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Comment: Re:So SSL is nothing more than an honor system? (Score 1) 104

by chihowa (#47426317) Attached to: India's National Informatics Centre Forged Google SSL Certificates

That's a cop-out, though. Yes, there is always an element of trust in whatever you do. That's unavoidable, though it's smart to minimize the amount of trust you must put in others. Taken to the extreme it's ludicrous, as you've pointed out. But, that doesn't mean that there's no merit in limiting the amount of trust you put in third parties. Just because you can't completely trust your OS or compiler, doesn't mean that you should throw the entire concept of limiting trust out the window. It's dishonest to suggest that the risk is the same between trusting (your compiler), (your compiler + your OS), and (your compiler + your OS + the CA system).

The CA system is truly an honor system by design. It requires you to put your complete trust in a large, and growing, list of opaque and unfamiliar third parties and the decision to trust them is made by others though an opaque and unaccountable process. It's putatively a "security system", but is insecure by design. It depends entirely on unaccountable, secretive, and self-selected "authorities" to determine who should trust who.

Look at your OS's list of trusted CAs sometime. Any of these organizations, or anyone delegated by any single one of them, are implicitly trusted by your system. Completely trusting Microsoft, Apple, or various Linux devs is naive, but completely trusting everyone in the root CA list is absolutely insane!

Comment: Re:UK is not a free country (Score 3, Insightful) 131

by chihowa (#47424589) Attached to: UK Gov't Plans To Push "Emergency" Surveillance Laws

OK, to clarify... disappearances and purges are bad news, but it's not as if these historical dictatorships were all fine and dandy up until the point where people started disappearing. Holding off judgement until something is allowed to fully develop into its inevitable final product is dangerous and naive.

Comment: Re:UK is not a free country (Score 1) 131

by chihowa (#47424511) Attached to: UK Gov't Plans To Push "Emergency" Surveillance Laws

So people disappearing is the line at which you think a government is atrocious? There was more wrong with the dictatorships of the past than just purges. Would a dystopia where everyone is kept locked up in cages, but nobody is missing, not compare to a real fascist dictatorship? This argument people like you keep parroting is like the No True Scotsman argument of bad government.

Comment: Re:Reminds me of The Wonderful Burt Wonderstone (Score 4, Insightful) 88

by jd (#47413427) Attached to: The Billionaire Mathematician

Humans nearly died out entirely from hunger and thirst, it was visionaries that led them out of a dying region of Africa into Asia, by a route that appeared to defy reason to any non-visionary of the time.

Pre-humans nearly had their brains the size of a grapefruit and wired backwards. It was visionaries who developed fire, 2.5 million years ago, providing the much-needed nutrition that allowed us to avoid the same fate as every other lineage of hominid.

Visionaries allowed the Norse to split quartz in a way that permitted them to track the sun even in cloudy skies and well into twilight, giving them greater access to the seas, trade and food than any other society of that time.

Visionaries developed cities to handle the logistics of the brewing and baking industries, again counter to any "obvious" logic that farming and hunting were how you got food.

Visionaries are the reason you can post stuff on the Internet, and why persecuted minorities around the world can have a voice and education.

So don't tell a visionary that he is defying your common sense. His work may have implications for society that you cannot imagine simply because he has the imagination and you don't. That does not mean that it will have such an implication or that he does have that extra imagination. It simply means that visionaries have a track record of saving people from starvation.

What about normal people? Those are usually the ones who manufacture conditions suitable for mass starvation. They're the ones who create nothing but buy the rights to sue to oblivion those who do. They're the ones who have allowed security holes to develop in critical infrastructure, like nuclear power stations, and then place said infrastructure on the public Internet where anybody can play with it. They're the ones who deny Global Warming and have endangered all life on this planet.

At this point in history, we'd be better off if the normal people were rounded up, put on some nowhere continent, and left to rot at their own hands. This would also solve much of the operpopulation crisis, as they're also the ones that breed morons like rabbits. If they choose to become civilized, they're free to do so. That would be helpful, in fact. But as long as they remain normal (read: proto-human), their fate is their lookout but they've no business making it everyone else's fate too.

Comment: Re:Magical Pixie Horse (Score 1) 347

by chihowa (#47409589) Attached to: Here Comes the Panopticon: Insurance Companies

But everyone wants to pay the rates of the healthiest, safest, best maintained because if you have to pay more than that you must be getting ripped off.

Because you are getting ripped off (at both ends of the risk pool). Insurance is about pooling risk so that the cost of unlikely events are spread among more people. If statistical analysis allows insurance companies to segregate and condense those pools by risk, then eventually all of the individuals (high and low risk) end up paying what they'd normally pay if they didn't have insurance plus the profit that the insurance company is collecting. Insurance companies are profitable because the risks of the insured are increasingly well known, but withheld from the insured.

You're getting ripped off by being moved between the risk pools without any regard to what you've already payed into the system. When you're young and healthy, your premiums are pure profit as you never collect on them. When you're old and sick, your premiums rise to cover your costs (plus profit). If increased data mining allows even finer grained risk assessment (and adjusted premiums), where is the benefit in having insurance?

Comment: Re:LEAP Motion (Score 1) 65

Fixating on 'gestures' and reducing the entire scope of the input device to them is where the Leap went wrong. And from the summary: "...respond to a set of pre-programmed gestures...", it's where this one will go wrong, too. Gestures are fine for making limited input devices more powerful (as is the case with trackpads) but there's nothing intuitive or compelling about a 'set of pre-programmed gestures' in itself.

There's a bunch cool stuff you could do with these sort of input devices, but everyone seems so compelled to turn them into clumsy trackpad replacements.

13. ... r-q1