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Comment: This is an anti-AGW story? (Score 2) 413

by rainsford (#38167150) Attached to: Climate May Be Less Sensitive To CO2 Than Previously Thought
Maybe I'm missing something, but why are the people who don't agree with anthropogenic global warming theory throwing a party over this story? It's about a new climate model that, if it's accurate, says CO2 emissions may raise temperatures slightly less than previously thought. 2/3 of the predicted temperature range lies within the range predicted by the IPCC in 2007. The very best interpretation of this data from a "skeptic" point of view is that AGW is even better supported with evidence, with only the exact impact being refined. This definitely doesn't look to me like evidence that AGW theory is alarmist, un-scientific FUD.

Comment: Re:Plain View (Score 4, Insightful) 268

by rainsford (#38123568) Attached to: Plate Readers Abound in DC Area, With Little Regard For Privacy
Except the cops aren't going to put a cop of every corner and write down every plate because it would be way too manpower intensive. And people know that, so they have a reasonable expectation that their movements won't be tracked by the police without any suspicion of wrongdoing. Technology makes casual surveillance so much easier that the cops can and will track your every move in public even if they have absolutely no reason to do so. In other words, technology isn't simply the next generation of something that police are already doing, it allows a much different surveillance approach that is more invasive than what was practical before. The law needs to control that kind of thing in a way that simply wasn't necessary before.

Comment: Re:I don't think they understood. (Score 2) 265

by rainsford (#37580184) Attached to: Security By Obscurity — a New Theory
No, the encryption ISN'T completely broken. If I have an encryption system that uses passwords for security, and you guess my password, the security is broken for this instance of the system...but I can just pick another password and security is restored. "Security through obscurity" doesn't mean security based on ANY secret, it means security through secrecy in some fundamental element of the system, especially when such a secret makes the system brittle. If you steal my key, I can simply rekey a lock and I'm just as secure as before. But if I ALWAYS leave a spare key in the same spot, once you figure that out the entire system is fundamentally broken. That's security through obscurity.

Comment: Re:Answer To This. (Score 2) 252

by rainsford (#37218054) Attached to: The EFF Reflects On ICE Seizing a Tor Exit Node
I imagine a better solution would be to get a virtual or dedicated server at some hosting company, clearly labeled as a TOR exit node (have it host a webpage explaining that fact) and if you can, ONLY use it for that. If you set up a separate corporate entity that owns the server, even better. The law protects you no matter where you run the exit node, but if you want to avoid even being personally investigated at all, you definitely need some significant separation between your home and your exit node.

Comment: Re:Unfortunately... (Score 1) 252

by rainsford (#37217982) Attached to: The EFF Reflects On ICE Seizing a Tor Exit Node
I imagine it's easier for hosting companies because they aren't the prime suspects of whatever the crime is, they're simply assisting the investigation. The person running a TOR exit node IS the prime suspect, because of how TOR works. A hosting company has records and logs of who's using what, a history of helping in police investigations and not being the guilty party. But as far as the cops can tell, you personally own and operate the TOR exit node that the traffic appears to have come from. You have no records of anyone else generating or being responsible for the traffic. If someone downloads kiddy porn through your TOR exit node, the only way the cops can tell it wasn't you is by searching your computing equipment for kiddy porn.

Comment: Re:Intimidation (Score 1) 252

by rainsford (#37217908) Attached to: The EFF Reflects On ICE Seizing a Tor Exit Node
A router is not a TOR exit node. If illegal activities take place through a router, it doesn't look like the router is the origin of that traffic. TOR exit nodes, on the other hand, intentionally make it look like they ARE the origin of the illegal activity. In fact, that's the whole purpose of TOR. ISPs mostly just forward traffic from their customers, individual citizens mostly originate traffic. If an individual citizen is "providing communication services" through an intentionally obfuscated channel, they will be cleared of wrongdoing. But surely you don't expect them to be cleared with absolutely no investigation, do you?

