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+ - Mastercoin: A Second-Generation Protocol on the Bitcoin Blockchain-> 1

Submitted by xeniar
xeniar (2910615) writes "Alternative currencies have become a popular topic in the Bitcoin space. We have Litecoin and Primecoin introducing alternative mining algorithms with novel properties, PPCoin replacing mining entirely with a non-costly alternative, Ripple creating a cryptocurrency network that can store credit relationships and user-defined currencies, and over seventy more up and running with new ones being created every week. One particularly interesting project that has received a large amount of attention over recent months, however, is Mastercoin. The key difference in Mastercoin is this: rather than trying to bootstrap an entirely new blockchain, as every other cryptocurrency does, Mastercoin seeks to create an entirely new network of currencies, commodities and securities on top of Bitcoin itself."
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Comment: Re:Slip the backdoor into a precompiled GCC instea (Score 1) 576

by elucido (#44891437) Attached to: Linus Torvalds Admits He's Been Asked To Insert Backdoor Into Linux

Seems we need reminding of this classic by Ken Thompson.

Slip a backdoor into a RHEL 6.x (or any other major Linux distribution) version of GCC and make it do two major things:
1. Slip a backdoor into any Linux kernel it compiles.
2. Replicate itself in any version of GCC it compiles.

Choose some entry point which changes very rarely so the chances of incompatibility with new code is small.

This would probably keep RHEL with any kernel version tainted for generations of releases without very little chance of being spotted, because there are no changes in the distributed source code of either project

Or bugs in the random number generator.

Comment: Re:Some people ... (Score 0) 576

by elucido (#44891433) Attached to: Linus Torvalds Admits He's Been Asked To Insert Backdoor Into Linux

... can't tell the difference between humour and reality.

Torvalds said no while nodding his head yes is a JOKE people, not a fucking admission. Please, save the tinfoil paranoia for Reddit, and keep the serious tech discussions here.

Obviously it's a joke. It's not like anyone would admit something like that.

Comment: Re:Would probably be found (Score 0) 576

by elucido (#44891431) Attached to: Linus Torvalds Admits He's Been Asked To Insert Backdoor Into Linux

It's unlikely that such a backdoor, should it exist, would be coded so obviously, since the source is published. Instead, it would more likely be in the form of a subtle buffer overflow that results in previlige escalation or such, such that when found, it could simply be labeled as a bug rather than an backdoor... plausible deniability.


Comment: Re:Sounds promising (Score 1) 362

by elucido (#44814825) Attached to: Syrian Gov't Agrees To Russian Chem-Weapon Turnover Plan

The US uses chemical weapons too. I don't see the big deal. We pepper sovereign nations with depleted uranium and bomb people with white phospher. I'd say that qualifies under the definition of chemical weapons. If not, then certainly under other horrifying definitions.

In any case, when comparing other humanitarian causes to that of Syria, the ones in Africa are far worse and simply go ignored. I am doubly amazed. I am amazed that the US government can offer the causes they do with a straight face and I am amazed that people seriously buy into it.

When the US uses chemical weapons on you, then its a big deal?

Comment: Re:Now, for the other angle, is this treason? (Score 1) 367

by elucido (#44784679) Attached to: US Mounted 231 Offensive Cyber-operations In 2011, Runs Worldwide Botnet

Treason is a very useful concept that has a very specific definition and applicability.

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.

The quintessential US traitor, Benedict Arnold delivered troop strength and locations to the enemy during an actual war. I'd say that is a pretty clear example of treason.

If you use that example to draw your line, nothing Snowden has released to date gets anywhere near it. You could perhaps make a case for espionage, but this doesn't look like treason at all. If Snowden went to Afghanistan and started telling the enemy where US troops were, that would cross your line. Treason involves actually waging war against the US or conspiring with the enemy of the US. Exposing state secrets (of dubious legality, or that are simply embarrassing) is pretty hard to construe as "levying War against [the United States]," and only in the most vague and meaningless way, "adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort."


I said that you were implying that he committed treason because your post reads as though you feel he's crossed that line long ago and you're wondering what it will take for his dim-witted supporters to finally reach that conclusion. It seems like "asking a question" in the way that talk radio guy (whose name I can't remember for the life of me right now) "only asks questions".

I'm no Snowden Supporter, but I do appreciate having this dirty laundry aired so that we can finally start making real steps toward having a less abusive government. If we make telling the US citizens what their government is doing treason, then it will take longer than decades for us to leash this beast.

I'm not implying anything by asking the question. Asking the question allows me to find out where everyone draws the line and where everyone is at. We all draw the line at a difference place. I never said Snowden was guilty of treason but some people think he is. I would say for certain he's guilty of espionage, and he looks like he's passing information to the Russians and Chinese because why else would he place himself in those countries?

That is my opinion. If what he did results in an end to the abuse of NSA power then I will admit that he was right to take the actions he decided to take. I'm skeptical that what he did will end the abuses of power because he hasn't really exposed anything clearly abusive or illegal. The best thing that can come from this is perhaps a deeper congressional and senate investigation which finds actual abuses and then greater oversight on the NSA and on all intelligence agencies around the world.

I will let the outcomes decide whether or not his actions were justified. To me it's not just about the NSA either, it's about all abusive intelligence agencies. They all seem to be allowed to abuse their power over citizens with complete impunity. At this time based on the current outcome I'm very skeptical of Snowdens motives, and he has released a lot of classified information which appears politically motivated which had nothing to do with abuses or crimes.

So at this moment I don't view his actions as justified and cannot consider myself a Snowden supporter. I'm not in a position to know what options he had working for the NSA to report abuses or crimes. It could have been a situation where he had no one to report it to, but even if that were the case he could have released it to congress and senate instead of the media, unless we are to believe that the NSA controls the congress and senate too?

My current conclusion on Snowden is that he's motivated by ideology and politics. It is unclear to me that any abuses have been uncovered and ended or that any civil liberties or rights have been protected by his actions. I don't understand what he is actually accomplishing, but it does not match up with what he claimed he was trying to accomplish to the public. Also he claims he planned it all out, deliberately deciding to work for the NSA just to do what he did, which to me does not seem to be the typical behavior of a whistleblower.

I don't typically believe in the idea that there are heros out there who will go out of their way to do stuff. I'm not someone who looks up to other people in that way. I do believe that under certian conditions any reasonable person will exhibit certain patterns of behavior. The real question is what is it about intelligence agencies that prevents a whistleblower from triggering an internal investigation? Why does it have to always be given to the media or to foreign nations and how does it falling into the hands of foreign nations benefit me as a citizen?

How does it benefit me if some foreign government official knows the NSA is capable of spying on them?

Comment: Re: Who cares about the polygraph? (Score 1) 213

by elucido (#44784517) Attached to: Amazon Hiring More Than a 100 Who Can Get Top Secret Clearances

I've seen federal contractors job postings for some positions that say, "Security Clearance Required, no experience necessary" with a giant starting salary because they really don't want to pay for clearances.

Yeah but that is for desperate out of work people who happen to have a clearance. In this economy there will always be people who are desperate for work.

There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman? -- Woody Allen