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Comment: Re:say it again (Score 1) 235

by petermgreen (#47729181) Attached to: Latest Wikipedia Uproar Over 'Superprotection'

The problem is to those not skilled in the art (whatever the "art" in question is) it's very hard to tell the reputable sources from the BS. Furtheremore the sources that are most likely to be reputable are often locked up behind paywalls.

Wikipedia ends up with a set of rules that heavilly favour the mainstream media. Unfortunately the mainstream media is poor on the fact checking and heavilly biased towards certain subject areas.

Comment: Re:WikiWand (Score 1) 235

by petermgreen (#47728861) Attached to: Latest Wikipedia Uproar Over 'Superprotection'

You also have multiple competing power structures none of which seem very democratic to me.

You have the "community driven" processes on the individual wikis which afaict are largely driven by who is prepared to put the most time into them and who is already a wiki admin or at least has friends among them.

Then you have the wikimedia foundation which is led by a board of trustees. There is some voting involved but less than half the board is directly elected. Below them you have various staff which are even further removed from community input.

Comment: Re:WTF? Can someone summarize? (Score 1) 235

by petermgreen (#47727449) Attached to: Latest Wikipedia Uproar Over 'Superprotection'

It used to be that you clicked on an image and were taken to the image description page with lots of information about the image, access to full resoloution versions etc.

Now when you click on an image some javascript media viewer pops up with very little information on the image, if the javascript is working correctly then this adds an extra click to the route to the image description page. The first time you see this it's not entirely obvious how to get to the image description page. I'm sure i've also seen cases where the javascript didn't work properly.

The local admins on some high profile wikipedia projects tried to disable this media viewer. So the wikimedia foundation added a new feature ("superprotection") to the software to take control of whether the media viewer was enabled (and many other things) away from the local admins.

Comment: Re:Safety vs Law (Score 1) 473

by petermgreen (#47720295) Attached to: Google's Driverless Cars Capable of Exceeding Speed Limit

Also, you should know that a 89/90 impact is 2.01 times as hard as a 44/45 impact. Twice the speed is four times the kinetic energy.

Assuming the two cars are moving in the same direction the impact itself and the energy it dissapates is the same.

For example lets take the simple case, e.g. assume the collision is inelastic and the vehicles weigh 1 unit of mass each each.

kenetic energy before impact 89^2 +90^2 = 16021
kenetic energy after impact 89.5^2 + 89.5^2 = 16020.5
difference in kenetic energy = 0.5

kenetic energy before impact 44^2 + 45^2 = 3961
kenetic energy after impact 44.5^2 + 44.5^2 = 3960.5
difference in kenetic energy 0.5

Slight differences in direction will cause an increase in energy dissipated at higher speeds because the relative velocity will be slightly higher but it won't be "twice as hard".

Comment: Re:anti-spam sites force centralization, help SIGI (Score 1) 235

by petermgreen (#47686497) Attached to: Email Is Not Going Anywhere

Now, unless you arrange for your outbound email to arrive from a server operated by a large email provider, your deliverability is probably low.

You have to make sure your mail is delivered from something that looks like a server (e.g. not on lists of known dynamic IP blocks, has proper reverse dns) but you don't have to use a "large email provider".

Been running my own email for years with few problems.

Comment: Re:Ubiquitous Common Denominator (Score 1) 235

by petermgreen (#47686439) Attached to: Email Is Not Going Anywhere

No, SMS is the common denominator. Not every phone has email, but they all have SMS. (Change of perspective, the computer is no longer the preferred medium of communication.)

In office jobs the chances are everyone will have a work computer which they spend a large portion of the time sitting in front of but only a subset will have a work mobile* and most people probablly aren't going to want to give their personal mobile number out to all their collegues

And while a phone has the advantage of portability there is no way that it's a preferable device to a computer for viewing and entering large numbers of messages

And then there are the techical limitations, a sms is only 160 characters. Yes modern phones can chain messages but that drives up the cost and can only carry plain text.

For people who don't work in an office it is of course a different matter.

* Yes I know some landline phones support SMS but afaict it's the exception not the rule.

