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Comment: Not distributed (Score 1) 9

by Animats (#47962527) Attached to: Researchers Propose a Revocable Identity-Based Encryption Scheme

I'm not qualified to judge whether it's secure, but it's not distributed. "Each user is provided by PKG with a set of private keys corresponding to his/her identity for each node on the path from his/her associated leaf to the root of the tree via a secure channel as in IBE scheme." So there's a tree of all users, maintained by somebody. I think; the paper suffered in translation.

Comment: Re:Some details about the 3D printer (Score 1) 105

by DerekLyons (#47962311) Attached to: SpaceX Launches Supplies to ISS, Including Its First 3D Printer

And after you do all of those things, sometimes something breaks that you don't have a spare for. And when the nearest replacement part is nine months away, you're screwed.

Sure, there's that one-in-a-million chance. I never argued that point - only that you have no idea how the world works. And by insisting that we must take into account that one-in-a-million chance, I'd add the argument that you're resistant to any suggestion that you might know less than you do.

Being able to make spare parts is a GOOD thing.

Another point I never argued against. I merely pointed out just how far we are from being anywhere near that stage.

And the fewer things you have to carry along to make spare parts with, the better.

Again, a point I never argued against. (Etc... etc... just repeating the above.)

Comment: Re:"Smart" is a misnomer (Score 1) 86

by fermion (#47962045) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Alternate Software For Use On Smartboards?
Honestly, Smartboards in modern use case is a scam. It is essentially a big mousepad. The reason that most people buy it is because they do not understand basic computer/physics/electronic stuff. I am serious here, some don't understand that they can project on a normal whiteboard. Now one can use a smartphone as a remote mouse to control whatever you want to better than the board.

About the only reason that the smartboard is useful is because administrators like teachers to stand in front of the class and pretend to teach. Although writing on a slate or ipad and having it show up on the board can be better, the teacher standing in front of the room is still seen as the old fashion as the better solution.

If I am honest, though the smartboard software is bloated, there are some things it does very well, although it is still better to not use the smartboard. There was a time when the board itself was interesting to kids, but now they all have smartphones.

So to answer the question, if there is not something in the software that you absolutely have to use, like the math symbols, then don't use it. Download mobile mouse or something like it to control the computer. There are many drawing apps that will allow you, or any student, to write. I have a slate.

Comment: Re:Bullshit. (Score 1) 188

by swillden (#47961985) Attached to: Secret Service Critics Pounce After White House Breach

I'm gay. I live in Belgium. Our Prime Minister is gay. I saw him in the club Friday night. It doesn't _have_ to be like it is in the US.

Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't, but your example really doesn't have much bearing. The US has 30X the population of Belgium. 40X the GDP, 56X the military personnel and probably 100X the impact on world events -- all of which means there are perhaps four orders of magnitude more people interested in killing the US President than the Belgian Prime Minister (these things scale non-linearly), even when the US isn't actively trying to piss off a lot of people. Which, unfortunately, it has been for several decades now.

Though on second thought, the fact that "Belgium" is the most offensive word in the galaxy (off Earth) may mean that there are more people annoyed at your country than we think. Perhaps Mr. Di Rupo should be more cautious. At the very least, he should keep a towel handy.

Comment: Re:More and serious threats (Score 1) 188

by swillden (#47961913) Attached to: Secret Service Critics Pounce After White House Breach

It's only since the Civil War that the federal government has started to play more of a role than state government in the every day lives of people.

More recent than that. Until the New Deal the federal government was actually smaller than most state governments, and definitely had less impact on most peoples' daily lives.

Comment: Re:What has changed? (Score 1) 188

by Animats (#47960005) Attached to: Secret Service Critics Pounce After White House Breach

There was a time that a citizen could walk right up to the White House.

That lasted until WWII.

Until the 1980s, anyone could enter the Pentagon and wander around the corridors. (George C. Marshall, Army Chief of Staff, decided during WWII that there was no way a building with as many people as the Pentagon could keep spies out, and requiring badges would give a false sense of security.) In the 1960s, anyone could enter most Federal buildings in Washington, including the Capitol and all the House/Senate office buildings, without passing any security checkpoints.

