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Where To Start In DIY Electronics?

holy_calamity Re:Hackerspaces (301 comments)

Finding your local hacker space should be one of your first steps. Members pay a small subscription that pays for the rental of a workshop/meeting space you can use anytime, complete with tools and more.

There are quite a few in the UK now and they'll provide all kinds of support:

- a place to work on projects
- communal tools and components
- friendly people to help you learn/solve problems

more than 4 years ago
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Dutch Study Says Filesharing Has Positive Economic Effects

holy_calamity Re:Always the dutch .... (336 comments)

The Welsh didn't really get colonial with the part of Argentina you're thinking of, they simply went to live there, encouraged by the Argentinian government.

more than 5 years ago
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OLPC Downsizes Half of Its Staff, Cuts Sugar

holy_calamity Re:why away from linux (379 comments)

I've always wondered why, given Mark Shuttleworth's focus on Africa and providing computing to the poor, that OLPC didn't hook up with Ubuntu. Surely tapping that community to create a version - OLPCbuntu? - for the XO would have made more sense.

more than 5 years ago
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New Font Uses Holes To Cut Ink Use

holy_calamity Re:Practicality? (540 comments)

You're not getting it. Those are speed holes. They make the font faster.

Gentoo users can tweak the eco-font with --omfg-so-green and --funroll-loops to make it both faster still, and even better for the environment.

more than 5 years ago
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Unix Dict/grep Solves Left-Side-of-Keyboard Puzzle

holy_calamity Re:what? (423 comments)

Brad stared at Debra, a sweet stewardess, as Debra's stewardess cart swerved. "Tea?" Debra greeted Brad. Brad's face creased as Debra stared. Brad detested tea....

Nice - except for all that right-side punctuation.

more than 5 years ago
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McCain Answers Science Policy Questionnaire

holy_calamity Re:Innovation (829 comments)

"When you control the *tubes* you should be able to get profit from your investment."

There, fixed that for you.

about 6 years ago

Submissions

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Google opens new lab to work on quantum computing hardware

holy_calamity holy_calamity writes  |  about a month ago

holy_calamity (872269) writes "Google is opening a new lab in Santa Barbara to develop quantum computing hardware, reports MIT Technology Review. Respected University of California Santa Barbara researcher John Martinis is joining the company and will lead an effort to improve on a controversial technology Google has been experimenting with since 2009. That technology comes from startup D-Wave System, which sells what it calls "the first commercial quantum computer". Google bought one last year, but independent tests haven't found evidence it makes use of quantum effects. Martinis is to design and build new versions of the kind of chip at the heart of D-Wave's machines."
Link to Original Source
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Building Crypto-Backed Abuse Controls into Surveillance Databases

holy_calamity holy_calamity writes  |  about 6 months ago

holy_calamity (872269) writes "Techniques for working on encrypted data are advanced enough to bake strict privacy and abuse protections into surveillance systems used by agencies like the NSA, says one Microsoft researcher. As proof of concept, he designed a system called MetaCrypt that allows searching of phone call metadata without having to decrypt it. The only time records can be decrypted is if when they come back as the result of a specific kind of approved search. Unfortunately, such ideas seem unlikely to be adopted by U.S. intelligence agencies. The NSA previously rejected a much milder version of the idea, which automatically encrypted U.S. citizens' information."
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Researchers Find Problems With Rules of Bitcoin

holy_calamity holy_calamity writes  |  about 6 months ago

holy_calamity (872269) writes "Using game theory to analyze the rules of cryptocurrency Bitocin suggests some changes are needed to make the currency sustainable in the long term, reports MIT Technology Review. Studies from Princeton and Cornell found that current rules governing the mining of bitcoins and limiting the total number of bitcoins that can exist at 21 million leave room for cheats or encourage behavior that could destabilize the currency. Such changes could be difficult to implement, given the fact Bitcoin — by design — lacks any central authority."
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Building Deception Into Encryption Software

holy_calamity holy_calamity writes  |  about 8 months ago

holy_calamity (872269) writes "MIT Technology Review reports on a new cryptosystem designed to protect stolen data against attempts to break encryption by brute force guessing of the password or key. Honey Encryption serves up plausible fake data in response to every incorrect guess of the password. If the attacker does eventually guess correctly, the real data should be lost amongst the crowd of spoof data. Ari Juels, who invented the technique and was previously chief scientist at RSA, is working on software to protect password managers using the technique."
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Wikipedia's Participation Problem