Comment: Re: Great step! (Score 1) 148

by petermgreen (#47631587) Attached to: Google Will Give a Search Edge To Websites That Use Encryption

To clarify I fully understand why startSSL do this, they are a buisness and they need to make money and they are certainly the best value widely recognised CA I have found.

I just don't think using startSSLs limited free certs as a rebuttal to claims that SSL increases costs for website operators is reasonable. Either you pay to get the wildcard certs or you pay to get extra IPv4 addresses or some combination of the two.

Comment: Re:It's a TRAP! (Score 2) 175

by petermgreen (#47630299) Attached to: Yahoo To Add PGP Encryption For Email

The problem is not so much sending encrypted mail. The problem is sending signed mail or receiving encrypted mail. In those cases you need to provide your private key to the mail software.

If the mail software is running on a third party server then that means handing your private key over to them. If the mail software is javascript in a browser then the javascript could be written to keep the private key in the browser but there is a significant risk of the javascript being quietly substituted.

Comment: Re: It's a TRAP! (Score 2) 175

by petermgreen (#47629963) Attached to: Yahoo To Add PGP Encryption For Email

You know what ADK is? A back door. So, either they're encrypting it twice (once with your key, once with the other), or they've poked holes in the encryption and it is complete garbage.

The usual way to do multi-recpiant encryptions is you encyrpt the message with a freshly generated symmetric session key. Then you encrypt the sesssion key multiple times with the recipiants public keys.

but it assumes you have 100% explicit trust in the agent who has the ADK

Indeed it does, in security there is always a balance between keeping prying eyes out and keeping records available to those with legitimate reason to access them.

Comment: Re:It's a TRAP! (Score 4, Insightful) 175

by petermgreen (#47629925) Attached to: Yahoo To Add PGP Encryption For Email

It didn't but yahoo is a webmail provider and webmail kinda implies that the provider will either be storing the key or at the very least be able to access it by tweaking some javascript a litte.

The reason PGP is difficult for the plebs is that secure encryption requires you to take responsibility for your own key management and ensure to the best of your ability that the key does not leave devices you control (if you are really paranoid you don't even put it on an internet connected machine). If you leave key management up to a third party then your whole security becomes dependent on them.

Comment: Re:harddrive speed (Score 1) 110

by petermgreen (#47629713) Attached to: AMD Prepares To Ship Gaming SSDs

What games did they test? I've certainly seen games where a SSD made a BIG difference to loading times (roller coaster tycoon 3 springs to mind)

If the game just wants to load a big block of predetermined data from a sequential set of locations in a data file then HDD is fine, the problem comes when due to either lack of optimisation or the open/flexible nature of the game it needs to load lots of small peices in a non-sequential manner than a SSD makes a big difference.

Comment: Re:StartSSL or DANE (Score 2) 148

by petermgreen (#47624139) Attached to: Google Will Give a Search Edge To Websites That Use Encryption

You mean like StartSSL?

Hardly an official service, just a commerical CA that hands out freebies to some but not all sites that ask for them and puts technical restritions on those freebies which push people to either buy the commercial products or spend more on hosting (do I pay for n extra n IPv4 addresses or do I pay for a wildcard cert).

Or what about DANE [], which stores TLS certificates in DNSSEC?

Sadly not implemented anywhere near widely enough to be useful.

Comment: Re: Great step! (Score 4, Informative) 148

by petermgreen (#47623933) Attached to: Google Will Give a Search Edge To Websites That Use Encryption

They do BUT

1: their rules on who can get the free certs seem to be varied and arbitary. I've seen reports of an opensource developer being given a free cert initially but then come renewal time told that merely having a donation button makes their site count as "ecommerce" and therefore ineligable
2: they make the expiry artifically short (the CA industry as a whole does this but startSSLs free certs are epecially bad),
3: they refuse to renew certs until just before they expire and refuse to reissue certs without revoking the old one.
4: each free cert only covers a domain and one hostname under that domain (e.g. and This effectively means you end up needing one IP per hostname you want SSL on (until IE on XP becomes insignificant anyway).

It's nice that there is a free (as in beer) option for some people but it's also clearly got a number of artificial restrictions on it to push people towards their paid options.

"There are things that are so serious that you can only joke about them" - Heisenberg