1172 posts • joined 8 Nov 2007
saw a "burst of flames" shoot out of the iPad's charging port
Thunderbolt and lightning---very, very frightening!
An oldie, but a goodie
Re: Image hash database
Is this publicly available so that sysadmins can run preventative measures?
You don't need it. Just put a few junk bytes at the end of your files. Should work. Unless they do block-level hashing, of course.
Re: "NSA's influence waxes"
Or is that what THEY want us to think?
Wanes? Glad to hear someone's thinking of them.
Re: trouser pockets
Is it time for the thigh pocket ('sadlebag') to escape
I think they're called "cargo pants".
I'll chip in with a previous poster and mention that my Nexus 7 fits in my front jeans pocket just fine.
Re: Not prime, but...
Since we seem to have a lot of number-loving commentards (numeritards?) today
Or, as Moss from the IT crowd put it in the Countdown episode: "overnumerousness".
Has prime number dates all the time: Since π(x) ~= x / ln x, just plug in Unix time (seconds since 1 Jan 1970) for midnight today and midnight tomorrow and subtract the two π(x) values. There are thousands of prime times each day.
What integer is it divisible by, other than one, and itself?
To use the lingo, being divisible by no other number except 1 and itself is necessary but not sufficient to describe what a prime number is.
I can haz golem now?
the police's failed kettling attempt
maybe anyone with tea leaves
why not extrapoloate?
If it's so efficient to upload by physically shifting disks around from place to place, why not go the whole hog and implement this "cloud" thing like a mobile library? I'm sure customers would appreciate the extra bandwidth, and if the disks are large enough, any latency issues (waiting for the van to arrive) can be ignored because it'll still get to you before a full download would finish.
I think these tech companies are doing things wrong.
Re: Platypi eat crustaceans and shellfish...
re:... a proto-platypus with a Koala in its mouth!
Or perhaps a drop bear?
Martian Robot Wars
It should be fun when it arrives on Mars and finds out where the US bots are located. I'm sure that a 1-tonne, six-armed golden giant of a bot will make quick work of the pathetically puny, trowel-wielding US bots. Any news on whether Craig Charles will be commentating? If he's not available, David Lamb would do in a pinch.
Re: Billions and billions
Hmm... now that you mention it, I've got Orbital's "Are We Here?" in my head(*). Not that that's a bad thing :)
(*includes Carl Sagan samples, I think)
I was once told
That the Spanish for "I see the sea" sounds like a pretty bad curse in Finnish. Maybe I misremembered cos the Internet tells me that the Finnish "Katso merta" means something disgusting in Italian.
Re: 'Twas ever thus
Yep, 'smoking a fag' is apparently also a euphemism for performing oral sex on a homosexual man's phallus. Cue red faces all round.
And yet talk about people's fannies is totally socially acceptable over there...
Re: 'Nuff Said
So (IIUC) with this system in place we could prove that all messages supposedly coming from "Frumious Bandersnatch" do come from you, but not who you are?
In a nutshell, yes. The big difference in the paper is that the network provides a decentralised identity system, unlike here, where the "Frumious Bandersnatch" nym is controlled totally by the Register (well, and me).
Re: 'Nuff Said
Is that enough for you?
Let's not confuse anonymity with pseudonimity. The paper describes a method for building the latter upon a network that assume the former as a building block.
There are two routes to proving "identity" (ie, ownership of a particular pseudonym) as outlined/mentioned in the paper. The first is through ZK proofs. Using this, you come up with a secret and then convince some other party (the ZK proof part) that you know the secret or some property of it. When the paper talks about "identity", it's talking about a pseudonym, and when it talks about an "authority" it's talking about something that's acting as your delegate in proving that you own that nym (via a credential that you issue). ZK proofs mean that you can prove that you know the secret key, but never reveal any knowledge that could be used to reconstruct it.
The second kind of identity is group identity. You can prove that you're a member of a group by using one-way accumulators. A CA will generate an accumulator (like a hash table, but more compact and opaque) for each member of the group. Then each member can use that to identify themselves as being part of the group without revealing the other group members. This preserves the essential anonymity of the group (even to other members, though the CA knows the signing keys), while still allowing nym-to-nym self-recognition (and even proving membership to non-members).
It's pretty amazing the things that can be done these days with the crypto primitives we have. It's totally possible to set up an identity (read: pseudonym) system that is totally (well, computationally, to any degree you want) anonymous. That's why I called you out on your initial comment.
Re: analogy fail? (@ Frumious Bandersnatch)
But that's just chicken and egg reasoning. It doesn't demonstrate any intrinsic value proposition for non-members. It's like saying, "if you have a fax machine, you can fax other people who have fax machines". If the network isn't there (or is shrinking, as I assume is the case for fax users) then there's no point in joining it. At least Bitcoin does have a clear value proposition (you might convert electricity into cash).
