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Suspect In Would-Be Airport Bombing Nabbed With Help From REI

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An undated photo provided by the Buncombe County Detention Center shows Michael Christopher Estes, who is accused of planting an improvised explosive device at the Asheville Regional Airport in North Carolina on Oct. 6.

Someone left an improvised explosive device at an airport in Asheville, N.C., last week, and a new backpack offered a clue. Some are wondering why the incident didn't receive more national attention.

(Image credit: AP)

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CallMeWilliam
2 days ago
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This is how it is supposed to work.
diannemharris
3 days ago
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fxer
3 days ago
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had to get that member rebate
Bend, Oregon

Changes in Password Best Practices

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NIST recently published their four-volume SP800-63-3 Digital Identity Guidelines. Among other things, they make three important suggestions when it comes to passwords:

  1. Stop it with the annoying password complexity rules. They make passwords harder to remember. They increase errors because artificially complex passwords are harder to type in. And they don't help that much. It's better to allow people to use pass phrases.

  2. Stop it with password expiration. That was an old idea for an old way we used computers. Today, don't make people change their passwords unless there's indication of compromise.

  3. Let people use password managers. This is how we deal with all the passwords we need.

These password rules were failed attempts to fix the user. Better we fix the security systems.

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CallMeWilliam
6 days ago
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A meeting recently:
Developer Team: Our passwords require special characters, and max out at 30 characters.
Me: Why on EARTH did you do any of that? Why do you have a max?
Devs: Because ... it's hard to remember something long? How long do you want it to be?
Me: ... Get rid of the max. Get rid of the special characters.
CIO: Wait. Why do we have passwords at all? Can we link to google/linkedin/facebook and make it their problem? We are not in the security business.
Devs: Yes!
diannemharris
6 days ago
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acdha
7 days ago
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I’ve been happy watching such sensible guidelines make it through the review process
Washington, DC

Unpopular ideas about crime and punishment

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I’ve been compiling lists of “unpopular ideas,” things that seem weird or bad to most people (at least, to most educated urbanites in the United States, which is the demographic I know best).

Because my collection of unpopular ideas became so long, I’ve broken it into categories. Below, I focus specifically on ideas about crime and punishment. (Here are my two previous lists, on social norms and political/economic systems.) I’ll be posting similar lists on other topics and adding to each one over time as I find new examples.

Why am I making these lists? Even though I disagree with many of these ideas, I nevertheless think it’s valuable to practice engaging with ideas that seem weird or bad, for two reasons: First, because such ideas might occasionally be true, and it’s worth sifting through some duds to find a gem.

And second, because I think our imaginations tend to be too constrained by conventional “common sense,” and that many ideas we accept as true today were counterintuitive to past generations. Considering weird ideas helps de-anchor us from the status quo, and that’s valuable independently of whether those particular ideas are true or not.

Unpopular ideas about crime and punishment:

  1. Juries should be replaced by judges, especially in cases that are complex or subject to bias. (1)
  2. Non-retributive justice: Criminals are purely victims of genetics and circumstance. We should abandon punishment as a goal and instead focus only on preventing future harm. (1)
  3. We should provide prisoners, especially those serving a life sentence, with the means to commit suicide, and encourage them to do so. (1)
  4. We should send destructive drug addicts to towns away from society with free birth control, food, shelter and drugs. It would be less expensive to society than the crimes they commit and the cost of imprisoning them.
  5. Our current prison system mixes punishment with rehabilitation, and therefore does an ineffective job of both. We could get better results either by focusing solely on punishment, or solely on rehabilitation.
  6. Prison labor is just slavery, repackaged. (1, 2)
  7. Pre-punishment (like in Minority Report) would be effective and morally acceptable. (1, 2, 3)
  8. The death penalty is broken only in practice, not in principle. It wouldn’t be difficult to fix and should be kept in place for the worst criminals. Life imprisonment is extremely costly, dangerous to other inmates, and not much more humane than death anyway. (1)
  9. Prison abolitionism: We should get rid of prisons altogether, or reduce the size of the prison population to about five percent of its current size. (1, 2, 3)
  10. Police abolitionism: The benefits the police provide are not great enough to justify the harms and injustices they cause. (1)
  11. We should flog criminals instead of imprisoning them. Variant: we should offer convicts the choice between flogging and imprisonment. (1)
  12. Public shaming is often a more effective solution to crime than imprisonment, and should be more widely used. (1, 2)
  13. It should be legal to blackmail people over crimes they committed. This would provide an extra deterrant for criminals, and be cheap relative to policing. (1)


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diannemharris
34 days ago
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neat! some good some bad, but good point about considering out of bound ideas to encourage new thoughts.
CallMeWilliam
33 days ago
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samuel
36 days ago
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This is a fascinating list.
The Haight in San Francisco

If Your Friends Cite Hillbilly Elegy Favorably, You Should Mock Them

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I do have to respect one thing about J.D. Vance: he’s got a hell of a grift going on. After all, being the conservative that explains white Trump voters to liberals who really want to understand those strange places like southeastern Ohio and West Virginia without ever speaking to anyone from those places. But Vance is doing nothing but pushing a line of propaganda that–amazingly!–fits the policy preferences of people such as his boss, actual vampire Peter “Nosferatu” Thiel and other leading Republicans. He operates in Appalachian stereotypes that liberals are more than willing to internalize which then serve to reinforce the cultural problems that are only fixed by “pulling yourself by your bootstraps” and of course tax breaks to the upper 1%. Vance’s bullshit does not fly with people who actually spend time in these areas, not to mention grew up there. Such as Betsy Rader, who is from near when Vance grew up and is now running for Congress as a Democrat.

