Click the link above for the rest of his essay, but this part is the part I was nodding with:
First, fix the economic problem. Credit card companies make more money extending easy credit and making it trivial for customers to use their cards than they lose from fraud. They won't improve their security as long as you (and not they) are the one who suffers from identity theft. It's the same for banks and brokerages: As long as you're the one who suffers when your account is hacked, they don't have any incentive to fix the problem. And data brokers like ChoicePoint are worse; they don't suffer if they reveal your information. You don't have a business relationship with them; you can't even switch to a competitor in disgust.
Credit card security works as well as it does because the 1968 Truth in Lending Law limits consumer liability for fraud to $50. If the credit card companies could pass fraud losses on to the consumers, they would be spending far less money to stop those losses. But once Congress forced them to suffer the costs of fraud, they invented all sorts of security measures–real-time transaction verification, expert systems patrolling the transaction database and so on–to prevent fraud. The lesson is clear: Make the party in the best position to mitigate the risk responsible for the risk. What this will do is enable the capitalist innovation engine. Once it's in the financial interest of financial institutions to protect us from identity theft, they will.
Forget the alternatives, this is the real deal. It's brighter, smaller, don't produce heat, use far less electricity, and last much longer than any other kind of lighting. That's why you can have 200 of them in a single cell phone.
Is there anyone that understands this whole mess? Bush breaks the law along with the Telecommunication companies. He gets away with it because no one seems willing to challange him. He tries as hard as he can to get immunity for the Telco's too.
Congress has repeatedly rejected all attempts to circumvent FISA in new bills, but even if they HAD passed a new law, Bush is still guilty of violating the first one! I just don't get it.
Most of the students stood up and said, "That was a good one." "Yeah, you got me." High fives were exchanged.
Either the school is totally downplaying this or CNN has got some serious problems with their accuracy. Either way, if even one child was crying and taking this too seriously, the "prank" should have ended. I still think it shouldn't have happened in the first place and I'll just go back to what I said before: it's a lucky thing for them it didn't happen at my kid's school. I would have been in the princicpal's office the same day.
But something about this press release bothers me and apparently I'm not the only one:
"The children went to sleep and did not discuss it the following morning."
The absurdity of that statement is staggering. They are trying to convince people that in a class of over 60 students, after teachers pulled a 'prank', that not one of these ~60 students said anything about it the next day? Not one of them teased another one about falling for the 'joke'? Really? Not one?
Essentially, the argument is that turning over truthful information to the government is free speech, and the EFF and ACLU can't do anything about it. In fact, Verizon basically argues that the entire lawsuit is a giant SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) suit, and that the case is an attempt to deter the company from exercising its First Amendment right to turn over customer calling information to government security services.
This is so, so stupid. It's not weak security, its that you raped us for all our customer data that we didn't want you to keep anyway. If you hadn't stored all the data on us, you couldn't have lost it.
In addition to pilfering over 45 million—and possibly as many as 200 million—credit card and debit card numbers, the hackers were also able to obtain other personal data from over 450,000 customers. This included driver's license numbers and Social Security numbers.
I already know they don't need to store our credit cards, but licenses and SSNs?
If you have an outstanding debt that you eventually decide to make good on, you may get penalized. The "Date of Last Activity" field on your credit file will get updated if you make a single payment making it appear as if your delinquency was yesterday instead of 3 years ago.
Here's a neat article about how DRM is dying, but more importantly, how companies are realizing that searching for violators and charging them is far better than trying to implement DRM which doesn't work and ticks off customers at the same time. Duh.
The fact is that you are no more likely to see a real technician at a Geek Squad today than you would be to see a real 5'10" mouse, wearing red suspenders at Disneyland. It is all an act… a show to provide what the customer assumes they need to see. The shoes, the ties, the badges, the pants, the socks, and the shirts do not increase the persons ability to fix your computer, they merely fulfill the customer's subconscious expectation of what a competent computer technician looks like.
He talks of the time he opened a "new" computer only to find that it was in reality, used. His manager told him to clean it off and give it to the customers like nothing had happened of which he said "On this day, I would favor the respect of my superior, rather than that of my integrity".
Then there's the time that they were backlogged on computers to repair so management decided that things like crashes and viruses could be fixed easily by wiping all data on every computer. They don't have to worry about legal rammifications because customers are forced to sign a disclaimer that says they've backed up all their data.
And don't forget that Geeks are lonely. If you have (or had) any porn on your machine, they'll find it and save a copy:
If there were a competition between a Playboy editor, a photo lab technician, and a voyeur for the person who has seen the most random pictures of naked people… the only way any of them would win is if the Geek Squad agent was late to the contest.