* Posts by Suricou Raven

1501 posts • joined 20 Jun 2007

Reports: NSA has compromised most internet encryption

Suricou Raven

Re: Really?

Local customs.

There was an incident years ago where one of the many churches in the US hired a European construction company for their new building - Swedish, I think? In accordance with their ancient custom, they hoisted a tree to the top of the building upon completion. It's an old ritual for good luck, originating in pagan customs many centuries ago, and continued for the sake of tradition. The church owners were not approved: They refused to pay, claiming the pagan ritual had desecrated the church and made it unfit for purpose.

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Suricou Raven

Some of them might me genuine paranoid patriots, believing that the NSA's spying ability is essential to preserve the safety of their country.

Others might be in it for the money. Well-paid work is hard to find. Do you want to respect freedoms for all people, or do you want to pay the rent? Choose.

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Suricou Raven

Or a simple assumption that if the NSA is resorting to pressuring American manufacturers into the use of backdoors, then it's likely their Chinese counterparts are doing exactly the same.

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BT doles out measly 2GB to customers in Dropbox-alike BT Cloud

Suricou Raven

I don't trust any of them.

I made my own 'cloud storage.' It's actually just a bit of perl script and .htaccess trickery on a VM server I rent for IRC bots, website and minecraft.

It doesn't take much to handle simple file uploading, if you're only doing it for one user and don't need to enforce advertising.

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Australia's anti-smut internet filter blueprint lasts LESS THAN A DAY

Suricou Raven

Re: Parenting? It's not as simple as that.

The age ratings have some flaws. The US-issued ratings are generally very tough on sex, but almost ignore violence. A few bloody impalings, decapitations and bisections will get you up to a 16 - but glimpse a nipple for a moment and it's instant 18.

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Suricou Raven

The NBN is really, really great...

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Brit music body BPI lobbies hard for 'UK file-sharers database'

Suricou Raven

Re: Should music be free?

If libraries were just invented today, publishers would be lobbying for them to be banned immediately.

Industries work to protect their business model. That's just what they do.

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Boffins follow TOR breadcrumbs to identify users

Suricou Raven

Re: The Irony

I'm sure whoever authorised that project got a solid telling-off from the NSA later for making their job harder.

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Snowden journo's boyfriend 'had crypto key for thumb-drive files written down' - cops

Suricou Raven

Alternate theory.

It's possible that the Guardian were so useless they had the password written down. But it's stretching things a little - that's incompetence of comic proportions.

I've a theory to offer: The investigators actually got the password through another channel, one of dubious legality. Perhaps they have phone and email monitoring operations on everyone who works for the Guardian (I would be very surprised if they do not) or even bugs in the offices, or maybe someone on the inside leaking details, or perhaps GCHQ were able to use some advanced cryptoanalytics magic to find the key left behind in the swap file. However they got it, they don't want to admit how - so the 'password on a postit' line is just a lie made up to give a plausible explanation for how the investigators got that password, thus protecting the secrecy of whatever cloak-and-dagger operations they have going on. It even has the added bonus of making the Guardian look like a bunch of idiots.

Or the documents found might just be a plant, and he wasn't really carrying anything at all. At this point I think we've demonstrated that both US and UK governments are more than willing to outright lie to the public and frequently violate their own laws - planting evidence isn't that much of a leap. Being able to threaten Miranda with jail time could be a way to apply pressure to Greenwald. He may already have recieved the deniable communication: 'One way or another your boyfriend is going to jail for a few months - but if you publish any more documents, we'll see to it that he is locked up for five years before he so much as sees a trial, and thirty more after that.'

Wild speculation is quite acceptable here because we now know that government *lies* - even more so than was previously thought.

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China confirms plans for first Moon visit later this year

Suricou Raven

Re: I honestly do not care who does it...

Not as easy as you think. Getting the rocks up even that little well would still need launchers and fuel, which means local manufacturing ability, which means extensive facilities for mining and processing material and fabricating parts. That or a magnetic launcher, but that requires lots of bulky materials be sent up first.

