* Posts by Charles 9

6883 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Apple tells iPhone court 'the Founders would be appalled' by Feds

Charles 9
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Re: @DonL

"No man, no matter how virtuous, blessed by god, blood of kings - whatever - NO man is above the law."

Impossible. Eventually, someone amasses the kind of power that allows him to go beyond the law, on pain of pain and destruction. Such is the game of humanity; it's basic "me vs. the other guy" instinct. After all, in the final analysis, law is just "ink on a page" and absolutely worthless without the power to make others submit to it, even when they disagree with it.

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Samsung sued over 'lackadaisical' Android security updates

Charles 9
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Re: disgrunted owner of an original Nexus 7

There's also the matter that rooting isn't as handy as it was, given that Android and apps are increasingly root-aware, especially in Marshmallow. I had to unroot my S4 because of root-aware apps.

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Big data boffins crunch GPS traces, find altruistic route planning is good for everyone

Charles 9
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Re: More Cars than Roads

No one wants to foot the massive bill for such an undertaking. Besides,California ALONE is larger than several European countries.

Please name me ONE mass transit system that actually turns an honest profit. Or is there another reason private enterprise doesn't step in?

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UK Snoopers' Charter crashes through critics into the next level

Charles 9
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Re: Time to take action?

Until those foreign gateways start getting blacklisted and forced to be blocked by ISPs. And all the domestic ones will probably get a lot of scrutiny. After all, proxies are a known thing to the government, seeing as how they keep trying to block access to The Pirate Bay or whatever...

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Charles 9
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Re: Where were the opposition?

"The problem is most MPs and parties have been brainwashed to believe that something is required or the country will fall apart."

And they may well have reason to believe this. Wasn't there significant outcry after the July 7 attacks? If another one occurs and the people get the impression the government isn't doing enough to protect them (even in the event nothing could've been done by the government could've prevented it), there could be some very uncomfortable questions, especially at the polls.

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Western Digital spins up a USB disk just for the Raspberry Pi

Charles 9
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Re: The price is right...

Because they're still not at the sweet spot in terms of price/GB compared to rust, especially at large capacities. When your routinely handle data in the TB range, the current crops of affordable SSDs just aren't cheap enough yet.

Now, I'll grant you, in the 256GB range the flash drives are now within reason (I'm noting price tags in the $50-60...and these are with USB3 plugs in case you're wondering), but as others have noted their longevity cannot be assured (after all, the chips that go into these things probably aren't first-string as those go into the SSDs).

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Charles 9
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In the old DOS days the MD/MKDIR and CD/CHDIR commands were interchangeable, though in your case, I think the batch file went:

:LOOP

MD <name>

CD <name>

GOTO LOOP

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Charles 9
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Re: designed to slurp less power..

"I seem to remember there used to be 1.8" drives in small netbooks, maybe that can make an even smaller form factor case for the PI"

Actually, those 1.8" jobbers were first built for PMPs like iPods before they went solid state.

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Watch six tiny robo-ants weighing 100g in total pull a 1,769-kg family car

Charles 9
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Re: synchronize their footsteps

I think he's thinking more about the Broughton Bridge, also known as the Breakstep Bridge for the directions for formations of soldiers to break step while crossing. That said, the MythBusters covered both myths (Breakstep Bridge first, then Tesla Earthquake Machine).

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Charles 9
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Re: synchronize their footsteps

Just step slower than the bridge's resonant frequency. At their current pace, they're below the threshold.

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Charles 9
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Re: Obvious thought.

"Elephants are rubbish at pushing and pulling, when measured by a ratio. Ants blow them out of the water."

But of course elephants have a trunk up on the ants in terms of total strength. While some colonies of ants can collectively tear apart an animal with ease and then hide in a tree, one adult elephant could probably knock down the tree and then pick it up with his incredibly strong trunk. Each can be dangerous in its own way, as different groups of people can attest.

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Charles 9
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Re: Obvious thought.

What happens when the glue runs out?

It's not glue in the traditional sense. They've been researching gecko feet for a while now due to their ability to adhere to just about anything and even crawl upside-down without assistance (insects and spiders employ different techniques: typically clawed leg tips and/or soft pads; those with the latter can climb smooth surfaces like glass). It turns out their feet are covered in nanoscopic fibers that can slip between molecular bonds and exploit van der Waals forces (a form of electromagnetic force). Now that the force is understood, scientists have been endeavoring to recreate these feet in the lab. First attempts used directionality of adhesion, but it seems they now have gotten to the point of exploiting the van der Waals force.

