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Comment: Why no Passfault in TFA? (Score 1) 145

by Prune (#49348921) Attached to: Many Password Strength Meters Are Downright Weak, Researchers Say
I'm surprised that Passfault was not mentioned in the paper TFA references, since it specifically checks for dictionary attacks in multiple languages, and for substitutions, reversals, keyboard shifts, and other transforms that an advanced cracking program might check. It's open source, too. Yet no one else even mentioned it in this discussion, when Slashdot is how I know about it in the first place.

Comment: Too much manual formatting compared to LilyPond (Score 2) 35

by Prune (#49333357) Attached to: MuseScore 2.0 Released
The automatic formatting of LilyPond is much better. The workflow is similar to TeX: you write content in a text format and mark it up, and the software takes care of the rest. The quality LilyPond can achieve is very good. With MuseScore, though the visual interface is more comfortable for many and has a smaller learning curve, there's far too much manual adjustment necessary in scores of reasonable complexity, and usually has to be done again when a piece is modified. It's possible to get the best of both though, by importing a MuseScore into Denemo, which uses LilyPond for typesetting. Some examples here show the difference, compared to using MuseScore alone.

Comment: Re:Aureal Vortex 2 (Score 1) 82

by Prune (#49278245) Attached to: 3D Audio Standard Released
3D positional audio is only a solved problem in the special cases where you have either (a) made binaural recordings — microphones in the ears of a dummy head with an HRTF known to be sufficiently similar to the listener's (or the listener's actual head!), or (b) have all the original positional information about the sound sources, and all environmental information affecting propagation and reverb, to compute the total wavefront from all directions converging at the listener's virtual head position, and then convolve that with the listener's HRTF. Neither of these are useful in general; (a) is not useful because different listeners have widely different HRTFs so the best you can do is use a generic dummy head that limits significantly the performance (there are examples you can find online and do your own test — the difference in using an HRTF substantially similar to your own is staggering: you can even clearly tell vertical directionality); (b) is useful only when you can individually record each sound source (ok for virtual ones like in computer games, and impossible for general real world recordings), and you still need the listener's HRTF (either measured, or computed from a laser scan of the head — both impractical and time-consuming). Beyond this, there's still the issue of playback acoustics. With in-ear headphones that's fine. With speakers, delivering the processed binaural sound means you need to perform of cross-talk cancellation (sound from a speaker reaching the opposite ear), which can only be done for a very limited set of spatial positions, and basically means a single listener not moving from the sweet spot.

There is a (c) as well, which doesn't rely on binaural sound and HRTFs, and can handle multiple listeners — spherical many-channel approaches that are exemplified by the BBC's old ambisonics tech. That uses a many-directional (spherically distributed) microphone for recording, encoding in spherical harmonics, and playback on a set of speakers arranged in a sphere. With enough channels (read: too many to be practical) and a treated environment (read: anechoic chamber), you can get good positional audio, but still not approaching what is possible with the binaural case ((a) and (b)).

Comment: Mod parent up (Score 1) 82

by Prune (#49277977) Attached to: 3D Audio Standard Released
At the time of posting, parent post is the only informative one in this discussion, and stands out among ignorant posts asking isn't OpenAL enough (this isn't about an API, FFS!) or being paranoid regarding DRM, things that would have been avoided had those posters RTFA and made sure they had minimum knowledge of the subject area before rushing to publicize their opinions.

Comment: Mod parent down for outrageous hypocrisy (Score 0) 667

by Prune (#49268649) Attached to: Why There Is No Such Thing as 'Proper English'

I am never going to want to be around someone who's main negotiating ability is over who gets to sell crack on what corner.

It's quite sickening that someone who rants about others refusing to use "relatively correct" English hasn't bothered to learn even such basics as the difference between "whose" and "who's."

Comment: Re:A coming nightmare for our owners (Score 1) 132

by Prune (#49252297) Attached to: New Molecular 3D Printer Can Create Billions of Compounds
Take your argument of freedom of manufacture to its logical conclusion: several decades from now these technologies allow literally anyone to "print" a biological agent that's more infectious than influenza and deadlier than rabies, with high mutation rates that makes countermeasures difficult to develop, yet designed to preserve it's virulence and deadlines, and with sufficiently long incubation time that by the time it's noticed, it's too late. Or, give it some more time, and anyone can "print" a world-consuming nanotechnological grey goo. Suggesting technological defenses are feasible is a naive failure to recognize a fundamental asymmetry: destruction is far easier than creation, and chaos is thermodynamically favorable. There are only three options for the long term: humanity is destroyed, access to advanced technology is severely limited but for our overlords, or it's allowed but privacy is dead — absolutely — with constant ubiquitous automated monitoring everywhere and of everything. Pick one.

Comment: Re:thrown out in 3...2... (Score 1) 103

by Prune (#49230131) Attached to: Wikimedia Foundation Files Suit Against NSA and DOJ
On the other hand, I'm not an AC, yet I have the same assessment of CaptainDork's post history. His verbal diarrhea flows prolifically and has graced enough /. discussions that a regular reader won't need to reference his post history to get the whiff of authoritarian stench every time his name pops up once again in one's field of view.

Comment: Re:Either way, they make a point (Score 1) 103

by Prune (#49230075) Attached to: Wikimedia Foundation Files Suit Against NSA and DOJ
Standing is addressed in TFA: "The 2013 mass surveillance disclosures included a slide from a classified NSA presentation that made explicit reference to Wikipedia, using our global trademark. Because these disclosures revealed that the government specifically targeted Wikipedia and its users, we believe we have more than sufficient evidence to establish standing."

Never underestimate the bandwidth of a station wagon full of tapes. -- Dr. Warren Jackson, Director, UTCS

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