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Comment Re:They get you off your ass (Score 1) 17

isn't that likely to be a net health positive?

Answering questions like that is why we need scientific study. The answer could quite well vary greatly depending on the individual.

Also answering whether having an app tell you to get off your ass actually does get you off your ass will vary greatly. Personally I'm so contrarian I go out for a cigarette every time I see an anti-smoking TV ads. Except for the tiny guy in the wife-beater. That one's actually funny and somewhat true.

Comment Re:Leave it to the scientists.... (Score 1) 17

No app is going to force me to do something I'm not capable of just because it says on the screen that I should.

If your liver is not working right, and an app advises you to eat certain amounts of certain foods, you won't know you were not capable of eating those foods until your doctor is telling you you have only 4 days to live unless you luck into a liver transplant.

You're right though, the claim "I'm sure they are doing harm" would require some evidence.

Comment Tech too often a veneer for Snake Oil (Score 2) 17

Of course there's no science behind 95% (guess) of apps that really need science behind them. Science does not fit well into a devops release schedule.

I don't know whether to view this as the inevitable creep of snake oil into every market orifice, or tech giving snake oil a shot in the arm by virtue of people thinking "well, it took smart tech people to make this sniny modern 'app' so it must have the blessing of smart people."

Comment Re:Conflict between up to date and not rooted (Score 1) 31

I couldn't find a public "check my phone" link, or I'd've tried it.

I believe that would be because your phone is not enrolled in an MDM manager.

From the article: "Stethoscope is a web application that collects information for a given user's devices"

This implies it is a web app that, by itself, checks your device and maybe even enumerates/discovers
your devices. That would make it a scary security hole rather than a security tool since web apps really
should not be able to access any state of health information on a device (though some is quite leakable these days.)

Fortunately it appears not to be. It seems to be just a way to put a pretty front-end on devices that are using other
installable agents to assess their security. It goes to the backend databases of those agents, assuming you have an
account on them which is available through an SSO system or other authenticator, and pulls information
they have previously collected. Unless you have those backend egents installed and a database set up
for them to report to, this tool isn't for you. Basically it's for the enterprise.

Kudos to them for releasing their internal tools to github, though, I'm sure they will get some valuable
additions from the community.

Comment Re:Great. (Score 2) 219

At some point the technical battle against meta-surveillance must simply be declared lost unless you want to go full Tor, dress up in an airtight jumpsuit, and learn how to navigate the sewer systems.

It can only be fought on a legal and economic front... also it's really the integrity, ethics, motivations, and cultural longevity of the institutions doing it that matter more than the act itself. On the bright side, maybe once the consequences of individualized attention by self-interested corporations and governments both foreign and domestic starts to sting the general public a bit more, that will increase the market/political value of integrity and ethics, above what seems to right now be pretty much nil.

Comment Re:Surprising (Score 1) 240

I was very shocked a couple weeks ago. I went to visit an old friend who now lives in a tiny Iowa town called Dayton. While I had zero signal on my AT&T phone there, he had gig fiber to his house. A total WTF moment. I live in the downtown area of a mid-large city and cannot get fiber to my house.

Comment Re:IT needs to get tough (Score 1) 118

The answer to TFAs dilemna is "neither is responsible." Security is the responsibility of your designated cybersecurity officer. If you don't have one, you are doing it wrong. You need someone who can focus solely on security tech and policies. IT should be security-tech-aware as far as they can without losing focus on actual IT equipment, and C-suite should be security-policy-aware without micromanaging security (and a bit of big picture over both of those sides doesn't hurt.)
You don't want IT guys spending their time learning to chase geese in the firewall logs when they have other tech topics that need their brainshare, and you don't want PHB spending all his time in meetings about properly running an in-house CA when they should be tending to whatever it is PHBs do these days.

Heck my IT operation is tiny and the first actual tech we hired when we got the rare opportunity to hire a tech was a security officer.

Comment Re:Makes sense (Score 2) 144

Clearly it isn't sufficient to just defend yourself if you want peace.

In a multi-lateral situation you need to form a community that represents a plurality if not a majority of military power system-wide that agrees to act responsibly and be open enough that other nations can be pretty sure they aren't just appearing to act responsibly.

Once you have that you shun the worst offenders among those not in the community to deprive but not destroy them, offering them paths back into favor if they start behaving like adults. Some (like North Korea) will take a while to get over their tantrum and realize sitting at the kids table isn't as much fun as it used to be, others will start reforming themselves earlier.

Then once this all appears to be more or less working or at least maybe possible to get working, you get people angry that they don't have an in-ground pool and that they get called assholes for refusing to frost wedding cakes for gay people to elect an erratic know-nothing to direct one of the leading voices in the community to ignore the fact that one of the kids just wiped snot on the silverware. Wait no, skip that step, it must be a typo, nobody would want that.

Anyway, as much as I detest the business culture MS stands for, I think they are right... responsible nations need to establish what acceptable behavior is, and then start to apply some peer pressure.

Comment Re:Big battery will put a stop to this (Score 1) 217

We're lucky to get 5 years out of a Pb battery pack in our network rack UPSs. Given how they are situated, it'd save us a good deal of labor to have a longer operating lifetime... and these batteries are only deep cycled a few times a year during power outages. That major UPS vendors haven't floated models with longer time between maintenance, regardless of the chemistry used, makes me reach for my tinfoil hat.

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