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Comment Re:Strange set of requirements (Score 2) 72

I don't really see why a 64 kB key is a useful feature for a block cipher. 256 bits has sufficient entropy to render any brute force attack, and even severe weakening (e.g. sq root effort attacks) utterly infeasible.
Are large block sizes really that necessary? I can see why a 4 kB block size might be useful for block storage, but there are method of chaining smaller block ciphers so as to effect a larger block size. So why would a native 64 kB block size be desirable? Use of chaining or counter techniques should prevent details of large scale structures from bleeding into the ciphertext.

This is likely not for *encryption*.

First, you need to understand how proof of work functions are currently constructed. The most popular ones today are based off of HashCash in that they use hashes because block ciphers aren't really big enough to create usable hard functions and scalable work functions, (e.g., AES is only 128-bit).

IF (big-IF), there were a secure large block cipher, you could use a different construction for proof of work. For example, you could put the block data you want to protect as the key and attempt find some input data that created your reward address + some variable amount of random crap to scale the work function. Of course, that's probably not very secure as you might want some additional precomputation protection similar to how message authentication codes are made out of block ciphers (CMAC), but hopefully this simple example illustrates the point.

Typical design mechanisms used to make block ciphers wider will necessarily make them deeper (e.g., to get good bit diffusion, you need to have lots of rounds of a typical cipher construction) and thus not very practical for actual encryption. Simple mechanism to encrypt larger blocks (like CBC or counter-mode), offer some amount of diffusion, but in such a structured way which has certain vulnerabilities and even their security often require nonces (which don't work well in a proof of work application).

Anyhow, it would be a bunch of work for 10 BTC. Hardly worth anyone's time, given this bozo is gonna take all the credit, you probably don't even get fame nor fortune...

Comment Re:Claude Shannon (Score 2) 177

Claude Shannon was truly one of the unrecognized geniuses of his time.... He was still alive when I was in tech school, quite literally a "living legend".

Not sure how old you are, but he was apparently one of the *recognized* geniuses of his time. He has a long list of awards dating back to an AIAE 1940, a National Medal of Science in 1966, to the Kyoto prize in 1985 and quite a few lifetime achievement awards since that time...

You don't get that type of swag and get to claim to be unrecognized (not that Mr Shannon was the type to crave any recognition, by some accounts he didn't really care for the stuff)...

On the other hand, Rosalind Franklin, Emmy Noether, and Hedy Lamarr were maybe the most unrecognized geniuses of their time, but of course people didn't recognize certain contributions back in those days...

Comment Re:Refugees (Score 1) 308

I also value the separation of religion and state and believe that religion has NO role in the operation of the state, and I hold anyone who would believe that fantasy beliefs in a mystical being should play a role in governance to be lower than me, especially when said beliefs are to be backed with the killing authority of the state. Again, this is a medieval mindset, a primitive outlook on par with gladiatorial contests, crucifixion and human sacrifice which has NO PLACE in the modern world.

You may have to revise what you call the "modern, liberal west". Considering the continuing existence of "church taxes" in many European countries might imply that citizens in places like like Finland, Denmark and Sweden are not part of your modern world and are to quote you "lower than you".

Comment Re:This doesn't surprise me at all (Score 1) 149

This is one of the worst comments ever. While it's true that it's failings belong to the developers, so do all of it's successes.
It's asinine to believe a computer or algorithm has abilities or brilliance that are not the creator's, in the same way it would be asinine to praise an automobile itself.

This is a fallacy. With a completely *prescriptive* algorithm where the learning itself is baked into the code you might be right, but with more modern "ai-like" algorithms, it is often the algorithm + training and not the developer that is responsible for the abilities/brilliance of the machine.

That's like a parent taking all the credit/blame for the brilliance of their offspring when mostly all they did was pass down the "algorithm". The teachers, peers, and the rest of the environment are likely deserve the as much or more credit than the parent (except in the case if they were home-schooled with no contact with friends/peers until they were adults). Of course that doesn't prevent many parents from taking all the credit/blame for their offspring, but it doesn't mean it's justified.

