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Comments

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BitHammer, the BitTorrent Banhammer

DigitAl56K Protection against ARP poisoning (428 comments)

It would be nice if router logs showed suspicious ARP packets and/or declined to forward them except for specially privileged connections (e.g. via a flag in the access list). The router knows the addresses of users connected over WiFi, and it's extremely unlikely those WiFi users will be routes for other devices. This seems like a good measure in general to make MITM harder.

about two weeks ago
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DoJ: Law Enforcement Can Impersonate People On Facebook

DigitAl56K Put cryptography everywhere (191 comments)

Stuff like this is exactly why strong cryptographic solutions should be woven into the fabric of the internet ASAP (e.g. content signing in this case). Agencies globally have become extremely abusive - spying, manipulating, defrauding,denying - and work against the basic infrastructure elements that would prevent this at every turn. They really bring it on themselves with crap like this.

about two weeks ago
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Obama Administration Argues For Backdoors In Personal Electronics

DigitAl56K He's right! (575 comments)

“It is fully possible to permit law enforcement to do its job while still adequately protecting personal privacy,”

Maybe it is, when law enforcement isn't brazenly violating every single principle of personal privacy for all persons without redress. You got us here, Bush and Obama administrations. You. Not us. You.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is Reporting Still Relevant?

DigitAl56K Reports are often better than dashboards (179 comments)

I'm in no way a dashboard hater, but reports are great because:
* I can see them everywhere I can access my email. This is not always the case when a dashboard runs off an internal server.
* Getting an email in the morning is a reminder to check the data. If I have to remember to go to a dashboard I'll forget if I'm busy and could miss something important.
* Reports in my email are easily searchable without fiddling with date ranges in a console - assuming adequate history even exists since the latest time someone thought it would be a great idea to rebuild the dashboard.

Dashboards are great for sharing a realtime view but they aren't a replacement for reports. If you think they are, you probably seriously misunderstand your users.

about three weeks ago
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Euclideon Teases Photorealistic Voxel-Based Game Engine

DigitAl56K Re:the technology is amazing (134 comments)

It's more complicated than that.

Polygon-based engines support (and modern games heavily depend upon) things like:
* Dynamic lightling and shadows
* Deformable environments
* Transparency
* Reflections
* Fast collision detection
* AI route planning

Now go back and look at that demo video and tell us where you see those things.

Also, polygon based engines are still pretty efficient because of:
* Texture re-use
* Bump mapping to improve realism
* Shaders to implement things like motion blur, ambient lighting, etc.
* LOD maps
* Spatial partitioning

Laser mapping is cool because it snapshots a static environment at a moment in time. It would take a lot of effort to produce a polygon model ground-up with the characteristics you'd want for high performance in a modern game. But there appear to be numerous benefits over what has been demonstrated here so far. Perhaps a better approach (for games, at least) would be to work on a project that helps generate or enhance a polygon-based model from the mapping.

about three weeks ago
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Euclideon Teases Photorealistic Voxel-Based Game Engine

DigitAl56K Where's the interactivity? (134 comments)

I've seen demos of what I believe to be this technology before, but what it seems to lack is any kind of interactivity with the environment/objects in the environment. From what I can tell in this latest video they've added an FPS handgun overlay and some poorly animated ferns.

The point is: Cool, you can render a nice point cloud. Can you actually do interesting things with it / what we want in most games or virtual environments, or can you simply render a nice point cloud?

about three weeks ago
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Next Android To Enable Local Encryption By Default Too, Says Google

DigitAl56K Encryption is the least of that problem! (126 comments)

The only way to back up and restore is by uploading your data to Google's cloud servers, where your data is much more likely to be purloined than if you had just left your device unencrypted in the first place.

As an Android fan, let me just say that these problems do not just stop with encryption. Unless you root your phone, you can't back it up properly because Google doesn't let you have access to your own files on your own f'ing device. Apparently nobody sees a problem in the fact that users are forced to make the decisions to either run stock or be able to access all their files. I'm sure it's to reduce piracy or something, but it's a nightmare. Unless your apps keep their data in an accessible folder or you let them keep all your settings in the cloud (if they even support that), just upgrading your handset to this years Nexus is going to mean data loss.

