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Comment: Re:Yep (Score 3, Insightful) 103

by mariox19 (#48542533) Attached to: Neglecting the Lessons of Cypherpunk History

I am far from being an expert on encryption, but the danger is not that PGP will be broken; it's that there are weaknesses in the entire "ecosystem" that allow for side-channel attacks. That's part of what that NSA paper, linked to in the article, is discussing. If there is something that can be exploited in the user's operating system or in the hardware, then that becomes the weak link in the chain.

Then, there is the whole issue that you touch on: namely, the caveat of encryption's efficacy "if used right." The same is true of condoms and even oral contraceptives. Sadly, human beings are very bad at scrupulously adhering to the injunction to "use as directed."

Comment: Robots are cut no slack (Score 2) 335

The real problem is that the actions of people, in some circumstances, are considered beyond good and evil, and all the silly hypothetical situations in the world doesn't begin to capture this. In the heat of the moment, with only seconds to decide, people can't be relied on to make a choice that conforms to some explicit moral code. On account of that, when faced with passing judgement on the actions of people in emergency situations, we don't pass judgement; rather, we forgive them.

Robots, however, are programmed, and "split seconds" don't mean the same thing to robots that they do to us. Thus, there is no way around what they're going to do. They will be programmed to do one thing or another, and someone is going to have make the bad decision—since, in many cases, there are no good decisions to be made. And that poor bastard may have to program the machine anonymously, because what he will get is not forgiveness but, "What were you thinking!"

Comment: Re:don't use biometrics (Score 4, Interesting) 328

Seriously. A friend of mine had his ex-wife (they're on good terms) send him a picture of their daughter, who was something like 4 at the time. The girl was riding a toy horse, and but for a cowboy hat was buck naked. The ex thought it was cute; my friend was upset that she would encourage things like that. I told him to get that picture the fuck off his phone before he gets pulled over (he had a lead foot and a weed habit), arrested, and the cops find a photo like that on his phone. He saw the wisdom in that right away.

You can't be too careful. There are cops and attorneys at the D.A.'s office who like nothing better than to put the screws to people, at the smallest provocation; and in this "zero tolerance" world, you're guilty until you prove yourself innocent.

Comment: iPhone 4S (Score 1) 258

by mariox19 (#48220027) Attached to: Preferred smartphone screen size?

I just traded in my iPhone 4S last weekend. I ended up getting an iPhone 5S. The 6 is just too big, if you ask me. And, honestly, if Apple had offered a 4S form factor with upgraded innards, I very well may have bought that. I liked the heft of the 4S, and I much prefer having the headphone jack at the top of the phone rather than at the bottom.

A big reason I upgraded was because I realized my phone was getting a little bit long in the tooth, and I worried that there was no way I could wait two more years to see what Apple came out with next. If that were another big phone, I'd be SOL. I got last year's phone in self-defense.

Comment: Why a pill and not an enema? (Score 1) 135

by mariox19 (#48129373) Attached to: Feces-Filled Capsules Treat Bacterial Infection

Call me a conspiracy nut, or whatever you want; but I question what's going on here. Is there someone with a background that can explain?

A fecal transplant can be done with an enema, and my understanding is that it's quite effective. But some doctors aren't interested, preferring either to deliver the dose via a colonoscopy or endoscopy. My father had C. Diff last year, but began to get nauseated when they tried putting tubes up his nose. So the doctor was going to recommend as an alternative—and I swear this is true—that my father mix feces up in a blender with yogurt and eat it. WTF!

If you ask me, an enema can be done by a nurse, or even at home, for next to nothing. There's no money in that for the doctor, like there is with a colonoscopy, for instance. Now there's a little pill: meaning, that drug companies can get rich, rather than pharmacies selling enema kits for $15 a pop. Isn't that what's going on?

Am I wrong here? I'd love to have someone tell me—with documentation—that enemas are ineffective and that pills and medical procedures are actually the best way, but I'm skeptical. I think there's more economics behind these courses of treatment than there is medicine.

Comment: Re:This device is not new or interesting (Score 4, Interesting) 651

by mariox19 (#48038401) Attached to: The $1,200 DIY Gunsmithing Machine

People with a need for untraceable guns [...]

People, like, the police, for instance?

My uncle, long retired from the NYPD and now dead several years, told me a long time ago that smart cops carry a "throwaway." A throwaway is a small handgun that cannot be traced back to you. Should you happen to shoot dead a denizen of the 'hood you work in, and the shooting might be deemed questionable, you take your throwaway and plant it on the dead guy. Then, there's no question about why you had to shoot him.

Now, I realize we're only 3-D printing AR-15's at this point, and no one can keep one of those in his sock; but one day all sorts of guns will be able to be printed. The cops will be just as happy about this as the mafiosi and cartel kingpins.

Possessions increase to fill the space available for their storage. -- Ryan