×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Comments

top

Ask Slashdot: Who's the Doctors Without Borders of Technology?

Anubis IV Honest question (112 comments)

Doesn't the FOSS movement fill this need when it comes to programming? Unlike engineers, who may need to go into remote areas in order to help build wells or other pieces of infrastructure that are necessary for survival, most of a programmer's work (though admittedly not all) either can't be done on-site or simply needn't be done on-site. Rather, you're more dependent on the people having reached some minimum threshold already (e.g. have a computer, have an Internet connection, etc.), at which point providing free and open source software would mean not only allowing them to benefit from your efforts, but could also potentially benefit others in similar circumstances.

I'm not even a big FOSS proponent (i.e. never contributed anything to an OSS project, still don't have a github account, work for a consulting company that does custom applications mostly for oil and gas clients), but to me that seems like the obvious question to ask. When it comes to technology, the borders aren't there, so you don't need a group in order to reach people halfway around the world.

about two weeks ago
top

The Students Who Feel They Have the Right To Cheat

Anubis IV Re:Worthless degrees (438 comments)

When I was in grad school, my research group had a round robin seminar each week, in which we'd take turns presenting conference papers that had just come out in our field (Computer Science). Given that we were all busy with other things, we mostly just skimmed through the list of recent publications, looked for interesting titles, read through a few abstracts (maybe some introductions too), and then picked a paper to present based on those facts alone.

I recall picking one that sounded extremely interesting based on the title, and its abstract and introduction promised some great, new techniques with solid results, so I e-mailed my research group the paper I'd be presenting, then proceeded to actually read it. It was authored by a professor at an Indian university, a PhD candidate, and a Masters candidate, and had recently been published in a local IEEE conference's proceedings.

The only problem? It had a blank spot where the methodology was supposed to be. And another blank spot in the paper where the results were supposed to be. Not just that it was light on details. It was wholly empty. Nothing. I managed to find a revised version of the paper on their website that had a paragraph in each section, but it was, as you'd imagine, rather light on any useful detail. But the conclusion stated very conclusively that their results were extremely good, and the introduction made it clear they had done something great. And it was published!

That was the last time any of us in that research group (several of whom were Indian) bothered looking at papers published in Indian conference proceedings. And I never lived down the fact that I hadn't noticed it was entirely blank under the headings for those two sections.

about two weeks ago
top

Judge Says Public Has a Right To Know About FBI's Facial Recognition Database

Anubis IV Re:As a Federal Inmate... (79 comments)

It's unfortunate that someone with my education and my level of life experience had to experience federal incarceration

It's unfortunate that anyone needs to experience incarceration, but we live in a world where people continue to cause criminal harm, and as such, incarceration or some other form of consequence/reform program is necessary. Someone violating the rights of others should expect to have their own rights abridged in order to ensure that they will not continue in their criminal behavior. From your own bio, it sounds as if incarceration was an appropriate response to your criminal activity, and the only thing unfortunate was that you engaged in the behavior to begin with:

Mr. Klatch was indicted in 2011 by the federal government, and he subsequently accepted a guilty plea to four felony counts: Conspiracy to Defraud the United States, Securities Fraud, Wire Fraud, and Money Laundering. Mr. Klatch acknowledges that he engaged in deceptive marketing tactics, which led to some investor losses during the 2008-2010 financial crisis. However, he accepted responsibility for his actions, and successfully served a five-year federal prison sentence.

That said, none of that is intended as a slam, but merely as a statement of fact regarding the state of our society and your specific case. It does sound as if you are trying to take responsibility for your actions and provide restitution to your victims, though, understandably, some will doubt your motives or question your methods.

about two weeks ago
top

CNN Anchors Caught On Camera Using Microsoft Surface As an iPad Stand

Anubis IV Re:nfl forced to use surface (236 comments)

This is the first season that any electronic device could be used by coaches and players during an NFL game. They weren't using iPads before...they were using steno pads.

You're arguing a technicality. 30 seconds of Googling turned up a 2012 article on the NFL's own website with the subheading How the iPad is revolutionizing playbooks for NFL players and coaches .

While it's true that this is the first year they're allowed on the sidelines, suggesting they weren't using iPads before is patently false and doesn't address the previous commenter's assertion that they'd be using iPads if they could. iPads have been in use in the locker room and training facilities for quite awhile, not to mention the announcers, officials, and others who have been using them during the game, both on-air and off. The iPad was announced in 2010. Between the 2011 and 2012 seasons, the league went from having two teams using iPads in place of paper playbooks to having 14 teams using them, with the prediction being that all teams would have switched to iPads by last season (I haven't found confirmation one way or the other for if it actually happened).

