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Comment IT causes the helpdesk requests for Windows PCs (Score 4, Informative) 524

I am sure the same is true at my company. The IT department locks down and otherwise messes with the Windows PCs ... because they can. This impulse to control leads directly to IT support tickets. They don't lock down the Macs because they are not tied into the domain like the PCs are. Most Windows users in my company have to put in a help desk ticket to get new software, update existing software or even add the new printer that IT just installed down the hallway. This is not true for the Mac users. The difference in the way the IT department treats Macs and PCs is the source of the difference in the number of tickets per device-type not the device-types themselves.

Comment Re:Of course (Score 1) 314

The subsidies are per-customer. There are buildings full of old-fashioned switches that cost far more to operate than the sum of the related subsidies. The phone companies can't decommission these facilities until they drive away or convert the last related customer. The unions "of course" want to keep the facilities running for as long as possible.

Comment Pivot honeypot more likely (Score 1) 133

It would be easier to get the tools off of a honeypot that was set up to entice the use of the tools rather than to get them by hacking the Equation Group. If you want the Equation Group's tools all you have to do is convince them that they have found a chink in the armor of a high value target. Let them own a computer (referred to as the pivot in the hacking world) that seems to have access to further hardened targets. The tools will start appearing. A Potemkin honeypot.

Comment We use small fraction of solar flux (Score 1) 323

The sun shines a continuous 175x10^15 watts on the planet, by this number we are undershooting by a few orders of magnitude. If 7.125x10^9 people each used a continuous 24.5 megawatts we could manage to eventually consume all the earths energy resources for people and nothing but people.

Comment Easy-In Easy-Out (Score 1) 128

The Easy-Out is to go straight to your credit card company and assert that the charge was unauthorized. This puts the vendor using the dark pattern on the defensive. If your bank is a major bank and the vendor has too many unauthorized charge reports they could face loosing charge processing privileges that would impact their bottom line and motivate them to change their ways. Don't fall for the Difficult-Out trap, use the 900 pound gorilla in your corner. My credit card companies have always been very responsive to these complaints and I have always eventually (e.g. 120 days) been notified that my account has been credited with very little effort on my part and the process being driven by the credit card company.

Comment Re:Sign 'I don't agree' on all HR paperwork (Score 1) 223

Yep, HR doesn't tend to have the brightest or hardest working. My prior job required signing a non-compete. I told them I wanted to discuss the wording with my attorney and would get back to them ... which I didn't. They didn't ask about it until they laid me off 13 years later. At which point they asked me to sign a non-compete and again I told them I would get back to them. Once my severance check arrived I didn't worry about it. I called my bank and informed them that they were no longer my employer just to make sure there couldn't be an easy reach back.

Comment Re:In other news the sun is hot. (Score 1) 193

I'm not sure how they accomplish this, but I know there are hackers in Europe who have figured out how to determine CVVs of US credit cards. I suspect some sort of brute force against an improperly configured local cache somewhere in the validation system. The credit card processing systems we have were created before the internet and contain architectural elements and complexity that would be unnecessary if designed from scratch today.

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