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A large number of people religiously state Software Patents are evil and should never be permitted. If the claims by Microsoft are true, then a Patent should be granted for this "mathematical" discovery. It is a significant improvement in security over existing encryption, and so deserves Patent protection.

Except math is explicitly forbidden from being patented.

I think that Patents should only protect PUBLICLY AVAILABLE products. In this case Microsoft can sell IIS Server / Edge Web browser ($0 cost) with enhanced encryption and the Patent will protect them from competition. Patent Trolls should be destroyed. They way to do this is to only allow legal action if you actually sell a product and other companies are reducing your sales or profits. If there is no reduction in sales or profits, your maximum gain from a Patent should be limited to $0.

They only way you destroy patent trolls is by tying money earned from the patented invention to the cost of developing the patented invention along with some percentage of profits. Thereby, if it costs $1 to create the patented invention you get to hold the patent until you earn $1 and the percentage of profits, which would happen really quickly (sell it one time); it it costs $1000 or $1,000,000 then you would hold it longer - e.g the market decides how long you get to hold it; outright sale of the patented invention to a third party would nullify the patent itself since you would have recouped the costs, and the prime motivator for patents is therefore enforced - that inventors be encouraged to invent new things - while equally destroying the troll market.

Comment Re:One time pad (Score 1) 98 98

OTPs are great. On the other hand, you have to use each pad only once. Ever. So to encrypt 1GB of data, you need 1GB of cryptographically random pad. Which you can never use again. And must be a secret with regards to the rest of the world. And must be present on both the sending and receiving end of the communication.

If I knew how to get 1GB of unique data (be in OTP pad or the real data) from the sender to the receiver in secrecy I wouldn't need encryption in the first place.

Not quite. You can't repeat the pad the same way ever - that is, you don't want to wrap it or reset to known locations using any kind of protocol. You can, however, randomly skip around in some manner, as long as you only go forward and do not wrap. So you're data limited unless you have an infinite data source.

That said, you could probably use a synchronized random number generator as the shared pad data. The other side would only be able to decrypt messages for as long as they buffer the random number data; after which the message is lost to everyone for eternity. This could work for a TLS session where messages are exchanged with only a couple minutes (or preferably seconds) delay so that the buffer does not need to be very big.

Comment Re:Not surprising (Score 1) 276 276

LEDs are more expensive but they also have a higher potential lifespan than incandescent or CFL bulbs. They also have a lower power draw so unless we don't see the lifespan that they promise LEDs are probably a cheaper cost of ownership compared to incandescent bulbs.

True, supposedly so. I know I rarely changed an incandescent - probably once every couple years at most; I usually changed an incandescent because the bulb broke due to the lamp getting knocked over more than anything else - actually seeing the EOL of an incandescent was rare. I expect it will probably be the same with LEDs and CFLs; though LEDs will probably be because the electronics in their base die - capacitors drying out, etc; which will be a lot harder to test what is wrong with them.

They do have the higher capital cost, as you pointed out, but that means more that it prices them out of the range of lower income families who will be forced into the higher cost of ownership CFLs.

Which has the funny aspect of exposing those folk to mercury contamination...

Honestly, we shouldn't be trying to force the public to use one over the other. Let people choose free market style. There was no reason for the EPA to get involved in this. Would people still buy incandescents? Yes; but most would probably skip CFLs and go straight to LEDs as well - which were not really even part of the picture when Congress passed the bill mandating incandescents be phased out; and the phase out had little to nothing to do with the introduction of LEDs when they came.

Comment Re:Not surprising (Score 1) 276 276

So a single LED bulb at a sale discount, versus 8 incandescent bulbs. FYI - average price of a single LED bulb is $7+ for 40/60/75/100W bulbs before any sale discounts.

Average prices for a 4 or 8 package of incandescent bulbs before any sale discounts was $2-3; I typically paid $1 for a 4 package at most.

Best price I've seen for CFLs was the occasional Sam's Club pack for $1 containing 8 CFLs (40/60/75/100W); but that's rare. Typically the same pack age Sam's Club is $8+.

And after our 4 yr old broke a CFL in his room (since we couldn't put a new Incandescent in), we replaced it with an LED, which I'd much prefer if not for the expense. Even then, the first one didn't work for some reason; fortunately the store did a return/exchange and the second one (a different brand) worked.

Comment Re:Not surprising (Score 1) 276 276

Well you would also benefit if you bought the newer, more efficient cars.

So what, exactly, is the problem here?

