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Thread: Don't suspect a friend -- report him

  1. #1
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    Don't suspect a friend -- report him

    Bruce Schneier, who litterally wrote the book on computer security (I have a copy myself) talks about how we're becoming a nation of informants:

    http://www.schneier.com/blog/archive...ar_on_the.html

    Here's a great comment to his article:

    Great piece. You're describing a positive feedback loop without any dampening, so that noise will dominate and mask any genuine signal. In economic terms, the cost of all error has been externalized, so there is no incentive to be accurate or minimize false positives; in fact error directly leads to additional positive reinforcement, resulting in news coverage, promotions, additional budget and fancy new gear.
    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

  2. #2
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    Re: Don't suspect a friend -- report him

    It does depend somewhat on the nature of gossip.

    I haven't got photo evidence but a new Toyota RAV4 and Landcruiser formed a moving roadblock in front of my GM V8 today, but I'm sure both drivers were terrorists...

    I'm not sure about this 'feedback loop', but anyone who criticises my mom, remember... [pipe bomb in truck in nuke station]

  3. #3
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    Re: Don't suspect a friend -- report him

    Quote Originally Posted by chiph
    Bruce Schneier, who litterally wrote the book on computer security (I have a copy myself) talks about how we're becoming a nation of informants:

    http://www.schneier.com/blog/archive...ar_on_the.html

    Here's a great comment to his article:

    Great piece. You're describing a positive feedback loop without any dampening, so that noise will dominate and mask any genuine signal. In economic terms, the cost of all error has been externalized, so there is no incentive to be accurate or minimize false positives; in fact error directly leads to additional positive reinforcement, resulting in news coverage, promotions, additional budget and fancy new gear.
    Chip H.
    It has long been the case that police departments with high crime get more money just as schools which produce dummies are usually in the front of the line for funding.

    Does that book address the subject of laptop security in public places, e.g., hotel networks both wired and wireless? I do use a software firewall and an AV program and vaguely understand what https means in a URL yet remain a bit scared to access anything that has to do with banks or requires credit card entry.

  4. #4
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    Re: Don't suspect a friend -- report him

    His book is for software developers -- how to effectively use encryption, etc. in your applicatons. So, it wouldn't be of much use to end-users like yourself.

    When accessing a banking site, look for the lock icon on your browser, which indicates two things:
    1. The connection is encrypted
    2. The site is most likely who they say they are (you can click on the lock icon to inspect their certificate, which should match the business name and be issued by a well-known security company like Thawte or Verisign)

    The weak point in this is your computer, not the internet. Your computer may have been infected with a virus, that depending on the bad code's intent, it could be sending your password info to Romania or even New Zealand (can't trust those EnZed hackers!), so that they can log in as you later, and transfer money out.

    To get around this, some US banks & brokerages are now using on-screen keyboards you have to click with your mouse. This is better, but still not 100% secure. US banks are actually behind the times on this -- European banks are giving out electronic key-chain tokens which display a new number every minute or so. You enter that into the password field, and even if your machine were infected, it would do a hacker little good, as the number expires in less than a minute.

    Other banks (I know of one in Estonia that does this) gives out small pieces of paper with a series of numbers printed on it -- this is a one-time-use password list. Pick one at random, use it once, scratch it out afterwards. Much cheaper than the electronic keytags, not quite as secure, but still much better than the US system. When you use them all, they send you a new list.

    Some US banks are now adding what they call "two-factor" security. This is a joke -- answering a question about what your 1st dog's name was is not secure. Security combines something you know (your account number or password) with something you have (a token, password list, or biometric signature).

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

  5. #5
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    Re: Don't suspect a friend -- report him

    Thanks Chip,

    I have made a purchase of 6 books of 1948-1968 shed allocations en-train,

    and there are a lot of barriers, requirng the patience of a saint.

