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Comment: Re:Deadmans Switch (Score 1) 244

by chihowa (#49622981) Attached to: USBKill Transforms a Thumb Drive Into an "Anti-Forensic" Device

The quintessential dead man's switch, the "let go and it detonates" trigger, can also be bypassed by grabbing the dead man's hand (just like your "if They manage to get the laptop with the key still in it, it keeps working" argument). There's nothing in the definition of a dead man's switch that depends on it being unable to be defeated. Fiction throughout the ages is filled with methods of defeating various dead man's switches.

If the key is attached to the user's wrist and the user is separated from the computer without the key being first separated from the user, the switch is activated.

Comment: Re: The question is (Score 1) 367

by chihowa (#49616957) Attached to: No, NASA Did Not Accidentally Invent Warp Drive

Why would getting a reactor into orbit be particularly difficult and why would it be difficult to design one that doesn't kill the crew?

I'll assume that you're thinking it will irradiate them, but with no need to carry any propellant for the trip, there is suddenly a huge allowance for shielding for the reactor. That sort of addresses the second point, too.

Comment: Re: Again? (Score 2) 141

by chihowa (#49580553) Attached to: Ham Radio Fills Communication Gaps In Nepal Rescue Effort

This is why having multiple different means of communication is important in case of emergencies. You mention cell service being down or spotty, but amateur radio is not immune to unavailability either. There are many places in the US (and the world), where you will not be able to reliably reach somebody with ham radio (especially VHF and UHF, but even HF if you're limited in what you can carry or conditions are too bad). In some of those places, phone service may work fine.

Comment: Re:We have prototypes of these, working (Score 1) 125

by chihowa (#49565965) Attached to: Smart Headlights Adjust To Aid Drivers In Difficult Conditions

Are you claiming that there are no vehicular lighting standards in place, or that you can't instantly recognize the position and orientation of a car in the dark based on its lights alone?

Identifying cars based on their lights may be complicated, but it's by far the simplest method of identifying cars by CV at night.

Comment: Re:We have prototypes of these, working (Score 1) 125

by chihowa (#49564459) Attached to: Smart Headlights Adjust To Aid Drivers In Difficult Conditions

This specific implementation only works on red cars, but we have some good ideas about how to generalize this.

If you can reliably see that an oncoming car is red through a webcam at night, you've already blinded the other driver! Instead of making generalized car-recognition algorithms, why not take advantage of the fact that the other cars will have their lights on, too? The location and color of the various car lights are fairly standardized.

Comment: Re:With the best will in the world... (Score 1) 483

What is the LED version of the vehicle? A replacement for a dead dino burner, but not a pure battery car that has to be recharged.

There are some serious advantages to energy-dense, easily handled hydrocarbon fuels, especially when long distance traveling is concerned (range and refuel time).

Until we come up with much better batteries, the Volt style "bring a generator with you" approach is certainly the most versatile. You sacrifice some range by carrying the engine instead of extra batteries, but the electric range is more than enough for most daily commutes.

In your analogy, though, I'd say that hybrids are the CFLs and that EVs are the LED bulbs. Early LED bulbs were pretty shitty, if you recall: outrageously expensive, weirdly colored, and not long-lived.

Comment: Re:Right up until... (Score 1) 212

It's not the check for intoxication that concerns anyone, it's the checkpoints. Around here, the police need suspicion of a crime in order search a person. Nobody has a problem with stopping and testing people who appear to be driving drunk (except the drunk, I suppose).

Comment: Re:Right up until... (Score 4, Informative) 212

Wow, I just looked into that some more and it's pretty horrifying. The ruling was more than it being "Just Too Important(TM)", it was that it is too important to the State. That line of reasoning allows for just about any unconstitutional law to be upheld. Even the dissenting decisions were more concerned with the effectiveness of the checkpoints and considered the violation of the Fourth Amendment that they represent an accepted and foregone conclusion.

The majority opinion from Rehnquist: "In sum, the balance of the State's interest in preventing drunken driving, the extent to which this system can reasonably be said to advance that interest, and the degree of intrusion upon individual motorists who are briefly stopped, weighs in favor of the state program. We therefore hold that it is consistent with the Fourth Amendment."

Comment: Dynasties (Score 5, Insightful) 676

by chihowa (#49459993) Attached to: Hillary Clinton Declares 2016 Democratic Presidential Bid

You know that this period of the US will read about in history books as such an obvious time of corruption. The occurrence of dynasties is not a good sign of a healthy democratic republic. Save the last two terms, there has been a Bush or a Clinton as President since 1989. Counting VP, they've occupied those two offices since 1981. If you start to count Secretary of State and such, these two families have held top offices continuously for nearly 35 years. And the next race may well be a Bush vs a Clinton, again.

Of the more than 100 million eligible citizens in the US, is the best candidate for President another Bush or Clinton? Really???

Comment: Re:Living off the grid (Score 1) 281

by chihowa (#49453851) Attached to: The Myth of Going Off the Power Grid

Second, there is no reason that you can't have a backup battery bank AND be connected to the grid.

That's what I do. The extra hardware is really just a switched battery charger, but you could get better efficiency switching the entire AC output to grid instead of running everything through the battery and inverter.

The panels run the house during the day and charge the batteries for night, but during extended cloudy weather or snow everything will run off the grid without any action on my part.

Comment: Re:bad but creating false evidence trails is worse (Score 1) 46

by chihowa (#49448775) Attached to: The DEA Disinformation Campaign To Hide Surveillance Techniques

Well, they have to find out that it actually happened to do that. There appears to be a good deal of "information laundering" going on so that individual agents may not even know that they're facilitating perjury. It's a deliberately constructed end run around our system of justice, which makes it even more nefarious than a few rogue agents.

Comment: Re:Removing this CA from your macbook (Score 1) 100

by chihowa (#49443185) Attached to: Apple Leaves Chinese CNNIC Root In OS X and iOS Trusted Stores

Why does Apple get to decide what certs are trusted or untrusted? They should send out a security notice advising customers about the situation and then let individuals deal with it from there. Also, all certs should be shipped as "untrusted" so that the user can selectively enable what he wants to be trusted.

Have you looked at the root CA list in any of the major browsers/OSs? Why are we required to implicitly trust every single one of these entities to sign anything they want? If those lists illustrate how broken the CA system is, I don't know what will.

Comment: Re:Are non-China users safe? (Score 1) 100

by chihowa (#49443065) Attached to: Apple Leaves Chinese CNNIC Root In OS X and iOS Trusted Stores

DNSSEC doesn't tie you to a registrar any more than registering a domain already did. DNSSEC also solves a good chunk of the MITM that can occur with the normal CA system. DNS is a vital part of the internet. The fact that it is so easily spoofed and altered is the root of many security problems.

The argument against DNSSEC is that there is still a root authority, at IANA, that can be corrupted. Which is solvable with DLV (DNSSEC Look-aside Validation) and alternative trust anchors. Even without that, stating the CA (or specific key) you use in DNS only makes the system stronger. At the very least, that's one more party to corrupt and non-targeted attacks would be broadcast across the internet.