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Comment Re:Fire them. (Score 5, Interesting) 252

It would be no great surprise if voting on this bill went along the same lines as the congressional vote on reining in "the NSA’s phone-spying dragnet. It turns out that those 217 'no' voters received twice as much campaign financing from the defense and intelligence industry as the 205 'yes' voters."

In particular,

Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), the chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, is married to Richard C. Blum, who was substantially invested in URS Corp, which owns EG&G, a leading government technical provider that has been awarded hundreds of millions of dollars in security-related contracts. Feinstein never abstained from voting when it affected her husband’s wallet and Blum made $100 million when he sold his shares, as investigative reporter Peter Byrne exposed in his 2007 series the “Feinstein Files.”

( http://www.indypendent.org/2013/07/16/nsa-follows-you-we-follow-money )

See also:

Good luck firing them, though.

Submission + - More classified database revelations: PROTON, CRISSCROSS and CLEARWATER (cryptome.org)

An anonymous reader writes: Cryptome's John Young posted an anonymous communication detailing the existence of classified databases used for network analysis.

In the context of the recent DEA/NSA scandal: "When I read the description of Drug Enforcement Administrations (DEA) DEA Internet Connectivity Environment (DICE) system: the billions of records, partnership with CIA, NSA and DOD, the need to cover sources at the expense of a fair trail [sic]--- it struck me that what was described sounded more like PROTON and/or CLEARWATER."

"DICE is being used to cover PROTON and/or CLEARWATER."

These are massive databases. "...PROTON presently receives SCS collection amounting to about 1 one terabyte monthly, and that's just selectors, not content. PROTON also receives data from Computer Network Exploitation (CNE), by the now famous Tailored Access Office (TAO). Included as well is an enormous repository of Title III data from CALEA enabled domestic collection, FISA and an enormous amount of purchased data from various communications providers like Intellius."

The source continues: "I know for certain PROTON contains communications selectors on American Citizens (AMCITS) since I ran a query on a number using only a Maryland area code and a partial prefix."

Why spill the beans? "I'm providing information on both since the government is no longer under constitutional restraint and is illegitimate. Parallel Construction. You fuckers. A cornerstone of American law and western culture sacrificed for the security of the Elites."

A SIGINT Analyst job description is included which mentions experience with the databases as "Preferred" experience.

Comment Re: simple (Score 1) 381

I appreciate you're taking the view that it's a purely technical question, but moral questions are rarely far away from security concerns (why do you need the security?) and TFA acknowledges this by raising the moral issue directly:

Sometimes, the malicious insider isn’t so malicious. This is the argument many are making in Snowden’s situation these days

TFA doesn't resolve it directly, though. It goes on to liken Snowden to Terry Childs and then Childs to Jason Cornish.

This comes off as a weak attempt to tar Snowden with the moral dubiety surrounding Cornish's spiteful data deletion spree. (More charitably, perhaps it's just a clumsy effort to indicate a subjective factor in such moral arguments, or perhaps the author is just rambling.)

At any rate, having mentioned the argument it doesn't answer it, apart from to say this point of view (the view that there are cases where people have pretty good moral reasons for breaching security) "isn't new."

The Slashdot story itself can be read as to imputing malice to Snowden (right at the end: "malicious insider") and indicating that the consequences of his leaks are "catastrophic" for the NSA. "Massively disruptive" would be a value-neutral way of putting it; whether or not it's catastrophic is going to depend on what views you have about the activities and goals of the NSA.

The technical question is an interesting one, sure, but don't expect people to ignore the moral dimension, especially when it's presented in such sloppy fashion.

Comment Project management includes handling QA. (Score 2) 524

"with the specifications I write there is no excuse for not testing their code" - so why don't you test their code, then? (If you can't do this yourself, hire QA.) Regard the contract as complete when all your tests pass (note: *your* tests!).

If bugs are found after the project is complete, it is because the test coverage was incomplete, or QA failed, and you should be happy to take responsibility for having them resolved (including payment if necessary.)

Submission + - Today is International Day Against DRM (defectivebydesign.org)

jrepin writes: Digital restrictions management (DRM) creates damaged goods that users cannot control or use freely. It requires users to give-up control of their computers and restricts access to digital data and media. Device manufacturers and corporate copyrights holders have already been massively infecting their products with user-hostile DRM. Tablets, mobile phones and other minicomputers are sold with numerous restrictions embedded that cripple users freedom. The proposal at table in W3C to put DRM into HTML goes even further. Fight it: use today's international Day against DRM to spread the word and make yourself heard!.

Nokia Releases Qt SDK For Mobile Development 76

An anonymous reader writes "Nokia has released its unified Qt-based SDK for cross-platform development for Symbian and MeeGo (plus Maemo) devices. The blurb reads: 'Today sees the release of the Nokia Qt SDK, a single easy-to-use software development kit (SDK) for Symbian and Meego application development. Developers can now develop, test, and deploy native applications for Nokia smartphones and mobile computers. The beta version of the SDK is available for download from today, ready for developers to kick off development for new devices, including the just-announced Nokia N8.'"

Submission + - SPAM: Particle swarm optimization for pictures

Roland Piquepaille writes: "Particle swarm optimization (PSO) is a computer algorithm based on a mathematical model of the social interactions of swarms which was first described in 1995. Now, researchers in the UK and Jordan have carried this swarm approach to photography to 'intelligently boost contrast and detail in an image without distorting the underlying features.' This looks like a clever concept even if I haven't seen any results. The researchers have developed an iterative process where a swarm of images is created by a computer. These images are 'graded relative to each other, the fittest end up at the front of the swarm until a single individual that is the most effectively enhanced.' But read more for additional details."
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Unique insight into art of video game animation (osliving.com)

callingamerica writes: This Open Source forum thread began as a brief introduction to 'Apricot' — a new Open Source game by the Blender Team — but with the input of an experienced animator and ripostes by the Apricot team leader, the thread has developed into a fascinating look at the inside issues in game animation. The main argument of the thread is that while the Apricot game has a team of 6 skilled artists, integrators and developers, it does not have a trained animator and is therefore shooting itself in the foot as one forum member vehemently describes: "Artists are not animators. Most people would not ask their GP to practice plastic surgery on them, that requires a specialist who has much more training. Animators do go though a lot more training, in many fields of expertise." Read the thread to find out more.

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