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Comment Podesta didn't fall for it - his "expert" did (Score 3, Informative) 129

It reminds me of how people were talking about the Podesta email incident as some massively complex hacking job. It wasn't -- they found out he still used Yahoo Mail and phished him. I can't believe that (a) one of the most powerful political operatives in the Clinton campaign uses Yahoo Mail, and (b) that he fell for it.

Actually the email seemed suspicious to Podesta so he asked his 20-something security "expert" to look at it. Now keep in mind that probably almost all of us know to have a mouse hover over a link in an email to see where it really goes. For example, if a link supposed to go to mycompany.com actually goes to gizshiz.com or mycompanyname.ru, yeah, you should be smart enough to think those are probably not really mycompany.com. The problem was that his "expert" didn't do this. He simply looked at the email, immediately proclaimed it to be legit and insisted that Podesta immediately click on the link and change his password. Insiders refused to name the "expert" or say whether he still has a job. My guess is that he does. But Podesta correctly got suspicious and asked for help, he just put his faith in someone to help him who didn't deserve it. For all the reported use the Democratic Party made of cutting edge analytics when Obama ran for president, they seem to have really weird ideas at the very top about security. I still maintain that had Bill and Hillary used their fortunes to hire real security experts for the foundation's email server and ran something like a hardened form of BSD on it, it could have mitigated a lot of the damage of using a private server, but no, they just had to use some local 2 man operation that was basically a small, local equivalent of Geek Squad and they used them because they were nearby and cheap, not good.

Comment Re:Chinese? (Score 1) 146

It's not entirely clear what Asian country everyone is from (or perhaps they're Asian-American), but assuming none of them are from the U.S., it should make those in government U.S. cybersecurity a bit anxious, and perhaps give pause to our new-found love of immigration restrictions.

Unlikely. The people that are in love with the restrictions don't really want anybody coming over. I have an Asian friend who lives on the other coast of the US from me. She's ethnically Chinese but immigrated by marriage from her home country to the USA. She's told me some recent stories about having white women make very prejudiced remarks towards her both at work and while shopping. And keep in mind that she's not Muslim so none of this is caused by religious wear like a hijab. People who voted for Trump are no longer afraid to hide their prejudices any more. I see some pretty shocking stuff on Facebook from a small number of people I know along these lines.

Comment Re:Liability (Score 5, Insightful) 497

Is John Deere legally liable if an UNMODIFIED tractor malfunctions and hurts someone? Nope, that's right there in the summary of the license agreement. Why do you think THAT will change because of modified firmware?

Like most here, you don't understand how US law really works. My best friend is a lawyer, we've known each other since college, and he's taught me a lot over the years. One of the things he's taught me is that when you sign an agreement that says you sign away your rights, that doesn't necessarily mean you actually have signed away your rights. There are various ways around this kind of thing, including arguing something that amounts to saying that John Deere coerced you into signing that and you had no choice but to agree. Also, you seem to not realize that once you get to court, anything is possible. Depending on how good the lawyers are, the judge's personal involvement in the case (whether he/she steers the jury with comments or leaves them alone to do whatever they will), and the jury itself, any kind of verdict is possible.

Comment Re:WTF (Score 0) 249

How is anyone ok with putting up with this nonsense?

Yep. I am quite fine with it. And I didn't vote for Trump either. And I bet I travel more internationally than you do. I don't feel one bit sorry for people who have to do work in the cabin while flying. Wah wah wah! There was a time not all that long ago when laptops didn't exist and you couldn't do that kind of work anyway. And let's be real here. It's not like coach has so much awesome room in it that the person sitting next to you isn't going to seriously encroach on your precious, small personal space when they whip up their laptop to do that presentation they should have done 2 weeks ago in the office.

Comment Re:FAKE NEWS! (Score 4, Insightful) 532

Killing off the free press was always one of Trump's stated goals with his desire to open up libel laws in order to facilitate suing the press.

That's not exactly right. He doesn't really want to kill the free press. He wants try to make everybody but Fox News report from the sideline so that they lose influence. He's not trying to shut down, say, CNN, but he wants to limit their access to him. I have friends who honestly believe that the only fair and impartial news source at all is Fox News. They all believe that CNN is insanely liberal and they have no idea at all that MSNBC is actually pretty far left of CNN. They don't seem to know that MSNBC even exists. There's no need to kill the free press when half the country believes that only one news sources is accurate and impartial and that news source is so biased it's not ever going to say anything against a Republican. You can let CNN, MSNBC, NPR, etc. report all they want to, but when half the country by choice refuses to listen to what they say, they are pretty effectively silenced although technically still alive.

Comment Re:IN SOVIET RUSSIA (Score 4, Interesting) 532

Hang on let me get this straight. The man who interfered with the election is accusing Russia of interfering with the election?

Only in America!

No, he's pretending to investigate the Trump campaign. I am sure his actions in the final weeks were clearly designed to ensure Trump's victory under the cover of being open and impartial. More than anything else, I believe this pushed the last undecideds into the Trump corner because it convinced them the email issue was never, ever going to go away and if Hillary was president, she was just going to resign in disgrace or be removed from office soon enough over it anyway and nobody wanted to watch Tim Kane become president by default. So given the help he gave the Trump campaign, I'm pretty sure that the final result of this investigation will be the shocking revelation that nobody in the Trump campaign did anything wrong.

