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If You're Connected, Apple Collects Your Data

j-beda Re:If you want results from the web (309 comments)

It's fine to do that for gmail or yahoo, Comcast, etc but deepdarksecert.com might not appreciate it if iPhones are sending that information back to apple even if it is never published.

I don't think that anything beyond the "deepdarkseceret.com" is going to to Apple, but I suppose if you are worried about anyone knowing what your email address is, then yeah, it might be a concern. Someone posted a link to an RFC of some sort that detailed how mail server settings should be published that could make this type of system unneccessary - too bad that is not more widely implemented.

yesterday
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No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade

j-beda Re:About time (291 comments)

We just watched Empire "uncut" last week http://www.starwarsuncut.com/ but I don' tthink there were any biplane scenes. It was fun.

yesterday
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No More Lee-Enfield: Canada's Rangers To Get a Tech Upgrade

j-beda Re:May I suggest (291 comments)

Summer temperatures up north can still get pretty warm. Bettles AK (on the arctic circle) has high temperates in the summer of at least the low 90s occasionally, and this is warm enough that compined with a sealed car and lots of sun can certainly push the car temperatures up pretty high. Summer days can be very long too.

yesterday
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If You're Connected, Apple Collects Your Data

j-beda Re:ET Phone home (309 comments)

Well I could always block encrypted traffic and implement introspection rules or allow encrypted traffic and implement MITM. It is my LAN and there is absolutely nothing apple can do about it ;-)

If my phone and Apple's server already have a pre-shared encryption key, how are you going to implement a MITH attack? (or should that be "an MITM attack"? I suppose it depends if you read it as "em-eye-tee-em" or "Man In The Middle".) You can certainly drop the connection, but I don't see how you could read or spoof it.

yesterday
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If You're Connected, Apple Collects Your Data

j-beda Re:ET Phone home (309 comments)

Same here. I've been using that "feature" to check how long the maid stays when she comes by to do weekly housekeeping.

Now I know how she can afford an iPhone, she charges for 3h but stays 2h!

Untill you knew how long it took her, were you happy with the quality of the cleaning and the price you were paying? If so, try not be be bothered by her "profit margin". If not, renegotiate the fee, or find someone else to do the job.

With all that said, are you paying her a "living wage"? For Alameda County, California that comes out to something like $24/hour for a single adult supporting one child or at least $11.50/hour to support just the working adult.

http://livingwage.mit.edu/

Of course people working jobs like house cleaning or computer consulting cannot typically get billable hours for 40 hours per week due to scheduling difficulties and travel time, so the hourly rate needs to be higher to account for that, or as your cleaner may attest, the "billing time" might be longer than the "working time". Other ways of offsetting this it to impose time minimums (at least two hours per job) or charge for travel time or distance. Considering that the IRS has a standard car expense of $0.56/mile, if someone is driving 60 mph they are generating an expense of $33.60/hour. Granted, the IRS is very generous on this expense calculation, but the actual expense for most people is probably close to at least half of that.

http://www.irs.gov/2014-Standa...

There are very few people getting rich cleaning houses.

yesterday
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If You're Connected, Apple Collects Your Data

j-beda Re:no, its not good thou (309 comments)

if you ask siri where to bury the body, she needs to go back to the apple servers to get the info.

That's funny.

yesterday
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If You're Connected, Apple Collects Your Data

j-beda Re:If you want results from the web (309 comments)

That would require an even bigger violation. They would have to have the client send the actual configuration to Apple as well so they can have the data. Not all businesses would appreciate that.

I'm not so sure - most email providers provide all this information on their web pages anyway. Unless you are suggesting that Apple's mail client is waiting for people to manually set up some email and then sending that information to Apple for use by future users, I don't see any problem for Apple to notice that they are getting lots of requests for email accounts at "someplace.com" and then someone at Apple looking up setup info for someplace.com and pushing that data out to users as needed.

While this type of "auto-setup" is extermely useful (especially on iOS where typing stuff and cut/past and switching between the settings and the web-browser are less than ideal), I do wish it was a bit easier to get straight to the "manual" configuration dialogues. For times when I know that the auto-setup is going to do it in a way I do not want, I usually start by entering a bad domain which does not return a useful result and that lets me do the setup completely manually.

yesterday
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Password Security: Why the Horse Battery Staple Is Not Correct

j-beda Re:Oh great (546 comments)

The only thing that keeps me from using a password manager is that I use lots of
different computers, phones, tablets, etc... and I don't know of any password manager than
can manage multiple devices. Does anyone know of a password manager that works with
apps? Even if I wanted to, I don't think my android banking app would work with any type
of password manager intentionally or unintentionally.

