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+ - Why Not Replace SSL Certificates With PGP Keys? 9

Submitted by vik
vik (17857) writes "The whole SSL process has been infiltrated by the NSA, GCSB and other n'er-do-wells. If governments want a man-in-the-middle certificate they simply issue a secret gagging order to the CA to make them issue one. Consequently "certified" SSL certificates can no longer be trusted. Ironically self-issued certificates are more secure, but not easily verified.

However, PGP/GPG keys can be trusted and independently verified. They are as secure as we can get for now. Why not replace the broken SSL CA system with GPG/PGP encryption keys? Make the NSA-infiltrated stuff obsolete, and rely on a real-world web of trust?"
Digital

+ - The iPhone As Camera... Where To Now?->

Submitted by
BWJones
BWJones writes "Many non-photographers and even photographers, particularly the working professional photographers are accustomed to looking down their nose at cell phones as cameras, but if you look at the market, all of the innovation in photography has been happening with smart phones in the last couple of years. Sure, camera sensors have gotten better and less noisy, but convergent technologies are primarily happening in the smart phone market, not the camera market. On top of that, statistics show that the most common cameras are now cell phone cameras, the iPhone in particular. Flickr reports that as of this posting, the Apple iPhone 4s is the most popular camera in the Flickr Community. If you add in the iPhone 4 and then the large upswing in the newly available iPhone 5 and the now waning iPhone 3GS, you have in the iPhone platform a huge lead in the number of cameras people are using to post to Flickr."
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Comment: Re:The Problem is NOT in your ability .... (Score 1) 418

by nimblebrain (#41566533) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Am I Too Old To Retrain?

I've seen that particular policy, and I've got to say, I don't really understand how a company can employ it for great lengths of time and see it working.

If you induct a bunch of new, young hires at the same time - which seems to be common - they bond with each other. Then they hang out in the company for a while - maybe even a year.

Then they realize that raises aren't forthcoming. Sometimes, the bigger trigger is one of the group finds something elsewhere for higher pay just with that tiny bit of experience under their belts, and that emboldens the rest.

I saw a company finally wake up to that, and they changed their policy to allow hiring of senior people... then the complaint was that they couldn't find good senior people any more, a complaint reflected across their particular industry.

With software, I guess that those "cost centers" actually take a little while for their effects to kick in, because they can coast on the work of the people who are gone just because of the way release cycles work. That's a barrier to corporate learning.

Comment: Re:Not vision (Score 1) 52

by BWJones (#41189093) Attached to: Bionic Eye Lets Blind Woman Experience Vision

[sigh].... do not feed the troll.... do not feed the troll...

OK, I'll feed the troll. Yes, I am acutely aware of Paul Bach-y-Rita's work. You however apparently do not understand the concepts that you are invoking. There is plasticity in neural systems, yes. Plasticity is important in vision, sure. Nobody, *anywhere* has demonstrated that they can generate coherent "visual percepts" in a coordinated fashion with any kind of stimulus. Its far more complicated than hooking up electrodes and stimulating until someone "learns" what the stimulus means.

btw, the tongue thing is very, very cool. Its not vision and does not even map to vision, but those lingual electrodes can easily map topographic data, sonar data, relief data, contrast data onto the high resolution innervation of the tongue and allow people to interpret those stimulii as a map to be followed. The technology was originally developed for US Navy SEALS to navigate complex 3D environments at night, with no light and it works. It works incredibly well with very little training necessary. I would like to see more effort and funds put into techniques like that to help people live more independent lives.

Comment: Re:Not vision (Score 1) 52

by BWJones (#41189007) Attached to: Bionic Eye Lets Blind Woman Experience Vision

I am familiar with Nirenberg's work. What Nirenberg seems to be missing is that the programming outflow of the retina is altered in retinal disease. ON and OFF channels are substantially altered in retinal disease and the whole programming substrate is altered because the circuitry and programming down to the molecular levels is altered.

Its not all pessimism though as we will need to understand how the normal retina signals and I find her work to be interesting and compelling. Though she is not addressing *which channels* of information outflow are being encoded. There are 14-16 separate outflow channels in the retina that project to different areas of cortex and sub cortex and she is not addressing how to separate those channels and what those separate channels mean in terms of the "visual world".

Comment: Re:Not vision (Score 1) 52

by BWJones (#41188963) Attached to: Bionic Eye Lets Blind Woman Experience Vision

This is just my point. While I understand that science and engineering has to start somewhere, they have made promises to this woman and done surgery to her, potentially increasing risks for other problems where I would argue there is no hope of "seeing" anything coherent.

Yes, we can do remarkable things with even an 8x8 pixel array, but this approach has no promise of even delivering that to this woman. The electrode cuff on the optic nerve simply stimulates too many neurons that are not coherent and those neurons project to far too many areas of cortex. A retinal implant that appropriately targets cell populations would be more appropriate as would genetic engineering of targeted opsins to other cell classes.

As for implants directly in the cortex, I might argue that this has a better chance of stimulating phosphenes that could be interpreted as vision. I've participated in some of that early work http://prometheus.med.utah.edu/~bwjones/2009/08/bionic-implants/ and while I believe there are other approaches that will be more effective, that work still has some promise (particularly for motor interfaces).

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