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* Posts by smurfette

101 posts • joined 4 Jan 2013

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Oxfam, you're full of FAIL. Leave economics to sensible bods

smurfette

Re: @ smurfette @codejunky @Tim

Bad form replying to ones own posts I know, but to be clear, I don't have a £1m mortgage in real life - thankfully. I was extracting from an earlier comment of mine outlining a hypothetical situation.

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smurfette

Re: @ smurfette @codejunky @Tim

"2) You have a house that goes along with that mortgage and that house is worth less than the outstanding mortgage. In which case my tenner does beat your wealth."

No it doesn't, because even though my property may have decreased in value, and although I have mahoosive credit card debt and bridging loans, I also have various investment portfolios that are performing well and substantial capital reserves. What you really think I would be stupid enough to take on a £1m mortgage without first planning for the worst case scenario. Oh. Silly me. Sorry.

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smurfette

Re: @ smurfette @codejunky

Codejunky, I don't necesarily disagree with some of your comments. I regonise that wealth brings associated risks (i.e. job, mortgage, house prices, investment portfolios etc.) and that for some it can prove to be a little ephemeral.

I have seen both side of this particular fence. I've been hard up and struggled to the cost of my health and subsequently I've also had the opportunity to have had far more disposable income that was healthy ;) So perhaps I am letting my personal experiences cloud my judgement a little here. I will have to reflect a little on this I think.

One of the things life has taught me personally, is that such comparisons of wealth distribution matter little to the individual who struggles daily to merely keep his/her head above water. To them it's academic and of no importance. To them, it probably feels like they are being kicked whilst they are down.

Having seen both sides of the fence, one thing I can say with absolute certainty, is that everyone, rich and poor alike, shoud try struggling to cope financially for a few years. It really is a valuable life lesson. It prepares one well and places a somewhat different perspective on what's really important in life.

As for me, I am no longer particulary concerned with increasing my personal wealth. I'd rather do something a little more altrustic than mere bean counting in my basement safe.

That said however, I still stand my statement about the quality of the arguments presented by the article author.

"Btw I reread my original comment and it sounded a little snippy. Hope you didnt read it like that I was just pointing out that the article seemed (to me) to be a fairly good point."

Not at all. Snippy, snappy, rude or downright insulting comments in my direction are all fine by me :)

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smurfette

Re: @ smurfette @codejunky

Ok, I am short on time, so I have to be quick and pick just a few article snippets...

"...It's obvious that the top five families will have more than 20 per cent of all Britons."

It's not at all obvious, certain or pre-determined that the top 5 families will have more anything than any large and arbitrary percentage of Britons.

"...if you've no debts and a £10 note then you've got more wealth than the bottom 10 or 20 per cent of the population has in aggregate."

Using such logic one could falsly claim that most 'middle class' homeowners with a large percentage of their (£250k-£400k - average for 'middle class' where I live) mortgage still outstanding are less 'wealthy' than those in receipt of benefit who have little or no debt. An absurd conclusion, in my opinion.

Further, it completely misses the fact that the net worth of higher earners can (and often does) increase despite a decrease in the value of some assests. (Tangential, but hopefully you get what I am thinking here).

To me, the article is weak speculation, supposition and persional opinion, not fact.

Oh, if only things were as simple as 'I have no debt and a tenner therefore I am wealthier than you, with your £200k salary and your £1m outstanding mortgage'.

In as much as you will see a fail in my response, I see many similar fails in the article. But hey, that's life!

"We already redistribute wealth by taxing the rich"

Sorry, but I had to laugh when I read that.

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smurfette

"As I become ever more viciously right wing with age, I become ever more disappointed with Oxfam..."

What a sad world we live in, when things are seen as so black and white, so left vs right, so 'I'm right. You're wrong'.

Is it such a slow news day that we have to see this drivel posted here, or is the author just trying to stir a little rich vs poor, left vs right debate?

Although not directly related to the story perhaps, personally, getting older - as I am - I see displaying a lack of empathy for others as a failure in life. We should all try to be a little more charitable as we age, irrespective of politics, statistics and personal opinion. But maybe that's just me?

Useless article Tim.

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NSA spies recorded an entire COUNTRY'S phone calls for a MONTH: Report

smurfette

Re: Place your bets

Well, Victoria Nuland (US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs), was recently recorded as saying, "...and you know, fuck the EU" - albeit on a different subject matter.

