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Comment Did any of this need to be confirmed? (Score 5, Insightful) 999

I mean, where are the true believers now? Does anyone seriously think that western governments have any kind of moral credibility?

We wag our fingers at China for their actions in Tibet, but by any measure what they have done there is far more humane than what we have done in Iraq. We lecture Russia about corruption and they simply retort with examples of western corruption.

Who actually believes that our governments have any reason to exist anymore beyond their existence itself?

Comment Wall Street = Sun City. And Big Iron. (Score 5, Interesting) 214

Wall Street has always been home to some of Sun's and IBM's largest corporate accounts. I don't doubt Linux and/or BSD can do the job that Solaris can in some cases (with caveats), but it will take years for that to happen. A "Linux stronghold" is misleading at best, TFA doesn't even support the claim.

And Linux will never replace mainframes. Nothing will.

At the risk of being modded troll, OO Calc will probably never replace Excel - other than Suns and big iron, corporate america runs on Microsoft Excel (not necessarily a good thing, but still).

OTOH, I know companies that are still running their websites and outward-facing interface systems on hardware and software that could be easily replaced by off-the shelf open source stuff, which will probably save them a lot of money.


Submission + - Microsoft denies call-in 'save XP' petition (

CWmike writes: "Gregg Keizer digs deeper on a report that said Microsoft was logging calls from customers who requested that the company extend the retail availability of Windows XP to find that some users claimed that they couldn't get through to the support lines. Microsoft denies that it organized any kind of call-in petition and pleaded with users not to dial its technical support numbers to ask for an XP extension. "As a courtesy to customers in need of technical assistance, we ask callers not to call Microsoft Customer Support Services to request an extension for Windows XP," a company representative said. Microsoft declined to comment on whether its support lines had experienced a call-volume spike starting last Friday, when the Neowin notice first appeared."

Comment Re:what's the big deal (Score 5, Informative) 106

The reason Eve can't just generate a new pad is because there are two methods of generating a photon and two methods of measuring a photon. Each method of generating a photon has a matched way of measuring it. If you use the matched measurement method you correctly get the bit Alice sent. If you use the incorrect method you get a random 0 or 1 no matter what bit Alice sent. Eve (and Bob too) has no way of telling which method Alice used. In quantum key distribution, after sending the photons, Alice would contact Bob over a different channel. They would tell which method they used, and if they used matching methods keep that bit. If they used different methods they would throw out the bit. If Eve regenerated the bits, she could not have used the same methods as Alice since she doesnt know which methods were used. So Alice and Bob's keys won't match up which will result in any information passed between them to be undecodable and they will know someone eavesdropped.

Quantum Key Distribution is, in its most naive form, still vulnerable to man in the middle attacks. It makes it a little more difficult because you must be able to intercept information on two different channels (the quantum channel and the classical electronic channel), but it is still doable. (There are, however, cryptographic methods of detecting man in the middle attacks, but thats a subject for another time).

Comment Re:Big Brother(s) (Score 5, Insightful) 111

Hiring folks who used to work at IBM or Google is not the same thing as "large companies control[ling] how Twitter works." Some day, you'll have a job and you'll understand that. [Sorry to be an asshole about this, but your comment just shouts "teenage kid who's never had a serious job."] People with experience with large-scale applications may already know solutions to some of the problems Twitter is seeing. Those solutions aren't always in the text books; and if they were trivial and obvious, then such applications would be much more common.

Comment Fortunately, we use blackberries! (Score 4, Informative) 174

And if you have a blackberry enterprise server, you can:

- force your users to have a password
- force the device to lock after a specified period of inactivity
- force the user to enter the password every x minutes regardless of activity
- prevent users from having a trivial password
- give users a duress password
- set the blackberries to store everything in encrypted from
- if a blackberry is lost, you can remotely lock the blackberry
- if a blackberry is lost, you can remotely wipe it

Blackberries are the best mobile platform, period.

Comment There are many kinds of bananas (Score 5, Interesting) 519

more genetic variation means more resistance to the weakness of monoculture

I live in Brazil where there are many types of bananas available. Any supermarket has at least three different types. Just off my head, I can name at least six types of Brazilian bananas: Ouro ("gold"), Prata ("silver"), d'Agua ("water"), Maçã ("apple"), Nanica ("dwarf"), da Terra ("earth").

