Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:TOR is a fucking honey pot ! (Score 4, Insightful) 75

by Kjella (#48641095) Attached to: Tor Network May Be Attacked, Says Project Leader

You do realize that most "darknets" are built on a "bust one, bust all" model? Pretty much the only security is that the bad guys aren't in your darknet, they've never reached a popularity where there's any plausible deniability. The only other people likely to be in your darknet are the other members of your terrorist cell or whatever you're part of, it has never offered anything for "normal people" for you to hide in. And darknets have actually been used as honeypots, to make clueless people give away their IP to join a private group which turns out to be a sting. It is pretty much the exact opposite of anonymity, it's joining a conspiracy and you're at the mercy of the stupidity of everyone in it.

TOR is trying for something entirely different, which is to keep everyone at arm's length from each other. I talk to you over TOR, you get busted well tough shit they still can't find me. The users don't know the server, the server doesn't know the users. Of course by adding that glue in between you run the risk of the man in the middle working out who both ends of the connection are, but that's the trade-off. TOR is trying to do something extremely hard, it tries to offer low latency - easy to make timing attacks, arbitrary data sizes - easy to make traffic correlation attacks and interactive access - easy to manipulate services into giving responses, accessible to everyone and presumably with poison nodes in the mix. It's trying to do something so hard that you should probably assume it's not possible, not because they have any special inside access.

I actually did look at trying to do better, it was not entirely unlike Freenet done smarter only with onion routing instead of relying on statistical noise. It wouldn't try to be interactive so you could use mixmaster-style systems to avoid timing attacks and (semi-)fixed data block sizes to avoid many correlation attempts but I never felt I got the bad node issue solved well. TOR picks guard nodes, but it only makes you bet on a few horses instead of many. It was still too easy to isolate one node from the rest of the network and have it only talk to bad nodes, at which point any tricks you can play is moot because they see all your traffic. Even a small fraction of the nodes could do that on a catch-and-release basis and I never found any good countermeasures.

Comment: Re:Interesting... (Score 1) 123

by Kjella (#48638543) Attached to: Tesla About To Start Battery-Swap Pilot Program

From what they've said before they expect you to eventually return to pick up your original batteries on your way home, though they haven't said how long you can keep driving on your loaners. If you don't they'll create some kind of fee to offset the condition between the battery pack you had and the one you got. If you're permanently relocating and make arrangements I'm sure they'll offer some kind of system to choose a battery in roughly the condition you had if you want it to be free or to swap for a brand new one if you want to restore max range at your final destination. Otherwise you could swap a 7 years old/100k miles battery for an almost new one for free, that wouldn't be right.

Comment: Re:3 minutes is slow? (Score 3, Insightful) 123

by Kjella (#48638401) Attached to: Tesla About To Start Battery-Swap Pilot Program

It's not about getting it done in 3 minutes, it's about being 3rd in line at 7:20am with 35 minutes left on your drive to work.

If your commute involves a battery swap for a Tesla you should really consider changing jobs. I'm guessing it's more about the weekend rush, Friday afternoon lots of cars will be going on long range trips and return Sunday evening, I'm guessing a battery swap pad is a lot more involved than a gas station pump so they won't have very many of them. They did run a test here recently driving a Tesla ~1000 miles and they said it all worked well but there was a lot of waiting, for every 2-3 hours of driving there's was one hour of charging. I know that when we drive to the capital it takes ~7 hours and we have one 30-45 minute stop, if they could swap batteries on at least one stop they'd be down to one hour charging per 4-6 hours of driving which would roughly be the break time we'd want with an ICE car too. But Friday afternoon I'm one of a thousand lemmings trying to get out of the city, it better go fast.

Comment: Re:Is a lame Seth Rogen flick worth dying for? (Score 3, Insightful) 212

by Kjella (#48635883) Attached to: Hackers' Shutdown of 'The Interview' Confirms Coding Is a Superpower

The first amendment only says "Congress shall make no law..." but everybody understands you don't have much freedom of speech if you end up hanging from the nearest tree afterwards. Because the law isn't supposed to shield me from lawful retaliation like a boycott only retaliation that's already illegal you don't need a specific law for that. But everybody realizes that targeted action against those who exercise a particular freedom is trying to encroach on that freedom. Of course the government can just wash their hands and say we weren't the angry mob holding the rope, but it wouldn't be a very good government.

