* Posts by Charles 9

4490 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

This optical disc will keep your gumble safe for 2,000 YEARS

Charles 9
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Re: Verbatim? Shudder...

"I have 30 year old audio CDs that still play, and some CD-R disks that I recorded before the millennium that still can be read."

The CD-R's recovery reliability depends mainly on the quality of the material used in the medium, usually some kind of dye. Cheapo ones, based on my personal experience, start to fade over time even if you keep them under wraps. I once did a migration from CD-Rs and DVD-Rs that resulted in more than a few gaps in the recovery. That's one reason I'm interested in the M-Disc since that sets a nice, high bar for medium reliability. Combined with a little parity data per disc, one should be able to store it someplace safe and still count on it to be readable a decade or two later if necessary.

I just wish there was something bigger on the consumer level. 100GB is still a bit small for today's packrat level of data accumulation.

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Charles 9
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Re: Yes, but in 10 years or 20

"What data is required to be kept a millennium?"

How long ago did Sun Tzu live?

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Charles 9
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However, I get the feeling the markup (at least at this point) isn't going to be very comfortable. Doing a little price hunting, I find the standard BD-R M-Disc commands over a double markup vs. a traditional BD-R (ex. a spindle of 15 25GB M-Discs costs more than a spindle of 30 standard BD-Rs). Given that a single BDXL 100GB discs run anywhere from $15-40 a piece depending on where you look, I'm willing to bet the initial MSRP for a 100GB M-Disc is about $60. Any bets? Higher, lower, or spot on?

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Charles 9
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Re: Reminds me

"They were trying to think of monuments they could build that would last and would clearly indicate, regardless of language, 'danger'."

They must've realized that, no matter what you do, human curiosity will get the better of any concept of danger sign you or anyone else could imagine. Why? Because Forbidden Fruit is the ultimate temptation. As Terry Pratchett once put it, “Some humans would do anything to see if it was possible to do it. If you put a large switch in some cave somewhere, with a sign on it saying 'End-of-the-World Switch. PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH', the paint wouldn't even have time to dry.” And he's right. I bet when the archaeologists raided King Tut's tomb, they were thinking, "I ain't afraid of no curse."

IOW, put a massive pile of death somewhere, anywhere, and sooner or later, someone else will stumble upon and start a cycle of death. Guaranteed.

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Charles 9
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I don't care about 2,000 years at this point. If it can keep the archives for the better part of ten years and not break the bank in so doing, perhaps we can (at least for the medium term) use something that doesn't have to rely on spinning rust for consumer backup.

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$10,000 Ethernet cable promises BONKERS MP3 audio experience

Charles 9
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Re: One born every minute

"Not much. Silver, copper and aluminium have Fermi velocities of 1.39, 1.57 and 2.03 million metres per second, respectively."

Took me a minute to wrap my head around what you were saying (lower Fermi v = less resistance; also found the website where you found this statistic, word for word). Just for the record, I looked up gold's Fermi velocity, and it's actually slightly higher than silver at 1.4e6, but it has the benefit of not being nearly as prone to tarnishing. Still, I see the point. There is a difference, just not as great as it would have to be to be very noticeable.

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Charles 9
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Re: One born every minute

That's the thing. I know some cables can be so messed up that signals get flip-flopped (1's become 0's and vice versa) or just plain cut off, resulting in signal loss. Just how crappy do the cables have to be to reach that point?

Another point I'm wondering. I recall electrons can move at different speeds through different solids. How much an effect would silver have on the speed of electrons vs. copper? And how would that translate into a lag savings?

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Ex-squeeze me? Baking soda? Boffins claim it safely sucks CO2 out of the air

Charles 9
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But Venus TRAPS more of what it absorbs. Plus since its atmosphere is so dense, it can retain more of it.

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Charles 9
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Then explain Mars, which also has a CO2-dominant atmosphere yet is beastly cold even in the summer.

Proximity and atmospheric density may be factors, though.

