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Comment Re:Too secure for insecure? (Score 1) 501

The problem with this argument is the FBI's report does not say it was only a sentence or two. It says there were thousands of classified emails, some of which were entire classified documents, markings and all.

No, it didn't. At least Comey's summary says nothing of the sort.

https://www.fbi.gov/news/pressrel/press-releases/statement-by-fbi-director-james-b-comey-on-the-investigation-of-secretary-hillary-clinton2019s-use-of-a-personal-e-mail-system

"Eight of those chains contained information that was Top Secret at the time they were sent; 36 chains contained Secret information at the time; and eight contained Confidential information, which is the lowest level of classification. Separate from those, about 2,000 additional e-mails were âoeup-classifiedâ to make them Confidential; the information in those had not been classified at the time the e-mails were sent."

And...

"With respect to the thousands of e-mails we found that were not among those produced to State, agencies have concluded that three of those were classified at the time they were sent or received, one at the Secret level and two at the Confidential level. There were no additional Top Secret e-mails found. Finally, none of those we found have since been âoeup-classified.â

Finally...

"Separately, it is important to say something about the marking of classified information. Only a very small number of the e-mails containing classified information bore markings indicating the presence of classified information."

So flat out, unless you are in possession of a different report that indicates Comey made up the summary in whole cloth, you're being dishonest in your claims.

An insightful read: http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/03/the-forgotten-1957-trial-that-explains-our-countrys-bizarre-whistleblower-laws-213771

Comment A few obvious corrections (Score 1) 41

First, DES is 56 bit (near enough 60). Triple DES as per first mode (the authorised standard) is 168 bits. The article fails to distinguish, implying the authors are just a little bit naff. 3DES seems to be quite safe, as long as not used in DES emulation mode. And who the hell emulates a mode that was broken in the 80s?

Second, Blowfish was replaced by TwoFish, ThreeFish and Speck. Skein, an entrant to the DES3 challenge, makes use of ThreeFish.

Third, the Wikipedia page states it has been known for a long time that weak keys are bad. This particular attack, though, is a birthday attack. You can find all the ciphers vulnerable or free that you should be using. Anything not on the list is something you are solely responsible for.

http://csrc.nist.gov/archive/a...

In other words, this information is about as useful as telling up that Model T Fords weren't good at cornering at highway speeds. Below are some links, I can't be buggered to HTML-ify them.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wik...
http://www.skein-hash.info/
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wik...
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wik...

I do not trust most encryption software these days, but that's because programmers these days are sloppy and arrogant.

Transportation

Domino's Will Deliver Pizza By Drone and By Robot (roboticstrends.com) 45

An anonymous Slashdot reader quotes CNN Money's report that "pizzas will soon be dropping from the heavens": Domino's demonstrated its ability to deliver food via a drone Thursday in New Zealand and plans to test actual deliveries to customers next month. "It doesn't add up to deliver a two kilogram package in a two-ton vehicle," said Scott Bush, a general manager for Domino's Pizza Enterprises, which is independent of the U.S. chain and operates in seven countries. "In Auckland, we have such massive traffic congestion it just makes sense to take to the airways."

A Domino's customer who requests a drone delivery will receive a notification when their delivery is approaching. After going outside and hitting a button on their smartphone, the drone will lower the food via a tether. Once the package is released, the drone pulls the tether back up and flies back to the Domino's store.

Robotics Trends has video from the flight, and reports that Domino's is also testing a pizza-delivering robot. Their Domino's Robotics Unit "has four wheels, is less than three feet tall, and has a heated compartment that can hold up to 10 pizzas. It can deliver pizzas within a 12.5-mile radius before needing to be recharged."

Comment Re:For the percentage impaired... (Score 1) 85

This is more a matter of how the phrase should be read, as jargon, and not how the phrase will be (mis-)understood by the general public in casual conversation.

As a writer, if you can't count on a technically-minded audience, you're (unfortunately) best served by avoiding relative multiples entirely, as well as relative percentages at or above 100%. Unlike "two times faster" or "330% faster", there is no confusion, generally speaking, about how to read "three times as fast" or "430% as fast".

As a reader, in the absence of evidence of the author's intent to the contrary, if you encounter the phrase "X times faster" or "X% faster" I believe you should treat it as equivalent to "(X+1) times as fast" or "(X+100%) as fast".

