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Comment Re:Maybe this will be modded 'troll' but... (Score 2) 342

We allow self driving cars on the road that may kill people and look the other way every time there is an accident, yet nail Microsoft to the wall for making a bad software design choice.

People aren't being forced to immediately forego their use of a more traditional motor vehicle in favour of an under-tested self-driving alternative.

Comment Symbolism (Score 1) 7

I reside in the city that started Earth Hour - Sydney.

Having said that, there are years that I have embraced it and years that I have supported "Human Achievement Hour" (which occur simultaneously).

I have recently come to the realisation that while Earth Hour itself has little benefit for the planet, the symbolism itself is a marker for the brain. It brings to consciousness, the affect humans have on the planet. This could (but probably won't) change behaviours.

The original focus of Earth Hour was to have offices turn off their lights to demonstrate the waste of energy. While the offices claim that security is the reason for leaving on lights, the true reason is energy pricing and the discounts that come with higher usage.

While it may not be in the best interest of a business to reduce energy consumption, I do believe, whether or not one supports the concept of climate change, that the reduction in energy usage through minimal behavioral changes while retaining functionality should be often brought to the forefront of thought.

As such, I now observe Earth Hour like I would a moment of silence.

Submission + - Google Reducing Trust in Symantec Certificates Following Numerous Slip-Ups (

An anonymous reader writes: Google Chrome engineers announced plans to gradually remove trust in old Symantec SSL certificates and intent to reduce the accepted validity period of newly issued Symantec certificates, following repeated slip-ups on the part of Symantec. Google's decision comes after the conclusion of an investigation that started on January 19, and which unearthed several problems with Symantec's certificate issuance process, such as 30,000 misissued certificates. In September 2015, Google also discovered that Symantec issued SSL certificates for without authorization. Symantec blamed the incident on three rogue employees, who it later fired. This move from Google will force all owners of older Symantec certificates to request a new one. Google hopes that by that point, Symantec would have revamped its infrastructure and will be following the rules agreed upon by all the other CAs and browser makers.

Comment Re: Full Spectrum Problem (Score 2) 151

Usb devices? The os, and therefore you, decides what happens when usb devices connect.

Nope. USB operates at a lower level than the OS. USB is capable of talking to other pieces of hardware without the OS's involvement (or knowledge). USB even has Direct Memory Access.

Usb is not a magic backdoor, unless your os is seriously flawed.

Yes it is. Many OSes even cooperate by providing APIs for forensic/diagnostic/recovery tools that operate via USB.

Most oses will not autoexec something on an usb stick, for example.

Most oses will not autoexec something on a valid USB stick. The BIOS will though. And just because something is connected via USB doesn't mean it has to tell the truth about what it is. The stick could present as a drive AND a keyboard, with the keyboard inputting commands to run a file on the drive.

The USB can be used to dump memory (and keys) using various methods, the simplest but least effective method is the Cold Boot Attack. DMA Attacks have become more straightforward with USB 3.1 as the controller now has DMA instead of just the PCI it is connected to.

Submission + - Your Hotel Room Photos Could Help Catch Sex Traffickers (

dryriver writes: CNN reports: Police find an advert for paid sex online. Its an illegally trafficked underage girl posing provocatively in a Hotel room. But police doesn't know where this hotel room is — what city, what neighborhood, what hotel or hotel room. This is where the TraffickCam phone app comes in. When you are staying at a hotel, you take pictures of your room with it. The app logs the GPS data (location of the hotel) and also analyzes what is in the picture — the furniture, bedsheets, carpet and other visual features. This makes the hotel room identifiable. Now when Police come across a sex trafficking picture online, there is a database of images that may reveal which hotel room the picture was taken in. About 100,000 people have downloaded TraffickCam so far.

Submission + - Work-life balance: Cryptographer fired by BAE for having dying wife 2

mdecerbo writes: A new lawsuit by cryptographer Don Davis against multinational defense giant BAE Systems highlights the fact that companies are free to have their boasts about "work-life balance" amount to nothing but idle talk.

The Boston Globe reports that his first day on the job, Davis explained that his wife had late-stage cancer. We would work his full work day in the office, but if he was needed nights or weekends, he'd want to work from home. His supervisor was fine with it, but Human Resources fired him on the spot after four hours of employment.

The lawsuit raises interesting questions, such as whether employment law requires corporations to have the sort of common decency we expect from individuals. But what I want to know is, if BAE Systems loses this lawsuit, will they prevent future ones by making their "work-life balance" policy say simply: We own you, body and soul?

Submission + - Filmmakers Take Dutch State to Court Over Lost Piracy Revenue (

An anonymous reader writes: A coalition of Dutch film and TV producers is following through on their threat to file a lawsuit against the local Government. The filmmakers hold the authorities responsible for the country's high piracy rates. They claim the government tolerated and even encouraged unauthorized downloading for years and want to see compensation as a result. Last year the Dutch Government denied these allegations, noting that the filmmakers could go after downloaders directly if they want to recoup their losses. However, they are not backing down.

