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Comment Better ethernet makes no diff (Score 1) 120

If I read you right, you are saying some audiophiles can tell the difference between a very expensive Ethernet cable and a normal-priced cable that meets the spec (with enough over-engineering so it continues to meet the spec after installation and in the face of environmental changes and normal levels of RF-noise)? I'm just not seeing how this is possible. Well, MAYBE if the cable is running through a very hostile environment well outside of what a "normal" Ethernet cable is designed to handle. But if that's you, then you've got bigger issues to worry about.

Oh, the audiophiles do have a point about cheap Ethernet cable: Every now and then, you will find cable that actually does not meet the spec. You will also occasionally find cable that barely meets the spec but as soon as you bend it a few time and the wire-strands start to break, it drop below spec. If you buy a reputable brand from a reputable vendor, you shouldn't have this problem. But in most markets you won't need to pay much if any premium to get a "known reputable" cable vs. "it tests okay out of the box but will it last over time" brand.

Comment Monster[TM] Ethernet cables aren't good enough (Score 2, Funny) 120

They need to run their server on an analog computer and install a special "real analog modem" that stretches the sound out to fit in the 20-2000Hz range and sends it directly over the phone line as a pure analog signal. Their customers will need to buy analog computers and analog recording devices and of course one of those special "modems." Only then will their users get the best sound possible coming out of their $10,000 home audio system.

Yea, it will be more expensive and keeping it temperature- and humidity-stable will be a pain in the rear, but it will be worth it.

As least that's what my friend's second cousin's son-in-law ex-con school chum says. He should know, he sells the stuff.

Comment Target should be 2 or 4GB, not 4.7GB (Score 5, Insightful) 153

If 2GB is a "debatable" target, the next "step up" is a 4GB USB, not a 4.7GB DVD/ISO image.

Actually, just under 4GB if you are going to create an ISO image. You need to leave a little room on the USB stick for boot sectors, UEFI boot partitions, and other overhead so the end user can turn the ISO into a bootable USB stick. So either set the limit for the ISO image at 1.9GB or 3.9GB, but not 4.7GB.

Also, if the ISO itself is bigger than 4GB, it can't be stored on a FAT-32 formatted USB stick. Many people still use FAT-32 for cross-platform storage devices.

Comment This is either very good, very bad, or both (Score 2) 91

In a perfect world, the prosecutor or police would know the law so well that he wouldn't ever submit a warrant that wouldn't be approved if the judges knew the law, took the time to learn the particulars of the case, and followed it to the letter of the law as it applies to that case. If that's the case, then WOO-HOO, "no rejections" is a good thing.

I'm not that naive. In a "good" world, this would account for 90-99.9% of "non-rejections."

I'm not even that naive, especially when it comes to secret courts or warrant applications that remain sealed forever (whether rejected or not). But I'm sure *some* of the non-rejections are because the police or prosecutor did their homework and only asked for warrants that any reasonable, knowledgeable, fair/impartial judge who took the time to learn the case would approve. I'm naively hoping that this accounts for the vast majority of "non-rejections" but we, the general public, will probably never know for certain.

As for the not-as-close-to-zero-percent-as-I-would-like of cases where the judges either rubber-stamp or worse, collude with prosecutors, to sign a legally-unjustified warrant, I can only hope that a future Congress, appellate court, or Supreme Court will reign in the practice and that a new opportunity to appeal will be granted to those who were unjustly harmed by the unjust warrants.

Comment Re:Future tax havens won't be online (Score 1) 109

The IRS doesn't have enforcement powers against banks in most of the world. Short of going after the country that is hosting the tax haven, the worst the US government can do is put the bank on the "bad-boy" list, denying it the right to do business with law-abiding US businesses or directly connect to the US banking system. If the bank is a tax-haven bank, it probably doesn't care.

Let's assume for the sake of argument that the tax havens exist in countries where their own government doesn't object.

Comment Leaks/inside jobs vs. external intrusions (Score 1) 109

True, it is very hard to prevent a leak if your people lose faith in you.

But air-gapping makes an un-assisted attack by a hostile outside party much, much harder. The outside party is reduce to only a couple of options: Dupe/social-engineer the people into doing their bidding (think stuxnet and the poisoned USB drives), or gaining physical access. That leaves a much lower attack surface than an internet-connected system.

Comment Future tax havens won't be online (Score 4, Insightful) 109

I predict that future tax havens won't store client information online.

The "true, beneficial ownership" information will all be stored on a non-connected computer network or maybe even in paper ledgers.

Good luck getting at that without walking in and physically stealing it (or bribing/coercing a bank employee to make you a copy).

Comment There is also outside policingRe:There is policing (Score 1) 153

In limited cases - mostly those involving legal issues or to prevent real-world harm - The Wikimedia Foundation steps in and "dictates from on high."

Granted, that's not exactly "external" as the WMF trustees are elected by the community.

The WMF also steps in - whether willingly or not - when a court orders them to do so or, more commonly, when their in-house lawyers tell them they have to step in or they will likely be hauled into court and lose or when it's so obvious that they would lose they don't even need to ask the lawyers.

Comment For Emojis, forget unicode as such (Score 1) 226

There are several ways to send emoji, and I wouldn't be surprised if one or more of these is actually being done today:

* Create a very large, expandable globally-unique-ID-like emoji-lookup service that's open to anyone: You want to use a made-up emoji or symbol or arbitrary image? You register it with a central authority, who gives you a globally-unique ID. When you want to use it, you send the globally-unique-ID as the "character" in your text message. If the recipient doesn't have it cached, it looks it up before displaying it. Fonts won't matter, since it's a single image, not a "letter."

* For suitably-small images, just transmit the image in-line with the message. Sure, that will turn just about every text into a multi-media-message but hey, at least the recipient won't be displaying the wrong thing and he won't be dependent on a central look-up database.

Combine these two approaches:
* When you send a text with emojis you've never sent or received before, you create your own "I hope it's globally unique" ID based on the current time and a hash of the emoji and some randomness. Then, when you send the message, you send both the "hopefully globally unique ID" AND the hash where the image will be instead of the image, then you append the actual image or images to the end of the message. The second time you send a message using the same emojis (or any time someone who has ever received that emoji re-sends it), you re-use the "hopefully globally unique ID" and the hash from before. If the recipient has received the emoji in an earlier message (from you or from someone else who got it from you originally), they will have it cached and will be able to display it without having to wait for the images to be received. You get the speed of not having to send the images, the reliability you get when you send the images, and you aren't dependent on any central authority. You run the very small risk of an accidental hash collision and the maybe-not-so-small risk of a deliberate one.

Save Unicode for actual characters.

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