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Stealthy Dopant-Level Hardware Trojans

tilante Re:Can an entire agency... (166 comments)

Except that we know for sure that the NSA has made breakthroughs in the past, putting them years ahead of academia in cryptanalysis. They knew about differential cryptanalysis before it was officially discovered. Bruce Schneier points out that according to documents leaked by Snowden, the NSA's "research and development" budget for cryptanalysis is more than is being spent on cryptanalysis research by all of academia combined.

So what can they offer? A larger budget for your research than you would ever get in a university setting, plus no "publish or perish" pressures, no having to spend time teaching classes, and working with other people who are also on the cutting edge of cryptologic research. The NSA is also known to have their own chip fabrication facilities, so they can create custom hardware - which isn't something you're generally going to get to work with on a university budget.

1 year,17 days
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NASA's NEXT Ion Thruster Runs Five and a Half Years Nonstop To Set New Record

tilante Re:Could we achieve 1G of thust. (184 comments)

No matter what your acceleration is, it will take you infinite time to get to the speed of light. Relativity, man.

about a year ago
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New World Record For Electric Car Speed: 204.2 MPH

tilante Re:Nope (99 comments)

"in really big cities nobody drives because there's so much traffic".

Have you actually thought about that statement? If no one drives, what exactly is all that traffic? Or do you believe that there are millions of driverless cars wandering around on the streets out there?

Top recorded speed of a Nissan GTR: 195 mph (Nissan estimates 193 mph top speed). Top speed of a Lotus Elise: 148 mph. Also, note the phrase "The firm intends to enter the vehicle into next year's Le Mans 24 race" in the summary. It looks like a Le Mans car because that's what it's meant to be.

about a year ago
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Supreme Court Overturns Defense of Marriage Act

tilante Re:What now? (1073 comments)

This is not a right of the states, though. The Constitution states that "Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State." Thus, if you have been married in one state, every other state must recognize your marriage - that's the "full credit".

Further, it states that "The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States." That is, no state can choose to take away the rights that the states in general have agreed that citizens have.

The states in ratifying the Constitution agreed to these terms. They gave up certain rights in order to join the Union. It's no different from a person entering a binding contract - the states have to play by the rules they agreed to.

DOMA attempts to say that the states don't have to obey these provisions of the Constitution when it comes to marriage. The people putting DOMA forward seem to have forgotten that the Constitution overrides any contradictory law, and the only way around that is to amend it.

about a year ago
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FCC Considering Proposal For Encrypted Ham Radio

tilante Re:packet radio? (371 comments)

I can't speak to the logic behind it, but yes, that's equally illegal. The FCC regulations say that anything designed to "obscure the meaning" of communication is prohibited on amateur radio.

It's been generally held, though, that secure authentication is okay - the meaning there is "prove you are who you say you are", "this is my proof", "okay, accepted" (or "sorry, rejected"). As long as it's possible to tell that that's the gist of the communication, obscuring what one would need to know to prove it is okay.

about a year ago
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FCC Considering Proposal For Encrypted Ham Radio

tilante Re:Legal statutes (371 comments)

That's about exporting encryption. It has nothing to do with amateur radio. For that, you need to check out FCC title 47 CFR, part 97. That says that anything that "obscures the meaning" of communication is not allowed unless specifically stated in part 97.

That doesn't mean everything has to be plaintext, though. It's been generally held that secure authentication methods are okay, for example. Thus, you can use challenge-response authentication, public key authentication, or other such things, even though those involve encryption. In such a case, the actual meaning of the communication is: "prove you are who you say you are", followed by "here's my proof".

It'll be interesting to see if the FCC will allow it. I do agree with you, though, that it's foolish to fight against allowing encryption; if the government doesn't want to allow it, they simply won't. It's well established in US law that being able to communicate via amateur radio is not a right - if it were, amateur radio operators wouldn't have to be licensed.

about a year ago
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Man Who Sold $100 Million Worth of Pirated Software Gets 12 Years In Prison

tilante Re:Good (304 comments)

And? I didn't say that they were. Regardless of how the US treats the people there, though, it's still a US territory. The people he sold to were undercover Federal agents. I'll admit that I'm only presuming that they're US citizens, but that seems a reasonably safe presumption.

about a year ago
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Man Who Sold $100 Million Worth of Pirated Software Gets 12 Years In Prison

tilante Re:Good (304 comments)

You might want to re-read the article. He was arrested in Saipan, with is an island in the Pacific... and a US Territory. Thus, he was arrested by the US, for selling to US citizens while on US soil.

