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DOJ Says iPhone Is So Secure They Can't Crack It

bloosqr its not clear to me that AES is the hard part... (454 comments)

I didn't draw this conclusion at all. From the actual article it states initially the drives weren't encrypted at all so the flash dump lead to completely accessible contents. Now the flash dump is encrypted but the key is in flash memory which is simply locked by a pin. Even with a fully AES encrypted drive, you can brute force that with the standard 4 digit pin in 15 minutes. The hard part is not working out the AES key the hard part is brute forcing the pin sitting in the front which leads to the AES key sitting in standard flash memory. Yes a longer pin takes longer (55 days for the 8 digit pin) but one can imagine emulating the entire flash dumped iphone in software and parallelizing that just to pull out the key from bruteforcing the pin..


more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: Laptop + DSLR Backpacks

bloosqr you really should just go to a store... (282 comments)

You need to take your stuff to a proper store and figure this out.. I have gone through a ton of bags before being reasonably satisfied w/ the lowepro 250 (which is fine with the 70-200/f4 and the 17" macbook pro), which is my day trip and airplane travel bag. Even with this I also use an old velocity 7 for wandering around with because it is lighter and I can leave my laptop @ the hotel / home. For international 3rd world travel / hiking I use the velocity bag as an insert to a normal camping bag. This gives you the proper framing that camping bags have and also doesn't scream out rob me and is also not easily unzipped from the back.

more than 3 years ago

WikiLeaks Releases Guantanamo Prisoner Files

bloosqr Re:Infected with moles (426 comments)

I had to requote you onto facebook of all things.. well said.

more than 3 years ago

Universe 250+ Times Bigger Than What Is Observable

bloosqr Re:I'm confused. (506 comments)

I remember asking people this same question.. the answer is just as the "universe" is being used colloquially to mean the "observable universe" the "compact volume" itself also represents the observable universe.. So the "total big bang" point (including the observable and nonobservable points) may be much bigger than the big bang point of our theories .. it may be infinitely big in volume in fact .. its just not known. This is what someone told me ages ago, I am not sure if this is still true today.

more than 3 years ago

College Students Lack Scientific Literacy

bloosqr biomass from CO2 vs soil question (382 comments)

There are a slew of comments pointing out the correct answer to the biomass question should be water. However this is due to the fact that the slashdot summary is phrased incorrectly. The answer to the slashdot summary is of course water due to the high relative mass contribution of water compared to non water in plants/animals. However the actual question is phrased as follows:

5. a mature maple tree can have a mass of 1 ton or more (dry biomass, after removing the water), yet it starts from a seed that weighs less than 1 gram.

Which of the following processes contributes the most to this huge increase in biomass? circle the correct answer.

(A) absorption of mineral substances from the soil via the roots
(B) absorption of organic substances from the soil via the roots
(C) incorporation of CO2 gas from the atmosphere into molecules by green leaves
(D) incorporation of H2o from the soil into molecules by green leaves
(E) absorption of solar radiation into the leaf

Clearly the correct answer to this question is (C). (Only 29% of students got this answer correct).

about 4 years ago

Ray Kurzweil's Slippery Futurism

bloosqr Re:exponential versus sigmoidal (308 comments)

Hey apologies for the delay in responding .. but population models are a classic example of a two phase growth pattern (again only to a simple approximation). If I put an organism in a new environment (for it to exploit) it will initially obey exponential growth kinetics and then level off due to resource depletion / death rate balance.

In economics (and this is apropo to Kurzweil) innovation seems to follow sigmoidal kinetic, see
Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital: The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Age as an example.

more than 4 years ago

Ray Kurzweil's Slippery Futurism

bloosqr exponential versus sigmoidal (308 comments)

Our joke about Kurzweil was he was someone who didn't take his "series expansion" to enough terms.. What he does is look at emergent phenomena and notice the exponential growth curve .. (which occurs in a variety of phenomena from biology to physics to even economics) .. and from that draw the conclusion that everything (or particular aspects of technology really) will continue to grow exponentially ad infinitum .. to a "singularity" etc.. This is both intuitively not true and factually not true because of resource / energetic issues (however one wants to define it for your particular problem) .. The point is you can actually look at the same phenomenon that Kurzweil claims to and notice in fact actually new phenomena/technology/etc only initially look "exponential" and then for all the obvious reasons flatten out (again really only initially (but further down the time curve than the exponential growth phase)) so your curve in the end looks really like a sigmoidal function.. (given whatever metric you choose) The hard part is to figure out how quickly you'll hit the new pseudo steady state .. but its certainly absurd to assume it never happens.. which is what the absurd conclusions he draws are always based on..

