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Comment: Re:Congratulations! (Score 1) 284

by Eskarel (#46608133) Attached to: U.S. Court: Chinese Search Engine's Censorship Is 'Free Speech'

That's a rather broad statement to make.

You're correct in that the founding fathers wrote the constitution to restrict the power of government, not that of private individuals, and for that matter mostly to restrict the power of the federal government. The issue however is the fact they didn't go to all the trouble of restricting the government's power to restrict free speech because they were anti-government, they did so because they though free speech was critical to a free society. They also explicitly set up a strong central government to protect the people. I'm not by any means convinced that the Founding Fathers would be at all comfortable with this kind of thing.

Comment: Re:Bad Analogy (Score 1) 357

by Eskarel (#46571955) Attached to: Cryptocurrency Exchange Vircurex To Freeze Customer Accounts

Yes of course, I can do that, you can probably do that too, most people however can't, or won't.

That's not even talking about things like borrowing money or earning interest, though I guess given that Bitcoin is destructively deflationary no one would do either of those things with Bitcon, but folks do like to do that stuff with functional currencies.

Comment: Re:Bad Analogy (Score 1) 357

by Eskarel (#46561773) Attached to: Cryptocurrency Exchange Vircurex To Freeze Customer Accounts

Yes, setting up a wallet is really easy. Setting that wallet up in such a way that it doesn't get emptied by malware or lost due to hardware failures is a whole different ball game. That's not even touching on setting it all up so you can do all that while still having the ability to pay for things with bitcoins when your not at your computer.

Keeping a private Bitcoin wallet is exactly like keeping your cash under the mattress in terms of risk, and it's simultaneously less portable. Bitcoin proponents think that we only use banks because of the convenience of things like ATMs and wire transfers, and that's certainly a part of it, but people have been using banks for just about as long as there has been money, nothing in Bitcoin's architecture removes the reasons banks were set up in the first place, that's why exchanges cropped up as pseudo banks to begin with, because there was a market need. The difficulty is that they were like the old Savings and Loans only more incompetent.

Comment: Re:Bad Analogy (Score 2) 357

by Eskarel (#46561411) Attached to: Cryptocurrency Exchange Vircurex To Freeze Customer Accounts

If it were just the exchange failing, that might not be a problem, but when the exchanges are, for all intents and purposes, either seizing assets from their customers or losing those assets to theft left right and center, it sure as hell does affect Bitcoin.

Keeping a private wallets require a degree of know how which is beyond most tech savy people, let alone regular folks, exchanges(banks) are as necessary to the Bitcoin ecosystem as they are to cash. When the banks can't be trusted and can't be prosecuted, the ecosystem and therefor the currency itself is hopelessly broken.

Comment: Re:Architecturally Insecure (Score 2) 116

by Eskarel (#46332181) Attached to: Complete Microsoft EMET Bypass Developed

And for a desktop, no one gives a crap.

Everything that matters to a user is sitting in folders that they can, by necessity, access. Your documents, your web browser session, and everything else that is even remotely important to you is available with no escalated privileges whatsoever. Yes they can't necessarily root your device,but to be honest, but unless you're actually running in a true multi user environment(which almost no desktop is), it's cold comfort that your PC works if you data is gone.

Comment: Re:Architecturally Insecure (Score 0) 116

by Eskarel (#46331245) Attached to: Complete Microsoft EMET Bypass Developed

It was probably much more recently, but he probably installed XP without any patches or service packs. That's how the YotLD people convince themselves they're going to win, they compare bleeding edge Linux products against XP and talk about how much more advanced Linux is.

That said there is some truth in the fact that most Linux installations are architecturally more secure than most Windows PC's, but that has more to do with the fact that the market share for Linux installed PC's running as general purpose computing devices configured to be used by non technical end users is barely measurable. Servers don't count(most Windows servers don't have AV either), tablets don't count(though I actually do have AV on my android), locked down box set up for your parents that your remotely administer doesn't count.

I'd also like to point out that in this day and age, the fact that you probably won't get root on Linux is a big who cares, all the data which matters to the user is accessible by the user. Setting up data encryption ransom ware on Linux would be trivially easy and no less damaging than on Windows.

Comment: Re:Clickbait (Score 1) 312

by Eskarel (#46243803) Attached to: Good Engineering Managers Just "Don't Exist"

I've never been convinced that you actually need your manager to have direct technical skills, certainly not extensive ones. They need enough knowledge to spot bullshit, but if a manager has really good people and leadership skills then the technical people who work for them will take care of the technical.

The issue of course is that people with really great people and leadership skills don't stay long in middle management. Middle management is basically the realm of horror. Any technical skills people in there have atrophy because they spend all day not being technical and if they had good management skills they'd have gotten out.

Comment: Re:Ohhh, Slashdot beta makes sense now (Score 1) 299

by Eskarel (#46215805) Attached to: Online, You're Being Watched At All Times; Act Accordingly.

