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(Huffington Post)   So it turns out that Russia really *did* warn the FBI about the Boston Marathon bombers. The FBI just can't spell   (huffingtonpost.com) divider line 123
    More: Followup, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Boston Marathon, FBI, Russia, Tsarnaev, NBC News, Dagestan, FSB  
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14463 clicks; posted to Main » on 26 Mar 2014 at 9:56 AM (26 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-03-26 08:15:06 AM
Standardize the transliteration from Cyrillic to Latin alphabets.  Pick a standard, and stick to that standard.
 
2014-03-26 09:57:15 AM
As a software engineer, the solution is to normalize the data. The unique key of relational data should never be a name, that's what UUIDs are for.

Suspect 135010234 cannot enter the country without being detained.

Fuzzy search any name, further narrow results upon multiple hits. If no number is found, bullet to the head or detain the individual based on the situation.

For those who think too highly of themselves to be reduced to a number, be aware software engineers don't give a fark.
 
2014-03-26 09:57:28 AM

dittybopper: Standardize the transliteration from Cyrillic to Latin alphabets.  Pick a standard, and stick to that standard.


That's only going to work if the person you're tracking also follows that standard, instead of spelling his/her name however he wants to when he gets to the states.
 
2014-03-26 09:59:34 AM

dittybopper: Standardize the transliteration from Cyrillic to Latin alphabets.  Pick a standard, and stick to that standard.


You beat me to it.
 
2014-03-26 10:01:44 AM

Arkanaut: dittybopper: Standardize the transliteration from Cyrillic to Latin alphabets.  Pick a standard, and stick to that standard.

That's only going to work if the person you're tracking also follows that standard, instead of spelling his/her name however he wants to when he gets to the states.


You beat me to it.
 
2014-03-26 10:03:03 AM
Is there a problem with spelling the name in its original alphabet? A stupid person could learn Cryillic inside of a week, and Indic/Perso-Arabic/Southeast Asian scripts can just become a game of "Match the pictures" for a TSA agent.

Not that it would solve the inherent problems in basing an entire dataset on something as variable and arbitrary as someone's name without at least giving a passing nod to other useful descriptors. Like a date of birth, eye colour, prints etc.
 
2014-03-26 10:03:12 AM
Stop spending so much time watching people masturbate on webcam and do your damn job.
 
2014-03-26 10:04:12 AM
The solution is obviously to spy on more Americans.
 
2014-03-26 10:04:50 AM
i645.photobucket.com
 
Esn
2014-03-26 10:05:57 AM

dittybopper: Standardize the transliteration from Cyrillic to Latin alphabets.  Pick a standard, and stick to that standard.


It has been tried, many times. This is a huge problem in academia as well - I have to enter in 5 different spellings when I'm searching for Russian literature on the interlibrary databases and even then I sometimes miss things. You're never going to get everyone to agree on a standard - none of the standards are perfect, and there are some people who can't stand certain transliteration systems and vice versa (I prefer a version of British Standard, myself). The best thing to do would be to just use the original Cyrillic spellings.
 
2014-03-26 10:06:21 AM

Flakeloaf: A stupid person could learn Cryillic inside of a week,


All of them do.
 
2014-03-26 10:06:48 AM
It's comforting to know that they're still catching all the senior citizen and toddler terrorists though. You never hear of THEM bombing anyone, so shaking them down while letting the rest of the baddies through must work.

Right?
 
2014-03-26 10:08:02 AM
Stupid SpellCheck! Bring back proof-readers!
 
2014-03-26 10:08:15 AM

Flakeloaf: Is there a problem with spelling the name in its original alphabet?


Yes.  There are dozens of character sets around the world (some of which are huge, like the set of Chinese characters).  It's unrealistic to expect each gate agent, TSA employee, flight attendant, etc., to be able to read & pronounce every conceivable name in its native character set -- even if Unicode can handle representing the characters inside the computer.
 
2014-03-26 10:09:06 AM

dittybopper: Standardize the transliteration from Cyrillic to Latin alphabets.  Pick a standard, and stick to that standard.

 
Exactly my thought. But, even if this happened, it wouldn't help the part about the wrong Date of Birth. According the the FTA, the information change came from Russian officials. Ours was correct; there's included a different spelling of the name and in incorrect birth date.
 
2014-03-26 10:09:42 AM
See? See? That's why Putin is the bestest, dreamiest president EVAH!

/he would have nuked Watertown to get the terrists
 
2014-03-26 10:10:01 AM

firefly212: The solution is obviously to spy on more Americans.


Exactly.  If you spy on everyone, you don't have to worry about subtleties like "have I got the right target".
 
2014-03-26 10:10:57 AM
gonna change my name to "united stated official."
 
Esn
2014-03-26 10:13:09 AM
Or, you know, somebody could write a software on the basis of this table that would automatically transform any Russian name spelling into any one of the 11 major potential transliteration systems.

