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Comment Re:Available for purchase (Score 1) 56

Yes, the design of the laptop is intended to make it clear that it is a children's machine.

The hand-crank was always a creation of the confused media coverage. You *can* power the XO-1/1.5/1.75 with a hand crank -- you just wouldn't want to. Your arms are not the strongest part of your body, and the cranking motion is inefficient. OLPC invested in multiple different power technologies for different parts of the world -- step-powered generators, cow-powered generators, small and large solar panels, car battery multi-chargers, etc. Large-scale solar power is the only thing which deployment countries have been eager to adopt in large numbers. We respond to our deployments.

Incidentally, the lower power consumption of the XO-1.75 unsurprisingly makes it work better on solar power as well.

Comment Re:another intersection of CS and econ (Score 2, Interesting) 421

Interesting link -- but CS does provide mechanisms for creating "trust worthy" bundles securities, in the form of one-way functions. If the seller says, "I distributed the asset types among these securities using a random number generator built on a cryptographically secure one-way function with the following seed", it is possible to have a high degree of confidence that the distribution really is random. The seller can rejigger the seed but the one-way function (statistically) prevents more than a certain amount of tampering. (Of course, you can still try to tamper with the ordering or identity of the input securities -- discuss!)

Comment Re:Dissabling SSL re-negotiation? (Score 1) 170

RC4? Really?! Dude, that's totally broken -- see and especially,_Mantin,_and_Shamir_attack . Ron Rivest makes lots of good stuff, but all of "Ron's Codes" have been broken. (Except maybe RC6, but the AES committee determined that Rijndael was better than it.) Classic example of amateur cryptography actually resulting in a system that is *weaker* than the alternative. Le sigh.

Comment Re:Javascript (Score 1) 109

Actually, I think you've got cause and effect backwards. Other GNOME guys have been hearing about big-shell's use of JavaScript informally from Havoc, and decided to adopt it for gnome-shell since it's worked so well for litl. If you look at the commit history of gjs you'll see it's about evenly divided between litl people and gnome-shell people now.

Submission + - litl, unmasked (

cananian writes: The webbook company of Gnome's own Havoc Pennington (with a healthy dose of ex-Nokia and ex-OLPC engineers) finally shed its secrecy today, with a new web site and an article in the WSJ. Technical specs on the hardware were found by engadget last week, and now comes a bit more information on the software behind the UI. Most of the client software is written in JavaScript with GTK/Clutter bindings, and the UI has some superficial similarities with Pentagram's designs for OLPC's Sugar.

Artificial intelligence has the same relation to intelligence as artificial flowers have to flowers. -- David Parnas