Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).


Comment: Re:Ignorant premise (Score 1) 499

by HBI (#49139859) Attached to: Machine Intelligence and Religion

That's a particularly weak argument. You have no evidence to back this up, just an assertion. Yet the visible signs of emotion in babies and pets are well documented. You seem to be saying that if the being demonstrating emotion can't talk to act as a witness of his own emotion, then it's unprovable that they are sustaining emotion. They could be faking it to avoid being considered prey. At some future point, they figure out how to perform the same actions in the same situations for a reason, and therefore give up faking the behavior.

William of Ockham would say that you were full of baloney.

Comment: Re:Ignorant premise (Score 1) 499

by HBI (#49139011) Attached to: Machine Intelligence and Religion

Babies have emotion from the moment they are born. It's not learned, at least outside the womb. Newborns are curious, get angry, and get happy. Spent enough time with a vernix-covered infant (my own two) to know that.

I suppose the belief is that if you create code that is capable of learning, sufficient iterations of it will gain consciousness as a result of that capability, and therefore the capability to observe one religion or another.

Unfortunately, I think there's a 2. ??? line in there somewhere. Something like:

1. Code machine capable of independent learning
2. ???
3. Consciousness

The catch is in the ???

Comment: Re:What it really reveals (Score 1) 112

by danheskett (#49134623) Attached to: TrueCrypt Audit Back On Track After Silence and Uncertainty

True, you didn't built everything from source, but you were happy enough that everything traced back to "the" sources to make you feel secure. That's a lot more protection than anything from a commercial vendor, who probably just sold you formulaic encryption without any extra work to make you feel secure. Your data would have been more secure, if not actually secure, but you'd have felt it less, because really you have no way of knowing. So without somebody taking the extra time to make you feel secure, you naturally wouldn't feel it very much, if at all.

The problem is that there is no conceivable way to do what you are saying. It involves compromising or proxying disparate traffic, expertly.

And then, after all that, it would involve rooting an otherwise secure installation that is barely network connected, and using that to inject what, defects into the right sources so that the resulting binaries are weak or exploitable?

I agree that the NSA, CIA, and FBI have extraordinary capabilities, but the attack vectors that have thus far been revealed are the same attack vectors that security researchers have known and published for a long time - firmware, obscure libraries that are often used but seldom examined, zero-day exploits of popular software, mathematical flaws in encryption implementations, and physical security and chain of custody.

All of which is to say, the basic landscape of the threat has not changed much in 20 years. It is sophisticated, but as always, a strong layered defense and strong procedures and policies will minimize the possible impacts, exploits, and severity of breaches (if they occur in the first place). There are few things more secure than a well maintained GNU/Linux or OpenBSD box running in the wild.

Comment: Re:You know... (Score 1) 684

by HBI (#49129135) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Terminally Ill - What Wisdom Should I Pass On To My Geek Daughter?

His daughters are 30 and 27 now. Both married. I don't talk to them much, I find their husbands to be annoying. They were the beneficiaries of a significant insurance settlement as a result of their father's death and had some wealthy relatives who paid all their bills. They're both a bit full of themselves as a result.

Comment: You know... (Score 4, Interesting) 684

by HBI (#49128807) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Terminally Ill - What Wisdom Should I Pass On To My Geek Daughter?

I was thinking of the same thing before I deployed to Iraq in 2007-08. I have two daughters - now 20 and 17, but much younger then, obviously. I had all kinds of ideas about what I could tell them or how I could communicate with them beyond the grave, as I took the possibility of not coming back very seriously at the time. Ultimately, I decided to do nothing. My reasons revolved around others' experiences - my brother died, for instance, at a similar time frame in his daughters' life. They demonstrated next to zero interest in what he was like, even though I had quite a bit of information about him, some audio tapes and the like. I offered to let them listen to it/see what I had/talk to them about it, and they had little interest. I didn't (and don't) imagine my kids would be any different. In the end, who cares who I was. I was their father when I was alive. Now that i'm not, i'm just some cold stone or an urn or something, a few pictures and not much else. Expecting my words to have much significance to them was not realistic.