I understand that linguistic relativism is in vogue at the moment, and even agree with it to an extent. The point of having language is to communicate, after all, which implies that the meanings and customary use of phrases are not fixed in stone; they change depending on the speaker, audience, and context. However, by the same token, I think prescriptionism is warranted in cases like this one for the sake of preserving our ability to communicate clearly and concisely. Ambiguity serves no one, and we don't need another inconsistent way to say "X times as fast", whereas maintaining the regular structure of the language ("X00% = X times" and "X faster = original speed plus X", regardless of context) helps to reduce the reader's cognitive load, leaving more energy for the real content. While there is no inherently right or wrong way to design a tool, some tool designs are more fit for purpose than others, and the same is true for the tools of communication, i.e. languages.

Comment Re: And the other end of the deal? (Score 1) 261

Do you realize that the US women took home more medals in this olympics than the men?

Sure. Katie Ledecki got gold for swimming 800m about 15s slower than Connor Jaeger did for swimming 800m on the way to 1500m for mere silver. Still think there isn't something inherently different about women, or was Ledecki just sandbagging the way to the world record?

Comment Re:Too secure for insecure? (Score 1) 501

There are "little people" currently in prison for negligent handling of classified. Right now. Actually in prison.

There are also several that aren't. Administrative punishments are common, depending on the material in question, and the circumstances. In some cases, absolutely nothing was done.

For example, all of the people who accessed the early Wikileaks stuff and those people who accessed the Guardian articles that contained the Snowden material. There was an entire PR campaign directed at Executive Branch Agencies reminding people that "until officially declassified, just because it is published in public doesn't mean you can read it".

I personally contacted DHS regarding multiple "classified spills" surrounding the Wikileaks material being accessed on non-Classified systems and sent around in e-mail. Their answer? "Delete it and remind people not to do that. No, you don't have to destroy you entire MS Exchange storage array."

Under your criteria, hundreds of people would have been put in jail. They weren't and some of that Snowden stuff was SCI/Code word.

The Wikileaks stuff in 2010 was Bradley Manning's leak of, mostly, diplomatic cables -- exactly the type of stuff Clinton was dealing with -- except Clinton's was indirect reference (e-mail about) not full cables. In other words, de minimis.

According to your gross misunderstanding of our classification system, what crime did Petraeus commit? He had a clearance, and his girlfriend had a clearance. If "had a clearance" is good enough to excuse Clinton, then why was it not good enough to excuse Patraeus?

You're baiting him. You know the difference, which is Patraeus committed a conscious, direct act in knowingly and intentionally giving classified material to a person who was not authorized to have it. Clearance or not, she didn't have the necessary "need to know".

He also explicitly and directly lied to the FBI investigators by flat out denying he did it. Hillary has been very indirect and there is no indication she every did ANYTHING remotely similar to Patraeus.

There is a significant difference between "here is my notebook loaded with TS/SCI material that you shouldn't see" and, to the FBI, "never happened"; and "received or sent e-mail that may have contained a sentence or two copy-pasted from (95%) Confidential material".

Comment Re:Only SOME Optical Media Is Durable (Score 1) 362

I wonder if it's that as readers got faster, they have less time to deal with errors from disks that were crap to start with, so errors that have been there all along are now causing visible issues.

I remember a study that found there were problems caused by writing CDs at slower speeds on hardware designed to write faster -- causing more write errors. I've always written disks at the fastest available speed, which might be why I never ran into that issue. (Tho I still have an old 4x unit should I ever run into it.)

Comment Re:Yes, Because Optical Media Is Durable (Score 1) 362

Commercial disks are pretty durable, as you say (unless exposed to weather, then they fall apart fairly quick). The only commercial disk I've seen fail were bad out of the box. But burnables, not so much. Mine have done well (my oldest ones are still readable) but I lived in the desert. Dampness and CDRs do not play well together, as they're not completely sealed around the edges, so I'm not surprised by tales of woe.

I still use CDRs and DVDRs for sneakernet to the DOS machine that doesn't speak network or USB, and occasionally for a specific type of backup (movie or album) but no longer routinely use them for system backup. I can get a whole stack of DVDs on a single 128GB flash drive (not to mention backup is much faster and needs far less babysitting), and per the torture tests I've read about, flash drives beat everything else for durability (retaining data through all manner of abuse; one even partially survived being shot).

And until recently I was still using them for live CDs for testing OS distros, but along came that bootable-flash-drive app and now I have 40+ distros on a single flash stick, plus a place to save files convenient to whatever I'm testing.

I never did acquire a Blu-Ray, tho I suppose now that prices have gotten sane I'll pick one up just so I have it if I need one. Which might be never at the present rate (I don't buy BR movies, so what is it good for? burned BR are reputed very unreliable, failing in as little as six months.)

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