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Charles 9
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Re: Carbonates are how the Earth deals with excess CO2

Depends. I hear the stuff is reusable, meaning it captures the CO2, then you process it back into sodium bicarbonate, releasing the CO2 in a controlled setting where it can be collected, and so on.

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Charles 9
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Re: Carbonates are how the Earth deals with excess CO2

The biggest issue with that aspect of carbon sequestration is ensuring these mines are gas-tight. Otherwise, the gas will just seep back out and you're back to square one.

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Charles 9
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Re: Carbonates are how the Earth deals with excess CO2

And reason #1 will be, "OK, you've captured all this CO2. Where do you plan to put it all?" And trees aren't a wholesale option since they can only absorb so much at a time, so most of any you release in a forest stays in the air where it can affect fauna (in our terms, 2% concentration starts to affects us and gets worse from there).

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Free Windows 10 could mean the END for Microsoft and the PC biz

Charles 9
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"Kernels can use RAM too...the limit is 16EiB."

If kernels use motherboard RAM, they call the bottom half of the space: the lower 8EiB. The top half is reserved for, like I said, memory mapping and such. Apart from internal device memory (like GPU RAM), the bulk of the top half is intended to be "virtual" memory and not actually RAM sitting somewhere.

So the limit of motherboard RAM is 8 EiB.

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Obama's budget packs HUGE tax breaks for poor widdle tech giants

Charles 9
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Re: @codejunky @ Preston Munchensonton - "The argument will be that...

NOTE: I'm not criticizing here but corroborating.

"Hmm: Number of workers on minimum wage has DOUBLED to 1 in 20 and that doesn't include all those on benefits, nor all those who are self-employed who are on low incomes, but aren't included in these figures."

How about one more metric just to be sure. What's the distribution of job wages vs. the total population? This way factors such as absolute population shifts can be accounted for and show that the proportion of low- to high-wage jobs is shifting more towards the former even on a per capita scale.

""Confiscated"? Oh dear! Yes, they can afford more workers but they will probably only be paid the minimum wage. And what's the betting the R&D will be devoted to "how can I make more money with fewer people and less expenditure so I can make more profit"."

I've noticed an increasing amount of R&D going into two things: robotics and expert systems. Technologies that can render human workers expendable. And worse yet, this creep of automation is starting to hit areas where we thought humans were safe like the arts. And to top that off, there doesn't seem to be much of an outlet for the displaced masses unlike in previous technology shifts. Most of what's left will be highly-technical and/or specialized positions that pretty much call for a life decision just to pursue, let alone secure a position. They'll also be of a nature that not many of them will be needed to handle the population. I'm reminded of that Robots Are... poster you see in Portal 2...

"But there's a *limit* to the amount that people will spend as I've already pointed out, so more of that money will not be passing into general circulation, but squirreled away into investments which will then be used by banks and other institutions to make *themselves* more money in the financial markets..."

And not all of these investments need to result in greater economic activity. Investing in real estate without developing it or stockpiling in precious commodities (which have value by merely existing) results in stagnant value: no real money flow. Also, the flow can be restricted: money circulated mostly within the elite doesn't become accessible to the hoi poloi.

"Oh ye gods, codejunky, you don't get it do you? The argument is for a more *compentent* government, not one with idiots like Osborne at the helm who has borrowed *more* money than anyone else before and *still* failed to clear the deficit *despite* taking lots of money off the little people who can least afford to lose it!"

Only problem is that we're running into the "power corrupts" problem. Even if just for one term, the natural tendency for people in power (like politicians) is to leverage that power as much as possible so as to have a comfortable endgame. Selflessness and ambition appear to be conflicting traits in your average human, and the end result is that politics appears to naturally attract the kinds of people we least want in power. And I bet none of the safeguards we could conceive would be enough to reduce this tendency to any significant degree.

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Charles 9
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Re: @codejunky @ Preston Munchensonton - "The argument will be that...