An established, self-sustaining moon base would be able to do it - but building that may just be the single most expensive project ever undertaken by mankind.

China might try it though. Just because it would give them something their government craves: Respectability. Just look at how much money they threw at their olympics hosting.

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'Kim Jong-un executes nork-baring ex and pals for love polygon skin flick'

Suricou Raven

Re: Propaganda

Because we can classify NK as 'harmless to outsiders.' They can oppress their own people all they want, but they aren't a threat to us.

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Behind the candelabra: Power cut sends Britain’s boxes back to the '70s

Suricou Raven

Re: Power Cuts

Lay a trail of glue, then sprinkle salt over it. Snails won't cross it. Obviously no good in areas exposed to water or weather, but a handy way to keep them from crawling into the water-butt hole or up the air vents.

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3D printed guns are for wimps. Meet NASA's 3D printed ROCKET ENGINE

Suricou Raven

Re: If they can make components in space

Actually, there is a good use for 3D printing in long-term manned flight - such as Mars missions. In-space manufacture of spare parts. Without 3D printing, you'd need to take several spares for every vital component that could fail during the journey. With 3D printing, you can ditch all the spares for solid-plastic parts (Lots of life support things - impellers, seals, valves, plungers, pipes) and just take a 3D printer and a supply of feed plastic. Potentially that can mean space and weight savings.

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Russian spyboss brands Tor a crook's paradise, demands a total ban

Suricou Raven

In soviet russia,

Insert reversal jokes beneath this post, please. Let's keep them all tidily in one place.

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Germany warns: You just CAN'T TRUST some Windows 8 PCs

Suricou Raven

Re: Which PC's don't have TPM

The TPM itsself can't do very much without cooperation from the OS - all it can do is make sure BIOS updates are signed and enforce Secure Boot - a feature which, for now, Microsoft still generously permits you to disable. So if you run linux, it won't bother you. On the upside, the TPM does include a cryptographic accelerator and RNG (True R, not PR) - so if you get the linux drivers working, it could be used to give an SSL webserver or something a performance boost.

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Acorn’s would-be ZX Spectrum killer, the Electron, is 30

Suricou Raven

Re: The electron taught me a real lesson

That is what the spell chequere is for.

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Zuckerberg: I want the WHOLE WORLD in my hands

Suricou Raven

I'm doing my part.

I'm promoting retroshare to everyone I know. I've gotten quite a few friends using it now. It's not a social network, though it can manage basic forums and messaging. It's more of an IM program. Decentralised. Encrypted. Authenticated via first exchanging keys with contacts. Probably not NSA-proof, but at least NSA-resistant enough to make cracking it take real effort, and plenty enough to stop intrusive advertising companies trying to intercept your messages and profile you.

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APNIC boffins may enlist TCP to defend DNS

Suricou Raven

Latency.

UDP:

[Client]: Give me an A-record for theregister.co.uk

[Server] 95.52.96.89

Time taken: 1x RT

Packets: 2

TCP:

[Client] Give me an A-record for theregister.co.uk

[Server] No can do. TCP only.

[client] SYN! Request conversation!

[server] Acknowledge. Fire away!

[Client]: Conversation ok. Give me an A-record for theregister.co.uk

[server]: 95.52.96.89. I'm done talking.

[Client] Me too. Over and out.

Time taken: 3x RT (not including final packet).

Packets: 7

At an RT of 300ms (Hardly unusual), that's more than half a second extra delay. Now multiply that by all the domains holding different scripts, static image servers, ads and such on a typical webpage...

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UK mulls ban on tiny mobiles to block prison smugglers

Suricou Raven

Re: "electrically unsafe ... they could cause fires and injure ... through electrocution."

They don't have the power to ban tiny phones. That would require an act of Parliament. But there are certain legal tricks that can be used to achieve an 'indirect' ban. In this case, by noticing that these tiny phones are often in violation of trademark laws or don't have all the legal boxes ticked on their electrical safety checks - so a ban is simply a matter of strictly enforcing existing laws in an area which would otherwise be considered too trivial to bother with.

