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Comment: Re:The Internet Needs More Random Data (Score 1) 284

by TheLink (#47423071) Attached to: UK Computing Student Jailed After Failing To Hand Over Crypto Keys
Or Ubuntu and other popular distro to do something like this:
https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+bug/148440

Then it's normal for people to have encrypted stuff on their drives that they can't decrypt. And thus a "reasonable man" could not be expected to be able to decrypt such stuff even if he cooperated fully. They could be using full disk crypto with an encrypted container file that they can't decrypt. They can decrypt the first but not the second (or maybe they can - it becomes harder to tell :) ).

But once a popular OS has stuff like this by default, it's much easier for the defence to argue that you can't do it.

Of course in this case - the guy has been supplying wrong passwords, so unless you can show it was out of desperation and/or due to duress, he'd still be in trouble.

Comment: Re:Forget reading, GET AN IMPLANT! (Score 1) 83

by TheLink (#47422603) Attached to: A Brain Implant For Synthetic Memory
It's the wrong approach if you just want a prosthetic memory to help people remember stuff.

To have a prosthetic memory what you need is a computer that can remember stuff - video, audio, photos, text etc. Preferably wearable. Then what you need is to attach a device to appropriate parts of your brain that reads thought patterns that are distinctive depending on what you are thinking (elephants, purple etc). The device does NOT have to decipher or understand what you are thinking. All it needs to do is associate the stuff to be stored/recalled or even _commands_ with the thought pattern(s) you choose for it. I call these thought macros. See also: http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=3478821&cid=42956909

So you capture a video/audio/picture then you assign it a thought, or "current state" of mind. If you even have difficulty rethinking[1] a thought pattern, you could search by context and time (what I stored some time ago while at home).

There may need to be training phases like in speech recognition, and it's likely to work better with some people than others.

[1] The approach the military is taking would still have problems if people can't even remember that they are supposed to remember something- so whichever approach you'd need the ability to set up "prompts" based on time and context (and brain patterns).

I believe our technology is very very far from the state where you can drop in a memory device with memories already preloaded in, and which people can use to "remember that they are to remember something" (and even if we did, it would be scary and I won't want to have it).

Because there's evidence that memories are stored differently on different people's brains - some people have a halle berry neuron: http://www.caltech.edu/content/single-cell-recognition-halle-berry-brain-cell
http://phys.org/news4703.html
Seems to me to be a bit like a Bingo hall where a neuron yells bingo when it recognizes what the "announcer reads out". And the thing is those neurons aren't in the same place for everyone, they might not even be present for everyone, and one neuron might yell bingo for slightly different things (in one person they might have a neuron that goes bingo for Jennifer Aniston when it sees Jennifer Aniston + Brad Pitt, in another person it might not go bingo for the couple).

Which is also why I think that it's delusional for people to believe we'd soon be able to transfer our minds to other machines. You can transfer something, but it'll be far from everything.

Comment: Re:No they're not (Score 2) 63

by TheLink (#47394421) Attached to: Study: Whales Are Ecosystem "Engineers"

I don't see anything new or interesting in the articles to consider it a "discovery of a way" (e.g. http://www.uvm.edu/~uvmpr/?Pag... )

In contrast this is a better article with more detail on how whales could _actually_ affect ecosystems significantly: http://www.newscientist.com/ar...
And that's a 4 year old article.

Comment: Plenty of flawed studies with flawed conclusions (Score 1) 332

This might be one of those many flawed studies.

How many times did they shock themselves? If it was just once and then they sat there without doing it again then perhaps it was more of curiosity than not being able to be alone and deprived of stimuli.

Many people are very curious about stuff.

And some are stupid or rebellious - if you tell them don't push a button many of them will push the button without trying to find out why not e.g. they might ask "You mean this button?" and then push it...

Comment: Re:Well, of course (Score 2) 359

I'm sure the data is used for various nefarious purposes

No doubt planned by a guy with a cat in his lap, who likes to say "eeexcellent" a lot.

That's a bit farfetched, but everything the NSA was confirmed to be doing was also farfetched before Snowden leaked those documents.

There was nothing far-fetched about the idea that the government was dong metadata analysis, or working with large corporations to access their data. Both of those things were pretty much an open "secret" well before Snowden leaked anything; he merely provided greater detail about the extent of those operations, and brought that information into the public consciousness.

Besides which, if your thought process goes along the lines of "these far-fetched things have happened, therefore all these other far-fetched things are probably true" .... you are not a rational person. People who think that way end up believing every goddamn conspiracy theory under the sun.

Comment: Re:I smell a rat. (Score 1) 114

by TheLink (#47381987) Attached to: Use of Encryption Foiled the Cops a Record 9 Times In 2013

But that's why this "vulnerability" should be fixed:
https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubu...

