299 posts • joined 22 Jan 2008
Payphones in airports
So anyone other than your own agents using an airport payphone will come under increased suspicion of being someone else's agent, too?
No more turning over a USB thing, then turning it over again to plug it in: Reversible socket ready for lift off
Connecting things properly
I'd much rather see USB replaced by Ethernet with a connector that can take a decent power level, has an obviously directional shape, and is genderless (like an Anderson power connector, but smaller and with more than two contacts). Then you won't get distinctions like "A" and "B" connectors, or like USB-on-the-go being different from USB; things can just connect, and let the software/firmware sort out whether they have anything to talk about. NICs are cheap now; from a quick look at the protocols, I think they probably take less silicon to implement, too, and you'd probably get far better performance for most things without the grossly inefficient USB protocol.
For a little extra, make the connection reasonably mechanically robust and it can even hold devices onto each other (e.g. bluetooth/wifi dongles onto phones/computers) without worrying about bending connectors.
Vendors could add value to the products a bit, then we can let market forces push the prices down; tiny NAS units could take the place of USB flash drives, wifi dongles could be routers, and so on.
Re: Size Part 2...
If you've got the fingertip sensitivity to read braille, you should be able to feel which side of the plug/socket has the plastic strip in it (a blind friend of mine, who is an experienced braille user, does this without difficulty).
Frankpledge may have limited privacy
The frankpledge system (mutual legal responsibility in a group of households) may have encouraged people to keep informal surveillance of each other (although at least that would have been P2P).
Have they looked underneath?
Perhaps it's an MI6 bluetooth (or similar) dead letter box, like the one in Moscow?
I think our accidental creation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria is likely to wipe us out far earlier than any AI we can create in the same timespan.
Panasonic batteries? With DRM? And pyrotechnics? and price-fixing?
When I saw "Panasonic" and "battery" mentioned in the same article, I was reminded of the incident of Panasonic patching cameras to block rivals' batteries, and while looking for that article, I also found Panasonic pulls pyromaniac batteries (well, I suppose it's better than denying the problem) and Sanyo (a subsidiary of Panasonic) fined for price-fixing laptop batteries
I wonder whether Tesla use DRM on their battery packs?
Re: I want a driverless car!
"Driverless" might not mean "unattended"; legislation might still require a human to be in the vehicle, nominally ready to press a big red button to stop the vehicle in case of an emergency that the vehicle fails to detect.
Of course, they'll never press the button in time, because they'll be too busy texting, but at least there'll be someone to blame.
Re: Not wanting to defend plod, but
They say "protecting privacy rights of hotspot users while making their usage of your Hotspot fully traceable", which suggests they have no more clue than the cops.
No, they spotted that one
They invented the term "domestic extremist" for those, in case anyone decided that they couldn't call them terrorists. There, a government thinking ahead. Who'd have thought it?
"Your plastic pal who's fun to be with"
How large will the complaints department have to be?
I just hope anything like that won't be cordless, I want to unplug one already!
I suppose we'll get used to anything.
An appropriate way round it?
Perhaps the companies concerned, when approached for files containing the records, can say "The data you're looking for was in 114 files, which we have inexpicably lost. You know how it goes."
Re: A shame
If she'd called an ambulance and they'd been able to revive him, he could have identified her, although as a drug supplier and cause of injury, rather than a killer; still enough to scare her off calling.
That'll be David Mery: http://gizmonaut.net/bits/suspect.html
However, in this case, the information he was seeking to remove was brought from a position of relative obscurity to wider public awareness.
Now cancelled, it seems
The page pointed to now says:
Unfortunately the April dinner with John Lamb on Digital Enablement of the disabled had to be cancelled. The RTC Club Committee sincerely apologises for the inconvenience.
Re: It's actually quite a tricky spec.
ISTR the PC3100 was almost instant-on (although it was a resume, rather than a boot); and it ran on 3 AA cells for about 3 weeks.
Re: Drifting OT ... one thing I recall
That sound like the MicroWriter; the keyboard format was re-used for a PDA called the AgendA.
I don't think the mass market, even back then, was up to anything that had a learning curve steeper than pressing keys with the corresponding characters written on them in large letters.
I hope to resurrect my Libretto
I think I still have my old Libretto somewhere, I might dig it out sometime and try putting a Pi or similar-sized machine inside. I expect I'll have to replace just about everything except the case and keyboard, though; but still, it's a nice form factor.
Re: I've been helping friends (and businesses) upgrade from XP to ...
Yes, just helped someone switch an infested windows machine to Mint (Mate) and they're very happy with it, they say it's much better.
Re: It's not exactly Mission: Impossible is it?
The problem with this is that the better they are at keeping secrets, the harder they are to oversee. Done properly, security in such agencies should keep data compartmented so no individual can see data from divisions other than the one they work for, other than by special arrangement.
Nice big genderless DC power connectors; the middle-size ones I use are rated at "a very high current for ten seconds, or 175 amps continuous". They seem to have dropped the 700A version, which had up to 10 data connectors in the middle; I would have called that "data + power, done properly" but it was almost the size of a netbook, which unfortunately probably ruled it out as a contender for a new variant of USB.
Available in lots of colours, too, with slightly incompatible geometries, for different voltages, although everyone seems to ignore the manufacturer's suggested colour coding scheme.
