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Comment There is a way, kind of: PIR (Score 2, Informative) 266

There is a cryptography technique called Public Information Retrieval which allows you to do just that: Send an encrypted query to a server, let it perform some operations on your behalf, and send you an encrypted query result. The server neither knows the contents of the encrypted data, nor the content of the query, but you have your result nonetheless.

The intuition is that there exists a sort of "black-box" operation which some cryptographic techniques can use. For example, if I have two encrypted bits a and b (where I can't tell what a and b actually are), I can still perform the operation a xor b. The result is encrypted, and I don't know the actual operands or the result, but I know that what came out is indeed the encryption of the xor of the encrypted bits. Such cryptosystems are forms of "Homomorphic Encryption".

Using this, we can then give the server a search term thus encrypted and, using the black-box opertaion, have it do some set of operations which will reveal the result. The server will execute the exact same set of operations independent of the search term, so it knows nothing (and needs to know nothing) of the search term contents. Of course, this implies that the server has to operate on every element of the encrypted data to do its job, but that's the fundamental tradeoff. If you're willing to accept that, and the additional computational overhead, you can design such a system.


Submission + - Final Fantasy VII: Voices of the Lifestream (

djpretzel writes: "Today OverClocked ReMix released its ninth album, Final Fantasy VII: Voices of the Lifestream. The album, made by fans for fans, honors the recent 10-year anniversary of the Square Enix PlayStation video game Final Fantasy VII with 45 arrangements of composer Nobuo Uematsu's original score. Available for free download at, Voices of the Lifestream is not affiliated with or endorsed by Square Enix. More than 40 artists from the OverClocked ReMix community contributed more than three hours of music to the album, with interpretations covering a variety of genres and styles from jazz to electronica to rock to symphonic."
PC Games (Games)

Submission + - Ebay halts sale of virtual goods

An anonymous reader writes: Markeedragon reports that ebay is halting the sale of virtual items from online games such as Ultima Online and World Of Warcraft. I'm not sure why they would do something like that as it has to account for a significant amount of their income.
First Person Shooters (Games)

Submission + - War Rock: A Shooter Laying Waste to Big Budgets

BizInside writes: "Though developers and players alike lament the rise of game development costs, one firm is actually using the trend to their advantage by releasing an online first-person shooter called War Rock that is completely free to play. Call it Battlefield light, or America's Army minus boot camp. Interesting thing is, the game plans to make money through a voluntary pay subscription plan and microtransactions, both of which give players access to some neat perks. Amped News takes a critical eye towards K2 Network's bizarre business model and chats with War Rock producer Matt Norton about what makes the game so significant."
PlayStation (Games)

Submission + - All PSP firmwares now hackable!

An anonymous reader writes: "Just a little while back, Fanjita wrote a small article on the people with non-homebrew-able PSPs should do. Waiting for an exploit was the only sensible thing to do in my opinion. And boy! people didn't have to wait very long; the Noobz team has just come out with a new exploit which works on all firmwares upto v 3.03 , which is all the Sony has been able to come up with."

Sony beaten again. Is it time to stop adding security updates with every firmware?
It's funny.  Laugh.

Submission + - South Park World of Warcraft Becomes Reality

Anonymous Coward writes: "At least on the Dunemaul World of Warcraft server, the new character, Highlord Kruul, introduced by the patch on Tuesday (January 9, 2007) attacked Ironforge early in the morning on Wednesday (January 10, 2007). No one was prepared for him. No character could defeat him. Several raid groups were formed, but none could bring him down. You can't get in or out. He was there nearly all day long. This is a hilarious video, showing the ground piled with skeletons and it also shows dozens of characters getting killed. Check it out here. If only we had the Sword of a Thousand Truths (guess we'll just have to wait for the expansion)."

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