* Posts by tom dial

1517 posts • joined 16 Jan 2011

Illinois StingRay crackdown

tom dial
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Re: What is happening in the USA

According to the article, the action was taken in this case by the legislature and governor of Illinois, as is proper. It had nothing to do with a US or state court. That said, a federal or state court, if presented with a case, might well find that using a stingray to track an individual requires a warrant or other court order. Similar things have happened in the past, as with Riley v California, where a judge found that searching a cell phone incident to arrest normally is to be considered a fourth amendment search requiring a warrant.

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The very latest on the DNC email conspiracy. Which conspiracy? All of them, of course!

tom dial
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Re: Just Proves Again That The Russians Are Smarter Than Clinton

Not Hillary's security (this time). Probably the same sources for SAs as hers, though.

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tom dial
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Re: Russian state actors?

While he had been a fair actor, Reagan also had long been a political speaker, and had served for two terms as governor of one of the larger states, so was better qualified than most of those eager to become candidates this year, and better qualified than any of the current bunch except possibly for Gary Johnson, who at least has served in an elected executive position, although as governor of a less complex and populous state.

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Apple Watch craze over before it started: Wrist-puter drags market screaming off a cliff

tom dial
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I have a Timex to tell me the time. It cost under $50 US and seems to be accurate to well within a second a month.

I have a smart phone to make calls. It can serve also as an alarm, a fitness tracker, an email and web browser, a calorie tracker, and a lot of other things, limited mainly by the willingness of developers to provide software for this remarkable device.

I did not, and do not, feel a need for a smart watch.

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Microsoft to rip up P2P Skype, killing native Mac, Linux apps

tom dial
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Re: Won't somebody think of my aged mother

1 Up for the CALEA mention. It should be noted, though, that CALEA was enacted to ensure that law enforcement could execute wiretap warrants. Microsoft, and most or all other carriers almost certainly would require a valid warrant, reviewed by their legal department, before implementing a tap.

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How's this for irony? US Navy hit with $600m software piracy claim

tom dial
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Re: Number of installs?

Anyone with a requirement for NIPRNET access (pretty much everyone) would have a computer for that. That would include quite a few civilian employees in addition to active duty Navy and possibly Marine Corps personnel. Reserve military personnel with a training requirement have .mil email addresses, but do not necessarily have computers, although reserve centers would have a fair number scattered about, as do ships and other installations.

Anyone with SIPRNET access would have a second computer for that.

The nearly 560K computers probably is less that the total Navy inventory, maybe by quite a lot.

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tom dial
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This should be interesting. Back before I retired and left all the BS behind, we had an IBM audit that, as I recall it, uncovered a moderate number of violations. The agency where I worked was fairly careful, but hadn't locked down all the desktops and install disks to ensure against license misbehavior. On the other hand, the Navy had engaged in a many year, many billion dollar network security initiative with EDS to secure their network, an exercise that I vaguely recall went years and billions over, and drove those who needed to interface with their systems a bit nuts. It was close to impossible to get arrangements in place to transfer data in or out of their network; in the light of this suit, it's tempting to think that might have been intended to keep others from knowing what went on inside.

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Governments Googling Google about you more than ever says Google

tom dial
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Re: Come on El Reg !

"UK MOST RISKY COUNTRY IN WORLD NEW STATISTICS SHOW"

Not so: Germany (14.12) and France (11.85) had significantly higher rates.

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tom dial
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I found it interesting that, e. g., corresponding information about France and Germany were not reported, although they were quite high for the last half of 2015:

France: 4174 requests, for 5126 accounts, with data produced 59% of the time.

Germany: 7491 requests, 11,562 accounts, data produced for 57%.

Population adjusted rates for the full year are 11.85/100K (France) and 14.12/100K (Germany); so 16% higher in France and 38% higher in Germany compared to the UK. The standout in this category is Singapore, with a rate of 82.5/100K

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McCain: Come to my encryption hearing. Tim Cook: No, I'm good. McCain: I hate you, I hate you, I hate you

tom dial
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Re: There is no age limit on Senators

No Trump, then, and no Clinton (over 70 next October), as well as no Sanders. Except for the last, I'm OK with that.

