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Can Our Computers Continue To Get Smaller and More Powerful?

dissy Re:Obligatory: "There's Plenty of Room at the Bott (151 comments)

But come on, do you really think a 55 year old paper is going to be at the top of impact rankings when computed against current research in a field moving this fast? And, even if so, isn't it more likely this work has been superseded by others? IT'S BEEN 55 GOD DAMN YEARS, FOR CHRISSAKE!!! I think your hero worship is showing. At least find a more modern reference.

To be fair, this is a perfectly acceptable reference in the given context, and the age only helps the argument not hinders it as you suggest.

Even at 55 years old, the Feynman paper is based on known technology and physics at the time. This provides a high-end boundary to the answer that is only potentially (in this case definately) inaccurate on exactly how much lower the size can actually get.

Our tech has changed, but physics not quite as much.
What we know today about building at the atomic scale is only slightly more detailed than the rough idea that was known all the way back then.

About the only thing smaller we know of today that we didn't know back then was the details of the sub-atomic world - which I should add we still know very little about over all, and certainly not enough to build useful machines using. At a technological level nothing has changed as the sub-atomic is still out of our reach as much now as it was then.

So the atomic scale is what we are discussing.

55 years ago our photolithography methods had a 20 micron feature limit.
14 years ago our newest photolithography methods have a 0.005 micron (aka 100 nm) feature limit. That is a 4000 fold decrease in size.
Today we have 32 nm and 28 nm photolithography methods, making things about 12000 times smaller than was possible using technology from 55 years ago.

Anyways, there are more recent references out there.

One good recent paper is "Molecular Construction Limits" by Robert Bradbury, if you can find it anymore. Sadly Bradbury passed away a couple years ago and his personally hosted archive of papers fell offline. Most archived ones seem pay-walled :/

Probably the best paper on this subject is "Ultimate physical limits to computation" by Seth Lloyd at MIT.
The paper is from 2000 but his current work is on the worlds largest-qbit quantum computer also at MIT - so he is already making my sub-atomic remarks out of date.

His conclusion is purely based on physics alone and ignoring any/all technological capability.

The 'ultimate laptop' is a computer with a mass of one kilogram and a volume of one liter, operating at the fundamental limits of speed and memory capacity fixed by physics.
The ultimate laptop performs [ 5.4258 x 10^50 ] logical operations per second on 10^31 bits.
Although its computational machinery is in fact in a highly specified physical state with zero entropy, while it performs a computation that uses all its resources of energy and memory space it appears to an outside observer to be in a thermal state at 10^9 degrees Kelvin.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Open Hardware/Software-Based Security Token?

dissy Multiple options (113 comments)

TOTP (time-based one time keys), HOTP (hmac? one time keys), and RFC6238 are todays friendly search terms.

TOTP is what the traditional RSA tokens use, in which the time is a component of the encryption used so the code generated from the private key changes (usually every 30 or 60 seconds)

HOTP is the latest in one time pads, where each code generated is good until used but only once.
It differs from true OTPs in that the data is procedurally generated from a private key instead of all the keys/data being generated in bulk ahead of time. One hopes the private key is smaller than a crap-ton of bulk keys or binary data needed for a true OTP.

Google Authenticator is one pre-made generic solution, and you don't need to use Google to utilize it.
The encryption it uses is open and has an RFC, and their own software lets you input the private key via QR code for the user if you wish, and utilize multiple profiles/keys.

Google released an open source PAM module for all your Linux authentication needs, including SSH.
I use this myself for access to my home network (ssh + port forwards)

There are also tons of programs that run the identical encryption methods, lots being open source.
I've seen them available for every OS commonly used (and then some) plus every smartphone out there.

I've also recently purchased a Yubico key, which is a hardware version of the RSA token.
The basic model runs $25 each if you buy single keys, and they can be loaded with up to two profiles using various encryption methods and keys.

Instead of an LCD display with a rolling code, they are USB devices that show up as USB keyboard HIDs. You plug it in and once the OS has it powered and ready, there is a touch-sensitive "button" you touch and the dongle types in the code valid for that 30 second period.
It also takes into account how long it needs to type the codes (sha256 with serial can be 158 characters and takes ~3-4 seconds to type in at the default key rate)
It will always type the key that will be valid at the time its about to hit enter.

Yubico is RFC6238 compatible, and also can utilize OpenRADIUS which then makes it compatible with pretty much everything.

