Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!

  • View

  • Discuss

  • Share

We've improved Slashdot's video section; now you can view our video interviews, product close-ups and site visits with all the usual Slashdot options to comment, share, etc. No more walled garden! It's a work in progress -- we hope you'll check it out (Learn more about the recent updates).

×

Comment: Re:State Your Name (Score 1) 72

by mlts (#49147589) Attached to: Fighting Scams Targeting the Elderly With Old-School Tech

Most of the scammers tend to be those casting a wide net. They bought an info dump with thousands of names, phone numbers, and such in it, feeding the numbers into a robodialer, and having people in a boiler room use names of relatives automatically on a scripted speech.

An anti-fraud device, or something asking for info to be called back at will be more than enough protection, because the scammer will just move to the next potential mark on the data dump and try them.

They try to be relatively quick about it. Eventually, bad number blocking sites like Mr. Number and others will have enough entries to have the fraudster's number blocked on devices subscribing to the service.

Comment: Re:I just must be drunk. (Score 1) 72

by mlts (#49147557) Attached to: Fighting Scams Targeting the Elderly With Old-School Tech

VoIP scams are easy to do. For example, callerID is fairly easy to forge and it doesn't cost much money to set up a boiler room and staff it with people who do this. This allows a company to be in India, but still call from a US number.

To boot, there are very stiff fines... but have you seen how a lot of the robocall firms are organized? Most have a lot of holding corporations that they work with, one owns the furniture, one pays the employees, one possesses the computer data, so when the main company, say XYZ corp, gets sued, they just file bankruptcy, then a new company, ABC corp gets created, and they are back in business the next day. To boot, all of these companies are registered offshore, so finding the true owners will be virtually impossible unless the company decides to hit a third rail in the US (drugs, guns, and IP violations.)

Comment: Re:is it an engine or a display model? (Score 1) 28

by mlts (#49147129) Attached to: Researchers Create World's First 3D-Printed Jet Engines

That is what I wonder about as well. Sintering requires heat, so that makes me wonder if the metal can handle the high temperatures that a turbine spins at.

However, TFA states a 3D printed rocket engine was made and actually used by UCSD researches in 2013, so there is a good chance that this can be made to function.

The rocket was 3D printed via DMLS, but then "hardened, polished, and assembled." I have zero clue on the hardening method, because non-ferrous metals can't be really heated and quenched.

I'm hoping this is something that can see actual use, because if done right, maybe we can get more people researching jet/turbine engines.

There is always the fact that a turbine engine can be used for a vehicle. With the 7+ speed transmissions available, as well as CVTs, the limitation of a turbine's narrow power band can be overcome at the gearbox.

Comment: Re:Who's Afraid of Android Fragmentation? (Score 1) 133

by mlts (#49142435) Attached to: Who's Afraid of Android Fragmentation?

The biggest issue that people have is app compatibility, and without apps, the entire ecosystem winds up marginalized, as it did with Maemo/Meego (which were excellent operating systems, but without popular support, just didn't continue on.)

The good news is that we have tools to fix this, especially with containers, virtualization, and btrfs that offers online and offline deduplication.

Virtualization is important. With this, one can have their apps for work in one VM which is up to corporate policies when it comes to encryption and access control, and a second VM for personal stuff. It would be nice if US phones had more dual SIM card support, so one could use two numbers at once, and "never the twain shall meet".

Containers are useful as well, mainly as a way to isolate and secure apps.

Of course, having deduplication saves space, so one can have 2-3 VMs, with most of the Android footprint (mainly /system) being shared between them.

Comment: Re:There's no $$$ to be made in security (Score 2) 108

by mlts (#49141087) Attached to: Schneier: Everyone Wants You To Have Security, But Not From Them

This is a good thing. In the past, a company would get breached, and it would have a minimal impact after paying for a PR campaign, definitely forgotten after six months.

However, the Sony hack with E-mails leaked which got celebs mad and data destroyed is different. Before that, a company got hacked... but their data was still there, so a lot of managers just brushed it off. However, if an intrusion means that the entire company is unable to do business and likely will fail in days to weeks [1], security goes from something in the backseat that is perceived as having no ROI, to a major concern.

This is a good thing. We have had solid security concepts since the 1970s, and most enterprise applications and devices can be well locked down. It is just using the functionality involved and making it work for that company/organization's culture.

It also might get vendors focused on security, perhaps being able to standardize on things. For example, it would be nice to have a style of USB cryptographic token that works with anything, be it an AIX machine or a Windows box.

Which means more money for those who can keep pace with security.

[1]: There are a lot of businesses who decided to follow the hype and drop tape, and instead, go with tiers of SANs for backups. Backing up to SANs does provide decent protection against hardware faults.

However, all data accessible comes at a cost. A bad guy can log onto the SAN's backend and purge all data with just a single command. Once this is done, the data is gone, and because there are no backup tapes... there is no recovery possible. Even with SANs that replicate to different physical locations, the deletion will be replicated. Even more insidious is tampering over time where someone logs on a SAN, and just starts overwriting stored data that nobody ever accesses.