holy_calamity holy_calamity writes  |  about a year ago

holy_calamity (872269) writes "More people use Wikipedia than ever but the number of people contributing to the project has declined by a third since 2007, and it still has significant gaps in its quality and coverage. MIT Technology Review reports on the troubled efforts to make the site more welcoming to newcomers, which Jimmy Wales says must succeed if Wikipedia is to address its failings."
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Fake Social Network Offers an Inside Look at Chinese Censorship

holy_calamity holy_calamity writes  |  1 year,14 days

holy_calamity (872269) writes "Harvard researchers went undercover to provide the most detailed look yet inside China's online censorship, MIT Technology Review Reports. By setting up a website in China and contracting with a major Internet company they got get first hand access to the automated censorship tools offered to website operators. That and experiments with making posts to existing social sites lead the researchers to conclude that China's government-mandated censorship relies on a thriving competitive market for software and services aimed at Web companies trying to censor their users in the most efficient way possible."
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Math Advance Suggest RSA Encryption Could Fall Within 5 years

holy_calamity holy_calamity writes  |  about a year ago

holy_calamity (872269) writes "The two encryption systems used to secure the most important connections and digital files could become useless within years, reports MIT Technology Review, due to progress towards solving the discrete logarithm problem. Both RSA and Diffie-Hellman encryption rely on there being no efficient algorithm for that problem, but French math professor Antoine Joux has published two papers in the last six months that suggest one could soon be found. Security researchers that noticed Joux's work recommend companies large and small begin planning to move to elliptic curve cryptography, something the NSA has said is best practice for years. Unfortunately, key patents for implementing elliptic curve cryptography are controlled by BlackBerry."
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Hacking Group Linked to Chinese Army Caught Attacking Dummy Water Plant

holy_calamity holy_calamity writes  |  about a year ago

holy_calamity (872269) writes "MIT Technology Review reports that APT1, the China-based hacking group said to steal data from U.S. companies, has been caught taking over a decoy water plant control system. The honeypot mimicked the remote access control panels and physical control system of a U.S. municipal water plant. The decoy was one of 12 set up in 8 countries around the world, which together attracted more than 70 attacks, 10 of which completely compromised the control system. China and Russia were the leading sources of the attacks. The researcher behind the study says his results provide the first clear evidence that people actively seek to exploit the many security problems of industrial systems."
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Microsoft's Cooperation With NSA Either Voluntary, Or Reveals New Legal Tactic

holy_calamity holy_calamity writes  |  about a year ago

holy_calamity (872269) writes "When Microsoft re-engineered its online services to assist NSA surveillance programs, the company was either acting voluntarily, or under a new kind of court order, reports MIT Technology Review. Existing laws were believed to shelter companies from being forced to modify their systems to aid surveillance, but experts say the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court may now have a new interpretation. Microsoft's statement about its cooperation with NSA surveillance doesn't make it clear whether it acted under legal duress, or simply decided that to helping out voluntarily was in its best interest."
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Technology, Not Law, Limits Mass Surveillance

holy_calamity holy_calamity writes  |  about a year ago

holy_calamity (872269) writes "U.S. citizens have historically been protected from government surveillance by technical limits, not legal ones, writes independent security researcher Ashkan Soltani at MIT Tech Review. He claims that recent leaks show that technical limits are loosening, fast, with data storage and analysis cheap and large Internet services taking care of data collection for free. "Spying no longer requires following people or planting bugs, but rather filling out forms to demand access to an existing trove of information," writes Soltani."
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Bitcoin's Success With Investors Alienates Earliest Adopters

holy_calamity holy_calamity writes  |  about a year ago

holy_calamity (872269) writes "Digital currency Bitcoin is gaining acceptance with mainstream venture capitalists, reports Technology Review, but at the price of its famed anonymity and ability to operate without central authority. Technology investors have now ploughed millions of dollars into a handful of Bitcoin-based payments and financial companies that are careful to follow financial regulations and don't offer anonymity. That's causing tensions in the community of Bitcoin enthusiasts, some of whom feel their currency's success has involved abandoning its most important features."
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Developers Begin Hunt for A Killer App for Google Glass

