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Google Offers Cash For Security Fixes To Linux and Other FOSS Projects

imlepid Re:Wrong Approach (94 comments)

Yes, I think that's true, but competitions will help focus minds. Most competitions will last a few years, including a period of laying out the requirements.

I envision a new protocol to replace 3 remote security functions: SSL/TLS, IPSec, and SSH. I think SSH is the most secure of the three of those today but they could all three use a rethink.

The ultimate goal, though, is not to do this as a separate project but as a unified community effort like the NIST competitions (see Standards).

about a year ago

Google Offers Cash For Security Fixes To Linux and Other FOSS Projects

imlepid Wrong Approach (94 comments)

We don't need "software updates that improve the security of OpenSSL", we need a whole new protocol.

If you really want to be helpful, Google, provide support and coordinate a competition to create a new SSL protocol, à la AES and SHA-3. Then we could make progress towards truly better security.

about a year ago

Obama Asks FCC To Make Carriers Unlock All Mobile Devices

imlepid Re:Not "ours" (378 comments)

I think you've hit on an area that needs reform.

My organization has about 4000 phone numbers which we can assign as we please (DIDs) and a /16 IP address block. For the DIDs we're locked in to a particular carrier, with the /16 since it's an assignment from a regional registry (ARIN) which means we can go to any carrier and advertise that out via BGP. Why shouldn't we be able to do the same with phone numbers?

(Obviously, this is much easier now with SIP than it has been with prior technologies, but I haven't heard of calls for reform on this front.)

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: What Magazines Do You Still Read?

imlepid Re:The Economist (363 comments)

I found it hard to complete every issue every week until I discovered the aforementioned audio edition. Now my drive to work is much more bearable (bordering on a pleasure!). If you have a short (or no) commute, YMMV of course. :)

about a year ago

Why It's So Hard To Make a Phone Call In Emergency Situations

imlepid Re:pay phones (179 comments)

Yes, I agree completely. The summary spoke exclusively of cell phones (although the title didn't say so), even the land line phone system will crash under the load during an emergency situation or other unexpected event.

I once tried to call my father (who was at his work) from our home (land line to land line) immediately after a moderate earthquake. The call would not go through because all the lines were taken up. We managed to complete the call and speak to each other after waiting about 15 minutes. Capacity problems are not inherent to the cell network.

about a year ago

Ask Slashdot: What Magazines Do You Still Read?

imlepid The Economist (363 comments)

I read The Economist (every week) and I am constantly amazed by its quality and informativeness. Although, I must mention, I technically don't read most of it since I consume the Audio Edition during my commute to work. The articles I don't get to during the week (because my commute is slightly shorter than the average audio edition length) I typically try to catch up on with the dead-tree edition that is delivered. If the USPS ever ends Saturday delivery that's one thing I'll miss: getting my delivery of the economist before Monday.

The subscription price is a little steep (about US$120), I feel like I could not go without it.

about a year ago

Most Doctors Don't Think Patients Need Full Access To Med Records

imlepid Re:Conspiracy! (659 comments)

All patient records should be open and available to the patient. Those records will have the caveat that they can never be used against the doctor or hospital which produced them. If the credit ratings agencies can claim that their piss poor evaluations of mortgage-backed securities were protected speech then the same can certainty apply to medical records. Establishing this in law is simple and straightforward.

about a year and a half ago

Most Doctors Don't Think Patients Need Full Access To Med Records

imlepid Re:Conspiracy! (659 comments)

I couldn't agree less what what you say. Doctors only have their interest in mind and when I talk to doctors I listen as a skeptic, usually verifying what they say with a lengthy search on the internet (on websites like webmd, mayo clinit, nih/cdc etc) to check for consistency.

