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Comment Re:I will tell you where it will go first! (Score 1) 275

We do not live in a world where planes take off and land while pilots sit in the back and booze it up with the rest of the passengers

Of course not..... blazing through the 3-dimensional airspace with hundreds, perhaps thousands of lives at stake if a mechanical instrumentation failure occurs in flight and the one pilot is not there to compensate.

I don't think there will EVER be a time when a human flight crew is not required to monitor the operation of passenger aircraft, but the things that can go wrong in air navigation are much more complicated than the things that can go wrong in 2-d ground navigation.

Comment Re:Not analyzing payload (Score 1) 97

They are not analyzing metadata, as most malware C&C now pretends to be web traffic.

They could look at the IP addresses of the connections (Check against blacklist of malicious IPs); SSL Metadata, e.g. the SNI hostname from TLS, then look at reputation data regarding the hostname; certificate and public key information, common crypto parameters (Maybe some malware configures a HTTPS client uniquely). They can detect whether the SSL connection "Looks like" a normal web connection, or whether it looks like a VPN or continuous stream of data such as C and C.

Comment Re:That's some serious irony right there (Score 1) 135

Also ironic given that the initial justification for bitcoin was to minimize transaction fees

This is called Bitcoin breaking. That doesn't mean it's irreparably broken though.... it just means BTC is broken for now and currently isn't offering the main advantage that should incentivize merchants adopting it.... IMO They should consider Litecoin instead.

Comment Re:$30+ fees? (Score 1) 135

If bitcoin is not currency, what is the driving force behind owning it?

Just think of it like this: Bitcoin is a viable currency, BUT the smallest spendable denomination is the $500 bill. You can make change easily, but you can't make a $5 payment easily, because getting a 5 note requires $15 in fees for some reason.

Comment Re:Baby out with the bathwater (Score 4, Informative) 233

JavaScript CAN do this by inferring the memory values through the side-channel, first of all because JavaScript is assembled into machine language (Just-in-Time compilation). Did you see the Javascript POC for Spectre?

LISTING 2: Exploiting Speculative Execution via JavaScript

1 if (index < simpleByteArray.length) {
2 index = simpleByteArray[index | 0];
3 index = (((index * TABLE1_STRIDE)|0) & (TABLE1_BYTES-1))|0;
4 localJunk ^= probeTable[index|0]|0;
5 }

... To obtain the x86 disassembly of the JIT output during development, the command-line tool D8 was used.

Manual tweaking of the source code leading up to the snippet above was done to get the value of
simpleByteArray.length in local memory (instead of cached in a register or requiring multiple instructions to
fetch). See Listing 3 for the resulting disassembly output from D8 (which uses AT&T assembly syntax).
The clflush instruction is not accessible from JavaScript, so cache flushing was performed by reading
a series of addresses at 4096-byte intervals out of a large array. Because of the memory and cache
configuration on Intel processors, a series of 2000 such reads (depending on the processor’s
cache size) were adequate evict out the data from the processor’s caches for addresses having
the same value in address bits 11–6 [38]. The leaked results are conveyed via the cache status
of probeTable[n*4096] for n 0..255, so each attempt begins with a flushing pass consisting
of a series of reads made from probeTable[n*4096] using values of n > 256.

LISTING 3: Disassembly of Listing 2

1 cmpl r15,[rbp-0xe0] ; Compare index (r15) against simpleByteArray.length

2 jnc 0x24dd099bb870 ; If index >= length, branch to instruction after movq below

3 REX.W leaq rsi,[r12+rdx*1] ; Set rsi=r12+rdx=addr of first byte in simpleByteArray

4 movzxbl rsi,[rsi+r15*1] ; Read byte from address rsi+r15 (= base address+index)

5 shll rsi, 12 ; Multiply rsi by 4096 by shifting left 12 bits}\%\

6 andl rsi,0x1ffffff ; AND reassures JIT that next operation is in-bounds

7 movzxbl rsi,[rsi+r8*1] ; Read from probeTable

8 xorl rsi,rdi ; XOR the read result onto localJunk

9 REX.W movq rdi,rsi ; Copy localJunk into rdi

Comment Re:Baby out with the bathwater (Score 3, Informative) 233

I.e. Yes javascript can read what it wants due to this bug, but good luck trying to get it to read what *you* want like the running encryption key.

Brute force read using an entropy estimation algorithm until you find an "interesting" blob of memory.

Once you find an interesting blob of memory start checking if that memory could be a valid secret key.

Comment Re:It isn't his decision (Score 1) 372

Meltdown is more serious, but the mitigation is straight forward with some degree of performance degradation.

I would say the word is acute. Meltdown is extremely acute because of the ease of quick results from exploitation but less serious overall than Spectre, because Meltdown will be easily addressed systematically by patches.... apply the patches, and the realistic concerns are mostly gone (although the current fixes have been rushed out too quickly and are thus causing major problems).

Spectre is more serious because it represents a major issue where process' can be made to leak sensitive credentials across boundaries, that is basically going to have the only option being hardware changes to fix fully.

