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Comment: Fun, But Useless (Score 3, Funny) 114 114

This is a fun device that can show you what can be done with 3D printed plastic. That said, it's useless. It would be really cool if I could apply 1 pound of force to the crank, turn it a Million times, and have it apply a Million pounds of rotational force at the other end. But it's made of plastic, so it won't do that. Indeed, the fast-rotating parts would wear out before the slow-rotating part made a single turn. So it's not even good as a kind of clock.

All that said, it's a good conversation piece, and probably worth the price for that.

+ - Reddit is going dark after new CEO fires key employee. ->

GNUALMAFUERTE writes: At approximately 5pm UTC, 1pm EST, on Thursday the 2nd of July, 2015, the moderators of /r/IAmA took their subreddit, which is one of the default set, private, making it for all intents and purposes shut down. Just after that, a thread was posted to another subreddit, /r/outoftheloop, asking whether anyone knew why it had happened. User /u/karmanaut, top mod of /r/IAmA, responded explaining that Victoria Taylor, Reddit's Director of Talent had been fired without notifying any of the subreddits that depended on her work. Victoria was a moderator of many default subs, and essentially the main contact between the moderators and the admins.

After Reddit's employees refused to comment on the issue, most other default subreddits, including /r/AskReddit , /r/Books , /r/science , /r/Music , /r/gaming , /r/history , /r/Art , /r/videos , /r/gadgets , /r/todayilearned , /r/Documentaries, /r/LifeProTips and /r/movies decided to do the same in solidarity with r/IAMA, effectively shutting down 90% of Reddit.

This thread in /r/outoftheloop has more information, and updates will be posted there.

Link to Original Source

+ - XKEYSCORE: NSA'S Google for the World's Private Communications->

Advocatus Diaboli writes: "The NSA’s ability to piggyback off of private companies’ tracking of their own users is a vital instrument that allows the agency to trace the data it collects to individual users. It makes no difference if visitors switch to public Wi-Fi networks or connect to VPNs to change their IP addresses: the tracking cookie will follow them around as long as they are using the same web browser and fail to clear their cookies. Apps that run on tablets and smartphones also use analytics services that uniquely track users. Almost every time a user sees an advertisement (in an app or in a web browser), the ad network is tracking users in the same way. A secret GCHQ and CSE program called BADASS, which is similar to XKEYSCORE but with a much narrower scope, mines as much valuable information from leaky smartphone apps as possible, including unique tracking identifiers that app developers use to track their own users."

also

"Other information gained via XKEYSCORE facilitates the remote exploitation of target computers. By extracting browser fingerprint and operating system versions from Internet traffic, the system allows analysts to quickly assess the exploitability of a target. Brossard, the security researcher, said that “NSA has built an impressively complete set of automated hacking tools for their analysts to use.” Given the breadth of information collected by XKEYSCORE, accessing and exploiting a target’s online activity is a matter of a few mouse clicks. Brossard explains: “The amount of work an analyst has to perform to actually break into remote computers over the Internet seems ridiculously reduced — we are talking minutes, if not seconds. Simple. As easy as typing a few words in Google.”

Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:Already covered over at Hacker News (Score 3, Interesting) 311 311

What do you mean? Every single web view on iOS uses Safari's renderer. It's against the App Store rules to have your own renderer. The problem is that sure, if you design a website around Safari it'll work everywhere else, but it's a pain in the ass to design it to a 5 year old standard when all the other major browsers support other upgrades, extensions and capabilities that can make code easier/faster/better. It's most apparent when an open standard has replaced an Apple designed one that's inferior, and Apple refuses to change, such as WebSQL/IndexedDB.

Comment: iOS users feel it (Score 1, Insightful) 311 311

I currently have a web radio transceiver front panel application that works on Linux, Windows, MacOS, Android, Amazon Kindle Fire, under Chrome, Firefox, or Opera. No porting, no software installation. See blog.algoram.com for details of what I'm writing.

The one unsupported popular platform? iOS, because Safari doesn't have the function used to acquire the microphone in the web audio API (and perhaps doesn't have other parts of that API), and Apple insists on handicapping other browsers by forcing them to use Apple's rendering engine.

I don't have any answer other than "don't buy iOS until they fix it".

Comment: Re:Randomness can't come from a computer program (Score 1) 64 64

Most of us do have a need to transmit messages privately. Do you not make any online purchases?

Yes, but those have to use public-key encryption. I am sure of my one-time-pad encryption because it's just exclusive-OR with the data, and I am sure that my diode noise is really random and there is no way for anyone else to predict or duplicate it. I can not extend the same degree of surety to public-key encryption. The software is complex, the math is hard to understand, and it all depends on the assumption that some algorithms are difficult to reverse - which might not be true.

+ - Does Windows slow down Windows?

blackest_k writes: I recently reinstalled windows7 home on a laptop a factory restore minus the shovel ware did all the windows updates and it was reasonably snappy. 4 weeks later its running like a slug and now 34 more updates to install. The system is clear of malware there are very few additional programs other than chrome browser.

It appears that windows slows down windows! Has anyone benchmarked windows7 as installed and then again as updated? Even better has anybody identified any windows update that put the slug into sluggish?

Comment: Re:Bad RNG will make your crypto predictable (Score 2) 64 64

The problem with FM static is that you could start receiving a station, and if you don't happen to realize you are now getting low-entropy data, that's a problem.

There are many well-characterized forms of electronic noise: thermal noise, shot noise, avalanche noise, flicker noise, all of these are easy to produce with parts that cost a few dollars.

Comment: Randomness can't come from a computer program (Score 2, Interesting) 64 64

True randomness comes from quantum mechanical phenomena. Linux /dev/random is chaotic, yes, enough to seed a software "R"NG. But we can do better and devices to do so are cheap these days.

I wouldn't trust anything but diode noise for randomness. If I had a need to transmit messages privately, I'd only trust a one-time pad.

Comment: Re:I'm spending 60% of my monthly income on rent (Score 1) 940 940

Communism has been tried on a large scale - see Mao's Great Leap Forward.

Nope. That was a totalitarian socialist program pushing a collectivism that didn't work. Communism is a post-scarcity society and obviously scarcity was the thing Mao produced best.

There is very little future in being right when your boss is wrong.

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