My money is on an EU country.

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WTF is … the multiverse?

smurfette

Re: The long drawn out tea-time of the soul @Thecowking

Talking of Penrose... How does this sit with his conformal cyclic cosmology? [1] [2]

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Snowden: You can't trust SPOOKS with your DATA

smurfette

Re: Damned if they do, damned if they don't. @Joe

"Considering my views are pro snooping..."

Whilst I respect your rights to hold your opinion, your use of "snooping", by it's very definition, does infer that you support the right of a government, organisation or sponsored individual to pry into the private affairs of any individual on whim. To me, this is a little unsettling. Not unsettling in the sense that you hold such an opinion, but unsettling that such opinion, once accepted as the default norm within society at large, will likely lead to a highly corrupt system. One corrupted by human nature, corporate lobbying and it's own inherent potential for abuse.

In real life, and elsewhere on the internet, I accept that whatever I say, do or post will likely be monitored, whether by CCTV, behaviourlal advertising systems, GPS location, or whatever. Because I accept such a reality, it does not however mean that I believe it is right to sanction or support the right of any organisation, whether governmental or corporate, to operate systems that 'snoop' on the private thoughts, communications and activities of the individual on a wholesale, whim-driven basis.

As others have stated, targetted surveilance? Fine. Wholesale capture? Not good, counter-productive and downright wrong.

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Court allows EFF to keep donor list secret from patent troll

smurfette

Re: Irony much?

"Yup, just searched your real non-ac name and you appear to be a little blue person that lives in a mushroom house, within an enchanted forest."

You assume too much, obviously purely for the purposes of your post.

My point was that I view AC posting as unnecessary. I have no issue with anyone seeing my full post history under my moniker - but then I am sure that you have the intelligence to have discerned that for yourself. But then maybe I am mistaken?

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smurfette

Having done just that - taking a good look in the mirror - what I see is someone who firmly believes that a child patent (application submitted 2009) for a "System for disseminating media content representing episodes in a serialized sequence" is nothing other than an the work of a patent troll passed by a rather confused USPTO.

I think I can live with that.

[Posted by someone who never sees reason hide behind the AC mask]

There ya go 'Lost all faith'... I have no problem with what I said (whether correct or incorrect in your opinion. If i have misread the AC post then sobeit)

Have a nice day

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Blighty teen boffin builds nuclear reactor INSIDE CLASSROOM

smurfette

Congratulations to Jamie Edwards and to his school for supporting his experimental endeavour in such a manner.

Now, as for the articles use of "star in a jar"... I was under the impression that "star in a jar" was an expression used to describe sonoluminescence. Is my understanding wrong?

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Roll up, roll up for the Commentards' Ball

smurfette

Re: London's a pain in the arse to get to...

I'm near to you Vic, but sadly am unable to make it to Bittern due to prior commitments :(

However, should El Reg ever plan a more central England location for such a jolly, I'd be more than happy to make time available for a trip back here.

A highly recommended brewery.

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Very fabric of space-time RIPPED apart in latest Hubble pic

smurfette

In a similar vein, I rather like these SDSS images from a while back.

Galaxy Zoo

skyservice.pha.jhu.edu

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Pine trees' scent 'could prevent climate change really being a problem'

smurfette

Re: @ Thought About IT

"Why the fuck would he bother? There's already a whole industry dedicated to doing that."

I was going to say the same, but as you have already said it I'll just say that I would probably quite enjoy reading* Lewis' take on the obvious, if unstated in the source, flip-side of these two:

If turbines can tame hurricanes...

If the hotter 'hots' are getting hotter, and the global average is stalled, then the colder 'colds'...

*I rather actually enjoy reading Lewis' articles, even if it is mainly because I get to peek into the soiled mind of the occasional CAGW, geo-engineering advocate/loon).

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Another climate change myth DEBUNKED by proper climate scientists

smurfette

Meh

Climate change (in all of it's guises, natural periodic, AGW or otherwise) is open to apophenia - by both sides of the debate.

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Fukushima radioactivity a complete non-issue on West Coast: Also for Fukushima locals, in fact

smurfette

Re: Oh fsck. Not AC again.