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tom dial
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Re: Technology and US Constitution Illiterate

Prohibiting use of encryption entirely would have no fourth amendment impact whatever. Doing so might infringe the first amendment, but that would be an entirely different issue.

"The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Clearly, a smart phone or computer can be thought of as an "effect" en this context, but the real content of this is that the government is prohibited from a range of activity -"unreasonable searches and seizures" - unless it follows procedures that were fairly well defined in the English common law long before it was adopted nearly entire by the US and have been refined and updated with some frequency in the succeeding 2+ centuries. Those protections exist as much for unencrypted or otherwise unsecured phones and computers as they do for those that are well secured.

A secured device will offer better protection against inadvertent or intentional government violation of civil rights, or undesired, unauthorized, and often illegal access by non-government entities. However, US governments have been able to gain authorization, with proper justification, obtained in the correct way, to search and seize as described in properly issued warrants. Under the US Constitution they have been able to do so for the last 225 years. Encryption does not change that except potentially to render the results of the search or seizure unusable, and that is properly a matter of concern for officials charged with enforcing the laws and prosecuting those who violate them.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fourth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitution

I guess that Senator McCain and the others on the Armed Services Committee understand the Constitution reasonably well, although their understanding may be more in line with the actual provisions and jurisprudence than that of some others.

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tom dial
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Re: Clinton who should be in jail.

The State Department, like numerous other agencies, has, and had, a secure network. These networks have no connection to the public internet or to the non-classified state.gov network. They may be located in secure areas (some classified material requires it). Due to their nature, these systems cannot be used for ordinary email, although it is possible they have email amongst themselves and to/from the governments Secure IP Routing Network. Hillary Clinton declined to use these facilities, and instead elected to have, and use for all her official State Department email, a personal off-premise server with RDP and VNC exposed on the public internet.

The compromise of the State Department non-secure network appears to have occurred well after Secretary Clinton's tenure, although that certainly does not eliminate the possibility it was compromised earlier as well. The State Department's Information Resource Management division may have been somewhat broken, but probably did not allow remote administration via the public internet, as Ms. Clinton's servers did.

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It's not our fault we don't hire black people, says Facebook

tom dial
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Re: A key problem

Affirmative action and quotas are very much about hiring based on characteristics that nearly everyone considers not relevant to job duties or competence to perform them, in order to be able to tick boxes or supply numbers on government required forms. If they were about hiring the best individuals for the available jobs they would look at the actual applicant pool rather than the population as a whole in making comparisons.

They also might look at an organization's targeted efforts to recruit from favored minorities, or they might not. In the end and for nearly all profit oriented companies, it is not a primary goal to remedy the effects of past discrimination, and for significant "of color" groups like those of East or South Asian origin or ancestry, the problem, if there is one, seems to be to control over-representation despite the fact of extensive past discrimination, particularly against East Asians..

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tom dial
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Re: @Jimmy2Cows

First, my impression from occasional scanning of ordinary "white" newspapers is that very few IT related vacancies are posted there, and those generally have been for low level and insignificant positions for quite a few years.

Second, the implication that "black" potential applicants somehow lack the ability or wit to read the "white" press seems a bit condescending if not, indeed, quite bigoted.

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FBI won't jail future US president over private email server

tom dial
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Re: Interesting downplaying there

@MachDiamond: I was referring to the agency that employed me. While it was a DoD agency, for practical purposes it handled no information more sensitive than Privacy Act PII that it would have been a serious "no-no" to put in an email message that transited an exchange point between the NIPRNET and the public internet. I do not know whether such traffic would necessarily have been caught, but it would have resulted in at least "counseling" if it were.

