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Verizon "End-to-End" Encrypted Calling Includes Law Enforcement Backdoor

dunkindave Re:This should be free (162 comments)

You do not understand what "end-to-end encryption" means. The end isn't where ever you feel an "end" is. It's the other end that you are communicating with. That's why it's called "end-to-end" and not "end-to-middle" or "end-to-system" or any other variations.

How did this get modded up? The "ends" are the handsets. As I said "the call is encrypted at one handset and the encrypted data travels to the other handset before being decrypted for the purpose of the call". One handset encrypts it and the other decrypts it. The encrypted data is sent from one handset to the other with the transport system as designed not decrypting the data anywhere in the middle. That is the definition of end-to-end encryption. The only way to push the endpoints further out, assuming the handset is treated as a single unit, would be for your ears or brain to do the encrypting/decrypting. If the system does the encrypting in an insecure manner, due to bugs or due to backdoor, that doesn't change where the transport system encryption and decryption occur and therefore doesn't change that the encryption is "end-to-end encryption". What part of that do YOU not understand?

2 days ago
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Verizon "End-to-End" Encrypted Calling Includes Law Enforcement Backdoor

dunkindave Re:This should be free (162 comments)

Aren't our calls supposed to be encrypted anyway? I mean, so some jack ass with a radio can't listen to them?

Cellular communications are encrypted between the handset and the tower to prevent the radio buff from listening in. How effective that encryption is is up for debate. This means any end-to-end encryption would actually be double encrypting the data as it passed between handsets and towers, once for the cellular signal, and once for the end-to-end system.

Apparently, in Verizon-land, "end-to-end encryption" means something entirely different than it does in the real world.

Also I believe the summary is misleading. This probably is an end-to-end encryption system, meaning the call is encrypted at one handset and the encrypted data travels to the other handset before being decrypted for the purpose of the call. If there is a backdoor that compromises the encryption key, that doesn't change that the system is end-to-end encrypted, just that a snooper would be able to decrypt the traffic.

2 days ago
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Apple Wins iTunes DRM Case

dunkindave Re:I'm shocked. (187 comments)

Doesn't the USA have a concept of jury nullification, where the jury does much more than just determine facts, and actually takes a position on what's right and wrong?

Yes, but that is for criminal trials, not civil trials. Basically, for a criminal trial if the jury returns a verdict of innocent then the defendant walks, no matter how the jury reached that verdict, even if it blatantly goes against the evidence. Jury nullification isn't explicitly codified in law, rather it is a concept that people have applied that is based on how the legal process works, i.e. a jury that returns innocent ends the prosecution. It has been used for juries to deliver justice when people have been unfairly, but legally, charged with crimes.

A civil trial doesn't really have the same protection since a judge is allowed to toss a jury's verdict if he feels it goes egregiously against the facts of the case, but if he does he must defend his decision and he doesn't get to replace the verdict with his own, but rather he in essence declares a mistrial and it has to be retried. Again, this is for the trial portion where the jury's purpose is as a determiner of facts. On the other hand, the jury award during the penalty phase can be reduced by the judge. And like always, any such action by a judge better be defensible otherwise he opens it up to being overturned on appeal.

Just like in criminal trials, in civil trials juries are given wide discretion in order to allow justice to be served. For example, it is not uncommon for the plaintiff to be awarded more by the jury than the plaintiff asked for, or for the jury to decide with their hearts instead of what the evidence logically dictates. Since civil juries decide based on the preponderance of the evidence and that is subjective, the level that must be reached for the judge to be able to toss the jury's decision is pretty high, so overturning such jury results is not very common (though make big press when the few do happen in big cases).

2 days ago
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Apple Wins iTunes DRM Case

dunkindave Re:I'm shocked. (187 comments)

I expect that like so many other technical cases the jury's verdict will be overturned on appeal because juries in the US rarely understand the actual law.

Then it is good that the jury doesn't interpret the law - that is up to the judge and is (supposed to be) based on case law. The sole purpose of the jury during the trial phase is to determine facts, like given the judge's instructions about what the law is, did the defendant violate it, or based on the evidence, did the party do or not do the claimed action. Any appeal will not be based on the jury getting the wrong answer, it will be based on the judge giving the jury the wrong instructions about what the law is, or on what evidence was allowed in or not allowed in, or some other procedural issue, but not the jury's decision.

