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* Posts by Charles 9

3598 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Watch out spooks: STANDARDS GROUPS are COMING AFTER YOU

Charles 9
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Re: Plenty of standards...

But how do ANY of these work against a state-level adversary who can get an inside track on the transport layer? They can learn almost as much from the routing itself as they can from the message: encrypted or not.

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Charles 9
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Re: The problem with email encryption

But what happens if Mallory or Gene have the inside track on one of the domains along the way. They can pick out the traffic BETWEEN encryptions that way.

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Charles 9
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But then you run into a security-vs-ease-of-use divide. Creating a turnkey solution that is nonetheless very secure has been hounding security researchers since before your average forum site required its own password. And that doesn't alleviate the issue of trust in the case of the security elements being subverted during the production stage. If we're really in DTA mode, how can a universal standard be established that everyone can use yet is not subject to corruption?

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Lavabit, secure email? Hardly, says infosec wizard Moxie Marlinspike

Charles 9
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Re: Trust and Security

"You have to trust, but that needn't be a single entity. Security can be spread across multiple entities such that they *all* have to defect before your secret is known."

The thing about going against a STATE is that they could have the resources to subvert ALL of them. And even if one or more of them are foreign and outside that state's control, what about THE OTHER states? How can you establish any kind of trust when your environment has basically become DTA?

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Charles 9
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Re: Trust and Security

The problem arises when one of the parties is a "stranger" to the other. With no prior experience, there is ABSOLUTELY no way to prove Bob is Bob to Alice because there can't be a chain of trust without an anchor. That means Mallory or Gene can pretend to be Bob and Alice has no way of knowing the difference.

Well, that's part of the problem with the Internet. It makes it very easy to talk to strangers, and in fact a lot of e-commerce takes place between what we could qualify as strangers.

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Charles 9
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Re: Secure email

But then what do you do when the recipient has to be anonymous? How do you send an email with a blank envelope?

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Google patent: THROAT TATTOO with lie-detecting mobe microphone built-in

Charles 9
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Re: How good are throat microphones?

Well, Panzer commanders used them to great effect in WW2. Allowed them to be heard over the noise of their tanks. The thing about throat mics is that even though your mouth shapes the soundforms, the whole waveform echoes through your skull and back down your throat.

A similar technique, IIRC, is used in the artificial larynx, used by people who have lost their natural larynx through disease or injury.

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'Only NUCLEAR power can SAVE HUMANITY', say Global Warming high priests

Charles 9
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Re: Mistake to use nuclear power

"Being chemically distinct from uranium and other fission byproducts, even contaminated plutonium has more potential for being made "weapons grade" than uranium does. Just because "breeder" reactors are a better plutonium source doesn't make plutonium from other reactors useless for weapons."

But a point of diminishing returns kicks in due to the costs involved getting the plutonium out of the toxic waste. Otherwise, Thorium wouldn't be considered safe, either, as one of ITS byproducts is Uranium-233, which CAN be weaponized.

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Charles 9
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Re: Let's include the insurance cost!

First, last I checked, most nuclear plants ARE insured. Second, since NO private company is willing to underwrite said insurance, government had to step in. It's easy enough to say you need private insurance, but what happens when none are to be found...at any price?

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Charles 9
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Re: Mistake to use nuclear power

So you're saying a Thorium reactor produces plutonium?

Anyway, while most uranium reactors do produce plutonium as a byproduct, most of it is too contaminated to be of use. The plutonium in weapons comes from purpose-built "breeder" reactors.

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Charles 9
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Re: controllable?

Except Generation IV reactors are built with fail-safety in mind. Many designs are containerized, meaning anything that goes wrong stays in the container and can be replaced (it also means a simpler concept of "changing out" reactors after specific duty cycles of a few decades).

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Charles 9
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Re: Marketing Change?

The same thing happened to the tomato as well (because it's related to nightshade). Thing was, poor Italians had little choice, so necessity taught them that, hey, you can eat tomatoes, and the rest was history. That's what's needed for nuclear to be pushed forward again: a whole lot of NECESSITY.