Find a password "safe" format that is well documented and widely supported, memorize a good long passphrase for that safe, and deploy it on some cloud service somewhere like DropBox, then each of your devices can access the safe, and you have a variety of software to manage the data. Schneier's "Password Safe" format seems like a good choice:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

http://passwordsafe.sourceforg...

Even if it does not work with everything you might want it too, a password manager can make for much better security and convenience for large chunks of one's online life, at the expense of having a single point of failure I guess.

about a week ago
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Crowdsourced Remake "The Empire Strikes Back Uncut" Now Complete

j-beda Re:Funny and entertaining (55 comments)

My family and I really enjoyed the first "Star Wars Uncut" production of "A New Hope" a few years back. My two pre-teens submitted a scene for this one and we have yet to look and see if it "made the cut". We are looking forward to watching it. There is a torrent of the completed film here: https://torrentz.eu/2cdaab3f30...

If you don't like the scene choices, I think the website has the ability to view the other options for scenes that were submitted - maybe you can even mix your own?

about a week ago
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David Cameron Says Brits Should Be Taught Imperial Measures

j-beda Re:FP? (942 comments)

Canada switched the road signs in the 1970's. In comparison, the UK is a really really small country. I'm sure the UK could handle it.

about three weeks ago
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Irish Girls Win Google Science Fair With Astonishing Crop Yield Breakthrough

j-beda Re: The Global Food Crisis is not a science probl (308 comments)

Perhaps by having more biofuel at no significant additional cost?

"More food for the same price" can hardly be a bad thing.

Well, if the local farmers cannot compete with the pricing of the imported stuff, then they go out of business and eventually all of the local money gets spent outside of the community on imported food. If there is insufficient local production of something for export, eventually all of the local money is gone, then everyone locally is screwed.

I"m not saying this type of thing is guaranteed to happen, but sometimes when the buggy whip makers go out of business, the knock on effects are wider than one might think.

about a month ago
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Should Cyborgs Have the Same Privacy Rights As Humans?

j-beda Re:There are no new legal issues (206 comments)

once they get a warrant for the password,

One cannot 'get a warrant for the password', at least in civilized countries :)

OK, perhaps not a "warrant" but surely the US has some sort of "production order" where the court says "give us the records you have" http://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/c... ? Perhaps they don't, or maybe that is only in civil cases during discovery.

Logging capabilities may be ubiquitous, but logs that would be useful in a criminal case, much less so. In any case, nothing currently on the market poses this "privacy danger".

I reiterate, the present framework is sufficient in my mind.

about a month and a half ago
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Should Cyborgs Have the Same Privacy Rights As Humans?

j-beda Re:There are no new legal issues (206 comments)

Ok, lets take a slightly different approach.

Would you submit to the government mandating that you wear a camera and other monitoring equipment or have it implanted, provided that they need a warrant to read its contents?

Can you think of ANY negative implications of that? What are they? (Assume for the sake of the argument that the implantation process itself is simple, painless, and complication free.)

What's the difference between that and a disabled person requiring a prosthetic to be made whole?

The solution, by the way, is simple enough. Mandate that the prosthetics encrypt the monitoring data, and require a password from the owner to decrypt. That effectively shields the cyborg.

The problem is the consumer isn't in a position to demand this feature. And the vendor is unlikely to feel competitive pressures to provide it. So it won't come about unless we mandate it.

Sure, that is an extreme position. Nobody is mandating such a thing, and there is nothing currently even available that could work in this manner, and there is no reason I can see to expect that any prosthetics would ever require such position logging.

In short I don't see the need for new legislation absent something that actually exists that might be a problem. Mandating everyone wear tracking devices is something we can fight when it seems likely to be introduced. Having a medical need for something doesn't feel at all like governmental mandating in my mind, and unless significant number of people end up with such medical devices, I see no need to address the hypothetical shortcomings that the current warrant framework has in place.

I am not convinced that mandating an encryption password for such a hypothetical device would give any real protection beyond that offered by the warrant system - once they get a warrant for the password, it seems like you are screwed anyway. If the logs are so vital to the operation of the device, there are going to be ways of getting at them that do not depend on a security system that the user can forget or misplace, and if they are not vital to the operation, then the security minded will remove or turn off that feature or the maker would not put it in in the first place.

about a month and a half ago
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Should Cyborgs Have the Same Privacy Rights As Humans?

j-beda Re:There are no new legal issues (206 comments)

Yep. I wouldn't be happy, but then again I wouldn't be happy if they searched my home and found the bodies, but I would submit.

The 5th amendment is about government over-reach. If you assume the government is only looking for dead-bodies, and the only people hiding them are criminals then its easy to get swept up behind the idea that anything the government can get a warrant for is fair game. Only criminals will be punished.