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tom dial
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Re: Interesting downplaying there

PAW: Based on the quoted Wiki, which I did not look at but do not dispute, the security status of the RNC private server would be primarily a private RNC matter, as clintonemail.com certainly was not, despite the claimed instruction to retain the email as possibly covered by the Presidential Records Act. Much of what happens in the White House is in the gray area between official business and political party business. That is not the case (or is not supposed to be) for communications by the Secretary of State acting in her official capacity.

Based on reports in The Register and probably elsewhere, it is likely that the RNC's servers, like gmail, yahoo, and most other commercial services, were considerably more secure than clintonemail.com.

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tom dial
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Re: Interesting downplaying there

Executive orders covering some millions of people not legally resident in the US, for instance. The point is not that this is not something that should be done, but that it is something that, under the Constitution, requires action by the Congress, not the President alone. He didn't like the law of which he took an oath to ensure faithful execution, so he issued an executive order that executive agencies under his responsibility would not enforce it.

Comparing numbers of executive orders per president is pretty much meaningless.

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tom dial
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Re: Interesting downplaying there

"Even still the Hidabeast should be disqualified from being POTUS."

No. She meets the qualifications (Over 35, US citizen by birth). It is up to the Democratic Party convention to determine whether to put her forward, and to the US electorate to decide about her fitness to hold the office.

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tom dial
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Re: this whole thing could have been avoided

Career State Department security and IT staff who raised questions about Ms. Clinton's server were instructed "never to speak of the Secretary’s personal email system again." The State Department Inspector General's report on the matter is interesting, maybe especially for those inclined to make light of it.

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tom dial
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Re: US' sad story continues

Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Chris Christie, and Bobby Jindal were state governers and not subject to federal laws that govern storage and processing of federal government data. They may or may not have been compliant with applicable state laws; I do not recall seeing complaints about that. Marco Rubio's alleged problem occurred when he was a state legislator, so also not subject to the federal laws that Hillary Clinton violated during her tenure as Secretary of State.

Condolezza Rice and Colin Powell (as well as Marco Rubio and most of the named governers) used commercial services that almost certainly were better maintained and more secure than Secretary Clinton's personal server setup (see, for example,

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/10/14/hillarys_sysadmin_next_to_the_pillory/).

Both Rice and Powell also used email far less than Clinton, whose 30,000+ emails establish a rate of over 20 a day, including weekends and holidays.

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tom dial
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Re: Sloppy reporting

It is only necessary to read the juicy parts of the State Department IG report to see that there was intent to bypass reasonable security procedures, and that is true even if the primary or secondary motive was to keep control of records that might be demanded under the FOIA or become permanent records of Secretary Clinton's tenure at the State Department.

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tom dial
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Re: What a shocking and totally unexpected result...

@kain preacher and others wishing to equate the actions of Clinton, Rice, and Powell: The fact that Hillary Clinton is running for President (and neither Colin Powell nor Condolezza Rice is) should have nothing to do with whether to charge any of them, or not. Secretary Clinton's transgressions, at well over 20 email messages per working day, are far more significant than those of Powell, who admitted to a few hundred during his tenure, or Rice, who stated that she did not use email significantly. In addition, Secretary Clinton contrived to use a personally owned and operated, and quite insecure, setup for her official email correspondence, and Secretaries Powell and Rice reportedly used commercial services which probably had more competent and regular maintenance and hopefully better configuration than hers. There could well be justification for prosecuting Clinton but not either of the others, even ignoring the fact that federal information assurance standards and procedures became considerably more stringent between 2001 and 2009.

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tom dial
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Re: US' sad story continues

I see two fundamental differences between Sanders and Trump. First, Sanders is undeniably qualified by experience and temperament for the office; better qualified, I would argue, than Hillary Clinton. Trump cannot say the same; creating and running successful businesses is not like being the US president, if only because the Senate, House of Representatives, and federal judiciary are full of men and women with independent power status that is not so evident in even publicly held companies and can be effectively nonexistent in privately held ones. Second, Sanders is a man of personal and intellectual integrity, worthy of trust, by all reports I have seen; while I would not say that Trump is not, it seems to me far less obvious in his case than in Sanders'.

