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Google Handed To FBI 3 Wikileaks Staffers' Emails, Digital Data

linuxrocks123 Re:Encryption? (197 comments)

LavaBit didn't "fold" in the sense you intend. LavaBit complied with the letter of the court order, then raised a giant middle finger to the government by shutting down the entire email service with just enough information to tell everyone what was going on without violating the gag order. By shutting down the service, they ensured that handing over the private key, necessary to comply with the court order, gave them exactly zilch. LavaBit's only mistake was not using PFS, but there's no evidence the FBI was competent enough to take advantage of that oversight.*

Of course, LavaBit was doing something stupid to begin with. If you want secure email, USE PGP not some random company that may or may not be run by the ballsiest technologist this side of the Russian border.

*LavaBit was in the US, so theoretically the NSA shouldn't have been logging all the ciphertext as a matter of course. But maybe the NSA did and the FBI shared the key with them. We'll never know. My speculation: Snowden (the almost-certain target) would have been indicted on even more stuff after the LavaBit raid if that had happened as the FBI would have demanded access to the NSA's data on Snowden so it could complete its investigation and "do something" about this evil dude who hated freedom so much. Remember, it was the FBI going after the key and Snowden, not the NSA. Why would the FBI have helped the NSA without getting Snowden's emails in return, and why would the FBI not have charged Snowden afterwards to rack up political points? I think Occam's Razor points to the FBI having failed. YMMV.

2 hours ago
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There Is No "You" In a Parallel Universe

linuxrocks123 Re:Except inflation (146 comments)

No idea what you're saying, so I can't critique it.

But I really want to know why so many people interested in time travel apparently hate their grandfathers so much.

4 hours ago
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There Is No "You" In a Parallel Universe

linuxrocks123 Re:Except inflation (146 comments)

Yeah. I've always found that to be a bit of a bummer :(

I like to think the aliens running the simulation will reboot it before then.

4 hours ago
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There Is No "You" In a Parallel Universe

linuxrocks123 Re:Except inflation (146 comments)

I think his name would be "Dangerman" and he'd be the leader of a motorcycle gang.

4 hours ago
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Justice Department: Default Encryption Has Created a 'Zone of Lawlessness'

linuxrocks123 Re:Lawful access is uneffected. (422 comments)

It is unsettled law whether the 5th Amendment protects against subpoenaing someone for their disk encryption keys, without giving them immunity for whatever they find. Current case law seems to be leaning toward that it is.

Note that after the final case discussed in that presentation was decided, a state supreme court decided opposite. But federal circuit court decisions are probably more compelling than state court decisions.

State courts do stupid shit pretty frequently.

2 days ago
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Police Organization Wants Cop-Spotting Dropped From Waze App

linuxrocks123 Re:Who eats doughnuts with the doughnut men? (461 comments)

The way this has been phrased, you would almost imagine that there are anti-police death squads roaming the city, looking for isolated police units far away from backup and slowly picking them off with a sniper rifle.

Dude ... don't give away the plot for the next Die Hard movie!

3 days ago
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Google Handed To FBI 3 Wikileaks Staffers' Emails, Digital Data

linuxrocks123 Re: What did you expect? (197 comments)

Sure you can. It's called PGP, or GPG if you want the name of the best implementation rather than the protocol, and Wikileaks was incompetent if it wasn't using it in 2012.

"Well they can outlaw PGP"...maybe, but they haven't, and US courts may very well look unkindly on such laws and find them unconstitutional.

Better tech is often an integral part of fixing bad government policy in an imperfect world.

5 days ago
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China Cuts Off Some VPNs

linuxrocks123 Re:What's the difference between China and EU? (216 comments)

With respect, I think you're far too apologetic wrt China's government ... and more than a little to cynical about the US's. Yeah, if China's government introduced democracy the wrong way, things could get hairy. But there have been several countries that went from totalitarianism to democracy without civil war. Russia is one, though Putin has taken the country a decade or two backwards. And your post borders on banal moral relativism: it is just WRONG to imprison people because of their political views, and just because China doesn't see it that way doesn't make it right. Some Islamists think it's fine to oppress women in a multitude of ways; they are not less wretched for doing this just because they don't see it's wrong.

Anyone in China's government with good intentions has a hard problem to solve, which is how to safely democratize the country, because democracy is really the only option for a government that long-term is both stable and respectful of human rights. Unfortunately, the government is going backwards, as evidenced by their increasing (and ineffective and therefore stupid, but that's another matter) escalation of Internet blocking and continuing intolerance of political dissent. They have a hard problem to solve, so it's wrong to be too hard on them. They appear to be making no efforts to solve it, though, and it's okay to observe that and criticize them for it.