It makes me wonder if tape will go from being laughed at as "retro" to being a primary medium for storage again. A pile of tapes stored offline will require physical access to destroy, as opposed to zeroing out everything with just one button. Even cloud "media" is easily destroyed if a blackhat gets enough access.

Comment: Re:Did you read it? (Score 2) 108

by mlts (#49140775) Attached to: Schneier: Everyone Wants You To Have Security, But Not From Them

Devil's advocate here:

What about DISA/NIST and their publications/guidelines? This is paid for by the taxpayers, and can be very useful, even though the info might be obvious in some places [1]. They have decent checklist guides on recent operating systems under their national vulnerability database.

It is nice to be able to fetch info, even if one doesn't have to worry about stuff like FISMA and SCAP, just to have a decent baseline of security.

[1]: Things like using group policies, not allowing multiple users use the same account, etc.

Comment: Re:Patent reform will never happen (Score 3, Interesting) 185

by mlts (#49130599) Attached to: Jury Tells Apple To Pay $532.9 Million In Patent Suit

One of the best examples of abuses of patent reform is part of the history of refrigeration.

Refrigeration, and air conditioning as we know it was locked down for over 25 years because the ice industry was gigantic, purchased patents or had them granted (a metal tube with stuff flowing through it that chances phase, for example), which effectively blocked the refrigerator from becoming a household appliance until after World War 1.

Comment: Re:Cock Chuggin' (Score 3, Informative) 286

by mlts (#49127835) Attached to: Moxie Marlinspike: GPG Has Run Its Course

There are two items when people mention PGP:

The OpenPGP format.

The PGP implementation applications, like archaic PGP versions, NetPGP, APG, OpenKeyChain, GNU Privacy Guard, Symantec Encryption Desktop, and a number of others.

As far as I know, all the above have their source code available under various licenses, even the Symantec stuff either has, or used to have, its source available for examination.

I do agree that a revamp in some of the OpenPGP implementation programs is direly needed, because as of now, the most usable implementation (IMHO) is Symantec's version, which is a commercial product.

It might be nice to see about breaking the OpenPGP implementation programs up into to parts -- two library frameworks (one for BSD, and one for GPL v3), and the code that accesses the libraries.

As for the OpenPGP format itself, it does need some incremental improvements:

1: Additional encryption and the ability to chain encryption algorithms. This isn't meant to win a bitsize war, but so that if one algorithm like SERPENT gets broken, there is still AES and Twofish. TrueCrypt implements this.

2: Splitting how much you trust a key versus how much you trust a key's owner to sign, introduce, and validate other people's keys, with both of these values exportable. This way, if you are 100% sure you have a key of a cretin, you can pass that along.

3: Newer compression protocols like LZMA2, bzip2, and others, so that data is further shrunk before encryption.

4: An error correction protocol applied after encryption and signing, with a user selectable amount of ECC applied. This way, a signed OpenPGP file that suffers some damage can likely be repaired, and the signature still be valid.

5: Share splitting. This way, a user can select x out of y pieces be required to recover an OpenPGP packet.

However, all and all, the OpenPGP protocol has stood the test of time when it comes to security. Its main strength is that it is not tied to a communications or messaging protocol, so an OpenPGP packet can be sent on a file on a SD card, via E-mail, AIM, SMS, MMS, posted on a newsgroup or forum, or virtually any other means. There are people who bash OpenPGP, but oftentimes, they have their own solution, and have a vested interest in getting people to leave OpenPGP for a closed system.

OpenPGP fills a crucial need. Not just securing data over communications, but protecting data stashed away. Few encryption protocols can secure both data at rest, and data in motion.

Comment: Re:Same error, repeated (Score 2) 286

by mlts (#49126521) Attached to: Moxie Marlinspike: GPG Has Run Its Course

There are also different keyservers. For example, Symantec has its own for its commercial PGP Desktop.

Then there is the need for a key for a transaction. For example, when helping a client out, he already had my key's fingerprint and ID, so there would be no need to publish that for an interchange that was just between the both of us.

Moxie might have a point... maybe it might be wise for some time to be spent improving the PGP/gpg keyserver network, adding more servers, working on better ways to propagate keys, adding code to defeat bogus keys being added in bulk, and so on.

It also is time to see about getting the OpenPGP into other projects. TrueCrypt and 7Zip come to mind. This way, there isn't an issue of having to use an encrypted keyfile or encrypt the entire archive using gnupg, when sending to multiple people and using their public keys.

Comment: Re:Same error, repeated (Score 2) 286

by mlts (#49126409) Attached to: Moxie Marlinspike: GPG Has Run Its Course

The problem is that OpenPGP products fill a need, and adding additional, usable features is hard, other than new algorithms.

However, nothing fills the role OpenPGP does with as much reliability, interoperability, and trust. I can encrypt a message on AIX, sign it on a Solaris box, validate the signature on a FreeBSD box, then decrypt and read the file on a QNX embedded machine.

