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Comments

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New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

david_thornley Re:Not a problem... (312 comments)

What part is untested? How about the whole thing? Theoretically, it's not that difficult. We won't know about practical difficulties until we actually try it.

yesterday
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New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

david_thornley Re:Not a problem... (312 comments)

You think Project Orion is the solution to interstellar travel? Look, guy, space is big. Mind-bogglingly big.. You may think it's a long way to the chemist's/drug store, but.... If we can get a spaceship going at three thousand kilometers/second, it'd take centuries to reach the nearest star. You may want to calculate how much energy it would take to get something going that fast, and consider the size of a self-contained habitat that will function for centuries.

yesterday
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New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

david_thornley Re:Not a problem... (312 comments)

The characteristic of most deserts is not that there's a lot of salt water, but that there's not a lot of water no matter what. Granted, there are deserts that run into oceans or seas, but there's a whole lot of desert terrain that isn't. The reason why they tend to get an unusual amount of solar power is that they don't get the clouds or precipitation. So, why would we want desert-based desalinization plants?

yesterday
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New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

david_thornley Re:Not a problem... (312 comments)

Strange. I live in the American Midwest, and I see lots of people around me. When I go for a drive in the countryside, I pass through a lot of farms and small towns. You'd think people actually lived here.

yesterday
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New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

david_thornley Re:No, It Won't (312 comments)

Could the US feed the world?

IIRC, feeding plants to cows to get beef is about 10% efficient, so let's assume that each of about 300 million Americans is eating effectively ten times as much as is needed. Then, the US could feed about three billion people, or less than half the population.

Water availability is not just a matter of cities. California has some farmland that is very productive, except that it requires considerably more water than it actually gets.

yesterday
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New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

david_thornley Re:No, It Won't (312 comments)

You could compare the progress under communist dictatorship to progress under Peter the Great. Both were strong top-down pushes for modernization in a very backward country, and both had big effects on Russia's economic progress. However, I don't think Peter was a Communist.

yesterday
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New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

david_thornley Re:No, It Won't (312 comments)

The US has a primarily capitalist economy, and certainly wouldn't be socialist even if some of modern capitalism's worst excesses were eliminated.

yesterday
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Ask Slashdot: How To Pick Up Astronomy and Physics As an Adult?

david_thornley Re:You "mind isn't as sharp"? (226 comments)

Depends partly on how new the subject. If it has something to do with computers, I can probably learn it faster at my present mumble years of age than when I was 20. Something like music theory I'm not so sure about. I've lost a few mental steps, but I've learned a whole lot about how to learn.

yesterday
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Ask Slashdot: How To Pick Up Astronomy and Physics As an Adult?

david_thornley Re:I'm older but in the same boat (226 comments)

There's a difference between chemistry and chemical engineering. If you don't care, and you're not independently wealthy, go the chemical engineering route.

yesterday
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Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

david_thornley Re:Assuming .... (497 comments)

Unlike lots of technology companies, Apple makes most of its money by selling stuff to customers. This gives it an incentive to pay attentions to the needs of their customers. And, unlike Google, the customers are actually the people who use the services.

yesterday
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Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

david_thornley Re:So then they get another warrant ... (497 comments)

Communications is a special legal case. Putting anything else in that category would require a new law.

Ever wondered why some places have strict policies on shredding documents and wiping email? It's because if they have these policies, they're not in legal trouble if they're asked for the material. (They are in trouble if they get rid of data they're legally ordered to collect.) It's perfectly legal to limit one's ability to comply with possible court orders.

yesterday
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Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

david_thornley Re:What's your suggestion for intelligence work? (497 comments)

Except that the US did a good deal of cryptanalytic work against the European Axis, including major help on four-rotor Enigma.

yesterday
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Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

david_thornley Re:What's your suggestion for intelligence work? (497 comments)

Sure. It's also legit to shoot at enemy soldiers on sight, or even on suspicion. LAPD to the contrary, this isn't acceptable police practice in peacetime.

yesterday
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Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

david_thornley Re:What's your suggestion for intelligence work? (497 comments)

IIRC, the US did a lot of good work in helping crack the four-rotor Enigma cipher, after other Allies had pretty well solved the three-rotor problem. There were other codes and ciphers the US cracked or helped crack.

