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Comment A vague problem (Score 2) 47

Is the problem that MITRE has an inventory of unprocessed requests, or that MITRE is rejecting requests as duplicative or incorrect? That does make a difference in how one thinks about the problem. If the latter, perhaps those in favor of bypassing MITRE could provide convincing examples of incorrect rejections.

Comment Re:Surge protectors *must* be voltage specific (Score 1) 138

Aren't nearly all surge protectors made with 330 volt MOVs? Wikipedia has an article on surge protecters which includes this "A lower clamping voltage indicates better protection, but can sometimes result in a shorter life expectancy for the overall protective system. The lowest three levels of protection defined in the UL rating are 330 V, 400 V and 500 V. The standard let-through voltage for 120 V AC devices is 330 volts."

Comment Re:What autority is cisco operationg from (Score 1) 122

No one is obliged to accept their packets, and anyone is entitled to take Cisco's advice if they so choose.

The point isn't that they should obey Cisco, but that they should not want to host criminal activity, and if informed of it they should investigate and take action if warranted. Furthermore, it is in their interest to do so, since otherwise other networks will stop exchanging packets with them, and their non-criminal clients will be disadvantaged and leave. Of course, that assumes they have non-criminal clients.

daniel feenberg

Comment There is a name for that (Score 3) 162

Economists and doctors have been using the WABR concept for many years now. They call it judging results by "intention to treat". So if 100 people are offered a training program or medicine, and only 90 complete the course of "treatment", the base for the percentage successes is 100, not 90. This is a pretty important idea when judging any experimental treatment on humans who can decline after enrolling. It wasn't so much a problem when the treatment was fertilizer on a field.

Comment It isn't a technical question (Score 3, Insightful) 77

There is a great misunderstanding in all these comments. The question isn't "How long does it take to change 3 lines of code", of course that only takes a few minutes. The question is: "How long does permission to change 3 lines of code take to wend its way through the agency from the Secretary to the contractor?" That typically takes weeks or months, but in this case was done quickly because no one between the Secretary and the coder thought to interfere. That is very unusual. Another question (not answered) is how long does it take for a request from the coder to the Secretary? Typically that would be "forever", which is why most things never get done. It would help if someone below the secretary were authorized to make a decision, but typically that isn't the case.

Comment Who is on the other end of that trade? (Score 2) 740

It would seem foolish to trade within milliseconds of 2pm without knowledge of the Fed decision, since the other party could be in DC and in legitimate possession of the information. So it is surprising that the criminal got a counterparty to accept the trade. This trick will probably only work once. There was a time when this sort of information was released after the close of markets.

Comment "suspected" (Score 4, Informative) 44

It isn't really a scandal until the cases of plagiarism are confirmed. I once tested some plagiarism software on published academic economics, and it produced many false positives, many of which required some knowledge to interpret. Notice that a grant application may seem to be a somewhat "safer" place to plagiarize, since only a few people will see the application. However, those few might well include the borrowed from author - the granting agency will be sending the proposal for review to many researchers who have written on the topic before..

Comment Hysteria (Score 2) 286

They say the false accept rate is .001, or one in a thousand. That is, they can extract about 10 bits of information from a picture. From those 10 bits they claim to get the SSN? Or, they have the picture of a person, and need to identify them in a sample of a million people, they will get back 1000 possible matches.

The complaints about privacy seem greatly overblown. In essence they are saying that if you post a picture with your name, and then another picture without your name, someone with a million dollars of software might recognize the similarities. Of course they might without the computer too. This is just another in the long line of "security" scares which presume that items of public knowledge such as your appearance, name, DOB and SSN can be turned into a secret passwords after 40 years of being public knowledge. The security experts should be spending their time convincing banks not to pretend an SSN is a secret, rather than enabling them by agitating for legislation to make it so.

Comment It is more subtle than you think (Score 4, Interesting) 371

According to the article, the defendent is not distributing code containing GPL code. Rather, they are distributing a program that reads from a DSL router and modifies the (perfectly legal) GPL code on the router, reinstalling the modified code. The defendent doesn't think this is a violation, since he does not distribute any GPL code to users, only the binary "diffs". The modified code is never "distributed", only installed on the individuals own router. Since the GPL limits distribution, but doesn't affect "internal" use, there is an argument that the GPL is not violated. However, there is a further section in the GPL that takes up just this point, which is quite orthogonal to any of the arguments posted here. Even if this section of the GPL was not enforced in Germany, it wouldn't be the end of the GPL, as this is an extremely inconvinient way to distribute software, and the liklihood that the "diffs" didn't include GPL code is very small.

Comment No crisis (Score 1) 551

IPv6 will be very slow in coming, and there will be no crisis. As ISPs run our of v4 address space, they will offer natted rfc1918 space by default, and charge a few dollars extra for public addresses. Only a few people prefer a public address if charged $5/month for it, and they won't miss anything either. While lots of public servers will be offered in both v4 and v6 space, nothing interesting will require v6. v6 will grow slowly based on its use in purely internal networks. The things lusers need will always be available in v4 and there aren't enough clued users to create a real shortage.

Comment Re:A solution to a problem that doesn't exist (Score 2, Insightful) 123

Maybe sweeps are in November because that is when the elections are? Anyway the problem with electronic voting is not only that it is hard to do right, but also that it is impossible to show the average voter that it has been done right. With paper ballots and each party having a representative at the polling place and at the counting, voters are willing to believe the count is accurate. The offer to examine the source code is less convincing. Saying that the source code has been examined by someone paid for by the company that wrote the code is nothing at all.

Comment OLPC software isn't attractive to parents (Score 4, Interesting) 100

The good news is that the Marvel chip won't support Windows.

The bad news is that the child with an OLPC while she may learn to do art on her computer, won't learn to do anything helpful in any labor market on earth. With a tablet, she won't even learn to touch type. I know that the project wants to prepare her for more self-actualizing career, such as poet, designer, president or CIO, very few will have that opportunity if they can't get an entry level job in the urban sector.

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