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Comment: Re:Idiot parent, hell half the world is below aver (Score 1) 568

Is it not already illegal to call out a SWAT team for spurious reasons? It's dangerous for the object of the prank and it means the SWAT team is unavailable for real call outs.

Sure, but look at the list of charges in the summary. The guy could have gotten somebody shot, but the charges are all about computer crimes and whatever, probably because those were the most serious laws that they could get him for breaking.

Comment: Re: Idiot Parents (Score 1) 568

Living in that kind of denial only leads to providing a shitty upbringing. You can't believe that about your child unless you're not just completely in denial, and also completely disconnected from their life.

That isn't always true. The NSA reads every text message and email sent on the planet and even they can't keep track of who all the bad guys are.

Maybe their kids just acted normally all the time, and they were a complete jerk when they weren't home/etc. Short of spying on them, there might not be any way to tell.

Comment: Re:More people should self host (Score 1) 82

by Rich0 (#49321835) Attached to: How 'The Cloud' Eats Away at Your Online Privacy (Video)

Explain to me the utility of Secure Boot?

Secure boot ensures that only the software I want on the device is actually present on the device, precluding the ability of a rootkit/etc to be intruding on it (unless that rootkit is housed in the firmware, which I'll grant is a problem). I would prefer if Chromebooks allowed the use of secure boot with a different set of keys - I believe you're stuck with it either on with Google's keys or off.

When you say transparent encryption, what do you mean?

I mean that the user data on the drive is encrypted using a strong key (ie not just a hash of a simple-to-remember password). Having the password to log in is necessary to decrypt the data, but not sufficient. If you were to obtain an encrypted image of the drive and the owner's password, you would not be able to decrypt the image without physical possession of the actual computer. If the computer were re-provisioned since you obtained the image and password, then you wouldn't be able to decrypt the backup at all, since the TPM would be re-initialized.

All of this works without any user intervention or configuration.

What reprovisioning are you doing on a chrome book? Most OS's have automated updates.

If I mess something up (such as playing around with stuff in chroots or whatever) I can just wipe the thing back to factory condition in about 15min, log in, and all by settings are restored despite not having made any effort to maintain my own backups. The whole point of using the cloud is that you don't store anything of value on the local machine - just cached state for offline use/etc.

Comment: Re:"Drama of mental illness" (Score 2) 331

I go a restaurant and there are parents with children. And the kids stare at their phone the entire time, never looking at or talking to anyone around them...It seems very abnormal and unhealthy.

I don't really have a problem with that per se.

I think the real issue is that kids are spending an even larger percentage of their time interacting with their peers and not with adults. I don't think that is healthy. If they were on their phones interacting with adults I think they'd be fine.

I think kids do need to spend time socializing with others their own age, but I think that they'd be better off spending more time with adults. After all, the goal is to get them to be more like adults and less like children. Now, that shouldn't be about being dependent on adults, but rather about interacting with them.

Comment: Re:Can't happen (Score 1) 361

by Rich0 (#49307955) Attached to: OEMs Allowed To Lock Secure Boot In Windows 10 Computers

When we pointed this out years ago, the Microsoft trolls told us to stop being silly, because it was optional and Microsoft would never, ever think of changing that. Why, the very idea!

I'm a fan of UEFI. I don't use any PCs with UEFI that run Windows. Being a fan of UEFI doesn't make you a Microsoft troll.

I'm a fan of RSA too, even though it is used to enable all kinds of lousy anti-consumer nonsense.

The problem isn't UEFI. The problem is vendors who lock down the keys or don't give users a way to turn it off. I'd actually go a step further and ban pre-loading computers with keys at all - just let the user generate their own, and make all the OS/firmware/whatever vendors come up with easy ways to let users install their OSes and firmware updates and all that while still having keys that only the user can sign with.

Comment: Re:OEMs should prepare for rage (Score 1) 361

by Rich0 (#49307949) Attached to: OEMs Allowed To Lock Secure Boot In Windows 10 Computers

SecureBoot is a reasonable thing. It's when it's under the control of Microsoft, rather than the owner of the hardware, that it becomes a problem.

Make sure the OS is composed of files that are cryptographically signed and entirely legit? Fine.

Define "legit" as being "only those things signed with Microsoft keys"? Not so fine.