Comment Re:Purchasing Power (Score 2) 270

The stronger US dollar also means that Apple's capital now has more purchasing power overseas.

Which means that Apple's production costs should be moving down, since most Apple devices are not made in America.

It's all too easy to look at flat numbers and come to erroneous conclusions.

The bulk of Apple's capital is not in the US denominated in US dollars, it is in places like Ireland. Thus Apple's asset/capital structure is "dollar-lite". It hold about $40B in cash and short term notes, but about $164B in overseas "investments" that are mostly denominated in foreign currency. The reason it can operate cash-lite is that it issues bonds backed by its foreign holdings to finance it's operations instead of repatriating the money

As the value of the basket of foreign currency declines relative to the US dollar, the purchasing power overseas remains relatively constant meaning their margin is relatively constant (revenue-cost)/investment. However, the net return denominated in US dollars per share goes down when the margin is unaffected.

That combined with the fact that the global downturn will likely result in lower net demand, they just can't invest the any "savings" (if there were any) in more inventory to make more money at that same margin to improve net return on investment per share likely because of the price/demand curve for their products (e.g., they couldn't really sell more at the same price unless they were capacity constrained and in that case they should have raised their prices and sold few units which mitigate the effect of production costs on their profitablity).

Comment Re:Chapter 11 != Bankruptcy (Score 1) 113

I don't know about you, but if my employer failed to meet payroll, I would be applying for unemployment. If you are working and aren't getting paid, you are unemployed. That's called a hobby, or charity. I would be looking for the exits a long time before the company dropped the papers off at the courthouse.

Oh I agree. One employer that I had that couldn't make payroll effectively laid off everyone immediately.. I was outta there and found a new job the next day, but if I didn't, I would have filed for UI benefits.

In this case all of us peons got our last payroll on the day we were laid off *except* for accrued vacation pay which came at the end of the month by mail. They recalled about 1/3 the folks at the end of the month, but I (like most folks) were already outta there with new jobs...

However, I know during the windup of that company, the DIP managers all got payed a pretty penny (including a retention bonus), so they could "sell" the IP (which eventually got sold for a few thousand dollars to a holding company affiliated with one of the initial investors). So long to all the toilet paper (aka stock). The holding company operated for another couple of years, selling the technology we developed, but eventually folded too.

Short story is although you might get your last paycheck, the institutional investors (and their buddies) nearly always get something too and there's generally nothing left for anyone else.

Comment Re:Chapter 11 != Bankruptcy (Score 1) 113

Your explanation is not inconsistent with mine. Payroll and pension have priority and "Unsecured debt and stockholders are the ones that are mostly fucked." Yes, buddies of management get theirs, but the general shareholder gets nothing.

Payroll is 2 week of work only (for most employees). At $50k/year that's only about $1k after taxes for the employee (double it for 2x the salary)...

Sure payroll technically priority from a legal point of view, but in my experience, if things are so bad that there's no money to be had to even make payroll, you might only see that $1k check in about 6 months after things go into the dumpers... Meanwhile, mortgage payments to make and no healthcare insurance (well maybe to the end of the month)...

Comment Re:Chapter 11 != Bankruptcy (Score 1) 113

Wrong. Just wrong...
Chapter 11 is a restructuring of debt. Debts must be paid and the creditors must agree on the restructuring, or else the company is forced into Chapter 7, which is liquidation. In liquidation, employee salaries are considered a priority debt. Pension payments for the past 180 days are also priority debts. Unsecured debt and stockholders are the ones that are mostly fucked. They are at the ass end of the line of creditors.
Don't confuse Chapter 11 bankruptcy with Chapter 13 personal bankruptcy.