Comment: Re:No issues here (Score 2) 340

by fermion (#47959803) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Is iOS 8 a Pig?
I find it to be a bit slow on my 5. It is very slow on my old iPad. This, I think is normal, and it has gotten faster since I upgraded.

As far as the updates, most applications seem to update when a new iOS comes out. I have not seen an inordinate number of updates. As the Apps have to not only deal with a new OS but also new screen sizes, Apps that are not written to run on many screen sizes will obviously have to be updated.

My problem is that Apple is reintroducing the cloud disk service, a la iDisk, but it is not going to available on mac until the next MacOS, which is not going to be available for at least a month. Those who upgrade when they upgrade their phone will lose access to data on the Mac. There does seem to be some feature bloat at the expense of efficiency.

Comment: Re:Some details about the 3D printer (Score 1) 105

by DerekLyons (#47959791) Attached to: SpaceX Launches Supplies to ISS, Including Its First 3D Printer

3D printing is one of those things that will be pretty much essential for successful manned missions farther away than the moon.

Once 3D printing develops from it's current "stone knives and bearskins" stage of development and reaches the 21st century, sure. But even once the far off day arrives where we can print in a wide variety of materials (I.E. those suited to the task of the parts being replaced) and assuming it reaches the stage where the printed parts don't require substantial hand finishing for precision... it's highly unlikely to be able to print electrical and electronic components, particularly the IC's that will represent a very large component of the failed parts.

Being unable to fix broken things will be fatal if the nearest spare parts are nine months away, and a 3D printer or two can, conceivably, replace a great many individual spare parts....

That's why you carry spare parts with you. And why you "design for maintenance". And why you do extensive development and testing beforehand to figure out what parts are most likely to break. And design parts to be reliable. And reinforce the parts where you can. And... well, there's a vast amount of and dedicated sub fields of engineering dedicated to this kind of thing. No professional goes off the beaten path with the attitude of "oh well, I'm just gonna die if something breaks". There's a reason why "lack of spares" pretty much has never come up in any serious discussion of lunar colonies or missions to Mars. (Not until the amateurs, being largely blithely unaware of how the world works, started playing around with 3D printing.)
Disclaimer: In addition to years of actually seriously studying the space program... I've lived where high reliability could mean the difference between life and death and spares were limited to what was on hand as there was no parts place up on the main road or next day mail. (I.E. a crewman on an SSBN.)

Comment: The President was out. The Secret Service did OK. (Score 1) 188

by Animats (#47959581) Attached to: Secret Service Critics Pounce After White House Breach

It was a Friday evening. The President had left for Camp David earlier, and his main protective detail went with him. Most staffers had gone home. The guy got just inside the outer doors, where there is a security checkpoint, before he was tackled.

The Secret Service made the right choice not shooting the intruder dead on the lawn. They certainly had the capability to kill him. They would have been heavily criticized, with pictures of the dead body on national TV.

On September 12, a man wearing a Pokemon hat and carrying a stuffed animal jumped the White House fence. He was tackled and arrested. Should he have been killed?

Comment: Re:kill -1 (Score 1) 349

by swillden (#47959573) Attached to: Fork of Systemd Leads To Lightweight Uselessd

It's just a slightly-faster reboot that's especially useful when you must ensure the kernel doesn't change (ex. unknown illo/grub state).

I suppose, though I, at least, have never had a situation where I needed to reboot and make sure the kernel doesn't change. I've had mucked-up bootloaders aplenty, but the solution there is to fix the bootloader (and to keep a boot floppy / CD / DVD / USB stick handy).

Comment: Re:kill -1 (Score 1) 349

by swillden (#47959031) Attached to: Fork of Systemd Leads To Lightweight Uselessd

If it still doesn't adequately support the "kill -1" functionality of initd (which kills and resets all processes init manages, especially the getty processes on the terminals), I still don't want it.

What do you do that makes you need kill -1 regularly? I think I've only used it a handful of times in 30 years, and not at all in the last decade or so.

Prediction is very difficult, especially of the future. - Niels Bohr