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Comment: Uninsured = high risk (Score 2) 167

by macsimcon (#45506835) Attached to: 195K Bitcoin Transaction

We are living the libertarian dream with Bitcoin: a bunch of exchanges, none of them insured.

Libertarians feels that government regulation is unnecessary, but what recourse do those depositors have when one of these exchanges just disappears with their money? None.

I won't be using Bitcoin, no matter how lucrative, until a government agency or large bank insures deposits. It's just not worth the risk.

Frankly, I can't see any sovereign ever backing Bitcoin while they have their own currency, so I don't know how Bitcoin ever becomes a reliable, universal currency.

Comment: Re:Terrible summary (Score 1) 124

by macsimcon (#45158971) Attached to: Researchers Show Apple Can Read iMessages

Sorry, that just isn't true.

If your company creates a system that doesn't allow you access to customer information (say, because it's encrypted, and only the customer has the key), neither your nor your company can be compelled to reprogram your system so you get the keys, and can therefore hand them over to the government.

The trick is in how you design the system. If it's onerous or impossible to provide the government the information, no amount of NSLs are going to matter.

Now, I'm not claiming that Messages is designed that way, but it's not beyond the realm of possibility that a company could design such a system (e.g. Threema)

Comment: Re:if someone has your iPhone..... (Score 5, Informative) 356

by macsimcon (#44830391) Attached to: Can the iPhone Popularize Fingerprint Readers?

The iPhone 5s doesn't store the fingerprint itself, it just stores specific data points. Apple states that the fingerprint data is stored a secure portion of the A7, and it never uploaded to iCloud, or stored on Apple's servers, and never leaves the iPhone itself.

Also, I'd be very surprised if the stored data isn't hashed.

Comment: Not so fast... (Score 5, Informative) 356

by macsimcon (#44830341) Attached to: Can the iPhone Popularize Fingerprint Readers?

The fingerprint reader in the iPhone 5s uses a capacitive sensor, not an optical one, so Schneier's proposed hack wouldn't work.

Also, Apple requires you to create a PIN code when you enable the fingerprint sensor. If it's been 48 hours since you used the fingerprint sensor to authenticate, you have to use the PIN instead. Likewise, if you've just restarted the iPhone, you have to use the PIN for your first authentication, you can't use the fingerprint sensor.

Comment: Another stupid Musk idea (Score 0, Troll) 258

He's got a lot of stupid ideas: A new transportation system that would cost billions to build, would be completely uneconomical for patrons to use, and has a high risk of death with even the slightest malfunction at 4,000 MPH. An electric car which costs nearly $100,000 and is likely to lack the necessary infrastructure to use over long distances for years, if ever. A money transfer system which acts like a bank, but whose customers have no FDIC protections, but lots of horror stories. A private space agency which couldn't make it without government subsidies and assistance. YEAH, he's the NEW Steve Jobs all right!

Comment: Re:The punishment should fit the crime (Score 1) 383

by macsimcon (#44245943) Attached to: Judge Rules Apple Colluded With Publishers to Fix Ebook Prices
I'm not disputing that Amazon's ultimate intention is to drive all competitors out of business so they can charge whatever they want for E-books. I'm just saying that Amazon was charging $9.99, and Apple comes along and suddenly that same E-book is $14.99. That's not good for consumers, it's bad for consumers. Jobs suggested to Mossberg that prices would increase from $9.99 to $14.99. Now, just how did he know that? Was it a coincidence, or was Jobs actively trying to raise E-book prices so Apple could get their cut? Competition is supposed to drive prices down, not up. I know, Amazon was keeping prices artificially low, but the consumer was benefitting from that, at least in the short- to medium-term. So, what happens if Apple never launches the iBookstore? Prices at Amazon stay at $9.99 for several more years, and consumers keep millions of dollars of their own money when they buy E-books.

Comment: Re:The punishment should fit the crime (Score 1) 383

by macsimcon (#44239593) Attached to: Judge Rules Apple Colluded With Publishers to Fix Ebook Prices
I don't fault Apple's executives for this. Steve Jobs was the CEO when this decision was made, and the emails produced in court demonstrate he supported this move. Jobs had a long history of illegal behavior. In the late 90s, he terminated lifetime support for several lines of PowerPC Macs, and both the FTC and a private class action sued Apple to regain the support. Jobs never thought the laws applied to him, and now Apple is reaping the benefits of such a strategy.

Comment: The punishment should fit the crime (Score 4, Interesting) 383

by macsimcon (#44238827) Attached to: Judge Rules Apple Colluded With Publishers to Fix Ebook Prices
I love Apple's products (no really, I do), and I make my living supporting them, but anticompetitive behavior is a crime against capitalism itself. It hurts us all. As soon as Apple entered the market, E-book prices went UP. If Apple had truly represented more competition, as they claimed in court, prices should have gone down. The prices went up because Apple illegally colluded with others to fix a higher price (perhaps so they could get their 30% cut). The court should fine Apple something meaningful. How about the $140B they have in cash? Distribute that to everyone who bought E-books. Or put Tim Cook in jail for anticompetitive behavior. No CEO would ever do anything anticompetitive again if they knew they might personally go to jail. I would even support a corporate death penalty for Apple if it sets a precedent: engage in anticompetitive behavior, and the government will terminate your company for good. White collar criminals are different from blue collar criminals in that they usually consider the consequences of getting caught. Only with serious and meaningful punishment can we stop anticompetitive behavior going forward. Let's begin with Apple.

Comment: Re:Multitasking NOT coming to iPhone (Score 1) 983

by macsimcon (#31797142) Attached to: iPhone OS 4.0 Brings Multitasking, Ad Framework For Apps
This is what drives me crazy about some iPhone owners. They haven't used a jailbroken iPhone, they haven't used a Pre, and they haven't used an HTC HD2. They claim that multitasking can't be implemented on the iPhone because it would either slow the iPhone down, or greatly diminish battery life. Well, I've used all these phones, and it's possible to multitask on a jailbroken iPhone without it slowing down, and without destroying battery life. Other phones listed above manage to implement true multitasking without sacrificing battery life. It IS possible to do it. Apple has some of the greatest engineering talent around. Are we supposed to believe that HTC or the former iPhone engineers at Palm can extend battery life but Apple can't? If Apple isn't implementing true multitasking, I can only assume it's because they don't want to for their own reasons.

Comment: Re:well, sorta (Score 1) 983

by macsimcon (#31797082) Attached to: iPhone OS 4.0 Brings Multitasking, Ad Framework For Apps
During the demonstration, Scott Forstall indicated that apps in the background enter a "quiescent state, using no CPU" on the device. How is this multitasking? Apple is completely suspending any background apps, while allowing only specific background processes (local notification, location, audio, etc.) to run. For example, I'd like Tweetie to download tweets in the background, or NetNewsWire to download articles in the background. From the presentation, it looks like the only way this could occur in the background is for me to launch the app, manually begin downloading data, and then exit to some other app or the task manager. If those apps utilize the task completion feature in OS 4, they'll finish on their own. That's OK, but I'd much rather have them downloading that data at predetermined intervals, like a mail client does. If we had true multitasking, those apps would actually be running in the background, and could do this. On a totally unrelated note, how do we quit apps in the new task manager? Hold down the icon until we get an "x" in the upper left corner of the icon? I didn't see any differentiation in the presentation between switching and app and closing an app.

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