P.S. ... almost no one goes after the crypto maths - it's too hard when compared to the alternatives. Everyone just goes around and takes out the OS on either the sender or receiver end.
212 posts • joined 26 Feb 2008
> I was deliberately paraphrasing the propaganda from the 90s as it is SO MUCH MORE meaningful and revealing TODAY.
Sure, you can believe in a conspiracy theory, or you can just believe in Moores law and accept that the attacks which are feasible now weren't feasible 25 years ago.
Technology moves on, attacks become feasible today that weren't feasible then, so algorithms or key lengths get changed.
> ASSUMPTION that the designs the NSA wished us to use are MATHEMATICALLY PERFECT
I think you assumed that. No one else in the security industry did. The industry believes in "mathematically good enough, given available computer resources, and the value of the resources you are protecting". That's why RSA key lengths (which is a mathematically sound algorithm) keep getting longer (because processing power keeps going up).
Security of crypto is not a boolean state, and never ever was, it's calculated risk management and available compute resource is part of that risk equation. If you believe that it's a boolean state then you're going to get burned.
Re: @A.C. -- The dangers of embedded software, at last the world knows.
> I deliberately didn't use the 'source' with 'open', that means it is not 'open source' but rather the end user can examine it.
If they can examine it, they can copy it, as DRM has proven time and time again. As photographers generally find out, the legal routes - such as copyright - are unenforceable unless you are a "big guy" and can afford an army of lawyers to search and destroy. For the most small companies there is a distinct risk that "open" becomes "free" whether you want to or not (and whether it is legal or not).
> Where equipment, machinery etc. came with manuals complete with blueprints and circuit diagrams.
Copying physical machinery of any complexity is difficult. I struggle to name many users of storage scopes who could build their own storage scope from scratch, even with the schematics (although they could probably replace a bust component if they wanted).
Copying and recompiling software is trivial and requires practically no expertise. Plus this is basically just point (1) in my original post. Tectronix made their money of selling physical hardware, not a pure software product.
> The fact that a huge industry of making secret embedded software has built up over the past 30 years doesn't make secrecy right.
I didn't say it did, I just want to know how I'm not going to starve when everyone in the world can copy my software for zero cost. And even making software "open" doesn't solve the problem for systems which are complex - as OpenSSL, Linux and many other open systems prove, there will always be bugs in systems of any non-trivial complexity.
Can software engineering do better?
Probably, but pace of development would be an order of magnitude slower, and software would cost ten times more to develop. Would users rather have cheap? Evidence to date says yes.
> The fact that the source was hidden meant that it was very difficult to make them accountable,
No - accountability is easy, you just need to make it a criminal problem and make the directors of said companies liable. It works pretty well in civil and mechanical engineering.
> Surely the point of westernized politics is to bring everyone up to the same level,
I think the point of modern politics is to bring everyone *down* to the same level.
Re: @Pete H
That just shows how long ago it was ;)
Re: @Pete H
... but if they are not malicious, then it is highly likely that they will want to help you sort it out, no?
The government already maintains three databases with national scope for IDs (national insurance, passport, and driving license). They've managed those perfectly well for years. Why is adding one more (and hopefully killing one of the existing ones such as NI number) likely to result in catastrophe?
FWIW I've been the "victim" of one such ID related cockup - for a period of time HMRC managed to give me my Dad's NI number which was fun and games with the tax office for a while. Total effort to sort it out - one 30 minute phone call, 30 minutes to write a letter, and 26p for a stamp. Hardly the end of the world ...
Re: UK problems with ID cars
So exactly like a passport if you happen to lose it while overseas then. This happens, and the government helps people sort it out, it doesn't say "well you're fucked you're not getting back into the UK then".
Where does all of the conspiracy theory crap come from? On average governments are incompetent, but few are down-right malicious.
Re: Dear Coders - Rules You Learned in Kindergarten
> Dear Coders - Rules You Learned in Kindergarten
Which is all well and good, as long as you work on safety critical stuff, as in that scenario someone wants to pay for it. The vast majority of consumer software is "free" or at least "very cheap", and the consequences of a failure are low (you don't kill people), so no one wants to pay 2-4 x the cost of development to find the bugs.