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Charles 9
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Re: Mighty tiny car?

But the car is on wheels and is being pulled horizontally, reducing the actual resistance to pulling. If a car is on a flat surface and in neutral with the brakes off, a man can push a car or tow it via a rope and get it to roll. This is about the same feat, only the pullers are a lot smaller.

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Microsoft adds 'non-security updates' to security patches

Charles 9
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Re: Edge case

" If anyone at M$ reads this drivel, take note that VM/containerized windows 7 images from a linux host are looking very appealing at the moment."

If it's very expensive custom hardware using customized drivers, you'll find that virtualizing isn't an option because that kind of hardware can't be virtualized. Remember the time someone mentioned a six-figure computer-controlled lathe that ran XP because it was the last Microsoft OS that had drivers for the ISA bus that ran the installed custom controller board that couldn't be updated because it was part and parcel with the machine?

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Charles 9
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Re: How bad it must W10 be

You forget the GAMES. Especially once headliners become DX12-exclusive, meaning W10 or Bust.

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Boffins bust biometrics with inkjet printer

Charles 9
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Re: Biometrics

"The sad fact is there is no secure alternative to old fashioned passwords."

Problem is that passwords are not an option for many people: particularly those with bad memories. So by declaring there's no alternative to something that's not an option, you're basically declaring there's no way possible for them to maintain security.

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Charles 9
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Re: 'there's an “urgent need...

Then there is an EVEN MORE urgent need to compregend the fact that some people have TERRIBLE memories such they can't remember a password to save their life ("Was it correcthorsebatterystaple or was it rositachiquitajuanitachihuahua or was it junior?") AND don't routinely carry anything with them that can work as a second factor. How do you solve the security problem for people where the ONLY thng they can authenticate with is something they ARE (they don't know enough to have anything useful to KNOW and lack anything they HAVE).

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Charles 9
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Re: Not Surprised

But how do you deal with true idiots who have nothing to know? About the ONLY thing they have is something they are, so it's basically that or bust.

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ADpocalypse NOW: Three raises the stakes

Charles 9
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Re: Encryption

Won't help as people can still detect its source address. No, the only way to make ads unavoidable is to wrap the desired content in the ad or inserting the ad into the app or page inline, making the two part and parcel and inseparable. Then you're left with a "Take It or Leave It" scenario.

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US Congress locks and loads three anti-encryption bullets

Charles 9
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Re: What's puzzling...

Except for two problems:

First, the "no prior relationship" bit. That's the First Contact problem: an intractable one in matters of security because, no matter how you try to set it up, there's always a way for Mallory to intervene in the contact phase, usually by impersonating Alice or Bob. And since they've never met before, there's no way to prove each one's identity to the other. Even the use of a third party (Trent) can be subverted, recursively, ad nauseum. And a State is the ultimate adversary: money and resources are practically no object to a determined State adversary.

Second, the matter of passing and securing the pad. That represents security questions in itself because the very act of exchanging the pad can itself be incriminating. It can also be intercepted. A paranoid state actor could just outright ban any and all encryption that can't be cracked by the state, making any effective encryption stand out like a sore thumb, plus there are ways to sanitize the media to make steganography extremely difficult.

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Charles 9
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Re: Time to write my congressional representatives.

Make it even simpler. Say if they insist on backdoors, they'll be conceding World War III to China, Russia, or whomever. Make it a direct and existential threat. If that doesn't make them jump, NOTHING will and we're already doomed and should be looking for the exit.

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Charles 9
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Re: Dear America

No, because as a sovereign nation, they can give back even more than you can dish out at them.

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Charles 9
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I thought they COULD beat the math because quantum. Why else are they building that data center in Utah if not to cover up the working quantum computer they built underneath?

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Wikipedia to build and give away speech synthesis code

Charles 9
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Depends on the language, I think. And in Wikimedia's case, they'll probably have a focus on putting in as many languages as they can.

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If your ISP is selling info about you, that has to be opt-in, says FCC boss

Charles 9
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Re: Partisan split in FCC

Because that's par for the course in ANY government matter. It ALWAYS becomes political. Even Supreme Court justices. Even "independent" districting committees. After all, someone has to form the committees, and even the public can be swayed by politicians.

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Charles 9
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Re: Why collect it at all?

"Now the data is in question is all that can be collected. And now the question is how much revenue can be generated by sharing as much as possible."

