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Comment Re:How would you avoid MITM? (Score 1) 320

I'm sorry, what part of my post made you think that moving tens to hundreds of millions of dollars was part of my "day to day activities"?

Compromise my online banking if you wish, it's an consumer account and you won't gain anything other than the ability to move funds between my accounts. No real way to "drain" my accounts through online banking, and even if you managed to do so my liability is limited under the law. It'd be a royal PITA to be sure, but at the end of the day I'd be made whole.

Comment Re:surcharges aren't a profit center for auto ins. (Score 1) 365

New York State has a service like that, called LENS (license event notification service), where you can get near real-time notification on convictions and accidents. It's primarily used by employers to monitor employees driving company vehicles. AFAIK it would be legal for insurance carriers to use it, but it's not cheap, and I'm sure they've crunched the numbers and concluded it would be a financial loser for them. I'm not aware of any carrier that uses it, mostly they rely on MVRs when the policy is first issued, then randomly at renewal, and of course self-disclosure.

WA could be different of course, but my hunch is you lost the dice roll and were a victim of crappy luck/timing. Did it happen around the time of your renewal? My condolences on the three year traffic ticket, that was my pattern for the longest time, one every three years.... then I got three inside of two weeks. After that I invested in a car with cruise control. :)

Comment The FCC doesn't make law.... (Score 1) 222

Those provisions overlap a bit with the FCC's authority under its own net neutrality law, the Open Internet Order,

Unless we've amended the Constitution while I was sleeping. The Open Internet Order is a regulation, one that many people (Verizon) dispute they have the statutory authority to issue. The courts will eventually solve that question, though Congress could render the whole matter moot by passing an actual law and/or granting the FCC clear authority to act in this area.

Comment Re:How would you avoid MITM? (Score 1) 320

The point is not to centralize trust chains, but to put you in control of your trust chain -- you decide who is trustworthy and who isn't. You don't have to have everyone sign everybody else's keys to accomplish this.

Perhaps the point should be to have an appropriate level of security for the task at hand. I'm not going to trust the certificate authorities with the location of the bodies I've buried, but the existing system provides sufficient security for my day to day activities. I seriously doubt anyone is going to go to the effort of compromising a CA just so they can intercept my credit card number the next time I place an Amazon order. Just what does the average person do on the internet that requires complete and unfettered trust?

Today I haven't relied upon https to secure anything more important than my /. username and password. In the last month the most important thing I've entrusted to it was my credit card number. The loss of either of these things would be a minor annoyance at best, and practically speaking neither is worth enough to justify the effort of compromising a CA and setting up a MITM attack.

The only thing I do that I want total control/trust over is remotely accessing my server. Thankfully ssh has provided for this since the very beginning. You create the private key, you control the machine it runs on, and you have the ability to easily verify the key fingerprint. If I was in a situation where I truly needed confidence in the security of my communication to another human being I would simply exchange encryption keys (better yet, one time pads) in person. I've yet to encounter such a situation in my 32 years. :)

Comment Re:Google Plus (Score 1) 324

Google is probably the most frightening out of all of the possibilities, though I'm curious why "the pervert across the street with the telescope" wasn't an option? Google may know more about you than he does, but somehow his activities are more of a violation than anything Google or the NSA will ever do to you.

Comment not my state..... :( (Score 2) 365

Looked that up a few minutes ago and found that New York State specifically exempted texting while the vehicle is not in motion, which is rather disappointing to say the least. I guess we're too busy worrying about law-abiding gun owners and large capacity soda cups to worry that much about distracted driving.

* 1. Except as otherwise provided in this section, no person shall operate a motor vehicle while using any portable electronic device while such vehicle is in motion; provided, however, that no person shall operate a commercial motor vehicle while using any portable electronic device on a public highway including while temporarily stationary because of traffic, a traffic control device, or other momentary delays. Provided further, however, that a person shall not be deemed to be operating a commercial motor vehicle while using a portable electronic device on a public highway when such vehicle is stopped at the side of, or off, a public highway in a location where such vehicle is not otherwise prohibited from stopping by law, rule, regulation or any lawful order or direction of a police officer.

