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Comments

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Researcher Finds Hidden Data-Dumping Services In iOS

hweimer Re:DON'T PANIC (98 comments)

So, please, tell us, how are Android, Windows or BlackBerry phones any better?

Many Android vendors have well-documented procedures how to unlock the bootloader of the device and install a custom ROM, which can be mostly built from source (the remaining proprietary blobs come from non-US companies and/or are unlikely to contain backdoors because of the greatly reduced codebase). None of the other major players allow this.

about a week ago
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TSA Prohibits Taking Discharged Electronic Devices Onto Planes

hweimer Re:Incoming international flights (702 comments)

Where have you ever been re-screened after boarding the first flight.

Just a few examples off the top of my head:

  • FRA always has re-screening when you change from non-Schengen to Schengen
  • MUC usually has re-screening right before the gate for US-bound flights
  • IIRC, SIN has re-screening at every gate
  • When you change between carriers that operate out of different terminals, you usually have re-screening because most airports do not have a connected security area.
  • Or, of course, if you have to change airports within a city, like the infamous LHR-LGW run

about three weeks ago
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IeSF Wants International Game Tournaments Segregated By Sex [Updated]

hweimer Re:interesting times... (221 comments)

so a lot of people think that there should be no gender seperation in shooting sport competitions, and I tend to agree. but for some reason, the top females can never quite break into the top levels with the top males.

This is simply not true. Margeret Murdock won a silver medal at the 1976 Olympics (she lost the battle for gold under very controversial circumstances) and set four individual world records. In the eighties, most shooting sports became gender-segregated, the only exceptions being skeet and trap, which became gender-segregated right after a woman (Zhang Shan) had won the gold medal in the skeet competition in 1992. There are other examples as well.

So, if today's women are no longer competitive with men, then that's certainly a consequence of gender segregation and not an argument for it.

about a month ago
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Half of Germany's Power Supplied By Solar, Briefly

hweimer Re:Thanks for pointing out the "briefly" part. (461 comments)

If newer plants were that much safer, you could buy insurance for them. The fact that you can't makes it very obvious that even these newer plants are inherently unsafe.

about a month ago
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Mayday Anti-PAC On Its Second Round of Funding

hweimer Re:How does it work? (247 comments)

From what I understand, their goal as a SuperPAC is to pour money into congressional races to help reform candidates win, with the ultimate goal of having them pass campaign finance laws that limit the influence of SuperPACs.

So, the winning move for any candidate is to support reform until elected and then make a reversal and enjoy the windfall from the status quo. How are they going to prevent that?

about a month and a half ago
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First Browser-Based Quantum Computer Simulator Released

hweimer Re:Neat! (61 comments)

Isn't it ironic that a consumer graphics card can simulate more qubits than most actual quantum computers have right now?

No. If it were the other way around then quantum computing wouldn't be an open research problem but a multi-billion dollar industry.

about 2 months ago
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Linux Sucks (Video)

hweimer Re:Linux really does have serious issues (293 comments)

Your issues have quite simple fixes:

Applications: Typical GNU/Linux distributions provide at least 10,000 packages. It's ridiculous to claim that "there is nothing on the OS that does what they want to do". Applications might be somewhat different from their Windows equivalents, but time spent on getting familiar with them is a better investment than fiddling around with Wine.

Hardware: Only buy stuff that has been certified to work with Linux. Easy.

Unity/Gnome 3: Well, if you don't like it, then don't use it. There are plenty of other distributions supporting alternative desktop environments.

about 2 months ago
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Hacker Holds Key To Free Flights

hweimer Re:Bullshit (144 comments)

Now if you could free ticket i would be downright impressed.

Free ticket is easy. Just buy a ticket online and use someone else's bank account data (which should work in most of Europe via SEPA direct debit). Bank account data is widely availabe on the web, as this is generally not thought to be highly sensitive information. If you do it shortly before the flight, the account holder will most likely not notice what's going on to have the ticket cancelled in time.

For bonus points, you can get the ticket issued under a pseudonym and alter the boarding pass to match your real name, so whenever you get asked for ID you won't get into trouble. The only thing where this won't work is when you want to check luggage (or, when flying to the U.S.), as there people will match your ID against what is actually stored in the airline's database.

