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Comment Re:What court? (Score 4, Insightful) 139

Thanks! But I've been around a while (check my number). I've had what I considered very important comments ignored, and had stupid wise-cracks modded way up. I tend to limit my comments to things I know a lot about. But this is the first time I've ever been called a troll. Makes me feel like a true member of the Slashdot community. };->

Comment Gas is good, liquid bad (Score 2) 181

We played around with what were known as 'Flame Effects Generators', also known as 'Fire Cannons', for years out at Burning Man. We even shot them directly at people, clad in fire suits of course (search YouTube for 'Dance Dance Immolation'). As far as I know no one ever got hurt, or even burned a little, and we compared notes a lot. But these were all pressurized propane. The subject line above was something of a motto. These things use liquid, and the potential for an accident is pretty high. I've used FEGs for years, but I wouldn't want to be within a city block of a liquid based flame thrower.

One early year a guy had a kerosene-based torch, a big one. I heard him tell the Black Rock Rangers, "You know, if anything goes wrong here you're gonna have to move 2,000 people 100 yards in about 20 seconds".

Comment How sad. (Score 4, Funny) 326

I have this friend. She's blond, six foot, blue eyes, loves wearing five inch heels, and is a bit of an exhibitionist. Gorgeous. Loves dressing up. She also has a BS in computer science and a master's degree in mathematcs. She works conventions as a 'booth babe' for fun. Her stories about tearing into some dork who thinks she's just some dumb blonde are priceless. Shame to spoil her fun.

Comment ... break most modern cryptographic codes? (Score 1) 62

This statement always shows up when discussing quantum computers. The only important 'modern cryptographic codes' dependant on factoring large primes are RSA and Diffie-Hellman.RSA has replacements waiting in the wings (notably Elliptic Curves); Diffie-Hellman might be a bit trickier to live without.But I'm not aware of any claims that the symmectric cyphers (AES, Blowfish, 3DES, etc) or the advanced hashes (SHA3? or whatever) would be vulnerable.

Comment NSA and foreign mail hosts (Score 1) 410

You should probably take into account that the few, and obviously mainly ignored, privacy protections you do have evaporate the nanosecond your communication leaves U.S. borders. Supposedly within the U.S. the NSA is limited to email metadata collection (look up the older term 'pen register' for the legal history of law enforcement access to this kind of information), but when you interact with a 'foreign agent' the sky's the limit. Ellison may have known more than we thought when he said, "You have no privacy. Get over it."

Comment First contact? (Score 1) 99

"(Discussing our first contact with aliens) is a bit like iguanas on the Galapagos Islands sitting around trying to figure out how to treat the first human visitors. Should we offer them dead flies, or live flies? Shall we line up the flies in a row? How shall we defend ourselves? All of that is irrelevant."
                -- Seth Shostak, SETI

Comment OMFG (Score 4, Insightful) 371

"In conclusion, the main thing we did wrong when designing ATM security systems in the early to mid-1980s was to worry about criminals being clever; we should rather have worried about our customers - the banks' system designers, implementers, and testers - being stupid."
                Ross Anderson, "Security Engineering"

Comment Re:More like fiery death (Score 2) 27

As with anything, common sense helps. The Burning Man people have been playing around with stuff like this for years, without anyone getting hurt. But then, we tend to be pretty careful with our toys (I have a poofer that shoots 30 ft. fireballs that I've been using for ten years). A friend of mine spearheaded Dance Dance Immolation a while back, where she shot propane torches at dancers (wearing full fire suits) who missed their moves. Yes, we play with fire, but we're good at it. If anyone's interested, there are several fire art collectives in the San Francisco Bay Area, including The Crucible and the Flaming Lotus Girls, that you could contact about safety issues. The Crucible even has classes.

Leaked Pics of CrunchPad Elicit Progress Update 85

TechCrunch has released a few more technical details, pictures, and general comments about their CrunchPad project as a recent accidental leak saw a new round of images posted to the web. It seems that the tablet has continued to grow and evolve with the help of an Intel Atom chip (as opposed to the Via chip previously used), new software from Fusion Garage, and a bottom-up Linux install. "I wanted something I couldn't buy, and found people who said it could be built for a lot less than I imagined. The goal — a very thin and light touch screen computer, sans physical keyboard, that has no hard drive and boots directly to a browser to surf the web. The operating system exists solely to handle the hardware drivers and run the browser and associated applications. That's it."

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