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German Intelligence Spying On Allies, Recorded Kerry, Clinton, and Kofi Annan

fsterman High Horse (170 comments)

... 'It's a kind of delightful revelation given the fact that the Germans have been on their high horse.' Christian Whiton, a former ... State Department senior advisor

Yup, Germany stepped off their high-horse and dived right into our cesspool. But just because everyone is violating our fundamental civil liberties en-mass doesn't make it any less evil.

The only thing this tells us is what our threat model should have been from the start.

about 3 months ago
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WikiLeaks' Assange Hopes To Exit London Embassy "Soon"

fsterman Re:How many years could he be charged with? (299 comments)

Except per Swedish and EU law that would be illegal.

I don't know why you people keep bringing it up.

Because Assange has said that if Britain and Sweden would put forth a good-faith promise not to extradite him he would happily travel to Sweden to face the molestation charges.

If what you are saying is true then I don't know why Glenn Greenwald (a former lawyer) and others would have put together a document detailing exactly how the two governments could make that promise,

This is why this is so crucial: if Sweden (and/or Britain) would provide some meaningful assurance that Assange would not be extradited to the US to face espionage charges for WikiLeaks' journalism, then the vast majority of asylum supporters (including me) would loudly demand that he immediately travel to Stockholm to confront those allegations; Assange himself has said he would do so. That gives the lie to the ugly slander that those who have expressed support for Ecuador's asylum decision are dismissive of the sex assault claims or do not care about seeing them resolved.

Speaking for myself, I have always said the same thing about those allegations in Sweden from the moment they emerged: they are serious and deserve legal resolution. It is not Assange or his supporters preventing that resolution, but the Swedish and British governments, which are strangely refusing even to negotiate as to how Assange's rights against unjust extradition and political persecution can be safeguarded along with the rights of the complainants to have their allegations addressed.

Of course, Greenwald and the Guardian might be lying but, at this point, I trust them much more than I trust British and Swedish governments.

about 3 months ago
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The Supreme Court Doesn't Understand Software

fsterman Yup (263 comments)

Patents were created to help protect the upfront capital investments required for creating physical goods. We came up with a set of rules that protect against utterly absurd misapplications of this temporary monopoly. The justices are trying to apply these baseline protections to an area of investment and innovation that is radically different. If only we could just pass a law saying "this is stupid" and move on....

about 5 months ago
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Physicists Turn 8MP Smartphone Camera Into a Quantum Random Number Generator

fsterman Re:Why not just use noise from the various antenna (104 comments)

I had the same thought, smartphones have plenty of physical hardware interfaces and can certainly make due. AFAIK, servers are the only place where we need a lot more entropy than a standard device and where (especially on virtual machines) there is a poverty of physical signals to mix in. Even here, however, you only need to ensure that the initial seed is random, hashing will take care of the rest. FWIW, Ubuntu 14 comes with a nifty random entropy seed protocol called pollinate.

I think the authors are just going out on an a limb to try and find some practical edge to the paper. Everyone's being pushed to do that now, it's a publicity stunt that (apparently) works.

about 7 months ago
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Shunting the FCC To the Slow Lane

fsterman CloudFlare could make this actually hurt. (194 comments)

I think CloudFlare and some of the other big CDN's would need to add this as an optional feature before it got big enough to matter. I just don't see Google adopting this.

Wikipedia OTOH....

about 7 months ago
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Snowden Used the Linux Distro Designed For Internet Anonymity

fsterman Re:NSA boogeyman (171 comments)

A Tor developer? Being paranoid? Shocking!

No, I'm sorry, when I say "evidence" what I mean is, and try to follow along here, "evidence". Not anecdotes. Not scary bumping noises in the night. Evidence.