A third option, though more for Windows login / Active Directory, and definitely not open source, is EIDVirtual.
It basically lets you reformat a USB flash drive to contain a 4k private key and special header so along with its smartcard driver extension, the keys show up as smart cards and USB flash (technically you can still store data on the drive if you want)

The software is very cheap (7 euro if I recall), works flawlessly in AD setups (tested on XP, 7, and 8), and uses any old flash drive with 1mb of storage.
The downside of course is you don't get any of the fancy (or even required) hardware protection of the private key. I believe it uses the USB drives serial and model/make as part of its formula so blind copying isn't trivial, but the hardware exists to easily fake that info for anyone intent on doing so.
Not nearly as secure as the other options, but it is at least priced accordingly, and doesn't try to add 2-3 zeros to the pricetag for the "enterprise" label.

about a month ago
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Do Apple and Google Sabotage Older Phones? What the Graphs Don't Show

dissy Re:Hardware ages too (281 comments)

That's not a "double height"; today's bays are half- and third- height.

Ahh, thank you for the correction. I guess that makes this a full height drive?
That does sound a bit familiar now that you mention it actually. My memory of "the dark ages" is getting more fuzzy as time goes on.

http://oi57.tinypic.com/2u7lmr...

From left to right in that image is the MFM drive, a more normal 3.5" IDE drive, a 2.5" drive and a CF card.

I was only half joking about its metal casing. Probably not actually steel but between the HD and my foot stubbing it in the dark, it was my foot that gave way and moved, not the HD ;P

SD cards were still new and pricy so I didn't have one on hand to complete the set.
Now I need an SD and micro SD to add in, and somehow squeeze a Sun RMS platter array into the picture and the new cycle of life will be complete!

about a month ago
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Do Apple and Google Sabotage Older Phones? What the Graphs Don't Show

dissy Re:Hardware ages too (281 comments)

I still have a functioning MFM double-height 5.25" (Yes it requires two bays) 10MB hard drive here that, judging purely from scar I still have after stubbing my toe on it a decade ago, I'm pretty sure actually does contain rotating clay tablets inside its steal frame as well as a stocky overweight gnome with an actual iron chisel.
I wonder if our drives share the same encoding scheme...
 

about a month ago
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Cable Companies: We're Afraid Netflix Will Demand Payment From ISPs

dissy Re:Millionare panhandlers (200 comments)

This is anecdotal evidence, not statistical. Finding five examples *SNIP

Parent said this form of panhandling exists.
Reply said no it never once ever happened.
Reply provided (in your own words) five examples of it happening.
5 %gt; 1

How it is not statistically factual to say "We need one example to disprove this statement, here is more than the one required example"?

about a month ago
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Enraged Verizon FiOS Customer Seemingly Demonstrates Netflix Throttling

dissy Re:Could be a different route involved for the VPN (398 comments)

No, his explanation is spot-on. If "technobabble" means you didn't understand it, that's besides the point.

Perhaps you can explain better, as your post still doesn't clear that bit up.

How does traffic generated within verisonz ASN, and exists within the same verizon ASN, even need BGP to function?

Start there at basics, and once you explain how internal traffic that never once touches a peer point still relies on this BGP "magic", then you can go into details about BGP...

about a month ago
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Deaf Advocacy Groups To Verizon: Don't Kill Net Neutrality On Our Behalf

dissy Re:So, Verizons normal service is the slow lane? (76 comments)

Why don't they just put in the infrastructure needed for peoples internet to work like what they paid for already. Are they going to give refunds for not supplying the service they sold?

No no, it's all a matter of internal accounts you see.

The money used to purchase bandwidth throttling equipment was taken from the subscriber payments account, so you are only due a refund if they failed to slow your connection to a standstill.

The money to upgrade infrastructure was taken from us all by force by convincing the government to tax us each and every year for the past decade and a half, and the government isn't likely to ask for a refund from their overlords, nor would we see it refunded to us even if they did.

The more you know, epic half battles, all of that.

about a month ago
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Ask Slashdot: Linux Login and Resource Management In a Computer Lab?

dissy Re:Good grief (98 comments)

Is this 1988? The easiest/cheapest solution is spend a couple bucks on decent machines.

Sweet, I've been needing an upgrade myself as well, but there seems to be a strange shortage of people insisting we speed more than a couple bucks on the problem and will pay for the upgrade. I'm glad I found you!

250 workstations upgraded to top tier is roughly $200000.00 or so. Better make it $250000 so we can get new LCDs too, these 10 year old 19" ones are getting a tiny bit of burn-in.