It isn't a coder problem - it's a management problem. Coders like to eat.
Re: It's really simple
> Well, thats kind of the whole point the article was making, isn't it?
Yes, I know it was - but it's never as simple as "just halve the price and you'll sell twice as many". I was merely pointing out that OP's post was overly simplistic ...
Re: It's really simple
... but are they likely to sell twice as many books? Selling the same number of books at half the price is a kind of business suicide.
Re: how does a western services-based capitalist society survive..
> By going massively hi-tech. And having the arms to defend its wealth against those who would seek to take it from them.
This doesn't solve the economic problem though. We live in a society where we have more people than jobs, population nationally and globally is increasing, and everyone in the UK wants to get paid more. "Going high tech" just means you need even less people to do the same amount of work. It's good on paper for the companies involved, but what does the country do with the burgeoning supply of unemployed (or at least underemployed). If you just tax the companies or people in work then you take away all incentives to going high tech in the first place, as you are effectively paying for the staff you lost anyway as the state has to support them, and the only way to do that is via taxation.
What wealth? We have no natural resources, and burgeoning national debt which is still increasing, albeit at a lesser rate. The only "resource" in Britain is a large supply of people, which as per the above argument is increasingly an economic cost not a benefit in a massively mechanised society.
Re: Scarcity of resource
Time is "free" provided your planning is good enough, so taking a month to deliver goods isn't usually a problem - at least not for bulk industrial stuff once you have built up a stock in country (it's just a question of pipelining delivery so there is always a "big enough" stock in country until the next boat arrives). Less true for smaller orders, of course.
Duties sure - that why I said border tariffs - but on the whole they are reducing over time world-wide as most countries realise that on the whole trade goes up with less tariffs in place.
> Also, do not underestimate the problems of managing a global workforce and contractors
There are plenty of multinationals around who prove it works, and globalization doesn't mean I necessarily need my company to do all the out-of-country work. I don't need to have an overseas branch to benefit from overseas labour - I just need to buy materials or finished components from someone who does (directly, or via an importer).
Scarcity of resource
Doesn't this all just come down to globalization and ease of resource mobility?
Technology means you need less people, and in many industries also means you need less skilled people, which means it is easier to move around the world to places with cheaper labour costs (over time these places skill up, and get more expensive, so it moves elsewhere). Modern cargo ships effectively make transport free except for the in-country part to and from the dock (which you would have to pay anyway shipping local goods around the country), so there is little penalty to globalization unless there are border tariffs.
The end result is a massive oversupply of blue collar workers, which is only really offset by the fact that we have enough income in the rest of economy to fund a lot of services jobs which can mop up people (restaurant staff, coffee shop baristas, next day delivery drivers for Amazon, call centers for your iThingy tech support). The major downside is that most of these services are "luxuries" and so as soon as globalization catches up and a chunk of the "middle class" white collar jobs start to move overseas then the whole pyramid collapses, because services industry based economies are reliant on someone at the top of the pyramid pushing money in to it so the guys at the bottom get paid (vs. just having something in the ground to dig out and put on your market barrow - vegetable or mineral).
I think boom really came from three things:
* Post-war work ethic - people wanted to put the country back together again.
* Integration of technology - drives productivity
* Exploitation of world resources - the industrial societies dug up a lot of resources elsewhere in the world which makes them cheap. Since China started hoovering up more and more of them, physical resource costs have gone up somewhat, making goods more expensive.
I think the basic question here is "how does a western services-based capitalist society survive in a situation with a global oversupply of labour and improving skill sets up in Asia and Africa?" Personally I think the answer is "it can't", at least not at the current standard of living everyone expects, and at that point I think it stops being about economics and starts being about religion ^H politics - because you can't have 75% of the populus being "poor" - that is the thing that revolutions are made of.
Kong says ...
Holding it wrong my ass. I'm going to go ape on them ...
Re: Nasa contacts BBC Top Gear
If you don't mind picking up all the pieces and reassembling it ;)
As a space geek and a car nerd, that was the best Top Gear ever. I was gutted at the end result, but kudos for the attempt - so close ...
