Slashdot: News for Nerds


Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!



Medical Researcher Rediscovers Integration

robosmurf Re:Ugh (473 comments)

Which is exactly what the paper is about: the trapezoidal rule which it has 'invented' is equivalent to drawing straight lines through the points (pretty much the simplest curve you can get) and integrating.

There are indeed better ways of doing it, but what's interesting is that the paper claims researchers were using techniques that were even worse.

more than 3 years ago

Medical Researcher Rediscovers Integration

robosmurf Re:And he needs a computer to do it for curves (473 comments)

This isn't integration. This is a numeric technique for estimating the area under the curve (the trapezoidal rule). This is a somewhat different branch of mathematics to integral calculus, which deals in the infinitesimal limits to provide exact results. You can't use integral calculus here, as there is no formula to integrate, only experimental results.

It looks like this area is indeed in need of some interdisciplinary communication: what they really need is for a statistician to come up with a robust formula for this taking into account the errors.

more than 3 years ago

Medical Researcher Rediscovers Integration

robosmurf Re:Next Paper .... Simpson's Rule (473 comments)

Though a very valid comment (Simpson's Rule would be better), note that you may not be able to apply Simpson's Rule here directly. The basic form of Simpson's Rule needs evenly spaced sample points, which might not be the case for experimental results.

more than 3 years ago

Medical Researcher Rediscovers Integration

robosmurf Re:Ugh (473 comments)

Actually, from the abstract this looks like a moderately interesting paper. Also note that the slashdot summary is (as often the case) wrong. You can't solve the problem the paper is referring to with integral calculus.

The curve that the paper is talking about is an experimental result, not a formula. All you have are the experimental samples from the curve. Without a formula, you CAN'T do integration, and must rely on a numerical technique. What he's 'invented' here is the trapezoidal rule. He'd do even better with something like Simpson's rule, but that might be impossible to apply if the sample points are not evenly spaced. Similar problems occur for the various Runge-Kutta methods.

Although the numerical technique that claims to be invented here is indeed a basic numerical technique, the paper is interesting for pointing out that the even cruder numerical techniques that have been used before are overestimating the curve area, and that is an interesting result.

more than 3 years ago

Security Expert Warns of Android Browser Flaw

robosmurf Re:What makes this special? (98 comments)

It's special because most Android phones are NOT getting a security update for the known flaw.

more than 2 years ago

Cracking Passwords With Amazon EC2 GPU Instances

robosmurf Re:Yes, SHA1 security is questionable.. (217 comments)

Because it has become easy to create 2 plaintexts that both hash out to the same SHA-1 value. See the section titled "SHA-1" which talks about attacks on the hash function.

Um, the very article you link to lists no found collisions, only theoretical attacks (where an algorithm could be used to find one faster than a brute force search).

Given that I've yet to see an actual SHA-1 collision published, it's hardly "easy" to do...

more than 3 years ago

Firesheep Author Reflects On Wild Week

robosmurf Re:Hopefully... (229 comments)

The problem with the FireSheep discussion is that there is no current solution to this.

People keep saying that the social media sites should use https. However, they CAN'T use https for the entire session: advertising content delivery networks like AdSense don't support https, so it won't work.

more than 3 years ago

Firesheep Author Reflects On Wild Week

robosmurf Re:What I don't get (229 comments)

As I've mentioned in other messages, this is the real problem. Advertisements can't be served over https as the major networks like Google's AdSense don't support https. This is exactly the kind of third-party content you mention.

So sites that are funded by advertisement will use http not https.

more than 3 years ago

Firesheep Author Reflects On Wild Week

robosmurf Re:What I don't get (229 comments)

This kind of thing is the fundamental problem. Interoperability issues like this are why the major advertising content delivery networks (including Google's AdSense) don't support https.

As they don't support https, social media sites can't use https for the entire session as they wouldn't be able to serve ads, and so wouldn't make any money.

So we get insecure social media sites, as these are the only ones that can stay in business.

more than 3 years ago

Firesheep Author Reflects On Wild Week

robosmurf Re:And the answer is no. (229 comments)

The real problem is that most social media sites CAN'T use https by default.

Most of the advertising content delivery networks (and this does include Google's AdSense) don't support https.

Thus, if the social media site used https for the entire session, then they wouldn't be able to serve ads, and wouldn't be able to fund the service. So it isn't going to happen.

There is a real problem with current web protocols that security is all or nothing. You can use http and be insecure, or use https and break all kinds of network technologies (e.g. proxy caches). There is no way to have authenticated but not encrypted data, and the browser security functions make it very hard to mix content from different sources.

more than 3 years ago

Apple's "iPad" Out In the Open

robosmurf Re:Extra things you'll need (1713 comments)

Blu-ray full HD video tops out at 40 megabits a second. This is easily handled by any half-decent USB flash drive.

more than 4 years ago

Decent DVD-Ripping Solution For Linux?

robosmurf Re:DVDFab (501 comments)

There is no need to emulate a particular windows platform, you just need a stable win32 library for compatibility.

It's pretty easy to write windows software that will work on any windows version from 2000. It's not much harder to support 95+. The basics of win32 have been stable for years.

The 16bit elements are now irrelevant (unless you want to run some very old windows games). Even Microsoft doesn't support 16bit software on the 64bit Windows versions.

more than 5 years ago

Sun Releases JavaFX

robosmurf Has anyone got this to work on a Mac? (185 comments)

I downloaded one of the sample apps (BrickBreaker), and it seemed to automatically install the JavaFX code.

However, I then end up with an entirely black window for the app. This is on a G4 Mac.

Not good for a first impression.

more than 5 years ago

Second World of Warcraft Expansion Launched, Conquered

robosmurf Re:I'm with you except on #2 (386 comments)

Like most mmo games, leveling gets harder as you get higher.

The first 60 levels are a relatively small part of the game now.

more than 5 years ago

Elcomsoft Claims WPA/WPA2 Cracking Breakthrough

robosmurf Re:Rotate your keys (349 comments)

Rotating the keys doesn't help that much to close the window for attacks.

Cracking a key is a matter of chance. At a certain rate of checking trial keys, you'll have a certain chance in an hour of cracking it (except that admittedly the chance does go up with time with a fixed key as you exhaust possibilities).

As long as the attacker is constantly attacking the currently active key, then it's not much harder to break a changing key than a fixed one. Though with a fixed one, there is an upper bound (once the entire keyspace has been checked) on how long it can take.

It is helpful though for is shutting out an attacker once they have got in. But that assumes that you are not pushing out new keys over the network.

more than 5 years ago


robosmurf hasn't submitted any stories.


robosmurf has no journal entries.

Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account