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Bank of America Cuts Off Wikileaks Transactions

pwilli Re:Our advise is to place your funds somewhere saf (467 comments)

Assange / Wikileaks doesn't do business with Bank of America, and likely never has.

Bank of America did not close a bank account (like the swiss postbank) or terminated a payment processing contract (like Paypal, Visa and Mastercard), it stops transferring money to other banks. So anybody with a Bank of America account is no longer allowed to transfer his money to another bank account without "moral approval" of the BoA.

I am surprised that this hasn't led to more media coverage jet.

more than 3 years ago

The Clock Is Ticking On Encryption

pwilli Re:What exactly is being broken by quantum compute (228 comments)

Encryptions that rely on the difficulty large integer factorization like RSA are indeed "doomed", because Shor's algorithm will be able to do that in polynomial time. This is a very rare exception. You can literally count the number of quantum algorithms known which can reduce the complexity class of such interesting problems with your fingers. Simply choosing an encryption method that doesn't rely on the difficulty of large integer factorization or one of the other in the "quantum age" no-longer-difficult problems will save traditional encryption.

Grover's algorithm is a good example of what quantum computers may actually be useful for: reduce execution times without reducing the complexity of many problems. The solution for these attacks on classic cryptography will be (as you pointed out) to simply increase the problem size (e.g. key length).

more than 3 years ago

Wikileaks Competitor In the Works

pwilli Re:Anonymous releases are possible (333 comments)

Having a face to associate with an organization can be advantageous. Wikileaks wouldn't have had that much impact if it were a completely anonymous organization, without Assange and without the recent newspaper cooperations.

No interviews, no discussions, nobody to defend the organization in public makes it too easy to morally justify any measures deemed necessary against it. IMHO

Wikileaks was probably the first platform of its kind that people heard of (e.g. cryptome doesn't ring a bell for most people). Now that people seem to've gotten the idea of how leaking of information can work in the "information century" with almost no risk to them, having more and "faceless" platforms appearing is a nice thing. Wikileaks created the demand for such platforms (or better said, helped people discover their need for such), which means supply can be increased massively.

more than 3 years ago

Compiling the WikiLeaks Fallout

pwilli Re:if Wikileaks can get this... (833 comments)

The US is probably the only country that combined diplomacy and military intelligence into one network (SIRPNet) that is completely accessible by far more than 100.000 people worldwide. They therefore put usability far above the need for security.

Other countries like Germany have (afaik) relatively small, logically separated intelligence and information networks/databases. Having the right security clearance level is not enough to go around and view all documents of that level, because every request for information is tracked and access has to be confirmed/granted by another person. This is very slow but relatively secure.

IMHO it is a matter of choice. The US system isn't really better or worse than other systems, it just has other priorities. The really important stuff (>= "top secret") isn't available in their network anyway.

more than 3 years ago

Cracking Passwords With Amazon EC2 GPU Instances

pwilli Re:GPU is better than CPU at computation? (217 comments)

GPUs are very specialized processors, therefore they will always outperform the general purpose CPUs in their domain of computational problems (graphics, physics, other massively parallel/pipelineable problems like password cracking). However they would really suck at doing "normal" tasks like running the OS and other applications. GPUs having their own memory and other components directly wired to and optimized for them on graphics cards gives them additional advantages. Finally most gamers forget that they paid up to $ 500 for their graphics card and only $ 200 or less for their CPU.

more than 3 years ago

UK-Developed 'DNA Spray' Marks Dutch Thieves With Trackable Water

pwilli Beware my tiger repellant rock (191 comments)

"The police acknowledge that they have yet to make an arrest based on the DNA mist, which was developed in Britain by two brothers, one a policeman and the other a chemist. But they credit its presence — and signs posted prominently warning of its use — for what they call a precipitous decline in crime rates (though they could not provide actual figures to back that up).

I don't see any burglars, so it has to be working.

more than 3 years ago

Long-Term Liability For One-Time Security Breaches?

pwilli Independent ID-Checking Service (119 comments)

This is probably about identity theft and getting e.g. loans by simply knowing the "magic" numbers of someone else's life.

Why is it still possible to get these things in the US without going into e.g. a bank and showing them a valid photo ID (passport, driver license, ...) to let them check if you are really the person you claim to be? Makes it a lot more difficult to get these things, and shifts liability back to the banks (if you can show you never went there to prove your identity, they screwed up by giving that loan - their fault).

If you've got a problem with a bank seeing you in person (why?), maybe a new institution could be founded that does only that: Check IDs of people for others. Like this:
1. Request a loan
2. Get a unique magic number of your bank that doesn't carry any information but the bank knows it belongs to you and that loan
3. go to the ID-check-service and let them sign that number, e.g. with: "Person xyz has proven his identity" (if paperwork, or better get a digital signature)
4. Give signed number back to the bank

Bank knows you are you, without you ever going there in person and the ID-check-service doesn't know what you needed that signature for (they just got a "random" number and signed it for a fee).

Expand this scheme for other services (governmental, etc.) and you get all the privacy you got now with a whole bunch of more security.

more than 4 years ago

Why Mobile Innovation Outpaces PC Innovation

pwilli Why Mobile Innovation Outpaces PC Innovation (231 comments)

Because PCs have a headstart of decades?

