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Comment: Re:"XOR"? WTF? This thing is a "Vigenère ciph (Score 1) 277

Still, that's pretty good for it's time. It took over 300 years for the general break to be published. Look at how quickly todays security is cracked and published, one ofter the other. I tell ya, they just don't make cryprographers like they used to.

Comment: Re:My LED bulb didn't last! (Score 1) 328

I have also had to replace several in much less time than they were supposed to last, so perhaps they're working better for some homes than for others.

I wonder if it could be more to do with how often they're switched on/off. Looking at the other comment branch describing good experiences, it looks like they often leave those lights on for long periods of time.

Comment: Re:Try and try again. (Score 1) 445

Actually, GP is right. I also used WM5/6, and wrote software for them.

I'm not a shill, nor a fan boy, but I did actually use the things. (Disclaimer: Writing this in Win7 VM, on a Mac, using my Android phone for internet.)

WM6 was more developer friendly than iOS and Android until only 3 years ago, IMO.

But... they were not user friendly.

When I used my Dopod, people couldn't understand why I had such a bulky "phone". It was too foreign a concept for most people.

iOS showed ("educated") people about the idea of a phone that could do more. It did so by having a much better user interface/interaction. And by being so much simpler it successfully bridged the "concept gap" for people. But for a while there, iOS lacked many useful WM6 features. During that time iOS felt like a big step down from WM6.

Then Microsoft killed WM6 by introducing WP7, which was virtually unusable to developers spoilt using .Net 2 on WM6. (Various advantages with that.)

At this point I'm not sure that I want MS to succeed, because I don't want more fragmentation.

Comment: conditions found in space (Score 1) 135

by LongearedBat (#49186931) Attached to: NASA Ames Reproduces the Building Blocks of Life In Laboratory

I find the interesting part is "conditions found in space".

Because then life would likely not have been seeded on a some planet as a rare event. Rather, because the components could be be scattered all over, and life could develop all over the place, some planets may even have been successfully seeded repeatedly.

And there may well be extremophiles on Mars that are completely unrelated to life on Earth, as might well be on/in other planets and moons in our solar system.

Comment: Re:Not really. (Score 0) 237

by LongearedBat (#48921691) Attached to: Gamma-ray Bursts May Explain Fermi's Paradox

I sometimes like to play with the idea that we're being observed, specifically because it highlights why they probably would avoid contacting us.

Socially advanced species would probably not want to destroy us, because if we become space faring then we've earnt the right to join the galactic community.

On the other hand, we would be the equivalent of orcs: we like rough sports and martial arts (ah, the art of moving a sharp piece of metal right through...), we pride ourselves on our combustion engines (planes, cars, boats, sure those engines pollute, but it's high tech man), we still practice slavery (even if don't like to admit it), we're still very corrupt and often lack respect for each others safety, we breed uncontrollably, and we wage war.

We would be a veritable plague.

Comment: Re:World's highest dick-waving contest (Score 1) 248

by LongearedBat (#48921571) Attached to: Engineers Develop 'Ultrarope' For World's Highest Elevator

I went to the top of Burj Dubai* in May last year, and I couldn't see anything that made it look useful for anything other than a tourist platform. If such buildings eventually bring in more tourist dollars than they cost to build, then I suppose they serve their purpose.

* Does that mean that I mounted Dubai's... oh, let's not go there.

Comment: Stop with the tabloid news, please! (Score 2) 169

This is just from today:

Better Learning Through Expensive Software? One Principal Thinks Not
Professor: Young People Are "Lost Generation" Who Can No Longer Fix Gadgets
Writer: How My Mom Got Hacked
US CTO Tries To Wean the White House Off Floppy Disks

Perhaps some of those are interesting topics and it's just me who is picky. But really, topics such as these are why I came to /. :

Experiments Create Particles Out of a Vacuum Using Neutrinos
The Missing Piece of the Smart Home Revolution: The Operating System

Comment: Re:obvious reasons (Score 1) 376

by LongearedBat (#48447247) Attached to: Blame America For Everything You Hate About "Internet Culture"

Alas, what you say applies to so many more countries than just the US.

In my opinion, we need a new, more evolved version of democracy. It seems that most (all?) variants of modern democracy suffer from the same issues:

1. Imbalanced media ownership.

2. A party winning elections. It would be better if parties shared decision making based on proportion of public support. Yes, many governments are meant to work that way by voting in parliament, but in practice that doesn't seem to actually work due to reasons such as party loyalty and ...

3. Decision making ministers/senators. I get that minister/senator are different roles, but my point is that each person is responsible for far too much. Instead we ought to have spokes people and team managers, but actual decision making should be left to specialist teams, a form of democratic technocracy.

Reasons for 2 & 3 are:

- No one party or senator/minister to lobby or bribe.

- Because all parties can expect to be partially in power uninterrupted for the long haul, that ought to reduce short term thinking.

- You don't have politicians making decisions on topics they have no training nor experience in (in my country most politicians are lawyers) such as various technologies and sciences, education, medicine, etc.

The problem is, of course, getting career politicians to agree to such changes.

Comment: Re:Hindsight is 20:20 (Score 1) 523

by LongearedBat (#48423431) Attached to: What Would Have Happened If Philae Were Nuclear Powered?

If you're being sarcastic: Point taken.

If you're being serious: That might cause a political catastrophe 'cos of the "scary fallout"*. But I doubt it would cause a nuclear catastrophe, 'cos I don't think a chain reaction can be triggered in a small amount of fuel grade plutonium by merely hitting ground (even if it is at high speed).

* It's not actually fallout per se, because it's not a consequence of a nuclear reaction, but a chemical reaction (fire). But it would be a scattering of radioactive particles, which were extracted from the ground in the first place. So they go back to where they came from.
Ashes to ashes, dust to dust - that sort of thing. ;)

The Force is what holds everything together. It has its dark side, and it has its light side. It's sort of like cosmic duct tape.