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Comment Re:Use computers instead? (Score 1) 202

What kind of competition are you talking about? A canonical pseudorandom number generator like the WELL family can't be predicted based on the number of draws that you will see in any application that currently uses dice. Unless the settings are poorly chosen, a few hundred or a few thousand draws won't allow you to have any predictive power for the next roll. Further, a cryptographically secure pseudorandom number generator like Blum Blum Shub is resistant to pretty much any analytics for prediction.

Anyways it is a lot easier to test the randomness of software based pseudorandom number generators than it is to test dice, so whatever battery of tests you would have run on your die to test its fairness you can run on the generator and get the same level of confidence.

There are certainly some applications for real random numbers (mostly to seed pseudorandom generators to get the most bang for your buck from the necessarily limited supply of entropy that you can harvest), but it's not dice rolling based competitions.

Comment Re:I have an idea (Score 5, Insightful) 594

Yes, but WWI was caused by many factors, including a network of western alliances, a rapid advance in communication technologies and globalization, a multiethnic region where nobody seemed to be able to get along, a rising industrial and economic power challenging the existing hegemon, and the last straw, Russia coming to the aid of a long time ally amidst a campaign of terrorist acts.

Fortunately that sounds nothing like the world today!

Comment Re:Litigious Much (Score 5, Informative) 815

Please excuse the karma whoring but you did ask: Gregor Mendel was a monk who did pioneering experiments on heredity. Although it seems obvious in retrospect, even after Darwin first published the theory of natural selection it wasn't until it was put together with Mendel's work that evolutionary theory as we understand it today came about.

Comment Re:The trouble is they're right (Score 2) 145

encryption control and gun control are basically the same thing

Except that the Constitution is quite clear that Americans have certain rights with respect to Arms, backed up by hundreds of years of case law supporting those rights, but it is silent about the question of rights to use ciphers and codes. So when talking about laws they are very different things entirely.

Comment Re:Direct applications (Score 1) 86

It is generally thought that the group isomorphism problem is easier than the graph isomorphism problem. If that is the case (and I don't recall whether it is proven or just believed), then based on this result, group isomorphisms are probably in P. This would seem to be a problem for cryptographic applications that rely on the discrete log problem such as Diffie Hellman and elliptic curve, but I would love to hear from someone working in cryptography to explain why that would not be the case.

Comment Re:Using your advertised space != Abuse (Score 1) 330

Although I can imagine a case where this would be a problem. What if Microsoft did tie together some sort of timeline with the EULA? For example, they might have offered free unlimited storage only if you agreed to use OneDrive unencrypted and as your only backup solution for 2 years (maybe so they could see all your stuff), or if you agree to take automatic updates for 2 years (so when they add the bing toolbar you have to take it). In that case, they shouldn't be able to unilaterally say, "we don't want to give unlimited storage anymore, so we are stopping that, and you don't need to do what you agreed to do (even if you still want to fulfill your side)."

But AFAIK, the actual agreement doesn't have anything like that, and is more like a month-to-month rental agreement with the option for either side to stop using or providing the service whenever they want.

Comment Re:Share the source, and make it easy to install (Score 2) 47

No, please *don't* just go posting another project. As you have even discovered yourself, this is probably a solved problem for someone who knows the tools better. Most coding problems don't stem from the fact that there isn't enough code out there; the problem is that there are a lot of libraries and systems (free, gratis, and paid) that do 80% of what needs to be done, and the first job of the developer is to evaluate which of those tools is the right one to start with. Throwing out yet another message passing system into that thoughtstream (one that you admit probably isn't very good) is just going to cause more work than it saves, by making people figure out why they want to filter your codebase out.

If it works for your use cases, then you should keep it in production, while you try to learn more and improve on it (either incrementally or with a whole system re-write). But just putting a code base out there for other people to stumble over seems to be as poor etiquette as throwing a month old newspaper into the middle of the street, just in case somebody might be able to use it.

Submission + - New Star Trek Series to debut in 2017 (

njnnja writes: CBS is going to produce a new Star Trek series to debut in January 2017. It will air on CBS' online offering, "All Access." Few details are available but it appears that it will feature new characters.

Comment Re:Doesn't matter (Score 2) 279

Although there were certainly exceptions, the one child rule had huge effect on China's demographics. If you look at the 2015 population pyramid, you will see that there is a clear drop between the 40-44 age demographic and the 35-39 demographic, which corresponds exactly to the age that someone would be today (37) if they were born at the start of the policy in 1978. But they weren't born, so they aren't there.

1000 pains = 1 Megahertz