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Comment: Re:Uproar? (Score 3, Informative) 141

by oobayly (#46777201) Attached to: Vintage 1960s Era Film Shows IRS Defending Its Use of Computers

Reminds me of another joke:
A man wakes up to the noise of a burglar in his garden shed, so he calls the police who tell him there's nobody available to respond. He hangs up, waits a minute and then calls the police and tells them "don't worry about the burglar, I've shot him". Very soon, the multiple police cars turn up and are able to catch the burglar in the act. A policeman accusingly says to the man "you said you shot him", he replies "you said nobody was available".

Comment: Re:It's not just the implementation (Score 1) 444

by oobayly (#46729339) Attached to: Heartbleed Coder: Bug In OpenSSL Was an Honest Mistake

My guess is that if you're eavesdropping on the connection, knowing the fixed heartbeat string would provide a fairly decent crib* which could be used for executing a Known plaintext attack.

* The RFC states that "The Heartbeat protocol is a new protocol running on top of the Record Layer", which to my limited knowledge means that is encrypted using a symmetric algorithm.

Comment: Re:Ethical is irrelevant. (Score 1) 402

by oobayly (#46650555) Attached to: NASA Can't Ethically Send Astronauts On One-Way Missions To Deep Space

As I mentioned in a different post, they would have some idea about what the climate would do as they travelled North (colder), South, (warmer), East or West (somewhat similar) and would be able to plan accordingly. Likewise with supplies - they would have had an idea at what stage they would have to turn back to survive (or gamble and continue on). They would also have been confident about being able to collect rainwater and fish for food. As conditions became more severe, there would have been options to alter plans.

Like I said in my post, I'm no detracting from what was done in the past - when you look at the early voyages across the Atlantic (Vikings, Irish Monks), in fact what they did was bloody amazing.

But then, I was replying to somebody who appeared to be comparing a prospective Mars colonisation mission with the early American colonies -

By your standard, the Plymouth and Jamestown colonies were "suicide missions"; the people who boarded the Mayflower never expected to come back. The first colonists to Mars will never return, and probably wouldn't want to.

In that case, [some] people *had* come back and reported the conditions.

Comment: Re:It's not ethics, its cowardice. (Score 1) 402

by oobayly (#46647099) Attached to: NASA Can't Ethically Send Astronauts On One-Way Missions To Deep Space

Generally people knew that the climate stayed fairly similar as they went East or West and [in the Northern Hemisphere] it got colder as they went North. Generally, as long as they found land, they'd be ok. They could catch fish along the way and collect rainwater.

Compare that to a mission to Mars - we know that there's not a lot to survive on once Mars colonists arrive. Also, fishing en-route might be a bit dull, though they might find Russell's Teapot so that's ok.

Comment: Re:Ethical is irrelevant. (Score 4, Insightful) 402

by oobayly (#46647047) Attached to: NASA Can't Ethically Send Astronauts On One-Way Missions To Deep Space

You're seriously comparing the Eastern seaboard of North America with Mars? Lets see:
1. People new a lot about the location before colonising (like we do now about Mars), so we're off to a good start
2. They knew the Americas had a breathable atmosphere (Mars doesn't - .145% O2), a minor setback
3. They knew the Americas had a habitable climate (Mars doesn't - average -55 celsius), not looking too good for Mars
4. They knew the Americas had native edible flora and fauna (Mars doesn't - we're still trying to find bacteria), survivability on Mars is decreasing
5. They knew the Americas had an ample water supply (Mars does - it'll have to be dug up and melted), well at least they can have a drink as they freeze death

Not detracting from what the colonists did, but they knew that they only needed to pack enough food and water for the voyage and the settlement time, plus the knowledge they could breath was an additional bonus.

Comment: Re: "Is This News"? (Score 1) 206

by oobayly (#46374339) Attached to: How I Cut My Time Warner Cable Bill By 33%

Really, it's an actual requirement, for a week? Is that a requirement in your county, state or country, because I haven't seen any requirements for that. If it's true, then it would explain why US mobile contracts are so expensive - the operators would have to have a battery plus generator for every tower.

The cell tower outside our office (in the middle of nowhere in the UK), which gives us HSDPA has a battery that will last for about 3 hours, though I don't doubt that towers in more densly populated areas will have more robust solutions.

Comment: Re:My guess (Score 1) 631

by oobayly (#46355065) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Do You Still Trust Bitcoin?

My personal conspiracy* theory about the whole MtGox debacle is this: After playing the legit game of taking commission on trades, they found it increasingly hard to deal in real money as various countries around the world shut out access. Realising that their revenue stream will dry up, they use a bug in their withdrawal processing that allows them to slowly transfer their bitcoin holdings.

Or maybe that they were simply playing the long game - make a bit of cash from the exchange, slowly build people's confidence, all the while "losing" bitcoins due to a bug, which conveniently isn't highlighted because they never bothered to reconcile how many bitcoins they thought had with how many they actually had.

I've seen a presentation where a guy followed the path of bitcoins (I can't find it now), due to the public transaction records, it'd be interesting to see if someone does that with MtGox's wallet ID, and whether a large amount of them end up in the same place.

* I enjoy making up conspiracy theories, one day one of them will take off.

Comment: Re:I disagree (Score 1) 221

by oobayly (#46351637) Attached to: South Park Game Censored On Consoles Outside North America

... it *is* worth remembering that very few people have bothered to actually look at what the creationists are presenting as evidence.

I've tried, but all too often I cringe when confronted with circular arguments and the dreaded square brackets [to emphasize what was really meant] in a passage, so as to prove something - the Quran Project did exactly this in an advert in our local newspaper, it was littered with square brackets where the publicists had filled in what the prophets had "really meant" but clearly felt didn't need to be described unambiguously at the time of writing.

As for the Creation Museum, they have displays showing dinosaurs alongside humans. I show it the same amount of respect that I'd show a "Science Museum" who had a display showing George Bush Snr. and Bill Clinton welcoming Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the moon. It's a painful disregard of observations collected from a myriad of verifiable sources.

Never invest your money in anything that eats or needs repainting. -- Billy Rose