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Comment: Re:Which Invasion? (Score 1) 96

You mean these satellite images? The ones that have the following quotes attached to them?

At a press conference on Thursday, August 28, Dutch Brig. Gen. Nico Tak, a senior NATO commander, revealed satellite images of what NATO says are Russian combat forces engaged in military operations in or near Ukrainian territory. NATO said this image shows Russian self-propelled artillery units set up in firing positions near Krasnodon, in eastern Ukraine.

This is an extremely misleading way to phrase things. Krasnodon is not just "in eastern Ukraine". It's right on the border. So being near it can also mean in Russia. The above comments from NATO mean nothing, assuming CNN is reporting them accurately. What about the others .... hmm let's see.

Image 2 is from inside Russia and they say so. Image 3 is also in Russia. Image 5 is captioned twice, once with "Russian self propelled artillery unit inside Ukraine" and again, but this time it's again "near Krasnodon", which is practically in Russia. If there's an obviously demarcated border in this area it's hard to see based on the Google satellite images. The last image doesn't even claim to be of anything in particular, the caption is merely summarising story in general.

Both Russian and Ukranian troops appear to regularly cross the border without realising it - there have been repeated reports of Ukrainian forces entering Russia and then being redirected back across the border, with no obvious blowback. Given these things, and the fact that western media is in full-blown propaganda mode and not even hiding it, I'm going to want way stronger evidence than this.

But honestly, even if Russia did invade, this would merely make it on par with the USA and UK, both countries that practically revel in invading other countries and wading into other countries civil wars. So a part of me couldn't get too excited even if it did happen. It's definitely NOT worth a serious, major conflict between Russia and the west.

Comment: Re:Which Invasion? (Score 2) 96

Yes, but the tanks and artillery the "separatists" keep popping up with are coming from somewhere. At this late stage in the game, they certainly aren't Ukrainian remnants that the separatists have captured in those Ukrainian territories - those were used and destroyed many months ago.

Really? I was reading in the Guardian (which has proven itself to be woefully biased in the past few months) that the separatists were surrounding and capturing Ukranian army units just last week. What's more, in the past days we've been reading about waves of deserters from the Ukrainian army. Nobody is claiming the separatists are armed only with stuff they got months ago. They're claiming, and so is Kiev, that they've been able to obtain large quantities of arms from the fleeing, conscript-based Ukrainian army.

Meanwhile Poroshenko is trying to claim that there's an Russian army rolling around in his country ...... yet so far nobody has been able to actually find it. An entire army! Over 1000 soldiers and 100 tanks! Such a unit requires support vehicles, a tent town, supply lines .... so where is it? Maybe it's sort of like invasion by aid convoy.

Comment: Re:it's a great idea with one major flaw (Score 1) 164

by TheRaven64 (#47804999) Attached to: Tox, a Skype Replacement Built On 'Privacy First'
The BBC news article about the hack had a quote from one of the celebrities saying that the pictures had already been deleted before they were stolen. That is the problem with these services: they don't securely (or, at all) delete things. Google's deletion mechanism, for example, relies on simply not actively copying the files to newer disks so that when the old disks eventually die the files are gone. I wouldn't be surprised if Apple's works in a similar way. Even if you decide you don't trust Apple/Google/Facebook today, you've got a long wait before all of the files that you've uploaded to them are gone.

Comment: Re:it's a great idea with one major flaw (Score 2) 164

by TheRaven64 (#47804987) Attached to: Tox, a Skype Replacement Built On 'Privacy First'
Step one is to have the big high-profile stories in the press about the problems. Step two is to have the big high-profile stories in the press about the alternatives. The important thing now is for anyone who is contacted by the press as an expert to ask about the iCloud hack to make it very clear that this isn't an Apple-specific problem, it's a problem inherent in the entire design of centralised services and to list alternatives.

Comment: Re:Bad timing, Apple (Score 1) 179

by TheRaven64 (#47799555) Attached to: Apple Said To Team With Visa, MasterCard On iPhone Wallet
It was on the BBC news this morning, which probably counts as more reliable than 4chan. Most interesting was the claim by one of the women involved that the photos had been deleted. If this is true, then it would be a great example of the fact that just because something is 'deleted' in the cloud doesn't mean that malicious people can't get at it in the future...

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 67

by TheRaven64 (#47799515) Attached to: Post-Microsoft Nokia Offering Mapping Services To Samsung
If I'm going to report errors in a map, I'd rather do so with a map that releases its data under a license that allows reuse. Since such a map already exists and doesn't have the errors in Google Maps, I don't see much incentive. Google can pull the data from there if they want. This is actually one case where Microsoft has been a bit nicer: they allowed OSM to trace their satellite images to improve maps. Google Maps, in contrast, is very protective over their data.

Comment: Re:Why? Nobody uses NFC payments (Score 2) 179

by IamTheRealMike (#47799265) Attached to: Apple Said To Team With Visa, MasterCard On iPhone Wallet

NFC payment cards in Australia/Europe cryptographically sign a challenge from the terminal, using basically standard crypto. It's EMV all the way. In-person magstripe payments are carefully controlled and risk analysed to ensure they only occur if, for example, the card is broken - or outright banned.

NFC payments in the USA involve the phone sending regular magstripe data to the terminal, with only the CVC code being some kind of cryptographic derivative - a three digit number (less than 1000). The reason for this crazy setup is so merchants don't have to update their backend/PoS systems that still expect magstripe data. There is no plan to perform a complete upgrade thus old style transactions cannot be phased out. It's a dramatically less secure system.