So here's the deal:

  • Catalytic Converter: Costs vehicles gas mileage for a minimal return on emissions
  • Ethanol #1: Costs all vehicles (new and old) gas mileage; the higher the mixture the worse the mileage - this is all simple fact because even the best ethanol does not contain as much energy as the worse petroleum products.
  • Ethanol #2: Actively damages older vehicles, and has lead to numerous leaks when it corrodes through the seals on gas tanks; it also damages boats and nearly all small motors; many small motors (used for lawn care) end up getting thrown out every couple years for no reason other than ethanol damage and it's usually cheaper to replace than fix - again, this is well known because all ethanol is highly corrosive.
  • Incandescent Light bulbs are being phased out in favor of CFLs since CFLs use less energy, though they cost more to buy (as do LED bulbs, which are more expensive yet). CFLs like their bigger fluorescent versions use mercury; so dropping and breaking a light bulb can now lead to mercury contamination at a greater scale. Despite this, EPA is focused on removing mercury from power plants which produce less mercury than breaking one of those CFL bulbs. And they've also made a great way to shutdown a store - go break all the CFLs so they have to call in a hazmat team to clean up the mercury contamination. (LEDs do solve this particular issue, but tend to cost 2-5x's more than CFLs which already were 10'x the cost of an incandescent.)

The list goes on.

Now I'm not saying that reducing emissions is not a good thing; or that reducing energy consumption is not a good thing - they are. However, when the cost of doing so ends up incurring an overall higher emissions rate, or more things to be toss out (thus increasing garbage and land-fills),'s over impact is not worth the minor reduction in emissions.

Comment Re:Intel processors (Score 1) 67 67

The U.S. Could reciprocate and ban Intel exports.

One of Intel's major chip fabs is in China, so the chips can just be produced at that facility. Also, if the US bans exports, then it's likely that Intel would move existing US based chip fabs to Europe

That all depends on the type of ban.

For instance, a sale ban would still effect the company regardless of which of it's international subsidiary's did the actual sale.

A design ban would forbid them from designing in the US and exporting the design to facilities elsewhere to even produce chips matching the design.

Comment Re:Trucks will be hybrids, not pure EV (Score 1) 879 879

There have been electric delivery trucks for a long time - for example, Smith Electric Vehicles has been making li-ion trucks almost as long as Tesla has been around. And they follow up on a long history of electric delivery vehicles on a continuous line dating back to the early lead-acid days. But "existing" doesn't mean "having blown the market wide open". The big question is when that could happen.

You know, though, as ridiculous as it sounds, I almost wonder Tesla's efforts could evolve into a killer delivery vehicle. The Model S / Model X drivetrain is already starting to get into the power range of a big rig, and big rig budgets can afford their high prices. Combine that this potential solution to charging over long distances and you really could have a winner.

So the primary issue for Big Rig trucking is distance.

Drivers often fill up 100-200 gallon tanks, and cover large distances between stops. They might stop for fuel once a day, may be twice while covering 500-1000 miles. Can we build a big rig that has the torque capacity AND the distance requirements? May be.

But then, you also need to be able to manage the batteries well enough too, and be able to recharge quickly.

Battery swapping won't really work. Why? Who owns the batteries? Who's responsible for them? What places are going to swap out batteries?

If the owner of the vehicle owns the batteries, then swapping doesn't work. Someone that just bought the batteries isn't going to swap them for a set of used batteries - that's too expensive.

A network of battery renters could work, but then you have to be able to get to one of their approved locations for a battery swap, so it's not really feasible, though this solution could bring the cost of the big rigs down considerably since they wouldn't have to buy the extremely expensive battery packs with the big rig, just sign up to a renter network.

Even then, who's responsible for batteries when there are problems? Who pays the bill when the battery overheats and blows up? Or who sends out another vehicle to swap batteries when the drain too quickly and the vehicle is stranded?

Yes, lawyers can solve many of the questions, but until that happens in a manner acceptable to the industry then there are problems.

Also, realize that many big rigs are owned by their drivers. Independent truckers are quite common and many trucking companies prefer to use independent truckers over buying their own equipment; often paying barely enough for the guys to be able to maintain the vehicles - it's a very cut throat business. So those buying the big rigs don't necessary have budgets for expensive technology; they just want something that is going to work, work well, be easy to maintain, and be highly reliable - it's very expensive for them to get a tow (loss work, plus the cost of tow and maintenance). So it'll be a very up-hill battle to get them to accept electric vehicles.

For truckers to accept electric trucks, companies will have to get into it first. So FedEx proving that this vendor is reliable with their fleet will go a long way to bringing hybrids to trucking at all levels.

As to the transition of the technology from trains - the really big difference is that for the trains it's generally easy for them to know exactly how much fuel they need for the trip and how much to have in reserve. The fuel tanks are in the thousands of gallons, and they don't have to deal with traffic much. When they do, they'll know how long the wait will generally be and can handle the situation accordingly. It's also relatively easy for them to just fill up the tanks again. Just saying - the two industries are extremely different in many respects; so what one finds acceptable won't necessarily be so for the other.

Comment Re:Truck Stops, Gas Stations, etc (Score 1) 879 879

Randomly, the pump will display "please see register for receipt" upon selecting the print option. I've see it being random as the person after me (a friend), had his receipt print just fine. It's a fucking scam to lure people into the store and buy shit.

