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Comment: Re:Metadata (Score 4, Interesting) 43

by ledow (#47959585) Attached to: Wired Profiles John Brooks, the Programmer Behind Ricochet

There isn't a solution to that. You have to talk to other points, and you have to do so from a connection you are on. That information, on ANY network in the world, is inevitable.

The only thing you can do is obscure it as much as possible so that people can't tell WHAT you did over the connection, or WHAT you passed to those others. They will be able to know who they were, but unless you can introduce sufficient plausible deniability (with Tor, that's just by using random people as the next hop), you can't do anything about that.

I don't think that's a problem we should waste time trying to solve. You aren't going to be able to obscure your endpoint's knowledge when 100% of the time someone is paying money for that endpoint to be connected to other endpoints. We do not have a darknet.

But it's also not that big a deal. With proper encryption and enough fake / routing data running through your connection with that encryption (and PFS), it's meaningless. All that can happen is someone can say "you were online, and so was John". If that's enough to convict you, you have bigger problems than the protocol of the network you used.

Comment: Re:Bullshit (Score 1) 180

by Sun (#47959557) Attached to: Secret Service Critics Pounce After White House Breach

A while back my wife had to go to Jeruslaem on the same day George W. Bush was visiting there. I let her know she was going to spend the day sitting in stand-still traffic.

Turns out, I was wrong. So many people assumed the same thing that nobody travelled to/from the city that day. The roads, when not blocked, were empty.

Shachar

Comment: Re:Google control the value of the TLDs (Score 1) 64

by ledow (#47952873) Attached to: Amazon Purchases<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.buy TLD For $4.6 Million

Google won the search wars because it ignored what content providers thought should be top of the listings (but let them buy ads), and put what search USERS should be top of the listings. That's how it got where it is and why it's stayed where it is. That's why there are entire businesses based around trying to get your site to the top of Google without getting chucked off their listings - because it's not as easy as just asking, or paying, or tricking Google.

Hence, if ".buy" suddenly starts getting to tops of listings where you have no reason or interest of it being there, then Google will suffer - as well as ".buy"

Decent search made domain names obsolete. I don't even know the domain of many of my favourite sites, but I know an exact Google search that will list them in the top 10 if I ever need them (e.g. I lose my bookmarks). That's why I don't get why people still are buying anything more than a single, relevant domain for themselves.

Seriously, what difference do you get in search rankings if you search from a mobile? Google knows you're on mobile. You can search for mobile terms. Now how many of those results are actually of ".mobi" sites?

TLD's and domain names are money-grabs. They only have any effect on "dumb" search engines that are already selling your entire front page to the highest bidder.

Comment: Re:Encryption (Score 1) 126

by ledow (#47943329) Attached to: Next Android To Enable Local Encryption By Default Too, Says Google

Agreed.

But, please, what makes you think that Apple, or even Samsung, aren't doing exactly the same?

Apple can install stuff on your device when it feels like it. In fact, you have even less control over an Apple devices and its whims. You'll happily plug in your Exchange details into the Apple device, you have no idea what it is or isn't doing with that. Apple doesn't even have permission systems. You either install, or not. And Apple spyware is just as - if not more - rampant.

So, your concern is really about modern devices, not anything to do with the meat of the story - encryption.

P.S. With Android, you can see the source, and build from clean source, without any Google services whatsoever if you want. People have done it for you. Almost every big-selling Android phone is supported. You can get root access and check everything you like. And then encryption really means something.

Comment: What is really happening here? (Score 1) 950

by Bruce Perens (#47930483) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children
We are in a War on Faith, because Faith justifies anything and ISIS takes it to extremes. But in the end they are just a bigger version of Christian-dominated school boards that mess with the teaching of Evolution, or Mormon sponsors of anti-gay-marriage measures, or my Hebrew school teacher, an adult who slapped me as a 12-year-old for some unremembered offense against his faith.

Comment: Re:Anti-math and anti-science ... (Score 1) 950

by Bruce Perens (#47930331) Attached to: ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

Hm. The covenant of Noah is about two paragraphs before this part (King James Version) which is used for various justifications of slavery and discrimination against all sorts of people because they are said to bear the Curse of Ham. If folks wanted to use the Bible to justify anything ISIS says is justified by God's words in the Koran, they could easily do so.

18 And the sons of Noah, that went forth of the ark, were Shem, and Ham, and Japheth: and Ham is the father of Canaan.
19 These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.
20 And Noah began to be an husbandman, and he planted a vineyard:
21 And he drank of the wine, and was drunken; and he was uncovered within his tent.
22 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.
23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness.
24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.
25 And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.
26 And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
27 God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.

