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Comment Are two hashes better than one? (Score 3, Interesting) 91

... however it's worth noting that there are currently no ways of finding a collision for both MD5 and SHA-1 hashes simultaneously

Any crypto geeks want to weigh in on the truth of this statement? I've often wondered about this. Wouldn't using two hash algorithms be easier and more effective over the long term than getting the whole world to upgrade to the Latest And Greatest Hash every ~10 years?

Comment Is providing a link too much to ask? (Score 1) 24

Neither of TFA's or the /. summary provide a link to Clear Linux. WTF?!?!

Here it is: https://clearlinux.org/

I get why sites like Network World and BetaNews avoid linking to the subject of their articles. Heaven forbid a reader click the link and leave their site, possibly never to return! Won't somebody please think about the advertisers! Reasonable financial motives for bad behavior doesn't change the fact that it's bad behavior.

Comment Re:BASIC (Score 1) 339

I'm old enough to remember the days of 8-bit computing and the ubiquity of BASIC. Those were good times, but the world has moved on. The problem isn't the language -- GUI's simply changed the rules of the game.

Text (command line) programs can naturally be written a linear procedural fashion. Cause and effect are clear. Display something, wait for input, act on input, rinse, and repeat. Classic BASIC fit this model well, and people could easily learn it. You could go from zero to useful in a relatively short time.

At a technical level, GUI programming is inherently event driven. Originally this took the form of event loops dispatching messages, with more object oriented approaches evolving over time. Classic BASIC does not fit this model, but can be extended to do so (e.g. Visual BASIC). The problem is that the learning curve is steeper. Event driven programming is hard for non-programmers to wrap their minds around.

Another problem is that modern computers come with lots of beautiful GUI-based software, and creating similar software takes considerable knowledge and effort. It's MUCH harder for a newbie to create software that looks and feels like "professional" programs. I imagine this could be very discouraging. I clearly remember the feeling of pride and accomplishment I felt back in the 8-bit days, when my own programs met, and then exceeded the standards of the day. I was able to go from zero to that place in a reasonable amount of time; now it might take years.

Government

Fidel Castro Is Dead (nytimes.com) 279

Striek quotes the New York Times: Fidel Castro, the fiery apostle of revolution who brought the Cold War to the Western Hemisphere in 1959 and then defied the United States for nearly half a century as Cuba's maximum leader, bedeviling 11 American presidents and briefly pushing the world to the brink of nuclear war, died Friday. He was 90. His death was announced by Cuban state television.

In declining health for several years, Mr. Castro had orchestrated what he hoped would be the continuation of his Communist revolution, stepping aside in 2006 when he was felled by a serious illness. He provisionally ceded much of his power to his younger brother Raul, now 85, and two years later formally resigned as president. Raul Castro, who had fought alongside Fidel Castro from the earliest days of the insurrection and remained minister of defense and his brother's closest confidant, has ruled Cuba since then, although he has told the Cuban people he intends to resign in 2018.

Kebertson shares an AP article which remembers a book proclaiming "Castro's Last Hour" -- in 1982. And Miamicanes jokes there'll be celebrations among Castro-haters in Miami, sharing a CNN article which notes that in the end, Castro "lived long enough to see a historic thaw in relations between Cuba and the United States."

Submission + - Google interview process big turn off for experienced engineers (businessinsider.com)

mysterious_mark writes: There's an article in the Business Insider discussing how the interview process at Google is really just geared for recent CS grads, and makes no sense for experienced engineers. Apparently the only criteria to work at Google is one's ability to do white board code problems, actual engineering experience counts for nothing. This may explain why the average engineer at Google is under 30, the problem is partly due to age discrimination, and also because older and more experienced engineers simply don't want to deal with the interview process.
Science

Soylent Halts Sale of Bars; Investigation Into Illnesses Continues (arstechnica.com) 207

Beth Mole, reporting for ArsTechnica:Following online reports of customers becoming ill after eating Soylent's new snack bars, the company announced this afternoon that it has decided to halt all sales and shipments of the bars as a precautionary measure . The company is urging customers to discard remaining bars and will begin e-mailing customers individually regarding refunds. In a blog announcing the decision, the company said it is still investigating the cause of bouts of illnesses of customers linked to the bars, including nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. "After hearing from our customers, we immediately began investigating the cause of the issue and whether it was linked to a problem with the Bars," the company said. "So far we have not yet identified one and this issue does not appear to affect our other drinks and powder. Though our investigation into this matter continues, we have decided to err on the side of caution and take this preventative step."

Comment Re:Heh, 1 0 0 1 0 0 (Score 1) 89

YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

The Body Electric is Rush at their best. The bass and drums on the intro are instantly recognizable. It's one of several tracks on the Grace Under Pressure album (released in 1984) that showcase the classic Rush sound.