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Alleged Peeping Tom claims First Amendment right to upskirt

Charles 9
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Interesting angle, invoking rights clash. If this is pursued, it will be up to the judge to draw the line since although the photographer has rights, so does the subject. And unless engaged in mundane activity, precedent establishes that art with a human subject (photography is considered art in this case) requires consent on both sides: an artistic subject can request the work not be published.

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"Yes, this is the kind of thing we spend our time on these days.....never mind all those other minor "things" going on in the world....Hunger, poverty, environmental disasters both natural and man made...."

Because most of these are not within the purview of courts. These kinds of things usually require legislatures. Good luck getting legislatures to take the long view.

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While the BBC drools over Twitter, look what UK's up to: Hospital superbug breakthrough

Charles 9
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Re: More science less Twitter

Maybe that's because El Reg covered the phage research previously.

"Bacteria-chomping phages could kill off HOSPITAL SUPERBUGS"

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Acer suffers terrible let-down after unexpected withdrawal of Wang

Charles 9
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According to my research, Acer trades on the Taiwan Stock Exchange, and this is their specific limit. Most trading markets have what are called "curbs" meant to prevent runaway activity (and note, the curbs usually apply in BOTH directions). These are applied across the board so are applicable to ALL stocks in a given market. It's not meant as a protection so much as a brake or a circuit breaker. If a stock really is behaving that bad, it will just continue to trade down in the next session, but if it's the victim of a fluke event or something they can remedy, the curb provides a little breathing room to let cooler heads prevail.

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Mobe-makers' BLOATWARE is Android's Achilles heel

Charles 9
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Re: Bloatware

Probably more data than code. Odds are it's mostly an offline comparison database. It grows because more devices keep getting added.

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Bitcopocalypse! Top crypto-currency can be HIJACKED, warn boffins

Charles 9
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Re: Electricity is free is you steal it

I think some like Coinbase are still around because they play above the board (Coinbase works WITH the banks). If the US comes calling for tax information, they'd probably provide it, keeping them in the clear. I used it to basically check out of Bitcoin and I personally noticed things were getting too dicey.

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iPad Air BARES ALL, reveals she's a high maintenance lady

Charles 9
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For the phone, most would point to USB battery bricks, which can hold more charge than any phone can and has the additional advantage of being hot-pluggable.

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Charles 9
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Re: Regardless of the facts...

I don't know. At least you can replace the battery on these things. Plus they have memory card slots.

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Want to go to billionaire Sun kingpin's beach? Hope you're a strong swimmer

Charles 9
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Re: Undermine his claim

Two problems.

One, most land grants also grant anything UNDER the ground, which means tunnels need rights of way from the property owner. Mining leases have the same issue: they need permission from the property owner.

Two, we're on the coast. That typically means a low water table. When you gotta keep water out, tunneling becomes that much tricker, which is why many underwater tunnels were built above ground, then towed to the site and SUNK into place.

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Charles 9
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Re: Stupid question

"So how do these property owners (and their guests and visitors) get to their properties? Does California have wayleaves and easements?"

They do, but since the Hidalgo Treaty is FEDERAL, California is being trumped.

That being said, if this road is the ONLY access for these other property owners, they now have a valid beef. Their rights must be respected, too, so they can invoke the First Amendment right to petition the feds for this grievance. Probably what could happen is that these property owners could file a new lawsuit, this time in a Federal court, demanding access. This could provide the rights clash needed for the federal system to justify invoking eminent domain themselves.

Let's see what happens.

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Charles 9
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Re: Time for some eminent domain!

But then the question arises. Given the age of the original deed (remember, the original grant came from Mexico), could they argue that the BEACH was originally private, too, protected by the federal treaty, and therefore trumps California's claim to a public beach under prior claims (again because of the 14th Amendment trumping California law)?

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Charles 9
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Re: Federal shoud trump both

I believe that law only applied to interior waterways (thus the term "navigable", which typically only applies to lakes and rivers; this was intended to prevent them being closed off. The open seas don't have that problem.