Because after the likes of Facebook and Google, people realize that what may look like junk may actually be worth its weight in platinum. It's just that no one REALIZES it yet. Better to have it on hand in case this realization dawns on you than to throw it out and regret learning of its value after the fact. In their view, holding everything costs less than the lost opportunity of throwing out something that turns out to be The Next Big Thing.

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Go ahead, build better security: it just makes crims try harder

Charles 9
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Re: Dreaming

Plus, the crooks can always resort to the nuclear option: moles. As any security firm can attest, it's nigh impossible to defend oneself from an insider because by the time you figure it out, the damage is already done and the crook likely already long gone.

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Go No! Google cyber-brain bests top-ranked human in ancient game

Charles 9
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Re: And now it's official.

Nope. No sweep. The human takes one this time, so AlphaGo isn't perfect, but the team seems to be taking this in stride, seeing this as just more gristle for the mill.

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Charles 9
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And now it's official.

This probably won't be officially published here until Monday, but AlphaGo has won the first three matches, meaning it clinches the series with 2 matches to spare. Will it be able to pull off the same clean sweep it did on the European Champion?

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Tor users are actively discriminated against by website operators

Charles 9
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Re: Don't forget...

"TOR is also used by people who are unfortunate enough to live in countries governed by repressive and generally unpleasant regimes (the U.K. for instance) that want to restrict access."

But since the state owns the backbones, they can always nip it in the bud by, for example, simply banning any and all encryption that doesn't use their keys (and then sanitizing text and mangling images and videos to head off steganography). The state itself could be filling TOR with garbage to make it useless to dissidents, and there's no practical way to prevent this since the states hold sovereign power.

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Reprogrammble routers axed by TP-Link as FCC bans custom firmware

Charles 9
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Re: TP Link

"It connects to my local Fibre cabinet at a solid 100Mbps, although BT obviously limit the connection to 80Mbps (actually 79.995Mbps)"

You sure this isn't because of a difference between raw and encoded throughput (an 8:10 ratio smacks of 8b/10b encoding, a pretty standard system for maintaining signal integrity).

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Charles 9
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Re: But it's my router, I've bought it

But 2.5 GHz is an LTE band. So is 2.3 GHz, for that matter.

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Charles 9
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Re: Not quite

No, because you can just write firmware that IGNORES the OTP parts. And since custom firmwares are allowed, it's obvious it doesn't do signature checking.

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You say I mustn’t write down my password? Let me make a note of that

Charles 9
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Re: TL;DR

Which ALWAYS slides downwards because of Attacker's Advantage.

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Charles 9
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Re: Who can blame them?

"And the only way to fix that is to educate them."

But as a comedian once said, "You can't fix Stupid." Some people are simply incapable of learning. Problem is, some of these types are ABOVE you.

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Stop whining, America: Your LTE makes Europe look slow

Charles 9
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" I'm lucky to get 2 bars in my house and frequently get missed missed calls, i.e. calls that have been made, that are not picked up by the receiving handset and are not transferred to voicemail."

Sounds like a network issue to me. If the network can't reach your phone, it's supposed to throw the call directly to voicemail.

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Charles 9
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Re: But at what cost?

"In the US, nobody but T-Mobile quotes a T-Mobile contract. Because only their 3 users care about their prices."

If T-Mobile is so bad, how come SimpleMobile and Walmart both use T-Mobile as the backbone for their MVNO's?

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Charles 9
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Re: This canuck

But at the same time you just pointed out the same problems that are in the US. Away from major population centers and transportation routes, your signal cuts out. That's no different here. I've seen much the same abroad. Away from major population centers, reception can be hit or miss. In fact, depending on the carrier, you could be hit or miss IN a major population center.

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Charles 9
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Re: But at what cost?

You should check out the selection at Walmart, then. They do a lot of prepaid phone carriers there these days (including their own, a T-Mobile MVNO), but the point is that last I checked they carry a wide range of phones, many of which aren't from Sony or Samsung and some of which can even do LTE with the right plan. I think I recently say an LG, pretty big, right at the $200 mark, and I think it even had Lollipop.

Having said that, read the bands carefully, as most of the ones you find in that lot that can do LTE likely won't be able to to do it outside the US (ones based on T-Mobile or AT&T will usually carry bands IV and XVII due to a cross-spectrum agreement; consider yourself lucky if they also do bands I and VII. Getting band III in a US phone usually means going with a recent high-ender (I know the S5, an octo-band, can do it).

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Charles 9
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Decent coverage in the rural US. That's to be expected when the middle of the US Great Plains is basically the poster child for "The Middle of Nowhere." Thing is, you're usually going to have a hard time getting a good signal anywhere this sparse.

