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Comment: Re:So SSL is nothing more than an honor system? (Score 2) 76

by gweihir (#47423743) Attached to: India's National Informatics Centre Forged Google SSL Certificates

Anybody that looked into the SSL certificate system has known that for a very long time. Quite a few people used to use self-signed certificates, as as least there somebody that bothered to find out could be sure it was secure.

I think the fundamental brokeness of the SSL certificate system is because of deep naivety with regard to the trustworthiness of governments and because of active sabotage of by said governments way back. I hope at least that issue is fixed after Snowden. Governments are even more evil than any of their members and cannot be trusted for any purpose.


Book Review: Data-Driven Security: Analysis, Visualization and Dashboards 23

Posted by samzenpus
from the read-all-about-it dept.
benrothke writes There is a not so fine line between data dashboards and other information displays that provide pretty but otherwise useless and unactionable information; and those that provide effective answers to key questions. Data-Driven Security: Analysis, Visualization and Dashboards is all about the later. In this extremely valuable book, authors Jay Jacobs and Bob Rudis show you how to find security patterns in your data logs and extract enough information from it to create effective information security countermeasures. By using data correctly and truly understanding what that data means, the authors show how you can achieve much greater levels of security. Keep reading for the rest of Ben's review.

Comment: Utter stupidity, continued (Score 1) 668

by gweihir (#47399325) Attached to: TSA Prohibits Taking Discharged Electronic Devices Onto Planes

I guess they have never heard of smaller batteries or (for multi-cell cases) step-up converters. It is quite simple to, say, take a 6 cell battery pack and convert one cell to a step-up regulator and retain one cell. Gives you 4 cells (i.e. stainless-steel containers) to fill with whatever you like. The same effect can be had by using smaller batteries than originally in the pack.


By 2045 'The Top Species Will No Longer Be Humans,' and That Could Be a Problem 551

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the kill-all-humans dept.
schwit1 (797399) writes Louis Del Monte estimates that machine intelligence will exceed the world's combined human intelligence by 2045. ... "By the end of this century most of the human race will have become cyborgs. The allure will be immortality. Machines will make breakthroughs in medical technology, most of the human race will have more leisure time, and we'll think we've never had it better. The concern I'm raising is that the machines will view us as an unpredictable and dangerous species." Machines will become self-conscious and have the capabilities to protect themselves. They "might view us the same way we view harmful insects." Humans are a species that "is unstable, creates wars, has weapons to wipe out the world twice over, and makes computer viruses." Hardly an appealing roommate."

Comment: Re:I can't imagine... (Score 1) 109

by gweihir (#47387453) Attached to: How Did Those STAP Stem Cell Papers Get Accepted In the First Place?

I do not know what the reviews for the paper were. I only know it got into a well-known "Tier-I" conference. I do know my 10-Minute assessment was right, because more than a year later, the authors (minus the first one) had their follow-up paper where they basically admitted all defects and scientific misconduct by the first author. And I do know nothing happened to anyone. This was "mainstream-research", the conference is large and well-known.

Comment: Re:Simple: Peer review is badly broken (Score 1) 109

I think what is missing is that a) more reviewer actually need to be experts and practicing scientists and b) doing good reviews needs to get you scientific reputation rewards. At the moment,investing time in reviewing well is a losing game for those doing it.

I agree that good reviews do not need to be binary. You can also "accept if this is fixed", "rewrite as an 'idea' paper", "publish in a different field", "make it a poster", etc. But all that takes time and real understanding.

Comment: Re:Interessting in any case (Score 1) 109

by gweihir (#47384505) Attached to: Can the NSA Really Track You Through Power Lines?

That would work if the NSA would be hacking devices anywhere. They do not do that. Not because of any ethical concerns or because they cannot, but in order to protect their tools and methods. Whenever they hack something, they risk losing the vulnerability used. As vulnerabilities are expensive and not in unlimited supply, they cannot use them for minor things such as a sensor point somewhere.

Comment: Re:So... (Score 1) 210

Use TOR and select an US exit-relay. Very simple to do, for example with the TOR-browser bundle. Start, select "verify TOR", select Altlas, select new identity, if the exit-relay is not in the US. Repeat until US exit relay is obtained.

But be aware that using TOR puts you into the NSA's "extremist" database...

Comment: Re:I can't imagine... (Score 4, Interesting) 109

One very common scenario for knowingly faked "results" is this: PhD Student has his/her funding running out and gets set an ultimatum (explicitly or implicitly). PhD student fakes something, sometimes looking pretty good at first glance. Advisor is too stupid, lazy or full of him/herself to notice. Paper gets published because advisor is "respected" in the community.

I have seen this happening quite a few times, including one case where all authors, except the first one (the PhD student), wrote what was basically a retraction a year later. But did anything happen to these people? No. The PhD student still has his PhD, despite his results being essentially worthless. The other authors still have their reputation. The faked publications were not retracted. I did recognize the fake in 10 Minutes by numerous inconsistent things and numbers that did not add up and did not make sense at all. None of the reviewers apparently did. Just when people tried to reproduce the results and failed were some question asked. But as I said, no consequences for blatant scientific misconduct by several people. For me, this nearly cost me my PhD as my advisor was not even capable of understanding the fake after I explained it to him in detail and somehow though they were doing something vastly superior to my work. While the low-point of my scientific work, it made me understand that most so-called "scientists" do not qualify for that distinction.

Comment: Re:Because peers aren't magical (Score 3, Insightful) 109

There are some islands of honest and competent conferences and reviewers, but they are usually in not very well known events. All that is mainstream, "Tier-I" conferences and Journals are fundamentally corrupt. I mostly left research for the same reason, but I occasionally still publish something these days. The difference is that I publish if I have something good and interesting, not when some stupid research administrator thinks I should have more papers. And I publish in a venue where I respect the people running the conference even if that gives a lot less scientific "reputation".

The shortest distance between two points is under construction. -- Noelie Alito