Comment: Re:Actually, ADM Rogers doesn't "want" that at all (Score 5, Insightful) 400

by danheskett (#49121185) Attached to: NSA Director Wants Legal Right To Snoop On Encrypted Data

If, on the other hand, you live in a world where simply crying "Encryption!" is some kind of barrier that magically sanctifies the underlying data, and that it then cannot and should not ever be accessed by anyone other than the data owner...well, then I would ask what you think about the German and Japanese codes in WWII?

I think it's deeply sick that our government or anyone would equate our foreign, Congressionally declared, military enemies locked in nearly unrestrained warfare with the private effects and papers and their electronic equiavlents of it's peaceful citizens.

The law and Constitution (as interpreted and implemented by our system of government) are the constraints -- not specific technological capability.
Disagree. The Constitution recognizes an inherent right - that of a person to be secure in his person and papers from unreasonable search and seizure of his person and those effects. That natural right, along with the natural right to be held personally inviolate (i.e. not tortured) are the dual foundations for the presumption that encryption keys, like secrets ensconced in your memory, are immune for the government's attempts to ascertain them.

What he "wants", when US-based companies hold data that still can technically be accessed for legitimate foreign intelligence purposes supported by our system of law, is that a legal framework should allow for it. When it can't be, it's up to NSA to determine other mechanisms to access that data.

It is impossible to know hat the NSA, or any government agency, actually wants. There is no legal nor oversight mechanism that will force them to disclose that information to you, or me, or even to their Congressional overseers, or even to other members of the Executive branch. They have demonstrated lawlessness at the highest levels and vast dishonesty, using every legal, regulatory, judicial, and yes extra-legal mechanism possible to avoid operating transparently. Whatever the intention, whatever the reason, it is beyond question that civic minded citizens should believe any pronouncement, no matter how clearly worded it appears to be, from the Executive branch. When the Director of National Intelligence says point blank they are not collecting records of millions of Americans, it is not simply a matter of redefining away the words. It's lying. Without punishing those who deceive American citizens and especially Congressional oversight, we must only be left to assume that the NSA operates outside of the realm of the rule of law, and because of that, we must act accordingly.

Even if it means a massive terrorist attack on US soil, even if means the collapse of the government, or invasion, or a mushroom cloud over a major US city, we have to resist the presumption that any agent of the executive acts without oversight and accountability.

Comment: Re:Question In Headline (Score 1) 150

by HBI (#49119649) Attached to: Is Sega the Next Atari?

You are singularly ill-informed. AH didn't go bankrupt. AH's publisher decided to leave the business, but not because of the quality of the games or inability to make money on them. Bad business decisions - there are some good articles on what those were, particularly an ill-advised lawsuit against Microprose - did them in. Opportunity cost also worked against them, as their parent company, a publishing house, thought publishing magazines more profitable than wargames. The fact that the primary magazine they worked on was divested a few years later probably suggests that they were wrong. Either way, Monarch Publishing couldn't have mishandled things in a worse way, and the ownership in the 18 years since has been sitting on the IP and doing very little with it.

Comment: Re:Question In Headline (Score 1) 150

by HBI (#49114901) Attached to: Is Sega the Next Atari?

Yeah, they've done such a great job there. Out of the entire AH pre-cataclysm line, only two games are produced by WotC - Acquire and Diplomacy. AWAW and Prados' Third Reich are the only other survivors I am aware of, and are not produced by Hasbro/WotC itself.

The rest of the vaunted AH line is completely defunct and you can pay hundreds of dollars to lay hands on a (not-so-gently) used copy of a particular favorite. It's a pretty crappy situation all around. There was some fun stuff in that library. You'd think WotC could make some money off selling even PDFed copies of the games - as certain people on Ebay do, though not legally.

"All my life I wanted to be someone; I guess I should have been more specific." -- Jane Wagner