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Comment Re:Hello? Security? (Score 2) 75

"NFC has the same problem. You just can't see it with your own eyes."

NFC has a far bigger problem, because (A) its security was broken before it was even widely available, and (B) researchers showed they could snarf NFC credentials from smartphones from several feet away, using very cheap equipment (on the order of a few hundred $). And that's when the NFC wasn't even actively in use... just turned on.

Add to that the fact that if you had a large enough antenna array, you could put it behind a wall TENS of feet away, and catch all the NFC transactions going through the checkout lanes in an entire store. Who would be the wiser?

People tend to forget that weak RF signals are not security. Not against relatively sophisticated equipment, anyway. Remember the researcher who read peoples' passport credentials from their pockets, via their RFID chips, from 30 feet away in his car? (That was in San Francisco a few years ago.) The same guy helped break NFC.

With LFC, you could put it up against a guard (like a rubber eye cup) and there would be no way to see the signals at a distance. You can't do that effectively with NFC.

The only useful purpose for NFC right now, in my opinion, is for transferring contacts from one phone to another. But you could do that with the IR on a Palm Pilot 10 years ago. I have NFC, and have never even turned it on.

Comment Re:I don't know, has he? (Score 2) 365

True. Even if they do lose the lock on the non-Apple desktop and laptop market, they may still be able to do an IBM and reinvent themselves.

We'll finally know that Microsoft is at the tipping point when the Walmart, Futureshop, Best Buy, Staples, etc all devote floor space to non-Mac and non-Windows laptops and desktops (e.g. Linux, Chromebook, etc) and its common for businesses that currently buy both Macs and Windows start buying these non-Mac and non-Windows laptops and desktops.

We're still a long way from that scenario. But unlike 5 years ago, this scenario seems likely within the next 5 years. Google in particular has done a fantastic job of breaking the Microsoft-Mac hegemony. Whether it will turn into a Microsoft-Mac-Google hegemony or there will be space for other competitors is another story.

Comment Re:NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (Score 1) 529

"You think just because OMGZ he gave them an encrypted file OMGZ. That the data was secure? Not a chance in hell."

I have a clue for you: Big news organizations handle Top Secret leaks all the damned time (and the journalists even write books about it)... but none of the stuff Manning had was even top secret.

Comment Re:LOL Corporations! (Score 1) 149

No, big WHOOSH. You missed my point entirely.

The important thing is what was meant, not the exact words. For example, a person's "papers" were their personal records. Today, a person's personal records can be their income tax returns, their emails, or their telephone bills (including location data).

The whole purpose of the 4th Amendment was to prevent government from collecting this kind of data about people willy-nilly. That's the important part. It doesn't matter if it isn't printed on "paper".

Comment Re:Would such an upgrade have mitigated Katrina? (Score 1) 34

Complete bullshit.

In fact, the response to Hurricane Katrina was by far the largest--and fastest-rescue effort in U.S. history, with nearly 100,000 emergency personnel arriving on the scene within three days of the storm's landfall.

The federal government has almost nothing to do with emergency response. It's idiotic to even suggest they should be involved. Local authorities need to have plans and prepare for such events like Florida does. As a last resort the feds show up when it's an unmitigated disaster. Katrina was a category 1 when it made landfall, New Orleans was completely unprepared. Money for levees, flood walls and other precautions was funneled by local politicians to casinos and other local business projects.

Comment Re:LOL Corporations! (Score 1) 149

Please read my tagline above; I disagree that it is, any popular sense, a "living document".

Rather, it is a set of absolute rules intended to limit the power of Federal government. But "absolute" does not refer to an "interpretation" of the words; rather, it means that laws are to be followed in the way that the original writers intended. Not according to modern changed meanings of words or phrases, or in some way that a non-scholar might read them without knowing the history.

The only sense in which the Constitution is "living", is in the sense that there is an already well defined method of changing if we want. That method is known as "amendment" and there are solid and well-established rules for amending it.

Comment Re:better title:some common encryption practices s (Score 1) 207

Unless the government has compromised nearly every software and hardware vendor in the world... at which point you couldn't even trust the devices you're using to connect. The fundamental problem here is the strength of the governing bodies constitution and the the respect it has for that constitution. If you have, as we do today, a government that considers the constitution to be an outdated stumbling block rather than the backbone of a free society that it is, no amount of security or encryption will save you. They have unlimited time, money and people. They will always win.

Comment Re:LOL Corporations! (Score 1) 149

"The point is the type of 'records' doesn't matter except in very very specific cases. If it's held by a 3rd party, you don't have grounds to invoke the 4th Amendment."

I disagree about whether that is "the point". I think the court is missing "the whole point" of the 4th Amendment. Remember that generally speaking, it is not the letter of the law that is important, but what the authors of the law meant when they wrote it.

There are a couple of things that are pretty clear about this, given the realities of the day: (1) that this kind of electronic record is, for all intents and purposes, equivalent to "the papers and effects" envisioned when the 4th Amendment was written; and (2) these are essential parts of many people's daily lives without which they cannot function normally in society, not something you are "voluntarily" turning over to a 3rd party.

The spirit of the law says this court was wrong. In fact this is precisely the kind of information that the 4th Amendment was created to protect.

"The first and governing maxim in the interpretation of a statute is to discover the meaning of those who made it." -- James Wilson

Comment Re:NSA doesn't like the system it created??? (Score 1) 529

"Its like sticking a group of children in a room full of knives and blaming the children when someone gets hurt."

I disagree completely. These were supposedly responsible news organizations. So what it was really like was sticking a group of adults in a room full of knives, and blaming those adults when someone gets hurt.

If you loan someone a dangerous object... say you loan someone your rifle because they want to go hunting, or because Grandma is coming over and she is a little crazy and you don't want the gun in the house... and that person then goes out and shoots somebody with your gun, YOU are not responsible. Either legally or morally.

A news media organization messed up. And it wasn't deliberate, it was an accident. But they were adults, and should have known better.

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