I've pointed this out before and I'll have to again. Healthcare.gov, in it's entirety anyway, is probably the most complex and complicated IT project any government or private enterprise has actually attempted, the fact that it works at all is kind of a miracle.

The other point of course is that while you and me most certainly aren't being watched. It's likely that every single employee of Kaspersky probably is, and yes most likely by multiple governments. A high profile IT security firm in Russia that's revealed things like FLAME and which works closely with any number of questionable governments. The Russians are watching them at the very least, I mean it's not like the FSB is a defender of human rights. The NSA probably is actually watching them as well. If I were the guy writing the article I'd assume that not only have multiple governments hacked my computer, but my apartment and car are probably bugged to. Hell, it's entirely likely that some of Kaspersky's employees actually work for the NSA and FSB.

Comment: Re: Matter of time (Score 1) 149

by Eskarel (#46214391) Attached to: Florida Arrests High-Dollar Bitcoin Exchangers For Money Laundering

The haircut to token exchange rate is determined by the market, which is actually what makes money interesting. When you barter directly the market which determines the value of your goods is very small. Essentially it's the value of the good or service you have to trade to the person who has the good or service you want. This is seriously distorting. For example if you're a hog farmer and the person you're trying to trade with is Jewish or Muslim, you're broke even if you own a million hogs.

One of the fundamental aspects of money is that it is for all intents and purposes worthless beyond what you can purchase with it. This has always been true. If the US currency were all of a sudden backed by gold again the amount of gold you'd get for your dollar would be tiny a gram of gold is worth $41 at the moment. As I said previously even when we actually used specie the amount of it in regular use coins was so small as to be worthless. If money were actually worth something on its own you'd have massive market distortions as people tried to trade around the item itself. That's what makes it special, it isn't worth anything at all, fiat, gold backed, actually made of metal, it doesn't matter.

Comment: Re:Ohhh, Slashdot beta makes sense now (Score 1) 299

by Eskarel (#46214341) Attached to: Online, You're Being Watched At All Times; Act Accordingly.

There are a few reasons why US internet speeds have stagnated, and neither of them have anything to do with the NSA, if the NSA is doing anything to anyone it's doing it to everyone.

The first reason is geographic, the US is a very large country with a very dispersed population. This makes delivering high speed internet to the majority of the population a very large infrastructure project. Most of the countries with much better internet are much smaller and more densely populated or have a very different population distribution pattern.

The second major reason is unlimited data caps. Under unlimited schemes every economic incentive is to oversubscribe and under invest. You don't make any money by increasing capacity, just by increasing customers. I know this is an unpopular opinion in the US, but it's reality. If you want your ISP to be motivated to get you speeds, pay for use.

In the absence of private investment to build this kind of infrastructure you're only real option is public money, this is happening a little bit at the local level, but debt aside major infrastructure projects with huge costs and timelines are political poison at the state and federal level. Rolling out a network that could deliver what South Korea has for instance would cost several trillion dollars(FTTH was projected to cost about 50 billion to deliver to 93% of Australian and well over half the Australian population lives in 5 capital cities with most of the rest in cities a couple hours drive from those same cities). It's just not going to happen in the current political climate.

Comment: Re:Ohhh, Slashdot beta makes sense now (Score 3, Interesting) 299

by Eskarel (#46208443) Attached to: Online, You're Being Watched At All Times; Act Accordingly.

It's not so much "WHY" they have the information or even "WHAT" their intentions are. It's tremendously unlikely that the government has raw computer capabilities even as high as an order of magnitude more than what's currently available on the market. They simply don't have the expertise and such huge amounts of private money are going into the same kind of R&D they'd be doing. I suppose it's possible that all the cost overruns in every government IT project and every recent military project have been going into some sort of super secret project to build high capacity storage and really fast processors, but I think it far more likely that that money has gone to making immensely powerful planes that are useless in modern warfare and paying for 50 levels of contracting.

The most recent data I can find indicates that in 2012 just under 28 exabytes of data per month was flowing through the internet and it was increasing at about 7 exabytes year on year, so a relatively safe assumption is that internet traffice for 2013 was probably about 35 exabytes a month. Based on an old whatif" from xkcd, the highest density storage we have microsd cards is about 160 terabytes per kilogram. Let's assume for the sake of insanity that the government can store 10 times that in a manner which is actually practical to process, so we'll give them a data density of 1.6 petabytes per kilogram. This is obviously insane, but let's do it anyway. By that math storing all internet traffic everywhere will mean 35 tons of storage every single month. Note this is ridiculously low and the actual figure is likely substantially higher not counting the mechanisms to actually process and archive all that information.

None of that even comes close to all the data that isn't on the intranet that they're supposedly trying to siphon down, which probably easily doubles or trebles this figure. This is how we know they aren't storing everyone's information indefinitely, or even temporarily, they can't.

"Love is an ideal thing, marriage a real thing; a confusion of the real with the ideal never goes unpunished." -- Goethe

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