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Comment Re:Capitalism at its finest (Score 4, Insightful) 137

Capitalism is whatever rehtorically useful construct I define it to be. For example, today, capitalism is a system for distracting me from my overloaded inbox to post on Slashdot. Capitalism is the oppressive system that prevents me from sleeping in on the weekends.

What's your Capitalism today?

Comment Re: You can't break what never worked (Score 1) 110

Bitcoin is not an authentication mechanism.

Bitcoin is an authetication system for bitcoin transactions-- moreover a distributed one by default. The emergence of a small number of professional mining blocks mitigates this somewhat however.

I'm not a fan of Bitcoin the currency. But the methods it uses show up just how primitive most of the default security structures of the modern internet really are. We need to base a secure web, in particular critical elements like public keys, on the kind of distributed, transpartent and openly verifiable methods used in the Bitcoin block chain. PGP keys and SSH certificates should not require trusting anyone.

Comment You can't break what never worked (Score 1) 110

The chain of trust has not been broken. There was never a chain of trust to break.

The global internet has no chain of trust or secure* encryption technologies. We have, at best, a series or half-hearted attempts which make it difficult or minor private interests to intercept communications. But we have no-way whatsoever of dealing with NSA sized, centrally managed state backed and internet wide surveillance and control.

The CA system is by now a farce, and a default means of breaking security. The Web of Trust is an only slightly more sophisticated improvement, but again is a joke compared to an actual distributed authentication method like, say, Bitcoin. Unfortunately, the latter is dominated by libertarians, swindlers, and above all a few professionalised central mining operations, so there's no solace there either. The web needs distributed, anonymous, encrypted, secure, robust, usuable and un-commandeerable communication technologies right now. The Network will be turned into a dystopian panopticon at the current rate of software development.

Whether the current generation of walled garden, App-raised programmers is up to this task remains to be seen.

*To appease the new Crypto-dogma neophytes -- reasonably secure for the digital age.

Comment Re:Keeping "personal information" without authorit (Score 1, Troll) 96

What business relationship does the Navy have with random people, and what are they doing with copies of their parking tickets?

The Navu has relationships with the ruling Ascendacy/Elite, and is amassing information on citizens in case the ruling class might ever have need of it.

Comment Re:Further: (Score 1) 704

It's basically lesbian romance fiction with some boring combat thrown in.

I would have described it as combat system fiction with boring "creepy-geek" romances thrown in. Either way, Bioware obviously cater to casual gaming, quasi-sexually deviant sci-fantasy reading, males. Bioware "games" are created by nerds for nerds.

If you want a game catering to a lesbian audience, play the Ocarina of Time.

Comment Re:This is true. (Score 2) 323

We live and work in a global economy now, and trying to fight it goes against all the free market principles that this country was founded on and made us great a hundred years ago.

Ahh yes. The "Because, Markets ; Go Die!" school of philosophy. Neoliberalism (aka the I-had-fun-playing-a-hippie-when-I-dodged-the-draft-but-now-I-want-cash) thinking at its finest.

Comment Re:This has gone beyond madness (Score 1) 147

The FSB, the ISI, and Chinese intel are doing the same exact things, except that whatever they find is going to be immediately used for their country's economic advantages.

Of this I have no doubt, but where I disagree is on

a) The scale: I guess the NSA is acting on a scale of one if not two orders of magnitude higher than its counterpart agencies abroad. This no matter how you measure activity.

b) Discretion: At least if the Russians or the Chinese were monitoring us, we wouldn't be hearing about it as much as from the NSA. While it is a data collection machine, the organisation is acts in an amatuerish fashion when it comes to seeking, storing, and protecting its information and activities.

c) Whatever about the industrial reasons for Russian/Chinese espionage, the NSAs domestic programs appear to have no reason to exist other than simply to exist. Or else the NSA is actively gearing up for a cuop d'etat in the United States.

The NSA is a different beast than its counterprats or historical ancestors. We are witnessing the creation of a new, powerful, and very sinister type of human organisation.

Comment Re:I wonder (Score 1) 154

Of course, you could also imagine a group of highly intelligent and capable programmers that grew up on legends of the Enigma, Bletchley Park, and Alan Turing... who live for reverse engineering code and breaking ciphers.

I'm sorry, but your vision of men in pursuit of a grander calling falls rather flat in the face of their actual activities of trolling in irc chatrooms and obstudely recording every phone call made inside the entire United States.

Your "Keen men" are boorish goons who would put Russian cyber-criminals to shame.

Comment Re:This has gone beyond madness (Score 5, Interesting) 147

We are dealing with an extremely well funded, well staffed, and well equipped professional criminal organisation. Whatever it's actual mandate is, the NSA has taken it upon itself to be the worlds premiere cyber-crime hacking group, accountable to no state, code, man, or law, and who regard the Internet and all computers on it-- foreign or domestic-- as fair game for fraud, intrusion and seizure. The organisation is out of control; without moral compass, budgetary restraint, or regulatory oversight.

It is only a matter of time before individuals and managers within the NSA create actual links with the criminal fraternity and begin to engage in for-profit cyber-crime. Indeed, this has probably occured already.

And should the cyber-crime divisions inside the NSA ever make common cause with their criminal counterparts in the financial sector -- God help Western Civilisation. The closest parallel I can think of is the rise of the nobility-church-state alliance in the ancien regiem and the subsequent ruination of France prior to the revolution.

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Prof: So the American government went to IBM to come up with a data encryption standard and they came up with ... Student: EBCDIC!"

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