* Posts by Charles 9

3880 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Give up your privacy so Big Data can FIX GOVERNMENT

Charles 9
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Re: Couldn't this be just done by the schools?

Not necessarily. They only know what happens in school. Unless the police keep the schools informed all the time when children get in trouble with the law or they're called in because of a case of spousal or child abuse. Do they?

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Charles 9
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Re: Targeted Assistance

You HAVE to keep out all and sundry because the include the LEECHES. They'd suck the programs dry and essentially kill them.

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Charles 9
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Re: Secrecy is the keystone to all tyranny

"Also, stealth bomber technology was used during the cold war. The fighter tech wasn't brought in until the very end."

The F-117 (a stealth fighter) was innovated BEFORE the B-2 (a stealth bomber).

As for bombing Japan, recall that the Japanese attitude was to fight to the last and to defend the homeland with your lives. That attitude basically meant ALL residents were combatants. The big concern was preventing an invasion of the home islands would would've been bloody on both sides (they would make the casualty figures of Okinawa—which were steep despite its small size—pale in comparison). Plus there was the industry in those cities. People in the manufacturing industries were considered in the war industry: making them fair game. In addition, the secrecy was due to the Nazis ALSO working on an A-Bomb. They didn't want the Nazis stealing secrets OR accelerating their timetable in reply.

And the thing with secrecy is that the only way to keep a secret is with MORE secrets. So how do you draw the line without "spilling the beans", so to speak.

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Charles 9
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Re: Cost benefit analysis lacking

Not before they're ALREADY in the system according to them, and by then it's too late.

They're trying to PREVENT them getting into the system, and the only way you can do that is to find warning signs. Unfortunately, warning signs aren't as obvious so you need a pretty wide net.

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Charles 9
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Re: Secrecy is the keystone to all tyranny

So what happens when a secret is ALSO the only thing keeping your country in standing (secrets like the Manhattan Project or stealth fighter technology during the Cold War)? I'm pretty sure the writers of the Constitution and related documents knew there WOULD be times when a secret MUST be kept or the knowledge could be used to destroy the country.

Which means, taking Heinlein's words to their logical extreme, tyranny is the ONLY stable form of government. Anything else either evolves into tyranny or devolves into anarchy.

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Charles 9
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The problem is preventing regulatory creep. Perhaps in countries like New Zealand where there's at least a decent history of government management, people may feel more relaxed around the issue. The problem is that America has always had an undercurrent of government DIStrust since its founding, and this distrust has bubbled to the surface in government scandals over the last few decades.

Plus, as a side note, the privacy of a community (and/or the desire to be private) seems to be directly proportional to the population of a community. Tiny villages and so on where everyone knew everyone else? Probably close to zero

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The secure mail dilemma: If it's useable, it's probably insecure

Charles 9
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Re: Sounds like you have a hammer

"built-in is always better that bolt-on"

There's a big problem with a built-in, though. What if the built-in BREAKS? Like a digital wristwatch whose reading light goes out. Now you can only see it in daytime unless you use an external light. At least with a bolt-on you can always bolt OFF if it breaks and bolt something else on.

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Charles 9
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Re: Thunderbird+Enigmail?

The problem is that they still know it comes from you. They suspect you and bring you in. Bring in the rubber hoses or (in Britain's case) the threat of a mandatory two-year sentence, not to mention the black mark on your record.

Sounds almost like a Catch-22. How can you prove to Bob you're Alice while at the same time not allowing Gene or Mallory to know that? And Alice has no way to meet Bob personally?

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Silent Circle shutters email service

Charles 9
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Re: PGP-encrypted usenet posts (or similar)

"The time needed to brute force PGP keys is prohibitive"

Using a normal computer, yes, but a quantum computer can factor in reasonable time with Shor's algorithm. And since a powerful quantum computer would be a game breaker, the government could already have a sufficiently powerful machine available under a black (as in existence denied) project.

