* Posts by Jim E

12 posts • joined 2 Nov 2014

The ball's in your court, Bezos: Falcon 9 lands after launching satellites

Jim E

Re: I wouldn't get too excited

The way it works in rocketry seems to be that once you fix the problems and do it once, you are good for a string of successes. There seemed to be an air of confidence in the live webcast. The SpaceX employees knew it would work.

Hillary Clinton says for crypto 'maybe the back door is the wrong door'

Jim E
Boffin

What she's probably referring to.

I think Mrs. Clinton is referring to the fact that it has been pointed out that real-world end-to-end encryption systems, like the Apple one, already have a front door by virtue of their design. Let me explain.

Each device (phone, tablet, PC, etc) generates a public/private key pair. The private key must never leave the device, but the public key is stored up in the cloud.

Alice sends Bob a message. Her messaging client grabs Bob's public key, encrypts the message with it, and sends it. It can only be decrypted by Bob's device. OK so far.

Now the real world intrudes. Bob has multiple devices. There is no really secure way for them to share a private key, so each device generates it's own key pair. Alice's software does not know which device Bob will use to read the message, so it must encrypt multiple copies of the message payload using Bob's several public keys. This multiple-key capability is the front door.

All that Apple (or anyone else running PKI for end-to-end encryption) has to do is quietly add an NSA-generated public key to Bob's list. The NSA can now read every message that Bob receives. They can do this to selected users or to everyone.

Of course, we can circumvent this by manually using PGP and exchanging public keys by email, but that is quite beyond the vast majority of users, who find the concepts of public key encryption hard to grasp. The automated version is what actually gets used.

Amazon comes up with delivery-drone zones after watching Fifth Element all night

Jim E

Alternate landing execution: Gravity

Let's not get too elaborate...

PLUTO FLYBY: Here's your IT angle, all you stargazing pedants

Jim E
Thumb Up

Old-shool User Interfaces

It looks like they don't faff about with fashionable web-based interfaces. Those look like curses-style in terminal windows. Nice.

Linux on the desktop is so hot there's now a fight over it

Jim E
IT Angle

Hmmm...

Well I don't know if this is the Year Of The Linux Desktop, but it does seem that the concept provokes less laughter now.

Ginormous HIDDEN BLACK HOLES flood the universe – boffins

Jim E

Re: so...

By measuring the speed of the stuff orbiting around it.

Behold the mighty Swiss SPACE JUNK NOSHER PODULE

Jim E
Facepalm

Is this even remotely practical?

The garbage-collector seems to be several time the size of the thing being collected, and is itself destroyed during the process. I wonder how they plan to scale this?

KRAKKOOM! SpaceX Falcon supply mission to ISS EXPLODES minutes after launch

Jim E

Re: Physics Says...

Slight problem with the above analysis. Oxygen boils off the whole time and is vented. The only period when it isn't is then they close the vents for a short time a few minutes prior to launch. This pressurises the tank to give the rocket more rigidity. Like the tubes in an inflatable dinghy. But then the vents open again to prevent the pressure building up too much. These things are a bit more complex than a pressure-cooker safety valve. They have remote control, they have to work OK with ice in them, and they have to work in a supersonic airflow. The rocket is being warmed by the sun the whole time, which will cause some boil off. If they close for some reason, then Kablooey. Hopefully the guy who said it was all normal did not have all the information. I hope there were people at SpaceX staring at their screens and going "Ohhhh Crap" for a few seconds before it went bang. That would be good, because this is going to be a manned rocket soon. You want some warning of this type of event when there are people riding it, so that the escape system can do it's thing.

FREAKing hell: ALL Windows versions vulnerable to SSL snoop

Jim E
Mushroom

Hahaha! Links on Linux Mint (Debian Cinnamon version) fails. Quick, rewrite Debian!

Google's 'encrypted-by-default' Android is NOT encrypting by default

Jim E
Holmes

How does this work exactly.

So where does the encryption key come from when you encrypt a phone? The entry PIN (or pattern in Android). Not much entropy there. Is there a key stored on the phone? Also flawed. I'm genuinely curious. Or are they just encrypting traffic with SSL?

Rosetta probot drilling denied: Philae has its 'leg in the air'

Jim E

Re: Well, I hope they work things out and can sample the comet!

I'll have you know that Walmart harpoons come with the best of testimonials, from some whaling captain, name of Ahab.

Me give you $14 squillion gadziddly-dillion

Jim E

What could possibly go wrong

So your solution for spam is a push-button email account killer. I think you now have two problems.

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