If lawsuits will result against any chip manufacturers; probably Spectre will be the largest concern, although it's possible for some users the Meltdown fix has a particularly grievous affect on system performance, that seems less likely to be a class action situation.

Comment Re:By Definition (Score 4, Informative) 409

Where does the constitution restrict the judicial branch from making a ruling in any matter involving either the legislative or executive branch?

A specific restriction isn't necessary, because the judicial is only empowered to do the things which the constitution and the law states the judiciary is empowered to do. The Judicial branch is ONLY able to make their rulings on what is law and Orders enjoining against furthering harm from violating the law or the constitution based on the dispute before them --- the Legislative and Executive branches have their own agency (Independent judgement), and the Judicials are not superior to the Legislative or the Executive branch in their power or authority: Fundamentally the judiciary IS RESTRICTED and cannot order around other branches, And if there is a disagreement --- it's called a constitutional crisis, because they are 3 equal branches of government.

Our constitutional form of government is NOT a hierarchy with the Judiciary branch at the top, and our supreme court is not a "Ruling Committee" who can hand down any order desired to alter or delete any law at will or increase or decrease or change the enforcement of any law in whatsoever manager as the committee desires. The Judicial branch makes orders based on law, and it is up to the elected leaders and bureaucrats in other branches of government to follow lawful orders (or to ignore them, as they have in some cases)

In the same manner that the president cannot order the court to rule X on case Y, or order the court to consider case Z, and the legislature cannot pass a law that the court must never review law Y and the feds can't pass a law that state laws about X be held unconstitutional; the Judiciary has its own independent agency that cannot be taken on by other branches of government -- its rulings on cases.

In exactly the same way the Legislative and Executive branches of government have specific agency in the powers granted them by the constitution --
the judiciary does NOT have the power to override the agency of other branches of government and take actions on their behalf, And the judiciary does not have the power to Order another branch of government to do X with their agency ----- for example, the court cannot order congress to pass law Y, or create tax Z. Although the court CAN invalidate law Y or provide taxpayer relief by declaring debts under tax Z invalid.

The Judicial branch is not empowered to take over any legislative or executive duty and exercise that role on its own.

If the law doesn't say the court can draw their own map, then the court does not have the power to simply draw their own map, and that is true even if the legislature fails or refuses to draw a new map on its own that satisfies the court.

Comment Re:Wow, really? (Score 1) 409

That said, the fact that a state (or a voter) went for Obama and then Trump is no proof of nefarious meddling.

It's interesting that 2 of the 3 judges are democrat appointees, AND political gerrymandering has never been held unconstitutional before despite many challenges
  --- the rules are your districts must each have near identical population, AND your districts must not be drawn so as to dilute the representation of racial minority groups.

Comment Re:Is Yelp still a thing? (Score 5, Interesting) 156

Sort of..... I suggest watching Louis Rossman's Yelp-related videos; I saw a few years ago --- they were an eye opener regarding their Salespeoples' practices, to say the least.

SPOILER: There's a really aggressive sales person involved who was happy to violate users' privacy AND there are fake negative reviews involved that were posted against the business after the Yelp salesperson was told NO.

Comment Excessive use of government authority (Score 1) 169

Since when did the US SENATE become an escalation contact for internal Customer Service issues between Apple and their customers?

overseeing business issues asked Apple to answer questions about its disclosure that it slowed older iPhones with flagging batteries .... the large volume of consumer criticism leveled against the company in light of its admission suggests that there should have been better transparency.

Sounds like Apple made a design decision to limit their costs: a less-performant or more fragile than originally expected battery will be tolerated and compensated for by the devices, with graceful degradation, and without showing an explicit notification to the user -- instead the end user will have to detect if their device is degraded below what they feel it should be and then contact Apple based on that.

It is the same story for MANY kinds of hardware issues ---- many failures can go undetected for years, Or only cause an occasional crash, and
  the device automatically reboots itself to help reduce the impact of a periodic glitch. If the end user themself cannot identify that there's a problem, then there is no problem.

Apple is a huge technology player, but they're no monopoly on paper.

Although I am personally of the mind that these 5 companies should be broken up: Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, and Apple, and in that order.

Just because they're large and they therefore upset a LOT of people if they make a mistake, or make a decision that makes customers dissatisfied: does not suddenly mean that it is valid government business to poke into Apple PR and Customer issues.

Comment Re:AMD (Score 0) 237

Spectre is Variant 1 and 2. Meltdown is Variant 3.

No. ALL three variants enable Meltdown and Spectre.... you're kind of confouding the description of vulnerabilities with the name for the attacks they made possible

Meltdown is the attack that can read arbitrary kernel memory, and Spectre is the attack that lets you leak secrets from another program.

AMD is vulnerable to Spectre, and it's likely part of the way at least towards a Meltdown type attack being possible, But so far it seems unlikely there will be the direct comparable issue to what Intel has, and AMD goes even farther to say there's Zero risk of the rogue cache read... That should be highly re-assuring to AMD users, but some risk remains, especially until Variant 1 is addressed in hardware on AMD.

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