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David Moore
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Attends University of California, San Diego
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David Moore

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Some explanatory context about the lack of an indictment in Ferguson: while grand juries are nominally one of the checks on executive power, with the prosecutors only able to indict someone if they can convince a grand jury, this hasn't really been the case in decades, if ever. In the famous words of Sol Wachtler, former chief judge of the New York Court of Appeals, district attornies have so much influence over grand juries that they could get them to "indict a ham sandwich" if they wanted.

This is because grand jury proceedings are rather one-sided: there is generally no judge involved, nor any defense, but rather the prosecutor simply presents whatever evidence he or she chooses, and has to convince the grand jury that there is "probable cause" that the person committed a crime, i.e. that a reasonable (ordinary) jury could conceivably convict. If this seems like a rather low bar to you, you're right: quite a few people have argued that grand juries are a complete waste of time, and only half of US states still use them. (The federal government is required to by the fifth amendment; no common-law jurisdiction outside the US still bothers)

In those places which still use them, their main remaining function is to provide plausible deniability to prosecutors who don't wish to pursue a case: just like you could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich by only showing one story, you could get a grand jury to refuse to indict Freddy Krueger by showing them enough evidence to make the legitimacy of the state's case unclear.

That's not a common use for grand juries -- prosecutors generally have better things to do with their time than look for plausible deniability. (In the federal courts in 2010, for example, grand juries refused to indict 11 times, out of about 162,000 cases. Given that a prosecutor can generally guess when they don't even have a good enough case to indict, you can assume that those eleven each decided to have the grand jury be the one to say no, instead of them, for a reason)

What this means is that when you're trying to interpret the news and understand what a grand jury verdict means, you can basically take it to be a summary of the prosecutor's decision to prosecute or not to prosecute the case, rather than the verdict of an independent panel. 

(The analysis below notes that, in high-profile cases, there's another important reason that a grand jury may not indict, which is that the prosecutor feels that the case isn't strong enough to actually push through, but nonetheless feels political pressure to try anyway. That's not likely to be the case with today's news, as county prosecutor Bob McCulloch took the rather unusual step of having Darren Wilson, the prospective defendant, testify before the grand jury for several hours. Prosecutors who actually want an indictment generally don't invite the defendant to give their side of the story at length, as this is not considered conducive to getting the desired variety of ham sandwich. So it's fairly safe to read today's headline as "McCulloch decides not to prosecute Wilson," and interpret that as you will.)

If you want to read about the grand jury system in the US, as good a place to start as any is
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grand_juries_in_the_United_States
A St. Louis County grand jury on Monday decided not to indict Ferguson, Missouri, police Officer Darren Wilson in the August killing of teenager Michael Brown. The decision wasn’t a surprise -- lea...
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Usually I can figure out what my password was once I've seen the stupid rules when recreating password post-recovery operation.

You are a bad web site and you should feel bad.
 
...and now a lesson from USPS on how to use arbitrary password complexity requirements to guarantee your customers either forget their passwords immediately, or write them down on a piece of paper next to the computer.
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Usually these sorts of websites also reject embedded profanity, because most users fail 3 times to specify a valid password and then progress on to a certain subset of words sometimes not found in the dictionary.
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Yay, another pledge drive for the EFF and ACLU driven by the FBI.

Do please send the EFF a check. 
 
Google and Apple must be doing something right; see how upset the FBI is?
The agency director’s criticisms echo the frustrations of law enforcement officials nationwide.
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Orange chicken and crispy beef. 5 stars.
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Raise them right.
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ITS PBJT
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Win.
 
Wah, why do there have to be only seven chapters of the Harry Potter/Culture crossover fanfic? :( ;_;

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/3983128/1/Culture-Shock <- the starting chapter.  If you're a Culture fan and familiar with Harry Potter, you'll want to read them all!  But there are only seven :/
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It's good to be on the inside.
 
Ha! I've been saying this for years!

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+J%C3%BCrgenHubert/posts/4Yodu54kZXR

And I also noticed the similarities after reading Sudhir Venkatesh's work...
This article originally appeared in Inside Higher Ed. It's the season of preparation for big disciplinary meetings—and for the job interviews that take place there. So once again—amid continued tight job markets in many fields—scholars will be debating why there aren't enough good academic jobs for new Ph.D.s, and the...
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iOS 7 music app is way less useful than the iOS 6 one, at least for my usage style.

