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Comment Re:Oh, really? (Score 1) 1255

Part of the reason that school uniforms became unpopular was that they tend to be quite expensive. And this doesn't remove the social stigma if it's related to wealth: it's quite easy to tell who has the new uniform that fits well, and who has the second-hand one that almost fits. I don't remember anyone being teased for that at my school though, although people did get teased for having new shoes that were still shiny and not having the decency to get some mud on them on the way in...

Comment Re:Better than a hidden partition (Score 2) 555

So how do you boot the laptop to demonstrate that it's a real laptop? I've been asked to do that at a US border before (leaving, at the time). They didn't care what was on the laptop, but they did care that it was actually a laptop and not a bomb made to look like a laptop. Getting to the 'enter password' screen was enough for them.

Comment Re:Now, for the other angle, is this treason? (Score 1) 367

Those documents were compromised - by the NSA. I understand if you disagree, but I'm willing to give everyone the benefit of the doubt here and assume that Snowden didn't share the list with anyone else and The Guardian wasn't going to publish it. That means that in practical terms the British agents aren't actually at risk, and wouldn't have been at risk, although I certainly understand why the British government believes they are, and they legitimately could have been (if the British police can obtain the list from David Miranda, so can anyone else). Still, I believe their intention was to publish a story that this information had been obtained by the NSA, not publish the information itself.

Comment Re:wow (Score 2) 367

Considering that the US has been, in recent years espousing the theory that cyber-attacks should be treated as real acts of war, suitable for real retaliation with real weapons, I would say it's pretty terrifying.

I wonder if it has occurred to anyone that the NSA's actions in other countries could be construed as acts of war....

Comment Re:wow (Score 1) 367

actually that was a DoD initiative in 2007. now there are host-based security system clients on every computer to keep USB mass storage disabled and attempts to use it logged. doesnt help when you boot into a livecd, though.

Apple no longer makes computers that have optical drives. How long do you think it will be before the rest of the industry follows suit?

(Those who need them can of course still connect external optical drives.)

Comment Re:Profit (Score 4, Informative) 85

If you're not intending to make any profit from it, then you can set up a company that has no assets to distribute the app. This will cost you a small amount, but it means that the patent troll can take the company to court if they want, but it will cost them money and the company will just declare bankruptcy without attending court and they won't be able to recoup their legal fees.

Comment Re:I like the idea (Score 1) 292

It's harder to covertly insert a backdoor into an open source client because people can watch the changes. It's much easier to insert it before it's open sourced, because then people have to review the entire code drop at once. That said, adding a back door into OpenSSL would be comparatively easy because no one understands the convoluted twisty maze of code paths in it.

Comment Re:I like the idea (Score 5, Interesting) 292

Full homomorphic encryption is really hard. Homomorphic encryption allows you to encrypt your data, do some computation on the result, and then perform some operation on the output to get the same result as doing the operation on the unencrypted data. Current solutions are at least a factor of 1000 slower than doing it on unencrypted data, but that's only for general case. There are ways of encrypting data that preserve certain properties so you can, for example, perform simple database operations on it in the encrypted form and only interpret the results if you hold the keys. The down side of these approaches is that they increase the size (effectively doubling it for every primitive operation that you want to support), but with storage becoming cheap they may become interesting...

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