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Comment: Re:The Internet Needs More Random Data (Score 1) 350

by TheLink (#47423071) Attached to: UK Computing Student Jailed After Failing To Hand Over Crypto Keys
Or Ubuntu and other popular distro to do something like this:
https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+bug/148440

Then it's normal for people to have encrypted stuff on their drives that they can't decrypt. And thus a "reasonable man" could not be expected to be able to decrypt such stuff even if he cooperated fully. They could be using full disk crypto with an encrypted container file that they can't decrypt. They can decrypt the first but not the second (or maybe they can - it becomes harder to tell :) ).

But once a popular OS has stuff like this by default, it's much easier for the defence to argue that you can't do it.

Of course in this case - the guy has been supplying wrong passwords, so unless you can show it was out of desperation and/or due to duress, he'd still be in trouble.

Comment: Re:Forget reading, GET AN IMPLANT! (Score 1) 86

by TheLink (#47422603) Attached to: A Brain Implant For Synthetic Memory
It's the wrong approach if you just want a prosthetic memory to help people remember stuff.

To have a prosthetic memory what you need is a computer that can remember stuff - video, audio, photos, text etc. Preferably wearable. Then what you need is to attach a device to appropriate parts of your brain that reads thought patterns that are distinctive depending on what you are thinking (elephants, purple etc). The device does NOT have to decipher or understand what you are thinking. All it needs to do is associate the stuff to be stored/recalled or even _commands_ with the thought pattern(s) you choose for it. I call these thought macros. See also: http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3478821&cid=42956909

So you capture a video/audio/picture then you assign it a thought, or "current state" of mind. If you even have difficulty rethinking[1] a thought pattern, you could search by context and time (what I stored some time ago while at home).

There may need to be training phases like in speech recognition, and it's likely to work better with some people than others.

[1] The approach the military is taking would still have problems if people can't even remember that they are supposed to remember something- so whichever approach you'd need the ability to set up "prompts" based on time and context (and brain patterns).

I believe our technology is very very far from the state where you can drop in a memory device with memories already preloaded in, and which people can use to "remember that they are to remember something" (and even if we did, it would be scary and I won't want to have it).

Because there's evidence that memories are stored differently on different people's brains - some people have a halle berry neuron: http://www.caltech.edu/content/single-cell-recognition-halle-berry-brain-cell
http://phys.org/news4703.html
Seems to me to be a bit like a Bingo hall where a neuron yells bingo when it recognizes what the "announcer reads out". And the thing is those neurons aren't in the same place for everyone, they might not even be present for everyone, and one neuron might yell bingo for slightly different things (in one person they might have a neuron that goes bingo for Jennifer Aniston when it sees Jennifer Aniston + Brad Pitt, in another person it might not go bingo for the couple).

Which is also why I think that it's delusional for people to believe we'd soon be able to transfer our minds to other machines. You can transfer something, but it'll be far from everything.

Comment: Re:No they're not (Score 2) 64

by TheLink (#47394421) Attached to: Study: Whales Are Ecosystem "Engineers"

I don't see anything new or interesting in the articles to consider it a "discovery of a way" (e.g. http://www.uvm.edu/~uvmpr/?Pag... )

In contrast this is a better article with more detail on how whales could _actually_ affect ecosystems significantly: http://www.newscientist.com/ar...
And that's a 4 year old article.

Comment: Plenty of flawed studies with flawed conclusions (Score 1) 333

This might be one of those many flawed studies.

How many times did they shock themselves? If it was just once and then they sat there without doing it again then perhaps it was more of curiosity than not being able to be alone and deprived of stimuli.

Many people are very curious about stuff.

And some are stupid or rebellious - if you tell them don't push a button many of them will push the button without trying to find out why not e.g. they might ask "You mean this button?" and then push it...

Comment: Re:I smell a rat. (Score 1) 115

by TheLink (#47381987) Attached to: Use of Encryption Foiled the Cops a Record 9 Times In 2013

But that's why this "vulnerability" should be fixed:
https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubu...

Imagine if by default if you don't uncheck a checkbox a popular distro has full disk encryption enabled and/or creates an encrypted container.

