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Education

Nobel Laureate and Laser Inventor Charles Townes Passes 73

Posted by samzenpus
from the rest-in-peace dept.
An anonymous reader writes Charles Hard Townes, a professor emeritus of physics at the University of California, Berkeley, who shared the 1964 Nobel Prize in Physics for invention of the laser and subsequently pioneered the use of lasers in astronomy, died early Tuesday in Oakland. He was 99. "Charlie was a cornerstone of the Space Sciences Laboratory for almost 50 years,” said Stuart Bale, director of the lab and a UC Berkeley professor of physics. “He trained a great number of excellent students in experimental astrophysics and pioneered a program to develop interferometry at short wavelengths. He was a truly inspiring man and a nice guy. We’ll miss him.”

Comment: Re:subject to eavesdropping and interception (Score 1) 245

by MrNemesis (#48367361) Attached to: ISPs Removing Their Customers' Email Encryption

So let's say you do go to the bother of setting up a nice GPG system between yourself and third parties and you're happily transmitting your alphanumeric gobbledeygook to your mail server via STARTTLS... ...along comes Verizon or whomever. They strip out the TLS negotiation and now your mail client is authenticating to your mail server in plaintext. Any MITM attacker will then sniff your credentials and start playing funny games with your mail. Blackholing your GPG encrypted mails? Randomising each sig block it sees every time? Replacing signature.asc on all of the mails with their own? Sending fake messages saying "I can't get this stupid encryption thing to work, can we just talk normally please?!"? Worse still is that Alice and Bob will now have a false sense of security whilst Charlie laughs all the way to the Nigerian Bank/NSA/HMRC/GEFAFWISP. GPG in the context where a MITM is blatantly trying to undermine the authentication process is a bit like putting a secure padlock on a paper bag.

In short: just encrypting your mail at the source isn't really a solution to what is a blatant MITM attack. Hopefully server and client software will start mandating TLS instead of STARTTLS very soon... wish it had been the default for years.

Comment: Re:Less static hardware. (Score 1) 993

I don't know if I'm alone here but I've been hot-plugging CPUs, RAM and even, shock horror, keyboards and mice on linux now for at least five years without having to use systemd to do it. Linux has had awesome hotplug support for years, even in the bad ol' days of static devfs.

Not trying to denigrate the GP - I suspect they've just never had to deal with a server environment that changed much. But rest assured linux has been capable of dealing with radical changes in hardware for at least five years, and changes to peripherals (disc, network, keyboards, USB, blah) for at least a decade. That people think this sort of thing is only possible with systemd is all just mirrors and wires.

Comment: TV Go Home (Score 1) 137

by MrNemesis (#48037087) Attached to: Tetris To Be Made Into a Live Action Film

This was already shown back on Charlie Brooker's TV Go Home over a decade ago. No link sadly as it's flagged as "obscene" by the company filter...

TETRIS

A Dark Thriller starring Nick Berry.

Professor Jack Warburton discovers the source of the tumbling fun to be a shadowy government bureau, and uncovers the alarming scientific method by which complete rows of blocks mysteriously "disappear".

Starring:
Jack Warburton - Nick Berry
Hannah Turnpike - Caroline Catz
Spatial Awareness Dude - Dexter Fletcher
L-shaped Block - Charles Dance
Cerys Matthews - Ray Winstone

Google

Google To Require As Many As 20 of Its Apps Preinstalled On Android Devices 427

Posted by samzenpus
from the new-rules dept.
schwit1 writes Google is looking to exert more pressure on device OEMs that wish to continue using the Android mobile operating system. Among the new requirements for many partners: increasing the number of Google apps that must be pre-installed on the device to as many as 20, placing more Google apps on the home screen or in a prominent icon folder and making Google Search more prominent. Earlier this year, Google laid its vision to reduce fragmentation by forcing OEMs to ship new devices with more recent version of Android. Those OEMs that choose not to comply lose access to Google Mobile Services (GMS) apps like Gmail, Google Play, and YouTube.

Comment: ...and RIF'd means...? (Score 0) 282

I'm guessing it's an acronym so let's see what might fit...

Reading is fun!
Resistance is futile
Resource interchange format
Royal Irish Fusileers

None of those seem to have any bearing on the context of the article (other than a tenuous reference to Borg Gates). Any editors around to perhaps explain what it means?

Comment: Re:Just play minecraft instead (Score 2) 138

by MrNemesis (#47413877) Attached to: Dwarf Fortress Gets Biggest Update In Years

Gnomoria is also inspired by DF, and arguably is much closer to the spirit of DF than Minecraft is, and the graphics and interface are (IMHO) far superior to OotB Dwarf Fortress.

If you enjoyed Minecraft but don't yet feel ready for the mind-bogglingly insane brilliance of DF then Gnomoria is a good stepping stone. I became aware of it during Aavak's (also a DF player) Let's Play and picked it up soon after, whilst it doesn't have anywhere near the depth of DF (traps/mechanisms are much more limited for example) if you only have a few hours it's much easier to dip in and out of, whereas with DF I usually have to play for days at a time... ;)

FWIW when I play DF I do so with a tileset and all the rest of the gubbins one might find in the Lazy Newb Pack. It's a sublime game but the complexity and inconsistency of its interface can be one of its biggest frustrations.

Comment: Re:Cost (Score 2) 228

by MrNemesis (#47364233) Attached to: Nathan Myhrvold's Recipe For a Better Oven

The burning occurs because once all the water has evaporated from the top of the crust, it'll burn incredibly quickly. Typically it's difficult to gauge from a quick glance how much moisture is remaining in the top layers of the bread - although much easier to gauge the amount of steam you see when you open the oven door.

Easiest solution to tackle the evaporating of water is to brush a little oil over the top. Water evporates, oil soaks in instead, the hot oil helps the crust brown quicker and prevents it drying out as quickly yet makes it very crispy. If you want the bread cooked more evenly, re-wrap the whole thing in foil - the inside will stay soft but the crust will be more pliable too.

This isn't the sort of thing you can do in advance - if you apply oil to soon-to-be-pre-packaged garlic bread, it'll soak throughout the bread, negating the effect, so if you must use the premade stuff, crack open the foil and get busy with the pastry brush. Lots of people will say use olive oil, but at 200ÂC rapeseed or groundnut oil will cook better and won't spoil the taste of the garlic butter.

Can't believe I just had a minor geek-out about garlic bread, something I don't even like that much. But I've done it this way for others and none of the survivors have complained yet :)

Comment: Re:Legal Precedent? (Score 5, Funny) 495

by MrNemesis (#47358805) Attached to: Microsoft Takes Down No-IP.com Domains

Most people I know that use no-ip are people setting up their own minecraft servers its not a hotbed of criminal activivty like MS claims.

I looked up this "minecraft" of which you speak, and it seems to be some crudely archaic simulation where you wander round indiscriminately smashing rocks together and killing animals - basically a terrorism simulator. I fail to see why anyone would support the use of this software.

Lots of terrorism-simulator apologists say it's something called an Indy game, but it bears absolutely no comparison with any of the Harrison Ford films (and in any case, an Indy game would require royalty payments to LucasArts which we can find no record of). It doesn't have a proper company behind it like EA or Zynga but only a nebulous cloud of anonymous people known as "notch".

Not only that, it seems that the hacker group "notch" had their paypal account suspended several years ago due to money laundering and other suspicious activities.

Frankly anyone who uses this simulator or supports the filth behind it deserves everything they get.

Richard Domingues

Optimism is the content of small men in high places. -- F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Crack Up"

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