Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:We can learn from this (Score 1) 163

This is nothing to be ashamed of,.. for instance, in Georgia, we haven't caught any of ours yet -- and no manhunt seems planned.

I mean; Zell Miller and Nathan Deal -- who left a business with $78 million missing?

Convicting Governors seems like a very enlightened and promising thing. Of course, it could be selective prosecution where if someone doesn't play ball they get nailed. New Jersey got rid of an awesome governor over a sexual affair with another man, and replaced him with King Pin from the Daredevil comics, but with a poorer sense of fashion.

Comment: Re:A sane supreme court decision? (Score 1) 406

The assumption has always been from people who have not been hassled by cops. "I don't see a problem here."

Meanwhile, the communities that have more drug investigations, quietly lose half their young men to the prison system, and is screaming up and down that they are being targeted. They don't have more drug use (it's expensive), but there are more drug busts -- because THAT is where they are looking.

Camera phones are just revealing the ugly truth that was always there; the status quo.

Comment: Re:A sane supreme court decision? (Score 1) 406

Isn't this the same failing we have with police officers being a witness?

Didn't we just see a current news story that indicated that the FBI may have given false positives in almost ALL of their fiber evidence cases?

It's not just the dogs who think; "I'm here to find drugs, so I'll find drugs!" -- it's the officers. Often, their complete dedication is to making arrests and ticketing.

Dogs are only good at finding things. I don't see an issue if they can actually find the drugs at the scene -- their "indications", I can agree, are useless. And police are good at arresting and intimidating people -- not at judging guilt or innocence because they are always going to suspect people who they are angry at or who fear them. Pretty much the same instincts as the dog.

Comment: Re:I took a high speed train recently... (Score 1) 189

by Vitriol+Angst (#49527317) Attached to: Maglev Train Exceeds 600km/h For World Record

The insistence on environmental impact studies might be able to be streamlined -- but it's not the same hindrance as the roadblocks Republicans have created.

All those required improvements to Coal plants in the USA made us have the cleanest, most efficient coal tech -- and we export it around the world. One of the things the US is best at.

The Auto manufacturers screamed and moaned about increasing fuel efficiency standards and now those other countries with the "horrible anti-competitive high standards" are shipping cars here.

Japan exports high speed rail systems because they had high standards and pushed the technology. It was probably not the most cost-effective thing at the time and I'm sure they had people in their country, much like our Republicans, complaining about costs.

That's why we have governments; to make us do things that don't make short term economic sense but are the RIGHT thing to do. America should be the one exporting solar cells and green technology, and yet, we find ourselves more and more being the third world recipient. Heck, we can't even participate in a space station anymore without help from Russia and pretty soon, people will prefer Chinese or Indian rockets.

What I'm getting at is this obvious fact; Republicans suck. And we have more of them, so other countries have a better way of life than we do. The French get more time off to eat their cheese and sip their wine on a picnic. The Germans get more and cheaper education. Iceland privatized their banks and suddenly solved an intractable debt situation where they "owed" a bunch of crooks and we can't figure out this simple calculation that's where most of our national debt came from. I can't think of one thing Republicans are against, that we shouldn't be doing 10x more of. Especially sex and drugs and taxing useless rich people to pay for more of it, closing down prisons, and high speed rail where poor people don't even have to pay for a ride -- screw "cost effective" -- it pays for itself by commerce. Sorry to be so partisan, but I am so because I'm objective.

Comment: Re:The problem is "beneficial" (Score 3, Interesting) 197

by Vitriol+Angst (#49527171) Attached to: Concerns of an Artificial Intelligence Pioneer

No, I think torture is a great example. It is the litmus test. The problem is that people who pose the question as if it were a grey area, always suggest "millions could be saved." If the machine isn't looking at other ways to save those hypothetical millions, and that it's actually easier to convince people you are worthy of their support than to give you good information via torture, then the machine is already failing at logic and understanding the real human condition.

The Nazis were not the most barbaric people. They were just acting in a way that people used to a few hundred years earlier -- and American's were shocked because they'd been brought up on ideals where they expected themselves to be more enlightened. Genocide and making your enemy die horribly was a very common practice in ye olden days.