Then they can't use the "wrench" on everyone that happens to have that distro, because it really is very plausible that the person doesn't have the keys to the container.

As for the arguments against it - if you're in a country where they are still willing to use the "wrench" on someone who is likely to not have the keys, you're screwed already. In such countries if they're not happy with you, you're in big trouble whether you use crypto or not.

Comment: Re:What about pedestrians? (Score 1) 235

by TheLink (#47381939) Attached to: Radar Changing the Face of Cycling

Granted, it wouldn't work for the little moppets that run between parked SUVs, so it wouldn't be a perfect solution...

That's why I have been proposing that for robot cars they also have cameras/sensors/radars/lidars at bumper height. It's often easier to spot (from a distance) people/animals obscured by vehicles from bumper level than it is to spot them from driver or roof level. But I'm no car or robot car engineer, so someone else will have to actually do it.

You might be able to do something like this for "kiddie" sensors mounted on bicycles/motorcycles, but given the front wheel of those vehicles is movable it's probably a bit trickier :).

Comment: Re:Haha, nobody will do this. (Score 1) 208

by TheLink (#47316999) Attached to: The Simultaneous Rise and Decline of <em>Battlefield</em>

But as responsible consumers, people need to stop preordering games. All that does is make it easier for publishers to give you crap, since you already paid them up front. Make the companies earn your money!

Does that apply to this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

Some of the prices here look kinda steep: https://robertsspaceindustries... :)

Comment: Re:They hate our freedom (Score 1) 404

by TheLink (#47308463) Attached to: San Francisco Bans Parking Spot Auctioning App

It's more like hoarding: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

A feature of hoarding is that it leads to an inefficient distribution of scarce resources, making the scarcity even more of a problem

It's in the interests of the city to have parking spaces that are used for only as long as they are needed.

Allowing this "auctioning" thing causes parking spaces to be held longer than otherwise just so that someone can try to make money from it.

There is no significant increase in efficiency if parking spaces are in great demand - the moment you leave your spot, someone else is likely to take it. And even if there is some inefficiency there are other ways of solving it without this auctioning.

Comment: Re:They hate our freedom (Score 2) 404

by TheLink (#47308361) Attached to: San Francisco Bans Parking Spot Auctioning App

As long as voters can still vote and elections aren't terribly rigged/diebolded, I don't really consider protests that hold public spaces hostage a good thing. It's fine if they rented out a public space (stadium or field) for their "event".

If you want to protest publicly you could wear a particular hat, shirt, colored item, etc as a sign of protest and move about without preventing others from going about their normal daily lives. Causing massive disruption does not endear me to your cause. If you let random bunch of people start disrupting stuff, you cause problems for everyone else - and another bunch of people might start to do similar or _worse_ things if they disagree with the first bunch.

There are additional/alternative ways of communicating and spreading your message. Many people claim social media is useless -tweets, facebook shares, etc. But there are a number of governments that don't think so: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
And looking at various "campaigns" social media can actually be useful.

It's a different case if people don't have other options- they can't vote and communications are blocked/censored.

Comment: Re:What about statistics vs calculus (Score 2) 155

by TheLink (#47293909) Attached to: Computational Thinking: AP Computer Science Vs AP Statistics?
Yeah. Teaching people to detect bullshit and think scientifically would be good.

As for getting a problem and finding a solution, it's still good to teach students to think and solve problems, rather than be an inferior "Google" and regurgitate memorized solutions or follow very specific memorized processes. Because I actually know adults who can't do basic problem solving- say there's a problem with something, their default is getting stuck. They don't go - it could be caused by A, B, C, D and perhaps other stuff I don't know yet. If it's A and we do X, Y should happen. OK lets try doing X. OK Y didn't happen, so it's not A. Let's see if 's B now, and so on. Or let me use Google to get a list of possible causes and then figure out one by one which it might be. Being able to finding possible answers that way is more important than being able to memorize and retrieve answers.

Gosh that takes me back... or is it forward? That's the trouble with time travel, you never can tell." -- Doctor Who, "Androids of Tara"

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