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Submission + - Quicken Bill Pay is No Longer Safe to Use ( 1

Bruce Perens writes: I don't usually make security calls, but when a company makes egregious and really clueless security mistakes, it's often the case that the only way to attract their attention and get the issue fixed is to publicize it. This one is with Quicken Bill Pay, a product of Metavante (not Intuit). It's from personal observation rather than an expert witness case, and the company has been unresponsive through their customer support channel.

Comment Re:IP law is in danger (Score 3, Interesting) 227

The more it governs non-commercial activity the more it will be ignored. We are two generations in raising kids that think copyright is a joke and patents are mere excuses to sue.

What do you mean "two generations away". I'm nearly two generations older than today's kids and I know copyright is an utter joke that is routinely ignored. When I was young, non-technical people were already using Napster.

The problem with copyright isn't with age, its with lobbyists and an industry's refusal to accept change. The content industry thinks that it is still able to lock up content like the good old days before the internet. Those days are dead and gone but copyright laws are yet to change from the times when copyright infringement was an organised crime (because of the investment in investment needed to manufacture large amounts of VCR tapes). That died in the late 90's when anyone could set up a DVD burning farm on a few hundred bucks of commodity hardware, however the laws have not changed at all. This is entirely due to the content industry lobbying to prevent it and as such, we have outdated laws that are being routinely ignored because society has moved passed them

The content industry keeps pushing for harsher and harsher punishment for what is essentially a non-crime. This will never work in the long term and only prolong their demise. Just as online shopping has killed retailers who refused to adjust, the internet will kill the content industry who refuses to adjust.

Comment Re:WTF (Score 1) 244

>>Why do people keep saying this?

Because many people cite the travel ban as some kind of example of "Islamaphobia" so that they can be dismissive of it, when actually it is an example of "MotherFuckersWhoWantToKillMeAndMyFamilyaphobia" which, I must confess, I suffer from.

No, what you suffer from is being an idiot.

if you're worried about your family being killed, start campaigning for mandatory jail time for people who drive on the phone... because you're far more likely to lose your family to a distracted driver in the next week then you are to a Muslim in their entire lifetimes.

You don't have a legitimate complaint, you have an irrational bais that you're trying to support with spurious reasoning. In short you're a complete tosspot and I have a condition that makes me allergic to tosspots.

Comment Re:In-seat entertainment price rise (Score 1) 244

In completely unrelated news, charges for in-flight entertainment units have gone up.

Most of the airlines affected by this will have in-seat entertainment.

I know this seems like an odd concept for Americans but a lot of airlines outside the US care about strange things like customer service and their reputation.

In fact I'm utterly convinced that is the driving force behind this. BA are currently struggling with Iberia losing so much money, they aren't able to compete with Middle Eastern airlines on price or performance, so they have the government do their dirty work.

Comment Re:All these bans are useless security theatre (Score 1) 244

It's especially weird, as I'm not allowed to put a laptop in checked luggage because they don't allow large lithium-ion batteries in the hold.

I'd be more worried about sticky fingered baggage handlers.

Flying through SE Asia on a regular basis has taught me never to leave anything valuable in my checked luggage.

Comment Re:All these bans are useless security theatre (Score 1) 244

These days terrorists could kill more people detonating their explosive belts while standing in the waiting lines of TSA screening in airports.

The point of terrorism isn't to kill people, it's to make people afraid of you.

Detonating a bomb in a crowd doesn't produce the same horror as doing the same on a plane.

Also you wont kill that many because explosions lose power over distance very quickly. Only those closest to the blast will be killed outright, the majority will only be injured and most of those will survive their injuries. Kinetic force is the killer and the majority of that goes upwards, away from the crowd. That's why terrorists in the west bank in the 80's and 90's would favour busses. Busses gave very few escape routes and the frame of the bus would direct trap the kinetic energy.

The only way this will sew actual terror is if you can repeat the attack often enough that no-one feels safe anywhere and if they had the resources to perform that kind of unrestricted terror campaign like the IRA used to... why aren't they doing it?

Comment Re:Wells Fargo (Score 1) 65

I wouldn't trust Wells Fargo any further than I could throw any of their crooked executives. Even if my credit unions offered this, I wouldn't link my cell phone to my banking info. That seems like an extremely bad idea.

Banks in Australia have been offering this for years. You get a code sent to your phone and just plug that into an ATM to get $50.

