from the minecraft-and-boxing dept
Much of the political debate around encryption, such as that on display in a congressional hearing this week, has been characterized by a fundamentally flawed understanding of the most basic principles. Mason Wheeler won most insightful comment this week by underlining one such example:
Someone needs to sit this guy down and explain Kerckhoff's Principle to him. It's one of the most fundamental rules of information security: The Adversary Knows The System.
It means that any valid discussion of security must begin from the assumption that the bad guys who are trying to break in already know everything about how your system works, but does not necessarily already know the key, and if you can't show that the system is still secure against such an adversary, you have to assume it's not secure.
Kerckhoff's Principle rejects the very concept of a "front door" that the good guys can use but hackers can't gain access to. If there's another way in besides the private key, you must assume that the bad guys know all about it.
Meanwhile, HBO and Showtime tried to change some basic principles of copyright by pre-suing a site that planned to stream an upcoming boxing match. This raises a bunch of interesting questions, and second place for insightful went to an anonymous commenter who proposed a reversal of the idea:
Wait, if they can sue for anticipated copyright, then can we sue for anticipated public domain? I mean, technically all copyrighted works do eventually fall into the public domain, right? If their whole argument is hinging on eventualities, then why can't we do so for the public domain which is a definite eventuality?
For editor's choice, we start with another anonymous commenter who made a point on that post which is oversimplified but serves as a starting point for a lot of important discussion:
Sporting events should not be copyrightable. Period. To say otherwise is utter insanity.
(The catch, of course, is that the copyright is on the coverage of the event, which is a work of authorship. But this still raises the question of just how much protection such coverage actually qualifies for, based on which aspects of it genuinely involve creative choices and how much is just neutral documentation of facts.)
For our next editor's choice, we pivot as we so rarely do to a Daily Dirt post, which discussed the Singaporean test question that lit the internet on fire. One person in the comments objected to it being called a math problem when it was really a logic problem, prompting Different Anonymous Coward to offer this well-conceived rejoinder:
If you think any given logic puzzle has nothing to do with math you either need to go deeper into logic until you hit math, or deeper into math until you hit logic.
Over on the funny side, we start out on our post about the latest moral panic: Minecraft and kids. Some parents shared their own stories about the game, and NoahVail's became the funniest comment of the week:
My kid roped me into launching a MC server
One of my kids wanted to setup a Minecraft server.
Two years later I'm managing & hosting 2 Minecraft servers w/ most of 100k usernames and my kid has wandered off onto the next project.
I did my bit. I got involved with my kid playing MC and now I'm saddled with running his online community.
At least pets die eventually. I don't know how long game servers live for.
In second place we've got Michael, who observed that the recent takedown of Dan Bull's Death To ACTA video was spurring a well-known Effect:
So a 5 year old YouTube video that pretty much everyone has forgotten about is back in the news because someone is trying to silence it.
Apparently Dan's marketing strategy is working!
For editor's choice, we start out with one more parental Minecraft story, this time from James Blackburn:
My kids (10 and 12) are RUINED by this game. The last parent - teacher interviews I had I was told how my kids are sickeningly respectful to authority, work well with others, and to top it all off, will include other classmates in projects or activities when those kids are being left out by others.Finally, we've got another comment regarding the bizarre attempt to pre-sue for copyright infringement. Chris-Mouse asked a critical question:
(Full disclosure: I said "You sure you have my kids in mind??")
Oh, and to top it off, not only do they amaze me with what they make on that game (although really how anyone can sit for more than 5 mins on that game amazes me), they have come up with some pretty creative crafts using ordinary items around the house because of that game.
So, yeah. Terrible game.
Copyright only exists once the work is created in a fixed format.
Are they saying the fight is fixed?
That's all for this week, folks!