Comment: Just Apple? (Score 0, Troll) 207

by ledow (#47903301) Attached to: Sapphire Glass Didn't Pass iPhone Drop Test According to Reports

Anecdotal or not, almost everyone I come into contact with who has an iPhone is either living with a smashed screen or had to take it back to Apple to get the screen replaced after smashing it.

I do not see as many, if any, of non-Apple phones that are smashed as easily.

Personally, maybe I'm just not as clumsy, but I've dropped my phone any number of times and even kicked it accidentally as I dropped it and smashed it into a wall... and it wasn't even scratched. I don't think I've ever managed to break a phone like that, and I've had some spectacular drops in the past (plastic covers and batteries flying all over the room, but just put it back together and it worked).

Comment: Sigh. (Score 5, Informative) 230

by ledow (#47902869) Attached to: School Installs Biometric Fingerprint System For Cafeteria

I work in IT in English schools.

Welcome to a decade ago.

I've worked in several schools that have biometric library systems and the move to cashless canteens has been underway for years (I've never happened to work with one, but that's not because they aren't around).

It is sold as preventing bullying, stopping you having to pay for the cards, etc. The privacy implications came up 10-15 years ago. Nobody, especially parents, really cared.

Hell, five years ago, my daughter's creche had fingerprint entry (I refused to take part, mainly because I saw it as insecure given I could gummi-bear the reader and enter as whoever came in last, but I was apparently the first to complain).

Old news people. It's already in schools all over the UK. There was minimal protest.

Comment: Isn't that enough? (Score 1) 288

by Okian Warrior (#47895475) Attached to: California Declares Carpooling Via Ride-Share Services Illegal

I know everyone is all over Uber and and the other one because the cars are "nicer" and the service "better" than cabs. But [...]

Um... isn't that enough?

Firstly, you're wrong about the liability.

Secondly, you are confusing the possibility of injury with its probability.

If the probability of injury is small and the cost of injury is also appreciably small, the expected cost of using Lyft or Uber may be much less than the expected cost of using a cab.

For an example, if a ride-share is $6 less than a cab fare, and if there is an average of 1 injury every 100,000 rides, then if the average injury costs less than $600,000 then it's a better deal for everyone to use the ride share.

Using this reference, cabs crash about once every 300,000 miles.

Also note, the number of crashes in regular driving has decreased dramatically over the last few years, probably due to increased safety measures in vehicles and modern roadway improvements (Denver Barriers around bridge supports, for example).

And in any event, most people have health insurance. At the very least, a significant portion of riders would have health insurance - enough to reduce the risk by a further factor of four or more.

SHELL GAME is where you can't win. CASINO GAME is where the odds are against you. Uber and Lyft seem to be decidedly in the passenger's favor.

Cue the irrational fearmongering reply: "unless you are the one injured, then how would you feel!".

Comment: Have we lost judicial oversight? (Score 3, Interesting) 288

by Okian Warrior (#47895361) Attached to: California Declares Carpooling Via Ride-Share Services Illegal

Apropos of nothing, when did we allow unelected regulators complete authority over the law?

It seems that every regulator now has the authority to declare something illegal, judge that an infraction has occurred, assess fines, and force collection.

If someone is in violation of a regulation, shouldn't the regulator present their evidence before a judge? Don't we want an unbiased 3rd party to chime in on whether the law is clear, whether the evidence merits a violation, and whether there are extenuating circumstances?

The policy of default judgement by fiat, with a "go to court to reverse it if you think you've been wronged" is a recipe for injustice and corruption.

When did we lose judicial oversight of our regulations? Did it happen slowly, or was it a sudden change?

Comment: Re:ZFS - faster IO on larger pools (Score 1) 366

by ledow (#47891259) Attached to: The State of ZFS On Linux

1) Yes, it's a general features of RAID's. Multiple devices are reading the data, the "fastest finger first" wins.

2) File server only dependent on your disk format, you mean? I happen to agree here but, if you're doing it at the FS level, then just a standardised RAID layout (such as Linux md / LVM) is the same thing. The non-standard formats that tie you into hardware do so for a reason - the hardware RAID provides things that no software RAID can, sheer speed. (Though, please note, I've happily run Linux software RAID on server-end hardware in production systems without any performance problems).

3) 3 disks dying out of 11? RAID6+1 will actually do better (I think... I can't do the maths just now).

ZFS is cool, don't get me wrong, but it's basically just a RAID fs. The Merkel tree journalling trick just saves having to have battery backup, but whether it works like that in real life failures is another matter entirely.

The generation of random numbers is too important to be left to chance.

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