2 days ago
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Fraud Bots Cost Advertisers $6 Billion

dunkindave Re:I'll wager it doesn't actually matter (190 comments)

Except while the real advertisers will see a 25% payout reduction, the market will also see 25% of the ad expense budget from companies go to scammers. Not the best free market outcome.

about a week ago
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Mathematical Trick Helps Smash Record For the Largest Quantum Factorization

dunkindave Re:Examples given look like 1 bit different (62 comments)

11 in binary is "1011"
13 in binary is "1101"

Two bits were flipped.

Likewise with 233 and 241:
233 in binary is "11101001"
241 in binary is "11110001"

Again, two bits were flipped.

That said, I am not a mathematician and haven't read the article so I don't understand how these two pairs are related.

about two weeks ago
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FBI: Wiper Malware Has Korean Language Packs, Hard Coded Targets

dunkindave Re:As a malware analyst... (81 comments)

I like to apply Occam's Razor. Having dealt with a variety of hackers ranging from newbies up to APT, I have found almost all of them make stupid mistakes and do things like this that leak info. I have yet to see a convincing false-flag since attackers would rather hide their origin than fake it, meaning they try to remove all such info instead of putting in fake info. Given my experience I have no trouble whatsoever believing the indicators of the Korean language pack presence on the origination computers is a strong lead for where it came from. The current beef that NK has against Sony due to the upcoming film, along with they specific threats, just adds to it as corresponding motive, like the cherry on top of the sundae.

about two weeks ago
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Physicist Kip Thorne On the Physics of "Interstellar"

dunkindave Re:Inconsistent fuel? (289 comments)

*Warning: (mild) spoilers follow*

They leave Earth with a Saturn V like rocket and they take 2 years to go to Saturn. ... On the other side of the wormhole they do all sort of maneuvers landing on (easy) and leaving planets (difficult) with only a small craft (the Ranger).

I noticed that. They needed a multi-stage rocket to leave Earth, but the crafts alone could land on then leave the water planet (130% Earth gravity) and the ice planet (80% Earth gravity), and the main vessel could pull away from orbiting a black hole.

A couple other things also bothered me.

1) If the water planet was that close to the black hole I am pretty sure it would be ripped apart by tidal forces. Also, if it is so close to the hole, where is the star that it is getting light from? And as someone else mentioned, shouldn't the radio transmissions have been Doppler frequency shifted and dramatically slowed? And since they are reading the radio transmissions from the probe, wouldn't they have known that it had only seen a few minutes of ground time since that is all it would have (Doppler shifted) reported? The only other explanation is they chose to go to a planet that they had lost all contact from which is contrary to what the plot is.

2) And for going into the black hole, if we buy his statement about how not to get torn apart, I didn't get how they were planning on sending info out from the black hole. Once you are in, you are in, and they said they needed data from inside it, not from just outside it.

3) And how did he get out of the black hole at the end? No explanation. Just boom, there he is, along with his robot.

4) Why did the wormhole suddenly become unable to communicate back? They already had info from the first people so it was working then, and they spoke about being able to see things in the wormhole as they approached, so why the change?

5) His statement that the wormhole and the inside-the-black-hole constructs were made by far future humans is a theory, but isn't based on any evidence what so ever. Maybe it was, or maybe it is some other species. I guess it keeps them out of hot water with those who insist man is alone in the universe. But if it was future humans, why all the roundabout maneuvers? If they wanted to send a message, and they can manipulate gravity like is stated, then just send it. Big document inscribed in the desert sands. No need for subtleties. Yeah, yeah, I know, then no movie plot. ;)

I know you need to suspend some beliefs when watching movies, especially science fiction, but there has to be a limit to the amount you need to suspend. OK, feel better now.

about three weeks ago
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Dealer-Installed GPS Tracker Leads To Kidnapper's Arrest in Maryland

dunkindave Re:Summary is hogwash (271 comments)

It is well established, almost back to the establishment of contract law, that failure to thoroughly read a contract is no defense.

Failure to thoroughly read a contract, in and of itself, is no defense.

As long as the information was contained somewhere in the contract in a form readable by a human being then the party that produced the contract is in the right.

Really? So if I put a line buried in the middle of a contract that says by signing you are conveying to me as consideration any and all rights to all real and personal property you own, then that clause is enforceable? Unreasonable conditions in a contract are not enforceable, and having a long, wordy, and legaleze rich contract HAS been held by the courts to potentially be a form of manipulation by sellers to deceive buyers. If a reasonable person would be shocked by something in a contract, then as a general rule it would probably not be enforceable unless the seller (the creator of the contract I might point out), explicitly singles it out to make clear the buyer knew about it and was OK with it. Hence, my original post's buried in a contract versus contained in its own form.

