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Comment: Re:Jealous much? (Score 1) 416

by sjames (#48936031) Attached to: Justice Department: Default Encryption Has Created a 'Zone of Lawlessness'

WITH a warrant, a pentrace is still available. That is, who did this phone call and where was it at the time. But note they're not complaining about phones that encrypt voice communication. Neither Google nor Apple are proposing to do that. They're complaining that they can't read your address book or paw through your email and photos. They're complaining that your papers might be secured nearly as well as Capone's (but not quite as well unless you have a tommy gun).

The thing is, most crimes eventually come down to some sort of physical activity somewhere that can be observed or to money moving from one place to another which can be traced (yes, including bitcoin).

+ - ATM Bombs Coming Soon to United States

Submitted by (3830033) writes "Nick Summers has an interesting article at Bloomberg about the epidemic of 90 ATM bombings that has hit Britain since 2013. ATM machines are vulnerable because the strongbox inside an ATM has two essential holes: a small slot in front that spits out bills to customers and a big door in back through which employees load reams of cash in large cassettes. "Criminals have learned to see this simple enclosure as a physics problem," writes Summers. "Gas is pumped in, and when it’s detonated, the weakest part—the large hinged door—is forced open. After an ATM blast, thieves force their way into the bank itself, where the now gaping rear of the cash machine is either exposed in the lobby or inside a trivially secured room. Set off with skill, the shock wave leaves the money neatly stacked, sometimes with a whiff of the distinctive acetylene odor of garlic." The rise in gas attacks has created a market opportunity for the companies that construct ATM components. Several manufacturers now make various anti-gas-attack modules: Some absorb shock waves, some detect gas and render it harmless, and some emit sound, fog, or dye to discourage thieves in the act.

As far as anyone knows, there has never been a gas attack on an American ATM. The leading theory points to the country’s primitive ATM cards. Along with Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, and not many other countries, the U.S. doesn’t require its plastic to contain an encryption chip, so stealing cards remains an effective, nonviolent way to get at the cash in an ATM. Encryption chip requirements are coming to the U.S. later this year, though. And given the gas raid’s many advantages, it may be only a matter of time until the back of an American ATM comes rocketing off."

Comment: Re:Problem for Evolution (Score 1) 19

by sjames (#48929381) Attached to: Scientists Discover How To Track Natural Errors In DNA Replication

The part you're missing is selection. The harmful mutations either fail to reproduce altogether or they reproduce at a lower rate than the good ones. Actual experiments show that you can actually randomly mutate a program and if you have a good selection function, you can actually evolve new functionality.

The catch is that the evolution tends to 'find' really odd solutions.

Comment: Re:Jealous much? (Score 2) 416

by sjames (#48927401) Attached to: Justice Department: Default Encryption Has Created a 'Zone of Lawlessness'

I argue that they don't need it. They need it the way a 5 year old will claim that chocolate deficiency is an actual medical problem.

I could use a Ferrari but the price is too high. They could use the ability to snoop into people's phones and PCs but the price is too high.

Like your DUI analogy, we tried the ignition interlock, but they hot wired it and got another DUI. Now they will have to walk (get it? LEGWORK!). Back in the before time, they brought down notorious mobsters and bank robbers by pounding the pavement. Ness didn't hack Capone's PC. Capone kept his books locked in a safe in his office The office was guarded by men with Tommy guns. Many crooks kept the real books in code.

Comment: Re:Jealous much? (Score 2) 416

by sjames (#48926853) Attached to: Justice Department: Default Encryption Has Created a 'Zone of Lawlessness'

They were allowed to borrow the family car on weekends. Then one night Dad saw them drag racing and trenching yards in the family car. Now they are not allowed to borrow the family car.

This is just them whining that they can't go to work now (if they had a job, that is) or the library to study (The 4 Ds on the report card suggest that wasn't likely to happen anyway).

Perhaps one day, when they are behaving responsibly and have built up trust again, they might occasionally be allowed to borrow the car again, but they will be checked up on and it won't be this year.

+ - 'Super-secure' BlackPhone pwned by super-silly txt msg bug->

Submitted by mask.of.sanity
mask.of.sanity (1228908) writes "The maker of BlackPhone – a mobile marketed as offering unusually high levels of security – has patched a critical vulnerability that allows hackers to run malicious code on the handsets. Attackers need little more than a phone number to send a message that can compromise the devices via the Silent Text application.

The impact of the flaw is troubling because BlackPhone attracts what hackers see as high-value victims: those willing to invest AU$765 (£415, $630) in a phone that claims to put security above form and features may well have valuable calls and texts to hide from eavesdroppers."

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:grandmother reference (Score 1) 462

by sjames (#48921231) Attached to: Ubisoft Revokes Digital Keys For Games Purchased Via Unauthorised Retailers

Really, the law hasn't caught up to this sort of thing. It's not really illegal, nor is it particularly legal. Part of the problem is that it would cost a lot to hash it out and there's just not enough money involved unless it becomes a class action. But as a general principle, if someone pays you for something, you're not allowed to take it back unilaterally.

I have been speaking more of the moral/ethical position of it (which is all we have given the ambiguity of the law).

Meanwhile, I have never seen a EULA that actually had anything to say about this situation . I doubt it could be claimed that this was clearly pointed out to the people who bought the game at any time, before or after the sale.

Comment: Re:grandmother reference (Score 1) 462

That's why I say the sale price approaches the cost of production. It does not start right at it and stay there forever more.

As for copyright laws and mini-monopolies, those are factors that damage the health of the market.

In another message, I looked at Far Cry 3 and assuming recovery of development price over the 10 million sold and a development cost of 60 million, that would come out to $6 ea. Note that it was never $6 each or even close (even a used copy runs twice that now after they have already paid off all development costs). Because they don't know they will sell 10 million, I would expect a higher price at first and for the market to support that based on novelty. However, after that honeymoon period, a healthy market would exert considerable downward pressure on the price.

Simply, we don't have efficient healthy markets in the U.S.

Optimism is the content of small men in high places. -- F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Crack Up"