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Comment Re:I've seen Mission Impossible... (Score 1) 92

I'm not sure what "laser walls" is going to accomplish. This technology isn't useful for security applications other than a basic "tripwire" (although movies love it because it looks cool.) All the bad guys have to do is figure out the beam's path, waltz around it, call it done. Or, send some animal to break the beam a few times. Worst case, fly a drone in and out of the beams just to be an annoyance.

Comment Re:So forgetting a password (Score 1) 773

Another item that can hang someone is browser fingerprinting. VM 1 from a Linux CD has a certain fingerprint, while the same machine hosts another VM with a different OS or web browser. It wouldn't be too hard to connect the dots, find VM1, find where VM 2 should be, then use a rubber hose to decrypt VM 2.

Comment Re:Headline's wrong (Score 1) 97

I don't think Android is going away anytime soon. Android watches are selling decently, and even though the smartphone market is saturated, Android is still a lead OS in that front. Google abandoning the device market would be like Apple walking away from iOS.

I can see Google putting more money behind agents (a concept that keeps being tried and falling on its face, but it might be with Moore's law, it actually becomes something that sticks.) If they are able to do this, it would mean a market that they would have, that almost nobody else would be in.

Of course, the "agent" idea sticks in my throat. It just seems like another way to slurp more info from users and sell it to whomever is willing to pay for it.

Comment Re:Awful == Working? (Score 1) 257

Bingo. I have a Mac where its primary purpose in life is to sync with iDevices and maintain a music stash, copy movies downloaded, and so on. I run Google and Amazon's "music sniffers" on it, so on my Android devices, I can download files from their services onto the device and use a decent player.

I miss the iTunes and how iOS 4.x and earlier synced. When the device was syncing, it wasn't a background task. Everything stopped on the iDevice. This way, it wouldn't hose up and have to start from the beginning, or the sync hangs indefinitely, and to get it working again, it would require a power cycle, like what happens fairly often with newer devices.

Even iTunes on iOS is beginning to smell. My music library is relegated to one small corner of the app, and oftentimes, I'm in rural areas, where attempting to stream Apple's music service will be an exercise in frustration.

Comment Re:Only mobile games I play are tower defense or R (Score 2) 73

Other than Square games, which tend to be worth the cash, I've found that after Apple introduced IAP, it entirely destroyed game quality on iOS, with Android quickly following when Google introduced their IAP API. Tower defense games went from decent to impossibly hard, expecting people to pay a few bucks for powerups every game. Virtually every game out there changed to F2P/P2W.

Sorry, I'm not buying $100 in smurfberries/brains to actually play a game to its conclusion. I'd rather just not bother playing a game on my mobile device, and just buy a game from GOG or Steam, which will be well worth the price of admission with gameplay.

Comment Re:So forgetting a password (Score 1) 773

One big issue with hidden containers is leakage. For example, say one uses a hidden container for a VM. If the tier 2 hypervisor program (VirtualBox, VMWare Workstation, etc.) keeps a history of what machines are in use, then a forensics person will start to wonder why there is a pointer to a VM, but no VM present, and depending on country, either tell the judge to get a search warrant and a contempt of court order started, or ask Bruno to do his warmup stretches for a session with his $5 wrench and rubber hose.

Similar with tossing Word documents into the container. Word keeps a recently used history, that can easily blow plausible deniability threads.

Of course, the answer would be hidden operating systems, but that functionality (AFAIK) has been dead and gone since the move from BIOS to UEFI.

Comment Knightscope robot? (Score 2) 109

This looks a lot like a Knightscope robot which is used to patrol Microsoft and Apple campuses. The robots in themselves at worst make a siren noise when toppled over, but are a good way to corner and take pictures of trespassers or would-be vandals.

Of course, the same concerns happen... what keeps someone from donning a hoodie and sky mask, shoving the thing over just as an act of vandalism? It will make noise, but by the time actual humans with weapons get there, the perps will be long gone.

Comment Re:Isn't this a self-correcting problem? (Score 2) 194

This sounds like a 24 Hour Fitness in Austin. It has a track that flips directions on different days, with a fairly obvious sign pointing this out. Oddly enough, there is always that one person that just likes going the wrong way on the track even though they have to dodge everyone else.

Maybe it is practice for the hike and bike trails here.

Comment Re:The problem is not copyrights (Score 4, Informative) 45

In the past, it was legitimate. Don't copy media, sell it as theirs (as counterfeiting is truly theft.) However, as time has gone on, the bar for IP infringement has gone so low, that with the TTIP, some guy dressing up as Spiderman for a local comic convention can be hit with a six digit fine or prison term. Couple this with the Draconian technological enforcement (more than four people in front of an XBox, movie shuts off), and the spirit of the law has been destroyed. In the past, it was a copyright monopoly for "x" time, then it becomes public domain, for all to use.

The problem is that with extreme punishments (hundreds of millions of dollars for a few MP3 files), people start to have less respect for laws in general, and this not just affects IP law, but law and order as a gestalt.

In the early 2000s, had the RIAA not used heavy handed tactics, but went with tactics that MADD has used to sway public opinion, making the concept of copying MP3s for someone as odious as hitting the road after seven longnecks, things likely would be a lot different.

Comment Re:signal? (Score 1) 83

Depends on the attacks. Done right, with forward secrecy [1], the best an attacker could do is block communication. If an attacker gains control of an endpoint, it becomes much harder to ensure integrity.

However, protecting endpoints is a solved problem... Apple TV, and present gen consoles show that one can make a device extremely secure. Endpoint-wise, the application could be placed in the secure "world" of an ARM CPU with its keys, perhaps run on the equivalent of a "secure desktop" where no applications normally running on the OS can interfere with the messaging app or intercept the display or tapes.

I do agree, it would take more than just installing signal. At the minimum, it would take a custom ROM, ideally hardware that is vetted (and not made in a country where the chip masks get extra "features" added on that the maker didn't desire.)

Comment Re:signal? (Score 1) 83

I'd say Signal is almost perfect for this task. Some other items that would be useful:

1: Forward secrecy implemented in a fairly easy to use package.
2: To handle self-destructing items, have a private key that needs to be gone by a certain time encrypted by a second key. Have this second key split amongst x out of y nodes, via Shamir's Secret Sharing algorithm. Each node, once the expiration date passes, destroys the second key, so even if there are some nodes that are hacked to retain it, unless the system is so compromised that most of them keep the key and not expire it, the private key will be not recoverable.
3: Maybe consider going independent of the messaging system, and modify OpenPGP, perhaps with Saltpack's extensions. This way, secure messages can be sent via E-mail, SMS, WoW /whispers, FB PMs, carrier pigeons, or any other transport method.
4: Use blinding factors, similar to Chaum's eCash, so that entries can be made on the blockchain, but the identity of the transaction is protected.

Comment Re:Location, Location, Location (Score 1) 298

There is always rolls of flexible solar panels, which is fairly inexpensive to deploy and can cover a large area. Toss some of those on a roof, add a PWM charger, have it charge a 12 volt AGM deep cycle battery or two, add an inverter, and one has a nice little circuit to handle the parasitic current draws like chargers.

Comment Re:Missed the main reason (Score 1) 183

We have built things faster, taller, stronger, than we are, by far. I think eventually an ASI (artificial superintelligence) isn't too far-fetched.

Can we do it with the current model of computers (Harvard architecture, von Neumann architecture)? Probably not, but the basic computer model can always be changed to make it better for having an AI, perhaps a more distributed architecture, along the lines of nerves and ganglia.

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