I have a 30" 4k monitor - picture quality excellent, no ghosting. Major downside - little software is written to handle high DPI and becomes ususably small. Windows 10 is a bit better and many system apps are now high DPI ware, but the new fallback for apps which are not is little more than crappy pixel scaling and looks terribly fuzzy and worse than just running a 1080p monitor..
For the time begin I would stick with 1440p or 2560x1600 if you want 16:10; it's a happy medium between gaining screen real-estate and not being headache inducing ....
Except it's not.
It's getting eaten alive by a world where everyone is simply stopping using drugs (lower PC sales), and the few which do want the latest expensive designer drugs (Apple), which I would hardly call a low cost generic.
Linux on desktop and in the workplace - which is the only "low cost generic" - is still very much a niche deployment in tech industries, but I doubt it's troubling Windows all that much compared to the other issues. [I'm a very happy Linux user at home and work, but even I don't see it as a mass market replacement for Windows any time soon].
Re: Security needs to be moved down
Security needs to be move UP (to design phase), not DOWN (to hardware where the software people will ignore it).
Most of the major security issues are not buffer overflows, they are badly configured systems, taped together with untested scripts, and left to rot in cupboards for years without patching. Oh, and users. The fleshies always screw things up if the system lets them.
Security is a system problem. Stop thinking of it as (only) a coding problem.
Re: I wonder how many people will be bitten by these biometric shenanigans
> Biometrics seem a neat idea for security, but we don't know how to make good security on the Internet.
Biometrics form a useful basis for public identification, when backed up with multiple approaches (as any single biometric is easy to spoof, you generally have to stack up multiple to get statistically reliable coverage).
Identification != Security.
Re: I know it shouldn't ought to be allowed but
Yeah, but big business in this case is likely gambling with your money, or is a company in which your pension fund has a stake. It's always the punter that pays ...
Re: It puzzles me too
> That we live on top of a burning molten mass and have another one above us, yet we are still so focused on man made global warming.
The source of the warming is still very much in the hands of the sun. The "man made" bit is simply that we are very good at chucking stuff up in the air which acts as a small multiplier on the 173,000 TW that the sun spits out, either allowing more energy through in the first place (CFCs) or stopping it radiating back off into space (CO2).
I'd also note that there are other bad things about lots of CO2, such as acidification of oceans destroying coral reefs, not just the warming debate ^H religion.
Re: So what happens
> To put a different analogy how long realisticly should Apple provide software support for the iPad One five years,ten years,fifteen years?
Well they only provided it for three. It's been marooned on iOS 6 (IIRC), and has now gotten to the point where not even the browser works reliably with modern sites due to bugs in Safari, and you can't install a newer browser from the app store because none of the third-part browsers bother to support the limited API version in iOS6 ...
Bad example ...
Re: meh.... Oculus Rift Virtual Blinders™... WTF?! Where's the peripheral vision?
> Where are the curved screens offering peripheral vision?!
Why do I need a curved screen? Just need some clever lenses to distort the flat screen so what reaches your eye looks like it has more peripheral vision (and enough chromatic aberration correction in the software to avoid it looking all rainbow like (because different wavelengths diffract differently through the lenses)).
What I don't quite understand is what Oracle hope to gain out of this.
The only reason I have Java installed on my PC at all is because of Android development. If they piss off Google, there is a good chance Google will go off and invent some "Java-like" alternative and replace Java completely (I mean it's not a bad language, but its not worth billions - you can build a good alternative for that kind of $$$). Which means Java will die all the more quickly.
Ah no. It's Oracle - squeeze all you can out of it while you can and then dump it because you never wanted it in the first place. I remember ...
> and I think quota-based hiring is retarded ... you have to be able to pass some kind of standard in ethics ...
This is basically the point of quota-based hiring. There are many industries which are, for reasons of history, male dominated. There are many which lack basic infrastructure for employing disabled people, even if those people are awesome - such as ramps. In such an environment "bad habits" develop - if you hire lots of guys then you will get frat-house behaviour from some, which would not have happened in a more mixed sex environment because the need for social behaviour regulation isn't there. You need trail-blazers of <other> [sex/color/race/disability] in order to cause that work environment to adjust, and quotas just help that help a little faster, as it removes one part of sub-concious self-selection.
