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Comment: In our college? (Score 1) 293

by Sycraft-fu (#48225925) Attached to: How Sony, Intel, and Unix Made Apple's Mac a PC Competitor

The big ones I can think of are Cadence SPB, Ansys HFSS, Ansys Fluent, Dassault Solidworks, Dassault Abaqus, Rocscience RS3D, Agilent ADS, Bently Microstation, PTV Vision, Intel Fortran, and Xilinx ISE.

There are more, but those are the ones I can think of we use the most off the top of my head.

Comment: Re:Toxic light (Score 3, Informative) 34

by reverseengineer (#48224113) Attached to: Recent Nobel Prize Winner Revolutionizes Microscopy Again

The toxicity is actually an indirect effect. The fluorescent dyes can in their excited states react with molecular oxygen to produce reactive oxygen species that damage tissues. By reducing the time and energy of excitation of the fluorophores (by only exciting those actually about to be scanned by the microscope), this technique reduces the amount of toxic byproducts.

Comment: Will they ? (Score 1) 63

by DrYak (#48221193) Attached to: Tracking a Bitcoin Thief

So what? Since there's no central authority to block transactions or seize funds they'll simply be passed around until any relation with the crime is meaningless with almost everybody in the transaction chain is blissfully unaware that somewhere they were stolen.

Will they pass them around? Enough to blur any relation ship? In a secure way that never leaks any identity?
(oops, one of the exchange I sent money to managed to record my IP address. No matter how much I keep mixing downstream, part of identity are leaked here)

Remember that they have adversaries like government who (as recently proven for the NSA, for example) have quite a few ressources.
A single policeman might not be able to pull enough data and analysis.
But if goverment suspects that some big danger as possible ("pedo-terrorist pirates!" threat, or more realistically: juicy corporate spying opportunities :-P ) and decides to throw ressources at it, tracking might be achievable.

It's not impossible for the thief to manage to get out un-identified. But it requires being particuliarly smart.

Imagine if cash was that way, every time the grocery store tried to despoit money at the bank the bank would say "oh no, this and that bill came from a gas station robbery two years ago so we'll return it to the gas station and deduct it from your deposit.

Cash *does* function this way (a bit): bills have serial numbers. Of the grocery stores deposits a bill with a known serial number on it, police might show up the next day asking for the CCTV suveraillance tapes, because that serial number happens to be a bill passed through the hands of known drug kingpin/terrorist/pedophily ring leader/etc. do it enough with enough of such incidents, and you might get a vague idea of the identity of the people you're looking for.
Unless the criminals have been absolutely perfect in their laundering and have managed to never leak any info (i.e.: by the time the known bill are flagged, they're in the hand of complete random strangers).

Google for "Ransom bill reappear" type of news reports.

Comment: Mass analysis (Score 1) 63

by DrYak (#48220901) Attached to: Tracking a Bitcoin Thief

1 single transaction tracked ? Yes, you mostly get just 1 other bitcoin wallet.

Massively track thousands of such transaction? (that's beyond the capabilities of a small budget research team. But that's well within the capabilities of any decent government) And correlate them with "end-point transaction" (transaction that can be traced to a real-world identity: buying something from an e-shop using bitcoins and ordering it delivered to an address) ?
then, if the tracked person isn't using an insanely high number of "tumbler/mixers" (i.e.: laundering) or moving it in-and-out of tons of exchanges (basically also a form of mixing), you might find some correlation:
aka "a significant number of these BTC have transited to these wallets all mapped to the same real-world address/person"
that is not enough to warrant an arrest, but that is enough to put these real-world persons with the shortest "path" to the tracked transaction on a suspects list for further investigation by classical police work.

(Saddly, often government don't have such concepts of "suspect list". Very often such unsure statistical result won't be used as a "hunch" but will get you put on the "no fly list" and such)

That's why bitcoin protocol is considered "pseudonymous" and not "anonymous".
That's also why we need to have:
- law against data-collection abuses (because someone brilliant in the NSA/CIA/etc. will definitely try to jail people on this base or at least put them on a "pedo watch list" without much tinking)
- better way to do anonymous transactions (optionnal tumblers/mixers for BTC, or alternate protocols that include provision for anonymity)

Comment: Workforce vs. number served (Score 5, Insightful) 663

by DrYak (#48220641) Attached to: Automation Coming To Restaurants, But Not Because of Minimum Wage Hikes

Currently, the way it's implemented in european country, McD doesn't use it to reduce workforce (you're still required to walk up to a clerk to retrieve your order).
McD uses it to accelerate it service and increase the "number served": by the time you finish typing your order and have confirmed, the order is already broadcast to employee's screen. By the time you finish paying and walk to the queue, your order is already ready.
This cuts drastically the waiting time, and european McD's use to cram more customer served per minutes.