Curious that they prohibit commercial drivers from texting at the red light but allow it for personal automobiles. I shall have to ask my Assemblywoman about this the next time I see her.

Comment Re:Good argument for taking transit (Score 1) 365

We're not more advanced. We just tend to be more individualistic than many other peoples. That said, I have yet to meet a human being (American or otherwise) who likes being crammed into a small space with no exit and a large mass of humanity. Maybe the perverts in Tokyo who are behind the groping problem there (try that with an American woman and you're apt to get a knee in the groin) but aside from them.....

Comment Re:You shouldn't be texting at stop lights.... (Score 1) 365

It doesn't require 100% of my attention in the sense of "I can't do this without exclusively focusing on it", I just choose not to devote any of my attention to other matters while I'm piloting several tons of metal on the public roadways. All things being equal, will the coffee get anyone killed? Nope. But what happens if a deer runs out at the same moment you're reaching for it? What happens if you come across a patch of black ice? What if some dipshit comes around the corner in your lane?

Your margin for error and recovery is improved if you devote your complete and undivided attention to the task at hand. Each additional distraction increases the likelihood that you'll fail to notice a potential problem in time to safely react. I choose to devote my full attention to the task at hand, and I regard it as incredibly selfish when people place their coffee/big-mac/text message ahead of the safety and well being of their fellow citizens.

Comment surcharges aren't a profit center for auto ins.... (Score 2) 365

I work in the insurance industry, and you seriously misread their motivation. Surcharges for violations are not a profit source for the industry, far from it. They exist to try and equalize the risk associated with bad drivers and if you crunch the numbers on premiums vs. claims you'll find that they barely manage to break even on some of these drivers even with the surcharges. Additionally, it takes at least two small violations or one really big one (speeding >25mph, reckless driving, DWI, fleeing an officer, etc.) before the surcharges even start in most jurisdictions. The first minor violation is a mulligan in every jurisdiction I've ever worked, with every carrier I've ever represented.

Another point to consider is that a lot of drivers with violations will slip through the cracks and never get surcharged. Most insurance carriers do not run your license at each renewal, since they pay a fee to DMV for each report they request. It's a randomized process, occurring every X+[random fudge factor] number of renewals. Some events (coverage changes, moving) will trip a report regardless of how long it has been since the last one, though this is carrier specific and each has its own way of handling such occurrences.

You aren't obligated to report violations to your insurance company either. You can't lie to them if they ask (as they will on an application for new business) but you're under no obligation to volunteer the information during your policy period or even at renewal in most states. If you get a conviction the safest thing to do is nothing. Don't make any coverage changes, don't shop for new insurance, just pay your renewal when it comes and keep your mouth shut. The odds are good it falls off your drivers license before they run your report, and even if they do find it you've got a better than 50/50 shot at it happening towards the end of the surcharging period. Surcharges aren't retroactive, if they surcharge for 36 months (typical for minor violations) but don't find out about it until 30 months after the fact you're only going to be on the hook for one policy period.

Comment Re:I wonder who the first person was? (Score 1) 365

My Nextel Motorola i700 phone with an LCD had a primitive text based browser (by primitive I mean Lynx put it to shame) back in 2000. We used to use it to cheat at^W^Wverify the judges on trivia night. I'm sure someone had something with similar functionality years before that.

The really cool thing about that phone was using it to 'tether', via a serial cable, at 9600 baud to my dial-up ISP back home. It was good enough to ssh into the boxes at work for administration purposes. You could even surf the web in a semi-usable fashion if you turned off images (or had a LOT of patience).

Comment You shouldn't be texting at stop lights.... (Score 3, Insightful) 365

.... the fact that the light is red does not negate your responsibility to pay attention to your surroundings. From a legal and moral point of view you're operating a motor vehicle on a public roadway regardless of the color of the light, and you have an obligation to give that task your full attention.

The same goes for touching up your cosmetics, reading your snail mail, drinking your coffee, or any of the other items on the huge list of things people do when they're supposed to be devoting their full attention to the safe piloting of a ton or more of steel.

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