Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:Almost as retarded as patenting 2 primes ! (Score 4, Informative) 264

Did you seriously read the patent? The patent is using the numbers in one of the claims as part of a mechanism. Schalfly is not patenting the numbers, just their use in a particular process. He is patenting the process, which involves using a designated set of primes to perform iterative calculations to compute "partial modular reduction of cryptographic variables."

The concept (using a designated something as a component in a patented invention) was the same in patent number 1. In this patent, gears and cogs were used to improve the efficiency of locomotives going up hills. What was patented was using gears and cogs in a particular configuration to accomplish a goal. Gears and cogs were not patented. The construction was patented.

The same thing here. The primes are not patented. You are free to use them however you want, as long as you do not use them in this particular machine to compute "partial reduciton[s] of cryptographic variables." Go ahead, use them as seeds in the dice roll generator for your RPG. Use them as dimensions of your mansion's living room. Print them out and use the paper to light a fire. You're allowed.

Comment: Re:Ivy League = theroy loaded classes with skill g (Score 1) 197

by drstevep (#46442707) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Online, Free Equivalent To a CompSci BS?
...until you have to write a truly complex system. Then, knowledge of correctness, algorithmic complexity, graph theory, functional and operational paradigms, etc., will separate the low end code generators from the people who actually design and build the system.

The skills you need are related to how to think about the system, find an appropriate approach to designing and implementing the solution, and being able to demonstrate that it is effective. Putting it into a language is a last step.

I can't tell you HOW MANY TIMES I've run into people who think they know how to build a system because they know a tool. And they are fine, until I ask them about timing and randomness, data complexity, parallelizing on a massive scale, and so on. And then I have to explain the CONCEPTS so they'll even begin to understand the questions I'm asking.

Learn the WHY of what's going on. You can always pick up a tool.

Comment: Re:rsync -- look at Unison! (Score 5, Interesting) 168

by drstevep (#46197641) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Distributed Online Storage For Families?
Rsync is a one-way synchronization. Check out Unison; it readily performs a bidirectional merge. You might have to do a little compiling, but hey, isn't that what the Family Geek is for?

I've been using Unison to sync a pair of Synology boxes that act as my cloud. (One in my office, one at home, each with a RAID-1 array.) I've also gotten it running on a pair of DLink DNS-323 boxes (yes, also RAID-1'ed). The Synology has cloud software; might be a good choice if you want to invest in a cheap small light unobtrusive (Linux) NFS/cloud/music server/etc box.

Comment: What makes a good manager? (Score 2) 249

by drstevep (#45850639) Attached to: Do Non-Technical Managers Add Value?
A good manager keeps invasive outsiders away and makes sure that the workers have what they need.

Bidirectionally, this means understanding (of the needs of each group) and communication (both listening and answering). To the outsider, this means understanding their issues and communicating meaningful replies in terms they understand. It means making appropriate requests and supporting the requests using concepts that the outsiders understand. To the insider, this means understanding their needs and being able to re-frame them in a business sense (for the outsider). It means being able to answer why the insider can't have everything. It means being able to explain business needs and how the technology can meet it. Within the team, it means managing the dynamics of the group without being a babysitter or kindergarten teacher.

A business-oriented person who understands the implications of the technology can make as good a manager as a technical person with a strong understanding of the business needs. The most critical factor is the ability to translate and communicate.

Comment: TSA-quality thinking (Score 2) 349

This is exactly the level of thinking the TSA uses to design its so-called security protocols. Figure out what was done. Design something that looks like you are looking at it. Then do it.

Meanwhile, terrorists move ahead to different protocols, different targets. Such as (as has been written), using Google Mail and cross-editing mail drafts to pass information. The drafts are never sent. They are an ongoing, live document. Let me repeat, the drafts are never sent. No emails are generated.

So all that we are left with is a bloated, monstrous governmental organization that monitors the citizenry but not the terrorists. And justifies its own existence and growing expense.

Life by fear.

Comment: Data caps aren't about data caps (Score 2) 568

by drstevep (#45222063) Attached to: Top US Lobbyist Wants Broadband Data Caps
Data caps are about charging for what is popular.

