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Comments

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Publishers Withdraw More Than 120 Fake Papers

Vadim Makarov Re:science has no defense against hooliganism (62 comments)

I've never been to a conference with a junk submission accepted, or a junk presentation. Many conferences in my field reject submissions that are real but low-quality, even for a poster session. Talks are always competitive. I chaired a conference last year. We rejected some submissions that were uninteresting or poorly written. For most of those, the submission was read by two professors before rejecting it. We received no computer-generated submissions.

I sometimes get spammed or "invited" by suspiciously looking conferences. I never go to these. Why would anyone attend a conference that is lower-quality? There always are good conferences around. You have a choice.

about 7 months ago
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China Set To Surpass US In R&D Spending In 10 Years

Vadim Makarov Re:Their problems isn't research spending (233 comments)

Care to cite examples? In my field there are good respectful results and no scientific forgery from China.

about a year and a half ago
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Ask Slashdot: Server Room Toolbox?

Vadim Makarov Re:OT Re:You need (416 comments)

Re: your sig: we had dozens of districts in Philadelphia vote 100% for Obama in the last election. Dozens. You'd think at least one would accidentally vote for Romney. This happened in 2008 as well, in slightly fewer districts. It's over in the USA.

Could you provide a link to district voting reports?

That one in Caucasus region of Russia was totally rigged, as many other districts in that region as well. Polls showed less than 15% turnout at the polling stations, reports show 100% turnout. This is a demonstration of loyalty to the central government by the local government, and of course blatant election rigging. The rissing is obvious in statistical analysis of the polling station data.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Server Room Toolbox?

Vadim Makarov You need (416 comments)

Mechanical tools: screwdrivers, wrench kit, pliers, cutters (plier style), cutters (x-acto), hammer, metal file (to round an odd sharp corner), tape measure, heavy-duty duct tape, lots of plastic cable ties. I also needed a drill to install an odd rack shelf, so throw one with some drilling bits if your budget allows. I don't know what cables you use, but tools to fix cabling may come in handy (multimeter, soldering iron and solder, shrinkable tubes, special tool to terminate cables, etc.). If you have fiber optics, get a good push-action connector cleaner.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Securing a Windows Laptop, For the Windows Newbie?

Vadim Makarov Re:Simple (503 comments)

I second that. Install Microsoft Security Essentials, it's free. Do not turn off automatic OS updates (they are on by default, so you just install the OS). Use Firefox. Done. Setting up Windows is really no-brainer. Just a single more thing: I turn off automatic reboot after updates (several ways to do it; I use gpedit). There is nothing more anoying as being forcibly rebooted in the middle of a game :). When this setting is turned off, there will be a periodic reminder to reboot when needed.

If you do nothing more than above and install a few licensed programs (Steam, games, software from well-known vendors), the box will likely stay secure indefinitely. Now if your kid keeps installing various random stuff and shitty software himself or does other risky things in the internet, it MAY get infected (even with MSE). I don't think you should stop the kid from doing it... this is just a part of healthy exposure to the real world and learning experience how things work, whom to trust and whom don't.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Equipment and Furniture For an Electronics Hardware Lab?

Vadim Makarov Re:erm... (208 comments)

I'm a half-pro electronics engineer and I have picked a couple good suggestions here for stocking my university lab.

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: What Equipment and Furniture For an Electronics Hardware Lab?

Vadim Makarov SMD kits and vice (208 comments)

I found these cheap and large SMD resistor and capacitor kits to be practical. Just ask the vendor to pack all kits regardless of component size into SK128A or SK128B boxes... the cheaper box they use by default for larger component sizes is of too low quality. They will do this free of charge if you ask.

For vice, I use Bernstein with various attachments.

The rest will depend on what you do.

I have new models of Weller soldering irons, and am less than impressed with their design and quality, especially for the top price they charge. Things came from Weller with manufacturig defects, broke mechanically very quickly, etc. User interface is not intuitive, and touch screen is awkward comparing to a knob and buttons. I'm getting Hakko now instead (= made in Japan), will see how it works out.

about 2 years ago
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Quantum Teleportation Sends Information 143 Kilometers

Vadim Makarov Re:This article makes no sense. (333 comments)

Atmospheric conditions matter because you still have to send one photon of the entangled pair over the link. When air is still and clear between the islands, roughly one-in-thousand photons make it from La Palma to the receiver telscope in Tenerife. Available technology limits how much of this loss can be tolerated, and there are inefficiencies in other parts of the experiment as well. The whole experiment is indeed at the edge of what is possible with today's technology (which is one of the reasons it's published in Nature). But, you know, technology improves with time.

about 2 years ago
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Quantum Teleportation Sends Information 143 Kilometers

Vadim Makarov Re:Put Another Way (333 comments)

We transmit a quantum state, which is impossible to transmit via classical communication.

The auxiliary classical communication (about two bits per quantum state) has to be there, because faster-than-light communication is impossible. These classical bits carry no information about the quantum state being teleported. If one could teleport a quantum state without this auxiliary classical communication, faster-than-light communication could be implemented as well... which impossible in nature as far as we know.

about 2 years ago
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Quantum Teleportation Sends Information 143 Kilometers

Vadim Makarov Re:Why the Canaries of all places? (333 comments)

I heard from Rupert Ursin that this is the longest free-space range on Earth that has significant infrastructure at both sides. This is to say, scientists can keep small optics labs in telescope buildings, and live in hotels. Also we had a 1 meter diameter telescope at the receiver station in Tenerife (normally used for optical communication with satellites), which is no small beast and it occupies its own dome. One could of course find many longer ranges between mountains, but logistics would become more expensive and difficult... we'd have to build and drive (or airlift) a container full of gear, and probably live in a tent for months.