The general aim is that once society adjusts the quotas can be backed out, and it should be self sustaining, although in some countries such as Sweden the quotas for sex equality basically turn into something which is just about the quota, even though social norms are now pretty good, and that is destructive in the long term. The trick with quotas is realising when you don't need them any more.
Quotas are not about any specific job - they are about causing a shift in social norms - and they have a long-term view to fixing problems because society does not move quickly ...
Individual transistors and LEDs - sure - but hand made wiring looms? I'd at least have gone for some PCBs for the backplane (with hand made looms linking the PCBs together). Density of components looks low enough that even one sided PCBs would work with small hand soldered bridges to jump wires.
Fair play indeed - more patience than I have ...
Re: Tons of inflation
> 1) Buy a field from a farmer; 3) See what happens next...
Yes. Current green belt policy is pretty much exclusively why we don't have a functioning market. That was my point. The price of land is nothing to do with the actual price of land - you can buy agricultural land for about £6K an acre - so it isn't a land supply issue, it's a planning an approvals issue which entirely self inflicted by policy and therefore fixable.
> So let’s consider building 15 million houses. That would destroy current property valuations for generations to come.
Sure, but as you so clearly point out 15 million houses are not going to appear overnight, so the banks will have plenty of time to adjust. If it takes 100 years then I think we're screwed (that's slower than the current rate of building, which isn't fast enough to keep up with population growth, let along alleviate some of the pressure).
> Optimistically over the next 10 years we might build 1/10th of that.
As population is currently growing relatively consistently at around 5 million heads every 10 years we'll need to to a lot better than we are now (i.e. if we keep building ~160K houses a year nothing really changes).
> or incentivise house building [which can only really be done via tax reductions]
You just need to relax planning and free up some (OK, quite a lot of) land (and possibly tax those who sit on land banks to avoid them hoovering up the supply to keep prices high) - market forces _should_ take care of the rest. The material cost of a house is not that high once you factor out land prices (which are self inflicted costs, which are entirely within the remit of the Government to fix).
> but pointing the finger at preceding generations
It's got nothing to do with pointing the finger at anyone. House prices cannot sustainably rise at 10% a year when underlying wages are stagnant - it's a monetary fiction which is going to either implode or turn the entire economy in to a Japanese basket-case. Building more houses is the only way to release the pressure - sure, you can't do it instantly without ballsing up the financial system, but it needs to happen at some point. Sky high housing costs just make much of the UK uncompetitive for many industries, or are a massive hindrance to labour mobility - neither is good for the long term health of the economy.
Re: Tons of inflation
> I think the causality runs the other way round
All true, although the long-term sustained rampant increase is only possible in situations where there is an sustained undersupply of the resource in question.
Your arguments explain why people were _able_ to pay more, but not why they _needed_ to pay more. In a well functioning market, more houses would have been built a long time ago to meet demand (i.e. houses cost a lot less than £300K to build, so why is no one building more of them).
> He complained about banks paying poor interest and banks operate in a very different way. Most of the money they are lent by savers they lend out again to people who need it for some purpose.
Yes I know that. My point was that if you look at any cash account over the last 10-15 years the basic rate of interest is at best around 2% percent above inflation. Sure, you used to be able to get 4% in a cash account, but the underlying inflation was 2%, so the next gain was 2%. There are 2% cash saving accounts out there today (mostly on fixed-term bonds, so not the most liquid form), so I was really arguing that the effective cash interest rate isn't much worse than it used to be if you are willing to shop around for a bit.
If you want much more than 2% today then you're in to unsustainable banking problems again ...
Re: Tons of inflation
> the cost of housing
Housing prices were rising long before QE and have been for years - so you can't blame QE for this. There are many and wide ranging reasons for it.
* Massive massive under supply of housing stock. Mixture of issues here. Physically we have a larger population (some due to immigration, a lot due to people just living longer). Logistically we have a more spread out population - families no longer live together as much as they did. Students go to university and need housing, students don't go back to the family home after university to chase the jobs and so need housing, women leave home to find work rather than staying at home until they get married and so need housing.