But there should be some limits. Even if that means some times some criminals don't get caught, because the alternative leads to a grossly oppressive state.

There are limits. Those are defined by the constitution, and include the warrant system as further defined by the courts. Yes, some of these technologies give interesting edge cases, but I don't think any of them require fundamental changes to the legal framework.

As you stated, the reason the limitations on police powers of investigation are there is to prevent overreaching and false convictions. Retrieving physical evidence after a properly executed warrant doesn't seem like an issue to me, and I have absolutely no fear that anyone is going to be able to read people's minds in anything like the lifetime of my great-grandchildren.

"We found DNA... no full match in the system, but we know he's related to this guy who was arrested once for shoplifting -- he wasn't the guy, but they took his dna and now its in the system... but I digress... they share a grandparent... so its his cousin. We checked birth records ... he has 2, one lives in this city... so we're picking him up now..."

That's effectively being in a DNA database for not being particularly closely related to a guy who didn't do anything wrong.

You are choosing poor examples. The various constitutional amendments are designed to prevent abuses that harm people, except in the type of harm that is defined as putting the guilty in jail. We don't compel self-incrimination because it leads to abuses that harm many innocent people, and is not particularly effective at catching the guilty. If you want to argue against you are going to have to show that your hypothetical database and the described police procedure has much greater societal harm than this one.

A better reason for limiting these types of databases is the problem of false positives. If you database is large enough, even with 99.99 percent accuracy (a failure rate of 0.01%) we would have lots of innocent people being flagged in these types of searches. This type of thing already happens for fingerprint analysis, and while genetic comparisons should in principle allow us to confidently pick out any individual in the world (except for clones I suppose), in practice DNA evidence is only comparing a very tiny part of the DNA, and errors in application which can never all be eliminated, so it will never be perfectly accurate.

Compelling people to tell your their password in my mind is a problem - there are lots of ways that an innocent person could be harmed by that. Compelling people to give up their implanted devices with a proper warrant is not as big of a problem in my mind. If warrants are being issued for individuals without good "probable cause", that is a problem. If extracting the evidence is onerous or dangerous or painful, then there should be a higher barrier to getting the warrant. If there are increased expectations of privacy for example lawyers or times spent at home, then perhaps there need to be guidelines on how the implant data is analyzed, but all of these types of issues are currently considered under the existing frameworks.

My thesis is that cyborgs do have the same right to privacy as anyone else, and that no new laws need be drafted specifically for people with implants. To motivate any such laws, I think we need to demonstrate that the current practice has negative consequences to society or innocent individuals. Making it easier to catch criminals is not, by itself, a reason to reject a new practice.

 

about a month and a half ago
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Apple Announces Smartwatch, Bigger iPhones, Mobile Payments

j-beda Re:So what exactly is the market here. (730 comments)

Because it doesn't necessarily still work. I have an iphone that is nearly 3 years old and the home button is very nearly worn out, frequently only working intermittently.

One of my clients has an iPhone with a flaky button. He had an Apple Store person turn on a software button called "Assistive Touch" which is part of the standard iOS software. It might be useful in your situation too. Here are some instructions:

http://osxdaily.com/2012/07/02...

about a month and a half ago
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Should Cyborgs Have the Same Privacy Rights As Humans?

j-beda Re:There are no new legal issues (206 comments)

I will admit little sympathy for cases where true evidence of guilt is obtained through proper search warrants - that's how it should work.

Then come the day when we can stick a needle in your brain and dump your memories out as video, you would submit to that, as long as they had a warrant?

Yep. I wouldn't be happy, but then again I wouldn't be happy if they searched my home and found the bodies, but I would submit.

about a month and a half ago
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Should Cyborgs Have the Same Privacy Rights As Humans?

j-beda Re:Easy viewpoint (206 comments)

Once something is part of your body, as opposed to something you can drop or take off without surgery, it is no longer a separate object and is immediately part of you, only being subject to the same laws that someone that has no cybernetics is subject to.

So no, the police could not download the data from your cybernetic memory anymore than they could from your biological memory.

There, see, easy solution just by recognizing one simple idea, your body is your own, no matter where it came from. That also applies to someone with transplanted organs or other parts from someone else, as they are nut subject to any benefits or penalties that the previous owner of that tissue once had. So you can't inherit from your heart donors rich aunt, you can't be thrown in jail for the robbery and murder committed by your face donor (yes, they've done a couple of those now), or the like.