I get that it makes the security stronger, but Android badly needs some kind of super-user mode that makes the entire filesystem accessible to selected apps.

about a month ago
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First US Appeals Court Hears Arguments To Shut Down NSA Database

DigitAl56K Doesn't matter how the government gets the data (199 comments)

Abridged version:

The right of the people to be secure [...] against unreasonable searches [...] shall not be violated [...] but upon probable cause

Regardless of how the government acquires the information, is the government performing unreasonable searches against the people? One might argue that inspecting every persons communications is both and reasonable and cannot possibly qualify for probable cause.

about a month and a half ago
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Banks Report Credit Card Breach At Home Depot

DigitAl56K Are the POS providers total morons? (132 comments)

How hard is it to run an independent circuit that scrapes your OS and process executable memory and compute a verified hash? Do these systems run any kind of meaningful IDS at all?

about a month and a half ago
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Smartphone Kill Switch, Consumer Boon Or Way For Government To Brick Your Phone?

DigitAl56K Let's hope... (299 comments)

Let's hope that the logic to brick is in some piece of code that can be subverted via a custom OS build and not something close to the radio receiver.

Also: I will laugh really hard as soon as the blackhats release a tool to bypass security and auto-brick, and then someone heads to the nearest mall on a Saturday with a high-power radio.

about a month ago
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2D To 3D Object Manipulation Software Lends Depth to Photographs

DigitAl56K A question on this (76 comments)

While those results look impressive, in some of the demos where objects are seamlessly moved around, how are they filling in the original background (or what looks like it)? The video largely explains how the model is textured, lit, environment mapped, rendered with shadow projection with calculated perspective and depth of field, but I didn't hear much about re-filling the background. I assume they're cloning or intelligently filling texture ala photoshop, or perhaps in all cases where they showed something being animated it was a new clone of an existing object into a new area of the photo?

about 2 months ago
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Inside the Facebook Algorithm Most Users Don't Even Know Exists

DigitAl56K The real News Feed algorithm (130 comments)

if (session.timeelapsed() > 1800 || rand() % 3 == 0)
        newsfeed.setmode(TOP_STORIES);

about 2 months ago
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Ode To Sound Blaster: Are Discrete Audio Cards Still Worth the Investment?

DigitAl56K Re:Back in the day? (502 comments)

Let's also not forget that back in the days of MS-DOS there wasn't a consistent audio API and if the game developer didn't support your card, integrated or otherwise, you were SOL. The only (buggy) standard was SoundBlaster Emulation, unless you had the $ for a Gravis Ultrasound.

To the original question, yes, discrete cards are still worth it if you have decent headphones and want a decent dac/amp to power them. If you're half deaf from years of loud music or your headphones/earbuds/speakers cost less than $100 you probably don't care.

about 3 months ago
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Unintended Consequences For Traffic Safety Feature

DigitAl56K Re:Cali... (579 comments)

In Ca, it's a ticket if a car enters a crosswalk while a pedestrian is using it, no matter if they're on the other side of the intersection or not.

As a pedestrian in CA, LOL!

Cars almost always charge me while the walk light is on so they can get around the corner a few seconds faster. The cases where they don't are a rarity. I have been struck by a car doing this while the walk light was still on (not even counting down yet). Despite the fact that this happens nearly every time I cross the street I have never, ever seen anyone being pulled over for it, even when there have been police vehicles sitting in plain view at the other junction on the intersection.

This surprises me, because the city could print money doing this. Obviously they don't care. Oh, but jaywalking in the wake of someone getting hit and garnering publicity, that you will get a ticket for.

about 4 months ago
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2 US Senators Propose 12-Cent Gas Tax Increase

DigitAl56K Bad! (619 comments)

a. Gas isn't too cheap in the US. If anything, it looks like commodities investors alone drive the price independent of supply/demand.
b. The cost should go on registration. As we keep getting cars that are more and more efficient (and even run on electricity), we'll charging road users very unevenly. If this was an emissions tax that might be okay, but I think it isn't (?).

about 4 months ago
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TrueCrypt Author Claims That Forking Is Impossible

DigitAl56K Some of us have principles (250 comments)

Frankly, nothing could concern me less than making it work well with Windows. I am only interested in using it with an open source OS.

How awesome for you.

Some people believe that privacy is a right and work to ensure that as many people of possible have means of protecting that right. I say thank you to those people.

about 4 months ago
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$10k Reward For Info On Anyone Who Points a Laser At Planes Goes Nationwide

DigitAl56K The TSA will fix this! (264 comments)

Just remove the windows from all planes, and install body scanners everywhere within a hundred miles of any route.

