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Comment But then who audits the auditors? (Score 1) 165

The solution is pretty simple, but often skipped:
1) The reason for every search should be required and logged by the searcher. ...
2) The logs be randomly spot-checked by an auditor(s) who verifies the reasons given by interviewing the person(s) who searched.

But to check it the auditors need detailed access to the records. So who audits THEM?

This kind of question has been asked repeatedly since at least the Roman Empire.

(The U.S. answer to "Who guards the guardians?" , at least for direct abuse of person under color of law, is the Fourth and Fifth amendments and the "fruit of the poisoned tree" doctrine: Fail to follow the law and you don't get a conviction, because misbehaving police are FAR more of a problem for the population than even a lot of violent private-enterprise crooks going back to work. But while it does reduce the incentive, it doesn't block the behavior.)

Comment The invisible hand strikes. (Score 3, Interesting) 114

Not one organization I have ever worked for has seriously cared about IT security.

When it comes to rolling out new products, ignoring security is the norm.

This is because the "window of opportunity" is only "open" for a short time - until the first, second, and maybe third movers go through it and grab most of the potential customers. Companies that spent the time to get the security right arrive at the window after it closes.

This happens anywhere the customers don't test for and reject non-secure versions of the "new shiny" - which means enterprises sometimes hold suppliers' feet to the fire (if the new thing doesn't give them an advantage commensurate with, or perceived as outweighing, the risk) but consumer stuff goes out wide open.

Then, if you're lucky and the supplier is clueful, they retrofit SOME security before the bad guys exploit enough holes to kill them.

I expect this will continue until several big-name tech companies get an effective corporate death penalty in response to the damages their customer base took from their security failings. Then the financial types will start including having a good, and improving with time, security story (no doubt called "best practices") among their check boxes for funding.

Comment Re:Why not coax? (Score 1) 151

And the reason you cannot do this with radio is that the noise from the transmitter is greater than the received signal.

Actually you CAN manage it with radio - very difficultly, with very careful antenna design.

But the combined antenna has to be far from anything that reflects, absorbs, or just phase-shifts any substantial amount of the transmitted signal energy. If not, the discontinuity destroys the careful balance that nulls out the transmitted signal at the receiver. That gets you back to the "transmitter shouts in the receiver's ear much louder than the distant communications partner" case. So it's not very practical in the real world.

Comment Re:Why not coax? (Score 1) 151

Coax is half-duplex too

No, it's not.

With proper impedance matching networks and reasonable termination at the ends of a run you can send separate signals at the same frequency/band of frequencies down a cable in each direction. (Impedance discontinuities DO reflect some of the signal going one way back the other way, causing some interference. But even that can be "tuned out" by suitable corrections if it's too severe to just ignore.)

You can do it on a balanced pair, too. Telephones have done this with audio for more than a century, and I recall encountering a simple hack to do it all the way down to DC back in the days of discrete-transistor logic. (And it has nothing to do with two wires being involved, either. With N (= any power of 2) conductors and "phantoming" you can have up to N-1 balanced and one unbalanced two-way transmission lines on N wires.

Time Domain Reflectometry does this to FIND and MEASURE discontinuities in a cable, essentially firing a pulse down the cable and listening to the reflections, radar-style.

Comment Re:Star of David used by Neo Nazis... (Score 1) 362

My position is that anyone can have any opinion they want, and that the significance of that opinion to others depends on whatever level of trust the claimer can command. This puts some people in a de facto privileged position. This can be rational (e.g. privileging an oncologist's opinions on cancer over a layman's) and in other cases not (privileging a fellow mom's opinions about vaccines over an immunologist or toxicologist).

So my point is that you CAN make any of the claims you suggested, but your authority won't carry much weight because you're just a random bloke on the Internet. You would have to make a convincing argument. However even then there are lots of very credible-sounding arguments out there that don't sound credible to someone who has actual knowledge.

The bottom line is knowing the truth of any claim is quite difficult, particularly when it involves jargon. In general the judgment of someone who has spent some time studying an issue is more be trusted than what "stands to reason" in your own judgment. Even so, an expert should still be able to give a coherent defense of his positions.

So in the case of this frog meme, I have no particular reason to doubt ADL; however if it were important to me I would look at the evidence ADL puts forward in justification of their position. I do not necessarily agree with ADL on everything (e.g. on Muslims displaying tokens bearing the Shahada), but they have more than any other group tracked violent extremist groups and their affiliates and therefore are in at least a position to compare and contrast the symbols used. If, however, it were an organization like Kahane Chai, I would feel no particular reason to look into their reasoning because they're a racist group. Life is simply to short to treat a source that is consistently nonsense as if it might be credible.

Comment Re:Star of David used by Neo Nazis... (Score 1) 362

Well, actually technically speaking you're the one begging the question: you haven't established that either you or I enjoy some kind of privileged position in which we get to condemn other people for condemning language they don't like.

So by all means condemn them for calling things "hate speech", it's your right; but it's also their right.

Comment Re:Something deeper.. (Score 0) 454

> Companies should have the right to pick whoever they want whatever method they please.

I bet you think you sound intelligent when you say that, keepin' it real, being objective, and everything. "Life should be a meritocracy!" screams person who is too unfamiliar with history to notice how humans have never achieved a meritocracy in societies with zero laws barring discrimination throughout history. But if you spend two seconds thinking about it, what you're saying is fucking dumb. Companies can pick whoever they want so long as they obey the law, one of which is not discriminating against gender, race, and other factors, because to let them pick whoever they want would be stupid enough to think that a "leave the companies alone" market discourages or prevents discrimination. Never has, never will.

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