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Comment: Re:pardon my french, but "duh" (Score 1) 256 256

For someone using computers a lot, they're probably going to figure it out.
For someone not using computers a lot, and who have managed to do things by remembering exactly what to click - this is enormously fragile.

Even for people who do use computers a lot. I recently got a new macbook pro with Yosemite on it. I've been sticking with Snow Leopard because it seems so much better, but now that isn't an option. Yesterday I touched the touchpad in some way that made the computer go into some sort of mode in which I couldn't interact with any of the windows. I tried escape, random touchpad stuff, some other things. I'm embarrassed to say that I finally just resorted to a hard shutdown and reboot. There is apparently some cryptic touchpad sequence that will put the computer into useless mode, and a cryptic sequence required to get out of useless mode (and for what -- the view was just like normal view except for a darkened 1/4" frame around the whole screen -- it wasn't expose or full desktop -- I have no idea WTF it was for, normal view without the ability to interact with anything at all, not even force quit menu). Yosemite makes me seriously consider just putting Debian on that computer.

Comment: Re:Your biggest screw up (Score 1) 439 439

Reddit may well find its users going elsewhere if someone else manages to build something that they find familiar without all of the current baggage.

I haven't tried it yet, but this looks interesting:

Aether is a free app that you use to read, write in, and create community moderated, distributed, and anonymous forums, an "anonymous reddit without servers."

Comment:'s the LAW! (Score 1) 400 400

So we can just add the 1st amendment to the pile, you know, that pile of constitutional directives the government adheres to so much, like the 4th and 5th amendments, congressional responsibility for declaring wars, and likely others things I'm not aware of too. Essentially, anything that stands in the way of ever expanding executive power, corporate welfare, or wall street bailouts is just ignored. Instead, the NSA must monitor us and the police must practice military tactics, not because of terrorism, but because those mega-money interests pulling the puppet strings don't want to face any dangers.

That constitution is so quaint -- it makes a great wall hanging.

Comment: Re:maybe robots can fly the drones (Score 0) 298 298

Perhaps what happens is that people in the Chair Force eventually realize that nobody has any idea if they are killing bad guys.

He was told that they were carrying rifles on their shoulders, but for all he knew, they were shepherd"s staffs. Still, the directive from somewhere above, a mysterious chain of command that led straight to his headset, was clear: confirmed weapons. ... As he watched the men walk, the one who had fallen behind seemed to hear something and broke into a run to catch up with the other two. Then, bright and silent as a camera flash, the screen lit up with white flame.

In one episode that will fuel controversy about allegations of civilian casualties, he described monitoring a drone strike on a mud compound in Afghanistan and seeing the figure of what he was certain was a child just before it was struck by a Hellfire missile.

When he expressed those concerns to an intelligence observer overseeing the operation, the response came back: "Per the review, it's a dog." Bryant replayed the shot repeatedly on tape and said that he was certain it was a child, not a dog.

Note -- it seems PTSD can arise from being a drone pilot, but also note, I have absolutely zero sympathy for the drone pilots. It's an incredibly small bit of karma for the horrific acts they've performed and is the least they deserve, and worse, probably most will never even get that.

Comment: Re:Trust (Score 1) 196 196

The part that concerns me is that it appears for some data Apple does not have the key and has no access even if it has possession of the data. For other data it does have the key and can thus decrypt the data. The first instance is secure and protects user privacy (given a good passphrase), the second is barely secure and subjects user data to the Third Party Doctrine -- this gives the government the ability to grab it whenever it wants to. If this is so, it will confuse unsophisticated users who think encryption _is_ information security, which is true in only certain circumstances, and not true if a third party can decrypt the data.

