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Comment: Re:He's on TV & the Internet, of course he's r (Score 1) 391

by Rary (#47657309) Attached to: Is "Scorpion" Really a Genius?

Most things we do with computers, whether "hacking" or anything else, are really not that difficult to do. There are some challenges, but it's not rocket science. However, most people don't understand computers, so anyone who does is seen as a "genius". Sure, maybe one or two are, and a few others are maybe of particularly great intelligence. But most "nerds" are really not that smart, just dedicated, which is really all it takes to become proficient at any particular skill.

Comment: Re:I lost the password (Score 1) 560

by Rary (#47328239) Attached to: Mass. Supreme Court Says Defendant Can Be Compelled To Decrypt Data

You do realize that encrypting your hard drive with a key you keep in your head really is just security through obscurity

No it's not. It involves an obscure key, sure. But that's not what is generally meant by the phrase "security through obscurity". What is meant by that phrase is a system that is secure only as long as the system's implementation is kept secret. In the case of password protection, the implementation is known, it's just the key that is secret. In security through obscurity, if somebody discovers the implementation of the system, they can get in.

An encryption system that relies on security through obscurity would be one that, if you got hold of the source code, you could decrypt anything encrypted with it, key or no key.

Comment: Re:So whats the case law on keys (Score 1) 560

by Rary (#47325681) Attached to: Mass. Supreme Court Says Defendant Can Be Compelled To Decrypt Data

According to The Ruling the only reason the motion was filed and this issue came at all up was because the guy happened to have used a particularly effective encryption software that the State was unable to circumvent.

No, according to the ruling, this came up as an issue because the guy had already incriminated himself by saying "I did it, and the evidence is in these files".

You don't really get to willingly incriminate yourself, then suddenly start trying to hide behind the right not to incriminate yourself.

Comment: Re:Important Caveat (Score 2) 560

by Rary (#47325523) Attached to: Mass. Supreme Court Says Defendant Can Be Compelled To Decrypt Data

Just doing a little digging into the details of the 5th Amendment in practice, and found this interesting tidbit:

The Court acknowledged that it is well established that a witness, in a single proceeding, may not testify voluntarily about a subject and then invoke the Privilege against Self-Incrimination when questioned about the details.

That could very well apply in this case, so that even if there is additional evidence in the files beyond what he has admitted to, the moment he started admitting to some of it, he effectively waived his self-incrimination right.

Comment: Important Caveat (Score 5, Informative) 560

by Rary (#47325265) Attached to: Mass. Supreme Court Says Defendant Can Be Compelled To Decrypt Data

Haven't read the entire ruling, only scanned it, but there is an important caveat in it:

We now conclude that the answer to the reported question is, "Yes, where the defendant's compelled decryption would not communicate facts of a testimonial nature to the Commonwealth beyond what the defendant already had admitted to investigators."

Seems like this guy has said "I did this, this, and this, and these files show that, but I don't want to let you see them", and the Court has ruled that he has to, because he's already admitted to those things, and therefore he would not be incriminating himself in doing so.

Of course, the reality may be that there's evidence of further illegal activities that he hasn't admitted to in the encrypted files. That might make the case for self-incrimination. I'd have to read the full ruling to see what, if anything, they said about that possibility.

Comment: 1980s (Score 1) 254

by Rary (#45895113) Attached to: I think wearable computing will take off...

I had a calculator watch back in 1983. Doesn't that count?

Here's my bold prediction: Nobody other than hardcore nerds will ever really want to wear any device other than a watch (if anyone will still wear those) or a bluetooth headset. As the years go by we will carry even more powerful and versatile devices in our pockets than we do today. Google Glass and its ilk will never be more than a novelty item.

Comment: Worst Poll Options in a Loooong Time (Score 0) 312

by Rary (#45852093) Attached to: No. of vehicle license types I hold:

I know we're not supposed to complain about poll options, but when they're this bad, I think it's mandatory. As hard as I try, I can't find a single option that even comes close to fitting. There isn't a "none of the above" or even a joke option that I could default to. There are two options that probably apply to about 80% of the population, with the remaining options applying to maybe 1% of the population combined, leaving the other 19% without anything to choose from.

At a minimum, the following options are necessary to make this poll even remotely usable:

  • None - I rely solely on walking/biking/public transit/other.
  • 2 or 3 - mixture of ground and air/water related

Comment: Re:food (Score 1) 641

by Rary (#45578869) Attached to: Lawsuits Seek To Turn Chimpanzees Into Legal Persons

so does that mean that when a mountain lion kills a deer then it should be tried for murder?

I don't recall any mountain lions claiming to be a civilized society. I also don't recall any mountain lions having the knowledge and ability to survive any other way, especially being that they're obligate carnivores.

Comment: Re:food (Score 1) 641

by Rary (#45578623) Attached to: Lawsuits Seek To Turn Chimpanzees Into Legal Persons

I'm sorry but there's no difference between livestock (chicken, cows, horses, etc...) and experiment sujects (mice, chimps, dogs, etc...)

I agree. Free them all. There's no reason for an advanced, "civilized" human society to treat living, sentient* creatures as products to consume.

*For bob's sake, please look up the word before replying with the standard Slashdot anti-animal-sentience nerd rage.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.