ALL your medical records should be open to you, and even better, HANDED to you as you exit the clinic/hospital. HOWEVER, the content of those records should not be used, in any way, against the doctor. It should be protected speech. This would have two effects: 1) the doctors would be more honest with patients 2) Statements like

"Patient is a looney hypochondriac, but has lots of money. Recommend all possible expensive tests."

would disappear in the explicit sense but still be hinted at to those who can read between the lines.

about a year and a half ago

IPv6 Deployment Picking Up Speed

imlepid Re:Provider slowness. (158 comments)

You might be surprised to find out how many people fail in one, if not multiple of the points you mentioned. Take, for example, me:

IPv6 Capable operating systems: Not really. I run Mac OS X 10.6, which, wile "IPv6 capable" does not have support for a critical IPv6 component DHCPv6.
IPv6 Capable router: Not really. My router does not support IPv6 without some serious hacks. Plus it doesn't support DHCP-PD at all.
IPv6 Capable cable modem: Yes, but only because I just (two months ago) bought a new modem.
IPv6 Capable internet service: Yes, and it's been available from my ISP for a long time.

The major problem with the majority of devices is not the "first level" IPv6 support (e.g. ability to get an IPv6 address via SLAAC) but second level and beyond (DHCPv6, etc). IPv6 is a protocol which is still very young and not "fully" supported by most software/hardware, mostly because it is still changing. It will be a long while before IPv6 has the maturity of IPv4. I just laugh when I read marketing drivel with statements like "IPv6 supported!" because until they provide more details, I just assume that it means it can self-assign a link local address and that's all.

about 2 years ago

Khan Academy: the Teachers Strike Back

imlepid Re:Wrong. Classroom PLUS Khan (575 comments)

Wrong. Classroom PLUS Khan

Yes, and there are examples that the Classroom + Khan is an effective model. The Economist has an article describing how the Los Altos school district is using Khan's videos to provide the "dry lecture" which is assigned for homework while classroom time is used for supervised problem solving with the teacher roving about helping any struggling students. That model makes complete sense to me especially since we keep hearing stories about how parent's can't do their kids homework (I've been called in to help my little cousin with her math homework at times when her parents were thoroughly confused).

more than 2 years ago

High School Students Sue Federal Gov't Over Global Warming

imlepid Re:Nonsense (491 comments)

Speaking of things that are unconstitutional, did you know that the American flag is unconstitutional? It's true! Just look in the Constitution: where does it ever say "Congress shall have the power to designate a flag for the nation"? It's not in there! Thus, the American flag is unconstitutional.

I can't find a law passed by Congress that designates the US flag as the US flag.

Try this:

4 USC 1

The flag of the United States shall be thirteen horizontal stripes, alternate red and white; and the union of the flag shall be forty-eight stars, white in a blue field.

more than 2 years ago

NASA Shuttle Discovery Set To Buzz Washington, DC

imlepid Re:This just in... (65 comments)

F16 shoots down space shuttle approaching White House!

Reminds me of the Ali G bit where he asks whether they are prepared that someone might crash a train into the White House

more than 2 years ago

India Turns Down American Fighter Jets, Buys From France

imlepid Re:french military victories (600 comments)

Les Guignols de l'Info (a french mock news show, somewhat like Daily Show but with puppets) had a mock interview with the Priminister of India. The conversation went like this:
Presenter: Why did you choose the Rafale for your air force?
Prime Minister: Because we are a non-violent country.
P: I don't understand...
PM: The French are the only country to produce a non-violent fighter jet...

Time index, 2:04

more than 2 years ago

Ron Paul Suggests Axing 5 U.S. Federal Departments (and Budgets)

imlepid Re:all the better to rebuild plantation economies (2247 comments)

The people at the Dept. of Education (DE) are not elected and are not accountable to the voters.

Since when does not being elected mean they are not accountable? The wonder of political pressure is, if an appointed bureaucrat screws up then the person who appointed them (the President in the case of the Dept. of Education) either sacks the appointee or looses votes.

Washington constantly pushes out unfunded mandates that increase the burden on local schools.

