Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook


Forgot your password?

Comment Re:Current use != Original intent w/proof (Score 1) 132

The closest analog to modern encryption is the pyrotechnic safe; attempting to drill it results in an explosion and a fire inside.

Where I can I buy one? Sure I've seen them in movies. Do they actually exist?

If they exist how reliable are they? No criminal is going to want his books and cash to burn out if the neighbors kid crashes a car into a tree on your yard. Or a small earth quake.

I literally can't find anything about them at all. The closest is that using themic lances against normal safes can burn the papers in them.

Perhaps some psycho might rig a bomb inside a regular safe, but that's probably enough to get you convicted just for that, even if you walk on the original case.

In any case this hardly seems to be a problem law enforcement is constantly running into.

Comment Re:Current use != Original intent w/proof (Score 1) 132

They can hire a safe-cracker, but if they can't find one that can break in to your safe, you still don't have to give up the combination and the cops are out of luck.

Quite. But how realistic is this? How many safes out there can the police not get cracked? Its a theoretical limitation with no real implication on actual law enforcement activity.

Contrast this with "everybody and their un-crackable cellphone".

If someone made a physical safe the cops couldn't break into, and people were buying them by the millions law enforcement would be in a similar tizzy about it. Except I doubt that can happen, nothing one can build can't be ground down again. And the cost of such a safe would be extreme.

Contrast with encryption where the cost of encryption is negligible, and uncrackable. (aka "free with 2 year contract")

Encrypted data is the same. They can't force you to give them the passphrase but they can hire someone to try and crack it. If no one can, the cops are out of luck.

Exactly. But they aren't ok with being "out of luck" so often.

What if I had a paper diary and I wrote it in my own language(encryption)?

You'd be surprised how easy it would be to crack in practice. In most cases invented languages would be little more than some window dressing on an existing language, with some simple ciphers etc. Couple that with other relatively detailed knowledge they have about your movements and activities and they almost have a Rosetta stone.

But sure, we can hypothesize you invented the equivalent of martian for the sake of argument, and nobody can make anything of it.

The cops would be out of luck.

Ok, how many people do you think in the world are inventing the equivalent of martian to write their criminal diaries? Are even capable of it? How many police investigations have been hampered by it?

The police don't have a problem with this, because it practically NEVER happens.

The issue they have with encryption is that every criminal from a purse snatcher to the head of the Yakuza uses computers, tablets, smartphones, etc. So its an actual obstacle to actual investigations instead of a hypothetical issue that never happens.

I don't see how you have a problem with any of this.

In an ideal world, I'd want police to be able to break into an encrypted device with a warrant. Why wouldn't I want that? But for better or worse, in the real world, for the first time ever we have somewhere we can put our documents that is easy, convenient, inexpensive, and is secure enough to keep even global super powers from getting in with all their resources combined. Never mind the local police detachment.

I don't have a "problem" with it, in the sense that I think we should ban encryption or backdoor it because those are both stupid non-solutions. But it is a legitimate problem that law enforcement faces that has no good solution.

Comment Re:Illegal phone running (Score 1) 132

I would argue it is time to take up arms against a government with mind reading tech.

And then what? Burn the existing tech, ban research into it, and hope foreign country X doesn't secretly have it?

I agree there is some pretty messed up stuff that could (would) happen in such a world, but I figure mass-proliferation of the tech to everyone would be the only possible stable outcome of such a development.

Comment Re:Just a thought... (Score 1) 200

Rejected, per the observation that there is evidence of discrimination against women when gender is identified.

Not so sure that it is evidence of discrimination to say At the same time, when the gender of the women is identifiable (as opposed to hidden), their pull requests are accepted less often than men's.

Look at the graph in the paper.... we're talking about a less than 5% difference; actually, the confidence intervals may be very close to overlapping: a bit hard to see on the graph.

You would think they would include a statistical analysis for that result in the paper as well, but I suspect it could be more of an afterthought.

Comment Re:The basic question is answered...but still... (Score 1) 529

Parapsychologists fall into 2 categories: suckers and people out to fleece suckers

Don't fall into trap many pseudoskeptics fall into of simply parrotting anything your favorite aging TV magicians post on facebook. There's been a big change in the field of parapsychology ever since a psi effect was proven to exist. The research being done now is ridiculously rigorous, thanks to the positive effects of decades of ridicule. I don't really have an interest either way, but I was surprised to learn this recently.

Guys like this are being taken very seriously:

This move towards better design of para studies and stricter peer review criteria was covered in Steve Volk's 2011 book, Fringeology.

Slashdot Top Deals

A meeting is an event at which the minutes are kept and the hours are lost.