I managed to stick with your post, all the way to the end. Now, having removed all mini-rants, tangential arguments, renewables bollocks and weasel words, it appears to me that your only comment in any way directly related to the article is as follows:

"As to Lewis Page's assertion that no harm will come of Fukushima (and, doubtless, Chernobyl, Hanford, Sellafield, Mayak…), utter balls. Governments and pro-nuclear lobbies would very much like you to believe this nonsense, but there's enough evidence now that a) there have been, and will continue to be, many deaths directly attributable to these plants"

Would you therefore be so kind as to provide me with references or links to peer reviewed science that demonstrates evidence of deaths, directly attributed to radiation from the Fukushima disaster, within the local population.

Thank you.

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Antarctic glacier 'melted JUST as fast LONG before human carbon emissions'

smurfette

Re: Don't worry...

"And that's enough for flat earth believer Lewis to write..."

That's highly constructive criticism there Catweazle. Do you feel better for that? "Flat earth believer"... Really? Whatever's next, 'mouth breather'?

"Like the worst flood in 8000 years would be nothing to worry about. Just happens from time to time."

And that Sir is a fine, well balanced and detailed response to the article and it's deeper subject matter.

I congratulate you on the way in which you manage to convey complex issues such as climate change and AGW in so succinct a manner.

May I be so bold as to suggest that you may be well placed for taking up a public outreach position within the BBCs' science broadcast services.

And yes, you are right in what you are thinking... My response to your post is of little or no value either ;)

</sarc>

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Jolla announces Sailfish OS 1.0, says Android love-fest soon to come

smurfette

Ohhhhh...

That whole package is quite sexy! This is the first time in the last 6 or so years that I have actually wanted to buy a new phone.

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Bosses to be banned from forcing new hires to pull personal records

smurfette

Re: I'd pass that test @PyLETS

"Please correct me but I thought it was illegal to record a conversation unless all parties knew and agreed to it?"

Not quite so in all scenarios I believe. For example, you might phone a utility company. They have a legal obligation to inform you that calls are (or may be) recorded. However, as a private individual you are free to record any conversation without making the other caller aware of the fact the call is being recorded.

However, should you subsequently end up in a court dispute, you will likely have problems introducing said covertly recorded conversation as evidence.

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'Climate change' event dishes up sous vide supercomputers

smurfette

Re: Touché! Voter

Wow! It seems as though your basic reading and comprehension skills are on holiday this week. I'll try to put everything into single syllable words next time, in the hope that it aids your comprehension.

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smurfette

Re: have a political debate about how to tackle it.

"you ccould have just said you were in category b and saved so much time :-D"

Touché! Humorous, even though untrue ;)

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smurfette

"No one with any sense is saying there isn't any climate change... This polarised debate of AWG..."

I'm only addressing the specific sentences above in your post and not the rest of it quite deliberately.

I'm pleased to see that someone in these comments is able to discern the difference between climate change and AGW.

I'm quite frankly dismayed at how many journalists, bloggers, commentards etc. confuse, either deliberately or out of ignorance, the two. Yes, AGW contributes to climate change but it is, of itself, not climate change. (I would +1 your post for discerning the difference, but I try not to up/downvote posts to which I reply).

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smurfette

Re: have a political debate about how to tackle it.

Naughtyhorse, there are a couple of small but nevertheless pertinent points you fail to acknowledge:

Firstly, in reference to, "a) conceding it is happening but it's not man made... demonstrate[s] scientific ignorance". The inference in your statement is clearly that climate change is solely a man-made problem. From a scientific perspective, that is absolute hogswash. It may be that you have confused climate change with AGW.*

Climate change is a natural process but is one that we as a people are exacerbating. We may be proven to be the dominant cause, we are not however the sole cause. It could therefore equally be claimed that your statement here is also borne of a general scientific ignorance.

Secondly, with respect to your mini-rant in point (c), "claiming it's a gubermint conspiracy to steal all our monies as taxes..., well, there is a small basis of truth in there somewhere, but you need to dig a little deeper.

The UN have, quite recently, proposed various global taxation. One part of their proposal is to tax areas associated with AGW, with a view to funding international development aid through such mechanisms.

There are other examples to be had in other places, such as within the EU and indeed within individual nation states. So, there is indeed a basis for claiming that climate change and AGW either are, or may be, used to increase (as opposed to being solely an excuse for) tax burdens. For some, this is an uncomfortable truth they would rather ignore.