But really, just using the original Cyrillic spellings would be safest. Many of the Cyrillic letters are the same as the Latin ones, anyway.
 
2014-03-26 10:15:30 AM
Flakeloaf: "Is there a problem with spelling the name in its original alphabet?"

The aforementioned software engineers who don't give a fark about reducing you to a number?  As it turns out they very much give a fark about not having to support Unicode characters.
Sometimes, for understandable reasons (decision-makers won't accept increased cost/time estimates; underlying libraries don't support it; legacy systems don't support it; it can be very hard to do Unicode properly across a large project because so many programmers just don't deal with it.)

But rarely for actual *good* reasons.

It's not unlike the resistance against the switch to metric.
 
2014-03-26 10:16:42 AM

Esn: Or, you know, somebody could write a software on the basis of this table that would automatically transform any Russian name spelling into any one of the 11 major potential transliteration systems.

But really, just using the original Cyrillic spellings would be safest. Many of the Cyrillic letters are the same as the Latin ones, anyway.


да
 
2014-03-26 10:18:53 AM
The FBI and CIA were too busy checking your search logs on miget amputee goat porn.

Good job American "intelligence."
 
2014-03-26 10:21:39 AM
Christ that's retarded.  His passport would have had a unique identification number (not name-based) why the hell weren't they using that as a tracker instead of his name?
 
2014-03-26 10:21:40 AM
told ya' so. Russians are evil!
 
2014-03-26 10:23:35 AM
Dear USA,

Someone set you up the bom.

kthxbye,

Russha
 
2014-03-26 10:24:05 AM

Random Anonymous Blackmail: The FBI and CIA were too busy checking your search logs on miget amputee goat porn.

Good job American "intelligence."


"Bad intelligence"

Team America already predicted this.
 
2014-03-26 10:26:35 AM
Bush's fault!
 
2014-03-26 10:27:44 AM

jshine: Flakeloaf: Is there a problem with spelling the name in its original alphabet?

Yes.  There are dozens of character sets around the world (some of which are huge, like the set of Chinese characters).  It's unrealistic to expect each gate agent, TSA employee, flight attendant, etc., to be able to read & pronounce every conceivable name in its native character set -- even if Unicode can handle representing the characters inside the computer.


All passports and travel documents are already printed in roman letters as well as their native language. I was thinking more of the federal police agencies that would be receiving intelligence broadcasts like the one that Russian intelligence agents said they sent. If Google can take a phonetic spelling and turn it into passable Cyrillic or Hindi or whatever then I would hope a federal security agency would be able to do at least as well.
 
2014-03-26 10:27:53 AM
The tragedy about things like this and the Plame outing by White House officials is countries will cease risking their intelligence networks. They're not going give us information we need because at the extrema we are either incompetent boobs or malevolent spewers of classified information.

I sincerely doubt we will have this sort of help from the Russians for a long time.
 
2014-03-26 10:28:14 AM
Does anybody know why they don't use facial recognition software?   That would take care of spelling etc.

That said, I don't know much about security, so maybe there is some reason they cannot use it.
 
2014-03-26 10:28:43 AM

ringersol: Flakeloaf: "Is there a problem with spelling the name in its original alphabet?"

The aforementioned software engineers who don't give a fark about reducing you to a number?  As it turns out they very much give a fark about not having to support Unicode characters.
Sometimes, for understandable reasons (decision-makers won't accept increased cost/time estimates; underlying libraries don't support it; legacy systems don't support it; it can be very hard to do Unicode properly across a large project because so many programmers just don't deal with it.)

But rarely for actual *good* reasons.

It's not unlike the resistance against the switch to metric.


If it is for the US government, shouldnt the platform support Unicode? Isnt that the point of all the bullshiat standards that must be met by companies who deal in government contracts?

Yeah, some bullshiat Database might not support a Unicode query, but the government uses big ass iron with big ass databases. You just arent going to get a cheap DB that will outperform the big iron. And the big ass DBs all support Unicode.

So, my bet is on gubmint incompetence, not software.
 
2014-03-26 10:30:29 AM

firefly212: The solution is obviously to spy on more Americans.


Yep, this and the fact that two different security breaches have occurred at One World Trade Center in a week means that they need to get busy and collect MORE phone/internet records because it works so well!
 
2014-03-26 10:33:41 AM
Russia reports pretty much every Chechen that leaves the country as a terrorist.  It would be more surprising if they didn't warn us.  That's why stuff like this doesn't get taken more seriously.
 
2014-03-26 10:33:48 AM
Like, if you're sent a warning about "Vladimir Ilyich Orlovskiy/ Владимир Ильич Орловский" and a guy named Vladymir Ilytch Orlavski shows up at your checkpoint, he probably shouldn't get through. If we're going to be daft enough to have a person's name as the only field in our query, the least we could do is represent it in the database as accurately as possible.
 
