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At Oxford, a Battery That's Lasted 175 Years -- So Far

SuricouRaven Re:Oops (204 comments)

There are similar stories in IT about a mysterious inexplicable server outage occuring at the same time each day, after office hours, that continued even after reformatting it to eliminate any software issue. When an administrator tried staying after closing time to watch it, he found a cleaner unplugging the mysterious humming box to plug the floor buffer in.

2 days ago
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At Oxford, a Battery That's Lasted 175 Years -- So Far

SuricouRaven Re:Bullshit (204 comments)

It's an electrostatic bell, so around 1KV should be enough to run such a small one. I imagine the battery has, say, 500 discs at 2V each, all in series.

2 days ago
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US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

SuricouRaven Re:More proof (661 comments)

Costal flooding isn't really a concern. It's the increase in extreme weather events and the change in rainfall patterns that present a danger.

4 days ago
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US Senate Set To Vote On Whether Climate Change Is a Hoax

SuricouRaven Re: More proof (661 comments)

The amendments process is easily abuseable. In this case it's being abused by 'our side,' but it's still pushing the limits.

The usual trick is to sneak an amendment into a must-pass bill like an appropriations bill, or something overwhelmingly popular. Often it's a lot easier to get something added as an amendment than to get the same action to pass as an independant act.

4 days ago
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Obama: Gov't Shouldn't Be Hampered By Encrypted Communications

SuricouRaven Re:Technically (556 comments)

Despite my misspelling of cipher.

about a week ago
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Obama: Gov't Shouldn't Be Hampered By Encrypted Communications

SuricouRaven Re:Pure fantasy, but that is what he must sell (556 comments)

You don't need mathematics for that, you need physical engineering. It's already a well-established field - games consoles, iPhones, etc. They take active measures to make sure you can't run anything the manufacturer doesn't want you to run. While it's possible to hack them by exploiting imperfections in their design, this is a task beyond the capabilities of most people - and it only gets harder as technology advances and all those handy little external busses disappear into an SoC where you can't even measure them without access to a cleanroom facility.

about a week ago
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Obama: Gov't Shouldn't Be Hampered By Encrypted Communications

SuricouRaven Re:Technically (556 comments)

What you describe is a stream cypher. It doesn't offer the mathematically-unbreakable security of a true OTP, but it's still pretty secure when implemented right.

about a week ago
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Obama: Gov't Shouldn't Be Hampered By Encrypted Communications

SuricouRaven Re:Technically (556 comments)

If you can solve the key distribution problem. While a OTP is certainly a useful device in some circumstances, it is only an option if the participants have previously been able to communicate over a secure channel with verified identities. It's not much use on the internet, though I have considered the possibility of it being used for corporate VPNs - with the size of hard drives now, a traveling employee could comfortably take a 1TB or more OTP with them on a business trip, more than enough to last for a couple of weeks.

about a week ago
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Obama: Gov't Shouldn't Be Hampered By Encrypted Communications

SuricouRaven Re:IRS Targeting Scandal (556 comments)

The IRS targeting 'scandal' is still lacking in evidence that might confirm intent or systematic bias. Without this, there is little substantial to the accusations. It may simply be that one end of the political spectrum is more prone to pushing the limits of non-profit status.

about a week ago
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Obama: Gov't Shouldn't Be Hampered By Encrypted Communications

SuricouRaven Re:No thanks (556 comments)

While you do point out some serious problems, you are placing your blame too firmly on one side. For every citizen who can't spend the time to think through the 'reduce your health insurance by $2,500' claim, there is another of equally simplistic thinking who sees only 'big gubment be coming to take my money.' The problem is neither too much more too little government - the problem is people who are so caught up in supporting their overarching political ideals in all cases, they fail to properly consider each issue presented as an independent decision. They do not ask 'What is the right policy?' They ask 'What is the Conservative policy?' or 'What is the Liberal policy?'