In the long run such stategies won't neceessarily reduce the workforce that much, but on the other hand, they will be used to propel "fast food" to a whole new definition of "fast".
On the other hand, that will probably be quite alienating for the workforce: no more breaks between customers, no more small talk while ordering. Work experience is going to be Charlie Chaplin's "modern times"-style: read the screen, pack the bag, hand over the bag, as fast as possible and repeat so the next customer doesn't need to wait.

Comment: Even more than that (Score 2) 293

by Sycraft-fu (#48218129) Attached to: How Sony, Intel, and Unix Made Apple's Mac a PC Competitor

Want to know a big reason people have been getting Macs, that Apple doesn't like to admit? You can run Windows on them now. The Intel switch made it viable to run Windows on them, natively if you wanted, and good virtualization tech means it runs fast in OS-X. That lets people get their shiny status symbol, but still use the programs they need.

We've seen that at work (an Engineering college). Prior to the Intel conversion, there were almost no Mac users. The thing is engineering software just isn't written for the Mac. There is actually some stuff now, but even so the vast majority is Windows or Linux. Back in the PPC days, there was almost nothing. So we had only really two stubborn faculty that used Macs, one because he did no research and just played around, and one because he wrote his own code and was stubborn. However that was it, you just couldn't do your work on them.

Now? All kinds of faculty and students have Macs. PCs are still dominant, but we see a lot more Macs. However every one has Windows on it. Some it is all they have. Seriously, we have two guys who buy Macs, but have us install Windows on it, they don't use MacOS they just want the shiny toy. A number have bootcamp, and many have VMWare. Regardless, I've yet to see one, faculty, staff, or student, that didn't put Windows on it to be able to do the work they need to.

So that is no small part of how Intel helped Apple gain market share.

Comment: Good / Bad Idea (Score 1) 286

by DrYak (#48211237) Attached to: Will the Google Car Turn Out To Be the Apple Newton of Automobiles?

That's an idea which could be useful in theory.
(e.g.: Cars with drivers will still be able to display warning about red lights, speed limits, etc. based on the info broadcast by trafic signs)

But it has a few problems:

- The implementation will probably be botched. Expect the thing not being properly signed/authenticated, thus enabling malicious hackers to spoof information. (Similar to how hackers hijacked RDS-TMC and broadcast "bison crossing" in Germany a few year back on /. )

- Such system lacks a fail-safe option. A human might notice that a trafic light is off and will fall back to other driving behaviours. A robots might not realise that there is no emitting signal. (The robot can't see a missing emitter unlike a human who can notice a broken traffic light even without any light colour coming off). In some case it might be okay (missing traffic light: drivers are supposed to fall-back to priority-yield, which is probably the default behaviour of a robot when arriving at a crossing without signs), but it might be problematic in other case (a "danger ahead" sign with a broken emitter).

- Car insurance companies are going to abuse the shit out of this (cue in mandatory dongles that spy if you obey trafic signs. Of course driving dangerously and ignoring signs is bad. But violating privacy is bad too) At least european countries are a bit stricter regarding privacy.

Comment: Also (Score 2) 290

by Sycraft-fu (#48210809) Attached to: Will Fiber-To-the-Home Create a New Digital Divide?

Speed matters less with each step up. Going from a modem to broadband is amazing, going from something like 256k DSL to 20mb cable is pretty damn huge, however going from 20mbps cable to 200mbps cable is nice, but fairly minor and going from a few hundred mbps to gbps is hardly noticeable.

I have 150mbps cable at home, and get what I pay for. Games from GOG and Steam download at 18-19MB/sec. It is fun, I can download a new game in minutes... however outside that I notice little difference from the 30mbps connection I stepped up from. Streaming worked just as well before, web surfing was just as fast, etc. The extra speed matters little to none in day to day operations.

Same thing at work. I'm on a campus and we have some pretty hardcore bandwidth, as campuses often do, so much it is hard to test as the testing site usually is the limit. Downloading large stuff it is nice, though really not that much less time than at home. I don't really mind the difference between a 2-5 minute wait and a 15-20 minute wait for a program. Surfing, streaming, etc all are 100% the same, no difference at all, speed seems to be limited by waiting for all the DHTML crap on a site to render, not the data to download.

While geeks get all over excited about bigger better more when it comes to bandwidth, for normal use what matters is just to have "enough" and "enough" turns out to be not all that much. It'll grow with time, of course, higher rez streaming, larger programs, etc will demand more bandwidth but still this idea that there is the difference between uber fast Internet and just regular fast Internet is silly.

It will not create any meaningful divide.

Comment: Nah looks like an attempt to restrict speech (Score 1) 324

by Sycraft-fu (#48205311) Attached to: Hungary To Tax Internet Traffic

Even in the US such an amount wouldn't be a tax in the sense of raising revenue, but an attempt to stifle usage. That is a lot per GB, even at US income levels. As such in Hungary, this is even more restrictive, given the lower income levels. It is for sure an attempt to stifle usage, and not a legitimate revenue measure.

