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Comment No bright line between idea and expression (Score 1) 148

Stealing an idea isn't infringing, only the concrete expression of that idea.

That depends on where the judge chooses to draw the line in each particular case between what is idea and what is expression. For example, judges have drawn that line in different places for APIs (Oracle v. Google) and business software user interfaces (Lotus v. Borland) compared to video games (Tetris v. Xio).

Comment If Virgin is the problem, what's the solution? (Score 1) 244

My point remains: some wireless carriers still think it proper to continue to sell old phones. So what affordable wireless carrier should U.S. residents patronize instead of Virgin Mobile? And what should someone who still has a 2.3 phone but doesn't yet qualify for a 2-year replacement do?

Comment Majority don't give a frak about openness (Score 1) 99

You actually believe that Sony and Microsoft are the only ones capable of an aesthetically pleasing industrial design?

True, Apple and many local PC builders offer pleasing cases. But do the majority of people think to buy a PC from Apple or from local PC builders? Among PCs sold in Walmart and Best Buy and the like that aren't laptops, most are Big Honkin' Towers.

You've missed the point, if you want open hardware then - even if they were open - why would you choose the Playstation or XBox?

Most people do not care whether the hardware next to the TV is "open". They care whether they can get a particular title and how easy games are to install. People who care about open hardware are a niche.

All the things you listed aren't console-exclusive, you can easily do that on the PC.

Have you any recommendations for good platform fighters (like Power Stone and Smash Bros.) and karaoke games (like Rock Band) on the PC? Let me clarify something up front: Street Fighter series does not count as a "platform fighter" because tactics in a platform fighter involve seeking advantages on uneven terrain.

Why not get an already available Linux tablet?

Because there weren't credible Linux tablets between the release of the original iPad and the release of the Xoom

Read the question you responded to, what you wrote is not an answer to that question.

Then let me be more explicit, phrasing my answer as a complete sentence that quotes part of the question: Someone didn't "get an already available Linux tablet" because he bought a tablet prior to the wide availability of Linux tablets and didn't want to buy a second tablet.

Besides, it appears you would prefer having to buy three tablets and carry all three everywhere you go

How is that apparent to you? I don't

I can't think of a better way to have both an open tablet and a tablet that runs the one must-have application that's exclusive to a not-open tablet.

Comment Man in the middle on first visit (Score 1) 276

A visitor to a web site using a self-signed certificate or other certificate from an unknown CA may be behind a man in the middle. A key continuity management tool could compare the key fingerprint from this visit to the fingerprint from past visits to make sure a man in the middle has not been introduced since the last visit. But if it's the user's first visit and there's a man in the middle, game over.

Comment If you're MITM'd from day one (Score 1) 276

Sometimes I am not interested in authentication with a machine because I know that the machine in question is the right one.

How do you know that the machine is the right one if it's not in the same room? Your Internet connection might be behind a transparent proxy feeding all connections to a given IP address through a third party called a "man in the middle". SSH and unknown-CA SSL provide what is called "key continuity management", alerting the user to changes in a machine's public key since the last visit, but that doesn't help if a connection to a server has been MITM'd from day one. This is especially likely in the case of a national firewall. One mitigation to being MITM'd from day one is route diversity, checking the public key as seen by several notaries spread throughout the Internet that you already trust.

There is only one option, allow self-signing as an encryption measure but not as an authentication measure. Naturally you have to take care while doing this since it could implicate that any encrypted connection is secure.

And this implication is exactly why popular browsers are allergic to unknown-CA SSL certificates unless a route-diversity extension like Perspectives has been installed.

Comment When frequent flyers become trust bottlenecks (Score 1) 276

A web of trust is fine for communicating with people who live within walking or public transit distance. But to extend the web beyond that, someone has to get his key signed in more than one city. This involves getting groped at the security gate and then getting on a plane owned by an airline who probably already shares your info with the government. So the web of trust between cities and especially between countries will end up having bottlenecks where trust must flow through people who routinely travel internationally.

Comment When states compete on subsidies (Score 1) 867

His state/province has to subsidize farming to an extent because he and other farmers in his state/province has to compete on price with producers in other states/provinces and in other countries that are subsidizing farming to a similar extent. Besides, it's in the tax collection body's interest to have a uniform mail service to reach households that owe tax.

Comment Flying to key signing party? Junk gets touched. (Score 1) 148

GPG is your friend. More people should use it.

But then you'd have to get your key signed. And to extend your web of trust outside your hometown, you'd have to fly to a key signing party elsewhere, get your junk touched, and still worry about what information airlines share with the spooks.

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