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Comment Re:Pretty interesting (Score 1) 412

As the others have said, Wikileaks isn't out of play at all.

You're right, they are not necessarily out of play on this. The out-of-play scenario I have in mind (with zero evidence for it, mind you) is that the organization with all this data has been sending it to Assange (or making it available online) encrypted with his public key.

With Assange unable to handle things, they would have to find another part of Wikileaks they trust to share their publication goals. Perhaps that's not so easy.

Comment Pretty interesting (Score 1) 412

With WikiLeaks (likely) out of play, whoever has been sending WikiLeaks the Democrats' data will either have to find another channel for release, or stop releasing. In the former case, that may give intelligence agencies a better idea of their target.

I wonder if there was a back-channel conversation with Ecuador -- something like "Whoever is behind this, Ecuador is effectively acting as an accessory to some outside party attempting to alter the US presidential election. Is that *really* how you want us to treat this?"

Comment Re:pixel (Score 1) 212

Except that in the case of platforms, you may have a lot of money tied into either the "App Store" or "Google Play" for apps/music/video/etc

In addition, there's the pain of migrating calendars and the like. There are export options and tools to assist in that, but it could still get painful I fear. For music, Spotify customers would be fine but I am not sure about Play or iTunes, even where it is just a matter of playlists.

It's hard to tell of course how many people this matters for. In effect the article is telling us fewer than 50% of Note 7 owners are both clueful and worry about migration problems.

Comment Re:Man = 1000 (Score 1) 162

Infinite places does not mean everywhere. This is a common misconception when dealing with infinite sets.

Suppose you have infinite many places, as many as the natural numbers.
You may have infinitely many places numbered by even numbers, while still not have the other, infinitely many, places with odd numbers.

So a more correct translation would be "in many places". But then again, if you are talking about infinite sets, the concept of "many" is also tricky, and leads into questions of set cardinality, aleph numbers, etc. which fortunately is a lot more interesting than the usual Netflix soap operas.

Uh, thanks Lars. Where would we be without iconoclastic pedantry on Slashdot?

Since we're being pedantic, you may wish to learn how to parse the phrase "loosely meaning".

Comment Man = 1000 (Score 1) 162

The Korean "man", which incidentally is actually pronounced with a long "a" to rhyme with the English word "on", is the same as 1,000 but can be translated as "infinite" in many situations. For example, a fountain pen is translated into Korean as a "1,000 year pen" or "man-youn-pil" (see here).

The "bang", which is also pronounced with a long "a" to rhyme with the English word "on", means a "place" or a "room", as others here have noticed.

Thus this word (as with many Korean words) is a portmanteau, in this case loosely meaning "infinite places", which makes the translation to the English word "everywhere" fairly reasonable.

All that said, like most of the posters here, I think this choice of branding is truly hilarious.

Comment Entropy Canary (Score 1) 102

I have considered keeping a "Ransomware canary" around. I'm thinking of, say, a Word .doc file on a network drive. A process on some separate computer then checks its entropy on a regular basis, or on file change notification if available, to make sure file entropy has not grown huge.

The idea fails for local files because (as I recall) the more sophisticated ransomware inserts itself as a filesystem driver. That's a likely problem for some of these researchers' heuristics as well.

(Expanding on something I wrote a while ago)

Submission + - Student sues police for fine after refusing Breathalyzer

schwit1 writes: A Michigan high school student who was fined when she refused to take a Breathalyzer test — even though she was only a passenger in the vehicle — has filed a federal lawsuit claiming her constitutional right to be free from unreasonable searches was violated.

The law violates Guthrie’s Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches, her Detroit lawyer told NBC News. “Her rights were violated when she was forced to submit to Breathalyzer to prove her innocence,” attorney Mike Rataj said. “That is not how the criminal justice system works. This is a girl who has never been in trouble before and has no criminal history.”

It can be argued that a driver has made a deal with the state, which provides roads and regulates their safe use, and must submit. She however was merely a passenger, and thus any search of her body really does require a warrant, as per the Bill of Rights.

Comment Re: How quickly we forget the 90's (Score 1) 85

Publicly held companies are one of the main ways the "little guy" can save for retirement or his kids' college. They help ordinary people to participate in the capital side of the economy. One of Thomas Piketty's points (whether you agree or not) was that great amounts of income are accruing to capital these days. The situation would be far worse if regular folks could invest only in government bonds.

On the general topic of regulation for publicly traded US companies, I will further add that there is strong evidence it should be reduced. If you look at the growth in the overall market valuation over the last few decades, you will see that much of that growth has come from new entries into the market, like Facebook, and relatively little has come from subsequent value increases (though Facebook itself has increased). That is to say, it shows large segments of privately-held capital are responsible for most of the growth in valuation during the time these firms are held by VCs and pre-IPO (or pre-private equity).

We need MORE ways for the general public to participate in economic growth, not fewer. A scandalous Enron here or there is not worth making IPOs so onerous that everyone avoids them as much as possible, which is kind of the current situation.

Here's an analogy: if you have worked for a giant firm or big university you have probably found many of its procedures or business process sclerotic. How did it get that way? Well, every time something went wrong, somebody asked the question "How can we prevent this problem from ever occurring again?" They then went ahead with the prevention methods without regard to the corresponding cost in organizational flexibility.

Comment Re:In 10 years this will run on phones. (Score 1) 111


What I want is not a computer player that never wins, nor one that wins all the times. Those are EASY to program in comparison to one that CONVINCINGLY challenges you enough that you have to play slightly better each time in order to win, without trouncing you or letting you walk all over it.

Amen. I happened to be trying to tune the Pachi Go AI to something slightly better than my current level just last night. It's very frustrating -- one can control the number of cores and calculation time, and attempt to zero in from there, but each game takes long enough that (even on reduced-size boards) it's a slow process.

Comment Ransomware canary (Score 4, Informative) 124

I wonder how useful it would be to keep a "Ransomware canary" around. I'm thinking of, say, a Word .doc file on a network drive. A process on some separate computer then checks its entropy every few minutes to make sure it has not grown huge.

The idea fails for local files because (as I recall) the more sophisticated ransomware inserts itself as a filesystem driver.

Comment Time Machine safe, for now (Score 1) 109

From the technical analysis section of the research document

In addition to this behavior, it seems like KeRanger is still under development. There are some apparent functions named “_create_tcp_socket”, “_execute_cmd” and “_encrypt_timemachine”. Some of them have been finished but are not used in current samples. Our analysis suggests the attacker may be trying to develop backdoor functionality and encrypt Time Machine backup files as well. If these backup files are encrypted, victims would not be able to recover their damaged files using Time Machine.

So it would appear that Time Machine's current design keeps it's data safe -- for now -- from having one's online backups encrypted. As others have pointed out, that's not likely to last and offline backups are a *very* good idea.

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