Any time you refrain from a lawful action because of the risk or threat of illegal action is a failure of the system of law IMHO. If I can't walk through a part of the city at night they're failing to keep the street safe. If they can't show this movie at the cinema without the risk of terrorism they're failing to keep the country safe. At least if it's a genuine risk and not chicken little screaming that the sky is falling, I mean you can't expect them to be everywhere and prevent every crime everyone's trying to commit. And I don't want to sell out all my rights in an attempt to make it so either. There could be a price for not caving but there's a price for caving too, the terrorists don't need to take away your freedoms if your too afraid to use them anyway.

Comment: Re:I blame Microsoft (Score 1) 144

by Kjella (#48631881) Attached to: Critical Git Security Vulnerability Announced

Yes. There is only one possible name for addressing a file. For a case-aware, but case insensitive, you get up to 2^n variants for a name n letters long. And you _can_ have the same name with different capitalization in a directory as result of errors.

Funny, since Linux does everything it can to break a canonical name model with symlinks. In fact, you could mimic a case-insensitive system with 2^n symlinks like /foo/bar/COnFiG -> /foo/bar/config. And the captialization is the cause of errors in mixed environments:

1) Create file on Windows called "Foobar.txt".
2) Copy it to your Linux machine.
3) Rename it to "FooBar.txt"
4) Do lots of work on the text
5) Copy it to your Linux machine
6) Copy the Linux directory back to Windows.

There's now a 50-50 chance that your work just got overwritten by old crap from step 2). Of course you might argue that Windows is the problem here since it wouldn't happen on two Linux systems, but then it wouldn't happen on two Windows systems either. They just don't play nice with each other.

Comment: Re:Unrelated to Github (Score 2) 144

by Kjella (#48631807) Attached to: Critical Git Security Vulnerability Announced

Tag: NOTABUG and WONTFIX. Case aware filesystems so you can have normal names and not like AUTOEXEC.BAT and CONFIG.SYS from the DOS days is great, case sensitive file systems are a really bad idea. Is there any kind of sane situation where you'd like to have two files "Config" and "config" actually coexist that isn't just begging to be confused/abused/exploited? For a marginal performance optimization all POSIX systems have shitty usability. Why am I not surprised? I guess for a server it just doesn't matter, but for the desktop you should file this as a bug against Linux, not Windows and OS X.

Comment: Re:seems a lot like human vision to me (Score 1) 125

by Kjella (#48621113) Attached to: Research Highlights How AI Sees and How It Knows What It's Looking At

I think it was fairly clear what was going on, the neural networks latch on to conditions that are necessary but not sufficient because they found common characteristics of real images but never got any negative feedback. Like in the peacock photo the colors and pattern are similar, but clearly not in the shape of a bird but if it's never seen any non-bird peacock colored items how's the algorithm supposed to know? At any rate, it seems like the neural network is excessively focusing on one thing, maybe it would perform better if you divided up the work so one factor didn't become dominant. For example you send outlines to one network, textures to a second network and colors to a third network then using a fourth network to try learning which of the other three to listen to. After all, the brain has very clear centers too, it's not just one big chunk of goo.

Comment: Re:Oblig ... (Score 2, Insightful) 215

by Kjella (#48620493) Attached to: What Will Microsoft's "Embrace" of Open Source Actually Achieve?

"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you. Then you lose and kill yourself."
- Hitler (well, not really)

I never understood what that Gandhi quote is so popular, sure that's what a victory looks like out the rear view mirror but most defeats start just the same.

Comment: Re:It's required (Score 1) 166

by Kjella (#48615171) Attached to: Verizon "End-to-End" Encrypted Calling Includes Law Enforcement Backdoor

It was the 1960s. You were lucky to have a 300 baud modem, they wanted to save two bits by chopping the "19" off 1960 and encryption was regulated as munitions. Heck, even in the 1990s they wanted to restrict my browser to 40 bits so I didn't have "export grade" cryptography. I still hear cost for servers and battery life on clients as an argument for why sites don't move to HTTPS, The very idea to build the Internet with strong encryption by default was ridiculous on technical merits and I don't recall anyone even suggesting it so feel free to quote some sources.