Another example could be seen in the national porn filtering scheme. Forcing the ISPs legally to block pornography would, again, require an act of Parliament - that'd be a long, awkward process, but it could be done. A simpler way is to just threaten them with it: Cameron just stated that he doesn't *want* to go through the legislative hassle, but he will if the ISPs don't do as he asks voluntarily. As they would rather have a filtering system they can run themselves than have to deal with likely arbitrary and confusing guidelines from an act, it's in their best interests to give in.

This type of political sneaking is much more common in the US due to their split-layer government. The US congress, state congress, local officials and the courts are often pushing contradictory agendas and constantly trying to find ways to outmaneuver each other.

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Microsoft announces execution date for failed QR code-killer

Suricou Raven

Re: Use of QR Codes

I've seen them used to store wifi credentials - just the ESSID/PSK pair, stored in QR code form and supplied on a card with an ISP configured ADSL router.

My android phone was able to recognise and use the information without issue. Faster than typing in the key.

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Suricou Raven

Re: nfc?

Connection = tracking = analytics = advertising.

You didn't expect MS to run the servers out of pure altruism, did you?

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Intel to put pedal to metal in 14nm Atom upgrade

Suricou Raven

Re: Naturally, it will come with a new socket

Atom chips don't use sockets.

They are soldered directly to the mainboard.

Atoms are primarily used in portables and embedded devices - ease of upgrade isn't such an issue there..

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Microsoft DMCA takedown requests targeting OpenOffice

Suricou Raven

Re: Could it be ....

Or it could be that they just set their anti-piracy bot for 'torrent AND *office*' - no way to say clearly if this was malicious, or simply incompetence and arrogance.

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Brits: We can stop trolling if we know where they live - poll

Suricou Raven

Re: The Great British Public

That would be the Dunning–Kruger effect.

People's self-impression of competence in a field and their actual competence are not well correlated. Those who possess some knowledge, but not much, tend to vastly overestimate their true ability. With further education they will be able to look back on their earlier selves and see just how arrogantly overconfident they were.

But that only works if they get that further education. The typical self-confident internet commenter, believing themselves to be a perfect expert on social media policy, has no reason to study psychiatry or sociology or political theory. So they continue to babble their half-coherent ramblings, unable to understand why others laugh at them.

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Suricou Raven

Re: Anyone see a Trojan Horse here ?

Because being sociable includes complaining about the family member who can barely find the on-button and screams 'The Internet is broken!' every time a page takes more than five seconds to load.

And such complaints depend upon the family member not finding them.

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Your encrypted files are 'exponentially easier' to crack, warn MIT boffins

Suricou Raven

Re: Compression

Correct. This is why gpg and any serious encryption software includes a compression stage before the encryption - though it's not a very good one, it doesn't have to be.

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Seagate: Storage industry ill-prepared for onrushing big data tsunami

Suricou Raven

How much of this data is actually used?

I have a folder containing the family photos. Several gigabytes. No-one is ever, ever going to look at this. The family have no reason to look back at what we were up to on the holiday in Skegness of 1998. Yet the data still remains because.... well, it's policy to retain the family photos indefinitely.

I imagine much the same goes on at the corporate level. Gigantic mountains of useless data kept either for reasons of regulatory compliance or because storage is cheap, and it just might come in handy some day in future.

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New York State to investigate 'Wild West' Bitcoin industry

Suricou Raven

Virtual currency?

Modern banking is so many levels of abstraction removed from any physical value store, it's even more virtual than bitcoin.

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It's now or never for old sysadmins to learn new tricks

Suricou Raven

Re: What he said

"can then go into teaching"

Be warned - teachers are severely overworked. Not only can you expect to work the normal eight hour day, but another few hours a day on top of that at some, plus a sizeable chunk of your weekends, just to keep up with the work piled on you.