Just go ahead and paypal it to me, and I'll get right on implementing your suggestion!

about a month ago
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New Treatment Stops Type II Diabetes

dissy Re:There's another treatment that stops most T2 (253 comments)

Eating does involve a bit more than just taste however, and is a problematic issue I've had to deal with most of my life.

I should admit up front that I have the opposite problem as to the article being discussed.
I've had no sense of smell since age 3-4, and so there is a significant class of foods I simply can't taste at all. The texture of the food determines completely my enjoyment of eating it and even my ability to eat it.

For me a steak tastes about like cardboard, and the less well done it is cooked the worse it feels, which of course directly relates to how healthy it would be as burning the nutrients out can't be a good thing, despite the fact it changes the taste not at all for me to do so.

Green veggies tend to feel like between I'm chewing a corn husk and I'm trying to swallow semi-liquid slop that my body feels should already be going in the other direction. The phrase "choking it down" can be quite literal in such cases for me.

The main difference here I would imagine is that a lot of people dislike eating such healthier foods so instead of spending the (not insignificant) time to find the gems they do like, they fall back to crap food that gives a "full" feeling - while I personally take the equally unhealthy route of just simply not eating often enough thus avoiding the unpleasantness for similar reasons.

It's taken me a good 15 year period to actively try different and new things prepared by many different people other than myself to find those gems, and similar to applying security to IT it is one of those things that is on-going and never ends.
I can completely see why that prospect would be so overwhelming to some, as I was (or potentially still am) in that same camp.

When thinking of your next meal fills you with dread due to all of the horrible aspects of doing it right without a single positive in sight, falling back into comfort mode is terribly easy to do and can take as much constant effort to break out of usually attributed to the weakest willed of addicts trying to stay sober.

The advice "Meh you just suck, it's super simple!" is about as twisted as a slinky and as truthful as a politician.

about a month and a half ago
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More Forgotten Vials of Deadly Diseases Discovered

dissy Re:Did they check under the couch cushions? (55 comments)

*cough* Well the bad news is I didn't find any vials of ebola in there *coughwheeze* just these empty vials ready for filling.

The good news *coughhack* can I keep this $0.78 in change? I'm saving up *sneezecolorscolors* for a flu shot - not feeling so well suddenly *sneezecoughsplatter* for some unknown reason...

about a month and a half ago
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Interviews: Ask Dr. Andy Chun About Artificial Intelligence

dissy Re:Question for Dr. Andy Chun (71 comments)

Are you sure you didn't install them all backwards?

about a month and a half ago
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Cosmologists Show Negative Mass Could Exist In Our Universe

dissy Re:The crackpot cosmology "theory" Du Jour (214 comments)

Anyone else sick of these fantasies? What ever happened to Occam's Razor?

Occam's Razor states that your personal theory that isn't testable is automatically false and invalid. The theory in the article that is testable may be right or wrong but we won't know until testing it.

Since your "faith" that everything you dislike must be wrong is automatically ruled out as an option, could you please stop posting useless tripe? The world would be a better place once people like you get your fingers out of science.

about a month and a half ago
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Nearly 25 Years Ago, IBM Helped Save Macintosh

dissy Re:PPC macs were awful (236 comments)

I have to call bullshit.

I still have a Powermac 6100 that had an OS install (aka upgrade) when I first got it, and the thing is still sitting in my spare room and gets booted up once every 4-6 months or so purely for myself and friends to nostalgiabate over the BBS it still hosts.

That OS install is going on 22 or 23 years now.

My latest Powerbook is about 5 or 6 years old now, maybe a couple more. I've performed 2 upgrades to OS X and never a single reinstall.
The thing has out lived Apple selling replacement batteries and outlived two 3rd party batteries, and currently lives at my moms house as a small desktop for email and web browsing using the latest Firefox.

I've never encountered a Windows XP system that lived longer than 2 years, and those were special cases as most get crapped up in under 6 months when the end user has admin rights.

It hasn't been until Windows 7 that anyone not batshit insane would place the word stable next to "Windows Desktop".
I'll grant a batshit insane exception for the handful of people that were using Windows 2000 as desktops back then and knew what they were doing, but I've seen plenty of 2000 crapups needing a reinstall too.
Windows Server 2003 seems decently stable if you treat it like a server and not a desktop, but being honest with yourself you have to admit hardly anyone did that.
Seeing as the desktop pairing to 2003 was XP, and XP failed more often than not and for less reason than "none at all" which is what most peoples experiences are with, it's ingenious at best to compare the Mac OS or OS X experience with anything but desktop OSes.

about a month and a half ago
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Nearly 25 Years Ago, IBM Helped Save Macintosh

dissy Re:Pairing? (236 comments)

MacOS definitely had its flaws, but as user of both since version 1.0 of both, I will take a Macintosh CS (current in 1991) running MacOS 6.8 or 7.0 ANYTIME over a Windows 3.11 386 machine.