Actually, the real power comes in funded mandates. Which are you most likely to react to: a rule which you get no money to implement or a rule you must implement or they take away $5M from your school? The true problems occur when you're forced to do something or you loose huge piles of cash.

more than 2 years ago

Seigniorage Hack Could Resolve Debt Limit Crisis

imlepid Re:Inflation (696 comments)

Exactly. The inflation becomes a tax on anyone holding currency. Each day, everyone looses some percent of their money's value and the government gains some number of dollars.

Well, not exactly. There are three aspects to the government printing money, a loss to the holders of currency, a gain by the government, and dead-weight loss. If inflation was a direct transfer from money holders to the government then there would be no need to ever raise taxes, but since there is dead-weight loss too (and the dead-weight loss from inflation can be very unpredictable) it is far more efficient (read: popular) to have a codified system of taxes rather than the government simply printing money when needed. Hyperinflation is as bad for governments as it is for the population and thus happens infrequently.

more than 3 years ago

Lawsuit Claims LegalZoom Is Practicing Law Without a License

imlepid Re:No (246 comments)

Yes, I understand and agree with what you say. I think standards bodies are important, but the problem lies in when you are legally required to go with the guild member, even though a non-guild member would do just as good work, but would cost vastly less. Essentially, when you go to a lawyer for a will or something similar, you're getting a paralegal to do the work but paying a lawyer-level price. You have more guarantees (i.e. the member of the bar stands behind the work of the paralegal) but you also have extra costs. It's the laws that are the problem not (existence of) the guild.

more than 3 years ago

Lawsuit Claims LegalZoom Is Practicing Law Without a License

imlepid Re:No (246 comments)

The statute was obviously intended to deal with fake lawyers - yes there are people who will brave the social opprobrium of claiming to be a lawyer in exchange for money.

No, it wasn't. The statute was obviously intended to keep out competition from people like paralegals and other lawyers-lite who can do 90% of what a lawyer does but doesn't actually have a law degree. Don't forget, many (most?) lawmakers are lawyers by training and thus they are very willing to protect the legal profession.

more than 3 years ago

"Do Not Eat iPod Shuffle": 30 Dumb Warning Labels

imlepid External Use Only (143 comments)

I've often marveled at the number of things which come with the warning "For External Use Only". I've seen it posted on things ranging from sunblock to various topical creams. Though I never have, I hope to see it on a box of ear plugs. That would quickly make it to the top of the list of dumb labels.

more than 3 years ago

Government Funded Atomic Clock On a Chip

imlepid Re:OXCOs are cheap and common right now (134 comments)

Yes, you can use OCXOs, but they aren't technically atomic clocks. Further, an OCXO (like the one you showed) requires 1.5W, which doesn't sound like much, but the unit linked to above needs only 100mW. A true atomic clock (a rubidium oscillator, for example) is significantly larger than this unit and also draws much more power (11W, steady state).

All things told, though, a OCXO or rubidium frequency standard from eBay should be good enough for most users.

more than 3 years ago



Help the OED Find a Lost Book

imlepid imlepid writes  |  about a year ago

imlepid (214300) writes "The Oxford English Dictionary is currently undergoing a complete overhaul which includes a reexamination of the 300,000+ entries and citations for those entries. Understandably for a work witch is over 150 years old, some of the sources have become hard to find. One such example is a book titled "Meanderings of Memory" by Nightlark, which is cited 49 times in the OED, including for some rare words. The OED's editorial team has appealed to the public, 'Have you seen a copy of this book?'"

How strong is your password?

imlepid imlepid writes  |  more than 4 years ago

imlepid writes "With more and more websites requiring a minimum of 8+, 10+, or 12+ characters, including requirements of numbers and special characters, a PC Mag article (linking from a blog post)shows us one which seems to be doing the opposite: requiring a weak password. American Express seems to not support--let alone encourage--strong passwords, and, more over, the customer service representative's response to policy includes factual errors about password and security. Here's hoping that all you out there with American Express accounts pick passwords which maximize the 41 bits of possible entropy."
Link to Original Source


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