Okay, "When I flew away for an appointment, I installed four alarm systems in my apartment," Appelbaum told the paper after discussing other situations which he said made him feel uneasy. "When I returned, three of them had been turned off. The fourth, however, had registered that somebody was in my flat - although I'm the only one with a key. And some of my effects, whose positions I carefully note, were indeed askew. My computers had been turned on and off."

Who breaks into an apartment, turns off alarms, and politely tries to put everything back in its place? Do you want him to post video of agents too? Just listen to the man.

about 7 months ago
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Algorithm Challenge: Burning Man Vehicle Exodus

fsterman Re:A few reasons why it won't work: (273 comments)

Oh, and it should be simple to enforce: have the priority queue queued up before their allotted time. You have to be there X minutes before the queue is scheduled to let out or you won't get into the queue. That gives you X minutes to inspect all of the vehicle plates.

about 8 months ago
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Algorithm Challenge: Burning Man Vehicle Exodus

fsterman Re:A few reasons why it won't work: (273 comments)

However, couldn't this be implemented as a priority queue? When the the priority queue empties, the general queue gets out. People whom are able to break camp early, without waiting for others in their group, do so. If the group *must* leave camp at the same time, they all file into the general queue.

The length of the priority queue will fluctuate, but you could plan for fewer slots later in the day (for example).

about 8 months ago
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Java 8 Officially Released

fsterman Re:whohoo! Swiss cheese! (302 comments)

ok, so Lambda expressions are cool, but are they critical?

Yes.

They allow you to distribute a job without doing all of threads and callbacks by yourself. Even if you ignore the electron wall Moore's law is hitting, "cloud" computing is all about doing many small computations simultaneously.

about 8 months ago
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White House Responds To Net Neutrality Petition

fsterman Great, at least we got them on the record... (245 comments)

...saying something they had already put on the record. He has a great issue that the public is passionate about but Obama folds every hand he is dealt.

about 9 months ago
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Whatever Happened To the IPv4 Address Crisis?

fsterman Charge more (574 comments)

Why doesn't ARIN just charge more per IPv4 address? They could have easily setup rents to try and even out the price being paid by early adopters. Those who really cannot upgrade can continue to do so but those that can will do so more quickly. Give them something they can put into an Excel spreadsheet vs existential benifits to adopting IPv6 at a high financial cost ... seems like an obvious solution to me.

about 9 months ago
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Whatever Happened To the IPv4 Address Crisis?

fsterman Re:IPv6 usage IS increasing (574 comments)

Great, so 30 years in and we might actually switch over.

about 9 months ago
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Whatever Happened To the IPv4 Address Crisis?

fsterman Re:Probably the home router... (574 comments)

Thank god the IETF hasn't bowed to pressure by idiots to impliment NAT in IPv6.

about 9 months ago
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Whatever Happened To the IPv4 Address Crisis?

fsterman Re:Probably the home router... (574 comments)

Ugh, stop blaming firewalls as being too restrictive and then saying NAT doesn't have those problems. The "many techniques" you mention of getting around NAT don't work very well and are vastly simpler to impliment using standard firewalls. NAT is a shitty hack and it's not any harder to detect if a proper firewall is blocking a port or a certain address vs a NAT just not fowarding the requests properly. NAT comes broken by default.

about 9 months ago
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L.A. Building's Lights Interfere With Cellular Network, FCC Says

fsterman Re:Usenet is the new Slashdot, see you in comp.mis (158 comments)

Because Beta has exposed a fatal flaw in web- based communities, ie that the current owner of a domain around which a community has formed can choose to do whatever they like, the new official Slashdot is on Usenet, at comp.misc and I hope to see you all there.

Eternal September is a free Usenet provider, with the caveat that they do not carry binary (warez+porn) groups. Head on over and get your account today, and then we'll see each other on comp.misc!

