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Reported iCloud Hack Leaks Hundreds of Private Celebrity Photos

joh Re:Easy fix (264 comments)

Or just don't use that service. Photo sharing by iCloud is NOT mandatory. In fact it is optional.

By the way, Apple offers two-factor-authorisation with iCloud. I bet that nobody of those celebrities used that. I wouldn't be surprised even if they used the very same password for iCloud and everything else.

yesterday
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Exomoon Detection Technique Could Greatly Expand Potential Habitable Systems

joh Re: Who Cares? (66 comments)

Why is it so important to go there? When we find a planet or a moon with habitable conditions and signs of life (like free oxygen in the atmosphere) there's a LOT to study, just spend enough money on space-based telescopes. And at some point we may be curious enough then to put real effort into going there.

That point is that we will NEVER do that without a destination. Finding one is the first step and even without going it's worthwhile.

about a week ago
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Study: Firmware Plagued By Poor Encryption and Backdoors

joh Crowdsource it (141 comments)

We really need a program that offers bounties for finding such vulnerabilities and backdoors. Put a tax up for companies selling networked devices, pay bounties from that when a third party finds something and pay the money back to the respective companies after a year or two when nobody finds any vulnerabilities in their products. This would make actually putting some effort into secure products commercially viable while giving good hackers a way to earn their living in a good way. Win-win.

Right now we're rewarding companies that sell shoddy products while driving clever and well-educated people into the criminal underground. This actually is the worst setup one could think of. Make a sane, well-regulated market out of that and things will improve quickly while at the same time creating careers for people who deserve it.

about three weeks ago
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3 Congressmen Trying To Tie Up SpaceX

joh Re:Not So Fast... (393 comments)

Only the secondary payload (a small satellite). The primary payload (a Dragon capsule to the ISS) was delivered without a hitch.

about three weeks ago
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Ancient Skulls Show Civilization Rose As Testosterone Fell

joh I wouldn't be surprised at all (387 comments)

High testosterone levels lead to dominant behaviour, aggression and generally a fixation with power and getting pussy. Cooperation and quietly working on things with others certainly takes a back seat then. It's individual success in terms of mating and dominating over success that is actually useful in the long run and with "boring" things.

That said, not being surprised in no evidence. In best /. fashion I haven't read the fine article, but I would want to see some mechanism that actually LEAD to lower testosterone levels. Evolution? Maybe, seems a bit short, but these are time frames that indeed were long enough to lead to lactose-tolerance to dominate in dairy-eating populations all over the world, so I wouldn't count out evolution rearing its head here. Mutations that supported drinking milk and eating cheese quickly dominated. Maybe other mutations that supported being more peaceful, not getting into pointless fights, and getting things done in a goal-oriented way instead of being fixated onto telling others what to do while holding on to five women without actually knowing what to do except fucking a lot also dominated for very good reasons.

And really: The lone fact that a LOT of people are totally capable to live their lives in dense populations without really fighting others all the time gives some weight to that. Maybe high testosterone levels are just incompatible with population growth and dense populations. Maybe they cause too much trouble to be successful (in an evolutionary sense) when all is said and done. Maybe the quietly working type of guys who are happy with one women and want to be left alone and leave others alone may be not as successful as the dominant asshole individually but there may be just much more of them and they don't get killed as often and raise more children altogether. Maybe even the fact that spraying your genes around isn't of much help when you can't support 10 women and their offspring and single women aren't that good in supporting their children plays a role here.

Every Genghis Khan may have fucked a lot, but he also will have killed a lot of men willing to fight and all the while those men who just got the bread home every day and just fucked one women were breading like rabbits and actually helped their children to prosper when you sum it up. Evolution isn't about individuals but about numbers of individuals actually surviving until maturity (and beyond, since a newborn child alone isn't going to survive for very long).

about a month ago
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Microsoft's Nokia Plans Come Into Better Focus

joh Re:Sigh, that's another waste of time then. (149 comments)

It might work for enterprise users (I'm sure that's a /really/ big market!!) but lack of decent apps, or even popularly used apps is the nail in the coffin for me as far as their mobile Windows OS is concerned. The phone hardware was good, the OS completely lacked.

