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Comment: Re:No place for 'almost', 'not quite' and 'nearly' (Score 3, Interesting) 423

by AJH16 (#46399399) Attached to: RadioShack To Close 1,100 Stores

The bigger problem was the loss of knowledgeable staff. They should have expanded in to cameras not phones, they would have had more of a chance there. Now all the staff that knew what they were doing are gone though and instead of "You've got questions, we've got answers." It's "You've got questions and our stares are even more blank than the idiots at Best Buy."

Comment: Control the light spectrum (Score 3, Interesting) 478

by AJH16 (#46279455) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Anti-Camera Device For Use In a Small Bus?

Your best bet would be to black out the cab and have the only lights me lacking the red, green and blue wavelengths used by the majority of cameras and then using custom filters and image processing on the cameras inside, however that means that no external light can get in without also being filtered to exclude the red green and blue spectrum used by a normal camera. This will most likely end up resulting in a weird and possibly uncomfortable color cast to the light and still won't be 100% effective.

Rolling down any windows would defeat this though, as would opening a door.

Comment: Re:SEC block? (Score 1) 303

by AJH16 (#46238067) Attached to: Comcast To Buy Time Warner Cable In $44.2 Billion All-Stock Deal

I would have to say I'm firmly the opposite of this. My experience with TimeWarner for Internet access has been phenomenal. Decent speeds, no stupid caps and reasonable enough value. My friends with Comcast on the other hand are faced with bandwidth caps, stupidly overpriced prices and horrible support. As a very satisfied user of TimeWarner's Ultimate internet service, I'm quite honestly terrified of the implications of this take over. I would give TimeWarner cable a 7 or 8 when it comes to Internet access in my area, but I'd give Comcast a -3 based on what I've heard from numerous friends.

(Now when it comes to TV and Phone service, they don't hold up as well, but I don't use them for either of those.)

Comment: Re:What could go wrong? (Score 1) 341

by AJH16 (#46191363) Attached to: California Bill Proposes Mandatory Kill-Switch On Phones and Tablets

That's a fair point, but I think you underestimate how accessible it is to get the IMEI wiped. Average Joe Clepto may not be able to do anything with it himself, but he can sell it on the black market to someone who can. All you need is a criminal clearing house of sorts that can handle that kind of thing and it becomes an ineffective measure. It's a slight deterrent as the initial thief can't make as much, but not as effective as being able to actually disable the device entirely.

Comment: Re:What could go wrong? (Score 1) 341

by AJH16 (#46191333) Attached to: California Bill Proposes Mandatory Kill-Switch On Phones and Tablets

Yeah, that was part of what I was saying. The physical key should be able to be used to lock and unlock it. The consumer needs to have some critical part of the process so that only they can cause it to be disabled and re-enabled. I would suggest that the manufacturer should also have a key piece though too, that way simply losing the key doesn't mean you can get locked out of your own phone.

Comment: Re:What could go wrong? (Score 1) 341

by AJH16 (#46190295) Attached to: California Bill Proposes Mandatory Kill-Switch On Phones and Tablets

You don't need PKI around this though. You just need key pairs, not key storage, so PKI isn't a problem. You have a few private keys for the manufacturer to be able to verify they are signing off, this is easier than existing SSL concerns. Then you have the public key embedded in each device for which the consumer has the private key on the separate dongle. This isn't inherently all that different from the way electronic car keys work when they are actually using a secure exchange.

You don't need a trust delegation system since the devices are assigned the keys to trust at creation and you don't have a large number of keys to secure since the public key information doesn't have to be secure for each phone and only has to be accessible to customer service at the manufacturer.

You bring up a valid point about revocation concerns for the manufacturer's portion of the validation, but the worst case scenario of a compromise is that attackers could lock phones once and then the phones would be unlocked and the lock disabled to avoid future problems. If the manufacturer themselves is compromised, they the revocation list could be faked too anyway since it would effectively be a compromised CA.

I would suggest that to have the phone locked down, the customer would have to supply the private key associated with their device or answer some local challenge. The USB key that came with their device would provide the public key and device ID information needed.

Cost shouldn't be substantially more than the cost of the USB dongles and TPM hardware. It would still be an additional cost, but probably not much more than a few dollars per device. Note that I'm not even saying I agree with it being a legal requirement either, I'm just pointing out that it is not as complicated or risky as it might initially seem.

Comment: Re:They can't give up control (Score 1) 249

by AJH16 (#46188995) Attached to: Wozniak To Apple: Consider Building an Android Phone

Yes, but until they can no longer get content to sell to their customer base at ridiculous margins, it will still be more profitable to keep whatever % of the market they have on their platform than to risk losing some to their own Android platform. By the time it breaks down significantly enough, the market share won't be big enough to matter particularly much as they will have lost relevance.

Not that they couldn't surprise me and do that now that Jobs isn't behind the wheel any more and so there isn't a trend to look at for them, but until a lot of factors change, it isn't in their best interest to make an Android device (which demonstrates yet again why Woz is not a business guy.) It still amazes me he managed to stay around Apple as long as he did given how juxtaposed Jobs desire to control was to Woz's desire to make technology work.

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