*Whilst you do not explicitly mention either term, I have reasonably assumed that you are referring to climate change on the basis that, if you were referring to AGW (which of course a contributor to climate change, but is nonetheless not climate change), then there would be no need to mention "man made".

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KC engineer 'exposed unencrypted spreadsheet with phone numbers, user IDs, PASSWORDS'

smurfette

"Of course they might have rainbow tables and can figure it out."

The (good) thing is, rainbow tables are often of little or no use against a half-decent hashing routine. Decent sized crypto-random salts and stretching (and therefore also multiple iterations), as a basic minimum, helps quite a bit in this respect.

The bad thing is, a lot of code I have seen over years fails to implement even basic precautions such as salts and stretching which probably means rainbow tables will be of some use for a while yet.

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Clink! Terrorist jailed for refusing to tell police his encryption password

smurfette

Re: Yep, happy with that

"That and variants of it are in the rainbow tables! FFS!"

Rainbow tables? Meh! I'll see your rainbow tables and raise you a little random salt. Oh, you don't have tables for every possible salted hash? That's a pity ;)

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Tech titan Bill Gates: Polio-free India one of the 'most impressive accomplishments' ever

smurfette

Re: Nice to see

"So he is spending illegally gotten gains (remember Microsoft is a convicted monopolist) to rehabilitate his image and I am supposed to like him for doing that?"

Irrespective of what I may think of Microsoft, that's a somewhat tenuous statement at best.

The man and the company were and are different legal entities. More correctly, he is spending his personal wealth which was obtained though legal remuneration and stock holdings.

If you seriously believe that Bill Gates is spending his personal fortune simply to "rehabilitate his image", I can only imagine that you have a somewhat embittered view of life.

As for liking him, well that's a complete irrelevance. Whether you have a personal taste for the man or not, you should allow yourself to acknowledge the fact that he is actually doing something worthwhile with his fortune.

"My personal feeling is that the Muslim bastards who are hindering the Polio eradication program in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria as some sort of Christian/Western plot are utterly evil and should all be rounded up and tortured to death for crimes against humanity."

So, you are happy to condemn oppression with yet more oppression, thereby reducing you actions to the same level (or worse) as those you condemn?

What a refreshing perspective you have. Not.

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Merry Christmas? Not for app devs: That gold rush is officially OVER

smurfette

Re: I hate

"I don't like the fact that I have to put ads in my games, but with a conversion rate of less than 1% free trial to paid, mobile gamers have only themselves to blame."

As an occasional 'app' developer with some 20+ years of independent desktop/internet software development, I view that statement as a little more than arrogant.

Don't take this too personally, but why should any developer believe they have some sort of intrinsic right to an income just because they produce unsolicited and thus speculative software for an already over-saturated market?

Sorry, but for me, your reasoning is just plain wrong.

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First China banned Bitcoin. Now its crooks are using malware to steal traders' wallets

smurfette

Inflation is up 3 lamb chops and a pigs trotter this month. [Was Re: Bitcoin should be banned]

"Since Bitcoin is the currency of the dark web, it should be banned"

Better still, let's just ban any currency used for dark, nefarious and murderous purposes.

Hmm, I own 10 breeding sheep, 3 goats, a pig so I should be OK for a time.

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Tube be or not tube be: Apple’s CYLINDRICAL Mac Pro is out tomorrow

smurfette

Re: Shame@smurfette

Um, where did I mention size? But yes, it's almost an exact replica. (It's a small bin and is used for neatly folded cardboard bits mounted behind a hidden swivel door, and is not much bigger than the Mac. I don't like obtrusive bins in the kitchen you see).

:)

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smurfette

Re: Shame

"What a fantastic design"

It would end up full of cereal boxes in my house. Cover on and it's almost an exact replica of the recyclables bin in my kitchen.

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No anon pr0n for you: BT's network-level 'smut' filters will catch proxy servers too

smurfette

Re: First they came for the DNS

"Lots are saying that changing DNS servers will bypass it but it won't. CleanFeed, which is used for the blocking, isn't as limp as a DNS block... BT actually produced a fairly decent blocking system when they implemented CleanFeed"

What do you mean by "decent"?

