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WhatsApp To Offer End-to-End Encryption

Xylantiel Re:Wikr (93 comments)

If you think this is secure against the FBI you are kidding yourself. Since it is a closed-source app, wickr has control of your private key and they only CHOOSE not to copy it off the device. They can simply be served with a NSL to pull that info from your device. Now if you're only trying to keep things private from criminals and corporations, you're probably good.

4 days ago
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How Facebook Is Influencing Who Will Win the Next Election

Xylantiel Re:Elections are Popularity Contests (71 comments)

Yes the advantage of a multi-party system is that not every policy decision is a nuclear war for control. Parties will ally in different ways on different issues and therefore it is less likely that partisan bickering will hold up general function of government.

But it is perhaps a bigger problem currently the the loudest and most abrasive elements have almost complete control of the public dialog. This is not really a symptom of the two-party system, but of the prevalence and power of advertising-driven media. And, back on topic, data-mining-backed advertising with extensive personal information like facebook can do is frightening.

5 days ago
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Magnetic Field In Meteorite Provides Clues About Formation of Solar System

Xylantiel Really a question of: Where did chondrules form? (26 comments)

The linked article is not really even an article, but I think the interesting science topic is that we don't understand where chondrules form. They are somehow formed in the early solar system by melting refrectory elements together. But how and where that melting occurs in not known (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chondrule#Formation.

It is thought that the formation might be related to dissipation of magnetic fields in the protoplanetary disk or the young sun (so-called magnetic reconnection) but it is not clear. I expect this study is trying to test this type of hypothesis by attempting to ascertain the magnetic field in which the chondrules were formed.

Note that this is NOT the magnetic field causing the formation of the solar system, as stated in the summary. I have no idea where the submitter or editor got that, as it is not in the (non-)article linked. Chondrule formation is a critical process for creating building blocks of planets, but it is pretty tricky to interpret that as the "cause of the formation of the solar system."

about a week ago
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Comcast Kisses-Up To Obama, Publicly Agrees On Net Neutrality

Xylantiel Re:Window Dressing. (258 comments)

So, yes, some of us are a bit irked that the Great Hope passed a conservative health care reform bill.....

Then you are out of touch with reality, since trying to get single-payer through would have provoked a the same sort of overwhelming ad campaign from the insurance companies that it did in the 90s. And the american public is so easily manuplated by this sort of thing that nothing would have happened.

about two weeks ago
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81% of Tor Users Can Be De-anonymized By Analysing Router Information

Xylantiel Re:After Reading The Paper (136 comments)

But it probably is a problem if your opponent is a state-level actor. For example, China (and the US probably too) probably monitors connections to known tor entry/exit nodes. Given the attack mentioned, someone using tor in china is safe as long as the server being contacted is known to not be acting in concert with the adversary. However, if the server (or its connection to the tor entry/exit nodes) is also under control of the same adversary, then the connection can be de-anonymized. So this is a problem for chinese bloggers blogging on chinese blogs, but not so much on foreign blogs hosted outside china. Though it appears blog traffic would probably be too small to facilitate a successful attack.

about two weeks ago
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The Students Who Feel They Have the Right To Cheat

Xylantiel Re:Worthless degrees (438 comments)

As with another poster, I have learned a whole new meaning to rote memorization. Even in courses in the U.S. that are "just memorization and regurgitation" it is typically not literally word-for-word memorization and regurgitation. I thought that people meant that the tests would be the same problems as the homework, but I didn't imagine it could get to the point where the test was just memorizing and re-writing the solutions, with little regard for correctness. It's like a Brazil-esque caricature of the educational process.

about two weeks ago
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EFF Begins a Campaign For Secure and Usable Cryptography

Xylantiel red matrix and zot (96 comments)

What about RedMatrix and its underlying protocol Zot? (This is what Friendica Red became.) Seems a shame that it isn't even mentioned. But most of the things on the list are oriented toward messaging, not more full-feature peer-to-peer sharing / networking. I think the only downside for Zot is the providor has the key. But you are free to be your own providor or choose one that you trust, and move if that relationship changes.

about three weeks ago
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The Plane Crash That Gave Us GPS

Xylantiel Re:Paper Maps (236 comments)

Actually it's worse - GPS tells you where you are. If you want to go somewhere else, you might want to look at a map to see where the roads are. GPS makes it possible to have an effectively self-orienting map. How this implies that GPS replaces maps I have no idea.

about three weeks ago
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Silicon Valley Swings To Republicans

Xylantiel Re:Bang-bang control in action. (485 comments)

How about growing up instead of throwing a temper tantrum. Voting for conservatives because the progressives are not progressive enough is childish and stupid. There are plenty of democrats that don't like the NSA stuff either - most of the work in this area is done by the NCLU and EFF, which are not republican by a long shot - just vote and speak for more progressive democrats. Not against them! duh! (this is assuming you are not a shill paid to manipulate democrats into not turning out to vote. grrr)

about three weeks ago
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Ebola Forecast: Scientists Release Updated Projections and Tracking Maps

Xylantiel Re:Meh.... Here's the thing ..... (294 comments)

It's not that it would be logistically impossible. It would just be a waste of resources and a hindrance to the process of actually fighting the outbreak on the ground in west africa, which is far more important. This "travel ban is good common sense" stuff is just a political gamesmanship before an election. It's something that sounds good in a sound bite but actually makes things worse. But it is quite revealing about which politicians actually care about good policy for the public and which only care about their political careers.

about three weeks ago
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Automation Coming To Restaurants, But Not Because of Minimum Wage Hikes

Xylantiel Re:This is silly (720 comments)

If you are retired and you didn't factor standard inflation into your plan then you didn't plan correctly. The usage of "a little inflation" is just humorously saying the normal target 2% inflation would be good. Low inflation is not good for the economy as a whole. Ironically one of the reasons inflation is necessary is to appropriately encourage workers to move from less productive (in terms of the overall economy) to more productive jobs because the wage for the less productive one doesn't keep up with inflation. But that assumes in either case the worker is being paid more than minimum wage.

about 1 month ago
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NY Doctor Recently Back From West Africa Tests Positive For Ebola

Xylantiel Re: New York (372 comments)

You are wrong. They were not following guidelines, though it is unclear that the appropriate guidelines were communicated well. (i.e. the people handling Duncan were clearly not properly trained).