5 days ago
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China Cuts Off Some VPNs

linuxrocks123 Re:I was just there, can verify this is the case. (216 comments)

I know I've criticized the US government in the past on Slashdot, so I'm not sure why you didn't find anything, but whatever. Pretty much any post I made on the DMCA probably criticized the US government.

But, regardless, the US government is much, much better regarding respecting the freedoms of citizens. It's not perfect; no government is, but it's not in the same league as China. For instance, yeah, the NSA shouldn't be reading everyone's email and stuff. But the government doesn't use that information to track down people who disagree with the party in power and silence them by throwing them in jail. China does that.

There's no comparison. And, as a debating tactic, it's best not to try to make a comparison with China or similarly authoritarian countries when complaining about the US government's failings. It's such hyperbole that many people will just ignore you if you do that. We shouldn't try to compare ourselves to China. We should aspire to be much, much better than that. And we are. For now.

5 days ago
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China Cuts Off Some VPNs

linuxrocks123 Re:I was just there, can verify this is the case. (216 comments)

I have no idea how you got from either of our posts that either ZackSchil or I hates China. Hate is a very strong word, and I most certainly do not "hate China". China is a country with a very rich history, many awesome tourist destinations, and many good people just trying to live their lives. It is also a country with a very unhealthy governmental structure and a sad recent history as a dictatorship with a decidedly non-benevolent dictator (see "Mao", "Great Chinese Famine", and "Cultural Revolution"). However, I have no doubt that there are many well-intentioned people in the government, despite its overall unhealthy structure.

Hating a country is not a healthy attitude to have. Countries are important social constructs, but they are composed of a wide variety of people, and there is no way each and every one of them has personally offended you such that it is fair for you to hate the country as a whole.

I don't like China's government. I can't speak for ZackSchil, but many in the West do not like China's government. The structure is undemocratic and has many other serious structural flaws, such as potential reversion to dictatorship and potential civil war due to its unstable power structure. The government doesn't provide to its citizens things I and many in the West value such as free speech, free association, etc.

But that's a structural critique. I don't "hate" China's government on an emotional level. I just think it's unfortunate that over a billion people have to live under such a dysfunctional system. I don't know enough about any individual Chinese politician to "hate" him, either, and I'm sure some in the government are probably working to try to fix some of the governmental structural flaws as best they can.

By the way, I don't "hate" North Korea either. I pity the millions of North Koreans who are currently suffering and hope those in power manage to reform that government soon, so that their suffering will end. I imagine most educated Westerners feel pretty much the same way about that hell on Earth.

You really need to start taking a less binary view of the world. It's not right to "hate" people you've never met just because they have the misfortune of living under a substandard government. Most of those people are victims, not perpetrators.

about a week ago
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China Cuts Off Some VPNs

linuxrocks123 Re:I was just there, can verify this is the case. (216 comments)

I was in China last summer. Essentially exactly the same thing happened to me, although I was using SOCKS5/ssh not PPTP. My girlfriend and I subsequently had a hell of a time playing Heroes 3 for Linux remotely even when not using ssh, so they must have shit-listed my IP address. Then, a few months later, everything magically started working again and the ssh proxy my girlfriend was using worked fine. So did Heroes 3, thankfully.

During the shit-listed time, I came across this list: https://www.torproject.org/doc...

Another option might be this: http://www.nocrew.org/software...

One of these options might be enough into fooling them the traffic isn't encrypted. Ultimately, if there's a way of exchanging data, there's a way of getting around the block. It's just a question of obfuscation.

about a week ago
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IRS Warns of Downtime Risk As Congress Makes Cuts

linuxrocks123 Re:One has to wonder (253 comments)

The only way congress has of reforming it is to cut funding.

That's an idiotic view. Congress has many ways of reforming a government agency. Cutting funding is simply spiteful and unproductive and potentially allows tax cheats to get away with their fraud.

Who the fuck defends the IRS anyway?

Those with mental maturity within the double digits and IQs outside the double digits.

about a week ago
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IRS Warns of Downtime Risk As Congress Makes Cuts

linuxrocks123 Re:One has to wonder (253 comments)

Yeah, that's a pretty damn stupid attitude.

"I'm sorry, nose. If you didn't want to get cut off you shouldn't have sneezed on your watch. You have only yourself to blame."

The government needs funding. We can't get rid of the IRS. We can reform it if it's corrupt, those there's really no evidence it was in recent history (the "Tea Party was targeted!!!" thing is essentially a conservative myth).

But I guess the Republicans would rather enable tax chiefs than appoint an independent auditor to make sure the agency doesn't target anyone inappropriately. Weird. Maybe the politicians are tax cheats themselves? Who knows.

about a week ago
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IRS Warns of Downtime Risk As Congress Makes Cuts

linuxrocks123 Re:One has to wonder (253 comments)

It's even more innocuous than that. The IRS was targeting political groups who applied for 501(c)(3) charity status to make sure they really qualified, because there are restrictions on how political your mission can be if you try to qualify as a charity under 501(c)(3). They targeted both Tea Party and progressive groups because, guess what, those groups tend to engage in potentially prohibited political activity as part of their missions.

