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Comment I don't use it for the encryption (Score 5, Insightful) 601

I've been using PGP for a few years, and on the odd occasion, I'll send an encrypted email to myself. Part of the problem is that no one knows how to use PHP. I've been sending email to thousands of people in an academic setting, and I've only encountered one other person using PGP.

The reason I keep using PGP, however, is because of digital signing: there's a good guarantee that signed messages were actually sent by me. Headers are fairly trivial to spoof. With PGP, a 'hacker' can only impersonate me if they have access to the private key, which requires physical or ssh access, and he or she must be able to decrypt that key.

That said, I wish more people would encrypt their messages. This should be a no-brainer in a lot of fields, including human rights and for health and human services, and I think the barrier to commit to email encryption is still too great.

Comment Very simple text-based implementation (Score 2) 248

Signing log messages does not need to be complicated or incompatible with current text-based logging. Hashing messages is incredibly easy to do, and there's really no reason not to do it. I just implemented this in python in less than two minutes.

>>> from hashlib import md5
>>> log = lambda last_message, message: "{}: {}".format( md5(last_message).hexdigest(), message)

The output hashes the last message with the current message:

8a023b9cbebe055e4b080585ccba3246: [ 19.609619] userif-2: sent link up event.
649a2719064f7f276462464527b48a69: [ 29.680009] eth0: no IPv6 routers present

No binaries, still grepable, single host and most importantly, there is now a trail that can be verified.

Comment Re:A counter perspective on Unity (Score 0) 798

I hate to reply to my own post, but I forgot to mention one important detail. I'd advise using the 2D unity interface--not the default 3D unity interface built on compiz. The 2D interface is built on metacity (from Gnome 2), and it's considerably faster. To install:

$ sudo apt-get install unity-2d

And select it in the lightdm login screen.

Comment A counter perspective on Unity (Score 2) 798

I consider myself a power user, and I like unity. I've been using Linux exclusively for about 10 years now, and I run my own mail server, database, web server, and I tinker with sshd config files, send my emails with gpg--the works. I had switched from Debian to Kubuntu about 2 years ago, and I've used KDE from 3.1 to about 4.3. I switched away from KDE because it was slow with compositing and switching windows.

Now unity does have its issues, but it has many strengths. The 2D interface is built on metacity, and it's very fast. One thing I like about unity is that the title bar serves the dual purpose as the status bar, saving about a half inch or more of vertical screen space on every window. I use the keyboard extensively for window management, and not having a title bar in addition to a status bar is a welcome change.

The launcher stays out of the way (behind windows), and it can be easily used to launch applications with a keyboard. A number associated with each application on the launcher panel such that it'll either launch a new instance or switch to an existing instance instantly when pressed. For instance, I can press Win+1 from anywhere, and it'll take me to my browser, or open a new browser window.

That said, unity definitely still needs work when it comes to managing a lot of windows. My typical workstation has 9 desktops with up to 9 windows on each. For applications, such as Gimp, that use multiple windows, minimizing and accessing different windows can be a hassle in unity. There are also some stability issues in unity.

However, I do think that unity 2D shows great promise, particularly for users that are adept at keyboard shortcuts.

Comment Parking in Handicap (Score 2) 579

I find it a bit hard to believe that there wasn't a reserved parking space for the chairman right next to the doors. Or are you telling me that he would deliberately not park in a reserved space just so that he could clog up the handicap spaces? That would staggering.

Comment Re:Entropy (Score 5, Interesting) 222

I'd like to add a few points to this useful post, as a related expert.

As implied by the parent post, one of the biggest reason scientists care is because this is a dominating contribution to the folding of soluble proteins--proteins in water. The hydrophic effect has been understood for a long time (half a centery), including the fact that the entropic contribution to the free energy is proportional to the surface area change between two separate oil droplets and one. (This is the a-a(0) term in their equation.)

Their equation further adds contributions for the surface tension of the solvent (gamma) and an exponential decay term for the drying of water between the two two hydrophobic surfaces are they approach each other. Such phenomena have been well characterized in the last ten or so years by molecular dynamics simulations, and this appears to be an experimental confirmation of this effect.

The statement, however, that this paper finally describes the enigmatic hydrophobic effect is a gross PR overstatement.

Comment Check out the RealNews (Score 1) 961

The RealNews has coverage--look at transcript if you can't watch the video. They're an independent news outlet that monitors exactly this type of news.

It appears that the protest, named Occupy Wall Street, is targeted at the corporate influence over politics, the imperialistic foreign policies of the US, and a demand for greater accountability in politics.

Comment Why an Apache donation (Score 0) 102

I'm a heavy user of open source and GPL software, but I admit to not knowing the nuances of open source licenses. My question is this: why are corporations donating their code to Apache instead of just releasing them through the GPL and Sourceforge? Oracle recently did this as well with OpenOffice, and I seem to vaguely recall a few others.

Comment A fake problem indeed (Score 1) 283

Especially considering that as long as you don't pick an overtly false name, you won't be banned. I know people that use fake names on facebook and google+, and they haven't had problems. If this comes down to human rights and privacy, pick a name that isn't obviously false. It doesn't get at the root of the problem, and the managers of these networks never will, but it's a simple solution to use until these social networks realize how futile these bans really are.

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This is clearly another case of too many mad scientists, and not enough hunchbacks.

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