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Comment Re:How ?? (Score 1) 391

I doubt anyone in the public had any idea about the possibility of nuclear weaponry either.

Anyone who was following current developments in physics was aware of the possibility well before WW II started.

I actually wish that U.S. had tech to do fast factorizations since then we might be needing some new innovations when it comes to public key cryptosystems. RSA gets boring after a while and I really wish there was something fresh and just as fundamental to come since. Maybe there is and I missed it?

Comment Re:Scare tactics (Score 1) 407

Bullshit. Sure it was no great battle, I agree. It was a small-scale siege of a jail where the entrenched honcho's deputies were attempting to tamper with ballots. I don't see what has it got to do with vigilantism, it was very obvious what was going on and there was no other law enforcement available to deal with it.

Comment Re:How ?? (Score 1) 391

I think they could have enough hardware to break small numbers (a couple/day, maybe) of RSA-encrypted negotiations of session keys, and perhaps may have something that can go much faster through keyspace of common symmetric ciphers. I think all you really need to stay secure these days is to change your private keys often and make sure all valuable data uses public key cryptography only, no symmetric ciphers. Unfortunately, common internet protocols like SSL only use public key crypto to negotiate symmetric session keys (IIRC). If you can recover session keys quickly, you don't even need to bother with brute-forcing factorization problems in public key crypto.

Comment Re:How ?? (Score 1) 391

NSA has their hands on the latest and greatest gadgets, including quantum computers, which can, theoretically, decrypt anything

LOL. Classical computers can theoretically decrypt anything too, so what's your point? So far there was no demonstration of any non-classical computer system that runs significantly faster than classical ones. Even if you take a rather mediocre measure of being "significantly" faster - I merely mean faster by a low-order polynomial in N (say, N or N^2 times faster). I'm not even hinting at expecting something that can do O(N!) problems in polynomial time.

Comment Re:Internet Explorer (Score 1) 391

That's of course after first verifying that the CPU doesn't contain backdoors that trigger code execution upon hitting a special sequence of data. You pretty much have to lay out a simple 8-bit CPU by hand on large sheets of mylar, have that fabbed, toggle the monitor, then assembler, into it, then code a simple Pascal compiler, then use it to design something larger, and keep doing it until you've got yourself to the modern days.

Comment Re:A conspiracy... (Score 1) 470

Well, if you heat up enough, you'll get ionization (plasma).

But this is purely a thermal effect! The radiation doesn't ionize, the radiation heats up the material sufficiently so that the ionization occurs spontaneously due to collisions between atoms or molecules. Just because you have ionization doesn't mean that the radiation is ionizing!!

Of course to heat up to such high temperatures you'd need much more power than your typical microwave oven.

This is a rather nonsensical statement. Everything depends on the thermal balance of the sample you're heating up. Without knowing that, you can't make any arguments as to how much power is needed. Hint: low-pressure gases have low thermal conductivity and low volumetric heat :)

Comment Re:A conspiracy... (Score 2) 470

Tissues are not very transparent to UV-B, so this problem is limited to outer skin layers. Moreover, we adapt over generations by varying the melanin content. It takes about a 100 generations to go from full white to full black, and vice versa (there go the racial arguments, LOL). I'd say that given DNA's efficiency of storing information, the UV-B sensitivity is but a nitpick.

Comment Re:A conspiracy... (Score 1) 470

Umm, pray tell, what has heating up (using microwaves) got to do with ionization? Radiation sickness happens because key elements of cells get damaged. The chemistry of our cells is not designed to deal with intense interference with structures of various complex molecules. Ionizing radiation is called such because it can dissociate molecules into ions - that's a rather significant alteration, the original molecule ceases to exist.

The sunburn is a very specific reaction to DNA damage and only DNA damage. The DNA is sensitive to non-ionizing UV-B radiation; new chemical bonds are formed when a photon is absorbed and doesn't get converted to heat. This happens without ionization having occurred. The DNA is simply, by design, susceptible to this kind of radiation, and the direct damage mechanism of DNA is a part of a large family of photochemical reactions. In terms of sensitivity per photon, the DNA is about 2 orders of magnitude less sensitive (~0.1% eff.) than the silver halide you'd find in a film emulsion (~20% eff. undoped).

Comment Re:Wow, just wow. (Score 1) 406

How about the idea that having a bunch of lame-ass mooches, trolls, and flamers causing nothing but drama increases the stress level of developers and causes them to abandon projects entirely?

It's not that hard just to ignore them. Heck, I'd say that online it's only so much easier to ignore them than in face-to-face situations. Censorship is a slippery slope. He should know better.

Comment Re:Law should require transparency (Score 1) 118

If the system can't be taken down for maintenance, in pieces if necessary and with redundance if necessary, then the initial design was incompetent.

This, a thousand times this!! Google updates their systems constantly, constantly deploying both new hardware and new software. Somehow we can google things without seeing a "down for maintenance, we've got 5000 storage boxes to upgrade" page. And I'm pretty damn sure that whatever infrastructure google runs their search engine on would make even a large SAP deployment something to laugh at.

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Marvelous! The super-user's going to boot me! What a finely tuned response to the situation!