Of course, if you do this without the bank account holder's consent, this is plain old direct debit fraud. So kids, don't do this at home.

about 4 months ago
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The 3D Economy — What Happens When Everyone Prints Their Own Shoes?

hweimer Re:Beta Sucks (400 comments)

We live in an economy of mass computing, because it is way, way cheaper to perform a calculation on a mainframe than a microcomputer on your desk.

In areas where there really is mass computing (i.e., heavy number crunching), this statement is actually true.

Most of the arguments against 3D printers are essentially the same as though used against early microcomputers. Yes, those early microcomputers were never going to change the world, but their descendants sure have.

Microcomputers slaughtered mainframes in the marketplace because there was not widespread network for information transfer that mainframes could benefit from. Now we have this network and people are moving towards centralized computing facilities (the "cloud"). For physical goods, such distribution networks have been in place even longer so there's no economic benefit from switching to hyperlocal manufacturing.

about 3 months ago
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The 3D Economy — What Happens When Everyone Prints Their Own Shoes?

hweimer Not gonna happen (400 comments)

We live in an economy of mass production because it is way, way cheaper per unit to produce stuff in very large quantities. Even if 3D printing should become the way of manufucturing in the future, we'll still go the big-box retailer for our shoes and get a 3D-printed one from the shelf (or order them online) rather than printing them at home.

about 4 months ago
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Ask Slashdot: How To Handle Unfixed Linux Accessibility Bugs?

hweimer Pay for the fix here (266 comments)

You can put up a bounty for this bug here. Right now, Bountysource accepts only Google Wallet and Paypal, but support for Bitcoins is in the works.

about 4 months ago
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The Rise and Fall of Supersymmetry

hweimer Re:SUSY isn't dead yet. (138 comments)

However, the observed Higgs mass of 126GeV is a sweet spot which allows the mass of the lightest SUSY particle to be far greater than the LHC can produce. It'll take a few more colliders before we can dismiss SUSY completely.

The main motivation behind SUSY is that it solves the fine-tuning problem associated with electroweak symmetry breaking. But if SUSY itself is fine-tuned, this solution creates the same problems that it was intended to solve.

BTW: The largest constraint on SUSY partner masses does not come from the $9bn LHC, but from the ACME collaboration's measurement of the electron electric dipole moment, a $6M tabletop atomic physics experiment.

about 5 months ago
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U.S. Students/Grads Carrying Over $1 Trillion In Debt

hweimer Re:Right, but you're not answering my question (538 comments)

What are the alternatives for those of use that aren't very lucky.

Go to a good university in Europe that doesn't have tuition fees.

about 5 months ago
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Blood Test of 4 Biomarkers Predicts Death Within 5 Years

hweimer Likely death not likely (104 comments)

Death is a quite rare thing; ignoring age and other factors, the probability of someone to die within five years is less than 5%. Even when you belong to the top 20% in terms of risk, the probability of death is just 15%, so you're much more likely to be alive than dead after this time. And for what it's worth, the biomarkers are strongly correlated with other factors like "does this person have cancer?", so that in the end the authors say that their new model is just 4% better than previously used models.

about 5 months ago
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Complete Microsoft EMET Bypass Developed

hweimer Re:Can someone explain... (116 comments)

As far as I can see, they do not rely on a specific IE vulnerability for inserting the payload, but they rely on a specific (and fixed) Windows vulnerability to bypass ASLR, which is a crucial component of EMET. They claim in a footnote that the "IE flaw could be modified to leak the base address of a DLL in another way", but they do not provide a working exploit that does so.

about 5 months ago
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The Higgs Boson Re-Explained By the Mick Jagger of Physics

hweimer Re:Still not quite correct. (94 comments)

Further issues:

1. The claim that theories should contain certain symmetries because of aesthetic perceptions is misguided. The standard model, the most successful physical theory ever written down by mankind, is ugly as shit.

2. Symmetry does not protect reality from divergence.

3. It is wrong that without the Higgs, there would be no mass and we all would die. For the gauge bosons of the weak force, this would be true, but all leptons and quarks surrounding us can simply be described by a conventional mass term, as this doesn't break local gauge invariance.

about 5 months ago
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Mathematician: Is Our Universe a Simulation?

hweimer Re:This explains quantum physics (745 comments)

Quantum physics seems to be the ultimate proof that the universe is a simulation.

