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Comment Re:Paradox (Score 1) 86

Flying a drone is not considered as if you are holding the camera. If you could fly in such a way that you only film your property, it would be allowed.

This is what doesn't make sense. You are allowed to photograph public areas, and not just your own property (as long as you don't use a drone). They're putting hobbyist drones in the same category as CCTV cameras and other devices which are left in place to record continuously. Most of the drones affected by this law are not the expensive, semi-autonomous sort which can fly on their own using GPS waypoints, and even those only fly for a short time before the batteries are depleted. You can't just set them up to fly around and record for an extended time while the operator is not present. They require an active pilot. Most of them require line-of-sight, though some might be equipped for FPV. Either way, their presence is obvious from the noise, and the operator has to be fairly close by. To say that these drones would make lousy "surveillance" devices is a massive understatement. A person could accomplish much more effective and privacy-invading "surveillance" by hiding a cheap, disposable smartphone in the bushes. No hobbyist drone is going to be recording anyone surreptitiously.

Comment Paradox (Score 2) 86

The ruling of the Swedish administrative courts forbids anyone to fly a drone equipped with a camera as long as its not "... to document crime or prevent accidents...".

The Swedish administrative courts have created a legal paradox. If it is a crime to fly a drone with a camera, then by doing so one is automatically documenting a crime... which apparently makes the drone legal, ergo no crime exists to be documented, ergo flying the camera-drone is illegal. The drone thus exists in a superposition of legal and illegal states, threatening to tear the entire Swedish legal system to pieces. (One can only hope.)

Comment Re:It was a premises warrant. (Score 1) 400

Keys don't change. Fingerprints don't change. A biometric identifier is therefore not affirmative.

Which finger you use to unlock the device, however, can change and should be considered affirmative, just as if it were a (single-digit) PIN code. If they have the authority to collect fingerprint samples and to seize your device then I see no reason why they wouldn't have the authority to use your own device to collect the samples—but they have to decide which finger(s) to press against the sensor, not you, and the device will only allow so many errors before it disables fingerprint unlocking altogether.

Comment Re:Set up correct secondary DNS servers (Score 1) 287

It could be done right now using a similar blockchain to the one bitcoin uses. In fact, you could also tie in SSL into the platform, to prevent centralizing services like Verasign from being a weak point. The design is already in my head - just need to build it. Anyone have some free time?

It's been done. The project is called Namecoin.

Comment Re:Economics? (Score 1) 341

Not only that, but nuclear plants employ a large number of well paid, skilled, and educated people for that entire duration. They also pay huge amounts in local and state taxes. The contributions back to the tax base and the economy from that is worth billions more.

Billions of dollars are changing hands, but it would be incorrect to say that this brings billions of dollars' worth of benefit to the economy. There is an economic gain from voluntary trade, but it's a small fraction of what either party pays or receives in absolute terms. The gain comes from the differences between the values each party assigns to the items being exchanged (e.g. productivity vs. salary for the employer, or salary vs. time, effort, and "human capital" such as training for the worker). This difference will, of course, be considerably less than the values of the goods being exchanged. Since the trade is voluntary the exchange can be presumed to benefit both parties, but the size of this benefit is difficult to estimate. As a thought-experiment one could consider the range of prices that would be acceptable to both parties (which is, of course, unknowable in any particular instance); the net benefit to the buyer is the highest amount the buyer would have been willing to pay for the same good minus the amount actually paid; or for the seller, the amount actually received minus the least the seller would have been willing to settle for. The net economic benefit of the transaction to society as a whole is the sum of the benefits to the buyer and the seller.

The state and local taxes, on the other hand, are a straightforward involuntary transfer of existing property from one party to another and should not be counted as an economic benefit at all. If anything, the taxed party can reasonably be expected to lose more value than the government gains, for a net economic loss.

Comment Re:UBI is a one way street (Score 1) 894

Oh, yeah, and we need to pry the wealth from the 1% to .0001% who truly contribute nothing concrete.

This is just an example of failing to value that which you do not understand. Go ahead, seize all those accumulated savings and capital investments and redistribute them for the sake of a few months' worth of short-term consumption among those who have no idea how to save or plan for the future. See what happens afterward. Hint: More money in circulation plus diminished productive capacity equals higher prices everywhere.

