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New Permission System Could Make Android Much Less Secure

amjohns Re:How is this a good idea? (249 comments)

Especially if you value your privacy, and battery life

about 1 month ago

New Permission System Could Make Android Much Less Secure

amjohns Re:Well, no. (249 comments)

So you're saying developers will flee Google Play for Apple - if Google implements the EXACT SAME privacy/permissions controls iOS already has??

Lack of control over app permissions, just having to blindly accept whatever an app requests all-or-none, is precisely why I avoid Android. Now they've just made it even worse!

about 1 month ago

In the year since Snowden's revelations ...

amjohns Re:secure by default (248 comments)

Not only does the US Government have no authority over foreigners (not on US soil), those foreigners have no authority to direct the US Government, by means of voting.

Every democratic government's primary interest is making it's citizens happy - that's how the elected officials get re-elected. It's really that simple... For the vast majority of the citizenry, that means the basics: food, water, education, safety, healthcare, etc.

All people (and thus their governments) are inherently selfish to varying degrees, they always want more for themselves, whether it's better food, a bigger house, or improved safety. And they will gladly take personal enrichment, at the sacrifice of others if need be, it's basic human nature. Obviously there are limits, both practical and driven by needing to live communally, whether at the person-to-person level, or nation-to-nation, and that drives just how much we're willing to screw-over someone else to improve some facet of our own lives.

Since we're all trying to get ahead, governments need to keep an eye on each other, to maintain their own standard of living, that will never change. And modern technology has made it easier than ever...

I'm not saying "deal with it", because there do need to be limits, but they will always be driven by ANY government looking out for it's own citizens' well-being first and foremost. If they can achieve that through cooperation, awesome, but sometimes it'll be through subterfuge.

about 2 months ago

In the year since Snowden's revelations ...

amjohns Re:"citizens" ? (248 comments)

Yes, according to the US Constitution: "(We) the People of the United States". The OP's point is still valid...

about 2 months ago

Your 60-Hour Work Week Is Not a Badge of Honor

amjohns Re:Another type that is interesting... (717 comments)

You mean the people that actually come in, knuckle-down, get work done instead of facebook/instagram/etc, then leave and go have a life?? Damn them, Damn them all to hell!!

about 6 months ago

EU Parliament: Other Countries Spy, But Less Than the UK, US

amjohns Re:Problem? (170 comments)

They were probably pissed, of course. But if their company had the right product at the right price, they could have won.

There's a difference between exposing corruption and fostering it. In that specific case, the US had a valid concern of impropriety, were proven right, and protected the national economic health.

Any other country would do the same, and if they're not, then they're failing the citizens...

about 9 months ago

EU Parliament: Other Countries Spy, But Less Than the UK, US

amjohns Re:Problem? (170 comments)

Not at all. By necessity, Israel is one of the best countries at deception, and they use that against everybody.

Given their nature to overreact to threats, I'll sleep much better if ALL the UNSC countries are heavily spying on them, and calling them out when something sketchy is brewing. Looks like they're about to re-invade the West bank?? Bring that up in the spotlight!

about 9 months ago

EU Parliament: Other Countries Spy, But Less Than the UK, US

amjohns Re:Problem? (170 comments)

Absolutely wrong. In many cases, sprying on countries prevents an immediate threat! That said, you have to be sure you're getting accurate data, and not repeat the iraq invasion fiasco.

Should the west stop spying on Iran, and just wait until the day they announce "We've got nukes!"? I think most people would rationally say no way. Should US stop spying on China's buildup of missiles aimed at Taiwan?

But besides the purely miltary applications, here's another equally valid one, well documented by the EU in their Echelon investigations: The US spied on Saudi Arabia and airbus, and found the Saudis were bribed by Airbus to win a massive airplane purchase, over Boeing. When the US blew the whistle, a new clean competition ended up with the US manufacturer winning. That probably saved or created thousands of jobs, clearly protecting US financial well-being. If they had waited until the winner was announced, they would have never known the bribes happened in the first place, so preemptive spying saved jobs, which protects the economy.

about 9 months ago

George Zimmerman Acquitted In Death of Trayvon Martin

amjohns Re:"Three Stooges" Self Defense Law (1737 comments)

The most striking thing to me has always been that both actors would have been within their rights, under "Stand Your Ground," to attack the other.

Absolutely not! The one who instigates the conflict is not entitled to claim self-defense under any state's laws, except if they clearly try to disengage and are prevented by the other person(s) from doing so. Questioning someone is not conflict, it's a question. Hurling fists, or even profanities, is conflict.

Here's how it works:
Scenario 1: I ask you what you're doing here, you pull knife, I shoot you: Legit self-defense. If state has SYG no need for me to run away

Scenario 2: I ask you what you're doing here, you pull knife and stab me: Murder by you.

Scenario 3: I aggressively tell you to '"Get the F(*& out of my neighborhood you $^&%$" while charging towards you (assault), you pull knife (defense), I shoot you: Murder or at least Manslaughter by me, because I started the conflict.