"If that is what you think of then it shows how cold you are. If it is your gut reaction because you think not stealing all the money off people who earn it is the ridiculous view you just stated then that is between you and your therapist. Either way it has nothing to do with discussion and shows an irrational fear which prevent you from thinking about the subject. Simply if a gov tries to steal money from people who earn it, those people will do all they can to keep the money away from the gov. That includes not bringing money home for investment."

Which means the government must do EVEN MORE than they can to keep the money from disappearing since the natural gravity of their wealth means it will draw more wealth away, and since wealth is material (and thus finite), it has to come from somewhere: if not them, then everyone else. Eventually, it will LITERALLY be a case of haves vs. have-nots (or rather, have-everythings vs. have-nothings). Get to that point and things are going to get ugly. So unless the government intervenes to even the playing field and reduce the discontent, they run the risk of overthrow.

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Charles 9
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Re: hmm

How do you get the money out of the tax haven when said haven has sovereign power of its own and would defend itself if anyone tried to intrude?

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Password manager LastPass goes titsup: Users LOCKED OUT

Charles 9
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Re: Opensource, not single point more like user chooseable

But JavaScript can be subverted: switched out behind your back. That's why you can't trust it for encryption tasks.

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Charles 9
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Re: Password Safe and the 'Paris Angle'

I combine KeePass with Dropbox (KeePass is GPL and Dropbox is free up to 2GB). Since the database is encrypted by your master key (password, file, or both), it can sit on the Dropbox safely (stealing or snooping it is useless without the master key) enabling you to retrieve it as needed. Dropbox automatically syncs the key with whatever other locations I choose. And KeePass is easy to get for just about any platform you'll need it.

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HTML5 vs native: Harry Coder and the mudblood mobile app princes

Charles 9
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Re: Revenge of the HTML devs

But sometimes, even fluid designs have solid elements, like a logo or some other fixed UI element. Plus computers normally use landscape displays while most mobiles are used portrait, so aspect ratio has to be considered, too. As for viewing the full desktop version, that can be a stretch. Not all "modern" mobiles have the needed resolution. I recently picked up a cheap Android phone that's relatively recent (made late 2013), but because it's cheap, its resolution is only 320x480.

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SPITTLE SPATTER as America weighs into FCC net neut shoutgasm

Charles 9
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"For us poor uneducated Yanks... would someone kindly define wtf net neutrality means in e.g. the UK? And what benefits does it provide?"

There are two basic basic tenet of "Net Neutrality", both of which involve nondiscrimination. First, that data passing through a provider's pipes cannot be prioritized by some arbitrary plan of the providers. IOW, they cannot discriminate data unless absolutely they have to (due to say contention), and even then the plan they use must be fair and reasonable (say, something along the lines of a FIFO scheme). Second, they cannot, the way I put it, play big stack at the poker table. They can't employ their incumbency advantage to block the entry of new players into the game through things like exclusive provider contracts. This is critical for rural areas that are otherwise disadvantaged when it comes to rolling out broadband. This is because geography matters in physical infrastructure like data lines; the longer the cables, the more expensive the infrastructure costs. Wiring up a small and dense country like South Korea is a lot easier than trying to wire up, say, the state of Wyoming, which is full of rugged, untamed wilderness, sparse of people, and some distance from any significant nexus of civilization (say, Denver, Colorado).

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Charles 9
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Re: American internet users will win!!

"More time will pass, with more uncertainity and almost certainly more significant changes in how Americans get their Internet access."

Time plays against the Republicans. Trying to redo the FCC is in the exact same boat as trying to repeal Obamacare (which they've tried an umpteen number of times, including at least one this session, all without success). As long as they Republicans don't (a) hold 2/3 majorities in both houses to override the veto or (b) hold a majority in the House, 60 seats in the Senate (to force Cloture), and have the Presidency, any attempt to force the agenda is dead in the water.

