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Comment Summaries of new technologies & techniques (Score 2) 435

Succinct summaries of new (but proven) technologies & techniques. For me it's less about how to learn, and more about what to learn. Having an idea of what new technologies & techniques have been developed (and/or are becoming popular), what problems they solve for me, what trade-offs are involved, and what alternatives exist, helps to direct my learning. In other words a trade or hobbyist magazine that focuses on focuses on technology in the 'early majority' area of the adoption curve, across programming disciplines.

Comment Re:Don't sweep it under the rug as collateral dama (Score 1) 157

Alternatively we need a legal precedent that a false claim of ownership of Copyright in a work is tort (e.g. trespass to chattels) as the real owner is deprived of the use/benefits of the work; moreover if the claim was made dishonestly (the claimant knew it to be false) then the claim should be tantamount to theft. Such a precedent could potentially be established in any common law jurisdiction.

Comment Re:Everybody is wrong... (Score 1) 270

That is you choosing your service provider and access level (dialup, dsl, cable, etc.), which is not a net neutrality issue. At a push it could be interpreted as protocol-specific traffic priority which is a grey area (some people consider it a net neutrality issue, others don't).

Non-neutral behaviour can only occur when two service providers interact, like so: you want to ship a parcel to Bob, but there is no courier that does door-to-door service in both your area and Bob's area. So you ship the parcel with your courier, and pay for a particular service level (overnight door-to-door). Your courier delivers the parcel to Bob's courier (and pays Bob's courier according to some inter-courier agreement), who delivers the parcel to Bob's door. Neutral behaviour occurs when Bob's courier delivers the parcel like any other they handle, even if they can't meet the service level you asked for from your courier. Non-neutral behaviour occurs when Bob's courier delays the parcel delivery because they received it from another courier rather than directly from the sender.

Notice that both Bob and you are screwed by the behaviour of Bob's courier.

The Wired article misses this by focusing on how - if you are a large company - you can send through more than one courier, selecting the one most convenient for the intended recipient. This obviously makes delivery faster because it cuts out one leg of the parcel's journey; and it would make delivery faster with or without neutrality requirements. The article ignores the actual problem of non-neutral behaviour where the parcel is actively delayed (over and above the natural journey time) by one of the couriers in order to force the sender to deal directly with them rather than having the option of sending via another courier (and accepting the naturally longer journey time).

The big weakness of this analogy is that in the real world you can readily choose between one of several courier on a per-parcel basis, but few individuals or small companies can choose between ISPs on a per-connection basis.

Comment Re:Mind reader (Score 1) 552

This. Wikipedia has a Comparison of consumer brain–computer interfaces that covers devices from Emotiv, Neurosky and others.

Searching for Emotiv, Neurosky or "BCI" (brain-computer interface) plus keywords like "disabled" or "ALS" or "locked" produces a couple of results on improving communication with limited physical control, e.g. this and this. I'm sure there are plenty of others.

Another approach is software like Dasher, which turns gestures from various sources (including eye tracking) into text. There appears to have been some work to integrate Dasher and BCI.

Comment Re:Open source browsers? (Score 1) 307

You are in the category "I agree with you". I think DRM will prevent fair use of materials as well as prevent them from falling into the Public Domain at the end of the limited Copyright period, and there needs to be recognition of these problems right now in order to protect society's interests. A straightforward solution is to make technological protection an alternative to Copyright protection - you can chose either one, but not both.

Comment Re:Open source browsers? (Score 1) 307

(All DRM is purposely designed to break content. It provides absolutely no benefit to the user)

Breaking content in a standard way, which can then be unbroken in a standard way (likely to be cross platform and supported by your browser); as opposed to only being unbroken by a dodgy Windows-only rootkit supplied by the content distributor.

Comment Re:Open source browsers? (Score 4, Insightful) 307

Indeed. Encrypted Media Extensions, W3C First Public Working Draft 10 May 2013:

This proposal extends HTMLMediaElement providing APIs to control playback of protected content.

The API supports use cases ranging from simple clear key decryption to high value video (given an appropriate user agent implementation). License/key exchange is controlled by the application, facilitating the development of robust playback applications supporting a range of content decryption and protection technologies.

This specification does not define a content protection or Digital Rights Management system. Rather, it defines a common API that may be used to discover, select and interact with such systems as well as with simpler content encryption systems. Implementation of Digital Rights Management is not required for compliance with this specification: only the simple clear key system is required to be implemented as a common baseline.

That rationale (as I've heard it explained) is that media (video/audio) content distributors are going to implement DRM, so the Hobson's choice is between giving them a standard interface (HTML EME) or having every distributor create their own proprietary media player (probably platform-specific with embedded rootkit).

If you believe that all media should be gratis, or you believe that all media should be open and consumers should be trusted to pay for non-gratis media absent any technological protection, then you will view EME as a bad thing.

If you believe that Copyright should be able to exist on media and that authors and/or distributors should be able to charge for the video/audio, and you believe that technological protection measures may have some impact to reduce non-paid use of such media, and you believe that it is in the interest of consumers to have standards for these sort of things, then you may view EME as a good thing.

Comment Re:like different users? (Score 1) 156

Sounds more specifically like Role Based Access Control (RBAC). You can define RBAC with a Subject (identity-based access control with roles) or without a subject. In the latter case authentication is tied to authorising a role, rather than authenticating a subject who has (or can authorise) a role.

Comment Consumer bill of rights for digital goods (Score 1) 469

More generally we need a consumer bill of rights for digital goods. When the copyright on these goods expires they must enter the public domain; the assumption that they do is part of the justification for granting a copyright monopoly. DRM prevents goods from entering the public domain. A consumer bill of rights should require that either (i) digital goods protected by copyright are free from DRM (conversely you can choose to use DRM but you lose the benefit of copyright protection); or (ii) any person or organisation that employs DRM to protect copyrighted digital goods must provide the digital good(s), DRM design specifications, source code and keys to a designated government office that will verify that the provided keys/source/tools can unlock the DRM and then hold everything in escrow for the term of the copyright. There would of course be an administrative fee associated with (ii), and if the fee is not paid then the information under escrow is released into the public domain.

Comment Re:It does measure Oxygen saturation to deduce pul (Score 1) 156

At a glance the patent seems to be for a very specific approach to measuring pulse oximetry. The approach seems near identical to US patent 5737439 Anti-fraud biometric scanner that accurately detects blood flow. In any event the basic technique for using pulse oximetry for liveness testing is described in Sandstrom, "Liveness Detection in Fingerprint Recognition Systems", 2004 and Hill & Stoneham, "Practical applications of pulse oximetry", 2000. The use of two IR absorption measurements is not novel (see patent 5737439).

Comment Re:Predictions? (Score 1) 355

Thanks for the link, although it doesn't actually explain whether the formula is derived from observation or from physical principles. As it turns out (with a bit of digging): both. It's an approximation that is sensitive to your choice of C and C0 (in IPCC: current and pre-industrial CO2 concentrations) and fits well to both empirical observations and theoretical expectations within a reasonable range of CO2 concentration. A detailed explanation can be found at .

Comment Re:Yeah yeah, we have seen this before (Score 1) 480

Used alone these devices can effectively prevent trojans from sniffing password entry, and can guarantee high entropy in the user secret which will prevent brute-force attacks (like password guessing).

Used alone these devices are ineffective against man-in-the-browser and various spear-phishing attacks, and (unlike passwords) are vulnerable to physical theft. Password protecting the device reduces the vulnerability to physical theft.

The minimum security requirement for an authentication device is that it has its own trusted user interface, and requires PIN or biometric authentication via that interface, per login/transaction.

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