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Comment: The really cool part of this... (Score 1) 170

by barlevg (#49537599) Attached to: USGS: Oil and Gas Operations Could Trigger Large Earthquakes

...is that the oil and gas companies were enthusiastic participants in the study, providing the data. Their rationale was one of enlightened self-interest, I'm sure: THEY don't want to get sued if they cause an earthquake, and the USGS analysis will tell them where/how it's safe to drill.

(My source is an interview on either NPR or BBC World News, which I can't find a link to at the moment)

Comment: Dual_EC_DRBG (Score 1) 676

by barlevg (#49536515) Attached to: Except For Millennials, Most Americans Dislike Snowden

No matter what age you are, if you're at all tech-savvy and security-conscious, Snowden is owed your thanks for this reason alone. (Or from Wikipedia, if you prefer).

Related: There's a widely-circulated conspiracy theory that the NSA has solved P vs. NP and broken RSA (and most other forms of) encryption. The fact that Snowden hasn't leaked any documents confirming this seems to be to be pretty strong evidence that the theory is false.

Comment: Re:Americans don't know what he did and who he is (Score 1) 676

by barlevg (#49536397) Attached to: Except For Millennials, Most Americans Dislike Snowden
This. My favorite part of the interview is when Oliver shares that segment with Snowden, right after Snowden says that what he did was "worth it" because it forced us Americans to have a meaningful dialogue about government surveillance--his reaction is like when you tell a kid there's no Santa Claus or a twenty-something grad student that the job market for people with his or her PhD is nonexistent.

Comment: Just started today (Score 1) 179

by barlevg (#49451443) Attached to: Google Lollipop Bricking Nexus 5 and Nexus 7 Devices
My 2012 N7 (running Android Version 5.1) is shutting itself down randomly, within a few minutes of booting. Boots up fine, and it appears to only power off when it's asleep (screen is off). I *knew* i should have stayed on Jelly Bean, but I was just so damn sick of seeing that "update is available" notification come up every. five. seconds. This may push me to put Cyanogenmod on it, which is something I've been meaning to do for a while anyway.

Comment: Re:Typical rules are dumb (Score 1) 159

by barlevg (#49347665) Attached to: Many Password Strength Meters Are Downright Weak, Researchers Say
I mean, a correcthorsebatterystaple equivalent is better than 1234 or W%x9, since there are more words in the dictionary than there are ASCII characters. It's really a pretty simple matter of number of possible passwords = (number of units in you're considering) ^ (number of units used). So there are 10^4=10,000 four-number passwords, 128^4=268,435,456 four-ASCII-character passwords, and ~(1,000,000)^4=10^24 four-word passwords.

Comment: Self-Driving Cars (Score 1) 129

by barlevg (#49337209) Attached to: Do Robots Need Behavioral 'Laws' For Interacting With Other Robots?
It's my understanding that there's been considerable speculation into what happens if self-driving cars end up dominating the roadways--the rules that are currently being programmed into them to ensure safety in a human-driver-dominated won't necessarily be the optimal ones when most cars on the road are driven by AI. And if you assume that all other cars on the road are driven by an AI with a given set of rules, tweaking the rules on your car (say, increasing the "aggression" parameter) could lead you to dominate the roadways... at least until other drivers catch on. Bottom line: AIonAI interactions, especially when leading to swarm behavior, is definitely a field that people are investigating, and with good reason.

Comment: Is anyone ACTUALLY offended? (Score 2) 765

by barlevg (#49315717) Attached to: A Software Project Full of "Male Anatomy" Jokes Causes Controversy
Or are people just hypothesizing that women will be offended? Because I didn't see a single tweet expressing outrage. This strikes me as "brogrammers" trying to pick a fight where there is none. If anyone is actually offended by the comments, they could always fork the project, rewrite the readme, and change the method names to things that are gender-neutral In other words, they could neuter the project.

Comment: More competition is always a good thing (Score 4, Interesting) 105

by barlevg (#49309219) Attached to: Virgin Could Take On Tesla With Electric Car
I've been incredibly impressed with what Tesla has done in getting an American public who flat out did not want to give up its gas guzzlers interested in the concept of an electric car. I'll be even more impressed when the Tesla competitors come around, and the question shifts from "Do I want an electric car?" to "Which electric car should I buy?"

Science is to computer science as hydrodynamics is to plumbing.