aldestrawk’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Mar 27th, 2015 @ 2:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Autoupdates are bad

    I use Secunia's PSI to indicate updates for a lot of common software. I keep a list of things that may need updating that are not covered by this.

  • Mar 27th, 2015 @ 1:32pm

    (untitled comment)

    Chemnitz? Ach bitte, es ist Karl Marx Stadt.

  • Mar 27th, 2015 @ 1:31pm

    Re: Autoupdates are bad

    Absolutely! The trouble is Microsoft encourages auto-update, particularly when it is a home computer and not managed by an IT department. The first thing I do with a new computer, or new software be it the OS, a browser, or random application program is to check for and disable any auto-updates. On the other hand, if auto-update didn't exist then there are a lot of folk who would never think to update and leave themselves vulnerable.

  • Mar 27th, 2015 @ 1:18pm


    This puts an interesting spin on the system of screening done by the TSA. I don't think anyone is truly afraid of Sara Jane Olson blowing up the plane she is on in a suicidal attack. There are Americans who don't believe in rehabilitation, or that she could tire of being a violent radical even after more than 30 years of being a mom and showing no inclination towards any sort of violence. They would have her placed on the no-fly list, at the very least, as a form of further punishment. It makes sense to me that because she is so well known, notorious in fact, she should be given pre-check approval rather than being subjugated to the bias of any particular TSA agent who recognizes her name. I know Tim is ranting about the general lack of common sense and inconsistency shown by the TSA, but I think this particular action did make sense.

  • Mar 26th, 2015 @ 1:05pm

    (untitled comment)

    So, evidence now points to the co-pilot intentionally crashing the plane. He did this when the pilot left the cockpit to use the bathroom. What was probably the only sane response to 9/11 was to reinforce the cockpit doors and keep them locked. Here, you have the cockpit door being used as an impenetrable barrier being used as part of the plan to crash a plane. What do we do now?

  • Mar 26th, 2015 @ 12:58pm


    I'll take this post seriously and point out the problems with that idea. Do you think TSA will let you take a parachute on board? What makes you think you can physically open a door while the plane is flying at full speed? Even if you could physically open the door, do you think others on the plane will act rationally and let you do it? What do you think will happen if you exit a plane going 600mph?

  • Mar 3rd, 2015 @ 7:17am

    (untitled comment)

    His argument makes no sense at all. Firstly, even if a wireless network is used to connect components on a self-driving car, it's going to be a LAN an not dependent upon any traffic in the Internet. It would be insane to design such a system otherwise. Even with high-bandwidth connections there are always occasional delays due to congestion and outages. There is absolutely no reason that I can see that makes the basic operation of a driverless-car, in particular, the crash avoidance sub-system, dependent upon traffic through the Internet. Perhaps, it gets information on traffic conditions and a 5 second delay makes it miss that last second decision to exit and you get stuck in traffic.
    Boo hoo, net neutrality made my driverless car 12 minutes later than I had to be. What am I going to do sitting here in traffic. Watch TV, call on the phone, text my friends, read a book, write a diatribe about how evil net neutrality is?

  • Feb 2nd, 2015 @ 2:44pm

    defense of duck and cover

    In case of nuclear holocaust, watch this video.

    I don't remember practicing the duck and cover drill, I am not THAT old. However, I think it made some sense at the time it was made (1951). Nuclear weapons were a lot more limited back then. No ICBMs, only airplanes could deliver them. They were a lot smaller than now. The hydrogen bomb had just been invented at that time. So, a 20 kiloton weapon could obliterate the center of a city but on the outskirts, or the suburbs, duck and cover would give you some protection. By the way, it is not sitting under a desk you must be on your knees, head down on the ground with hands around your neck and praying or kissing your ass goodbye, whichever fits in with your religion.
    The damage from radiation was not well understood at the time as well. It was not until the 60's that ICBMs meant attack with little warning and weapons in the megaton range. As the public learned more about radiation and the cold war escalated the number of weapons into the thousands on each side, that is when "duck and cover" became a joke. Around 1980 scientists learned of the potential for a nuclear winter when a threshold of only a 100 weapons were detonated. At that point, duck and cover was a sick joke from the past.