Personally I would wait a year and a half for 1993 and get a Mac LC, then spring for a PDS card with 386 CPU.
Then you can run crappy Windows 2 or 3 natively to avoid the ignorant stares and comments by co-workers aged -5 to -15(*) who will run to post comments on slashdot, yet also be able to switch over to Mac OS to get real work done.
* No I can't believe kids making such comments today are more than 15 years old right now...

It is pretty hilarious however about all these kids complaining about MS Office. With the setup above MS Office is only available for Mac, for Windows 2 or 3 you would need WordPerfect instead since Microsoft had no office suite to run on their own OS.
Not that I'm bashing WordPerfect at all, but if MS Office is the extent of the argument then your only option for at home would be a Mac.

about a month and a half ago
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Two Big Dark Matter Experiments Gain US Support

dissy Re:Dark Matter = Phlogiston (37 comments)

When your theory of the Universe doesn't work, just make shit up until it does.

You mean like you just did?

If you believe dark matter does not exist, then why do we see it? Why do we also see it affecting other things? What in your limited opinion is causing that?

If you are attempting to claim an existing force or particle is causing those effects, then why does that violate the known definitions of all forces and particles known?

Why exactly do you believe a force that has characteristics not matching any existing forces would be anything other than a new force?

If you want to claim this force is an existing one, the burden of proof as to why it doesn't match up to any known force yet somehow is one of those forces is all on your head buddy.

Either explain up, or stop bitching about people who know what they are doing that claim it is a new force.

about a month and a half ago
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How a Supercomputer Beat the Scrap Heap and Lived On To Retire In Africa

dissy Re: Really now (145 comments)

One of my favorite Michael Faraday stories (of which there are variants) is a visit to his lab by Prime Minister Robert Peel, during which Peel asked "what use is electricity?" Faraday replied "what use is a new-born baby?"

As Faraday licks the BBQ sauce off his slightly burnt fingertips, answering both questions at the same time.

about a month and a half ago
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'Hidden From Google' Remembers the Sites Google Is Forced To Forget

dissy Re:Awesome! (163 comments)

Perhaps you'll be the victim of slander and lose your career over a lie that is interesting enough to go viral where your vindication isn't and doesn't.

Slander and lies posted about you aren't the topic at hand however.
You missed the opportunity to argue over those laws a few hundred years ago bub.

Today we are discussing new laws not involving lies or slander, but where it is illegal to post provably factual truths about others.

Statements such as "ShieldW0lf on Slashdot has UID 601553" being declared illegal by making a simple email request are what we are talking about.

about a month and a half ago
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'Hidden From Google' Remembers the Sites Google Is Forced To Forget

dissy Re:This guy is going to be so rich (163 comments)

Sure he may be sued multiple times, but I would assume he is aware of that and has no EU business dealings.
Being in New Jersey and thus the US, he need only say "There is no law I am in violation of, and the plaintiff has admitted such by quoting nothing but laws from some other country." The case will be instantly thrown out.

After a few cases of being sued over laws that don't exist, he may even be able to convince a judge that the default ruling should be in his favor instead, and then not even need to attend!

I simply can't believe he would go into this while having EU business dealings, as that is the one and only reason Google is even removing the listings in the first place - they do, and don't want to be in violation of EU law.

about a month and a half ago
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Leaked Build of Windows 9 Shows Start Menu Return

dissy Re:Fuck Tiles! (346 comments)

My notes on the registry hack reference:
http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/q...

I do remember using that in the dev preview, but I didn't muck around much in the consumer preview at all.
The confusing way they word the first paragraph must have been what lead me to believe the same trick would work in the consumer preview as well.

about a month and a half ago
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Leaked Build of Windows 9 Shows Start Menu Return

dissy Re:Fuck Tiles! (346 comments)

It's probably worth noting that in the Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 "leaks", technical previews, and consumer previews - ALL had the ability to enable a start menu by changing a registry key from 0 to 1, and ALL had that option removed in the final builds.

I have no reason to believe 9 will be different until after the grand master image is released to OEMs.

about a month and a half ago

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