top Financing College With a Tax On All Graduates
This is a terrible idea as stated, students need to have some skin in the game - otherwise they'll study pointless subjects such as arts and fail after 1 year
students have to pay at least some non-neglible amount of money to prove they're committed to giving their best effort students need to pass a difficult entry exam / other to ensure they're capable of graduating important subjects for economic development are subsidised to extent that makes economic sense (so e.g. if the country needs 5000 engineers a year, then 5000 engineering places are funded). other subjects are subsidised in light of other goals (e.g. 100 funded arts places per year) social funding for disadvantaged students remains a seperate program if a student doesnt make a subsidised place he pays his own way or does somewhere else with his life money to pay for above comes from grad tax, general tax, it's all good
top With HTTPS Everywhere, Is Firefox Now the Most Secure Mobile Browser?
This is stupid, there's no benefit to using https on many sites.
We can understand a security need by thinking about confidentiality, integrity, and availability.
If I connect with https to a site which doesnt have my personal data (e.g. news sites) there is no benefit to confidentiality - the site is availabile to anyone, the info isnt confidential to me. Integrity - without 2 way authentication (which https typically doesnt do) there is only a marginal increase in difficult to compromise the integrity of a http request or response. Why would anyone do that with something like news though. Availability https doesnt change anything, probably makes it worse as the site has to negotiate TLS sessions
Accessing sites with personal data, banks, email, faceboook - https is essential. Accessing sites without personal info, such as news, https accomplishes strictly nothing, it's is a waste of cpu cycles and the energy that powers them
top NSA-resistant Android App 'Burns' Sensitive Messages
even if the message is sent encrypted thus preventing attacks from the network under govt coercion.. which would be a step forward, does android let you do this ? technically it wouldnt be hard but is there a way to say to android that this type of sms should be opened with this application ?
however, security wise - the keys to decode the message and the messages are on the device. so when the app does to delete the message does it really delete ? probably not, the underlying os may well leave the message and just delete the filesystem reference. similarly for the keys. so if the device is confiscated, there's a good chance all the encrpyted messages can be recovered. also if the nsa dont run the app after confiscating the device then the app wont be able to delete its data store
with respect to the sender specifying how long the message can remain without being deleted. this depends on the receiving app honouring the 'delete after n days' part of the message. if the receiver installs a clone silent sms program which doesnt honour such requests they'll never get deleted. so the security offered to a sender is assured by the difficulty of creating a clone app. this difficulty depends on the effort silent message makes, if they dont explicitly engineer for that kind of security it will be trivial, if they do explictly engineer for that then it'll be medium difficulty. more than this cant be achieved with this architecture
top Electric Vehicles Might Not Benefit the Environment After All
another factor is that all of the millions of cars are each emitting pollution from thier exhaust pipes, each need to have catalytic converters and other anti-pollution technology
In electric cars, the pollution is centered at the power plant, meaning only one instance of anti-pollution technology is needed for all the cars charged by that powerplant. This results in cheaper and cleaner vehicles. In addition, the power cells of the cars are recylable at the end of their life
top Australian Police Move To Make 3D Printed Guns Illegal
guns dont kill pepole is nonsense and anyone who believes it is a victim of gun lobby PR. snappy one liners may be easy to remember but that doesnt mean they correspond with reality
it's obvious that killing from a save distance by pulling a trigger is different than swinging a blunt instrument at close range where the first blow may miss, the victim has a chance to defend themselves or bystanders can intervene
Put apart from the obvious flaws; if it were true then every country would have more or less the same homicide rate but the means of murder would be different. The homicide rate in the us is 2011 was 4.8 per 100,000. In Ireland 1.3 per 100,000. Note that in Ireland there is not an additional 3.5 homicides by blunt instrument because people cant get guns.
top Are Plastic Bag Bans Making People Sick?
sure, what's more likely
1. lawyers spontaneously take an interest in health implications of plastic bag recycling, especially for implausible scenarios such as someone coughing into a plastic bag before using that bag for food packaging 2. vested interest attempts to establish a narrative on plastic bag recycling to influence public opinion against a sound environmental measure, perhaps in view of the result that plastic bag consumption drops by 99% in places which introduce incentivies for plastic bag recycling about a year and a half ago
top Are Plastic Bag Bans Making People Sick?
isnt this story where there was a sick girl, sharing a hotel room with lots of other people, the girl used a reusable plastic bag from a store as a bin liner in the bathroom and after a number of her room mates fell ill they found some germs on the plastic bag bin liner
it's nonsense to suggest either
- the bag is a more likely reason the illness spread than any other reason that comes with sharing a hotel room
- that bags in general spread illness
- that the exact same thing cant happen if we dont re-use plastic bags (I was using store plastic bags as bin liners long before there was a push to re-use plastic bags)
this is simple that a person with a contagious illness spread it to people in her proximity, and some manufacturer of plastic bags has jumped on that to create a story against recycling plastic bags. clearer the manufacturer has a vested interest in plastic bags not being reused, shame on the 'researchers' who lent their name to this
about a year and a half ago
top Instagram Wants To Sell Users' Photos Without Notice
facebook needs the right to distribute photos in order to let people access them in a news feed. i havent read the instagram terms and conditions but google docs contains a similar right to distribute. however google explicitly say they use this right only to support the functionality of google docs, they dont seek to own your content
top Attack Steals Crypto Key From Co-Located Virtual Machines
if the attacker has sufficient access to the host to study the vm's execution profile then i suspect the attacker can do a lot more than capture that key..