Imagine if by default if you don't uncheck a checkbox a popular distro has full disk encryption enabled and/or creates an encrypted container.

Then they can't use the "wrench" on everyone that happens to have that distro, because it really is very plausible that the person doesn't have the keys to the container.

As for the arguments against it - if you're in a country where they are still willing to use the "wrench" on someone who is likely to not have the keys, you're screwed already. In such countries if they're not happy with you, you're in big trouble whether you use crypto or not.

Comment: Re:What about pedestrians? (Score 1) 233

by TheLink (#47381939) Attached to: Radar Changing the Face of Cycling

Granted, it wouldn't work for the little moppets that run between parked SUVs, so it wouldn't be a perfect solution...

That's why I have been proposing that for robot cars they also have cameras/sensors/radars/lidars at bumper height. It's often easier to spot (from a distance) people/animals obscured by vehicles from bumper level than it is to spot them from driver or roof level. But I'm no car or robot car engineer, so someone else will have to actually do it.

You might be able to do something like this for "kiddie" sensors mounted on bicycles/motorcycles, but given the front wheel of those vehicles is movable it's probably a bit trickier :).

Comment: Re:Well, of course (Score 5, Insightful) 359

If you dare to not follow the herd, think for yourself, make up your mind by yourself without the aid of government "guided" media, of course you must be an extremist.

It's frightening how close the US already got to the USSR of old.

Oh, irony.

See, a rational person would have looked at what's going and concluded that the NSA's position is "of course you're more likely to be an extremist" rather than "of course you must be an extremist". But self-styled "free-thinkers" such as yourself always seem to tend toward these extreme, paranoid views that barely resemble the actual situation. It's almost as if you tended towards extremism or something.

Comment: Re:Seriously? (Score 1) 203

Which still makes me question: why 39 shots when the victim (allegedly) shot only once?

I once saw a platoon of soldiers fire ~600 rounds on a crowd of protesters who threw an egg. The first guy to fire thought it was a grenade. The rest followed suit. Luckily it was a training exercise ... but in real life shit goes sideways all the time, too. If you think you're any better, you couldn't be more wrong. If you had been there manning the perimeter, you would have fired right along with the rest.

We train hard to reduce the chances of shit like this happening in a real scenario, but no amount of training can completely eliminate it. And when you have millions of cops engaging daily in violent interactions ... it's a miracle that these kinds of fiascoes happen as rarely as they do. The only reason people find it exceptional is because youtoube is full of videos of cops behaving badly, and you can watch 50 of them in an afternoon. If you actually had to view them in proportion to normal, everyday interactions, you'd be sitting there all year. People just don't understand large numbers and selection bias.

Comment: Re:Seriously? (Score 1) 203

More likely: the killing of the granny was indeed an honest mistake, and then they tried to cover up their mistake by making her look like a criminal by planting drugs and the gun, in an attempt to justify their actions.

Yes, that's quite possible, if unlikely. Thanks for being one of the fee reasonable commenters.

Firing 39 shots sounds totally excessive - the hit rate is also pretty bad indeed. That indeed leaves some 33 stray bullets, no telling where they ended up.

They ended up inside the house. The hit rate is actually quite good. Take it from me. On the range I get every round in the bullseye. In a kinetic situation I'm lucky if I get 1 out of 4 on target. And I'm a guy who has better training than the police.

Civvies seem to expect every cop to be trained to special-forces standards. That expectation is ... unrealistic, to say the least.

Comment: Re:Seriously? (Score 1) 203

So you trust the cops word, even after a criminal conviction for their actions?

No, I weigh the evidence based on the most likely scenario. Never met a cop who would blow away grandma for no reason. If you can introduce me to some, I may change my mind.

The "evidence" shows that the police executed an illegal raid

Come again? I think these kinds of statements are why the [citation needed] tag was invented.

And the cops hit their target 10% of the time. If they weren't fired and in jail, they could have used more time on the range, anyway.

Spoken like someone who's never been in a firefight. 10% is actually well above what I would expect.

Comment: Re:Seriously? (Score 0) 203

This probably happens in real life. I got slammed against a brick wall when I was 23 or so by a cop for ... blah blah blah ...

I've seen lots of friends get slammed into a brick wall (or concrete floors) by the cops. Without fail it happened because they were drunk and belligerent and begging for a beating. If the cops hadn't gotten them first, some other guy at the bar would have fucked them up and left them far worse off than just a few bruises and having to go to court. Yet, again without fail, they all claim they were the innocent victims of police brutality.

There are certainly cases where police misbehave, and they should be held accountable for that. But the cases where idiots convince themselves that they were innocent victims of police brutality are far, FAR more common. You'll forgive me if I lump you into the latter category based on the odds.

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