The older repeat, repeat-single, normal play icon was easy to see and toggle. Now it is text menu that is hard to see at a glance and requires reading and coordination to pick from menu, rather than just tapping to cycle through.

Adding icons to the playlist screen might be useful, except that the size of the icons has significantly shrunk the number of entries visible at one time, requiring more scrolling and searching.

Inability to get to music app via the double press of home button really sucks. The slide-up from bottom settings panel doesn't have a good consistent way to get to the app.

I would rather have buttons for "songs" in the bottom bar than either radio or genius.

#ios7 #ios7problems
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Remember to regularly change all passwords on systems like yahoo, google, Facebook, amazon, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. All of these services replicate data between sites for fault-tolerance and performance. So far only google has announced that they are encrypting traffic on these links (recently in place after over year of planning and execution).

The amount of disk space to hold login names and list of all snooped password hashes is cheap.

That data is always available to them even if their ability to tap is reduced. They'd be able to login to specifically targeted accounts.
 
The packet capture shown in these new NSA slides shows internal database replication traffic for the anti-hacking system I worked on for over two years. Specifically, it shows a database recording a user login as part of this system:

http://googleblog.blogspot.ch/2013/02/an-update-on-our-war-against-account.html

Recently +Brandon Downey, a colleague of mine on the Google security team, said (after the usual disclaimers about being personal opinions and not speaking for the firm which I repeat here) - "fuck these guys":

https://plus.google.com/108799184931623330498/posts/SfYy8xbDWGG

I now join him in issuing a giant Fuck You to the people who made these slides. I am not American, I am a Brit, but it's no different - GCHQ turns out to be even worse than the NSA.

We designed this system to keep criminals out. There's no ambiguity here. The warrant system with skeptical judges, paths for appeal, and rules of evidence was built from centuries of hard won experience. When it works, it represents as good a balance as we've got between the need to restrain the state and the need to keep crime in check. Bypassing that system is illegal for a good reason.

Unfortunately we live in a world where all too often, laws are for the little people. Nobody at GCHQ or the NSA will ever stand before a judge and answer for this industrial-scale subversion of the judicial process. In the absence of working law enforcement,  we therefore do what internet engineers have always done - build more secure software. The traffic shown in the slides below is now all encrypted and the work the NSA/GCHQ staff did on understanding it, ruined.

Thank you Edward Snowden. For me personally, this is the most interesting revelation all summer.
New documents reveal exactly how the Post was able to determine that the NSA was peeking inside the Google and Yahoo's cloud network.
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Good point. Maybe just a reminder to avoid sharing between sites and that for most web browsers there are password managers that can help with that.

Also: if someone offers 2-factor authentication, take it.
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Time to make the donuts. Er, I mean any passwords with overlap with any password used on a google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, yahoo, etc service over the past several years. Unfortunately only google is encrypting all inter-data center traffic now, as far as we publicly know.
 
The packet capture shown in these new NSA slides shows internal database replication traffic for the anti-hacking system I worked on for over two years. Specifically, it shows a database recording a user login as part of this system:

http://googleblog.blogspot.ch/2013/02/an-update-on-our-war-against-account.html

Recently +Brandon Downey, a colleague of mine on the Google security team, said (after the usual disclaimers about being personal opinions and not speaking for the firm which I repeat here) - "fuck these guys":

https://plus.google.com/108799184931623330498/posts/SfYy8xbDWGG

I now join him in issuing a giant Fuck You to the people who made these slides. I am not American, I am a Brit, but it's no different - GCHQ turns out to be even worse than the NSA.

We designed this system to keep criminals out. There's no ambiguity here. The warrant system with skeptical judges, paths for appeal, and rules of evidence was built from centuries of hard won experience. When it works, it represents as good a balance as we've got between the need to restrain the state and the need to keep crime in check. Bypassing that system is illegal for a good reason.

Unfortunately we live in a world where all too often, laws are for the little people. Nobody at GCHQ or the NSA will ever stand before a judge and answer for this industrial-scale subversion of the judicial process. In the absence of working law enforcement,  we therefore do what internet engineers have always done - build more secure software. The traffic shown in the slides below is now all encrypted and the work the NSA/GCHQ staff did on understanding it, ruined.

Thank you Edward Snowden. For me personally, this is the most interesting revelation all summer.
New documents reveal exactly how the Post was able to determine that the NSA was peeking inside the Google and Yahoo's cloud network.
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