in the uses I would expect people to care about, web services running on a vm on the net, this implies that the attacker already has ssh access to the host machine. so an assumption of this vulnerability is that the host system is completely compromised. in such a case the attacker will have other options to get that key.
as a side note, i dont know if it would be a good thing to fix this problem, you pay for perf for web servers so disguising the computation to mitigate such an attack would cost way more than it would achieve
top NASA Satellite Sees Black Hole Belching Out Hundred-Million-Degree X-rays
dont photons have an energy that is inversely proportional to the wavelength (shorter wavelenths = photons at higher energy).. i'm no particle physicist but something emitted the photon which is the particle by which the xrays and all em propagate.. then photons get released when electrons drop to lower energy levels in their atomic orbits.. so as the matter of the cloud compresesd in the effect of the black hole's gravitational pull, the temperature of the matter incresaes, the energy of the electrons increases correspondingly, the electroncs go to higher orbits around the atom and they drop back to lower orbits by releasing photons. so maybe they can measure the temperature of the atom at the point where the electron was released by looking at the wavelength / other properties of the photon ?
wasnt the temperature of the big bang measured via the universal background radiation which is the photons released by the matter in the universe about 300,000 years after the big bang (the point at which temperatures had cooled sufficiently for electrons to get into stable orbits around atoms ?
top Intel Demos McAfee Social Protection
- uninstall mcafee plugin and copy image
- use alternate browser which doesnt have plugin
- capture url of image and download seperately
this may not be the dumbest thing i've ever heard but it's up there. the subsequent step is for facebook to apply drm and content protection to media on facebook. soon after mass migration of users to another social network. lets see what direction that share price keeps going in
top Headlights That See Through Rain and Snow
well he was wrong, this kind of idea doesnt allow for emergance
just as biology isnt applied chemistry knowing all the forces currently in existance doenst enable you to predict the future
top Ask Slashdot: Best Certifications To Get?
i've mostly gotten interviews because i've been to a fairly well known uni, got a masters qualificaiton and i've worked in top name companies.. that said, there's other ways in -- if a company cant get the people with the 'normal' qualifications then you can get an interview if you can convince someone in the dept you can do the job..
how to convince ? depends what job you want. build up a portfolio of relevant certifications and experience in that area.. so a degree is ideal, if that's not viable, certifications, open source, maintain a network for a local charity organisation, whatever is relevant is good.. people dont want to hire potential, they want to hire someone who has gotten results close to where their current problem or pain is. So you need to talk the talk and have a number of concrete elements that demonstrate you've done it rather than thought about it
top Live Intel WiDi Demonstration At CES 2010
it's cool that I no longer need to drag cables across a room just to use a projector, but it would be even nicer if i could play back any media on my pc and have the images and sound on my tv..
does anyone know if this includes the sound? i owuld expect not as I dont see how it could capture and correclty sync the sound without being part of media framework and that would necessitate a particular playback applicatio. it seems from the article this is application independent. shame as that youtube video and sound redirected from pc to tv would have been cool
top Office Work Ethic In the IT Industry?
if you want to become strong, as a start out developer you need to be an environment where you learn from your peers. If you are motivated to learn and produce things it will be difficult if your peers are unproductive and management weak.
The risk is that your peers are happy with the status quo and that management are not motivated to improve the engineering dept. You may find yourself getting frustrated as you grow, but your colleagues stay the same. There are some great companies out there who care about engineering, the trick is to identify them when interviewing. Asking questions such as 'how do you guys measure engineering quality' or 'what software lifecycle is predominant' are inoffensive, but tell you important things about how the engineering department operates
I've 10 years experience as an engineer now. In your position, I would ask myself question 'what can i learn from my colleagues' and if after 6 or 9 months in a company, the answer is not good then you may have made a mistake joining that company. While job hopping is not good, it may be the best thing to do. Just be careful not to repeat the mnistake,I know some companies that will not hire someone with a history of changing job more frequently than once every two years.
top Ciphire, A Transparent, Easy PGP Alternative
I think its pretty innovative, and contributes something positive. A lot of the comments are on the lines of pgp / whatever respected cryptographic tool will do a decent job on signing / encypting / decrypting - we can all agree on this
However where we need to evaluate systems is on how easy it is to sign a message, get a key pair, to get the certificate of your correspondent, renew their certificate etc
The email proxy server architecture seems a really neat way to handle the cryptographic functions and the client side of certificate management - the central certificate repository seems a good way to distribute certs and handle cert status
I dont think there's anything about the system that is fundamentally insecure but I would be interested in the trust relationship between the email client and proxy server is implemented. Also will the centralised repository scale if the system becomes popular? Imagine how many certificate issuing & status requests that thing would need to cope with if it got popular
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