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Comment: Re:The Canadian Exodus.... (Score 1) 1431

by steelfood (#46769537) Attached to: Retired SCOTUS Justice Wants To 'Fix' the Second Amendment

The Swiss are in a slightly different position. America (the U.S. of A. specifically) has no natural enemies. To the north is Canada, who wouldn't hurt a fly, and to the south is Mexico, who's been dealt with. It has nobody constantly trying to kick down its door, nobody who's wars are spilling over, nobody who makes claims to territory based on historical ownership and/or population majority.

America is safe. There's a zero-percent chance of a war erupting from outside of its borders that might affect its borders. The Swiss are not safe. They're surrounded by dozens of warring states that have only recently calmed down, with each one having held claim to some piece of land somewhere that they don't currently control.

Americans arm themselves to push their own agenda on the rest of the world. Its purpose is the projection of power, and the American military is built exactly for that. The Swiss (and most of the rest of the world) arm themselves to protect themselves.

Now, I don't necessarily disagree with making everybody essentially a part of a national militia. However, I'm not certain the consequences of such an act (e.g. no defense spending, no standing army, etc.) would happen the way you envision. I do agree that everyone should learn how to use and care for a firearm from a young age. It'd probably be more beneficial than learning how to drive at the very least.

Comment: Re:Port to GCC, then ensure no backdoors in GCC (Score 1) 171

by steelfood (#46757795) Attached to: First Phase of TrueCrypt Audit Turns Up No Backdoors

We know there's a difference between Windows containers and Linux containers, that being the ~64KB of random data at the end of the header for a Windows container instead of ~64KB of 0's in a Linux container.

This difference is not a result of some difference in the source code of Truecrypt when compiled under Windows. Where could the backdoor be?

Comment: Re:Easy fix (Score 1) 322

reform isn't really beneficial to anyone powerful since it just hurts everyone in power and no one powerfulgets ahead by enacting it.

FTFY. Oversight benefits us, the little people. It benefits people who are subject to institutionalized discrimination. And occasionally, it may even benefit the people being monitored, when it's the other side overreacting. But it doesn't benefit the congressman who gets let off for driving 100 in a 35, or his teenage son for that matter.

Comment: WTF is Planet X? (Score 1) 44

by steelfood (#46704887) Attached to: Last Month's "Planet X" Announcement Was Probably Wrong

What is Planet X supposed to be nowadays? It was supposed to be a planet beyond Pluto. But first off, Pluto isn't a planet anymore. And there have been a number of KBO's discovered that that are comparable to Pluto. Does Planet X have to meet the actual definition of a planet?

So what's Planet X if it hasn't already been found and named Eris? Or Makemake? Or Sedna? Or should it actually be called Planet IX, since Pluto isn't a real planet anymore?

This whole Planet X thing sounds absurd. Between this, and the thinly-veiled slashvertisement for NoSQL "Ask Slashdot", and all the other crap articles that've made the front page, is it still April 1st somewhere or something?

Comment: Re:Nintendo Hard (Score 1) 179

That experience is probably a lot less common these days

Probably because you would be down an expensive smartphone if you did so. Not that it doesn't happen to smartphones, mind you, and for far more trivial events.

At least a NES controller was cheaper, and had a cord to limit its range, and was fairly light. There is a very real risk of killing somebody by indiscriminately chucking those wireless Xbox controllers.

Comment: Re:Chrome's SSL uses a lot of the OS certificate m (Score 3, Informative) 303

by steelfood (#46690283) Attached to: OpenSSL Bug Allows Attackers To Read Memory In 64k Chunks

My understanding is that Chrome and Mozilla both use NSS. It's a bit outdated, so I could be wrong (given that Google forked webkit, I can imagine them forking NSS too).

Actually, with a quick Google search, it seems that Chrome on Android uses (used?) OpenSSL for certain functions. I'm curious to know if secure communication via Android devices can be compromised via those functions. At first glance, I'd say no, but I don't have enough domain knowledge to make this assertion.

NSS is thus far secure, but I really, really would like to see the results of multiple full and independent audits. If there's a problem in NSS, that would be about as big as it can get.

Like I said, it's a bit frightening that there are such large and somewhat obvious holes in these major crypto libraries found within three months of each other, but it's good to know that they're being found and fixed.

Comment: This is good (Score 2) 303

by steelfood (#46689857) Attached to: OpenSSL Bug Allows Attackers To Read Memory In 64k Chunks

Well, it's not good that almost every major audit-able crypto library has been found to have trivial exploits (still waiting on issues in the Chrome and Mozilla SSL libraries).

It's good that eyes are looking, and people are finding these things. I imagine that without Snowden's revelations, nobody would have bothered to check. And these bugs would have been found much later or not at all, allowing espionage organizations to compromise many more private communications in the interim.

While the idea that the NSA or some other agency had a hand in these bugs is largely a conspiracy theory, the answer to whether they knew about these flaws and exploited them should be pretty obvious. After all, the NSA has probably done the very same code audits for the purpose of finding holes they can exploit.

And before somebody says a closed-source implementation wouldn't suffer these problems, quite frankly, if all of these libraries were closed-source, we wouldn't know if there was a vulnurability at all, or for that matter if any found would be fixed. There needs to be more eyes auditing the security code, not fewer.

Comment: Re:Moo (Score 1) 469

Well, regarding #1, #3, and #4 (I've never heard about #2, so I can't comment):

1. French wines consistently win tasting contests over California wines, yet have no advantage in blind tastings.

The recent surge in California wine prices, as well as the recent surge in popularity of California wine, is due to Californian wine beating out the French in a competition. I say recent because wine snobs have existed for centuries.

3. Some of Rembrandt's greatest paintings, the very paintings that made him "great", and were considered quintessential Rembrandt masterpieces that could never be equaled by lesser artists, turned out to be fakes.

There was actually a guy who tried to show what a sham the whole art thing was by forging many famous original works and then burning the original. In my opinion (strictly my opinion), just because someone is talented doesn't mean someone else is just as talented, or talented in a different way. While the "market value" of an original might be overinflated due to the relative ease of a forgery, the true value of the work itself does not fluctuate with copies. And there could be separate value to the forgeries too, as that itself requires no small amount of talent. In particular, the forgeries of the Rembrant forger you most likely had in mind do in fact have value.

4. Monster gold plated cables.

There is no subjectivity in digital signals.

Comment: Re:Horse hockey (Score 1) 319

by steelfood (#46689097) Attached to: SF Evictions Surging From Crackdown On Airbnb Rentals

There are two things to say to that:

1) You can always check yes, even if you're not. Nobody's stopping a potential renter from lying on the application. AirBnb isn't liable for anything if the renter is lying.

2) It may not be their job or even their social repsonsibility, but it does sound predatory. They're taking advantage of people who don't know the local laws to pad their numbers (particularly of units available in those areas). There can be legal repercussions (see #1).

Comment: Re:Flamebait (Score 1) 149

by steelfood (#46665329) Attached to: TCP/IP Might Have Been Secure From the Start If Not For the NSA

I'd imagine if the NSA did have their hands in helping to secure internet communications, every country would have been up in arms last year, and the internet would be completely fractured by now.

Their non-involvement was a good thing, not a bad thing. Now, we currently know there are better things that can be done to secure the internet, but not having implemented them yet does not mean things are bad right now either.

System checkpoint complete.