    Which is good [I get the feeling of security]
    And is bad [I have to actually think, write clearly]

    But be assured I will eventually know the life of every BR steam engine from 1948 to 1968 as in actual gradients faced, and the society of men who repaired and drove the subjects of my incessant pics.
    Coming up, a sick 56XX near Cardiff is rescued in drawing a coal train from the valleys by an old 45XX taken of a shunt, over 50 wagons of coal mostly first grade for Birmingham, failed injector on the 56XX the fire is still enough, and 25 minutes behind is an express for Birmingham running 80mph., and it's driver MacTaggart and fireman Pithers with a rebuilt 'Castle'... saw them backing down to the express... the engine was looking clean, Pithers was raking coal on the tender and saying something to the driver who was leaning backwards from the cab looking for the ground signals... as we pulled away at 10mph he got down and went around his engine wth oilcan.

    sigh
    We were in trouble with injectors right from the start... got off the 'main' with the helper, and must have left some yellows behind us... when the express went through they would have already been around 6 minutes slowed, and I had heard the whistle several miles away when we were still getting off the main, in spite of very fast work wth the 45XX and the signalmen were not pleased. It was an old backshunt on the right side, like old Midland stuff, and the end of it was weeds, and we had a 56XX with barely enough pressure to move.

    The 'Castle' went through wth a pop on the whistle, with fire being 'put on' and the 4-beat rhythm was sharp.

    In spite of signals before Birmingham, the express arrived in Birmingham four minutes late.

  6. #6
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    Re: Don't suspect a friend -- report him

    Got a bit distracted..

    sorry..


    off to make photos...

    here are two engines,lovely engines straight out of the box photo taken with natural light mostly dull sun and a 40w bedside lamp held to soften shadow, 1 sec f8 man focus [20cm approx] auto colour balance ISO50 .. there are so many setting I still haven'e worked out the sequence and program... Canon A620 7.1 MP small CCD ... full wideangle 28mm 35mm-equivalent.

    I wanted to to get the details of the engines sharp. This has not been 'sharpened'.




  7. #7
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    Re: Don't suspect a friend -- report him

    tis now in another title apologes to all


    with severe thread drift.


  8. #8
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    Re: Don't suspect a friend -- report him

    Why is the front engine working harder?
    Wouldn't they (ideally) be contributing the same amount of work to pulling the wagons?

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

  9. #9
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    Re: Don't suspect a friend -- report him

    Quote Originally Posted by chiph
    Why is the front engine working harder?

    Chip H.
    Because he can't see the guy in back goofing off.

  10. #10
    D_E_Davis
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    Re: Don't suspect a friend -- report him

    Quote Originally Posted by chiph

    US banks are actually behind the times on this -- European banks are giving out electronic key-chain tokens which display a new number every minute or so. You enter that into the password field, and even if your machine were infected, it would do a hacker little good, as the number expires in less than a minute.
    It wouldn't take much to implement that here, as those tokens (SecureID) are already in widespread corporate use in the US.


  11. #11
    D_E_Davis
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    Re: Don't suspect a friend -- report him

    Quote Originally Posted by chiph
    Why is the front engine working harder?
    Wouldn't they (ideally) be contributing the same amount of work to pulling the wagons?
    The front stoker is lazy, and hasn't adjust his fire properly.


  12. #12
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    Re: Don't suspect a friend -- report him

    Quote Originally Posted by chiph
    Why is the front engine working harder?
    Wouldn't they (ideally) be contributing the same amount of work to pulling the wagons?

    Chip H.
    Ah.

    I'm glad you asked!
    The second engine is of a type which would have been able to work around 50 loaded coal wagons from Newport to Gloucester via the west side of the Severn, for the Midlands, but in this picture my need for unnecessary drama, the engine, a 5600-class heavy 0-6-2 built in 1924 has injector failure... there are two injectors on most engines, and they are the plumbing by which water is added to the boiler.

    There would be two vertical sight glasses on almost all steam locomotives, showing the level of water in the boiler and around the firebox. Injector failure meant that while an engine might still have steam, it also has a fire, and without at least one functioning injector it would have to essentially just run out of steam and in extreme cases 'drop the fire' to avoid damage.

    Two injectors meant that total failure was rare , so the 56XX having one failed and another looking strange , the water, or rust, whatever, meant that the train was more-or-less disabled 15 minutes ahead of the Cardiff-Brmingham express, the driver stopped at a signal box near Chepstow and the only practical way to shift the train was to purloin the 45XX engine on the Chepstow to Monmouth stopping train, an old 1906 engine, with an even older Welsh driver.