Besides, the Hidalgo Treaty can possibly trump that act for two reasons. (1) It's a federally-ratified treaty, which under the Constitution gives it equal standing to any Act, (2) The treaty came after the aforesaid act. Judicial precedence could point to that and say the treaty acts as an amendment to the prior law.

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Charles 9
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Re: Well, if it's no longer a public road...

Given the state of the road in the picture, it's likely just a dirt path, plus we're talking SoCal: not exactly known for snow. If he has a proper off-road vehicle, he could drive up and down it with little regard for maintenance. Indeed, he may WISH to let the road fall into disrepair as a disincentive for other people or the state (or in this case, the US as it's a FEDERAL treaty blocking it) to try to obtain it through other means.

For further inquiry: Is the state beach enveloped by the private property in such a way that one MUST go through that property to reach it? Or could the state develop some other means to reach the beach, perhaps through an adjacent landowner who is more accommodating?

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Charles 9
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They can't. The treaty was ratified by Congress after the Mexican-American War and thus, under the Constitution, has the force of Federal law. Under the 14th Amendment, unless the law specifically exempts it (this one doesn't), federal law trumps state law.

It would require one of two things: agreement between it and Mexico to allow for an exception to the treaty or an overriding federal concern (such as breaching another federal Act or treaty) overruling it.

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FIERY DEATH awaits all who stroke mobes mid-flight? Nope, says FAA

Charles 9
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Re: Always wondered how many *actual* incidents started this BS

But recall that most planes and ship have hulls...METAL hulls. These hulls can act as electromagnetic shields to protect against EMI.

But they're worth sod all against interference from INSIDE, and that's been the issue with the planes, especially the OLDER ones built before cell phones and the like existed, let alone were commonplace. As noted, placing a GSM phone against a running loudspeaker as it receives a call DOES produce noticeable clicks and like, a clear sign of some RFI, and there has been a number of anecdotal stories about instrument wackiness being distinctly dependent on the function of a passenger's phone.

As noted, until recently, the FAA wanted to act with an overabundance of caution, but it ended up taking much too much flak for it, thus the about-face.

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Charles 9
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Re: Electronics can interfere with radio comms

That's one reason CALLS still aren't allowed. It's the GSM frequencies at issue. Meanwhile, most of the WiFi comms are well out of range in the 2.4GHz or 5GHz range. In addition, especially after 9/11, the cockpit partition should be metal, which should shunt any signals from the cabin. Plus the situation could be eased further with the installation of a picocell to steer calls (or at least phones) to a particular set of frequencies.

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Charles 9
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Re: Europe?

Yes, they loosened up some years ahead of the Americans.

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Charles 9
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Re: What's the new relaxed rules then?

The basic rules have become: "You know what, there aren't really any rules anymore." Basically, apart from cell calls (which have logistics issues outside of interference), you're free to use your devices whenever you want. Just remember your priorities and pay attention to the flight attendants. Their word is still "law" on the plane, but at least they won't pester you about turning off your devices unless they're annoying others or they need your attention for something.

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Charles 9
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I think the problem's not as bad as people make it out. The thing with being that high up is that you're going to get LOTS of signals...and not all of them in different frequencies. The tower frequencies IINM are carefully juggled for ground use, such that two towers that cross each others' ranges don't use the same frequencies. Thing is, when you're in the air, you'll get towers from so far away that you'll inevitably run into a bunch on the same frequency, meaning crosstalk. Odds are the GSM spectrum that high up is so jumbled from all the crosstalk as to be unusable.

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Charles 9
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Re: @Henry Wertz 1

I don't recall the hotspots having picocells in them as well, though I will admit it's not outside the realm of possibility. The trick would be relaying the calls, as satellite (which IINM is used for the WiFi) has a very long round trip.

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We'll build Elon Musk's Hyperloop ... if you lob us ONE-MEELLION dollars

Charles 9
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There is something to be said about SPEED, though. Getting from A to B faster than a train but with less hassle than a plane would a boon much as the automobile ("horseless carriage") gained fans when it started appearing at the turn of the last century.