If you mean fast, cheap and (under normal conditions) accurate I would tend to agree. If however you mean non-trivial to circumvent, then decent would only be acceptable as an antonym.

I've not really followed any research on CleanFeed for a few years. Is it no longer exposed to effective 'oracle' attacks and other such problems highlighted some years back?

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smurfette

Re: No, it really isn't time to give the paranoia a rest.... @Brian Morrison 12:05

"The problem is that nobody seems to be suggesting any action here. Not that's likely to achieve anything as far as I can see anyway."

Sadly, many ISP's agreed to 'voluntarily' implement these filters in the face of government threats to draft new legislation. One can only wonder at the conversation that took place behind closed doors, but I for one would prefer to have seen the ISP's stick to their original net neutrality stance and to have forced government to attempt to introduce legislation.

Unfortunately David Cameron sold this to the masses with a healthy dose of contextual fabrications and the populace, in general, fell for it - hook, line and sinker. Many still believe that this is just a filter that blocks access to illegal pornography.

In my opinion an unregulated, non-transparent system, such as we currently have here, is about as bad as it gets in an alleged democracy - and not because of stated reasons for implementation but rather because of the scope for immediate and future abuse of the system itself.

Anyway, as for action all once can really do right now is vote with your wallet and change providers (assuming the bloodsuckers don't have you tied down in a contract with early exit fees) or simply set the filters to off with your current provider - while you can, of course.

But, at least we know that we now have (warning: bad language ahead) internet filters that deem pricks and cunts as highly offensive, but a government that still likes house them en masse in Parliament.

" Most of the responses here in the past have been, "We'll just use anonymous proxies, ho ho ho." Well, if that's shot down what do you suggest?"

Simple. Don't switch the filters on. Anything else is really just an illustration of how simple it will be for kids to bypass the filters at home. There's no point in adults enabling the filters and then bypassing them, other than perhaps as a silent protest.

"Well, if that's shot down what do you suggest? I certainly can't see anything off the top of my head that'll either be effective or probably put you on the radar in some way as someone probably/possibly doing something worthy of investigation but I'm not a security bod."

It's an irrelevance. Under normal operating conditions most of what you do is logged and stored somewhere anyway.

But, in my opinion, this is perhaps just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. However, there are more important concerns to be had right now... For example, how the UK and EU are considering waiving fundamental rights to personal privacy in the name of commercial competitiveness.

The government shows a dislike for smut, but it's still happy to prostitute you and me for a 'quick buck'. Go figure.

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smurfette

Re: I'm curious...

"I also happen to agree that the likes of those god-awful, self-imposed, self-important b!tches at the likes of mumsnet have so much to answer to"

Hmm, MumsNet... I have to say, I was surprised to see that so many of their forum members have read 50 Shades of Grey, or conversely, haven't read it and yet believe they are in a position to pass literary and moral judgement upon it.

Still, I suppose there will always be some who want to have their cake cock and eat it ;)

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smurfette

Re: Censorship

"The government already clearly stated that the next step will be mandatory filtering of "extremist" without any opt-out (and would you really want to be listed on that opt-out list)?"

Assuming that we are talking about purely objectionable material as opposed to illegal then why not opt out? I am no extremist (unless you consider dispatching an occasional trout with a blow to the head extreme), but if there was a choice I would definitely opt out even though I have no interest in such material.

Block the illegal stuff by default sure, but as an adult, I will opt out of any filtering of legal material regardless of how our Puritanical Overlord(s) tries to tarnish and demonise the individual.

As for your points numbered 1 and 2 and the quotation, I thoroughly agree :)

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smurfette

Re: More about greed than big brother

I can't say I agree that "it's more about media interests ". However, I would be very surprised to find that media companies do not see it as a potential opportunity.

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Google tells EFF: Android 4.3's privacy tool was a MISTAKE, we've yanked it

smurfette

Re: Outrageous permissions

"It's been something I've been thinking about. Perhaps in future..."

That's OK, to a point.

In the UK and the EU in general, there are laws and guidelines that all data processors are supposed to adhere to i.e the Data Protection Act. This act equally applies to mobile developers in the UK who control data (other EU countries have their equivalent). What dismays me, as an occasional mobile app developer, is that many mobile developers in the UK seem to think that they are in some way excluded from their duties under the Act.

