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Comment: Validating a self-signed cert (Score 1) 186

by davidwr (#48623353) Attached to: Google Proposes To Warn People About Non-SSL Web Sites

It makes sense: encryption without authentication is useless, as the browser gets a secure channel to talk with an unidentified peer. It can be your server, it can also be a man in the middle, there is no way to tell.

You mean other than manually comparing the certificate against a known-good copy you previously obtained through a trusted channel then telling your web browser to memorize it as a known-good certificate?

Comment: Re:3-digit /. UID? (Score 1) 68

by davidwr (#48621269) Attached to: Manufacturer's Backdoor Found On Popular Chinese Android Smartphone

I'm going to hit you with my modem.

300 baud or DSL?

I have both and it's easy to mix the two up especially if you have one of those last-century DSL modems with the DB9 or DB25 serial connector.

They have about the same usefulness when used to hit people with.

On some days, they both seem to transfer data at about the same speed. :P

Comment: Fixing title for you (Score 1) 86

by davidwr (#48620773) Attached to: Research Highlights How AI Sees and How It Knows What It's Looking At

Research Highlights How a Deep Neural Network Trained With Deep Learning Sees and How It Knows What It's Looking At

There, fixed that for you.

Why is using the term "AI" wrong in this headline?
#001: Because industry experts don't agree on what AI is
#010: Because most of the definitions of AI are much broader than what the article is talking about
#011: Because at least one definition of AI says something like "if it exists today, it's not AI" - including "beyond the capability of current computers" or something similar as a defining condition of the term "AI"

Comment: Re:No different than what we have here (Score 3, Interesting) 68

by davidwr (#48620335) Attached to: Manufacturer's Backdoor Found On Popular Chinese Android Smartphone

Apple can disable software remotely for security reasons but iOS itself cannot install software without asking the user.

Unless Apple disables the software that prevents iOS from installing software without the user. This function would only be used for security reasons of course.

Comment: OT: overused phrase (Score 1) 340

by davidwr (#48620323) Attached to: In Breakthrough, US and Cuba To Resume Diplomatic Relations

We cannot keep doing the same thing and expect a different result. [or the definition of insanity sometimes attributed to Albert Einstein: "Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results"]

This phrase is overused.

When used in a practical sense, it's just plain false. It's "quasi-opposite" phrases "practice makes perfect" and "if at first you don't succeed, try, try again" are frequently enough true that they make using this phrase in an off-hand, not-carefully-considering-the-context way just sound stupid.

Anyway, you almost never "keep doing the same thing/do the same thing twice" in the real (analog) world anyway (which is why "try, try again" actually works), so using the phrase in a literal is almost always pointless outside of a computer or other non-analog (discrete-state) deterministic environment.

Comment: But when I had a VCR, I almost never time-shifted (Score 1) 428

by davidwr (#48619329) Attached to: Federal Court Nixes Weeks of Warrantless Video Surveillance

But when I had a VCR, I almost never time-shifted

I did. So did many others.

For them though, the "slight change in the quantitative cost" was the up-front price of a VCR that allowed more than 1 or 2 pre-programmed, recurring (i.e. "weekly" or "daily") events dropping below a certain price and/or the slight upward change in their income making a previously-too-expensive device suddenly affordable.

Trivia: You can now get bring-your-own-USB-storage DVR set-top-box from certain major American electronics stores for well under $50. These have been available online for awhile but it's nice to see them in stores. The one I've seen is not as good (or expensive) as a Slingbox or $299+ ChannelMaster and it's not as fun as building your own MythTV box but it gets the job done and you don't have to be a geek to set one up or use it.

Comment: How about we say (Score 1) 428

by davidwr (#48619221) Attached to: Federal Court Nixes Weeks of Warrantless Video Surveillance

It's "practically impossible short of turning the border into a DMZ" like North/South Korea's border?

If that's too strong, how about "It clear with anyone with eyes to see that it's so far from being economically cost-effective that sealing the border for the purposes of immigration control might as well be considered practically (albeit not literally) impossible."

Note that both statements leave open the fact that if the need became great enough, as it is in the North/South Korea situation, sealing the border may become cost-effective. It will still be extremely expensive but if the benefits of sealing it (preventing another country from making a credible effort to over-run ours - the threat South Koreans currently face) it might become cost-effective.

Comment: Define living being (Score 1) 341

by davidwr (#48576025) Attached to: New Effort To Grant Legal Rights To Chimpanzees Fails

Are prions alive? For the purposes of this discussion, why do you think they are they more or less alive than viruses, or why do you think they are the same as viruses with respect to being alive?

If a soul is more or less how we collectively imagine it to be, what possible value is having a soul if some classes of living beings can exist without it?

Many people would substitute the phrase "beings of a type (i.e. species) which at their peak intellect are typically sufficiently intelligent" or "... sufficiently self-aware" for "living", using their own definition of "sufficiently."

Comment: This could lead to death (Score 5, Funny) 269

by davidwr (#48575699) Attached to: Keurig 2.0 Genuine K-Cup Spoofing Vulnerability

A malicious attacker could substitute toxic fake coffee or hot chocolate for the real thing.

A malicious attacker could also substitute a coffee or hot chocolate that is tainted with a chemical that creates slight etchings in the surface of the coffee cup or other cup used to hold the end product. For certain types of cups, the result will be a cup that will be more likely to harbor bacterial growth than one with a smooth surface. Assuming a successful attack, the risk of illness or fatality is low for a healthy adult but it might be significant for a person with a suppressed or compromised immune system.

Recommended mitigation:
Keep people who want to kill you away from your coffee maker.

Excessive login or logout messages are a sure sign of senility.