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Comment A few obvious corrections (Score 1) 49

First, DES is 56 bit (near enough 60). Triple DES as per first mode (the authorised standard) is 168 bits. The article fails to distinguish, implying the authors are just a little bit naff. 3DES seems to be quite safe, as long as not used in DES emulation mode. And who the hell emulates a mode that was broken in the 80s?

Second, Blowfish was replaced by TwoFish, ThreeFish and Speck. Skein, an entrant to the DES3 challenge, makes use of ThreeFish.

Third, the Wikipedia page states it has been known for a long time that weak keys are bad. This particular attack, though, is a birthday attack. You can find all the ciphers vulnerable or free that you should be using. Anything not on the list is something you are solely responsible for.

http://csrc.nist.gov/archive/a...

In other words, this information is about as useful as telling up that Model T Fords weren't good at cornering at highway speeds. Below are some links, I can't be buggered to HTML-ify them.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wik...
http://www.skein-hash.info/
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wik...
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wik...

I do not trust most encryption software these days, but that's because programmers these days are sloppy and arrogant.

Comment Re:Sour Grapes (Score 1) 80

Actually, try #3. That's the only term that is generic enough to encompass both the individual recording artists (regardless of the degree of artistry) and the record companies that represent them. I'm talking collectively about everyone involved in the process of bringing that content to market who might plausibly be involved in the decision-making process.

Comment Re:Free market (Score 3, Insightful) 336

Yeah, the Obama FDA, that hotbed of conservative activism!

Also, since when was price fixing by governments a "free market" solution?

You make it sounds like the Democrats are in favor of free trade from online pharmacies, when a quick Google search and clicking on the first link is enough to dispel that.

I'm not saying there aren't government-lovers on both sides in this area, but to cast it as 'the "conservatives" are against a free market, and the "liberals" are for the free market.' when it's more the opposite is quite a stretch there...

Comment Re:Making 26 YOs work 80 hour weeks is easier too. (Score 2) 227

I agree they're not much good on a smooth floor, but I use a broom for that. They work very well in that environment. We've had a Dyson for a long time and aside from eating its skinny little belts trivially if you clog it with hair, it's a very good machine for us. And it pulls stuff out of the carpet that other vacs don't, which is its mission...

Comment Re:Good on him (Score 1) 227

When arguing ICE vs EV, I get the impression that noise and vibration is considered a good thing with ICE.

Some people seem to think so, and in a sports car that's as may be, but in other kinds of cars it's not so much. The thing is, that's not really a big problem. There's only a small amount of pleasant noise from my Audi (all real, none generated) and there's really no discernible vibration because of the fancy-pants engine mount setup, which is not even active. It's just good. The real benefits of EVs are not so much in sound (although there are some there) as in efficiency. When the batteries become cheaper, and when typical range gets a bit better, they will become ubiquitous for this reason.

Comment Re:Good on him (Score 1) 227

One day you should actually drive an EV instead of just spurting unjustified nonsense.

You can get a lovely used luxury car with better interior quality than a Tesla for around ten grand in very good condition. (The best examples of older luxobarges seem to run about that.) Per dollar, it walks all over the Tesla. Yes, the Tesla is a better car. It's not a hundred thousand dollars better. Used Teslas won't be that cheap for decades.

Comment Re:Good on him (Score 1) 227

I've watched the Jay Leno's Garage on his Doble. It was an amazing thing. But the system takes up too much space. Compare the Doble to a Fiesta with a 1 liter Ecoboost engine and there's no contest in any category. Physics limits how small a steam system can be; it could perhaps be more compact than in the Doble, but how much more? If you're going to go that far in your quest for a new-old engine, NASA's proven Stirling engine tech is probably a better example.

Comment Re:Good on him (Score 1) 227

Whatever you do, don't take a Tesla test drive. It will make you hate your slow, noisy, polluting ICE car forever.

What makes me hate my ICE car is unreliability. But when it's working, my A8 Quattro is not exactly an unpleasant driving experience. You can get a spectacular (old) one for ten grand and the price difference will pay for fuel just about for life. I should have spent more on mine :p

Comment Re:Numbers not adding up... (Score 1) 167

You have k(a) Android devices and k(i) failed devices. k(i) divided by n(i) gives you 58%.