Comment: Re: As much as I hate Apple (Score 4, Interesting) 179

by IamTheRealMike (#47799247) Attached to: Apple Said To Team With Visa, MasterCard On iPhone Wallet

More importantly, the underlying technology is totally different. VISA Europe is not at all the same as VISA USA. VISA in Europe is a coalition of banks, VISA USA is a private company. America has never rolled out EMV, making its banking industry a ridiculous joke compared to, well, everywhere else. You don't get reports of major European supermarket chains getting their PoS systems hacked and magstripes skimmed like you do in the US, because EMV is a much more secure system.

The NFC payment cards that are rolling out around the world (outside USA) now are basically a variant of EMV/Chip and PIN. The underlying crypto is the same. The card signs a challenge from the terminal. They're upgrading to elliptic curve crypto at the moment actually, not sure if all NFC cards do that or not but it would not surprise me. NFC as tried by Google in America is actually a very minor variant on just sending your magstripe data via radio. I believe the CVC code rotates (three digits of entropy lol) and the tech is based on a Secure Element hard-wired to the NFC radio. But the phone has minimal control over the actual payment transaction, thus doesn't add much value beyond being a big battery, and that's why the tech largely stalled. Also they screwed up the compatibility testing and the terminals were full of bugs that meant transactions just sort of randomly failed.

So don't be fooled. The "NFC payments" that we know outside of North America is totally different to what they call "NFC payments", which is an unfortunate piece of linguistic confusion.

Comment: Re:How I know that Russian troops are not in Ukrai (Score 2) 232

by IamTheRealMike (#47796801) Attached to: Ukraine Asks Zuckerberg to Discipline Kremlin Facebook Bots

Here's a tip, my Russian friend: if you want to pretend to be a neutral observer on the Ukrainian conflict in an internet forum, then you'd do better to proofread your post again and again until you manage to remove the little telltale signs that your native language is Russian. No informed reader of your post above is going to be convinced you don't have a significant dog in this fight.

You know, maybe some of us should complain to Slashdot about the Obama/Poroshenko-bots that reliably and consistently troll every single story about this conflict? You know, the ones who imply that anyone who even slightly skeptical about the propaganda we're all being fed, must be Russian or a paid Kremlin propagandist?

Suck on this. I'm a native English speaker from the UK, I have never been to Russia, I have been reading Slashdot for about 14-15 years, posting for most of that time too. And the Anonymous Coward tells it like it is. Poroshenko has claimed Ukraine was invaded like ten times already. He claimed he was being "invaded" by a fucking aid convoy, including after Putin's honesty about it's contents had been verified by international journalists and the Red Cross. In fact he asserted he'd shell said convoy, so the Red Cross chickened out, but the crazy Russians just drove right in there and delivered that aid anyway.

So as a native speaker, please heed my call - let's all stop abusing the English language shall we? We know what an invasion looks like. It looks like what the USA did to Iraq. It looks like Russian flags flying above Kiev and Russian tanks rolling down the streets to the parliament building. It does not look like journalists scrabbling around presenting the testimony of a milkmaid in a farcical attempt to find an army, as the Guardian did only a few days ago. Now condemn Putin for militarily supporting the rebels if you like (though the proof of this is wafer thin as well), just be aware that this is something many countries do, including the ones that are currently being most shrill about Ukraine. So such an argument doesn't have much impact, unfortunately, though I wish we lived in a world where it did.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 67

by TheRaven64 (#47794721) Attached to: Post-Microsoft Nokia Offering Mapping Services To Samsung
I don't know about rural Japan, but I found the OSM data far better when I visited Tokyo a few months ago. Google didn't know building names and placed a load of things that we were trying to visit a few blocks away from where they actually were. This was very frustrating as the web site that we were using to find vegetarian restaurants used Google maps - we spent half an hour one lunchtime walking in the wrong direction, because we'd come to a junction and, according to the Google map needed to turn left and would then see our destination on the right. It turned out, when we eventually found it, that we should have turned right.

Comment: Good (Score 4, Interesting) 67

by TheRaven64 (#47794547) Attached to: Post-Microsoft Nokia Offering Mapping Services To Samsung

I use OSMAnd on my phone[1], but my girlfriend recently bought a Windows Phone and I've been very impressed with Nokia's mapping app (I actually like a lot of what Microsoft's done with Windows Phone 8, but it's a strange mix of very polished and well-designed UI parts and completely unfinished parts with missing features). It's good to see more competition with Google maps, which is becoming increasingly entrenched in spite of the fact that the UI is pretty poor in many regards and the mapping data is terrible. For example, here they're missing (or have in the wrong places) most of the cycle paths, which ends up with people regularly getting lost if they rely on Google, in spite of the fact that all of this data is in OpenStreetMap.

[1] For me, it's the killer app for Android. Offline maps, offline routing, and open source backed by high-quality mapping data from OpenStreetMap. I use the version from the F-Droid store, which doesn't have the limitations of the free version from Google Play and it's one of the few open source apps that I've donated money to.

Comment: Re:About time (Score 1) 88

by TheRaven64 (#47794461) Attached to: RAYA: Real-time Audio Engine Simulation In Quake
Remember when the SoundBlaster Live! came out and Creative Labs were telling you that it had as much processing power as a Pentium 166MHz MMX, dedicated entirely to sound processing? Well, it turns out that now you can have far more CPU power than that dedicated entirely to sound processing without custom hardware...

As the trials of life continue to take their toll, remember that there is always a future in Computer Maintenance. -- National Lampoon, "Deteriorata"