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Sitaram Chamarty
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Sitaram Chamarty

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the dangers of working on a small screen... sometimes you get a minor heart attack (until you click on the article and realise they're not buying Intel, they're buying "Intersil").

(TBH my screen is not that small, but I was using half the screen for a video lecture and splitting my attention between that catching up on my feeds)
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Sitaram Chamarty

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Is anyone else seeing the rise of biometrics (including multi-modal biometrics, behavioural biometrics, and so on) as a disaster waiting to happen?  Or am I the only one (and therefore an idiot)?

I keep trying to explain that biometrics are not secrets but people don't get it.  They say "so what, it can't be spoofed", and my response is basically "so the good guys are more creative than the bad guys today, but why are you assuming that won't change tomorrow?  Have we not learned anything about the creativity of the bad guys over the last couple of decades?"

I see this situation as being fairly parallel to the saying "anyone can build a cryptosystem that he himself cannot break" (I first saw this on Bruce Schneier's site; not sure if that was the origin though).

So: anyone can build a biometric system which he himself cannot spoof!

Thoughts?
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David Bremner's profile photoMarc-André Laverdière's profile photoCaleb Cushing's profile photoEugene E. Kashpureff Jr (EugeneKay)'s profile photo
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Sitaram Chamarty

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The UK High Commission refused a visa to sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan (1) -- apparently it was "not convincing enough".

WTF!  The guy's been playing internationally pretty much forever; what's he going to do now?

(1) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amjad_Ali_Khan; not to be confused with a Pakistani politician who has the same name.  Hmm... maybe that's what happened here...
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Sitaram Chamarty

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So... just to be contrary, I switched to a dumb phone.  My previous smart phone wasn't that smart anyway -- it was a Samsung Galaxy Y, Android 2.3 or so, and the only app I eventually kept on it was google authenticator.  (Other apps I downloaded and discarded were all from f-droid; my deleting them was more because I eventually realised I didn't need them).

Anyway, back to my new phone.  I went and bought a "Videocon V2EB1" for 1600 rupees (about 24 dollars).

Unfortunately, my wife and daughter hated it -- apparently it was not classy enough to fit my image (whatever the heck that means).  So they pretty much forced me to go and buy one that would not affect their delicate sensibilities.

So now I have a "Micromax X071", for the princely sum of 850 rupees (a bit under 13 USD!).  It certainly looks a wee bit more "sedate" than the Videocon but we're splitting hairs.  I dare not say that to them though, in case they drag me out to buy yet another one.

Meanwhile, I'm enjoying this phone so far.  I think touch is not that great if you don't need to use fancy apps anyway.  Being able to redial a number (to take one example) by simply clicking the same button twice is a pleasure I lost with my old Nokia 3310.  Same with deleting a text, and many other every day operations; it's just faster with keys!

(The biggest downside is this thing does not have T9 -- I am told it's some patent related reason, uggh.  I don't do a lot of texting on a regular basis, but there are occasions (like if I am in a long meeting and other things need to be taken care of) where that does happen, and I anticipate some future frustration.)
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+David Bremner
It does indeed have one (320x240, how quaint).  It's good enough for the only pictures I ever take -- I do my grocery list by simply taking pictures of stuff that I've run out of and reviewing the pictures when I go to the store.

But the camera is in the back and I really didn't want to rig up two mirrors to make it take a selfie :-)  So I took a picture of it and the 2-days-used Videocon, using my old Samsung.  Will post.

PS: it also has bluetooth, (and takes an 8GB MicroSD) so I can still listen to podcasts while driving.  All this for 13 USD!
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Sitaram Chamarty

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http://www.tripwire.com/state-of-security/featured/how-why-is-ransomware

Goes into a lot of details about why ransomware is so attractive, but -- IMNSHO -- didn't hit upon the real reason.

Before ransomware, a cyber-criminal has to find something on the victim's machine which has monetary value to the criminal.

That's pretty narrow.

With ransomware, he merely has to find something on the victim's machine, that is of (at least notional) monetary value to the victim.

That fits a much broader range of content he can find on machines.
There are currently two high level targets for ransomware: consumers and businesses. The only major difference is the price of the ransom demanded
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Sitaram Chamarty

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ok I'm at the end of my tether.  Has anyone seen this?

anytime a cron job runs, network manager restarts the network connection.  I need to check this with an ethernet connection when I get back home, but it's happening with a Tata Photon (basically a USB-device that looks like an ethernet-over-USB thingie while doing GRPS/whatever on the other end, which doesn't concern us)
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+Lubomir Rintel
So... I rebooted for the usual reasons (dnf update got a new kernel, and it's the weekend so why not) and now I can't make this happen.

