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Comment Re:Mimicing does not make art (Score 1) 74

And the criteria for determining what is and is not art?

The key criterion is creativity and expressive/emotional content, and wherever that comes from, that's the source of the art.

In this case, some of the robot's paintings are quite artistic... but it's not the robot that selected the subject, captured the right feeling, chose a composition that accented it, etc. What happened here is that the robot reproduced some artistic images that were created by a human. Art? Sure. Robot art? Nope.

In the case of your hypothetical art Turing test, where only the end product is available, sure it's quite likely that we couldn't distinguish between the computer renderings and human work, and we'd call the computer renderings art... but the creator would be whoever provided the computer with the input -- code and/or data. Human-created art in the medium of computer-controlled paintbrush, for example.

Comment Bad summary (Score 5, Insightful) 240

He's not talking about root going away, he's talking about reducing the need for it, in order to have much of the freedom provided by a rooted phone without the associated security risks. Whether or not root is available is a separate, and orthogonal question, and he clearly never wants to lose the ability to root, just the need.

Comment Re:Any Ideas? (Score 1) 65

It's doubly odd because many contemporary phones and tablets can connect to TVs, though that isn't their primary use case.

I think you've got your answer right there.

From a technical perspective, of course, it's not an answer at all, but look at it from the perspective of big media companies: On general-purpose computing devices they have no real say other than deciding if they do or don't want to lock their content out of the devices. Making that choice lowers the value of the devices a little, but it's not like device makers will allow the media industry to drive all their decisions. With media devices, however, which have no value to consumers except to play media, the media companies can choose to render the device nearly useless which puts them in a much stronger bargaining position.

(Disclaimer: I work for Google, but I don't have any inside information on this issue and don't know anything more about it than any other random geek, and probably less than many. The above is just my idle speculation, and is probably completely wrong. Maybe Google really does want to lock down everything so they can obtain complete control over every computing device in the universe and collect all the data to auction off to the highest bidder while feeding a copy to the NSA in exchange for use of CIA wetwork teams to take out competitors' key employees who refused to be assimilated, as well as any users who complain too loudly about being monetized against their will, and they're just using TV devices as the thin edge of the Control The World wedge -- but suck at it so badly that all the protections can be blown past with a few minutes' tinkering. But I doubt it.)

Comment Re:Bonneau's paper (Score 3, Insightful) 297

Very good work of destroying the whole point of privacy. And who the fuck allowed him access to 70 million passwords? Yahoo? Shame on Yahoo then.

Fixed that for you.

Though, also, I disagree with your first sentence. The better we understand the use of passwords by larger numbers of real people, the better we can design systems that exploit the strengths of passwords which avoiding their weaknesses -- or perhaps it will motivate us to choose other approaches if it demonstrates that passwords simply do not provide sufficient security.

This is valuable information for people who want to build secure, privacy-preserving systems, which is the complete antithesis of "destroying the whole point of privacy."

Comment Re:Big surprise (Score 1) 204

IIRC, the 9x17mm (.380) was used in some earlier 3D printed pistol tests with limited success.

I'd say with good success, rather than "limited" success.

Also, it occurs to me that if you'd like a more powerful plastic gun, you should perhaps consider the .45 ACP, which has max pressures slightly lower than the .380. Even better might be a .44 special, which has max pressures of around 14,000 PSI.

Comment Re:I still see a market .... (Score 1) 204

The length of the rifle barrel is what'll kill it. A pistol dumps its internal pressures quickly - the short muzzle doesn't have to hold the pressure for more than a millisecond or two at most. A rifle on the other hand? The longer the barrel, the longer that period of time which the barrel has to hold the higher pressures. Most rifle cartridges also contain a slower-burning powder (to keep pressures at least somewhat constant as the bullet travels down the barrel), which only exacerbates things from a design perspective.

I think the duration of the high pressures is a second-order issue, behind the fact that most rifle rounds generate much higher pressures, period. A few examples:

Handgun rounds:

.380 ACP: 21,500 PSI
9mm: 34,800 PSI
.357 magnum: 35,000 PSI
.40: 35,000 PSI
.45 ACP: 21,000 PSI

Rifle rounds:

5.56mm: 62,366 PSI
.270: 65,000 PSI
.308: 62,000 PSI
.30-05: 60,200 PSI

I'm not aware of a single handgun round that is designed for more than 40,000 PSI, while most modern rifle rounds are in the 60,000+ PSI range. The lowest-pressure rifle round I'm aware of is the old .45-70 government, which still peaks at close to 30,000 PSI.

It's worth pointing out the Defense Distributed's Liberator fires the .380, a low-pressure round. The .45 would also be a good choice. Perhaps even better would be the .38 special and .44 special, which have max pressures around 14,000 PSI. Best of all would be some hybrid round which is loaded for low-pressure but is fired out of a casing designed for a high-pressure round. That would allow the casing to take more of the load and demand less of the plastic chamber.

Comment Re:Punishment out of proportions? (Score 1) 84

You couldn't know it, but my calculus includes a family home with teenagers (themselves a risk group IMO) as well as one adult diagnosed and medicated as a depressive (not me).

Unfortunately, mine includes the same (teenagers plus one suicidal person). It just means that I keep my guns locked up.

Note that I'm not criticizing your decision, and wasn't to begin with. I just wanted to make sure you weren't basing it on incorrect information.

Comment Re:They had it years ago.. (Score 1) 290

The first car I ever registered, What my address was in 1992, when the last time I traveled internationally...


The first two questions are based on public data, in fact it's the same stuff that many financial institutions use to verify your identity in certain cases. I've been asked those sorts of questions many times. The third item is something that the government obviously knows about you, since they scan your passport every time you enter the country, and if you fly out the airline is required to provide them with your passport information when you depart.

That's not to say they don't have a detailed file on you that includes your habits, politics, sexual fetishes and how often you wash your hands when you use the bathroom, but the sort of questions you mentioned don't imply any real surveillance, just pooling of public data (which is already collected and collated by others) and combining it with government data.

Comment Re:Punishment out of proportions? (Score 1) 84

although I've never owned a gun as I don't see the value exceeds the absolute increase in danger.

You are aware that the old studies that purported to show that gun owners are more likely to get shot than non gun-owners have been completely and thoroughly debunked, aren't you? Your statistical likelihood of being a victim of gun violence has everything to do with your lifestyle.

Comment Re:Meh... Give me access, I own your computer (Score 1) 390

if I'm sitting in your car, plugged in to the canbus, I can control things on the canbus


If I ever gain access to your car, for the 20 seconds it takes me to plug a controller into the canbus, I can control things on the canbus.

Also, remember the central maxim of computer security: Attacks always get better. And these targets are very hard to patch -- it's expensive, time-consuming and hit-or-miss, because the automakers haven't planned for software upgrades, so defenses will not get better, or will at best improve only rarely.

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