Sometimes I think that there ought to be a law that if an OS comes pre-installed with any asymmetric keys, the owner of the PC must be provided with a copy of any related keys. So, if you put a key that verifies firmware updates, then the owner gets the private key needed to sign firmware updates.

By all means tailor each key to each install so that knowledge of it doesn't compromise other PCs. By all means provide those keys on separate media so that malware can't use them to bypass security.

This would solve a lot of problems though. In addition to giving people control over their own hardware and defeating stuff like trusted computing / DRM, it would also force a huge change in how CAs operate, since they couldn't have their keys pre-installed. A CA would actually have to compete to demonstrate its trustworthiness to anybody it wants to get to install its key, and users wouldn't have laundry lists of keys from companies they've never heard of installed on their systems.

Comment: Re:More people should self host (Score 1) 82

by Rich0 (#49307927) Attached to: How 'The Cloud' Eats Away at Your Online Privacy (Video)

So anything that won't work on a Chromebook is out? Well, then you are already a Google fanboy and should keep using your beloved cloud. The whole point is to stay AWAY from the cloud and being tracked. You can't do that if you elect to use a fucking tracking device anyway.

There is no reason that a Chromebook needs Google to run. If there were an FOSS alternative to the services google provides (including authentications/etc) you could just as easily build chromiumos to use those, and self-host those services. I'd certainly being doing that if it were available.

It isn't like I profit from Google having my personal data. They just provide a better level of service than the alternatives. That is more an indictment of the state of FOSS than anything else - the level of service Google provides is not actually all that high. If somebody managed to hack into my Google account I'd be stuck re-creating everything from backups/etc which are a pain to maintain, because it is almost impossible to get customer service from Google.

Oh, and as far as being tracked goes - they'll be doing that whether you use the cloud or not. :)

Comment: Re:More people should self host (Score 1) 82

by Rich0 (#49307911) Attached to: How 'The Cloud' Eats Away at Your Online Privacy (Video)

I've looked at them a few times and that anyone buys them can only be attributed to ignorance.

I already own one and am thinking about buying another. Given a standard laptop I could build my own, but it would be a royal PITA and missing most of the features I care about (secure boot, transparent encryption, trivial re-provisioning, automated updates, etc). I'll probably run a distro in a chroot on the side as well, though I try not to use them too much since those are a pain to re-provision and the whole point of something like a chromebook is to not need to be running backups/etc.

It is a bit arrogant to say that anybody who buys one must be ignorant. They simply have different values than you do.

I know what I'm doing, thanks.

I never claimed that you didn't. You've found something that apparently meets your own requirements. Unfortunately, it doesn't meet mine. Most of your post has basically suggested that I must be an idiot for having the requirements that I do. You're entitled to your opinion, but you'd be amazed about how little I care about what it is in this case. :)

Comment: Re:to read it another way (Score 1) 336

by Rich0 (#49306971) Attached to: German Vice Chancellor: the US Threatened Us Over Snowden

cant pass legislation to protect itself from school shootings

I live in a country where school shootings are, as someone said above, a statistic anomaly and yet, it's not because of laws that protect us from them but because society, as such, does provide much less cause for them. Any law in the world won't be enough. It's much harder than that.

Yup. MAYBE there is a law somewhere that would help with that, but it isn't like you can just make murder illegal and solve the problem. I'd also say that the US is not unique in having problems like this. Sure, the EU doesn't have so many guns floating around, but look at all the issues France was having with conflict between various religious communities lately.

These sorts of issues are cultural in nature. For starters, people need to not have a laundry list of issues they're willing to kill anybody for disagreeing with them on.

Comment: Re:More people should self host (Score 1) 82

by Rich0 (#49306429) Attached to: How 'The Cloud' Eats Away at Your Online Privacy (Video)

Name a feature you want and it exists...What you want to do is archive, delete, or send to spam on a single keystroke?...I suppose you're looking for a good webmail client?...But I'm sure you could find a good webmail client that is FOSS if you wanted.

So, obviously you've never looked for them. I have. The best options right now are Roundcube and Squirrelmail, or the less-FOSS Zimbra. None of them let you archive/delete/spam email with a single keystroke, and I don't think any of them support tag-based email either. That function in Gmail lets me blast through an inbox in about a minute or two, has an offline cached client for Android, and works in a browser.