"I'd prefer no net neutrality and regulations to encourage ISP's to provide minimum levels of service (within the limits of current technology) to prevent communities being left behind, provide caps for the cost of services (to prevent communities being priced out of faster services) AND (most importantly) remove any restrictions on regional competition between providers. The caps should be high enough to allow current ISP's to operate as they are but provide an incentive for new players to enter local markets."

Don't Common Carrier provisions include everything you describe, which is why telephone and railroads operate the way they do? Why wouldn't they be included here? As for the rural communities, as I recall, the main problem for them is that they're rural...and therefore so sparse that a rollout is an iffy proposition, thus why most carriers won't propose a rollout without a guarantee. Also, most of these communities lack the local capital to go it alone/ Furthermore, with Republicans in the House (which controls the budget), they can't expect any assistance from Washington, and even state capitals are typically out of reach due to their low populations (cities will tend to pull the strings).

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Charles 9
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Re: American internet users will win!!

Two problems with your supposed plan: (1) Senate Democrats can still filibuster, and (2) President Obama can't be influenced by the lobbyists as he's a lame duck with nothing left to lose. He won't be afraid to veto it.

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Zimmermann slams Cameron’s ‘absurd’ plans for crypto ban

Charles 9
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Re: The naughty ones

Nulls? Explain how that would work...

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Tom Wheeler flings off dressing gown, dons gloves for net neutrality RUMBLE

Charles 9
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Re: No Nothing...

Have they ever considered that this level of gouging could convince their customers to do the one thing always available to them...and walk away. If people have been using their connections and recorders to permanently download their favorite shows and then pass the tapes/discs/drives around, they could potentially engage in a prolonged "strike" against the big boys and not get bored. Even sports can be done without local TV; the sports bar industry may find such a walkout in their favor.

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Charles 9
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Re: Just curious...

Interpreted one way, it could. Interpreted another way, the ISPs may be forced to allow other firms to do the same. To be fair, Netflix's servers do serve a purpose since they reduce overall uplink usage which the ISPs have to pay one way or the other (they do use it to update movies, but they only need to do it once a cycle, not every time as users stream movies). It's probably something that would have to be argued on its own in the courts to see which takes precedence.

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Charles 9
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Re: "...no last-mile unbundling."

Because the United States, all told, is a pretty sparse country as a whole. Sure, in the big cities, you have the needed density, but try someplace like Kansas, Wyoming, or Montana, and you're talking places so sparse that wiring them up is a money sink. And let's not start on wiring from coast to coast. Thus all the comms companies insists on exclusivity clauses when wiring up. And since (a) ALL the companies do this and (b) almost none of the municipalities have the capability to do it themselves, not to mention the issue of wiring up to the trunk lines, it becomes a TIOLI proposition.

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China demands real names online, bans parody accounts and news article comments

Charles 9
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"Will the chinese gov't be giving free credit monitoring to the inevitable victims of identity theft?"

No, because odds are they'll be the thieves. The idea is that the ONLY encryption they'll allow is the type they can backdoor. They don't care too much if the proles get bit by hackers because they'll be part of that group, and any official Chinese business done within the government itself can use the strong stuff as they please.

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Charles 9
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Re: re: Tor

If the Great Firewall sanitizes any text and pictures that pass through it, not even stego's going to do well. The more robust the stego (so as to survive sanitization), the smaller its effective payload.

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Charles 9
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Re: re: Tor

Besides, I think China's reached the Paranoid stage, and anything encrypted that they can't backdoor will automatically be considered subersive and suspect. In such an environment, crypto of any kind works against you.

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Microsoft tells big biz: No free Windows 10 for you, crack wallets open

Charles 9
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Re: It just doesn't matter

But there's still the matter of Internet access. Trust me, I've been to parts of Asia other than Japan and South Korea. MMO gaming is still a hot topic to the point that Internet cafes are still hotspots and MMO game posters are still plastered all over the place. Many of them are as old as the PCs they run, so age is not necessarily an issue, but since most of them were made for keyboard & mouse use...

