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Comment key exchange problem (Score 2, Insightful) 94

Ok but how to do you communicate the "protocol" to your audience which may be scattered around the globe? And how do you guarantee communicating the "protocol" hasn't been compromised? As soon as the "protocol" is discovered it becomes easy to begin censoring again. I suppose it could work if you could be face to face with the person you're trying to communicate with and manually give them the "protocol" but if you can do that then you can just exchange public keys too and use the standard public key cryptography setup.

Comment parallel to operations (Score 1) 243

I work in a small independent pharmacy chain in Texas, we have about 15 stores and maybe around 110 employees total.

Our IT department consists of me (Senior developer), a Junior developer, a Sys. Admin, and my boss who has the title VP of I.T. My boss is at the same level as the CFO and COO even though he doesn't have a "C" title and they all report to our CEO/owner. My projects mostly cross in to the operations department but the I.T. department has its finger in all departments. Our system administrator deals mostly with the pharmacies themselves where I mostly work with the corporate staff but also deal a lot with the pharmacies. My boss has the most experience (aside from the CEO) with the pharmacy business of all the executives so he basically consults for the other department heads. We routinely work on accounting concepts and ideas for the CFO as well as managing profitability with dispensed drugs for Operations.

Unlike most grunts I have 100% confidence in my boss and the other executive level people here. I think I got that way because they're very upfront and candid, no sugar coating, no jargon, no exec speak. If your project rocks then it rocks if it sucks then it sucks and they've been 100% right so far (i've been here 10 years).

Submission + - 210 million Facebook friends graphed by region (

trybywrench writes: From the first paragraph of the article: "As I've been digging deeper into the data I've gathered on 210 million public Facebook profiles, I've been fascinated by some of the patterns that have emerged. My latest visualization shows the information by location, with connections drawn between places that share friends. For example, a lot of people in LA have friends in San Francisco, so there's a line between them."

Comment communicate from dreams (Score 5, Interesting) 175

I want a way to communicate with the outside world from within a dream. If you could get lucid dreaming perfected you could get a day's work in while your physical body is resting. Then when you're awake you have the day off. ...of course i'm sure this will just devolve into working during the day and when you're asleep too heh.

Comment British Museum (Score 1) 306

I'm not surprised the meteorites sat in the British Museum for so long before being given a good once over. There's so much crap in there it would blow you away. Their section on Egypt is bigger and better than the whole King Tut exhibit tour. hehe it's no wonder other countries are like "um can we have our stuff back?"

Comment take Discreet (Score 4, Insightful) 466

Set theory and graph theory come in handing when programming.

Some variation of the "traveling salesman" problem, a graphing problem, shows up in every industry out there so it would be a good idea to be familiar with its nuances and the various approaches to getting it mostly right (i don't think it has been solved).

Set theory is a good place to start thinking about just about anything. You'll probably also cover combinatorics, formal logic, and predicate calculas along with set theory which are also great tools to have when programming.

Comment Economics can never be modeled succesfully (Score 1) 421

The problem with economics is the act of constructing a model changes reality. As soon as you take action based on your model, your model (and your actions) now become inputs to the system. You're doomed to forever chase a moving target, the more perfect the model the faster it becomes irrelevant. At best you can take some low hanging fruit with statistics preying on the ignorance of those less sophisticated. Goldman Sachs and the other HFT banks have this approach down to a science with the day trading crowd. GS's models are sufficient to trade in the noise of day traders and take them to the cleaners, that's why there's the saying "the fastest way to make a small fortune day trading is to start with a large forture". Modeling economics on a large scale though is a fool's errand.

Comment remind of a Cult of The Dead Cow tfile (Score 3, Interesting) 483

back in the day i read a "tfile" by Sunspot IIRC that explained how to break into those boxes attached the stop lights at intersections and make every light stay green all the time. Not sure if it was legit or not but it sounded a little far fetched.

As for the single computer, i bet a coke no one knows the root password, the system administrator is long gone and the programmers are very long gone. I bet the staff tried to power cycle it thinking it was just like a PC and now they've made the problem 3x worse.

Comment pregnant wife + fear (Score 3, Insightful) 579

My 7 months pregnant wife works as a school teacher and has multiple students out with H1N1. I have never worried before about anything like I worry these days. Jobs, economy, foreign policy, health, the future, they all take on new meaning when you have a family. To quote Blink, "I guess this is growing up".

Comment It's the backup stupid (Score 2, Insightful) 246

I think the key here is was it only T-Mobile's data that was lost or was every customer of the "cloud" affected. If it was only T-Mobile's data than the issue is T-Mobile's backup policy, if it was "cloud"-wide than it's an issue with the "cloud" provider. In either case, I don't think you can paint the entire "cloud" concept as unstable. Cloud computing is really just a dynamic datacenter with all the usual weak links and issues present in a traditional metal datacenter.

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Math is like love -- a simple idea but it can get complicated. -- R. Drabek