Yes, MITM attacks are possible. But unlike wiretapping they're also detectable and I don't just mean in the theoretical sense. You could still use CAs to "boost" the credibility of an IP encryption key fingerprint (The CA signs my cert, I sign a message saying my IP uses fingerprint aa:bb:cc:dd:ee:ff), you can verify by proxy (connect to your server from friends/family/open wifi/proxy or ask a third party to what certificate fingerprint they see) or you can use in-band ad hoc verification. For example you're in a chat and it says at the top "finger print for this session is aa:bb:cc:dd:ee:ff" you might say "reverse it and you get ff:ee:dd:cc:bb:aa" or "third pair is a double c" or "last two are 255 in hex" as part of the conversation. Even better if it's voice communication, think they can MITM a buddy saying the fingerprint?

MITM only works if there's a protocol you can use to automatically block/filter any information about the key. For example imagine you take a photo, overlay the fingerprint semi-transparently and display it on your website. Now they have to create a very custom solution for your site to create an identical photo to replace it with. Transparent MITM in an interactive process - not just your cell phone checking your mail - is going to be really tough to do on a mass scale. It won't have the perfect theoretical characteristics, but it sure will work for most people most of the time.

Comment: Re:A different kind of justice for multinationals (Score 1) 137

by Kjella (#48611663) Attached to: Microsoft Gets Industry Support Against US Search Of Data In Ireland

If so, this boils down to can a court compel a property owner to direct his property to do something (such as forward a document in that properties possession), even if the property happens to be in another country?

That depends. For example many countries have laws regarding historical artifacts, you can own them but you can't take them out of the country. Or you can legally buy cryptography chips in the US that needs an export license. Just because Microsoft Ireland can legally possess the customer data in Ireland, doesn't mean they're free to ship it around the world or provide access to it in violation of Irish law.

Comment: Re:Doesn't seem simple (Score 1) 137

by Kjella (#48611387) Attached to: Microsoft Gets Industry Support Against US Search Of Data In Ireland

The fact here is that the individual(s) are refusing to provide access to the data voluntarily which requires the authorities to obtain it by force. This tells me there's something incriminating in the data which is why they didn't just hand it over.

So either you comply "voluntarily" or your lack of compliance is used as a reason do to if forcefully, either way the cops get to do whatever they want. Maybe they should start at home and repeal the 4th amendment first?

Comment: Re:Interesting, but ... (Score 1) 142

by Kjella (#48607847) Attached to: Want To Influence the World? Map Reveals the Best Languages To Speak

Any concepts "lost in translation" could be easily appended as a new word to a common tounge, there's an absurd amount of redundancy in that there are hundreds (thousands?) of ways to express simple concepts like "yes". The English say yes, the French oui, the Germans ja, the Spanish si, the Russians da, the Japanese hai, the Portugese sim, the Polish tak... is there a value to this? Language barriers are sand in the machinery for any kind of human endeavour in science, technology, commerce, travel, communities and so on. The Internet has enabled me to reach billions of people but I don't know how to talk to most of them. What they have to contribute to the global village isn't easily available to the rest and they can't access the global resources we're building. I think I read once that more than half the world's science papers are now written in English.

Sure I'd probably keep my own language for all those other reasons but I'd welcome a world where everybody could talk to everybody. Sometimes a particular concept just takes a little longer in English, that's all. For example the word "dumsnill" in Norwegian, it means something like naive but that usually implies that you're simple or gullible while this word in particular means your generosity is being exploited to taken advantage of you. I might need half a sentence to explain it in English, I don't need a whole language for that. I think the idea that some concepts are only expressible in one language is rather silly, I speak three and there's always a way of getting what I want across. Even with a simple vocabulary you can usually explain more advanced concepts without looking it up in a thesaurus.

Comment: Re:So ... (Score 1) 52

by Kjella (#48607297) Attached to: Telepresence Store Staffed Remotely Using Robots

Remote activated tazer/stun-gun sounds interesting. Tear gas canister would also be possible I suppose... Wonder when the hostage crisis teams of the world will start to send in telepresence robots with active weapons systems...

Why? SWAT teams are already armed and armored to the teeth and will assault with massive force, it's extremely rare that any of them are killed relative to the hostages. Sending in a robot to stir the hornet's nest would only lead to a massacre, either you go in full force or you don't. It could end non-hostage situations sooner but just waiting it out until the nutcase with the gun surrenders (or suicides) seems to be pretty efficient too. I guess you could have a telepresence hostage negotiator, but a smart hostage taker wouldn't give the police a live video stream to plan and time their raid with.

An inclined plane is a slope up. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"

Working...