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Financing College With a Tax On All Graduates

codemaster2b Re:It removes all barrier to entry (597 comments)

I was unaware of the system being in place in Australia. If practical, it sounds very good. But some of the downfalls you mention are worth bringing to the discussion table.

"When people sign up they put down their preferences for which uni to attend and the universities start at the top of the pecking order (best grades) and work their way down till their quota is finished."

This, in particular, I have a problem with. I understand it is a practical solution to the problem of too many applicants that I mentioned. But right now in the US, you can choose where you want to go, if you can pay. I understand that many universities do limit their attendance regardless of money factors (i.e. Harvard), but many others do not.

I see so many complications inherent with choosing this path, and whether the outcomes are good or bad is hard to say without careful consideration. Our schools have struggled for a long time with good standards of testing. How do you prove the merit of students? You test the crap out of them. Does this work? NO. My brother is a teacher. Perhaps the Aussies have figured out a way around this issue. But I don't like the federal government dictating how education should work. It isn't working, and more is not the solution.

about 2 months ago
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Financing College With a Tax On All Graduates

codemaster2b Re:It removes all barrier to entry (597 comments)

I was not aware of this system already being in place in Australia, as has been mentioned several times.

about 2 months ago
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Financing College With a Tax On All Graduates

codemaster2b It removes all barrier to entry (597 comments)

I have to point out that this is program would remove all barrier to college entry. If there is no cost to start education, and not finish it, then there will be millions of people who do so. Think of the problem we have now of so many students not knowing what they want out of life just joining college. I do agree that the current system of student loans is badly broken. I have many friends who bear an unreasonable level of debt.

about 2 months ago
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One-Time Pad From Caltech Offers Uncrackable Cryptography

codemaster2b Moon Runes (192 comments)

So, the message can only be read by the light of a moon the same shape and season that the message was written on?

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Dealing With a Fear of Technological Change?

codemaster2b The more things change... (429 comments)

The world is not changing as much as you think. I am 28, and priviledged to have worked in several corporate environments. In a workplace that has 4 generations of employees, you have much bigger headaches, such as dealing with different generational value systems. Leave your area of knowledge and you will quickly find you are not "old school". Most of the world is not even technology-based. Leave the country and serve humanitarian efforts in Honduras or Haiti (I've been to the Philippines myself). Study different cultures. Actually, people do not tend to throw things away in favor of the new and different - quite the opposite. Culture is the basis of humanity, and cultural heritage is not new, and you'd better not throw it away. Our generation and those younger still are growing up hungry to culture, hungry for those things that are so carelessly thrown away because we listen to television instead of our grandparents.

about a year ago
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CES: Tiny Fuel Cell is Supposed to Charge a Cell Phone for Two Weeks (Video)

codemaster2b Re:Throwing money away (204 comments)

Actually, there is one use I could forsee. Apocalpse planning. For when there is no power for extended periods of time, and you just can't use a portable generator. If you were stuck in the mountains for months at a time or something. Still kinda grasping at straws though.

about a year ago
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CES: Tiny Fuel Cell is Supposed to Charge a Cell Phone for Two Weeks (Video)

codemaster2b Re:Throwing money away (204 comments)

Yes, robots and drones could make excellent use of fuel cell technology. Marketing it as a way to keep you phone charged on the go? Not a great idea.

about a year ago
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CES: Tiny Fuel Cell is Supposed to Charge a Cell Phone for Two Weeks (Video)

codemaster2b Throwing money away (204 comments)

Listen... why are we going backwards in reusability? I saw that this product was highlighed at CES a short time ago, and laughed at it. Why spend $300 for a product in order to buy $10 ONE-TIME-USE cartridges over a 11000mah portable battery pack for $40 that has the same power output but can be re-used? How is this an advancement in technology?

about a year ago
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Ask Slashdot: Why Is It So Hard To Make An Accurate Progress Bar?

codemaster2b We can't predict the future. (736 comments)

I may be rehashing what most posters here have already pointed out in different ways, but it comes down to the fact that we can't predict the future. PCs in general allow arbitrarily defined operations to happen (copy a folder from A to B, with unpredictable contents, hardware timings, available operating system resources, etc). Added to this problem is one of interpretation: what KIND of progress does the bar measure? Is it time, disk space, ordered task number, or what? All of the above?

