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* Posts by a_yank_lurker

2586 posts • joined 16 Nov 2013

Bad benchmarks bedevil boffins' infosec efforts

a_yank_lurker
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Benchmarks Valid?

All the benchmarks I have ever seen are like EPA gas mileage figures; artificial numbers the are optimistic at best. But numbers because of how they are derived have some comparative value at least in a gross sense. EPA mileage figures do not actually account varying load, weather conditions, etc. that affect the real world numbers. Benchmarks have the same problems, what is the proper balance between CPU load, memory load, drive reads, etc. to mimic the mythical average user? The 'crime' is not that benchmarks are skewed but that they researches are misusing them to try predict behavior in the real world when they are only good tell general trends.

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Meltdown/Spectre fixes made AWS CPUs cry, says SolarWinds

a_yank_lurker
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Statistics

Right now, we are not seeing good statistics of just how much damage the patches are causing. The number of data points are few and seem to be biased towards the worst. However, I suspect the effects will range from none/not detectable to eye-popping but the key is the distribution in the server farms once people figure out how to work around the problems. I would not be surprised at something the resembles a Weibul distribution or a mirror of a Weibul (asymmetric cluster with must values clustered at one end with longish tail).

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IBM kills Global Technology and Global Business Services: It's all ‘IBM Services’ now

a_yank_lurker
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Re: In the great IBM tradition

Jackass Cloud?

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US shoppers abandon PC makers in hour of need

a_yank_lurker
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Unexpected

When one's options were a PC/laptop that is what people bought. Also, in many regions the market is mature meaning most sales of PCs are replacements. With the other devices being available and doing the job most people need, there will be declining demand for a PCs for awhile. Eventually the drop will flatten out.

One point these 'analysts' seem to always miss is most families do not need that many PCs and many have more than they need squirreled away gathering dust. Businesses will need only issue one box to an employee at a time.

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Data protection is best managed from the centre

a_yank_lurker
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Re: Getting ahead of yourself here..

Most organizations collect too much information because they do not think through basic questions about what they need the data for.

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Intel AMT security locks bypassed on corp laptops – fresh research

a_yank_lurker
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Why?

What is the purpose of the 'Management Engine'? Does it serve a real need? If Chipzilla can come up with a good reason then fine, otherwise it is a pointless piece of stupidity that should never have seen the light of day.

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Intel top brass smacked with sueball for keeping schtum about chip flaws

a_yank_lurker
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Ouch

This one has the potential to really hurt. Essentially the suit is claiming a version of securities fraud. Depending on the details this could lead to a Club Feral vacation with a large 'donation' to the ferals when the ferals decide to act.

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Black & Blue: IBM hires Bain to cut costs, up productivity

a_yank_lurker
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morons led by idiots

Further proof Isty Bitsy Morons will going belly up. Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic did more good.

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Leaky credit report biz face massive fines if US senators get their way

a_yank_lurker
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Re: No chance

The biggest problem with the bill is size of the potential fines. They are big enough to bankrupt a company in short order (50% of annual revenues). In many cases that would be as bad as the security breach as the company sinks taking other innocent businesses with it.

The bill is poorly thought as far as its effects. Probably a better solution is when a breach is above a certain size or due to gross negligence/incompetence give the C-suiters a personal multiyear, all-expense paid, vacation courtesy of Club Fed with a personal massive 'donation' to the feral treasury.

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Tata for now: Marks & Sparks transfers 250 tech jobs to outsourcer

a_yank_lurker
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Bankruptcy Soon?

Why do I have a feeling someone is heading to bankruptcy soon? Farming out your IT staff is a fools errand as you will lose control over them with time as the contractor moves staff around. In house staff means you have control and they are also only working on your projects.

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CPU bug patch saga: Antivirus tools caught with their hands in the Windows cookie jar

a_yank_lurker
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Re: What is difficult about setting a registry key ?

By the time some heavy hitters with massive numbers of Bloat boxes get hammered by various failures they will sue everyone they can. Touch the registry and you might be tossed into the mix. Chipzilla and Littlezilla will definitely be named, Slurp and other OS suppliers will probably be named, security software peddlers will probably be named, etc. The further down the food chain the easier time you will have but you will still have to defend yourself initially. Many initially named will wiggle off the hook.

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FBI says it can't unlock 8,000 encrypted devices, demands backdoors for America's 'public safety'

a_yank_lurker
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New Donut Shop?

There must be a new, all-you-eat, donut shop opening up and they can not miss out. Solving any crime takes a leg work, talking to people, reviewing what evidence you have, etc. Probably the most important bits of evidence from a phone are location and traffic logs. The traffic logs will give them a reason to go play 20-questions someone. But that means giving up your seat in the donut queue.

