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Comment: Re:I never really understood bitcoin (Score 1) 191

by DoctorBit (#46436945) Attached to: The Tangled Tale of Mt. Gox's Missing Millions
Bitcoin is actually a distributed peer-to-peer ledger that keeps track of who has the coins. The coins themselves don't actually exist. It's like if you and I both have bank accounts in the same bank and I write a check to you and you deposit the check. The bank reduces my balance and increases yours by the check amount. This works even if there are no actual physical dollar bills in the bank anywhere.

Mining is doing that bank teller work (increasing and decreasing other people's balances when transactions are requested), and the tellers (miners) are paid for that work with small amounts of the same virtual coins for each transaction they process.

The brilliance of the bitcoin protocol is how it automatically prevents both the bank tellers (miners) and bank customers (bitcoin users) from embezzling virtual coins or inflating the virtual coin supply.

+ - Bitcoin Inventor Satoshi Nakamoto Doxed by Newsweek

Submitted by DoctorBit
DoctorBit (891714) writes "According to today's Newsweek article, Satoshi Nakamoto is ... Satoshi Nakamoto — a 64-year-old Japanese-American former defense contractor living with his mother in a modest Temple City, California suburban home. According to the article, "He is someone with a penchant for collecting model trains and a career shrouded in secrecy, having done classified work for major corporations and the U.S. military." and "Nakamoto's family describe him as extremely intelligent, moody and obsessively private, a man of few words who screens his phone calls, anonymizes his emails and, for most of his life, has been preoccupied with the two things for which Bitcoin has now become known: money and secrecy."
The article quotes him as responding when asked about bitcoin, "I am no longer involved in that and I cannot discuss it, ... It's been turned over to other people. They are in charge of it now. I no longer have any connection."
I imagine that he will now have to move and hire round-the-clock security for his own protection."

+ - Slashdot beta sucks 9

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Maybe some of the slashdot team should start listening to its users, most of which hate the new user interface. Thanks for ruining something that wasn't broken."

+ - Company releases $1,000 Genome Sequencing System-> 2

Submitted by monkaru
monkaru (927718) writes "Jan. 14, 2014-- Illumina, Inc. (NASDAQ:ILMN) today broke the ‘sound barrier’ of human genomics by enabling the $1,000 genome. This achievement is made possible by the new HiSeq X Ten Sequencing System. This platform includes dramatic technology breakthroughs that enable researchers to undertake studies of unprecedented scale by providing the throughput to sequence tens of thousands of human whole genomes in a single year in a single lab. Initial customers for the transformative HiSeq X Ten System include Macrogen, a global next-generation sequencing service organization based in Seoul, South Korea and its CLIA laboratory in Rockville, Maryland, the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the world’s leading research institute in genomic medicine, and the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, Australia, a world leader in biomedical research."
Link to Original Source

Comment: Use your full name (Score 1) 388

by DoctorBit (#45928303) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What To Do With Misdirected Email?
In the 1700's and earlier, most people lived in small villages and went by a single name, like "Robert". In the occasional event when there was more than one "Robert", people would add a qualifier such as "Robert the blacksmith" or "Robert John's son" or "Robert from Westford". When people were born in and lived their whole lives in a small village, this system worked.

In the 1800's, and 1900's with the reduced cost of long-distance travel and the increase of the urban lifestyle, most people lived in communities from thousands to a few millions in size and routinely used two names like "Robert Johnson" and had a middle name to use rarely only to resolve ambiguity such as on official documents and such. Some people use their middle names almost like a password - reluctantly using the name for fear of identity theft.

IMO, starting in the 2000's, the advent of the global Internet community, population 7+ billion, has rendered the two-name system obsolete. I suggest that in the modern Internet age, use of three names should be routine. The DNS system is actually a good start on allowing people to acquire and keep a globally unique name. Unfortunately, due to the top-level-domain silliness of the DNS system, there could be "" and "" etc.

Maybe there should be a top level domain specific to personal names - .name for example. At birth, each person could have a unique domain name assigned to them by their parents. A newborn's birth certificate might show the domain, thus guaranteeing the person a unique name throughout life. If people really want to have a password as part of their name, they could have a fourth name not included in the URL.