holy_calamity holy_calamity writes  |  about a year and a half ago

holy_calamity writes "Companies large and small are working to create the first "killer app" for Google Glass, the wearable display to go on sale later this year, reports MIT Technology Review. Evernote is among large companies that got early access to prototypes and has been testing ideas for some time, but is staying quiet about its plans. Meanwhile new startups with apps for Glass are being created and funded, although uncertainty about whether consumers will embrace the technology has steered them towards commercial and industrial ideas, such as apps for for doctors and maintenance technicians."
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Data espionage sleuths aim to put Chinese companies in court

holy_calamity holy_calamity writes  |  about a year and a half ago

holy_calamity writes "Accusations that China is stealing corporate secrets have become commonplace, now a startup called CrowdStrike says it can gather firm enough evidence for victims to take legal action against those being fed information copied from their networks. Led by veterans of the FBI and McAfee, the company uses techniques such as planting fake data and embedding "beacons" into documents that send back traces of where they end up. Most infiltration of U.S. firms is by the Chinese military, which passes along what it finds to state-owned and allied industries, cofounder Dmitri Alperovitch told Technology Review. "You can’t do a lot against the PLA, but you can do a lot against that company," he says. Alperovitch says the some clients are already considering launching legal action or asking for government sanctions based on evidence provided by Crowdstrike."
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The Malware Industrial Complex

holy_calamity holy_calamity writes  |  about a year and a half ago

holy_calamity writes "MIT Technology Review reports that efforts by U.S. government agencies and defense contractors to develop malware to attack enemies is driving a black market in zero-day vulnerabilities. Experts warn that could make the internet less secure for everyone, since malicious code is typically left behind on targeted systems and often shows up on untargeted ones, providing opportunities for reverse engineering."
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Race to mine bitcoins drives enthusiasts into the chip making business

holy_calamity holy_calamity writes  |  about 2 years ago

holy_calamity writes "MIT Technology Review looks at the small companies attempting to build dedicated chips to mining bitcoins. Several are claiming they will start selling hardware based on their chips early in 2013, with the technology expected to force many small time miners to give up. However, as happened in the CPU industry, miners may soon be caught in an expensive arms race that pushes development of faster and faster chips."
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French Company Building a Mobile Internet Just for Things

holy_calamity holy_calamity writes  |  about 2 years ago

holy_calamity writes "France now has a dedicated cellular data network just for Internet of Things devices, and the company that built it is rolling out the technology elsewhere, says MIT Technology Review. SigFox's network is slower than a conventional cellular data network, but built using technology able to make much longer range links and operate on unlicensed spectrum. Those features are intended to allow the service to be cheap enough for low cost sensors on energy infrastructure and many other places to make sense, something not possible on a network shared with smartphones and other consumer devices."
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Moore's Law is becoming irrelevant, says ARM's boss

holy_calamity holy_calamity writes  |  about 2 years ago

holy_calamity (872269) writes "PCs will inevitably shift over to ARM-based chips because efficiency now matters more than gains in raw performance, the CEO of chip designer ARM tells MIT Technology Review. He also claims that the greater competition in the ARM-chip will cause more companies to follow Microsoft in building PCs without x86, as it did with the Surface tablet, for cost reasons."
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Google Puts Souped-up Neural Networks to Work

holy_calamity holy_calamity writes  |  about 2 years ago

holy_calamity (872269) writes "A machine learning breakthrough from Google researchers that grabbed headlines this summer is now being put to work improving the company's products. The company revealed in June that it had built neural networks that run on 16,000 processors simultaneously, enough power that they could learn to recognize cats just by watching YouTube. Those neural nets have now made Google's speech recognition for US English 25 percent better, and are set to be used in other products, such as image search."
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Inside Facebook data mining research group

holy_calamity holy_calamity writes  |  more than 2 years ago

holy_calamity writes "Technology Review has an in depth profile of the team at Facebook tasked with figuring out what can be learned from all our data. The Data Science Team mine that information trove both in the name of scientific research into the patterns of human behavior and to advance Facebook's understanding of its users. Facebook's ad business gets the most public attention, but the company's data mining technology may have a greater effect on its destiny — and users lives."
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