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Comment: Re:Education versus racism (Score 1) 465

by amorsen (#48456641) Attached to: Cops 101: NYC High School Teaches How To Behave During Stop-and-Frisk

Reid technique has ensured that less than 20% of people questioned get counsel. Generally people who are innocent will not ask for counsel; they just want to cooperate so the police can see that they are innocent, and asking for counsel is something they think only criminals do.

Comment: Re:Exploding Rockets vs. Nuclear Power (Score 1) 519

by amorsen (#48456619) Attached to: What Would Have Happened If Philae Were Nuclear Powered?

Ahh no it could have easily survive

You will need to back up that claim. The speeds involved are rather extreme.

RTGs have been used by other probes that used gravity earth boost...

Cassini had a fairly major public outcry against it, for just a single gravity boost, and that did not even fail.

Comment: Re:Education versus racism (Score 2) 465

by amorsen (#48450945) Attached to: Cops 101: NYC High School Teaches How To Behave During Stop-and-Frisk

If you follow 1-3) with US police, they will use the Reid Technique to abuse your compliance and extract a false statement. Then you better have the resources of a (no-longer) well-off family and the help of the foreign office of a small nation in order to eventually get freed, like Malthe Thomsen. (I hate linking to the Daily Mail, but the case has not been well-covered internationally.)

The newspaper Politiken has in-depth coverage of the case in Danish.

Comment: Re:A better idea (Score 1) 152

by amorsen (#48450677) Attached to: NASA Offering Contracts To Encourage Asteroid Mining

Yes, it is really strange that they do not do that. You have to wonder why they did not just do that with the Shuttle, just a parachute instead of those ceramic tiles. What could possibly be the problem with a parachute going MACH 20? Or more likely MACH 100+, in the case of an incoming asteroid?

Comment: Re:Microsoft Windows only (Score 1) 139

by HiThere (#48445927) Attached to: Highly Advanced Backdoor Trojan Cased High-Profile Targets For Years

Despite the "only security through obscurity" meme, you need to understand it, not just say it.

There are only two types of security:
1) security through obscurity,
and,
2) security through inaccessibility.
They can, however, be intelligently combined.

Please note that private key encryption is security through obscurity. Cutting the phone line is security through inaccessibility. Saying that "it's secure because they can't get the prime factors of that key" is security through obscurity.

Despite the meme, security through obscurity is widely and properly used. What's wrong if false obscurity, which is common. If you don't properly assess just how obscure your secret is, then you have a security failure.

So having a monoculture is reduced security, because that means that there are a much larger number of entities seeking to discover the secret...and any breach in security cannot be easily contained. If you don't have a monoculture, then a single breach cannot be as widely damaging, and is thus also less valuable to find. This is a sort of network effect.

OTOH, a diverse community means that more effort needs to be devoted to security, because each branch is a separate thing to be maintained. So it's not all benefit or all loss, it's a mixture.

FWIW, I choose not to have flash installed on my system, despite the fact that it would have some utility, because I consider that the weakness that it presents is not worth the benefit. The ability of refuse to have such a service installed allows increased security...at a cost. For some people the cost is higher than they are willing to pay. This reduction of the attack surface is a form of security through obscurity mixed with security through inaccessibility, i.e., I have become inaccessible to some forms of attact, and I have reduced my visibility to many attackers.

If the facts don't fit the theory, change the facts. -- Albert Einstein

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