2014-03-26 10:35:55 AM
Listen up, peeps.
You need to understand an important and inviolate rule of "intelligence" gathering that states that you cannot use that information AT ALL, EVEN TO SAVE LIVES, WIN BATTLES OR SAVE THE WORLD because you "might" reveal your source.

Yes, Virginia, stupid wins again.
 
2014-03-26 10:35:57 AM
To add insult to injury, some websites still auto-play videos.  This is an outrage.
 
2014-03-26 10:37:49 AM

Bin_jammin: It's comforting to know that they're still catching all the senior citizen and toddler terrorists though. You never hear of THEM bombing anyone, so shaking them down while letting the rest of the baddies through must work.

Right?


CSB:
  I'm going through security risk assessment for my job, which is sorta along the lines of the movie "Outbreak."  I have what I think is a pretty Anglo-Saxon name, I am an American citizen born to military parents at a base in Europe.  Going through the process with me are an Ethiopian, a Chinese, and a Venezuelan.  Guess who gets pulled aside for extra paperwork and a shakedown?
 /CSB
 
2014-03-26 10:38:35 AM
seattle98.files.wordpress.com
"I have a gub..."
 
2014-03-26 10:40:35 AM
Well at least the FBI got that Tuttle guy they were looking for.
 
2014-03-26 10:41:10 AM
This is how Osama Bon Ladden got through security for so many years after 9/11.
 
2014-03-26 10:41:26 AM

flak attack: Russia reports pretty much every Chechen that leaves the country as a terrorist.  It would be more surprising if they didn't warn us.  That's why stuff like this doesn't get taken more seriously.


This. I'm wondering how many thousands of reports the FBI gets every day. I pity them, since missing a single one means they're blamed for lack of vigilance, increasing their oppressive police state mentality.

/Which doesn't absolve them of the genuine farkups they're known for.
 
2014-03-26 10:42:12 AM

Clent: As a software engineer, the solution is to normalize the data. The unique key of relational data should never be a name, that's what UUIDs are for.

Suspect 135010234 cannot enter the country without being detained.

Fuzzy search any name, further narrow results upon multiple hits. If no number is found, bullet to the head or detain the individual based on the situation.

For those who think too highly of themselves to be reduced to a number, be aware software engineers don't give a fark.


You misspelled your screen name.
 
2014-03-26 10:45:48 AM
Don't the Russian warn the US about *every* Chechen in the United States?
 
2014-03-26 10:49:46 AM
Yeah, there are going to be problems.  For as long as I can remember, the capital of Ukraine was spelled Kiev, now, during the crisis, people have started to spell it Kyev, for some reason.

And, yes, I understand some of these alphabet conversions go back a long time and things have gotten muddled.  It's like the conversion of Chinese spelling to Western spelling.  IIRC from my Chinese history classes, the system was set up by the Jesuits, centuries ago.  Even though Beijing was spelled Peking, by the Jesuit system, it would have still been pronounced Beijing.  It was Westerners unfamiliar with the rules of the Jesuit's system, that started pronouncing it as it was spelled.  I forget the reasoning behind the Jesuit system, but, it's been only in the last 40 or 50 years that things have gotten straightened out.  But, Kiev or Kyev, it's still pronounced the same farking way.
 
2014-03-26 10:52:00 AM
We're getting Kyiv here. Psy yi yi.
 
2014-03-26 10:52:05 AM
We need a tag/indicator that the link has autoplay video content. Or else I should stop Farking in a call center, one or the other.
 
2014-03-26 10:52:58 AM
Um. I think the biggest question is why on a single day there are over 100 people on some kind of HOT LIST passing in and out of JFK airport. So many it seems that a real threat was able to pass by simply because there were so many.

Who and what are on that list ? that is a busy airport sure but a single day and there are 99+ more nasty people or whatever on the list ?
 
2014-03-26 10:56:42 AM

zimbomba63: Yeah, there are going to be problems.  For as long as I can remember, the capital of Ukraine was spelled Kiev, now, during the crisis, people have started to spell it Kyev, for some reason.

And, yes, I understand some of these alphabet conversions go back a long time and things have gotten muddled.  It's like the conversion of Chinese spelling to Western spelling.  IIRC from my Chinese history classes, the system was set up by the Jesuits, centuries ago.  Even though Beijing was spelled Peking, by the Jesuit system, it would have still been pronounced Beijing.  It was Westerners unfamiliar with the rules of the Jesuit's system, that started pronouncing it as it was spelled.  I forget the reasoning behind the Jesuit system, but, it's been only in the last 40 or 50 years that things have gotten straightened out.  But, Kiev or Kyev, it's still pronounced the same farking way.


So, you are saying it could be "celebrate" and "celibate"?
 
2014-03-26 10:56:54 AM
FTFA:
U.S. officials have said a misspelling of Tsarnaev's name on flight records may have contributed to some law enforcement agencies not being alerted to his movements.

The FBI is in charge of maintaining flight records now?
 
2014-03-26 10:57:20 AM
not "celibate".
 
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