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Comment: Re:Desktop is dying though (Score 1) 690

by Mysticalfruit (#47715513) Attached to: Linus Torvalds: 'I Still Want the Desktop'
So you wrote this post on a mobile device or desktop? Exactly... The desktop is so "dead" except for the fact that everybody you know including yourself has a desktop at home and at work... Yeah, you've got a mobile device, but honestly how many people do you know who only have a mobile device?

Comment: Re:keys are not issued to someone they are generat (Score 1) 49

by Mr_Icon (#47713381) Attached to: Linux Kernel Git Repositories Add 2-Factor Authentication
Least amount of back-and-forth between the developer and the admin ("sorry, your key has to be at least 2048 bits", "you forgot to sign your mail", "sorry, I sent you guys the wrong key"), plus it helps assure it's a dedicated SSH key and isn't shared between many other projects and therefore copied across workstations. Mostly, though, it reduces hassle.

Comment: But snooped on with what? (Score 3, Interesting) 96

by sacrilicious (#47711743) Attached to: Your Phone Can Be Snooped On Using Its Gyroscope

Researchers will demonstrate the process used to spy on smartphones using gyroscopes at Usenix Security event on August 22, 2014. Researchers from Stanford and a defense research group at Rafael will demonstrate a way to spy on smartphones using gyroscopes at Usenix Security event on August 22, 2014. According to the "Gyrophone: Recognizing Speech From Gyroscope Signals" study, the gyroscopes integrated into smartphones were sensitive enough to enable some sound waves to be picked up, transforming them into crude microphones.

I can't help but feel like there are gyroscopes involved in this process somehow...

Comment: Re:keys are not issued to someone they are generat (Score 1) 49

by Mr_Icon (#47704449) Attached to: Linux Kernel Git Repositories Add 2-Factor Authentication
There is no mistake here -- the ssh private keys are generated on the provisioning system, encrypted to the developer's PGP key (which is verified using the PGP web of trust) and then emailed out. The developer then decrypts the ssh private key on their workstation using their own PGP private key. Our copy of the ssh private key is destroyed in the process, so we only keep the ssh public key. PGP web of trust is king in the world.

Comment: Re:Here, copy this! (Score 1) 179

by Mysticalfruit (#47696733) Attached to: Xiaomi's Next OS Looks Strikingly Similar To iOS
I've handled one of these phones and holy crap... Until I dug down into it, I *thought* it was running iOS. It's a straight up, shameless copying on the entire interface, down to the configuration menus. Even then, unless you knew what you were looking for, an end user would just assume it was iOS.

I can't imagine Apple not going to the WTO and waving their hands ineffectively as the Chinese make a mockery of international copyrights.

Comment: Re:pharmaceutical patents (Score 1) 240

by mdfst13 (#47690941) Attached to: Patents That Kill

it would make both high-risk and low-risk drug development more profitable, and companies would still choose low-risk drug development.

Why would it make low-risk drug development more profitable? I'm assuming you mean the minor variants when you refer to low-risk drugs. Currently they get the full patent period for minor variants, since they are already authorized to sell them. This makes minor variants ridiculously more profitable than new drugs. Under my system, the minor variants get a much shorter patent period while the original drug gets a longer patent period. Well, a longer sales period.

Note: it's interesting that the original post describes the opposite problem (at least in wording). The article is about high-risk drugs being favored over low-risk drugs. This is because high-risk drugs succeed or fail quickly. Low-risk drugs take longer to test. Therefore the system is biased towards dangerous drugs. I'm guessing that you meant business risk rather than medical risk, as otherwise, your post makes no sense to me.

I'm also unclear as to why "socialized costs for prescription drugs" causes minor variants to be favored over new drugs. Yes, it causes new drugs (both variants and original drugs) to be less expensive to the user than they otherwise would be. It discourages doctors from making a trade off between cost and efficacy. But looking purely at the variant/original issue, I don't see how it matters. This is not to say that I don't agree with making prescription drugs bought by end users. I like that idea, although I suspect that it would be politically unpalatable.

Now if you want to raise a new issue of new drugs being encouraged in areas where there are already perfectly good old drugs, then that's a separate issue. My suggestion won't help with that, as it's completely orthogonal to that issue. It's not intended as a cure all. It's focused on two problems: the favoring of minor variants over original testing and the corporate disincentive to test fully.

It's possible that the FDA's standards are arbitrary and could be relaxed, but even if they are, it doesn't solve the problem. Currently, if a company finds a problem in testing, they are highly incented to avoid doing additional testing to explore the problem. Additional testing both increases their costs and reduces their revenue. Under my system, it would only increase their costs and potentially reduce their liability costs. Revenue would be unaffected (although delayed). This might even help with arbitrary FDA rules, as I expect some of them exist to cover over the disincentive for companies to extend testing.


A Thousand Kilobots Self-Assemble Into Complex Shapes 56

Posted by timothy
from the aaaaaand-improvise! dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Researchers at Harvard's Self-Organizing Systems Research Group—describe their thousand-robot swarm in a paper published today in Science (they actually built 1024 robots). In the past, researchers have only been able to program at most a couple hundred robots to work together. Now, these researchers have programmed the biggest robot swarm yet. Alone, the simple little robot can't do much, but working with 1,000 or more like-minded fellow bots, it becomes part of a swarm that can self-assemble into any two-dimensional shape. These are some of the first steps toward creating huge herds of tiny robots that form larger structures—including bigger robots."

Comment: Re:pharmaceutical patents (Score 1) 240

by mdfst13 (#47653569) Attached to: Patents That Kill

The fact that they encourage the wrong kind of innovation (minor variations on existing drugs) is not a problem with patents per se, it's a problem with the costs and risks of FDA approval: it's much safer to develop a small variant of an existing drug than to develop a completely novel drug for untreatable diseases.

Perhaps, but this is still addressable by changes in the patent system. In particular, they could change pharmaceutical patents to have three periods: testing, restricted use, open use. The testing period would last as long as necessary, perhaps longer than patent periods are currently. The restricted use period (primarily for antibiotics) would last as long as the approving agency desired. The open use period would last for a defined length of time (perhaps eight years). The effect would be to increase the open use period for new drugs and decrease it for retreads.

The current system makes it difficult for a pharmaceutical company to extend the testing phase. Each additional year in testing is a year lost from being able to actually sell the drug. This produces bad results, as companies are terrified of extending the testing period. If the patent period were shorter but only started *after* testing was finished, this perverse incentive could be removed.

One picture is worth 128K words.