No company has ever really demonstrated a shortage of cell phone minutes, text bandwidth, connection count, data [bandwidth latency voluume]. The companies have only demonstrated a need to maximize revenue based upon what was in vogue.

In the early cell phone days, it was "minutes". Suddenly, minutes became cheap to unlimited (especially as a marketing tool: "friends and family", etc.) and we moved to extensive charge-by-the-text-message. Now, phones are more versatile as data engines (pictures, streaming music/video, GPS, etc.) and we are offered unlimited text and voice, with caps on the things we use the most. Excuse me, extensive charges.

Mostly in the major providers. At the same time they boast of the best and fastest and most capable networks. "We have the most but you can't use it."

Same thing with the home data providers (internet providers). Capacity grows beyond use, perceived need/use increases, and now we are seeing the two financial vampires appear: data caps and bandwidth limitations (no network neutrality).

There is no shortage. This is not a supply-and-demand curve model. This is a monopoly-and-demand model. With limited suppliers acting in an unstated collusion, we have the movement towards pricing models that focus on today's usage patterns. "Last year we drummed up the demand by offering unlimited data, now you want it so we're going to create an artificial scarcity and charge you for it."

Sadly, as monopolistic as these services are, they are not treated as utilities. They should be. A quarter-century ago they were a nicety. Now they are an essential part of the functioning/growing society/economy, and should be treated accordingly. Doing so would increase stability, access, and overall functionality.

Comment: Love your educational priorities! (Score 2) 356

by drstevep (#44937367) Attached to: California Elementary Schools To Test Anti-Piracy Curriculum
Ladies and gentlemen of the school board, let's play that ever-fun game, Set Your Priorities!

And what are our choices for this year? Where should we be spending our time and money? Pick carefully, the ones you want will be included in the curriculum and the ones you don't want won't be taught!
  • Science
  • Library
  • Music
  • Physical well-being
  • How to be good copyright-following citizens
  • How your corporate sponsor creates a great product

And the winner is....

Comment: Obscure + Performance - Low Priority (Score 1) 191

by drstevep (#44807071) Attached to: A Tale of Two MySQL Bugs
This demonstrates the difference between commercial/professionally run products and what can be a very ad hoc management style for open products.

A commercial organization receives a DR and reviews it. The DR is assigned a priority and a severity. Being obscure and performance related, I'd guess that it scored low on both. It doesn't impact security, it doesn't rear its ugly head often. So it won't impact many users, and presumably, the impact won't be that great. As such, and assuming that you have limited resources devoted to a product, it doesn't exactly float to the top of the heap.

But from the standpoint of code, the defect *might* be interesting! And in a looser environment, interesting trumps utility. Also, the impacted source might be more isolated... meaning to the volunteer "dive right in" developer, it is a more attractive problem to handle.

I'm not trying to defend Oracle or condemn the MariaDB team. I'm using this as an example of how different development processes and practices (highly managed/cathedral vs. open-uncommitted/bazaar) might yield different results. And how different group goals (further integration of MySQL into the Oracle family vs. ??? for MariaDB) might impact where efforts are place.

Comment: Re:But neverletheless... (Score 1) 340

by drstevep (#44726331) Attached to: For Education, Why TI-83 > iPad
Yet a smart calculator can get past the "here's the formula for this" phase to "here's a way to think about and experiment with data" phase. After all, do you know how to compute square roots by hand? I learned it in fifth grade (some long time ago), and haven't used it since, well, fifth grade.

Consider my daughter (now in college) studying biology. I'd help/watch her with homework over time while she was in high school. TI-84, using statistical software. Having the tool, and quickly being able to go from raw data to processed data? Priceless, in that she could experiment. She could try different sets and learn the impact of source changes on the resultant. I wouldn't have wanted her to have had to calculate that by hand. She'd have learned technique, but not comprehension.

And I'm happy with her there. I'd rather she know how to work with data and build from there. That's the future.

Neutrinos are into physicists.

Working...