It's like asking why China can have growth rates of over 10% while "Western" countries only get 1-3%. It is very hard to improve if you're already close to technical and physical limits and any made improvement won't look as impressive. Handhelds will soon enough hit the same walls that Desktop Systems currently try to tear down.

more than 4 years ago

Latest Top 500 Supercomputer List Released

pwilli Re:By Processor (130 comments)

I would have expected more AMD-based systems in the top-100, because super computers are usually built with cheap and moderately fast Processors, the market segment where AMD gives lots of bang for the buck.

more than 4 years ago

Quantum Teleportation Achieved Over 16 km In China

pwilli Re:I don't get it (389 comments)

To further clarify what I meant:

- Charlie entangles Particles A+B
- Charlie sends Alice Particle A over fiber
- Charlie sends Bob Particle B over air
- Alice measures A and sends Charlie information about measurement (classic part needed for actual information transfer)
- Charlie sends classic information to Bob
- Bob measures Particle B, combines result with classic information, and voila, Bob can reconstruct the information "sent" by Alice

Clearly no way to transfer information securely or fast, but a proof that entanglement in Particle B for Bob can survive long transfer through air.

more than 4 years ago

Quantum Teleportation Achieved Over 16 km In China

pwilli Re:I don't get it (389 comments)

You are right. What TFA probably means is that Alice doesn't have to send Bob a traditional signal, because Charlie (the guy that creates the entanglement and distributes the 2 photons to Alice and Bob) does that classical comunication for them.

more than 4 years ago

Quantum Teleportation Achieved Over 16 km In China

pwilli Contradictory (389 comments)

Why is TFA contradicting itself? A traditional signal is always needed, that's one fundamental principle of quantum comunication.

more than 4 years ago

Wii 2 Delay Is Hurting Nintendo

pwilli Why isn't that guy already CEO of Nintendo? (310 comments)

I mean his proposed strategy for Nintendo to leave their pretty much uncontested "niche" market to compete in a market that already has been split up between two heavy-weight contestants, who are willing to ultimately lose money just to increase their market share further, is pure genius.


more than 4 years ago

The Humble Indie Bundle

pwilli just went over 80.000 $ (290 comments)

Seems the experiment runs very well. The slashvertisment surely helped to spread the word.

Biggest problem for such Indie-Developers is imho not the intentional lack of DRM and the resulting unlicensed copying of the games, but the lack of media coverage. As the numbers show, there are enough people out there who are willing to pay for games, even if they could get them for free. And I was one of them.

btw. while I typed this, the counter went over 84.000 $. I wonder how much they'll collect over the remaining 6 days.

more than 4 years ago

Slovak Police Planted Explosives On Air Travelers

pwilli Re:So when's the invasion? (926 comments)

Why take it out? He wants to and will die anyway when his attack is successful and the plane goes down in flames.

Better yet, he could implant the bomb into his body and therefore pass all security checks, well, everything except for an x-ray. To trick that one, he'd have to either implant the bomb at an unusual spot (e.g. legs, lower arms, head) that won't be x-rayed in search for drugs and other swallowable stuff, or disguise it as an artificial organ/one of those metal plates or bars that get implanted to treat complicated broken bones.

Have fun trying to overwhelm and "disarm" a terrorist that IS a bomb.

more than 4 years ago

Preventing My Hosting Provider From Rooting My Server?

pwilli Re:Stop being a douche (539 comments)

Just read some comments below that the server is rented and the client doesn't own a single piece of hardware of it. So Sargonas was right, and http was the jerk here.

more than 4 years ago

Preventing My Hosting Provider From Rooting My Server?

pwilli Re:Stop being a douche (539 comments)

How is that contradicting? How does the potential to install VMware help decide if the server is rented from the hosting company or really owned (and just colocated) by the client?

If they can keep his data "hostage" like that it is a clear hint at what GP said - likely not colocated, therefore probably just a rented rootbox, which usually comes with such limitations in the hosting contract.

more than 4 years ago

Simple, Free Web Remote PC Control?

pwilli Re:Teamviewer (454 comments)

I also use Teamviewer. It's free for noncommercial use, does the whole port forwarding stuff for you. You don't have to know the IP-Address of the target PC - just a unique ID number and a (temporary) password. The servers of the company will keep track on which ID belongs to which IP-Adress, which very convenient for people with dynamic IPs. This feature can of course be turned off, if you want to do this stuff yourself. It also has a included chat-program to allow you to exchange messages. Good to keep the phone bill small.

more than 4 years ago

Researchers Take Down a Spam Botnet

pwilli Re:And meanwhile... (207 comments)

If the spammer owned the email server, he wouldn't need much space to store spam mails. He could send out billions of notifications to potential receivers and create the spam mails on the fly when a receiver wants to download the mail.

Not only would the spammer ultimately save bandwidth in this case by only sending the full mails to those who "requested" them by reacting to the notification, but he would get first class information about validity of email adresses. In addition, the receiver would have to do his own spam filtering, because his ISP likely can't decide if a notification is spam or not - and therefore will have to forward all notifications to the client (A notification may be completely unrelated to the actual mail that is waiting for delivery).

If the mail server is not his own server, the spammer doesn't care for storage space requirements anyway and will keep on spamming as usual.

Internet Mail 2000 would imho make most things even worse than they are, without providing any benefits besides "unlimited inbox size" - which is pretty much useless to most people.

more than 4 years ago

Dashboard Reveals What Google Knows About You

pwilli Re:Window dressing (260 comments)

Were you always logged into your account when you used Google? My web history contained almost everything I ever searched through Google for the last years. It only had "holes" for some weeks in between, when I e.g. started to use another computer to go online and didn't bother to check my E-Mails or do anything else that would need me to enter my credentials.

more than 4 years ago


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