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Comment: Re:Torvalds is true to form.... (Score 3, Interesting) 727

by WaywardGeek (#47715021) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

It's GNU/Linux's fault. Android, still based on Linux, could likely win the desktop if Google got their act together and stopped pushing ChromeOS. Notice how my binary applications run on *very* many Android devices without recompilation, even when I write in C using the NDK. Notice how Android does not introduce bugs in my applications by swapping in a buggy shared library which I never tested. Notice how nearly impossible it is to publish a GNU/Linux app in comparison. In one case, you just publish your app to Google and wait a day or so. Notice how my app simply installs in a comparitavely secure jailed directory rather than having to disperse crap all over the file system. For Linux, you need to write and test different and binary incompatible installatoin packages for RedHat, Arch, Debian, Suse, then wait a few years for your package to be accepted and migrate from unstable to testing to stable, and even then you don't run everywhere.

Just freaking stupid.... year of the GNU/Linux Desktop my butt!

On a completely unrelated note, WTF is up with the new slashdot site? I had the newly dumbed-down ads disabled with a check-box. The check box is gone, and the ads are back, and dumber than ever! I miss the days of Barracuda ads that made sense on slashdot. The new ones aren't targeted at geeks at all.

Comment: Linux could own the desktop... (Score 4, Interesting) 727

by WaywardGeek (#47714827) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'

All Google has to do is dump that stupid steaming pile called ChromeOS, and admit that Android wins. A desktop customized version of Android (complete with a real desktop) is still based on Linux (at least Google's fork of it), already has hundreds of thousands of apps, and could be better in nearly every way than Windows or Mac OS-X in 2 years, IMO.

The other broken OS, GNU/Linux, needs a major overhaul before it will ever be popular among anyone but geeks who are willing to accept that their OS is hostile to sharing new apps, or too blinded by fan-boy-ism to notice. I write this from my Ubuntu laptop, where my code contributions are far lower than Android or even Windows, even though I put in most of my effort here. It's just easier to publish an Android app. It's even easier to publish software for Windows. If Mark Shuttleworth were just a bit smarter, I think he'd realize he needs to abandon managing .deb packages and start this whole mess over based on a more git-like aproach. He's done a lot in that direction - user PPAs for example, but it's still not there. No RPM or .deb based Linux OS will ever become the basis for the Year of the Linux Desktop.

Comment: GPL is about User/Owner Freedoms (Score 1) 117

by WaywardGeek (#47714607) Attached to: Qt Upgrades From LGPLv2.1 to LGPLv3

The funny thing here is that Digia is still going to support Tivoization, but customers will have to pay for it! I suppose that's better than letting hardware manufacturers Tivoize their hardware for free, but this is the first time I have ever seen anyone upgrade their GPL license simply to force customers to pay more. It seems wrong somehow...

Comment: Re:Differences between 7.1a and 7.2a (Score 4, Interesting) 146

by WaywardGeek (#47207853) Attached to: Auditors Release Verified Repositories of TrueCrypt

7.2 was stripped of encryption functions. Even if it was without bugs, what good is it? Not to mention the weird way they walked away from their software.

It really was weird. Here's my new theory:

These guys released their best version ever, 7.1a, in Febuary 2012. They had a party, said goodbye, and moved on with their lives. Everyone assumed that since it's open source, some new guys would come along to take over the project. Instead, for two years, there were no security updates, and no credible fork. TrueCrypt was languishing. One of the developers decided to force the world to take action. He pulled that amazing stunt, complete with recommending everyone use Microsoft BitLocker. Now he's kicking back with a beer and watching the world go nuts. It's like kicking an ant hill.

Did it work? You bet! A bunch of geeks like me said, "I want to help!" A couple of Swiss Pirate Party dudes said, "We'll lead the effort", and before the weekend was over, they had thousands of offers for help. True to the Pirate Party spirit, they even pirated the TrueCrypt name: Also true to the Pirate Party spirit, they don't really know how to organize a team of geeks to work together in a common direction. So, I said "Follow me!" on the forum, and signed up geeks as fast as I could at the site that became Now they're self-organizing like some sort of slime mold, creating order out of chaos. It's really fascinating to watch! I hope the original authors are enjoying the drama :-) At this point, I think the new team is going to do amazing things.

Comment: Re:7.1a for x64 linux (Score 4, Informative) 146

by WaywardGeek (#47207683) Attached to: Auditors Release Verified Repositories of TrueCrypt

I believe I read about this guy on slashdot a year-ish ago. He verified the Windows binary comes from the official source. I replicated most of his steps, until I became a believer. It is the actual source used to compile the 7.1a binary.

Now, if you're afraid of back-doors, be afraid of what is already in the official source, all 110K+ lines of it.

Comment: Re:Crowdsourcing (Score 3, Interesting) 131

by WaywardGeek (#47153355) Attached to: TrueCrypt Cryptanalysis To Include Crowdsourcing Aspect

From this security analysis there is a 64K-ish block in the header that is filled with random data in Windows, but encrypted 0's in Linux. There's no simple way to insure the Windows header is indistinguishable from true random data, but the Linux version should be OK. As for the rest of the unused portion of the volume, I haven't checked the code. If it's using a pseudo-random number generator that isn't cryptographically strong, then it may be distinguishable. However, the entropy argument seems wrong to me. If the unused portion has measurably lower entropy than true random data, then the random number generator in question must have been compromised.