From a quick glance at my résumé, you might think me an older, female version of Vance. I was born in Appalachia in the 1960s and grew up in the small city of Newark, Ohio. When I was 9, my parents divorced. My mom became a single mother of four, with only a high school education and little work experience. Life was tough; the five of us lived on $6,000 a year.

Like Vance, I attended Ohio State University on scholarship, working nights and weekends. I graduated at the top of my class and, again like Vance, attended Yale Law School on a financial-need scholarship. Today, I represent people who’ve been fired illegally from their jobs. And now that I’m running for Congress in Northeast Ohio, I speak often with folks who are trying hard but not making much money.

A self-described conservative, Vance largely concludes that his family and peers are trapped in poverty due to their own poor choices and negative attitudes. But I take great exception when he makes statements such as: “We spend our way into the poorhouse. We buy giant TVs and iPads. Our children wear nice clothes thanks to high-interest credit cards and payday loans. We purchase homes we don’t need, refinance them for more spending money, and declare bankruptcy. . . . Thrift is inimical to our being.”

Who is this “we” of whom he speaks? Vance’s statements don’t describe the family in which I grew up, and they don’t describe the families I meet who are struggling to make it in America today. I know that my family lived on $6,000 per year because as children, we sat down with pen and paper to help find a way for us to live on that amount. My mom couldn’t even qualify for a credit card, much less live on credit. She bought our clothes at discount stores.

Thrift was not inimical to our being; it was the very essence of our being.

With lines like “We choose not to work when we should be looking for jobs,” Vance’s sweeping stereotypes are shark bait for conservative policymakers. They feed into the mythology that the undeserving poor make bad choices and are to blame for their own poverty, so taxpayer money should not be wasted on programs to help lift people out of poverty. Now these inaccurate and dangerous generalizations have been made required college reading.

Here is the simple fact: Most poor people work. Seventy-eight percent of families on Medicaid include a household member who is working. People work hard in necessary and important jobs that often don’t pay them enough to live on. For instance, child-care workers earn an average of $22,930 per year, and home health aides average $23,600. (Indeed, it is a sad irony that crucial jobs around caretaking and children have always paid very little.)

But solving those problems won’t buy Peter Thiel more blood of the young! Those solutions might mean raising taxes on the rich. No, better to blame the poor for their own poverty. It’s not like liberals are going to know any different. After all, those people voted for Trump, so they must be complete morons irredeemable to any good policy to begin with. Why, they likely lack teeth!

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CallMeWilliam
40 days ago
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diannemharris
41 days ago
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h-oney-b-ones: intheicyairofnight: kittykat8311: uppityfemale: ...

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h-oney-b-ones:

intheicyairofnight:

kittykat8311:

uppityfemale:

I say this every time I argue for raising the minimum wage. I never hear anyone else say it and I’m glad I found this.

If you build your business and your bonus on the backs of others who you don’t pay a living wage you don’t deserve to be in business.

this is making capitalists bleed from the ears keep reblogging it

Since I tend to get into this with people who argue that robots will replace minimum wage workers if they get too expensive, I like to lean into the robot metaphor.

If you have a machine performing a valuable talk for your company, the upkeep of that machine is part of your operating cost. You have to pay to power it, to upgrade it, to fix it when it breaks. And if you can’t afford the machine, the manufacturer doesn’t have to do business with you. They’re free to take their service somewhere else where they think the price is fair.

For humans, a living wage is the operating cost. If you can’t afford to pay your worker enough to live nearby, feed themselves, and get basic health care - all of which are things they need in order to be able to work for you - you’re failing to pay for the cost of their service. 

The difference is that humans have to eat, like, all the time, so they often don’t have the option of taking their business somewhere else if the price isn’t fair - even insufficient food and shelter is better then starving on the street. But that means those people are not really able to act as agents in a free market, and it’s easy to exploit them under the guise of “the market setting the price.” People can’t act like reasonable economic agents when they’re desperate. As for as I can tell, that’s the whole point of having a minimum wage. 

Keep reblogging this, it’s making capitalists mad and reaching out to the working class
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CallMeWilliam
52 days ago
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MBI!
diannemharris
52 days ago
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toddgrotenhuis
53 days ago
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Indianapolis
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skittone
43 days ago
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Basic income is on the horizon.

aki-anyway: When someone says these days sexism and misogyny...

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aki-anyway:

When someone says these days sexism and misogyny don’t exist anymore show them this.

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CallMeWilliam
53 days ago
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diannemharris
54 days ago
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toddgrotenhuis
54 days ago
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Indianapolis
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