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Comment: Safe deposit box? (Score 1) 333

by Primitive Pete (#35879202) Attached to: Dropbox Can't See Your Dat– Er, Never Mind
...but it's not a safe deposit box. It may actually be more like a storage unit or a bus station rental locker. In both cases, the owner of the container and the police can search at will, and you have no expectations of privacy from them. The only reasonable expectation is that the the owners of other lockers won't get your old sweat sox.

Comment: Re:Big Data Need (Score 2, Informative) 78

by Primitive Pete (#33580172) Attached to: The Big Promise of 'Big Data'
Mainframes and large multiprocessor machines have been handling multi-billion row data sets on RDBMS systems for a very long time. Data warehouses are commonly into the billions of rows. What commodity clusters provide is not efficiency--they often make poorer use of available cycles and repeat work to achieve goals.

What large commodity clusters provide is a price per cycle low enough that the owner doesn't have to worry about efficiency. For example, Google's Dean and Ghemawat ("MapReduce: Simplified Data Processing on Large Clusters") managed to successfully sort 10^10 100-byte records over 891 seconds, or about 6MB sorted per processor per second. Very fast overall, but hardly efficient use of modern hardware. There's an important place for the new big dataset system, but the argument is cost, not efficiency.

Comment: Ever heard of Tempest? Covert timing channels? (Score 1) 222

by Primitive Pete (#33383886) Attached to: UVB-76 Explained
Yeah, I have, and they don't change the fact that exposing information to people that don't need it is just stupid. You can avoid the risks of having your message decrypted or extracted by not exposing it to attack. You can avoid hostile signal analysis by not sending. Often, a recipient doesn't need to know the specific content of a message--just the simple fact that it was sent is useful, potentially damaging information. Ever heard of Tempest? Covert timing channels? Or a combination of both?

Yes, we will be going to OSI, Mars, and Pluto, but not necessarily in that order. -- Jeffrey Honig