All of which is to say, it's a bit silly to refute a "[g]iven a choice, they'd still be using iPads" argument by suggesting that because they couldn't use them for 3 hours each week "[t]hey weren't using iPads", while failing to acknowledge that they were using them for the other 165 hours of the week.

about three weeks ago
top

Rite Aid and CVS Block Apple Pay and Google Wallet

Anubis IV Re:Good for them (558 comments)

Fair enough on Paywave and Paypass. I had forgotten about those.

But I guess I just don't understand the rest of your points. It seems like you're moving the goalposts a bit.

Why is the inability to change a fingerprint in any way relevant to this discussion? A PIN is much easier to compromise than a fingerprint, and even if my fingerprint is compromised, it only because a threat to me if the thief has the sophisticated means necessary to lift and reproduce my fingerprint, whereas anyone at all can reproduce my PIN with the greatest of ease.

Moreover, my inability to change my fingerprint only becomes a problem if the same thief targets me multiple times. By the time they'd manage to reproduce my fingerprint after stealing my device the first time, I'd have de-authorized the device for making transactions, meaning that the only way those fingerprints they potentially acquired would ever be useful would be if they targeted me again and stole a second device that I had configured in the same way. But at that point, we're talking about someone who not only has some pretty sophisticated techniques, but is also engaging in some pretty sophisticated attacks. It's not something that 99.9999% of us will ever have to deal with, and for those among us who do have to deal with those sorts of attacks, chip-and-PIN would fare even worse at protecting you, since you'd be immediately compromised after the first theft if they had merely looked over your shoulder at the store.

about three weeks ago
top

Virginia Court: LEOs Can Force You To Provide Fingerprint To Unlock Your Phone

Anubis IV Re:Nonsense (328 comments)

I'll admit, I should have phrased that differently. I've since then clarified and explained the distinction in another comment and provided quotes from the 1966 Supreme Court case that established precedent in this area, so I'll refer you there. The gist of it is that one act—providing a passcode—is communicative in nature, whereas the other—providing your fingerprint when requested—is not.

about three weeks ago
top

Virginia Court: LEOs Can Force You To Provide Fingerprint To Unlock Your Phone

Anubis IV Re:Nonsense (328 comments)

Nope. The distinction here is that one act is communicative, while the other is not.

Let's go back to the 1966 Supreme Court case that established case law on these sorts of issues. That case dealt with a person involved in a car accident who was suspected of drunk driving. A police officer could smell the alcohol on his breath, so when the man was in the hospital after the accident, he directed a doctor to take a blood sample over the suspect's objections. In other words, his own blood was being used to incriminate him.

Some relevant passages:

We hold that the privilege protects an accused only from being compelled to testify against himself, or otherwise provide the State with evidence of a testimonial or communicative nature

Basically, they're saying that the 5th Amendment only protects evidence of a "testimonial or communicative nature". More on that below.

"[T]he prohibition of compelling a man in a criminal court to be witness against himself is a prohibition of the use of physical or moral compulsion to extort communications from him, not an exclusion of his body as evidence when it may be material. The objection in principle would forbid a jury to look at a prisoner and compare his features with a photograph in proof."

They're quoting an earlier case here, but basically they're saying that a person's body can be used to incriminate them, without it violating the Fifth Amendment. Without that being true, you'd get all sorts of nonsensical rules, like the one they cited, where the mere act of allowing the jury to see the defendant would mean violating his right against self-incrimination, since then they could compare him against a photo taken of the suspect at the crime scene. Hell, even witnesses wouldn't be able to see defendants, since they'd be able to recognize them, potentially. Clearly the Fifth was not intended to protect against such ridiculousness.

In the present case, however, no such problem of application is presented. Not even a shadow of testimonial compulsion upon or enforced communication by the accused was involved either in the extraction or in the chemical analysis. Petitioner's testimonial capacities were in no way implicated; indeed, his participation, except as a donor, was irrelevant to the results of the test, which depend on chemical analysis and on that alone. 9 Since the blood test evidence, although an incriminating product of compulsion, was neither petitioner's testimony nor evidence relating to some communicative act or writing by the petitioner, it was not inadmissible on privilege grounds.

I.e. While compulsion was indeed involved, A) that it was compelled didn't change anything, B) there was no testimony or communication involved at all, C) the compulsion didn't relate to testimony or communication.

All of this ties back in with fingerprint locks, since your fingerprint is just another form of physical evidence, like any other that you may be asked to provide, and all three of those apply here as well. Whether it's compelled or not doesn't change anything, and it, in and of itself, does not communicate anything. By providing your fingerprint, you aren't acknowledging your guilt. You aren't testifying that you did it. You aren't indicating an awareness of anything at all. You're merely providing your fingerprint...in this case on a device they have in evidence, rather than on a piece of paper. That your fingerprint's ability to unlock the device can be used to incriminate you does not mean that your rights are being violated. It merely means that "the glove fit", so to speak.

