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Comment Re:Why (Score 1) 924

Wanting to eject Muslims from the US is a political aim

Bullshit. As of now I've yet to see any policy about ejecting muslims from the US.

I was making the point that one need not seek policy in order to be working towards a political goal... and you respond that you don't see anyone seeking policy, apparently completely missing the point.

Comment Re:"In the wild" - slight exaggeration (Score 1) 126

Umm, that is an uncited claim in the summary. Nothing of the sort is stated in any of the links. The summary links to a paper that provides more details of the attack. Very heavy and technical though a few inital takeaways from it is that implementations only take a few days to run on gear they have so does seem safe to assume that SHA-1 collisions are pretty much pwned.

The Python script in question doesn't find new SHA-1 collisions. It takes two input PDFs and produces two output PDFs that hash to the same value. It uses some quirks of how PDFs work, plus that original SHAttered collision generated by the Google researchers. Finding another collision is a lot of work. Using a known collision to generate PDFs with the same hash value is not.

https://github.com/nneonneo/sha1collider

Comment Re:Turn it off (Score 2) 172

I've spent this weekend trying to repurpose an old laptop as a media/streaming machine, and decided to go Linux rather than Windows. It most certainly has not been easier. Maybe if you've worked with the system for years and know the ins-and-outs it is second nature, but Linux has caused all sorts of issues I wouldn't have had on Windows.

If you've worked with Windows for years and know the ins-and-outs of that system, it's a lot easier to set Windows up than something else. Personally, when I have to set up a Windows system, I have a lot of issues I wouldn't have on Linux.

I know because I had to install a Windows system for the first time in about a decade a few months ago. It took me all day and lots of hair-pulling to figure out how to find and install all of the drivers needed to make the thing run. At the end I was still left with a few devices showing errors in the device manager, which I was simply unable to get working. It worked enough, so I gave up on the rest. The worst part of the process was that right after installation Windows had no functioning drivers, for ethernet, Wifi or USB, which made it really hard to get drivers onto the box. I solved this by booting a Linux LiveCD (which worked out of the box), creating a small FAT32 partition, downloading the ridiculously bloated 250MB (WTF?!?) ethernet driver onto it, then booting Windows again and installing from the FAT32 partition. I have no idea how a Windows guy would have solved that.

Comment Re:What's wrong with public domain code? (Score 1) 39

Stallman may argue that you need to make sure the code is free in the future, but I'd settle for the code being free now.

I don't see any reason they shouldn't do both. They should release it under a good copyleft license, but note on their repository that all source code from the DoD is in the public domain. Those who wish to take the federal code and carefully verify that no non-federal contributions have been added (or who are willing to strip out all of the non-federal code) can use it in whatever way they like, since it's in the public domain. Contributions by others, however, will by default be owned by the contributor but licensed under the copyleft license. In the event someone uses their code in a way that violates the license, they'll have standing to sue for infringement, though the DoD will not.

Comment Re:People without a clue commenting on crypto (Score 1) 186

There's nothing wrong with that use of SHA1, but I can't think of a threat model in which it actually accomplishes anything useful, not because SHA1 is defective, but because passwords are. If an attacker gets the hash, he can almost certainly recover the password. Further, your implied threat model seems to assume that an attacker may be inside the system (which is a good assumption), where he can grab the in-flight hashes. But if that's the case, what prevents the attacker from replaying the hashes? At that point in the system, the hashes are the passwords, they unlock access. So the attacker doesn't even need the user's password.

Also, have you benchmarked SHA256? On modern hardware it's generally cheaper than SHA1. Assuming there actually is a good reason for hashing, you may be able to quiet the complainers and improve performance with one change.

Comment Re:"Police found Purinton 80 miles away at Applebe (Score 1) 924

1) The Founding Fathers, almost all of whom were British subjects, saw firsthand what happens when only the government has firearms. They can use those weapons to quell public outcry over anything, claiming the people were "rioting" or were "a threat to peace and order" because the people can't effectively fight back. If you read The Federalist Papers, Hamilton, Madison and Jay all say the same basic thing: citizens who have weapons are more fully able to defend themselves from the government.

That may sound odd to Europeans

It also sounds odd to the current U.S. Supreme Court, which affirmed in D.C. vs Heller the right to bear arms for self-defense. A later court finding (People v. Aguilar) summarized the majority opinion:

In District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), the Supreme Court undertook its first-ever "in-depth examination" of the second amendment's meaning Id. at 635. After a lengthy historical discussion, the Court ultimately concluded that the second amendment "guarantee[s] the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation" (id. at 592); that "central to" this right is "the inherent right of self-defense" (id. at 628); that "the home" is "where the need for defense of self, family, and property is most acute" (id. at 628); and that, "above all other interests," the second amendment elevates "the right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home" (id. at 635). Based on this understanding, the Court held that a District of Columbia law banning handgun possession in the home violated the second amendment. Id. at 635.

