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Comment: Ok, several aspects to this. (Score 1) 254

by jd (#48038673) Attached to: The $1,200 DIY Gunsmithing Machine

First, guns don't protect, never have, never will. That is not the function of a gun. So anyone on their high horse should look to see if they're suffering altitude sickness.

Second, the design of these specific rifles is a non-issue. The gun market is inherently grey, which means regulation is minimal to non-existent. There's no white hats in weaponry of any kind. And, yes, that includes the re-enactment stuff I work with. I know that, recognize that and accept it*. No shades, just a thick, pea-soup foggy grey.

*That is why I despise "goody two shoes" arguments from both extreme camps. This isn't black, this isn't white, this is murky grey. I own it for my part, I hold nobody to a higher standard than I hold myself, but I refuse to hold them to a lower one either. Own it.

Third, the design of any regular weapon is a non-issue, but nothing stops you from designing an irregular weapon. With modern cheap hardware, a 3D printer and suitable low-cost materials, a person is quite capable of designing a 3-5 mile range sniper rifle that can be controlled via telerobotics from the home. We already know that low-cost cruise missiles with ranges in excess of 100 miles can also be built at home. With 3D printing, the costs become lower. With advances in technology (remember, the $5000 100-mile cruise missile was designed over a decade ago and it wasn't even close to what budget efforts could do), you can expect far greater ranges, far greater precision and far greater payloads today.

This, again, goes back to this being grey hat technology. If a black hat wanted to use such devices, we'd know about. Or, rather, the survivors would. America still exists, so black hats either don't have the courage of their convictions or they don't have the skill. Either way, they're not worthy of consideration. Worthy of being dumped into a deep oceanic trench, bu not worthy of consideration.

White hats? If white hats were building actively guided systems capable of that sort of range, you'd be seeing miniature computer boards running Linux, Squid and Tor relays launched into stable orbits that crossed nations with restricted network access. We don't. We see "peace corps" infiltrators attempting to install such devices directly, along with who knows what malware, causing international incidents and seriously destabilizing international relations, as part of neocon stupidity. White hats putting in a passive alternative with no hostile software and no damage to other nations -- that's an OBVIOUS way to do good for everyone and to minimize harm. But, no, they either don't have the skill or the courage of their convictions.

So it's all grey. That's all there is. Thick, pea-soup fog.

Comment: Re: Whips and manicles (Score 1) 206

by jd (#48012047) Attached to: My toy collection is ...

If it's not an abacus, it can't count. Most of the rational people have quit fet due to database failures, update disasters, an incredibly primitive unthreaded discussion format and a contingent of highly abusive individuals. Abusiveness and primitiveness has done for tech forums, too, which is why Kuro5hin has been in death throes for some time.

A community is never stronger than the people who stand behind it and, in sadly far too many cases, the people standing behind the community are crouched down and in hiding.

Comment: Re: So, systemd integration is suddenly a good thi (Score 1) 394

by jd (#47979851) Attached to: Debian Switching Back To GNOME As the Default Desktop

Doesn't matter. It's not tested or validated for every possibility. Hell, given how easily I can break Debian, I wonder if it's tested at all these days. There is no point in using unvalidated setups with a distro, if you're at that point then you should roll your own.

Comment: Re: Funny, I Left GNOME 3 Mainly Because of System (Score 2, Insightful) 394

by jd (#47979833) Attached to: Debian Switching Back To GNOME As the Default Desktop

Software that is designed correctly separates out what it does, how it does it, and how it interacts with the outside world.

Ergo, software that is correctly designed is user-agnostic. If the user thinks in a particular way, whatever that way happens to be, it is the job of the software to accommodate that. If it does not, it is not software for users, it is software that has users. Possession is everything.

Software that is correctly designed is configuration-agnostic. If the configuration file states something is enabled, then that is enabled. It is not the job of the software to say the file really means something else. If the configuration is broken, state how and why. Clearly. If the configuration is old, import and update. But don't tell me, or anyone else, what Joe Bloggs thinks would look better. I don't care. And the more other people's preferences get shoved in my face, the less I will care.

Theo clearly has the right idea - the only way to get past the morons is with an attitude of utter contempt. Bugger all else matters, apparently.

Comment: I'm switching off Debian. (Score 0) 394

by jd (#47979755) Attached to: Debian Switching Back To GNOME As the Default Desktop

Linux-From-Scratch is easier to use, less user-hostile and less determined to tell me how to think.