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Charles 9
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Re: It just doesn't matter

You can't remote desktop without a desktop, and the software selection in Windows is still much superior to any other platform in certain markets such as games.

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Bankruptcy could see RadioShack close doors for good – report

Charles 9
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Re: Tandy UK etc went the same way. Maplin beware, you are next!

The things about online, especially if you need only one thing, are (1) the shipping costs more than the part, and (2) what if you need the part RIGHT NOW?

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Avast there: MEELLIONS of Androiders scuttled by 'adware' game app

Charles 9
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Re: Using this App called AdAway...

Have you tried using USB On the Go? I recall it's standard in Android now.

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Let's be clear, everyone: DON'T BLOCK Wi-Fi, DUH – FCC official ruling

Charles 9
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Re: Huh?

"54% control of America's high-speed internet service, in their utopian Metered Billing, Hugely Profitable dreams, will surpass every other line of business Comcast is in.'

Except without their own content (which NBC Universal represents), they can't discriminate since now every party is a third party, and any discrimination in favor of one will result in all the others crying foul. In fact, it would be in Comcast's fiduciary interest to fast lane NBC content and throttle Netflix (as the former is cheaper to send down their pipes). Like railroads owning their own timber plots and mines.

You mentioned Cox. Funny that. They haven't introduced metered billing, yet they've doubled all their Internet plans without raising prices (which incidentally have held steady for several years). The bill only went up about a dollar this year due to tax hikes (and remember, comm bills are itemized—by law).

Then there's the matter of Google, who none of the standing companies can bully.

"We should be writing rules that allow competitors to use existing, paid-for cable runs, and eliminating monopoly restrictions to allow new competitive infrastructure."

Two problems. One, nearly all cable in the US is privately owned. Forcing a company to allow competitors to use their bought-and-paid-for equipment would never fly in Congress, as it's a violation of the basic principle of ownership and property. Basically, it would be Un-American. Second, the reason those monopolies exist in the first place is because no one's willing to wire up as space a country as the United States out of the goodness of their hearts. They (and their investors) will demand RoI. As for muni broadband, most communities lack the capital to do it. Leaving them pretty much with a choice between an exclusive contract, an exclusive contract, or no broadband meaning you can't attract people into your community. Oh, you have exceptions like that country east of Seattle, but that's pretty much a matter of luck (being up north attracted data centers--less cooling costs--the same can't be said down in Arizona), which is why you don't see the same things happening elsewhere in the country.

"If you are a consumer, and not a shill for the cable and telephone industry, why would you disagree with free enterprise?"

Because free enterprise is willing to let the little man (or in this case, the Middle of Nowhere) rot. In the private sector, some customers are "Not Worth the Money," which to them means expendable.

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Charles 9
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Re: Huh?

"No "conditions," "concessions," or "promises" will make that pig not really, really stink for America. Keep watching..."

Not even being forced to sell off NBC Universal, turning them back into a dumb data pipe?

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Charles 9
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"But in the name of security we also need an update to the protocol to ignore gratuitous deauth packets."

According to James 100, updates to the 802.11 protocols will require deauth packets to be signed against the AP in future. IOW, soon you'll only be able to deauth on your own network (as an outsider won't know the key).

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Bluetooth-enabled miracle washing orbs? Are you kidding?

Charles 9
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Re: Funny...

But we're a picky society. Sure, water can get most stuff off, but we also want the rest off. That's why even back then, we knew to use soap to help dislodge more stubborn dirt. Put it this way. We use soap to try and avoid having to wash things twice.

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DARPA: We KNOW WHO YOU ARE... by the WAY you MOVE your MOUSE

Charles 9
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But the malware would also have to recognize the target of each click, particularly if these targets shift and move. How would a pattern recognizer differentiate between one type of stroke-and-click action and another? Are you trying for the File menu, the Edit Menu, the close box or the minimize box? Are you highlighting or resizing?

