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Comment: Re:other suggestions? (Score 3, Informative) 161

by paraax (#46640203) Attached to: Canonical Shutting Down Ubuntu One File Services

Spideroak allows online viewing via web interface. Anytime you use the web interface, however, you give up the zero knowledge portion as they need your password to decrypt the files. Also there is a shared folder feature that allows you to create a separate share password to give out to other people for a folder. Presumably use of this feature also gives up on the zero-knowledge at least for that folder.

Comment: Re:Some say...why bother? Too much a PITA. (Score 4, Insightful) 530

by paraax (#44703141) Attached to: How Human Psychology Holds Back Climate Change Action

One cannot say that it is simply a small minority that support inaction. The entirety of the economy is based on people buying stuff and despite many experiments in what products are offered people will consistantly choose to save a dime rather than pay for things they perceive as unecessary. This encourages businesses not to care since their customers don't care. So yes, inertia be it political or economic is not at the 1% level. It includes the 90%.

This goes for issues of freedom (which are more important to me) as well as environment, so this isn't directed at any cause in particular... people just like to be comfortable.

Comment: Re:Farts in their general direction. (Score 1) 445

by paraax (#44261621) Attached to: Dropbox Wants To Replace Your Hard Disk

The password generates the key. You essentially recreate the key when you install spideroak and enter the password in the new client.
More interesting is that they provide a web interface and warn you that using it will decrease your security as your handing over your password for them to create the key in order to decrypt your files. Further they suggest account maintenance is done via the spideroak client for the same reason. Doing it via the web requires you to hand over your password to their webserver, which allows remote decryption.

So it is possible to have zero-knowledge encryption, you just have to be careful never to touch their webserver. That assumes, as others have pointed out, that their are no hidden backdoors in the software.

Comment: Re:I knew it would be 5-4 (Score 1) 643

by paraax (#43899081) Attached to: SCOTUS Says DNA Collection Permissible After Arrest

But the amendments to the consitution are not black and white. Whether you can stand it or not, a word like "unreasonable" is a variable word and a metaphorical yardstick must be used to figure out where unreasonable starts. Its hard to argue for any specific measure... current feelings, original intent, administrative whim? Centuries or jurisprudence has resulted in a system that I feel has missed the mark on many important issues, so I can't even put my faith in stare decisis as being a good basis for decisions.

At least original intent attempts to avoid some of the political pressures, poor reasoning, and quirks that have accumulated.

Comment: Re:Really? (Score 2) 311

by paraax (#42264473) Attached to: LG Introduces Monitor With 21:9 Aspect Ratio

Its news only because people feel strongly about their preferred aspect ratio. The 21:9 aspect ratio is the story, not the physical monitor. I stubbornly cling to 16:10 for example and dislike the continual shrinking of the available vertical space. If they'd scale up past 1080 I might be able to get into a wider screen as it'd allow two decently sized tiled windows on one monitor. That is not the trend though and I hope that this particular aspect ratio does not catch on.

Games

Gameplay: the Missing Ingredient In Most Games 308

Posted by Soulskill
from the customers-love-in-game-currencies-and-spamming-their-friends dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Game designer Tadhg Kelly has an article discussing the direction the games industry has taken over the past several years. Gaming has become more of a business, and in doing so, become more of a science as well. When maximizing revenue is a primary concern, development studios try to reduce successful game designs to individual elements, then naively seek to add those elements to whatever game they're working on, like throwing spices into a stew. Kelly points out that indie developers who are willing to experiment often succeed because they understand something more fundamental about games: fun. Quoting: 'The guy who invented Minecraft (Markus "Notch" Persson) didn't just create a giant virtual world in which you could make stuff, he made it challenging. When Will Wright created the Sims, he didn't just make a game about living in a virtual house. He made it difficult to live successfully. That's why both of those franchises have sold millions of copies. The fun factor is about more than making a game is amusing or full of pretty rewards. If your game is a dynamic system to be mastered and won, then you can go nuts. If you can give the player real fun then you can afford to break some of those format rules, and that's how you get to lead rather than follow the market. If not then be prepared to pay through the nose to acquire and retain players.'"

