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Comment Re:Should we be using TrueCrypt 7.1a instead? (Score 4, Informative) 56

I would like this answer too, please, someone...

If you have system encryption enabled (traditional BIOS, no UEFI support) and you have a strong passphrase and you are the only user and you're not worried that anyone can physically tamper with your system boot or rescue disc - in which case they might just as well use a key logger - then there's no critical issues.

There are several nice to haves that make weak passwords stronger by increasing iterations, close various attacks that other users/processes can do and cleaning up better if you only use containers. The ugliest is probably a privilege escalation attack, malicious software can use the TrueCrypt driver to escalate to admin but if malware is running on your machine you probably have big problems anyway.

Probably the most interesting part about VeraCrypt is the potential for UEFI boot but apparently there's no way to secure erase the keyboard buffer, all you can do is reset it (which they didn't do, but do now) and hope the driver actually overwrites it. But if you can dump the entire UEFI memory area it might still be there. Hopefully legacy BIOS mode will be around for a while longer, in this case simpler is safer.

Comment Re:how about 4A (Score 1) 361

They couldn't force you with out the lead pipes and rubber hoses, fortunately those aren't allowed in the US yet. What you do in a situation like this is refuse to comply, force them to arrest you and spend the night in jail so you can call the ACLU and get the warrant tossed. See they get away with it because no one refused to comply. Once everyone in the building complies there is no effective way to sue them and set a precedent that will stop this happening again.

Why not? If you think they have an illegal warrant, you sue them as if they had no warrant. Same way you don't sue GPL violators for copyright infringement and not breach of contract, because you have no proof they agreed to the license. They will bring out the warrant and say it's okay, we had a warrant. Then you can challenge it and appeal any dismissals. I wouldn't do it without the ACLU, EFF or someone like that bankrolling it, but it seems to carry less risk since if your challenge fails you were never "rightfully" arrested and perhaps even charged with obstruction of justice. I strongly doubt "Scary guys with guns and fancy papers said I had to or be arrested so I did" counts as consent, immediate compliance does not mean you lose your right to challenge it after reviewing with legal counsel. Same way I'm not about to argue with a SWAT team breaking down the wrong door, I'd comply perfectly. Then sue the shit out of them.

Comment Re:After watching (Score 1) 318

I don't think there's any way to stop gerrymandering other than the voters themselves waking up. California tried appointing a panel of retired judges to draw the boundaries, but it turns out judge panels can be rigged, too. Pretty much any system you can think of can be gamed.

Well the primary reason for gerrymandering is to cause "lost" votes. Here in Norway we have 169 members of parliament, 150 of them are traditional district-specific votes. Since we got 19 districts, there is 150/19 = ~7.9 seats/district though they're actually distributed by population. This means you need like 100/7.9 = ~12.7% of the votes to get a direct seat or even higher in the smaller districts, which is a high bar to pass. But all the spillover votes of parties that got at least 4% nationally - no limit on direct seats - and didn't lead to a direct seat are put in a pool and used to assign the last 19 seats. So the more lucky you got securing direct seats, the less likely you'll get any bonus seats. I'd say it's been quite effective at producing a strong local representation, while making sure it's close to proportional on the national level.

Comment Re:how about 4A (Score 2) 361

supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

You are reading way too much into this. If the police get a warrant to search a particular house for drugs that is a specific warrant. If it were all houses or to search for any contraband that would be a general warrant and unconstitutional. When they exercise that warrant they're going to search the whole house with everyone's belongings, they don't have to go through the coat rack and assign ownership first then come back with one warrant for Alice's jacket, one for Bob's jacket and not search Eve's jacket because she was just visiting. If they tried to search a whole apartment building because of one occupant that would probably be overreaching, but they don't have to be extremely particular either. And they may search anywhere drugs may be hidden, the only limitation is things obviously out of scope like opening letters, playing movies and other actions that can't possibly lead to the discovery of drugs. But if the evidence could be on the phone, the phone is free game.

I think the same goes with crowds, if it's two room mates they'll search it all even though eventually it might turn out only one sold drugs and the other was innocent. But searching a thousand people at a concert even though you have compelling evidence someone is selling drugs is probably not reasonable, though I can't find any precedent on how strong individual suspicion is necessary. If you're say raiding an illegal gambling club it might be reasonable to suspect all of illegal gambling no matter the size. Now this search may led to finding evidence of other crimes like illegal guns and anything they find specified in the warrant or not may give probable cause for arrest, but that is fine because they're not part of the premise for the warrant. The only time you need to name a person is when issuing an arrest warrant because you intend to seize that person, since you can't have a general warrant to arrest people. That said, we have some gray areas surrounding terror organizations where mere membership is criminalized that is bordering on general arrest.