* Poor utilization of the housing stock. People are living longer and staying in large houses after children have left home / spouse has died.
* Women working (effectively more than doubled the disposable income of a household, as all of the essentials were budgeted for off one income, and most of that £££ gets steered towards "big ticket" items - housing, cars, etc).
* Modest rates of inheritance tax. The next generation of a family can now inherrit £650K from both of their parents tax free. If your parents own their house, you get a HUGE boost to what you can afford, which in an arena with limited supply will always drive prices go up. If your parents don't own a house then you're buggered, as the lack of that "step up" basically locks you out (i.e. it would take you 25 years to earn that 600K if you and your partner both put away £1200 a month, at which point you probably don't need the large family house anyway).
Basically we need to build 15 million houses, and then prices will drop to something sensible. If you want a "social" model then taxing inheritance more heavily wouldn't hurt to level the playing field between those who's parents had houses, and those who did not, but the fundamental issue is massive undersupply.
Inflation is 0%. Why do you expect to be rewarded for piling gold coins into a vault, and having a dragon sit atop it?
Curiosity here, more than anything else - interest on cash savings accounts has generally approximated the underlying inflation rate for years - with a few exceptions (IceSave had a great interest cash account rate - 8% - I bet that was sustainable, oh wait, no it wasn't).
Re: How do the manage the fuel
Propulsion - none. Voyagers were launched via a grand slingshot approach, using various planets gravity to build up speed.
Fuel in this case is a pint sized plutonium cell, which produces electricity for the inboard instruments.
Re: It's good to see Caterham thinks of the passenger...
Yep, it's the weight that makes it.
Brother in law has an R400 which he bought second hand for track day "playing" and it overtakes pretty much everything with ease. Porche's "best effort" racer for consumer purchase weighs 1.3 tons (that's the lightened version) and costs 3-4 times as much - it's very very hard to beat a Super 7 on power to weight without spending an awful lot of money.
It's basically grown-up cart racing ...
> For those n00bs wanting drugs to be legitimised so they can be taxed and therefore crime will go down. Haver you heard of tobacco and alcohol?
Yes both, and yet despite being legal they don't destroy society all that badly.
> Both get taxed to the hilt because they make you dependant on them and therefore will pay whatever is asked because you need them.
Not sure the data backs this up - tobacco usage is dropping, and alcohol is also dropping off in younger end age groups (in the UK at least).
> Also the 'medical benefits' argument is equally flawed.
Evidence? Lots of scientific reports say otherwise, and for the most part "dying happy quickly" is a lot more useful than a "living" a life prolonged by really agressive treatments such as chemo and radiotherapy. Seen both my parents go through it and for the last few years of life, it was just an endless sequence of feeling shit because of chemo, feeling shit because of radiotherapy, feeling OK for a month, then back around again. Would palliative care have been a better option?
> It's a death sentence.
We all die. The real question is not how you die, but if you enjoy life getting there. Modern western society seems to want to prolong life as much as possible by taking all of the fun out of it. Alcohol - bad. Red meat - bad. Watching telly - bad. Flying too much - bad. Sun - bad. Too little sun - bad. FFS western society, I don't want to live forever in a bland universe where everything is the same every day because it is "safe".
Re: Consensus is not science
> "They laughed at Galileo!
No, they arrested that one.
Re: Echo Chamber
> These users tend to choose what they see in front of them.
The machines do that for you now. Search for "XYZ" a lot, the algorithms promote that type of search to the top of the list because you click on it more often than "ABC". The modern machine-lead learning experience of internet generally entrenches your own prejudices unless you really make an effort to dig our both sides of the debate (which most people don't).
Re: What a shame
... and hear it fly, those engines roar out a sweet tune.
Re: Lemmings !
> So just how the fuck are we supposed to be experts?
You're not, but it would be reasonable to do 5 minutes of reading and apply some common sense rather than just believing what is written on the internets, and then spouting off about how terrible the world is ...
[You in the general sense, not you specifically]
"Access granted, Warden William Smithers. Thank you, and be well."