Elliptical encryption can be converted to a factoring problem, meaning it's subject to Shor's algorithm, too. The trend these days is lattice encryption; it's one form of math that can't be converted to a form Shor's algorithm can handle.

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Charles 9
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Re: Never trust in centralized services

But then you run into efficiency problems which means its effective communications rate is limited. Furthermore, there's still the matter of attacking the system itself (IOW, switch from attacking the endpoints to attacking the infrastructure). That's how Japanese authorities fight some of the darknets that appear over there.

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Charles 9
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Re: Why don't they just go abroad?

"Nothing is impossible."

Actually, Alan Turing proved some things ARE impossible, such as creating a program that can learn if another program can halt. His research into the Halting Problem demonstrated a paradox if you tried. Several other "no solution" proofs (most by contradiction) have emerged as well.

The problem here is that all roads lead to Hell essentially. Not only that, you're in Hell and so are most of your clients. How do you avoid Hell in such a situation?

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Apple returns to courtroom once again to contest ebook shafting

Charles 9
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Re: Point missed?

So why not just take Amazon to court for dumping? That's what the judge was pointing out to Apple.

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Charles 9
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Re: You didn't listen to what the judge said.

Besides, it wasn't the agency pricing model that caught Apple's hand in the cookie jar. It was (and note it wasn't mentioned in the article) the "most favoured nation" clauses in ALL of Apple's publisher contracts. In return for Apple posting the stuff for sale in its iTunes store, the publishers agreed they would NEVER let their stuff sell their stuff for less than Apple's price (at retail), allowing them to force Amazon to raise their prices lest the publishers get nailed for Breach of Contract.

It was the judge who basically pointed out (pretty explicitly), "You can't use price fixing to fix a dumping problem."

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Chrome, Firefox blab your passwords in a just few clicks: Shrug, wary or kill?

Charles 9
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Re: That's not the issue.

They tend to now since more sites switch the login screen to https, meaning a stored password won't be useful in your scenario because more sites will be already in secure mode.

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Charles 9
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Re: Missed Option

Do you know the hoops some people have to jump just to get a password reset without the original password? Plus what if the account's tied to an e-mail address that no longer exists (and you didn't realize that until too late)? The thing is that password reset can potentially be abused, so they make the process necessarily hard.

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Charles 9
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Re: This is working as intended

The thing is that (1) a well-practices malcontent can probably pwn the machine within a minute of getting their hands on it with help form a handy USB key or something like that, so length of time may not be a factor when it comes to physical access. Plus (2) there are plenty of scenarios where one could get the machine INTENTIONALLY unlocked, such as to "borrow" the browser for JUST a minute...

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Charles 9
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Re: simple

Thing is, the stored passwords are encrypted, and the key is generated per profile. A master password encrypts the key as well.

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E-reader barons file FCC plea to opt out of disabled-friendly regs

Charles 9
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Re: Simple. If it can connect to the net, it is subject to the law.

The problem is that legs, while very adaptable, tend to work very poorly without the assistance of EYES. They don't have the capability to self-correct in the event of obstacles (thus why most mobile robots are wheeled or treaded). That's why the blind tend to enlist guide animals when forced to walk beyond their usual surroundings. For the blind, a navigation device would have to deviate from the norm in a couple significant ways:

1. Visual maps are useless since the blind can't read maps. So a screen is unlikely (a RBD, maybe, but not a screen).

2. It would have to be designed with nonvisual input in mind, meaning either a braille keyboard or GOOD voice recognition.

These two are so deviant from your average navigator that it would be best performed with a specialist device, and that's the crux of the argument. Is the application better done as part of a general-purpose device or with a specialist device. Since reading in the normal sense requires the use of eyes, blind reading deviates too much from the norm, making the argument favor the latter.

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Charles 9
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Re: Simple. If it can connect to the net, it is subject to the law.

At least the podcasts are recorded and can be transcribed. It's hard to transcribe something impromptu like a telephone conversation and current speech recognition technology tends to miss too often in realtime situations.

