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Comment Re:Bottom line (Score 2) 86

Your data passing through someone else's servers doesn't automatically imply they have means of decrypting that data. Clients can generate keys themselves (or negotiate them securely with each other, in the case of asymmetric encryption) and keep them secret. Data encrypted in such a way can be stored wherever you want without the party owning the infrastructure being able to read it.

Comment Re:The pool's supposed to be a cache of entropy... (Score 1) 111

This is completely wrong. Modern cryptographically secure PRNGs can generate practically unpredictable sequences of as many numbers you'd like from an initial seed of >= 256 bits of entropy. This is actually how modern cryptography works in general: you wouldn't expect a 256-bit AES key to suddenly become insecure and predictable after encrypting a certain amount of data, would you? Why would a CSPRNG be any different?

In fact, both /dev/random and /dev/urandom are CSPRNGs. /dev/random is *not* a true RNG. It's just a CSPRNG that tries to reseed constantly and blocks when it can't based on an /estimate/ of the available entropy, but this constant reseeding is unnecessary for the same reason that we don't have to cycle AES keys constantly. It may make things harder for some contrived threat model when the attacker is able to glean your PRNG state periodically, but the practicality of this model is doubtful. djb has a very good article on this.

Comment Re:Really? Theory of Mind (Score 1) 219

Not "following the theory of mind", rather "had well-developed theory of mind". Despite the name, the term denotes not a theory but an ability of the mind (a specific construct of the mind). It's a term in the same category as terms like perception, self-awareness, decision-making, etc.

Comment Re:(insert bad lip sync here) (Score 1) 284

"kung fu" is an alternative transliteration of (gngfu) which means "skill attained through hard work and effort". In this sense the term "kung fu" can signify a very high profficiency in any skill or art, not just martial arts. In fact, the connotation of "kung fu" with martial arts came about only in the 20th century. Therefore, the shi fu of science and engineering can be said to have a great gongfu (kung fu) in science and engineering.

Comment Re:having said that (Score 1) 127

Except that it has been proven impossible for a local hidden variable theory (which is what you are suggesting) to be able to replicate all of the results of quantum mechanics. This result is called Bell's theorem. This essentially means that either the universe is non-deterministic or it is not completely local (i.e. there are effects not caused by local forces). Either that or counterfactual definiteness does not hold (since Bell's theorem relies on it) due to the results of any experiment and the choice of measurement procedure for that experiment being inseparably linked through exactly the same deterministic factors. In other words, counterfactual definiteness being false means that, given an experiment producing a result A through measurement P, it makes no sense to ask "what would have happened if we chose measurement Q instead?" since the very same deterministic factors that caused result A also caused the experimenter to choose measurement P. While this is possible, it is extremely implausible.

Comment Re:having said that (Score 1) 127

Except that it was proven impossible for a local hidden variable theory (which is what you are suggesting) to reproduce the results of quantum mechanics. This result is called Bell's theorem. This means that either the universe is non-deterministic or it is not completely local (i.e. there are effects which cannot be attributed to a local force). Either that or counterfactual definiteness does not hold, which would essentially mean that the result of any experiment and the choice of measurement the experimenter made for that experiment are both inseparably linked by being caused by the same deterministic factors (i.e. the experimenter got result A when doing a measurement Q and it makes no sense to ask "what would have happened if he chose measurement P instead?" since his choice of measurement was predetermined by exactly the same factors that made the result A). This is possible, but very implausible.

GUI

New Diablo 3 Images; Design Wins Over Darkness 243

KingofGnG writes "The new Diablo III screenshots highlight the strong chromatic variations existing between the dungeons and the various stages ... It appears obvious, however, that all those details enriching the scenes, the crumbling parapets of the paths within the dungeons, the plants and the ragged drapes lightened by candles, would lose the best part of their raison d'etre if put in monochrome palettes inclined to black."
Windows

Submission + - Microsoft Windows 7 'wishlist' leaked (blorge.com)

Cassius Corodes writes: It appears that, although it is working hard to rectify the multitude of issues with its current Vista platform, Microsoft has largely redirected its focus on preparation and development for its next platform, Windows 7. An indicator of this would be what appears to be a wishlist of changes users want to see for the next platform which surfaced recently.

The full list is featured at NeoWin here: though the list is quite extensive and references both features users would like to see in the next iteration of Windows, it also documents the gripes and complaints with the current systems, according to Engadget.

http://tech.blorge.com/Structure:%20/2007/11/12/microsoft-windows-7-wishlist-leaked/

Space

Submission + - Atlantis launched without incident (forkforge.org)

forkazoo writes: "Space.com is reporting the successful launch of the space shuttle Atlantis. There were no major incidents or problems during the launch, except that there was some concern about the weather at the two European abort landing sites. The weather cleared up and the launch was pretty much perfect. I watched on the live NASA TV stream."

Six Multi-Service IM Clients Reviewed 258

mikemuch writes "It's been a while since AOL stopped trying to jam third-party IM clients, and their use is now a fairly common desktop experience. ExtremeTech has posted a roundup of free alternatives to the standard IM software from the big boys — AIM, Yahoo Messenger, and MSN (now Windows Live) Messenger. The products are a mixed bag, some of them Web 2.0-based, like the excellent meebo and the ad-heavy eBuddy. Most give you combined message windows with tabs. GAIM is now Pidgin, Meetro tries to get you chatting with locals, and Trillian, now at version 3.1, remains the client to beat."

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