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Comment Re:Missing Option (Score 1) 102

Legend! That sounds like an awesome night.

In contrast, I'll be celebrating by waving a single sparkler :-(
The nanny-state doesn't make it easy for us to acquire things that go boom here in Australia.
Some people used to drive to Canberra and stock-up (it used to be legal there, don't know now).

Favourites included:
- throw-downs
- ground spinners? - the ones about the size of a AAA battery which you'd light and throw and they'd sometimes take-off in random directions
- Oh! And the parachute one!

Gosh they were fun.

Have a great night !!

Comment Re:If you don't know why they're doing this... (Score 1) 440

Also, it makes it that much easier for the authorities to nail you if / when they choose to come after you.
(Assuming one hasn't maintained all the paperwork.)

e.g. for those subject to Australian tax law

Barter transactions are assessable and deductible for income tax purposes to the same extent as other cash or credit transactions.

When an entity that is a member of a trade exchange makes a taxable sale to another member, there is a liability for tax, including GST.

Bartering and barter exchanges
Australian Taxation Office
Further reading -> Taxation Ruling No. IT 2668 -- Income tax: barter and countertrade transactions

Comment Re:If you don't know why they're doing this... (Score 1) 440

First alternative that comes to mind is bartering. But I suppose there's also Bitcoin and related services.

All of which would eventually be made illegal via expedient justifications.
(We need to be able to contact purchasers of goods in cases of urgent product recalls, etc)

Sadly, I think if our society went cashless it would become more dystopic rather than a utopic.

Comment Re:Welcome to the club (Score 1) 112

Most definitely. (And of course, I know you know that.)
I used very simple strings as keys in an attempt to aid the example. Apologies if that caused confusion.

I recall the first time I heard about OTP.
I remember thinking the same as you wrote earlier: that if you throw enough raw power at it you can still solve it; just that it's harder than "regular keys".

Then I read a wonderful explanation here on Slashdot (far better than my terrible attempt) and the penny dropped with a heavy thud. OTP are completely uncrackable *because the key can be anything*! Of course, this comes with all the caveats regarding key security.

I generally browse /. as AC, but logged-in to comment when I saw your initial comment. I typically enjoy reading your contributions / comments, and wanted to share this sentiment. What can I say ... it's Christmas ... I'm not my usual cranky self.

Comment Re:Welcome to the club (Score 2) 112

Not quite, bud.
I ain't no cryptographer (which will soon become apparent!) but I'll have a go at explaining.

The thing with OTP is that the random component can be *anything*.
Lemme give a very contrived example:

Let's say we've encrypted 1,024 bits of plaintext with 1,024 bit OTP key, resulting in 1,024 bits of cyphertext.
If we reverse that cyphertext with the original 1,024 OTP key, we get the original 1,024 bits of data.

So far so good. However ...

It would be possible to put together a *different* combination of 1,024 bits that, when combined with the cyphertext, would yield another, valid plaintext message.

Original Message = Hello, world!
Final Cyphertext = BBBBBBBBBBBBB
Reverse the process, and you get "Hello, world!"

But we could use:
To yield this Cyphertext = I like jelly!

To yield = Summer's here

which would still trigger alarms when checked for things like the frequency of characters, etc. After all, to someone eavesdropping, the OTP can be anything, can it not? Therefore the plaintext could also have been anything.

I hope the above makes sense. (?)

Comment Re:I don't get this (Score 1) 67

It's easy to see why commercial software providers would want to push users toward the cloud

There's no guarantee that locally-installed software will remain subscription-free.
Don't forget about the widely-used Adobe tool suite, Adobe Creative Cloud.

It wouldn't surprise me if MS Windows & MS Office moved in that direction in the next decade.

Comment Re:Investigating if laws were broken (Score 3, Informative) 312

mens rea. Meaning that you have to have a guilty mind (i.e., intent) to have broken the law

My understanding of "mens rea" is that the defendant knew (understood) that they were performing the action (the "actus reus") irrespective of whether or not they knew that the action was illegal. Some people commit physical actions but don't know what they're doing ... or can't stop themselves (e.g. the insane, underage child lashing out, etc).

And that the demonstration of intent (knowingly breaking the law) only exacerbates the offence.

Then again, IANAL, so my legal commentaries are probably as valuable as those of the underage child I mentioned above ...

Comment Re:What can *we* do? Serious! (Score 1) 145

I absolutely endorse your statements.

I refuse to vote for the 2 major parties.
Many tell me I'm "throwing away my vote", as those for whom I vote have no chance of winning.
And you know what? 99.9% of the time they're right! But ...
    -> every now and then, change does happen
    -> when the assholes in power notice that their winning margins are thinning, you better believe it grabs their attention

Here's what I have previously said on the subject.

Again, I absolutely agree with your stance.

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