    The signalman had no authority to simply require a sheduled train to 'lose' it's engine, but he had a coal train on the main line with a sick engine and was able to phone the district traffic manager who said he would fix the paperwork and a kid carried a form to the driver of the stopping train.
    "Proceed as directed"... all within two minutes the driver knew exactly what was 'on' and was running light and got immediate ground signals green across the up line and backed onto the ailing train, his fireman had already made a good fire for the Monmouth run, and was a good lad, picked things up quick like and was already out to connect the two engines together.

    The driver of the 56XX knew of MacTaggart slightly but they had never met. The 56 had 90lbs falling, intermittently no water, and it was a long way from Chepstow to Lydney, but there were nine minutes before the fast train behind, and five miles of gentle upgrade with the estuary of the Severn on the right, MacTaggart's fireman had the coupling on and was back in the cab and the two engines had to cover nearly five miles from a standing start with 400 tons..

    Meanwhile, back in the new re-arranged scheduling for express trains, the public timetable for the Cardiff-Gloucester-Birmingham-Leeds now required faster average speeds, and a freshly out-shopped 'Castle' got yellows then a near full stop at Chepstow, and running easily a series of yellows meant 50mph not 80, yellow yellow red, until walking The two tank engines were now in the old wartime loop hardly used, the 56 was now getting a trickle of water and the driver turned out to be an exact replica of Harry Secombe, MacTaggart climbed down from the 45XX and behing them was exactly 45 wagons partially braked with each engine...
    The signal for the 'main' went on and in a few seconds there was a high shrieking whistle

  13. #13
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    Re: Don't suspect a friend -- report him

    Quote Originally Posted by D_E_Davis
    Quote Originally Posted by chiph

    US banks are actually behind the times on this -- European banks are giving out electronic key-chain tokens which display a new number every minute or so. You enter that into the password field, and even if your machine were infected, it would do a hacker little good, as the number expires in less than a minute.
    It wouldn't take much to implement that here, as those tokens (SecureID) are already in widespread corporate use in the US.
    They won't use them because the tokens cost {gasp} money.

    Chip H.

    Former owner: 2012 Honda Civic LX, 2006 Honda Ridgeline RTL, 2000 Honda CR-V EX, 2003 MINI Cooper S, 1992 Honda Accord LX, 1999 Mercedes ML-320, 1995 VW Jetta GLX, 1991 Mercury Capri XR2, 1981 Mercury Zephyr, 1975 Chevrolet Impala

  14. #14
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    Re: Don't suspect a friend -- report him

    The 'Castle' was polished and had McNaught at the throttle, and when under acceleration the express was now very late.

    He went past with a tiny bit of sanding and kept the cutoff wide for a long time, until it sounded like he was giving that 'Castle' a severe thrashing, twelve carriages behind, I remember the blank faces of the 'firsts'.
    All along the Severn tide was out, we had the smell, and we had a discussion about whether to drop the fire on the 56XX, and we did... the 45XX uncoupled, it was a long wait, and the four of us discussed musicand politics. I learned about Russian Orthodox Voice choirs,

    but the 45XX had to be clean, to work the train backwards alone, and it was cold, the firemen were in animated conversation I think discussing women they had met,
    after an hour and four trains on the main a single old 'Brecon and Merthyr' ran back there was an enlivened fireman ho had run the full length of the train carrying paper,
    "proceed as directed"...
    the old engine at the rear took out the slack in all the couplings and pulled the 45XX back and it was 65% cutoff and half regulator to give him an idea there was a whistle from the old engine, the 56 was almost dead now, the tone another whistle was like Rachmaninov and was only in the choir as we reversed five hundred tons.

    The whistle was, "I have good pressure" and my return, 'careful"

    Sometimes they put kids into these. I heard him whistle a 'pop', and another 28XX went past with a long line of rattling loaded coal.. then I felt the jerk of the Brecon and Merthyr shunter,. It was heavy sweet afternoon aiir and I sent a whistle to say I was alive.. we were pulled away and I ended up running light; a 28XX engine alone was standing just above the reverse points and I was allowed to go home on the Cardiff line.

