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Remote Exploit Vulnerability Found In Bash

return 42 Two reactions (399 comments)

Earlier this week, there was much cursing in Ft. Meade. Today, there is much cackling in Calgary.

5 days ago
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To Really Cut Emissions, We Need Electric Buses, Not Just Electric Cars

return 42 Re:Coal-fired transport? (491 comments)

Even if that were the case, the power plants would be more efficient than internal combustion engines, and have much better emissions controls.

But it is not the case. Coal-fired plants are being phased out under new environmental regulations, and with the gas boom, everyone's trying to convert to gas.

Electric cars are more efficient than internal combustion, too. They don't use power while you're stopped at a light. They can use regenerative braking. They don't generate as much waste heat.

about three weeks ago
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To Really Cut Emissions, We Need Electric Buses, Not Just Electric Cars

return 42 The real problem (491 comments)

Having lived in the SFBA without a car, I say with confidence that Americans who can afford cars will never use buses in great numbers until someone finds a good way to make the buses less disgusting. Kick out the lowlives who drop food on the floor or spit on it, the ones who clip their toenails in public, the ones who haven't bathed in three days, the ones who play the music they like with no thought of whether others want to hear it, and I'll gladly use them.

Public transit works in Japan because Japanese people are polite and consider others. It will never work in the US until Americans learn to do the same.

about three weeks ago
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Why Google Is Pushing For a Web Free of SHA-1

return 42 Re:https://www.google.com using SHA-1 (108 comments)

True. As mentioned in the article and a linked tweet, Google plans to migrate to SHA-256 by the end of 2015. Why it will take them so long is not stated.

In the meantime, their certificates only last three months. Probably only NSA and GCHQ could forge a cert in that short a time — and they don't need to. (Though I'm sure they would prefer a nice quiet forgery to issuing an order that someone might blow the whistle about.)

about three weeks ago
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Alleged 'Bigfoot' DNA Samples Sequenced, Turn Out To Be Horses, Dogs, and Bears

return 42 Horses and dogs and bears? (198 comments)

Oh my!

about 3 months ago
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Thank Goodness For the NSA — A Fable

return 42 Re:misleading title (60 comments)

I think it's more like, thank goodness $POWERFUL_PERVASIVE_SECURITY_THREAT made everyone realize their security was worse than crap, because otherwise they would never have gone to all the trouble of fixing it. Plus various suggestions for how to fix this state of affairs.

He seems unaware of the issues with compromised hardware, which will require either a political solution or a whole lot more work than software solutions, but as a call to action, it has some merit.

about 9 months ago
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DEA Argues Oregonians Have No Protected Privacy Interest In Prescription Records

return 42 Take them at their word (455 comments)

Good morning, Anonymous.

In an ongoing court case, the US Drug Enforcement Agency has argued that citizens have no "expectation of privacy" for any medical records that are ever provided to any third party.

You mission, should you choose to accept it, is to take them at their word. Find the medical records of as many of the following people as possible: members of the DEA, attorneys for the DEA in this case, and any judge at any level of the US judiciary who has ever ruled against citizens' privacy. Publish said records. After all, according to the DEA's own argument, they have no expectation of privacy. No harm, no foul.

Good luck, Anonymous. This posting will self-destruct in five seconds.

1 year,5 days
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UK Cryptographers Call For UK and US To Out Weakened Products

return 42 Likely outcome (105 comments)

I suspect the agencies will make a great show of reluctance, then reveal what they did to some protocols and algorithms -- those where the backdoors are most likely to be noticed, or have already been found, such as Dual_EC_DRBG. The crown jewels, those least likely to be noticed, will remain secret. Nothing to see here folks, move along.

NSA and GCHG couldn't care less about the public interest. They have a mandate to spy on as much as possible on the off chance that it may prevent some terrorist act. They will continue to do so in any way they can unless the legislative bodies or courts in their respective nations rein them in. This seems moderately likely in the US, quite unlikely in the UK.

1 year,14 days
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Belgium Investigates Suspected Cyber Spying By Foreign State

return 42 Re:Country spies on other country (158 comments)

Government of one nation spies on telecom operations of a friendly power, without notice. Not yawn. Diplomatic incident.

1 year,14 days
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3D-Printed Gun Bought and Displayed By London Art Museum

return 42 Re:Why? (133 comments)

Maybe. Remember the ammo is metallic. Also, the nitrates in the powder can be detected by dogs and possibly machines.

Also, while metal detectors don't detect plastic, T-waves and ultrasound might well.