Comment: Re:As a classic car enthusiast... (Score 1) 238

Chances are an aftermarket ECU will be used to get around those cases. As more of the system communications is encrypted more will have to be modified to be able to use the car, but the basic components of the car will be intact. This solution might work fine for the collector. The individual who just wants to fix their car will more likely pay a lot more to a dealership or highly specialized repair shop, however.

Comment: Re:Word (Score 1) 586

by paraax (#41819435) Attached to: The IDE As a Bad Programming Language Enabler

Maybe for software in active development. I've dealt with million line projects where small teams may have developed a part of the project (a library in your case), but had subsequently brought it to maturity and left. The people who came later, such as myself, could fall back on domain experts to tell us what the code should do but might be expected to learn an area to maintain it that we'll not likely touch again.

I wouldn't say horribly horribly wrong... just a different type of a software project at a different level of maturity than yours. In those cases any kind of tools that help navigating and understanding the system are most welcome. Falling back to windows textual find tools is a bit painful.

Comment: Re:Looks like the AG actually read the law (Score 1) 817

by paraax (#41764967) Attached to: Texas Attorney General Warns International Election Observers

The federal law trumps state law when the constitution gives the federal government power to legislate on that area.
A treaty trumps federal law, when there is a conflict... however,
A treaty does not trump constitutional law: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reid_v._Covert

If in fact election law is reserved to the state then short of a constitutional amendment the federal government shouldn't have power to regulate how a state chooses to run its elections and the supremacy clause doesn't enter into it because the power was not delegated to the federal government in the first place.

Comment: Re:And power consumption, (Score 1) 252

by paraax (#41538447) Attached to: Intel CPU Prices Stagnate As AMD Sales Decline

I've been an AMD purchaser for years. As mentioned previously when you look at cost of processor + cost of motherboard the best performance per dollar is almost always in AMDs favor for low-mid range systems. At this point, however, the difference in the power used between comparable systems is getting harder to ignore. For a system that is on all the time there is a big difference between an Ivy Bridge 65 watt and a Phenom II 125 watt. And while that is the max, the idle states have a similar gap.

I really would like to buy AMD if anything to avoid the above situation where Intel has no true competitor. That is good for no one. But unless intel gets arrogant and raises its prices before its done driving AMD out of the desktop chip arena, I don't see a way for them to recover.

Comment: Re:FREE! (Score 1) 383

by paraax (#41466311) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Explaining Version Control To Non-Technical People?

Speak for yourself. Tried git for a small project. It may be that I just didn't understand the push's properly, but as it was explained a gatekeeper would have to merge all pushes into the central repository. This seemed like an unnecessary burden when work is naturally segregated into modules and sharing needs to occur regularly. That and the commit with a merge somehow managing to put diffs into the file and I never quite trusted it to handle merges again.

Working with svn now and I'm much happier. Possibly just matches our admittedly simple workflow much better.

Comment: Re:Willing to bet.. (Score 2) 1706

I'm curious what your conclusions were... mine were inconclusive based on an admittedly limited sampling:
http://www.cityrating.com/crime-statistics/colorado/
Aurora: In 2009 the city violent crime rate in Aurora was higher than the violent crime rate in Colorado by 39.22%.
Colorado Springs: In 2009 the city violent crime rate in Colorado Springs was higher than the violent crime rate in Colorado by 45.04%.
Denver: In 2009 the city violent crime rate in Denver was higher than the violent crime rate in Colorado by 70.98%.

It seems like other factors might be at play here.

Comment: Re:First dissent (Score 1) 2416

by paraax (#40496331) Attached to: Supreme Court: Affordable Care Act Is Constitutional

This has been the argument out there... that the taxation power under this ruling is effectively unlimited. It is not clear to me, however, whether the bill of rights overrules the taxation power. I'd like to believe that "Congress shall make no law..." includes tax law. Thus you could not prohibit (via tax) speech, right to assembly, voting, etc. I guess we'll see when this trick is tried to prohibit some protected right.

If it smells it's chemistry, if it crawls it's biology, if it doesn't work it's physics.

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