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Suricou Raven

Re: Retire

More accurately put, automation means that a system admin can administer a much larger, more complicate network with many more servers.

The company still needs an admin.

But they no longer need *two* admins. Someone is now surplus to requirements.

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Obama proposes four-point plan to investigate US data spooks

Suricou Raven

True, but there are all manner of dirty tricks they can use to get the jury to convict.

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'Look, give us Snowden' - this Friday's top US-Russia talks revealed

Suricou Raven

Re: Syria's nuclear programme?

Actually, yes. It's not very far along. If someone high-up in the US decides war is in order, I'm sure you'll be hearing a lot about it.

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Manning's max sentence cut, may only spend up to 90 years in the cooler

Suricou Raven

Re: Once Apon a Time........

Radio 4 already did a radio play about it.

It is a very depressing play. The main theme seems to be the utter lack of hope. There is no prospect of escape, or a legal out-manouvering. The only times any other characters speak are to state that they are under orders not to converse with the prisoner. Towards the end he manages to give a short monologue to the officer in charge explaining his actions, and for a moment you think he might have won some leniency - but the officer is one of those uber-patriot types, and gets so offended that the moral character of his country has been insulted that he declares Manning a suicide risk and orders that his glasses and clothing be confiscated for his own protection.

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Suricou Raven

Re: 136 years to 90 years...

In some ways this is actually one of their fairer trials, as there is so much publicity around it. The prosecution hasn't had to resort to some standard-issue dirty tricks often used on lesser criminals. There are a few common ones I know of:

- The overworked public defender: He has half an hour to devote to your case, and he knows that his job depends upon you agreeing to the plea bargin - if he actually gets too many people off, he'll be fired on a pretext for embarassing the department and someone of more flexible morals will take his place.

- Freezing of assets so the defendant can't afford a lawyer. Sure, they may have the money to buy one - but with all their bank accounts frozen, there is no way to pay, and lawyers generally don't work for credit.

- Seizing of all assets that could possibly be related to a crime. Usually applies to either electronic devices of vehicles. Added bonus: Can sell at police auction. That's one reason police in the US love drug prosecutions: If the convicted used a car to drive to a dealing location, then the car has been used in commission of a crime. That means police auction, and money for the department.

The only dirty trick they are using from the civilian world is the pileing-of-the-charges, trying to intimidate the accused with the possibility of severe punishment. In the civilian world it's used to apply pressure for the accused to plead guilty - that's the approach used on Swartz, which instead drove him to suicide. In this case it's being used to make an example - to show any other potential leakers that the government is willing and able to throw the book at them, and they'll be lucky to ever see daylight again.

There's a fair bit of evidence-hiding going on as well - there are claims made by thr prosecution that the leaks have lead to the deaths of some US agents, but as this is all strictly classified stuff they aren't able to say who or how. The judge just has to take their word that the leaks resulted in friendly deaths - and this is a military trial, so the word of the intelligence services is beyond contest.

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KingSpec's 2TB Multicore PCI-E SSD whopper vs the rest

Suricou Raven

Slots.

There is something fiddley to be aware of.

If cardlanes == slotlanes, they fit together easily.

If cardlanes < slotlanes, the card fits in and works, though the slot will have a few lanes wasted.

if cardlanes > slotlands, then *electronically* they work - though the card won't run at full speed. Mechanically, it won't actually fit into the slot. Not until you do some delicate work with a dremel. Once the appropriate (literal) hacking has been done, then you can use it.

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Child porn hidden in legit hacked websites: 100s redirected to sick images

Suricou Raven

Re: no legal porn

That'd be the Venus of Willendorf. It's not limbless but it is so unrealistically proportioned the arms are just stumps.

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Suricou Raven

Re: I don't get this

The only reason I can imagine would be a hoax. Something the denizens of 4chan might think funny.

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Suricou Raven

Re: Gosh could someone have been hoarding a stack of nasty CP and a zero day exploit

They already did - on her website.

