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Comment 3 years of research? (Score 4, Insightful) 73

I clicked the link expecting to find something interesting and novel, perhaps something on par with Kocher's Differential Power Analysis attack, or better. But this guy spent three years to discover that there are a small number of ancient SIMs, not yet removed from service, which use 1DES for securing applet loading? Actually, I'm sure he did no such thing. Typical bad reporting, exacerbated by bad slashdot editing.

It looks to me like his talk is really about countermeasures to mitigate the risk for these ancient SIMs, on the assumption that they can't be replaced immediately. That's worthy of research and a talk, though it's hardly front-page material.

Comment Re:we didn't had submarines in ancient Greece (Score 2) 161

The meaning of words evolves. Good grief what an idiotic argument. And do you think all the words in modern Greek are identical in meaning to their Koine, Classical and pre-Classical roots? Oh my goodness, we have to stop the presses, it turns out words have changed in meaning since Proto-Indo-european and we must do something about it!

Comment Re:Real vs Virtual; Permanent vs. Temporary (Score 1) 312

When I buy an eBook, I do not own the book. In order to read the book, I have to hope that some DRM server somewhere will authorize the eBook reader to show me the book I want to read.

That's only true of some ebook publishers. For instance, I've bought a lot of ebooks from O'Reilly. You get DRM-free files in multiple formats that you can do what you like with.

If you've bought an ebook that has to ask for permission before letting you read it, you bought from a bad publisher. It's not a problem inherent to e-books.

I have books on my book shelves that are over 50 years old, and I can still read them fine

I've got decades-old physical books that I can't read. Why? Well I had to get rid of a load of them because they were simply taking up too much space. And the ones I've kept, I can't read them when I'm abroad, when I'm commuting, or pretty much anywhere except my house, because it's not feasible to bring all my books with me every time I leave the house.

Comment Re:IRS Too? (Score 1) 835

Yes, that's the true tragedy of the Branch Davidian saga, and the one that motivates conspiracy theorists to believe that the government really wanted to kill them all, and manufactured circumstances to allow it. I tend to attribute such things to stupidity rather than malice, but the argument isn't completely without merit.

Comment Re:Fingerprint it! (Score 4, Interesting) 298

Not only that there are plenty of PDF password strippers out there that if you have a quad or better (and considering you can get AMD quads for like $70 its kinda nuts not to have at least a quad) can go through entire rainbow tables in no time at all, just set it to use dual cores and you can keep doing other stuff while it runs in the background.

I'd say the best bet is the watermarks but they'll have to be well hidden as its too easy to strip a watermark out if its obvious, maybe have an obvious personalization watermark and a second hidden one with a code that can be traced back to the purchaser, that way you go after the source without punishing your readers.

And I'd like to say how proud I am of this community right now, here is a legitimate small business trying to stay alive and instead of the usual "Just accept getting ripped off, information wants to be free!" bullshit instead there is actual discussion on how best to protect his content while still giving the customers a good experience. If everyone would work together and find compromises like this maybe we could actually show its possible to sell digitally without nasty DRM schemas like SecuROM, we've had Steam show us the way for games but there is still a lot of work that needs doing for e-books and other works and its just nice to see it being discussed like rational adults instead of breaking down into dogmas and bullshit.

Comment Re:Sadly (Score 1) 153

The tax rules are quite sane: you get income, you pay tax.

When you get to the specifics, tax law (at least in the U.S.) is insane. The average citizen cannot fully understand all of the laws (deductions and exemptions) that apply to them. It's a standard story during April (tax filing season here) for a reporter to take their paperwork to a bunch of different tax preparation specialists and point out the wildly different results and interpretations.

And tax laws for businesses are so full of loopholes and special carve-outs that no human being understands it all. E.g, the "Excise Tax Exemption for Wooden Practice Arrows Used by Children" buried in the 2008 bailout bill.

Comment Re:IRS Too? (Score 5, Insightful) 835

If that individual is also known to be stockpiling arms, as happens in the US from time to time, then I can see how an armed raid is justifiable.

Or they could, you know, just grab him when he leaves the house to go to work, or to the grocery store. Yeah, it'll cost a little overtime since he'll have to be watched for a couple of days, but that'll be a lot cheaper than the department invests in equipping and training the SWAT team -- and one hell of a lot safer.

It doesn't offer the police officers the same rush, though, which is why they'll argue they really need to gear up and break down his door.

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