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Comment Re:the phone may not always be in possession phone (Score 2) 121

Hasn't it been shown that you can take a fingerprint left by someone (say, on their phone) and use it to fool a fingerprint scanner?

It has been shown that this works for old, cheap or crappy fingerprint readers. Modern, state-of-the-art scanners can check for a pulse, or use other techniques to detect tampering. Anyway, the whole point of multi-factor is that each individual factor doesn't have to be perfect. Two layers that are each 90% secure are as good as one layer that is 99% secure.

Biometrics are the worst factor; they reduce the efficacy of the other factors because they can never be changed while there will remain a nonzero number of devices that can be fooled (hence, they reduce the efficacy).

The "modern state-of-the-art" that you refer to doesn't yet exist, but I'm sure that it will be secure when they install it in the future, in my flying car.

Comment Re:Still a proprietary, DRM'd piece of shit. (Score 1) 135

Consoles provide a computer that, relatively, easily plays games. No tinkering or fussing required.

They also do other stuff, relatively tinker-free, that you'd want to do near your TV & sound system - - Connect to streaming music & video services - Play CDs, DVDs & Blu-ray - Connect to video and audio content libraries in your home - Control your TV with your voice. Yeah, yeah, I know you can do all this stuff with a PC as well, but with an XBOX it's set-and-forget (and, most importantly, wife-friendly).

I don't need to do all that voice stuff. I've got a 10 year old beigebox running customised windowmaker and a cheapie remote for the PC. Using a couple of scripts I've put a menu on it that allows syncing to external drives (using volume lable/id to recognise previous drives), a simple remote-friendly menu system for browsing the filesystem, customised vlc to play anything selected and auto-ripping which, when selected, simply rips anything in the optical drive using the date/time and volume label to construct the rip names.

It's got a wifi dongle in, thus I can stream from my storage elsewhere, mame/mess/fceu/some sega thing (which all, like vlc, are started when selecting a file while browsing). Simply keeping a sane starting directory and a small menu (five items) means that my wife uses it very well, as does my ten-year old. The only thing missing is a second wireless controller for the games, and both my son and I are quite enjoying playing Super Mario 2, Sonic, etc.

One last thing: I put in a video capture device in as well, only we're not using it cause we don't watch braodcast TV

I got the PC from my wife's workplace for $40 when they were clearing out old office equipment. Took about a day to set it up (writing all the scripts, customising WindowMaker for use with the remote, etc).

Comment Re:What took them so long? (Score 1) 125

The report adds that processors could still continue to fulfill Moore's Law with increased vertical density.

What took them so long?

I've been pointing out that a three-dimensional arrangement off components could continue FAR longer than an essentially single-layer arrangements since at least the 1970s.

Yeah, and people have been trying that approach since the 70's, too. They're still working on heat dissipation.

Comment Re:Code should be as concise as possible. (Score 2) 234

Then I clearly need to step up my game and have them call one another for no reason that anyone reading my code will ever be able to understand.

You do. You really do. Until you do, we're revoking your evil overmind badge :-) Here is a function that is never called but cannot be easily proven to be called or not:

struct usethisoften {
void usethisoften (void) {
printf ("Doesn't get called!);
typedef void (*ftype) (void);
ftype foo[] = {
funcs, that, get, called, usethisoften, otherfuncs, go, here, will not get called,
foo[somevar % sizeof (int)] (); // Here it never gets called!!! Looks harmless

Just ensure that the 'usethisoften' struct is used everywhere. The last line that can never call your "don't-call" functions will be glossed over by the maintainer who assumes that you're simply trying not to overrun the array because they've still got another 1500 occurrences of "usethisoften" to double-check.

Bonus: if this is ever discovered you can claim it was an honest error! Plausible Deniability!

Comment Re:ah (Score 1) 38

an overlap that evidently admit cars will be hacked... but they like it, they love it, they want some more of it.

Makes perfect sense - there's only a small number of people who realise that if the cars software cannot be "hacked", then the only people who will be able to repair the car will be the dealership. These people presumably want aftermarket technicians to be able to fix their car.

Comment Re:Yet's see dealer only sevice and forced ecu swa (Score 2) 38

That is pretty much in line with my expectations for the car trade. Fortunately, it is also my experience that with a bit of effort it is always possible to find someone to do the same work for next to nothing.

Not if they ever get security correct. Correct security means that they *will* effectively lock out everyone that is not them. After all, any exploit used by a aftermarket tech can also be used by a thief/hacker.

Comment Re:If my grandmother had wheels she'd be a wagon (Score 1) 38

I'd rather just not have networked anything in my car.

There's nothing stopping you from keeping and maintaining a classic made before cars had networks. But the truth is that the newer cars are a lot better in every way other than reliability of accessories.

There's going to be a gap in the market for newer cars with older tech. Probably already happening in some countries - a cheap car that can be cheaply kept on the road for decades regardless of what breaks. I'll start a business selling "perpetually-maintainable" cars, with parts based on popular existing mechanicals.

Used to be once upon a time if you needed to swap an engine out you could with only mechanical changes (adapter plates, etc). Now you can't take (for example) a v8 off an Audi in a scrapyard and drop it into your Ford without first getting all the electronics correct (missing gearbox, wheels sensors, etc). I think that in a few years a car manufacturer advertising "This car will take any engine, any gearbox, any braking system, from any other car" will get more than a few takers.

