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Comment: Re:Why bother? (Score 2) 48

by jd (#48439075) Attached to: Another Hint For Kryptos

There are lots of pressing problems.

Cyphers, as opposed to codes, have well-defined functions (be it an algorithm or a lookup table) which map the input to the output. The same functions are applied in the same way across the entire input. Unless the functions are such that the output is truly indistinguishable from a random oracle (or, indeed, any other Oracle product), information is exposed, both information about the message and information about the method for producing the cyphertext. Since randomness can tell you nothing, by definition, the amount of information exposed cannot exceed the the information limit proposed by Shannon for a channel whose bandwidth is equal to the non-randomness of the output.

(A channel is a channel is a channel. The rules don't care.)

So, obviously you want to know how to get at the greatest amount of the unencrypted data that's encoded in the non-randomness, and how do you actually then extract the contents?

In other words, is there a general purpose function that can do basic, naive cryptanalysis? And what, exactly, can such a function achieve given a channel of N bits and a message of M bits?

In other words, how much non-randomness can a cypher have before you definitely know there's enough information leakage in some arbitrary cypher for the most naive cryptanalysis possible (excluding brute-force, since that's not analytical and isn't naive since you have to know the cypher) to be able to break the cypher in finite time? (Even if that's longer than the universe is expected to last.)

Is there some function which can take the information leakage rate and the type and complexity of the cypher to produce a half-life of that class of cyphers, where you can expect half of a random selection of cyphers (out of all cyphers with the same characteristics) to be broken at around that estimated half-life point?

If you can do that, then you know how complex you can make your cypher for a competition page, and how simple you can afford it when building a TrueCrypt replacement.

Comment: Re:Clock -- Time is running out! (Score 1) 48

by jd (#48439023) Attached to: Another Hint For Kryptos

Damn. I was hoping he was going to say that the solution was written down but the piece of acid-free archival paper had been cut into segments, placed in acid-free envelopes, in turn placed in argon-filled boxes, which in turn were buried at secret locations, with the GPS coordinates for each segment written in encrypted format in the will.

Comment: OneCore? (Score 2) 167

by jd (#48437889) Attached to: Windows Kernel Version Bumped To 10.0

*Freddy Mercury impression*

One Core, One System!
The bright neon looks oh-so tacky.
They've screwed it up, it's now worse than wacky!
Oh oh oh, give them some vision!

No true, no false, the GUI will only do a slow waltz
No blood, no vein, MS zombies wanna much on your brain
No specs, no mission, the code's just some fried chicken!

*Switches to Gandal*

Nine cores for mortal tasks, doomed to die()
Seven for the Intel lords, in their halls of silicon
Three for the MIPS under the NSA
One for the Dark Hoarde on their Dark Campus.
One Core to rule them all, One Core to crash them,
One Core to freeze them all and in the darkness mash them!
In the land of Redmond, where the dotnet lies!

Comment: Re:Rape Apologetics Go Here (Score 1) 237

by Theaetetus (#48434637) Attached to: Swedish Court Refuses To Revoke Julian Assange's Arrest Warrant

Re:Rape Apologetics Go Here Live down to expecations, Slashdot.

If allegedly lying about wearing a condom counts as rape after the fact and justifies extradition, then we should designate all women, who ever allegedly lied about not wearing a female condom, or who allegedly lied about being on birth control, as rapists as well. After all, it works both ways.

I guess we'll have to wait until a woman republishes embarrassing US State secrets for that to happen.

I don't think any woman in history has ever lied about not wearing a female condom... You've never actually seen a female condom, have you? Lying about wearing one would be like an amputee lying about having both legs.

Comment: Re:Rape Apologetics Go Here (Score 2) 237

by Theaetetus (#48434615) Attached to: Swedish Court Refuses To Revoke Julian Assange's Arrest Warrant

This wasn't a rape, it was a CIA setup. Anyone remember Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the IMF chief who made the tragic mistake of challenging the U.S. dollar? A few months aftr he started proposing a new global currency to replace the dollar, he suddenly became a rapist. They dragged him off a plane in New York in handcuffs and everything. Prosecutor announced it was a rock solid case. His political career was destroyed, he was ousted as IMF head. Then exactly three days after his successor at the IMF was sworn in, suddenly the prosecutor dropped the charges and admitted that the case was bogus.

DSK? The guy who was accused of forcing a hotel maid to give him a beej against her will? The guy who said he never met the maid and has no idea what anyone's talking about? The guy who then said yeah, he met her when she cleaned his room, but the door was open and nothing happened? The guy who then said, yeah, the door was closed, but nothing happened? The guy who then said, well, he was naked and the door was closed, but nothing happened? The guy who then said, well, she gave him a beej, but she was totally into it? The guy who then said the torn rotator cuff in her shoulder was because she really liked rough sex? No, he's totally credible. You just have to pick which of his many contradictory stories you believe.

Comment: Re:The real ripoff here (Score 1) 132

by Theaetetus (#48434543) Attached to: Aereo Files For Bankruptcy

Did Aereo try to negotiate contracts that allowed them to redistribute content? Otherwise they were not trying to operate as a cable company, they were trying to make money off someone else's product without paying for it.