They actually targeted more left-leaning than right-leaning groups for scrutiny, but all anyone ever whines about is how The Government oppressed those poor tea partiers.

about a week ago
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Is D an Underrated Programming Language?

linuxrocks123 Re:Problems in C++ (385 comments)

Eh, sometimes you want two copies of the but often you don't. And your example seems like it would be much better served by containment than multiple inheritance.

I'm all for MI, though. Java and C# have spent the past two decades adding MI back in. Have a look at Java's "default interface implementations" for a laugh sometime.

about two weeks ago
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Is D an Underrated Programming Language?

linuxrocks123 Re:Problems in C++ (385 comments)

Slight misuse of terminology on my part, I meant "classes with virtual methods". That's still a far cry from every class.

I see no problems with using (real) virtual inheritance to solve the diamond problem.

about two weeks ago
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Is D an Underrated Programming Language?

linuxrocks123 Re:Problems in C++ (385 comments)

Only classes that use virtual inheritance have a vtab. Your proposal would add a vtab to everything.

Dynamic linking information is not kept in memory. The dynamic loader reads the dynamic loading information from the ELF headers and throws it away when it's done with it.

about two weeks ago
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Justified: Visual Basic Over Python For an Intro To Programming

linuxrocks123 Re:This guy hasn't done his research. (648 comments)

The are multiple implementations of Python. One is, in fact, written in Python: http://pypy.org/

The original Python interpreter is written in C for speed, not because an implementation in Python would be impossible.

about two weeks ago
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Is D an Underrated Programming Language?

linuxrocks123 Re:Problems in C++ (385 comments)

I meant "statically compiled language", not "statically typed language". I should have specified. I'm taking it as a given that Java is slower than C++ and C for real codes, and this is not rationally disputable. Memory use is part of performance.

If you added reflection to C++, you could optimize some of the performance overhead away, though probably not the memory use. And, if you're going to do it right, you'll have to carry around metadata per-object, not per-class; you'll at least need one pointer per object pointing to the class metadata like for RTTI. And unlike with RTTI, the overhead won't be limited to classes with vtables, because who knows what you might call this thing on?

All in all, it certainly wouldn't be possible to add reflection to C++, but I'm still not seeing why you'd want it. If you want to dynamically load libraries, just use dlopen().

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Horrid Ruling in Oracle v. Google: APIs Are Copyrightable

linuxrocks123 linuxrocks123 writes  |  about 9 months ago

linuxrocks123 (905424) writes "This is an absolutely horrible ruling. If APIs are copyrightable, every Windows program could be held to infringe Microsoft's copyright. Every program written in Java needs permission from Oracle to be distributed. Video game console emulators are right out. And you can kiss things like third-party printer cartridges goodbye.

The only way it could be worse would be if they ruled that what Google did isn't fair use as a matter of law. If you read the decision, they almost did that, but didn't. I hope this is reheard en-banc or the Supreme Court takes the case. This is a nightmare.

I have very little respect for the Federal Circuit. They seem to cause many more problems than they solve. And, here, they took Ninth Circuit precedent and twisted it to say the opposite of what it meant. The Ninth Circuit gives interoperability concerns serious consideration; this decision gives them much less consideration than they deserve.

For Google's particular case, there looks to me to be an easy way out. All Google has to do is distribute its work under the GPL, since Java, including the APIs in question, is under the GPL anyway. The "Classpath exception" was Sun's explicit consent to use the APIs in Java without needing the work to be GPL as well. So, as long as Google distributes its work as a "modified version of OpenJDK", they should be good. I'm not sure why they haven't done this already, or didn't do it to begin with, actually. Perhaps I'm missing something, but I can't see what.

But this goes way beyond Android and Java. This ruling, if it's not overturned, could chill software development, promote extreme forms of vendor lock-in, and otherwise cause mayhem and misery."

Link to Original Source
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An OSS Solution to the Cold Boot Attack

linuxrocks123 linuxrocks123 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

linuxrocks123 writes "I am a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and I've solved the cold boot attack, discussed on Slashdot back when the original paper on it was published. There have been some other attempts at solving this, but as far as I can tell, mine is the only one currently available with actual working code, OSS or otherwise. It comes with a small performance price (read the paper), but I've been using this on my machines for months and I really haven't noticed a significant slowdown in system performance. Get the code and paper from the university. Instructions for using the code on my blog."
Link to Original Source
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An OSS Solution to the Cold Boot Attack

linuxrocks123 linuxrocks123 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

linuxrocks123 writes "I am a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I wanted to keep this secret until I published this paper (it's just a tech report right now), but it got rejected once and I want people to be able to use this as soon as possible.