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Do 4G World Phones Exist?

DigitAl56K Re:Nexus 4? (259 comments)

Heh, I could be wrong on the LTE frequencies. Seems the ROW edition might fare much better there.

Nexus 5 specs:

        2G/3G/4G LTE

        North America:
        GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
        CDMA: Band Class: 0/1/10
        WCDMA: Bands: 1/2/4/5/6/8/19
        LTE: Bands: 1/2/4/5/17/19/25/26/41

        Rest of World:
        GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
        WCDMA: Bands: 1/2/4/5/6/8
        LTE: Bands: 1/3/5/7/8/20

UK LTE bands (from Wikipedia):

EE: 3,7
Hutichson 3: 20,3
O2: 20
UK Broadband 42,43
Vodaphone: 20

about 5 months ago

Submissions

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Websites Still Failing Basic Privacy Practices

DigitAl56K DigitAl56K writes  |  more than 6 years ago

DigitAl56K (805623) writes "Do you ever find it surprising that large companies still can't get down the basics of privacy and security on the web? Today I went to enter a competition from Duracell to win a Nintendo Wii by filling out an online form that requires entering your full name, address, and date of birth, and then proceeds to submit it via an unencrypted HTTP POST. The ultimate irony? The message at the bottom of the page that reads,

"Trust is a cornerstone of our corporate mission, and the success of our business depends on it. P&G is committed to maintaining your trust by protecting personal information we collect."

Which websites have you found to be lacking in their basic privacy practices?"
Link to Original Source

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MEDUSA Ray Gun Creates Voices In Your Head

DigitAl56K DigitAl56K writes  |  more than 6 years ago

DigitAl56K (805623) writes "NewScientist is reporting on a US company, Sierra Nevada Corporation, that is ready to produce a crowd-control device which uses microwaves to heat the tissues inside your head so rapidly that the shockwaves resulting actually create sound. The device is named MEDUSA (Mob Excess Deterrent Using Silent Audio) and can be targeted using broad or narrow beams. From the article:

MEDUSA involves a microwave auditory effect "loud" enough to cause discomfort or even incapacitation. Sadovnik says that normal audio safety limits do not apply since the sound does not enter through the eardrums.

A member of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Illinois in Chicago who has also worked on the technique has commented that while feasible, attaining the necessary volume might involve power levels that could cause neural damage.

It is estimated that a demonstration version could be built within a year."

Link to Original Source

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AVG 8 Causing Trouble For Web Analytics?

DigitAl56K DigitAl56K writes  |  more than 6 years ago

DigitAl56K (805623) writes "The Register is reporting that AVG 8 includes as part of its anti-virus scanner Linkscanner, technology acquired by the company that scans results from popular search engines including Google, Yahoo!, and Live Search before you visit them. This apparently has resulted in traffic for some sites to increase by as much as 80%, confusing web analytics because real visits may not have increased at all. Approximately 28% of AVG users worldwide are now using AVG 8, so this problem has plenty of scope for growth.

How will analytic services react to the effects of prescanning, and what benefits does prescanning hold over real-time transport scanning? Further, even if prescanning protects your computer does it ultimately pose a risk to your personal security? In May Slashdot informed us that the FBI had raided homes of people who had merely clicked links to illegal pornography. When your computer is automatically clicking search results for you maybe you had better be careful what search terms you use."

Link to Original Source
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US to employ overhead spying domestically

DigitAl56K DigitAl56K writes  |  more than 6 years ago

DigitAl56K (805623) writes "The Washington Post reports that, "The Bush administration said yesterday that it plans to start using the nation's most advanced spy technology for domestic purposes soon" and that Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has said that "Sophisticated overhead sensor data will be used for law enforcement". Last year CNET reported on at least one county in North Carolina already using a UAV to "monitor gatherings of motorcycle riders at the Gaston County fairgrounds from just a few hundred feet in the air — close enough to identify faces".

Discovery Channel's Future Weapons has provided insight into numerous UAVs, including the Fire Scout, Global Hawk, Predator 2, and the Dominator, their coverage of the Predator 2 particularly demonstrating surveillance and tracking capabilities of these units.

According to DefenseNews the US Air Force just announced the purchase of 28 Predators as part of a contract awarded to General Atomics. The US Air Force has just begun running ads on cable TV as part of their "Above All" campaign that feature the UAVs (sorry, no online video yet).

