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Submission + - OSX Recovery feature exploit ideas? 2

oldunixgeek writes: I was aghast to discover recently while trying to buy a used Macbook Pro
that there is no easy way to wipe the system clean to the metal and reinstall
it from original media.

Apparently, the only supported way to reinstall the OS on a Mac since
Mountain Lion is through the recovery partition which can be accessed
by pressing command-r while booting. Once booted to the recovery utility,
one can restore from a backup or reinstall the OS over the internet.

How on earth could this be secure? If it is not, I'd like to hear people's ideas
on the easiest way to accomplish the following:

Sell someone a used Mac. They reinstall the OS using command-r after
they've bought it. Software installed by the previous owner on
the recovery partition reinstalls OS-X but also installs trojans, keyloggers, what
have you.

Despite the buyer's best efforts to get a clean install, they start day one with a
compromised machine.

Not that I want to do this myself, I just think it should be brought to the attention
of Apple and any IT departments considering allowing their employees to use
Macs in their work.

Comment Re:Luddite High. (Score 1) 333

Their computer science curriculum starts in high school and they do damn well.

I didn't go to a Waldorf school but I never touched a computer until I was 14 and I do just fine thank you (outperforming even in my old age the vast majority of software developers and or systems designers born after computers were available to everyone in the US from birth).

How many surgeons started cutting up animals in 4th grade? Starting earlier is not necessarily helpful for every kind of skill.

People have some very important things to learn prior to HS and moving HS curriculum down into the lower grades displaces some of that important learning.

Comment Re:Can't teach your kids arithmetic? (Score 2) 333

It has been absolutely proven beyond a doubt that people learn faster and more deeply when taking methamphetamine.

I don't see anybody advocating for handing out the meth in schools.

Why not?

Because, along with the enhanced learning rate comes some rather unpleasant side effects.

It's pretty much the same thing with computer use.

The next time you see your older relatives using their iPhones notice how much time they spend ignoring people around them to stare at their phone screen during social functions.


I'm singling out the older folks here because presumably they should know better but still they can't resist......

Comment Re:Not all schools are equal (Score 2) 333

I somehow doubt you have any experimental evidence for this. From what I have seen, computers do a reasonable job of "training" which is not "education". Spending even more time with screens rather than people can only be harmful to the development of critically important social skills. If you just read many of the posts in this thread, I think you may get an idea of just how much our school system has been failing as of late at developing social skills.
Data Storage

Submission + - Kryder's law suspended temporarily?

An anonymous reader writes: I've been shopping for a bunch of drives to expand our RAID and had been awaiting convergence of prices with predictions of
Kryder's law:'s_law#Kryder.27s_Law
that says densities will double every year (and in the past has been accompanied by price per MB being halved).

However, prices seem to be holding pretty steady.
Since the last time I bought 2TB Enterprise Class SATA
drives, about a year ago, the price has gone down less
than 30%. (e.g.: $280 last year to $200 now)

Should I expect rapid price drops in the near future or is
there some good reason why storage prices should be
remaining (relatively) high for a while?

Submission + - Climate Change Driving War? (

Stirling Newberry writes: "You may have heard of The Great Moderation which argues that business cycles are less steep, and the Green Revolution. These, it has been argued have lead to "winning the war on war". But not so fast says a study in Science, it may well be that the periods of war, past and present, can be linked to climate change:

As the Thirty Years' War between Europe's ruling dynasties dragged on during the 17th century, soldiers suffered through the coldest few decades Europe had experienced for some time. Far to the east, armies from Manchuria (present day northern China) swept down from the snowy north and breeched the Great Wall of China. Not long after, a plague swept Europe. Why so much tumult? A controversial new study suggests that most of humankind's maladies—from wars to epidemics to economic downturns—can be traced to climate fluctuations.



Submission + - Supreme Court: Text Messages CAN Be Searched (

SonicSpike writes: "The Supreme Court let stand a ruling that the police can search text messages from an arrested criminal suspect's cell phone without obtaining a warrant.

The justices refused to review the California Supreme Court ruling that upheld the search on the grounds that defendants lose their privacy rights for any items they are carrying when taken into custody.

The Supreme Court rejected without comment an appeal by Gregory Diaz, who was convicted on drug charges. His attorneys said Supreme Court intervention was needed to resolve differing lower court rulings on how to apply precedent to warrantless searches of cell phone data."

Submission + - SAIC has data theft effecting 4.9 Million people (

An anonymous reader writes: Government contractor SAIC just can't seem to get a break. Still fresh off of the Citytime scandal ( they have now had a data breech where backup tapes of 4.9 Million personnel health records were stolen out of an employees car overnight. To add insult to injury, evidently the tapes were not encrypted either: "Tricare did not indicate whether SAIC encrypted the information on the stolen tapes, but Raley said, "It's very hard to encrypt a backup tape.""

Submission + - NY Senators Want To Make Free Speech A Privilege N ( 1

An anonymous reader writes: A group of four NY state senators have written a paper suggesting that free speech should be looked upon as a government granted privilege rather than a right. They're specifically concerned about cyberstalking and cyberbullying, and are introducing legislation to make both of those against the law. Among other troubling concepts, they argue that merely "excluding" someone from a group is a form of cyberbullying.

Submission + - Geeks' brains are hardwired for innovation (

Esther Schindler writes: "Entrepreneurship is declining, which sucks not only for the country but for the novelty-seeking basal ganglia of the technologist’s neural structure.

Besides having basal ganglia that crave stimulation at a higher rate than others, creative people such as technologists also have higher short-term memory buffers, Hanson says. The brain of a stimulation-seeking, innovation-craving technologist is literally like a RAM drive with a larger buffer than most. The novelty-shy portion of the population gets easily flooded by incoming data. They need to slow down the incoming stream so as to process new information before moving it into the brain’s long-term storage, whereas the brain of an innovation-prone technologist handles data streams with greater speed and greater ease.

That doesn’t mean you’re smarter, but it does mean you’re prone to be innovative—innovation being equated with the stimulation brought by new things....

Lisa Vaas doesn't just make this a science experiment. She shares how to gauge a company’s innovation climate before swearing employee allegiance, with some insights into re-sanguination for anemic corporate climates. It involves a little knowledge of brain chemistry, and your readiness to ask five specific questions during a job interview."


Submission + - Oracle Joins the NoSQL Club (

aabelro writes: Oracle has announced the Big Data Appliance running with Oracle NoSQL Database, a new key-value store based on Oracle Berkeley DB Java Edition. Some of features include: billions of rows of storage capacity in records and terabytes in B-tree, ACID transactions, CRUD, sharding, no single point of failure, disaster recovery via datacenter replication.

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