Here is a picture of La Palma station sending a tracking beam to Tenerife, above clouds: http://www.vad1.com/lab/pictures/La-Palma-JKT-tracking-beam-4.jpg

By the way one doesn't get to clill out on beach very much. It's a long drive to the mountaintops where the observatories are situated. When I was there last April, we had snow in the mountains on both islands. I had, like, one day on beach and two weeks of night shifts in the labs. This still was a lot of fun :).

about 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: VPN Service For a Deployed US Navy Ship?

Vadim Makarov Re:Pair (349 comments)

Did you check what spam filtering options are available at pair? The default could well be let your client filter, in your case Google, but you can change that to discard and play with the thresholds. Also make sure you switch on greylisting. However I agree that pair spam filter is not the best. It took me a while to set up, and the result in terms of false negatives and positives was still not perfect (though very close to that).

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: VPN Service For a Deployed US Navy Ship?

Vadim Makarov Re:Pair (349 comments)

Second that. Have been a happy customer for 10+ years. Pair.com is not cheapest, but the uptime, stability and service (averaged over 10 years) are very good. Just email them and ask what they can do for you. I guess, your biggest cost with Pair will be bandwidth, but they have redundant connections and an extremely good uptime (I estimate 99.97%+). They are a trustworthy and very stable company.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Copy Protection Advice For ~$10k Software?

Vadim Makarov Be nice and smart (635 comments)

Provide deep educational discounts, do a reasonable effort at protecting but not excessively much (because any technical protection will be cracked no matter what you do, it's a sport for tech kids out there), and finally don't freak about non-paying users... realise that they help you by making your software popular, and quite some of them will eventually pay, once they become heavy users and get in a position with funds available. Two cents from an academic user.

more than 2 years ago
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Russia Botches Another Rocket Launch

Vadim Makarov Re:Angry? Probably more terrified. (119 comments)

if a stage failed, the rocket would be remotely destroyed along with the crew

There was such thing on the STS (in case it badly veered off the course into America's populated areas during launch), but I've never heard of a remote destroy mechanism on Russian manned space launches. There is a remotely activated capsule rescue-and-landing sequence, though.

more than 2 years ago
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Russia Botches Another Rocket Launch

Vadim Makarov Re:Why so angry? (119 comments)

Something very wrong is currently happening within the Russian space industry

My theory is that between 1990 and about 2004, the Russian space industry lost and could hardly retain any yound engineers. As the result, it now lacks the most professional and mature 40-50 something space engineers who have energy to lead design projects. The few old workers who weathered the dark years are getting retired, while the last generation taken in the last few years hasn't yet got the experience.

more than 2 years ago
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Publicly Available Russian Election Results Hint At Fraud

Vadim Makarov Pushkin summarized it nicely in 1823: (304 comments)

So graze on, graze, you peaceful peoples!
You will not wake to honor’s call.
What need have herds for gifts of freedom?
They’re used to shears and butcher’s stall.

(Original in Russian here. Could not pass /. junk filter.)

Sigh. Four years ago, United Russia fraudulently got the 2/3 majority in the current parliament, in the same way, with all the same-looking statistics. This parliament passed, without a contest, some "nice" constitution changes (extending the presidential term from four to six years, extending the parliamentary term from four to five years). Now United Russia has a simple majority, by fraud. Yeah, these are "very minor inconsistencies not affecting the election outcome", as Putin has replied the protesters days ago.

It's easy to say "the party of crooks and thieves," but the problem that lets this happen is deeper... it's in the people, in the deeply rooted customs of the country.

more than 2 years ago
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Canadian Government Muzzling Scientists

Vadim Makarov Prevention of essential public service? (264 comments)

Has any scientist in Canada disobeyed the 'official procedure' and talked to the journalists directly about his work? Or do they all follow the procedure, understandingly being very afraid of jeopardizing their positions and research grants prospects in Canada?

It is one of responsibilities of a publicly funded researcher (especially a tenured professor) to talk freely about his findings. This is an essential contribution of the publicly funded science to the society and democracy. I would thus seriously consider ignoring the orders in such situation, even at the risk of getting fired -- okay, it depends on the situation and how much is at stake, but I would at least think about this and probably discuss promptly with the university administration.

As far as I know, in other developed countries (including the one I am currently working in, Norway), there are no barriers in communication between scientists and the press. We answer emails and calls from journalists without asking anyone's permission. There is a public relations office at my university, but its purpose is to help the communication, not to censor.

Am I being too naive, or Canada is really abnormal in this respect?

more than 3 years ago
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First Exploit On Quantum Cryptography Confirmed

Vadim Makarov Re:Can the benefits of quantum crypto be proved? (86 comments)

Zero-knowledge authentication is impossible by definition. If you know nothing secret about someone, you can never verify his identity.

A small pre-shared key is used for initial authentication, in all classical and quantum crypto alike, to preclude a man-in-the-middle (MITM) attack. In the classical public-key infrastructure (PKI), this authentication key comes from the certicficate authority with, e.g., your copy of the web browser. If it is spoofed at the distribution step, MITM attack becomes possible.

In quantum crypto, the initial key is small, because once the quantum-generated key begins to grow, its small fraction is used for further authentication keys.

more than 3 years ago

Submissions

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First exploit on quantum cryptography confirmed

Vadim Makarov Vadim Makarov writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Vadim Makarov writes "The Physics World reports researchers demonstrating a full eavesdropper on a quantum key distribution link. Unlike conventional exploits for security vulnerabilities that are often just a piece of software, spying on quantum cryptography required a box full of optics and mixed-signal electronics. Details are published in Nature Communications, and as a free preprint. The vulnerability was known before, but this is the first actual working exploit with secret-key recording confirmed. Patching this loophole is in progress.

Disclaimer: I am one of the researchers who worked on this."

Link to Original Source

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