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Comment: Re:Flying experience (Score 2) 239

What I get out of this story is that, if you're lucky enough to survive the trip in the wheel well, it's much more convenient to travel this way than doing it the regular way: no queuing, no overcharging from the airlines, no restrictions on the amounts of liquids you can carry, no getting your gonads showered with x-rays, no groping from TSA perverts... and of course, no arbitrary, secret no-fly list that prevents you from boarding the plane in the first place.

The airport security theater almost makes me want to risk my life as a stowaway.

I'm not sure about that. For the (surviving) wheel-well travelers, all of that unpleasantness simply comes after the flight. They may not use the backscatter X-ray machine, but I'm sure there will be a far more thorough examination than the TSA would give you, which you will receive on a regular basis. There are also far more limits on what items you can bring with you, not just liquids.

...and after all that, you will likely have a good idea if you are on the no-fly list. (The answer will be yes)

Comment: Custody of the Data (Score 4, Insightful) 28

by surmak (#46462905) Attached to: Calif. Court Orders Preservation of Disputed NSA Phone Records

If the data is needed as evidence in the case, then the court should take custody of it and require all other copies to be destroyed. That way the information is available for the trial, but cannot be (ab)used for any other purpose by the NSA.

Another option would be for the parties to stipulate on what data has been stored, and then proceed in the trial on that assumption.

Comment: Re:They're already paying (Score 1) 365

by surmak (#45604287) Attached to: FCC Chair: It's Ok For ISPs To Discriminate Traffic

In a free market they would be allowed to discriminate traffic. Just like you'd be able to vote with your wallet and choose between the two providers available, who happen to have the exact same discrimination list.

That sounds like a fair trade. Once there is a free competitive market of at least 5 independent ISPs in a market, then we can talk about eliminating new neutrality.

Comment: Re:LOL wut? (Score 1) 188

by surmak (#45232667) Attached to: Online Retailers Cruising Tor To Hunt For Fraudsters

Why is not like going to the shop and paying with cash?

So instead of blocking TOR they should offer things like Bitcoin?

Exactly, the problem (from the seller's POW) with credit cards is that the transaction can be reversed if the buyer complains. If you have a physical delivery address, and you send the cops there to investigate. If your goods are delivered electronically, then there is no recourse. A scammer could give the billing/shipping address associated with the card, receive the stolen goods, and everything would look kosher until the card owner receives their monthly bill and complains. At this point, the store would get a chargeback, and be screwed over.

With Bitcoin (or other cash-like on-line services) there is no possibility to reverse the transaction, no fraud protection, so once the store completes the transation, they have their money, and it cannot be taken away.

Comment: Re:Can you trust the compiler? (Score 4, Interesting) 250

by surmak (#45228561) Attached to: How I Compiled TrueCrypt For Windows and Matched the Official Binaries

The compiler (and support stack) is a MS compiler, and MS is already owned by "the man", so as Kernighan demonstrated you still can't trust it.

The disassembler he used is not. So it is (at least theoretically) possible to see if there is a back door. The compiler has a very low-level view of what it is doing. In order to add a back door, it would need to recognize when it is compiling TC. This could be a much more difficult technical problem than what Kernighan did to login, and, if discovered, would be devastating to MS from a PR standpoint.

Comment: Re:Won't take off, but may Rip You Off (Score 1) 240

by surmak (#45146013) Attached to: Square Debuts New Email Payment System

They claim the service is free. FAQ Here [squareup.com] to both parties. So, how do they finance that, other than getting a piece of the debit card fee? (Senders have to use a Debit card).

The get the 1-2 days of float on the translation. That may be enough to enable them to make a little profit.

Comment: Android (Score 3, Informative) 31

Android already does this. The OS has a set of permissions available for apps (get location data, use camera, access internet, etc.) These permissions are displayed to the user when the app is installed, giving the user the chance to reject the app if the permissions are unacceptable.

Comment: Re:Reason to be a producer of a product (Score 3, Insightful) 78

by surmak (#44093575) Attached to: Personal Audio's James Logan Answers Your Questions

.. Sitting around and coming up with wild ideas that might be possible and writing patents on them and then waiting for someone else to do the 90% work before suing them is a very bad taste for the people who really did the work. ...

What makes this even worse is that the guy who "reinvented" the patented idea in most cases does not even know the patent exists in the first place. The courts have the legal fiction that the knowledge in the patents is in the public domain, but in practice this is not just the case -- especially when a defendant has a disincentive to willfully infringe a patent (better remain ignorant and avoid extra damages). Perhaps we need a system where the patent owner had an affirmative duty to publicize the patent.

"Any excuse will serve a tyrant." -- Aesop

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