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Comment: Re:Ah, PDP8 (Score 1) 90

by hackertourist (#49360141) Attached to: Rebuilding the PDP-8 With a Raspberry Pi

Interesting; things apparently regressed before they could progress. The first paper tape reader for a computer (Colossus) read at 5000 characters/s in normal operation, and could be cranked up to 9700 char/s (85 km/h), but the tape wasn't strong enough to survive that speed for long.
Of course, the Official Secrets Act made sure the Colossus design wasn't available on the open market.

Encryption

Generate Memorizable Passphrases That Even the NSA Can't Guess 261

Posted by timothy
from the exercise-for-the-reader dept.
HughPickens.com writes Micah Lee writes at The Intercept that coming up with a good passphrase by just thinking of one is incredibly hard, and if your adversary really is capable of one trillion guesses per second, you'll probably do a bad job of it. It turns out humans are a species of patterns, and they are incapable of doing anything in a truly random fashion. But there is a method for generating passphrases that are both impossible for even the most powerful attackers to guess, yet very possible for humans to memorize. First, grab a copy of the Diceware word list, which contains 7,776 English words — 37 pages for those of you printing at home. You'll notice that next to each word is a five-digit number, with each digit being between 1 and 6. Now grab some six-sided dice (yes, actual real physical dice), and roll them several times, writing down the numbers that you get. You'll need a total of five dice rolls to come up with each word in your passphrase. Using Diceware, you end up with passphrases that look like "cap liz donna demon self", "bang vivo thread duct knob train", and "brig alert rope welsh foss rang orb". If you want a stronger passphrase you can use more words; if a weaker passphrase is ok for your purpose you can use less words. If you choose two words for your passphrase, there are 60,466,176 different potential passphrases. A five-word passphrase would be cracked in just under six months and a six-word passphrase would take 3,505 years, on average, at a trillion guesses a second.

After you've generated your passphrase, the next step is to commit it to memory.You should write your new passphrase down on a piece of paper and carry it with you for as long as you need. Each time you need to type it, try typing it from memory first, but look at the paper if you need to. Assuming you type it a couple times a day, it shouldn't take more than two or three days before you no longer need the paper, at which point you should destroy it. "Simple, random passphrases, in other words, are just as good at protecting the next whistleblowing spy as they are at securing your laptop," concludes Lee. "It's a shame that we live in a world where ordinary citizens need that level of protection, but as long as we do, the Diceware system makes it possible to get CIA-level protection without going through black ops training."

Comment: Re:Good points, bad points (Score 1) 282

by hackertourist (#49334187) Attached to: Ford's New Car Tech Prevents You From Accidentally Speeding

In my country, the police issue ca. 7 million speeding tickets each year. With around 7 million cars registered, every car owner gets one speeding ticket/year on average. To get this many tickets, speed is checked automatically and rigidly, with a margin of only 3% to allow for measurement errors.
This means situational awareness is not enough to avoid speeding tickets. If you rely on situational awareness alone, you end up with a margin of 10% (more on motorways), which is just too much.
Last year I bought my first car with cruise control. One of the big surprises was how much the cognitive load dropped from not having to constantly micromanage my speed and look out for speed cameras. My situational awareness improved (less time spent glancing at the speedometer).

Youtube

YouTube Video of Racist Chant Results In Fraternity Closure 606

Posted by samzenpus
from the watch-what-you-say dept.
HughPickens.com writes The NYT reports that after a video was posted on YouTube that appeared to show members of the members Sigma Alpha Epsilon at University of Oklahoma singing a racist chant, the organization's board decided "with no mental reservation whatsoever that this chapter needed to be closed immediately." The video shows a group of young white people in formal wear riding a bus and singing a chant laden with antiblack slurs and at least one reference to lynching. A grinning young man wearing a tuxedo and standing in the aisle of the bus pumps his fist in the air as he chants, while a young woman seated nearby claps. The chant vows that African-Americans will "never" be allowed to join the campus chapter.

The nine-second video was uploaded to YouTube on Sunday by a student group, the Unheard Movement, that first identified the people in it as members of Sigma Alpha Epsilon, although the group did not indicate how it obtained the video or when it was filmed. University president, David Boren, said in an emailed statement that the administration was also investigating the video. "I have just been informed of the video, which purports to show students to show students engaging in a racist chant. We are investigating to determine if the video involved OU students. If O.U. students are involved, this behavior will not be tolerated and will be addressed very quickly," said Boren. "This behavior is reprehensible and contrary to all of our values." Students marched on the campus of the University of Oklahoma on Monday to protest the video.

