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Comment Re:One time pad (Score 1) 91 91

What you've described has been known for centuries as a "book cipher". Benedict Arnold used one during the American Revolutionary War to protect his treasonous communication with England.

Anyway, there's a really fun way to beat this kind of encryption today. If Mallory can get Alice or Bob to send a copy of BLACK_SQUARE.BMP, it's literally game over. Imagine XORing your key against a bunch of binary zeros. The result is a big patch of the cleartext version of the data that is your key. Google will find that faster than you can.

I did this to a friend who had the same idea in a "you'll never guess my encryption" challenge. After getting him to download a copy of BLACK.GIF, I stared at the intercepted results for many seconds longer than I should have. It output a repeating string of something like SLASHDOTTODHSALS, so I said that's your key. He was arguing because his key was SLASHDOT, and his "algorithm" was to invert the letters of the key word and append a copy to the end of the key. My mind boggled because I was expecting encryption, not immediate success at recovering his key and data.

Now, let's say you're smart enough to avoid encrypting BLACK_SQUARE.BMP. I can still achieve most of the same results by predicting that your data stream will contain "Host:", "Content-Type:", "Accept: text/plain", "User-Agent:", "HTML", "BODY", and other such 'cribs' (I was all set up to apply this logic to the intercepted message from my friend mentioned above.) By matching fragments of my guesses with your message, I can look to see if I recover legible text. It only takes a surprisingly small amount of recovered text to be able to identify the source.

Comment Re:Smart (Score 1) 272 272

Cite? From what I see that ceases being true by about age 30 for the vast majority of people.

No, you've got that backwards. Millenials don't give a shit about cars. But IME the majority of people who give their cars names are over thirty and female, or over fifty and male.

You've changed your claim. You're now discussing not the majority of people but the majority of people who name their cars which as far as I can tell is a very, very small percentage of automobile owners. I find it believable that people who name their cars wouldn't like to rent one. Note that that's not the same as saying I believe it.

Your claim about ages rings hollow to me, though. I don't know anyone over the age of 25 who has named their car. Of course, I only know two people who have named their cars, period (one is 21 and one is 19).

However, my experience doesn't really matter. You're the one making the claim that no one will be willing to buy a car that doesn't perfectly fit all of their needs, so it's on you to support it, not on me to refute it.

Comment Re:The network for your one friend who hates Faceb (Score 1) 245 245

I'll have you know, we Facebook refuseniks have equal scorn for Google+.

Speak for yourself. I refuse to use Facebook, but quite like Google+. I also have a Twitter account, which I never use. But I dumped Facebook the second or third time they changed my privacy settings without asking me, and have no intention of every going back.

Comment Re:Google did it (Score 1) 66 66

Apple is innovating by bringing this to cellphones and screwing carries out of voicemail minutes.

Assuming anyone even cares about minutes any more, Google Voice does the same. When GV answers your phone and takes voicemail it doesn't use your cell minutes. And users of GV rarely dial in to listen to their voicemails either; the transcription is so good they just glance at the e-mail/SMS/Hangout message and get what they need to from it.

Apple may indeed be able to find some way to innovate in this space, but simply transcribing voicemails isn't going to do it.

Comment Re:Smart (Score 1) 272 272

No it doesn't. A 30 min supercharge only gives you a 50% charge, which is about 140 miles, which is a bit over 2 hours at highway speeds. Nobody I know stops to eat every 2.5 hours while on a long trip.

Well, my experience with my kids is that we stop every two hours. Not necessarily to eat. Granted that it's often for 15-20 minutes rather than 30, but it wouldn't be difficult to wait a few minutes more before heading out.

Comment Re:Smart (Score 2) 272 272

currently the battery packs alone are $8k - $12k

LEAF batteries are $6K.

getting people to give up a major factor of anything (in this case Range/"Refueling" time) requires a significant incentive

There is no "refueling time" issue to "give up". Refueling time is a major advantage of EVs for everyday use... refueling my EV takes ten seconds. Five when I get out of the car and plug it in at night, and five more when I unplug it in the morning. I find my ICEV much, much more of a bother to keep fueled.

This is only true in the exceptional case of long-distance, non-stop travel. And even there, all it takes is enough range and fast-enough recharging to ensure that the car doens't need to spend any more time refueling than the people do.

Comment Re:Core subjetc my a$$.... (Score 1) 103 103

But I get the feeling what theses clowns are aiming to do is get people to learn basic coding in order to flood the market with code monkeys that know how to write an if-then-else statement in order to deflate CS salaries......Make it so that anybody with a high school diploma can apply for entry-level coding jobs.

Right, because what Microsoft and Facebook are looking for is entry-level coders for jobs that don't require much more than an if-then-else statement. I suppose it's remotely possible that flooding the entry-level market could reduce pressure on the higher end, but I highly doubt that the effect would be noticeable. The skills gap is just too large and the productivity difference between the top and bottom ends too large.