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Memo man Damore is back – with lawyers: Now Google sued for 'punishing' white men

a_yank_lurker
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Forest vs Trees

The net claim is Chocolate Factory actively discriminates against certain groups in violation of state/feral laws. If true and proven, Chocolate Factory is footing the bill for some serious money plus further scrutiny such as age discrimination.

As far as why there is in imbalance in IT between men and women in the US my take is that many males who go into IT have dismal social skills even for STEM majors. Also, there is a tendency to not realize most of IT is problem solving that is a common STEM skill applied to a specific set of problems. Much of IT can be learned by anyone who wishes to spend the time.

A bit of history, in the old days there were no IT graduates so those who got into IT were often some what older, seasoned professionals who were more mature and socially adept. They had a better understanding of the fundamental role of IT in business which really has not changed to improve the bottom line by automating tasks that humans tend to do very slowly and often erratically. Often the PFYs are more interested in 'saving the world' than helping the business make money but they will not have any money if the business does not survive.

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SAP customers won't touch the fluffy stuff... so here's another on-prem HR data tool

a_yank_lurker
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@Doctor Syntax - 'In the meantime, can whoever coined the phrase "human capital" be taken outside and quietly chloroformed?'; only chloroformed how about being charged with crimes against humanity.

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Who's that at Ring's door? Why, it's Skybell with a begging cup, er, patent rip-off lawsuit

a_yank_lurker
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Re: They have a case?

That was my reaction to the patents. It seems all they did was use prior art for a electronic door lock. But it still begs the question, why buy one of these when a quality, keyed deadbolt is cheap and fairly easy to install?

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Here come the lawyers! Intel slapped with three Meltdown bug lawsuits

a_yank_lurker
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Re: Class action

Not sure about these suits, they seem to be a SOHO based. I suspect the real damage will come when someone like Slurp, Failbook, or Chocolate Factory sues as they will have some eye popping metrics to show the financial damage Chipzilla caused to them. The first round of class action suits will look like chump change compared to some of the latter ones.

Aslo, later suits will benefit from the pretrial discovery that will occur in the class action suits as it will expose more Chipzilla's legal weaknesses.

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a_yank_lurker
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Re: OK, I'll bite

The only fixes currently available are in the OSes so it is reasonable to expect some slowdown. The slowdown is not likely to be a problem for home computer, phone, or office drone box but with servers where the slowdown could be noticeable and potentially very severe for websites, database access, cloud based applications, etc. All areas that can affect business profitability and that is a big issue for Chipzilla, et. al. Businesses will probably start suing once they have better metrics on actual costs and losses and these numbers probably will be eye popping.

OS suppliers are stating to expect a performance hit and why. It is partly defensive (avoid lawsuits) and partly giving best estimate of what to expect even if a bit vague now.

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US border cops told to stop copying people's files just for the hell of it

a_yank_lurker
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Re: CBP is committed to preserving the civil rights and civil liberties of those

Actually, at all borders non-citizens have very limited rights before entry into any country. As a non-citizen of Canada and the UK, they can put just about any rules they want on me (US citizen) prior to entry and there is very little I can say about it. This is mitigated by treaties and the fact excessive jackassery will provoke a retaliation.

Also, citizens reentering have to declare what they are bringing back and are subject to search if the agent gets suspicious. One time, when I was young, I was go through US customs in JFK and the person immediately before me was nailed for trying to smuggle chocolates into the US. All I had to do was answer a few questions and I was waived through.

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Wait! Before you fire up that HP lappy, check the battery

a_yank_lurker
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Re: Is this surprising ?

Too many ignore the heat generated while discharging and especially charging a battery. The chemical reactions usually generate excess heat, more when recharging. This heat must be allowed to properly dissipate or you could have any of a number of problems depending on the battery chemistry with Li-ion batteries being prone to fires.

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Skynet it ain't: Deep learning will not evolve into true AI, says boffin

a_yank_lurker
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@Naselus - About once a generation a new set of wide-eyed, scifi enthralled groups get the AI religion. It lasts a few years as they hype some trivial exploit as meaning AI is just around the corner. Sort of sounds like fusion research.

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Military alliance NATO adopts official hymn

a_yank_lurker
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Re: Words?

Onward yellow cowards marching to the rear ...

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US Homeland Security breach compromised personal info of 200,000+ staff

a_yank_lurker
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Feral Incompetence - Deja Vu Department

Didn't OPM (Office Personnel Mismanagement) have a breach like this a few years ago? It seems as if the average feral incompetent is incapable of learning.

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Microsoft patches Windows to cool off Intel's Meltdown – wait, antivirus? Slow your roll

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Chipzilla it was nice to know you

As bad as this cock up is I suspect there will a series of patches for all OSes that will be rushed more than normal. This is one time I will not criticize Slurp or anyone else for wonky patches to fix Chipzilla's screw up.

