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Comment Encryption! (Score 1) 208

Encrypt the file with a secure password or key, maybe using AESCrypt. Email the encrypted file to the relevant parties. Put the password to the file in your will (keep it under appropriate trusted guard, to be released only on your death). As long as the will and the encrypted file are kept apart until after your death, the file will remain secure until then. You can also modify the encrypted file as things change, encrypt with the same password, and resend the file.

There's still the possibility that their computer is compromised after you die and they decrypt the file. They could reduce this risk by opening it only on a known-secure system (e.g. an Ubuntu LiveCD boot), if it really matters. In any case, this greatly reduces the security exposure by not have this file sitting around for years for anyone to read.

Comment Re:And yet (Score 2) 768

There's a difference between something you have on you (e.g. a key to a lock, DNA, fingerprints), and something you know (e.g. combination to lock, password). It's easy for police to show whether you have something. It's not (currently) possible for police to determine whether you know something. I think that an encrypted drive should be treated like a locked safe. Given the proper warrant, AFAIK the police have the right to try to break into that on their own if you don't want to open it for them - but not to compel you to give them the combination to it. The same way, they should be able to try to break into encrypted files on their own, but not to compel you to give them the password. The only big difference between safes and encryption is that breaking encryption is far more difficult, so the courts will be more inclined to ask you for the password than just break in on their own.

Comment Car analogy (Score 1) 558

This is the equivalent of a car with a steering wheel that has fingerprint sensors on it, at the 9 and 3 o'clock positions. If it is unable to read valid fingerprints, the engine stops and the steering wheel locks in place.

It's safer because it doesn't let someone steal your car (be it your child, or a thief), and it forces you to drive with both hands on the wheel at all times.

Comment Cost of electronic communication then and now (Score 2) 387

Today, you probably pay a flat fee for your Internet service and, for the most part, you don't pay anything for the various Web sites you visit or services you use. In the pre-CIX Internet days, it was an entirely different story.

Unless you were lucky enough to live close to an online service point of presence you had to use a dial-up modem to call up an X.25 packet switched wide area network (WAN). This connection service alone could cost anywhere from an affordable $1 an hour to a wallet busting $30 an hour, which you could then use to connect with an online service. The online service would also typically charge you a monthly fee plus an additional fee of $1 to $6 an hour. And you thought your ISP was expensive!

That's between $2 and $36 per hour. At the speeds mentioned, you could transfer 135,000 bytes per hour. That's $0.00237 to
$0.0427 per 160 bytes, which is much less than the $0.20 that we are charged today for text messaging without a plan. Incredible.

Comment Re:The number is a Palindromic Prime in base 2. (Score 1) 486

It's very possible that this is just a coincidence and that this has nothing to do with the meaning of the bits. Sure, it seems like there's no way it could be by accident that a number around 6.8 billion is prime, but there is:
The chances of a random number x being prime are about ln x. ln 6830770643 ~= 22.6, but it's possible that the first number had to be 1, which would mean (since it's palindromic) the last number has to be 1 (making the number odd), excluding 2 as a possible factor. This puts the chance at more like 11.3. It's quite possible that we're reading too much into this. This might've just been randomly picked by an artist, (and then made symmetrical by making it a palindrome) instead of designed by a geek (and intentionally including a hidden meaning or just making it a prime or something).
In searching for additional evidence that primes were an intentionally selected theme, I looked at:
(each half of the palindrome, with and without the 1 in the center)
One of these is prime: 0100100111010011_2=18899_10, 18899 is prime. I'm not sure what it means, but I doubt those substrings were chosen for their primality.

Life. Don't talk to me about life. - Marvin the Paranoid Anroid