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Comment: Re:New SSL root certificate authority (Score 1) 128

by Sloppy (#47508375) Attached to: Snowden Seeks To Develop Anti-Surveillance Technologies

Thanks for the insult. It hardly stung.

Unless you worked at Netscape in the mid-1990s, no insult was intended.

All I meant is that by the very early 1990s, we (and by "we" I mean people smarter than me; I was clueless at the time) had a pretty good idea that CAs wouldn't work well outside of real power hierarchies (e.g. corporate intranets). But then a few years later the web browser people came along and adopted X.509's crap, blowing off the more recent PKI improvements, in spite of the fact that it looked like it wouldn't work well for situations like the WWW.

Unsurprisingly, it didn't work well. Organizing certificate trust differently than how real people handle trust, 1) allows bad CAs to do real damage, and 2) undermines peoples' confidence in the system.

A very nice way of saying this, is that in hindsight, the predicted problems are turning out to be more important than we thought most people would care about. ;-) It's almost as though now (no fair! you changed the requirements!!) people want SSL to be secure.

Keeping the same organization but with new faceless unaccountable trust-em-completely-or-not-at-all root CAs won't fix the problem. Having "root CAs" is the problem, and PRZ solved it, over 20 years ago.

I expect you to start the project shortly.

It's a little late to start, but I do happen to still be running an awful lot of applications (web browser being the most important one) which aren't using it yet.


Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same 70

Posted by timothy
from the rising-overhead dept.
Nom du Keyboard writes: After seeing a drop in my DVD service from Netflix I got a customer service representative tonight to confirm that Netflix has ceased processing DVD returns on Saturdays nationwide. And that they did this without notifying their customers, or reducing prices to compensate for the reduced service. Given that the DVD selection still far outstrips their streaming selection, this may be news to others like myself who don't find streaming an adequate replacement for plastic discs. My experience up until recently, unlike Netflix's promise of a 1-3 day turnaround at their end which gives them lots of wiggle room to degrade service even further, had been of mailing in a DVD on day one, having them receive it and mail out my next selection on day two, and receiving it on day three. Now with them only working 5 days and many U.S. Post Office holidays, they're still getting the same money for significantly less. The Netflix shipping FAQ confirms the change, and a spokesperson said, "Saturdays have been low volume ship days for us."

Comment: Re:Mission creep. (Score 1) 228

by Archangel Michael (#47507955) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

Personally, I would say buying iOS devices is a mistake generally, but not necessarily in every case. I'm in Educational IT (K-12), and have seen quite a number of pilots in our district trying to decide what is "best" option. The answer is, "it depends".

Personally, I see much more value in Chromebooks in education, especially when tied to Google Apps For Education (GAFE). Have you heard of Google Classroom? Having taken a look at the promo videos (yes, I understand) but if it is half as easy as it looks, it is going to change how we do education.

Add in things like Khan Academy, and other "online" educational material, the world is our oyster field. I see, in the future, customized education for every student, where we break free from the industrial model of Education.

Comment: Re:Yeah, students will use bandwidth (Score 1) 228

by Archangel Michael (#47507885) Attached to: How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

Actually, most teaching is done between K-8 schools, is simply basics. And some of it is really basic, even in 8th Grade. You don't start getting interesting until High School. Then again, Math and science is "hard", and therefore isn't really promoted. Higher level math and science (Calculus, Physics, Chemistry etc.) are so hard, that most teachers don't know the subject well enough to actually teach it.

But then again, I remember my college roommate's girlfriend going for her teaching credential, and couldn't do basic math in her head, and used a calculator and still got the wrong answer. Teaching seems to be the last resort for certain people, after all, you don't need a PhD to teach kindergarteners?

But when you pay a K-6 teacher the same as a HS Math and Physics teacher, you start to see the real problem.

Comment: Re:Secure pairing is hard (Score 1) 121

by Sloppy (#47507817) Attached to: The "Rickmote Controller" Can Hijack Any Google Chromecast

How does Diffie-Hellman key exchange provide identification of the other party? .. It is not possible to determine who the other party is

It's possible. It requires an extra piece beyond the DH, but that extra piece isn't PKI. The user is the trusted introducer. The user looks around and says "Yep, these are the only two devices physically here that I have ordered to peer, right now." They are identified by being in the right place at the right time, triggered by the user saying "Now." That's a pretty good way to do things unless you're just totally surrounded by spies.

Comment: I don't think Socialism is the controlling factor (Score 1) 331

...if it is, it's more a symptom than cause.
I believe it's societies in which the economically optimal behavior is cheating.

In Socialist East Germany as many have posted here anecdotally, the system was so broken that cheating - going outside the formal rules of the system - was the only way to get many basic and preferred needs met.

This is endemic to CORRUPT societies, not just socialist ones.

For cheating to be optimal, you have to have two elements:
- a system that gives people motivation to break the rules AND (importantly)
- an alternative - a black market, corrupt officials, etc - that is workable.

I'd argue that *any* overbureaucratic society will eventually reach this point.
Capitalism - insofar as it mitigates the issue - allows people to DIRECTLY follow their self-interest, without having to 'cheat' around the system.
I'd argue that the conflicted desire of the US populace for ever-greater safety-nets and protection by the government (and thus control) will likewise ever-more incentivize cheating in precisely the same way.

"Who cares if it doesn't do anything? It was made with our new Triple-Iso-Bifurcated-Krypton-Gate-MOS process ..."