Blaming the CDC when some Dallas hospital doesn't care enough about their staff to train them properly is stupid. And the CDC has changed policy. Active cases are now being transported to appropriate facilities instead of trusting that random regional hospitals know how to train their staff properly. (you make your own conclusions about mid-level health care from that.)

And that the administration is worried about political correctness is a complete strawman. They have said quite clearly that the problem with a travel ban or quarantine would be that it would make fighting the outbreak more difficult rather than better. The best chance here is to get the resources into west africa and stop the outbreak there. Travel bans and quarantines on non-symptomatic people only pointlessly waste resources to make you feel good about your ignorance.

about 1 month ago
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NY Doctor Recently Back From West Africa Tests Positive For Ebola

Xylantiel Re:Bennett Haselton on the Ebola outbreak (372 comments)

Sorry but you are wrong. Ebola is not transmissible until the patient is symptomatic. So, for example, NOBODY outside the hospital caught ebola from Eric Duncan. It has been more than 21 days since he went in. This is a done deal.

And if we could detect the virus before symptoms set in, then we wouldn't need to monitor for symptoms, we could just test them and be done with it. DUH! Duncan's family in Dallas were "quarantined" because they couldn't bother to make themselves available for someone to take their temperature twice a day (talk about sad). And others have been quarantined because the public is freaked out, not for any medical reason. People being monitored shouldn't travel mostly because if they become symptomatic they may not be in a convenient place to get into quarantine from there.

about 1 month ago
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Bash To Require Further Patching, As More Shellshock Holes Found

Xylantiel Re:Call it what you will (329 comments)

While I tend to agree, I think is some more subtlety. In its original conception, CGI probably did consider the web inputs as essentially session-level data, which would warrant what you refer to as "semi-persistant" storage in the environment. I would say that web programming has evolved some in modern usage, and a transient-data model as you suggest is probably more appropriate.

But there is plenty of blame to go around. Bash, or anything else for that matter, should not interpret otherwise completely unused environment data in such a way that it gets executed. There are plenty of other contexts outside CGI where that is a problem. Environmental variables are a well-established way for communicating data from parent to children processes. One that is, sometimes conveniently, agnostic about whether that data is intended for or a direct child or the child of a child. But if a program is performing some function based on the content of *any* environmental variable rather than the content of a specific variable or variables, that is likely to cause trouble.

about 2 months ago
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Remote Exploit Vulnerability Found In Bash

Xylantiel Re:Already fixed in Debian... (399 comments)

The question would be which shell does the equivalent of system() in PHP, PERL, etc call? If the PHP or PERL code in question only uses system() to execute binaries and not scripts (which might spawn bash as you say) then it would not be vulnerable because it would be done with dash. Does anybody know which would be used? Might it depend on the form of the system() call?

about 2 months ago
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Remote Exploit Vulnerability Found In Bash

Xylantiel Re:I am wrong but... (399 comments)

I think the problem is than any large PHP application is likely to execute something with a shell at some point. Any point is enough. This may slow down exploits, since you have to hunt for the corner case that executes a shell, but not much.

about 2 months ago
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The Documents From Google's First DMV Test In Nevada

Xylantiel Re:Who would have thought (194 comments)

Yep, at least in the US a roundabout is all about guessing, based on their approach, whether the other approaching driver has any clue how a roundabout is supposed to work. Just because you have the right of way doesn't mean it won't be a total mess if you hit somebody in the driver's door because they pulled out in front of you instead of yielding.

about 2 months ago
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Reanalysis of Clinical Trials Finds Misleading Results

Xylantiel Re:Selection bias? (74 comments)

So does that mean a re-analysis of the article on re-analysis leads to different conclusions than the original article?! HA!

But I have the sneaking suspicion that this re-analysis won't be published, which is a whole nother kind of selection bias can of worms.

about 2 months ago
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Netflix Reduces Physical-Disc Processing, Keeps Prices the Same

Xylantiel Re:You're still getting what you were promised (354 comments)

I find it odd that you don't even say whether the delay was in mailing or processing, though you could surely tell. They send a receipt notice and a ship notice. What was the delay from their ship to your receipt? I think in some situations netflix is at the mercy of your local mail processing. You should have called up your postmaster and complained. And the US mail is not doing so hot recently, and often that is worse in big cities than in suburbs or cities near but separate from big ones. Netflix rarely misses a 2-day turnaround for me and I noticed the saturday thing pretty quickly because of this.

about 4 months ago
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The "Rickmote Controller" Can Hijack Any Google Chromecast

Xylantiel Re:Doesn't this require access to your network (131 comments)

Seems like this is trivial to fix by requiring a physical button press to return to the configuration mode after the Chromecast is successfully configured onto a wifi network.

about 4 months ago

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