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Charles 9
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Re: Not just ebooks

Don't underestimate blindness, especially in a confined setting like an airliner cabin. One misplaced item can cause the blind person to trip, and since the blind have limited situational awareness, it's easy for them to crash into something hard like an armrest. Suddenly you have a different potentially life-threatening situation: blunt-force trauma to the head with risk of skull fracture (picture falling at speed and banging your forehead against the edge of a very hard armrest).

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Charles 9
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Re: Everything should be as accessible as possible.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Harrison Burgeron written by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. rather than Harlan Ellison?

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Charles 9
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Re: Not just ebooks

I've checked the article. Apparently, an exception will still exist for certified guide dogs. Understandable, because they can't prefer one disability (animal hair allergy) over another (blindness). It would just mean it would be up to the airline to be sure that such a clash is resolved by separating them in the cabin.

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Seagate's shingle bathers stalked by HGST's helium HAMR-head sharks

Charles 9
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Re: Why helium ?

Didn't think of it that way. I thought the general benefit was a lower viscosity (about 2/3 that of air), so less heat is generated from air resistance. Higher thermal conductivity would just be another plus for helium. Plus, being gaseous, you can still use the Bernoulli Effect.

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Charles 9
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Re: Why helium ?

Hard drives actually RELY on air to keep the spacing between platter and head. It's called the Bernoulli Effect. That thin cushion helps to account for inevitable tiny-but-significant imperfections in the platter. At least with helium you can still use the principle (you'd just need to correct for the different gas density).

But as noted, helium is a tricky gas to contain. However, I've read of techniques capable of perfectly capturing hydrogen gas (the only thing smaller than helium: an H2 molecule—hydrogen by itself tends to pair up, as do nitrogen, oxygen, and a few others—has half the atomic weight of a helium atom).

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Charles 9
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Potentially. That's why most of us peg SMR as a temporary or niche solution. SMR is quite all right for low-write-frequency applications. For example, an external hard drive that uses SMR and is used as a backup device wouldn't see much penalty from the rewriting since writing tasks would be performed in a bulk fashion.

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Google patents swish, swosh, swoosh pattern unlock app swipe

Charles 9
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Re: ROFL

Last I checked in Android, once you're IN an app, you can access the Home or Back buttons and get back to the Home Screen. Oops. It WOULD be more prudent to exit from that one app back to lockscreen, but I don't think this is implemented in general in Android yet.

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Charles 9
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Re: @Phil W - multiple PINs?

Exchange numbers aren't so limited anymore even in smaller cities. Cell phones and alternate phone networks (IP phones, cable- and fibre-based phones) have made the concept of the exchange almost moot.

"They don't have any around here anymore" Does the phrase, "my phone's dead" ring a bell? I hear it ALL THE TIME.

And I wasn't thinking like a dozen different PIN numbers, just maybe three or four for the most time-sensitive and frequently-needed ones like camera, the SMS app, and so on.

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Charles 9
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Re: @Phil W - multiple PINs?

Most people I know can recall a handful of frequently-used telephone numbers in case they have to use a friend's phone or the pay phone, and in America that's three EXTRA numbers to remember per. I'd find it odd they can recall longer telephone numbers but not one shorter PIN.

BTW, I'm not thinking of home use as an example, but rather business use, where different access codes were used to identify different employees. I think something like that could be considered prior art.

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Charles 9
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THAT would probably be considered too obvious (like different codes for different users—substitute "apps" for "users"). Alternate "draw to unlock" patterns I can see as not as obvious.

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Charles 9
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Re: THIS IS NOT PATENTABLE

Anyway, cut Google a little slack here. They're not the kind to sick the patent lawyers on people unless they're being blatant or they fired first. Look what they did with the On2 patent pool: let people use the codec freely and mainly kept the patents as a stick to stave off attacks by MPEG-LA.

I suspect Google got this as a defensive measure: to make sure someone like Apple couldn't put one over on them. Perhaps might use it as a bargaining chip to get some other UI techniques loosened.

