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Comment "Second Covers" (Score 2) 54

UFOs are often convenient cover for secret Re:Carl Saganflight tests.

That gives the government an incentive to encourage UFO nuts.

A lot of the cold-war-era "conspiracy theories" sound like "second cover" stories. That's a psychological technique for diverting investigation into some large-enough-to-be-worth-the-effort secret project. Works like this:

Plant TWO cover stories. The first is plausible but misdirection. The second is fruitcake-nuts (but ideally has aspects that look attractively like actual artifacts of the project being hidden). Somebody investigating what is going on first hits the first cover. If he accepts it, fine. If he notices it doesn't quite fit and digs deeper, he finds the obviously screwy second cover. Oops? Now what?

The tendency of the more rational is to reject it - but bounce back to the first cover and give up there. The less well-hinged may report the second cover (much to the glee of the security people). Few are going to keep digging past both to discover some approximation of what's really going on - and if they DO get there and talk about it in public, if they happen to have said anything related to the second cover story (or even if the HAVEN'T), they can be debunked by painting them as having accepted the self-evidently tinfoil-hat-grade second cover story and propagating a variant of it.

The "conspiracy theories are always wrong and insane" meme is very convenient for this as well (as it is for any actual conspirators B-) )

Comment Re:Carl SaganUFOs are often convenient cover for s (Score 1) 54

UFOs are often convenient cover for secret flight tests.

Wasn't there a not too long ago release of government info-or-whatever about the Roswell incident?

Story was that one of the things they were testing there was the reentry mechanism for the upcoming (and still very cold-war-secret-military-tech) mercury launches, by lifting various model reentry vehicles to the edge of the atmosphere using weather balloons and dropping them . Not all that good a model of the heating, but a great way to check whether it would end up flying heat-shield-first until it was at low-atmosphere terminal velocity and time for the 'chutes.

Video showed a mercury capsule heat-shield, with retro-pack still attached, upside-down on sawhorses-or-the-like in a hanger. Looked very much like the canonical flying-saucer artwork of the era, and the picture was given as an explanation for the story of a passerby seeing what looked like a flying saucer in a hanger.

Comment Re:How can they stop this (Score 1) 118

guys thing that supper and a few drinks entitles them to sex

I suspect most guys don't think that at all.

Of course, women that let a man buy them dinner and a few drinks because they wants a free dinner and some drinks and have every intention of telling him to fuck off are nothing to admire either.

Women that refuse to sleep with a man because he invited them to share the costs of dating deserve to die lonely too.

Yeah, I can understand a man expecting women to be a little more honest and sharing. Luckily these days that's more frequently the case.

Comment Re: Not gonna happen (Score 3, Insightful) 325

His point is that there aren't really any oil companies left anymore. Most of the 'big oil' companies are now fairly diversified energy companies. Fusion would be great for them, because it has very large capital costs, but huge return on investment, meaning that only companies with experience in power systems and a lot of spare capital will be in a good place to be first movers. They wouldn't want to kill this, they'd want to own it and be the first to provide electricity in the kinds of quantities promised by fusion.

Comment Re:Reads Like An Ad (Score 5, Insightful) 325

I'm in my 50s, and I've been hearing that practical fusion generators were only 10-15 years off since I was a little nerdling

There was an article a few years back that put these in perspective. They pointed out that N years in the future really means $M dollars more spending in the future and that these predictions have been quite consistent: if we'd kept funding at the anticipated rate in the '60s, we might have working fusion already.

Comment Re:Good (Score 1) 36

Getting rid of Flash as a default, loaded-as-needed plugin is a good thing. I mean, it's one of the biggest sources of malware these days - it really shouldn't be allowed to run by default, especially when alternatives exist.

Yet some stuff on YouTube still doesn't work when I run Chromium (sans PepperFlash).

Google have your people call your people.

Comment Re:Yeah but... (Score 1) 204

Sigh....how to write a Linux virus in 5 easy steps using the same tricks malware uses, BTW wanna guess what kernel hosts the OS that has surpassed Windows in infections and has for over 5 years? That's right sparky LINUX.

So your vaunted "source" means absolutely nothing, its classic security by obscurity. wanna guess how much of your average Linux distro is actually vetted, as reported a couple years back by a scan of github access by a security firm? Less than 2%, that is all, the other 98% hadn't been touched by anybody but the authors who could have put any malware they wanted into it and you wouldn't know anymore than if you were on windows or OSX.

BTW I'll be happy to smack you with some citations if you'd like, from the KDELook bug that was hosted on all the major KDE repos for over a year to the Quake 3 malware that was hosted on all of the major repos for a year and a half, just ask. Thanks to Android we now have undeniable proof that Linux security is nothing but security by obscurity, and that if a malware vendor wants to own Linux? It gets pwned just as hard.

Comment Re:Being pedantic (Score 1) 378

... the felonious taking of the property of another from his or her person or in his or her immediate presence, against his or her will, by violence or intimidation.

What Alphabet did is by definition Robbery.

If they'd given, or promised, a Christmas Bonus, then yes it would be robbery.

If the (or their predecessors) had led the workers to expect bonuses only by voluntarily giving them in the past, but had never written contract terms or otherwise promised the bonuses for this year, then the hypothetical missing bonus was never the property of the workers in the first place.

Comment Re:DHS Weaponized? (Score 1) 135

Georgia isn't really a state that would have much value for them to flip even assuming they could do so.

That said, you have to think there's some kind of political shenanigans going on behind it.

Then again, maybe if this is a thing going forward, we'll end up selecting for fewer luddites and more people interested in proper opsec, rather than compromising it the moment it becomes too inconvenient.

Comment Re:'"We are looking into the matter" (Score 2) 135

Hell they probably would have accepted the offer for a free pen test. Instead many orgs react rather violently if they dont know about it and you did it.

An unexpected, unauthorized, "free pen test" is indistinguishable from a bad-guy cracking attempt, and must be treated as if it's a real threat. This causes ENORMOUS extra costs as the victim has to batten the hatches, examine everything for corruption and/or possible persistent threat instalation, compare working databases to backups and examine the differences vs. update audit trails, and so on.

Not to mention the concern that it might be a real attempt by the DHS, or a rogue group within it, to hack the election.

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