I agree that tying your bank account to your phone is a phenomenally stupid idea, people seem to be doing it in droves. Until the cost of fraud outweighs the profit, nothing is going to change.

Comment Re:Alternative competitiveness (Score 1) 73

By your logic, the only database systems in the world should be Oracle and MSSQL. Just because all the "big" players are currently absurdly over-complicated and expensive doesn't mean there isn't or shouldn't be a desire for something more reasonable. Hell I'm sure there's already more than one open source CRM out there. Just a question of one of them getting enough features and enough public awareness to become "big" in the same kind of context that Postgres or MySQL are well-known and well-used alternatives to Oracle and MSSQL. Sure they still require some knowledge but its not like you have to hire a $300/hr consultant to get a Postgres database running well enough for small to mid-sized projects.

When a CRM implementation is unsuccessful, it is almost certainly not because they didn't pay enough in software licensing. It is more likely because they didn't put enough human resources into implementing them successfully. And the cost to hire quality staff to implement proprietary vs open source solutions is not significantly different. There are cheap MSSQL consultants and cheap Postgres consultants, but quality resources for either are just as expensive.

So by my logic it really doesn't matter if you choose Salesforce or Sugar CRM, skimping on implementation costs will sink any CRM initiative.

Comment Re:Liability (Score 4, Insightful) 448

Besides, if I read paragraph 13 correctly, the owner of the tractor has to indemnify John Deere and its dealers against all and any lawsuits, even if John Deere or the dealer is at fault for the cause of the lawsuit. That goes beyond everything I've seen in software EULAs so far. Those usually demand only indemnification against lawsuits that arise out of actions by the owner.

The thing about EULA's is that you can put anything you like in there. You can demand the forfeiture of their first born if you like. What matters is what a court of law will enforce, EULA's are CYA memos, not legally enforceable contracts.

What is enforceable depends on how bad the courts are in your area.

Comment Abandoning Time-Worn Processes Leads to Atrophy (Score 5, Insightful) 154

Scientists determined that those people who made use of machine washing rather than hand washing had diminished hand strength and neurological motor communication necessary for fine motor control. Seamstresses who bought thread rather than using the spinning jenny were similarly impaired. But worst off were teamsters who used the internal combustion trucks rather than teams of horses and used forklifts and other mechanical devices rather than loading their vehicles by hand. Their overall body strength was much reduced.

Comment Re:Alternative competitiveness (Score 1) 73

And while you're at it, can anyone build a CRM that doesn't require signing off souls to all three Hells to make it work? I've only got one and Satan, Cthulhu and Kali all require exclusive rights to it.

To reflect your own callousness, oh boo-hoo to management who think they can try to do things on the cheap and still have a quality solution at the end. And yes, sometimes spending millions of dollars can still be on the cheap for large projects. There are plenty of competent CRM professionals and consultants who can set up any of the major CRM platforms for you which will work very well for any company with reasonable expectations.

All of the major players have deficiencies, but none of those cannot be fixed with quality implementation partners. Just get your head out of your ass and try to do something right for a change.

Comment Re:Much cheaper than the iPhone (Score 2) 103

My point of view is that if you don't have $700 for a phone, you can't afford a $700 phone, period, even if you finance it on two years.

While I agree it isn't wise to have a $700 phone if you don't have $700 available in your checking account, it is also unwise to pay for the phone up front if you can get 0% financing.

Comment Re:For fully autonmous cars, you need real AI (Score 1) 87

A common scenario here in England is crossing over to drive on the American (or incorrect) side of the road due to parked cars. A lot of places in England were built before roads were a thing, so there are a lot of houses with no driveways on narrow streets. Obviously people park on the street. So to go through you have to go onto the wrong side of the road. There is a bit of an issue when you have two cars at opposite ends both wanting to get through. After a while you learn who has to give way to who and how to spot gaps to pull into to allow the other driver to pass. I highly doubt autonomous cars are going to be any good at this. Autonomous cars, when faced with situations they cant sort out will just stop and not move. On the road I described above this is one of the stupidest things to do. I can easily see two autonomous cars having a Mexican standoff next to a line of parked cars because one or both of them didn't take into account that one of them needed to pull in earlier to allow the other to pass. And this is just the beginning of driving in England. Next we'll cover roundabouts, magic roundabouts, congestion and LEZ zones as well as random roadworks with temporary signals. I honestly doubt I will see an autonomous car that could navigate from one end of Swindon to the other in the middle of winter for decades.

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