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Comment It doesn't work that way (Score 2) 452

The Fifth Amendment does not say you can't be compelled to testify... it says you can't be compelled to testify against yourself. If the government grants you immunity, then you cannot -- by definition -- testify "against yourself." A defendant can be compelled to testify, as many have, by granting them immunity.

I agree that a reporter shield law is a good thing, but it is not a constitutional mandate.

Immunity doesn't work that way.

A court doesn't have the authority to grant immunity from a different court, and there are several separate court systems.

For example, a local court can't grant immunity from federal charges, and a federal court can't grant immunity from IRS charges (if your testimony shows that you evaded tax law). The same is true for any agency that's decided that they are the governing legal body for something: FCC, FDA, EPA, NRC - typically none of these agencies is prevented from screwing with you under an immunity agreement.

The best you can get is that the issuing court promises not to pursue charges that it could normally pursue.

Immunity is really a very narrow protection.

Comment Unfair laws? (Score 1) 452

How about protesting against unfair laws?

Suppose Alice knows that Bob attended a protest. The police would like to arrest everyone at the protest because it wasn't sanctioned - the people didn't apply for a parade permit or permission to gather on public property. Alice believes that once arrested, the police will apply for search warrants to go through Bob's possessions. They won't find anything on the first round, but they will discover something that's both illegal and obscure, so they either argue inevitable discovery or back-fill the information for a new search warrant that turns up the new evidence.

Essentially, Alice wants to prevent government overreach for something that she believes shouldn't be a crime.

The government doesn't act in the interests of the people, and the people have no way to change government. Withholding evidence is a soft way of protesting, one that impedes government overreach without getting you or your friends in trouble.

Just say "I don't remember", and when the police press you, say you "just don't pay attention to these things".

Comment Things people can do (Score 1) 395

From a previous post, here's the collected list of suggested actions people can take to help change the situation.

Have more ideas? Reply below & I'll add them to the list

Links worthy of attention:

  • Join Rand Paul's class action suit against the NSA.
  • http://anticorruptionact.org/ [anticorruptionact.org]
  • http://www.ted.com/talks/lawrence_lessig_we_the_people_and_the_republic_we_must_reclaim.html [ted.com]
  • http://action.fairelectionsnow.org/fairelections [fairelectionsnow.org]
  • http://represent.us/ [represent.us]
  • http://www.protectourdemocracy.com/ [protectourdemocracy.com]
  • http://www.wolf-pac.com/ [wolf-pac.com]
  • https://www.unpac.org/ [unpac.org]
  • http://www.thirty-thousand.org/ [thirty-thousand.org]

Suggestion #1:

If people could band together and agree to vote out the incumbent (senator, representative, president) whenever one of these incidents crop up, there would be incentive for politicians to better serve the people in order to continue in office. This would mean giving up party loyalty and the idea of "lessor of two evils", which a lot of people won't do. Some congressional elections are quite close, so 2,000 or so petitioners might be enough to swing a future election.

Let your house and senate rep know how you feel about this issue / patriot act and encourage those you know to do the same.

If enough people let their representatives know how they feel obviously those officials who want to be reelected will tend to take notice. We have seen what happens when wikipedia and google go "dark", congressional switchboards melt and the 180's start to pile up.

Fax is considered the best way to contact a congressperson,especially if it is on corporate letterhead.

Suggestion #2:

Take back what's ours through technology and educated practices.

Tor, I2dP and the likes. Let's build a new common internet over the internet. Full strong anonymity and integrity.

Also, Let's go full scale by deploying small wireless routers across the globe creating a real mesh network as internet was designed to be!

Suggestion #4:

What I feel is needed is a true 3rd party, not 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th parties, such as Green, Tea Party, Libertarian; we need an agreeable third party that can compete against the two majors without a lot of interference from small parties. We need a consensus third party.

Suggestion #5:

Replace the voting system. Plurality voting will always lead to the mess we have now. The only contribution towards politics I've made in years was to fund Approval Voting video. It's the best compromise for a replacement system. Work to get it allowed at your Town or City level, then we can take it higher.

Suggestion #6:

[Paraphrasing]: Start a social perception that working for evil is evil. Possibly connect this to religious beliefs, but in general shun people who have worked for the system as promoting evil (both in hiring and socially).

The post:

1) this kind of sht is morally wrong

2) thus, working for this kind of sht is morally wrong

3) thus, anybody who works for this kind of sht is going to hell, for
whatever your value of 'hell'.