Comment: Re:We need a whitebox mobile device. (Score 2) 80

by causality (#48205029) Attached to: Raspberry Pi Founder Demos Touchscreen Display For DIY Kits

Problems with that.

Cell frequencies are licensed and pretty much anything that touches those frequencies needs to be fully approved by the FCC.

The carriers aren't going to allow it on their networks.

Presumably the whitebox device would include as core components all of the FCC-approved hardware necessary to use said frequencies. Upgrading the GPU, the amount of RAM, or the battery shouldn't have anything to do with this.

When you build your own PC from separate components, you don't have to worry about whether it can be powered by 60hz AC. The power supplies sold in this country are built to handle the electric supply found in this country and come with all of the UL (etc.) approvals.

Comment: Re:After whast happened to Odroid-w, why? (Score 2) 80

by causality (#48204977) Attached to: Raspberry Pi Founder Demos Touchscreen Display For DIY Kits

Isn't it more important to do cool and interesting things with a computer rather than everything obsessedly being open source?

The idea is that open source and the freedoms that come with it facilitate and ensure that you can continue to do cool and interesting things, often things the original designers didn't think of. It's certainly easier to be creative when you have the full specifications, source code, and documentation. It's easier to share your creativity with others when you can legally redistribute your derived works without violating someone else's copyright.

Obsession with anything is not good; on that I agree. However I haven't seen that in this thread. To cry "obsession" merely because someone points out a controversy isn't helpful (and ironically raises the question of whether you have an obsession with the perceived obsessions of others). All I saw was someone stating that they wish to avoid certain Broadcom hardware because it does not provide the degree of open source access that he or she desired. That people have their own criteria and express a desire to choose products that best suit their own needs is a good thing. Your own priorities being different is not surprising and doesn't indicate fault with anyone else.

The Internet

Hungary To Tax Internet Traffic 324

Posted by Soulskill
from the how-to-kill-your-youtube-habit dept.
An anonymous reader writes: The Hungarian government has announced a new tax on internet traffic: 150 HUF ($0.62 USD) per gigabyte. In Hungary, a monthly internet subscription costs around 4,000-10,000 HUF ($17-$41), so it could really put a constraint on different service providers, especially for streaming media. This kind of tax could set back the country's technological development by some 20 years — to the pre-internet age. As a side note, the Hungarian government's budget is running at a serious deficit. The internet tax is officially expected to bring in about 20 billion HUF in income, though a quick look at the BIX (Budapest Internet Exchange) and a bit of math suggests a better estimate of the income would probably be an order of magnitude higher.

Comment: The way bank do it (Score 3, Informative) 119

by DrYak (#48197153) Attached to: Google Adds USB Security Keys To 2-Factor Authentication Options

The way some bank do it, is that the authification asker (a 2F-protected service provider) sends a signed/encrypted message, that the security token decodes/verifies/displays. That message can't be tampered with (cryptography).

So the token will display the message (something like "Authentication required to access GMail.com").
so if an attacker tries to intercept your credential by opening an actual google page in the background, you'll notice that what the thing pretends to be on screen and what the dongle register as an asker aren't the same.

The way to fool the user would be to try to look actually like the page you're trying to spoof. So an attacker needs to look like GMail, so the user thinks he's on Gmail, whereas actually it's a malware page maskarading as it and relying security tokens from the real Gmail.

Now the way that banks counter-act that, is that any critical action (payment, etc.) needs to be confirmed again by the security token system. So the theoretic man-in-the-middle can't inject payment for 10'000$ for his Cayman Islands account. Because every payment needs to be confirmed again. And the bank will issue confirmation message regarding transaction.
You'll notice if when paying a phone bill, the confirmation message instead is 10'000$ for Cayman Islands.

Overall, it works as if the security token is its very own separate device, designed to work over non-reliable non-trusty channel.

(The device doesn't implement a full TCP/IP stack. Most example device accepts only:
- a string of caracters as an input (i.e.: you need to type the last five digit of the account you need to send funds too. The bank will notice when you type the digit of your utility company, but the man-in-the-middle has tried to inject a cayman island account from your browser).
- a 2D flashing barcode to automate string input.
- for the most crazy solution: writing a string to file on a flash-disk, this flashdisk is shared with the security token's microcontroller.
Each time, the attack surface is very small. Only a short string of data is passed. You can't get much exploitable bugs.

For the output, only a string again:
- that you read and type from the token's screen.
- that the token can type on your behalf, communicating with a HID chip on the same device.
- the token can send it to a flash device that makes it visible inside a file.
Again, the security token it self is limited to send just a string. Very small attack surface. All the funny "stuff" are implemented outside, and thus very low risk of remote exploitability)

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