> In my experience DRM often taints a product's entire design
I love the smell of hyperbole in the morning. Anti-DRM is really turning in to a religion of the first order. It doesn't help the argument.
> I simply don't see what the problem is.
Ignoring the civil liberties aspect for one moment, there are a number of other issues which are a problem.
(1) Electronic intercepts of this nature are notoriously unreliable, and just getting a lot more data doesn't mean you actually get better "intelligence". For most cases of terrorism which this is supposed to help "fix" we actually already had solid leads and intel on most of the bombers, but lacked man power to actually doing anything about it. Drag-netting a huge amount of low quality data makes the problems of data analysis harder, not easier, so actually risks making it less likely you find the bad guys.
(2) Actually doing something with all of the data requires investment in both technology and/or people. Given the relative expense of large scale government IT projects, and all of the administrators that go along with it, and all of the agents you would need to hire to actually follow up data leads, it is highly likely that you would save far more lives by plowing that money into the NHS or some other social scheme that have ever been killed by "terrorism".
That final point is the nail in the coffin for me - no politician ever looks at the opportunity cost of what the money could do elsewhere. The downside is that if the government doesn't do anything, and something does happen, you just know that the press will slaughter them for not doing anything. They can't win - we really need the public to say "you know what, liberties are more important than a few people dying in very rare circumstances which you probably wouldn't be able to stop anyway". But that's not likely to happen.
Re: Decrease page load times by A WHOLE SECOND!
Which would be all well and dandy if this proposal had anything what so ever to do with reducing bandwidth. It doesn't - at best you would save some control headers which are tiny - so if you network is bandwidth congested you're still screwed.
> So, tell me, WHY should I go out of my way to use something that isn't better?
Did you actually read the article at all? Been good at something is not a monopoly. Being good at something and then using that as leverage to force people to to use something which you are not so good at is abusive.
If they are good at search, fine, but they are not allowed to use that "good at search" to also force Google+, Maps, Google Shopping, analytics, etc, etc, or whatever other "beta software" they have invented down your throat - that stifles competition. Doubly so in Google's case because they subsidize all of the peripheral stuff on the back of a huge ad network, which makes it almost impossible to compete against on a commercial footing.
The general risk is that you end up in a situtation where users can't use something better because it doesn't exist, but it should have existed in a well functioning market. Mega corps are nearly always "bad".
Re: Would rather have a download on demand lossless format
That would be Amazon. It has very good download rates, but latency can be a bit high - around one to two days I find.
Re: Oh wow...
> Why wouldn't a console do?
Keyboard. Mouse. That is all.
> I mean, something like Civilization wouldn't work on console, I see that. And I'm told that big FPS games don't translate well either.
OK it wasn't all. Didn't you just really answer your question? I want a machine which can play ALL games, not just the subset which happen to be available in walled garden #1 with a stupid interface form factor.
For sake of disclosure, I do own a console (or two), but also heavily use a decent Windows gaming PC. With Linux in a VM for "Real Work".
Re: Unwanted ad injectors aren't part of a healthy ads ecosystem
> That will come when the advertisers understand that they haven't got a god given right to shove their crap in your face 24,7 whether you want it or no
Which will come when "users" realise they also have a right to pay for the content they are consuming on the internet. It all has to get paid for somehow, and the general trend so far is that users are a bunch of tight fisted folks who would rather put up with adverts (indirect costs) rather than pay up front (direct costs).
Not just web - happening in gaming too with "free to play" - people just don't like paying for software.
> It's all a bit cyberpunk, isn't it, when Corporations can have a direct influence on political policy.
Who do you think pays for the billion dollar election campaigns. If you think US politics is not entirely "corporate" you need a head scanning. Companies do not stump up a billion of dollar in total unless they think they get something out of it.
I get the impression this is more about "state" vs "federal" turf war than anything to do with providing good and competitive internet to the good citizens.
How can a company with not much history (it's a young company), which is losing $60M a year, at an apparently increasing rate, be worth $700M. *Boogle*. If it is "just software" it's not even like they have a monopoly on "analytics in the cloud".
Tech Bubble 2.0.
High Dynamic Range