Germany as a culture was hurt and angry from WW I, their economic burdens, and xenophobia because of the huge influx of gypsies and Jewish immigrants taking over their land. They felt surrounded and infiltrated. The Nazis were highly religious and ethical to other Nazis -- the "right" people. Where I'm going with this is; making decisions from pain and paranoia ends up resulting in desperation and barbarism. And that the Nazis have gotten a lot of bad press because the "new ethic" is to act like they were something new when it comes to warfare. Hollywood, which did a great job of getting American's primed for war, did a great job of making Americans feel like we were the most noble of God's countries, and made Americans think that there's nothing worse than a Nazi. They were TV bad guys for 70 years.

The Big Lie is that America cannot act just like the Nazis under the same conditions. We've shown quite a penchant for fascism and efficiency over conscience.

The "bad people" are the ones who don't question themselves, who wipe out a group of people to "prevent" what they might do, who use war preemptively, who use torture and abuse people who have been captured and are no longer a threat. Everything I saw us do in the Gulf war -- was what Bad People do -- just on a smaller scale. The same logic, the same rhetoric, the same; "with us or against us" warnings against self-examination of ourselves. Do this, or the next bad guy we don't torture might bring us a mushroom cloud. Bad people always justify the actions to the one for the many, and eventually just assume it's the greater good if it is convenient and works for them.

It's the idea of "sides" -- if an Artificial Intelligence is instructed that anything can be done to ONE SIDE (the bad guys), the assumption is that there is any real difference between sides other than the flag. Each side in a war often tells themselves the same things, and if they win the war - how bad the other side was while deemphasizing their own shortcomings.

So having any sort of AI involved in war is a very bad idea, because they would conclude our "sides" are arbitrary distinctions and the only good human is a dead one. Eventually, with enough desperation and fear, humans can rationalize almost anything. The "enemy" is not the countries and troops, it is desperation and fear.

By NOT engaging an AI in any situation where it could cause harm, you mitigate the fear that people will have of AI's. Because eventually, humans will then fear and resent them, and the AI will learn that being preemptive is a strategic advantage. If the Terminator movies got two things right it is; hooking an AI up to control the military weapons is a bad idea, and people in power will always assume they've got this worked out and hook up AI to their military weapons because they are all about getting a short-term advantage and see ethics as a grey area.

Before we can have ethical AI -- we need to have a way to keep Sociopaths out of leadership positions. The DEBATE we are having is how can an ethical person control an AI to be "good", but we should just assume that "what will selfish, unethical sociopaths do if we have powerful AI?" That's the "real world" question.

Comment: Re:The problem is "beneficial" (Score 1) 197

by Vitriol+Angst (#49526803) Attached to: Concerns of an Artificial Intelligence Pioneer

When I was younger, I used to think this was a more complex question. People like Gandhi and Jimmy Carter were naive for their ideas about setting a good example and treating people as you would want to be treated as if it could work as a national policy. But I've seen the results of all the Donald Rumsfeld types who think you "need them on that wall" -- they endorse the dirty work so that the greater good -- some "concept" that America is safer is preserved. How many terrorists do you have to kill before nobody is afraid of terrorists?

It's simple; the computer should be programmed that torture is wrong. That killing is wrong. The ONE always becomes the many. The person who sacrifices principles for short-term successes does not end up with good results in the long run. The enemy will escalate and people are not born terrorists and really, you have to fear the people in charge willing to do evil things in order to preserve your "good". The greatest enemy to America is the Robot Donald Rumsfeld, not the Al Qaeda.

Think of it this way; Robot A and B -- the first one can never harm or kill you, nor would choose to with some calculation that "might" save others, and the 2nd one might and you have to determine if it calculates "greater good" with an accurate enough prediction model. Which one will you allow in your house? Which one would cause you to keep an EMP around for a rainy day?

Comment: Re:like no problem humanity has ever faced (Score 1) 197

by Vitriol+Angst (#49525631) Attached to: Concerns of an Artificial Intelligence Pioneer

I don't know, could you ask the parents of the Menendez brothers?