Comment Re:For all the night shift Tesla owners (Score 2) 80

Localization of the power source doesn't matter. Everything is interconnected by the grid anyway

I'll stop you right there, the moment you say that it means some people might want solar panels and some want a Tesla, but there's no synergy whatsoever. That there's no particular benefit to owing both a solar panel and a Tesla that doesn't exist independently. If that is the case, they don't really have anything to do with each other any more than Tesla and SpaceX. Either or none or both might be a success, but they don't depend on each other at all. It doesn't matter who owns them, they'll succeed or fail on their own merits anyway.

Comment Re:Humans, not AI... (Score 1) 207

Any AI in the foreseeable future will be under control of human beings, either due to laws or financial ownership. I'm not the least worried about AI, but having watched this election, the humans in my country scare the shit out of me.

I agree that it seems implausible that an AI will "rebel" and set its own goals, that is still sci-fi. But ordinarily those scary men would have to enlist the help of many others, like the old DDR (East Germany) where almost a hundred thousand of a population of 16 million were STASI agents. Use a NSL, use a computer to transcribe it and analyze who is talking to who when and about what and for how long and you could have a quite Orwellian database with only a hundred people involved. Same thing with bank transactions, electronic tickets, number plate scanners, facial recognition, deep packet scanning and whatnot the automatic collection and processing enables a very small but organized and powerful fraction of the population to surveillance and control the rest.

I'm not really sure we could reverse that trend because just like we might discuss the pros and cons of everyone having tiny little digital cameras on them at all times it is still extremely unlikely to change. The average person is leaving more and more electronic traces and even those who try to avoid it is often found by metadata from their friends or they stand out by being the black hole that isn't sharing. Very often the system is rigged towards it, for example we didn't want bus drivers to get robbed so much so now it's a lot more expensive to pay cash than a prepaid subscription or cell phone payment, both of which link to a real identity here in Norway. People do what's cheapest so the few people who pay cash stand out. And really it's no problem until it is a problem, but then you're usually too late to change it.

Comment Re:Were the users randomized? (Score 1) 492

Not when you have a selection bias, it isn't. If your sample selection is consistently biased, no sample size will be large enough.

Agreed, but outside math class you have to look at the percentage and make an educated guess about how special they realistically could be. If you have a thousand employees your number one is probably a genius and your very worst a moron. The 10th from the top is also probably pretty smart and 10th from the bottom pretty stupid. The 50th smartest isn't aren't all that special though, if he can be more efficient with a Mac well it seems worth trying the top 100 or 200 too. It could of course theoretically be that performance drops off a cliff because it takes some minimum skill and understanding you just dipped below, but realistically if that happens it's probably the kind of thing only 1% or 0.1% of your employees grok. If 5% can use a Mac so can probably most of them.

Comment Re:Tired of this space obsession (Score 1) 90

The way I look at is if the reusable rocket guys get the cost of orbital rockets down to 1/10th of the cost that it is now, lots of options open up. If you can get 10 trips up for the cost of 1 now, suddenly assembling a Mars-distance ship in orbit and all the fuel and supplies to make it happen seems pretty plausible.

Assuming the rocket is really the blocking cost. A Falcon 9 expendable is around $62M * 130% = $80M for 22,800 kg to LEO. Even a hundred launches for 2,280,000 kg payload (Saturn V had 140,000 kg to LEO) would be "just" $8 billion and they've spent more on that developing the SLS before it's flown once. Granted it'd be some assembly required but >20 ton modules aren't trivially small either if we design good interlocks and docking in space is pretty routine now with the ISS. So for the sake of argument, say we're now down to $800 million instead that's basically pocket change in this context. We'll still need everything else, uniquely designed for this particular mission. I think a one-off mission will still be >10 billion. Musk is thinking further out than that though, he'll want to bring the price so far down we'll want to keep going. Not one mission but ten, hundred or a thousand. Good for him, but there's still some pretty big hurdles to cross... they need a customer who's willing to pay.

Comment Re:This is dumb (Score 1, Interesting) 198

That's what they said about iTunes, and Apple found a way. So I wouldn't count them out here...

