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Comment: Adequate security (Score 1) 130

by SLOGEN (#41562995) Attached to: How To Steal a Space Shuttle

Perhaps the security is adequate if that is the best plan.

Security is not about making absolutely sure, it's about:

1. Lowering likelyhood: Making it reasonably hard to break, so that the bad guys will go somehere else.
2. Spend wisely: Not spending more to defend that the likelyhood of loss times (value lost + value bad guys gain) (in general terms)

BTW:

a. Round up the likelyhood, the bad guys are better than you at getting ideas.
b. Destroy sensitive and remove generally valuable parts to reduce the bad guys value
c. The value lost is *not* the money spent on the lost property. Perhaps you wasted a small bit of effort making it? pehaps you can recreate new and better cheaper?

I think the value of the space-shuttle is mainly sentimental and image-loss on theft, so you should probably not spend more than a simple escort -- mainly to prevent traffic-problems.

Comment: Re:Every 6 months Ubuntu tries to get me to switch (Score 1) 341

by SLOGEN (#41311065) Attached to: I go through keyboards ...

Im guessing you have a diNovo edge? Run the following as root:


# fix hiddev to hidraw in BT rules and put it where updates dont overwrite
for x in /lib/udev/rules.d/*-bluetooth-hid2hci.rules;
    do sed -e 's/KERNEL=="hiddev/KERNEL="hidraw/' \
                <"$x" >/etc/udev.d/rules.d/$(basename "$x");
done
# restart udev
service udev restart

It even work if "they" change the numbering again :) (like from 62 to 97 :)

Comment: libstdc++ and the boost project (Score 2) 329

by SLOGEN (#37344816) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Programs To Learn From?

Look at the libstdc++ for GCC and some of the boost project code.

That code has production quality, is written in a style that actually utilizes c++. Beware that c++ recently got quite a few new features that have not gotten too much usage in libstdc++ and boot you may want to read up on that separately.

There is an *excellent* FAQ on most of the fine-grained aspects of c++ at http://www.parashift.com/c++-faq-lite/

In general, stay away from tutorials on the web, they are mostly written by people who have little or no experience and thinks they should teach the world about for loops or whatever because they just made one that doesn't crash themselves.

As a side note: that goes doubly for javascript, a much better search term to find quality code is ecmascript, unfortunatly there is no such good discriminating search-word for c++.

Comment: DONT PANIC! (Quantum computer size & crypto) (Score 1) 228

by SLOGEN (#34599678) Attached to: The Clock Is Ticking On Encryption

DONT PANIC!

Today, quantum computers are *very* limited in size. The number 15 has been succesfully factored into the primes 3 and 5.

There is no really promising ways to produce large amounts (~1000) qbits. I strongly suspect that the difficulty in generating qbits is (at least) exponential in the amount of qbits to produce.

qbits cannot be composed after they creation (at least with known physics), so I am definatly *not* holding my breath for quantum computers to break RSA-2048 or AES256.

When RSA is broken (when it takes less than a few hundred years on average to find a secret key), we already have multiple other crypto-systems ready. Elliptic versions of RSA are *already* part of standard-implementations in browsers and they shift the amount of qbits required with several orders of magnitude (with known math).

Comment: Re:DIY vs. complete dreaming? (Score 1) 903

by SLOGEN (#29358787) Attached to: Which Breakthrough Is Most Likely?

I believe that teleportation *could* be possible, although it would not be "teleportation" as much as "teleduplication". However, you just need to:

    * A. Create a molecular constructor for the tele-"portation"

    * B. Create a mechanism for "snap-shotting" the state of all atoms in a human body. (rougly a count of 7*10^27)

    * C. use some way of transmitting massive amounts of information FTL.

C is certainly possible, but then known methods have problems. Causality is actually preserved in them so the infomation available when you decide to transmit your information is limited.

Have you ever read anything non-sci-fi about wormholes? It's not like people would fit in -- and especially not like they would come out in any kind of configuration like they went in.

Hyperdrive. It is just a word -- used by sci-fi to suggest FTL-travel. If you had some matter with negative mass, and some means to control/move it you could distort space-time to allow FTL-travel but I'm not holding my breath for either of those requirements.

As for positions "suddenly changing" -- what are you talking about? Bodies that can be said to have postitions don't "suddenly" move. There is not even any evidence of any quantum on time, so -- at least for now -- you should think of all movement as continuous.

Comment: DIY vs. complete dreaming? (Score 1) 903

by SLOGEN (#29333917) Attached to: Which Breakthrough Is Most Likely?

Time Travel: Not with a detectable effect, and certainly not for anything human-sized. The arrow of time may be relative but it's certainly not reversible on a macro-scale.

Faster than Light Travel: How would that occur? *Every* experiment shows that FLT would require infinite energy for classical bodies. For sizes where quantum-theory apply it's more complicated but doesn't concern physical presence. If you had a programmable molecular-replicator maybe :)

Human-level AI: Well, possibly... but only by dumb-luck. Which is weird since "human-level" is really not that high.

Discovery of Aliens: Well, that is mostly random.

Immortality: Naaaah..... not really likely to work on complicated systems like a human body. Not for "eternity" anyway -- maybe for long but not forever... and not as in "cannot be killed".

World Peace: How would that come about? only if there was nothing to fight for -- meaning total extinction.

Nah, fetch me some duct-tape, a laser and a shark and i'll show you what comes first.