They don't need to, and neither do cable companies. 17 USC 111 provides for compulsory copyright licensing for cable providers, with rates set by the government. Once SCOTUS said Aereo was a cable company, they should have been allowed to take advantage of those licenses. However, the District Court said that they're also NOT a cable company, leaving Aereo in a legal limbo where they can't carry the content, regardless of whether they pay for it or not.

Comment: Re:Changed the laws? No (Score 3, Informative) 132

by Theaetetus (#48434517) Attached to: Aereo Files For Bankruptcy

The U.S. Supreme Court decision effectively changed the laws

The existing laws defined them as a cable company. They were not very smart to think otherwise. The laws may need to go away, but that was always the correct interpretation.

That's incorrect... If they were defined as a cable company, they could pay compulsory royalties and carry the content legally. However, the District Court recently held that no, they are not a cable company, and have no ability to pay those royalties for a license.

So, in essence, you have the Supreme Court saying that they're not NOT a cable company, and the District Court saying that they're NOT a cable company. It leaves them in a position where they are neither a cable company nor NOT a cable company, and therefore can never carry broadcast content, regardless of whether they want to pay for it or not.

Comment: Re: Nuclear Power has Dangers (Score 1) 493

by jd (#48428343) Attached to: What Would Have Happened If Philae Were Nuclear Powered?

They're probably no different from regular battery terminals. Minor metallic taste, nothing special. The taste when wire-cutting with your front teeth is more interesting as you get the plastic overtones. Sniffing molten leaded solder (produces a thick smoke) is also fun. Reminds me a bit of slightly burned cinnamon toast.

I'm not normal, am I?

Comment: Americium is preferred to Plutonium (Score 1) 493

by jd (#48428235) Attached to: What Would Have Happened If Philae Were Nuclear Powered?

It's cheaper, the shielding is lighter, gives about the same results, and the press doesn't hate it so much.

However, it doesn't much matter which you'd use, you'd get superior results. Provided things didn't break in the bounce. That was a particularly nasty prang. The yellow flags are out for sure. I wonder if Murray Walker had predicted it would go smoothly.

The way I would have done it would be to have a radioisotope battery that could run the computers and heaters (if any) but not the instruments or radio. Those should be on a separate power system, running off the battery, although I see no reason why the computer couldn't have an idle mode which consumed minimal power specifically to top off the battery.

The reason? The instruments take a lot of power over a relatively short timeframe. Same with the transmitter. That's a very different characteristic from the computers, which probably have a very flat profile. No significant change in power at different times. The computers can also be digesting data between science runs.

Well, that's one reason. The other is you don't want single points of failure. If one power system barfs, say due to a kilometre-long vault and crunch, the other has to be sufficiently useful to get work done. The problem is weight constraints. It's hard to build gas jets that can steer a fridge-freezer through space, but much harder if there's a kitchen sink bolted on. That means less-than-ideal for both power sources, which means if both function properly, you want to match power draw profiles to power deliverable. That reduces sensitivity to demand, which means you can remove a lot of protection needed for mismatched systems.

What we really need is a collaboration with ESA and NASA to produce an "educational game" where you design a probe and lander (ignoring the initial rocket stage) by plugging components into a frame, then dropping the lander on a comet or asteroid with typical (ie: high) component failure rates. Then instead of abstract discussions, we can get an approximation to "build it and see", which is the correct way to engineer.

Comment: Re: Moat? Electric fence? (Score 2) 211

by jd (#48426769) Attached to: Congress Suggests Moat, Electronic Fence To Protect White House

That's the problem. One or two civilized actions and people will start expecting it. Before long, the country will be peaceful and almost murder free. It is absolutely essential, to maintain current levels of paranoia, schizophrenia and xenophobia, to eliminate all vestiges of ethics and morality.

Comment: Re:About time! (Score 1) 125

by Theaetetus (#48426677) Attached to: Court Shuts Down Alleged $120M Tech Support Scam

Surveying friends and family (including a couple hundred facebook friends), calls at first seemed random, but in more recent months, appear to specifically be targeting people over 50. The most recent calls have asked for me by name. This leads me to believe that they're using someone's pilfered (or purchased?) address list. Has AARP had any breaches lately?

You're right regarding age - they've hung up on me in the past if I've sounded too youthful, so when I'm trying to get a scammer to stay on the line, I make my voice all quavery like an old man.
I have a friend who signed me up for a free trial of adult diapers as an April Fool's joke... my guess is that's how they got my number.

Incidentally, the Fake name generator is great for keeping them on the line for a long time, giving fake credit card numbers and addresses until they catch on.

Comment: Seems obvious to me. (Score 1) 211

by jd (#48426675) Attached to: Congress Suggests Moat, Electronic Fence To Protect White House

The Knights Hospitalers (I think, could have been Templars) had a fortress that was never conquered. Attackers would be bottlenecked, relative to defenders, were forever being harassed on the flanks and faced numerous blind corners.

Simply build a reproduction of this fortress around the White House. They can build a moat around it, if they like. Ringed by an electric fence. Oh, the moat needs sharks with lasers. Any suggestion for shark species?

The great thing about this is that the White House can remain a tourist attraction. Everyone loves castles, and taking blindfolded and handcuffed tourists through the maze of twisty little passages (all alike) would surely be a massive draw. BDSM is big business these days.

Life would be so much easier if we could just look at the source code. -- Dave Olson