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Comment: Foolproof (Score 1) 342

by Sqr(twg) (#49471299) Attached to: Allegation: Lottery Official Hacked RNG To Score Winning Ticket

"Four of the five individuals who have access to control the camera's settings will testify they did not change the cameras' recording instructions -The fifth person is defendant."

Sounds convincing, until you realize that this would also be true if they were prosecuting any one of the other four.

Comment: Re:Going off the grid completeletly is stupid (Score 2) 281

by Sqr(twg) (#49451919) Attached to: The Myth of Going Off the Power Grid

The cost of cycling an EV battery is about 50 cents per kWh (source). In many cases, electricity from the grid is far cheaper than that from the battery, even when the battery can be charged for free.

Assuming that Tesla can cut that cost in half, things start to get interesting. It would then make sense to use the battery whenever the difference between what you pay for electricity and what you can get for it is less than 25 cents (plus a few cents to account for losses in the battery). But the profit, if any, would be small, and the initial investment is high.

I don't think that anybody who is on the grid today will benefit from going off it. This technology currently only makes sense for new construction in remote areas. But maybe a decade from now, prices will have come down, and there will be a huge market for this. Tesla will then have a big share of that market.

Comment: Re:Nope (Score 1) 331

by Sqr(twg) (#48791173) Attached to: Would You Rent Out Your Unused Drive Space?

I wouldn't call it "covered". What is says is: "If randomly distributed, the probability of the same redundant piece being hosted on the same controlled node is statistically quite small." It does not attempt to quantify what "quite small" means. So I'll try to do that.

Assume that you have a million blocks stored in the network. Each block is stored as three identical copies. Then assume that 1 % of the storage network is taken down at the same time. The probability that all copies of an individual block got lost is one in a million. However, the probability that at least one out of your one million blocks was lost is approximately 1-1/e or 63 %. So in this scenario, you are more likely than not to have lost data.

Comment: Re:Were they hacked? (Score 1) 114

by Sqr(twg) (#48752585) Attached to: Hackers Steal $5M In Bitcoin During Bitstamp Exchange Attack

The bitcoin transaction chain is public, so in theory it is possible to track stolen bitcoins. People could arbitrarily decide not to accept bitcoin from tainted sources (or not to accept bitcoin at all) and that would make life much harder for thieves and extortionists. However, the accepted practice is that all bitcoins are equal. There is no governing authority that has the power to declare that certain transactions are "tainted".

If a mechanism for declaring bitcoin "tainted" would be introduced today, it would not only affect the original thieves, but also a large number of innocent extortionists and drug dealers who just happened to run their bitcoin through the same "tumbler" as the thieves. The whole system would collapse. So it's not going to happen.

Comment: Re:Wrong optimization (Score 1) 105

It is basically impossible to make a return trip to Mars because of the fuel requirements, which is why there has not been any manned missions, and will likely not be any in the near future. It takes a lot of fuel to deliver a very small amount of fuel to Mars. There'd have to be a long series of fuel delivery flights before a manned mission. For those, fuel efficiency is of course priority one.

Comment: Re:Really? .. it comes with the job (Score 1) 772

by Sqr(twg) (#48562235) Attached to: CIA Lied Over Brutal Interrogations

Another problem is that the interrogation techniques were not originally designed to get information. They were originally developed to get captured soldiers to admit to false confessions.

As was the case here. The the Bush/Cheney administration knew that they wouldn't get any useful intelligence from torture, but they wanted "evidence" pointing towards Saddam, so that they could start another war.

Comment: Re:Not a strong chain if the IP is the strongest l (Score 1) 84

by Sqr(twg) (#48539151) Attached to: US Treasury Dept: Banks Should Block Tor Nodes

It's not meant to be the strongest link in the chain. Just a link in the chain. If, every time someone connects in a suspicious way, you call their cell-phone to verify, or ask for an extra one-time password, or at the very least send them an email, then you can detect/prevent a lot of fraud. (This applies not only to Tor, but to any type of "unusual" connection, for example connecting from Russia five minutes after using a credit card in the U.S.)

The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work. -- Richard Bach, "Illusions"