. To attack and make fun of those who you consider fools only to raise yourself is not an admirable trait. I don't know what Neil's problem with Christians is but he's got a serious anger issue. He has a deep seated hatred for the Christian God. That is usually due to a deep loss of a loved one after spending a lot of time in prayer. It is for that reason I pity Neil DeGrasse Tyson. He carries a spiritual wound. Why else would he care so much what the Christians believe and why attack them? Same goes for those nativity scene attacks and the distorted belief in separation of church and state. Who cares if there's a nativity scene on the town square for a few weeks or if there's a Ten Commandments in the court house?

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