Suppose I make a progress bar that measures the time until nuclear winter? We call that the Doomsday clock (and yes, progress bars CAN go backwards, my fellow slashdotters). Is it accurate? No one knows, and I hope we never find out.

But lets say that we only want a progress bar that measures time to completion. I actually like the file-copy progress bars in Windows 7. I think they finally got it right. The underlying hardware will vary in its speed, so the progress bar cannot inerrantly give estimated time to completion. But it does give enough information to satisfy me while I wait. I see the current MB/s of data transfer, the approximate time remaining (and data remaining), and a bar that shows how much of the data has been moved so far compared to the total amount of data to move. Not perfect by any means, but I am satisfied to wait. And that's the whole reason you have a progress bar in the first place.

about a year ago
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Missile Defense's Real Enemy: Math

codemaster2b Re:Simply put... No. (589 comments)

You're right, the nukes weren't developed for Mutually Assured Destruction. However, they were developed as a deterrant against further war, which is very close to the same thing. By dropping one bomb, we sent a message that technology had now made war a terrible, terrible thing to behold. By dropping two bombs, we sent the message that we had the ability to keep going. The war ended in fact because the nuclear warheads had successfuly deterred futher bloodshed.

I am not sure what the Germans intended to do with the nuclear bombs they were developing. Perhaps they too would have served more as a deterrent / threat than an actual tactical option.

about a year ago
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Interviews: Ask What You Will of Paleontologist Jack Horner

codemaster2b Re:The Evolution of Paleontology (208 comments)

That's a chicken and egg problem. If the early paleontologists had never recovered their specimens, Mr. Jack Horner would never have been inspired to spend his life studying old bones. Likewise, if today's paleontologists didn't recover their specimens, then the future "perfected" paleontological methods would never come to be.

about a year ago
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Open Source ExFAT File System Reaches 1.0 Status

codemaster2b Re:This doesn't make sense to me (151 comments)

Several people, including you, have replied to my comment, but no one has addressed my question. So perhaps I wasn't understood. I know that a sneakernet implies physical transfer of data (a Boeing 747 filled with Blu-Ray discs traveling from New York to LA has a bandwidth of 245000 gbit according to Wikipedia). What what exactly is a sneakernet FILE SYSTEM. And why would you have one? I sneakernet data over thumb drives all the time. I only need a file system designed for the thumbdrive, such as NTFS.

Actually, a thought occurs to me. The article described this sneakernet as capable of Terabyte-sized file transfers. When using a 8GB thumb drive, you must use NTFS rather than VFAT in order to transfer a 4GB + file. More importantly, a 8GB thumbdrive cannot transfer a TB file without first splitting and rejoining the file on both ends. Is this what the ExFAT file system does? Automatically handly file facturing across arbitrary media?

about a year ago
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Open Source ExFAT File System Reaches 1.0 Status

codemaster2b This doesn't make sense to me (151 comments)

A file system is normally designed for one's own usages. A file system is entirely contained within your computer system (or in the event of a distributed file system, within computers under your control). What use then is "sneaker-netting" files between Windows, OSX, and Linux? Isn't this a network concept?

about a year ago
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Google Declares War On the Password

codemaster2b Re:how about REMOVING ARBITRARY PASSWORD LIMITS! (480 comments)

Good point sir. Yes, length is superior to variety. And Salting passwords may make some of this conversation irrelevant anyway.

However, you are only addressing brute-force techniques. A simple, human-contructed password of any given length is quite easy to crack using predictive methods (dictionaries, phonics, substitutions, etc). Predictive password techniques are poor at random large-keyspace passwords. Against a predictive password cracker, you would be better using a shorter, 95-key space password.

