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Comment: Re:It's an encryption layer (Score 1) 88

by jandrese (#48452717) Attached to: Book Review: Bulletproof SSL and TLS
You've never tried to actually code to the SSL library have you? It's a poorly documented nightmare of parallel APIs full of pitfalls and crypto-nerd jargon. All of the APIs are apparently written with the thought that anyone messing with SSL should have PhD in cryptography first, because otherwise they're just going to screw it up. It also has decades of old cruft in it that you shouldn't be using but the manual won't tell you which parts those are. Also, not everyone agrees as to what is the best way to use it. I'm sure someone will come out and complain that the suggested techniques in this book leave you vulnerable to some kind of weird side channel attack in certain circumstances and that you should do it a different way instead, a way that this author thinks will open you up to some other kind of attack.

You might think I'm exaggerating, but even major corporations fuck this up all of the time. There is no "just choose sensible defaults and give me a secure socket" call, because if there were someone would complain that it's not secure and shouldn't be used.

Comment: Re:Well, not really (Score 1) 299

by jandrese (#48452677) Attached to: Complex Life May Be Possible In Only 10% of All Galaxies
Or the life lives deep in oceans where it would be protected from the gamma ray bursts.

The problem with all of these "how much life is in the Universe" answers is that we're trying to extrapolate from a single datapoint (our Solar System). The unknowns outweigh the knowns by a significant margin. In other words, it's mostly a lot of wild ass guesses.

Comment: Re:Which 6? (Score 4, Informative) 107

by jandrese (#48452653) Attached to: Google Chrome Will Block All NPAPI Plugins By Default In January
From the link:

Silverlight (launched by 15 percent of Chrome users last month).
Unity (9.1 percent).
Google Earth (9.1 percent).
Java (8.9 percent, but already blocked for security reasons).
Google Talk (8.7 percent).
Facebook Video (6.0 percent).

Silverlight is in that list thanks to Netflix, but Google got HTML5 video working for Netflix so that should drop off of there. Google Earth seems like something Google can fix as well. Same with Google Talk.

Unity, Java, and Facebook Video might be problematic however. I guess we'll have to wait and see if Chrome users are important enough for the respective companies to redevelop their plugins.

Comment: Re:fight it out in court (Score 1) 474

by jandrese (#48449691) Attached to: Cops 101: NYC High School Teaches How To Behave During Stop-and-Frisk
There was a story a couple of weeks ago where a cop pulled this guy over basically for being black. The cop tells him to get his license and registration, so the guy reaches for the glove box. Cop freaks out and shoots the guy because he thinks the guy is going for a gun. Panic makes people stupid. Luckily for the guy, panic also makes you a lousy shot.

Dashcam video of the incident.

Comment: Re:By the same logic (Score 1) 327

You don't have to let a program run forever to determine if it will halt or not. There are other things you can do, like check the state at every state to see if it is identical to a previous state. If so, then you're in an infinite loop. There are other things you can do to prove that a loop will never terminate, but they get more complex.

It is a staggeringly complex problem for a more general case, and you can come up with a handful of specially designed programs that will always break it, but for the vast majority of cases it is solvable.

That's why it seems weird to me that you would immediately ditch the entire concept just because there's one crazy hack program out there that could break it, and only if you've specifically crafted your testing program so that it will fail in that case.

Comment: Re:By the same logic (Score 1) 327

To be fair, the Halting Problem has always confused me because the counterexample to it is highly contrived and it seems like you could reword the problem slightly to avoid the issue. I assume that the description I got in school was incomplete and that it's really the tip of the iceberg of some enormous mathematical model that may or may not be applicable to real life.

Comment: Re:Bill Rejected with Bi-Partisan agreeemnt (Score 0) 440

by jandrese (#48417431) Attached to: Republicans Block Latest Attempt At Curbing NSA Power

Failure to pass this bill means we'll get another chance.

You are quite the comedian. You could have brought the House down with that one. This bill is dead for at least 2 years now, why would a Republican majority Congress bring it up? The only way this bill is going to come back is as an extension of the PATRIOT act that allows for greater surveillance of anybody who makes less than $1 billion per year.

This is the same bullshit they tried to use to kill the ACA, and nobody bought it back then either.

Comment: Re:Bought merely for single player... (Score 1) 473

by jandrese (#48412587) Attached to: Elite: Dangerous Dumps Offline Single-Player
Another thing that dies with DRM systems like this is the mod community. When you have to worry about "cheating" because you intend to make money by keeping features locked behind micropayments, then you can't allow people to mod the game. The first thing they're going to do is install a "free money" button to bypass those micropayment barriers.

But a vibrant mod community can utterly transform a game. There have been two orders of magnitude more code written to mod Minecraft than is in the base game. Kerbal Space Program would just be a toy without many of the mods (which were eventually incorperated into the game). Have you seen what people can do in Skyrim these days? Elite is not going to have any of that because they can't afford to threaten their micropayment income.

I am here by the will of the people and I won't leave until I get my raincoat back. - a slogan of the anarchists in Richard Kadrey's "Metrophage"

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