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Comment: Re:Ivy League Schools (Score 2, Funny) 98

by ShieldW0lf (#46792269) Attached to: Minerva CEO Details His High-Tech Plan To Disrupt Universities

The Ivy League was basically a formal gentleman's agreement (you know, back from the good old days where they banned women and blacks from campus and had strict quotas on Jews) that they would mutually agree to be terrible at sports in order to maintain high academic standards.

Everyone who attends an Ivy League school to play sports is someone who would have been a serious consideration for admission without their athletic ability.

Of course they're going to be terrible at sports. They don't have any black people on their team!

Comment: Re:I hate personal definitions (Score 1) 173

by ShieldW0lf (#46792191) Attached to: 'Thermoelectrics' Could One Day Power Cars

Dude, you're the worst sort of person to argue with. You've demonstrated poor reading comprehension and a willingness to hand-wave away the distinction between similar words if you don't think they are relevant to you or serve your position. You seriously make me wonder why I even bother trying to express myself precisely

I never used the word explosion. I used the word detonation. I contrasted it with the deflagration that occurs in internal combustion engines like we see in cars.

A detonation occurs when the shock wave expanding out of the reaction zone compresses the unburnt fuel ahead of the wave, and the compressive heating raises the temperature in the unburnt fuel above it's autoignition temperature.

10 m/s is well below the threshold. Try 2000 m/s.

Detonation produces a more efficient combustion than deflagration, gives higher yields, and generates more kinetic force relative to the thermal energy released. It's a whole different kettle of fish.

Comment: Re:However.... (Score 1) 234

by jc42 (#46788805) Attached to: Bug Bounties Don't Help If Bugs Never Run Out

To prevent double-use like this, a company should say that you don't get paid until they've fixed the bug and issued a patch for it in their software, all without the exploit ever being spotted in the wild.

One problem with this is that there's already a documented history of companies rejecting bug reports and not paying the bounty, and then some time later include a fix for it in their periodic updates. It's basically the same process that causes a company's "app store" to reject a submitted tool to do a particular job, and then a few months later releasing their own app that does the same thing.

I know a good number of people who've been bitten by the latter, from both MS and Apple. In the case of a bug, it's a lot harder to document that this has happened, but various software guys I know express a strong suspicion that it has been done to them.

It's widely believed that corporations don't have ethics at all, only costs and income, which would easily explain this sort of fraudulent "offers" of rewards with no intent to pay. We've heard here often from lots of people who think that this is right and proper, and that corporations should only be motivated by the bottom line.

When combined with the growing penchant for treating someone who reports a security bug as a criminal "security hacker" and prosecuting people who report bugs in software products, this should reasonably make a sensible developer reluctant to take rewards programs seriously. Given an offer which could get you thanks and some money, or could land you in jail for your efforts, and no way to know beforehand which the company will do, why would you even consider letting them know your name?

(Actually, my name has appeared in numerous companies' lists of honored contributors thanks to my bug reports and patches. But I haven't sent in security-related bug reports to many companies, only to the ones I have reasons to believe I can trust.)

Comment: Re:I hate personal definitions (Score 1) 173

by ShieldW0lf (#46785869) Attached to: 'Thermoelectrics' Could One Day Power Cars

I was apparently mistaken about there not having ever been a PDE powered flight

From France to London in the mid 1940s - get a grip before trying to lecture others who are not entirely keyboard jockeys.

Do you have any more information? I can't find any references to a successful PDE powered flight outside of the work being done by the Air Force Research Laboratory and Innovative Scientific Solutions, Inc.

Comment: Re:I hate personal definitions (Score 1) 173

by ShieldW0lf (#46780259) Attached to: 'Thermoelectrics' Could One Day Power Cars

As far as the difference between deflagration and detonation, you may find this helpful:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D...

Why do I say it's hoped that they will replace scramjets? Because aerospace and military engineers are spending millions of dollars working on trying to engineer them as a replacement for scramjets and hoping they succeed:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P...

I was apparently mistaken about there not having ever been a PDE powered flight... looks like researchers flew one for 10 seconds at an altitude of 100 feet with engines that create detonations at a frequency of 80 Hz.

I imagine a power station that could harness the power of nitroglycerin. Nitro is cheap as hell to make and releases incredible power... I'd love to try and build a plant that's buried deep in bracing rock and uses a very dense inert metallic alloy as a hydraulic fluid to harness the incredible power of cheap organic explosives.

Comment: Re:power cars? technically no (Score 1) 173

by ShieldW0lf (#46775135) Attached to: 'Thermoelectrics' Could One Day Power Cars

Fuel. You've been bitching about the use of the word "power" when you're the one who's using it wrong. The word you want is fuel.

Thermoelectrics generate power in the presence of heat.
Internal combustion engines deliver power when shit explodes inside them.

Gasoline is a fuel, not a power source.

If you built a car engine that delivered power by causing fuel to explode, you'd change the world. Car engines work through deflagration, not detonation. Detonation releases way, way more power. It's hoped that it will be the replacement for scramjet engines... envision a jet being driven by a series of explosions. No one has admitted to successfully making one, though. I've spent years doodling different ideas about how you might make one if we had the materials necessary, but it's like building a space elevator... fun to think about, but you'd need materials far stronger than anything we have available.

Car engines run on boring old combustion. The difference in scale between combustion and detonation is not dissimilar to the difference between a compost heap and a bonfire.

Comment: Re:power cars? technically no (Score 1) 173

by ShieldW0lf (#46774921) Attached to: 'Thermoelectrics' Could One Day Power Cars

point granted, the "powered by" slope is a slippery one. but saying the car is powered by thermoelectrics is like saying it's powered by suspensions.

If it was pointed out to you that thermoelectrics operate anywhere there is a heat differential, and that you could technically "fuel" your car by pouring liquid nitrogen into the tank and have the thermoelectrics exploit the heat differential between the liquid nitrogen and the ambient temperature to generate work over time, aka power, would that be enough for you to concede that thermoelectrics are indeed what is generating the power?

Comment: Re:Eyeballs did not find bug ... (Score 1) 580

by jc42 (#46772133) Attached to: How Does Heartbleed Alter the 'Open Source Is Safer' Discussion?

A second and more important fact is that the bug was not discovered by eyeballs on source code. The techniques used seem to be the same applied to proprietary closed source code. "âoeWe developed a product called Safeguard, which automatically tests things like encryption and authentication,â Chartier said. âoeWe started testing the product on our own infrastructure, which uses Open SSL. And thatâ(TM)s how we found the bug.â"

So you're say that when I, as a (professional ;-) programmer, create a chunk of code that tests for something, you don't think I should get any credit for what it discovers, because it's the code that discovered it, not me. This pretty much shoots down the value of nearly everything I do, because like most programmers, I spend most of my time writing and running my test suites; the actual product itself usually takes only a small percent of my work time.

Maybe I'm overly arrogant, but I disagree with this. I think that whatever a chunk of code does, the credit (or blame ;-) should go to the programmer, not the code or the cpu.

By similar reasoning, we might argue that the "many eyes" never actually discover any bugs at all, because the real work is done by the brain behind the eyes, not the eyes themselves. And with computer bugs, the human brain almost never figures out the bugs; it merely writes code that does appropriate testing, providing the brain with information that it could never have figured out by itself.

This is sorta the inverse of the old saw that guns don't kill people; it's saying that the human that pulled the trigger should get no blame for a killing, because it was the bullet (or maybe the trigger mechanism) that actually did the job.

The trouble with opportunity is that it always comes disguised as hard work. -- Herbert V. Prochnow

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