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Charles 9
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Don't think so. HST (hyperspatial tube), maybe.

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Charles 9
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Re: Fast horizontal elevator?

Except you can pretty much say the same thing about a TRAIN, and the ride's longer.

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Charles 9
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Having read that, it's worth noting that many of the initial technologies have been scaled back to more realistic levels.

1. IIRC they won't be using magnetic levitation. Instead they'll use air cushions.

2. It will be only a partial vacuum, not a complete one that would be difficult to maintain. To reduce air resistance, the cars will have vacuums at the front to draw in air and use as part of the air cushion system which can also be propelled at a backward angle to assist in propulsion.

3. Most of those high estimates are because they're tunneling. The hyperloop hopes to avoid this by using above-ground tubes. As for right of way costs, they also plan to utilize existing rights of way by running most of the tubes above and along the Interstates (which ALREADY have state rights of way).

I'm not saying it will or won't happen. I'm actually neutral on the Hyperloop; it's ambitious, yes, but since the scaling down of expectations things are looking more possible then it once was.

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Blighty's telcos set to CHOKE off another fistful of piracy gateways

Charles 9
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Re: Torrentz

If they contain the content ENABLERS, they're as guilty as hosting the content. It's like taking a key impression and passing it along to someone to burgle a place while supposedly keeping you one step removed: thing is, you can still be nailed as an enabler.

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Charles 9
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Re: Obvs

Most prepaid credit cards I know require you to register them before you can use them for purchases and before you say gift cards, most of THEM are blocked by e-tailers BECAUSE they can be used unregistered (they do that to get off the hook for potential money laundering).

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Charles 9
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Re: Torrentz

But hosting the Torrent file on their own website can serve the same effect, which is what I'm saying. There is logic to this. Why else would the other torrents be hosted in "haven" websites other than they have no place to call home? That's why I use the "pirate's cove" argument.

If a torrent is for legitimate content, these torrents can be hosted on mainstream websites legally. Most of the distro sites I've seen are more than capable of hosting torrents for their own distros, and since it's for THEIR OWN content, hosting these torrents on their websites puts them in no legal trouble and also allows them to provide some safeguards like hosting hash files for verification.

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Charles 9
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Re: Torrentz

"More fun, however, would be for everyone to upload a torrent link to legitimate downloads - say, Linux distro of your choice - to each of these sites, then all club together to raise the funds to sue the idiot who granted this order for blocking access to legitimate content."

Except they already have a counter for it in that, since the content is legitimate, the content can safely be hosted in places other than torrent distribution sites. Sites like, maybe, the distros' own websites, which IINM most of them keep at least one. In their minds, the primary reason the torrent sites exist is because there is no legitimate place for them otherwise. It's like saying, 'Where else can pirates find haven except in a pirate's cove?"

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WD slips bullet between teeth, gets ready to hand $706 MEELLION to Seagate

Charles 9
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Re: Quality drop

In my personal experience, I've learned to avoid Seagates. Many times, I have drives that are extremely slow to wake or suddenly reseek in mid-transfer. I currently keep a number of USB external hard drives. Two of them are showing signs of starting to fail (one them basically goes kaboom the moment it hits a certain part of the drive--once that happens it stops responding until I reset it). BOTH are Seagates. That has NEVER happened to me with a Maxtor or a WD.

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Do Not Track W3C murder plot fails by handful of votes

Charles 9
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Re: DNT obsolete

Unless there is a way for a browser to track whether or not ad sites are honoring DNT or not. Doubt it could be logistically pulled off (since the ads can pretty much become indistinguishable from actual pages), but a framework like that would be needed to make DNT enforceable since sites ignoring DNT could be labeled untrustworthy and blocked by default.

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Charles 9
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Re: DNT is already dead, sadly

I don't know. If Microsoft starts considering these ad firms to be untrustworthy, they may start using DNT in a whitelist and ENFORCE trust by saying "you better be honoring DNT or we'll block you by default". Since Microsoft doesn't need ad money to exist, they don't have to kowtow to them, so the ad agencies can't pressure Microsoft.