The sole reason that Bitcoin works is that peers have a vested interest (money) in doing one of two things: minting new coins, and proving that the ledger is correct. There's a delicate balance struck between regular users and those with vastly more computational power available to them. Bitcoin is structured in such a way that it's more likely that the latter can gain more virtual currency by playing by the same rules as the regular users rather than trying to subvert the system. This leads to the question of how a distributed identity system like this one is going to convince users that it's in their own interest to be "provers" in this system. For Bitcoin (and similar) the answer is obviously monetary, but the paper makes no mention of compensating peers at all.
The paper describes all the machinery, but completely misses out on the reason why anyone would want to devote their resources (CPU, network, electricity) to implementing it.
Re: 'Nuff Said
"to make assertions about identity in a fully anonymous fashion"
No, please do say more. You do realise how zero-knowledge proofs work? Or algorithms like Dining Cryptographers? Just because people hide behind masks it doesn't mean they can't make true statements (statements about identity included).
Time delays are the major difficulty
Perhaps instead of linear video logs, they could use "choose your own adventure" style updates? The sender would try to anticipate the kinds of questions and scenarios that the nauts might have, then package up all the data into something like an Infocom or SCUMM format for playback in a non-linear way up on the ship. They could also have Max Headroom-style virtual actor software (complete with tunable voice synthesis a la Hatsune Miku) sent up with them, so that the nauts could interact with something that looks and sounds something like the people back home (all without wasting valuable transmission bandwidth).
The CYOA games that they send up might have a bit of replay value, too, and would give people a bit of entertainment value (both watching/playing and crafting their own modules to be sent back) for the long journey.
Re: Ohhhh, The Irony... (x2)
Not only that, but they don't even know where their gravity experiment will land... would have thought the equations were well known at this point.
like a dead mule?
"Beaten(*) like a borrowed donkey" was the phrase that sprang into my mind.
netbooks tablets, obviously, though that sense of "beaten" kind of ruins the analogy.
SHA-2... So which is it? Stick with it or sutible only for legacy applications?
SHA-2 is a family of hash functions. See Michael's post above.
Re: Blue Sky of Death?
No Cloud for You!
So how many people
are going to get the Bob Dylan reference?
I'll stick with the Russkis. Not all of their urns are spies... only samovar.
Re: In The Spirit Of European Education
Fwiw, Wirth's Algorithms + Data Structures is now legitimately available for free download
Coincidentally enough, I was thinking of this very book the other day when I made a post here. Then again, I suppose that the classics (esp. Knuth's TAoCP) are never too far from many programmers' minds.
Now if I could only find my copy of Jon Bentley's "More Programming Pearls" ...
Re: In The Spirit Of European Education
Prolog would be much better. Better than that Yankee Lisp thing, anyway.
Re: HDMI not compulsory
Want a switch instead of pulling the micro plug out of the RPi? Easy
Use a paperclip or other bit of wire to short the holes at P6. This reset mechanism was added in rev 2 boards, so it can be used to avoid some wear and tear on the USB power socket.
Seems a bit thirsty
The ODROID-XU has a very similar setup (also a 1.8GHz A7/A15 combo, though running in big.LITTLE mode), but it seems to only draw about 4 to 5 watts when fully loaded. I guess that the 100Gb network, extra RAM (assuming Calxeda's boards have more than 2Gb) and other peripheral devices (versus XU's USB3 + fan) could account for some of that, but 4x power consumption seems a lot.
Still, 20W is still most excellent for servers, and by the looks of it, they've still got room to bring that down either in the forthcoming board or the next one after that...
algorithms before algebra?
Basically, what is an algorithm, besides a series of self-contained logical steps, including the idea of decision points (conditionals) and looping? Leaving aside other practical issues like input/output and variables or data structures, that boils down to only three very simple concepts, which should be very easy to teach and demonstrate, whether it's with flowcharts, traditional programming languages, or hybrid pedagogic languages like Squeak.
Even these simple concepts don't have to be introduced formally and all at once. Lesson plans can be structured in such a way that kids are learning these concepts before they even see a flowchart or whatever. Take something like teaching them about quotients and remainders by repeated division (which can be taught with physical props or analogies, such as a string on a spool). You can gauge their grasp of the concepts by asking them simple questions like "what's our next step here", "are we finished yet", "how many times did we wind the string", "how much string is on the spool", "how long is the rest of it", and so on. Later, you can ask the same questions in the context of a simple flowchart and show that the two approaches are identical.