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Suricou Raven

The IWF is not the most reliable source.

They have something of a history of whipping up hysteria. I imagine this happened once or maybe twice, but the IWF is trying to make it seem like some sort of epidemic of child abuse images.

Anonymous Coward: There was a study a while ago that found the most dangerous sites on the internet, malware-wise, were church websites. Even more than porn or piracy. Simply because few churches pay a professional administrator, they just have a volunteer muddle their way through.

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Suricou Raven

Re: So strictly speaking...

"Credit travels upwards, blame travels downwards. That's the way it works."

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Barbie paints Red Planet pink with NASA-approved Mars Explorer doll

Suricou Raven

Re: Her suit is actually just as accurate...

Mars's pressure is under a kilopascal. Even breathing pure oxygen, you wouldn't get enough partial pressure to stay alive, much less do any science. So a pressure suit is essential.

It doesn't have to be as thick and durable as a spacesuit though. Less radiation, for a start. One idea is a stretchy-suit, using elastic to remain form-fitting while keeping an internal pressure just high enough to be workable on pure oxygen. That approach would give much more flexibility than the clunky, stiff spacesuit design.

Barbie isn't wearing that though, as her suit is noticeably loose and doesn't seal at hands and feet. The only way barbie might be able to function on that suit would be if some major oxygen-consuming organ was removed to lessen the load...

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Suricou Raven

Re: LoL

The US wouldn't do that - there isn't much political gain to be had in sending people to die. Lots of good science to do, but no votes.

China would do it though.

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Suricou Raven

Myth.

Humans do not explode in space. NASA tested it with animal models, and there's been one case of accidental depressurisation of a human. He survived. The loss of pressure results in very rapid unconsciousness, but no pop.

True explosive decompression has occured, but not in space. One-to-zero atmosphere just isn't enough. The only incident in which that has happened an accident with a pressurised divers' chamber on the Byford Dolphin drilling rig. That was a drop from nine atmospheres to one.

It was messy.

One diver's lungs exploded with so much force, the *blew his spine out of his body*. Chunks of ex-human were found ten meters away - upwards. That's one impressive way to die.

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Upgraded 3D printed rifle shoots 14 times before breaking

Suricou Raven

'Smoking guns' is just an expression that outlasted its origin. They used to smoke.

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Suricou Raven

Re: Wow Amazing - NOT

Yep. As guns go, it sucks.

But it sucks less than the last one. There is progress. A few more years of refineing both the gun design and the printing tech, and they may well be producing something competitive with conventionally manufactured guns.

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Suricou Raven

Re: inevitable

Because there is a strong distrust of government in parts of the US, bordering on paranoia. A lot of people worried that the government is going to come to take their guns away Any Day Now. 3D printing is their promise that even if that happens, they can always get a new one.

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Tor servers vanish as FBI swoops on kiddie-smut suspect

Suricou Raven

Re: @theodore - oh boy

Left hand: We need to do something to aid political expression in certain repressive regimes, and prevent those governments snooping on dissidents, as social change in those countries is essential for continued peaceful coexistence.

Right hand: We need to set up improved monitoring and tracing systems systems for the internet - it'll be impossible to enforce the law effectively online if anyone can disappear into electronic mist at will, not to mention the potential for money laundering.

I don't think they were communicating at the time.

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Big blue Avatar movie spawns THREE SEQUELS

Suricou Raven

Re: It's all about the money, money, money etc

Clearly piracy is destroying the movie industry.

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Suricou Raven

Re: Only one hope

You can say many things about Avatar, but 'desaturated' is not one of them. It is the hawaiian shirt of movies.

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Suricou Raven

Re: Cost Savings

The second will be cheaper, because it's a CG-heavy movie. A great deal of the data is reuseable - character models, rigging, etc. Remember these aren't your little FPS game models we are dealing with - they use muscle modeling to make sure they move realistically, crazy-high resolution, and surface models that include the effects of pores and sub-surface anatomy. Each one represents weeks of work.

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