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Comment Re:His mansion (Score 1) 127

GCSB. Government Communications Security Bureau. NZ's CIA/MI5/MI6 equivalent

The police got the spooks to do it, presumably because police snooping would have needed permission from a judge.

But GCSB can spy on foreigners freely, which makes it all legal. This reasoning has been lambasted on billboards by a beer company.

So now the GCSB is facing ugly questions about what is they actually do and why we even need spooks since they are just a police dirty trick and tool for the US.


Smart Guns To Stop Mass Killings 1388

New submitter Bugs42 writes " has an opinion piece on the possibility of cramming guns full of computers and sensors to disable them in certain buildings or around children. The author, in true mainstream media fashion, completely fails to see any possible technical problems with this. Quoting: 'How might this work? Start with locational "self-awareness." Guns should know where they are and if another gun is nearby. Global positioning systems can meet most of the need, refining a gun's location to the building level, even within buildings. Control of the gun would remain in the hand of the person carrying it, but the ability to fire multiple shots in crowded areas or when no other guns are present would be limited by software that understands where the gun is being used. Guns should also be designed to sense where they are being aimed. Artificial vision and optical sensing technology can be adapted from military and medical communities. Sensory data can be used by built-in software to disable firing if the gun is pointed at a child or someone holding a child."

The Web Won't Be Safe Or Secure Until We Break It 180

CowboyRobot writes "Jeremiah Grossman of Whitehat Security has an article at the ACM in which he outlines the current state of browser security, specifically drive-by downloads. 'These attacks are primarily written with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, so they are not identifiable as malware by antivirus software in the classic sense. They take advantage of the flawed way in which the Internet was designed to work.' Grossman's proposed solution is to make the desktop browser more like its mobile cousins. 'By adopting a similar application model on the desktop using custom-configured Web browsers (let's call them DesktopApps), we could address the Internet's inherent security flaws. These DesktopApps could be branded appropriately and designed to launch automatically to Bank of America's or Facebook's Web site, for example, and go no further. Like their mobile application cousins, these DesktopApps would not present an URL bar or anything else making them look like the Web browsers they are on the surface, and of course they would be isolated from one another.'"

Proposed Posting of Clients List In Prostitution Case Raises Privacy Concerns 533

An anonymous reader writes "An interesting case touching on privacy in the Internet age has erupted in Kennebunk, Maine, the coastal town where the Bush family has a vacation home. When a fitness instructor who maintained a private studio was arrested for prostitution, she turned out to have maintained meticulous billing records on some 150 clients, and had secretly recorded the proceedings on video files stored in her computer. Local police have begun issuing summons to her alleged johns, and have announced intentions to publish the list, as is customary in such cases. Police believe such publication has a deterrent effect on future incidents of the kind. However, the notoriety of the case has some, including newspaper editors, wondering whether the lives of the accused johns may be disproportionately scarred (obtaining or keeping a job, treatment of members of their families within the community) for a the mere accusation of having committed a misdemeanor. Also, the list of names will be permanently archived and indexed by search engines essentially forever."

Comment Soo... (Score 1) 125

Let me get this right:
Because they had lots of outside contractors working on the control systems they have lots of disparate control systems, and they are going to solve this by getting an outside contractor to write a new control system?

Does anyone else see the inherent flaw in this plan?

Comment Supporting the crazies on this one. (Score 1) 246

Please Google, please please please, label it the Persian Gulf.

Everything that is Persia pre-dates Islam and shows that Persia was great without the help of Allah.

Long before the mullahs Persia ruled most of the civilised world in the west, with the mullahs its a bit player in a sideshow.

Everything Persian undermines the regime in Tehran, so...

Please Google, please please please, label it the Persian Gulf. And call the middle east "greater Persia", and Afghanistan Inland Persia, and Tehran the Persian Capital, and Iran the Persian Empire.

Also, can we sell Greece back to Persia? They wanted it a while back and its really no use to us anymore?

Comment Re:Interesting technology (Score 4, Interesting) 601


Tell me why trademarks need continual work to maintain, and patents worth BILLIONS last only 20 years but copyright lasts over a hundred years for NO MORE EFFORT THAN INITIAL CREATION.

What is so special about Walt Disney and Stephanie Meyers that they trump Steve Jobs and Arthur C Clarke?

Why are Arthur C Clarke's awesome books SOOO much more awesome than inventing geosynchronous satellites?

How come modern telephones are dependent on Hettie Lamar's expired and now worthless patent but her forgotten films are still "valuable"?


Congress Asks Patent Office To Consider Secret Patents 285

Fluffeh writes "The USPTO is considering a rather interesting request straight from lobbyists via congress: that certain 'Economically Significant' patents should be kept secret during the process (PDF Warning) of being evaluated and granted. While this does occur at the moment on a very select few patents 'due to national security' for things like nuclear energy and the like — this would allow it to go much, much further. 'By statute, patent applications are published no earlier than 18 months after the filing date, but it takes an average of about three years for a patent application to be processed. This period of time between publication and patent award provides worldwide access to the information included in those applications. In some circumstances, this information allows competitors to design around U.S. technologies and seize markets before the U.S. inventor is able to raise financing and secure a market.'"
United States

New Sanctions To Target Syrian and Iranian Tech Capacity 161

vivIsel writes "This morning, President Obama is set to unveil a new executive order that will allow the U.S. to specifically target sanctions against individuals, companies or countries who use technology to enable human rights abuse. Especially as repressive regimes more effectively monitor their dissidents online (rather than simply blocking access), the sanctions focus on companies that help them do that."

Comment It's not astroturfing if they only asked (Score 1) 391

Until it comes from your boss, it's only a request and you can say "no".

If you're proud of the application, and you think it might help some people you know, by all means tell people about it.

Until it's an order and you disagree with the text of that order, you don't have a problem.

If it is an order and you disagree with the statement, then you have to consider whether that damage to your reputation is excessive given the consequences of not complying.

Comment Re:Who to trust (Score 0) 267

Can we please have a special variant of Godwin's Law for Americans? The first person to mention Communism in discussions not directly related to the Soviet Union, China, or Cuba loses the discussion immediately. Call it Beck's Law or something, from what I hear he's probably the most likely to cause it's invocation.

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