With a warrant, you can be compelled to give blood and tissue samples, and with a warrant they can search your phone or your camera, so I don't see why it should be any different with implanted devices - either treat them like non-implanted devices (get a warrant) or like parts of your body (get a warrant). When they get to the point of reading minds and playing back memories (I say at least a hundred years), then maybe we will have some difficult issues.

about a month and a half ago
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Should Cyborgs Have the Same Privacy Rights As Humans?

j-beda Re:This is no different. (206 comments)

Are you suggesting that said *pacemaker* is storing location information without any method to nondestructively access it? If so, I call bullshit. If not, the cops need only use the same interface to extract the information without killing you.

I am not talking about the technical ability to extract data from the fictional future device, I am talking about the legality. My point is that if some future medically necessary device did for some reason store historical location information, that such data should be covered by the same laws that protect a person from self-incrimination. If I don't have tell tell the cops where I was last Thursday, a medically necessary device that I can't live without and which I can't control the data collected on, should also not be available to the cops to extract the data about where I was last Thursday.

Why not? The non-incrimination stuff is just so that we don't give incentives to the police to beat the snot out of you to get a forced confession from an innocent person, it is not because we think there is something "unfair" about it. Boo hoo if your medical device recorded you killing the little old lady down the street and it turned you in. Now, if there was some significant chance of the medical device giving false testimony, we might need to do something different, but there is no reason on the face of it to treat implanted medical devices or any other piece of potential evidence different depending on whether or not it is required or life-saving or not.

If fear of incrimination ended up being a deterrent to behaviour that we as a society think is important, we might carve out some legal exclusions like we do for doctors, lawyers, and priests, so maybe in the future your lawyer-bot or shrink-bot might not be subject to a warrant, but I doubt anyone would care about the pace-maker. It seems so much more likely to prove your innocence than guilt.

Then again, with so many laws against things that "everyone" does in terms of drugs, music piracy, jaywalking, etc. maybe you could get widespread support to making your implanted recorders protected information.

about a month and a half ago
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Should Cyborgs Have the Same Privacy Rights As Humans?

j-beda Re:There are no new legal issues (206 comments)

An implanted cell phone is no different, legally, than any other cell phone.

Here's a far better example:

Suppose your eyes were destroyed, and you had cybernetic eyes implanted. Suppose those eyes logged various operational diagnostic information for the last couple weeks on internal memory, information that can be used to determine things like when you were asleep, when you were awake, when you were indoors vs outside in sunlight, etc.

Should the police be able to get a warrant for that information?

If so, then a blind person with cybernetic eyes has a reduced right to privacy over regular humans. His eyes can essentially testify and provide evidence against him on demand, mine can't, no matter how many warrants the police obtain.

It raises a very interesting question, really.

That isn't a reduced right of privacy, the RIGHT is identical - information is subject to a properly obtained warrant. People's situations are certainly different, so the consequences of being a suspect are different for people who are subject to being recorded by various devices, both internally or externally. If you wear your Google Glasses or carry a GPS tracker (ie. cell phone) or have medical devices that record logs of some sort, those devices could serve to incriminate or exculpate (great word, eh?) you whereas someone without those types of devices would obviously not be incriminated or exculpated by them. I guess it would suck to be a eye-implant thief, but on the average, I would imagine that since the vast majority of people, in the vast majority of cases, are innocent of the crimes they are suspects of, such implants would tend to provide proof of innocence more often than mistaken evidence of guilt. I will admit little sympathy for cases where true evidence of guilt is obtained through proper search warrants - that's how it should work.

it is the same right to privacy that anyone has who uses a device that records that type of information.

about a month and a half ago

Submissions

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Role-Playing Game in "Latin Prose Composition" class

j-beda j-beda writes  |  about a year and a half ago

j-beda (85386) writes "In a classroom where students battle away at mythological creatures and Latin grammar, Dr. Gellar-Goad has reinvigorated an out-dated course and brought new teaching methods with a twist of adventure.

In his first year as a Teacher-Scholar Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Classical Languages, Gellar-Goad has developed a unique and innovative method for teaching Latin Prose Composition, a class which is a major requirement for Latin majors. It is typically a course designed to be an intense review of Latin grammar and rigorous practice translating English sentences into Latin."

Link to Original Source
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Online "guilds" share featurs of real life gangs

j-beda j-beda writes  |  more than 4 years ago

j-beda (85386) writes "In June 2009, Dr Neil Johnson published a paper titled "Human group formation in online guilds and offline gangs driven by a common team dynamic" in Physical Review E that found the way in which WoW "guilds" form can be described by a mathematical model that can also be applied to an unrelated group of people, namely street gangs in Los Angeles. Since "Any group that satisfies these fairly autonomous, competitive criteria would also (fit the model)," said Dr Johnson, the findings are of interest to though combating international as well as local terrorist cells."
Link to Original Source

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