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tom dial
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Re: Interesting downplaying there

OK by me. I would rate him mediocre at best, as well as damaging to the republic based on impactive and divisive executive orders on matters that demand joint legislative and executive action.

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tom dial
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Re: Interesting downplaying there

Using a personal email account for official communications was not, and as far as I know is not unlawful as such (I retired at the end of 2011 and there could be changes of which I am not aware). There are occasions when it is necessary to send or receive email but impossible or impractical to access a government network to do so. There was, and I presume is, guidance about when this is allowable and what additional steps, like copying a superior on such emails as I always did. The norm and requirement, however, was and is to use government facilities whenever possible.

Clinton's use of personally owned and notably insecure facilities, administered "at her cost" by a former campaign aide hired to the State Department as a Schedule III political appointee, is far worse than Powell, Rice, and perhaps Albright using commercial email services that probably were maintained and secured to a halfway reasonable standard, particularly as neither of them reported using email very extensively compared to Secretary Clinton's average of well over 20 per day.

I never expected an indictment in the matter, maybe partly because I don't know enough law to decide whether FISMA violations are prosecutable or lead merely to employee disciplinary action. However, "not indicted" is a very poor measure of fitness for an office of trust.

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tom dial
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Re: Interesting downplaying there

I do not agree that Barack Obama is the worst of all presidents. That's a strong claim that requires strong evidence. He is, however, one of the most autocratic, driven partly by unwillingness of Republican legislators to work with him politically, but mainly by his diffidence and unwillingness to work politically with Republican legislators. He undeniably is a smart and thoughtful man, but any reports of his political competence are in error. In that respect, he is a dwarf beside Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan and numerous earlier presidents.

Worth another upvote though. Hillary Clinton showed, by her disrespect for both her superior, the President, her subordinates at the Department of State, the laws she aspires to take Care be faithfully executed (US Constitution, Article II, Section III), and the people, that while she may be well-qualified for the office, she is unfit to hold it.

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fMRI bugs could upend years of research

tom dial
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Re: raw data ... what is raw, and what is data?

Open source software not only has nothing to do with whether raw data was/was not retained, but also cannot be assumed to be more correct or free from error than closed source. I also use, and recommend it, but do not delude myself that it is free from error, and I have plenty of examples to show it is not.

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tom dial
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Re: Good science

Not saving the raw data would be a definitely Bad Thing. One of the natural things, especially for unexpected or novel results would be for other researchers to want to analyze it in different ways or perform consistency or sanity checks using different analytic tools.

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Here's how police arrested Lauri Love – and what happened next

tom dial
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Re: Time to stop this

The comparisons seem to be between the maximum consecutive sentence that might apply in this case and some reported actual sentence for a crime like rape or murder. That is neither appropriate nor meaningful. It would be as sensible to argue that the rape or murder sentences given should have been an order of magnitude or more longer, as in many cases they could have been given that laws typically specify a range of sentences, giving the judge some discretion in actual cases, including whether sentences handed down for multiple violations are to be served consecutively or concurrently.

At the moment, the pendulum seems to be oscillating rapidly between increasing judicial sentencing discretion for nonviolent drug violations and reducing it for sexual assault, where the present low seems to be six months.

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ACL-Sue: Civil rights warriors drag Uncle Sam to court for hacking laws

tom dial
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Re: CFAA

I am not a lawyer, but it seems to me the case is a bit weak. The challenged provision, 1030(a)(2)(C), may be unconstitutionally vague, but there does not seem to be a genuine controversy in the facts the ACLU states against which to test it. The applicable ACLU citations that I found seem off point for the circumstances ACLU cite, and do not show uniform success. One misdemeanor conviction was overturned on appeal; one case ended with a guilty plea to conspiracy to commit fraud involving about $25 million and a misdemeanor CFAA violation; one civil case brought under 1030a(4) - intent to defraud, not 1030a(2)(C) the plaintiffs challenge - apparently succeeded, while another civil case was dismissed. It is not clear that the plaintiffs' research proposals would expose them to significant risk of either criminal civil action.

