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The Beginnings of Encrypted Computing In the Cloud

xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D Re:What about just using encfs and fuse? (76 comments)

Yes, but that would be missing the boat. The whole point of cloud computing is that computations do not happen on your local computer. That's what fully homomorphic encryption offers: for a server to perform computations on encrypted data without decrypting the data.

more than 4 years ago

College Offers Course in Wearing High Heels

xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D Re:Let's ban high heels instead (31 comments)

The human body was also not made for typing, driving, sitting in a chair, using scissors, wearing sunglasses, kicking soccer balls or sewing. What else would you like to ban?

more than 4 years ago

Bangladesh Blocks Facebook Over Muhammad Cartoons

xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D Re:Here's a better idea (562 comments)

So we punish the citizens for the crimes of their corrupt leaders? Better would be to subvert their leaders and try to give them proper access anyway.

more than 4 years ago

When Mistakes Improve Performance

xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D Re:Moving, not fixing, the problem (222 comments)

Error Correction Codes (aka Forward Error Correction) are typically more efficient for high-error channels than error detection (aka checksum and retransmit), which is why 10Gbps Ethernet uses Reed-Solomon rather than CRC in previous Ethernet standards: it avoids the need to retransmit.

I had the same questions about how this is going to work, though. What is the machine code going to look like and how will it allow the programmer to check for errors? Possibly each register could have an extra "error" bit (similarly to IA-64's NaT bit on its GP registers). E.g., if you do an "add" instruction, it checks the error bits on its source operands and propagates them. So long as you only allow false positives and false negatives, it would work, and could be relatively efficient.

more than 4 years ago

When Mistakes Improve Performance

xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D Re:Moving, not fixing, the problem (222 comments)

The classifications weren't totally meaningful to begin with, but CISC has essentially died. I don't mean there aren't CISC chips anymore--any x86 or x64 chip can essentially be called "CISC"--but certainly no one's designed a CISC architecture in the past decade at least.

RISC has essentially won and we've moved into the post-RISC world as far as new designs go. VLIW, for instance, can't really be considered classical RISC, but it builds on what RISC has accomplished.

The grandparent's point is a good one: people thought RISC would never succeed; they were wrong.

more than 4 years ago

What Scientists Really Think About Religion

xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D Re:Makes sense (1123 comments)

That's not true. You can't disprove the existence of God, but there's a lot of religious beliefs that you can prove wrong. You can prove astrology and fortune-telling wrong, or parts of the Book of Genesis, for instance.

more than 4 years ago

Apple Surpasses Microsoft In Market Capitalization

xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D Re:It's so sad (557 comments)

Serious question: Windows had fanboys? I always figured Windows was for people who didn't care (I mean that in the nicest possible way).

more than 4 years ago

PETA Creates New Animal-Friendly Software License

xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D Re:FLOSS software? (356 comments)

Yup. Freedom 0 (to use the FSF's nomenclature), the freedom to use software for any use, should be absolute. That is what distinguishes a distribution licence (like the GPL) from an EULA. EULA's should be illegal, in my opinion. You should not have to accept a licence to use software that you obtained legally, a principle which is adhered to by every free software licence.

more than 4 years ago

Google Wave Now Open To All

xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D Re:Privacy (180 comments)

I don't understand. If you don't already have a Google account, then you wouldn't have to opt out. If you do already have a Google account, then you patently don't actually have a problem with their privacy policy, right?

more than 4 years ago

German User Fined For Having an Open Wi-Fi

xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D Re:I see. (563 comments)

It's your fault that a someone decided to break the law and steal your property?

If you haven't taken adequate steps to secure it, yes. If you leave broken glass all over your property and don't put up any warning signs, someone can trespass or break in and successfully sue you for damages. Not in criminal law, but in common law you typically have an obligation even with your own private property.

In reality you're probably not likely to get sued for having someone break in and steal your gun and commit a crime. If you had a gun in a display case publicly visible from the street and made it very obvious you had no security (door was wide open?) maybe you could be, I don't know. This German law seems to be specific to Wi-Fi, but it's not out of line with other laws and precedents.

more than 4 years ago

When SSD and USB 3.0 Come Together

xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D Re:What I'd like to have... (158 comments)

I was with you up until "are a bit too easy to misplace". Is your only motivation the small form factor of USB sticks? You can always get a bigger form factor, or just glue some floppy-disk-shaped plastic onto it, to make it hard to lose.

I think being able to have the USB stick flush (or internal) with the computer would be moderately cool, though. I don't know if it's cool enough to try and force the industry to decide on a standard form factor :P

more than 4 years ago

Russian Hacker Selling 1.5M Facebook Accounts

xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D Re:Translation (193 comments)

If you're too lazy to actually come up with unique passwords for each site and you happen to have OpenSSL installed (who doesn't?), you can automatically figure out all your passwords only having to remember one.

