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Comment: Re:Fine, if (Score 1) 286

by zippthorne (#48257859) Attached to: The Airplane of the Future May Not Have Windows

The problem is that neither priceline nor its competitors offer leg room, personal volume, seat width or any kind of comfort score as a metric that you can sort or filter on. I find this odd, because I'm pretty sure that people (myself, at least) would flock to such a service.

Perhaps the information is difficult to wrest from the airlines, but I'd think it should be possible to guess the configuration based on airline, seat count, and aircraft type until the airlines start publishing the comfort metrics.

Also odd that the aggregators don't have a field for number of bags you'd like to check, so that can be added into the prices before sorting. Or.. is it only the no-frills airlines that include a bag check in the ticket price any more?

Comment: Re:yup! (Score 1) 307

by zippthorne (#48228963) Attached to: Days After Shooting, Canada Proposes New Restrictions On and Offline

The founders were aware of your concern about times changing and rendering portions of the Constitution inadequate or unjust. They included a process of amending it: Article Five.

If you are worried about guns and free speech or anything else that you think the constitution is not working for, then you should propose new amendments to grant the government more power in those areas. The worst thing you can do is to simply ignore the amendments or articles you don't like. That sets a precedent for ignoring other ones, diluting the protections of the constitution.

I'm interested to know in what way you think the first amendment is inadequate (either too constraining or not constraining enough) for dealing with the internet, though.

Comment: Re:Why are we still using passwords? (Score 2) 222

by zippthorne (#48227017) Attached to: Passwords: Too Much and Not Enough

The comic does tread each word as a symbol, which is why it only claims 11 bits of search-space per word, which requires a dictionary of only 2048 words, and there are way more than 2048 words that are long enough that the fact that they're in a dictionary is the limiting factor. It's already accounted for in the search space estimate.

The claim of the comic hasn't been "debunked" because the claim isn't that you can use words to have a lot of characters in your password, it's that we've been focusing too much on getting the most search space out of each character when the thing we want to optimize is the total search space per password that a person can remember, and the word technique sacrifices a lot of character efficiency to result in better overall passwords.

Your hypothetical user isn't choosing between four words from in a 10k word dictionary and a 16 character password. The fully random 64-symbol password of equivalent memorability is probably quite a bit shorter than 16 characters. I wonder what research has been done on this; I'd put my money on the equivalently memorable password being closer to 6-8 characters.

It only takes nine words from a 10k dictionary to beat a 16 character (64 symbol space) password. It also only takes 21 lowercase letters to beat your "complex" 16 character password, and I know which one I'd prefer to actually have to type regularly. More symbols per element is only a benefit when it increases the ability of the user to actually use stronger passwords.

Comment: Re:Supply & demand (Score 1) 341

by zippthorne (#48191985) Attached to: An Algorithm to End the Lines for Ice at Burning Man


You should be able to do this, but politics gets in the way. People have an idea of what a bag of ice is "worth" and may be willing to wait hours for it, but won't adjust their internal valuation without long-term pricing pressures and will react strongly to the idea that they're being "ripped off."

It's easy to forget that you're not buying ice. You're buying ice in a remote location in the desert where a lot of other people are also present, but no appreciable infrastructure is in place

Comment: Re:Units hurt the brain (Score 1) 74

by zippthorne (#48182409) Attached to: NASA Cancels "Sunjammer" Solar Sail Demonstration Mission

Pounds are units of both mass and force, which is a problem with the "standard" system of weights and measurements. Usually there is a distinction made if it is ambiguous and matters (lb_f or lb_m). It's my understanding that this is because the unit was named before the concepts of mass and weight were observed to be different, but that may be apocryphal.

The tragedy is that Europeans are apparently determined to screw up a perfectly good unit system by adding back the ambiguity in the creation of the kilograms-force unit (kg_f).

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