Scenario 4: I aggressively tell you to '"Get the F(*& out of my neighborhood you $^&%$" while charging towards you (assault), you pull knife (defense), I put up my hands and try to run away (disengage), you follow me and back me into a corner (continuing assault), I shoot you: Legit self-defense due to attempt to disengage

Scenario 5: I aggressively tell you to '"Get the F(*& out of my neighborhood you $^&%$" while charging towards you (assault), you pull knife (defense), I put up my hands and try to run away (disengage), you follow me and back me into a corner and stab me: Murder by you

Scenario 6: I aggressively tell you to '"Get the F(*& out of my neighborhood you $^&%$" while charging towards you (assault), you pull knife (defense), I put up my hands and try to run away, you let me go: Assault by me if you want to press charges.

It all boils down the the actions. At no time did anyone prove ZImmerman truly started the conflict, either by hostile words or actions, and that's why the jury had to go with self-defense. *If* Martin was the one to start the conflict, and especially if he was on top of Zimmerman (per witness), then he had no right to do anything.

1 year,17 days

George Zimmerman Acquitted In Death of Trayvon Martin

amjohns Re:Does anyone know (1737 comments)

That man would have to be engaged in a forceable felony or represent a real threat.

Isn't being punched (assault) in the face, on your back, with your head being slammed into concrete a "forcible felony"? Sure seems that way to me, many other people, and quite obviously the jury as well.

I'm not saying that's what happened, none of us really knows... But *if* it was, and the person being beaten didn't throw the first punch or start the fight, then self-defense is absolutely justified. And no, following someone is not starting the fight, even if it's stupid, and possibly morally (although not legally) wrong.

This was clearly a case where the state's slim evidence, and poor evidence handling apparently, was insufficient to overcome the defendant's testimony and medical evidence as to how the events occurred in the minds of the jury. It may be right, it may be wrong, but it's still the best legal system around.

1 year,17 days

Whistleblowing IT Director Fired By FL State Attorney

amjohns Re: Do good ... (569 comments)

So you're claiming that inquiring whether the prosecutor, intentionally or not, withheld evidence from the defense is bad?

That has NOTHING to do w/ anyone's guilt or innocence, it has EVERYTHING to do with the rule of law. FTA: "Kruidbos said he became concerned that lead prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda might not have turned over Kruidbos’ report to defense attorneys." This man saw a potential violation, and questioned it. If that evidence HADN'T been turned over to the defense, it could have been grounds for an appeals court to overturn any possible conviction.

The entire American (and western world) legal system is based on the principle that a defendant has the right to all information the government may try to use against him/her, AND any information that could cast doubt on the prosecutor's evidence or interpretation of the facts; it's called exculpatory evidence. Whether it's relevant to the case is up to the (presumably impartial) judge, and then the jury if the judge allows it to be presented. Now that may not always be fair to the victim and their family, but it's the law, and everyone in the legal system, police, lawyers, judgets, etc is bound to uphold it.

Let me give a similar, but counter hypothetical example: What if the police had a rock-solid forensic expert who could positively identify some of the other evidence (e.g. the screams on the phone), and conclusively prove ZImmerman was innocent (not saying this exists... follow me here)? And they withheld that and still charged him with murder. Would it be right to bring that up? Obviously it would!

There's NO DIFFERENCE between that hypothetical and this actual situation, both are cases of the defendant potentially being denied their right to exculpatory evidence, to be vetted by the judge for relevance and bias.

1 year,18 days

DARPA Develops Non-GPS Navigation Chip

amjohns Re:most likely in case of jamming (84 comments)

Umm, that's not at all how A-GPS works.

A-GPS works by providing an estimated position and time to the GPS reveiver, along with ephemerides (orbital position/parameters) of the satellites. Together, that the search space of which satellitest to look for, estimates of signal doppler, and estimated position. So you get a faster initial position fix, ie cold-start. Once your GPS has accurate time, position, and lock on multiple satellites, A-GPS provides no more benefits.

The data is not a GPS signal from the towers, it's a data payload, pure and simple. In some systems, the GSM networks provides a special low-latency time hack directly, since A-GPS really needs 1mS accuracy to be maximally useful (1mS = 300km position error) and cellular data latency is much worse than that. Position, ephemeris ans 100ms time is still useful though. Estimated position comes from visible towers and big databases, also many smartphones use WiFi as well.

More to the point, inertial navigation sensors like this are designed to augment Radionavigation systems, either carrying the slack when radio isn't available, or helping provide more precise or refined motion data to keep the GPS's Filterssmooth and accurate

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: Dealing With Flagged Channels For XBMC PVR?

amjohns Re:Go OTA (328 comments)

You're lucky, FIOS in most places doesn't set copy protection flags (speaking from experience!).

All you need is an HDHomerun Prime and 1 CableCard @ $4/month, you can record 3 channels simultaneousy. Fortunately I'm still running an awesome SageTV setup, but Myth will work equally well. The only real pain there is setting up scraping the EPG data.

With that setup, you'll have raw MPEG Transport Stream data, unencrypted, that you can copy, move, or transcode to your heart's desire. Want commercial detection and auto-skip -- check.

about a year ago

Verizon to Allow Ads on Its Mobile Phones

amjohns Double Profits - Verizon Screws Customers Again (179 comments)

So in addition to charging advertisers for ad space, Verizon will also be charging users for the additional data download. Not just text, but images, and potentially video in the future.

Given Verizon's past on screwing their customers, like locking down BlueTooth features on phones, and even wired data connections on Treo's, why am I not surprised.

more than 7 years ago


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