I have infuriated many a company rep--sales, customer service, legal--by sitting down and actually reading the documents put in front of me. I worked at a realty agent for a while as a tech. I would say that fewer than 1 in 10 people buying a house read past the front page of their contract.

I also normally, though not always, read contracts that many people just sign. I spent about 15 minutes reading the sales contract for a car I recently bought, which the salesman was fine with. When I bought my last house, I also read through all the documents before signing, which pissed them off, mostly because they scheduled the signing for 4:30PM on a Friday and they couldn't leave until I finished, which took till almost 8PM.

It is wise to read anything you are signing, but failure to read it doesn't mean you are SOL if something bad was slipped in. IANAL.

about a month ago
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Customers Creating Fake Amazon Pages To Get Cheap Electronics At Walmart

dunkindave Re:wont last (287 comments)

That used to be a trick that stores used for mattresses, maybe they still do. The major companies like Serta, Sealy, and Simmons, would make a different model name for various major stores. Each store offered to beat any other store selling the same , IDENTICAL, item. Since they each sold their own "unique" mattress model they never had to actually match anyone. The fact that Sears' Foo and Wards' Bar were the same mattress, just with a different label and SKU, was of no help to the consumer.

I have seen things like that at Walmart too, like special version of a DVD that contains an extra trailer, or a drill that doesn't come with the carrying case like it does from Home Depot, all differences that cause it to have a different SKU.

about a month ago
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Customers Creating Fake Amazon Pages To Get Cheap Electronics At Walmart

dunkindave Re:Dumb-asses! (Fry's is not so dumb...) (287 comments)

There was a story a few years ago about Best Buy rigging their in-store computers to show a higher price than their website to the public. It was a shadow system that looked like the external site, but gave different prices. Its purpose was to trick people who look something up online, see the price, go to the store, find it at a different price, and complain. The salesman would pull it up on their "website" like the customer says they did, show the customer that they were mistaken, the marked price is the price it shows, and the customer was faced with either walking out or accepting the higher price. Smartphones were the fall of this practice since customers no longer had to use the Best Buy systems to look things up. They could whip out their iPhone/Android/BlackBerry/(cringe)Windows and look it up for themselves. When some of these people questioned the sales person's answer and independently verified the info on the spot, which didn't match, all hell broke loose.

about a month ago
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Dealer-Installed GPS Tracker Leads To Kidnapper's Arrest in Maryland

dunkindave Re:Summary is hogwash (271 comments)

In the article is the statement:

"McDougall said the customer is required to sign a form acknowledging there's a GPS unit in their vehicle. If the car buyer tries to remove it, the dealer is alerted."

Thus it seems likely maybe the perp was informed about the tracking device.

It depends on how prominent the disclosure was. Was it in 8 point font in the middle of paragraph 37 on page 7 of the 12 pages the buyer had to sign? Or was it in 14 point font on its own form that dealt with nothing but the presence of a tracking device? Unfortunately saying the buyer signed an "acknowledgement" doesn't prove the device's presence was known, and courts interpret these things in how a "reasonable" person would find it. Also, the way that was written could mean the device's installation was acknowledged somewhere in a document, but since it was in a new sentence, the point about alerting if removed may be a comment about how it works rather than what the form contained.

Now the task is to find a hole deep and dark enough for this vile predator.

I prefer sending them to an exclusive gated community with lots of large males so they can learn how to make friends. You know, opening new doors and all that.

about a month and a half ago
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NSA Director Says Agency Shares Most, But Not All, Bugs It Finds

dunkindave Re:Trust me (170 comments)

The truth is that they value their ability to penetrate ANY system higher than protecting Americans.

Your flawed logic is premised on the assumption that the ability to penetrate an adversary's computer isn't at times necessary in order to protect Americans. It is also premised on the assumption that they do not monitor for adversaries using the withheld flaws.

about a month and a half ago
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Apple Pay Competitor CurrentC Breached

dunkindave Re:Apparently they pissed off the wrong people (265 comments)

Apparently they pissed off the wrong people When these retailers started turning off NFC.

