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Comment Re:Getting away with it? (Score 1) 409

A door handle is not involved with security IMO.

That's debatable, since its literally the interface to open the door, and is often integrated mechanically and electronically with the locks.

Not to mention in some vehicles such as mini-vans and SUVs the side and rear door handles are little more than fancy switches that send an open/close signal to a control unit.

Comment Re:Current use != Original intent w/proof (Score 1) 140

The closest analog to modern encryption is the pyrotechnic safe; attempting to drill it results in an explosion and a fire inside.

Where I can I buy one? Sure I've seen them in movies. Do they actually exist?

If they exist how reliable are they? No criminal is going to want his books and cash to burn out if the neighbors kid crashes a car into a tree on your yard. Or a small earth quake.

I literally can't find anything about them at all. The closest is that using themic lances against normal safes can burn the papers in them.

Perhaps some psycho might rig a bomb inside a regular safe, but that's probably enough to get you convicted just for that, even if you walk on the original case.

In any case this hardly seems to be a problem law enforcement is constantly running into.

Comment Re:Current use != Original intent w/proof (Score 1) 140

They can hire a safe-cracker, but if they can't find one that can break in to your safe, you still don't have to give up the combination and the cops are out of luck.

Quite. But how realistic is this? How many safes out there can the police not get cracked? Its a theoretical limitation with no real implication on actual law enforcement activity.

Contrast this with "everybody and their un-crackable cellphone".

If someone made a physical safe the cops couldn't break into, and people were buying them by the millions law enforcement would be in a similar tizzy about it. Except I doubt that can happen, nothing one can build can't be ground down again. And the cost of such a safe would be extreme.

Contrast with encryption where the cost of encryption is negligible, and uncrackable. (aka "free with 2 year contract")

Encrypted data is the same. They can't force you to give them the passphrase but they can hire someone to try and crack it. If no one can, the cops are out of luck.

Exactly. But they aren't ok with being "out of luck" so often.

What if I had a paper diary and I wrote it in my own language(encryption)?

You'd be surprised how easy it would be to crack in practice. In most cases invented languages would be little more than some window dressing on an existing language, with some simple ciphers etc. Couple that with other relatively detailed knowledge they have about your movements and activities and they almost have a Rosetta stone.

But sure, we can hypothesize you invented the equivalent of martian for the sake of argument, and nobody can make anything of it.

The cops would be out of luck.

Ok, how many people do you think in the world are inventing the equivalent of martian to write their criminal diaries? Are even capable of it? How many police investigations have been hampered by it?

The police don't have a problem with this, because it practically NEVER happens.

The issue they have with encryption is that every criminal from a purse snatcher to the head of the Yakuza uses computers, tablets, smartphones, etc. So its an actual obstacle to actual investigations instead of a hypothetical issue that never happens.

I don't see how you have a problem with any of this.

In an ideal world, I'd want police to be able to break into an encrypted device with a warrant. Why wouldn't I want that? But for better or worse, in the real world, for the first time ever we have somewhere we can put our documents that is easy, convenient, inexpensive, and is secure enough to keep even global super powers from getting in with all their resources combined. Never mind the local police detachment.

I don't have a "problem" with it, in the sense that I think we should ban encryption or backdoor it because those are both stupid non-solutions. But it is a legitimate problem that law enforcement faces that has no good solution.

Comment Re:Illegal phone running (Score 1) 140

I would argue it is time to take up arms against a government with mind reading tech.

And then what? Burn the existing tech, ban research into it, and hope foreign country X doesn't secretly have it?

I agree there is some pretty messed up stuff that could (would) happen in such a world, but I figure mass-proliferation of the tech to everyone would be the only possible stable outcome of such a development.

Comment Re:Current use != Original intent w/proof (Score 1) 140

Seriously, you can't see the difference between a Police officer finding evidence at a crime scene, and a Police officer reading your personal emails to find something?

Of course I see the difference. And nobody disagrees with you that a random search is a problem. But nobody here (except you) is talking about random searches.

Those were made illegal for good reasons. Those should be illegal now and in the future too for the same good reasons. We all agree on that.

The issue here is the *warranted search*. Up until now, if the police got a warrant they COULD search your papers/diary etc. Now EVEN with a warrant they can't do that. And that is a "problem" of sorts.

Comment Re:Illegal phone running (Score 1) 140

Self-incrimination would be EVEN MORE prevalent in raw thoughts as opposed to vocalizing.

Retreiving your password via a non-invasive mind probe is no different in terms of its function as evidence than a DNA test.

It even avoids the issues with imagined crimes, and fantasy crimes, and misremembered events, vs real ones etc, because its a simple fact.

If the password they read out of your mind unlocks your phone, then they are into your phone. And the evidence there is no different from any other evidence. If such a technology existed, I suspect it would be allowable, at least for the limited use of simply reading a password.

I expect it would and should continue to be illegal to go fishing for "thoughts about committing crimes" or "general dissatisfaction with government"... but even then, if they could extract, for example, a set of specific details about a murder that only the murderer would know, that could theoretically add to the evidence against you, too. I think.

Comment Re:Current use != Original intent w/proof (Score 1) 140

Yes, but what is your actual point here?

The fact remains that if you are suspected of treason, due to circumstantial evidence, and a hair found at a known drop site -- and they use that to get a warrant to search your home, where they find your diary in a safe, listing your intelligence leaking, along with papers containing intelligence you were planning to leak.

The 4th and 5th amendments are not designed to protect you from prosecution in that scenario.

Law enforcement has been legitimately allowed to search your property for evidence of a particular crime.

