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Comment Technical superiority means very little (Score 4, Insightful) 277

The thing that distinguishes G+ is circles, which is actually a terrific idea. I have very little use for Facebook, but I use G+ for non-public communications quite regularly. (I won't call them exactly private, since the communications are still being mediated, and archived, by a centralized social network.) However, as with many other examples of technology, technical superiority doesn't mean much of anything with respect to widespread adoption. Facebook is the de facto standard, even if it sucks.

For me, and I would hazard to guess quite a few other people, the thing that makes G+ useful is that it failed to be adopted as a social media standard. I'll miss it when they finally turn it off.

Comment Re:Not random, constant timing (Score 1) 61

Reading the article the extension does the right thing and actually modifies the timings to be constant (50ms between key presses by default). By setting the timings to always be the same, all users of the extension look identical.

Which probably makes them even more identifiable, since it is unlikely that more than a tiny minority of Chrome users will use such an extension. This is a fundamental problem with this sort of thing: if you really want to be hard to identify, you want to make yourself look as much like the rest of the clueless rabble as possible. If only one user in ten thousand is loading themselves up with privacy extensions, it probably makes for an excellent fingerprint in and of itself.

Comment Re:Doing it wrong (Score 2) 61

If you have scripts running inside Tor so that something can profile how you access the DOM (keystrokes or otherwise) you are doing it wrong.

I don't think that Thorsheim was using Tor in an attempt at any actual security, but simply to isolate the effect of keyboard timings from other potential means of identifying the user. He was using Tor to create a controlled experiment.

Comment Drones (Score 4, Insightful) 311

One of the things that has consistently mystified me about Americans' complacency with drone warfare is the underlying assumption that our current monopoly on drones is going to last forever. If it's ok for the U.S. to use drones to assassinate "terrorist" anti-American agitators in Yemen, what are we going to say when China starts using drones to assassinate "terrorist" Chinese dissidents on American soil, or Europe, or elsewhere? For all intents and purposes, we're already using killbots, and the really important point here is that airborne killbots can be used (for now) with impunity across borders.

"American Exceptionalism" basically means we allow ourselves to commit war crimes with impunity.

Comment Ubuntu (Score 4, Insightful) 319

This is an issue that I think is handled beautifully by Ubuntu's release system. LTS releases come out on a relatively steady schedule, with bleeding-edge releases in between. I personally stick with LTS releases, which come out often enough to keep me up to date with features, etc., but without lots of things breaking all the time.

And, yes, I like Unity very much.

Comment Authentication is Not Encryption (Score 5, Insightful) 64

If I encrypt something and lose my key, I should lose my data. But this policy is about authentication (i.e. proving your identity) and not encryption. They're different things, except for some reason they are almost always conflated.

Comment Re:As a physician... (Score 3, Insightful) 191

I've worked as a physician with an IV in my arm during a bout of diarrhea and vomiting I caught from a patient (despite thorough hand washing). I've worked with pneumonia I caught from a patient. Its not always the physician passing the disease to the patient. In my experience it has been more likely for the physician to get what our patients have.

Whereupon you'll transmit it to another patient. Selection bias much?

I submit Parent as Poster Child for the problem.

Submission + - Petition to sack CEO Ellen Pao reaches 140,000 signatures in three days->

An anonymous reader writes: "After Pao lost her gender discrimination case against venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins she was appointed CEO of Reddit Inc and Reddit entered into a new age of censorship.

A vast majority of the Reddit community believes that Pao, “a manipulative individual who will sue her way to the top”, has overstepped her boundaries and fears that she will run Reddit into the ground. ... Action must be taken to prevent Reddit from being further run into the ground."

Link to Original Source

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972