(Of course, the US also supplied some vulnerabilities. For part of the North Africa campaign, a US military observer was filing excellent and comprehensive reports on the Allied forces in theater, using a code the Germans had a copy of. Once he was recalled, and the German signals intercept unit was destroyed in a chance encounter, Rommel's decision-making seemed less miraculous.)

(Can you find one country that didn't rewrite WWII history for popular consumption? If the rest of the Allies wanted to get their distortions out, they needed to create their own worldwide movie industry.)

yesterday
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Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

david_thornley Re:Sanity... (497 comments)

Do you have case law to back up your interpretation? We won't know for sure unless and until the US Supreme Court rules, but there's indications that the courts will provide at least some password privacy.

IANAL, but the following is my understanding. A subpoena is for civil suits, not criminal. Most privacy fanatics are more afraid of criminal cases, in which case we're talking about search warrants. These usually involve LEOs showing up and collecting whatever is on the warrant, which may be paper files or hard disks or whatever. However, none of these require any cooperation from the defendant. If the defendant refuses to divulge a safe combination, the police can just break it open somehow (so it may be in the defendant's interest to hand over the combination, to avoid destruction of the safe). Requiring any sort of cooperation to collect evidence is getting awfully close to compelling self-incrimination.

yesterday
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Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

david_thornley Re:Sanity... (497 comments)

Encryption keys are different from physical objects. As far as I know, in the US the only cases where the courts have held that a person must surrender the key is when there was definite knowledge of specific incriminating content. For example, the computer that the customs agent had seen child porn on. Things are different in the UK.

yesterday
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Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

david_thornley Re:So everything is protected by a 4 digit passcod (497 comments)

For a 256-bit key, I suspect that collecting the results from the necessary parallel universes would take longer than the expected lifespan of the universe.

yesterday
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Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

david_thornley Re:So everything is protected by a 4 digit passcod (497 comments)

Brute-forcing a 256-bit key (or even a 128-bit key) is not going to happen without changing the laws of physics. The old 56-bit DES key (actually 64 bits, but only 56 of entropy) was vulnerable to being brute-forced. Going from there to a 256-bit key is increasing the amount of work needed by a factor of about 10^60.

yesterday
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Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

david_thornley Re:So everything is protected by a 4 digit passcod (497 comments)

The other problem with this approach is that it requires having the owner in custody, and being willing to torture information out of the owner. This is a much higher bar than just having the phone available. LEOs would like to be able to stick a cable in your phone and suck everything out on the spot, or at least be able to confiscate the phone and send it in.

yesterday
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Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

david_thornley Re: So everything is protected by a 4 digit passco (497 comments)

It's still impossible to break a 128-bit key by brute force, unless you're very, very, very, very,...,very, very lucky. The only reason to use more would be that you expect an attack on the cipher that will make it far easier to solve. I've read that, if we can ever make 128-qubit quantum computers (which may be impossible for us to actually implement), the effective key length might be halved, so I'd suggest 256-bit keys to be really future-proof.

This applies to any cipher where all possible numbers of the key length can be used as keys, which doesn't apply to the asymmetric ciphers I know of. Also, it assumes that there will be no tremendously effective break. (For the theoretically minded, note that all cipher systems are in NP, so a general solution of NP problems would include all crypto.)

yesterday

Submissions

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Apple makes iBricks

david_thornley david_thornley writes  |  more than 6 years ago

david_thornley (598059) writes "Adrian Kingsley-Hughes at ZDNet has some early reports on Apple turning iPhones into iBricks. Apparently it's happening not only to unlocked iPhones, but to standard locked iPhones where the customer hasn't done anything out of the ordinary. Once bricked, it may be possible to return it to factory settings, losing all photos, mail, contacts, and other things. This isn't good, folks. If you have iPhones of any description, except newly purchased, don't sync with the new update."

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