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Comment Re:The free market (Score 2) 203

My father was a sheriff and handled the prisons for our county. (Ironically, my grandfather was a felon for robbing a bank) Here's my 2.5 cents. We don't have more criminals than other nations, actually we're quite low in the number of offenses. But we do have mandatory sentencing and very long prison terms, so we have more criminals in the system. Every holiday, Thanksgiving for example, there would be 2 or 3 convicts invited to our house to have a good meal and a chance for a break from the prison grind. Usually the guys committed property or other non violent crime, but sometimes assault and battery. While in most other nations these criminals would server sentences ranging from 6-20 months, and was the case in the US decades ago, in our system today they now serve 3-5 years.

So you've got some dude that, for whatever reason, decided to rob a house or steal from a liquor store. He gets caught, you always do eventually, and end up in jail. He probably feels bad and remorseful, even if only because he got caught. Either way, you'll end up spending a decent chunk of time in the slammer that usually costs you your job and maybe even your family. Hence why my old man liked to bring these guys around. It wasn't charity. He'd invite them, they could turn him down or not. Nor were they expected to 'work it off' as so many people seem to think when I tell them this story.

Other things he did before mandatory sentencing became overbearing were;

1) Weekend prison stays for non-violent and first time offenders. There was an honor system involved in this. The idea being if you were truly sorry you'd do the time and be thankful you still had a job on the weekdays.

2) Work release programs where local businesses would hire prisoners for odds and ends. They got paid immediately, perhaps it was low I do not know, but it was real money that lots of guys gave to their families who needed it now that the bread winner was in the slammer.

3) Mock chain gangs. Prisoners who wanted a chance to leave the walls could dress up in the joke outfits and go around place to place singing stupid songs about prison life. Shools, malls, places like that.

4) A slew of other options for men to do their time with dignity. Decades ago, it was thought that surrounding normally decent people with true thugs was not such a good idea.

What happened in the last couple of decades was the use of metrics and statistics. Politicians could go out and say things like, "vote for me and I'll keep the prisoners in jail longer. Look at what [insert State here] did! They upped minimum sentences and now property theft is down 20%". Sounds good to a voter I suppose, however it's really kind of useless since it discounts better law enforcement and education in the first place, not to mention the dramatic increase in repeat offenses. The solution... "Longer prison terms for repeat offenders!" Now you rob a store that is occupied and it's jail for 15 years. You get caught with drugs 'next' (within 3 miles) of a school and you get tossed in the big house for 6 years. Good luck trying to not live withing 6 miles of a school, or robbing a store with people in it. I'm not trying to put on a liberal sob story, but from my very conservative point of view and upbringing things have dramatically changed. It's almost as if you've got nothing to lose, I mean hell, if you get caught you know you're done for the rest of your life so 'just go for it.' There are very few second chances, and almost no third chances. So in my opinions, prisons haven't become a place to punish criminals, they've become a place to get rid of them forever.

Keep in mind, the prisons I'm talking about are the majority of minimum or medium security facilities managed by counties. I'm not talking about the super-max industrial complexes. That's a whole different ball-o-wax, yet it does seem that they are growing while the others are shrinking due to the reasons cited above.

2.5 cents. Caveat emptor.

Comment Re:But don't worry (Score 4, Insightful) 197

The race is over. We won!

When I was a teenager, after the wall fell down, a Russian scientist looking to hawk his invention moved in with my family. He was great, and taught me a lot, especially how to drink vodka. But one thing he said will always stick with me - "America and Russia always competed to see who was first. America built first nuclear submarine. Russia build first space rocket. America built first moon rocket. Eventually we had nothing to compete for, so we raced to see who spend money fastest. Russia won!"

Comment Re:bring on the trolls (Score 1) 542

It's probably something in the water making them crazy.

We must protect our precious bodily fluids from water fluoridation of our public water supply by communist spies. So I demand that the President launches a full scale preemptive attack against The former USSR, China, Berkley, and Harvard.

Comment Re:So I can buy my way out of airport security? (Score 3, Funny) 388

More than that. I've never been body scanned or pat downed the 2-dozen or so flights since the start of the program a year and a half ago??? I'm kind of sad that I'll have to share my good fortune with the plebs in my special line for people who shower and shave before boarding an airplane. What's the point of American Express upgrades anymore?

If you can't detect my sarcasm, let's add a little more.

If I were in charge for the pilot program, I'd have a simple question. "Do you want to overthrow the Federal Government" Anything from "Hell yes!" to "Not really, but I wouldn't be sad to see it happen" will guarantee you're harmless and ready for accelerated screening techniques. Shifty eyes and an "Absolutely not. God bless America, and No One Else!" answer will guarantee you're a lying tarwowist. I think we can all agree on that... and nothing else.