Comment: Re:Intimidation (Score 1) 252

by rainsford (#37217824) Attached to: The EFF Reflects On ICE Seizing a Tor Exit Node
That is not at all the same thing. Why would police want to go poking at the ISP in your example if there was no reason to believe the ISP had done anything? And even if they DID want to, how would they get a warrant to do so with no probable cause? As much as people would like to believe that running a TOR exit node makes them an ISP, the technical and practical realities mean that at least at the start, YOU are going to be suspected of any wrongdoing going through your node. The legal system will protect you eventually (as it did in this case), but you're running a service that, by design, makes it look like a bunch of strangers' Internet traffic is coming from your computer. If police want to investigate that traffic and you tell them "sorry, I'm just running TOR" and they just take your word for it and go away...that would be some pretty incompetent police work. Running and exit node is legally protected, but expecting it to be totally hassle free is just silly.

Comment: Re:For those who are venerating TrueCrypt: Not Saf (Score 1) 135

by rainsford (#35774350) Attached to: Five of the Best Free Linux Disk Encryption Tools
Those attacks also work just as well on ANY encryption product, it is not a weakness specific to Truecrypt or any other whole disk encryption program. Being able to read RAM through firewire or read old values after the computer is turned off and back on is a fundamental weakness of modern computer systems that encryption software can't really solve.

Comment: Re:As long as you have a "connection..." (Score 1) 45

by rainsford (#34934084) Attached to: Amazon, Rackspace Add New Cloud Capabilities
True, but it's not like there aren't points of failure for locally hosted data. "Cloud" services seem like a good choice for many businesses because it greatly decreases the amount of IT a business has to manage. And when it comes right down to it, a reliable Internet connection is almost certainly a requirement for a business IT setup no matter WHERE their data is hosted.

Comment: Re:Shhhh! (Score 1) 561

by rainsford (#30875462) Attached to: Claims of Himalayan Glacier Disaster Melt Away
Because these kinds of errors AREN'T indicative of the standard by which scientific evidence is being gathered. That's the whole point. This is ONE example of bad scientific process among thousands of good examples, but people who are either stupid or have an agenda (or both) will view this as the normal way things are done. As for your second question, science should be placed on a pedestal as long as it's good science. Pedestal placement is all relative, and the reason good science should be given way more credence than the alternative is that the alternative is a bunch of ideas being pushed by people with NO evidence and biased political motivation. Does the IPCC make mistakes? Yup. But as long as the alternative is Bill O'Reilly and not other scientists with better data and methods, I think I'm still going to listen to the IPCC.

Comment: Re:encryption alone (Score 1) 660

by rainsford (#30819054) Attached to: What's Holding Back Encryption?
And yet I can still think of several ways to get information out of that office, including obvious things like memorizing information, copying it (by hand) onto paper you brought into the office yourself, and printing secret things with normal looking first pages.

Technology is never the solution to the problem of insiders. It might make it HARDER to steal information, but honestly, you can't run a business with non-trusted insiders. Technology has a place keeping people inside the company from information they shouldn't have (like keep engineers out of HR records), but preventing people from stealing information they need access to in order to do their jobs? Forget about it...

Comment: Re:This attack was perfectly succesful (Score 1) 809

by rainsford (#30556820) Attached to: Man Tries To Use Explosive Device On US Flight
Don't forget the millions of Americans who will be even more likely to treat every Muslim, or every person who conforms to Muslim stereotypes, as a terrorist. There are tons of them commenting on this very story. Far from seeing them as the enemy, terrorists must LOVE these folks. It deepens the divide between Muslims and non-Muslims, even so far as to gain additional support for the terrorists.

Comment: Re:They Were Right - I Was Wrong (Score 1) 809

by rainsford (#30556792) Attached to: Man Tries To Use Explosive Device On US Flight
Popularity doesn't equal accuracy, especially in the news field. It often seems like the majority of people explicitly DON'T want "right" news, they want news that supports what they already believe. I'll leave that to you to decide what that says about the "competition crushing" Fox News is engaging in.

Also...seriously, "state-run media"?

Mediocrity finds safety in standardization. -- Frederick Crane

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