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Comment Re: Verified boot by who? (Score 1) 150

Is there any way to audit whether the dm-crypt installed on your device matches the source code? Few people compile their own kernel, so it seems that it would be easy for Google or cellular carrier to slip a back door into the module.

It's intended to have a chain of trust. The hardware verifies the boot partition, and the boot partition verifies the other partitions. If the signature on the system partition matches, then dm-crypt was not tampered with.

Comment Re:Verified boot by who? (Score 1) 150

Who verifies it?

It's a hardware key. The good news is that you can unlock it if you want.

When you transition from a locked state to an unlocked state, the device is wiped. If the device is unlocked, there is a warning on the boot screen.

So, if an evil organization tries to backdoor your phone (or you just want to flash another OS on it), the data is lost and a warning comes on. You are free to do as you want with the device. Should you wish to re-sell the phone, you can restore it to factory.

If you can replace the keys, the NSA can too.

Comment Re:Oh For Crying Out Loud (Score 1) 161

This is more a discussion about mobile devices, which (unless you jailbreak them) don't trust the user.

Barring a root exploit (which do exist for a bit, and are patched when found), a keylogger on android is much less of a possibility. With Apple, the crypto is handled in hardware, and a keylogger gets to be near impossible (though phishing is not).

Comment Re:Great, but who's going to use it? (Score 1) 558

Oh, they have their place. In terms of raw stopping power, in a single target, with time to line up the shot (for example, an aggressor breaking down a door), a TASER is a rather effective device, and will outperform most handguns. Unlike a firearm, it doesn't rely on a CNS shot or blood loss to stop the threat. One hit, and the threat is stopped.

There are plenty of situations where a TASER is the wrong tool for self-defense, but to say they aren't dependable is absurd.

Comment Re:Why can't we have rational gun control? (Score 1) 1862

That number's not really important, as it could be perfectly legitimate transfers, like from parent to (presumably adult) child or between good friends who know that the other is not a criminal. No harm there.

Of the 40% cited (likely from this study), 39% of the approximately 40% were transfers to friends and family. 4% were from gun shows, but a good percentage of those were likely from licensed dealers, and thus subject to background checks.

Comment Re:Why can't we have rational gun control? (Score 1) 1862

Citation needed.

It's acquisitions, though, not purchases. 39% of the approximately 40% of acquisitions not done through a FFL are from either friends or family members, and the vast majority of those were likely purchased from FFLs, or acquired from friends or family.

It's a misleading statistic, to be sure.

Comment Re:Almost no one is killed by "assault weapons" (Score 1) 1862

Best statistics I've been able to find:

There was a recent self-defense case in which a woman put 5 of her 6 rounds into a single burglar, who was still mobile for a period of time. Had there been a second attacker, she would have had no ammunition left in her firearm.

If you want an extreme example, see . He's been the target of 35 robberies, and in one case ended up firing 105 shots in a few minutes. There were 7 armed robbers.

That's ultimately what makes the difference. A single attacker isn't likely to require 10 handgun rounds. Facing 3 or 4 quickly changes things.

Comment Re:Why can't we have rational gun control? (Score 2) 1862

I live in one of the most gun-friendly states in the country (AZ). I've been to a number of gun shows. The vast majority of the dealers are FFLs, which means that you have to follow federal background check laws. Trying to see how "easy" it was to get from a private dealer, I went to most of the dealers in the Crossroads of the West show. In the whole show, I found two private dealers - one for handguns, one only selling long-guns. It was far, far, far less than 40%. Here in AZ, I'd estimate the percentage of guns sold at major gun shows by private sellers to be in the single digit percentage.

The original 40% statistic, by the way, likely came from this:

Bloomberg’s office pointed us to a 1997 study by the National Institute of Justice on who owns guns and how they use them. The researchers estimated that about 40 percent of all firearm sales took place through people other than licensed dealers. They based their conclusion on a random survey of more than 2,500 households.

This is very different from being a "gun show" thing. If you actually read the study, the study looks at transactions (including acquisitions). 19% of people acquired their guns as a gift, and 8 percent obtained them through inheritance or a swap of some kind (often trading one gun for another, which doesn't really increase the number of people with guns).

Again, from the survey:
"About 60 percent of gun acquisitions involved federally licensed dealers". 39% of gun acquisitions come from family members or friends. 4% of guns came from gun shows, many of which are licensed dealers. All in all, about 1-2% of gun acquisitions appear to be from private party gun sales at gun shows. This would be consistent with my personal experience.

What gun show loophole?

Comment Re:Oops, they forgot something (Score 1) 1862

> they need the extra killing power of an assault rifle.

First off, assault rifles are already banned. Assault rifles have at least one mode where they fire more than one bullet per trigger press.

The "assault *weapon*" bans ban scary features. A bayonet lug, for example, does nothing to the lethality of a gun.

As for the magazine size restrictions, there's a big difference between a self-defense situation and premeditated mass-murder. As recent events have shown, you can put 5 bullets in an attacker, and have him still be functional enough to drive away. Had the burglar not been alone, she and her kids would have been defenseless. In self-defense situations, one often doesn't have a spare magazine, and reloading under that kind of stress is a difficult proposition.

I've personally been in a position with my wife where we had a carload of individuals hollering at us and trying to chase us down and box us in in their car. We managed to keep them on the other side side of the road median, we were luckily close enough to make it to a store, we were lucky enough that they didn't follow us in, and we were lucky that the cops came quickly. I don't know what they wanted, but it wasn't good. One of my sisters was raped about the same time of night by a stranger, and LGBT people are regularly victims of violence.

Had I been forced to defend myself and my wife, there's a big difference between facing four assailants with 5 bullets, and facing four assailants with a larger magazine (like the one that came stock with my current pistol). Someone who is planning a mass murder is free to pre-load as many magazines as they want, like the Virginia Tech shooter (who used standard capacity magazines, including 10 round magazines, which are legal even under states with strict size regulations). Even NY's new 7 round limit grandfathers in pre-ban 10 round magazines, ensuring even the rather strict new laws still wouldn't have limited his ability to go on the rampage he did).

The sandy hook shooter was shooting children, and ended his life as soon as emergency services arrived. An extra few seconds spent reloading in a classroom wouldn't have made a difference. He killed 26 people in about 20 minutes, and even a bolt-action rifle can easily accommodate that.

> Your argument is basically this: we shouldn't ban hand grenades or rocket propelled grenades because some asshole can always make some sarin or fly an airplane into a building using a box cutter.

No. The argument is that politicians are basically saying "Something must be done! This is something, therefore, it must be done!", while none of the offered "solutions" would actually do anything to prevent the problem they are claiming to try to.

Comment Re:Seatbelts? (Score 2) 643

Get rid of seatbelts. Get rid of airbags. Put broken glass into the dashboard.

That should act to straighten out a lot of car drivers!

I'm a fan of replacing airbags with a giant well-sharpened spike in the middle of the steering wheel. It would reduce average road speed significantly, both from voluntary compliance from responsible drivers, as well as a rapid reduction in the number of irresponsible drivers on the road.

Comment Re:No.. that would be silly. (Score 1) 397

See Concurrent Jurisdiction.

Long story short, the Federal and State governments often can both regulate things. This is not considered double jeopardy either, as you have broken both laws - you are being tried for the offense against each.

Unless it's something specifically listed in the constitution as being reserved to the Federal government, the States have the right to regulate it. While the feds have overstepped their bounds with the commerce clause, they (constitutionally speaking) can't preempt the states. That's why they (for example) use highway funds as a tool of control. Basically, it's "we can't regulate it, but we can make it worth your while to do so."

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