The same is not true of something like a passcode, which is, by its very nature, communicative.

IANAL. I'm just a guy who responded with a knee-jerk reaction that of course this was wrong of them to do, gave it some more thought, found a contrary view that actually made a great deal of sense, and decided to go look up some of the case history on the subject to find out what the real answer was since I found the topic fascinating.

about three weeks ago
top

Virginia Court: LEOs Can Force You To Provide Fingerprint To Unlock Your Phone

Anubis IV Re:Nonsense (328 comments)

They can't demand that you incriminate yourself by providing the passphrase (i.e. demonstrating a knowledge and awareness of potentially criminal activity), but if they happen to know what the passphrase is, they can provide it to you and then demand that you read it back to them. Which is to say, they can demand your voice from you, but not your knowledge of the passphrase.

about three weeks ago
top

Virginia Court: LEOs Can Force You To Provide Fingerprint To Unlock Your Phone

Anubis IV Re:Nonsense (328 comments)

I'd agree, actually. I brought that example up to illustrate the fault in the AC's reasoning.

The issue here is what the Constitution protects us from. The AC's assertion was that because being compelled to provide a passcode is unconstitutional, and because providing a fingerprint gives them the same access, it must be unconstitutional as well. The problem with his assertion is that it doesn't take into account why being compelled to provide a passcode is unconstitutional.

I was pointing out that being compelled to provide a passcode is unconstitutional for reasons that have nothing at all to do with their gaining access, and everything to do with the fact that it compels you to self-incriminate. And one of the ways I illustrated that fact was by pointing out examples we're familiar with in which police officers gain access to things through alternative methods, such as the one you quoted.

Which is to say, I completely agree that it isn't what's under discussion...except that it's what the AC brought up when trying to suggest this was unconstitutional.

about three weeks ago
top

Virginia Court: LEOs Can Force You To Provide Fingerprint To Unlock Your Phone

Anubis IV Re:Nonsense (328 comments)

Unsurprising that a judge would try to find 'clever' ways around the spirit of the constitution

Care to cite what part of the Constitution this gets around? Because near as I can tell, the constitution does not protect you from reasonable search and seizure. It never has. Police with a warrant can open doors, break chains, crack safes, pick locks, take your keys, or do pretty much anything else they want to do to get access to your private information. That's been true for as long as any of us can likely remember. That's the whole point of investigations and detective work. Did you think they just went, "Aww shucks!" every time they came across a locked door, or did you realize that if they needed to get in, they'd either find the keys or break it in?

The reason you can refrain from providing a passcode is because the 5th Amendment protects you against self-incrimination, and the very act of providing the passcode may in itself be incriminating, since it demonstrates that you have an awareness and knowledge of the device and the means to unlock it. Which is to say, while the police may have the authority (when authorized by a proper warrant) to search your phone, they do not have the authority to compel you to give up your own rights by providing a passcode.

But their authority to search your phone doesn't suddenly die just because they can't get your passcode. If an alternative method for accessing that data exists that does not involve trampling your rights, they are welcome to use it, whether it be decrypting the phone, tricking you into providing the passcode, or, yes, using your fingerprint.

about a month ago
top

MPAA Bans Google Glass In Theaters

Anubis IV Re:Smart phones still acceptable. (357 comments)

As per the usual, the headline is more sensational than the actual press release. What they actually said was the following:

As part of our continued efforts to ensure movies are not recorded in theaters, however, we maintain a zero-tolerance policy toward using any recording device while movies are being shown. As has been our long-standing policy, all phones must be silenced and other recording devices, including wearable devices, must be turned off and put away at show time. Individuals who fail or refuse to put the recording devices away may be asked to leave.

I.e. Google Glass isn't banned. You just have to turn it off and put it away, the same as smartphones or other devices that can be used for recording.

about a month ago
top

Rite Aid and CVS Block Apple Pay and Google Wallet

Anubis IV Re:Good for them (558 comments)

But in those cases you're talking about an NFC signal that auto-authenticates a transaction with no interaction from the user. I haven't used Google Wallet or Apple Pay yet, but it's my understanding that neither of them operates that way. Apple Pay requires that you first authorize the purchase with the use of your fingerprint, while Google Wallet, I believe, requires that you unlock your phone and confirm on-screen your intent to use your phone for a purchase.

In theory, yes, your attack would work...assuming that the protections that actually do exist didn't exist.

about a month ago
top

Hungary's Plans For Internet Tax On Hold After Protests

Anubis IV Re:Do any of us know how much we really use? (48 comments)

The only reason I know how much I use is because I'm frequently bumping up against my ISP's bandwidth cap (and thus getting stern warnings from them as I approach it), despite being on their highest-tier residential plan (i.e. the one with the highest cap) and despite not engaging in any illegal downloading (really!). They instituted it about a year back after placing some fine print (that I didn't see until afterwards) in one of my monthly statements, and I was immediately forced to upgrade my plan to a higher one since the cap they instituted on the plan I was using was roughly equal to my average monthly consumption at that point.

