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Comment Don’t Keep Your Valuable Data On Your Person (Score 1) 276

As others have said, even when they are legally in the wrong border security agents can still ruin your day or your entire trip—they can easily make you miss your domestic connecting flight. They can also keep your equipment for years—as they are doing in this very case. The simplest strategy is to not have any kind of valuable data on your electronic devices when you cross the border. You can send all of your data via the internet. Don't carry it on your person where you have to suffer harassment to protect it.

Your devices should look completely normal while containing no personal information about you. You should be able to hand them over to a border security agent and give a working password that has no relation to your usual one. When they log in, they should see a device with no personal information of any kind. No photos, no incoming text messages, no emails, no documents, no web browser history, etc.

A few people have suggested a dummy password that logs into a restricted access dummy account. That's risky. If they take your phone or laptop into another room for an hour they may discover that it has inaccessible data on it and the usual harassment will ensue. Setting your phone to wipe itself after three failed password attempts may work, but only if they can log in with the correct password after it’s been wiped and see what looks like a normal, working phone.

You have to do it every time, but wiping and preparing your devices before crossing the border is the most effective solution.

On a side note, my phone is a bit of a problem. So long as the SIM is in it, it will receive any incoming calls or text messages. I can wipe those just before I go through customs, but the agents can read anything that comes in while they have the phone. I could hide the SIM somewhere in my luggage, but then I'd have a suspicious phone and they might find the SIM and get angry. I guess the best strategy is to leave your SIM at home and buy a temporary phone plan and SIM at your destination.

Comment Re:Lots of highly paid folks (Score 1) 124

The University of Waterloo has a Software Engineering program.

I highly doubt all of the people currently holding the job title of Software Engineer here in Canada took an accredited engineering program though. The term Engineer is protected, but I don't know how well.

As for the US, I'm guessing it's not a protected term. They make a complete mockery of it.

Comment Re: Votes mean nothing (Score 1) 121

This is a case of non-democracy - an executive decision by the PM.

In essence, the way you describe it is true, but it's not that simple. This is not something the Prime Minister of Canada has the direct authority to change. He is adding it to the upcoming budget, which is a piece of legislation that must receive a majority vote in parliament to pass. His decision can make this happen because his party currently holds a majority of the seats in parliament and they vote however he orders them to so long it's not something contentious enough to cause a revolt.

Comment Re:Oh come on. (Score 1) 250

That was my guess. As soon as I read the problem I thought of the bug in the patriot missle software that the US ran into during the first Gulf war back in 1991.

In that case it was even worse. From the page I linked:

They told the Army that the Patriots suffered a 20% targeting inaccuracy after continuous operation for 8 hours.

Comment Re:Too little too late (Score 1) 157

More than that, Google is buying Twitch.tv. Adding these new features matches both Twitch.tv's video quality and viewer donation feature. This makes perfect sense if they are planning to buy them and partner more closely.

Hopefully they won't make the same mistake again by trying to link all Twitch.tv users to a Google+ account and generally break things.

Comment Re:Let them drink! (Score 4, Interesting) 532

Here in Canada we have a strategy that works. For tobacco, which is clearly proven to cause a range of costly health problems, we levy a tax that the government uses to cover the extra public healthcare costs that come from smoking. All Canadians get the same public funded healthcare. The ones who are doing something that clearly puts a larger burden on the system pay for it.

Comment Re:Entitled Asshole Mentality (Score 1) 199

It would be nice if the existing big studios were intelligent and competitive enough to eventually catch up with technology, but if even the piracy they rave and lobby the government over won't push them forward, they may never join the rest of us.

The future lies in content producers who already sell their work mainly online. It woudn't surprise me to see vhfx.tv releasing an app like Netflix, or adding their library to any number of other convenient online media stores. They get it. Digital distribution is better for them and their customers.

The existing large media companies will only follow suit long after we have all abandoned them for the ones who do things sensibly. However, that will never happen unless we stop giving them our money and start giving it to people who use services like vhfx.tv

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Can some of us get together and rebuild this community? 21

wbr1 writes: It seems abundantly clear now that Dice and the SlashBeta designers do not care one whit about the community here. They do not care about rolling in crapware into sourceforge installers. In short, the only thing that talks to them is money and stupid ideas.

Granted, it takes cash to run sites like these, but they were fine before. The question is, do some of you here want to band together, get whatever is available of slashcode and rebuild this community somewhere else? We can try to make it as it once was, a haven of geeky knowledge and frosty piss, delivered free of charge in a clean community moderated format.

Submission + - Slashdot BETA Discussion (slashdot.org) 60

mugnyte writes: With Slashdot's recent restyled "BETA" slowly rolled to most users, there's been a lot of griping about the changes. This is nothing new, as past style changes have had similar effects. However, this pass there are significant usability changes: A narrower read pane, limited moderation filtering, and several color/size/font adjustments. BETA implies not yet complete, so taking that cue — please list your specific, detailed opinoins, one per comment, and let's use the best part of slashdot (the moderation system) to raise the attention to these. Change can be jarring, but let's focus on the true usability differences with the new style.

Comment A New Era Begins (Score 1) 198

Domain Squatters, start your engines.

Many organizations will be caught off guard by this and have their names grabbed under the new TLDs. On the bright side, this will temporarily give us a chance to grab decent names instead of paying a squatter. It also drops the value of their holdings.

Aside from that, looking at the list, I think some of these should have also had abbreviations. .software, .engineer and .attorney look nice, but I would immediately want a shortened version as well.

Comment Re:why do we need generic top level domains anyway (Score 3, Informative) 198

According to Wikipedia, Tim Berners Lee mostly agrees with you on the URL format. From the Wikipedia page:

Berners-Lee later regretted the use of dots to separate the parts of the domain name within URIs, wishing he had used slashes throughout. For example, http://www.example.com/path/to/name would have been written http:com/example/www/path/to/name. Berners-Lee has also said that, given the colon following the URI scheme, the two slashes before the domain name were also unnecessary.

Comment Re:I don't use providers HQ in the USA (Score 1) 178

“retard” is a good word for this. For a server hosted inside the US, it makes things much more expensive (but not nearly impossible) for the NSA.

From the article you linked:

...there are other actions powerful adversaries could take. For example, they could convince the server operator to simply record all session keys.

So, the NSA cannot quickly pick out your server's traffic at their traffic hub monitors and decrypt it with the root SSL certificates they coerced vendors to give them.

What they can still do, if your server is in the US, is coerce the server operator to record all session keys so they can decrypt all traffic from that point onwards. This is much more expensive though.

The nice part about this is that a server hosted outside the US would only have to worry about less-powerful, less-funded government spies going through all of this. In Japan, the government may not do it at all unless your server's activity warrants a criminal investigation.

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