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Comment: Could you use this for body building? (Score 1) 39

by tjstork (#47504989) Attached to: Method Rapidly Reconstructs Animal's Development Cell By Cell

I know it sounds vain but it does also have practical applications for people with muscular deficiencies owing to immobility. From what I've gathered, no one really knows what happens, precisely, to cause muscles to "grow". Sure, there's a hundred different theories tossed around on body building forums, but a lot of sounds more like pseudo-biological nonsense rather than real science. There's precious little experiment in the field and my lay understanding is that it is because the only method of looking at muscles is biopsy.

Comment: Re:Bad programming (Score 1) 113

"Probably the best solution would be for the company to split up. The people who make the Xbox are probably weighed down by the rest of the company's ineptitude. I'd like to see those guys go their own way"

XBOX is running a version of Windows, which, is in many ways better than Linux. What's up for debate is its openness or lack thereof, but featureswise, Windows has lead Unix in a lot of ways.

Even Windows 3.1 had a better device independent rendering model than did the X terminals it competed against. And, ever since Windows NT, Windows has always had better APIs for threading while all many Unix's had (except for Solaris), was fork. DirectX is generally better than OpenGL. COM has its faults but in the long run proved to be the only binary object model that ever got used, and even the Windows desktop and shell has vastly better basic things like file dialogs than does Linux.

Visual Studio is still arguably the best IDE around and has been ever since Microsoft bought the Delphi guy over to write C#, and speaking of which, C# is a way better language than Java. Microsoft Office is still better than Open Office.

It's not that Microsoft has really sucked at the desktop, ever. They've just won so completely at it that they don't know how to do anything else right, although, I do think my Windows 8.1 phone is better than my iPhone 5s in some ways.

Comment: Re:No steering wheel? No deal. (Score 4, Insightful) 583

by Ckwop (#47105707) Attached to: Google Unveils Self-Driving Car With No Steering Wheel

Sorry. While I love technology, my not-so-humble opinion is that we're nowhere near the level of reliability needed for a car that's completely free of manual control.

The Google car has done something like 700,000 miles and crashed twice. Both times this occurred, it was under control of the human occupant.

I drive to work every morning and the number of times I see people not paying attention is extraordinary. Women doing their makeup, people texting, trying to argue with their children etc.

Honestly, in my view, removing the steering wheel is a safety feature.

Comment: It's pretty standard... (Score 1) 232

by Ckwop (#47024219) Attached to: Programmers: It's OK To Grow Up

You think Software Development is bad for this? At least the equipment is inexpensive and the material accessible.

In aviation, you'll pay > $60,0000 of your own money to get your ATPL all to start on a wage of $25,000.

What about medical school or law school? That's pretty expensive and comes out of your pocket.

Many serious professions require you to spend money on your training. It just comes with the territory.

Comment: Re:need to get over the "cult of macho programming (Score 2) 231

by Ckwop (#46911721) Attached to: How To Prevent the Next Heartbleed

I actually agree with both of you. The Open SSL guys gave out their work for free for anybody to use. Anybody should be free to do that without repercussions. Code is a kind of literature and thus should be protected by free speech laws.

However, if you pay peanuts (or nothing at all) then likewise you shouldn't expect anything other than monkeys. The real fault here is big business using unverified (in the sense of correctness!) source for security critical components of their system.

If regulation is needed anywhere, it is there. People who develop safety and security critical stuff should be certified and businesses with a turn over $x million dollars should be required to use software developed only by the approved organisations.

There is nothing in this definition that prevents an open source implementation. In fact, there's an argument to say that any such verified implementation must be open source precisely so it can be inspected. But it is quite a lot of work and people need to be paid to do that work. You can't expect to get this level of quality assurance for free.

Comment: Still fewer cancers than fossil fuels (Score 2, Informative) 157

by Ckwop (#46306065) Attached to: Safety Measures Fail To Stop Fukushima Plant Leaks

Fukushima is a serious nuclear disaster. It's a very situation that we should all be concerned about. But this should not lead to any pause in our appetite for nuclear energy.

What people often fail to appreciate is that even coal fired powerstations release quite large amounts of radioactive material in to atmosphere. Coal fired powerstations burn about a million times as much material as a nuclear powerstation per joule of energy produced. Some of that material is radioactive. That stuff isn't been sealed in a container in burrried in a mountain, it's being blown up chimney stacks along with the rest of the rather unpleasant stuff.

Don't believe me? Reflect on this passage taken from this (PDF) document:

The EPA found slightly higher average coal concentrations than used by McBride et al. of 1.3 ppm and 3.2 ppm, respectively. Gabbard (A. Gabbard, “Coal combustion: nuclear resource or danger?,” ORNL Review 26, http://www.ornl.gov/ORNLReview... 34/text/colmain.html.) finds that American releases from each typical 1 GWe coal plant in 1982 were 4.7 tonnes of uranium and 11.6 tonnes of thorium, for a total national release of 727 tonnes of uranium and 1788 tonnes of thorium. The total release of radioactivity from coal-fired fossil fuel was 97.3 TBq (9.73 x 1013 Bq) that year. This compares to the total release of 0.63 TBq (6.3 x 1011 Bq) from the notorious TMI accident, 155 times smaller.