  • Feb 2nd, 2015 @ 1:48pm

    (untitled comment)

    I think that effort by the French deserves snark as it is equivalent to the US "see something, say something" paranoia program. It deserves better snark though. That loaf of bread that is pictured isn't even a baquette and the pictorial is only meant to represent diet in general. That sort of snark deserves snark itself.

  • Feb 2nd, 2015 @ 1:41pm

    Re: As a French-language illiterate I find myself translating according to the graphics:

    I see your humor, but as partially literate in French,I will offer this translation:

    -They are suspicious of old friends they now consider as unclean (impure).

    -They reject members of their family.

    -They abruptly change their dietary habits.

    -They quit school or vocational training because the education provided is part of the [anti-Islamic?] conspiracy. [not totally sure about the last part]

    -They stop listening to music because it distracts them from their mission.

    -They no longer watch television or movies because one can see forbidden images.

    -They stop doing sports where the sexes are mixed.

    -They change their style of fashion, especially for the girls who dress to conceal their bodies.

    -They frequent websites and social networks that are radical and extremist.

  • Feb 2nd, 2015 @ 12:18pm

    the psychology of Hayden

    I watched his talk and I think I understand him better since he seemed to be rather unguarded in his comments. First off, his world is organized into pre 9/11 and post 9/11 and, most interestingly, pre Snowden and post Snowden. His arrogance is telling and his condescension unreserved. He feels that it is his secret knowledge of the world's dangers that makes his decisions informed and correct and those who would disagree, uninformed and incorrect. He can't tell you the secret knowledge which motivates him and that knowledge will always have to stay secret. From my point of view it is his, and a lot of the intelligence community's, addiction to secrecy and culture of paranoia which leads him to readily sacrifice privacy to fight any threat, real or theoretical. They been immersed in this culture too long to see their own bias. I am shocked though that he felt, as director of the NSA, the right to unilaterally decide what "unreasonable" means in the 4th amendment. That is true arrogance!

  • Jan 29th, 2015 @ 6:52pm

    Re: Why did they want his picture?

    They wanted a picture to use in a photo lineup for investigation into a different crime. A mugshot would not do as that would be prejudicial. They wanted a posed shot similar to the others in the lineup.

  • Jan 29th, 2015 @ 4:37pm

    (untitled comment)

    A charge under California penal code, section 148 is commonly referred to as "resisting arrest", but it includes more than that:
    "Every person who willfully resists, delays, or obstructs any public officer, peace officer, or an emergency medical

    If you look at it as a charge of "obstructing a police officer", then it makes more sense.

    However, the truth of that charge depends upon whether she was representing her client at the time. The police are arguing that the posed photography and questioning are related to another criminal investigation and the Public Defender (PD) has not been appointed to represent their client in that context. If that new investigation is ongoing, then how can the police know it is unrelated to the current one? Does the PD have to accept the cop's word on the matter?

  • Jan 14th, 2015 @ 11:04am

    Re: Too many toys

    I am wondering if there was motivation to use the SWAT raid as a training exercise when they knew ahead of time that it was not needed.

  • Dec 19th, 2014 @ 1:53pm

    Re: Government is Gaming the Public

    Yes! I see the Republican Party as behind this in order to set up key issues for the 2016 election. They are covered by plausible deniability. After all, who could possibly believe the Republican Party is behind a massive hack claimed by the Guardians Of Peace (GOP). It is too transparent. Unless, it is the Democratic Party in a long con aimed at discrediting the Republicans. Although, I suppose the DPRK could be behind it but doxing doesn't seem to be their style. Who's style is that?

    This is why I have trouble with politics. There is so much effort put into maintaining power and discrediting opponents. Why can't people just look for real solutions to problems. This is why I am a nerd and not a politician.