4) you might say that 'i need the money from this gig', but

5) anybody who works for this kind of sht is feeding their kids but is
at the same time fscking over the kids' future bigtime. Your kids will
not forgive you for being the AC IRL.

From this, it should easily emerge that everybody should just stop working for this sht. No workers, no NSA. There needs to emerge a culture and a movement to encourage it. Shame the spineless coward who works for the Man! Shun him or tell him what he does is evil and his country hates him for it. Spread the word!

Submission + - Which incumbents should we vote out in the upcoming election? (wikipedia.org) 2

Okian Warrior writes: A few congressional seats will be on the ballot for this year's upcoming federal elections.

Based on past performance, who would you vote against? Ignoring party affiliations and looking only at history, which of them has made decisions that are bad for the people? Which professional politicians should be opposed, in favor of untried alternatives?

Comment Re:No Analog is not better... (Score 0) 440

As in, if you have a sample rate of 48,000Hz, you can play back a frequency of 24,000Hz (already above the range of human perception). Higher sample rate = more high frequencies you can't hear.

By your logic, one would only need a sample rate of 40,000Hz since human hearing maxes out at 20,000 Hz.

At higher sample rates you get more noise information, which can be used to remove the noise from the signal.

For a much-simplified example, consider sampling at 1 million Hz while looking for a signal at 600 hz. Pick any point in the audio and multiply at this point by 1 wavelength of 600Hz, 600.001Hz, 600.002Hz, and so on for ten frequencies. Average these together and replace in the recorded signal.

The 600 Hz signal will be almost 100% in all 10 samples, but the noise will tend to average out. What gets put back is the original signal with the noise reduced by a factor of 10.

Another way of looking at this is from probabilities. The probability of noise being positive at two consecutive points is 50%. If you have a higher resolution of 100 points between the two original points, then your idea of "average" height of the waveform becomes more accurate.

This glosses over a lot of subtleties and gotchas, but essentially, having a higher sample rate gives you more information about the noise, which can be used to remove the noise from the signal.

Comment Things people can do (Score 5, Informative) 298

From a previous post, here's the collected list of suggested actions people can take to help change the situation.

Have more ideas? Please post below.

Links worthy of attention:

http://anticorruptionact.org/ [anticorruptionact.org]

http://www.ted.com/talks/lawrence_lessig_we_the_people_and_the_republic_we_must_reclaim.html [ted.com]

http://action.fairelectionsnow.org/fairelections [fairelectionsnow.org]

http://represent.us/ [represent.us]

http://www.protectourdemocracy.com/ [protectourdemocracy.com]

http://www.wolf-pac.com/ [wolf-pac.com]

https://www.unpac.org/ [unpac.org]

http://www.thirty-thousand.org/ [thirty-thousand.org]

Join the class action suit that Rand Paul is bringing against the NSA.

Suggestion #1:

(My idea): If people could band together and agree to vote out the incumbent (senator, representative, president) whenever one of these incidents crop up, there would be incentive for politicians to better serve the people in order to continue in office. This would mean giving up party loyalty and the idea of "lessor of two evils", which a lot of people won't do. Some congressional elections are quite close, so 2,000 or so petitioners might be enough to swing a future election.

Let your house and senate rep know how you feel about this issue / patriot act and encourage those you know to do the same.

If enough people let their representivies know how they feel obviously those officials who want to be reelected will tend to take notice. We have seen what happens when wikipedia and google go "dark", congressional switchboards melt and the 180's start to pile up.

Fax is considered the best way to contact a congressperson,especially if it is on corporate letterhead.

Suggestion #2:

Tor, I2dP and the likes. Let's build a new common internet over the internet. Full strong anonymity and integrity. Transform what an
eavesdropper would see in a huge cypherpunk clusterfuck.

Taking back what's ours through technology and educated practices.

Let's go back to the 90' where the internet was a place for knowledgeable and cooperative people.

Someone Added: Let's go full scale by deploying small wireless routers across the globe creating a real mesh network as internet was designed to be!

Suggestion #3:

A first step might be understanding the extent towards which the government actually disagrees with the people. Are we talking about a situation where the government is enacting unpopular policies that people oppose? Or are we talking about a situation where people support the policies? Because the solutions to those two situations are very different.

In many cases involving "national security", I think the situation is closer to the second one. "Tough on X" policies are quite popular, and politicians often pander to people by enacting them. The USA Patriot Act, for example, was hugely popular when it was passed. And in general, politicians get voted out of office more often for being not "tough" on crime and terrorism and whatever else, than for being too over-the-top in pursuing those policies.

