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Comment: Re:Cost of smartphone service (Score 1) 407

by drinkypoo (#47445987) Attached to: Predicting a Future Free of Dollar Bills

But then you have to pay hundreds of USD for an iPhone (or maybe one hundred for a compatible Android phone) and hundreds of USD per year to upgrade from voice-only cellular service to smartphone service. Or what am I missing?

That most people already have a smartphone.

The data plan issue is a bigger one, I think.

Comment: Re:Speculative. (Score 1) 158

by swillden (#47445719) Attached to: How Deep Does the Multiverse Go?

Anything dealing with multiverse is speculative. Math does not constitute evidence.

By that argument, everything we know about stars, quasars, black holes, and virtually everything else that isn't on our planet and relatively close to the surface is all speculative, too. Nearly everything we know about the stuff not immediately at hand is based on mathematical models, calibrated against "observations" which are often very, very indirect and themselves dependent on many layers of mathematical models derived the same way.

I don't know enough about QM and many worlds theories to know how much really is well-supported, but from what little I've read, the many-worlds hypothesis seems to provide a much better explanation of the spooky action at a distance effects we observe than the alternatives.

Comment: Re:Unsafe Advice (Score 1) 74

Any marginal blocks mapped out before you encrypt will remain unencrypted and may be available to a determined attacker. Same goes for hard drives, and SATA secure erase is not provably trustworthy. Always encrypt your storage before you put any data on it. If you do not trust your hardware AES to not be backdoored then use software crypto.

Yes, the safest approach is to enable encryption just after you get the device (after using it for a few minutes to accumulate some randomness in the Linux randomness pool, so you get a good key). If you don't, totally wiping it is more or less impossible, though the odds of anything significant surviving either the normal wipe or the encrypt & wipe (which probably won't actually do any more than the wipe) are pretty small.

Comment: Re:usually will not do the sdcard partition (Score 1) 74

Last time I checked the standard Android encryption will not do the sdcard partition (I mean not the physical card, but the partition on the internal flash, usually the biggest chunk of it, like let's say 11 out of 16GB).

I'm pretty sure that's not true, because it would make device encryption pretty much useless. A glance at the code certainly appears to show that it encrypts all volumes, but maybe /sdcard somehow gets excluded from the list? I'll ask my colleague, who "owns" disk encryption for Android at Google, tomorrow and post a followup.

I'll also note that none of the devices I have handy (Galaxy Nexus, Nexus 4, Nexus 5, Nexus 7 1st & 2nd gen, Nexus 10, Moto X, Moto RAZR M, Samsung Note 2) even have an /sdcard partition, exactly. They all mount their data partition on /data, and /data is definitely included in device encryption. In fact, it and /cache are the primary targets of device encryption (/system doesn't matter).

Comment: Re:Snowden's Patriotism is Gaining Acceptance (Score 1) 179

by swillden (#47445025) Attached to: NSA Says Snowden Emails Exempt From Public Disclosure

It has been my observation that the people who have blistering hatred for Snowden, are the kinds of people who totally embrace jingoism.

But there are also those who don't have a blistering hatred, yet still feel that he broke the law and should be accountable. I find these people to be especially common among those who themselves are or have been under legal and moral obligations to preserve US government secrets and are appalled that Snowden essentially dumped a huge pile of unsifted sensitive data on the Guardian and trusted them to keep it secure and behave responsibly.

These people largely agree with the need to publish some of the data, but find dumping all of it to be criminally irresponsible.

I think there are a lot more people like that than those who have the blistering hatred you mention. FWIW, my own take (as someone who once held a Top Secret clearance) is that Snowden's action was necessary, that it was infeasible for him to properly vet and carefully release the data, that the news agencies have done a good job and been responsible, and that whatever damage it may have done is far more than offset by the good that it has done. So on balance I consider him a hero. But I do know a lot of people whose concern about what he did tips the balance the other way, even though they don't "have blistering hatred".

Comment: Re:Snowden / Binney 2016 (Score 1) 179

by swillden (#47444983) Attached to: NSA Says Snowden Emails Exempt From Public Disclosure

Except Snowden is 31 and you must be 35 to meet the candidacy requirement for POTUS.

It also helps to be able to set foot on US soil without being arrested. Not a constitutional requirement, per se, but a fairly important practical one. Otherwise even if you win you have to figure out how to sneak into the country and your own inauguration so you can get sworn in -- and acquire the ability to pardon yourself -- before being body slammed to the ground, thrown into the back of a black Suburban and transported to Gitmo for waterboarding.

Comment: Re:Full-disk wipe or only current data? (Score 4, Insightful) 74

Who gives a shit what the documentation says. Actual implementation is what matters.

Absolutely. So, look at the source: https://android.googlesource.c...

That file contains the code that generates the master key, derives the key encryption key used to protect it (using scrypt), stores the protected master key, and configures dm_crypt with the master key.

Some functions to look at:

- create_encrypted_random_key(), which creates the master key (reading from /dev/urandom).
- encrypt_master_key(), which derives a KEK from your password and uses it to encrypt the master key.
- decrypt_master_key(), which does the reverse.
- create_crypto_blk_dev(), which creates dm_crypt block device.
- cryptfs_setup_volume(), which mounts an encrypted block device.
- cryptfs_enable_inplace(), which encrypts an existing file system.

Do you really trust a mobile platform to be faithful to the documentation when you're trying to wipe a partition (which could easily be implemented directly but isn't) by first encrypting all data and then throwing away the key?

The device doesn't know you're trying to wipe. It knows that you (a) requested full disk encryption and then later (b) requested a wipe. So it can't optimize (a) away. I suppose it's possible it could just lie and tell you "Yep, I'm encrypting" even though it isn't, but that's the sort of thing that would definitely get noticed by security analysts and gleefully published.

Gosh that takes me back... or is it forward? That's the trouble with time travel, you never can tell." -- Doctor Who, "Androids of Tara"