  • Nov 19th, 2014 @ 9:40am

    School district suspends principal

    Apparently, common sense, or at least the realization that the fallout from parent's anger needed to be addressed, has led to the school district suspending the principal of the middle school. hooter-drills

    Unfortunately, the Winter Haven police still think such drills are a good idea, although in the future they won't draw their guns during a drill. Mental myopia is a common problem. If you restrict your focus just to what is needed to train LEOs and school personnel, such drills are actually a good idea. What is missing is a wider perspective, one that students and their parents could see immediately.

  • Nov 6th, 2014 @ 9:56pm

    (untitled comment)

    This story brought up two interesting questions for me.

    1). He has been charged with conspiracy to aid and abet computer hacking. The charge is based on SR2 allowing vendors to sell password crackers, keyloggers, and remote access software. It is not illegal to possess any of those items, and they are sold on other websites. However, if a manufacturer or vendor advertises the illegal purposes these things can be used for, that vendor can be charged with a crime. Can Blake Benthall be held accountable for how the vendors at SR2 marketed their wares?

    2). I am not sure that the HSI undercover agent was instrumental in bringing down SR2 and Benthall. If he was instrumental it would have been in locating the server. As a member of the support staff did he have access to the server location or IP address? If he did then it is likely he discovered the location early on such as in January. However, the server was imaged in late May which was probably the time the server location was discovered.

    One possibility is that the de-anonymizing attack on Tor that started in late January and lasted till July 4th was a government operation intent on discovering the location of such Tor hidden services. The Tor group discovered this and removed some 115 relays that had been added as a group in late January. They also fixed an associated vulnerability. When that fix was announced at the end of July, Defcon moved the location of the servers. The new locations was also discovered but by then they already had Benthall's identity.

  • Oct 24th, 2014 @ 11:06pm

    briefs not boyshorts

    C'mon guys didn't anyone notice the photo is not of boyshorts but simply large briefs? Were you all distracted by the logo or perhaps something else?

  • Oct 6th, 2014 @ 12:18pm

    Re: Re:

    I believe expectation of privacy comes into play here. If the phone or computer, belong to your work place you don't have an expectation of privacy in using them. This is true even if you use them at your home. Now, if your workplace gave you a laptop which is now yours to do with as you wish, there is an expectation of privacy. You can install a keylogger on your home computers which are used by your kids. Because they are minors, the law doesn't require you to inform them about such monitoring. Once a child turns 18 though they have an expectation of privacy when using that computer and any surreptitious monitoring becomes illegal (I think wiretapping applies in this case). The same is true if you own the computer and your spouse also uses it.
    The upshot here is that if StealthGenie had marketed their spyware as a way to protect children then they would not have their current legal problems.

  • Oct 1st, 2014 @ 2:02pm

    (untitled comment)

    Oettinger is wrong in that governments do have a responsibility to ensure the average person is informed enough about the handling of their personal data to make good decisions about their privacy. Apple encourages their customers to not worry, or even think, about how they use their iWhatever. So, as part of providing a "seamless experience" they tend to hide, or at least not point out, that backups to the cloud are done automatically by default. They made a major security error in allowing unlimited attempts to logon via their "find my iPhone" service. In this case, the users still could have come up with a secure password, one that still could not be discovered despite millions or billions of guesses. I wouldn't call a victim stupid, nor would I blame them for being a victim. Given that, if someone really wants their nude picture to be private they should know they can take steps to guarantee that. Users are not helpless when they can use cryptography themselves and disable functions that defeat such security.
    The role of a government is in creating incentives, regulations or otherwise, for companies to inform their customers about the handling of personal data. I'm not sure I can expect that anytime soon given that many governments want all your data to be available to the government itself. So, here is my advice to celebrities. Stop using your smartphone to take risque pictures. Use a dedicated digital camera instead (you can afford it) and download those photos only to your computer. If you want to send it to someone, use encrypted email.

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