* Posts by Charles 9

8236 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

EU ministers look to tighten up privacy – JUST KIDDING – surveillance laws

Charles 9
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Re: Alternative solution..

No, because we'll just end up with even worse. No one realizes they can get worse until they throw the lot out and find out it's possible. Like the Beast being replaced by the Smiler (in Transmetropolitan).

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Charles 9
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Re: I for one argue against Jacob Ginsberg

But what option do you have when the public REFUSES to trust you (meaning there's no way to earn it again), YET expect you to prevent massacres? Seems to me the problem behind the problem is impossible demands. It's like having twelve people stuck on a barren island with only three coconuts. No matter how you split it, it can't end well.

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Charles 9
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You forget that when something is REALLY addictive, people will warp their worlds to get another fix. when it's THAT bad, you can't force detox them because they'll KILL you to get past you. Or in this case, pull law or rank to overrule you.

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Charles 9
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"However if you have opensource applications using encryption between millions of users, you have to convince most of the users to accept a backdoor. Which you never will since many of them won't even realise they're using encryption."

You do that by slipping it under their noses. You don't do it all at once, but take a piecemeal approach to create a gestalt. An innocuous, even useful update that just happens to do something just so, another one later on by a different shill user, and so on until all the pieces are put together but not one really knows what came in where, and BOOM! The world's your wire.

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Charles 9
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"Working smarter will do a better job, but that means that all the intelligence organizations will have to get off their fat backsides to work out what they really need to be doing."

But working smarter only goes so far, lone wolves aren't detectable until after the fact which is too late and the voters expect the government to prevent the unpreventable or they'll vote someone else. And no, you can't educate them to bow to the inevitable because otherwise what's the whole bloody point of civilization?

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Breaker, breaker: LTE is coming to America's CB radio frequencies

Charles 9
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"Currently throughout the world there is a jolly nice bit of spectrum from 960MHz to 1215MHz allocated to radio navigation aids for aviation. I wonder how long it is before governments come under unbearable pressure from wealthy powerful telcos to give that up ("blah blah everything is GPS these days blah blah")."

Nope. At least HERE there's a pushback from the aviation industry and aviation regulators. They're under historic precedent to avoid rocking the plane, so to speak, and there is a need for redundancy, which is why historic navigation aids are still in operation. Since attempting to usurp air-use frequencies poses a safety risk (and the next crash that occurs after such an act will immediately point fingers), those frequencies would have to take something overwhelmingly more useful (or is a direct replacement for the tech it's replacing), then those frequencies are as safe as military bands, which can't be touched out of sovereign security concerns (thus why the Americas don't use Band III).

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Systemd adds filesystem mount tool

Charles 9
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At least if it's systemd you know where to look: systemd.

Whereras with a gestalt exploit, the actual point of attack may be so obscure no one knows where to look because the exploit takes advantage of systems that are greater than the sum of their parts. EVERY SINGLE COMPONENT works exactly to spec, yet when you put them together, then things go wrong. And since the component makers don't talk to or understand each other...

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Charles 9
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Re: And thus..

"systemd does not add new functionality in this area - it just does the same old stuff in a different way. This is why some of us are pushing back - what was there wasn't fundamentally broken."

If that were true, why are there constant complaints about things breaking? What I see is a bunch of bodges on top of bodges, and the thing about bodges is that they don't usually hold that well.

If I had to put it in a nutshell, I say the whole UNIX model is broken because it relies on a level of trust you can't guarantee anymore. You simply can't rely on everything in the chain to "do it well"; odds are at least one thing will "do it wrong" instead, which is why things keep breaking.

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Charles 9
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Re: And thus..

PCI and PCI Express are not fixed buses. You have to POLL them to learn what they house. Universal Serial Bus has to be polled. So does 1394 IINM. Unlike with most ARM configurations (fixed memory map), the system doesn't know what's in the system at the initial bootup, and the configuration change at runtime (like with USB and 1394 which can hotplug).

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Charles 9
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Re: And thus..

No, because if I can control a process's logging, I can do this, too (note, in this example ONE process wrote this):

[ rogue ] Something innocuous happened

[ fake process ] Something fake happened

How do you keep a rogue process from making a fake tag when the process can match any tagging the logging system uses?