Comment: Re:Crowdsourcing (Score 4, Informative) 131

by WaywardGeek (#47151819) Attached to: TrueCrypt Cryptanalysis To Include Crowdsourcing Aspect

It's actually just a bit over 110 kLOC, but you were close. The crypto code is mostly very good. The GUI code must have been written by someone else, because it totally sucks, IMO. I was just porting it to wxgtk3.0 today from wxgtk2.8, and of course all the crypto compiled without even a warning, other than some AES code I need to look into. The GUI was a freaking nightmare. They implemented their own string class. How stupid is that? Well, they didn't just implement a string class, but they implemented a directory string class, a filename string class, a "volume" string class, a "volume info" string class, and about a dozen other string classes, most of which don't actually have any useful functionality, and just require all kinds of casting operators. Stupid stupid stupid...

I haven't looked at the firewall between the GUI and crypto code yet. Obviously there's a fuse driver in Linux and I would not expect it to link with the GUI code at all, but I need to check. Given that the crypto code rocks, and the GUI code sucks, it's critical that they be in separate processes. That would be needed in any case, since you can't trust all that GUI library code living in the same process as the crypto core.

Comment: Re:Fishy (Score 1) 566

by WaywardGeek (#47128817) Attached to: TrueCrypt Website Says To Switch To BitLocker

You're right. I guess it is just about impossible to build a truly secure OS. OpenWall tries, though I haven't checked it out properly and don't really know how secure it is, though it's designer is a genius. It seems that isolation from the Internet is the safest way to maintain privacy. Also, close your window blinds and never leave the house :-)

Comment: Re:Fishy (Score 1) 566

by WaywardGeek (#47117695) Attached to: TrueCrypt Website Says To Switch To BitLocker

I agree that users who are highly concerned about their privacy should avoid Windows, as well as Mac OS X, and likely use some version of GNU/Linux, and air gap their system. However, even Snowden felt he needed to use Windows, and TrueCrypt was likely good enough for his purposes. I haven't read about how he used TrueCrypt, but I imagine that the hidden volume might have been handy.

Places this laptop I'm using may have back doors: Windows, Lenovo software, Lenovo motherboard, Intel CPU, Intel FDE SSD, BIOS, Intel WiFi driver and hardware, Cygwin, TrueCrypt, and any of about 100 binary-only programs I've installed from the Internet. It may have been infected by my Android phone when I connected it, or by the stupid binary-only VPN client our company pays for since it felt the free open-source OpenVPN solution was insecure. GNU/Linux would help, but mostly because I would only install a dozen or so binary-only programs (Skype, NVDA driver, DVD player, Steam...). I have some concerns that my Arch mirrors have been overridden, as some package updates seem to be fishy (security configuration in Apache had syntax errors, yet the package was properly signed...). This stupid method of distributing binary packages from a central repository also smells like something governments would like.

My laptop is a radioactive pile of shit for security, whether or not I use Linux. TrueCrypt also has shit-for-brains password hashing, and wouldn't do anything about it, so I already suspected that the TrueCrypt devs were being pressured somehow.

Comment: Re:Bamboo Bicycle (Score 2) 198

by WaywardGeek (#47090575) Attached to: Is Bamboo the Next Carbon Fibre?

True, and they are far superior in terms of making the best use of the bamboo fibers. For example, they can steam flatten the crown so that the fibers on the outermost part of the crown (which are far denser than in the interior) are not over-stressed, and the load can be shared by more of the outer fibers. I didn't do that, and the efficiency of my bow is far less than is possible with such technology. However, even the yumi bows fail to make use of beneficial lamination stresses. I got higher energy density per unit limb mass than even yumi bows, though mine still isn't nearly as good of a bow, not by a mile. I just like the physics :-)

Comment: Re:Oh PJ, where art thou? (Score 2) 303

Thanks for the link. I read: The jury found that Google infringed Oracle’s copyrights in the 37 Java packages and a specific computer routine called “rangeCheck,”

Fuck rangeCheck. I don't care if Oracle gets $1B for that stupid 10-line function that any moron could write in 5 minutes. Oracle succeeding in copyrighting an API, which last a freaking 100 years, is death to our industry.

Comment: Re:" why T-Mobile finds it profitable" (Score 3, Informative) 482

by WaywardGeek (#46893169) Attached to: Really, Why Are Smartphones Still Tied To Contracts?

It's not just the dumb 2-year contract scam. We're also being fleeced for voice contracts, on both our land-line and mobile, because the phone companies prefer to continue charging a 1970's service charge for something that modern networks deliver practically for free. T-Mobile doesn't need 850MHz spectrum. They need free VoIP over WiFi whenever you're indoors at work, home, or a friend's house.

Fortunately, there's a new kid on the block, Republic Wireless, who is doing contract-free ultra-cheap service. By offloading traffic to your own home wifi, RW can in theory make money $25/mo for Sprint 3G "unlimited" service. That's the plan I have, and I have the $10 plan for my kids. Verizon 4G LTE was great (my previous phone was a Verizon/Google Galaxy Nexus), but for the $60/month savings on just one phone, I'll live with Sprint. Also, they've got the Moto-X for $300, contract free, and it's hands down the best phone I've had. Time will tell if sane service providers have a chance in this country.

"No problem is so formidable that you can't walk away from it." -- C. Schulz