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Comment: Re:When every citizen is a potential terrorist... (Score 3, Insightful) 110

by Zocalo (#49368747) Attached to: Europol Chief Warns About Computer Encryption
I suspect that's actually the underlying problem for the security & intelligence services. It's not so much the fact that regular citizens are starting to use encryption that they have a problem with so much as through the use of encryption by default they're losing the ability to find the more interesting chatter by simply looking for people that are even using encryption in the first place. When your entire haystack is made out of needles, finding the few you are actually interested in becomes that many orders of magnitude harder.

Well, screw that. What they are basically saying is "make our jobs easier for us", but what they are failing to point out is that by doing so they are also leaving people exposed to everyone else that might want to eavesdrop on random communications, and in particular all those people/organizations/countries that they are meant to be securing each other against. If *you* have access to it, then so do your opponents - so the real question, and the one that really needs to be addressed, is which is the lesser of the two evils - having your nation secure from outsiders, or making the job of securing your nation against internal threats slightly easier? Given the complete failure of the security & intelligence services to demonstrate they can achieve the latter even before encryption become a big issue I'd say that's a complete no brainer.

Comment: I'd rather have the audio streamed (Score 2) 391

by brunes69 (#49365747) Attached to: Why the Final Moments Inside a Cockpit Are Heard But Not Seen

In an era where I can purchase trans-atlantic wifi for $15, it seems archaic to me that we still rely on hardened "black boxes" for data retrieval. Why is audio from the flight deck not REQUIRED to be streamed real-time to satellites in orbit for commercial airliners? Yes yes, it won't be 100% reliable blah blah. So what? No one is advocating REMOVING the black box.. there is no reason you can't have both.

Comment: Re:Perhaps it's an aptitude test in disguise (Score 2) 155

by Zocalo (#49360355) Attached to: UK Licensing Site Requires MSIE Emulation, But Won't Work With MSIE
Were it an application for an IT security role, in the style of those challenges Google and GCHQ have used, then you might have a point and they might have a rather lame excuse. Sadly, this is an application for security of the knuckle dragging variety, and to make matters worse the application process has also been shown to be completely unfit for purpose as just about anyone can successfully apply for a license, including those who should absolutely be prevented from doing so.

When you've got a government department that can't even fulfill do the non-IT related role that it's supposed to do, why am I not surprised that it's also completely incompetent at something it's not - viz managing the procurement of what should be a simple web form process and DB backend?

Comment: Re:Ugly Solution (Score 1) 194

by Zocalo (#49347893) Attached to: Japan To Build 250-Mile-Long, Four Storey-High Wall To Stop Tsunamis

I don't buy your claim of "hugely". The problem here is that while it's a substantial pile of concrete and while that concrete will generate a lot of CO2 as it solidifies, there is a vast amount of atmosphere. It's just not significant even if you do buy fully into catastrophic AGW.

It's not just the *use*, it's also the production of the concrete itself which tends to get lumped in with the end product in environmental impact calculations. Production of concrete is responsible for approximately 5% of ALL mankind's CO2 emissions of which about half comes from the chemical process itself and almost as much from the fuel burnt to provide power for process, with the bulk of the contribution coming from the cement use which produces approx 850-900kg of CO2 per 1000kg of cement.

Japan is certainly well aware of that because they've been complaining to China about the massive amounts of pollution coming from the massive levels of concrete production for use in their mega-projects for years, making this all the more surprising. Clearly it's a case of "do as I say, not as I do" and, as others have noted, a pretty good indication that Japan doesn't give a shit about the environment, especially since the prevailing winds will blow *their* pollution out over the Pacific. Still, at least the US west coast will have some even more colourful sunsets to look forwards too...

Comment: Re:Still waiting for a "hackability meter" (Score 1) 159

by brunes69 (#49347611) Attached to: Many Password Strength Meters Are Downright Weak, Researchers Say

Then roll your own OpenID provider. This is what standards are for.

Don't bash federated login just because you don't trust Google.. you don't HAVE to trust them, that is the whole point.

The problem is not Google/Facebook/Yahoo/Twitter, the problem is The Guardian/Techcrunch/JoeBLow.com and every other website out there that forces you to make YET ANOTHER account with YET ANOTHER password because they do not support any federated login standards at all.

Comment: Re:Still waiting for a "hackability meter" (Score 1) 159

by brunes69 (#49346657) Attached to: Many Password Strength Meters Are Downright Weak, Researchers Say

If more sites allowed federated login instead of rolling their own half-assed authentication regiemes then this wouldn't be a problem in the first place.

The idea that I am more secure cooking up a "safe password" for JoeBlowsRandomWordpressInstance.com instead of logging in securely using Google or Facebook is farcical.

Comment: Re:Ugly Solution (Score 1) 194

by Zocalo (#49343149) Attached to: Japan To Build 250-Mile-Long, Four Storey-High Wall To Stop Tsunamis
That the proposal is just bare concrete seems completely inexplicable to me; not only is concrete ugly as sin, it's also hugely unfriendly to the environment in terms of CO2 production. Maybe the concrete (and presumably rebar) is needed for structural integrity but a more natural solution based on earthworks, possibly with a re-inforced core of rock/rubble, sounds like it would be less of a blot on the landscape and thus more acceptable to those who have to see it.

Your idea of artificial lakes - perhaps some kind of double berm arrangement with a suitably voluminous (e.g. *big*) and non-residential catchment area that has rapid drainage back to the ocean in between seems like a much better solution to me as well. The berms possibly needn't even be taller than the peaks of the larger tsunami if the height and shape of the outer wall is enough to reduce the force of the wave enough to ensure that the bulk of the water volume ends up in the catchment basin and anything that sloshes over the second berm isn't likely to cause damage, although that possibly a big ask though, given the footage of ocean ships thrown into the middle of cities from the last mega-tsunami. You could still use the space in between the berms for non-residential/industrial applications like agriculture, parkland, etc., and if you designed it well enough there's no reason that repairing the damage from the inevitable flooding couldn't be quick and reasonably cost effective as well - the biggest problem is likely to be desalienating the soil.

