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TrueCrypt Gets a New Life, New Name

complete loony Re:They've already screwed the pooch. (264 comments)

Apparently any new code they write can co-exist with a different license. So they intend to slowly replace it all.

3 days ago

Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

complete loony Re: So everything is protected by a 4 digit passco (504 comments)

Weird, the minus sign was there, but /. seems to have dropped it, perhaps because it was quoted. Note that I included it when converting to Joules.

4 days ago

Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

complete loony Re: So everything is protected by a 4 digit passco (504 comments)

I was basing that on some other stuff I've read before, I might have been wrong.;

To record a single bit by changing the state of a system requires an amount of energy no less than kT, where T is the absolute temperature of the system and k is the Boltzman constant. Given that k = 1.38 × 10^16 erg/K, and that the ambient temperature of the universe is 3.2 Kelvin, an ideal computer running at 3.2 K would consume 4.4 × 10^16 ergs every time it set or cleared a bit. To run a computer any colder than the cosmic background radiation would require extra energy to run a heat pump.

So 4.4 × 10^-23 Joules minimum per bit flip * minimum of 2^128 bit flips = 1.4 * 10^16 J. Though of course our current computers are far from ideal and it would take many bit flips to test each key. Unless someone has a better source for the energy cost of computation?

The mass of the oceans is about 1.4x10^21 kg. It takes about 4,000 J to raise the temperature of 1 kg of water by 1 degree Celcius, and thus about 400,000 J to heat 1 kg of water from freezing to boiling. The latent heat of vaporization adds another 2 million J/kg. Thus the energy required to boil the oceans is about 2.4x10^6 J/kg * 1.4x10^21 kg = 3.4x10^27 J

So an ideal computer might be able to count to 2^128 without boiling the oceans (doh). It would take a 10^11 increase in energy usage per bit before boiling the oceans was impossible to avoid.

4 days ago

Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

complete loony Re: So everything is protected by a 4 digit passco (504 comments)

That's the problem with exponential functions, the human brain is too easily tricked. Doubling the bit length of a key doesn't just make it twice as hard to break.

Over the past 40-ish years, we've transitioned from 8-bit computing to 16-bit, 32 and now 64 bit is common. We might need pointers bigger than 64-bits eventually, but we will never need a pointer bigger than 256-bits in length.

The same is true of encryption, for the same reasons. We measure the strength of a crypto system based on the number of keys we would need to attempt in a brute force search. Sometimes we find mathematical short-cuts that weaken a crypto system, reducing the number of keys we need to try. But if we can't do that, we need to test every value.

Counting through all possible values of a 128-bit number would use enough energy to raise the oceans to 100 decrees Celsius and then convert all of the water to steam. This is an amount of energy that we might be able to do harness one day, if we could be bothered. Counting through all values in a 256-bit number would require capturing all of the energy released by every star we can see.

5 days ago

The MOOC Revolution That Wasn't

complete loony Re: Good intentions vs free time (182 comments)

... half of those students [watched at least one lecture], a few hundred thousand completed the course ...

These are the only statistic that matters. Who cares how many people sign up and never do anything, maybe they decided it wasn't what they expected. Maybe they don't have the time. But if people are getting something out of it, and some are putting the effort in to complete it, it looks like a success in my book.

A couple hundred thousand course completions? I'd call that a success.

about two weeks ago

BBC: ISPs Should Assume VPN Users Are Pirates

complete loony Re:Because fuck you BBC (363 comments)

This season, in Australia, we're getting the latest Dr Who episode within 24 hours broadcast on ABC. Plus it's also available on iView. So there's no reason to pirate it.

However, the ABC doesn't run any advertising. So if you do pirate it, does anyone lose money?

about two weeks ago

Indiana University Researchers Get $1 Million Grant To Study Memes

complete loony Re: The federal deficit this year is $550 billion (126 comments)

A national credit limit of around 40% of GDP should be plenty to cover short to medium term shortfalls and entrepreneur activity. That would include all household, business and government debts. Why have we allowed the banking sector to convince us they are essential for the functioning of every part of the economy? They have a perverse incentive to encourage us to borrow, and over the last 50 years we've bought into their propaganda. Take away all of the interest payments we're currently making and our economy has a chance to thrive.

about a month ago

Indiana University Researchers Get $1 Million Grant To Study Memes

complete loony Re:The federal deficit this year is $550 billion (126 comments)

Where did the majority of your spending money begin its life? Bank loans. Remember that massive issue the banking sector had recently?

We need to get our economy off credit. We need to stop borrowing against every security we can find. Either we reduce our debts voluntarily, or we go bankrupt. Either way, we will reduce our debt level over the next 5-20 years. This is going to remove money from circulation. If the government runs a surplus, this will also remove money from circulation. If we stop deficit spending the economy will shrink and may falter.