Few rock bands dare to address "heavy" topics, but Rush did it regularly, and with great success. Neal Peart's skill with lyrics is on full display here. Grace Under Pressure included songs about artificial life ("The Body Electric"), the holocaust ("Red Sector A"), and the cold war ("Distant Early Warning"). None are "preachy", and all are quite accessible to mainstream audiences. They all received a good amount of airplay on rock radio.

(Yes, I'm a huge Rush fan, and I'm proud to admit it!)

Censorship

India's Worrying Draft Encryption Policy 114

knwny writes: The government of India is working on a new National Encryption Policy the contents of which have raised a few alarms.Among other things, the policy states that citizens and businesses must save all encrypted messages (including personal or unofficial ones) and their plaintext copies for 90 days and make them available to law enforcement agencies as and when demanded. The policy also specifies that only the government of India shall define the algorithms and key sizes for encryption in India. The policy is posted on this website.
Advertising

Editor-in-Chief of the Next Web: Adblockers Are Immoral 618

lemur3 writes: Hot on the heels of the recent implementation of Canvas Ads (allowing advertisers to use the full page) Martin Bryant, the Editor-in-Chief of The Next Web, wrote a piece that, ostensibly, calls out mobile carriers in Europe for offering ad blocking as a service. He writes: "Display ads are still an important bread-and-butter income stream. Taking delight in denying publishers that revenue shows either sociopathic tendencies or ignorance of economic realities." While referring to those using ad blocking as sociopathic is likely not to win many fans, this mindset seems to be prevalent in certain circles, as discussed previously on Slashdot. Martin closes his piece with a warning: "For all their sins, ads fuel much of the Web. Cut them out and you're strangling the diversity of online voices and publishers – and I don't think consumers really want that."

Comment Re:libressl-2.1.3 (Score 1) 97

Just because one compiler for one platform fails to support a popular C extension doesn't mean the library isn't portable.

Except that the one platform is Windows, which accounts for the vast majority of desktop PC's and laptops, and a significant chunk of servers. And the one compiler is the standard for Windows, used by the vast majority of Windows developers.

You don't have to like this, but it is the truth.

In my opinion, any software that can't compile on Windows using the native toolchain doesn't qualify as "portable". That doesn't make it bad software. It just isn't "portable" software.

Comment Re:libressl-2.1.3 (Score 1) 97

libressl supports pretty much any unix-like OS

Oh good, both Country and Western.

I know there's a guy working on Windows support as well.

Let me know what the guy working on Windows support actually gets it working. Until then it doesn't count. And by "working", I mean working with the Microsoft toolchain, which like it or not, is the official and most widely used toolchain for Windows.

Comment Re:libressl-2.1.3 (Score 5, Insightful) 97

libressl is NOT portable. Supporting BSD and Linux is not the definition of "portable" (see also: "We play both types of music: Country and Western"). The libressl code depends on the non-standard #include_next preprocessor directive, so it can only build with GCC (and probably clang, which emulates many GCC-isms). Forget about building on Windows using Microsoft's C compiler.

OpenSSL remains the only portable SSL library that can be used by both open source and commercial developers alike. Which is really a shame, because OpenSSL sucks. All the bad things the libressl people have said about OpenSSL are absolutely true.

Communications

The Slow Death of Voice Mail 237

HughPickens.com writes: Duane D. Stanford reports at Bloomberg that Coca-Cola's Atlanta Headquarters is the latest big company to ditch its old-style voice mail, which requires users to push buttons to scroll through messages and listen to them one at a time. The change went into effect this month, and a standard outgoing message now throws up an electronic stiff arm, telling callers to try later or use "an alternative method" to contact the person. Techies have predicted the death of voice mail for years as smartphones co-opt much of the office work once performed by telephones and desktop computers. Younger employees who came of age texting while largely ignoring voice mail are bringing that habit into the workforce. "People north of 40 are schizophrenic about voice mail," says Michael Schrage. "People under 35 scarcely ever use it." Companies are increasingly combining telephone, e-mail, text and video systems into unified Internet-based systems that eliminate overlap. "Many people in many corporations simply don't have the time or desire to spend 25 minutes plowing through a stack of 15 to 25 voice mails at the end or beginning of the day," says Schrage.

In 2012, Vonage reported its year-over-year voicemail volumes dropped 8%. More revealing, the number of people bothering to retrieve those messages plummeted 14%. More and more personal and corporate voicemail boxes now warn callers that their messages are rarely retrieved and that they're better off sending emails or texts. "The truly productive have effectively abandoned voicemail, preferring to visually track who's called them on their mobiles," concludes Schrage. "A communications medium that was once essential has become as clunky and irrelevant as Microsoft DOS and carbon paper."

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