ANY software that pretends to know better than me how I want things done is software that deserves to burn. And then sink into the swamp. It is that precise attitude that got me to kick the Windows habit and led me away from the early ix86 BSDs.

I not only think better than a mere machine, I think better than your average distro compiler. I can spec better, I can build better, I can test better. Debian had, up till now, been acceptable, the packages are convenient and it's no great pain to tune. Now, Debian ranks lower than Fedora. I'd recommend the MCC distribution before either and that was last updated during the Ice Age.

Comment: Re: More great insightful summaries from /. - not! (Score 1) 76

by jd (#47970913) Attached to: Researchers Propose a Revocable Identity-Based Encryption Scheme

I've used the site longer and reserve the right to use Doctor Who references where I'm suspicious of technical details, especially as relate to timing vulnerabilities. This is allowed, as per The Hacker's Dictionary. Bonus points for finding the Doctor Who references included.

Comment: Re: Cursory reading (Score 1) 76

by jd (#47970887) Attached to: Researchers Propose a Revocable Identity-Based Encryption Scheme

That was pretty much my interpretation as well. Which would be great for ad-hoc encrypted tunnels - the source and destination can have keys that are valid only until the tunnel's authentication expires (typically hourly) and where the encryption is based on the identity the other side is known by. Ad-hoc tunnels need to generate keys quickly and efficiently, but also don't need to be super-secure. In fact, they can't be.

If RIBE isn't useful in ad-hoc, then you'd end up having to ask when it would be useful.

Anything that depends on a third party, including PGP/GPG with keyservers, is vulnerable to some form of compromise, SSL/TLS certificates all have a third party signer and Kerberos depends on all kinds of behind-the-scenes work being secure. However, although they're imperfect, they're considered adequate for what they do. Well, except for SSL, perhaps.

RIBE presumably therefore also has a niche where it's good. Rapid key turnover is what's wanted for conversation-based protocols with timeouts. That makes RIBE sound promissing for IPSec ad-hoc and SSL, as it makes store and crunch by attackers less likely to work. But is that the right niche?

+ - New revokable identity-based encryption scheme proposed->

Submitted by jd
jd (1658) writes "Identity-based public key encryption works on the idea of using something well-known (like an e-mail address) as the public key and having a private key generator do some wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff to generate a secure private key out if it. A private key I can understand, secure is another matter.

In fact, the paper notes that security has been a big hastle in IBE-type encryption, as has revocation of keys. The authors claim, however, that they have accomplished both. Which implies the public key can't be an arbitrary string like an e-mail, since presumably you would still want messages going to said e-mail address, otherwise why bother revoking when you could just change address?

Anyways, this is not the only cool new crypto concept in town, but it is certainly one of the most intriguing as it would be a very simple platform for building mostly-transparent encryption into typical consumer apps. If it works as advertised.

I present it to Slashdot readers, to engender discussion on the method, RIBE in general and whether (in light of what's known) default strong encryption for everything is something users should just get whether they like it or not."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Hmmm. (Score 0) 72

by jd (#47921793) Attached to: Astronomers Find Star-Within-a-Star, 40 Years After First Theorized

If Kip Thorne can win a year's worth of Playboys for his bet that Cygnus X1 was a Black Hole, when current theory from Professor Hawking says Black Holes don't really exist, then can Professor Thorne please give me a year's subscription to the porno of my choice due to the non-existent bet that this wasn't such a star?

Comment: Re:Sounds stupid. (Score 1) 296

by jd (#47877989) Attached to: WD Announces 8TB, 10TB Helium Hard Drives

I've a very good idea that RAM prices are artificially inflated, that the fab plants are poorly managed, that the overheads are unnecessarily high because of laziness and the mentality in the regions producing RAM.

I'm absolutely certain that 15nm-scale RAM on sticks the same size as sticks used today would cost not one penny more but would have a capacity greater than I've outlined.

It could be done tomorrow. The tools all exist since the scale is already used. The silicon wafers are good enough, if they can manage chips 4x and 9x the size of a current memory chip with next to zero discards, then creating the far smaller dies (so you can discard more chips and still get the same absolute yield) is not an issue. It would reduce idle time for fabs, as fabs are currently run semi-idled to avoid the feast/famine cycle of prior years but 15nm would let them produce other chips in high demand, soaking up all the extra capacity.

What you end up with is less waste, therefore lower overheads, therefore higher profit. The chip companies like profit. They're not going to pass on discounts, you getting a thousand times the RAM for the same price is discount enough!

I use technology in order to hate it more properly. -- Nam June Paik