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Is ARM Ever Coming To the Desktop?

tengwar Re:Tabtop momentum building (332 comments)

Interesting - thought we'd got past this stage. Still, I found myself working on some K&R C a couple of nights ago.

more than 2 years ago
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Is ARM Ever Coming To the Desktop?

tengwar Re:Tabtop momentum building (332 comments)

Could you give a bit more detail on the difficulties? This seems a bit surprising.

more than 2 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Does SSL Validation Matter?

tengwar Re:Like all One-Size-Fits-All approaches.. (243 comments)

Again: I am unaware of any auditing requirements. What auditing do you believe takes place, who is placing the requirements, and what is your source for this information?

In respect of dual signature, the key word is "green" - this would be appropriate for validated domains such as banks, not necessarily for all hosts.

An advantage of a WoT model is that it is possible to give partial trust to different signers, and set a policy to trust a site once there are enough partially trusted supporters for it. This means that the system need not be fragile to a lapse in a single signer. At base though, you can have something exactly equivalent to the current single-signer model by issuing the root public certificates for the current CAs with the operating system.

about 3 years ago
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Ask Slashdot: Does SSL Validation Matter?

tengwar Re:Like all One-Size-Fits-All approaches.. (243 comments)

As far as I know, it is not true to say that CAs are audited, and in fact there are well-known problems with CAs signing stuff that they shouldn't.

An advantage of the web of trust model is that you can incorporate CAs as parties that you trust (exactly as for the current model), but you can also require multiple signatures, which as far as I know is not possible with the current model. You might, for instance, require that two of the current CAs have signed a certificate before it lights up as "green" in a browser URL bar.

about 3 years ago
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Mozilla BrowserID: Decentralized, Federated Login

tengwar Why is googlecode used? (179 comments)

I use NoScript. The demo site requires code from googlecode.com to be permitted. While the Javascript provided by Google may be innocuous, I would personally not make this assumption. I don't think that it would be possible for it to get the private key, but I would suspect that it would do datamining which would reveal the email addresses in use.

more than 3 years ago
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IPv6-only Hosting Won't Make Sense For Years

tengwar Re:It's not up to the end users anyway (173 comments)

DHCPv6 still exists, and is useful for some purposes. It can do more than hand out IP addresses.

more than 3 years ago
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Vatican Bans IOS Confession App

tengwar Re:I guess the Vatican doesn't want (323 comments)

First of all, you're forgetting where the Bible even comes from [catholicapologetics.info]. The Bible is not the sole rule of faith, was never intended to be...

The church existed before the New Testament was written - yes. However that does not mean that the Roman church was responsible for its production, or the that the various writers agreed with the emerging traditions of Rome. The gospel of Matthew, for instance, appears to have been written by and for Jewish Christians, and in ch 15 (part of the Sermon on the Mount) clearly states that all of the existing Law still applies to Christians - a view diametrically opposed to that of Paul (Peter appears to have swithered on this question, according to Acts).

more than 3 years ago
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Online-Only Currency BitCoin Reaches Dollar Parity

tengwar Re:In other words (517 comments)

No, the difference is that the economy of the US depends on continual borrowing, both for funding, and to control some aspects of the economy by setting the interest rate. If the US printed too much currency, existing bonds (loans) would become devalued, which would make it much more expensive to take out new loans, which is done several times per year. Hence no US govt would want to print its way out of trouble.

more than 3 years ago
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I'd rather my paycheck be denominated in ...

tengwar Re:Ningi (868 comments)

Sorry, we don't deal in fiddling small change.

more than 3 years ago
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UK Banks Attempt To Censor Academic Publication

tengwar Re:Why the fuck does a PIN pad get the bank detail (162 comments)

That's not how a GSM SIM works (I am working on a couple of SIM products). Firstly, most of them don't have crypto coprocessors. Secondly, the PIN (or PIN2) doesn't wake anything up. Entering the PIN is required to get access to some of the files on the SIM, so it's more like entering a password the first time you use sudo. However there have been proposals for SIM toolkit financial applications which would work roughly as you describe.

more than 3 years ago
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Problems With Truncation On the Common Application

tengwar Re:E-mail address? (135 comments)

SMS was not invented to be email, and came in when fax was more common than email. In fact it was invented for engineers rolling out mobile phone infrastructure so that they could communicated before voice was fully up and working. It's bodged in to a signalling protocol, which is why there is a 160 byte limit - that's all that would fit into the frame, and for the original application it wasn't worth putting in concatenation. Then it was used as one-way notification from the network to the handset, primarily to tell you that you had voicemail. Eventually send-capable phones became available. I bought a Nokia 2110 to be able to send SMS - one of the earliest adopters. Now get off my lawn, kids!

more than 3 years ago
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Look Forward To Per-Service, Per-Page Fees

tengwar Calm down, nothing to see here. (400 comments)

I've worked for a large mobile telco for more than ten years. "Content based charging" has been discussed for all of that time, usually by new people coming in to the business. I don't think it's ever going to happen in the way described here. What we do have is zero-rated "on-net" content - that means that if you go to our internal web sites, it doesn't come out of your bundle (monthly allocation of data). That's reasonable, because you don't want to be charged for going to your account management page.