The problem with people bashing PGP and gnupg is that usually they have their own encryption solution they want to peddle. There isn't anything wrong with that... but it is in their interest to belittle the competition, and the one thing OpenPGP (PGP, GPG, NetPGP, etc.) has going for it, is that it is not tied to a single messaging platform. I can sign and send messages on E-mail, decode a message via FB PM, forward the message via AIM, or just send someone a small file via MMS.

This doesn't mean that OpenPGP utilities are "finished." There is a lot of code that can be cleaned up, UI tweaks, work on better WoT tools, new types of keyservers [1]. However, it just seems that people want to sell their own encryption solution, so OpenPGP at best winds up neglected.

[1]: The old style keyserver where keys can't be deleted, just revoked is the best. However, what would be a nice extension to the OpenPGP protocol is a date a private key expires off of keyservers. This is different from when the actual key expires (since one might want the key on keyservers a while longer so it can be used for validation), but this would help with long since outdated keys.

Comment: Re:I don't get it. (Score 1) 307

by mlts (#49122905) Attached to: FedEx Won't Ship DIY Gunsmithing Machine

Bingo. Where I live, having more than four sex toys is an "obscenity" state jail felony as per Texas penal codes. So, they are sold as "teaching devices", "medical mockups", or other items.

This is a fight that doesn't need to be dealt with. Just call it a CNC mill, which is designed for fabricating automotive parts. Hoppes calls their #9 product, "lubricating oil", instead of "gun oil." Might as well not have to deal with a wedge issue when it comes to business if one doesn't have to.

Comment: Law of unforseen consequences... (Score 2) 87

by mlts (#49121925) Attached to: Can Tracking Employees Improve Business?

The problem is that this employee data, which would be innocuous in the hands of a company, can easily leave the premises. e-Discovery and fishing expeditions are common, and that info can wind up in the hands of someone completely irrelevant.

Of course, there are always the criminal organizations who would love that info. They find that Joe Ducato is out on a long haul... grab his address, sell the info to a local gang, and they clean his home out. This hasn't been the case yet, but as time progresses and if the economy sours further, it wouldn't be surprising to have your local gangbangers swing deals with overseas organizations to buy dumps of potential victims and when their places will be empty. Right now, crime is relatively low, but that can easily swing up due to economic factors.

My philosophy is to use the least amount of data needed, and if has to be obtained, it be decentralized (for example, the AD servers are separate from the HID badge locks, which are separate from Exchange, which is separate from the CCTV room). If the data isn't present, it can't be slurped off overseas and sold.

Comment: Re:I wish I could ride a bike (Score 1) 236

by mlts (#49119925) Attached to: I ride a bike ...

I live in Austin. If you can get access to the north/south backbone and the hike/bike trails, it isn't too bad. However, get on roads past that... and things get real dicey, real quick, mainly due to the fact that Austin is at a low boil when it comes to road rage, combined with no significant road improvements (other than toll roads) since 1995.

What type of bike you take is also important. If you are on a bus line to and from UT, don't even bother to assume that there will be a slot free on the bike rack at the front of the bus (people will get into fistfights over these). Grab your Brompton and just pack your two wheels with you.

If you are lucky enough to be able to go on and off the core bicycling corridor, it is wise to use PitLocks for the commute bike so wheels, tires, the fork, the seat, and other items don't disappear. It also is wise (assuming with permission) to leave a security chain at the work rack, and carry a U-lock on the bike. This way at work, the bike is secured by two locks [1]. Of course, an angle grinder will make short work of most sturdy locks... but that is what insurance is for.

[1]: I am partial to Kryptonite's high end locks, but Abus is also good. Both resist even expert picking (not pick-proof, but resistant, which is important.)

Comment: Re:Question! Shouldn't multiplexing be priority? (Score 2) 71

by mlts (#49119631) Attached to: UK Scientists Claim 1Tbps Data Speed Via Experimental 5G Technology

Ideally, it should do both. One device would have an extremely large amount of bandwidth to play with if in range of the tower, but as more devices get handed off to the tower, there is less bandwidth per device, but all devices get some level of service until a threshold is reached where the tower cannot accept any more items, where even EDGE or GPRS speed cannot be maintained. This is especially important at sporting events or SXSW where there are tens to hundreds of thousands of people in one space. Assuming the tower has terabits of bandwidth available, it should at least provide 3G coverage, decent enough for people to pop selfies and upload them or tweet about how badly the band on stage sucks.

Comment: Re:Cash is so much better. (Score 3, Insightful) 185

by mlts (#49115583) Attached to: Google Teams Up With 3 Wireless Carriers To Combat Apple Pay

Usually purchase speed is in this order:

1: Debit card. (user swipes card, enters PIN, done.)
2: Credit card. (user swipes card, signs, done.)
3: Cash.
4: Checks.

From what I've seen at stores, people fumbling for their phones at stores is actually slower than the coupon-clipper with the checkbook.

If Google's mechanism goes via credit cards like Apple Pay, it would be useful, should I lose my wallet, as a backup mechanism. However, if it is ACH based like CurrenC... then I would avoid it at all costs, since all it takes is one bad transaction, and I'm cleaned out with no recourse.

A formal parsing algorithm should not always be used. -- D. Gries

Working...