The CFAA certainly deserves significant revision, but the plaintiffs seem to want the court to do that rather than the Congress, which is the appropriate branch of government.

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Lauri Love at risk of suicide if extradited to US, Brit court hears

tom dial
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Re: Don't Play with the US Justice System -- keep away and keep safe.

The indictment charges that Love gained unauthorized access to one or more Federal Reserve Bank servers, copied information from them, and published it. It also charges that Love used that information in a way that constitutes identity theft. An indictments describes what is charged, not the evidence to be used to prove the charge in court. It is entirely reasonable to think the US Attorney has evidence gained from Federal Reserve Bank systems in addition to information to be provided by testimony of informants, whether confidential or not. And whatever the evidence might be, if the case goes to trial it must be adequate to convince all jurors.

Plea bargains are useful in resolving cases where the evidence is good enough that the risk of a conviction is substantial, and prosecutors certainly have overcharged to get accused to bargain down to conviction for a lower offense, but where the evidence is weak and the offense is not one likely to sway a jury, a jury trial is a good option. And where it would be difficult to get a relatively neutral jury (as, for instance, in the recent Baltimore police prosecutions) an accused has the option of a bench trial.

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tom dial
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Re: @Ratfox...

According to the indictment (see https://pdf.yt/d/kjcd0UksAPXuSP-Q/ ) Lauri Love is charged with violating the CFAA (18 USC 1030) and with identity theft (18 USC 1028). The indictment states that he discussed this somewhat extensively in chat rooms, but that has nothing to do with the actual charges.

The CFAA charge alleges that Love accessed one or more Federal Reserve Bank servers (using "sequel" injection) and copied out and publicly posted personal identifying information of FRB system users. The identity theft charge doesn't include informative detail, but refers back to the hacking charge, suggesting that the US Attorney thinks he can prove that Love, and possibly others, used the personal information taken for personal gain.

While the CFAA is overbearing and has been abused, this charge seems fairly clearly within the scope of what its authors probably intended and what most people probably would think appropriate. The prosecutor still would have to prove the charges to a jury, and the utility of the chat room information would be useful only as supporting information for testimony, and excludeable if obtained without warrant.

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'I urge everyone to fight back' – woman wins $10k from Microsoft over Windows 10 misery

tom dial
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Years ago I promised never to mess with or change more than minimally my wife's laptop (Windows 7 Home Premium, with all the HP cruft). I have been extremely careful to decline automatic updates and to refuse W10 on every patch Tuesday. If she allows it based on examination of the upgraded preview version, I will make a block copy of the disk and go forward with the install early in July. If it fails I may call MS, but probably will just load the image back onto the disk and continue with Windows 7 until the system, now 5 or 6 years old, is replaced. After July 29, I hope the upgrade nag will go away; if it does not, I may look into the Utah small claims courts.

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tom dial
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The suggestion that the plaintiff's system was unknowingly enrolled in the beta program almost certainly is incorrect, but the drift of the article suggest she is unlikely to have the technical knowledge to come up with such a suggestion on her own. The reported problem also seems an unlikely result of such an event, as the failure probably would have occurred much earlier. A more likely explanation, in my opinion, is that a MS tech support agent suggested it, perhaps to divert attention from the fundamental Microsoft error of instituting default and largely non-consensual installation (or installation with poorly informed or implicit consent, which is nearly as bad).

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Three non-obvious reasons to Vote Leave on the 23rd

tom dial
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I'm an American, but grew up hearing of British determination from my parents, who sailed to Britain in September 1940 to join the American Hospital in Britain, near Basingstoke. I doubt the terrifying predictions of Britain's demise, as they doubted it would fall to the German military onslaught; I wish you well.

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NASCAR team red-flagged by ransomware attack

tom dial
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Re: Perspective..

With an appropriate backup scheme it is hard to see them losing more than a day's worth of data.