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Charles 9
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Re: How a user handles the mouse could be distinctive and difficult to mimic

But even with keyboards you can pick up patterns: unique rhythms of key pace and so on. How much time between keys do you take? How often and for how long do you hesitate between bursts? How quickly do you use the backspace to correct mistakes? And so on...

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Charles 9
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Re: Typical

"Although a ten-character password has less information than an entire script, it isn't organized in a way that our brains appear to be used to."

Futhermore, something that random is hard to MAKE a mnemonic against, so not even "memory theater" works well with it. Passphrases at least can employ memory theater, which is why they're easier to remember, but then you run into the sheer number of passwords problem, and when you get to double memory theater (one to know which site and the other to recall the passphrase), we start to trip up. And let's not start with people who just plain have bad memories...

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Enough is ENOUGH: It's time to flush Flash back to where it came from – Hell

Charles 9
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It wasn't so much that video streaming was the only thing they bothered with as video was the only thing they could come to an agreement. When it comes to more interactive elements, there are such entrenched interests that consensus was impossible As it is now. What are you going to use to replace Flash that (a) isn't buggier then Flash (that removes JS and Java, both error-prone), (b) that everyone will agree to, and (c) won't get hijacked by some entrenched interest down the road?

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Charles 9
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Re: This type of mentality is irrational, bordering stupidity.

"They make excellent games with only a scary amount of JavaScript. No flash to be seen."

You should read further. He's saying JavaScript is just as bad.

But here's the rub. If you remove Flash and JS, what the heck do you use to code highly-interactive web content (that consumers actually want--just ask Facebook)? What can you use that's cross-platform and with fewer holes than a wheel of Emmentaler?

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Increased gov spy powers are NOT the way to stay safe against terrorism

Charles 9
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Re: It is this simple...

But to accept a limit is to accept that we could be next, which goes against our survival instinct.

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Super-cookie crumbles: Verizon vows to kill off hated zombie stalkers

Charles 9
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Re: Weasel words

Until you learn that firm is the only provider of something you absolutely need. Ah, captive markets...

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BYOD is NOT the Next Biggest Thing™: Bring me Ye Olde Lappetoppe

Charles 9
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Re: Uh?

So what happens when the demand comes from someone over your head?

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What will happen to the oil price? Look to the PC for clues

Charles 9
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Re: Allow me to further this analogy.

In case you haven't noticed, all those alternatives have strings attached: they're costly, don't scale well, AND involve lots of toxics themselves. AFAIK, there's no free lunch unless you can point us somewhere we haven't looked.

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IBM punts cryptotastic cloudy ID verification services

Charles 9
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Re: IBM and "The Man" do not need to be involved

Problem is, bureaus like DMV have been shown to either (1) leave your supposed-to-be-private info laying around for others to steal or (2) go well beyond their remit and (a) share their data with other bureaus who really shouldn't have it or (b) data mine it themselves to create profiles that leap to conclusions. You can claim it as a necessary evil, but there are those who are starting to think, "Is it?"

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Charles 9
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Re: IBM and "The Man" do not need to be involved

A well-funded attacker can throw resources at ANY program, audited or not, simply because programs by necessity have a certain structure in order for the CPU to execute them. Plus the attacker will almost always have greater motivation than the original coder to find the exploits. That's why closed sources aren't a good defense and why defenses like ASLR and DEP can only go so far.

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Charles 9
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Re: IBM and "The Man" do not need to be involved

"Of course Bob has to trust The Man and The Cashier."

And therein lies a big problem. How can one be sure The Man (1) really is the Man and (2) won't use whatever knowledge it's gleaning now against you. We're trying to introduce a system of trust in an increasingly paranoid world: one where the answer for whom to trust is increasingly, "No one, and certainly not The Man."

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How's this for customer service: Comcast calls bloke an A**HOLE – and even puts it in print

Charles 9
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Re: Breathtaking

Unfortunately, under the legal definition, it can't be a public utility until the government owns it.

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