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What Will It Take To Run a 2-Hour Marathon?

OpenSourced Sorry but... (254 comments)

Please explain me what would be the point of that. If you want to break the arbitrary 2 hours limit in a Marathon, you should run the course between Marathon and Athens, with no water except what you can get from streams, and alone. That should be something, perhaps, specially if you drop dead in the end, proving you really had given your all.

If you are allowed to changing the route and having helpers, both in route and as water-offering minions, you can choose a route that slowly descends for most of the course (ideas?), or where winds are always favorable.

about three weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: How Dead Is Antivirus, Exactly?

OpenSourced Sandboxing (331 comments)

I'd say security in the future will converge on three lines:

a) Sandboxed browsers/apps: Different browsers for mail access, general browsing and sensitive browsing (banking, using credit card, etc). All browsers revert to base state after closing, or allowing just a limited set of changes (bookmarks, cookies). The browsers are possibly stored in a USB stick with a physical write protection switch for part of the storage.

b) Trust structure: The OS will only execute programs with a certain signature, based in a chain of trust. You can choose who to trust or not.

c) Closed devices: (See Apple iPhone and iPad, but with paranoid-mode).

Well implemented, these strategies can reduce the malware threat, and they are implementable with current technology. I really don't see the anti-virus surviving much. It's an after-the-fact tech that was born as a patch for systems unprepared for a new threat. The playing board is now set and the structure of the systems must change to reflect that.

about 2 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Choosing a Web Language That's Long-Lived, and Not Too Buzzy?

OpenSourced Better yet... (536 comments)

Which editor should we use?

about 4 months ago
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UN to Debate Use of Fully Autonomous Weapons, New Report Released

OpenSourced Slippery slope (180 comments)

If a robot killed arbitrarily, it would be difficult to hold anyone accountable.

Not like now, when every time that an Afghan peasant is killed in error, heads roll.

about 6 months ago
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Isolated Tribes Die Shortly After We Meet Them

OpenSourced Don't despair. (351 comments)

There is always the possibility that one of these tribes will have a sickness that will wipe out the rest of the world. Or at least 80% of it.

about 7 months ago
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Cryptocurrency Exchange Vircurex To Freeze Customer Accounts

OpenSourced BitCoin is not a Ponzi scheme (357 comments)

What BitCoin is, is a money laundering vehicle. You buy bitcoins electronically with funds in a country, you sell them two seconds later in other country, for more or less the same price. You have not only extracted the money from the country, but deleted most traces of property. You probably have made a payment without looking like that, just with an e-mail.

The wild changes of valuation help you explain your sudden wealth, which is a problem when you get money from drugs or bribery. Hint: most bitcoin millionaires are really money launderers at big scale, their wealth suddenly legal by way of the bitcoin wizardry. They are taking advantage of the computer illiteracy in governments, but as the scheme is used by more and more people, the loophole is being slowly closed.

As for the closed exchanges, they most likely are stealing the bitcoins themselves, safe in the difficulty of anybody proving anything within such convoluted software schemes, specially when the damages are to people of so many different countries, with their own reasons not to raise too big a fuss about it.

about 7 months ago
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Facebook To Buy WhatsApp

OpenSourced Re:Oh Good (199 comments)

Try Threema. Fully encrypted. But not free. And nobody you know will have it, most likely.

In any case I wonder at so much money paid for an app to which the telecom operators can put an end to in 2 weeks, just by dropping to 0 the price of messaging. Risky, I'd say.

about 8 months ago
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Mathematician: Is Our Universe a Simulation?

OpenSourced Could we then have a memory of the Scientist? (745 comments)

I mean, a Designer that watches what you do, and is very interested in your behavior. Has set some rules that you must obey, but won't communicate with you. It's everywhere, can see the past and the future as a single continuum, can change reality, it's omnipotent but has chosen to limit It's own power. ...

No, nothing seems to check.

about 8 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: Which Encrypted Cloud Storage Provider?

OpenSourced Re:Give it up. (200 comments)

I'm curious. I've always thought that encrypting a lot of files individually (as opposed to as a block) would open you to attacks based on the content of well known files (example configuration files, etc.) that you may add to the lot. That is, if the attacker has knowledge of the content of a couple of files, could he derive the keys for unencrypting the rest?

about a year ago
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I wish my car could...

OpenSourced Death Ray (443 comments)

I wish for a mounted Death Ray, or better, a Disintegrator, or better, (as both of them could be too silent for my taste) some sort of space-time-cruncher that throws everything ahead of me into a vortex of doom. For the rush hour.

