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Comment Some Issues (Score 4, Informative) 53

Before committing to anything you might want to read this follow up post.Apparently there are titles shown in the library that may not actually be available in your geolocation. In addition, you won't find out about that until you actually try to open the book. It's really quite disingenuous of them to show you books and let you add them to your library, when they clearly later know that those titles are not available to you for actual reading.

Comment Re:Marketing (Score 1) 168

On the other hand, please take a look at the history of differential cryptanalysis. The NSA was quite ahead of academia on that one. My own research back in those days demonstrated that the substitution boxes had been chosen with very specific characteristics. The same holds true for elliptic curves, where the curve chosen must have specific properties. Whether we know what all of those properties are though is still undecided, We know what makes a weak curve, but do we know what makes a strong one?

Comment Re:The next obvious step is to ... (Score 5, Insightful) 199

even software alone consist of so many layers ( from the spreadsheet software program that we use, to the device drivers, the OS, to the embedded firmwares residing inside the chips, to the myriad mix of software that keep the Net humming.

Don't forget the compilers and linkers that build the software. The source may look fine, but where did the compiler come from?

Comment Different Viewpoint (Score 2) 112

Chris Roberts, who created the well-known Wing Commander series in 1990, managed to raise millions of dollars on Kickstarter last fall for his upcoming Star Citizen, eventually collecting so much money from individual backers that he could return the budget he'd taken from "formal" investment firms. "Even nice investors, they want a return at some point. They have a slightly diff agenda than I do," Roberts told Slashdot. "My agenda is to build the coolest game possible."

Herein lies the difference. Kickstarter backers are not seen as actual investors in the project by the project owners, but rather as a way to informally fund games that the developers want to work on without feeling like there is any real obligation to those who funded it. To paraphrase what Chris Roberts stated, he couldn't care less if it ever makes any money as long as he gets to build the "coolest game possible". Without the incentive/pressure of investors looking for a return however, there will always be "just one or two more things" to finish up and the game will never actually get released.

Comment Re:What is Bruce Schneier's game? (Score 3, Informative) 397

This of course permits the NSA to do a classic Man-In-The-Middle attack. They give your browser the fake certificate chain and a copy of the website login page, you type things in, they decrypt them, and use them to log in to the real website, they get the results back from the real website, re-encrypt them with the fake certificate chain, and send them back to you. As far as you know you're using the real website, as far as the website server knows they're speaking with a normal browser, but the NSA is capturing everything either side transmits in clear text and can inject fake content in either direction whenever they want.

This is why there are browser addons such as Perspectives which allow you to verify the certificate and will notify you if a certificate's signature changes at any time.

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