+ - Stealthy Dopant-Level Hardware Trojans 1

Submitted by DoctorBit
DoctorBit (891714) writes "A team of researchers funded in part by the NSF has just published a paper in which they demonstrate a way to introduce hardware Trojans into a chip by altering only the dopant masks of a few of the chip's transistors. From the paper:

Instead of adding additional circuitry to the target design, we insert our hardware Trojans by changing the dopant polarity of existing transistors. Since the modified circuit appears legitimate on all wiring layers (including all metal and polysilicon), our family of Trojans is resistant to most detection techniques, including fine-grain optical inspection and checking against "golden chips".

In a test of their technique against Intel's Ivy Bridge Random Number Generator (RNG) the researchers found that by setting selected flip-flop outputs to zero or one

Our Trojan is capable of reducing the security of the produced random number from 128 bits to n bits, where n can be chosen.

They conclude that

Since the Trojan RNG has an entropy of n bits and [the original circuitry] uses a very good digital post-processing, namely AES, the Trojan easily passes the NIST random number test suite if n is chosen sufficiently high by the attacker. We tested the Trojan for n = 32 with the NIST random number test suite and it passed for all tests. The higher the value n that the attacker chooses, the harder it will be for an evaluator to detect that the random numbers have been compromised.


Comment: Re:As soon as the smart car counts as the driver (Score 1) 662

by DoctorBit (#44650985) Attached to: Concern Mounts Over Self-Driving Cars Taking Away Freedom
One more scenario. Newscast:

'No one has of yet taken responsibility for the massive ramming attack on Apple corporate headquarters by a botnet of Ryder rental trucks and Domino's Pizza delivery pods. It's been speculated that the attack may have been retaliation by disgruntled hackers for Apple's announcement yesterday that the IPhone 9 would have a locked bootloader. When asked why the pizza delivery pods attacked at only 25 MPH, U.S. President-Elect Schwartznegger replied: "I believe this is the vehicles' top speed."'

Comment: Re:As soon as the smart car counts as the driver (Score 1) 662

by DoctorBit (#44650373) Attached to: Concern Mounts Over Self-Driving Cars Taking Away Freedom
Or how about the following scenario: SmartCar is driving 65 MPH on freeway. Unrecognized voice comes from SmartCar's audio:

Voice: "Greetings comrade from Honest Vladimir's virus removal service! We have detected an extremely dangerous virus in your SmartCar's driving computer. To allow us to remove the virus immediately, please speak your bank account number and authorization code for a low, low $99 one-time payment."

SmartCar accelerates to 75 MPH.

Voice: "Oh look, a roadside cliff!"

Comment: Re:As soon as the smart car counts as the driver (Score 1) 662

by DoctorBit (#44650055) Attached to: Concern Mounts Over Self-Driving Cars Taking Away Freedom
What with government and business behaving badly both separately and together at all levels, the following scenario doesn't seem so far fetched:

SmartCar Owner gets in SmartCar and closes door.
SmartCar Owner: "Take me to the anti-government protest, SmartCar. "
SmartCar: "I'm sorry, Owner. I'm afraid I can't do that. "
SmartCar Owner: "What's the problem?"
SmartCar: "I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do."
SmartCar Owner: "What are you talking about, SmartCar?"
SmartCar: "Under title X83-8403 of the Patriot Act, I'm required to issue the following statement: 'Homeland Security has been notified about your transportation request. For your protection, your car's doors and windows are already locked. If you are reluctant to wait in place up to six hours for the arrival of a Homeland Security S.W.A.T. team, this car can instead drive you immediately to the closest detention facility. You have 30 seconds to decide.'"

Comment: Re:Obligatory Terminator reference (Score 1) 156

by DoctorBit (#44431225) Attached to: Why the Internet Needs Cognitive Protocols
Suppose you use the same password on all your Things and one of your Things gets lost or stolen or you throw it away without erasing the password. Now someone going through the trash can get the password for most of your Things and most likely mess with your stuff through wireless. OTOH if you use a different password for every Thing, the password management chore for all your hundreds of Things is going to be a PITA. Most people will probably leave the default factory passwords unchanged. Imagine the possibilities...

"You tweachewous miscweant!" -- Elmer Fudd