Comment: To each as deserved (Score 1) 232

by SLOGEN (#28899673) Attached to: 10th Annual System Administrator Appreciation Day
Perhaps people do not appreciate what their sysadmins do because the sysadmin is not helping but hindering them?

My best experience ever with sysadmins was at DAIMI (now Department of Computer Science) at the University of Aarhus, Denmark. Perhaps you can compare what you do to them?

They ran by the priciple of freedom under responsibility (traced, of couser :) The system was not down for any annoying period of time while I was there. Sysadmins were:

  • Incredibly service-minded,
  • Running stuf was allow-by-default, of course this was UNIX, so you could mostly trash your own stuff :)
  • Active logging of who spawned what and used how much CPU/disk/net, and an email asking why when you were outside the norm
  • Limited disk-quatas, but you could simply extend your own quota by running a command and giving a reason, the space was immediatly awarded to you for use -- if the reason was not good enough they would email you
  • Allowed most anything as long as it didn't interfere with the other peoples ability to use the system.
Music

Why the RIAA Really Hates Downloads 289

Posted by kdawson
from the how-to-spell-irrelevant dept.
wtansill recommends the saga of Jeff Price, who traveled from successful small record label owner to successful Internet-era music distributor. His piece describes clearly what the major record labels used to be good for and why they are now good for nothing but getting in the way. "Allowing all music creators 'in' is both exciting and frightening. Some argue that we need subjective gatekeepers as filters. No matter which way you feel about it, there are a few indisputable facts -- control has been taken away from the 'four major labels' and the traditional media outlets. We, the 'masses,' now have access to create, distribute, discover, promote, share and listen to any music. Hopefully access to all of this new music will inspire us, make us think and open doors and minds to new experiences we choose, not what a corporation or media outlet decides we should want."
Microsoft

OOXML Will Pass Amid Massive Irregularities 329

Posted by kdawson
from the all-over-but-the-shouting-and-the-antitrust-probes dept.
Tokimasa notes a CNet blog predicting that OOXML will make the cut. Updegrove agrees, as does the OpenMalasia blog. Reports of irregularities continue to surface, such as this one from Norway — "The meeting: 27 people in the room, 4 of which were administrative staff from Standard Norge. The outcome: Of the 24 members attending, 19 disapproved, 5 approved. The result: The administrative staff decided that Norway wants to approve OOXML as an ISO standard." Groklaw adds reportage of odd processes in Germany and Croatia.
Security

11-Year-Old Becomes Network Admin for Alabama School 345

Posted by Soulskill
from the hope-he's-salaried dept.
alphadogg points out a story about 11-year-old Jon Penn, who took over control of a 60-computer school network in Alabama after the old administrator suddenly left. Penn provides technical support, selects software, and teaches his classmates about computers. From NetworkWorld: "The first thing Jon found as he leapt into the role of network manager was that he had to map out the network to find out what was on it. He bought some tools for this at CompUSA and realized there was an ungodly amount of computer viruses and spam, so he pressed the school to invest in filtering and antivirus protection. 'These computers are so old they don't support all antivirus programs,' Penn says. The school took advantage of a Microsoft effort called Fresh Start that offers free software upgrades for schools with donated computers, switching from Windows 98 to Windows 2000."
It's funny.  Laugh.

Study Shows Males Commonly Mistake Sexual Intent 825

Posted by kdawson
from the ask-any-woman-in-a-bar dept.
seattle-pk writes "Males are apparently clueless when it comes to interpreting sexual intent from females, according to a recent study (PDF) from Indiana University's Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences. Men were found commonly to perceive more sexual intent in women's behavior than women were intending to convey. (A campus survey showed that 68% of college females had an experience where a male mistook signs of friendliness for affection.) However, the study also shows that men were quite likely to misperceive sexual interest as friendliness. 'Rather than seeing the world through sex-colored glasses, men seemed just to have blurry vision of sorts, overall,' according to the article. If you're a male who ever mistook the meaning of a barista's smile, looks like you're not alone."
Power

Iceland Woos Data Centers As Power Costs Soar 142

Posted by kdawson
from the where-cool-meets-hot dept.
call-me-kenneth writes "Business Week covers the soaring demand for power and cooling capacity in data centers. Electricity consumption for US data centers more than doubled between 2000 and 2006. Among the other stats: for every dollar spent on computing equipment in data centers, an additional half dollar is spent each year to power and cool them; and half the electricity used goes for cooling. Iceland, with its cool climate and abundant cheap power, is courting big users like Google and Microsoft as a future data center location. (Can't help thinking they're gonna need a bigger cable first, though.)"
Science

The Squid's Beak May Revolutionize Engineering 79

Posted by kdawson
from the fortuitous-gradient dept.
Ace905 writes "For years the razor-sharp beak that squid use to eat their prey has posed a puzzle to scientists. Squid are soft and fragile, but have a beak as dense as rock and sharp enough to break through hard shells. Scientists have long wondered why the beak doesn't injure the squid itself as is uses it. New research has just been published in the the journal Science that explains the phenomenon. One of the researchers described the squid beak as 'like placing an X-Acto blade in a block of fairly firm Jell-O and then trying to use it to chop celery.' Careful examination shows that the beak is formed in a gradient of density, becoming harder towards the tip end. Understanding how to make such hardness gradients could revolutionize engineering anywhere that 'interfaces between soft and hard materials [are required].' One of the first applications researchers envision is prosthetic limbs."

No amount of careful planning will ever replace dumb luck.

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