1 year,14 days
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3D-Printed Gun Bought and Displayed By London Art Museum

return 42 Re:Why? (133 comments)

Another thought: I would guess that CNC tools tend to be big and heavy and take up a lot of space in the basement of one's house. A 3D printer can fit on a table in a small apartment, and you only need the one printer to print a firearm.

1 year,14 days
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NSA Spies On International Payments

return 42 Re:News? (314 comments)

And which of those would cover sending money overseas? If they were grabbing your own books, that would be your papers and effects, but that's not what they're doing.

If a US citizen was suspected of espionage during the War of 1812, and part of the evidence was that he had been receiving money from the UK, do you think SCOTUS would have ruled that evidence inadmissible? I don't think so.

1 year,14 days
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NSA Spies On International Payments

return 42 Re:PCI Compliance (314 comments)

If you think Snowden is intentionally cooperating with those governments, you have the burden of explaining why he went public, instead of just moving into his dacha and enjoying his ill-gotten gains.

If you think those governments have tried to get the data without his knowledge, bear in mind that he's technically sophisticated and it's inconceivable that he didn't encrypt his drive.

If you think the Russians are employing rubber hose cryptanalysis, bear in mind that he is still in contact with several western journalists, and it's very likely that they have prearranged codes to let him communicate such a message.

1 year,14 days
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NSA Spies On International Payments

return 42 Re:News? (314 comments)

True. This is actually one of the more legitimate things the feds are doing. It has a clear connection to anti-terrorism efforts, and I really don't think people who are using banks to transfer money have much expectation of privacy, as they do when talking on the phone, emailing, etc.

1 year,14 days
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NSA Spies On International Payments

return 42 Re:Pay cash !!!! (314 comments)

Consider: in the US, you generally get only $20 bills from the ATM. You go and spend these with retailers who usually get nothing larger than $20 bills. The $20 bill you spent thus is not recycled as change, and it gets deposited at the end of the day. That makes a nice short loop that's easy to analyze.

So if you want to buy something and not make it too easy to track the bills, use denominations under $20.

Now, as for things like making a drug buy, where you really wouldn't want the gov't to track it, that's probably less of a problem because those people tend not to use banks so much...

1 year,14 days
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3D-Printed Gun Bought and Displayed By London Art Museum

return 42 Re:Why? (133 comments)

I'm still not sure what makes 3D printed guns any different or more special than a gun produced with CAD plans and a used CNC machine.

Good point. I see two reasons for "the authorities" to be more worried about 3D guns. First is (I would guess) CNC is fairly mature and stable, while 3D printing is undergoing rapid development, becoming cheaper, more versatile, more accessible. Second is that a CNC machine is something of a niche application, not interesting to many people, whereas 3D printing can make a much wider variety of things and is therefore potentially of interest to more people. Thus, 3D printed firearms are potentially accessible to many more people, and, with future technology, easier to produce.

1 year,14 days
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Stealthy Dopant-Level Hardware Trojans

return 42 Re:optical inspection? (166 comments)

Yes, I just realized this. A properly written OS can periodically test the hardware RNG for reduced entropy. Let us suppose we can detect if the entropy has fallen below 32 bits. Then, whenever we are using the hardware RNG, we pessimistically assume that there are only 16 bits of entropy available per sample. Grab a bunch, run it through a good hash function, repeat, concatenate. You end up with as many bits of good random data as you need, and you XOR it with the random bits you got from other sources.

1 year,15 days
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Tooth Cavities May Protect Against Cancer

return 42 Fluoride (149 comments)

It seems that they did not control for exposure to fluoridated water. The article says "they had no data on the causes of missing teeth." It would be interesting to see if any clear results emerged from a study that did control for that.

However, given the level of entrenched interest in water fluoridation, I suspect it would be difficult to find funding for such a study, at least in the US.

1 year,16 days
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FBI Admits It Controlled Tor Servers Behind Mass Malware Attack

return 42 Re:So the FBI hacked servers to find pedos? (292 comments)

Don't really have time to debunk this properly, but I do recall that the ACLU has defended the right of Nazis to have a parade. How does that jibe with your claim?

1 year,17 days

Submissions

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NSA review panel ignores surveillance issue

return 42 return 42 writes  |  1 year,16 days

return 42 (459012) writes "The Guardian reports that surveillance reform was not addressed during the first meeting of the much-touted NSA review panel. 'A review panel created by President Obama to guide reforms to US government surveillance did not discuss any changes to the National Security Agency's controversial activities at its first meeting, according to two participants.'

'My fear is it's a simulacrum of meaningful reform,' said Sascha Meinrath, a vice president of the New America Foundation, an influential Washington think tank, and the director of the Open Technology Institute, who also attended. 'Its function is to bleed off pressure, without getting to the meaningful reform.'"

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