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Comment Re:Alterterior Motives... (Score 1) 292

I think you missed my point completely, and therefore simply whitewashed everything.

Please explain the math behind your "1% chance of receiving an intact transmission due to noise and interference" statement. You can't make that claim without laying down some facts. I've pulled down TPMS sensor traffic (that has a nominal range of 20') at distances of over 300' with the use of a simple HDTV antenna and a $20 RTL-SDR, and I did it in sprawling suburban traffic density, not out in the boonies somewhere. It's actually way easier than you think.

Forget about identifiers for a second. Directional antennas can provide significant rejection of off-axis signal, while boosting on-axis SNR. If you are listening in a specific direction using a steerable antenna or a phased array, and if (like TFA states) the target vehicle is transmitting up to 10x/sec, I can string together a series of broadcasts to determine a trajectory. It doesn't matter if the target vehicle switches identifiers, because I'm not talking about tracking by identifier. I'm saying that at 10x/sec the resolution is tight enough that under traditional Newtonian physics, I can deduce which packets belong to the target car. Basic trigonometry can provide a solution from my location to the target's anticipated location to keep the antenna pointed in the right direction. This is totally possible, and it can be done with probably less than $2000. A laptop, a high end SDR and a small steerable yagi should be enough to get you there. That's cheaper than the infrared goggles you mention, let alone the helicopter, and requires no training for a surveillance team.

About encryption: I'm not suggesting the entire protocol has to be compromised. The transmitting car can't know who is going to receive the message, and negotiating an encrypted connection takes too long (think closure rate of two vehicles traveling head on at 70 mph). Some messages may well be encrypted, but the secret must be pre-shared among manufacturers if any vehicle is to decrypt any other vehicle's traffic. Therefore, it's only a matter of time before keys are leaked, and abused... but with the cops, it won't even be a leak: the cops will just ask for the keys and get it. Once the cops have it, someone will figure out a way to steal it from them and voila! But more importantly, the unencrypted data provides enough to do what I'm talking about.

You are right though... the cops will probably just put an antenna on every streetlight just like they want to do with video cameras... then they can track you from the comfort of their multi-million dollar control center downtown. But what you are wrong about is that it is not really going to change anything. That's what they said about social security numbers. In fact it will change a lot of things. Anything that is made easier, is made easier for the good guys as well as the bad guys. If you don't see the opportunity here, then your'e intentionally ignoring it. It only takes one or two bad eggs... every police organization has the potential to have someone who abuses their power. And every new technology is exploitable, because the people who create them are not half as clever as those who wish to profit from it. Whether it's the cops or the criminals or both, this tech will do some good, and it will also do some harm.

Comment Re:Alterterior Motives... (Score 3, Insightful) 292

Exactly... this is the part that worries me... they talk about 128 bit encryption and all that jazz, but this isn't a negotiated connection people... it's transmitting your telemetry in the blind, hoping that others will act on it. As such, everyone will be using the same encryption key, which will make it trivial for someone to transmit false information. There are literally dozens of ways I can think to abuse this capability for fun and profit.

The other issue is this: The expected range these operate at is defined by the size and quality of the antennas they intend to use, but with improved listening capability the range is much further. They claim to not transmit any specific identifying information, but if it broadcasts 10x/second, then it's pretty trivial to follow if you can receive real time. Imagine how easily you can tail a car now that you can stay out of visual range and still know exactly where they are? Tell me the police won't want that capability.

Comment Re:No, just no (Score 1) 560

So do you take Benadryl recreationally? I think you're missing the point that some drugs are useful for things, but aren't habit forming, therefore it's easy to walk away from them when you don't need them anymore; thus you remain in control. Other drugs typically get regulated in some way because they ARE habit forming. The user of the drug expresses the desire to stop using the drug yet doesn't have the willpower. Cigarettes are a great example of what happens when an addictive drug goes largely unregulated. Look at the strain on our healthcare system caused by long term smokers. If you care about other people lying in a hospital bed drowning in their own fluids, you might say this is already tragic. But if you don't, just look at what is coming out of your pocket to subsidize the healthcare of smokers. Every time you pay your insurance premium, you are subsidizing those who can't pay for it themselves.

Getting back to pot, maybe the risks aren't the same, but you can't say there is no risk. So look far into the future you are arguing for, and imagine what might you be forced to subsidize for those users who can't or won't stop?

Comment Re:I wonder... (Score 5, Interesting) 200

Unless they're buying out TiVo, they're already second to market... I haven't cared in a LONG time what channel or time my show is coming on, I just use the TiVo app on my phone to search for what I want and magically it appears on my screen. Want to watch a series? Not a problem! My TiVo will assemble all the episodes of that series on the DVR from any source it can get it from including recording it from air, netflix, amazon prime, hulu, etc. Full disclaimer: I have no affiliation with TiVo in the slightest... except I own one and it obviates the problem described above.

Comment Re:That must be why you prohibit ride-sharing! (Score 1) 270

That's a bullshit argument.

When a schoolbus hits your kid, you don't just sue the driver, you sue the driver, the drivers union, the school, and the school district... 'cause this is 'murica, the must litigious place in our entire solar system. Do you think for a second that if someone gets hurt while hailing an autonomous Tesla, that they're not going to sue Tesla, regardless of whether or not the hailing service is operated by Tesla? So as long as Tesla is forced to take some risk, they're going to want a piece of the profits too. That's why the prohibition on using _other_ ride haling providers.

Comment Re:I've got 2 problems with a digital wallet (Score 1, Interesting) 206

Oh, god, the irony. Did you just bitch about your credit card company sending you a statement proving how closely they track your spending??? Maybe you should look up the definition of "account" or "accounting"... seems like a credit card company wouldn't survive long if they DIDN'T track your spending perfectly.

The real concern for you should be how they use that data, and who they share it with.

Second, please point me to the news story that says the secure enclave in your phone is a worthless data sieve and is far worse than the risk of carrying a traditional credit card, or cash? I mean seriously, I regularly find cash lying on the ground in various places, parking lots, playgrounds, etc. but I've NEVER lost money due to trusting my phone.

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