The intersection of people who regularly read Usenet and the people pissed off at /. moving past it's late 90's development model is nearly perfect.

about 10 months ago
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On the Practicalities of Counterfeit-Proof Physical Bitcoins

fsterman Re:Bullshit... (121 comments)

He makes the case for the currency over purely electronic by saying that 3rd world countries won't tolerate cell phones as it's too expensive. At the same time, he wants to trivialize that requirement when it comes to supporting his point of adding value to such a currency since 'anyone with an NFC equipped cellphone' can verify the currency.

If someone already has a cellphone with an NFC reader then it's basically a "free" PUF verifier. Even if you want scanner to verify those payments a PUF physical scanner would be cheaper and more secure than a credit card machine. But the real distinction comes when you are in markets which don't have access to credit card payment systems at all, in which case verifying the currency is still better than judging a bill by the number of creases it has.

about 10 months ago
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On the Practicalities of Counterfeit-Proof Physical Bitcoins

fsterman Re:An easier solution: Don't make coins (121 comments)

The article assumes for some strange reason, that those countries use coins. Well hello to the reality, many countries have paper money only and no coins, or after inflation the coins are so worthless, that they're good as collectors items only.

Wtf are you talking about? The distinction is between physical and digital versions of a currency, not between paper vs. metal incarnations of the physical currency. And, huh, if you have hyper-inflation they are worthless.

about 10 months ago
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On the Practicalities of Counterfeit-Proof Physical Bitcoins

fsterman Re:Bullshit... (121 comments)

Point taken, but the thing is before that has any value, the recipient of the currency must actually verify that data. There is no point in conveying that info in an expensive physical coin, because such infrastructure could just as easily be fed the data by electronic means or even a printed slip of paper. The physical coin aspect of it becomes the tail wagging the dog, an overpriced way of conveying the counterfeit resistant data. If the data is not actually envisioned to be verified at time of transaction, then it's as useless as the serial number on a dollar.

If you can start with a trusted reader (A.K.A. a trusted base, the premise with *all* cryptography) then you can sign all of that data. Even if you are able to crack the verification code and feed an offline reader faulty data you would have to control what coins that person comes in contact with. Read up on how UXTO extension works to verify transactions authenticity without having the full block chain.

The only thing holding Bitcoin from exploding in many markets is a lack of a physical incarnation.

Incredibly wishful thinking there. Bitcoin has a lot more problems than lack of a physical incarnation. Being outlawed by major governments, at the mercy of speculators without any regulation, and downright vulnerable to an attack by a critical mass of mining resources working together.

That is in reference to markets with hyperinflation. The whole point is that the local government is trying to force people to use a useless currency. Compared to falling back on physical dollars, physical Bitcoins can be seamlessly transferred to a digital account and used online. It's about extending the utility of the digital version to a physical version, just as we can do with dollars and PayPal, just without the banks and regulatory policies which blockade people from third-world countries.

rural farmers in 3rd world countries are not going to get a smartphone and a $100/month data plan just so they can accept Bitcoin.

Exactly! But just a few sentences above it says:

anyone with an NFC equipped cellphone can check if a coin is counterfeit.

You've come round full circle to the problem in the first place: You need functioning internet infrastructure (and a long time) to validate a transaction in the secure way. Without that, you could counterfeit any 'bitcoin' based currency just as easily as any other currency.

They have made cheap, $10 devices which can verify PUF's.

A viable alternative currency for micro-nations and dictatorships with hyper-inflation."

Another foolish statement. Again, people are incorrectly assuming there is a technological solution to a socioeconomic problem. The failure of such currencies are a symptom, not a root cause. If it were as simple as all that, the citizens could just as easily move around some stable foreign currency. You can't do a safe, 'sneaky' end run around the force that governs a citizenry. So long as they are empowered to prosecute, shut down internet infrastructure, or just send soldiers into the street, no currency trick is going to work in the face of the fundamental problem.

