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Ask Slashdot: How To Stay Ahead of Phone Tracking ?

asnelt Airplane mode and OsmocomBB (259 comments)

I would say a good start is to just use the airplane mode of your phone. That should disable your RF transmitter. But of course you wont be notified when the network is paging your IMSI. The save option is to use a phone with OsmocomBB, a free software implementation of the GSM stack: http://bb.osmocom.org/trac/ It has limited functionality (no GPRS working at the moment) but at least you know exactly would your phone is doing. With that, you can even run CatcherCatcher, which is able to detect IMSI catchers: http://opensource.srlabs.de/projects/catcher The supported phones are a bit outdated, mostly old Motorola phones. But there is one supported smartphone: the Openmoko Freerunner. It is pretty usable these days and is fully supported by Debian. I love it, but you will need to tinker - a lot.

about a year and a half ago
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Man Tries To Live an Open Source Life For a Year

asnelt Re:A life without Coke? (332 comments)

If I refused to use privative software at all, I couldn't even use a phone (even if the soft is free, the GSM firmware won't be).

Yes, you can. Try OsmocomBB (http://bb.osmocom.org/trac/). It's a free software GSM solution for several Motorola phones and the Neo Freerunner.

more than 2 years ago
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I believe humanity will first achieve ...

asnelt World peace at great cost (637 comments)

I believe humanity will achieve world peace at the cost of enforced conformity and police states everywhere. None of the other options seem very likely in the foreseeable future.

more than 2 years ago
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Trials and Errors: Why Science Is Failing Us

asnelt Re:Then we must live forever (474 comments)

That is a bold claim. Whether you are dead or not would definitely depend on your definition of death. In my opinion consciousness is locked to a point in time (and to the configuration of the brain). So, in order to be in line with your notion of death, "you" die every moment.

more than 2 years ago
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What Happens When the Average Lifespan is 150 Years?

asnelt Re:Why stop at 150 ? (904 comments)

You do not touch my point. You seem to agree that a conscious entity arises due to information evolving over time. Let us keep this assumption.

For the sake of the argument let us further assume that everything you described is actually possible and that you can transform into a conscious entity experiencing infinite subjective time. Even then entropy flies in the face of your argument. The problem is that you cannot conserve information indefinitely - even if you try with all the resources in the world. Sure, you would have a conscious being experiencing time continuously. But after waiting sufficiently long that entity would have absolutely no information about the present day. It wouldn't share any information with you. This does not only include memories but also behavioral patterns, world views and so forth. That being could have evolved from any other being living today, you wouldn't be able to tell. Thus, that being won't be you given any sane definition of identity. You would be gone for sure.

Several of your other assumptions are very strong. Everything you describe is discrete: computation steps, finite state machines. The brain is not discrete and simulating it exactly using a finite state machine is impossible. You might argue that you can simulate it with arbitrary precision given enough resources and that might be sufficient depending on your notion of identity. It is my personal belief that this is impractical. (As a side note I am convinced that the notion of an evolving consciousness per se is all rubbish anyway; if you could generate an exact copy of yourself, which one would be 'you', the copy or the original? None, obviously. Consciousness is fixed to a point in time.)

In any case information degradation is a fundamental problem for immortality.

more than 3 years ago
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What Happens When the Average Lifespan is 150 Years?

asnelt Re:Why stop at 150 ? (904 comments)

I'm not worried about the human body. I'm worried about the information that represents 'you'. You would have a dynamical system (your consciousness) evolving over the millennia which at the end would have nothing in common with the 'you' of today. I agree that there is an implicit materialistic assumption about the self, though.

more than 3 years ago
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What Happens When the Average Lifespan is 150 Years?

asnelt Re:Why stop at 150 ? (904 comments)

Entropy makes immortality impossible. Sorry to be the one to tell you, but you will have to die like the rest of us.

more than 3 years ago
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Android Phones More Prone To Hardware Problems

asnelt Re:My experience confirms it (220 comments)

Well, I am also using a Nexus One and I don't have any of the problems you mentioned (running CyanogenMod). So you probably have a software problem...

more than 3 years ago
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Human Astrocytes Developed From Stem Cells

asnelt Significance of Astrocytes (92 comments)

There has been a lot of discussion lately about the importance of astrocytes. I didn't know that they are linked to certain neurological diseases. But at least for information processing they seem to be quite unimportant. There is a study that was published in Science where the researchers basically knocked out the signaling of all astrocytes in mice and the behaviour of the animals changed only marginally. A summary of this debate was published last year in an open access article in Nature: http://www.nature.com/news/2010/101110/full/468160a.html

more than 3 years ago
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Sony Encourages Linux On Their Phones

asnelt Re:Android is barely "Linux"... (212 comments)

I can run a full GNU/Linux in a chroot on my phone _because_ Android is based on Linux. That could not be done as easily without the Linux kernel.

more than 3 years ago
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Five of the Best Free Linux Disk Encryption Tools

asnelt Re:There can be only one (135 comments)

Sorry, I just noticed that you can now distribute modified versions of TrueCrypt. They must have changed the license.

more than 3 years ago
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Five of the Best Free Linux Disk Encryption Tools

asnelt Re:There can be only one (135 comments)

The problem is that TrueCrypt is not free software. It is open source but you don't have the freedom to distribute your own modified version. Therefore, there cannot be any community-driven development of TrueCrypt and - unless you can fix things that you don't like yourself - you are subject to the whim of the original developers of TrueCrypt.

more than 3 years ago

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