So far, there has not been a single confirmed death due to Fukushima accident. In comparison, there were 20 deaths in the US just mining for coal in 2013. This is not to mention all the deaths being caused by cancers and other health problems being caused by breathing polluted air.

If we're ever going to get on top of this climate change challenge, nuclear must be leading the charge. Nuclear is a safe, non-polluting technology. Modern designs are fail-safe in every sense of the word. The newer designs can even cope with a loss of external power (like Fukushima experienced) yet still stay safe.

This is the 21st century. The technology is mature, sensible and safe. Really, we should be looking to retire every coal fired plant as a matter of urgency, if only to reduce the amount of radioactive contamination of the atmosphere!!

Comment: A few problems... (Score 5, Insightful) 149

by Ckwop (#46279217) Attached to: Can Reactive Programming Handle Complexity?
A few problems:

- What about circular reactions?
- Is SQL really that right language for encoding business logic?
- Triggers are kind of an anti-pattern.
- What about atomicity? What if I need the whole reaction chain to work or none of it.

I'm afraid there more questions than answers with this proposed pattern.

Comment: Re:Uh, no... (Score 1) 366

by tjstork (#45875657) Attached to: The SEC Is About To Make Crowdfunding More Expensive

Liz Warren must have missed the big bank bailouts of the early 1990s when the FSLIC was folded into the FDIC, the epic stock market crash of 1986, the inflation of the 1970s. Pretty much, we've had crashed every decade, regulation or no. Better to let people make their own decision than the government make them for them.

Comment: Re:And they called me crazy (Score 3, Interesting) 221

by Ckwop (#45858677) Attached to: NSA Trying To Build Quantum Computer

256GB USB drives full of true randomly generated one-time pads

I know this is a piece of humour but since this is Slashdot why not?

What a lot of people don't understand is that is much harder than it first appears. For example, doing cat /dev/random to a file on disk will not give you bytes suitable for use in a OTP.

The issue is that the many TRNGs hash their entropy pool with a cryptographically secure hash. When you use such a hash there is no guarantee that the input space would be uniformly mapped to the output space.

To illustrate this, suppose we had an entropy pool 1024-bits deep. Suppose before producing the output the pool is hashed with SHA-1. This is an output that 160-bits wide. There is no proof whatsoever that if we cycled a counter from 0 to 2**1024 that the hash of these would distribute evenly of 2**160 possible has outputs. If this were the case, each output hash value would appear exactly 2**864 times. It is highly unlikely that this is the case.

What this means is the the output is distinguishable from a true random source, which completely breaks the security proof for the OTP. Granted, the attacker would likely to have to do an infeasible amount of work to use this distinguisher. However, the OTPs proof gives you security from computationally unbound adversaries. It's the whole point of using the OTP!

So in short, you can't use /dev/random, you can't use pretty much any commercial random number generator. You'd have to roll your own and show that your bias is small enough for no attack to be practical. Like I said, it's harder than it looks.

Comment: The Problem With You Liberals (Score 1) 1146

by tjstork (#45745985) Attached to: US Light Bulb Phase-Out's Next Step Begins Next Month

Is, in a nutshell, that while you can rationalize banning smoking and mandate seatbelts and now health insurance, when you aren't doing it to just loot the country, and really are trying to be safe, is that, you don't recognize that we think it was your stupidity that made you need to get euthanized, aborted, or made you poor to begin with, and yet you call us dumb all the time, and we're the ones that have the money.

Once again, I'd say, sure, go ahead and do your euthanizations if you want to, but I don't need to buy health insurance when I'm young, or wear a seatbelt, and quick taxing smokes.

Liberals would never shut up enough about other people such that they would ever make that deal about government. Therefor, you have to stay alive and we don't want to pay your medical bills either.

Comment: Better still, just shut down the government (Score 1) 644

by tjstork (#45571045) Attached to: Officials Say HealthCare.gov Site Now Performing Well

No, we have a democracy and we can change the rules of society. We can completely shut down the federal government and if you want to have single payer in your state, go ahead and have it, just don't foist it off on everyone else's so you can feel good about for yourself for wrecking the lives of those people that are managing their health risks in ways that makes more sense to them.

Comment: Actually you are slaves (Score 1) 644

by tjstork (#45571021) Attached to: Officials Say HealthCare.gov Site Now Performing Well

In the sense that, if your country was so voluntarily willing to pitch in for health care, then you wouldn't need taxes to make it compulsory, would you? Just saying. As it is, there is at least a credible minority of people in Canada who are essentially slaves - they are working for something they don't want, and, you don't speak for them....

Comment: There's no direct benefits (Score 1) 644

by tjstork (#45570995) Attached to: Officials Say HealthCare.gov Site Now Performing Well

Let's cut to the chase and admit that the ACA is a moral argument. If there was a benefit to me, somehow, I'd have a check in the mailbox. There isn't one. The only reason that we put up with this federal slavery is to make a few people feel good about themselves, that, we're all pitching in for their causes because the people doing the most preaching don't really want to pay for their causes themselves.

The rest of us are just slaves to their dreams. No matter how good they are, they are still tyrants, and that must never be forgotten, and no man that preaches, should ever be trusted. Always remember that to make someone else's life better, government ruined yours.

"The pyramid is opening!" "Which one?" "The one with the ever-widening hole in it!" -- The Firesign Theatre

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