If kids had a basic idea of what an algorithm is in these terms, who's to say that it's not going to make it easier for them to get a handle on what's going on when they come to study algebra? Many topics in algebra have natural algorithmic counterparts. For example: positional number systems (dealing with carries, doing long multiplication/division), solving simultaneous equations (with matrices and Gaussian elimination), affine transformations (possibly using iterated function systems as a fun diversion), solving single equations (Newton's method, or simply using a computer program to graph the equation; also Logo-like languages and tools--like DrGeo, for example--in general are a handy tool for learning trigonometry), symbolic calculus (though I think that Prolog-like languages might be a bit too advanced) and so on. This may not suit everybody, but I think that at least giving kids the basic tools, and tailoring the teaching methods that work best for different groups of students, you're much more likely to get students to understand maths and algebra and get much better results as a consequence. At least a multi-stranded approach has more of a chance to engage kids' imagination and critical faculties.
Re: I'd definitely go used.
There is so much used gear that can be had for cheap or free
I read in a previous article that "[t]eams will have to disclose the source and retail price of their components". I'm not sure if that rules out buying second-hand stuff off ebay or the like, but it would probably rule out "free" stuff that you managed to get through friends/contacts.
More Stories about Icahn-Cook, please... we could do with more food stories here.
The unspeakable in hot pursuit of the uneatable.
Strange how you make a link with Oscar Wilde on reading the article. As for me, I see those clouds and the clear road signs and I'm reminded of pure Excellence (courtesy of Dave Barry):
An excellence-oriented '80s male does not wear a regular watch. He
wears a Rolex watch, because it weighs nearly six pounds and is
advertised only in excellence-oriented publications such as Fortune and
Rich Protestant Golfer Magazine. The advertisements are written in
incomplete sentences, which is how advertising copywriters denote
"The Rolex Hyperion. An elegant new standard in quality excellence and
discriminating handcraftsmanship. For the individual who is truly able
to discriminate with regard to excellent quality standards of crafting
things by hand. Fabricated of 100 percent 24-karat gold. No watch
parts or anything. Just a great big chunk on your wrist. Truly a
timeless statement. For the individual who is very secure. Who
doesn't need to be reminded all the time that he is very successful.
Much more successful than the people who laughed at him in high
school. Because of his acne. People who are probably nowhere near as
successful as he is now. Maybe he'll go to his 20th reunion, and
they'll see his Rolex Hyperion. Hahahahahahahahaha."
-- Dave Barry, "In Search of Excellence"
(mutatis mutandis, it should be obvious, eh?)
Re: I nearly bought a Surface Pro 2 today.
Thank you so much Microsoft team. I was waiting this tablet. It is really great user friendly and smooth.
You know what?
This would be a perfect time for an actual alien invasion. The Martians may have missed out on Orson Welles's broadcast all those years ago, but they have advance warning of this event :)
It literally doesn't matter any more.
Well you might argue that current usage trumps well-established meaning, but it strikes me as being more than a bit stupid to say that "literally" doesn't really mean that in the context of writing a book. (and yes, I know that he was only using "wrote the book" in the figurative sense, but it doesn't make it any less stupid to add "literally" when "we wrote the book" conveys everything that's needed).
Yup. On reading "We literally wrote the book on getting things done" I (literally) just had to come here to see if anyone could provide an ISBN for that.
There's no such word. Use "Regardless" or "Irrespective".
Re: Blame the victim
re: (a), (b), (c)
You're drawing inferences that aren't there. I'm not making any of the points you're saying I am: I'm only questioning whether the politician is right to say that the person was killed because of the iPhone.
One more thing
My nit-picking above aside, there's also the question about whether this is even the right (or even a good) solution to the problem. It's the same old Sir Humphrey logic: we must be seen to be doing something. This is something, therefore we must do it. Will this make it harder for thieves to sell on phones? Well it might make a marginal difference, but the black market being what it is, a thief will still have plenty of options for selling what they steal. Will it do anything to deal with the actual causes of violent assault? Of course not. For that you need a completely different, and much more expensive set of measures like more cops, better street lighting, and maybe technological measures like (silent) panic alarms in phones, automatic shutdown/bricking (combined with a reasonable mechanism to get a replacement phone) and so on. Unfortunately, fingerprint scanning isn't one of those technological solutions, IMO...
Re: Most annoying thing for me
It removes your anti virus etc and doesn't tell you.....
After reading the article, and noticing the phrase "taking care of a few things" I was mulling over making a post suggesting that this might actually be a euphemism, and that the extra 4.5Gb free was due to "taking care" of some competing products that were on the disk initially. I'd meant it as a joke, but now I'm just gob-smacked ... MS couldn't be that obvious, could they?
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