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Comment: Broken Screens Ahoy (Score 2) 190 190

A key part of the usability of these glass-covered capacitive-touch devices is that you can very lightly touch the surface and it'll react. Once you get the idea into people's minds that if something isn't working, you should try pressing harder (Force Touching) then frustrated people will think "I'm not pressing hard enough" and press harder and harder until they crack their screen. I've seen people with styluses repeatedly stabbing touchscreens like a psycho killer, because the device wasn't responding the way they wanted (usually because they were missing the button).

Comment: That's The Ticket (Score 2) 57 57

Why no, Agent... Dontneedtoknow, is it? I have this document titled "Audacious plan to overthrow the evil plutocracy" on my computer because I'm writing it for a contest held by a security researcher, not because I'm a terrorist who has the knowhow to do all the illegal things outlined in this step-by-step document.

*gets blackbagged and dragged to Gitmo*

Comment: Protecting the Mob (Score 4, Insightful) 143 143

I look outside my manse window and see the hooligans shouting and pumping their fists into the air, and wonder, what is the benefit of it all? We've already bought the media, we control the message, so what do they think they're going to incite? The age of protest is dead, the age of tribute is begun. The ones who have the gold make the rules, as the richest voices get to shout loudest; of course, we make sure we're on the right side. And if we get to profit a bit from the arrangement, so what?

The Citizen Safety Law, contrary to its detractors, IS accurately named. The only thing protest is good for nowadays is trashing, looting, and injuries whenever it gets out of hand. Now bereft of purpose, the mob is only able to produce negative effects; this law simply dissipates the chaos before it can cause any harm.


Comment: Two Extremes Will Win (Score 2) 155 155

Minor infections will become less common, as the attack surface area is reduced and mitigated over time. New APIs and interfaces will be created, creating N+1 standards, but they'll be more secure than the older ones they supersede. For example, Flash and ActiveX are slowly going away in favor of more secure alternatives. How many critical html5 vulnerabilities are found in your browser of choice compared to critical Flash/Java Web Client vulnerabilities? Open source is a big part of it, but security being baked into the design rather than being tacked-on after thousands of vulnerabilities have been written into legacy code is bigger.

On the downside, when you DO catch an infection, it'll be nasty. New methods for hiding in firmwares will require removing chips and re-flashing them, and unless open firmware takes off in a big way, in practice this will mean replacing hardware very carefully so it doesn't infect the new hardware. It will be virtually undetectable, and have countless methods for defeating airgapping, virtual machines, decompiling, reverse engineering, and antivirus software. So once your machine is owned, it'll really be owned.

The best thing that can be done is to systematically eliminate every motivation to deploy malware: make spam unprofitable, harden SCADA to eliminate sabotage, mature altcoins to not benefit from stolen processing cycles, and regulate online advertising so ad injection is pointless. Also, rework the protocols that allow DDOSing, and require actual two-factor authentication for financial websites/transactions. Eventually, I think malware will be rare/invisible enough that only computer scientists will know about it, ordinary users won't worry about it.

Comment: Prosperity Is Bad For Business (Score 0) 341 341

up to 20 degrees higher than today at the northernmost latitudes... the global sea level was about 25 meters higher

I bet some inland Canadians/Scandinavian countries wouldn't mind, and they're not the only ones. There's lots of money to be made by letting climate change create havoc: insurance companies get more business when there's uncertainty; uncertainty gives speculators more volatility to work with; defense contractors have more food riots to quell; politicians get to make more promises to solve the new problems; and corporations get more grants, bailouts and subsidies to help solve them. First-world politicians get to use FUD to gain a bit more control over the populace, and the harsher climates help them avoid that dreaded post-scarcity economy just a little bit longer. Break enough windows and people won't be able to buy a society that no longer 'needs' the robber barons and demagogues.

Comment: Real Reason for the Patent Gap (Score 3, Interesting) 126 126

The real reason America has to catch up on the 'patent gap' is not so we'll be the most competitive, but so we can siphon as much money as possible from other countries' businesses. More patents means more lawsuit money coming into the country to offset the trade deficit. Gotta win at every statistical metric fathomable, dontcha know.

Comment: That Explains Why Online News Is Removing Comments (Score 4, Insightful) 267 267

That explains why many news organizations are removing the ability to comment from their sites: because it was undermining the effectiveness of the favored propaganda they pass along as 'news'. Remember kids, journalistic bias is all about WHICH propaganda you decide to go to press with.

Comment: Re:And why are you telling us? (Score 3, Interesting) 181 181

However, this wouldn't fool the NK government, if they're not actually responsible for the hack, because they're totalitarian enough to KNOW they weren't responsible. In which case, who is this 'leak' intended to fool? Rhetorical question, it's the American public.

Alternate option: NK was responsible but the confidential sources are proud enough of their jobs to want to toot the NSA's horn, and don't think NK can actually do anything to stop the hacking, even if they broadly know how they were hacked. Evidence of the Sony hack was found in a counter-hacking performed after the Sony hack, probably using already-existing implants, or was only examined after the Sony hack. The unusual degree of interest that Obama had in the Sony hack suggests that the NSA might've been given an unusual degree of interest in the matter as well, so it's plausible they would've found something beyond what the legal authorities would've.

Comment: Fuck the Nanny State (Score 3, Insightful) 319 319

An attack on the UK was "highly likely" and MI5 could not give a guarantee it would be able to stop it, he said.

I, for one, would rather be shot or blown up than live under a government that can 100% guarantee my safety. Better to live under a Sharia theocracy than a tyrannical nanny state.

Comment: Great. Bat Genocide Incoming (Score 5, Insightful) 112 112

I imagine once word of this gets out to people in certain African nations infected by Ebola, it'll get distilled into "bats are threatening our survival" and lead to wholesale slaughter of bats. Something similar happened with cats mistakenly being associated with the Black Death. This will then lead to a surge in mosquito populations, which will then lead to a surge in malaria cases, which will likely kill more people than the Ebola outbreaks themselves.

"Silent gratitude isn't very much use to anyone." -- G. B. Stearn