No, that's what failure rate is supposed to mean. However, what the numbers actually said are:

  • iPhone 6 had the highest failure rate of 29%
  • iOS devices as a whole had a failure rate of 58%

These two statements cannot both be true simultaneously by any proper definition of "failure rate". The iPhone 6 is a subset of all iOS devices. The claim is made that its failure rate was 29%. For the failure rate of all iOS devices to be 58%, that would mean that at least one iOS device must have a failure rate greater than 58% to pull the average up from 29% to 58%, which contradicts the statement that the iPhone 6 had the highest failure rate at 29%.

Q.E.D.

The only way you could even halfway make those numbers plausible would be if you erroneously divided the iPhone numbers by either the total number of iOS devices or worse, the total number of devices. Either of those approaches makes the numbers meaningless because you don't know the relationship between... to use your terminology... k(i) and n(i) at that point.

In your ramblings, you fail to consider that the vast majority of people who want to avoid expensive shipping charges will often bring their unit into a store... which eliminates many of the simpler problems.

The vast majority of people who want to avoid expensive shipping charges will Google the problem and find an answer themselves. People go to a store when that fails.

Comment Re:Good on him (Score 1) 227

There are many other (large) industries that rely heavily on batteries. They've been heavily researched for over 100 years.

Yes, but so have ICEs, and they still suck. Only minor improvements in efficiency have been realized in the last forty years. A forty year old turbo diesel still provides pretty good thermodynamic efficiency. It does it without producing much CO2 as a result, although it will tend to crank out quite a bit of NOx. Over that time, automotive ICE efficiency has improved by only in the low double digit percents, while electric motor efficiency has about doubled — and it's over three times as good as an ICE.

Cars are fun, I like engine noises as much as or even more than the next guy, but ICEs blow.

Comment Re:Good on him (Score 2) 227

There is already an awesome battery tech, holding about 10kWh of energy in a small package that already exist, it's good old gas. The only problem is that it takes 100 millions years to produce.

The other problem is that you can't just feed it into an electric motor. You have to either feed it into a fuel cell which is lame for many reasons which I should not need to enumerate here, or you have to feed it into an ICE which is lame for even more reasons which etc etc. Or an external combustion engine, but (stationary generation aside) that only really works for trains and it's not really convenient there, either. Electric motors are wonderful in every way compared to ICEs, and batteries are wonderful in most ways compared to fuel cells despite their many annoying failings. In fact, you can't efficiently build a fuel cell car without including battery in the motive power system.

Comment Re:Good on him (Score 1, Insightful) 227

EVs would have been overtaken by ICE technology regardless of whatever conspiratal notions you are imagining.

ICEs still provide a superior driving experience per dollar, and most people who have an EV wouldn't have one if not for subsidies... to compete with the entrenched energy monopolies' subsidies.

Comment Good on him (Score 2, Interesting) 227

Better battery tech is about the most important thing in energy today, because it will let us make more use of "alternative" energy sources (you know, ones which were in use to do work long before anyone was using electricity, or building ICEs or steam turbines or even steam engines) right now. The only thing that might be even more compelling in the short term would be a safe way to store apparently physics-defying quantities of hydrogen and release small or large amounts of it later as necessary without having to expend a lot of energy to do so, but even that has less applications than a better battery.

One (okay, I) wonder[s] where battery tech would be today if EVs had remained dominant and not been pushed out by subsidized oil and coal.

Comment Re:Sour Grapes (Score 4, Insightful) 80

I don't really understand how this benefits Spotify as it doesn't improve the service in any way that I can see, and such a move likely makes it worse for users for petty business reasons that have nothing to do with the users.

In the short term, the only negative impact would be if the songs they're demoting are extremely popular and if the public perceives their absence as a loss in quality. Given the size of the musical corpus these days, that seems unlikely.

In the long term, this serves notice to content creators that there's no such thing as a free lunch. Normally, those content creators would have to balance the cost of exclusivity (fewer plays on those exclusive songs) against the benefits (presumably dramatically improved promotion and possibly higher royalty per click. With this policy in place, those content creators have to factor in the loss of the vast majority of their income from the other providers—not just on new content, but also on old content. That significantly changes the balance in a way that discourages these exclusive deals.

And that's a good thing. Vendor exclusivity is inherently anti-consumer.

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