Re: I'm all for bringing encryption to the masses, but...
especially a bloody ex-NSA guy
Does that make much difference? There are two specific situations in which I'd mistrust a company offering closed-box security:
1. Where they employ someone who's publicly known to have been on the NSA's payroll
2. Where they don't employ anyone who's publicly known to have been on the NSA's payroll
I might make an exception to case (1), if that person is Mr Snowden.
Sirius, Sirius, Sirius
Maybe banks which have strengthened the Linux kernel to meet their statutory obligations should contribute that code and let hackers see *exactly* how they should attack your saving account?
I suggest a web search for "security through obscurity". You'll find that terms such as "fallacy" occur a lot in the results.
Or, in brief (although many web pages explain it better than I can here): if the workings of the mechanism have to be hidden for the system to be "secure", it's not really secure. A really secure system is still secure even when the mechanism is publicly understood. It's the difference between having a door-handle that doesn't look like one, and having a lock that requires a key.
Re: Next time ...
But as the driver's head moves, and as the vehicle moves, things which were behind the side bar will become visible; I doubt that obstacles and other road users will remain entirely hidden behind the sidebar for more than a fraction of a second.
The firm claims it's 24 times faster and has seen a 2,400 per cent improvement in its performance.
Would it ask the the firm to explain the distinction between speed and performance?
Re: The enemy you can see
"every participant is untrustworthy", or just "each participant may be untrustworthy"? What if every member of the group is an NSA plant?
Re: Title is too long
"No more commodity products," he promised. "No more parity products. No more 'just good enough' products. We must – and we can – do better."
Well, they were ahead of the game in putting rootkits on commercial media releases.
Re: Battlefield Realities
On top of which, every part will presumably be made by the lowest bidder (or the highest briber).
One of the big advantages of ARM is that the chip is so small you can stick it in the corner of the GPU/ASIC/custom lol-cat search combobulator to handle all the ancillary computer stuff while the special silicon gets on with the hard bits
Yes, that's what I had in mind as the main possibility.
Another possibility would be something like ICL's CAFS (Content Addressable File Store) which implemented search functions in the disk controller, matching the data as it passed the disk heads (without having to read it into RAM first). But I expect they're more interested in pulling popular blocks of data into RAM for faster repeated searching.
If they're going to make their own CPUs, perhaps they could add search-related operations in hardware (or with specialized hardware assist) --- Boyer-Moore search might be amenable to this, for example (just the "search" stage of it, not the table preparation stage).
On a second look, it also shows how well TeX generalizes beyond the fonts for which it was originally designed. Could Knuth be a reincarnation of Fëanor? (it would explain a lot.)
All it takes for serious principles and scientific processes to look less like they're tweaked to fit a particular dataset and desired set of results is for someone in academia to apply them in a different setting, to show that they generalize plausibly.
or regulate it electronically?
Might it be possible to regulate the mechanical resistance of the dynamo by adjusting the electrical load attached to it (like is done for regenerative braking)?
Young people are getting worrying sensible these days. Some of them, anyway.
I don't think I have done anything to attract such personal attention
Isn't using TrueCrypt enough for that? Ok, not really personal, but I'm sure it will have put you on a special list somewhere.
How about making mail delivery by pull rather than push (i.e. you collect it, like in a webmail service), so that the timing isn't obvious, and whenever you pick up mail, you are also given someone else's mail, which you can't decrypt (not even the headers), to make traffic analysis harder?
Or you could run it like a forum / newsgroup, in which you pick up everything that has come in since you last looked (or some subset, for scalability, perhaps everything on a particular server) and anything that makes sense when decrypted with your private key is for you. Then you don't even need an address as such.
The committee will disappear into a dark room
The committee will disappear into a dark room, where representatives of the NSA, GCHQ, and friends will be waiting to advise them.
Re: No war
If terrorism were to disappear, the focus would shift to `domestic extremism'. And a lot of that would probably disappear if the government spent similar amounts on the population's psychiatric health.
This won't make any difference to their chances of getting a job with NSA later, of course.
Re: I would like to post a controversial opinion. It's not the truth...
Now you come to mention it... their compartmentalization looks very weak compared with what Peter Wright described in his memoir "Spycatcher". Unless, of course, there are some other departments to which Snowden never had any access.
Not graceful enough yet to replace horses for traditional cavalry moves such as Trooping the Colour. Might work with steampunk makeover, lots of polished brass, leather panels, etc, though.
Cugnot's fardier à vapeur had a similar problem! But that was just a road-bump, and progress has continued since then.
Re: I don't usually descend to obscenity...
Yes, just program the airbags to do that.
Another possible use
For the suitably rich, such a craft might make an interesting alternative to residential ships (such as Residensea's "The World").
Re: the NSA was one of several contributors
"You need to exclude their contributions entirely." - But how do you know which contributors are spies? It's entirely possible that some spies don't wear cloaks and carry daggers. On the internet, nobody knows you're not a dog --- and they don't know you're not a spook, either. In fact, you might be a spook dog.
Read Peter Wright's "Spycatcher" for a description of self-policing.
IIRC, you have a very secretive organization "a", with secretive departments "a/b" and "a/c". Department "a/b" polices department "a/c" (but "a/c" doesn't know it), and department "a/c" polices department "a/b" (but "a/b" doesn't know it). Neither dares report their findings to anyone, but simply try to trip each other up.
I don't expect that changes in government, technology, society, will have stopped them doing things like this.
Re: Sauce for the goose?
... if they haven't infiltrated each other by now!
Yes, I was wondering how many people would by from it as "amazon" who wouldn't buy from it as "amazon.com". But it's presumably more about selling registrations within the tld.
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