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Comment: Re:Our advise is to place your funds somewhere saf (Score 5, Insightful) 467

by pwilli (#34599336) Attached to: Bank of America Cuts Off Wikileaks Transactions
Assange / Wikileaks doesn't do business with Bank of America, and likely never has.

Bank of America did not close a bank account (like the swiss postbank) or terminated a payment processing contract (like Paypal, Visa and Mastercard), it stops transferring money to other banks. So anybody with a Bank of America account is no longer allowed to transfer his money to another bank account without "moral approval" of the BoA.

I am surprised that this hasn't led to more media coverage jet.

Comment: Re:What exactly is being broken by quantum compute (Score 2) 228

by pwilli (#34599184) Attached to: The Clock Is Ticking On Encryption
Encryptions that rely on the difficulty large integer factorization like RSA are indeed "doomed", because Shor's algorithm will be able to do that in polynomial time. This is a very rare exception. You can literally count the number of quantum algorithms known which can reduce the complexity class of such interesting problems with your fingers. Simply choosing an encryption method that doesn't rely on the difficulty of large integer factorization or one of the other in the "quantum age" no-longer-difficult problems will save traditional encryption.

Grover's algorithm is a good example of what quantum computers may actually be useful for: reduce execution times without reducing the complexity of many problems. The solution for these attacks on classic cryptography will be (as you pointed out) to simply increase the problem size (e.g. key length).

Comment: Re:Anonymous releases are possible (Score 2) 333

by pwilli (#34418914) Attached to: Wikileaks Competitor In the Works
Having a face to associate with an organization can be advantageous. Wikileaks wouldn't have had that much impact if it were a completely anonymous organization, without Assange and without the recent newspaper cooperations.

No interviews, no discussions, nobody to defend the organization in public makes it too easy to morally justify any measures deemed necessary against it. IMHO

Wikileaks was probably the first platform of its kind that people heard of (e.g. cryptome doesn't ring a bell for most people). Now that people seem to've gotten the idea of how leaking of information can work in the "information century" with almost no risk to them, having more and "faceless" platforms appearing is a nice thing. Wikileaks created the demand for such platforms (or better said, helped people discover their need for such), which means supply can be increased massively.

Comment: Re:if Wikileaks can get this... (Score 3, Interesting) 833

by pwilli (#34379524) Attached to: Compiling the WikiLeaks Fallout
The US is probably the only country that combined diplomacy and military intelligence into one network (SIRPNet) that is completely accessible by far more than 100.000 people worldwide. They therefore put usability far above the need for security.

Other countries like Germany have (afaik) relatively small, logically separated intelligence and information networks/databases. Having the right security clearance level is not enough to go around and view all documents of that level, because every request for information is tracked and access has to be confirmed/granted by another person. This is very slow but relatively secure.

IMHO it is a matter of choice. The US system isn't really better or worse than other systems, it just has other priorities. The really important stuff (>= "top secret") isn't available in their network anyway.

Comment: Re:GPU is better than CPU at computation? (Score 1) 217

by pwilli (#34244518) Attached to: Cracking Passwords With Amazon EC2 GPU Instances
GPUs are very specialized processors, therefore they will always outperform the general purpose CPUs in their domain of computational problems (graphics, physics, other massively parallel/pipelineable problems like password cracking). However they would really suck at doing "normal" tasks like running the OS and other applications. GPUs having their own memory and other components directly wired to and optimized for them on graphics cards gives them additional advantages. Finally most gamers forget that they paid up to $ 500 for their graphics card and only $ 200 or less for their CPU.

Comment: Beware my tiger repellant rock (Score 5, Insightful) 191

by pwilli (#33958446) Attached to: UK-Developed 'DNA Spray' Marks Dutch Thieves With Trackable Water
"The police acknowledge that they have yet to make an arrest based on the DNA mist, which was developed in Britain by two brothers, one a policeman and the other a chemist. But they credit its presence — and signs posted prominently warning of its use — for what they call a precipitous decline in crime rates (though they could not provide actual figures to back that up).

