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Comment: Like telling smugglers the can't use $100 bills (Score 1) 229

They'll use $20 bills instead. Multicore processors with networking interfaces are in your phone, manufactured in South Korea and .... (wait for it) China! Okay, so it might take a bit more of them to get the same processing power, or it might take the Chinese longer to run their simulation, but they ain't stoppin' nobody.

Comment: Re:They learned Legal Wiggling 101 from Microsoft (Score 1) 292

by American Patent Guy (#49402595) Attached to: EFF Fighting Automakers Over Whether You Own Your Car

Well, yes, but it's an implied license. The purchaser of a car doesn't sign a separate piece of paper permitting him to do stuff with the auto's code. It's like that video you bought over the weekend. Copyright law prohibits performances of protected works. Can you invite the neighbors to watch that video for free? Yes, because with your purchase you got the implied license to do so. Can you open your own movie theater and charge admission? No, because your implied license doesn't cover that.

Now, if you want to look at the code, copyright law won't stop you from doing that. (But the manufacturer might by not giving you a port of access.) If you possess the copy of the work, you get to look at it. You just don't get to reproduce it or perform it (say, in another model of a car, modified or not).

The manufacturer might claim the code to be a trade secret too, but that won't work very well because they will have published it by putting it in the cars they sell to the public.

So unless the car manufacturer is going to make the purchaser sign a contract not to fiddle with the code, and to make any subsequent purchaser bound to the same terms, I think they just have to put up with the modders and the rodders...

Comment: Re:Another puff of hot air from our Obama-in-chief (Score 1) 144

by American Patent Guy (#49389449) Attached to: Obama Authorizes Penalties For Foreign Cyber Attackers
Impeachment? Why would the Republicans do that? Obama is embarrassing the hell of of the Democrats on a daily basis with his pompous press releases. Oh, I assure you that the Republican members of Congress absolutely love Obama and want this to continue as long as possible. It assures their future re-elections...

Comment: Re:How can foreigners be charged under US law? (Score 2, Funny) 144

by American Patent Guy (#49389425) Attached to: Obama Authorizes Penalties For Foreign Cyber Attackers

Wow. I'm glad that you educated me. I had always thought that the Constitution granted the power to declare war to Congress alone.

I always thought, too, that there were civilian administrative procedures. I'm sure glad you let me know that that lady working in the drivers license division was drawing military hazard pay. And judges and courts ... all part of the military machine, eh?

... and that mystical power of the President to command the executives of banks in foreign countries ... I had no idea about that either. If you tell me Bigfoot is real, I'll believe that too.

Comment: Re:Another puff of hot air from our Obama-in-chief (Score 2) 144

by American Patent Guy (#49389303) Attached to: Obama Authorizes Penalties For Foreign Cyber Attackers

So he's got the power to unilaterally rule a US Citizen in Yemen is an enemy of the US, and blow up said citizen with a drone (incidentally killing several others), but he can't freeze the US bank account of a Chinese military officer whose busily hacking Americans?

Until Congress changes it, yep. That's how it is, no matter how illogical it might seem.

When normal lawyers deal with the Commander-in-Chief clause, which has very few limits (the biggest is that it doesn't apply that often), they really get into trouble fast.

Nope. Look it up for yourself: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/W...

Comment: Re:How can foreigners be charged under US law? (Score 2) 144

by American Patent Guy (#49389281) Attached to: Obama Authorizes Penalties For Foreign Cyber Attackers
You seem to be confused there. If he's issuing "sanctions" (as per the announcement), then there is some kind of judicial or administrative procedure. If he's waging war, then he can use the War Powers Act. (BTW: Obama declaring this to be a "national emergency" doesn't make it one sufficient to engage that Act.) That Act doesn't authorize a president to do whatever-the-hell-he-wants.

Comment: Another puff of hot air from our Obama-in-chief (Score 5, Interesting) 144

by American Patent Guy (#49389129) Attached to: Obama Authorizes Penalties For Foreign Cyber Attackers

Obama has no authority to impose sanctions on anybody for these acts, unless (1) Congress passes a law that says he does or (2) a foreign country says he does, creating jurisdiction. Neither has happened.

Obama said "From now on, we have the power to freeze their assets, make it harder for them to do business with U.S. companies, and limit their ability to profit from their misdeeds" in the making (apparently) of an executive order. If the power existed, it existed prior to Mr. Obama's order because it was authorized by 1 or 2 above. Mr. Obama's declarations of power are worthy of the bottom of my birdcage.

This idiot of a reporter at The Stack dot com thinks that an executive order is "legislation". Someone should inform her that legislation almost always appears in the U.S. Code, not in some press release on the White House Blog. I can't wait for this administration to try to enforce these sanctions: they're going to get tossed out of court on their rear ends if they try.

Comment: Re:Wrong mode of security, useless idea (Score 1) 267

1. It doesn't matter if the attack is online or not. If the hacker has your hashed password, then he can get your password from that. The brute force attack becomes feasible because he can run millions/billions of tries per second on your password. (If he does it on a repository of hashed passwords, then the rewards per try are even greater.)

2. The words are in your memory, not in the password. If my password is "agmlpoas", then I can remember it as "all good men like pickes on afternoon sandwiches". The password can be as random as you like.

3. When you have an organization like the NSA devoting tens of thousands of CPUs (or specially designed digital circuits implementing a hash/encryption function) to such an effort, your offline attack becomes feasible (unless you have a lot more characters in your password than most people want to type.)

A truly unbreakable encryption method will make it impossible for an attacker to tell whether he's had success in breaking the encryption. (That's why the one-time pad works: it decodes to a very large number of potentially valid messages.) If everyone's messages were littered with words from the Bin Laden book of anarchy, then the NSA would have a more difficult time knowing who the real bad guys were. :-)

Comment: Wrong mode of security, useless idea (Score 1) 267

The whole point in using passwords and passphrases is that the point of entry (the screen or page where you enter it) can't be reproduced millions of times per second. If a human can only press "enter" once per second, it will take a long time for a hacker (NSA or otherwise) to brute force through. If the attacker can get his hands on the password stored in the system (encrypted or not) the game is already lost.

Besides: anyone can think up a poem or a mnemonic for a password using random letters and/or numbers, and you'll be using your own words and not those of someone else out of a dictionary (which makes it more likely for you to remember).

Unbreakable passwords are easy to generate: just use a randomly-generated password as long as the information you're encrypting (the so called "one time pad"). When I'm logging into my bank or other on-line service, I don't want to have to deal with that much data. That's why it lets me have three tries at entering the password every ten minutes.

Go sell this idea to the next guy, please...

Comment: Re:Why not just eliminate trolling? (Score 1) 56

by American Patent Guy (#49145255) Attached to: Patent Trolls On the Run But Not Vanquished Yet
The problem is in defining what "trolling" is. The court rules already permit a court to award attorneys fees where a claim is brought frivolously: the difficulty is in showing that a claim was brought or prosecuted in bad faith. The court can't read minds, and one can't usually show what the intent was when a patent infringement suit is brought.

Comment: Stories like this (Score 0) 448

... are for entertainment value only. It's like shoving 500 feral cats into a van and watching the action.

Who the hell cares if this scientist took some under-the-table money over a decade ago. Neither side has proven anything, and pointing out a pimple on the other side's stripper doesn't make anyone look creditable.

Dear Slashdot: poisoning your content in this way doesn't motivate me to visit your site.

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