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Comment O($1K) per siren to secure? (Score 1) 230

Someone has cited an multi-thousand dollar cost per siren to fix the broken system which used unencrypted radio and touch tone signalling.

I'm sure that it is possible to set up a Raspberry Pi to authenticate the received touch tones in a way similar to the two-factor authentication fobs, at a much reduced cost, no? Or am I missing something?

Comment Re:Alice applies to *just* adding "with a computer (Score 1) 104

Interesting idea. Unfortunately, ideas cannot be patented. Which was more or less the whole basis for the opinion of that judge (that, in general, software patents are not valid patents).

Your argument would seem, then, merely to show that saying that an idea can be implemented in hardware also doesn't make it patentable.

I think what is confusing you here is that any specific implementation of your idea in hardware might be patentable (assuming your idea has been implemented in an original, innovative fashion) --- it is the implementation which is patentable, not the idea.

Comment Re:40cm? (Score 2) 225

Sorry, Michael, I guess we Earth dwellers just don't have the technology your Martian foster parents had... </humor_attempt>

Actually, it's not a hole, just an "affected area" (from URL http://www.esa.int/Our_Activit...)...

The pictures of the affected area show a diameter of roughly 40 cm created on the solar array structure, confirming an impact from the back side, as suggested by the satellite’s attitude rate readings.”

Comment Re:Google obviously could have made Android.. (Score 1) 182

> binary executable portability, which isn't even an issue for Android at all

On the contrary, the AC which replied to you has shown that, as expected, the hardware on which Android runs is evolving quite quickly. If you were to install Linux would you choose to install a 32-bit version compiled for a Pentium processor?

> Google could have just created a standard compiler for Java (the language) to produce ARM assembly if they were so in love with that particular language

They would then be dependent on Oracle for any extensions they would want to add, or anyway be in the same boat they are today, more or less. The fact that the patent side of the case was thrown out very early in the proceedings means that Google's judgement was quite good (surprisingly so, since all cases, once they get to court, have a large element of luck).

Java is not just a "particular language", it was and still is one of the most widely used languages in the world, especially in the segment of devices like smartphones. You have to put Google's decision in context, when they made this decision Android had exactly 0% market share. Your argument is clouded by Android's subsequent success.

Comment Re:Poorly written FUD (Score 1) 368

Did Intel happen to pay for one or more independent reviews of the security of this setup? Has Intel published the results of these reviews?

Until then, I'll more or less assume that its security is still in question, thank you. (That doesn't mean I won't use it, of course. All kinds of insecure systems are useful).

And even with such reviews, it would probably be prudent to assume that the signing keys have been compromised, at at least the nation-state level.

Comment Possible bright side (Score 1) 337

Well, no matter whether the allegations are true or not, we now presumable have one highly motivated and capable pair of eyeballs which will carefully audit all new commits to the TOR code base.

The other possibility is that he'll fork and ignore TOR development altogether. Might be OK, but only if he can convince enough people to run nodes on his competing network. His competing network might be able use TOR as an exit route (running an exit node is the highest risk part of such a network).

Comment Re:Worse than that: this spacecraft has broken up. (Score 1) 77

Bummer about the mission.

I wonder if McDowell actually got permission to post that twit --- the ToU of space-track.org seem pretty strict:

The User agrees not to transfer any data or technical information received from this website, or other U.S. Government source, including the analysis of data, to any other entity without prior express approval. See, 10 USC 2274(c)(2).

Comment Go for CC music (Score 1) 224

> piracy the only sound and reasonable choice.

There are quite a few sources of legally free music, like Jamendo and ccMixter. And it's also easy to find non-free music which is not funding whoever it is exactly you don't want to fund. Often direct from the artist!

Even though I've only done it once or twice, my personal favorite way is to buy from good local acts at a live venue.

You lack imagination (even though I sympathize with your feelings).

Comment Re:Criminals are dumb (Score 1) 105

> make life of the next Scott Peterson too easy

Had never heard of him, and after searching I discovered that he is on death row, even though there was no "hard" evidence that he murdered his wife. Could you explain, then, how he is a good example to use to justify weakening encryption for all of society? His case would seem to be exactly the opposite --- a good example how, even if encryption of all our devices were impregnable, most criminals are stupid and it wouldn't help them anyway (hey, that's even the subject of your post!)

Comment Re:The author forgot one other option. (Score 2) 105

> and existence of encrypted data

I don't think it's possible to reliably show that encrypted data certainly exists. I also do not think it is always possible to prove that someone has the capability of decrypting data --- Bruce Schneier has proposed a scenario for people crossing borders where a long random key is used which is sent to the destination ahead of time so that any request for a decryption key could be truthfully answered with "I don't have the key". Assuming the trusted third party has been instructed to destroy the key in the case that the traveler is delayed, that scenario is indistinguishable from the scenario where the person is lying.

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