Basically, he got greedy and decided the potential gain was worth the risk that it was a set-up, and bet wrongly.

about a year ago
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Majority of Americans Say NSA Phone Tracking Is OK To Fight Terrorism

tilante Re:Bull Shit! (584 comments)

The monster that was created against the foes of both World Wars has turned against the society that created it. It's become the reason for its own existence.

As Orwell put it, "The object of power is power."

about a year ago
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Moore's Law Fails At NAND Flash Node

tilante Re:er... come again? (147 comments)

Bad Slashdot. No more character-biscuits.

about a year ago
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Moore's Law Fails At NAND Flash Node

tilante Re:er... come again? (147 comments)

Half the linear size would be a quarter the area. To get half the area, you'd need to have ( 1 / square root of 2 ) the linear size... so about 7/10.

about a year ago
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CenturyLink's Nationwide Outage Affects Millions

tilante Re:Not me (105 comments)

Mine was down this morning, but I can ping my home box and SSH to it now from work. Looks like it's fixed in my area (Tallahassee, Florida). My past experience is that CenturyLink is reliable - at least, more so than Comcast, which is my only other broadband option that doesn't involve satellite or the like.

about a year ago
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Bill Gates: iPad Users Are Frustrated They Can't Type Or Create Documents

tilante Re:I know everyone is going to hate on Bill but... (618 comments)

So... you agree that no one can use an iPad for document creation, because it doesn't work for you?

Way to over-generalize. For me, I bought an Apple Wireless Keyboard (http://www.apple.com/keyboard/) to use with mine. Since my home computer is an Imac, it's quite literally the exact same keyboard I use on my desktop. It's a bit longer than the iPad, but it's light and tough - I've dropped it in parking lots several times, and never had a problem from it.

I use it for emails, and for writing stories, using an editor that saves RTF and can use Google Drive or Dropbox (and some others as well, but those are the two I use with it). There are also ones that will save Word format.

Basically, Bill's complaint boils down to "Nobody should be using an iPad for document creation, because we haven't created a version of Word for it yet!"

about a year ago
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Gambling-Focused Internet Cafes Now Illegal In Florida

tilante Re:Seems very reasonable (53 comments)

Quibble: the state doesn't 'allow' gambling on Indian reservations. It has no power to stop it. The Supreme Court has held that states do not have power to regulate activities performed by Indians on Indian reservations.

about a year and a half ago
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Lawmakers Seek To Ban Google Glass On the Road

tilante Re:HUD (375 comments)

Sure, I can look up directions before I start driving. However, then, if the directions are more than moderately complex, I need to write them down or print them out... which means having one or more pieces of paper that I will need to consult while driving. That leaves me a choice of either finding somewhere to pull over every time I need to glance at the directions to see what I need to look for next, or pick up and look at a piece of paper while operating a moving vehicle.

With a GPS, on the other hand, I can let it essentially act as navigator for me, telling me when I'm getting close to somewhere that I need to turn, which way to turn, what street name I'm looking for, etc. With a GPS that does that decently, I never actually have to look at the GPS at all while driving, nor take a hand off the wheel.

Further, using a GPS is superior to pre-looked-up directions in several ways: 1. Detours happen. There might be road work being done, an accident, or heavy traffic that I have to find a route around.

(Indeed, one of my brothers uses a GPS to get around Atlanta, in spite of having lived there for more than twenty years now. When I was up visiting him, I kidded him about it, saying, 'Don't you know your way around here yet?' His reply was: 'Sure, I know all the roads. But the GPS knows where all the traffic backups are right now.' I have another brother who also lives in Atlanta, who uses his own knowledge of the roads to get around. After riding around with him a while, I quickly saw the wisdom of the first brother's statement.)

2. Related to detours, if I miss a turn or need to go off-route to get food, gas, or something else, the GPS can smoothly handle the change, giving me a different route. A good one won't just say 'make a u-turn now' - it'll find a new route that won't require me to do something quite so drastic. And speaking of food and gas...

3. A good GPS will also have a database of points of interest, including gas stations, restaurants, etc. This is very useful information on a long trip through unfamiliar territory. And yes, some maps have that information as well... but you're the one who insisted that directions need to be looked up beforehand. If I look at a map while on the trip, that's not looking up directions beforehand. And speaking of that....