In general we just want to sell you a bundle of data, and we aren't too worried about what you do with it. There are some exceptions - for instance for VoIP traffic, if possible (and it usually isn't) we try to give a low-latency traffic profile. Video streaming is sometimes throttled for the very good reason that there is only so much bandwidth on the air side, and we need to be able to give other customers on the same cell reasonable service. Sorry guys, but this is more the laws of physics than The Man trying to screw you.

Yes, there are ways that we want to take advantage of our position as a phone company, but this isn't a zero sum game. We have things like micro-charging and secure identification that we are trying to build products on (or more commonly get third parties to build products on) - but this isn't going to work unless we can persuade you that you want to buy those products.

more than 3 years ago
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Five Times the US Almost Nuked Itself

tengwar Re:nukes do not work that way (384 comments)

No, there was a UK weapon called Green Grass which was a bit hairy. It was a 4-500kT atomic bomb (i.e. not a hydrogen bomb). Due to its construction and the difficulty of arming and disarming it in flight, there was substantial concern that it was unsafe.

more than 3 years ago
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Internet Dismantling the State Church In Finland

tengwar Re:Somehow I dont think its a loss of religious fa (547 comments)

Probably, although I suspect that it also reflects people who left the church years or decades ago in practical terms.

One thing I find amusing about endless American discussions about the separation of church and state is that for many Christians, this is one of our important beliefs. I live in England (specifically England, don't confuse with the UK). We have a state church, the Church of England. Until the 60's farmers had to pay tax (tithes) to the C of E, even if they belonged to non-conformist churches - i.e. those churches which reject a link between church and state. From 1661 until 1828 non-confirmists were barred from holding public office, and were only permitted to take university degrees in 1871.

We don't believe in state support: it's a Faustian bargain. If church and state are linked, the state will control the church, at least to some extent.

more than 3 years ago
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Inertial Mass Separate From Gravitational Mass?

tengwar Re:This Can't Be (405 comments)

It's got to be Bergenholm.

more than 4 years ago
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C Programming Language Back At Number 1

tengwar Re:X is the new Y (535 comments)

Bah, you kids can get off my lawn!
Back in the days of CP/M, we had to write Z80 code with an 8080 assembler, which meant that a good part of the time we had to hand-assemble code, and splice it in with DB statements because the assembler didn't understand the opcodes.
After that, K&R C was a blessed relief - and I don't mean this modern namby-pamby ANSI C with function prototypes and argument type checking.

more than 4 years ago
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Could Colorblindness Cure Be Morally Wrong?

tengwar We see different colours (981 comments)

There's a huge assumption in the phrase "colour blindness". Most languages call it Daltonism, after the discoverer, which makes sense because most of us can see colours, just not quite the same ones you do. For most of us blue and yellow are seen the same as an ISO standard human. Green is more interesting. I see several colours which I've had to learn to group together as "green", since they don't have much in common to me. Yellow-green is obvious, but I also see blue-green (not turquoise - different colour) and red-green. Those infernal bi-coloured LEDs show red-green. Blue-green is the colour of a "go" traffic light green in my country (UK) and in most countries I've visited. Twenty years ago I would still see the odd old red-green traffic "go" light, but they seem to have been replaced as a matter of policy. The difference between a blue-green "go" and a red "stop" is huge for me: no chance of confusion. An amber (I think it's called yellow in the USA) traffic light is much closer to red, and I have to use the position to distinguish them.
Size of the colour patch also matters: I can distinguish finer gradations in colour if the patch is larger. Luminance differences also help. This is part of the reason why specific mains wiring colours in the UK (and I think the EU) were chosen: for most colour-blind people, there is no risk of confusion.
Would I get it changed? Possibly, but it would be a risk trade-off like laser eye surgery for my myopia, with a much more restricted up-side. It would be useful for getting the right white balance for my photography, but not as much of an advantage for that as you might expect.
Much more important, lower risk, and easier is to make sure that you use the right colours for user interfaces - road signs, software etc. - or provide some sort of word-around. Let me give an example: I have to prepare a weekly Powerpoint 2003 slide summarising the state of my projects. There are two places where I have to colour something red/amber/green. One is a cell in a table, and the other is a filled circle. Unfortunately there are different dialogs for editing these colours: one contains two rectangles - the first containing recently used colours, and the second a wider palette. The other dialog contains a hexagonal palette. It doesn't matter hugely exactly which amber or green I use, but I'd like it consistent across the slide. This two-dialog arrangement means that I can't use the position of a colour in a palette to get a consistent selection.
Since come what may, you will always be dealing with people with uncorrected vision even if an upgrade is available, it's worth taking a few minutes to get this right when you are doing design work. It doesn't need to compromise the experience of anyone with standard sight, any more than a blue-green traffic light bothers them.

more than 4 years ago
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Myths About Code Comments

tengwar Re:Warning - war story ahead (580 comments)

And all of them were on the lines of "i9", "s9" - always a 9 for some reason. And yes, they re-used them for different purposes. Actually that made a small amount of sense, since it was loosely based on an older HP86 BASIC program, and re-using variable storage saved memory. However since the HP86 supported structured programming (now there's a phrase that takes me back!) there was no need for all the globals.

more than 3 years ago
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Myths About Code Comments

tengwar Re:"Midlertidig" means temporary (580 comments)

Nope, it was a commercial product. And GP is correct - it wasn't used as a swap or other temporary.

more than 3 years ago

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