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Xerox copier flaw changes numbers in scanned docs

Charles 9
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Re: @ Sir Barry: Not quite

You're missing two things: limited memory (which can be problematic if the run is large, and it all has to be in memory if you're going to manipulate or rearrange the results like collated or duplexed output) and image manipulation (enlarging, brightness, etc.) which have to work with uncompressed data at least partway. Plus there's the raw data being sent to the printer unit that has to be held in memory in the meantime. Depending on the model of copier, "Out of memory" can be a real issue with long or complicated jobs.

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Charles 9
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Re: @ Sir Barry: Not quite

"Where Xerox owns 100% of the problem however is that there is insufficient warning about possible problems."

Doesn't the copier throw a warning when you use lower-quality modes to the tune of, "Are you SURE you want to do this? The end result may be inaccurate."? If so, this is a case of "Warnings are for wimps" resulting in human-induced error.

The lower-quality settings likely exist to prevent a big job getting balked partway due to an "Out of Memory" error (office copier—it's conceivable). Though I will say at this point that perhaps Xerox's JBIG2 compression system needs better tuning to help it distinguish between 6's, 8's, B's, etc.

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Charles 9
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Excuse me, but how do we know the copier wasn't being tasked with anything complicated, such as storing hundreds of pages in its (limited) memory, performing re-collations, enlargements, lightening/darkening, etc., all of which require keeping the pages in memory for processing and re-arranging.

In other words, what we call a "photocopier" is a whole other beast from 20 years ago, and in the process of "copying" we expect it to jump lots of hoops. That adds necessary complexity to the machine.

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US federal judge: Yes, Bitcoin IS MONEY

Charles 9
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Except that something that's considered a commodity (like your chicken) can't be considered a currency by default. And an exchange of commodities has another term for it: barter.

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Upgraded 3D printed rifle shoots 14 times before breaking

Charles 9
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Re: Pffft!!

That's not a big concern, as black powder has an historically easy recipe: sulphur, potassium nitrate (aka saltpetre), and charcoal. All easy enough to obtain. Plus, it's easy enough to obtain some gunpowder because it's a common need of hand-loaders.

You need the printer to get the shape and structure of the firearm. Obtaining the ammunition is a separate matter.

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US feds: 'Let's make streaming copyrighted content a FELONY'

Charles 9
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Re: Countries with legal services

Well, the title rotation could well go down to either storage or bandwidth issues. They may not want (less storage means less maintenance and replacement costs) or be able (ask the original producers—they still hold the final say and can dictate terms) to hold everything at one time. Also commercial internet bandwidth is metered, so if they hit a popular show that starts sapping bandwidth, they may not get enough return for the investment.

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Charles 9
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Re: Bonkers

Actually, juries are guaranteed unless waived for all criminal trials by the 6th Amendment and guaranteed on request by the 7th Amendment for any civil case where at least $20 is in dispute (which back then was a decent amount of dosh).

Thankfully, since you have to actually ASK for a jury in civil matters, they usually don't push it for most matters less than $5000 (depends on the state). In return for dispensing with the jury, we use small claims courts where the judge hears both sides, asks questions, and then decides the matter pretty quickly, saving some headaches all around.

And under most American laws, we do differentiate between felonies and misdemeanors, though not by the English standard. In America, a felony is a crime where there is a certain minimum standard of punishment involved (permanent record, loss of voting privileges, minimum 1 year sentence in a proper prison instead of a jail, etc.). It's our way to informing the perp, "You REALLY messed up this time.". Misdemeanors in our book are simply those crimes that aren't serious enough to be considered felonies.

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Charles 9
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Re: re: NASA

Besides, since it was composed for a new instrument (a roving machine) it might be considered a cover or re-composition, giving it its own copyright (it's considered fair use to apply the original in this manner). And under federal law, with only a handful of exceptions, all products of the federal government immediately become public domain.

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Charles 9
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Re: Why not just abolish copyright altogether?