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Charles 9
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Re: And thus..

"syslog tells you - both process name and PID. So your mythical pwned process could put whatever it likes on the line after that - but only the truly clueless would not notice that the very beginning of each line tells you exactly where the message came form."

The fake process newlines its log and creates a fake tag that ticks all the marks. And the log has to be able to newline in case of structured text output like a hex dump.

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Charles 9
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Re: I've forgotten...

Watchdog crashes. What restarts the watchdog other than init, who's already asleep by your logic?

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Charles 9
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Re: it's already bad enough with dbus...

But if you DON'T double-guess, the AVERAGE user gets lost. Always remember, if you know what you're doing, you're in the minority, and the average user's money outvotes your money...by a large margin.

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Charles 9
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Re: And thus..

"Bollocks. I really hope you do not work with computers."

Bollocks on the bollocks. If you say a log can be reliably kept with nothing but ASCII, explain how you can say a coin landed edge when all you have to work with is a single bit: 1 or 0? Language can hit limits. Just as some things simply cannot be expressed in a yes or no, so some things cannot be reliably said in just ASCII. That's why there's such a thing as necessary complexity.

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Charles 9
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Re: Can I just add

"Remote logging."

Can still be faked by a rogue process. How do you block rogue logging when it can do everything a real process can do with ASCII, including process and timestamps?

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Charles 9
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Re: And thus..

How do you know which process REALLY said what if all you have to work with is ASCII, which the pwned process is fully capable of using as well, meaning there's no way to distinguish a well-disguised fake log output pretending to be another process from the actual process. The range of your output is too limited to properly distinguish between them. Anything you can try to use within the ASCII range to safeguard them, the rogue process can mimic. It's a rogue edge case, just like you have no way to say a coin flip landed edge (the LITERAL edge case) if all you have to work with is 0 (heads) and 1 (tails). See where I'm going with this? Properly safeguarding the log from rogue output requires something beyond ASCII. It's a necessary complexity.

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Charles 9
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Re: And thus..

"if someone already owns the box to the extent that they can fake text log entries, they can surely fake binary log entries.."

Not if they only control ONE process (which they're using to post fake log messages using text formatting tricks). The thing with gatekeeping is that it's a lot harder to fake it since the gatekeeper knows which process is emitting which message. And the ONLY way to enforce this is to use a more-complicated logging format that allows for discrimination. You simply CANNOT do this correctly with a text-based log; it's too simple for that. To put it in perspective. If all you have to work with is a single bit (1 or 0), how do you correctly inform when a coin flip lands edge?

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Kaspersky launches its own OS on Russian routers

Charles 9
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Re: @Charles 9

" If it can only deliver gigabit throughput instead of 10 gigabit, well, you probably don't care when SCADA data rates are generally measured in kilobits."

Bit Kaspersky's forte is in telecommunications, where data rates in the tens if not hundreds of gigabits per second is becoming old hat. That demands a very tall order: a high-security, high-throughput device. And telecommunications is one of the stated industry goals of this OS.

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Charles 9
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Re: Um....

Actually, it looks to be reinventing seL4 according to the specs. seL4 is the first formally-proven kernel, and this looks to be the second.

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Charles 9
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Re: It's a dirty job, but SOMEbody has to try

"The blue screen of death used to be common with Windows 9x/NT/2000/XP, it is pretty rate these days."

Really?

You would think something exposed to the public like this would run an OS with a higher degree of reliability, or at least a better way to restart itself unattended.

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Charles 9
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Re: True microkernel approach?

"In order to be able to switch in/out of ring0, you must have a CPU that's designed to allow it. X86 is not that CPU."

Given that context switching is in the manual, and virtualization requires it, an explanation is in order.

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Charles 9
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Re: Secure router, vulnerable SCADA & ICS behind ?

That is frankly none of its business. That's a job for the higher layers.

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Charles 9
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Re: True microkernel approach?