Never attribute to malice what can easily be explained by greed. I think the publicity made a lot of people who hadn't previously known about MerchantC, some of which are crooks, say "Hey, there's a new payment system? Let's see if it can be hacked." Seems that during round one they only got non-financial data, but let's wait for rounds two through 100,000.

about a month and a half ago
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Apple Pay Competitor CurrentC Breached

dunkindave Re:If only (265 comments)

Payments in App Store apps have 30% commission. ApplePay does not cost the merchant any more than a standard credit card fee (which apple splits with the banks).

If by "split" you mean the banks take 99.985% and Apple takes 0.015%. While the term is probably technically accurate, its use here is misleading, especially after mentioning the 30% figure. It's more like Apple takes their very small cut, and even that makes it sound a lot bigger than it is.

about a month and a half ago
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"Police Detector" Monitors Emergency Radio Transmissions

dunkindave Re:Encrypted? (215 comments)

Blu Eye monitors frequencies used by the encrypted TETRA encrypted communications networks used by government agencies in Europe

Yeah, but is it encrypted?

Yes, the detector system detects that the police radio is transmitting, and when it does the metadata of the transmission can still be read (it's packetized transmissions), only the data contents of the transmission are encrypted. This lets the system know that kind of radio transmitted and how strong the signal was, but can not allow the person to listen to what was said. It's like with a VPN, if you snoop the wire you can still tell that two systems are talking, and what the endpoint addresses are, even if you can't read the data being sent.

about 2 months ago
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How To Beat Online Price Discrimination

dunkindave Re:Contradiction (163 comments)

While anything like this can always devolve into a cat and mouse game, any of the approaches like tracking IP addresses also comes with problems for the vendors. What about businesses, schools, Starbucks, airports, hotels, etc, that use NAT and so everyone that is behind it have the same IP as far as the website is concerned? Do they see all 10000 Google employees that use the same NAT device as one person so they all get treated badly? Or just because someone in the same hotel searched for a flight (a common event) all the other guests are labeled with that person's characteristics? Some would say the businesses could learn the addresses of such NATs, assuming they aren't dynamic and therefore occasionally change, but there are A LOT of them, so at best only the large ones might get into such a database. And so the cycle of beat the other guy continues.

about 2 months ago
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How To Beat Online Price Discrimination

dunkindave Re:Prices change based on how you get there (163 comments)

See, that's what gets me - the situation should be reversed - if you're a loyal customer you should be paying the same or less. The store should invest in upselling the loyal customer on upgrades or volume purchases, but double price for the same item just because you are using their site - that's just rude.

I think what they are trying to do is the same way many companies use a low first-time rate to try to entice people to try their product so they get to know it with the hope that they will then become a loyal customer (and paying full price). This company is assuming that if you got there from a Google search, then you are shopping and they want to introduce themselves. The problem here is twofold. First, they don't let you know that you are getting a special first-time deal so you get massive sticker shock when you come back. Second, if you figure it out and come back through Google you get the same half-off discount again so it negates the "first time is discounted" philosophy, namely they did the implementation badly, and it make it seem like they are trying to gouge their repeat customers (which maybe they are).

Either way, when people find out that the price is higher if they use their cell phone versus their computer, or use Safari versus IE, or use a Mac versus Windows, or search for a more expensive version then search for a cheaper one versus the other way, it makes people feel victimized and cheated. The reality is people have always been pawns to be used and manipulated by businesses, it is just that when you catch them doing it it makes you angry.

about 2 months ago
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How To Beat Online Price Discrimination

dunkindave Re:Contradiction (163 comments)

The article talks about this. They say use a private window, and thereby no cookies, to see what a generic visitor would see, then also look in you regular browser window, and compare the two. Sometimes your cookies may help you get a lower price, in which case use them, and sometimes they may hurt, in which case use the private window that isn't sharing them.

about 2 months ago
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How To Beat Online Price Discrimination

dunkindave Re:shouldnt this be illegal? (163 comments)

It is more like a food chain charging a higher price for food in an airport or across from the sports stadium than they do at their general locations. They are using market information to adjust prices in order to maximize profit - exactly what a business is expected to do. In this case, they are using information they have about the consumer, such as previous buying decisions to gauge desire, and adjusting the offered price in an attempt to maximize the sale price. Legally, as long as they do not knowingly use information regarding a protected class as a criteria then they aren't breaking any laws (using where the person/connection is coming from, say a rich area versus a poor area, is still debatable if it is legal - some precedent says yes and some says no). Many or most people still feel these practices are shady.

about 2 months ago

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