Forced labor is restricted under most state laws, plus many of them are running afoul of the FEDERAL courts, who are forcing releases due to overcrowding (IOW, they can't take in new people without kicking out other people—and turnover is bad for business).

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Charles 9
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Actually, they can't. Retroactive ("ex post facto" or "after the fact") laws are explicitly prohibited under Article I, Section 9 (the part that says what specific types of laws Congress can't make). Since this is part of the base Constitution and spelled out pretty clearly, all the law geeks and honest judges are familiar with it.

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Charles 9
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Re: Sad

"Nah, there's no profit for the owners of the private prison industry in that."

They don't need it. Many are already approaching capacity and are getting denied fresh meat by the courts on 8th Amendment grounds. Look at California.

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Bad timing: New HTML5 trickery lets hackers silently spy on browsers

Charles 9
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Re: This is 2013

"It's about choice."

The trouble with choice is that it goes BOTH ways. The provider will demand a price for entry, and if you don't like it and it's the only provider, do the letters SOL ring a bell?

As for VMs, haven't there been VM sniffers, breakout exploits, and Ring -1 malware popping up from time to time? Any of those can mean they break through the VM onto your actual machine, where they can wreak havoc from there.

As for not allowing JavaScript or the like, so you never do any shopping or anything else that requires stateful interaction (a shopping cart is a stateful interaction, as in it keep track of stuff)? The only way to do that without cookies or JS is to keep the session in the URL, which if you'll recall mean it's open for hijacking.

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They don't recognise us as HUMAN: Disability groups want CAPTCHAs killed

Charles 9
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Re: Honeypots

How about a field that's visible but covered up by another element, say an identical real form that's misidentified in the source?

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Charles 9
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Until they start spamming again using stolen bank/credit account details.

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Charles 9
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Re: I'm all for choice...

"I have no better solution than Audio. What I can't understand is why Google's Audio captcha doesn't work based on personal experience and complaints from the community mentioned in the article..."

Because Google ALSO keeps a voice recognition system. Modern Android phones can use it in their searches. They probably first tune the system so that their voice recognizer balks at it and go from there.

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Charles 9
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White with a touch of yellow in it. While the light from the sun trends yellow, our atmosphere tends to deflect longer wavelengths of light (thus why we see a blue sky: shorter wavelengths are passing through). Trouble is that it's such a high intensity that we're kind of experiencing a sensory overload. Plus there are a ton of other factors that can affect the outcome, such as whether or not the paper is truly white, is the image being seen through something like a camera, etc.

The sun doesn't define white; our eyes do, through the distinct range of electromagnetic frequencies they are able to perceive. White for us is an even spread of EM radiation, of at least moderate intensity, throughout the visible light segment of the spectrum. We can define it that way by means of something like a spectrophotometer, which can measure the levels of light throughout the spectrum, regard of how our eyes perceive it.

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Lost phone? Google's got an app for that, coming this month

Charles 9
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If they shoot you, you've got bigger problems. As for the non-savvy, faraday bags are becoming more common and the thieves savvier. Soon it'll be standard equipment for a phone nicker: if for nothing else than to keep it from realizing it's been stolen and start doing things the thieves won't want: like send GPS coordinates to the police or start emitting loud high-pitched sounds, etc.

And before you say "pop out the battery", recall that some phones like the HTC One can't have their batteries removed. What I'm saying is that this is likely the wrong approach to the problem. It would be better to take an approach that doesn't rely on owner intervention to activate.

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Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch: Cloak lifted on secret details

Charles 9
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Not to mention that would mean Sony got a smartwatch to market all the way back in *2007*. I don't think the smart*phone* was a market item back then.

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Upstart's 'FLASH KILLER' chips pack a terabyte per tiny layer

Charles 9
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Not to mention more realistic. What kind of system can take an integrated circuit 20cm to a side?

I'm suspecting 200mm^2 is closer to the mark (and more believable, a little smaller than the size of a full-size SD card), though I could still be wrong.

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