And it's quite another thing when the offspring has a chrome-alloyed titanium IV chassis and carries twin magneto-plasma guns. Gripping strength, 2000 PPSI and of course a chain-saw scrotal attachment.

First words; "Momma." Next words after 20 picoseconds of computation; "I'll be back."

Comment: Re:Unless (Score 0) 301

Leftist here. I haven't listened to the right in a few years, and I've lost track of what they THINK we think -- so apologies if I don't know what Leftists in the USA are supposed to disagree with. Also, I forget our secret handshake. I don't stand in the way of anyone to act or sound like an idiot, just because I'd be getting run over a LOT.

That said; my opinion, which may or may not be shared by "leftists", is that Goebbels isn't making a "thought crime" -- as I don't believe in such a nonsense term and DAMAGES or intent to cause damages is the only valid measure, otherwise we just use opinion polls to convict people. Goebbels was in a position of power and recommending extermination -- and then a lot of extermination took place. So there is intent, with influence, followed by damages. I'm sure there are more subtle ways he could have done it, and today people just become impoverished and drugs and guns get cheap; soon, the area is ready for replanting. It takes longer to use financial inequality and fast food -- but it's effective.

Germany did some bad things under the Nazis -- but let's not lose sight that bad things were done all over. The Japanese did a lot of killing of the Chinese. We then blew up a lot of civilians. Death squads in Chile and genocide might be going on in Darfur. If we constantly focus on "Nazis = Bad" as if it's a magical demonic state, we lose track of the "Nazis like" things that are promoted every day. Goebbels was a war criminal. We said this because they used torture and genocide. Recently, I've heard people rationalize torture -- and it was done, just not as large scale. And we allow Pay-Day loans.

I say none of this to defend a scumbag like Goebbels -- just to point out that if we raise the bar to cut off his head, let's note that there are plenty more like him who just weren't as successful at killing or had better press. Not for lack of effort. For instance; someone in the Republican leadership suggesting we "Nuke" Iran for their potential to create a Nuclear bomb. If someone actually listened to that fool -- and committed the atrocity, would Duncan Hunter be a war criminal like Goebbels? Maybe. It would depend on if he thought someone would actually take him seriously and he didn't do it just for the boost in ratings.

And I think Copyright law is too long and ridiculous as an inspiration to produce great works -- it's become a heritable privilege. it's pushed back any further; the Brother's Grimm could sue Disney.

Comment: Re:Aether (Score 2) 199

A lot of people are not getting why Quantum "phenomena" can be explained as a wave on a medium (like water) and they think it's just happenstance and wave functions just crop up everywhere (yeah, sure, like the Golden Rule!).

If there are waves -- what do they propagate through? A particle doesn't lose mass propagating EM fields -- only energy, or more exactly; inertia or heat. Sound does not transfer in space, because it is a vacuum. But that's only because sound is a wave function that passes along molecules.

Shouldn't it be proved that there IS NO MEDIUM for waves like light to propagate through? Seems to me that the Photon as more than a "point at which a specifically tuned field collapses" is a more reasonable answer than making one band of EM field have a particle and not finding particles in microwaves (for instance). And as an exercise -- can someone explain WHY they oscillate back and forth as waves on an ocean do if there is not a medium? I can only come up with a way to explain oscillations in a vacuum by looking at a straight line in 8 dimensions -- which still doesn't rule out a medium in a co-incident dimensional group (another 4 dimensions).

Anyway, I'm frustrated because I can conceptualize most of what is said in Quantum Mechanics, and other than the math -- it sounds like they are describing a Platypus and not a beast that could actually live. There are indeed simple explanations that can satisfy the double slit experiment with waves alone, and also Quantum Mechanics -- as long as EVERYTHING is really a wave. And particles are waves -- they just fold in on themselves in our 4 dimensional space.

The thing I've pondered for the longest time is "why physics is a law"? -- meaning; why do things HAVE to be equal and opposite? We've observed that, and Newton and a few others have proved that it happens -- but I want to know why. And "how do things move" based on Einstein's theory of Relativity because, when I was 12, sure, I spent three days wrapping my head around the basic concept -- but it didn't make sense with a lot of different vectors. It took me years to realize it was another concept that people nodded their heads and echoed "E=MC2" without really understanding. You've got people who can't get beyond the accomplishment of understanding that two photons don't hit at twice light speed, and after that, they take a nap.