Comment Cue denial (Score 1) 447

How long before Zeynep comes out and says that the leaks are fake / inaccurate / technically void and urges the public to keep using WhatsApp; Calling those who stop using it idiots, fools, traitors, and scum.

Will she denounce Fox for reporting on it like she denounced The Guardian. You betcha.

A spook in geeks clothing.

Submission + - Prenda Saga Update: John Steele Pleads Guilty, Admits Entire Scheme

Freshly Exhumed writes: Ken White at Popehat has updated the Prenda Law saga today with news of the downfall of one of the principals: 'Back in December the feds charged Steele and Hansmeier with an array of federal crimes arising from a scheme that has now been identified and decried by federal courts across the country. And today John Steele pleaded guilty in federal court to two counts of that indictment — mail fraud in violation of 18 USC 1341 and money laundering in violation of 18 USC 1956(h). Upon entry of judgment after his sentencing, John Steele will be a convicted felon with a federal fraud conviction. His career as a lawyer — or, more generally, as a gainfully employed person — is over.' Still to come is the case of Steele's colleague and partner, Paul Hansmeier.

Comment Good luck (Score 1) 6

You are completely on point.

Tech needs a lot more old-schoolers. I hope that your recovery goes well and they you are able to contribute more.

Please never give up your oft insightful and occasionally controversial commentary as it adds a lot to Slashdot and helps drown out the fanbois and zealots.

Submission + - Spike of radioactive Iodine levels is detected in Europe (

schwit1 writes: Iodine-131 (131I), a radionuclide of anthropogenic origin, has recently been detected in tiny amounts in the ground-level atmosphere in Europe. The preliminary report states it was first found during week 2 of January 2017 in northern Norway. Iodine-131 was also detected in Finland, Poland, Czech Republic, Germany, France and Spain, until the end of January.

However, no one seems to know the reason behind the released Iodine-131. Along with nuclear power plants, the isotope is also widely used in medicine and its presence in the air could be the effect of several different incidents.

Or, as someone speculates, it could have been the side effect of a test of a new nuclear warhead in Russia: an unlikely (considered the ability to detect nuke tests through satellites and seismic detectors) violation of Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

Comment Why this is wrong: (Score 5, Insightful) 188

A government, particularly one that is elected by the people, exists for the purpose of managing systems to improve the entities that they are governing and to protect the constituents.

Whether or not Kim Dotcom is likely innocent or guilty, this finding will neither improve NZ and completely fails in protecting at least one of its' citizens.

Despite any extradition treaty, NZ must protect their citizens.

Australia is guilty of similar neglect with the lack of assistance to Assange. Our government does not represent Australia or Australians and all policies are either self-serving or to the benefit of another nation (US & UK). There is continuous dumbing-down of political matters to the extent that constituents no longer identify treason when it is shoved in their face.

Submission + - Sex Offenders Are Still Locked up After Serving Their Time. Why? (

schwit1 writes:

Some 20 states have civil commitment programs for people deemed sexually violent predators. Records show that more than 5,000 Americans are being held this way nationwide. Those numbers have roughly doubled over the previous decade or so, as judges, governors and state legislators have reacted to public concern about violent sexual crimes.

Civil confinement lies at the fraught intersection of crime, sex, and politics, in which sexual crimes, and just the possibility of sexual crimes, are treated differently from other offenses. Murderers, armed robbers, drunken hit-and-run drivers, insider traders, and other criminals are released when their prison sentences have been served.

States operating these programs defend them as necessary to protect the public, especially children, against dangerous sexual predators. The Supreme Court has upheld them, ruling that as long as they are narrowly tailored, with their “clients” subject to regular reviews, they serve a legitimate public interest in keeping potential dangerous offenders off the streets.

But critics of civil commitment argue that men are being locked away (and almost all of the detainees are men), often effectively for life, on the basis of subjective predictions of what a former sex offender might do in the future. They assert that this is a flagrant violation of the 14th Amendment’s requirement that no person shall be deprived of his freedom without “due process of law.”

Recidivism rates for sex offenders are typically lower than for people who commit other types of felonies. But statistics don’t matter when politicians and judges are trying to mollify the mob.

Comment Re:Simple (Score 0) 155

I use Java all the time, and I don't send a dime to Oracle. How is not using Java going to hurt them?

Oracle profit from Java Certification, Java Support, and Proprietary Java Extensions. While you may not use any of these, people working with your code in the future will likely require one or all of them.

The reasons for dumping Java are the same reasons for dumping VB6: Ethics, Pushing bad coding practices, Slow, Buggy, Increasing hostility toward customers, Out-dated.

Comment Re:A small suggestion (Score 2) 37

When you're talking about a guy running two different companies, it might make some sense to specifically mention both of them by name in the first sentence or two.

First sentence of the summary:

To Jack Dorsey, running two high-profile companies -- Twitter and Square -- at the same time doesn't seem like a problem.

At the time of the post, the summary was different. I read it through twice trying to decipher the situation. It has been edited without a note.

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