However, rainbow tables exist for most short password lengths. Rather than having to actually crack your password, if it is short enough (say 7-9 characters), one can simply look up the hash in a table to find the cracked password. Clearly, short passwords of ANY complexity are still vulnerable.

about a year ago
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Google Declares War On the Password

codemaster2b Re:how about REMOVING ARBITRARY PASSWORD LIMITS! (480 comments)

Well sir I don't know. Judging by your slashdot ID you must have been on here a long time. Perhaps the primary concern is security of the connection between client and server (man-in-the-middle attacks). I think that the hashed passwords are transmitted over secure connections to begin with anyway.

about a year ago
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Google Declares War On the Password

codemaster2b Re:how about REMOVING ARBITRARY PASSWORD LIMITS! (480 comments)

Yes there is a reasonable excuse why it must contain certain minimum lengths and characters. It has to do with exponents. For fun I've written several types of password hash crackers in the past. The best way to defeat a brute-force password cracker is to expand the keyspace.

A good password today at a minimum 8 characters, and can consist of any one of 95 keypresses on the keyboard. 95^8 = 6.6e15 combinations.
If you don't use special characters, that 8 character password is only 62^8 = 2.2^14 combinations.
If you don't use numbers, that 8 character password is only 52^8 = 5.3^13 combinations.
And If you don't even bother to change cases, that 8 character password is 26^8 = 2.1e11 combinations.

Those numbers don't tell the real story. Old Windows XP passwords could be cracked on average 2011 hardware at about 10 million (1e7) combinations / second. The "good" password above would be cracked in 21 years (max). No special characters would be cracked in 8 months. No numbers in 2 months. And single-case only in 6 hours.

But today we have GPU password cracking, and much better hardware. A Radeon 5770 could crack the "good password", 8 characters long in a mere 28 hours. That was hardware from 2 years ago.

about a year ago
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Google Declares War On the Password

codemaster2b Re:Brilliant idea (480 comments)

Was my first thought too

about a year ago
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DARPA Funds a $300 Software-Defined Radio For Hackers

codemaster2b Re:Different HW Needed? (94 comments)

I worked for a company that produced a software-controlled radio base-station. You have to know the secret to these devices: they can't actually cover more than 10 MHz at a time. There is a 10 MHz (or maybe a little better) band-width Yig that can be set in software to any given frequency between say 100 MHz and 6 GHz. This Yig limits sending and receiving channels to within 10 MHz of each other. Since Wifi channels are about 20 MHz each, your use case is not feasible. You could only use one channel at a time.

Now with more Yigs, you can use multiple channels at a time, but you are limited by the hardware. Yigs are very much not cheap, last I knew. A $300 software radio that can compete reasonable well with a Motorolla $5000 radio.... probably isn't running more than 1 Yig.

about a year and a half ago
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Andromeda On Collision Course With the Milky Way

codemaster2b Re:order of magnitude (217 comments)

I was going to challenge your assumptions about the nature of empty space in regards to collisions between large bodies. I was told in school that all matter consists largely of empty space. So I examined the common element iron:

The diameter of the nucleus of an iron atom is 1.26e-8 cm. The standard atomic weight of iron is 55.845 (which is equivalent to 55.845 gm/6.022e23 atoms or 1gm/1.0783e22 atoms). The density of iron at room temperature is 7.874 gm/cm^3. So 1 cubic centimeter of iron weighs 7.874 grams, and contains 8.49e22 atoms. Assuming a cubed nucleus, and ignoring the relatively tiny electrons, each atom has a volume of 2.00e-24. Multiply by the number of atoms above and we should have a volume of 0.17cm^3. Note that a sphere occupies 52% of the volume of its enclosing cube, which would bring the estimate down to 0.089cm^3. So ultimately, solid iron is 9-17% protons and neutrons.

It appears that while matter is more empty space than it is solid, the "emptiness" is only 1 order of magnitude, whereas your example was about 7. I retract any objections.

about 2 years ago
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DDR4 RAM To Hit Devices Next Year

codemaster2b Re:Would have gotten a FP except (233 comments)

Total power consumption is a big factor moving forward in trying to reduce what we need from the grid.

If you really want to reduce your drain on the power grid, turn off the PC more often. It's cheaper than buying a new PC too. Now before you dismiss my suggestion as a mere straw-man argument, consider this: over the past 100 years human spending on lighting has remained roughly constant. Whenever a newer, cheaper form of lighting is introduced (electric bulb, florescent lighting, etc), what happens is NOT that money is saved, but that the same money is spent on more lighting. That my friend is human nature. A reduction in power consumption will yield more machines in your house turned on more of the time. On average.

about 2 years ago

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