Putting more cash in circulation isn't going to help anyone in terms of actual available goods, and redistributing capital from those with a demonstrated ability to put it to profitable use to those who manifestly do not is hardly a recipe for making more efficient use of said capital to produce the goods the masses desire.

Comment Re: US Post Office always secure. (Score 1) 454

You cannot allow revocation of a cast ballot without linking the vote to the person casting it. Ballots need to be secret.

This is no more of a problem than preserving secrecy for normal mail-in ballots, and is handily solved by the widely implemented double-envelope scheme. The outer envelope is labeled with your voter ID. Inside that there is a blank, sealed envelope containing the ballot. After the polls close the sealed inner envelope is removed from the outer envelope and mixed with other ballots to ensure anonymity before the blank envelopes are opened and the ballots are counted. In the event that a voter revokes their ballot only the outer envelope needs to be examined. The inner envelope and ballot can be destroyed while still sealed.

Comment Re:US Post Office always secure. (Score 1) 454

More problematic is that vote by mail isn't private / anonymous - your actual vote is visible for all to read.

What kind of system are you using? Typically you don't just write your candidate's name on the back of a postcard. The ballot itself does not contain any voter identification. You seal the completed ballot inside a blank envelope, and then put that envelope inside another envelope labeled with your voter identification. You sign the outer envelope and mail it in. Later someone checks the identification and signature, confirms that you didn't already vote by mail or in person, and removes the sealed inner envelope—they see who voted, but not the actual votes. The outer envelopes are discarded, while the anonymous inner envelopes containing the ballots are mixed together and opened by someone else. This second person can count the votes but does not have access to the identities of the voters.

The system honestly isn't all that bad, though it does have certain vulnerabilities. Most notably, someone could watch you fill out and mail the ballot and also ensure that you are unable to reach the polls to override the mailed-in responses by voting in person.

Of course, all this effort is pointless if one can simply ask voters about their selections and reasonably expect a truthful answer. The practicality of the secret ballot fundamentally depends on voters' willingness to lie, which makes it rather dubious, morally speaking. The fact they they could lie and that there is (ideally) no way to prove that any given response is accurate means little unless a significant fraction of individuals are actually willing to defraud prospective vote-buyers, which would reflect poorly on their character and is not really a form of behavior which ought to be encouraged.

Comment Re:US Post Office always secure. (Score 2) 454

In reality though, if the voter signs the ballot (as is done in the vote-by-mail process in Oregon) and the signature matches what is in the voter registry, does it really matter? They endorsed what is selected on the ballot.

What is to say that the nominal voter didn't sign the blank ballot before handing it over to someone else, either under duress or to obtain a reward?

The only way I know of to deal with this is to allow the ballot to be secretly voided at any time (before or after it's been filed) at the request of the voter to whom it was issued. If you anticipate voter intimidation you could request an extra pre-voided ballot, indistinguishable from a real one, and hand that over instead. If you were the subject of unanticipated intimidation you could request that your original ballot be voided and vote again. Of course, this safeguard can be circumvented if the intimidator is able to keep a close watch on your activities throughout the process—at some point you need to be able to communicate with the election committee without their knowledge.

Comment Re:They can supena the certificate's private key (Score 1) 88

The may not be able to MITM the connection, but with the developers' signing key they could push an update out which would send the cleartext straight from the app to the FBI's servers. To avoid that attack vector you would need to disable auto-updates and only install versions (manually, after verifying the signature on the binary) which have undergone a thorough security audit by someone you trust—preferably yourself.

Comment Re: Since when... (Score 1) 198

Please stop spouting nonsense. Your "judicial order" isn't worth the electrons it's printed on without some kind of backdoor to bypass the encryption. Issue all the "judicial orders" you want—without a backdoor built in to the system beforehand the information will stubbornly remain encrypted.

Comment Re:Executes more code but runs faster ? (Score 1) 531

However in this case we have a tool that has proven itself over decades of use by knowledgable and skilled craftsman. A tool that can do any sort of memory checking the craftsman wishes it to, any sort of checking the "training wheels" languages do.

Sure, provided the craftsman writes verbose boilerplate code to accomplish simple tasks that other languages handle automatically—and manages to do so without introducing additional errors in the boilerplate. (More code equal more bugs.)

A tool that needlessly requires more skill and effort to accomplish the same result, without a corresponding increase in utility / expressiveness, is also a bad tool.

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