But these same industrial systems are also expected to be tuned with higher precision. To get that higher precision, you need more readings at a time, which means lower latency. That's especially true in the field Kaspersky is most experienced: networking. If you plan to pass through multiple gigabits of data per second, you're talking a maximum lag time in the nanosecond. range. For turnarounds that quick, you MUST cut the processing time to the bare minimum, and that usually means getting close to the metal. Microkernels block this because they prevent close-to-metal access. Indeed, one caveat of seL4 is that the formal proof only applies if you disable DMA; guess what's one of the most common ways to reduce latency?

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Charles 9
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Re: Well routing is actually a very simple problem

But then you have to deal with port forwarding, NAT traversal, VPN's sometimes, and TWO protocol stacks. It's unfortunately a necessary complexity.

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Charles 9
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Re: True microkernel approach?

If the description is accurate, it would only be the SECOND formally-proven kernel written (after seL4). The thing is, how well can such a microkernel perform when latency (such as high-throughput networking) is an issue?

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Microsoft's HoloLens secret sauce: A 28nm customized 24-core DSP engine built by TSMC

Charles 9
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Re: What about heat dissipation?

"Unless your brain stops working while you're playing, it means doubling the amount of heat your head must dissipate."

How is +10W double 20W (this adds up to 30W, a 50% increrase, vs. 40W)? Plus this is exposed to the outside so at least has other avenues to vent heat.

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Charles 9
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Re: There's no fooling heat conduction

"If the heat can't get to your head due to an insulating air gap, and can't escape the device very well due to lack of moving air, then it will get hotter and hotter until it is so hot that even passive cooling, slow moving air and yes an insulating air gap between it and your (much cooler by comparison) head can be more easily crossed because of the larger temperature difference."

You forget the thermal insulating layer between the air, the CPU, and the housing, which will be even more difficult to penetrate since it will be designed for the purpose. And you're talking as if 10W, spread all around your head like a halo, is a big thing. It's already been mentioned the brain generates 20W on average already. Plus even if air is a poor thermal conductor, it's at least greater than zero.

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Charles 9
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Re: What about heat dissipation?

And you can put a metal heat conductor between the air gap and the heat source. Metal is superior even to skin when it comes to thermal conduction, so it can soak up the heat and then employ radiation and convection to bear it off.

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Charles 9
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Re: What about heat dissipation?

But your headlamp concentrates that heat at one spot on your head. With a wraparound design like Hololens, they can spread out the heat generators so instead of one 10W hotspot, it's several 2-3W spots spread around your head; you're less likely to feel several smaller hotspots. Plus with smaller hotspots, it's easier to find ways to dissipate the heat through thermal conduits and so on.

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Software-defined networking is dangerously sniffable

Charles 9
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Re: Oh joy

Unfortunately, yes. Efficient code by its very nature leaves tells. The only way to remove the tells is to drop fake tells, which ruins your efficiency. It's one reason privacy-oriented networks perform so poorly; there's simply no way around it.

I'll give an analogue. How do you avoid being tracked if there's only one way in or out of your neighborhood (meaning disguises won't work)? The only way left is to use dupes to confuse your pursuers (that's what Harry Potter was forced to use in Deathly Hallows if you'll recall).

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Australia Post says use blockchain for voting. Expert: you're kidding

Charles 9
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In other words, anonymity and attestation are directly at odds. Attestation is required to ensure people don't vote twice, yet this in and of itself is also proof you voted. In order to avoid vote tampering, you MUST have a means to verify your vote, and THAT provides a means for a third party to pressure you because they can construe a means to shoulder-surf your vote.

In other words, how can you be sure your vote counts without opening up the possibility of outside pressure on the votes?

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Charles 9
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Re: Why is a trusted central authority required?

"and an independent observer who have no incentive to collude."

There's ALWAYS an incentive to collude: bribery or blackmail are always available, so how can you be sure the "independent" observer really IS independent and not subverted behind your back?

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Windows 10 needs proper privacy portal, says EFF

Charles 9
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"If there's nothing sensitive or personal in it, if it's just usage stats as Microsoft say then there is no reason to encrypt it"

Unless it's been ruled that usage stats alone can be considered PII because getting enough of them together can allow a de-anonymization attack.

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Charles 9
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Even security updates? Doesn't that just leave you open to being pwned and making everyone else's day miserable?

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London cops hunt for drone pilots who tried dropping drugs into jail

Charles 9
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Re: Time for Trebuchets!

