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Submission + - Technology Will Replace the Need for Big Government (

axlash writes: There's a lot of dissatisfaction with governments today, as can be seen by the rise of left-wing parties in Europe, to the rise of non-mainstream political candidates in America. Well, here's a thought — with all the talk of technology replacing jobs, why not have it replace governments, too? The speculates about how "in the near future, government might dramatically shrink — not because of demands by fiscally astute Americans, but because of radical technology." It goes on: "Even the US President could one day be replaced, which—strangely enough—might bring sanity to our election process." The main thrust of the article is essentially about how government jobs will be replaced with technology, although it doesn't say much about whether there'll be technology administering this technology.

Comment Re:How it was done (Score 5, Informative) 146

TFA was uninformative. Instead, from http://cynosureprime.blogspot....:

Instead of cracking the slow bcrypt hashes directly, which is the hot topic at the moment, we took a more efficient approach and simply attacked the md5(lc($username).”::”.lc($pass)) and md5(lc($username).”::”.lc($pass).”:”.lc($email).”:73@^bhhs&#@&^@8@*$”) tokens instead. Having cracked the token, we simply then had to case correct it against its bcrypt counterpart.

Or this:

Comment Will this work? (Score 1) 40

I am not sure about the market for smart cards in Sub-Saharan Africa (the intended market for these smartcards). Smartcards need to work with a lot of complementary technology and infrastructure in order to deliver the benefits of convenient and secure payment (readers, communication systems, electricity to power these), and I don't know that this is present to a great extent in many African countries.

In addition, given that running a business in Lagos is a pretty difficult thing (given the chronic power shortages, difficulty in obtaining skilled manpower, poor transport infrastructure), I'm not sure the smartcards will necessarily be cheap enough to compete against imported cards, even with cheaper labour offsetting some of the costs. If Jonathan's idea is to use tariffs to level the playing field, it means that the factory's market is effectively limited to Nigeria, making it even a more dubious enterprise.

Comment Cheap tech (Score 1) 300

"One of the failure modes of extrapolative SF is to assume that just because something is technologically feasible, it will happen. ... Someone has to want it enough to pay for it—and it will be competing with other, possibly more attractive options."

I'm not sure what Stross is saying here. An important part of the process of developing technology is not just to ensure it can be developed, but that it can be developed at a price that most people can afford.

So when I seen advanced technology portrayed in SF being used by fairly ordinary people, I assume that the technology has been made affordable enough that paying for it is not an issue.

Comment Business-minded criminals (Score 1, Interesting) 463

I found it interesting that these criminals made a point of honouring their promise to provide the tools to decrypt the encrypted data.

At first, this didn't make sense to me. They are criminals; why do they have to honour anything?

But thinking about it some more, it works in their favour. Say I am a desperate person looking to get my files back, and I ask around if anyone has had any success with paying the ransom. If get responses saying "yes", then of course I am more likely to pay too, and this works in favour of the criminals' bottom line.

In addition, it dosn't cost the criminals much to provide the decryption tools, unlike if this was a kidnapping of a real person where there is the risk of the kidnapper getting caught during a hostage exchange.

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