    As the coal train was already accelerating it was almost night now, freezing wind behind the 28Xx was clearly on somebody, in the fading light I got to see the Brecon engine; standing.
    It was covered in rust, clearly leaking from every pore, and running light I now had twelve miles with another Brummer behind and I recognised the fireman.. he glanced at me in the fading light.

    I think he had a twist in his mouth, cocky lad. I never me the boy again but I did once meet the fireman on the Castle which had been held up by this event where a basic coal train was able to slow and express.
    He told me that after Gloucester he got his first genuine 'ton' , thanks to that pic... that was when express he was firing was 15 minutes lare and got greens, the 'Castle' was a free runner but had a difficult fire.

    Then a man from Brecon walked in and... well, it was difficult.

    Tte Brecon man said the Cardiff man didn't know anything and a bloody Scotsman didn't know anything. They were quite spectacular in their brawl, and I felt somewhat implicated. They had rather attractive females already taking sides, and I was supposed to be the next 3pm my first turn...

    I liked the Brecon girl and we stopped complete disaster, and it was bloody near snow even next day and I had a sense I could do anything, even as took unpolished Castle , a good fire, it was an old guy fireman, he let me go through the motions, watched me, then he said,

    "Whaddaya think guvnor?"

    I lowered my eyes flicked lowered and adjusted my tie, and said,
    "What do you think"? and we got perfect fire and I had my first experience of the dream.

    We had mint Swindon engine with twelve behind, and I began to realise what it was all about, with the yellows I knew the track and after the signals I let him drive, smoked a fag on the other side, and before Gloucester we got a few miles where the engine was 'full out' he drew back the cutoff early,

    The fire was sweet, what a geat life.
    This engine was so so strong, I think making time we might on the line we have greens ooh a chance to see what Castle can do, it was running well and we got the magic 'ton'

    There was no speedo.
    The old guy in the pub had the train 110mph.

    "No doubt about it"


  15. #15
    D_E_Davis
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    Re: Don't suspect a friend -- report him

    Quote Originally Posted by chiph
    They won't use them because the tokens cost {gasp} money.
    An all to common but depressing reason.


  16. #16
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    Re: Don't suspect a friend -- report him

    Quote Originally Posted by D_E_Davis
    Quote Originally Posted by chiph
    They won't use them because the tokens cost {gasp} money.
    An all to common but depressing reason.

    I don't know what difference it makes when the high powered oafs manage to lose their laptops or have them stolen.

  17. #17
    mrblanche
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    Re: Don't suspect a friend -- report him

    Whenever anyone mentions cost when we're discussing safety, I just whisper, "Ford Pinto."

  18. #18
    D_E_Davis
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    Re: Don't suspect a friend -- report him

    Quote Originally Posted by jdm
    I don't know what difference it makes when the high powered oafs manage to lose their laptops or have them stolen.
    I must not be very "high-powered", then. In 15 years of toting a laptop I had just one disappear. At Düsseldorf I had a lot to carry so I stowed the laptop in one suitcase. When Lufthansa delivered my luggage at LAX - no laptop.


  19. #19
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    Re: Don't suspect a friend -- report him

    Quote Originally Posted by D_E_Davis
    Quote Originally Posted by jdm
    I don't know what difference it makes when the high powered oafs manage to lose their laptops or have them stolen.
    I must not be very "high-powered", then. In 15 years of toting a laptop I had just one disappear. At Düsseldorf I had a lot to carry so I stowed the laptop in one suitcase. When Lufthansa delivered my luggage at LAX - no laptop.

    Putting a laptop in hold baggage? Courtesy and a respect for my elders make it impossible to comment.

  20. #20
    D_E_Davis
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    Re: Don't suspect a friend -- report him

    Quote Originally Posted by jdm
    Putting a laptop in hold baggage? Courtesy and a respect for my elders make it impossible to comment.
    I appreciate your reticence. Perhaps I've learned a trifle since 1987.


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