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Comment: Re:You know it's not going to work (Score 1) 233 233

Take SSL/TLS. Are they going to demand both parties stash the session key, or do their handshaking through a proxy logging each packet?

Probably not. You're thinking like a geek instead of a politician. Politicians don't get their way by understanding technology. They get their way by finding people who do and forcing them to obey their will.

In this case, what Cameron means by banning encryption is passing laws that say something like, "If your website is used by people in the UK, you must always be able to comply with a warrant demanding data and you must provide all data, even if it is encrypted". The exact details of how that works is neither here nor there to them.

Now of course the interesting thing is how this interacts with jurisdictions, and whether it would be enough to make GCHQ shut up (probably not). The UK may or may not be able to force the hands of Facebook/Google/etc because the UK is such a huge market and they all have offices there, but China was a huge market too and Google walked away from that anyway. So it's hard to know how things would play out. For companies that have no UK exposure it's not clear what they'd do - probably use ad-hoc blocking of any website they suspect might be used by The Evil Terrorists if it doesn't comply. Could be a mess depending on how heavily they enforce it.

Comment: Re:Nevermind the bollocks, here's David Cameron (Score 1) 233 233

All those figures say is that birds of a feather flock together. Tory voters tend to live near each other and because the UK has a political system designed a long time ago for resolving local issues, not surprisingly it doesn't translate votes to seats directly at the national level. As local politics becomes less and less relevant, of course, people feel this system no longer works well for them.

However, as you note, it would not have mattered if Labour had won, or any other party. There are NO parties in the UK that believe people should be able to keep secrets from the government. It's just not something that fits into the political worldview. And because the voting system collapses thousands of decisions down to just one every so many years, surveillance and encryption is simply not democratically decided at all. Basically the wheel of power is decided by the economy, and that's about it.

Unfortunately this is not specific to the UK and is true nearly everywhere, France is even worse for example, and the USA pretends to care but realistically lots of Congressmen would very much like total surveillance of Americans .... and only feel they can't demand it openly because of that darned constitution. That won't stop them doing it in secret though!

Comment: Re:At least he included warrants (Score 1) 233 233

Ha ha, did you think he meant warrants?

He meant warrant. Unfortunately as is often the case with the Tories, they use words differently to how ordinary people do. By warrant he means a ministerial rubber-stamp. For instance Theresa May last year alone "signed" nearly 2,800 warrants, a number that clearly shows zero attempt to investigate their legitimacy and indeed almost certainly means some anonymous flunky is signing them on her behalf.

Comment: iOS users feel it (Score 1, Insightful) 304 304

I currently have a web radio transceiver front panel application that works on Linux, Windows, MacOS, Android, Amazon Kindle Fire, under Chrome, Firefox, or Opera. No porting, no software installation. See blog.algoram.com for details of what I'm writing.

The one unsupported popular platform? iOS, because Safari doesn't have the function used to acquire the microphone in the web audio API (and perhaps doesn't have other parts of that API), and Apple insists on handicapping other browsers by forcing them to use Apple's rendering engine.

I don't have any answer other than "don't buy iOS until they fix it".

Comment: Re:Kaspersky (Score 1) 33 33

I'd imagine it's also because the Kaspersky guys spend much less time than Krebs trying to dox various malware authors and so on. The real life identities of those people are just much less relevant. So if a journalist comes and starts asking questions about various people who "anyone in the business should know" etc, and if your job is just analyzing malware all day but you don't much care about the real names of the people who make it, then you might come across as evasive when really they're just thinking, "that accusation might be kind of weak, but I don't know for sure either way, best to stay out of it". Especially if you'd rather not appear in print with your name next to the real name of a bad guy.

The Kaspersky question was kind of dumb anyway. Let's imagine that they have some sort of shadowy deal with Russian intelligence to avoid flagging their IC malware. I doubt it, but let's pretend they do.

What are you gonna do about it? Kaspersky is the best at what they do, and they've blown the covers of way more government malware than any other company out there, period. If you say, gosh, I don't trust those awful Ruskies, what if I get hacked by the Kremlin, I'm gonna go with a True Blue American Patriot AV company ..... then all you're doing is siding with a team that not only hasn't revealed NSA malware, but generally, hasn't revealed any government operations at all. Does not seem like a win. Especially because the Russian government is about 1% as scary as the ridiculous Western propaganda would have us believe.