1 year,10 days
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Obama Administration Overrules iPhone Trade Ban

OpenSourced Curiouser and curiouser (397 comments)

Rather, he emphasized that because the patent in question was now a widely held technology standard, banning the products in question would be too disruptive to consumers and the economy

That argument could be used to sooooo many other patent litigations, and somehow never is, except when the affected part is a big American company.

about a year ago
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MS Office Tablet Delay Gives Google a Real Chance, and Not Just Google Apps

OpenSourced Re:Really? (108 comments)

You could try the Samsung Note tablet, with pencil. In the Notes app you can write formulae (although mainly math, which can be even resolved), squares, etc, and be recognized (mostly) by the software. Probably it won't be yet useful for you, but perhaps you want to keep an eye on it.

about a year and a half ago
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Build a Secret Compartment, Go To Jail

OpenSourced Re:The Answer To This Nonsense... (1111 comments)

I used to think like you. Then I thought about what the Pharma industry would do if drugs were free ("Buy Kudkerless, won't cure your cancer, but sure will make you forget about it"), and now I'm for prohibition. I've thought about a middle ground and cannot find it. If you legalize, billions of research dollars would go to devise ways of addicting us to some chemical. You have to put the line somewhere or face a dystopian future.

about a year and a half ago
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EU Car Makers Manipulating Fuel Efficiency Figures

OpenSourced Relativity (431 comments)

Fuel efficiency tests are for comparison purposes. If all makers cheat equally, comparisons are still meaningful. When legislators set an standard, they'll probably take that into account and make the standard a bit tighter.

about a year and a half ago
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SpiderSense Suit Delivers Superhuman Perception

OpenSourced Are you baiting us? (37 comments)

as important a superpower as slinging webs

That's pure trolling, baiting us to come shouting that the webs of Spiderman ain't no superpower, but a device. I for one won't fall into the trap. At least I won't shout.

about a year and a half ago
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Discovery Increases Odds of Life On Europa

OpenSourced Re:Misread the title (164 comments)

Reporting from Europe. Can confirm life.

about a year and a half ago
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A New Version of MS Office Every 90 Days

OpenSourced Just a Question (292 comments)

And about how long will take them, between Office file format changes that render them incompatible with previous versions? That's the most exciting feature of Office updates, and all customers look forward to these special moments. That's the thing that should happen every quarter to keep people involved in Office and shouting: For Innovation!

about a year and a half ago
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Future Fighters Won't Need Ejection Seats

OpenSourced The weakest link is the pilot. (622 comments)

Now the weakest link will be the comm link. Not sure which one I prefer.

However, I suppose the future points that way. Next step, as a further method of savings, I suggest outsourcing of piloting to India. Then, after a time, when everybody has unmanned fighters, it'll be seen as a waste to really go to the cost of building the fighters. Wars will be fought virtually in probably the same Indian subcontractor war room, elbowing telecom service personnel and telemarketers. The loser will demolish some buildings and bridges in its own country, and promptly surrender to the winner.

about a year and a half ago
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COBOL Will Outlive Us All

OpenSourced I don't think there will be a shortage. (318 comments)

It takes a week for a programmer to learn COBOL. A month at most to be proficient. Of course depending on dialect and environment, it can take more to be productive, but that's true also for COBOL programmers coming from other backgrounds. That means there will be no big shortage of programmers as big companies can train in-house in a matter of days.

The problem with COBOL is that it will erode your sanity with mindless repetition and superfluous verbosity. If you are put to make COBOL programs, make a generator for the most common tasks. It won't save you perhaps such a big amount of time, but it'll make life more interesting.

about a year and a half ago

Submissions

Journals

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OpenSourced OpenSourced writes  |  more than 9 years ago

First, is a quote, of course, I wish I could write like that. There is no place in the .sig to name the author or work, or in fact to put a "those" before "virtues" (as I more accurately translated it at first). It's from Margerite Yourcenar, the first woman in the Académie Française. The book is "Memoirs d'Hadrien" (Memories of Hadrian). I copy from Amazon:

"Written in the form of a testamentary letter from the Emperor Hadrian to his successor, the youthful Marcus Aurelius, this work is as extraordinary for its psychological depth as for its accurate reconstruction of the second century of our era. The author describes the book as a meditation upon history, but this meditation is built upon intensive study of the personal and political life of a great and complex character as seen by himself and his contemporaries, both friends and enemies. Marguerite Yourcenar reconstructs Hadrian's arduous early years, his triumphs and reversals, and his gradual reordering of a war-torn world."

Well, one of these meditations is the one I copied. I read it in the original french, liked it too much (having been hit in life several times by those "great, general views"), and much later wrote it as my .sig. So I may not remember it word by word, by the idea is that. So "Rome", of course, is the city but more to the point the emperorship.

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