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Apple's "Warrant Canary" Has Died

N1AK Re:They should increase the number of 'canaries' (231 comments)

They should also provide each user their own 'custom' canary.

Unfortunately that's entirely impossible in the current situation. The canaries that are currently use, or used recently, have to be very carefully constructed to avoid removing it breaching the laws regarding the secrecy of the orders. Apple's view, at least until recently, was that disclosing that they hadn't received any, for anyone, was generic enough as to not breach secrecy. Doing it for individual users would be about as legally sound as phoning the user up and warning him that the Feds are after him.

2 days ago
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Apple's "Warrant Canary" Has Died

N1AK Re:There is no "almost impossible" (231 comments)

My issue with calling OTPs encryption in this sense, although I accept it is encryption, is that it's really more like giving someone half the message than almost any other type of encryption. If I said I could encrypt the entire Bible to "1" by having a key that contained enough data to produce the contents of the bible then people might take exception to how useful my scheme was.

2 days ago
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Apple's "Warrant Canary" Has Died

N1AK Re:There is no "almost impossible" (231 comments)

Which is different to anything in the past how? If the police in 1920 turned up at a lawyers and threatened to break his knees if he didn't give them all of a client's paperwork they'd have everything in minutes. As long as law enforcement can use force it can get this information.

There is however a big difference between a world in which they can get all that data secretly behind the scenes, and one in which they have to overtly threaten/force people to hand it over in person.

2 days ago
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FCC Chairman: Americans Shouldn't Subsidize Internet Service Under 10Mbps

N1AK Re:Americans shoudln't subsidize internet service (324 comments)

Except that there are benefits to society as a whole by having these people live in rural areas.

There's an argument to be made that if that's true then the value they can charge for providing that benefit and use the proceeds to pay for things.

3 days ago
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Apple Locks iPhone 6/6+ NFC To Apple Pay Only

N1AK Re:Nope they are clever (325 comments)

No. It's that and the fact that they only released the feature after lining up a shit-ton of major retailers and banks to support it, as well as a near frictionless method of using it (w/ iTunes and Passbook, etc) and marketing to back it all up.

They got people lined up to support it because they're huge. If Guatamala tried to bring in a new method for passport control do you think they'd have the same chance of it being adopted as it would if the US did? I'm not knocking Apples implementation, I just don't see anything remotely amazing about what they have managed to achieve; yet there's endless fanboys banging on about just that. Give me one example of the marketting for Pay that's so impressive it's worthy of note.

3 days ago
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Apple Locks iPhone 6/6+ NFC To Apple Pay Only

N1AK Re:Nope they are clever (325 comments)

You regularly use NFC for payments?

Just bought my lunch via NFC. When I'm in London at the weekend I shall be paying for my transport via NFC. I'll be the first to admit that NFC has taken far too long to develop, that it isn't widespread enough and that Apple getting in on it is likely better for everyone as it will force progress.

3 days ago
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Apple Locks iPhone 6/6+ NFC To Apple Pay Only

N1AK Re:Nope they are clever (325 comments)

I'm no fan of Apple, but you can't argue that they aren't strategically clever bastards.

I can, and I will. I already regularily use NFC both via NFC enabled bank cards and my NFC phone. Nothing apple is doing is new. They're just big enough that when they say jump more people listen; literally the only thing about applePay that stops it being an irrelevant me-to is that it is bundled with an apple device that companies know will sell by the container load. Exactly what strategic cleverness does it take to release something that many other people already have, where your success is based on you being the biggest company in the room?

3 days ago
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WSJ Reports Boeing To Beat SpaceX For Manned Taxi To ISS

N1AK Re:well (198 comments)

Failing to win the contracts after the development work could wipe out smaller organisations so the risk could be along the lines of 50% of winning and 50% chance of annihilation, at which point the sensible course is not to bid at all and find other work to do.

This is common in parts of the UK public sector I am familiar with. Often government departments are forced to require considerable demonstrations as part of the bidding process. This could mean, for example, being forced to produce a publication as part of the bid to get the contract for publications for that department for 2 years. Given the considerable cost of managing a bid, and the considerable cost of producing a demo publication, many smaller firms decide not to try as they know that the odds of winning (when competing with potentially dozens of other firms) are too small to risk the expense.

4 days ago
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WSJ Reports Boeing To Beat SpaceX For Manned Taxi To ISS

N1AK Re:well (198 comments)

The first one that delivers should win

Which is fine as long as you're willing to pay the premium that all the companies put on their proposals to cover the risk of not winning. Sometimes leaving selecting a winner to the last minute can lead to higher costs than picking the most viable candidate at an earlier stage.

5 days ago
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Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

N1AK Re:It's getting hotter still! (622 comments)

And betting your life savings in Vegas may make you rich; that doesn't make it alarmist to say "Bet your life savings in Vegas and you'll likely end up broke". By your, faulty, logic you basically can't say anything may/may not happen without saying the opposite as well. Which means you should probably have said his "alarmist or not alarmist point, may have been a little, or lot, less, or more, convincing" because god forbid you actually imply something is more likely than something else if it isn't an absolute certainty.

about a week ago
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Comcast Allegedly Asking Customers to Stop Using Tor

N1AK Re:So-to-speak legal (418 comments)

Private organisations providing internet service in the US has done what exactly to stop government monitoring/filtering/etc so far? The government could already regulate just like in China just as easily as it could if the internet was classified as a utility, let's not pretend those businesses are doing anything to stop it.

about a week ago
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Wheel Damage Adding Up Quickly For Mars Rover Curiosity

N1AK Re:Someone with no brain is running NASA (162 comments)

However, the primary target of the mission was not the floor of Gale Crater, it was to study the stratigraphy of Mount Sharpe, the mountain in the middle of the crater.