I'll keep an eye out and see if it starts again, and if it does I will set nmcli to debug and contact you over email with details.  (Thanks!!)

I use Fedora 23, xfce spin.

One interesting thing about my setup is I run 2 X servers (:0 and :1 -- on tty1 and tty2 respectively).  The one that starts first, on tty1, is a low priv user, then I run "dm-tool switch-to-user ..." to start a second X session with a higher priv user.
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Sitaram Chamarty

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Uggh; I hate the new google+ even more!

Apart from a red top bar that comes and goes at random, reducing screen space, I've discovered that the "n" key no longer works.

You can still navigate posts with j and k, but you can no longer hit "n" to expand the comments on the current post. You must use the mouse.
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Yeah, I'm not a fan either - kinda hoping someone makes a greasemonkey scripts that makes it better :-/
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Sitaram Chamarty

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Some people need to work on their headlines; I nearly threw up when my RSS feed reader showed this:

>   US government: Hillary Clinton calendars won’t be released until after election
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+David Bremner ouch!
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Sitaram Chamarty

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https://tech.slashdot.org/story/16/08/12/2143246/ddoscoin-new-crypto-currency-rewards-users-for-participating-in-ddos-attacks

I'll bet the DDOS victim cam turn it against the attackers; find some way to create a whole bunch of fake proofs locally (without hitting his network) and start submitting them from some IP outside his own network.
An anonymous reader writes from a report via Softpedia: "In the most innovative, weirdest, and stupidest idea of the month, two researchers from the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Michigan have created a crypto-currency that rewards people for participating in DDoS attacks," re...
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Sitaram Chamarty

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+David Bremner here ya go :-)
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/me looks on fondly
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Sitaram Chamarty

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warning: useless and unproductive rant on a completely unimportant issue...

Top hate for today: meaningless pictures in corporate presentations.  A man in a suit and tie holding a cell phone, walking briskly past a blurred background that could be anything. A woman running track with the sun shining behind her.  4 people (mixed race - duh!) in a meeting setting discussing something.  etc etc etc... you get the idea

/me goes off to do some coding to "get the taste out"...
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Sitaram Chamarty

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"This does not mean that I fail to recognise that Lisp is still #1 for key algorithmic techniques such as recursion and condescension."
  -- from http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/01/11/exception_handling/

This is now my second favourite quote about Lisp, after Larry Wall's classic "Lispers are among the best grads of the sweep-it-under-someone-else's-carpet school of simulated simplicity".  (Note: I wrote that without having to look it up!)

And http://james-iry.blogspot.in/2009/05/brief-incomplete-and-mostly-wrong.html has more laughs/KB than I have ever had!  The "Poland becomes nervous" line was absolutely hilarious, but many of the others are darn good too.  Well worth not just a read but a bookmark!
A light-hearted look at exception handling
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Condescension, hah! Irony is dripping thick.

Lispers are generally on the opposite side of condescension. Comes with the territory of dealing with the language that is most famous for being unknown. It usually makes them over-excited about stuff to the point that they won't mind spending days explaining things to random people (witness how weak comp.lang.lisp is in the face of random trolls). (Just ask +Eric Hanchrow.)

Yet time and again they're pushed into positions that make it seem like they are. Like that time when someone wrote a post about catch and throw, revelling in self-admitted lisp-ignorance wrt exception handling, not pausing for a few seconds to see that they're right there, under the two slightly obscure names of ... "throw" and "catch" --- and instead gaily hopping onto C++ (the soupiest of all languages!). Is there any way to say "yes, lisp had this since the early 70s" without sounding condescending? Is there a way to note that lisp was very much the cradle of all flow control research leading to what you find in modern languages without the same?

(Instructions for the reader: complete the circle by concluding that this comment is condescending.)
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Introduction
Sitaram Chamarty (keywords to determine if I'm the Sitaram you're looking for: CVS, GTS/MBR, ECK, ISICAL, TCS, Git, Gitolite.  The first 3 are not google-able -- you have to know me to know what they are; the rest are public)
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author of gitolite -- my only contribution to the open source world, which I've been leeching off of since 1995
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aging geek, gitolite author (dayjob: TCS)
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