Comment Re:What is the appeal of these things? (Score 4, Insightful) 128

The primary buyers of expensive watches today (that apple and others tried to lure with "classy" designs) will be first caught dead than using a quartz watch, so it is pretty useless to try to sell them smartwatches.

So close :-) It's not just about quartz vs mechanical. There's a large difference between watches.

Tier-1, there's the functional ($20-$40 casio) which is accurate and will probably last longer than you will live. I wear a $40 casio daily and haven't changed the battery in the last ten years or more. It's fallen into the pool, it's fallen from a moving car, it fell from the second floor of my house. All that resulted were scratches which I can live with. I use it while metal-working, brick-laying, and rebuilding the engine on my car, and despite all the knocks it gets, it still works. The tier-1 watches can be sponges for punishment!

Tier-2, the slightly pricier ($50-$200) fashion watches, made by Guess, Police, Fossil, etc. They are fashion items, same as handbags, hats, etc. I've got a few of these as gifts (Hugo Boss, Armani, Guess), although I don't buy these for myself.

Tier-3, Pricier watches made by watch companies like Seiko, Tissot, Citizen, etc, and not made by fashion companies like Tier-2. I've got a pricier Tissot. These watches can be quiet rugged and should also last a lifetime, regardless of quartz vs mechanical movement. They can come with functional complications, like tachymetre, diving bezel, etc. They cost anywhere from $600 dollars up to around $2000.

Tier-4, Even pricier watches by watch companies, for example Longines (+$2000). These are meant to be heirlooms. They can get quite pricey, such as with Rolexes, Breitlings and similar. A Rolex submariner used to sell for +$10k. A Patek Philip sells for +$30k.

In all of these tiers there are certain requirements of the watch (other than keeping time). For example, regardless of whether the movement is quartz or not (I've got a very expensive Longines that has a quartz movement), at tier-3 and tier-4 the watch is intended to have value even 20 years later, closer to 50 or more for tier-4. For tier-1 the watch has to be durable and cheap.

Which only leaves tier-2 - the fashion accessory watches; these top out at around $200 and are treated as fashion accessories (i.e. they won't be passed down!). They have a useful life (as an accessory) of only a few years; some models are out of fashion even before the battery dies!

Apple was, whether they knew it or not, selling in tier-2, but attempting to get tier-3 prices. A smartwatch is a fashion item that will be superceded in about the same time as a smartphone (maybe three years?).

The type of person to drop $500 on a watch is going to get one that isn't mostly obsolete in three years, they'll buy a Seiko, Victorinox or similar. Watches are jewelry, not electronics, and people expect jewelry to have lasting value and not novelty value. The smartwatch is electronics, not jewelry, so traditional watch enthusiasts won't be all that interested in it simply because it has no lasting value.

Comment Re: Bullshit (Score 1) 145

No. The problem is that it's socially undesirable (whether as a provider or customer), even in places where it is legal. This allows the hooker to simply extort when times are hard.

The same cultural memes which make such extortion viable also lower the bar to simply murdering the extorting prostitute. It relies on the idea that sex is sinful and diminishes those practicing it.

What do you propose? That we change all societies in existence so that they don't consider prostitution negatively?

And so does your unstated premise that a prostitute is any more likely to be criminally inclined than any other professional who might learn embarassing secrets about you.

Actually, that wasn't a premise of mine, unstated or otherwise. It says more about you than about me that you need to make up something I might mean when you yourself acknowledge I said no such thing

Regardless, someone willing to break the law as a career choice just might not be as careful with your secrets as other professionals are. After all, while your doctor has his livelihood for a career lasting 40+ years to consider, the prostitute will be out of the game in ten years or so. I see no reason to give them the benefit of the doubt when there is no practical legal avenues to pursue them should they misuse your info.

My doctor, lawyer and other professionals can be legally pursued with no detriment to myself should they misuse my information.

After all, normal honest people aren't going to extort someone just because an opportunity arises.

A career criminal isn't a normal honest person.

Comment Re: Bullshit (Score 1) 145

The downside of blackmail is that you may make a lot of money from one mug. But if word gets out your business is essentially destroyed instantly.

How long do you think a prostitute intends to stay in the game for? How long do you think before the average prostitute "retires"? I've never even seen a prostitute over 30. You're essentially betting that when she can't make as much as she did due to aging, she'll still want her business "reputation"?

Now I'm not saying that's how it actually works in practice. I'm just wary of saying blackmail is the automatic outcome. Because discretion might ultimately be the most profitable policy for the prostitution providers. Most especially the expensive ones.

They may care only while they're in business; upon retirement they may suddenly realise "Hey, I've got proof of sleeping with thousands of wall street bankers who may want to keep it a secret!" Only a very very naive person would exhibit the level of trust needed to verify their name and employment details with a prostitute.

Comment Re:There but for the grace of... (Score 1) 326

Man, I'm glad we don't have any of that craziness here in the US...

Stop interrupting. We're trying to have our Two Minutes Hate against Muslims here. No fair bringing up our own Right Wing Conservative Theocrats.

You seriously can't see the difference between "legislated madness" and "religious belief"?

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