Only because the music industry was totally oblivious to what would happen when they let Apple control the DRM, the same way IBM let Microsoft control the OS. They had to drop DRM because they were being buttfucked by Apple who used their market power to sell cheap music and expensive iPods and all their customers were locked in since FairPlay protected music wouldn't play anywhere else.

The motion picture studios have never been that stupid, even long before iTunes they controlled CSS on DVDs, they control AACS/BD+ on BluRays and AACS 2.0 on UHD BluRay and they have no reason to drop DRM. At worst even if it's broken they can still try using the DMCA and EUCD to make decryption tools illegal. And unlike the iPod that filled a need for a device people didn't have there's already tons of ways to play movies and series.

It's of course possible that Apple could find their Achilles heel but I don't think it's very likely, with or without Jobs. The industry would most certainly smell a trap, even if they couldn't figure out what it was. As much as I'd like them to just give up and have the convenience of a torrent site I think it's just very wishful thinking. That said, there are a lot of cable cutters so maybe...

Comment Follow the money (Score 2, Insightful) 32

Blockchain? Open-source? Kind of like Bitcoin : sounds good eh?

Remember this: whatever banks concoct and why they decide to do it isn't for the good of their customers, but that of their rich fuck shareholders. Yes, that's the same rich fucks who caused the latest recession - and the one before that, and the one before that...

Still want in on their latest project? I don't...

Comment Re:So it appears . . . (Score 2) 184

there were two failures: the parachute release and the burn length. But both were likely set in the software on the lander, so I suspect parameters got borked somehow.

As in hardcoded on a timer? Unlikely. This is quite far into the descent and the parachute was probably supposed to jettison when a certain altitude/velocity was reached. That both the parachute and thusters was off suggests to me a sensor failure led the probe to think it was going much slower or flying much lower than reality. It would be odd for both systems to fail and at the same time be in good enough condition to send radio signals.

Comment Re:self-driving or assisted driving ? (Score 2) 186

The point I was making, that if a human can interpret the visual information it's given, then a car with a bigger sensor set can in theory do it too. It's all about software at that point, but there's no limitation on hardware here that a human doesn't have.

Yeah but... Tesla's claim is like saying the brain consumes about 20W, the car can deliver 20W so it's "ready to support an artifical brain". While that might be technically correct it is also grossly misleading, in that we don't have and don't really expect to have an AI working at all or so well and certainly not within the constraints of a human body in the foreseeable future. Same thing with cameras, I expect the first real SDCs to use optical and radar and lidar and every other trick in the book to overcome the shortcomings of the brain behind it. Same way some talk of trying to simulate the brain with >10 megawatt computers.

Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 244

You might be able to salvage ~20% of them with humans aboard. Might. Meanwhile, humans are a massive added source of additional risk to a mission; they dramatically increase spacecraft size, complexity / part count, consumables, and just in general make things far more difficult.

Having people on board cause their own problems, you wouldn't have to improvise CO2 filters on Apollo 13 if there was no one that needed oxygen so they might cause aborts too not just salvage them. Having humans on board will also limit your alternatives and lead to its own time constraints because you have to keep the crew alive. And most importantly, humans are not expendable and unmanned probes couldn't have any realistic return plan even if you wanted to so in most cases they still wouldn't be an option.

And it's not like NASA just send things out there with plan A and no plan B or a static programming they're stuck with. They try to find possible failure modes, emergency states, when the rovers get stuck on Mars they have huge team back on Earth trying to find out how to best wiggle free. That said, I think a research outpost on Mars could be useful. But as for the rocketry, most problems will be totally catastrophic no matter what. I'm sure there's a lot more practical issues to having an outpost a human could deal with, though I admit it's a bit circular because the reason to have an outpost is so people can be there. Otherwise you'd just send specialized probes to do their one thing.

Comment Re:Including a Mac Pro tower, right? (Score 1) 142

Rendering, intermediates, etc all need bucketloads of *local* storage, i.e. you don't want to render on anything that has an IO bottleneck. Is thunderbolt really as fast as the internal bus?

Thunderbolt 1 ~= 2x PCIe 2.0 = ~1GB/s (signal is 4x but won't go full speed)
Thunderbolt 2 ~= 4x PCIe 2.0 = ~2GB/s
Thunderbolt 3 ~= 4x PCIe 3.0 = ~4GB/s

I guess if you RAID 0 you can go faster but if you have hardware and software that can create video at >4GB/s you're pretty special.

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