Suggestion #4:

What I feel is needed is a true 3rd party, not 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th parties, such as Green, Tea Party, Libertarian; we need an agreeable third party that can compete against the two majors without a lot of interference from small parties. We need a consensus third party.

Suggestion #5:

Replace the voting system. Plurality voting will always lead [wikipedia.org] to the mess we have now. The only contribution towards politics I've made in years was to fund Approval Voting video [indiegogo.com]. It's the best compromise for a replacement system. Work to get it allowed at your Town or City level, then we can take it higher.

Suggestion #6:

Paraphrasing: Start a social perception that working for evil is evil. Possibly connect this to religious beliefs, but in general shun people who have worked for the system as promoting evil (both in hiring and socially).

The post:

1) this kind of sht is morally wrong

2) thus, working for this kind of sht is morally wrong

3) thus, anybody who works for this kind of sht is going to hell, for
whatever your value of 'hell'.

4) you might say that 'i need the money from this gig', but

5) anybody who works for this kind of sht is feeding their kids but is
at the same time fscking over the kids' future bigtime. Your kids will
not forgive you for being the AC IRL.

From this, it should easily emerge that everybody should just stop working for this sht. No workers, no NSA. There needs to emerge a culture and a movement to encourage it. Shame the spineless coward who works for the Man! Shun him or tell him what he does is evil and his country hates him for it. Spread the word!

Comment How to crack RSA (Score 5, Interesting) 362

In response to the current situation, I've been researching random number generators - especially the builtin one in Intel processors.

It's impossible to tell in general whether there's a vulnerability in a random number generator. It's a "computationally infeasible" problem, the best we can do is check for known deviations from randomness. If you know how it deviates, it's easy to check but beyond that there's no way to tell.

If the NSA has modified devices to reduce the entropy of random keys, then eventually two keys will have the same factors. This is easy to determine: The GCD algorithm will very quickly tell you what factors two keys have in common. ...and this is exactly what is seen in practice! Some 0.3% of keys tested had common factors: statistically, a *huge* percentage.

With a very large number of keys, you don't need to try N*(N-1) pairs of keys: partition the keys into two sets, multiply all the keys in the first set together, multiply all the keys in the second set together, then calculate GCD(Set1,Set2). In one calculation, you've determined whether any single key in the first set has factors in common with the any key from the second set.

Bruce Schneier believes that the algorithms are robust, and that the NSA is using other methods to break the encryption. Here's one likely way that they are doing it - they weaken the random number generator on a class of devices, harvest all the encryption keys they can find, then look for common factors.

From this article talking about the study: "[Researchers from the linked paper found] “vulnerable devices from 27 manufacturers. These include enterprise-grade routers from Cisco; server management cards from Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and IBM; VPN devices; building security systems; network attached storage devices; and several kinds of consumer routers and VoIP products [1]."

The upshot is this: even locally-generated RSA keys are not guaranteed to be safe, nor will they ever be. When you can't trust the hardware, all bets are off.

Comment See what I did here? (Score 2) 236

Sorry guys, Tor is designed to be used in all the ways we've spent years trying to fix broken internet protocols from doing, you really need to stop drooling over it. Its not actually a good solution. It is in fact an absolutely shitty solution to the problem, as its really a way to create a bunch of new ones.

If you have to hide, the Internet isn't for you.

It's a really good solution! It protects privacy, it's supported/maintained by really smart people who want to protect privacy, and (when using the most current version) gives the user strong privacy.

I just made a whole lot of unsubstantiated claims with no explanation, no supporting evidence, and with no background... just like you did. (I didn't call people names, though.)

Sheesh, gimme some Deep Woods Off! - The number of astroturfers on Slashdot is astounding.

Who cares who else uses Tor? Who cares whether it creates protocol problems? Who cares whether pedophiles or botnets use the system?

The important bit, the one that has value to *me*, is that it can hide my identity. It can hide the identity of people who are afraid of oppression, it can hide the identity of whistle blowers, it can hide the identity of people asking for help.

Stop astroturfing - you're not particularly good at it.

Comment Retarded maybe, but it met my objective (Score 1) 136

You do understand you're being called retarded due to your absolutely stupid and ludicrous statement of 'impenetrable security' yea? Are you really that retarded to not see this?

Man can make it, man can break it. Impenetrable security is BULLSHIT, son.

One of my favorite overheard comments: "It's not enough to be right, you also have to be effective."

You understand why I chose that particular phrase, right?

Comment Write (Score 1) 3

Before the trip, draw up an outline for an essay, short story, novelette, or other piece on a topic of interest to you.