I've solved the cold boot attack, discussed here back when the original paper on it was published. There have been some other attempts at solving this, but as far as I can tell, mine is the only one currently available with actual working code, OSS or otherwise. It comes with a small performance price (read the paper), but I've been using this on my machines for months and I really haven't noticed a significant slowdown in system performance. Get the code and paper here. Instructions for using the code here."

Link to Original Source
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GPF Comics Seized by Copyright Gestapo

linuxrocks123 linuxrocks123 writes  |  more than 3 years ago

linuxrocks123 (905424) writes "In a move that would make GPF Comics villain Trudy Truehart proud, US Immigation and Customs Enforcement has apparently seized my favorite webcomic's domain name. A visit to http://gpf-comics.com/ currently shows that stupid "Domain Seized" template with the eagle in the middle looking like it's about to bite your face off. It's all speculation at this point as to why this was done: maybe it's a mistake, or maybe newspaper comic book artists just don't like competition. I assume we'll have more details — and a rehosted domain for GPF Comics — as this story develops."
Link to Original Source
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linuxrocks123 linuxrocks123 writes  |  more than 7 years ago

linuxrocks123 writes "It looks like Dell is joining Microsoft and Novell in their Linux patent pact. Dell is selling SuSE on servers, backed by Microsoft's Linux patent certificates. No response from Red Hat yet, but Dell claims to still be selling Red Hat servers despite the deal."

Journals

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Okay, people, this is starting to get scary.

linuxrocks123 linuxrocks123 writes  |  more than 8 years ago

A recent Slashdot article about CIA reclassification prompted a lot of comments suggesting that a majority of Slashdot posters may have some sort of mental illness. Like, maybe, paranoid schizophrenia. The idea seems to be that all large corporations and governments are absolutely and intractably evil. They think every other law is unconstitutional and that the Bill of Rights is meaningless today. Oh yeah, and China is going to kill the U.S. economy because it holds some U.S. bonds. That's another good one.

Of course, this isn't true; the government does some good things, businesses are subject to a LOT more regulation than they would like (and thus aren't in control of the government), free speech still exists in the U.S. (Why else is Michael Moore not in jail?), the Supreme Court still finds laws unconstitutional from time to time, and the worst China can do is stop buying our bonds, which would have a barely noticeable impact on the U.S. economy (China can't "call in our debt." Bonds don't work that way).

Posters also commonly conjure up images of a mythical medieval era, where kings reigned viciously over their subjects, but "things were done differently" with regard to the law, the principles of which were somehow nobler. They'll talk about some ancient legal principle (usually one that has become irrelevant to modern practice) or the wording on a subpoena and build an entire story out of it. I've seen this on Groklaw too, where it's even more scary. They're history is often wrong, and I don't know why they bring this up on a technology site. Perhaps it's another sign of a widespread delusion among the afflicted posters.

This isn't to say that these posters are stupid. Many intelligent people are also insane, and those skilled in mathematics seem particularly prone to mental illness (consider Cantor's fate). It's just a little scary to find that many in this crowd think so irrationally. I often find that the Wall Street Journal's arguments are orders of magnitude more well thought-out even when I don't agree with them.

Any comments from other posters noticing this bizarre phenomenon are welcome. Rants from those posters afflicted with some form of mental illness are also welcome, though not necessarily encouraged.

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GCC Port to the CLR

linuxrocks123 linuxrocks123 writes  |  more than 9 years ago

http://gcc-cil.blogspot.com/

I am VERY interested in this project. I think it's the coolest thing since Linux itself (and from my Slashdot username, you can see that that's saying something :).

I can't get it to work, though. Does anyone know if it supports languages other than C (I LOVE C++ so much it's not funny)? Would it be possible to call other languages, such as, for example, Java, from it (I like Java's built-in library for some things).

I don't have much compiler experience, but I think this project has much potential. The creator seems finished with it, though, so I think it's up to us to extend it. It would be a real shame if the code ends up going nowhere because it's so incomplete that the GCC developers have no use for it.

By the way, I don't have bad karma anymore, which is a Good Thing since posting at zero was really starting to get annoying. Whoever modded my recent comments up, thank you.

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I have bad karma now...

linuxrocks123 linuxrocks123 writes  |  more than 9 years ago

As of this posting, my third and second most recent comments were moderated from 1 to 0. I think arminw did it since I listed him as a foe for a while because I didn't want to listen to his lunatic, anarchist ranting. He's not my foe anymore because most of his posts don't seem to have much to do with politics and he seems otherwise sane and worth reading.

Still, with only a cumulative -2 moderation, probably because of that as*hole arminw, I have bad karma. Whatever. I deleted the +1 karma bonus modifier from my preferences to weed out karma whores.

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