Why waste paper getting a receipt? Your credit card company has a record of the transaction.

Because if you need to dispute it saying "I always get my receipts and I don't have one for that" works really well. Otherwise, you're at the mercy of your bank/card company to accurate report what you are spending - not a good habit to be in.

Comment Re:Trucks will be hybrids, not pure EV (Score 1) 879 879

And frankly, current ranges on EV's make them pretty much useless for trucks. Who really wants to stop for a couple hours a couple times a day?

You won't see pure EV trucks for a long time. What you'll see is a power train similar to that on locomotives. Diesel engine charging electric motors with a battery bank to deal with the excess. It's very efficient, huge torque and the technology is well understood. I'm kind of surprised we aren't seeing it already.

We're starting to, but not in the big rigs; FedEx was reportedly doing a test on their delivery vehicles with a start up from South Carolina at a cost of $100k/vehicle upgrade. A few more players in the market, and the cost will drop significantly.

Comment Re:restaurants (Score 1) 879 879

what's to stop a Waffle House, IHOP, or similar just having a charging stations outside? I think these "gas" stations or any future derivatives are dead, especially if commercial or environmental regulations are lifted/ nonexistent for electric charging stations.

Nothing; it's actually a perfect business for hotels, restaurants and entertainment venues to get into - put chargers in the parking lots to encourage people to stop in, add a small portion to the bill if they use the charge. They'll very quickly replace the gas stations, which no one really wants to stop at or go inside of.

Comment Re:I disagree with some of these points (Score 1) 119 119

The one that I disagree with is 'Your source builds using something that isn't GNU Make [ +10 points of FAIL ]'. I disagree for two reasons. The first is that it implies using GNU make features, which likely means that you're conflating building and build configuration (which should gain some fail points). The projects that I most enjoy hacking on use CMake and Ninja for building by default (CMake can also emit POSIX Makefiles that GNU Make can use, but I take his point to mean that gmake is the only command you need to build, so the CMake dependency would be a problem). LLVM still more or less maintains two build systems, though the autoconf + gmake one is slowly being removed in favour of the CMake one. If I make a small change, it takes Ninja less time to rebuild it than it takes gmake to work out that it has nothing to do if I don't make any changes.

Agreed. Any cross-platform projects needs to be able to support multiple build systems, whether you like it or not. Tools like CMake/QMake/Qbs/Ninja/etc are just essential.

I'd also disagree with 'Your code doesn't have a changelog' - this is a GNU requirement, but one that dates back to before CVS was widely deployed. The revision control logs now fill the same requirement, though you should have something documenting large user-visible changes.

Agreed. You have version control. That's all you really need. ChangeLogs are generally outdated and for releases (where the VCS won't be available) a dump of the logs in some form should be sufficient, provided you are writing meaningful log messages. IOW, good VCS practices are a must.

Comment Re:Genesis! (Score 1) 153 153

Science also is no "god". It requires not your faith. Quite the opposite, it requires your doubt. Science (at least the kind that deserves the name) is the very anathema of a god. It is testable

Devil's Advocate: Much of evolution, especially around the "origin of species" is completely untestable and 100% reliant on having "faith" in science.

Comment Re:What Experts can learn about reality (Score 1) 112 112

Well, McAfee is definitely more placebo than others; even Norton detects stuff here and there. Kaspersky and ESET are my go-to pair, though Security Essentials isn't the worst scanner in existence, either. Typically, I find that Norton DNS + NOD32 + AdGuard tends to keep the computers of my friends and family clean with a solid amount of consistency.

So aside from the performance hit you take by adding all those applications, you've also increased the footprint of security issues as each of those have issues regarding security that you must now also monitor, not to mention the backdoors that can be taken advantage of.

The open source ClamAV is listed among the best products for detecting viruses last I checked it was one of the top three; McAfee hasn't been on that list in ages. That said, the APIs and drivers they insert into the kernel to work (and interface between kernel and userland) essentially provide big back doors that malicious actors can (and do) take advantage of.

ClamAV for a long-time was a user-space only product - e.g no real-time scanning of the OS, applications, memory - as it was originally (and still is primarily) intended for use by servers to scan traffic going to other systems, namely to desktop Windows users. (Most prominent use is in mail servers.) Recently it's started getting real-time scanning capabilities, enabling it to compete with others on Windows where users still think they need an AV product. ClamAV (and ClamWin) are still probably the best in that respect as they probably have the fewest backdoors of any AV product.

And honestly, I don't advocate to anyone to use an AV or malware preventative product any more, even on Windows, namely because of the issues they introduce. Instead, I advocate the users be more careful with what they do. It's proven quite effective.

Gosh that takes me back... or is it forward? That's the trouble with time travel, you never can tell." -- Doctor Who, "Androids of Tara"