Come up with a base password, for the sake of argument let's say ABCDEF. For each site, append the name of the site to your base password. E.g., for Slashdot, it's ABCDEFslashdot. "echo ABCDEFslashdot | openssl sha1" yields your password of 040b6c2fb4d5858ad21810deb8e9ee2eb804e2a7. From that password it is intractable to determine what your base password was and hence what your other passwords are.

Some sites require special characters or, even worse, have maximum password lengths (which would suggest they're storing your password in plaintext, yikes). Fuck those sites.

more than 4 years ago

Quantum Cryptography Now Fast Enough For Video

xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D Re:And if there's a man in the middle? (69 comments)

Yes, but that's no surprise. If they were eavesdropping then necessarily they have to have physical access to the fibre. They could just cut it.

more than 3 years ago

Why Computer Science Students Cheat

xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D Re:why do you think it would be more efficient? (694 comments)

I can't think of any that don't. I cut my teeth on PDP-11 assembly, which is 40 years old and has a BLE instruction. I'll admit I've only coded in half a dozen architectures or so, but I've yet to come across one that doesn't do branch on less-than-or-equal.

more than 4 years ago

Demo of Laptop/Tabletop Hybrid UI

xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D Man that was bad (66 comments)

That was the worst video demo I've seen in recent memory. None of the purported applications were interesting at all.

Quick, you want to pause the music you're playing. Which would be easier? (1) Hitting a pause button on your laptop; (2) Hitting a pause button on your headphones; (3) Putting an accelerometer in your headphones; (4) Finding the exact tiny square on your desk such that if you put your headphones down there and maybe fiddle with it for a couple seconds so it's in the proper orientation to be picked up by a camera? I don't see much future in option #4.

The scanning was pretty bad, too. Even manually taking a picture of a photo or piece of paper, where I'm directly overhead and fiddling with the lighting, it's hard to get a good result. When that started I thought "wow that picture is going to look like absolute shit" and it turned out even worse than I thought. Even at 480p you could the picture was unusable for anything, virtually unrecognizable even.

The worst was the "tapping", though. It actually requires you to break your own finger bones just to register a "tap"?

more than 4 years ago

Google Funds Ogg Theora For Mobile

xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D Dirac (183 comments)

This is awesome! Not to detract from it, but why is there so much more love for Theora than for Dirac?

more than 4 years ago

Microsoft Announces End of the Line For Itanium Support

xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D Re:DEC Alpha? (227 comments)

Might I ask what about Itanium makes it bloated, brute-force or an abomination? Its circuitry is not hand-designed like the Alpha's was, but its design is really beautiful, a testament to the later Berkeley RISC philosophy. It's everything SPARC should have been, really.

more than 4 years ago

Microsoft Announces End of the Line For Itanium Support

xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D Probably not (227 comments)

Were many Itanium users running Windows? My impression was that most Itanium users were running some sort of *nix. I don't think it's a huge deal for Itanium.

I also don't see Itanium going anywhere any time soon. As much as people like to talk about its demise, its numbers do grow every year. Or at least they were growing up until a couple years ago; I assume they're still growing. They're not growing very quickly, but they're still going.

It's a shame. It's a remarkably beautifully designed architecture, especially when it was first designed (1991-ish?). It's a shame no one can build a good chip for it or write a decent compiler for it :P

more than 4 years ago

Wikileaks Releases Video of Journalist Killings

xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D Re:How are we supposed to understand this? (1671 comments)

We're not supposed to make any decision on whether the soldiers acted appropriately or not. Or at least I hope we're not supposed to. We're really not qualified to do that.

What we're supposed to do is compare the video to the official statements from military brass 3 years ago and realize how badly they were lying through their teeth. Nothing the military said about the incident three years ago meshes even remotely to what actually happened. They did their best to cover-up. They ignored access to information requests, possibly illegally.

That's what this video is about. It isn't about the front-line soldiers who may or may not have made an honest mistake. It's about the entire structure of the military that exists for no purpose other than to lie and spread propaganda to its employers (the American people).

more than 4 years ago

Science Attempts To Explain Heaven

xZgf6xHx2uhoAj9D Re:After death studies on live people? (692 comments)

The experience doesn't need to actually exist. No experience needs to exist: for all you know, the universe did not exist one second ago. All you need is for a memory to be formed and it's absolutely indistinguishable from a real experience. If you look at what memories are formed when the brain regains consciousness, you'll have your answer.

more than 4 years ago


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