Comment Re:Why is Holocaust Denial Such a Huge Deal? (Score 1) 429

I've always been curious about this. It's a dumb thing to do, and makes the person look foolish, but beyond that why is this actually a crime in some places? I mean I can pretend that Obama was never president, but that doesn't make it so and it makes me look really stupid, but they would never make that a crime (Note to Self: Check back in 10 years and see if they did indeed make this a crime). Just ignore the morons and let them play in their little pretend world.

I'm not anti-European. I've been to, I think, 14 different European countries and I consider myself a lot more in favor of Europe than against it. But it seems to me that this is a crime because when a pendulum swings too far one way, the natural human reaction is to swing it too far the other way. In the US, free speech is protected by the Constitution. Courts consistently rule to protect it here. There's no such constitutional protection in Europe on speech. Keep in mind that even the US protection is not absolute. You can't deliberately say something to cause an unnecessary panic (the classic example is yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater when there is no fire) but saying things that people disagree with or don't like is not a crime here. So I think that to combat what led to Nazi Germany, they went too far in the other direction and made even denying the Holocaust a crime. Many European nations have similar, in my opinion as an outsider, overreactions to crime where their anti-death penalty zeal has resulted in situations where they can't really punish truly bad people very much. I'll refrain from commenting more on that lest this drift off course.

Comment Re:WTF!!! (Score 1) 513

You are jumping to conclusions that are not supported by evidence. We was fired on his first day of work. The reasons for that are not clear, but there is almost always more to these stories than what is on the surface. You are only hearing one very biased side of it.

I'm sure that this is it. I've been involved in interviewing candidates for IT jobs for the past 20 or so years even though I'm not in management and almost certainly there is a lot more to this story than the simplistic version of "My manager said it was OK but HRB flipped out and fired me for no reason". Since this is in the USA, I have a feeling that he's not likely to win in court.

I'm seriously puzzled that he would change jobs at this time. I read the article and I have a lot of doubts about exactly what kind of work he was doing prior to this job. Usually when people have steady jobs that have health insurance and someone covered has a serious illness, they won't change jobs because doing so has possible health insurance implications that could be negative. The article also has a claim that he was told he had to be in the office 24/7 which is on the surface completely absurd and there's almost certainly no way he was told that. The whole thing just seems odd.

Comment Re:Reminds me of 'Brazil' (Score 1) 227

For those who haven't seen the movie 'Brazil,' this event is so close to the premise of that movie that it's eerie.

Well, I suppose that might be a bit up for debate in that Brazil has nothing to do with a man falsely accused of being a pedophile. But both involve a bureaucracy making mistakes that innocent people pay for.

For those who haven't seen Brazil, thank your lucky stars. This is going to get my comment 1 point, but it's truly awful. I love Monty Python, but I'll be very blunt and say that I think that Terry Gilliam's movies are very hit and miss and this is a miss for sure. Years ago on another job a colleague loaned me a DVD of the Criterion Collection version after raving about it how great it was. So I watched the uncut director's version. It's awful. If you don't cringe when you see what they predicted computers in the future will look like, I really don't know what to say. Gilliam's preferred ending is terrible and the studio was quite right in my opinion to demand the film be cut and the ending changed. I didn't even bother to watch the theatrical version or the supplements. I read about the differences between Gilliam's cut and the theatrical version and I'm content to never watch any version of it again. It's not the worst movie I've seen or even close to it, but it is without a doubt the most overrated so called "classic" movie I've ever seen. It's one of those films where the people who love it really really love it and they'll defend it to death, but the vast majority of people who see it won't like it very much. For what it's worth, famed movie critic Roger Ebert didn't like it very much either, although he did think it was simply hard to understand and a bit pointless rather than "terrible" as I stated. If you want to be more depressed, watch Gilliam's version. If you want to be somewhat less depressed, watch the edited theatrical version.

Comment Re:Worth it (Score 4, Informative) 102

What? The company lost 95% of value in the last ten years, five of those under Mayer.

That's absolutely not true and it's easy to prove. You can go to a place like Yahoo Finance (no joke intended - their website is free and easy to navigate) and look up a 10 year run of the stock. On March 13, 2007 Yahoo was worth $29.56 a share at close. It's currently worth about $46.57 a share as I write this on March 13, 2007. That's a gain, not a loss. Maybe something like profits or income went down 95%, as you state, over the values 10 years ago, but that is not reflected in the stock price or the company's market valuation, which is more important (for now) than the money it actually pulls in. Yahoo is valued at almost $45 billion. That's a lot of money. Even if basically she ran the true Yahoo business into the ground and got lucky with Alibaba and the fact that Yahoo Japan is not messed up and has real value, the US stock market has not punished her for this, so to a certain extent you can argue that she did her job.

Comment Re: Not much for those stuck *right now* (Score 1) 632

Many co-op opportunities are just there to exploit free or cheap labour.