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UK drone collision study didn't show airliner window penetration

a_yank_lurker
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Re: Let's just accept that the UK

Same over here.

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IBM lobs sueball at travel site Expedia for using some old Prodigy patents

a_yank_lurker
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East Texas Says Howdy

Did Expedia open an office in East Texas? I doubt these patents have much merit but that never stopped a troll.

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Shopped in Forever 21? There was bank-card-slurping malware in it for, like, forever

a_yank_lurker
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Question

How are the miscreant infecting POS systems? I ask out of my own ignorance.

I know the Target hack was because of poor internal system design that allowed a hacker coming in one a vendor login to reach the POS system.

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Big shock: $700 Internet-of-Things door lock not a success

a_yank_lurker
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$700 versus $25

Manual, keyed deadbolts are available at Home Depot over here for $25 +/- depending on finish, etc. So please tell why I should pay 28x the price of a very reliable mechanical deadbolt?

I await your answer.

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Time's up: Grace period for Germany's internet hate speech law ends

a_yank_lurker
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Re: IMHO

Bingo, the problem is the vagueness of any definition.

It seems legislating against 'hate speech' is often an attempt to control the debate on an issue. Also, there seems to be a tendency to towards bad manners and incivility all around and not just online.

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Judge rm -rf Grsecurity's defamation sue-ball against Bruce Perens

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Real Issue

Perens was complaining about an attempt to subvert GPL by claiming patches are not covered. GPL requires (intends to) all modifications to the code be released under the same license. The court ruled that there was no applicable case on the GPL and its derivative requirements and that his comments were a valid opinion about the GPL. Thus there is no defamation possible.

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Missed opportunity bingo: IBM's wasted years and the $92bn cash splurge

a_yank_lurker
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Re: The Innovator's Dilemma

Steve Jobs noted that either Fruit cannibalizes its own products or someone else will. So the question is are you as a business leader willing to let a current product line wither if necessary to have future products that will carry you forward for many years. Ironically being will to cannibalize your own might give the older products more life. I can name Fruit, Chocolate Factory, Chipzilla, and Slurp products without any real effort but I have no clue what products IBM actually has.

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a_yank_lurker
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Woes of Itsy Bitsy Morons

Itsy Bitsy Morons have been struggling with changes in IT since the mid 80s or longer. What most forget their business model was built on mainframes and supporting mainframes. The development of mini-computers and later PCs meant that a lot jobs that were run on mainframes could be offloaded to smaller, cheaper devices. These devices had the bonus of being more accessible to the users. This change meant that mainframes, which were mature product back then, might have declining sales over time.

In the 80s they entered the PC market which the market credibility for businesses. But they seemed to never go all in as if they feared cannibalizing mainframe sales. A couple of major blunders did not help either. There was a period about 1990 when it appeared they might go belly up. There was a grudging refocusing on software services as they got out of the PC business.

One problem Ginny faces, besides incompetent managers, is the maturation of the IT industry as a whole. There are niches such as the 'cloud' that are growth opportunities but as a whole the industry is relatively mature both for hardware and software. Surviving in this type of market where most sales are either repeat customers or subscriptions requires a different approach. A well managed company can still make plenty of money.

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Long Island Iced Tea Corp renamed itself to Long Blockchain – and its shares went bananas

a_yank_lurker
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Re: Non alchoholic?

Real Long Island Iced Tea is an alcoholic drink, may be their sales would improve if they made the real stuff.

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Revealed: How Libratus bot felted poker pros – and now it has cyber-security in its sights

a_yank_lurker
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AI of?

AI or just a big database with lots of computing power behind it?

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Peak smartphone? iPhone X flunks 'supercycle' hopes

a_yank_lurker
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Re: Hmmmm...

Most business analysts seem to forget to study their history. No matter how successful a product is there is a finite demand. For smartphones, most people will have only one personal phone. At some point the demand is basically replacement phones not new customers. I would expect all phone sales to slow down as the market matures.

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Hacks, bribes and bugs: Uber accused of illegal snooping on rivals

a_yank_lurker
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Re: What bag?

I was also wondering about RICO and similar charges.

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Google asks browser rival Vivaldi to post uninstall instructions

a_yank_lurker
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What about Brave

If Vivaldi annoys them what do they think about Brave? Brave is very much privacy centered, I think more so than Vivaldi. But that might be perception or splitting hairs.

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Oi, force Microsoft to cough up emails on Irish servers to the Feds, US states urge Supremes

a_yank_lurker
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Feral Criminality

The Ferals are taking lounging in the doughnut shop to an extreme. If this was a money laundering or drug case they would get off their asses and get the locals involved. So the question is why can't they do it in this case.