I don't believe that was the primary purpose of the mission. Curiosity had clear scientific objectives and MEP has clear goals, none of which include reaching a specific location. It may well be the case that the team intended to go to Mount Sharpe in order to complete its scientific missions, but it has been able to achieve it without going there.

To slightly correct your analogy: It's like wanting to go out for excellent food, discovering the tube station near the restaurant you had selected due to its reputation is closed and deciding to instead go to another equally great restaurant that is near an open station instead.

about a month ago
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Wheel Damage Adding Up Quickly For Mars Rover Curiosity

N1AK Re:Someone with no brain is running NASA (162 comments)

The first time when I saw the wheels I was wondering why the hell they spend so much money to send up a robot to Mars and then equip that thing with such flimsy wheels

In short: Because they aren't idiots and know enough about this field to make informed comment. The rover has reached its planned mission life, everything beyond this is a bonus. The wheels survived and will likely, with proper management, last considerably longer still. It's a great success.

Your comment on the other hand is a great example of how people who are ignorant on a field automatically assume it must be simple and that they have some valuable insight. You know when you hear people who don't have a clue say something stupid about something you know a lot about? That's you when you comment on wheels for vehicles travelling on other planets (unless you'd like to point out what makes you remotely credible in this field).

about a month ago
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Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead

N1AK Re:Insignificant...unless you're the bird (521 comments)

Smaller but not insignificant. If 28,000 birds are dieing to generate 0.4GWh then millions would die just to generate 1% of America's energy needs. Personally I can't understand why it's ok to own cats and negligently allow them to hunt but apparently society is fine with that, but it doesn't mean that we should ignore other issues because we're doing that wrong.

about a month ago
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Solar Plant Sets Birds On Fire As They Fly Overhead

N1AK Re:god dammit. The Numbers (521 comments)

Crunching the numbers, it's foolish to delay solar power adoption for even 28K birds a year.

That's 28,000 birds for this current, small, solar installation: 0.4GWh, when the US uses tends of thousands of GWh. Scale it up to just 1% of US power generation and you'll be talking about millions of birds a year. It may well be that it is the least harmful way of generating electricity, but just saying cats kill more (which is an issue in itself!) doesn't make it unimportant. Personally I think it's very important that the truth comes out on what the figure is, and if the companies figures are false they get fucked for it. If it really is 1,000 birds a year then it's probably an unfortunate, but better than the alternatives, consequence of greener energy.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Would You Pay For Websites Without Trolls?

N1AK Re:No real need. (382 comments)

I do not see how you could work out the id.

If you had separate blocks for normal posts and AC posts then you wouldn't be able to use it find out who was who. I thought you meant that if I blocked someone's normal posts it would also block their AC posts, and that would be exploitable.

Personally I think throwing out true AC posts (not logged in users) isn't required. I wouldn't be opposed to putting them through a more extensive moderation process before sharing widely (perhaps showing to ~5 'trusted' users, who could flag abuse, and if more than say 2 did it would never show up for anyone else).

about a month ago
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Berlin Bans Car Service Uber

N1AK Re:Oversight and regulation (341 comments)

They aren't banning Uber for the type of service it offers etc, Uber is breaking the law and Berlin is making that explicitly clear. Uber could already make changes to how it operates to be in line with the law, but it doesn't want to.

about a month ago
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Berlin Bans Car Service Uber

N1AK Re:Oversight and regulation (341 comments)

I'll happily stand by my statement about Thai taxis. I know two people who've been there who had issues with Taxis in Thailand. As you'd be aware if you'd both read and comprehended my post before throwing accusations of prejudice around one of the issues I highlighted was ensuring that it is an official taxi that you're getting in.

There are plenty of other places I could have used as examples instead. I used Thailand because I'm heading there in Feb and given the experiences of those two friends and the online guidance on taxis in Thailand I know that I personally would use Uber instead if it was available.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Would You Pay For Websites Without Trolls?

N1AK Re:No real need. (382 comments)

2. The ability to block the person when they are posting as an AC. The person blocking would still not know who they are blocking as it would just say AC on the blocked list.

There is scope to abuse these ideas. Firstly it stops AC comments without login and secondly you could theorectically work out who was posting by checking with multiple accounts and/or banning and unbanning accounts.

Slashdot's moderation system seems to work pretty well. Sure it's not perfect but it's vastly better than it would be otherwise.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Would You Pay For Websites Without Trolls?

N1AK Re:Tough guy geeks... (382 comments)

If I do not want imposed censorship, I sure as shit am not going to pay for it directly.

I don't like the state telling people what they can or can't do, that doesn't mean I let people smoke in my house ;)

There are plenty of venues on the internet where anything goes. Having some venues that are more civilised is something I think would be beneficial. I'm not overly sure that paying is the best way to ensure that. Xbox live had (and may still have) some of the biggest twats who seemed to get away with anything even with a 'paywall'. Just making it harder to join forums if you keep getting banned for abusive behaviour (a sort of internet troll blacklist) would likely be a good enough start.

about a month ago

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