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Comment Re:Some privacy is more equal than other (Score 1) 314

Obviously, privacy of police officers is less equal than that of Planned Parenthood officials.

In this case, yes. People (including police officers) conducting their activities in public spaces do not have the expectation of privacy.

People (including Planned Parenthood employees) conducting their activities in private spaces in California do have the expectation of privacy. California is a two-party consent state, which means that in a private conversation, both parties must consent to recording.

It's super simple. You can throw up useless chaff like school vouchers if you want, but the law is pretty clear.

Comment Re:Harder to counter Microsoft spying on you (Score 1) 208

create a network bridge between your system and the internet to prevent telemetry from working

This is exactly what I want before I upgrade from Windows 7. I recognize that I'll probably eventually need to upgrade to 10, but I want a hardware solution to stop my OS chatting with its mothership.

Comment Re:Be open minded (Score 1) 525

taking a detour through a different format certainly won't help

This was my objection to his idea, but I wasn't in charge. I think the guy learned to code from the Internet, and hung out on a lot of forums where XML is ridiculed, and he picked up his opinion there without ever understanding why. Everything he hadn't made was "needlessly complex." When we told him we had to adhere to the XML-based standard for I/O, he suggested that we create a new standard and then get all of the equipment makers to use it instead of the existing one.

At the time, I thought he was being stubborn for no reason I could see. I realize now he was just really, really green, and all this stuff that was needlessly complex was stuff that he was having a hard time understanding, and he found it easier to code up a simplistic replacement than to RTFM and understand there are reasons for the complexity of existing systems and standards.

Comment Re:Be open minded (Score 2) 525

In our shop, we use a lot of XML because our systems communicate with a lot of equipment that requires inputs according to a particular XML standard. We hired a new guy who thought XML was "old and busted" and could not be convinced to write code that output XML. He wanted to store all the values in mongodb as JSON objects and then translate them later. Which, to be fair, would work, if you were good enough to pull it off. He wasn't. He no longer works here, and we're painfully rewriting all of his code.

Comment Re:I get no updates from my carrier (Score 1) 103

I'm still using my original battery for this one. It will last about 2.5 days of low usage, or 1 day of heavy usage. This is my paradox for buying a new phone... I like having a battery I can swap, but in practice I haven't actually swapped it (at least on this one). Also, you have to figure out where you can buy a battery that isn't a counterfeit that craps out almost immediately. My girlfriend's battery got old and we swapped that one, and then her whole phone failed six months later, so that was pointless.

Despite my security patch level, I plan to stick with this phone for the foreseeable future. Next time, I think I'd like to get a phone that isn't carrier locked so I can avoid the bloatware and possibly get more timely updates.

Comment I get no updates from my carrier (Score 4, Informative) 103

I have a Galaxy S4 on AT&T. I just checked, and it's at Lollipop 5.01 and says its "Android security patch level" is 2015-11-01. Nevertheless, when I push the software update button, AT&T assures me that my current software is up to date. Apparently, 5.01 is the latest version available for an S4, but what about security patches? Are they just done making them? Was AT&T planning on telling me that?

I guess I'm a bad consumer, using a four year old phone.

Comment Re:odd thing I've noticed (Score 1) 319

So everybody on this forum who was actually educated about maps being distorted and globes being very common in school is wrong?

No, and nobody said that, either. All they've said is that it's just possible, given the equipment and budgets of various classrooms; the knowledge, expertise, and competence of various teachers; the priorities, goals, and available time of various curricula; the presence or absence of students on various days; the wide variation of educational standards and best practices over space and time; the fact that students sometimes change schools and wind up with gaps in their education; and other factors that I did not think of off the top of my head, that not every single young person has had a lesson in why map projections are distorted that involved a globe.

Isn't it enough that we can say that *most* students will be exposed to the idea in school? Do you need it to be true that *every student ever* has had that lesson? What would happen if they hadn't? What if I told you that I have a grandmother who was educated in rural Iowa in the 1920s and 30s? Is it conceivable that she never learned about the distortions of map projections?

Comment Re:expose them to man-in-the-middle attacks (Score 1) 102

I'd say there is a concept involved, and not just surface area. There's also the fact that authenticating certs is an additional step, that the system will appear to work without doing it, and that there exist programmers who are some combination of lazy and incompetent. It's the same concept involved when people write their own auth systems, or credential databases--they fuck it up because they don't understand the danger of storing plaintext passwords, or they invent their own "encryption," or any number of other bad ideas.

Submission + - Over 1,250 Different WiFi Cameras Models Open to Hacking Right Now (

An anonymous reader writes: Over 1,250 WiFi IP camera models and nearly 200,000 devices are affected by seven security flaws that are easy to exploit (accessing an URL) and allow the attacker to take full control over the device.

At the heart of this issue is a Chinese manufacturer of white label cameras which modified the source code of a web server before including it into its firmware. According to multiple security researchers (1,2,3) the vendor added a backdoor account, and several flaws that allow an attacker to steal the user credentials config file and even execute code as root. Other flaws allow attackers to view video streams without any authentication, while another allows them to bypass NATs and firewalls and use the camera as a pivot point for hacking enterprise networks. Some researchers have been trying to notify the vendor since 2014, but they all now went public, trying to raise attention to these issues.

Comment Re:bastard theives (Score 1) 89

I don't know if it's intentionally designed into the system, or if it's just a happy accident for them. The pattern seems to be to continue charging people for things like modems and set-top boxes and hope that they don't notice for six months, and then offer to refund three months of charges as a "goodwill gesture" or some other nonsense that makes it sound like they're doing you a favor.

I haven't had this myself, but my brother cancelled his cable TV service and gathered up the equipment and turned it in to the local office. For the first couple of months, they continued to bill him full price, apparently having neglected to actually cancel his account. Unfortunately, he had given them access to his checking account, so they just took the money. When he called to complain, they said they had now cancelled his account and it would take 6-8 weeks to refund him. This happened a few times, and then they finally agreed that his account was cancelled, but then started charging him for not returning the equipment. This went on for another couple of months. In all of this, they managed to overdraft his checking account at least once. It was a mess.

Comment Re:One hour: (Score 1) 142

Fine. But the answer isn't for the legislature to pass a law. It's for teachers to pick up a great program that works some programming skills into their normal lessons. Get a little bit of coding into a few lessons that actually mean something to the kids, rather than having a special hour where you baffle them with programming bullshit. And in that scenario, all we need to do is spend a little money developing classroom curricula for teachers who can use them to teach a lesson+programming.

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