Comment: Re:What an opportunity! (Score 2) 358 358

Bitcoin is not actually deflationary. Its supply grows constantly until it eventually stabilises. The fact that Bitcoin prices have fallen a lot is more because lots of new people have discovered the project and decided they want some, but that effect will eventually peter out as Bitcoin becomes boring and everyone finalises their opinions of it.

Greece doesn't need fiat currency. What Greece needs is hard money – like the Euro (which is hard-ish, though not as hard as Bitcoin). This is because the Greek government is notoriously corrupt and the fact that they couldn't just print the pensions of their civil servants was one of the few things creating pressure to reform, and preventing outright pillaging of the savings of Greeks who do actually work in the private sector. Seeing Greece as one monolithic entity isn't right: there are different factions, not all of whom want the government to suddenly be able to spend whatever it wants. Hence the Greek people apparently voting for both keeping the Euro and not enacting any spending cutbacks, a contradictory position.

Ultimately Greece is going to get a lot poorer, no matter what. In many ways it's practically a third world country, one that was simply kept afloat by huge injections of foreign cash. But it never really stopped being third world in the way that it was run.

Bitcoin could, theoretically, benefit some Greek people now in the heat of the crisis because the Greek government wouldn't be able to impose capital controls on it. Thus preventing the outright theft of whatever little cash Greek's have left in the bank (sorry, I mean, solidarity tax/haircut/pick euphemism of choice). It is no magical cure for Greece's problems but it could tip the balance away from a government that discovered it was paying salaries and pensions for entirely non-existent departments, and towards people who are just trying to make a living.

Comment: Re:Ok Google, time to ditch Java (Score 1) 181 181

Lots of things can be considered an API. For instance, who owns the copyright on OpenGL? Does anyone even know? What about HTTP? After all, a protocol is basically an API that runs over wires instead of call stacks. And HTTP/2.0 is a derivative work of SPDY which is .... developed by Google. And is now being added back into Java. What about SQL? It's managed by ISO these days so probably Oracle would avoid slicing their own throats like this.

Following this US ruling all sorts of people and companies are now finding that they own IP they never even knew they had. This is already making lawyers the world over start licking their lips. It's going to be a shitstorm.

Comment: Re:Kids don't understand sparse arrays (Score 1) 128 128

What happens to your 'standard' linked lists solution when you have ten values scattered over an array which is 1000! (factorial 1000) in each dimension? For most genuinely sparse arrays, a hashmap is a better approximation of an efficient implementation. Of course, there will be corner cases where you want to do something different, but linked lists strike me as an extremely poor solution except in arrays where more than about 10% of cells have data.

Comment: Re:TRWTF: List is used instead of Map (Score 1) 128 128

I should have read the linked questions before replying...

Stupid, stupid, STUPID! Why have numRows and numCols in a sparse array? Things with unnecessary, arbitrary bounds annoy me. My implementation of Conway's Game of Life runs on a sparse array precisely because that allows the world to stretch arbitrarily in any direction a glider goes, limited only by the capacity of the bignum library and the total store available to the program.

And this is how we teach computer science?

Sigh.

Comment: Re:TRWTF: List is used instead of Map (Score 1) 128 128

Sparse array entries, in general, are not necessarily immutable, although they may be so in this case. Most spreadsheets are implemented as sparse arrays, for example. But your point about the benefit of a map is well made.

Comment: Re:Bullshit narrative ... (Score 1) 226 226

It's systematically ignoring laws and regulations while going "wah wah, we're teh underdogs".

Uber is not unregulated and they do not stand in opposition to regulations in general, contrary to what many seem to believe.

What we're witnessing here is not State Vs Anarchy Round One. What we're witnessing is quite simply State Regulation vs Corporate Regulation. The existential question Uber faces is, can they convince society and government (not the same thing) that they're better at regulating taxi drivers via their technology than local taxi commissions are via paperwork? Even if Uber triumphs, this will not mean widespread usage of unregulated taxis, it just means that taxi drivers will live in fear of getting low star ratings instead of having their local medallion revoked.

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