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Former Intel EMEAR sales director takes Chipzilla to tribunal

a_yank_lurker
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Re: Self-representation?

I do not the ins and outs of UK tribunals but on the side of the pond self-representation is always a mistake.

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Hitchcock cameo steals opening of Oracle v Google Java spat

a_yank_lurker
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@Dan 55 - Most of the problem is those writing and interpreting how the law should be applied are acting like functional illiterates with IQs in the negative numbers, very large negative numbers. APIs and similar interfaces are not difficult to understand even for the dimmest of bulbs. The problem is shysters generally do not care to learn about how anything works and will likely tell someone who does know how ignorant they are. I have had a few run ins with shysters telling me how things work when I knew the shyster was full of it and ready to burst.

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It's a decade since DevOps became a 'thing' – and people still don't know what it means

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Buzzword Bingo for PHBs

When I hear DevOps, Agile, etc. I wonder if the shills have ever worked on a real system. To be a good developer, tester, system admin, etc. takes a specific set of skills that do not overlap that much with the others. Expecting someone to good at all is a fool's errand.

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IBM opens emergency escape hatch to TSS volunteers

a_yank_lurker
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Re: Funny that financial thing...

Dumbsourcing probably is at best a net wash on the money. All you have done is moved the costs around at the risk of alienating customers.

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Sucks to be a... chief data officer, when they're being told: Boost revenues

a_yank_lurker
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PHBs playing Statistician

There must be no regard for what data was collected, why it was collected, and any rudimentary knowledge of statistics by the C-suite PHBs. One flaw about analyzing 'big data' is that is often actually very disparate data silos that are not easily linked together.

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Former US State Department cyber man: We didn’t see the Russian threat coming

a_yank_lurker
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Feral Stupidity

So the ferals are so stupid not to realize that their spying antics will be used against them. If you vaguely understand how computer networks work, everyone is vulnerable to the same types of attacks. But the part of vaguely understanding is too much of a stretch for these imbeciles.

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New Jersey lawmakers propose ban on folks drunk droning

a_yank_lurker
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Re: Is this a huge problem in the fine state of New Jersey?

More like a busybody who has nothing better to do than take care of the state budget and debt.

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Did you unwittingly support the destruction of net neutrality rules?

a_yank_lurker
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Schneiderman the Shyster

The commenting system will always be a bit of a mess as various groups try to 'stuff the ballot' with friendly comments. To some extent, these comments can be filtered out if those monitoring have a couple of functioning brain cells. Looking at the comment search for myself, I did not find any unusual activity.

Given the Shyster's histrionics on other issues I tend to dismiss his antics as those of spoiled brat.

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UK government bans all Russian anti-virus software from Secret-rated systems

a_yank_lurker
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Re: AV - Can we really trust any of them?

@AC - Short answer - No, none can be trusted. There have been too many reliable reports of spookhauses using a company as cover for their activities. Some cases the company is a true front but in other cases it is a legitimate company which has access to data the spooks want.

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US politicos wake up to danger of black-box algorithms shaping all corners of American life

a_yank_lurker
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Re: Not just credit scores...prison sentences.

@Charles 9 - There are three major causes to the incarceration rates: long sentences, overcharging, and the 'war on drugs'. The first is obvious, long sentences mean people in prison for years if not decades for crimes that have much shorter sentences in other countries. Overcharging means there probably a trivial, semi-bogus charge you almost will be convicted of. Combine this under feral criminal law intent is not required and a minor misstep is now a potential felony. The 'war on drugs' criminalizes what is a common human behavior; seeking escape via drugs/alcohol and the consequent medical issues. A lot of very severe sentences are in this area. Also, in many cases the underlying issue is either psychological or medical not criminal in nature.

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US credit repair biz damages own security: 111GB of personal info exposed in S3 blunder

a_yank_lurker
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Re: Yet they are still rushing

My problem with the cloud is very sensitive data does resides on someone else's hardware. Aside from misconfigured databases and services, if you do not own the hardware you really do not control the data.

Kim Dotcom got into trouble as Megaupload contracted storage out and one of the companies was US based.

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WW2 Enigma machine to be seized from shamed pharma bro Shkreli

a_yank_lurker
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More Fitting

Somehow his antics and crimes which as noted earlier probably led to deaths because of his greed will not get the proper punishment. So he has a stay at Club Fed and must surrender property; that is a better deal than the pine box some got.

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Royal Bank of Scotland culls 1 in 4 branches, blames the interwebz

a_yank_lurker
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Competence?

Over here, most banks are trying to keep branches open, if lightly staffed. The thinking is the convenience of a branch for customers when they need to walk into a bank is important. It is easier to keep a customer than to get a new one.

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