A proper email client donkey stomps gmails webclient and always has.

And it won't work on a Chromebook or a mobile device with only a browser.

The vast majority of mail that arrives at my email accounts is automatically sorted. I can receive hundreds of mails in a day and know what I got that matters in about 5 seconds...And that is entirely independent of the server.

If you're doing it on a client, then it is useless when you're not using that particular client. That's the whole point of the cloud - you're not tied to one client. MAYBE I could get by with a curses-based email client over a terminal, but giving up a GUI seems like a poor move anytime after around 1990.

My email is all sorted as well, typically in more than one way since I'm using tags. Stuff I follow goes in the inbox, stuff I browse more by group doesn't go into the inbox.

Comment: Re:Meanwhile, a million people ... (Score 1) 90

by Rich0 (#49306385) Attached to: Amazon Wins US Regulators' Approval To Test-fly Drone

How about sense-and-avoid in combination with ADS-B? This article [] suggests that people are working in that direction.

Perhaps for long-haul, larger UAS platforms (like freight haulers, or long-mission mapping systems and whatnot). But do you really think that a contractor who uses a 3-pound plastic quadcopter to checkout the top of a residential chimney for 90 seconds a couple of times a week needs an ADS-B enabled platform? It's just craziness.

There is no reason that ADS-B has to cost more than $30. Just have the government bless a reference platform instead of having everybody invent their own.

ADS-B is a GPS and a modem. Guess what you'll find on every SoC in every cellphone sold today?

Comment: Re:More people should self host (Score 1) 82

by Rich0 (#49305059) Attached to: How 'The Cloud' Eats Away at Your Online Privacy (Video)

I have access to my home movie and music library anywhere, can remote into my home systems whenever I want from my phone, and can host any file I want on line without having to give it to a third party.

There is a lot more to the cloud than a page full of links behind .htaccess or whatever.

I'd love to self-host, but I don't see any FOSS options that are equivalent to the likes of Gmail or Google Docs or Google Music. There are some web-based email applications, but they're pretty weak. I've yet to find one that lets me archive/delete/spam an email with a single keystroke.

Comment: Re:My own private cloud (Score 1) 82

by Rich0 (#49305043) Attached to: How 'The Cloud' Eats Away at Your Online Privacy (Video)

ownCloud 8 on my Raspberry Pi is working just fine for me.

If only. It is lacking most of the features of Gmail/Google Docs/Google Play/Google Music.

I'd really love to have open-source alternatives to the cloud. The problem is that the best anybody seems to come up with are X11 apps plus some kind of dropbox synchronizer or something. If it doesn't work entirely from a browser, then it is a non-starter.

Comment: Re:Paranoid, but mostly appropriate (Score 2) 90

by Rich0 (#49299771) Attached to: Amazon Wins US Regulators' Approval To Test-fly Drone

The certificate and rules sound mostly good. A private pilot's license isn't a commercial license, it's fairly easy to get, but ensures that you know the 'rules of the air' like a person with a driver's license presumably knows the rules of the road.

The rules of the air are useless 400' above the earth - they're only designed to allow pilots to operate around other aircraft, and these drones won't operate there, at least not for now. Frankly, if they ever do operate autonomously at altitude the rules of the air that exist today will be worthless anyway.

A pilot's license is also not easy to get. For starters, you generally need to not be terrified of flying in a small plane, which by itself is something probably half the US population would fail to satisfy. Mostly it is about stick and rudder skills that are useless in a drone, and which also not everybody has. It is also very expensive - at a minimum you need about 40 hours of flight time, much of it accompanied by an instructor. Planes rent for about $120/hr in most places, if you want something from the 70s.

while self-driving cars are allowed on the road for testing, unless they're on a closed track they still need a rated human driver available to take over if something goes wrong, etc...

These drones aren't being allowed "on the road" - they're being restricted to below 400' and in fairly uninhabited areas. You're legally allowed to operate a fully-autonomous vehicle in your back yard without any human inside as long as it doesn't go out onto the roads. Otherwise you'd need a license to buy a Roomba.

If Amazon wanted to test landing a drone at KSFO then certainly requiring an instrument-rated pilot at the helm would make a lot more sense - they're going to be in controlled airspace talking to ATC and essentially operating under IFR in an environment where a mistake might kill hundreds of people. This isn't that.

Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don't recognize them.