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Comment: Re:Clarification (Score 1) 249

by ravnous (#47216655) Attached to: New Permission System Could Make Android Much Less Secure

But if the app had the SMS group permission when you installed it, it had the ability to do that already. You haven't granted it any additional permission. If the developer only really wanted the ability to read SMS messages, it should have only asked for that in the first place.

I can definitely buy that app developers may get lazy and ask for more permissions than they need because it's more convenient. Let's say a group had 5 permissions, and an app needed 3 of those. The app developer may get lazy and just ask for the whole group instead of the 3 permissions the app really needed.

If a developer gets lazy and asks for more permission than the app needs, that developer should get raked over the coals in the app reviews, and maybe they'll fix their app.

The human component of asking for permissions (both on the developer's end and on the user's end) may be weakened, but the security model itself is no different with permission groups. As far as I can tell, they're not removing the ability to ask for individual permissions, they're just making it easier to ask for collections of permissions.

Comment: Clarification (Score 1) 249

by ravnous (#47215731) Attached to: New Permission System Could Make Android Much Less Secure

Someone tell me if I'm wrong here, but I just read the Google support page discussing the changes, and here's what I came away with.

Permission groups are new. If you grant permission for an app to have access to the features controlled by that permission group, then the app has access to all of them. Using the SMS example, if a developer requested the SMS group permission, the developer is asking you to allow the app to do all the things listed under that group. That would include reading SMS and sending SMS messages, among other things. If an app requested the SMS group, and you installed the app, even if the app previously only read SMS messages, it still had permission to send them. A future update may also send SMS messages, but you've already approved that action by installing and manually approving the previous version of the app. Where it gets dicey is if a new permission were added to a group. For example, if a delete SMS feature were added to the group, I don't think the Google page discusses whether that new permission would need to be approved.

An app developer can still ask for individual permissions, like reading SMS messages. If a future update wanted the ability to send SMS messages, they would still have to ask and the app would not be auto-updated. Or, if the app developer later decided he/she wants to add the SMS group permission request, that download would require manual approval.

I don't think there's anything nefarious going on here. You just need to be aware of what permissions you're granting an app. If you grant an app permission to send SMS messages (whether it's via an explicit request for that ability, or whether that ability is granted via a permissions group), don't get upset when it does send an SMS, even if that feature isn't baked in until a later update. As far as I can tell, no app is being granted permission to do something you haven't already given it permission to do. Except for internet access.

The internet access permission being demoted to a secondary permission, on the other hand, might be cause for worry.

Comment: Comparison to traditional bank (Score 2) 704

by ravnous (#46398271) Attached to: Bitcoin Exchange Flexcoin Wiped Out By Theft

I, like most of you, have a checking (and savings) account with a traditional bank. That bank has a web site. If that bank's web site gets hacked, my money is at risk. (Forget about FDIC for a second, because there's no reason a bitcoin exchange/online wallet site couldn't provide insurance.) My money could get transferred to another account, then withdrawn before I realize what happened. Why doesn't this happen as often as we hear about these bitcoin exchanges getting robbed? Is it because of regulations? I don't think so. As far as I know, there's no government regulation for "this bank's web site is safe because it implements these technologies we've decided they must implement." It's because the banks know that if their web site's reputation as a secure site becomes tarnished, they're going to lose a lot of customers.

My point is that there's no inherent security enhancement in big banks' web sites just because the banks are regulated and deal in government currency. The reason they're safe is because they've poured a lot of resources into making them safe, and the reason for that is so they don't lose customers. These bitcoin exchanges that are getting robbed obviously were not spending the amount of time and money necessary to ensure their safety. That's it. It has nothing to do with whether they deal with bitcoin or dollars.

Comment: I'd like to take this opportunity to pimp my app (Score 1) 146

by ravnous (#46232155) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Local Sync Options For Android Mobile To PC?

PhotoSync - https://play.google.com/store/...

In the app, you specify an SMB share. Any time you take a picture or video, the app will be notified. The next time you're on the same wifi network as your PC, the app will copy the new pictures/videos to the share. Optionally, you can have the app delete the pictures/videos off your phone after a user-defined amount of time after they've been synced, so that you don't run out of space on your phone (unless you set this time threshold longer than it takes to fill up your phone).

Comment: Re:Taxation wrong? Sorry, don't get it. Foreign. (Score 1) 701

by ravnous (#43964149) Attached to: The Free State Project, One Decade Later

Can emigrate where? The libertarian utopia of....

I'll see if I can address your freedom vs. rights remark. So you're suggesting that a poor, hungry man has more rights to my labor than I do, and that if I won't give a hungry man something to eat voluntarily, I should be forced to? Being forced to work for the benefit of another? Does that ring any bells? You may scoff at my comparing taxation to slavery, and it certainly differs with how slavery has been practiced in the history of humanity, because traditionally, slaves have been used to the benefit of the individuals that "owned" the slaves. However, the fact that you're forcing the taking the results of labor (even if it's not ALL of their labor) from one and handing it to another is the same result.

We don't disagree that humans have a moral obligation to help the less fortunate. That's because we share that value (I assume). However, I'll leave that moral decision up to everyone to make, and not make it for them. Again, libertarians get criticized for not wanting to help the needy. Certainly, there are plenty of those. But that's not even the point.

Re: your democracy comment below. As I often hear on a libertarian radio show I like to listen to, democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what's for dinner. We also had Jim Crow laws in this country. Just because something has been approved by a majority, doesn't make it right.

Comment: Re:Taxation wrong? Sorry, don't get it. Foreign. (Score 2) 701

by ravnous (#43963617) Attached to: The Free State Project, One Decade Later

These kinds of "rights" force an obligation on someone else. The way you've defined your "right" not to be hungry implies an obligation on me to provide that right, and if I don't pay up to provide you with this right, I'm going into a cage for some time.

The idea that libertarians are against taxation because they don't want to help the poor completely misses the point. The point is that if I want to help the poor, I will donate my time and money to some cause or charity at my discretion, not because someone told me I had to or else I'd go to jail. Nobody has more right to the fruits of my labor than I do. By taking my money from me (in the form of taxation), that's what you're saying. Sugar-coat it all you want in good intentions and noble causes, and feeding and housing the poor and sick are certainly noble causes, but the moment you define someone's right like that, you've also defined an obligation on someone. That's the point of libertarianism, and that's the point people miss when they criticize libertarians, that there are two sides to these rights as you define them. Yes, someone gets something they might need, but someone else is forced to provide it.

Yes, you do have the right not to be hungry, in that nobody should be allowed to prevent you from feeding yourself. You do have the right to warmth, in that nobody should be allowed to steal your home or your clothes.

The freedom to harm is fundamental, said no libertarian ever.

Comment: Re:3-2-1 Contact (Score 1) 623

by ravnous (#43851299) Attached to: How Did You Learn How To Program?

I had an Atari computer (1200XL I believe). I remember that 9 times out of 10, the computer program in the 3-2-1 Contact would not have an Atari version. I was always so disappointed. Sometimes they would have a little section that would say, "Take the Apple IIe program and change this line to say this, and that line to say that." Little did I know that you could pretty much do this for every program, that BASIC was mostly the same across the platforms, except for a few differences that you could get around.

A penny saved is a penny to squander. -- Ambrose Bierce

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