"[W]e would lose years' worth of work, millions of dollars" reeks of slackness. Criminal act, for sure, yet so easily mitigated down to relative insignificance.

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US Senate strikes down open-access FBI hacking warrant by just one honest vote

tom dial
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Re: Due process in the US of A

The second amendment has roots in the English Bill of Rights (1689) among other things. Analogues also were present in the state constitutions of New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, where controlling restless slaves would not have been a major issue, and also in the Articles of Confederation and in the Northwest Ordinance that governed settling the area that now includes Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and part of Minnesota and prohibited slavery throughout the territory. Georgia, which permitted slavery at the time, had no constitutional provision that allowed keeping and bearing arms, although as in all of the states, customary and common law (adopted almost entire from England) certainly would have allowed it.

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tom dial
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Roughly 3 US households in 10 have one or more guns. That's a large enough number to qualify as reasonably normal, or at least not seriously abnormal. The average number of guns per owning household is somewhat nearer 3 than 2, which is not overwhelmingly large. Still, that is a lot of guns compared to all other countries, and based on death and injury statistics, in need of a bit of regulation.

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tom dial
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Re: They're now using Orlando as an excuse? Really?

There is a significant contradiction between the implicit notion that the government should not be able to bypass tight procedures, involving some type of judicial review, in order to conduct a search, yet should be able, based only on hearsay and with no judicial review whatever, to abridge the explicit constitutional right to own firearms.

According to the FBI's public information, you cannot find out if you are listed in the Terrorist Screening Database, and although there is a link for "Redress Procedures," it refers to a page of bureaucratese jargon that inspires little confidence in the existence of real redress. Use of such material to deny any right is seriously problematic, and its use without review independent of those who assemble and maintain it fails miserably, in the same way as national security letters, to meet a reasonable standard of due process, as the fifth amendment requires. The history of the DHS No Fly List suggests that although it doubtless is considerably smaller (at a bit over 100,000) it is no better.

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Linux on PS3 white flag

tom dial
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I look forward to receiving my $55; hopefully possession of the machine will provide me enough documentation. I might even dust off the old PS3 and install a more recent Linux if I can find one.

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Non-US encryption is 'theoretical,' claims CIA chief in backdoor debate

tom dial
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Re: @Voland "getting funds ... nearly impossible"

I suggest that there is another possibility: If the US were to make such a requirement stick (I think the last version of Burr-Feinstein that I saw is pretty unlikely to pass), it is likely enough that it would be followed by similar legislation in quite a few other countries, with China and Russia in the mix but not necessarily the first.

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tom dial
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Re: Hog wash.

A reference, please, to a source as to breaking of AES or RSA with high bit length. Strong claims require strong evidence.

Not that either of these algorithms really is "US Gov't stuff."

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Dad of student slain in Paris terror massacre sues Google, Twitter, Facebook for their 'material support' of ISIS

tom dial
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Saddam Hussain was 65 or so when the US invaded Iraq and nearly 70 when found and executed. He was unlikely to live too much longer even if undisturbed by the US invasion, and it is likely that there would have been a succession struggle after his death, during which it is likely that Iraq would have been dismembered or fallen into civil war. The outcome would have been different, but it is not obvious it would have been better. Something like the disintegration of Yugoslavia after Tito's death seems in the ball park.

That is not to say that the US invasion was the right thing to do; it was not. However, the Iraq's inherent instability, which goes back to the end of the First World War probably would have led to internal war, however much the invasion hastened it, and it might well have been worse.

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tom dial
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Re: Some points to consider.

Lobbyists may affect laws going forward, but have little or nothing to do with the operation of a court.

In the US, because of the first amendment to the Constitution, the limits on speech, understood in its most general sense, are very narrowly circumscribed. Some, and I include myself, think of this as a feature, not a defect. Most of the spew of the crazies is not and cannot effectively be made unlawful despite the fact it is hurtful or in terrible taste and its authors are worthy of condemnation and extensive public shaming, which the Internet provides for as easily and extensively, or more, as it does for the nastiness.

