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Government

Washington Post Retracts Story About Russian Hackers Penetrating US Electricity Grid (washingtonpost.com) 574

Those anonymous U.S. officials who reported Russian hacking code had been found "within the system" of a Vermont power utility must've been surprised to learn the code was on a laptop that wasn't actually connected to the grid. The Washington Post has updated their original story, which now reports that "authorities" say there's no indication that Russian hackers have penetrated the U.S. electric grid.

The Post's newly-edited version now appears below (with their original and now-deleted text preseved inside brackets). A code associated with the Russian hacking operation dubbed Grizzly Steppe by the Obama administration has been detected within the system of a Vermont utility, according to U.S. officials. While the Russians did not actively use the code to disrupt operations of the utility, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss a security matter, the discovery underscores the vulnerabilities of the nation's electrical grid... [Was "the penetration of the nation's electrical grid is significant because it represents a potentially serious vulnerability."]

American officials, including one senior administration official, said they are not yet sure what the intentions of the Russians might have been. The incursion [was "penetration"] may have been designed to disrupt the utility's operations or as a test by the Russians to see whether they could penetrate a portion of the grid... According to the report by the FBI and DHS, the hackers involved in the Russian operation used fraudulent emails that tricked their recipients into revealing passwords.

The Vermont utility does report that they'd "detected suspicious Internet traffic" on the laptop, but they believe subsequent news coverage got the story wrong. "It's unfortunate that an official or officials improperly shared inaccurate information with one media outlet, leading to multiple inaccurate reports around the country."

Comment Re:heck of a choice (Score 4, Insightful) 488

I'm always curious about this blame game. The "great recession" was a worldwide phenomenon. Are you suggesting that if Bush hadn't been president of the US (say, Kerry was elected instead), that the entire world would NOT have gone into recession? Or that the world would have, but the US wouldn't have? I'm just curious.

The US is a cog. An oversized and important cog no doubt, but it's just one part of the whole.

Comment Re:Will they remove the mini and mac pro next? (Score 3, Insightful) 164

One has to wonder whether the thinking in Apple corporate hq is something like "Mac Pro and Mac Mini sales are cratering--let's kill the product line to save costs."

Well no crap, you don't update the MacPro for 4 years and your most recent (last?) update for the MacMini was a downgrade when compared to the 2012 model and you wonder why people aren't buying.

I've been an Apple user and occasional booster / apologist for a long time, but this is just ludicrous.

Comment Re:Made up "facts" (Score 2) 299

No it does not [apple.com]. You can use an adapter if you need to but it is not required.

I'm not sure that having to buy a $25 cable to connect a BRAND new iPhone 7 (or 6, 5, 4, etc.) to your laptop is really convincing anyone that Apple's new port decisions isn't pretty darn onerous.

We can all contrive made up situations where having the wrong ports is a theoretical problem. Has this actually happened to you in real life? If not then I'm not sure what you are complaining about.

I frequently go to academic conferences. The kind of places where people hook up laptops and put on powerpoint displays to audiences of academics. It's humorous watch PC users just plug in, while Mac users have to fiddle through a bag of dongles and figure out what one fits (HDMI? DP? MiniDP? now USB-C? etc.). Same issue will now pop up for using thumb drives. FWIW, I've never seen a USB-C device. No doubt it's the future, but ugh.

I say this as someone using a MacPro1,1 now, with an old MacBook Pro (with DVI, ethernet, usb, firewire, mic, infrared, and speaker out, thank you!), iPad, iPhone, etc. I even have an Apple Watch (which I really like). If it weren't for the excellent connectivity between devices, I would switch my desktop in a second. I'm wedded to iMessage and iCloud, unfortunately.

The new Mac desktops and laptops are crap for people who want something other than an expensive toy. Full stop.

Comment Re: Suspicious (Score 1) 280

I grew up in the south (and moved back), but when I was at UChicago for grad school, I definitely went through an adjustment period. I was surprised by just simple things like people not saying thank you, people not replying if I said thank you, people not holding the door for other people, people not standing up on the bus for elderly/preggo/etc. It wasn't by any means that ALL people were like that, but enough that it threw me off.

Most people who move south really do seem to like the general vibe.

(And one branch of my family is austere, traditional Yankees, and they certainly do fit the stereotype!)

When I think of the social niceties, I always think of the Heinlein quote:

Moving parts in rubbing contact require lubrication to avoid excessive wear. Honorifics and formal politeness provide lubrication where people rub together. Often the very young, the untravelled, the naive, the unsophisticated deplore these formalities as "empty," "meaningless," or "dishonest," and scorn to use them. No matter how "pure" their motives, they thereby throw sand into machinery that does not work too well at best.

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