4. Plans change. I get a call while on the way up to Atlanta telling me that the brother I was going to stay with has had an emergency, and need to go to my other brother's house instead. Only he's in a new house, in a new neighborhood, so I don't already know how to get there. Or my wife gets sick on our five-day trip, and I need to find a clinic she can go to. Or I find out that an old friend I haven't seen in a decade or so is in the city, and need to get somewhere to meet him. Not everyone has the luxury of always planning out their itinerary ahead of time... and sometimes it even changes while you're in the car driving.

So the upshot is... yeah, I can do that. I did do it for many years, since I was driving long before consumer-level GPSes. But why would I go back to doing that, when using a GPS is so much better?

about a year and a half ago
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UK Bloggers Could Face Libel Fines Unless Registered As Press

tilante Re:Libel Fines (394 comments)

... which is not what you said before. But, now that you've decided to change your tune, we can now extend this back:

A democracy in which the majority do not obey the laws, but require a minority to obey them, is a tyranny. A democracy in which the majority make harsh laws that they are not subjected to is a tyranny.

See? The same rules that apply to a king apply to the majority in a democracy. Thus, a democracy can be a tyranny, just as an absolute monarch can be a tyrant, even though there is no legal restraint on his power.

about a year and a half ago
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UK Bloggers Could Face Libel Fines Unless Registered As Press

tilante Re:Libel Fines (394 comments)

Look carefully at your argument. You start with "by the (sic) definition the rightful rulers of a democracy are the people, the majority. A tyranny is a regimen where the power has been taken from its rightfully (sic) rulers and its ruler is not subjected to any law or constitution."

Let's examine where this logically leads us: By definition, the rightful rulers of a hereditary monarchy are those of a certain bloodline. By your argument, a hereditary monarch can't be a tyrant - after all, he or she is the rightful ruler, and your argument states that tyranny only exists when power has been taken away from the rightful rulers. By definition, the rightful rulers of a theocracy are the priestly class. So, by your argument, a theocracy can't be a tyranny.

Quite simply, your definition of what it takes to be a tyranny makes no sense.

about a year and a half ago
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What If Manning Had Leaked To the New York Times?

tilante Re:Assumptions (348 comments)

And it wasn't WikiLeaks who published the unedited cables. Wikileaks was careful to redact the ones they published.

You might want to check facts before speaking, although around here that's obviously not a requirement for an "Informative" rated post. I read a LOT of those cables, and frankly speaking most of them were boring drivel that didn't have anything to do with any wars at all, and didn't reveal any kind of criminal activity.

So... I take it you don't know what "redact" means? Because nothing you said there contradicts what the poster you're replying to said.

The point is that if the NYT had received a mass of cables, they would have picked through them to identify the ones which actually had newsworthy material.

And that's just the thing. They would have picked through to identify what they thought was newsworthy. And since human labor is expensive, they probably would have done it by a bunch of keyword searches, then reading the ones that the searches caught on - or, more likely, getting some interns to read those.

By publishing all the cables, Wikileaks allowed the public to determine for themselves what is and isn't important, and allowed a "many eyeballs see all things" approach.

And if they would have posted the infamous "helicopter video" they'd have published the whole thing instead of editing it down to make it look worse like Assange did.

Don't know anything about that, so can't comment on it.

The world needs a NEUTRAL place for leaks and whistleblowing, not a site used to pump a particular political agenda, which is what Wikileaks has become.

Until someone starts one, though, Wikileaks is what we have. Anyone who wants to make a leak site with another slant is free to - having multiple ones would be a good thing!

about a year and a half ago
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Google Glass Will Identify People By Clothing

tilante Does no one actually read the articles? (115 comments)

The article explains that the application works like this: you have to start off by IDing your friend to it. It then analyzes the clothing they're wearing and their dimensions. When you want to look for them, it scans for a match, and picks out the person (or what could potentially be the person) for you.

The article goes on to mention a couple of reasons that they chose to do it this way: one is to protect privacy! By not using facial recognition, they make sure that the app can't easily be pre-loaded with a database of people and look for them all the time. For another, humans are already good at facial recognition. If you can see your friend's face, there's a good chance that you'll recognize them. This, however, helps when you're scanning the crowd and their back might be to you.

Honestly, it sounds like a good idea to me. Sure, it's going to have problems if you're surrounded by identically-dressed people, but you're not left any worse off by that than you were without it. Since it uses their bodily dimensions as well, it may still be of some use. And I know from times that I've been shopping with my wife and was looking for her that I, personally, have a horrible memory for what people are wearing. If I see her face, sure, I'll recognize her - but I often find myself remembering not the outfit she was wearing today, but the one she was wearing yesterday, or the one she was wearing when I met her for lunch.....

about a year and a half ago

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