Google, Twitter, Facebook, and others, as private entities, are not bound by the First Amendment and can do as they think appropriate within very wide limits (within the US) when it comes to anything remotely like political (or commercial) "speech."

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tom dial
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Re: What a wanker

Although we did not, in the somewhat distant past "random individuals with mental illness reading the output of those organisations on the Net and, as a result, going out and killing people" we did have "random individuals with mental illness" (for some reasonable understanding of mental illness) "going out and killing people." One need go no further than Wikipedia to see that rather clearly.

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Buggy vote-counting software borks Australian election

tom dial
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Re: WTF?

In the US the system is full of holes and vulnerabilities. The reason fraud rarely is caught is that it is not often an issue (because most elections are not very close) and therefore is not much looked for. In addition, checking for the types of voting fraud mentioned is quite difficult. As another poster mentioned, there is no easy way to connect deaths and voter registration lists. Although some states, maybe most, share voter lists in an attempt to identify multiple jurisdiction registrations, that undertaking is afflicted with the difficult problem of name comparison that banks and S&Ls worked through several decades ago. For example, there may or may not be duplicates among A D Smith, Albert D Smith, Albert Donald Smith, A Donald Smith, A David Smith, Arthur David Smith (and quite a few other possible variations), and it would be a substantial effort as well to read death notices and be certain of removing registrations of those, and only those, who are deceased. Photo IDs, which are available at no direct cost in all or nearly all states that require them, partly address the issue.

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tom dial
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Re: We want the Neville Shute Voting System

Actually, it would not do that. The political machines of old depended heavily on making sure the government ran decently, Chicago being the last major example. As late as the early 1960s under the Daley machine it was arguably the best run large city in the US. At that time, and earlier, the streets were maintained, the garbage collected, and if you had a problem that the city government you could call the Alderman's office and stand a reasonable chance of getting the problem solved. At that time, too, it was customary for the machine's precinct workers to hand out $2 per voter with the instruction to go vote - the recipient knew which candidate to vote for.

There was graft, to be sure, in things like minimum-show jobs, various forms of self enrichment among the higher ranked members of the political class, and contracts where the low bidder had information that the others did not. As long as it didn't get out of hand and the essential city government functions were maintained it was tolerable.

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tom dial
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Re: WTF?

Multiple voting across jurisdictions would be a problem of possible significance mostly in presidential elections, and to a smaller degree in state wide elections such as those for governer or US senator. The most likely offenders would be students who, due to great indignation some years past, were allowed to register and vote at their college or university while retaining their voting status at their former (and often summer) residence. I thought about doing that about 50 years ago, but decided against it. Since then it has become a bit more difficult as states have coordinated comparison of their voting lists

The Australian system does not seem notably more vulnerable to fraud, but does seem to depend on the voters trusting the election administrators rather more than is usual in the US.

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Russian government hackers spent a year in our servers, admits DNC

tom dial
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Re: Hillary's mail server

Until a denial is issued, we may assume for convenience that Clinton and the DNC hired their admins from the same applicant pool and got similar skill levels.

Once a denial is issued, we can evaluate it for credibility.

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Linux devs open up universal Ubuntu Snap packages to other distros

tom dial
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Before retiring, one of my least favorite activities was sorting through the security issues from old, decrepit, and buggy versions of Java that vendors had bundled with their application. They typically promised to support only the version they bundled, and as we were a US DoD agency, we were required to have support for niceties like security issues. This was not a problem until a vendor's favorite java became an unsupported product, at which point we had to start writing POA&M or Acceptance of Risk documents about the Java that Sun or Oracle no longer supported. Sometimes we had four or five versions, of which two or three no longer had support. That left us in a bind: replacing the unsupported Java gave us an unsupported Java application. Explaining that to the CIO was not pleasant, who was extremely averse to signing an Acceptance of Risk.

Snap appears to be a codification into open source of this noxious practice.

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