So at this point they've basically decided it's a self-defense thing. The idea that the Second Amendment is to facilitate armed insurrection to overthrow a tyrannical government (a.k.a. the so-called "Second Amendment solution") has no current legal basis. The dissenting opinion went with the "well-regulated militia" idea:

The Second Amendment was adopted to protect the right of the people of each of the several States to maintain a well-regulated militia. It was a response to concerns raised during the ratification of the Constitution that the power of Congress to disarm the state militias and create a national standing army posed an intolerable threat to the sovereignty of the several States. Neither the text of the Amendment nor the arguments advanced by its proponents evidenced the slightest interest in limiting any legislature's authority to regulate private civilian uses of firearms. Specifically, there is no indication that the Framers of the Amendment intended to enshrine the common-law right of self-defense in the Constitution.

Here are the first six drafts of the Second Amendment and the final version:

  • The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.
  • A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, being the best security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; but no person religiously scrupulous shall be compelled to bear arms.
  • A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, being the best security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; but no one religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.
  • A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, being the best security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed, but no one religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person.
  • A well regulated militia, being the best security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
  • A well regulated militia being the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
  • A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

If they had C-SPAN back then, we would have more insight into what motivated these careful rephrasings, comma deletions, etc. At least some are known to have been introduced by Senate scribes inadvertently modifying punctuation, and introducing subtle changes in meaning. (Thank God somebody removed that "religiously scrupulous" crap.) But the Second Amendment is just badly written. we're forced to read through the Federalist Papers and other contemporary writings to figure out what these guys were thinking when they wrote it.

Two things you need to keep in mind when you read all this stuff. First of all, these were being defined as restrictions on the federal government, and only the federal government. The courts affirmed this model during the first half of the 19th century. Northern and Southern states had very different appetites for democracy in general, for obvious reasons, so the Constitution followed an "If you like your authoritarianism, you can keep it" model. The federal government was not allowed to restrict speech in any way, but if your state wanted to violate those same individual liberties, go right ahead. In most Southern states, speaking ill of slavery was a hanging offense.

Second, we have to seriously reexamine this attitude we have toward the Constitution. The older it gets, the more revered it becomes, and at this point, most Americans think of it as an appendix to the Bible. People are seriously arguing that the Bill of Rights are ordained by God. Back when it was written, things were more casual. Everyone agreed their founding document sucked, then simply crumpled it up and wrote another one. No one was in a mood to do this a third time, so the Constitution has a nice section describing how to modify it. (And nowhere does it say "and if things don't work out, start shootin'.") There seems no reason to think that they intended the document to be unalterable by future generations centuries afterward- that would be absurd. But modifying the Constitution at this point is politically impossible and will remain so. We have worshipped the document so much that we no longer control it- which is exactly what its authors tried to prevent.

Comment Re:Why (Score 4, Insightful) 924

Did this man claim to be a member of some political group?

He clearly considers himself to be part of the American political group that hates/fears Islam. (Also part of the group who confuses all brown people with Middle Easterners, too, but that's not a political group.)

Was there any implication that this kind of violence would be repeated unless some public policy changed?

You don't have to be seeking a policy change to be seeking a political aim. Wanting to eject Muslims from the US is a political aim, and doing it by making them afraid they'll be shot is just as good as governmental action.

Comment Re:Texas Catch 22 Injustuce System (Score 2) 168

Yeah, and linking to think progress is the best example of a self-reinforcing echo chamber with a side of propaganda.

There is a video of the guy saying that Obama was going to lead the United Nations and invade Lubbock, Texas. You can ignore the "propaganda" and just listen to the judge in his own words if you are afraid of being infected by the dangerous thoughts of Think Progress..

I mean, I don't know if you've ever been to Lubbock, Texas, but don't nobody go there by choice.

Comment Not unheard of (Score 4, Interesting) 151

We already know that the liver will regenerate itself, and no special dietary restriction is necessary (though you do have to be kind to your liver).

If you cut a chunk off of someone's liver, it will grow back. We've learned this from Hepatitis C patients who have Stage 3 fibrosis or even cirrhosis. Cure the Hepatitis C (which is possible now with the new, expensive, drugs) and the liver will come back from the functionally near-dead. It was once believed to be a one-way process, but it turns out it's not.

Comment Re: Why stop at $50? (Score 1) 238

I have a special-needs child. A sitter that is qualified enough can be costly. It definitely tips the cost of the night over the proposed $50 home-based setup.

That changes everything. But I imagine you have better things to spend $50 on. The need to see something the minute it comes out is something I never understood, but then I spent a good deal of my younger life watching movies that were made before I was born.

I wish you well, friend.

Comment Re:BeauHD (Score 4, Informative) 117

And yet you are here.

That was supposed to be the punchline. I hate to be the guy who has to explain his own jokes, but every BeauHD article comment section seems to have one knucklehead who's complaining about SJWs or some such and the comment is always, "What does Grace Hopper have to do with tech? Slashdot has really gone downhill. That's why I don't come here any more."

Irony is hard enough to pull off in plain text, and I've been drinking since 10:30am, so I apologize.

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