So, whilst your suggestion is reasonable, there are other more fundamental requirements placed on developers/data controllers. If developers/data controllers choose to ignore their legal obligations then send them to the bloody wall. There's simply no excuse for the often outrageous permissions.

The ICO has been running developer outreach for nigh on a year. I for one, as an occasional app developer, think it's about time the ICO grew a pair and started using their teeth. After all, ignorance is no defence under the law.

Also, as some (including the ICO's senior tech and policy bods) point out, it pays to remember that permissions != privacy and also that permissions != data security.

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Developer unleashes bowel-shaking KILLER APP for Google Glass

smurfette

Re: Glasshole killer app involves dog turds

I am intrigued... Can one of the downvoters please explain what is incorrect (and why) with this statement: "Glass does however present a very realistic set of new opportunities for the budding criminal, which are not so satisfactory on a traditional handset."

Thank you :)

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smurfette

Re: Glasshole killer app involves dog turds

"Every single item on your list apart from the obvious turn by turn directions, can be done satisfactorily with a handset app."

^ What he said.

Glass does however present a very realistic set of new opportunities for the budding criminal, which are not so satisfactory on a traditional handset.

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Microsoft: C'mon, you can trust us... look at our gov spook-busting plans

smurfette

Re: Security Theater Only

"PFS is a good thing as far as it goes. However, it is tangential to the issue here. The issue is that nefarious entities (NSA, FBI and others) can gain access to private information by forcing Microsoft to hand over the ciphertext and keys..."

Yes. I agree although my original comments were intended to address the technical improvement only.

Personally I see 4 distinct but interleaved areas here: (1) Intrinsic data security; (2) Trust; (3) Legislation; (4) The security services.

In terms of intrinsic data security, PFS can only be a good thing. From a data perspective alone it has to be seen as a welcome improvement and I would welcome any argument, presented on a purely technical basis, to the contrary (not necessarily from your good self, but from anyone).

In terms of trust things appear to be a little more complex and subjective. Essentially, improving basic data security may well foster a little trust in some circles. In others perhaps not so. Would I personally trust Microsoft? No more that I would Apple, Google, Cisco, Yahoo, Adobe, Facebook, Twitter et.al. They're all cast from the same die.

As for legislation and the security services... Well, if they conspire (in)appropriately, any real sense of data security is abject folly. In this respect I feel it's a little unfair for Microsoft to be singled out as every person and business is subject to the laws of the land. But I do see this a wholly different discussion, as opposed to a tangential one - but then I'm like that ;)

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smurfette

Re: Security Theater Only

"It's easy to keep a secret if the only person you need to share it with is you. So Microsoft can make a perfectly secure system where you have the keys, you encrypt it, they store and you decrypt it. That's great if the only use of the cloud is as a great big disk drive in the sky. As soon as you need somebody else to process it then you need to share keys and unless you trust them you are screwed "

I might be misunderstanding your point, but surely you are not implying that if I am using SSL/TLS+PFS and you have my private key that you can decrypt my data, are you?

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smurfette

Re: Security Theater Only

"Unless the MITM has a copy of the key."

But how does he get that? He can have both public and private keys, but how does he get the session key when it is never sent across the network*?

*Which is why I originally said without complicit skulduggery :) I was hoping to address the technical as opposed to the political/judicial.

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smurfette

Re: Keys

"As you have all pointed put, the NSA an most agencies have the SSL master keys. Therefore, all HTTPs sessions with "secure" keys provided by the major key providers are insecure."

That's fair enough, I don't necessarily disagree.

But, let's say you are a hypothetical MITM, and you have both public and private keys. How are you going to decrypt my PFS traffic?

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smurfette

Re: Security Theater Only

"This is just smoke and mirrors... suffice it to say that Microsoft's protests that they are getting secure is 100% hot air. There is no effective increase in security here. What we were worried about remains exactly as it was."

[I only quote the above because it summarises general sentiment as of the time of writing this].

Why does PFS provide no effective increase in security? Surely, assuming no complicit skulduggery, at the very least it negates MITM attacks?

I assume also that general sentiment holds true for Twitter and any other company implementing PFS?

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Apple patents facial recognition tech for mobile log-in

smurfette

Re: That's it...

"I'm going to patent the 'warp core'... /getrichquickscheme"

A 'shake to unlock wrist worn electronic device' patent may see a quicker return.

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