Comment There's one problem (Score 5, Informative) 519

Unfortunately none of those dozens of varieties have the attributes that make the Cavendish banana by far the most successful and important fruit crop in the world:

1. Long shelf life
2. Very uniform and predictable ripening times

That is why you can get bananas cheaply, even though they might be grown thousands of miles from where they are eventually sold.

Most, if not all the other varieties are only viable crops when they are sold very close to where they were grown.

Comment Re:Uh (Score 5, Informative) 395

Both government facilities and hospitals both rely on BT for a number of things. The government's idea of a database file is many gigabytes in size. Moving those around is MUCH cheaper and easyer with BT. Hospitals that are affiliated with universities usually do some sort of medical research on-site and also send/receive data to the campus. BT is used a lot with sending around things like DNA maps and decoded genomes; that sort of thing.

BitTorrent is a legitimate method of distributing data, no matter what kind of data. It just happens to be a great way to send your entire mp3 collection to 12 friends in very little time and that's why people associate it with piracy and the like.

Submission + - Vaccine for Cocaine (

phantomfive writes: Two Baylor college of Medicine researchers are working on a vaccine for cocaine. The immune system has trouble recognizing the cocaine molecules because they are so small, so the researches attached inactive cocaine molecules to inactive cholera molecules. This allowed the body to recognize and defend against both entities. In the future, these vaccines may be required for addicts.
The Internet

Submission + - New Jersey Denies Internet from Sex Offenders ( 3

eldavojohn writes: "New Jersey just passed legislation making it illegal for sex offenders to use the internet. NJ congresswoman Linda D. Greenstein said, "When Megan's Law was enacted, few could envision a day when a sex offender hiding behind a fake screen name would be a mouse-click away from new and unwitting victims. Sex offenders cannot be given an opportunity to abuse the anonymity the Internet can provide as a means of opening a door to countless new potential victims." While they still can search for jobs, this is a major expansion over the prior legislation which barred them from social networking sites like facebook or myspace."
The Matrix

Submission + - Can Time Slow Down? 2

Ponca City, We Love You writes: "Does time slow down when you are in a traffic accident or other life threatening crisis like Neo dodging bullets in slow-motion in The Matrix? To find out, researchers developed a perceptual chronometer where numbers flickered on the screen of a watch-like unit. The scientists adjusted the speed at which the numbers flickered until it was too fast for the subjects to see. Then subjects were put in a Suspended Catch Air Device, a controlled free-fall system in which "divers" are dropped backwards off a platform 150 feet up and land safely in a net. "It's the scariest thing I have ever done," said Dr. David Eagleman. "I knew it was perfectly safe, and I also knew that it would be the perfect way to make people feel as though an event took much longer than it actually did." Subjects were asked to read the numbers on the perceptual chronometer as they fell (video). The bottom line: While subjects could read numbers presented at normal speeds during the free-fall, they could not read them at faster-than-normal speeds. "We discovered that people are not like Neo in The Matrix," Eagleman said. "The answer to the paradox is that time estimation and memory are intertwined: the volunteers merely thought the fall took a longer time in retrospect,""

Submission + - Google results lead to massive malware attack (

Arashtamere writes: A large-scale, coordinated campaign to steer users toward malware-spewing Web sites from Google search results is under way, according to security researchers. Users searching Google with any of hundreds of legitimate phrases — from the technical "how to cisco router vpn dial in" to the heart-tugging "how to teach a dog to play fetch" — will see links near the top of the results listings that lead directly to malicious sites hosting a mountain of malware. Security researchers say they have found 27 different domains, each with up to 1,499 malicious pages, meaning some 40,000 pages are spewing out the malware. Dodgy tactics such as "comment spam" and "blog spam" have allowed the criminals to boost their Google rankings, and attackers may be using bots to plug links into any web form that requests a URL. According to the report there is no evidence that the criminals bought Google search keywords, however, nor that they've compromised legitimate sites. Instead, they've simply played Google's ranking system and registered their own sites.

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"The fundamental principle of science, the definition almost, is this: the sole test of the validity of any idea is experiment." -- Richard P. Feynman