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Comment: Aluminium (Score 5, Interesting) 187

by valkraider (#48606479) Attached to: Graphene: Fast, Strong, Cheap, and Impossible To Use
"In the mid 1880s, aluminium metal was exceedingly difficult to produce, which made pure aluminium more valuable than gold.[51] So celebrated was the metal that bars of aluminium were exhibited at the Exposition Universelle of 1855.[52] Napoleon III of France is reputed to held a banquet where the most honored guests were given aluminium utensils, while the others made do with gold."

Comment: Re:Oblig. Xkcd (Score 1) 247

by robbo (#48526937) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Convincing My Company To Stop Using Passwords?

This got a lot of publicity but it doesn't really add all that much security. Supposing you choose 4 words from a dictionary of 200k (roughly the order of magnitude of the OED), you arrive at about 70 bits of entropy. Conversely, choosing a 10-character password from a 62 letter alphabet (a-zA-Z0-9) yields 59 bits of entropy- the difference is only a factor of 1024. Attackers aren't so dumb as to just try choosing random characters- they have very good priors on how common any particular character sequence is in the typical password and will mix and match entire words, with or without leetspeak substitutions, etc.

Of course no matter how rigorous your policy, it all goes out the window once your users type the same password into some other random site.

Comment: Complexity is a red herring (Score 2) 247

by robbo (#48526653) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Convincing My Company To Stop Using Passwords?

Complexity matters mainly if your attacker gains offline access to your hashes. Far and away the main source of password compromise is non-uniqueness (using the same password elsewhere). This is actually the main benefit of forcing a periodic password change. Graphical and gesture passwords are horribly insecure from shoulder surfers.
If you can, support as many factors as possible. Multiple factors gives your users flexibility- they may not always be able to receive an SMS or have a card reader handy. TPM-based virtual smart cards are super handy for remote auth from a domain-joined device- no cards or readers required.

Comment: Re: 2 Questions (Score 2) 294

by valkraider (#48163855) Attached to: Michigan About To Ban Tesla Sales

Can't believe that to be the case, because that would mean the people in charge of Tesla's Marketing Department are complete morons - never has a new car salesman tried to "steer" a potential sale to their competitors.

Remember - most dealerships sell multiple makes. If one of their makes gives the dealership more kickback - the dealership pushes that make. Also, dealerships sell many models. They push the models they want - instead of simply answering questions, informing the consumer, and helping the consumer into an appropriate configuration. Finally - dealerships make a ton of money on "add ons". If a particular model has fewer available after sale add ons available - a dealership will avoid that model. This is all before considering the profits they make on service. Can't sell oil changes to Tesla buyers - so let's push the BMW or Porsche instead... Look. Tactics like these laws are simply fear. Dealerships suck. Everyone knows they suck. The only people I know who defend dealerships are people who work there.

Comment: You're applying for the wrong jobs. (Score 2) 479

by robbo (#47977097) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Finding a Job After Completing Computer Science Ph.D?

Don't apply for a dev job. Assuming there was sufficient math in your PhD apply for a data science or data analyst role, which will include a fair share of programming but also mentally engaging work. Hiring managers for these roles look for people that have strong analytical skills and the ability to learn new things (proof: you have a PhD). What languages you know is secondary in these roles to how well you dig in to a problem and deliver insights.

Comment: assert side-effects and gcc fp optimizations (Score 1) 729

Gotchas more than quirks:
- the day you realize you put a side effect in an assert() call.
- the day you realize GCC, maybe it was V2, not sure this is still an issue, exploits extra bits of precision in the Intel FPU, *only if* optimizations are enabled, which causes certain iterative floating point algorithms (eg SVD) to fail to converge.

In both cases everything works great in debug builds but goes to hell in release builds and it's incredibly painful to get to root cause.

Comment: Welcome to our world (Score 1) 175

by Joe Tie. (#47546643) Attached to: Amputee Is German Long Jump Champion
As a disabled person, this whole discussion strikes me as some pretty big sour grapes. I sure never see this level of abject shock and horror about how fair things should be when it comes to me not being able to participate in things. But aside from this post, I usually don't whine about how unfair things are. Life gives some people different advantages. Sorry 99% of the people on this thread, you're getting a tiny look into what every day is like for disabled people.

Comment: Re:Key is non-programming skills (Score 1) 466

by robbo (#46990663) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Minimum Programming Competence In Order To Get a Job?

+1000. The OP has embedded hardware skills which is a relatively rare skill-set- the barrier to entry is for sure a lot higher than basic software programming. My advice would be to leverage the hardware skillset into some new embedded programming domain (learn new hardware-specific tricks). There's little-to-no value in reinventing yourself as a generic programmer.

Comment: Beans & Rice, Rice & Beans (Score 4, Informative) 390

by BKX (#46796557) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Hungry Students, How Common?

It's like Dave Ramsey says: if you're broke, then eat "beans and rice, rice and beans." It's easy and cheap, even in a dorm.

1. Rice cookers are like $10-20. Get one with a steamer tray. It doesn't have a burner and can't start a fire, so tell your RA to fuck off.
2. Buy rice at the Asian store. It'll cost $1/lb for good Jasmine rice (brown rice only, you'll need the nutrients). (You don't have an Asian store? My ass. Or try the Mexican store. You don't have a Mexican store, either? Shut the fuck up and stop lying. Open your eyebulbs; they're everywhere.)
3. Buy bullion cubes and/or soup base (it comes in a jar) for flavor. You can get that stuff cheap at the Asian store.
4. Buy beans in a can from Save-a-Lot/Aldi/cheapo-store. I like navy beans and fava beans. There're a few dozen other kinds. Get what's cheap. One can a day, minimum.
5. Put the rice, soup base/bullion/soup mix and water in the rice cooker and press the button. Add the beans when it's done. Enjoy.
6. If you're feeling rich, chicken or sausage or burger patties go in the steamer tray.
7. The Asian store will also have cheap noodles that the rice cooker will cook just fine. Cheaper than ramen. (You still need the beans, or you'll eventually get something nasty like beri-beri.)
8. Oatmeal and raisins make a good, fast breakfast. (Add sugar packets and creamers from wherever other people get coffee.)
9. You'll also need to add some vitamin C every once in while to prevent scurvy. Any fruit or fruit juice will do. Tea made from fresh pine needles (actual pine trees only) will do in a pinch. I like raisins, apples, bananas, and oranges, which are all usually cheap enough.

You can actually live on that stuff for months at a time without dying. The soup base/bullion and occasional noodles and meat will keep you from committing suicide.

Comment: Re:Thanks for peptuating (Score 2) 164

by BKX (#46588835) Attached to: Peter Molyneux: Working For Microsoft Is Like Taking Antidepressants

There is some thought that those people are so depressed that they aren't even capable of marshaling the energy to commit suicide. When you give them an antidepressant, they start to become less depressed and but are still depressed enough to be suicidal, only now they have the energy to kill themselves, and so do it.

The solution of problems is the most characteristic and peculiar sort of voluntary thinking. -- William James