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Comment Think and learn like humans (Score 2, Insightful) 259

The team hopes to be able to use machine learning technologies -- computers that can think and learn like humans

If your definition of a human is a retarded 4-year-old that can be trained to name colors with 75% accuracy, yes.

We're not there, we're not even close; "machine learning" is just the new buzzword in town, rising from the ashes of "big data".

Submission + - Canadians: you have until Oct 7 to weigh in on using voting machines

Presto Vivace writes: Canadians: you have until Oct 7 to weigh in on using voting machines in national elections

"Canadians have until October 7, 2016 to provide their feedback to the Parliamentary Special Committee on Electoral Reform, which is studying the possibility of national online voting, along with having consultations about using electronic voting machines in national elections."

Please Canada, don't be stupid like the US.

Comment Re:Anonymous Payment Equals Money Laudering (Score 4, Insightful) 212

The biggest problem with mass anonymous payment is that it will facilitate criminal transactions

True, but individual human privacy should always win over war on criminals. There are other ways to catch criminals; there is absolutely no need to put on file all transactions made by citizens.

I'm getting so tired of all that "security" theater going on to excuse more and more data collection. My favorite these days is the "give us a primary key to merge our datasources across the net" by the name of two-factor auth and phone numbers.

Comment Re:Incoming Security Errors (Score 4, Insightful) 86

you want to pull a js library from

Don't do that. You're introducing latency, you're violating the privacy of your visitors ( knows about them) and you're putting them at risk, security-wise ( gets 0wn3d? your visitors get 0wn3d as well). Don't be a lazy hacker and just spend the 2 minutes needed to store a local copy.

Submission + - Free Software supporter, Canadian MP David Graham speaks OSS in Government (

ShawnX writes: If David Graham sounds familiar, you might know him better as cdlu (short for "confused debian linux user"). For years, cdlu was my colleague at and Newsforge and well-known in Debian circles as well. Since then, he has been a presence in the back rooms of the Liberal Party until, in the federal election in October 2015, he was elected for the first time. He now describes himself (no doubt correctly) as "the only Member of Parliament to be in the Debian key ring."

Video of his discussion of using more Open Source in government can be seen here:

Comment Re:So just hand them encrypted data (Score 1) 190

Apple fighting the Three Letter Agencies over this

Naïve. More and more "telemetry" is built-in in Apple operating systems, making user spying "legitimate". The iDevices constantly call the mother ship and "backup" your data on the iCloud. The iDevices are running proprietary software so random hacker cannot really tell what it does (are the camera/microphone on? you're sure?).

Maybe you can prevent some of this data leak with a complex set of fine-tuned firewall rules, ensuring you never use anything else than WiFi you control. You'll be one in a million. At the end of the day, the phone's filesystem is encrypted, but who cares if most/all of the sensitive data already has escaped away from it?

Comment Where's my tinfoil hat? (Score 4, Insightful) 610

I wouldn't be surprised if this was nothing more than a joint PR stunt to mislead people into assuming privacy on their cellphone so they wouldn't be afraid to use it for sensitive information. Government has nothing to win by disclosing they have a backdoor, neither does the cellphone manufacturer. Even thinking lo-fi decryption, how long must the passcode be before brute-forcing gets more inconvenient for the government than for the user?

Submission + - Voptop, the new Skype challenger (

An anonymous reader writes: A few days ago a new Skype challenger released its first beta version for Windows, Ubuntu Linux and Debian Linux.

Voptop is the new contender on the Internet telephony market. Since the Snowden revelations it is clear to what extent the market leader for Internet telephony from Redmond forwards customer data to US intelligence, and treats the privacy of its users with contempt. With the re-introduction of telecommunications data retention in mind you do not have to look into the distance to realise why the anonymization and encryption of Internet communication etc. is a good idea. This is where Voptop sets in...

Voptop offers video chat, screen sharing, instant messaging and file exchange in an “end-to-end encrypted” and anonymized way, similar to “TOR (the onion routing)”. In addition, according to there press release Voptop encrypts in RSA with a key length of 4096 Bit and XTEA in CBC mode, furthermore Voptop shall be open source.

Voptop (client & server) are under a software license based on the MIT-license. The Voptop source code will be published with the first Release Candidate“.

Comment ... that is, until Apple ads start showing (Score 1) 417

Just wait until the marketing department of Apple produces slick ads that show cool kids using their in-vehicle tech, and finds a way for people to easily advertise their car as “Apple-powered”. As long as Apple keeps on playing the conspicuous consumption card, they'll sell. The fact people won't use it is totally irrelevant.

Comment Re:How about this... (Score 5, Informative) 184

create a competing standard that is designed specifically to avoid patents, and license it royalty-free

That's exactly what Xiph does with the Daala project. They're trying to implement lapped transforms for video (more or less the same principle as Opus does for audio) and since it's not based on traditional block encoding, Daala should avoid most patents. Their demos are already pretty impressive.

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