Comment: Re:I'd expect lots of cross-over branding crap (Score 1) 208

by hackertourist (#49179045) Attached to: What Would Minecraft 2 Look Like Under Microsoft?

Do you know how the Lego Minecraft set came to be? Mojang submitted a proposal to Lego Cuusoo (since renamed to Lego Ideas). On this site anyone can submit ideas for Lego sets, when an idea attracts 10,000 votes Lego will look into producing it as a set. We got some cool stuff that way: the Curiosity rover, for instance. The Minecraft set also got lots of votes, and the rest is history.

Comment: Re:Wrong conclusion (Score 2) 135

by hackertourist (#49149561) Attached to: Adjusting To a Martian Day More Difficult Than Expected

Damn you for making me read the entire FA ;-/

They did do a study that contradicts earlier experiments:

A person's natural circadian rhythm averages about 24 hours and six minutes for women, and 24 hours and 12 minutes for men. It varies for each individual, but doesn't stray very far from 24 hours. At about the time Pathfinder landed, Czeisler and his team began conducting studies at the hospital's special laboratory that shielded study subjects from all outside influences. With their test subjects in isolation, they simulated the Martian sol to see how the test subjects adjusted to the longer day. "What we learned was none of the people adapted their circadian rhythms to the Martian day," Czeisler said.

So either earlier studies were off, or Czeisler's experiment was wrong (having e.g. the HVAC on a 24-h cycle, or background noise etc.).

Comment: Wrong conclusion (Score 5, Insightful) 135

by hackertourist (#49148837) Attached to: Adjusting To a Martian Day More Difficult Than Expected

Living on Mars time is difficult when you're living on Earth and are subject to Earth's day/night cycle.

Sensory deprivation experiments where people live without clocks and daylight for more than a few days show that people tend to lengthen their "day" to much more than a Mars sol (up to 36 hours IIRC), indicating that adjusting to Mars time is feasible when you're actually on Mars.

Medicine

Surgeon: First Human Head Transplant May Be Just Two Years Away 210

Posted by samzenpus
from the brand-new-chassis dept.
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Michelle Star writes at C/net that Surgeon Sergio Canavero, director of the Turin Advanced Neuromodulation Group in Italy, believes he has developed a technique to remove the head from a non-functioning body and transplant it onto the healthy body. According to Canavero's paper published in Surgical Neurology International, first, both the transplant head and the donor body need to be cooled in order to slow cell death. Then, the neck of both would be cut and the major blood vessels linked with tubes. Finally, the spinal cords would be severed, with as clean a cut as possible. Joining the spinal cords, with the tightly packed nerves inside, is key. The plan involves flushing the area with polyethylene glycol, followed by several hours of injections of the same, a chemical that encourages the fat in cell membranes to mesh. The blood vessels, muscles and skin would then be sutured and the patient would be induced into a coma for several weeks to keep them from moving around; meanwhile, electrodes would stimulate the spine with electricity in an attempt to strengthen the new nerve connections.

Head transplants has been tried before. In 1970, Robert White led a team at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, US, that tried to transplant the head of one monkey on to the body of another. The surgeons stopped short of a full spinal cord transfer, so the monkey could not move its body. Despite Canavero's enthusiasm, many surgeons and neuroscientists believe massive technical hurdles push full body transplants into the distant future. The starkest problem is that no one knows how to reconnect spinal nerves and make them work again. "This is such an overwhelming project, the possibility of it happening is very unlikely," says Harry Goldsmith."
Crime

Uber Offers Free Rides To Koreans, Hopes They Won't Report Illegal Drivers 193

Posted by samzenpus
from the what-happens-in-seoul-stays-in-seoul dept.
itwbennett writes Uber Technologies is offering free rides on its uberX ride-sharing service in the South Korean capital of Seoul, after city authorities intensified their crackdown on illegal drivers by offering a reward to residents who report Uber drivers to police. South Korean law prohibits unregistered drivers from soliciting passengers using private or rented vehicles and carries a penalty of up to two years in prison or fines of up to 20 million won.

Comment: Re:This is (sort of) good news for Americans (Score 2) 215

by hackertourist (#49037247) Attached to: Russia Seeking To Ban Tor, VPNs and Other Anonymizing Tools

That didn't work the last time. Remember the '80s? Oh, how we laughed at the KGB, Stasi et al. and their invasive ways. Listening to everybody, having half the population on the payroll and informing on the other half, reading all mail etc.
How superior we felt, with our freedoms.

Now look where we are.

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