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Comment: Re:The big advantage of XOR (Score 5, Funny) 277 277

And what data structure do you have lying around at encryption time that's as long as the plaintext?

That's right, the plaintext. Use that as your one time pad. It saves you the headache of generating high-quality randomness if you just XOR the plaintext with itself.

The resulting ciphertext is not only theoretically unbreakable without the key, it is also highly compressible for economical transmission.

Comment: "Empire of the Rising Scum" (Score 5, Insightful) 167 167

From a 1990 essay comes the insight
"The ability to get ahead in an organization is simply another talent, like the ability to play chess, paint pictures, do coronary bypass operations or pick pockets. There are some people who are extraordinarily good at manipulating- organizations to serve their own ends. The Russians, who have suffered under such people for centuries, have a name for them-- apparatchiks. It was an observer of apparatchiks who coined the maxim, 'The scum rises to the top.' "

http://bobshea.net/empire_of_t...

It is as insightful in its own way as "The Mythical Man-Month".

Comment: Re:I'm confused... (Score 1) 320 320

Do you have anything to say other than ad hominems?

Quit whining. You started with sarcasm, based on ignorance, and followed it up with a link to the Telegraph. That deserves a lot more abuse than a simple 'idiocy'.

Be that as it may, you are ignoring the simple fact

That would be the simple fact that I told you about in the previous post.

But the fact is that, for whatever reason, the existing public health care system in the US sucks badly and is highly inefficient

You refused to allow Medicare to negotiate for the prices of the drugs it buys. You stop it from making itself more efficient. In short, you cripple your public healthcare, because you don't want it to put pressure on your private healthcare.

Let Medicare off the lease, run it properly, let it compete with private healthcare and extend it to cover everyone. It still wouldn't be the best healthcare system in the world, but it would be so much better than your current state of affairs.

Comment: Re:I'm confused... (Score 1) 320 320

Typical idiocy. Your "evidence" is an article in a right-wing newpaper that doesn't even compare the waiting times with the US system.

The waiting times for US public healthcare are much worse. You didn't even consider the waiting times for private healthcare in the UK, now did you?

The British model beats your crappy system in every way, including waiting times and service. As you would know if you bothered educating yourself.

Comment: Re:I'm confused... (Score 1) 320 320

I understood you were attempting sarcasm. It was embarrassingly poor, so I ignored it.

I know a great deal about healthcare in both the US and Europe. It's telling that you can't identify anything that's actually inaccurate in my post. But you still have to cling to your pitiful belief that you're paying 3 times as much as anyone else for *something* good. Because what kind of idiot would pay vastly more for an inferior service? What kind of idiot indeed...

Comment: Re:I'm confused... (Score 1) 320 320

Public healthcare in the UK is much better than public healthcare in the USA. Much better outcomes, much wider coverage, much more availability and it's cheaper (yes, cheaper per capita than US public healthcare). It's good enough that most people don't even bother buying private healthcare.

Private healthcare in the UK is much better than private healthcare in the USA. Much better outcomes, much cheaper. And by much cheaper I mean that if I decided to buy private healthcare with all the options and zero excess, it would cost me about $150 a month. That's pretty much the most expensive I can get short of having my own personal staff.

Are you less confused now? Do you now understand why everyone with who's considered the matter thinks your system is crap?

Comment: Would there be a detectable EM pulse? (Score 1) 203 203

Poul Anderson pointed out in a 1967 story that a supernova could have devastating electromagnetic pulse effects.

Since then, we've found that supernova explosions are asymmetrical. There is plasma moving at very high speeds near a new neutron star's magnetic field and not in a neat way where the effects cancel out.

How far away would you have to be in order not to have all your electronics fried?

Comment: Hewlett Packard, a generation ago (Score 2) 254 254

When the company was still run ethically, the ethics included opening the engineering department to women, not just on paper but in real life.

The word spread. Women in engineering schools knew where to apply when they graduated. HP had a larger pool of bright people to choose from, people who were shying away from their competitors.

There's more to being open than sticking the phrase "Equal Opportunity Employer" on the recruiting ads. Get it right, though, and it's sound business.

"Just think, with VLSI we can have 100 ENIACS on a chip!" -- Alan Perlis

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