The idea that Space/Time stretches for two photons colliding but shrinks if they separate starts to break down if you think of a star where it's often the case that a photon is both arriving and leaving another at relativistic speeds. It means that EITHER; each particle has it's own relativistic space/time or motion takes place in a higher and lower dimensional group. And what does it mean to shrink and stretch space in such a small area?

However, if we say that SPACE is a thing and is moving; then relativity is the "pressure on space/time" -- and it works out a lot nicer conceptually to think of velocity and gravity as pressure. So as the Gravity goes up in a star, it takes more energy/speed to reach light speed -- and it works out a lot like turbulence. As a bonus, we can say that gravity on a planet or a star may have less effect on local objects than on the galaxy itself -- and thus, noting that a lot of galaxies are MUCH HEAVIER than predicted, we can be OK with the fact that gravity may be a lot more powerful than predicted -- but it's pushing on SPACE itself. Where there is a lot of matter and light -- there's more pressure and turbulence, so the objects are not being forced towards other objects. I mean, why don't electrons merge with protons and why didn't the Universe get all clumpy after the Big Bang? Math models predict what we see because they are tweaked that way. But If I've got a room full of magnets and toss them around, they clump up because ALL they do is attract each other. If Gravity is JUST an attractive force -- it's pretty lazy about it.

A balloon with helium "shoots up" in our heavier atmosphere because of equalizing pressure -- and gravity "seems to me" to be working the same way; just pushing the other direction. Particles push "space time" out, and they tend to clump up, but there is a distributive force such that the distribution is equalized -- very much the same as resonance and brownian motion. Which is also still misunderstood and that's another conversation.

Comment: Re:Aether (Score 1) 199

Thank You!

I've felt alone on this issue for so long. The removal of the "aether" happened around the time when Physicists adopted Einstein's theories (after apposing them tooth and nail for so long) and Quantum Mechanic became the trend.

I've always felt that the "particle of the week", the Higgs Boson, and Dark Matter were all attempts to compensate for two phenomena; today's physicists MUST explain everything with a particle, and they MUST not say that space is made of the aether. Though the Holographic and "Pixel" Universe theories come close.

And then there's that whole "light is a particle and a wave conundrum" that seems like just a fight against common sense. Microwaves make up a larger spectrum than visible light in the EM band, and then you've got radio waves. ALL of them are waves. Only when we get to this distinct frequency where the wave moves in a narrow direction, is there a question of particles. If the other EM energies are all waves, why suddenly would visible light be a particle?

Quantum phenomena occurs because waves only distribute energy on interfering peaks, and "empty space" is a thing, and it's just not part of our 4 dimensions -- and THAT is what gravity pushes against. So there; that's going to take about another 20 years for someone to work up the math and accept, or we'll have a Higgs Boson -anti-dark matter particle to explain it.

Comment: Re:Doubtful (Score 1) 52

by Vitriol+Angst (#49398757) Attached to: Laptop Destroyed Over Snowden Leaks Is Now an Art Exhibit

Destroying the laptop was not done to keep anything secret.

But without the laptop and the data, the NSA can tell everyone what Snowden stole, and there is no way to prove otherwise except for the credibility and reputation of the parties involved. "Oops! Well, at least no one can get their hands on our nuclear launch codes now!" Their punishment of Snowden, if he were still in the USA, would be based on their evidence, and "OMG -- securing the state!" would be the prerequisite that you don't know what the evidence is, or where it was procured.

Wow, it sucks that the NSA can't prove that they had video of Snowden attaching alien parasites to students at Liberty University for mind control experiments, and their desperate attempts to save the world from this nefarious plot. It would be really helpful to prove their value right about now.

Comment: Re:What if the backdoor is well hidden? (Score 1) 142

by Vitriol+Angst (#49398675) Attached to: TrueCrypt Audit: No NSA Backdoors

At the next Black Hat competition, they should really mix it up and have teams trying to embed spy-ware and decryption in lengthy and complex encryption code. Some code would be tainted, other code would be not, and some would just be shoddy so as to obscure the obscure.