That's true, but they can still lead to real jobs. I went to a small university back when computer science was a somewhat uncommon major. Of my fellow graduates, the guy who got the best paying job and the most job offers was the only co-op student in my graduating class. He told me about his co-op job. It was for the federal government and they didn't actually let him do very much, but the co-op experience was a huge difference maker and it made him stand out from the rest of us. My current employer used to bring on co-ops and we hired the last 2 that we brought on. They got real jobs with our company after graduating college because the company liked them.

Comment Re:Obligatory XKCD (Score 4, Informative) 498

It's worth pointing out that XKCD's pretense that four random words are easy to memorize was based on them choosing four easy to memorize words. If I just have /usr/share/dict/words pull up random words for me, here's the first five passwords it comes up with:

It's a good thing that XKCD's Munro doesn't choose four random words from /usr/share/dict/words then, isn't it? The cartoon shows 11 bits of entropy associated with each word. That means a dictionary size of 2^11: about 2000 words. (In contrast, a typical /words file might have a hundred thousand entries. That's fifty-fold larger, so you get about 5.5 extra bits per word, but would indeed lead to the utterly useless output you've shown.)

The General Service List contains the top 2000ish most-often used words in the English language. I used the version compiled in 1995 and found here, mostly because it was the first version I could grab online. Pulling random words from the first 2000 entries, the four words I got (on my first three passes) were:
competition behave exact toward
experiment miserable there lord
spare page circle rabbit

Right out of the box, it's not what I would call a disaster, though a few of the words are a bit cumbersome, length-wise. (For reference, your /usr/share/dict/words selection only contains one word - "weave" - from the GSL.) If you started from, say, the top 5000 words, you could probably cut it down to a 2000-word list where every entry was non-obscure, had between 4 and 8 letters (the average word in the GSL has a length of 5.8 letters), avoided difficult-to-spell words, and eliminated similar-sounding words.

Comment I welcome this (Score 2) 149

I welcome this and hope they do it because as the film "Gravity" explicitly said and the recent National Geographic series "Mars" implied if you read between the lines (the first crew to go to Mars had a Russian on it but the only Asian was Korean American... hmmm....) it's going to take this before the US ever gets serious again about manned exploration of space.

Comment Re:"But everybody else is doing it..." (Score 2) 122

What I'd really like to know is why aren't US citizens showing their outrage at having their basic constitutional right to privacy as well as due process to search of private data (which often resides in their home) violated on a daily (more likely many. many times per day) basis. Americans' need to stand up for what they say they believe in.

OK. I'll explain it to you. Short version - you're basically the old man yelling for the kids to stay off his lawn but you don't realize it. Society has changed and you are stuck in how things used to be, not how they are.

Today's millennials grow up with all aspects of their life documented on video and publicly available for viewing. Even stupid things. I'm sure most of us have read about crimes that some dumb young person will do, get a friend to record it to video on a cell phone, share it publicly in some way like Facebook and then act totally shocked when the law comes after them. Anthony Weiner is over 50 years old and he's best known for being so addicted to what they call "sexting" that even despite losing good paying jobs and having his wife separate from him, he can't stop doing it. Does that seem rational? How many of your male friends, and I assume you are male, wake up in the morning and go "Hmm.... I think my best plan for today is to take a picture of Little Joey and send it to a person I've never actually met in person". I've got friends close to 50 years old on both sides of that age who seemingly can't live without posting photos every day to Facebook. One is the wife of a good friend and she seems to be a good person, but I feel kind of sorry for her because it just seems like it's extremely important to her to get positive feedback on Facebook for photos she posts of herself. And I know a guy who it seems like every other day posts a new photo of him and his girlfriend with text saying how much he loves her and I'm starting to wonder who exactly he is trying to convince here. The right to privacy is pretty much gone and people gave it up willingly. You don't have to like it, but you could at least accept the reality of it. As far as your complain about the search of private data in homes goes, currently that still requires a court order. Maybe that will change, but we're not there yet. I'm sorry but society decided it wanted to live in a world with a lot less privacy and I get that you weren't asked to agree to this, but that's how it is.

Comment Indeed, how do YOU know? (Score 3, Interesting) 447

Wikileaks is one of the few remaining upstanding journalistic organizations. .

The fact that you don't like how the US operates does not in and of itself prove that Wikileads is as upstanding as you hope. Take a look at Russia and China. Can you and I at least agree that those countries have their own problems of various kinds? Don't you find it funny that nobody, not one single person, who lives there and has access to their secrets is willing to send them to Wikileaks? Back in the old days of the USSR, the US was able to find Soviet citizens who would risk their lives to pass on information to the US and not for profit. Why is it that today nobody seems willing to leak documentation on Russia and China? It's not difficult to find born and raised in China people who aren't very fond of their government. So I wonder could it possibly be that people actually are submitting leaks from Russia and China and Wikipedia isn't publishing them? I don't know. But I think anybody who blindly supports Wikileaks as the champion of right should wonder why it seems that only leaks from the USA (and apparently Saudi Arabia once) make it there.

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