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Feds tell court: Apple 'deliberately raised technological barriers' to thwart iPhone warrant

Charles 9
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Re: Next up: FBI suing car manufacturers

"Yes, you miss you can be fined and your driving license revoked if you drive as a criminal."

And YOU miss that, for a criminal who refuses to be taken alive, probably because he broke out from Death Row, a traffic ticket is the LEAST of his worries.

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Charles 9
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Re: We've seen that already

"Oh it's very easy to predict in a land where anyone can go get a lethal weapon that there will be idiots who go out and use them on other people. What's crazy is that, knowing this, people still campaign for that idiots' right to go and do that. They're practically saying "shoot me, shoot me, I defend your right to shoot me!". Getting shot really, really sucks. Perhaps they should introduce that into school curricula?"

Except the worst massacres in American history didn't use guns!. 9/11 was box cutters and hijacked passenger jets. Oklahoma City was homemade ANFO (which can still be obtained today if you're a farmer and then renatured like these guys did), and Bath Township was legal excavation charges (again because the killer was a farmer).

"The GermanWings flight 9525 crash in the Alps 24 Mar 2015 has been attributed, ultimately, to too great a respect for medical privacy in Germany."

The one I was thinking about was Air Egypt Flight 990. It was the copilot who did it. Based on flight data, best theory was that he did it deliberately and TTBOMK he had no prior record prior to the incident. Some even speculate this was the inspiration for 9/11.

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Charles 9
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Re: Next up: FBI suing car manufacturers

"The FBI complaint states that the manufacturers have been wilfully manufacturing vehicles that were faster than their own so they could not easily catch criminals."

The only problem with this complaint is that this situation is of their own devising. Reason being police could easily request a better engine and a higher top speed, but they seem to voluntarily limit themselves for safety reasons (due to all the equipment it has to carry, modern police cars can actually be quite heavy). Remember, criminals on the run have little regard for their life: some would rather die than be caught so can throw caution (and their engine) to the wind, pushing their getaway vehicles past their limits. Attacker's Advantage. Crooks can go beyond the law and common sense; the law cannot.

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Charles 9
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Re: We've seen that already

"What Apple and everyone else seems to be forgotten is that the most useful laws..."

...are completely useless against a lone wolf who conceals everything until the act itself, after which it's too damn late. Some things you just can't predict or prevent, like the passenger jet pilot who chooses this day to lock the cabin door after the copilot goes to the can and suddenly plunge his get into the sea (and I think this actually happened about 10 years ago).

...are also the easiest to abuse by someone(s) trying to subvert civilization. Which is why it's a tradeoff. Do you restrain your government and allow your world to be destroyed from without or give them free reign and let your world be destroyed from within instead?

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Charles 9
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Re: Single case Today --- ?? tomorrow...

"Well tough if up, Suit Man. Go back to tailing actual suspects, like you're supposed to."

Well, Mr. Oh So Smart, how do you do that when they're in a country hostile to any and all westerners? IOW, how do you arrest someone who's protected by sovereignty?

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Charles 9
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Re: Nice.

But since this breach of the public trust is likely to kill Apple's business and thus investor confidence (remember, Apple is publicly traded), that price is bound to be mighty steep.

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Charles 9
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Re: FBI doesn't need the code

"Every iPhone has a unique serial number. It is trivial for Apple to produce a version of the firmware that does what the FBI wants on one specific phone, and have no effect on all others. And because the firmware is signed the FBI cannot successfully edit it."

No one trusts the government to not send spies in to obtain the private key, though. They're just doing this to stay above board.

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Charles 9
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Re: We've seen that already

Then again, just yesterday, a couple held hostage in Mississippi managed to use their home gun to take out an escaped killer (capital murder at that) who was holding them hostage. So we have a certified self-defense case that made the mainstream headlines.

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Mozilla burns Firefox on old Androids

Charles 9
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And in my experience, those users CAN'T really use Firefox because the specifications of their phones (if they're using Gingerbread phones that have resolution and RAM limitations, not to mention comparatively weak processors) make the program a bit out of their weight class.

Not to mention they probably contain never-will-be-patched vulnerabilities. And if the phone's obscure enough (I happen to own one such that I bought on the cheap while abroad), getting a custom ROM for it may not be an option.

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Charles 9
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"Would be great if you could install the software while denying permissions, though."

To do that, Firefox will need to be updated to the Marshmallow permission model. I don't think they've gotten that far yet.

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