Comment Re:Who do you trust? (Score 1) 194

It's amazing that people don't understand this. I work from home and have a dual-wan, only as a fail-over in case something happens on the ISP end. It doesn't do squat when the sewer company knocks off my 'tubes by 'missing the mark', so to speak.

The point of 'The Cloud' isn't to provide redundant on-demand services to a single location. The point is I can take my laptop to Panera and still have access to my files and e-mail when the power goes out in my home/business. Or even better, I can go buy a laptop when mine is lost/stolen/broken and still have access to my files 1,000 miles away without having to worry about a VPN on some dinky 'business DSL' line, or hope that the office IT guy isn't away on vacation the minute we lose power to a server room and my laptop breaks.

The point of 'The Cloud' is that I can spin up servers anywhere in the world, either internally or via a partner/vendor, and quickly have new or redundant access to external and internal services required to do business. Personal PC backups are nice, but some of us don't have time to wait hours for a new hard drive to be installed and cloned.

So yea, I don't trust Rackspace alone. But having a Rackspace and EC2 account is significantly safer and more reliable, and way cheaper, than having a Technet account, a server cabinent, and an internet connection or two (no matter how fast they may be).

Comment Re:I think you have hit the nail on the head (Score 2) 147

Exactly. The CIA and NSA and other Alphabet Soup Agencies send their boys and gals to military bases for much of their training. Not just technical stuff, but languages, combat training, and intelligence. I'm really tired of this crap. Anti-sec Teenage anst isn't going to get a massive retaliatory strike if you 'server pawn' a military subcontractor. In a shooting war, all bets are off. The job of the officer is not to be the be-all end-all oracle of knowledge. Your C/O might not be the world's greatest super hacker, just as he isn't' the world's greatest marksman or the world's greatest radar operator. The job of the officer is to facilitate the needs of his command.... period! In other words, our officers ARE 'ignorant managers', but they are ignorant managers who have command of a group that can usually wipe the floor with any enemy, and they are good at using them. Last time I checked, Norad isn't dealing with a Suxtnet type worm infecting every system from super computers to auto-flush toilets. Maybe the guys who helped write the book on the Internet actually know how to use it?

Comment Re:Not sure when this is going to end.. (Score 1) 319

Or I could be wrong. the README seems to allude that a public facing server had SSH/remote deskop enabled and accepted clear text passwords without any kind of certificate verification, and did not use a 'Fail2Ban' like application. Doesn't say if it was Windows or Linux or OS/2, but it appears that whatever it was it was installed and left to sit as is. How long would a bot be able to brute force a computer accepting remote logins? I don't know, but I'd bet a couple of weeks at most.

This is line 2 on securing your Database servers. It really is getting ridiculous. It's like a flood of teenage angst running around a neighborhood pissing on the carpets of unlocked houses, and nobody has figured out that it's because their doors are unlocked. Really, what's the point of pretending half the 'experts' know what the hell they are doing?

I wish iwe didn't have to worry about security. But we do. Not just because of a bunch of people mad at the world want to piss on your carpet, but because of a bunch of people mad at the world who want to shoot you in the head. A pox on all their houses.

Comment Re:Not sure when this is going to end.. (Score 1) 319

I'll bet my bottom dollar this has nothing to do with OS security. It's more likely yet another injection attack that could have been prevented by simply prepending statements and sanitizing user input... like it says on practically every paper ever written about securing your database. At least the passwords were hashed. I wonder if a salt was used? I doubt it.

Comment Re:Ideal IDE (Score 3, Insightful) 255

It's Ok. Next year they'll be teaching Rails.

Q) Can you tell me the difference between FIFO and LIFO?
A) Nope, but I can open a new window on a browser using BOTH client side and server side scripting. That's because I went to Stanford. It's a totally cutting edge difficult school!

Seriously though, I think this has to be a very introductory course for CS students with zero programming experience or a light course for non CS students. By the start of their second year, Stanford CS students will be doing Operating System Designs in C, I checked their curriculum. It's exactly the same as mine 10 years ago. Our intro was parsing text and learning loops in C, and most kids needed a crap load of help to get Borland going on their computer. I can totally understand using a scripting language that just needs a browser. It probably could have been harder for me and these guys, but most of us were/will be struggling enough in chemistry and electronics 101 to give a fart. By year 2 they'll be writing buffer outputs in ASM and building disk caches in C. Should they go on to graduate school, they'll be writing in languages their advisor has developed that many 3 other people on the planet have any familiarity with.

I remember my first job interview. "Give me a book and a couple weeks" was the answer to "We think you'll be a good fit, but what other languages can you program in."

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