During the trip, write it.

When you get back, edit the text and submit it to magazines/publishers for consideration.

Before the trip, settle on a graphics artistic project such as a book of cartoons, a pop-up book, or movie.

During the trip, draw the cartoons, sketch out the pop-up book, or storyboard the movie.

Before the trip, choose a software project that's never been done before.

During the trip, map out the block functionality, drivers, database interface, or whatever else the project needs.

When you get back, program the project and release it on Github as open source.

Get a book on sleight-of-hand and read up on the basics.

During the trip, practice the techniques with a deck of cards or a coin or a small item. (I enjoy knuckle rolls and rolling ball manipulations.)

Get a video of someone whose stage presence you like. Play 1-minute loops of the video over and over, mimicking the hand motions and gestures of the speaker while he talks. (I like James Spader, but everyone should have their own likes.) Practice until your own stage presence is animated and engaging.

Get an audio of an announcer whose style you like (I chose Morly Safer), and play 1 sentence loops of whatever they're saying over and over. Mimic their vocal variety, tonal variation, and tempo - especially the way they use pauses and emphasis to make points. When you have any one sentence down pat, switch to the next sentence. Continue until your own vocal presentation is as polished and precise as the speaker.

Choose an aspect of life that you would like to improve, or for which you think improving would benefit you, and then come up with a way to learn more or practice during your trip.

Comment IQ is not relevant (Score 1) 136

You're joking, right? You can't really be that retarded, can you?

As an outside observer, what do you think about the human race?

I have a measured IQ of 87 so yeah, I can be that retarded - but no more. What's IQ got to do with it anyway?

Here's an IQ test for you, fill in the blank:

rue is to pain as street is to ___________

Submission + - Government Admits Area 51 Exists Sans Aliens

voul writes: Philip Bump in an article writes the government admits the existence of Area 51. 'Newly declassified documents, obtained by George Washington University's National Security Archive, appear to for the first time acknowledge the existence of Area 51,' Bump writes. 'Hundreds of pages describe the genesis of the Nevada site that was home to the government's spy plane program for decades. The documents do not, however, mention aliens. '

Comment Two years to go (Score 4, Insightful) 136

It'll take about two years for this problem to disappear.

There's an enormous monetary incentive for cloud services to implement good privacy. Anyone who doesn't implement it will get their lunch eaten by someone who does.

There's already a massive exodus away from US based servers, both at home and abroad. People are thinking through the ramifications of having their sensitive information used as "incentives" to help business. Your client lists, sales information, costs and accounting - if any part of your local network is in the cloud, the US can rifle through it and trade the information to another company in return for help fighting terrorism. Many people will choose to believe that this is not happening, but what the heck - who can tell any more?

This is a self-correcting problem.

Mega has announced an encrypted E-mail service, the client software will be open for public inspection, and none of it will be hosted on US servers.

Google has admitted in court that they don't think users have an expectation of privacy.

Which E-mail service would you rather use? The one from a sleazy convicted criminal, but with impenetrable security? Or the one from a company that always rifles through the contents, but promises to only do it for the better good?

Submission + - Aging Is a Disease. Treat It Like One. 1

theodp writes: Burger Schmurger. In a Letter to Sergey Brin, Maria Konovalenko urges the Google founder to pursue his interest in the topics of aging and longevity. 'Defeating or simply slowing down aging,' writes Konovalenko, 'is the most useful thing that can be done for all the people on the planet.' Calling for research into longevity gene therapy, extending lifespan pharmacologically, and studying close species that differ significantly in lifespan, Konovalenko says 'it is crucial to make numerous medical organizations recognize aging as a disease. If medical organizations were to recognize aging as a disease, it could significantly accelerate progress in studying its underlying mechanisms and the development of interventions to slow its progress and to reduce age-related pathologies. The prevailing regard for aging as a "natural process" rather than a disease or disease-predisposing condition is a major obstacle to development and testing of legitimate anti-aging treatments. This is the largest market in the world, since 100% of the population in every country suffers from aging.'

Submission + - NSA broke privacy rules thousands of times per year, audit finds" (washingtonpost.com)

NettiWelho writes: The Washington Post: The National Security Agency has broken privacy rules or overstepped its legal authority thousands of times each year since Congress granted the agency broad new powers in 2008, according to an internal audit and other top-secret documents.
Most of the infractions involve unauthorized surveillance of Americans or foreign intelligence targets in the United States, both of which are restricted by law and executive order. They range from significant violations of law to typographical errors that resulted in unintended interception of U.S. e-mails and telephone calls.

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