Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Get HideMyAss! VPN, PC Mag's Top 10 VPNs of 2016 for 55% off for a Limited Time ×

Comment Re:Hatchet jobs aside (Score 3, Interesting) 385

Tor is secure. Where people have been located, it was due to bugs on the bundled browser and not following best security practices like disabling Javascript and not using a maximized browser window (to thwart canvas based fingerprinting). But the underlying network itself is secure.

That or share too much information about yourself or your other online activity or download malicious content. It doesn't even have to be malware as such but say an MP3 where your media player tries to download cover art, any kind of functionality that could lead to non-TOR traffic. Or socially engineer you to visit a popular YouTube video in your ordinary browser using a special URL. It could be they have a exploit on core TOR, but in that case I'm guessing it's in the NSA vaults along with the AES backdoor.

People don't understand the power of profiling and combinatorics. For example say you look at my posting history, I've probably casually mentioned my age a few times - let's say you have my birthday pinned down to a month even though I never said when it was. My sex too in some context, I presume. And I've at one point mentioned my country, my hometown (>150k) and that I used to live in the capital (>600k). If you have a post saying "I'm moving back home soon" that's enough to pinpoint me, if you have access to the right registry.

How does that work? Well you have ~145k registered domestic moves. Only ~49k are between different parts of the country. In total there's about ~9k for my hometown, those are all public statistics. So about (49/145)*9k = 3k long-distance moves to my town, for argument we'll assume all are from the capital. If average lifespan is 80, my month is roughly 1/(80*12) of the total population so ~3 moves of people my age and ~1.5 if you add sex. If soon means the coming month you're down to 1.5/12 = ~1/8. Even with some non-uniformity and whatnot it'll probably be one, at most two.

People don't stop to think about these things, particularly when it appears to happen in "private", but services get compromised. Or are honeypots to begin with. And even if you use PGP or some other secure channel, what used to be a buddy today can be compromised tomorrow. And this gets more and more important as we leave more and more "real world" electronic traces, like that concert you were at - were you also tagged on Facebook? In the past it would have been almost useless information, today a few such tidbits of information can easily lead to just having a handful of suspects to investigate closer.

Comment Re:As a UNIX head and former MS-hater . . . (Score 1) 349

Y'know, Microsoft has never made any bones about their OS being a proprietary system.

Windows made money selling copies. Apple makes money taking a cut of every sale in their walled garden. Google makes money data mining the shit out of everything. The new Microsoft seems to want to be the old Microsoft + Apple + Google. It used to be pick your poison, now it's all of the above. I hope they choke on it.

Comment Re:5.38 hours per day (Score 1) 174

And from what I've seen of college kids now, while they're not watching television per se - they do seem to spend an inordinate amount of time watching stuff like YouTube and swapping SnapChat videos (they don't seem to actually chat much on SnapChat, which seems weird but them I'm old). It wouldn't surprise me if the total amount of time they spend on new media rivals what their parents and grandparents spend in front of the boob tube.

Meet the new boob tube, same as the old boob tube. Except more boobs.

Comment Re: Er (Score 4, Insightful) 596

No. We honestly need to expect a certain level of competency from ENGINEERS. People are allowed to be stupid.

People can be as stupid or drunk or tired or half-blind as they like, LICENSED DRIVERS who operate two tons of metal travelling at 70+ mph need to take some damn responsibility for that. Thankfully he only won a Darwin award but if he'd killed somebody I'd call that a clear case of vehicular manslaughter which can land you in prison for a very long time. Drivers that can't do their part should hand in their license and wait for the real self-driving cars.

Comment Re:You made the bed. Now sleep in it. (Score 2) 351

I don't wonder. I see it as one of the human brain's greatest weaknesses. More and more research shows that once people pick a side, they are highly likely to dig in and contrary evidence actually reinforces their incorrect position. Perhaps this served some evolutionary purpose (you only need to learn fire is hot once)

Probably more local diversity so we don't get wiped out by spurious reasoning, mono-culture or get stuck on some local maximum. Instead of risking the whole tribe jumping on what they think is a good thing we'll divide into camps with the old ways and the new ways like a primitive scientific experiment. Today we don't have that strong evolutionary pressure but back when people would starve and freeze and die from all sorts of injuries and diseases I imagine this could be rather important in a shifting environment with droughts and floods and heat waves and cold waves and packs of animals coming and going could change the optimal choice quite often. Perhaps we had an evolutionary need to have people stick with what's worked in the past even if it doesn't seem to be working right now.

The other part might be that we're used to people having an agenda. The more persistent people are to convince you something is true, the more skeptical we get. There might be a value to having made up your own opinion rather than to take someone else's, even if it's wrong. That one seems even more relevant today, since more and more of what we do is make ourselves familiar with second hand knowledge, things others have found out and put to paper. There's so many tons of it you just have to accept you barely have time to get a tiny glimpse of our collective knowledge. And let's face it, a lot of that has been fantasy and fiction. You can't see AGW, but people say it exists like they used to say dragons exist. It's hard to know what is actually facts.