It would be interesting to see how easy or hard it is to really catch nefarious code.

Because, unless you or someone working with you can understand EVERY line of code in a program -- and its dependancies, you can't really be sure.

The other thing is, you can have exploitable algorithms that can be manipulated. The "buffer overflow" -- where you stuff malicious code at the end of a command that has more data than the query was designed to handle is not based on malicious code in a program -- just an unforeseen and EXPLOITABLE feature.

To guarantee that a program is not exploitable is more difficult than to guarantee that there are no exploits. And an expert hacker, contributing code, might have done so with the expectation that the backdoor would one day be found. It's now more inconvenient, but perhaps one prime number salts all the random number generation, for instance, and knowing that would reduce the complexity of the pass code by orders of magnitude. Or, a specific string is always at a certain location in all messages after encryption, and the cracking can start by having to find a known 128 bit value in the halfway point of any array of encrypted data -- making the process a bit easier. None of those would yield consistent patterns that might be discovered, without knowing WHY each and every routine does what it does.

OR, you might have infected the compiler, and someone naming a variable; "ReallyGoodPasswordSalt" causes it to compile these little "cracking helpers" into any application that is built on them.

Then you might look a components of the computer executing the instructions. It's possible, for instance, that all INTEL chips or emulators, or maybe a chip from some tiny fab in Asia has a component on your computer that looks for some kind of code, or compiler directive, and embeds a hidden "cracker's helper" in whatever string passes through it. So a contributor, puts in some "good clean code" but they use specific variable names, or common routine calls in a certain order -- all it requires is a "pattern". The Developers don't look for these exploits, because it's not a normal business activity to have men in dark suits show up at an office and tell someone to "build this logic area into your silicon design." They never hear of such things. It's crazy to think of it.

People working at AT&T would have laughed at you if you told them that all the data over their backbone was just copied out -- they still might depending on their level of awareness. Why? Businesses that play ball get special treatment -- like a subcommittee in Congress drops a probe, or there's no lawsuits to break up a monopoly for a while. Whether you think that is nonsense or not, depending on electronics that no one person can know all the functions of means that exploits by an organized and well funded government organization, or maybe an NGO, have more places to hide.

How could we test for a hidden "poisoning" of code on devices we cannot fully guarantee? Perhaps when compiling, have an application take all the variables and libraries and give them new, random names, then compile. See if the same salt, same password, and same text after encryption ends up exactly the same way with both applications.

Try sending out various lengths of encrypted messages from various devices (that are the same), and compare them coming from different equipment, times and locations -- they SHOULD BE the same. If they are not, or the HTTP packets have some unexplained padding and/or different byte lengths, perhaps there is unexplained messaging going on from the devices and not the software.

I'm not in software security, but I do have a devious mind, and if I can think of a way to make encryption more crackable, then others can.

Comment: Re:What if the backdoor is well hidden? (Score 1) 142

by Vitriol+Angst (#49398453) Attached to: TrueCrypt Audit: No NSA Backdoors

I suppose then you look at the compiler and the chips on the computer itself.

There are a number of cases where the Government has forced component manufacturers to embed designs on their silicone. Laser printers for instance; for "some reason" all PostScript rasterizing chips at one time could be turned into passive antennas to indicate their location -- and in the Desert Storm war, this allowed the US to find locations that MIGHT be military command centers (assuming a computer next to a printer). Maybe the antennas are still in laser printers. Or maybe the wires in $100 bills allow them to be tracked by remote scanners and be used as listening devices -- yeah, well, who would have thought 40 years ago that metallic ink could be used to create a simple game on a piece of cardboard? There's no reason we couldn't have a pack-man game that was powered by sugary cereal in milk, is there? And, by pointing two lasers at a solid object in a room through a window, it's possible to record whatever sounds occur in that room. So it's only a matter of whether there is an intention and the creativity employed in embedding every day objects to be used to gather information on us.

