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Comments

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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 two weeks 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 three weeks 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 three weeks 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 three weeks 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 a month and a half 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 a month and a half 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 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 2 months ago
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Kentucky: Programming Language = Foreign Language

hweimer Re:you know (426 comments)

I'm an old fart, but I really don't like the recent trend in colleges - and now high schools - where we're apparently moving towards a completely utilitarian education and away from attempting to develop well-rounded individuals and citizens.

I totally agree with your statement in general; but in today's society being a well-rounded individual mandates some sort of programming skills. For instance, how can you possibly understand what the free software movement is about when you have never written a single line of code in your life?

about 3 months ago
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FSF's Richard Stallman Calls LLVM a 'Terrible Setback'

hweimer Re:...but if you want free software to improve... (1098 comments)

Why is LLVM replacing GCC?

Is it? Is anyone besides Apple switching from GCC to LLVM as their default compiler? Are more people having trouble to compile stuff using GCC because developers use LLVM extensions than vice versa? Is there any other sign that LLVM is actually replacing GCC?

about 3 months ago
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Linus Torvalds: Any CLA Is Fundamentally Broken

hweimer Re:For a noted pragmatist, Linus is dead wrong... (279 comments)

Yeah, explain that to me in 10 years when some court rules that contributions under the GPL are illegal to distribute due to some legal deficiency in the license.

Actually, it is much more likely that a CLA will be found to be unenforcable than the text of a well-established software license. In fact, CLAs requiring copyright assignment are probably void in large parts of the world, meaning you are back to square one.

about 3 months ago
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If I Had a Hammer

hweimer It's politics, not technology (732 comments)

I don't buy that the demise of the median worker has anything to do with technological progress. If the average income increases steadily and the median declines, it simply means that a society has problems to fairly allocate its resources. Since people making less than the median typically also make up 50% of the electorate, it looks like these people are voting against their own interests (or do not vote at all). One also has to keep in mind that the events that hurt the median worker the most (deregulation of banks, Bush-style tax cuts, and the whole war on terror) were all political descisions that were completely unrelated to technology.

about 3 months ago
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Why Do Projects Continue To Support Old Python Releases?

hweimer Re:People don't upgrade (432 comments)

We know the security is inferior. We know the stability is often questionable. We know it costs money in purchase and/or ongoing licensing fees. BUT: you pretty much get a guarantee that any code written today will continue to run for at least 10 years (due to specific OS version support for that long) and likely a lot longer than that; due to API support normally extending even further. Re-writing shit just because the platform changed costs real world time and money.

Red Hat offers support for their distribution for up to 13 years. If you want, you can still get support for Python 2.2, which was released in 2001.

about 3 months ago
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The Internet's Network Efficiencies Are Destroying the Middle Class

hweimer Re:Instagram didn't replace Kodak (674 comments)

I think you might be missing the point. He's saying that the new information/digital economy requires less people to run it and is therefore reducing the overall number of jobs.

The emprical evidence for this claim is extremely weak, to say the least. The total number of hours worked is pretty much on par with population growth, so despite the enormous increase in automatization in recent decades, the workforce as a whole appears to be able to adapt to it quite well.

about 3 months ago
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Red Hat To Help Develop CentOS

hweimer Re:Redhat/CentOS is no substitute for Ubuntu deskt (186 comments)

I suspect few desktop users run an OS targeted for "servers" where stability is the number one goal?

Actually, I used to be working on a CentOS workstation for quite some time and it was a very pleasant experience. The only issue I remember is that I had to manually compile some applications to be able to watch soccer streams during EURO 2012, but I'm pretty sure people at the IT department saw this as a feature rather than a bug ...

about 3 months ago
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NSA Trying To Build Quantum Computer

hweimer Re:Some background facts (221 comments)

The key words you used are "most likely" and at least you're honest enough to use them. There is no mathematical proof that any cipher (other than the one-time pad) is resistant to all as-yet-unknown quantum algorithms. That doesn't mean that they are actually vulnerable - only that we cannot know with certainty whether they are.

That's the usual situation in complexity theory and it applies to classical algorithms as well. There is also no proof that quantum computers are actually superior to classical computers when it comes to cryptanalysis. Still, most people believe this to be true.

People seem to under-estimate the NSA's capabilities here when I talk to them. They employ a lot of really smart people, and they have the benefits of reading all the public literature as well as all the classified stuff that their academic peers cannot read.

Remember that we're talking about actual physical devices that need to be built and being really smart only helps you somewhat when you need to solder electronics or align a laser. And so far, the NSA employs hardly any physicists which you can also tell from the fact that they've outsourced the research mentioned in the documents to a public university. This is very different than in mathematics or computer science, where it is well known that the NSA is a large employer. That being said, I still think that the NSA might possess some interesting knowledge on quantum computing. I wouldn't be too surprised if they were sitting on an efficient quantum algorithm breaking AES, for instance.

about 3 months ago

Submissions

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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 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 4 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 5 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 5 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  |  about 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 5 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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Open Source Quantum Simulator Gets a Boost

hweimer hweimer writes  |  more than 6 years ago

hweimer writes "The libquantum Development Team proudly announces the release of libquantum 0.9.1. With this release, the free high-performance quantum simulation library not only covers quantum computing, but allows to simulate arbitrary problems within quantum mechanics as well."
Link to Original Source

Journals

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