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Comment History Channel (Score 5, Insightful) 166

My guess is that this effort will be wildly unsuccessful, but will be picked up by the History Channel and turned into at least one 12-episode season of reality tv. It will chronicle their mostly futile efforts culminating in a season finale of grand failure. Yes I am still bitter after I got sucked into an episode of "Oak Island." I knew better, I watched it anyway. I will never get that hour back.

Comment Re:bicyclists are why I don't ride a bicycle (Score 3, Insightful) 358

Where is this land of the bike lane you speak of? I would totally use that if they had them around here. Just a lot of country roads and thankfully usually not a lot of traffic where I am. I ride alone and hug the side of the road as close as I'm able. What really irritates me is the people who seem to have a real issue with bikes. Full size pickup truck who misses your handlebar by about 3 inches as they pass you at 45-50 mph on a 30 mph street. No traffic coming, could easily move a half a foot to the left, but would rather see how close they can get without actually hitting you. This is a small percent of motorists - but it's definitely something you can expect to have happen at least once per ride around here.

Comment Re:Cool, but (Score 1) 32

Are they providing you a Gig Internet connection? If not, then it doesn't really matter so much if you have a Gigabit-capable wireless connection. On the other hand, if you need Gig wireless connectivity between devices/systems within your network - you might consider springing for a wireless infrastructure to support that kind of connectivity.

Comment Re:Better Idea (Score 1) 94

Plum Island is hardly isolated. It is located in Long Island Sound (more like a large lake than open ocean) between Long Island NY and the CT coastline. Plum Island is home for a lot of seabirds, which would be one easy vector to transport disease to the mainland. There are migratory seals in the area in the winter, though I'm not sure if they go to Plum Island specifically.

Comment Re:What's the difference (Score 1) 397

Scale. Presumably even drone-assisted hunters are operating within quota and bag limits set to maintain healthy population. Factory fishing operations basically round up every fish in their path. If they catch off-species they'll dump the by catch back over the side (regardless of whether it's still alive). Same as if they end up over the quota - over the side it goes. Fishery "management" of the US East Coast has been pretty poorly implemented if the goal was the long term viability of the fishery. Hopefully it's not quite so awful in other places.

Comment Re: Eh... (Score 1) 150

It undoubtedly will be fixed with adoption of an enhancement to the existing protocol or an entirely new protocol. We saw that with the evolution from WEP to WPA to WPA2. The challenges are that this will take time for a fix and new standard to be determined and the processing capability of the currently deployed wireless infrastructure. There is a fair likelihood that today's access point will not have enough horsepower to efficiently process the next generation authentication and encryption protocol. This means that there is a period of time where a known exploitable vulnerability exists and there is no fix available (time to determine the short and longer term fix + time for everyone to move to the new infrastructure supporting the new standard.) This is how it has always been with wireless, and probably how it always will be. It is similar to anti biotics, eventually resistant bacteria become prevalent, diminishing effectiveness and spurring the need to find new drugs. If we are smart, we have already been working quietly on WPA v3 and this will be announced shortly and adopted quickly when we reach the point that WPA 2 is demonstrably capable of being compromised by a savvy motivated individual vs. a govt funded team. In the meantime VPN always has been and remains a viable option for wireless security.

Comment E) All of the above (Score 1) 324

You don't get to pick which state agencies are spying on you. The reality is that it's probably all of the above plus a bunch of other ones that aren't listed.

Going along with some of the comments - you do maybe have a choice in some of the other entities that are spying on you (Google, MSFT, Facebook, etc.) The question is whether you want to avoid all useful Internet services in the interest of your own privacy. Bottom line - if you're accessing something, someone is recording that access and probably selling or commoditizing that recorded data point in a dozen different ways. Possibly/probably including giving or selling that data to foreign and domestic intelligence agencies.

Absolute privacy on the Internet is a zero sum game. The only way to win is to not play.

Comment Re:Disabling SSID Broadcast - Less Secure (Score 4, Informative) 438

Yes. The point I'm trying to make is that if:
1) You set your SSID to "my_secret_ssid" and then disable broadcast
2) You configure your laptop to connect automatically to "my_secret_ssid" and check the box that this is a non-broadcast ssid

3) Every time you bring your laptop to work or the airport or the donut shop, it will start beaconing to look for "my_secret_ssid".

Evil nefarious types have the tools to look for those beacons and automatically reply with "my_secret_ssid" to trick your machine into connecting to them. Theoretically they can then pass this connection to a legitimate network connection, but leave themselves in the middle. You and your laptop won't necessarily know that this has happened.

How to avoid this: Don't automatically connect to wifi, and don't configure non-broadcast SSIDs on your machines any longer than you need to.

Comment Disabling SSID Broadcast - Less Secure (Score 4, Informative) 438

Disabling SSID Broadcast should not be considered more secure than standard WPA2/PSK. Clients configured to connect to a hidden SSID will beacon constantly to see if that SSID is available. Take a look at Hotspotter to see if you can figure out why that might not be a great idea. Also, whether you are broadcasting SSID or not, your network is pretty easily found by anyone who is actively looking for wireless networks in the area. This equates to introducing a potential vulnerability for your client systems and no increase in security for your network - so broadcast away. Your best bet is a complex pre-shared key. Change it once in a while if you're paranoid. Tunnel over VPN or SSH if you're really paranoid.

Comment Re:Perfect analogy for NASA (Score 2) 184

Interesting argument. What does it cost to feed and maintain a horse? What is the maximum speed and range of a horse? Can a horse power air travel? The energy cost efficiency of internal combustion is pretty hard to beat with today's technology.

That undersea oil was there 100 years ago, but there was more readily available oil that was easier and cheaper to get to so we didn't have a motivation to go after the harder stuff. Technology also improved to enable us to go after the harder to retrieve resources.

We've been approaching peak oil for twenty years now. What is the forecast for hitting peak iron or peak nickel? Maybe that will be motivation to drive us after the asteroid resources or maybe it will be motivation to more aggressively recycle our local resources. If you look at the pyramids in Egypt and the coliseum in Rome - a lot of the stone work was recycled into building materials for nearby construction. Yes, they had stone quarries they could have gone to get material for the new construction, but it was cheaper and easier to re-use the easily scavenged stones from the previous generation's efforts. Similarly as we hit the back side of peak oil maybe it will push us back to horses - or maybe (hopefully) drive investment into wind, solar, hydro, and nuclear.

Comment Re:Perfect analogy for NASA (Score 1) 184

But there is also every element you can find on earth floating around in ridiculous abundance, and easier to access too

I appreciate a good sci fi yarn as much as the next guy, but do try to keep in mind the "fiction" aspect of it. In fact, the overwhelmingly defining characteristic of space would be the tremendous amount of emptiness that it is comprised of. The vast distances just within our own solar system immediately decry the abundance and easy access to useful resources. That will hold true at least until you solve the problem of cheap and efficient energy. I would argue that when you have solved that problem, you will still be able to fix the earth's issues at the same or lower cost than going out in to space. (Props to the termite infested house analogy posted earlier.)

Looking at this another way, if it was cheaper and easier to get iron, gold, or boron by mining asteroids I'm pretty sure someone would be doing it right now. The reason they aren't doing it is because it's cheaper not to. Something about skipping the roughly 180M mile round trip to the asteroid belt probably explains that.

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