Encryption currently can block that search, so that even WITH a LEGITIMATE warrant they can't get at that evidence. They can get a warrant to search you, recover your laptop, and then not be able to break into it to get at the information inside.

Historically they've always been able to break into any safe. The bill of rights, 4th, 5th amendments etc have never protected anyone from this sort of legitimate investigation, and never were intended to.

The digital age has given us un-crackable safes, and law enforcement is struggling to figure how to deal with that.

Comment Re:Not sure that keeping secrets is new. (Score 1) 140

My guess is in the days before the WW2, they would have had difficulty in breaking ciphers too.

They didn't usually need to break them if they could get a warrant to search the space you kept the key.

THAT is what has changed. Up until now, sure they might not be able to simply "break" the encryption easily simply when presented with encrypted materials, but law enforcement could always get the keys with a warrant if they knew where you kept them.

Remember this is *law enforcement* not international espionage. Law enforcement historically had the means to break any criminal's use of 'encryption', because they could always, at least in theory, obtain the keys through regular police work. The codebook, or cipher, or one time pads, etc were always there somewhere. And they could search a suspects home to find the safe hidden under the carpet with a warrant, and then drill it open with a warrant.

In the digital age, they (reasonably and legitimately) still want the ability to get into the safe. The trouble is nobody makes a drill that get in before the universe expires.

If unobtanioum impervium had been discovered and safes constructed from it literally could not be opened, law enforcement would be in the same tizzy. There would be these "safes" that they could get their hands on but couldn't open.

Especially if these safes were cheap to build or buy, and people could synthesize unobtanium impervium from common household supplies.

Comment Re:Illegal phone running (Score 4, Interesting) 140

This is a war on your ability to have secrets from the government they're not allowed to access by going to a third party

Its not "a third party" its "any party at all".

Other than the contents of one's own mind, we've never actually had that ability until recently.

The very best you could do was put your one time pad in a safe which they could open with a warrant and several hours with a drill.

Digital didn't take away your ability, it actually for the first time, gave us something new... places to put secrets that COULDN'T be easily broken into by law enforcement. This is new for them.

Of course the idiots out there are proposing nonsense like backdoors, or banning encryption etc which are never going to end well if they came to pass. But the adults in the room should be able to have a real conversation about it. Do we treat the contents of securely encrypted systems as an extension of the mind, and vastly increase the total amount of data that is effectively untouchable to law enforcement short of coercion/torture (which is itself illegal).

And on the flip side, what happens if they develop a method of pulling secrets directly from your mind that isn't invasive/destructive. Will that suddenly create a situation where they can get a warrant for the contents of your mind? The 5th amendment is a pragmatic one, you have the right not to testify because they can't make you talk short of torture... but what if they could simply read your mind remotely? And pluck your passwords out. Sci-fi / fantasy? Maybe. Maybe not.

Another possible future is the augmentation of the mind itself directly... imagine an SSD for the brain, *IN THE BRAIN*. What would the legal status of that be in terms of warrant access?

Comment Re:End of the Personal Computer (Score 1) 53

Tablets are already on a downward trend.

Only because of the rise of large screen smart phones.

. People want computers with power, or they don't want computers much at all.

True to a point, but the bulk of the web isn't aimed for them, its aimed for...

The latter wants an appliance anyway and your argument is moot for them.

The bulk of the web is aimed at them, if the bulk of the web can get them locked down enough, it doesn't need to lock down the open PC, it can just block them out unless they run an approved ad-friendly app to connect. Because the web can ignore the PC if its the minority... and like or not, the people who need computers and not just appliances are in the minority.

There will be resources for PC users, by PC users, for resources for Open/Free/OSS/whatever advocates by Open/Free/OSS/whatever advocates but the mainsteam web... for better or for worse will be made for people with locked down tablets, and they'll care if you can connect with a "PC" then about as much as they care if you can connect from Linux today.

At least, that's one plausible future.

Comment Re:The technical problems with this are immense. (Score 1) 346

Thanks, I was crunching the numbers in my head, and I was heading to the same conclusion you detailed.

That said, I think batteries become viable, if not today, maybe soon:

[...] a research team at the University of Tokyo School of Engineering has announced a new lithium ion battery [...] energy density â" at 2,570 watt-hours per kilogram [...]


This is a couple years old...but its clear the tech is moving forward.

Obviously stability/reliability, production scalability, and cost are all obstacles. But 2570 w-h/kg is almost 10MJ/kg which changes the viability substantially.

Your point about jet fuel expenditure being front loaded on the trip ... I read somewhere that the most fuel efficient flight for a jet is around 4300 miles. It seems that an alternate fuel for short hops could make sense.

Fossil fuels are great, and there's no reason to stop using them anytime soon; I am not anti fossil fuels.

But unless we find a way of producing it cheaply we do need to move on eventually. Growing crops to turn into fuel, it amounts to an *extremely* inefficient solar solution (months of solar collected in the form of plant biomass) which then has to be processed into fuel... better perhaps to take those fields grow food in them, and throw up panels in the deserts to charge batteries.

As for your comments about the charging issues, I imagine a battery swap solution being viable for fleets of aircraft.

Comment Re:The technical problems with this are immense. (Score 1) 346

For a typical airplane, though, increasing the weight of the energy source by 10x guarantees that it will never leave the ground: at take-off the jet fuel powered version is already 25-60% fuel by mass; increasing this by 10x would increase the total mass of the plane by 3-6x.

Does hold that true even for short hops? Paris to Madrid? London to Frankfurt? LA to Vegas? Sydney to Melbourne?

Sure a plane with an 8000 NM range is 50%+ fuel by weight... but most european continental flights are under 500 miles.

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