World record for simulation of classical physics: 10 billion particles
World record for simulation of quantum physics: 42 particles

If I had to run a simulation of an entire universe, I'd rather not make it quantum.

about 5 months ago
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First Evidence That Google's Quantum Computer May Not Be Quantum After All

hweimer Re:A quick overview (224 comments)

You are a quantum system. You can be sent through a double slit a zillion times and you will start forming interference patterns on the screen. But when interviewed, you will report that not once did you go through both slits at once.

This is not possible. In order to be able to answer the question to the interviewer, you have to store the information about which way you went somewhere (e.g., in your spin). This creates entanglement between your position and your spin and destroys the interference pattern.

about 6 months ago
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Crypto Legend Quisquater Targeted - But NSA May Not Be To Blame

hweimer Crypto Legend? (57 comments)

This guy's Wikipedia page basically only mentions that he's famous for being the victim of the alledged attack. So he's been chosen as a target because he is famous for being the target of the same attack? I'd assume a garden variety mass phising attempt is more likely.

about 6 months ago

Submissions

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Amputee is German long jump champion

hweimer hweimer writes  |  2 days ago

hweimer (709734) writes "German long jumper Markus Rehm has written sports history yesterday, becoming the first disabled athlete to win a national able-bodied championship. His jump to 8.24 meters put him on the 9th place of the current season rankings and make him egligible to compete in the upcoming European championships, further sparking the debate whether his prosthetic leg provides him with an unfair advantage."
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Distributed File System for Debian-based Road Warriors?

hweimer hweimer writes  |  about a year ago

hweimer (709734) writes "I manage a small network which includes some clients that are regularly deployed in locations where there is no or only poor internet access. Currently, local copies of data for these clients are created and merged back more or less manually, which naturally creates all sorts of problems. So I'm looking now for a distributed file system so that each client has always access to a local copy, which is automatically re-synced once it comes back online. Storage space is not critical, nor is obscene read/write performance. An additional requirement is that it has to be included in Debian, at least in the upcoming "wheezy" release. Any recommendations?"
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130,000 Scientists Warn Against EU Research Budget Cuts

hweimer hweimer writes  |  about a year and a half ago

hweimer writes "In leading up to the European Union summit deciding on its future budget, 130,000 scientists (including 44 Nobel laureates) are warning against cuts on the research budget. In 2006, EU research funding was already slashed by 30%, much more than cuts to sectors such as agriculture or infrastructure development. If you are a scientist, there is still time to join the open letter to the EU member states governments."
Link to Original Source
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Tablet with root access by default?

hweimer hweimer writes  |  more than 2 years ago

hweimer writes "I am looking for a small (7") tablet that comes with root access out of the box. I know, I could get one of the usual suspects and root it myself, but I don't want to waste my time in the process and end up voiding my warranty. Basically, I'd like to use it for web browsing, reading PDFs and accessing my e-mails via SSH (extra bonus for X11 forwarding). Any good suggestions, or should I wait for Tizen devices to hit the market?"
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All French nuclear reactors deemed unsafe

hweimer hweimer writes  |  more than 2 years ago

hweimer writes "A new study by a French government agency, commissioned in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, found that all French nuclear power plants do not offer adequate safety when it comes to flooding, earthquakes, power outages, failure of the cooling systems and operational management of accidents. While there is no need for immediate shutdown, the
agency presses for the problems to be fixed quickly. France gets about 80% of its power from nuclear energy and is a major exporter of nuclear technology."

Link to Original Source
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OpenOffice tops 20% market share in Germany

hweimer hweimer writes  |  more than 4 years ago

hweimer (709734) writes "A novel study analyzes the install base of various office packages among German users. While Microsoft Office comes out top (72%), open source rival OpenOffice is already installed on 21.5% of all PCs and growing. The authors use a clever method to determine the installed office suites of millions of web users: they look for the availability of characteristic fonts being shipped with the various suites. What surprised me the most is that they found hardly any difference in the numbers for home and business users."
Link to Original Source
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Microsoft to Get Malware Bailout in Germany