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Charles 9
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Re: W3C against privacy & for DRM

Put it this way. The content providers don't need the web. They can either embrace the web or marginalize it. At this stage, they already seem to be learning towards marginalize since they intend to push forth a 4K standard that's under their complete control from top to bottom, from the encoders to the receivers.

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Everything's going to be all white: Google Nexus 5 mobe expected Friday

Charles 9
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Re: Kit Kat update

Or just root their phone and wait on a custom ROM. That being said, this may be a bit as the custom designers are only now cutting their teeth on Jelly Bean 4.3, which has been found to have more than a few changes that require working around.

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Mozilla goes where Google fears to tread with geolocation service

Charles 9
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Re: Howabout this

Because my phone uses the AP whenever I'm home, and without the broadcast, it can't tell that I'm home (and polling would chew up the battery time), and since it comes and goes, having to switch the network each time is a PITA. So yes, some of us DO have to broadcast to signal transient devices (that doesn't mean I don't take other precautions; I use a spec-limit password and have turned off the WPS PIN).

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Open-source hardware hacking effort 'smacked down' by USB overlords

Charles 9
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The problem with circular plugs is that you need to be able to (1) establish a connection to several pins, for the data at the least (USB uses a pretty simple 4-plus-ground setup--two for voltage, two for data), AND (2) be electrically safe by designing it so the ground pin/shield touches first. Since USB transmits power, you can't rely on a setup like the 3.5mm plug since you might short something, not to mention the socket design leaves something to be desired in the realms of reliable connectivity. That's why even the Lightning connector is oblong: it's the most practical way to achieve both (1) and (2) in a robust way. Note that these connectors weren't just shots in the dark but carefully-considered designs with significant goals in mind (for USB, one consideration was socket grip--not too tight, not too loose).

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Charles 9
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Re: There should not really be any problem here

But the same product ID can mean completely different things between two different vendors.

For example, Product Code 0x0000 is a CD-RW drive for one vendor (0x03EE Mistumi) and a USB Hub for another vendor (0x0403 Future Technology Devices International, Ltd). Within each vendor, the product list is unique, and it's the COMBINATION of the two the tells the OS which driver to load up.

Anyway, this is simple to get around. Just use ONE specific Vendor/Product combination to indicate you need to invoke a subsystem driver to look up what you need now from further details. It involves a little more tedium, yes, but it's only done one per insertion and it can mostly be done in software. All the USB device itself would need is some additional way to describe itself, probably using some other basic capability. So in exchange for just ONE of the IF's codes (and if you borrow a code from an existing vendor, there may be little the IF can do about it), you can open up a whole new space of devices AND still be within the original specification.

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Wanna sell a phone in New York? Better have a receipt

Charles 9
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Re: Plan:

If Fred-down-the-road has a reputation for fencing phones, odds are the cops will learn of it too, and he'll receive a visit from a stinger with a bugged plant phone. They track him through that, locate his seller, bust them both. And if Fred crosses the state line to do so, then he's committed a federal crime and the feds can get involved, meaning instead of a stint in state prison, he could be looking at hard time in Atlanta or Leavenworth.

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Why Bletchley Park could never happen today

Charles 9
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Re: @Charles 9

"How does spying on my email prevent avian flu?"

How about an ENGINEERED flu? One that you're communication over the e-mail using codewords like "inoculation"? Recall the time antrax spores were sent over the mail. Bioweapons DO exist, and not necessarily in government facilities.

PS. I don't trust tinfoil hats. That's propaganda meant to get you zapped even MORE (think antennae--or foil in a microwave).

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Charles 9
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So how do you penetrate a very tight organization, one that seriously vets everyone and is only composed of kin or other "untouchables" (to use the Prohibition-era phrase)? That's why you still need sigint--because sometimes humint is too risky to attempt or the adversary is surrounded by untouchables.

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