Comment: Re:Trust (Score 1) 196 196

the juxtaposition of the first and second sentence, the first saying how great the encryption is, the second implying that the backups aren't encrypted by the fact you can disable it if you want to -- it implies a lesser level of security by its silence on whether the data is only available to the user. But more to the point, the iCloud section states pretty clearly that Apple can access the data:

All your iCloud content is encrypted in transit and, in most cases, when stored (see below). If we use third-party vendors to store your data, we encrypt it and never give them the keys. Apple retains the encryption keys in our own data centers, so you can back up, sync, and share your iCloud data.

Comment: Re:Trust (Score 1) 196 196

As long as there are secret government orders that companies are forced to comply with, you can never trust them.

You are absolutely correct, and especially correct in the context where the company has the power to decrypt the user's data. However, if the user's data cannot be decrypted by the company, then all it can provide is the encrypted gobbeldygook.

It isn't clear to me that Apple's system is perfect: It looks like the messages are encrypted in transit and Apple cannot read that data, but it also sounds like decrypted messages are backed up to its iCloud service, in which case the transit encryption is totally defeated. A lot of the stuff in that link is marketing bullshit, but the line I've bolded should be clearer. It seems pretty obvious that Apple could be required to turn over decrypted data (such as backed up messages) stored on their servers, and they should come right out an say that because a lot of people won't understand that:

So unlike other companies' messaging services, Apple doesn't scan your communications, and we wouldn't be able to comply with a wiretap order even if we wanted to. While we do back up iMessage and SMS messages for your convenience using iCloud Backup, you can turn it off whenever you want. And we don't store FaceTime calls on any servers.

What is the default? Anything that stores or transmits plaintext in a manner accessible by a third party should be opt IN, not opt out, because most people won't understand the implications but fall for the marketing hype about security.

Comment: Re:Behaviour in the past? (Score 1) 196 196

As fas as I'm aware, Apple is the only one working against even involuntary cooperation by making sure that they can't break device encryption by not keeping any keys or access to any keys.

If that is true, I can understand why Snowden praised Apple. Let's be honest about encryption technologies -- they are fickle and difficult even for people who are immersed in technology. For people who aren't tech savvy at all, encryption technologies are 1) not even known or thought about and 2) almost impossible to implement.

As an exemple, look at GPG email encryption. Once you get the whole public key / private key thing, it isn't that hard, but, getting to that point is actually very difficult for most people. Then there are ongoing issues with usage, keys going out of date or weird stuff happening making things produced in one system not readable in another -- just a bunch of administrative crap most people don't want to deal with -- they just want to send a text or an email and get done what they have to get done.

So if Apple can make that seamless, AND Apple cannot play man in the middle and decrypt it -- that is a huge win, one which other companies will surely follow. Things are getting slowly easier in the aftermarket. TextSecure (Android) and Signal (IOS), makes encrypted texting pretty seamless, but most people aren't even aware of these ( ). They just use the default texting app on their phone. If that default app did secure encryption by default, that's a good thing.

Comment: Re:why is Eric snowden an expert on security (Score 2) 196 196

You're a troll or a moron. Look at this interview with Tom Harper, the author of that hit piece:

All he says, repeatedly (besides "ummm"), is that he has no idea if the facts are true and he just wrote what people in the government told him to write. He's a stenographer, not a reporter.

Comment: Re:Finally they have seen the light (Score 3, Informative) 262 262

... if the US actually had an indictment sufficient for extradition ...

An indictment is soooo necessary to engage in extrajudicial detention or execution. /sarc

Just ask Italy exactly how much the US cares about Italian criminal law, in particular, kidnapping. Twenty some CIA employees were convicted of kidnapping -- of course they ran prior to their trial date.

Comment: Re: Mixture (Score -1, Troll) 312 312

Wow -- you are the worst type of enemy America has -- bootlickers like you who would sacrifice America's values for the most insignificant reasons are the worst kind of traitors. You infect the US with an underlying rot that will eat away its soul until we are nothing but another authoritarian dictatorship. And the scale of your irrational fear is just silly -- bathtubs are a bigger threat to Americans than ISIS will ever be, s why don't you start a war on showering ... stinker.

Beware the new TTY code!