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Clewin242 karma

My wife's computer had Malwarebytes and she visited a relatively trusted website, but that website used an untrustworthy ad provider, and they had ads purchased by Russian hackers that injected new variants of viruses without her even doing a thing. She knew something was wrong when little install windows kept popping up and I told her to shut down immediately. I popped in bitdefender live CD, rebooted and searched for files by date to find all the stuff it installed (virus writers rarely mess with that, thankfully and I can find rootkits with a liveCD), quarantined them, did a registry compare with a backup, and packaged all that up and sent it off to CERT and a couple of AV companies. New antivirus definitions for those variants were up in hours for Malwarebytes (no surprise there - I did most of their job for them). I also visited the site my wife went to (in a sandboxed Linux running in VirtualBox), found a contact person, and reported the virus activity and presumed source. They got back to me and said they'd switched ad providers due to the problem (and I was apparently not the only person to report it).

Clewin163 karma

The funny thing is, you probably would be the best security employee they could ever find, kind of like Frank Abagnale Jr (the movie Catch Me If You Can was about him) was for the anti-fraud division of the FBI. I know I've used my knowledge of hacking to tighten security at my job, and the criminal at that job was one of the heads of security software - he got busted for trying to hire a hit man to kill his ex-wife, and I am not shitting you - one of his friend said he knew a guy, called the cops and an undercover cop busted him. I actually read the story in the paper and didn't make the connection that it was him until he didn't show up for work and police came and collected his computer (for evidence?).

I have friends that I watched committing wire fraud and using stolen credit cards (back before that was electronic) multiple times as teens and all of them are now productive members of society because no one in that group got caught (and we're in our 40s now).

Clewin89 karma

The Ba'ath party started essentially as the Arab socialist party (motto: Unity, Liberty, Socialism) in Syria with a goal of unifying the Arab world under a single state not influenced by outside powers. ISIS (also founded in Syria) has the similar goal of unifying the Arab world under a single state without outside influence, but their main difference is they want the state to be Islamic.

When Ba'ath was first founded, it was multi-religious (it was founded by a Christian, a Sunni Muslim, and an Alawite, which is a branch of Shia), but it has come to be dominated by Sunni Muslims, which is also the core of ISIS. I suspect the shared religion has a lot to do with it.

Clewin74 karma

Weird... in Latin, sopor is deep sleep, if I recall correctly (the English soporific, or "causes drowsiness" takes its root from that).

Clewin62 karma

Do you think it is time to invest in molten salt fuel research again? Nixon killed it off in the 1970s and fired Alvin Weinberg, the inventor of the nuclear reactor because he was a proponent of it and it was getting in the way of Nixon's desire to build light water reactors in California, his native state. We've spent over 700 billion of public funds researching fast neutron reactors and zero on continuing where the Oak Ridge Molten Salt Research Experiment, though the private sector has taken an interest lately. The modern (Gen 4 reactor) version of this is LFTR, which can actually be used to burn nuclear waste (though its native fuel is Thorium). Molten salt reactors have tons of pros and very few cons - high temperature is good for desalination and driving turbines (more efficient turbines can be used), low pressure means no chance of explosion, they self regulate and can't melt down, can be turned on or off quickly, burn almost all their fuel, leave little waste and that decays quickly (safe in 200 years), and more, like they probably can be built for the same price as a coal plant (~$5 million). The main concern is proliferation due to continuous reprocessing, though if you do any research, you would find that is nigh impossible without getting a lethal dose of radiation, and the little bomb quality material taken (they produce less, which is another reason Nixon killed it) out is contaminated with high gamma emitters that are easy to find.