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Comment OMFG, I hate this so much. (Score 1) 290

My kids' school does this. Instead of sending me an email, they send these $DIETY-awful voice mails that drone on, mostly about things that don't affect me at all, for 3 minutes. At least that's what they were a couple years ago. I couldn't tell you what's in one now since they're all deleted unheard.

Even worse, they've started sending emails, too. That'd be great if the emails actually included the text, but no, they're the stupidest of all possible alternatives. They just include a link to the audio.


Comment Re:Making recordings (Score 1) 98

Surveillance cameras active in an area need to be disclosed

Not true. Some places will call them out because they want to deter criminal activity ("Smile! You're on camera..."), but generally, you don't need consent to take someone's picture (including video). Places where privacy would normally be expected, like bathrooms, changing rooms, etc, are an exception.

Take a stroll through a department store and look up. Those small black domes are cameras that no one tells you are there.

Comment Re:Are CEOs idiots? (Score 1) 138

1.5 million downloads at a suggested donation of $2-10, meaning it's darned certain they didn't get more than $3 million.

Nintendo's choice is to "cut a deal" for a fraction of less than $3 million (probably a lot less), thereby encouraging other people to illegally rip off their IP, or spend a couple hundred bucks having a lawyer tell them to knock it off.

Personally, I wouldn't want to signal to the marketplace that if you rip off my brand, I might pay you for it.

Comment Re:Yes and no... (Score 1) 75

Why should it be illegal if they are law enforcement?

There's no exemption in the law that allows agents of other governments to compromise .us systems.

We don't go after the thousands of hacks that occur on a daily basis yet you want to single out police by doing it for a good cause?

You know, that's a fair point. My intention wasn't to say that I think they should be singled out, but rather that what they did should be considered a criminal act, and that their being Australian LEO is completely irrelevant to whether or not charges are brought. I don't think we should encourage or tolerate some wild west mentality where if you have a badge in country A, it's OK to ignore the laws of every other country on the planet. You're right, though, that there are a lot of crimes that occur on a daily basis that we don't prosecute because they're not the biggest fish to fry.

Just to reiterate, though, I don't think giving someone a hyperlink that doesn't do anything other than display the content they asked for constitutes hacking anyway.

Comment Yes and no... (Score 1) 75

Anyone in Australia hacking anything in the US should result in criminal charges (not that it'd ever go to trial unless the perpetrator actually found his or her way to US soil). Period. It doesn't matter if the person doing the hacking is a private citizen or the prime minister.

That said, the "hacking" they're talking about seems to have been giving the guy a link a hyperlink. Calling giving someone a hyperlink and them clicking it a "hack" is a stretch, imo, if that hyperlink doesn't do anything other than connect to a web site. If it downloaded malware or something similar, then ok, but it doesn't sound like that's what happened.

Comment Re:Roaming charges is a racket of tolls and taxes (Score 1) 113

They don't even need severe regulation, just a little common sense. If you get a credit card, you get a credit limit. There's a fixed maximum you can actually spend. Why is that not the case on cell phones? Why can't I call up my cell carrier and tell them "Hey guys, ya know what? If I ever rack up charges exceeding, say, 2x my normal bill in one month, I want you to cut me off immediately." Or, put another way, "I do NOT authorize charges over $x/month."

Comment Re:Special character requirement (Score 1) 211

My favorite special character story comes from a friend who works in a call center. She had to help someone not computer literate at all set up an account on something and that service required a special character. She asked the caller what special character they wanted to use. Their response? "Minnie Mouse!"

Comment Re:Legal requirements for businesses (Score 1) 211

Some of these questionable policies are driven by business regulations and auditors.

This is absolutely true, but these business regulations should be driven by competent security. That's why things like this are good. Security is still an industry in its diaper-wetting infancy. Somebody took a practice most of us have accepted as good and actually subjected it to scrutiny, actually tested it, and found it to be wrong.

in my experience they can't defend their requirements and simply say things like it's "best practice".

There's no quicker way for someone to convince me they don't know what they're talking about than to resort to the "it's a best practice" argument.

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