more than 4 years ago

Why Don't We Finish More Games?

bloosqr Re:Some of us have a life, you know (341 comments)

The other version of that, that made no sense was collecting all the stupid feathers in Assassin's Creed.. random feathers.. scattered around a random world .. there was no point to them and other than obsessively running around a world with duplicates of the same buildings..

more than 4 years ago

Mega Man Designer Explains Japan's Waning Video Game Influence

bloosqr Re:Five years behind? (315 comments)

I played it to gran pulse back in april and then stopped (because you can't play gran pulse while exercising since you need a mission map to know where to walk to) This weekend I picked it back up and I finished gran pulse I played to 12 (thats the level after gran pulse) and its the same old grind to level CP and then move forward (actually to be fair at chapter 11 on I couldn't be bothered upgrading weapons (because its so arbitrary) so perhaps I'm forcing grinding)

As you said you can't really do autobattle after a point..

Part of me wants to finish it just for the sake of finishing it since I've gone so far .. On the other hand it really is boring

I agree with the paradigm shifting later on .. that said there really only so many combinations buff / debuff / heal / chain / hit / sent.. so its pretty easy to keep a few combos to try and a heal (with a ravager that keeps the chain thing up)..

I guess in honestly the game reminds me of a giant gold farming mission.. all grind and random cut scenes of a plot I no dont follow (lcie /falcie / orphan whatever)

more than 4 years ago

Mega Man Designer Explains Japan's Waning Video Game Influence

bloosqr Re:Five years behind? (315 comments)

I am curious did you buy FFXIII? When I read that article FF13 was exactly what came to mind. I've "played" that game up to something like chapter 12 and quite honestly i've never seen a game before that all you literally have to do is move forward hit X a lot and sometimes hit some other keys (aka change paradigm). Even the characters don't seem to be engaging (unlike for instance 7). Further its got a weapon upgrade system that seems unmatched to its CP thing (and not even very sensible without an online guide). Its not even figuratively mindnumbingly linear, its literally linear... move forward hit X move forward hit X.. "chain events" hit X "heal" hit X "buff/debuff" hit X

  this is literally only play while "riding the elliptical" game.. (hence i've gotten up to 12)

  in contrast uncharted/2 or even GTAIV for instance I thought was fantastic in terms of story telling ..

more than 4 years ago

Capturing Carbon With Garbage Heaps

bloosqr Re:Honestly it sounds genius (186 comments)

To reply to myself using something I found someone trying this with switchgrass (experimentally)


I can't find the article but that is the meeting abstract. It looks like switchgrass gives them 1.430 metric tons CO2 / ha per year which is apparantly about $150 / acre so $360 per ha which is more than trees apparantly!

Kudzu yields 2-4 tons "matter" / (acre.year) so say half of that is carbon may give you better numbers..

more than 4 years ago

Capturing Carbon With Garbage Heaps

bloosqr Honestly it sounds genius (186 comments)

Honestly it sounds like a pretty sound idea. I am curious if there are any obvious scientific flaws here that I am missing. I hunted around a bit and noticed someone a few years ago (in the dept of atmospheric sciences at UMD college park) ran the numbers on this using trees:

The article is readable here:


His numbers are $14 / ton CO2 (or $50 per ton carbon) with an estimate of a total of 10 gigatons carbon / year .

Given the total fossil fuel emission is right now is apparantly only 8 gigatons C / year the numbers work out pretty well.

Some of the issues on methane emission are addressed in the article .. the natural extension of this article is using something fast growing and equivalent like fast growing vines like.. kudzu which is so fast growing its a bioinvasive plant in the south .. I'm looking around to see if anyone has run the numbers of using kudzu but I bet its cheaper (including land usage) than using trees.

more than 4 years ago

High Fructose Corn Syrup To Get a Makeover

bloosqr Re:What the hell? (646 comments)

The argument against fructose has to do with the way the GLUT transporters are regulated. Glucose uptake into the liver is regulated by insulin mediated GLUT4 translocation and GK etc preventing too much of it from going into the liver and getting converted to FA/VLDL and so forth. Fructose can only be metabolised in the liver (unlike glucose) and its uptake into the liver is not insulin mediated as it is transported in by GLUT2.

