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Comment: Re:Do they (Score 1) 113

by dcollins117 (#49141161) Attached to: Schneier: Everyone Wants You To Have Security, But Not From Them

Yeah but they have enough manpower to try to figure out every possible type of encryption scheme.

Huh? Everyone has access to open source encryption algorithms. That is a strength, not a weakness. Strong encryption algorithms rely on the fact that everyone has equal knowledge of the algorithm employed. It is the encryption key that is secret, not the algorithm.

That's the beauty of it. Evey mathemetician the world over can know what the problem is, but they cannot solve it in any reasonable time frame without the key. That's the whole point.

Comment: Re:Dear Michael Rogers, (Score 2) 400

by dcollins117 (#49126177) Attached to: NSA Director Wants Legal Right To Snoop On Encrypted Data

Now don't fault him on asking. The issue comes down to if we as a society are brave enough to say we value our freedom more than our security.

I do fault him for asking. By using strong encryption you are essentially saying "I hereby restrict access to this data to authorized users only." The problem Mr. Rogers has is that he lacks the authority to demand access to protected data. This is especially true for warrantless activities, things get much more interesting if he gets a federal warrant. I'd much rather have that discussion take place in a courtroom where everything is out in the open and both sides can argue their legal positions in front of a judge. That's the part he wants to skip and I want to see preserved.

Comment: Re:What's with all the pitchforks? (Score 1) 208

by dcollins117 (#49033373) Attached to: Elementary OS: Why We Make You Type "$0"

If you can have access to a distribution made possible only through hours and hours of hard work at the cost of feeling guilty for a second as you type "0$"...

I don't understand why anyone would feel guilty about not paying for something that is free. If someone gives you a gift do you feel guilty for not paying them for it? I don't.

Comment: Re:Side Effects? (Score 2) 208

by dcollins117 (#49033313) Attached to: Elementary OS: Why We Make You Type "$0"

By forcing users to enter $0 when they download, don't they make the users implicitly commit to a statement that the software is worthless?

No, only that it is costless. That's why it is called free software. It's worth a lot, otherwise you wouldn't bother to obtain it. It costs nothing. That's the beauty of FOSS.

Comment: Re:Public support (Score 2) 239

by dcollins117 (#49023867) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Will It Take To End Mass Surveillance?

I wish that swing in public opinion was feasible. I fear it isn't. But I have hope.

Look no further than the NRA to find a lobby that politicians are scared of. Congress was unable to enact gun control legislation even after the horrific Sandy Hill shootings. We need a privacy lobby that strong.

What gets me is that a lot more Americans are killed by guns than in terrorist attacks, but that's America for ya.

Comment: Re:Close, but the answer is encryption. (Score 1) 239

by dcollins117 (#49023751) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Will It Take To End Mass Surveillance?

Right now exception[sic] is a nice bold flag to them that you should be monitored...

I personally don't care, as I believe that to be FUD. However If it is true, then my response would be that it doesn't matter, as your data is protected. Anyone is free to monitor it all they like.

There will always be bad actors scooping up as much data as they possibly can whether the data is encrypted or not. Use strong encryption for everything all the time and it obviates a whole slew of security concerns.

Comment: Re:I don't think this [release] matters at all... (Score 1) 193

by dcollins117 (#49011195) Attached to: Xfce Getting a New Version Soon

I guess slashdotters can tell me where XFCE is making a difference.

I used XFCE for years and it worked great for me. Then it got more bloated and I had to switch to LXDE/Openbox. I don't want the desktop/window manager doing stupid shit when I just want to get work done. Popup notifications, desktop "effects", and the like I can do without. Also, my memory belongs to me, not the desktop environment.</rant>

I'm hopeful the LXDE/Openbox developers don't follow in the same footsteps as the XFCE crew as I fear my next option is bare X server.

Comment: Re:"computer hacking" the convenient catch-all (Score 5, Informative) 327

by dcollins117 (#49009447) Attached to: Swatting 19-Year-Old Arrested in Las Vegas

Maybe cops should learn some restraint in their use of force?

They clearly could use better training. I was reading in the newspaper about a cop shooting. It was recorded on video and shows the cop repeatedly shouting "Don't move!", "Put your hands up!" "Don't move!" over and over again. The guy put his hands up and the cop shot and killed him. The cop says he's not a fault because he told the victim not to move.

There's another video on YouTube of a guy getting shot at a gas station after the cop shouts "Don't move!", "Show me your ID!", etc.The guy went to get his wallet and got shot because he moved.

Perhaps the cops could be trained to not give contradictory commands? How does one put their hands up without moving? If I were cynical I'd wonder if these cops just felt like shooting someone and so gave contradictory commands to "justify" doing it.

Comment: Re:Intuit has a history of ABUSE. (Score 1) 119

by dcollins117 (#49004551) Attached to: TurboTax Halts E-filing of State Tax Returns Because of Potential Fraud

There are 2,095 negative 1-star reviews on Amazon ... Because, without telling customers, Intuit removed important functions from TurboTax Deluxe.

I find great satisfaction in seeing a company lose customers, brand reputation, and a good deal of money in response to pulling a dick move like this. It gives me the sense that all is right with the world. The H&R Block software is cheaper and is not crippled in the way TurboTax is. My family has abandoned TurboTax, never to return, based on this incident.

Comment: Re:First sighting of the selfie gremlin? (Score 1) 113

by dcollins117 (#48979611) Attached to: Pilot's Selfies Could Have Caused Deadly Air Crash

This is a plane you can fly literally hands-off. It will fly straight and level. Even if you take your hands off in the middle of a turn the plane will continue that direction for a short time while starting a slow drift.

Clearly, it took a lot of talent to drive this plane into the ground. Good job, pilot!

Comment: Re:Not really news (Score 1) 73

From TFS: If genuine, the transcript shows that members of the Hell's Angels organization are familiar with using encryption to shield their communications from law enforcement.

Yes, that caught my eye as well. I regularly use encryption to send funny cat pictures to my mom. Doesn't mean I'm trying to shield my communications from law enforcement. Hint: I'm trying to circumvent Verizons' shitty spam filters. They simply won't deliver my emails unless I encrypt them.

Comment: Re:Leaking an NSL (Score 1) 159

by dcollins117 (#48975565) Attached to: Site Launches To Track Warrant Canaries

The government would hold the recipient of said NSL accountable for failing to enact adequate security measures to prevent said NSL from leaking.

Which means nothing. Congress makes laws, not the NSA or FBI. Congress is also specifically precluded from making any law that limits free speech by the first amendment.

NSLs are an extra-judicial attempt to circumvent the individuals' right to free speech. They can't hold up in court since there is no legal basis to issue them in the first place.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"

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