I don't see any burglars, so it has to be working.

Comment: Independent ID-Checking Service (Score 3, Insightful) 119

by pwilli (#32877084) Attached to: Long-Term Liability For One-Time Security Breaches?
This is probably about identity theft and getting e.g. loans by simply knowing the "magic" numbers of someone else's life.

Why is it still possible to get these things in the US without going into e.g. a bank and showing them a valid photo ID (passport, driver license, ...) to let them check if you are really the person you claim to be? Makes it a lot more difficult to get these things, and shifts liability back to the banks (if you can show you never went there to prove your identity, they screwed up by giving that loan - their fault).

If you've got a problem with a bank seeing you in person (why?), maybe a new institution could be founded that does only that: Check IDs of people for others. Like this:
1. Request a loan
2. Get a unique magic number of your bank that doesn't carry any information but the bank knows it belongs to you and that loan
3. go to the ID-check-service and let them sign that number, e.g. with: "Person xyz has proven his identity" (if paperwork, or better get a digital signature)
4. Give signed number back to the bank

Bank knows you are you, without you ever going there in person and the ID-check-service doesn't know what you needed that signature for (they just got a "random" number and signed it for a fee).

Expand this scheme for other services (governmental, etc.) and you get all the privacy you got now with a whole bunch of more security.

Comment: Why Mobile Innovation Outpaces PC Innovation (Score 5, Insightful) 231

by pwilli (#32643964) Attached to: Why Mobile Innovation Outpaces PC Innovation
Because PCs have a headstart of decades?

It's like asking why China can have growth rates of over 10% while "Western" countries only get 1-3%. It is very hard to improve if you're already close to technical and physical limits and any made improvement won't look as impressive. Handhelds will soon enough hit the same walls that Desktop Systems currently try to tear down.

Comment: Re:I don't get it (Score 4, Informative) 389

by pwilli (#32309092) Attached to: Quantum Teleportation Achieved Over 16 km In China
To further clarify what I meant:

- Charlie entangles Particles A+B
- Charlie sends Alice Particle A over fiber
- Charlie sends Bob Particle B over air
- Alice measures A and sends Charlie information about measurement (classic part needed for actual information transfer)
- Charlie sends classic information to Bob
- Bob measures Particle B, combines result with classic information, and voila, Bob can reconstruct the information "sent" by Alice


Clearly no way to transfer information securely or fast, but a proof that entanglement in Particle B for Bob can survive long transfer through air.

Comment: Why isn't that guy already CEO of Nintendo? (Score 4, Insightful) 310

by pwilli (#32122660) Attached to: Wii 2 Delay Is Hurting Nintendo
I mean his proposed strategy for Nintendo to leave their pretty much uncontested "niche" market to compete in a market that already has been split up between two heavy-weight contestants, who are willing to ultimately lose money just to increase their market share further, is pure genius.

[/sarcasm]

Comment: just went over 80.000 $ (Score 2, Insightful) 290

by pwilli (#32092016) Attached to: The Humble Indie Bundle
Seems the experiment runs very well. The slashvertisment surely helped to spread the word.

Biggest problem for such Indie-Developers is imho not the intentional lack of DRM and the resulting unlicensed copying of the games, but the lack of media coverage. As the numbers show, there are enough people out there who are willing to pay for games, even if they could get them for free. And I was one of them.

btw. while I typed this, the counter went over 84.000 $. I wonder how much they'll collect over the remaining 6 days.
Piracy

Ubisoft's Authentication Servers Go Down 634

Posted by kdawson
from the single-point-of-well-you-know dept.
ZuchinniOne writes "With Ubisoft's fantastically awful new DRM you must be online and logged in to their servers to play the games you buy. Not only was this DRM broken the very first day it was released, but now their authentication servers have failed so absolutely that no-one who legally bought their games can play them. 'At around 8am GMT, people began to complain in the Assassin's Creed 2 forum that they couldn't access the Ubisoft servers and were unable to play their games.' One can only hope that this utter failure will help to stem the tide of bad DRM."

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