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Microsoft Open Technologies Is Closing: Good Or Bad News For Open Source? 110

Posted by timothy
from the sea-change-or-see-no-change dept.
BrianFagioli writes When Microsoft Open Technologies was founded as a subsidiary of Microsoft — under Steve Ballmer's reign — many in the open source community hailed it as a major win, and it was. Today, however, the subsidiary is shutting down and being folded into Microsoft. While some will view this as a loss for open source, I disagree; Microsoft has evolved so much under Satya Nadella, that a separate subsidiary is simply no longer needed. Microsoft could easily be the world's biggest vendor of open source software, which is probably one reason some people don't like the term.

Comment: Re:Could you hire an IT security person? (Score 1) 562

by steveb3210 (#48844795) Attached to: Obama: Gov't Shouldn't Be Hampered By Encrypted Communications

No. Sorry. Government-only backdoors do not exist. They're by definition public. At the very least, they are public enough that every OTHER government will have the keys to it, too.

Not necessarily, Dual_EC_DRBG's potential back door lies in being able to choose the parameters of the protocol - namely choosing two points on the eliptic curve P and Q such that they know e where eP= Q. The only other way to "discover" this back door key would be solving the discrete logarithm problem which is the hardness assumption thats being used in the first place.


China Bans Government Purchases of Windows 8 200

Posted by timothy
from the everybody's-got-priorities dept.
itwbennett (1594911) writes "Last week, China's Central Government Procurement Center posted a notice on new requirements for government tender, that included, among other things, the mysterious request that Windows 8 be excluded from the bidding process on computer purchases. The agency could not be reached Tuesday, but China's state-controlled Xinhua News Agency said that the government was forbidding the use of Windows 8 after Microsoft recently ended official support for Windows XP."

Comment: Can someone answer a few questions... (Score 1) 225

by steveb3210 (#44750745) Attached to: Japanese Ice Wall To Stop Reactor Leaks

1 - How long will the melted down core remnants needs to water to be applied? Can the corium still sustain a nuclear chain reaction if it were exposed?

2 - Whats would occur if water were interrupted at this point? (They called it cold shutdown a year ago but sources seem to conflict)

3 - How long will water need to be applied to the spent fuel ponds? From my understanding the fuel above reactor 4 is somewhat precarious since the building was compromised during the original explosions. Would these fuel rods ignite without water? Is there a real criticality danger if removal does not go exactly as planned? (Wikipedia seems to say criticality in fuel pools is a low-probability event under normal conditions)

4 - Whats your worst case scenario?

Just trying to find some basic scientific answers here, hoping someone can provide insight.

Comment: Re:Discouraging underage use? (Score 1) 526

They found that people who began using pot earlier in life and used it most frequently over the years experienced an average decline of eight IQ points by the time they turned 38.

I'm betting most people lose at least eight IQ points by the time they turn 38.

That's why the mathematicians who do the groundbreaking work mostly are younger than 38. There are still brilliant mathematicians older than that, but they're not the ones who are doing the most important new work.

Born in 1955 - recently had a breakthrough paper showing that there are infintely many primes with a gap at most 70million

Comment: Re:RSA is outdated, but... (Score 1) 282

by steveb3210 (#44492043) Attached to: Math Advance Suggest RSA Encryption Could Fall Within 5 Years

Actually in some ways it would be really really exciting and almost certainly a really good thing in the long run, because there are a lot of important, currently-intractable problems that become tractable if P=NP.

Proving that P=NP doesn't make anything tractable, unless you use the ridiculous definition where tractable is the same as polynomial time. What would have practical applications is if someone finds a very fast algorithm for solving all the NP problems. Whether P=NP is not really very much related to the question of whether such an algorithm exists. ML has exponential-time type checking, yet ML compiles don't take that long. Polynomial time is not the same as practical - it fails in both directions.

Factoring is in NP... If P=NP, factoring is in P...

Factoring could be in P anyways as well...

"It's when they say 2 + 2 = 5 that I begin to argue." -- Eric Pepke