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Comment Re: Can we use this? (Score 1) 157

Well, OTP also ultimately requires a *very* classical basis of trust to authenticate communication partners!

Keeping a smaller secret you can re-use to establish an extremely secure session seems a better proposition than keeping a very large amount of difficult to transport data which, if compromised also breaks all prior and future communications.

But we have pretty reasonable key agreement protocols right now... I'm wondering how vulnerable they are to quantum computers...

Comment Re:Can we use this? (Score 1) 157

It doesn't work like that, the parent poster is right - you cannot send information using quantum entanglement.

If you measure a property of an entangled particle, then *you* know the other particle has the complementary property. This doesn't help the man on the submarine, or vice versa. He will measure his property and see a value, and know that *you* have the complementary property to his.

But since you can't fix the result of the measurements in any way, each measurement is just an independent random value for both of you. You just know what the other guy will find when he looks.

Comment Re:You're part of the problem (Score 2) 187

While I agree with a lot of what you say, the obvious solution is that installers should *not* run as Admin, but as a user with only the permissions required to install software for a normal user. Certainly not with permissions to do anything it likes on the system, and particularly not to change existing security settings.

This is actually one of the biggest potential advantages of the Windows security model over Unix and Linux. There is no god-like root user with a complete pass to do anything it likes. Even Admin's permissions can be altered (although Admin can put them back again if it likes). And the security model is much more fine-grained (and therefore complex, so nobody uses it to its full advantage).

Of course, it won't surprise me to learn that most installers do run as Admin, as you claim. I'm mostly on Linux these days, so I'm not fully up to speed on the Windows world any more...

Comment Re:Not the right way (Score 1) 260

Yes, my son has an Android tablet, and we use the restricted account for him. He can't install software, pay for things in apps, or access youtube or a web browser. It's safe for him to play the games I've set up for him - many of which require internet access. And he can't run up a huge bill accidentally.

Before Restricted accounts existed, I used a thing called Kids Mode for a while. This also worked quite well, but the interface was much less usable than vanilla Android.

Comment Re:The best trick (Score 2) 260

First actually helpful post!

As a parent of a 5 year old who currently has no unsupervised web access, I'm painfully aware that this will not last. He can currently access curated content from the internet in some games without my supervision. He will need web access in the not too distant future. Trust, showing them how to be safe, and how to find things that actually interest them, is clearly the way forward.

(As an aside to those who think parenting equals full time supervision... I don't think any of you actually have kids.)

Comment Re:LG TV (Score 1) 130

I actually spent quite some time recently looking for non-smart TVs... and couldn't find any at all I wanted. So I bought an LG smart TV.

During the install, I had to agree to the Terms and Conditions and the Privacy Policy. There was also a Viewing agreement that says I agree to them monitoring what I watch, what buttons I push, and so on. I didn't agree to that one. There was also another one I can't recall, which I also didn't agree to. I think that one was about letting them insert advertising.

The TV itself is lovely, and the smart features are actually nicely designed, responsive, and worth having. But not worth giving up my privacy for and certainly not to let them foist more adverts on me.

So I disconnected it from the internet, and so it shall remain.

Comment Re:Don't use an Adblocker that accepts bribes (Score 1) 619

I still use Adblock Plus. I actually don't mind seeing non-intrusive ads, and so far it seems to be working OK.

Just out of interest, what is the problem with just unticking the "allow some non-intrusive advertising" check box? Does Adblock Edge offer some additional features too? Or do you have some reason to suspect that Adblock Plus wouldn't honour your config?

Comment Re:*Yawn* (Score 1) 145

So if a minute comes off, it's just fear mongering. And if one or two goes on? We pat ourselves on the back and ignore it? Seems like we get to ignore it in both cases!

Good point about climate change though. I also noticed they had moved beyond just the nuclear threat. I suppose it is called the Domesday clock, not the "Nuclear Threat Clock", but I kind of agree it should stick with what it was established for.

(btw: I think climate change is a real threat, but there are lots of existential threats other than nuclear weapons and climate change.)

Comment Re: The doomsday clock should be renamed. (Score 1) 145

No idea who the researchers are, and I don't have an agenda. I linked to Wikipedia!

I have read about some of these studies before, on the web, and in fairly lay publications like New Scientist. I have no idea if they are wrong, true, or just some vast liberal conspiracy by left-leaning scientists to irritate their conservative colleagues!

I was only prompted to reply because the original poster saw it as political "fear" propoganda from "the left", and I saw it quite differently. Which made me think of these studies... make of them what you will!

Comment Re:The doomsday clock should be renamed. (Score 0) 145

It's interesting reading your response to this. I saw it as "clever people try to assess big problems facing us, and communicate it in a way most people can easily understand". You saw it as fear mongering by the left.

Interestingly, there have been several studies that link political ideologies with fear-response. For example, see:


Conservative people tend to have a higher disgust response, be more aggressive, and more resistant to change or things that appear threatening. Liberals tend to be not as frightened by apparent danger and more accepting of possibly disruptive change.

Of course, this may be completely wrong, but it does tally with my (entirely unscientific) experience.

Comment Re:Seems... facile (Score 3, Interesting) 231

IANAP, but my admittedly also very shallow understanding, is that when we're talking about the energy of the "vaccuum", we mean "energy associated with space itself".

A vaccuum is typically defined by the absence of matter in a volume of space (but not necessarily light or other energy). But let's exclude those too - there is no matter or electromagnetic radiation at all.

Even with those exclusions, at a fundamental level space appears to be a seething maelstrom of quantum particles popping in and out of existence. There seems to be some energy associated with "empty" space.

  Some people posit that the vaccuum (i.e. space as we know it) may be "unstable" - that the particular energy it possesses could be lower than it is - and that we're just caught on a local bump in the energy landscape. If the vaccuum ever "fell off" that bump to a lower level, it would apparently spread at the speed of light across the entire universe from wherever it started, destroying everything that currently exists, and leaving behind... I don't know what. More vaccuum, but with a much lower energy associated with it, and with lots of new matter and energy created by the release of the vaccuum energy. Probably.

Anway, happy for a real physicist to correct me on some or all of the above - that's just my very lay understanding of what is meant by vaccuum energy.

Comment Re:Doubt it (Score 1) 299

Interesting thesis, but I don't buy it. Audience were not discovering technology for the first time, and it was not the first time cinema explored it. One of the most classic sci fi films ever was Metropolis, made in the 1920s. There were some very good sci fi films made in that era (and some very bad ones too).

In fact, Blade runner didn't appeal to audiences much when it was released. It has become a classic afterwards, probably because it's based on a quality story and the acting, direction, music and atmosphere of the film are great. And because Ridley got rid of the annoying voice over, which the movie execs mandated so the dumb audience could understand it. Not a passionate audience, note, or at least, that's not how the movie industry saw the audience and the films they were creating for them.

There are three kinds of people: men, women, and unix.