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Comment: Re:Fingerprints (Score 2) 143

I think his point is that fingerprint and DNA false positives dont lead to a suspect that looks like what a witness saw. Whereas facial regonition false positives almost guarantee that the person will at least look similar to what the witness saw. Thus for facial recognition, the witness-as-a-confirmation is not as compelling. It's almost the same piece of evidence, rather than two corroborating pieces.

Comment: Something of note: (Score 1) 824

by alostpacket (#46597171) Attached to: Some Mozilla Employees Demand New CEO Step Down

Not sure about behavior, but as a 501c3, Mozilla is not allowed to donate to candidates and has limits on lobbying. But I do not know what exactly the limits are.

https://en.wikisource.org/wiki...

Something in there...

The lobbying ceiling amount for any organization for any taxable year is 150 percent of the lobbying nontaxable amount for such organization for such taxable year, determined under section 4911.

Hopefully someone has a greater interest in deciphering that.^ It does not seem related to anything decided in Citizens v United as far as I can tell.

Comment: Re:Nope (Score 4, Informative) 117

by alostpacket (#46557929) Attached to: One Billion Android Devices Open To Privilege Escalation

I wonder, though. When you buy a new Android phone and sign in to Play, it downloads (or at least offers to) all the apps you had on your old phone. Does the same thing happen there

No, this particular exploit requires the malicious app be on a phone prior to an OS update. Additionally these apps would never* make it on the Play store as they have detectable characteristics (such as trying to use the same "Shared UID" of another app). In order to upload an app with the same Shared UID, you would need the same keystore to sign your app. Basically the way this bug works is exploiting the reverse of how the package manager grants precedence. The package manager give precedence to what is on the device first. So anything "updated" from the Play store, even if they spoofed the Shared UID and signature, would fail to install. The bug is that an app can "steal" the ability to control the permission completely, AND install itself or block the install of the legit version of an app.

So TL;DR: This definitely is a rather nasty privilege escalation bug in the package manager (if the paper is correct and I am reading it correctly), but one would likely need to side-load (or use a different app store) the malicious app prior to an OS update to get caught by it.

Agreed about permissions in general though. Personally I try not to give out contacts to any app unless they happen to be a type of "contact manager/replacement". Most apps can request a user use the default "contact picker" to add a contact, or share, or the like. No permission is required for this. The only reason apps request this is to prefill those "share with a friend" fields and to spam. This is similar to READ_PHONE_STATE, there are few legit reasons for an app to need this anymore. Apps can launch the dialer and prefill the number sans the permission, just not complete the call. They also have other ways to generate a UUID for the device without the IMEI, or the other info provided by READ_PHONE_STATE.

The USB storage permissions are antiquated, but not as sensitive. Apps do have private storage but this used to be quite limited in the earlier days of Android. The Nexus S was one of the first to come with a single, large internal storage (although even that was still partitioned). Prior to that you had a limited protected storage and an SD card. Nowadays they are adding better "Read" file permissions.

Finally, I think much of this stuff could be requested at time-of-use, rather than install. But they have to balance the "Are you sure you want to allow X?" disaster that was Windows UAC vs. sensible permissions. It is not as easy as it looks.

* (Well maybe not never, but very close to never...)

Comment: Star Trek DS9 (Score 1) 914

This was actually an episode on Star Trek DS9. O'Brien was punished by some alien culture and served a ~20 year sentence in a matter of ~hours (iirc). They claimed it was more humane and economical than prison. However I think the moral of the episode is that it really scarred him mentally (and he was innocent, again iirc).

Could there be a humane way to use something like this? Personally I highly doubt it, but I can't completely rule it out as just barely plausible (Kinda like Star Trek in general). I just can't imagine how this would be used without causing mental instability.

Comment: Re:Innovation? (Score 1) 264

by alostpacket (#46390411) Attached to: Apple Launches CarPlay At Geneva Show

And if they do a good job, they will push competition. This seems like a common theme with Apple. They come into a fractured mess of a product sector and make a good show of it. This is good news, car infotainment is terrible.

Plus maybe cars will be able to launch actual angry birds at each other to express road rage.

Comment: Re:Programming is not about rote memorization (Score 1) 627

by alostpacket (#46329331) Attached to: Does Relying On an IDE Make You a Bad Programmer?

Not sure if trolling but that's not really what trivial means in this context.

adjective: trivial
1. of little value or importance.
synonyms: unimportant, banal, trite, commonplace, insignificant, inconsequential,

Think "the average airspeed of an unladen swallow". "The atomic weight of cobalt"

Comment: Re:If Comcast were Exxon (Score 2) 520

by alostpacket (#46319465) Attached to: Netflix Blinks, Will Pay Comcast For Network Access

ISPs are not peers though, they are endpoints. The "equal data" argument only works between two backbone/transit providers. ISPs are requesting that data be sent to them. they don't get to request the data be sent to them and request that they also be paid to receive it.

Also what makes you think you only pay for upload? That makes no sense. Though I agree in that bandwidth caps are bad -- though mostly because they are generally misleading advertising.

Comment: Re:Maybe Netflix is too big for peering agreements (Score 1) 520

by alostpacket (#46319409) Attached to: Netflix Blinks, Will Pay Comcast For Network Access

1) it's the ISP's users requesting 30% of the internet traffic, not Netflix. The ISPs aren't peering at all, they are the termination point. They aren't providing a service to Netflix, or to anyone else on the internet for that matter, except their customers.
2) It's the ISPs responsibility to provide enough network infrastructure to their customers. They don't get to hold hostage their users as a product to be bought by Netflix or other content providers.
3) Netflix offers Open Connect CDN

ISPs can directly connect their networks to Open Connect for free. ISPs can do this either by free peering with us at common Internet exchanges, or can save even more transit costs by putting our free storage appliances in or near their network.

https://signup.netflix.com/ope...

I think there is a fundamental misunderstanding of how peering arrangements are supposed to work that is being exploited by the PR departments of ISPs.

Not only is UNIX dead, it's starting to smell really bad. -- Rob Pike

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