Initially, it appears that the administration plans to leverage conventional satellites for domestic surveillance purposes.

Behave yourself, citizens."

Link to Original Source
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How do you securely change your e-nationality?

DigitAl56K DigitAl56K writes  |  more than 6 years ago

DigitAl56K (805623) writes "Being a foreigner in the US has its ups and downs. One of the downs I face stems from the music industry's obsession with territory restrictions. Not only am I unable to purchase certain UK releases online despite being able to import CDs, but I also can't listen to most of the webcasting radio stations near my home because they've had to implement IP->Geo lockouts. This leads to a cultural disconnect for me that the Internet really ought to solve. If you've ever graced the forums of an online music store you have likely seen dozens of users around the globe with similar complaints, and in general the only solution is to find an open proxy in another country to bypass the artificial barriers.

Unfortunately many open proxies are not intended for medium-high bandwidth applications, and may be unknowing victims of malware designed to sniff and steal information. Are there any reputable secure and/or trustworthy commercial proxy/tunneling services designed to provide end-points in specific countries?"
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When will smart phone plans become affordable?

DigitAl56K DigitAl56K writes  |  more than 6 years ago

DigitAl56K (805623) writes "When my old no thrills voice-only handset finally began giving up the ghost last week I decided it was time to join my colleagues and jump on the smart phone bandwagon. Mobile IM, web, GPS and music downloads all beckoned. Then I totaled up the cost of my new wireless plan. Ouch!

The offerings from the leading US wireless providers are incredibly expensive. A typical voice plan coupled with basic personal Blackberry service can easily cost over $100 and depending on the network other basic features push the monthly rate higher still. Limited or unlimited messages, M2M messages, and night or weekend calling often cost extra. Users buying handsets advertised as having GPS may be unpleasantly surprised to find additional monthly service subscriptions are required to use all or some parts of these services, such as voiced directions. In the end you're likely to pay more for a cellphone with basic smart phone functionality than you do for digital TV and high speed Internet combined, even without high-tech features like GPS included, and most of the service agreements although offering unlimited data for what are clearly multimedia-enabled devices prohibit medium-high bandwidth applications regardless.

How long must we wait for todays smart phones to become the norm and for some level of sanity to take hold in wireless plan rates?"
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DigitAl56K DigitAl56K writes  |  more than 7 years ago

DigitAl56K writes "Star Wars fans rejoice! Four years after their original fan film saw them picking up light sabers and taking to battle, Ryan Wieber and Michael Scott have published RvD2. The choreography and attention to detail strongly rival the best efforts of Lucasfilm, as does the sound track.

A low resolution version of RvD2 is available on YouTube, and an HD version (429MB) can be downloaded from DivX Stage6. You can also order the original soundtrack and "Making of" videos via ryanvsdorkman.com, as well as donating to their projects."
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DigitAl56K DigitAl56K writes  |  more than 7 years ago

DigitAl56K writes "Brian Transeau (BT) is a pioneer of the electronica genre who helped to define trance in the early '90s. His career is diverse with a background in classic music and long history of film scoring, but it is arguably his pursuit of using new technology in music that distinguishes him as an artist. He's a recognized master of audio synthesis and engineering, he writes his own software instruments and effects, and he's famous for his live shows — which he often plays real-time from a laptop computer.

His latest album, This Binary Universe, is released on CD+DVD and mastered in DTS digital surround, accompanied by visuals ranging from CGI to watercolors produced by artists who participate on deviantART. One track on the album is written entirely in Csound, a synthesis scripting language and renderer where the instruments, effects, and score are composed using only a text editor.

BT is currently on tour with electonica veteran Thomas Dolby. The shows not only feature visuals from the album rendered live, but also artwork from members of deviantART local to each area, and a full surround sound audio environment.

The DivX Stage6 team interviewed BT to discuss his career, latest album, use of technology in music, mathematics in music and in nature, and more. We also asked him how he feels about people who download music. The response was both interesting and honest, and gave significant insight into the ethical views of a real artist, as well as dispelling some of the common myths around the effect of piracy on artists large and small.

The complete interview is available from the BT channel on DivX Stage6, including the video for track 4 from his album, entitled "1.618" after the golden ratio, in DivX HD with MP3 Surroud."

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