Such a shame.

Why does the OS lack when there's just a lack of apps? Seriously? The OS is fine.

It's just that a THIRD platform (after Android and iOS) has very little hope of getting a foot into the door. MS obviously hopes that it can change that in the long run by fusing Windows and WP as a platform. I think the gap is too large to make this work, but it's really neither the hardware nor the OS that is the actual problem here. Still, MS has more than once proven that it has the patience to turn things around (they all but missed the Internet once and a few years later IE was moving towards a monopoly) and they surely hope they can pull something like this off again.

I'm not very optimistic here, but the OS wars aren't over yet.

about a month ago
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Satellite Images Show Russians Shelling Ukraine

joh Weakest Russia ever (582 comments)

Wreck their economy. It worked once and the way Russia acts it would work again, no doubt. Russia has only a GDP a little better than Italy and less than Germany, France or the UK. They are utterly weak and exactly because they know it they have to act like a bully. Russia is a dwarf trying to convince itself it is a giant by making others think it is.

about a month ago
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Researcher Finds Hidden Data-Dumping Services In iOS

joh Re:Legitimate engineering uses (98 comments)

In iOS 7 or later just do not tap on "Yes" if it asks you if you trust the device you connected you iPhone to if you don't trust it.

about a month and a half ago
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Researcher Finds Hidden Data-Dumping Services In iOS

joh Re:DON'T PANIC (98 comments)

Android has the Google Play Services that has all permissions, that can update itself without asking or even telling the user and that has access to EVERYTHING on the phone. If the NSA wants you data, it gets it. Period.

And really, you need to do some reality-check here. You can't protect yourself against that. No way. Not without building your own hardware, writing your own software, including the firmware and the baseband.

All the geeks dreaming of technical solutions to political problems are just dreamers. What we need is some sane checks and balances for when and in which cases such things are used. This is a political problem and the first step to home in to a solution is accepting that there ARE cases where law enforcement and government agencies indeed have a right and a need to do this. Without accepting this you will only continue to shake your fists and even IF you may get into power with steadfastly requiring 100% security against everyone: Once you will notice that people will use the Internet and mobile devices to organize against you then, you WILL turn around and cry for surveillance and WILL try to defend yourself. Freedom has to have some teeth and hands and eyes to defend itself. The point is not to pull the teeth, the point is how to tame them. There are no technical solutions to that problem.

about a month and a half ago
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Researcher Finds Hidden Data-Dumping Services In iOS

joh It's called trauma (98 comments)

Really, very much as after 9/11 people are actually training themselves into a deep trauma. As you should know avoiding a trauma means NOT to do that. Sadly if you leave people to do what they want (and have this amplified by the headline-addicted press and of course the Internet) they will do exactly that. They will over and over come back to what did hurt them, they will stare at it all day long and become more and more fascinated by it, until they can't think of anything else anymore. Feelings of intense anger that is targeted at often logically totally unrelated persons or things will be more and more common.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P...

To "get back to reality" isn't easy then.

about a month and a half ago
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Researcher Finds Hidden Data-Dumping Services In iOS

joh Re:Too many words (98 comments)

People want to read something like "The iPhone has a secret backdoor for the NSA!!!". Anything much longer than that will never be read or understood by most people.

It's hopeless. Ask 100 people who have heard of this and 95 of them will tell you that it is proven now that the iPhone has a secret backdoor for the NSA over which all data can just be read by them.

(And I'm not even saying that it has NO such backdoor. Maybe it has. But this isn't it. This just isn't designed for mass surveillance, it needs a cooperating user and individual access to a device the user has connected his iPhone to. Maybe it's a side door for law enforcement and/or forensics additionally to a debugging tool.)