What's more likely is that they realize that good programmers are as much born as made, and that there is a percentage of the population who could be good but currently are never even exposed to it enough to find out how much they would like it. In other words, they aren't looking to pull in lots of little fish, they're looking to trawl a bigger part of the ocean for the big fish that they're trying to find.

I suspect there's also an element of "mainstreaming" involved. The programming culture can be offputting to many people, so by making it more normal they hope to interest more of the potentially-great software engineers who currently look at the culture and stay far away. Like women.

Comment Re:The issue is not title 2 (Score 1) 121 121

As I said you have apparently never been to a country that lets anything go up on a pole. Very soon they become unmanageable, wires start blocking out the view ruining common space. Burying them runs out even faster as good building practices have pretty wide exclusions zones between pipes.

Muni fiber is the middle ground everybody can compete offer whatever they want without ruining the commons. It's little different than forcing everybody to use the same poles or would you advocate every provider has to install there own and can work out sharing arrangements amongst themselves? So yes it's in the communities best interest to limit the exploitation of the commons while not constraining innovation. Nothing says anybody has be be required to use the fiber but outside of incumbents you have no advantage not to.

Comment Re:Not surprising (Score 1) 272 272

The problem is not want to buy but can afford to buy. Tesla is at the high end of what I would consider the car pricing range if you leave out the super premium and exotics. As a result, many people who might preferentially buy one simply can't afford one.

Sure, but that's only an issue if the regulations specify Tesla levels of performance and efficiency. I'm suggesting the regs could be written with the most efficient ICE automobiles on the market *today* as the benchmark for what is feasible. These are by not necessarily fantastically expensive, nor are they hair-shirt city cars. The Mazda 3 is a four door sedan that seats five and has an engine that delivers 184 hp at 26 mpg city/35 highway; MSRP is 18.8K$. If you need a people mover you can get a seven passenger Mitsubishi minivan rated 25 city/31 highway for 23.2k$.

It's clear that the current state of the art in ICE makes affordable, practical cars that exceed the current average mileage technologically feasible. They're being sold now. If on the other hand you want high performance, e.g., to go 0-60 mph in under 4 seconds, then you're talking big bucks and exotic technology.

What manufacturers won't be able to do is slap a tarted-up body on a primitive $26,000 truck chassis, call it an SUV, and charge $50,000 for it. I'm talking about the Silverado based Suburban. I think there's a place in the world for such vehicles, but it's insane to charge an additional 24k to slap two rows of seating in place of a pickup bed; there's plenty of headroom to charge a gas guzzler tax on that one.

Comment Re:Casino Noise (Score 1) 129 129

Property tax is still an indirect tax on economic activity, as I pointed out above, since the value of property is defined by economic activity (whether the property is actually used or not), and since property tax directly affects the cost of all economic activity involving property which, ultimately, is all economic activity or so close to all as makes no difference. There may be some business, somewhere, which requires no capital expenditures and takes place entirely on public land, but it certainly isn't the norm. It's true that some economic activity is more capital intensive than other economic activity, but I don't see how that implies that economic activity which is less capital-intensive necessarily makes fewer claims on government or should be taxed less.

And I still don't see that the Broken Window Fallacy is a counterexample. Perhaps I'm dense. Or perhaps we disagree on the meaning of "counterexamples". At best it seems to highlight that economic activity and property value aren't the same thing, but I don't think that was ever in dispute.

Comment Re:Smart (Score 1) 272 272

So for those several times per year, rent a car.

I lived in Colorado for three years, and regularly (almost monthly) made the 8-hour drive to my parents' home. Most of that time I had two vehicles, a Dodge Durango (needed to tow the camp trailer or boat, and to haul the whole family), and a Nissan LEAF, which was my commuter and the around-the-town vehicle when the whole family wasn't going. Given the amount of gas the Durango consumes I found it more economical (when all the kids weren't going) to rent a Prius or similar for the trips home. It worked great. Some unanticipated benefits were that the car tends to get pretty dirty when you drive it a thousand-plus miles in a short stretch, cluttered up with fast food containers and whatnot -- and there's an increased risk of spills and stains. So it's nice to just let Hertz deal with all of that.

Anyway, the point is that it's perfectly reasonable to choose a vehicle that is optimized for 95% of your driving, and rent one that is optimized for the other 5%. It can actually be very cost-effective. I've been looking into getting rid of the Durango and renting when I need a toy hauler, but so far it looks like the premiums charged for those sorts of vehicles make it a non-starter vs my paid-off SUV. Also, I haul the boat or trailer almost weekly during the summer, so the frequency of rentals would get annoying.

Imagination is more important than knowledge. -- Albert Einstein