On the other hand, you could make the argument that sucrose is at least half as bad as fructose since it has about half amount of fructose by weight but fructose is sweeter than sucrose by weight so if one uses the proper proportion it isn't that much worse..

more than 4 years ago

China's Research Ambitions Hurt By Faked Results

bloosqr Re:Ever done business in China? (338 comments)

Well, evidently you have never published, or if you have, you have never run a larger (multi-pub) project. In this case, you'd publish and then proceed to do the background checks. If the background checks fail, you can publish those as well. If your original research turns out fine, you tack on some additional (original) research and publish that.

Also, given that it worked in a single case, you are evidently on to something. Ergo, checking again is, at this point, a waste of time. You share your findings with the world, and then have other people run with it as well.

More on-topic: I have seen a lot of Chinese, and more generally Asian, papers in my field... but not one of them is original. Also, doubtful results do pass by from time to time (although verifying this is hard, when it comes to sattelite observations there's no doing it twice). It seems that Chinese scholars (based on the ones I know and the research I see) are more concerned with quantity, as it improves your scholarly standing very directly, than with quality. So reproducing research (in my field: doing data assimilation on soil moisture for the umphteenth time) is a quick and easy way to get this.

The problem is exacerbated by american academic institutions, institutions are wholly dependent on getting major grants (or really the overhead money) and have publishing requirements for tenure track faculty. When it is as blatant as publish 25 (or similar) number of publications in 4 years, the rational thing to do is exactly this. Reproduce research / do application work to make sure that arbitrary number is cleared within the alloted time frame.

more than 4 years ago

Call For Scientific Research Code To Be Released

bloosqr Recent example Keith Baggerly vs Duke Clin. Trials (505 comments)

If you ever get a chance take a look at some of Baggerly's (MD Anderson / bioinformatics/stats) analysis of the number of rather embarrassing mistakes were used in developing genomic biomarkers used for a clinical trial at Duke. He has been giving talks around at stats conferences (and pharma's about this), its one of the best talks i've heard in recent years. But what it boils down to is the analysis (and input) programs used by Duke had a series of fundamental mistakes in it causes the results to be incorrect leading to an incorrect conclusions which unfortunately lead to a series of clinical trials which certainly should not have happened. After Baggerly attempted to respond negatively to the original series of articles being posted he reposted in a stats journal and basically got the clinical trial shut down. For slashdot readers, one of the rather many egregious mistakes here was the analysis program used has in its instructions the need for a header line, the input the Duke researchers used did not include a header line causing a shift in the results with regards to their input. My understanding is nature medicine refused to publish baggerlies initial correspondence with full details as it was "too negative" so he published in a stats journal which then got the critical coverage to shut everything down..

Here are some random links

Here is the original Potti genomics article:

Here is one of the baggerly nature medicine letters describing what is wrong in summarized form:


here is the halt of the trials :



more than 4 years ago

Junior-Sized Supernova Discovered By New York Teen

bloosqr Re:No light pollution there (154 comments)

Your post got me curious if this was true or not (whether looking from the botttom of a well would allow one to see stars) as its much more intuitive to have the lens be the primary mechanism for telescope than simply the tube. I don't think it is. Snopes actually has an article on whether this is true and under what conditions could one even hypothesize it is true:


more than 5 years ago

OLPC CTO Quits to Commercialize OLPC Technology

bloosqr Re:Is it just me? (168 comments)

I played w/ it for about 30 minutes a few weeks ago. the current version is clearly designed only for children, one might imagine it wouldn't be that hard to design one w/ a proper sized keyboard at some point. It is way too rugged by spec than it really needs to be I think (droppable from X meters, waterproof?) (and simultaneously has noncommodity/support issues, which I suppose may be fixed at some point).

about 7 years ago



Creative Commons license flaws found

bloosqr bloosqr writes  |  about 7 years ago

bloosqr writes "Dan Heller claims to have found a series of problems with the creative commons license, particularly within the realm of photography in a series of three articles. In the first article he states there is a problem with people relicensing copyrighted work under the CC license and having subsequent users of that copyrighted work sued by the original owner. In the 2nd article he fleshes out these ideas and states that there is an increased risk of being sued if you use a CC license. Finally, in the 3rd article, he states that people can "game the CC license" for profit, by suing people who use your CC'd work which you have subsequently revoked from the CC license. This series of blogs has generated a fair amount of discussion on several photography forums, would it be possible for the slashdot community to clarify matters?"
Link to Original Source


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