hweimer hweimer writes  |  more than 4 years ago

hweimer (709734) writes "Germany is getting a call center to help Windows users with malware infections. I think this has the effect of being a malware bailout for Microsoft, discouraging them and other software companies from writing better code and giving users little incentives to switch to more secure alternatives. How much government money is needed to run the call center is also not revealed."
Link to Original Source
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Exotic Molecule Observed

hweimer hweimer writes  |  more than 5 years ago

hweimer writes "Researchers at the University of Stuttgart in Germany have observed a molecule based on a completely novel binding mechanism. As reported in Nature (preprint), the binding occurs because one of the two atoms in the molecule has an electron in a Rydberg state, very far from its nucleus. These molecules can only be seen at ultracold temperatures and high atomic densities, and their observation reaffirms fundamental statements of quantum theory."
Link to Original Source
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Debian GNU/Linux 5.0 ("Lenny") released

hweimer hweimer writes  |  more than 5 years ago

hweimer writes "After 22 months of development, Debian GNU/Linux version 5.0 (codenamed "Lenny") has been released. New features include a port to ARM's EABI architecture, a free-as-in-speech Java implementation based on OpenJDK, and lots of updated software packages. The release is dedicated to the memory of Thiemo Seufer, who died in a tragic car accident last December."
Link to Original Source
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Journals Resolve Copyright Conflict over Wikipedia

hweimer hweimer writes  |  more than 5 years ago

hweimer writes "The American Physical Society (of Physical Review Letters fame) is one of the most important publishers in physics. Recently, they took some heat when they refused to give permission to authors to create derivative works of their publications for open content sites such as Wikipedia. They have now changed their copyright policy, allowing authors to include up to 50% of the published content in derivative works."
Link to Original Source
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Few Banks Use Extended Validation Certificates

hweimer hweimer writes  |  more than 5 years ago

hweimer writes "The latest thing against phishing are extended validation (EV) certificates. Supported by Firefox 3 and Internet Explorer 7, these certificates promise that the site has gone through a more extensive validation of its owner than ordinary SSL certificates. Being a proponent of EV certificates, I conducted a test on how many banks already use them. The surprising result: only thirty percent."
Link to Original Source
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Liberation Fonts Increase Interoperability

hweimer hweimer writes  |  more than 6 years ago

hweimer writes "Most problems when opening Word documents under GNU/Linux are due to missing fonts. Therefore, Red Hat published a set of fonts metric-compatible with the Windows core fonts last year. However, there were some concerns regarding the licensing that prevented many other distros to ship them. We finally managed to settle these problems, leading to better document interoperability for all GNU/Linux users."
Link to Original Source
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Major PC Vendors Push for Open Source Drivers

hweimer hweimer writes  |  more than 6 years ago

hweimer writes "Remember the heat the Linux Foundation took for allegedly not giving enough attention to Desktop Linux? However, the latest events on the foundation's annual summit draw a different picture. Industry heavyweights like Dell, HP and Lenovo 'announced on stage that they will now include wording in their hardware procurement processes to "strongly encourage" the delivery of open source drivers'. The move specifically targets desktop and mobile products."
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MS launching a Patent Ambush on Free Software?

hweimer hweimer writes  |  more than 6 years ago

hweimer writes "Yesterday, Microsoft and Milan-based Sourcesense announced they collaborate to contribute code to Apache POI, a Java library for manipulating Microsoft Office files. I think this collaboration has two possible consequences: either it will turn POI into the greatest patent laundry of all time, or it will help Microsoft to launch a patent ambush on the project. Feel free to decide which one is more likely."
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Version Control for Scientific Writing?

hweimer hweimer writes  |  more than 6 years ago

hweimer writes "After having written a few papers with several co-authors each I have learned to enjoy the benefits of a version control system. Personally, I prefer Subversion for the job, however there are still annoyances like merging various BibTeX files with incompatible index styles. What are your solutions for making life easier? Do you use any custom code like hook scripts in Subversion?"
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Disney Forces Cancellation of Metal Concerts

hweimer hweimer writes  |  more than 6 years ago

hweimer writes "Several heavy metal concerts scheduled to take place in clubs located on Disney park property in Anaheim and Orlando have been cancelled due to pressure from the entertainment giant. With only a few days notice, some concerts could be moved to other venues, while some had to be nixed completely. Maybe someone should have told them that metal isn't just for stupid morons."
Link to Original Source

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