"How accurate do you need to be to hit a massive castle wall?"

Hitting the wall itself? Not very. Hitting the same spot over and over like a hammer? Much more, as you need consistency to get the required effect.

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Charles 9
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Re: Thank God it's just drugs..

It'd be a lot easier to toss in a salvo of shivs. Shivs are silent and a lot easier to conceal.

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Charles 9
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Re: Oh FFS!

Thing is, given the average human male's weight of 80kg, and given your average joint has about 5mg of THC in it, the math seems to indicate that THC will be the least of your worries when it comes to dying on joints. Now, the impurities and so on are another matter. Plus there's always the psychotropic X-factor (which is how many stoned people tend to get into trouble--not from the joint but from the things they were doing while high).

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Charles 9
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Re: Pointless waste of time, in my opinion.

I have, though. As they say, your mileage may vary.

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Charles 9
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Re: Time for Trebuchets!

It was BOTH. Many times the corpses shot into the city were rotten or plague-ridden.

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Charles 9
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Re: Solution - Netting

"So, you're telling me that the near billion quid a day that the government spend on welfare is insufficient, then?"

No, because for those on the wrong side of the tracks, many were DENIED. So where do you go from there? The gaol or the grave?

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Charles 9
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Re: I'm really trying to understand something.

1. Depending on the location, radar may not be an option because it'll interfere with other radio operations. Also, these things are pretty small and usually made of plastic with a reduced radio reflection so may not trip most radar systems without raising the risk of false positives (think of the thing going off when nearby birds fly past).

2. Programmatic one-way drone flights will leave no radio signature. And if the transmitter is on a mobile base, or multistatic, it'll be hard to pinpoint.

3. A coordinated effort can distract the guards (say start a fight) while the payload is dropped off and secreted away.

PS. To the guy who suggested a truck-mounted trebuchet, something that big will be hard to erect, take down, and/or disguise in a hurry (the moment you launched, odds are someone will notice you and jot your plate). Also, the net can be very flexible and made of strong cords that give some, allowing it to absorb impacts and render it resistant to blunt-force penetration (the whole rig would give first before it broke), leaving direct cutting or going over, both of which have countermeasures against one-shots while a drone can perform a sustained effort.

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Charles 9
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Re: Time for Trebuchets!

But they probably stink in the payload department. There's a REASON for a preference for a high thrust.

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Charles 9
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Re: Solution - Netting

No, because going straight means no opportunities which means they starve and DIE. For the TRULY desperate, it's literally crime or the grave.

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Five-storey Blue Screen Of Death spotted in Thailand

Charles 9
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Re: Museums...

How about on Self-Service food service kiosks? or ATMs?

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Charles 9
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Re: Advertising screens

Not necessarily. If it was an old setup, the graphics chips in them may not have had the oomph to drive both screens. Or the flip side was added later on.

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Charles 9
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Re: Nighttime blues

The BSOD gets all the attention simply because it's so easy to recognize (well, that and red-X dialogs). But I do recall at least one instance of seeing an OOPS on a billboard.

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Charles 9
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Re: Not real, but..

You start to see that around Chapter 8. It's meant to be a tongue-in-cheek way to inform you the facility's about to blow (tongue-in-cheek humor is signature to Portal). You can also see them on occasion with the user-made puzzles.

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Charles 9
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Re: It sucks when it's your bank's ATM...

"Depends in which country you live in. Anyway, if your money in a bank are in local currency, it won't save you from hyperinflation or sudden devaluation. They will lose value exactly like money in a can."

Not if it's invested in a bank with a different currency.

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Software exploits overrated - it's the humans you need to be watching

Charles 9
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Re: "Organizations should put controls and processes in place"

"In the end, I think it's just Capitalism at work. The healthiest companies survive, those that cannot identify threats and define mitigations fail. Isn't that what Capitalism is all about ?"

Trouble is, capitalism doesn't take collateral damage into consideration, and that tends to have very innocent victims.

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Shopped in an Eddie Bauer store recently? Your card's probably gone. It's just gone

Charles 9
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Re: cash is king

Why use force when finesse will do just as well? How often does a good pickpocket get caught?

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