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Comment Yeah! (Score 2) 101

Great idea for the FTC to do this, and very appropriate. The breach business is getting out of hand.

Unfortunately, in a situation like this, it is common, if not habitual, for organizations to be compliant with
the standard, or the government rules, and rest there. Those standards, such as PCI in this case, should be
regarded as the minimum they have to do, not the maximum.

Comment Re:Patent filed and approved worldwide? (Score 4, Informative) 174

Well, it's not *impossible*, but it is pretty unlikely. If you have a patent in the US, it protects only
against infringement in the US. And when you say "approved", that's slightly unusual terminology.
If the patent was granted by the USPTO, then please say that (or alternately, the patent was "issued.")

The original description makes it sound as if the invention isn't really a stand-alone thing, but something
which needs to be "incorporated" into other, existing products. Is that right? Hard to advise you without
knowing a little more. Please post patent (or application) number.

Comment Re:25+ years (Score 1) 620

Actually, that's not true. Prior to 1970, I used at least 3 different pieces of
software which maintained detailed change histories on source files which
were (mostly) assembler source files, but in some cases were a higher level
language like FORTRAN. All 3 systems allowed deleting an update (and
thus restoring the lines which that update had deleted), and at least 2 of the
3 let a mod change multiple source files. It was all batch, but the capabilities
were there. Two were provided by a computer manufacturer (Control Data)
and the third was home-brew.

Comment Why, why, why. (Score 2) 45

What possible reason is there for the passport office to need to expose this information outside the agency?

How can it possibly be worth the risk, even if there is some minor function which they outsourced to the

The gummint ought to be forced to do an analysis of the risk and value before the outsource a function
which provides this kind of access to the data of citizens. Private companies might do well also to do it.

Comment Deja vu... (Score 5, Interesting) 180

This problem is remarkably similar to a problem I encountered in the memory of a 7094 (old
IBM computer) which had a core memory which stored 36-bit words. The memory was supposed
to work by operating on 6 bits at a time at 200 nanosecond intervals. The reason for this was to avoid
creating a magnetic field that was too strong. The problem occurred when the timing was off due
to failure of a component and two of the intervals overlapped. This meant that when one attempted
to store a word with 35 1s, the field created was strong enough to store 36 1s. We wrote a
diagnostic to demo the problem, and with that the engineers were able to isolate and fix the problem
in short order.

Comment Re:Fixing ECPA is not enough.. (Score 1) 29

One other question: Is it clear what "fixing" ECPA means? Do you have a specific proposal? Or is it
just that a warrant is needed to examine "mail", regardless of how long it's been stored, whether it's
in flight or stored.

Everyone talks about "immigration reform" but I think there's a very wide spectrum of what that

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"Probably the best operating system in the world is the [operating system] made for the PDP-11 by Bell Laboratories." - Ted Nelson, October 1977