Except for the fact that Apples handing all of your data over to the NSA anyway. Apple has a very cozy relationship with the US federal government.
http://cdn.bgr.com/2013/11/app...

According to that table there were 0 - 1000 cases in which "some" content data was disclosed to law enforcement in the US (and 1 in the UK and 0 in about 30 other countries). You call this "a very cozy relationship"? With 313 million citizens in the US there were less than 1000 requests granted. What's "cozy" about that?

about a month and a half ago
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Researcher Finds Hidden Data-Dumping Services In iOS

joh Too many words (98 comments)

People want to read something like "The iPhone has a secret backdoor for the NSA!!!". Anything much longer than that will never be read or understood by most people.

It's hopeless. Ask 100 people who have heard of this and 95 of them will tell you that it is proven now that the iPhone has a secret backdoor for the NSA over which all data can just be read by them.

(And I'm not even saying that it has NO such backdoor. Maybe it has. But this isn't it. This just isn't designed for mass surveillance, it needs a cooperating user and individual access to a device the user has connected his iPhone to. Maybe it's a side door for law enforcement and/or forensics additionally to a debugging tool.)

about a month and a half ago
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Two Big Dark Matter Experiments Gain US Support

joh Re:Of course it won't be settled then (37 comments)

"A bit mysterious" is the understatement of the day... Still, it's one of the very few actual observable things that could further some fundamental new understanding of physics.

about a month and a half ago
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German NSA Committee May Turn To Typewriters To Stop Leaks

joh Re:foolproof (244 comments)

It would also significantly cut down Slashdot comments if they had to be typed on paper and mailed.

about a month and a half ago
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New Single Board Computer Lets You Swap Out the CPU and Memory

joh Re:Interesting. (122 comments)

The RPi has some very notable disadvantages: Not enough RAM, slow ethernet, too few USB ports. If you want to run such a thing as a low-power always-on Linux micro-server the RPi really sucks. It also doesn't run Debian or Ubuntu. It's a nice toy and totally usable for many things but it also has some really tight limits. Just running a web server with PHP against a database can be too much.

A faster CPU, 1 GB of RAM and dedicated ethernet (instead of sharing the USB bus) can help a lot here.

about 2 months ago
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Unintended Consequences For Traffic Safety Feature

joh Re:Shared space (579 comments)

I came to suggest exactly this. Around where I live there's a place which was hell before. Bus lanes, an underground parking lot spewing out cars, several lanes of traffic, pedestrians and bicycles. It was actually the sheer impossibility of integrating cycling lanes into that mess that lead to a shared space approach: Everything was removed, no lanes, no signals, even the paving was changed to meld together with the surrounding area.

Everybody drives MUCH slower now there (since arriving confuses the hell out of you) and people actually negotiate their way through it by looking for what's going on. What was a really dangerous place before is now the exact opposite: AFAIK there hasn't been a single accident since then. Just forcing people to look out for themselves instead of relying on lanes and signals really can work wonders. Won't work everywhere, but trying to channel everything in a mechanical way isn't always the best option.

about a month ago
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Half of Germany's Power Supplied By Solar, Briefly

joh Re:Thanks for pointing out the "briefly" part. (461 comments)

Yeah, Germany pays an average $0.35/kwh, versus $0.12 in the US. But they also have higher electricity taxes, pay 4x more for natural gas and have insolation levels similar to Alaska; you can't just compare countries' prices directly like that.

I'm in Germany and I'm paying extra for 100% renewable power and with that I pay less than 30€ a month for electricity (all of it from solar/hydro/wind). Why? I don't use much of it. Price per kWh as a metric is pointless, cost it what counts. The house I'm living in has two feet thick brick walls and double-pane windows, there really is no need for A/C and only little for heating. Power in the US is cheap and that's one of the reasons that most of it is just wasted.

about 2 months ago

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