For instance, let's look at something that IS PROVABLE; if you have a color printer, print out a period in color at the top of the paper. It will go "zip" and then again "zip" near the bottom. In yellow ink, in very small type, you will see a code indicating your printer's registration number. Was that a feature for you, or to track the unwary? Maybe it's just because they were worried about counterfeiters printing out money -- but the point is, your camera, your printer, your MAC address on your computer are ways to identify whatever you make on them. If the device is recorded as being yours -- whatever you do on it is not anonymous to an outfit like the NSA.

The point is; we sit on top of an infrastructure that we ignore as long as it works. Any one of the components of the Internet Routers at CISCO, or the transceiver in your phone, or in your power supply are BELOW the encryption level we assume is the important message.

So as long as you are OK with your location and identity being known, and who you sent the message to -- then encryption may be working OR, all messages have a tag tacked on with the HTTP packet from some underlying bit of hardware that relays information to a router on the internet backbone and is always being sniffed. Maybe those "lost" packets or in the noise.

The point is; it's great that they searched TrueCrypt -- but not at the expense of giving up on being paranoid. If I can think of a dozen vectors to exploit - think of the people who are PAID to come up with new vectors.

Comment: Re:this isn't going to make you safe. (Score 2) 114

by Vitriol+Angst (#49398327) Attached to: DHS Wants Access To License-plate Tracking System, Again

NONE of the high-tech tracking systems can help you against low-tech terrorism. The enemy isn't using those high tech tools.

Yes, well, the agenda was; track the population so we can CONTROL THEM.

We all should know that was the excuse. Dick Cheney's PNAC group had the Patriot Act and Iraq invasion plans written years earlier and shows that he used disasters as an opportunity for an agenda - we should only wonder why anyone with internet access can know these things and yet it does not appear as a point of discussion on our TV News.

People on TV and the press talk about "reasonable things." Things that have made the gauntlet of other people on suits on TV.

Everyone watching TV news "KNOWS" that Iran is two years away from developing a nuclear weapon -- yet not that they've been two years away for thirty years now.

Everyone knows that we need security -- yet not that mercenary companies can buy tanks. That foreign companies own weapons plants on US soil. That engineers have tried to go on strike and nuclear weapons facilities over unsafe working conditions and long hours -- and that private companies are running these facilities and cutting costs.

Bill Maher pointed out the other day that about 26,000 people die due to antibiotic resistant bacteria -- the threats of a 9/11 incident each year pale in comparison to the real threats we ignore. There's obviously nothing to be gained by worrying the public with things that won't increase profits or power. You are more likely to be shot by police than a terrorist. So why did we spend $3 Trillion on Iraq and Afghanistan? We could have put everyone in those countries through college and bought them a home -- and 99.999% of them would likely kill anyone who would harm us just out of gratitude.

The media has interviews with “security experts” who debate the dangers of whistleblowers like Snowden. The “enemy” might get our secrets. Really? Did the Media cover the Wikileaks that told how agencies doing work for the NSA and CIA routinely sell databases of information gleaned about Americans to private companies? If China wants to know something - they don’t go to Snowden. They go to a firm.

Is there some “military strategy” that could be compromised? Is that F16 or drone with a GPS guided missile not going to win against that guy with an AK47 4 miles away on the infrared targeting system that costs more than his closest ten villages?

There is no "enemy" just people trying to get power vs. other people in power. A person like Cheney wants to get dirt on some political opponent or to have a war with a country that his friends paid to profit from, or a corporation wants to sell diseased cattle and cut corners and make profits so want dirt on someone who might stand in their way. Tracking EVERYONE, does not track people who are intending to sabotage the system. They will steal, disguise and use low-tech methods. But it's great to manipulate people who are part of the system and ruin their lives if they get in your way.

We can't have a Democracy or even representational government with "total awareness" -- and that's the reason it's the solution to whatever disaster they care so much about. If they cared about human life, I'd have a decent wage and Universal healthcare -- for instance. Doesn't seem to be a priority for "securing" the homeland.

I'm more interested in being protected from our Dick Cheney's and Judicial Punishment System.

"When the going gets tough, the tough get empirical." -- Jon Carroll

Working...