No, this is not a solution to the problem as a whole. However, in your words, it makes end-run arounds the forces that govern the local citizenry a hell of a lot easier and safer. This helps to weaken the power of a central government to force the citizens to use a currency which they have manipulated and thus weakens the power of such a government to manipulate their currencies to begin with.

about 10 months ago
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On the Practicalities of Counterfeit-Proof Physical Bitcoins

fsterman Re:Not necessary (121 comments)

RTFA, dollars are not impervious to counterfeiting and there is no way for locals to check the authenticity. With physical Bitcoins, you can get both.

about 10 months ago
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On the Practicalities of Counterfeit-Proof Physical Bitcoins

fsterman Re:Why do dictactorships have hyperinflation? (121 comments)

Did you read the article? Physical bit coins are a solution for people that don't have the infrastructure required to make BTC work.

about 10 months ago

Submissions

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Research Shows RISC vs CISC Doesn't Matter

fsterman fsterman writes  |  about 3 months ago

fsterman (519061) writes "The power advantages brought by the RISC instruction sets used in Power and ARM chips is often pitted against the X86's efficiencies of scale. It's difficult to asses how much the difference between instruction sets matter because teasing out the theoretical efficiency of an ISA from the proficiency of a chip's design team, technical expertise of its manufacturer, and support for architecture-specific optimizations in compilers is nearly impossible . However, new research examining the performance of a variety of ARM, MIPS, and X86 processors gives weight to Intel's conclusion: the benefits of a given ISA to the power envelope of a chip are minute."
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Speech.is: interop for Nameoin censorship resistant DNS

fsterman fsterman writes  |  about 6 months ago

fsterman (519061) writes "Growing up on Slashdot, I've been watched ICANN and the slow decline of the DNS system with great dismay. A year ago, I set out to create a scalable interoperability layer for Namecoin that doesn't involve proxies or mirroring content.

Speech.is reimplements DNS lookups within the browser itself. When coupled with emerging WebRTC P2P networks we are able to push all processing to the client side, shielding us from legal liability.

What's *really* amazing is that I was able to backport some of the censorship resistant properties of the Namecoin .bit TLD to regular websites. Governments will be unable to selectively censor websites and it will be *very* difficult for politicians and judges to rationalize their way into blacklisting the entire domain.

The www.speech.is website has the full nitty-gritty details. However, remember that this is a developer preview!"

Link to Original Source
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ReactOS

fsterman fsterman writes  |  about 6 months ago

fsterman (519061) writes "Imagine a world in which we could use a Windows clone to cross-compile our applications in a continuous integration environment or run that one Windows program that a single customer needs for backwards compatibility. Think it's impossible? Well, the crazy talented ReactOS developers have an IndieGoGo campaign for a community edition and a donation gives you a vote on which apps the latest release should cover. They have make $20,000 of their $50,000 and they have a couple of few weeks left. Any other Slashdoter's want to help make Windows even MORE obsolete?"
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Ideas for protesting Ballmer's graduation speech?

fsterman fsterman writes  |  about 8 months ago

fsterman (519061) writes "Apparently Ballmer is speaking at my graduation upcoming graduation. As a proponent of direct-action, FLOSS fanatic, and software patent hater, I would like to inject something intelligent into whatever retrospective his speech delivers.

Any suggestions?"
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Petition for metric in US halfway to requiring response from the White House

fsterman fsterman writes  |  about 2 years ago

fsterman writes "Without any prompting from the US Metric Association, a We The People petition to standardize the US on the metric system has received 13,000 signatures in six days. That's half the number needed for an official response from the White House. It looks like ending the US's anti-metric alliance with Liberia and Burma (the only other countries NOT on the US metric system) might rank up there with building a death star."
Link to Original Source
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Are there any Open Source 2D printers?

