* Posts by TonyK

8 posts • joined 15 Oct 2009

Thirteen Astonishing True Facts You Never Knew About SCREWS

TonyK

This puerile drivel cost me three minutes of my life, FFS! How am I ever going to get them back? I can't believe the Register knowingly publishes such shit. Have you been hacked?

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Mathematicians spark debate with 13 GB proof for Erdős problem

TonyK

Re: You got it wrong, vultures

Wikipedia says it's "larger than 2", John. Which makes it at least 3.

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TonyK

You got it wrong, vultures

The announced result is a proof that the discrepancy is at least 3. Even New Scientist got that right, so you really have no excuse.

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The importance of complexity

TonyK

Dots and Boxes

I once got paid real money to write a Dots and Boxes program (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dots_and_Boxes). This game is NP-hard, according to Berlekemp et al's Winning Ways (p.534). But I didn't use any of the sophisticated approximate solutions that have been developed for such problems, I just tried to steer the game to one of the positions that the program could analyse in polynomial time.

The result was that I was the only human who could beat it on a large board, because I knew how to frustrate its goals.

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Inside Turing: Computer boffinry to cuffing cups to radiators

TonyK

Surely an invention?

That stuff about bicycle chains is surely an invention of Neal Stephenson's from his novel Cryptonomicon? You can read the relevant chapter at http://www.euskalnet.net/larraorma/crypto/slide18.html.

And yes, I know that HistoryArticles.Com supports this ridiculous notion (at http://www.historyarticles.com/enigma.htm), but I won't believe it until I see a pre-Cryptonomicon reference.

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Timing attack threatens private keys on SSL servers

TonyK

Six years out of date

This attack, and a robust counter-measure to it, were published in 2005 in "Advances in Elliptic Curve Cryptography" (Blake, Seroussi, & Smart - editors). So you are wrong to say 'Security researchers have discovered a "timing attack"'. If you had taken the trouble to follow your own link and read the Abstract there, you would have seen that all the Secutiry Researchers have done is to take this hackneyed old idea and show that OpenSSL is still vulnerable to it.

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Man's MySpace page torpedoes personal injury suit

TonyK

Sounds like a win to me

In what way did this man lose? He was awarded $297,624.66.

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45th Mersenne prime revealed

TonyK

@Back again

>More to the point, why does the article refer to this as the 45th Mp, when (the infallible) Wikipedia gives it as the 47th?

Because it was the 45th Mersenne prime to be discovered, but currently the 47th largest known Mersenne prime. The author of this story has presumably just awoken from a thirteen-month sleep -- see http://www.mersenne.org/primes/m45and46.htm, dated 15th September 2008. I pointed this out in an earlier post, but it seems to have been rejected by Vulture Central.

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