Comment: Re:GCHQ has realized they can track Bitcoin, I bet (Score 2) 42

by Zocalo (#49342687) Attached to: UK Setting Itself Up To Be More Friendly To Bitcoin Startups
I suspect they, and similar agencies, realised this a long time ago; the kind of big data meta analysis of blockchains necessary to establish patterns in the flow of digital currency is what GCHQ, NSA and the like should excel at doing and the use of BitCoin etc. by groups they would be interested in is well documented. Once you start identifying which wallets are regularly transferring large amounts of funds to other known wallets, you can then start looking at who else they are dealing with and building a web of interactions. Combine that with any compromised PCs or other intel that lets them tie specific wallets to specific individuals / organisations and some really useful intelligence about who is dealing with who ought to start dropping out. I'd actually be very surprised if they hadn't been doing this for some time, really.

+ - Dad and daughter recreated 'Jurassic Park' with $100,000 in Lego pieces->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "ego pieces and dino-DNA — both considered "building blocks of life" and very useful for creating dinosaurs from scratch.

Animator Paul Hollingsworth and his daughter Hailee, along with some help from a few "master builders" — decided to recreate iconic scenes from Jurassic Park using only Lego pieces. More than $100,000 in Lego were used, according to the video's description.

The result is a surprisingly stunning and hilarious version of the 1993 dino-thriller. The team behind the film also released an in-depth behind-the-scenes look at the production."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Seriously? (Score 1) 269

by Zocalo (#49335431) Attached to: Developers and the Fear of Apple
Not at all, the parallels are pretty obvious if you think about it and as a business model it's working very well for Apple just as it has for many religions. They're not the only organization doing this, far from it, but Apple is just so much better at it than anyone else around at present. Steve Jobs wasn't some real-world parallel of Tywin Lannister who shat high-value dollar bills; those tens of billions in cash Apple is sitting on came from people who paid into the cult by buying Apple's hardware, and in many cases bought essentially the same hardware all over again just because the version number changed and a few things got slightly better... then did so again... and again. They didn't *really* need to, but they were obviously convinced that they had to, so just like a cult in other words.

I'm not faulting it; it's clearly working very well for Apple and their shareholders, but acting shocked and surprised that breaking ranks with such a setup puts you on the receiving end of a fatwa or jihad (to stick with religious parallels) from those still on the inside? Those are the people that are off their meds.

Comment: Seriously? (Score -1, Troll) 269

by Zocalo (#49334951) Attached to: Developers and the Fear of Apple
The whole Apple ecosystem is built, designed and operated like a cult. People on both sides of debate frequently refer to it as a "Church". It funnels more and more money from the fanatical congregation into the pockets of the leadership through convincing them that they absolutely, positively *need* to upgrade to the next Operating Thetan, erm, I mean "version". Seriously, Scientology could take lessons from them. WTF did you expect?

+ - Wikipedia admin's manipulation "messed up perhaps 15,000 students' lives" 5

Submitted by Andreas Kolbe
Andreas Kolbe (2591067) writes "Recently, "ArbCom", Wikipedia's highest court, banned an administrator account that for years had been manipulating the Wikipedia article of a bogus Indian business school – deleting criticism, adding puffery, and enabling the article to become a significant part of the school's PR strategy. Believing the school's promises and advertisements, families went to great expense to send sons and daughters on courses there – only for their children to find that the degrees they had gained were worthless. "In my opinion, by letting this go on for so long, Wikipedia has messed up perhaps 15,000 students’ lives," an Indian journalist quoted in the story says. India is one of the countries where tens of millions of Internet users have free access to Wikipedia Zero, but cannot afford the data charges to access the rest of the Internet, making Wikipedia a potential gatekeeper."

Comment: Poster might be reading too much into this (Score 4, Interesting) 120

by brunes69 (#49334495) Attached to: Uber To Turn Into a Big Data Company By Selling Location Data

As someone who is an SPG member and generally keeps tabs on what new promotions Starwood runs, this is anything but news. Starwood has over the past year or two, as a general strategy, struck up this kind of relationsip with a ton of companies.

- Starwood partners with Caesars Entertainment, where your SPG profile and your Total Rewards profiles can be linked. This means that loyalty shown at Caesars casinos can help you at Starwood hotels, and vice-versa

- Starwood also partners with Delta, where your SPG profile and your Skymiles profile can be linked, in a simmilar capacity - you can earn both skymiles and SPG points for Detla flights and for hotel stays.

- Now, they are doing the same with Uber... same story as above.

Obviously these companies are going to share customer data. However, if you think Starwood has the infrastructure built, capacity or talent to data mine Uber for what restaurants you go to and target hotel promotions, I think you have a bit higher expectations of them than I do. The much more immediate use of these types of partnerships is to encourage cross-brand loyalty for both companies.

+ - Scientists built new nanolaser using a single atomic sheet 1

Submitted by rtoz
rtoz (2530056) writes "The Scientists at University of Washington and Stanford University built a new nanometer-sized laser which uses a tungsten-based semiconductor only three atoms thick as the “gain material” that emits light.

The UW nanolaser is energy efficient, easy to build and compatible with existing electronics. This technology is described in a paper published in the March 16 online edition of Nature.
Compared to other nanolaser designs, that makes them difficult to build and integrate with modern electrical circuits and computing technologies.
But this UW’s nanolaser can be easily fabricated to work with silicon components common in modern electronics."

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