fsterman fsterman writes  |  about 2 years ago

fsterman writes "After a few years of service, my Epson printer is dead. The part that really gets me upset is that I bought an entire pack of ink trying to fix the problem. Given the abundance of open-source 3D printers, I thought that an open source 2D printer would have been in production by now but Google didn't turn up anything. Do any Slashdot readers know of any projects I missed? Why haven't there been any open source 2D printers?"
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Finding Doctors with Electronic Records

fsterman fsterman writes  |  more than 4 years ago

fsterman (519061) writes "I bit into a cookie last night and a spike of pain shot through my jaw- I need to find a dentist! I just moved to town and I need a new one. I found a wonderful family doctor who uses electronic record keeping; it's amazing to have a doctor that can do a keyword search through your records or send electronic prescriptions to the pharmacy so they are ready for pickup. But finding him was a happy accident, doctors rarely advertise and I can't find any directory of techno-savvy doctors.

I was hoping some Slashdotters might have suggestions on how to find a doctor with electronic record keeping. Make it quick- my molars really hurt!"
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Why don't printers just share their print driver?

fsterman fsterman writes  |  more than 4 years ago

fsterman (519061) writes "My day job is working at a printing company and the set-up for the $20,000 printer their and the $100 printer at my house is almost the exact same, except when I went browsing for the printer on my home network I needed to have the drivers installed on my laptop whereas the work printer shares the driver; no install needed. As a usability person, it's the single largest problem with printers. Why the hell don't the manufacturers just have the various drivers reside on the printer? It would only require a few megs of space, it would give a leg-up to smaller vendors, and it could be a great selling point "No driver install headaches!""
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Laws to Goad School Into Enforcing Privacy?

fsterman fsterman writes  |  more than 4 years ago

fsterman (519061) writes "I sit on a student government board which distributes funds for technology projects that benefit students. The head of security updated us about a swipe card system for the computer terminals that was approved and funded only to be blocked by the head of facilities because the man had a bad experience with swipe cards at a hotel. Potentially even more disturbing was how an faculty adviser had played off the presentation as one big "scare tactic" and that if identity theft had been happening we would "hear more about it." While I plan to make my opinion heard to both the head of facilities, the campus president, etc, the biggest problem is funding. Are there any laws (or lawyers) that /. readers can clue me in on to force them to protect my information?"
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What happened to 5.25" hard drives?

fsterman fsterman writes  |  more than 5 years ago

indolering writes "While scouring the usual suspects for cheap a HD I got to thinking about the old 5.25" hard drives of the 90's. I'm on a tight budget (as is everyone else these days) but I don't have room for another 3.5" hard drive. So I have to get an exponentially larger drive or an eSATA case. Since 5.25" inch disks have roughly twice the surface area, why wouldn't we still be making these suckers? The larger capacity would allow for more bad sectors/manufacturing defects, the SOHO, media center, and vanilla consumer NAS market doesn't seem to care if they are larger; users just hide the units behind the couch or stick them into a supplies closet. Is it more economical because of part overlap between the 2.5" and 3.5" disks, is the additional raw material more expensive than just increasing memory density, what?"
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Free GMAIL stickers!

fsterman fsterman writes  |  more than 5 years ago

fsterman writes "Not too long ago, one of the Gmail engineers broke out her vinyl cutter and made some Gmail m-velope stickers. Pretty soon, they were pasted to our desks, and adorning the walls around the office. But when a guy I was sitting next to on an airplane asked where he could get a Gmail sticker, we realized other people might like them too."
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Fraudster Vigilantism

fsterman fsterman writes  |  more than 6 years ago

fsterman (519061) writes "I submitted my resume and credit history for an apartment rental on craigslist, only to find out from the apartment management that it was a fraud. When I found out the infamous P-P-P-PowerBook immediately came to mind. Now I am pissed, one for the poor idiots who might send this person money and two because they have my freaking credit history. I thought about sending them a virus in a PDF document, sadly the only widely known one requires Acrobat Pro — and I doubt the fraudster wouldn't have some kind of AntiVirus protection on their computer. So /. readers- give me some ideas here. (oh, and her email is amanda.ddougan@gmail.com BTW ;)"
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