Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!


Forgot your password?

Comment: Arrest Donald Knuth? (Score 2) 205

by gnasher719 (#49734149) Attached to: Australian Law Could Criminalize the Teaching of Encryption
Volume 2 of "The Art Of Computer Programming" contains an excellent description of RSA.

Actually, a decent mathematician should figure out RSA if you just remind them that every prime number has a primitive root, and that primitive roots of about half of all primes can be used to solve x^3 = a (modulo p) for primes p, and to solve x^3 = a (modulo pq) for a product of two primes pq if p and q are known, but not if only the product pq is known.

For large primes (like 1024 or 2048 bit) the number of calculations needed are a bit lengthy, but even a naive implementation on a modern computer is fast enough to implement it. Maybe not fast enough for hard disk encryption, but fast enough to encrypt a few megabytes of documents.

Comment: Re:Cui bono? (Score 1) 71

by gnasher719 (#49721091) Attached to: Apple Acquires GPS Start-Up

Why does Apple feel the compulsion to plow money into an inferior map service? It only benefit their iphone niche until they can't sustain a lower end iphone market.

They are just copying a Google strategy. Google does things just to mess up things for competitors. That's why you have Google Apps (take that, Microsoft!) and Android (take that, Apple!). Maps is just a bit of payback. A few billion dollars that don't end up in Google's pocket. That alone is worth it for Apple.

That said, when was the last time you looked at Apple Maps? Used it in London at the weekend, and it looked quite a bit better than Google maps. On a iPad or iPhone, it is ages better.

Comment: Re:call me skeptical (Score 1) 190

What I'm pointing out is that him previously stating that he took control of a virtual plane does not rule out him subsequently taking control of a real plane, though it's not clear from the article just what period "previously" covers, and now I think about it it's vague enough to make little sense whichever way you take it.

But that's about the same as arresting a film team and the actors for bank robbery, after they filmed a movie depicting a bank robbery.

Comment: Re:Both ways? (Score 1) 84

by gnasher719 (#49687743) Attached to: Apple, A123 To Settle Lawsuit Over Poached Battery Engineers

If your start-up (i.e. poor) company is dependent on the work your lead researcher is doing, and an other company offers $bignum to hire her (with a co-hiring bonus for every former cow-irker that follows), and everyone involved except you are in on the deal, how can you possibly bid to keep your top dog, especially since he already has a fairly good understanding of what you can - and cannot - afford to pay?

And what reason can you give why the lead researcher shouldn't be able to make more money?

Comment: Re:Here's the thing (Score 1) 84

by gnasher719 (#49687739) Attached to: Apple, A123 To Settle Lawsuit Over Poached Battery Engineers

everyone has a price, and if you have the dollars, you can use the dollars from your monopoly to poach anyone. This isn't an anti-collusion suit; this is a civil suit about monopoly abuses.

You're being ridiculous. This is a suit about one company not liking that another company offers an employee a better paying job. To which I say "suck it up".

Comment: Re:How Responsible? (Score 1) 152

by gnasher719 (#49684743) Attached to: How Responsible Are App Developers For Decisions Their Users Make?

I doubt that there has ever been a single case in recorded history where a customer has been able to actually write a proper specification for the software that they want.

So therefore there has never been a single case in recorded history where software developers have known what they needed to know to do their jobs. How can you POSSIBLY expect them to do the job right?

In a reasonable world, you pick the right person to do the right job. Gathering requirements and turning them into a proper specification needs a lot of talent, practice, and hard work. Your customer is very unlikely to have the talent or practice. That's the job of the company producing the software to supply the person who can do it.

The job of the software developer is to recognise rubbish specs, push back when the specs are rubbish, and otherwise implement the spec. It's not that difficult.

Comment: Re:There I fixed it for you... (Score 1) 152

by gnasher719 (#49684665) Attached to: How Responsible Are App Developers For Decisions Their Users Make?

Yep, to this day, I"m still amazed that we have to have warning tags on hair blow dryers, that not only have it in print, but also with cartoon like diagrams warning you to NOT use the blow dryer while in the bathtub filled with water.

I'm not amazed at all. People who put their pets into the microwave to dry them will complain to the microwave manufacturer. People who use a hair dryer in the bathtub filled with water don't complain afterwards.

Comment: Re:Finally (Score 1) 858

by gnasher719 (#49680595) Attached to: Religious Affiliation Shrinking In the US

"Hi, I'm Muhammad, I can't write, read or preform simple math. I'm totally illiterate, have epilepsy, like to wear diapers on my head and ride unicorns. Let me tell you about Islam where women are objects, female children, much like Christianity, are rape objects and science must be outlawed at all costs, oh and don't think about drawing a picture of me, or someone could kill you"

Actually, the "don't draw a picture" is a quite sensible rule for muslims, so they don't get confused that Allah is the important thing and Mohammed is just the lowly messenger, after looking at his picture for too long. Even if you are a muslim, drawing a picture of Mohammed should only result in some explanation _why_ a muslim shouldn't draw this. If you are not a muslim, then nobody should care.

