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Comment Re:Only Outlaws will Have Encryption (Score 1) 142

Generally, I don't agree with arguments of the form "If we ban X, only the bad guys will have X". (For example, if X is "guns", then total general unavailability of them, would eventually drive manufacturers out of business - and sooner or later all guns (and ammunition) would rust into non-existence and the bad guys wouldn't have them.)

But crypto is different. It's math. Since the math is already "out there", it only takes someone with roughly college-level software skills to turn that math into code.
So it is truly the case that making crypto illegal will simply result in no-back-door-crypto software appearing on the dark net for low-$$$ and the bad guys will have it.

At that point, the lack of crypto in the open market is irrelevant. The NSA (et al) will still need to decrypt the bad guy's messages the hard way.

And if we're honest about it - the real bad guys can probably figure out how to use a one-time pad correctly - which is easy enough to do and unbreakable.

Another issue here is how the law would get rid of all of the crypto that's already out there - do they seriously expect everyone to load new software for every device that uses cryptography in any form? The cost of that would be staggering!

Comment Re:Yes, yes, bring us back the workaround. (Score 1) 84

What about those of us with prosthetic hands who can't use touch screens for lack of capacitive coupling?

You know they have gloves with capacitive fingertips now so you can use such devices, right? They don't depend on your fingertip's capacitance. That's a solved problem.

Actually, it's a problem I solved for Bochs when I worked at Google. Because I had the need to solve the same problem for a robot that needed to be able to capacitively couple with touch devices. The gloves only work because they are conductively connected to a great big meat antenna (you), such that the cpacitive coupling works.

If you have an artificial limb, there's generally no electrical coupling to the meat antenna. So people with artificial limbs do not get to use touch devices.

The fix is to place a conductive film in the plasticine coating, and to hook it up to an antenna. It's a relatively simple hack, and you can pretty much use any WiFi or Cellular modem antenna from a laptop to do the trick.

And then, voila! Magically able to use touch screen devices. The prototype allowed a man in Germany to use the touchpad on his Lenovo Thinkpad for the first time in his life. Which meant he didn't have to carry a mouse around, since both his arms were prosthetic.

Yes, I am a genius. I'll even let you hire me if you have something interesting to work on. You probably don't.

Comment These guys are morons. (Score 4, Insightful) 142

These guys are morons.

We pushed crypto development to South Africa for FreeBSD back in the early 1990's to get around ITAR restrictions: "you can import, but you can't export".

We will happily route around this brain damage, too.

P.S.: The way to get better cryptographers in other countries is to make cryptographers criminals in the U.S.; obviously, it will not do fuck all to actually stop cryptography from happening, it'll just be that our people end up being shit at it compared to their people.

Comment Yes, yes, bring us back the workaround. (Score 1) 84

Yes, yes, bring us back the workaround.

The underlying problem doesn't have to be resolved, because we can just ignore it by installing a bolder font than the one that uncovered the underlying problem in the first place by making it more obvious.

Does anyone else see this as a crap solution to the problem?

Does anyone else see the actual problem is people with bad vision trying to use eReaders?

What about those of us with prosthetic hands who can't use touch screens for lack of capacitive coupling? We should dumb down all of our devices so that the most handicapped among us can use them all. You know, instead of working to fix the handicaps or anything.

Comment Parallel Construction Kit? (Score 1) 169

Police and prosecutors absolutely can demand the people turn over passwords .... but by doing so they also trigger immunity, they cannot use that fact or anything learned from the devices as evidence against them. They'll bitch and moan and complain about not having the passwords, they'll petition congress about how unfair it is to law enforcement that police need to actually investigate crimes and can't use self-incrimination tactics, but the lawyers know full well all it takes is a single slip of paper to legally demand the passwords. Grant them immunity under the protections of the 5th and they are compelled to turn the passwords over, but the person also walks away from criminal liability.

This is a very interesting and informative comment. My question is, how does this play into parallel construction?

Comment Re:Gridlock (Score 1) 185

Sander's isn't shy about saying that his movement doesn't end with him being elected. We'd pretty much need a full flush of congress.

I'm pretty sure most can agree with that regardless of their opinion of Sanders.

I'm not sure we'd need to replace all of congress, just the ones that are hopelessly corrupted by the establishment or outside money. It would be a hard slog. There's no viable Ron Paul candidate on the Republican side; they would all likely gladly sing the praises of the TPP, so it's pretty much the only option if you're against the corporatocracy.

Comment Re: Gridlock (Score 0) 185

A Sanders nomination would be a disaster. No more gridlock as the Republicans have at least 2 years to party and spend like Democrats.

Remember: with Democrats it's "tax and spend" (kind of like it's supposed to work), with Republicans it's "tax-cut and spend" which is why our debt is sky-high. Go ask Saint Ronnie and Papa Bush how it felt to increase the size of the Government budget 3x over their combined tenure.

So spending will be there whether it's Republicans (more war!) or Democrats (some war, some social programs), just the Democrats tend to want to balance the books with increased revenue.

Comment Re:Gridlock (Score 3, Insightful) 185

Republicans reject it before it even comes out and refuse to read it.

Because "Obama"

Which is why when Sanders is elected president in November, I can look forward to more entertaining gridlock, proposals that aren't "Republican-lite". Because if gridlock from a Democratic president is all we'll get, we might as well get propose some nice socialist ideas and get some nice leftward Overton window movement.

Comment Re:The real headine (Score 1) 654

That would be incorrect though - they say that only 20% of their readership uses an ad-blocker. Some percentage will doubtless white-list, others (probably not many) will cough up the $1.

No matter what - their readership won't drop by more than 20% (I'd bet 10%) - so saying that they lost "the majority" (meaning more than 50%) would be wildly overstating the effect.

Comment Re:$52 a YEAR? (Score 1) 654

The trouble is that they are seeing this as a punitive measure. For some unknown reason, they'd prefer that you unblock the adverts...there is no way they can be making $1/week from adverts - I just don't believe it. So they are trying to 'fine' you $1/visit for having your ad blocker enabled.

I think that's a dumb move - if they dropped it to some micropayment (give us $5 now and we'll deduct 10 cents per visit and re-bill you $5 when you run out) - maybe they'd find this to be more profitable than handling adverts.

    -- Steve

Comment Pay-to-view ad-free is OK by me. (Score 1) 654

Personally, I think the world would be a better place if ads were simply illegal - across the board. No TV ads, no web ads, no freeway ads...nothing. Obviously, services that are currently ad-supported need to get paid somehow - so we'd need subscriptions and/or per-visit payments.

People complain that they can't afford those fees - but adverts don't make things free. Adverts increase the price of things you buy (someone has to pay for the advert!), adverts eat your time (==money), they cost more bandwidth to deliver (==money) and there are the middle-men who make the ads and who deliver them who eat more money.

Consider this: 23% of the cost of a car is the cost of advertising it. If just car adverts were banned - and assuming you pay $200/month in car payments - you could be saving $46/month to spend on advert-free TV and per-visit web site fees...and that's just cars. Add in your savings on everything else that's advertised - and you'd probably have a couple of hundred bucks to spend on paying web sites to deliver decent content to you.

So - if I live by what I claim, I should be OK with paying Wired $1/week to get ad-free content...the trouble is that I don't visit their site once a week...maybe once a month or something. $4/month is far *far* too much. Given the large number of sites I visit, there is no way I could afford to pay everyone $1/week.

So I'm behind Wired on this one - *but* it needs to be a micropay-per-visit thing and it needs to be much, much cheaper.

But they have the right idea.

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