Comment Re:My Fingers Have An Alternative... (Score 0) 409

Reality check, all non-Windows platforms combined have <5% market share on Steam and falling. Most users couldn't install a new OS if they wanted to and even if they did they'd miss all their other Windows applications. And even assuming they did they'd lose a ton of Windows exclusive games that wouldn't run despite Steam being on Linux and suffer performance/driver issues in many others. Valve would have to do much more to make AAA games support Vulkan well if they want people to even consider a Steam Machine.

Comment Re:Totally unavailable (Score 1) 35

Buy ones that a little behind the cutting edge, ones from a few months ago. 80% of the performance at 30% of the price.

Are you trying to be funny? Even if you said years, almost two years ago I bought the GTX 970 for pretty close to MSRP of $329. If you think you can get 80% of that for 30% or <$100 today you're delusional. Don't get me wrong, today you can get roughly the same DX11 performance in a Radeon RX 480 4GB for $199 so it's lost quite a bit of value but it's not like last year's cards turn to shit anymore. A GTX 980 Ti will still kick a lot of ass simply because it's a 600mm^2 250W truck, sure there's a bigger and more badass truck but it'll still crush a compact car despite being a few generations old and the price reflects that. Sure, if you can get a deal from a gamer just trying to get rid of his card at any price really...

Comment Re:ABM systems equal escalation? (Score 1) 68

We can have enough missiles pointed at you to turn all of your major cities into slag, but we won't do it because you have enough missiles pointed at us to turn all of our major cities into slag. The MAD balance depends on both sides being unable to defend themselves, only retaliate. If one side can nuke the other side's cities and shoot down the retaliation, there is no balance. One side wins, the other loses. How is that hard to understand?

Of course there's such a thing as not wanting war, like why would Americans want to kill Russians or Russians want to kill Americans today? But MAD isn't about that, it's about a power balance where war would doom both sides. While an arms race stalemate might temporarily keep us from destroying each other, I hope that lasting peace will come from a more positive source of inspiration. Because I never really expected MAD to last forever.

Comment Re: TFA is not terribly clear... (Score 1) 230

Probably a bad idea. Any active action to prevent the police from gaining access would probably be considered obstruction of justice, any non-police duress won't stop there. It would also prove the phone in question is programmed to respond to your fingerprints, which by itself is evidence. Perhaps it's your teenage kid's phone that he forgot and you're bringing it to him, possession is not proof of access.

If you do want a panic button and is willing to deal with the consequences it should simply irrecoverably wipe the device. Either way offer only passive resistance. If they have to do paperwork and time runs out, tough. If they try the wrong fingers and run out of attempts, tough. Configure your device any way you want up front but don't help, don't obstruct. But if you're seriously worried I'd just turn it off and use a PIN.

Comment Re:You can stuff it under a mattress.... (Score 2) 150

If you take a bitcoin address and print out the hash, you could put that under your mattress and delete the file.

Pretty sure you meant to say something else, you can print out the private keys associated with the public hashes but if all you have is the hash you got nothing. You can see the Bitcoins are there, but you can't send them to anyone so they're effectively lost.

Comment Re:Better-binned Titan X? (Score 1) 35

My guess is that Anandtech got the conclusion for that one already written just substitute for this generation:

With an average performance deficit of just 3%, GeForce GTX 980 Ti is for all intents and purposes GTX Titan X with a different name. (...) With a launch price of $649, the GTX 980 Ti may as well be an unofficial price cut to GTX Titan X, delivering flagship GeForce performance for 35% less.

I expect that the GTX 1080 Ti will come in at $799/$899 (FE) in Q4 2016 or Q1 2017, this time with partner boards. And then there will be a new card with HBM2 to become the new Titan.

Comment Re:Thank god for Trump! (Score 1) 382

But what happened to all the good Republican candidates? I'm a long way away from the US, but trying to make sense of it.

The short summary: The primaries are extremely dominated by special interest groups (SIGs), because if they can get a sympathetic candidate the actual election will be a coin flip of who people dislike the least. So what happens is that a lot of moderates get caught in no man's land because the SIGs support their hardline candidate and if you can't get any momentum out the gate the chances of recovering 5-10 states down the line as people realize their favorite won't make it is slim and none. It's hard to find a moderate that many people would be happy with, until it's clear they'd lose and would rather compromise.

Comment Re:I get the feeling that (Score 1) 160

I get the feeling that dark matter is today's epicycles

Well you're not the first one, there have been multiple attempts to modify gravity so that it gives the right answers without introducing additional matter. Unfortunately that tends to break other results that our current theory of gravity gets right and trying to "fix" that usually ends up in just as convoluted theories as dark matter/dark energy. Personally I think it's easy to feel like solid matter is a wall but we know radio transmissions pass through it like it was nothing. And neutrinos pass through the planet without even noticing. I don't find it particularly hard to imagine that there are particles that have even less interaction, given what we already know.

Slashdot Top Deals

PL/I -- "the fatal disease" -- belongs more to the problem set than to the solution set. -- Edsger W. Dijkstra, SIGPLAN Notices, Volume 17, Number 5

Working...