Back in the 30's we were facing a similar (but much smaller) debt problem. The "new deal" in 1933(-ish) was a program of government spending that helped to reduce the impact of the Depression. When spending was cut in 1937, the economy dipped again. While the level of debt continued to drop, what finally eliminated the remaining debt was the massive spending and manufacturing to fight WWII.

Government deficit spending isn't the problem. It's the only thing that can save us from ruin as we inevitably reduce our debts.

about a month ago

Google's Driverless Cars Capable of Exceeding Speed Limit

complete loony Re:Left or Right? (475 comments)

But the limit is still 70. If they pull you over with a measurement of 80mph, but you take them to court with evidence that your GPS measured 75mph, you're still guilty.

about a month ago

Fighting Invasive Fish With Forks and Knives

complete loony Re:What kind of fish? (180 comments)

Bored while camping, my family started spear fishing with garden forks in knee deep reeds. Caught about 40 carp, buried them in someone's garden for fertiliser.

about a month ago

Knocking Down the Great Firewall of China

complete loony Re:No signup without a Google Account? (167 comments)

I've talked with the developers before at conferences. They were (and probably still are...) using google contacts and messaging for the initial handshake in establishing connections. That may change in future.

They also weren't doing any kind of onion routing. So if they get big enough to be noticed, passive network monitoring may reveal the very social graph that lantern depends on.

about a month ago

3 Congressmen Trying To Tie Up SpaceX

complete loony Re:What? (393 comments)

... the government doesn't create wealth.

Only if you assume;

“A network of intergenerational transfers makes the typical person a part of an extended family that goes on indefinitely. In this setting, households capitalise the entire array of expected future taxes, and thereby plan effectively with an infinite horizon” Robert Barro

When you actually dig into the assumptions of economic theories like that, they usually turn out to be completely absurd. Of course governments can create wealth. Running a deficit creates both income and money for the rest of the economy.

Banks have the same effect when they issue loans. But they can't do that forever, which is why we're having so much trouble returning the economy to "normal".

about a month and a half ago

Clever Workaround: Visual Cryptography On Austrian Postage Stamps

complete loony Re:Censorship not avoided (74 comments)

Could you place the stamps next to each other and focus behind them? Like looking at a 3d stereo-gram?

about a month and a half ago

New NSA-Funded Code Rolls All Programming Languages Into One

complete loony Re:FTFY (306 comments)


about a month and a half ago

Ecuador To Forge Ahead With State-Backed Digital Currency

complete loony Re:Yet another fiat currency (85 comments)

Personally I'd rather we used more government printed money. The alternative we have now is banks creating "money" by issuing loans. Society would be better off if we removed bank managers from their current privileged position.

about a month and a half ago

Idiot Leaves Driver's Seat In Self-Driving Infiniti, On the Highway

complete loony Re:Huh? (406 comments)

Have you watched any of google's self driving demo videos? I'd say their car drives like an old lady. Overly cautious IMHO.

about a month and a half ago

Hack an Oscilloscope, Get a DMCA Take-Down Notice From Tektronix

complete loony Re:VHS machines. (273 comments)

Or calculators 20+ years ago. My dad used to recommend one of the cheaper programmable calculators to his students, suggesting they cut a hole to press the missing button.

about a month and a half ago

Hack an Oscilloscope, Get a DMCA Take-Down Notice From Tektronix

complete loony Re:A comment from the linked site: (273 comments)

Car? First sale doctrine. It's yours.

Software? It's not yours, you (most likely) agreed to a license to use it, which may include a fee per feature.

Are click through licenses, after purchase / install valid? Debatable, and untested in the court room.

about a month and a half ago

Why Morgan Stanley Is Betting That Tesla Will Kill Your Power Company

complete loony Re:Wouldn't electric cars have the opposite effect (502 comments)

In Australia ATM, a dodgy deal with the monopoly owners of the grid's "poles and wires" has enabled and encouraged a massive over investment. Causing prices to rise for just about everyone. At the same time, in response to recent economic woes, the government was offering large subsidies to residential investment in solar panels.

As I travel around our suburbs now, solar is everywhere. And there is actually talk about the grid going into a death spiral. Their customers are reacting to rising prices by installing more solar arrays, even though the government subsidies have ended. There's a good chance that some of the over investment in the grid will never be needed at all.

about a month and a half ago

NASA Tests Microwave Space Drive

complete loony Re:free electricity! (201 comments)

And your nuclear reactor is also turning mass into energy to drive it. Both the mass of the exhaust and it's velocity must take away mass from your craft.

about 2 months ago


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