That's the theory, but in practice, other than salaries and certain pension contributions which are guaranteed by law, debtor in possession (DIP) rules can be exploited to allow nearly all assets (including any employee equity) go to the institutional investors before all other creditors. Since institutional investors generally control most of the debt (they deliberately mix their straight equity with share warrants and venture debt), they have the most leverage in the choice of DIP financing and most DIP laws allow judges to make DIP debt the most senior and then they can operate the company temporarily, pilfer the remaining assets of the company (by sellling it for pennies on the dollar to their buddies) and then crush the empty husk when it is done leaving nothing for the creditors and stock holders.

Of course you can't get blood out of a turnip, so if there are no company assets to be had (save payroll obligations required by law), there won't be any DIP financing, but the institutional investors generally don't let the tank get down that far before they flip the Ch11 or DIP switch. In fact a common ploy is to let the cash get below the payroll obligations, throw things into Ch11/DIP and sell all the assets to their buddies for just barely enough money to meet payroll and nothing else. By this time, creditors such as lease/rent payments and vendors will probably be 180-day overdue and there will be nothing left for them to recover and even if there was, the DIP financing would be superior debt (by law).

Never think those institutional investors are at the ass end of the line, they aren't that dumb. The only thing holding them back from getting everything are a few payroll laws left on the books. They have gamed the rest of the system.

Comment Re:translation (Score 1) 184

"We've already cracked everything, any encrypted data is clear as water for us; let's not make a big fuss so people just stay with what they've been doing. Keep cool, people."

Or more probably...

If everyone continues to uses standard encryption w/o backdoors, we have a fixed target to attack and we are the best in the world at it.

If standard encryption has backdoors this might cause cryptographers to go rogue and encryption and splinter the eco-system. Then we will be up to our eyeballs in deep shit to keep up with the mess created putting out small fires everywhere.

If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.
Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win.

  -Sun Tzu

Comment Re:Modernization (Score 1) 131

Law enforcement will still try to justify their existence by "catching" people for a crime they didn't commit.I remember back in 1972 a crack commando unit was sent to prison by a military court for just such an offense. Those men promptly escaped from a maximum security stockade to the Los Angeles underground. Today, still wanted by the government, they survive as soldiers of fortune.

You can only survive so long that way. After 5 years, they were eventually caught and court-marshaled for their crimes...
They eventually pled guilty and were executed for those crimes...

Or so we were led to believe... ;^)

Apparently they managed to escape execution and have plastic surgery and personality implants and resurfaced in Mexico in 2010. Overkill is underrated...

Yet rumor has it that one of more of them has had a sex reassignment operation.

After a while you wonder if siome crime against humanity was actually committed. And by who? ;^)

Comment Re:PrimeCoins (Score 1) 132

Prime numbers are very useful for puesdo random number generators, In this case the merssene twister.

The is a huge benefit in making good rng from prime, because it can be made with an incredible simply algorithm that can run fast etc.

Kinda, but not really. The real requirement for making a good generalized linear congruent pseudo-random number generator with a long period is to find a large galois field matrix that has a *primitive* characteristic polynomial. As it turns out it is easier to *test* if a trinomial (polynomial with 3 non-zero terms) is primitive if it is generated from a parameter related to a Merssene prime number decomposition (2^k-1). This does not guarantee that any of the trinomials generated by this parameter is primitive, only that it is easy to test (some Merssene primes like M40 do not generate any usable trinomials).

Primitive trinomials are good for fast pseudo-random number generators because they will have the long period set by the primitive, yet be easier to compute because there will be lots of zero terms in the matrix (instead of a dense matrix).

However regardless of the difficulty of the mechanism to validate that the matrix is primitive, they computation that you do to *generate* random number is completely independent of the prime-ness of the parameter (and you don't really want a prime number if it isn't a Merssene prime because the slow way of testing can be sped up by factoring the parameter) only the density of the matrix. Matrices with primitive polynomials (or specifically trinomials) not generated by Merssene primes will have the same computation time.

You can kind of think of primitive polynomials as being kind of a generalization of a prime number to galois polynomials, but it's not really the same thing except in the case where your matrix is a simple scalar (e.g. the classic linear congruent scalar pseudo random number generator you learned in school).

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