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Comment: What are they smoking? (Score 1) 33

by cohomology (#46435883) Attached to: Amplify Education's New Intel Tablet Begs For Abuse

I have a strong bias in favor of kids who are growing up in the most chaotic environments.

In the poor neighborhoods I know, schools don't let kids take home *books*. What fool thinks taking home computers is a good idea? Anyway, who lets hardware manufacturers influence educational policy?

bleeding heart liberal.

+ - New MIT paper reveals encryption is less secure than everyone thought

Submitted by rjmarvin
rjmarvin (3001897) writes "Researchers from MIT and the National University of Ireland have discovered http://sdt.bz/63006 a flaw to disprove the Shannon Theory, the 1948 standard assumption for information entropy. According to the paper, Shannon's theory of averages does not account for the improbable correlations of cryptography. Bottom line: hackers and code breakers can crack encryptions significantly faster than anyone thought. How does this affect email encryption? SIM cards? Embedded chips in credit cards? We'll see..."

Comment: Dave Cutler's work lives on (Score 1) 336

by cohomology (#44048953) Attached to: PDP-11 Still Working In Nuclear Plants - For 37 More Years

Obsolete? Not the ideas.

Dave Cutler designed and wrote much of the popular RSX-11M operating system for the PDP-11. He went on to design the OS for the Vax (VMS). Programmers observed that it was just like RSX-11M, but better. Microsoft hired him to lead a team that designed Windows NT. That kernel lives on in modern versions of Windows.

Comment: simple (Score 1) 768

by cohomology (#43938659) Attached to: Seeking Fifth Amendment Defenders

I believe that there should be limits to the authority of the state. There is a sphere of privacy that includes the thoughts in my head. A sort of no trespassing sign, if you wish.

I am an atheist, but there are religious objections to self-incrimination. Christianity contains the idea that forgiveness is possible, if one confesses to God. In the middle ages, it was accepted that civil authority was inferior to God's authority. This was not a minor matter; people were killed for refusing to lie about their religious beliefs.

I reject the restrictions of the poster of the question.


+ - Google Tipped off EU about Microsoft Browser Ballot-> 1

Submitted by Dupple
Dupple (1016592) writes "The tired spat between Google and Microsoft just got a lot more interesting after reports that the search giant tipped off European authorities to antitrust concerns, a tip that will now cost the Windows-maker nearly a billion dollars. When news of the fine levied by the European Union's competition watchdog broke on Wednesday, nobody was too surprised that the European Commission was punishing Microsoft for bullying consumers. But with a recent headline-stealing dispute between the Redwood, Washington company and Google, it's competitor down in Mountain View, California, bloggers got curious. Early Wednesday evening, The Wall Street Journal's Tom Gara wondered, "Did Google Snitch?" According to a Financial Times report published a few minutes later, the answer is yes.

The link to the FT in the original article is sadly behind a pay wall"

Link to Original Source

Comment: What could go wrong? (Score 5, Insightful) 161

by cohomology (#42921425) Attached to: California Professors Unveil Proposal To Attack Asteroids With Lasers

Sorry for being a pessimist, but I'm old enough to remember Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative.


Consider a trillion dollar weapon of mass destruction in space.

It will never get through Congress.
There will be construction delays lasting a century.
Your enemies will be able to destroy it, cheaply.
Bright high school students will play with it.

Comment: Licenses for people with seizures (Score 1) 1176

by cohomology (#42915067) Attached to: Driver Trapped In Speeding Car At 125 Mph

Lots of things can cause seizures, and some of them can be treated. Where I live, a person can get a license if a doctor certifies that they have not had a seizure for a year.

It is a sad comment about our country that a driver's license is so essential that we tolerate more than 30,000 traffic fatalities each year. Seizures are a minor part of that bigger problem.

Top Ten Things Overheard At The ANSI C Draft Committee Meetings: (10) Sorry, but that's too useful.