But between cloud backups, Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, audio streaming, automatic app updates across many of my devices and services (e.g. iDevices, Steam, game consoles, etc.), video chatting, Dropbox/Box/iCloud syncing, and any number of other perfectly normal and entirely legal uses for an Internet connection, I regularly have to start rationing my daily usage to ensure that I won't go past the cap by the end of the month. At this point, I'm seriously considering a switch to commercial service, which would come without a cap, despite the fact that the connection would be nearly an order of magnitude slower.

I'm dealing with it right now, in fact, what with it being the end of the month. As of yesterday, I have 5GB left to go for the month, so I've had to turn off most of my services and have been unplugging my connection while out of the house just to make sure that something like Steam updating a game doesn't put me over the limit.

about a month ago
top

Why CurrentC Will Beat Out Apple Pay

Anubis IV Re:Relax - CurrentC will Support using Credit Card (631 comments)

Yeah, I was noticing that. Strange how they come out of the woodwork at the oddest times. Maybe the merchants are coming to a realization that this thing is blowing up in their faces and are trying to get a handle on it. I doubt it though.

about a month ago
top

Why CurrentC Will Beat Out Apple Pay

Anubis IV Re:Relax - CurrentC will Support using Credit Card (631 comments)

When the product is released, they won't require you provide SSN, drivers license number or heath data.

CurrentC has already been released in a test market up in Minnesota. They're already collecting all of this information. Here are the instructions they have that include the SSN and DL stuff. The health data is collected by default and must be opted-out of after you set up the app, but will collect anything it can get in the meantime. Likewise for location tracking, which cannot be disabled, since they use it to confirm that you are in the store you're trying to check out at.

FUD stands for fear, uncertainty, and doubt. The only one of those that applies here is fear, because there's nothing uncertain or doubtful about what they are already doing, and while you're claiming they won't keep those features in once it's released nationwide, you've provided no basis for that assertion. I'm more inclined to think that they'll continue doing as they've been doing, otherwise they already would have announced plans to cease doing so, simply because of the PR mess this is.

about a month ago
top

Why CurrentC Will Beat Out Apple Pay

Anubis IV Re:Relax - CurrentC will Support using Credit Card (631 comments)

Let's pretend CurrentC will allow credit cards, even though the whole point of the system is to circumvent credit card processing fees...why would I want to use it then? Using a credit card is an easier checkout experience than using CurrentC. It provides no benefit. Why insert a middle man?

On the flip side, it does come with a lot of drawbacks, since they collect my SSN, driver's license number, health data on my phone, location tracking, and transaction tracking, then store all of it in the cloud. They also move the liability for transaction fraud from the processor to the consumer.

It's customer hostile, no matter how you cut it. Even if it offers credit cards, there's no reason to use it, and plenty of reasons not to.

about a month ago
top

Why CurrentC Will Beat Out Apple Pay

Anubis IV Re:Apple Pay is good for the merchant (631 comments)

Target is actually a member of MCX, the group pushing CurrentC. Given that they're having to sign a three-year exclusivity deal to get on the CurrentC bandwagon, it's entirely possible that their hands are tied and that even if they wanted to switch to NFC/Apple Pay/Google Wallet, they couldn't.

about a month ago
top

Why CurrentC Will Beat Out Apple Pay

Anubis IV Re:CurrentC does not solve for the Customer (631 comments)

In addition to everything you said, there are the following reasons it's customer-hostile as well:

- CurrentC requires providing your Social Security Number and driver's license number
- CurrentC app collects any health data it can find on your phone
- CurrentC app tracks your location
- CurrentC stores all customer information in the cloud, rather than on the device
- CurrentC must be requested specifically by the customer, rather than being immediately available at checkout
- CurrentC's checkout varies between locations (between you and the cashier, it can vary who has the QR code and who does the scanning)

I'm with you: it's DOA. Moreover, it's downright creepy. The only incentive to use it would be if they offered a discount, but that would cut into the whole point of moving over to ACH from credit anyway, as you pointed out. Moreover, in many states it may be illegal to offer a discount, since there are laws forcing prices to remain the same, regardless of transaction method. They're phrased differently from state to state, so there may be ways around most of them, but it'd be one more hurdle in their way.

about a month ago
top

Apple A8X IPad Air 2 Processor Packs Triple-Core CPU, Hefty Graphics Punch

Anubis IV Re:'Mobile' no more. (130 comments)

He didn't overlook them at all. He acknowledged "plus in-house design costs" IMMEDIATELY after saying $20 for the price of the chip.

about 1 month ago

Submissions

Anubis IV hasn't submitted any stories.

Journals

Anubis IV has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?