Now of course all those people who are not really interested in religion but in reasons to kill other people take this as a good excuse for murder.

Comment: Re:But... (Score 1) 244

Elton John wrote one of his biggest hits 'Your Song' in 20 minutes. Even if it takes a whole month, it's still not worth 70 years of royalties.

If it is good enough that people are willing to pay for it 70 years after it is written, then surely it deserves the royalties.

If I build a house and rent it out, surely I deserve the rent payment as long as the house is in a good enough state where people want to rent it?

Remember that all these artists only get royalties when people actually listen to their music.

Comment: Re:Get it in writing (Score 1) 353

What about this situation: You're a construction worker and at some point during your workday, you find a smurf and attach it to the hammer you were using to do some hammering. The smurfhammer proves to work ten times better than the smurfless hammer -- a great invention!

According to your reasoning, the company the construction worker works for now owns the smurfhammer (2000).

The construction worker is paid to do construction work, the software developer is paid for writing code, the researcher is paid to do original research. The company owns the construction work, and the software developed, and the results of the research.

The companies don't own what is outside of the paid work, which would be the hammer that the construction worker invented, the painting that the software developer painted in his spare time, and the million dollars the original researcher won in the lottery.

Comment: Re:Hacked (Score 1) 369

by gnasher719 (#49647821) Attached to: Keurig Stock Drops, Says It Was Wrong About DRM Coffee Pods

It doesn't matter how trivial and stupid the DRM is - what matters is that circumventing it is illegal.

The DRM is on Keurig's coffee pods. If you couldn't brew them in another coffee machine, and you circumvented that, that _might_ be illegal. But you are buying DRM-free coffee. There is nothing in the DMCA that prevents you from doing that. Like it may be illegal to play DVDs with DRM without permission, but it isn't illegal to play DVDs without DRM, and that's what people are doing.

Comment: Re:Yep, they were... (Score 1) 369

by gnasher719 (#49647787) Attached to: Keurig Stock Drops, Says It Was Wrong About DRM Coffee Pods

Keurig has every right to place DRM checking into the brewers. And we have every right to get rid of it

Actually, it's CRM - coffer right management :-)

Their problem is (apart from upsetting people who buy their coffee makers) that as long as you don't copy the software in their machines, which you obviously wouldn't want to anyway, there is nothing in their machines that is actually in fact protected by the DMCA. They are in the same situation as Lexmark was. When they read the DMCA they read "...yadda yadda yadda encryption yadda yadda yadda protected yadda yadda yadda..." but they didn't bother actually reading the other words. Just because there is encryption _somewhere_ in your product doesn't mean you can prevent people from doing things.

This is like having a DVD player that plays encrypted DVDs just fine, and using it to play unencrypted DVDs. DMCA cannot stop you from doing that.

Comment: Re:Yep, they were... (Score 1) 369

by gnasher719 (#49647377) Attached to: Keurig Stock Drops, Says It Was Wrong About DRM Coffee Pods

I have to disagree with you. This wasn't a case of "hey, let's try this new, innovative thing" followed by "whups, unintended consequences, we need to stop doing that". This was a case of "Hey, those printer ink guys can get away with this stunt,

The printer ink guys didn't get away with it. They went to court, and were told that the DMCA didn't mean what they thought it meant. Their biggest problem was that nobody actually copied their software, so their argument failed completely.

Comment: Re:Not sure there's a case (Score 4, Informative) 257

Wouldn't these be considered trade secrets and under the responsibility of the sorority to guard against disclosure?

They are not trade secrets, because they are not involved in trade. It is a trade secret if you keep it secret, and the fact that you know it and others don't gives you an advantage in trade. For example, if you knew how to make nice burgers for 10 cent less than your competitor, that would give you an advantage as long as your competitor doesn't know about. it.

But otherwise, just because you want to keep it secret doesn't mean it has legal protection.

Comment: Re:New government regulation in Brownbackistan? (Score 1) 302

by gnasher719 (#49628151) Attached to: Uber Forced Out of Kansas

Regardless of your thoughts on Uber, this does leave me a little confused given the good Governer's pro-business, small government stance. Isn't this government regulation? Isn't this the OPPOSITE of the political principles of the conservative Republican base? Shouldn't the marketplace be allowed to take care of the question?

The problem is that there is one very well financed business that refuses to play by the rules that were forced for many years on all the other businesses. Giving an unfair advantage to one business isn't "business friendly".

A good supervisor can step on your toes without messing up your shine.