about a week ago
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Obama: Gov't Shouldn't Be Hampered By Encrypted Communications

SuricouRaven Re:Pure fantasy, but that is what he must sell (556 comments)

Can't be done, for the same reason you can't make an anti-child-porn filter that cannot be easily reconfigured to block other things. The technology is the same in either the use or abuse cases - all that changes is the order given by the human element, and the entire history of politics can be summed up as trying and failing to address human fallibility, selfishness and corruptibility.

about a week ago
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Obama: Gov't Shouldn't Be Hampered By Encrypted Communications

SuricouRaven Re: Yeah (556 comments)

Take out the anthropomorphising and you can see the intended meaning: "It is a unavoidable property of information that it can be and will be replicated and dispersed."

about a week ago
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Obama: Gov't Shouldn't Be Hampered By Encrypted Communications

SuricouRaven Re:Hope and change (556 comments)

Fake as all the others.

The man acted like a redneck idiot. He used deliberately common-folk language, avoided long words. Soundbite quotes wherever possible. But his educational record is very good, and he even graduated Harvard business. He knew that a popular, everyman president would play well, and an intellectual would be regarded as 'elitist' - so he put on the act he knew would give the best advantage in his career.

about a week ago
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To Avoid Detection, Terrorists Made Messages Seem Like Spam

SuricouRaven Re:Solution! (110 comments)

That applies if you're talking about software packages for individual use. I don't think that is where the legal concerns are addressed - how many people actually use gnupg? The legal concern is directed at services. Facebook, skype, whatsapp and so fourth. In these cases there is a service provider which, unless they actively take measures otherwise, has the capability to access communications. All that is required is a legal framework to compel them to hand over whatever the government requests (Either by above-board, judge-approved targeted warrant or by super-secret 'give us everything you have or else' order) and a legal requirement that they retain all communications for a sufficient period of time and do not implement technology that would prevent them from doing so.

about two weeks ago
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To Avoid Detection, Terrorists Made Messages Seem Like Spam

SuricouRaven Re:Solution! (110 comments)

I've read that the US is trying. Their advisors recognise the importance of encryption and are trying to keep their political ally Cameron from making a fool of himself. While he wants to ban encryption, the US favors a more conventional regulatory approach of allowing encryption but making sure someone (ie, any company with any US presence) has both the capability and the legal requirement to decryption reception of a warrant. Or presumably a flimsy super-secret tell-noone blanket order requesting all their records in the name of national security.

about two weeks ago
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Your High School Wants You To Install Snapchat

SuricouRaven Re:First look at what EFF has to say. (156 comments)

I favor retroshare myself. It's got excellent file-sharing capabilities too (Yarrr!) and, as well as being encrypted to NSA-annoying levels, it's also decentralised and cannot be readily identified via traffic analysis, which means it's very hard for governments to block without blocking a lot of other applications too.

In downside, it does have a few minor bugs, and there's no android or iOS client.

about two weeks ago
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The Legacy of CPU Features Since 1980s

SuricouRaven Re:Should hardware even be a concern? (180 comments)

There are only two situations I can think of where a working knowledge of assembly would be useful:
1. You write compilers.
2. You work in embedded device programing, where some IO requires you to count instruction cycles to ensure correct timing.

about two weeks ago
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The Legacy of CPU Features Since 1980s

SuricouRaven Re:Cooking (180 comments)

I've never worked with Itanium or Alpha, but on PCs the Pentium 4 was the undisputed King of Watts. Power usage on it got rather silly. You see that odd little four-pin power cable you going to the mainboard in addition to the main power bundle? That's the supplimentary power supply introduced to feed the insatable demands of the P4.

about two weeks ago
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Chilling Effects DMCA Archive Censors Itself

SuricouRaven Re:Not always Free Speech (88 comments)

How do you calculate that 400% figure as relating entirely to going after pirates?

Identify the software, and I will find you a cracked version. I'll even time how long it takes me.

about two weeks ago

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