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Comment Re:Your choice (Score 1) 958

I agree completely.

Step 1: CYA

From there, educate yourself and others on free alternatives if cost is a factor. If it's a small enough company, you should have no problem going to the owner or manager or whoever the head person is and explaining the repricussions of getting caught pirating software. It often leads to loosing the company. However, make sure not to be threatening. You don't want to imply blackmail here.

I ran into a similar situation at my old job. The company had about 50 people and I was the head IT guy. I was sometimes even instructed (usually by sales-folk) to install software that I knew was illegal. I refused every time and stated my reasons. It didn't make me the most popular IT guy, and I know that there was at least one other that would install the illegal software, but it at least kept my conscience clear and my ass covered.

I think the biggest thing is to find free alternatives if possible. If not, make your displeasure well known. If instructed to break the law.... well, that's up to you but I'd probably start looking for another job if my current employer knowingly told me to break the law.

Comment Re:ask a 12 year old (Score 2, Insightful) 381

Mega Man 9 is awesome. I'm glad they stuck with the 8 bit graphics (and stayed 2D). I hate it when 2D games go 3D. It almost never works out well.

The castlevania games have stayed 2D (for the most part) and are pretty fun too. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night is in my shortlist for best game ever.

I think too many games focus on the graphics these days and forget that better graphics does not equal more fun. Pac-man, Donkey Kong, Space Invaders, Missile Command, Joust etc weren't fun because we could tell what the blobs were. They were fun because the game's mechanics were solid and simple enough for just about anyone to understand. They take 5 minutes to learn and lifetime to master.

Comment Re:Quantum Key Exchange not Quantum Computing (Score 1) 233

Since I was asked a couple times, here are my references.

Brown, Julian - "Minds, Machines, and the Multivers: The Quest for the Quantum Computer"

Williams, Colin P. and Clearwater Scott H. - "Explorations in Quantum Computing"

Simon Singh, - "The Code Book"

I also have a computational physics degree and would reference the text books if I currently had access to them (so yes, I'm also referencing my ass that sat through 4 years of physics classes).

There's also the obligatory wiki references.
Quantum Cryptography
Quantum Computer

Quantum cryptography does not use cubits. The photon used to exchange keys are specifically polarized. They are not in a superposition of polarizations. The "quantum" part comes in because, when a polarized photon hits a polarization screen that is at a 45 degree angle to the photon's polarization, there is exactly a 50% chance that the photon will go through due to quantum mechanics.

It is possible to use a photon as a qubit but it is very limiting. You have to have qubits that will interact with eachother. That is difficult with photons. You also have to have some way of storing them. A photon is very difficult to trap.

Some other methods of qubits are Heteropolymer (plastic), Ion Trap, Cavity QED and NMR.

Heteropolymer uses a laser pulse at specific energies to excite the outer electrons in plastic atoms to either an excited state or superposition of excited and ground states. We have these. The problem again is getting them to interact as needed.

Ion Traps use electromagnetic fields to trap a single ionized atom. The ions can in a grounded state or excited state. Ion trap qubits provide a method for interaction but they can only interact with their neighboring qubit. This method has been used to create an 8 qubit quantum computer.

Cavity QED (Quantum Electrodynamics) uses the polarization of photons for the qubits. We've got an XOR gate for this, but, as stated before, it's hard to store a photon.

NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) uses a sample of some liquid. Each atom in the liquid ends up being a qubit by using the spin of nucleus of one of the atoms in the molecules. It uses current technology (similar to MRI) and just about any liquid can be used. However, it's not an isolated system so it decoheres extremely fast (it naturally exits it's state of superposition).

According to D-wave systems (a company that sells quantum computers), superconductors can also be used for qubits. Using supercooled aluminum and niobium to cause the electrons to form Cooper pairs (bosons) which can be used as qubits. I don't know a lot about that method but you can read about it at D-wave QC hardware and Wiki: Superconducting QC

Heisenberg was driving down the road and got pulled over. The cop asks him, "Do you have any idea how fast you were going?" Heisenberg replies, "No, but I know exactly where I am!"

The Courts

Buffalo Tech Gets New Trial On Wi-Fi Patent 78

MrLint writes "It's been a long, nearly two years of silence since CSIRO won a patent battle against Buffalo Tech, causing an injunction preventing the Austin company from selling wireless routers. On September 19, 2008, a Federal Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that CSIRO patent claims are invalid and Buffalo is getting a new trial. With any luck, we will be able to get our grubby hands on low-cost Wi-Fi routers again!"

Ask Blizzard Employees About Things That Matter 504

In just a few days, some of us will be making the trek to this year's Blizzcon event in Anaheim, CA. In addition to the interesting announcements, sneak peeks, and other distractions, we will be sitting down with several Blizzard employees to answer any questions you might have. So far we have scheduled some time with Chris Sigaty, lead producer on StarCraft II; Jeffrey Kaplan (aka Tigole), game director for World of Warcraft; Leonard Boyarsky, lead world designer on Diablo III; and Paul Sams, Blizzard COO. Please address your questions to one (or several) of these candidates and try to keep them civil and on topic. Questions about Diablo III's art style will most likely be omitted since we have limited time and that dead horse has already been beaten into submission. The usual Slashdot interview rules apply, but beyond that, the sky is the limit.

Plug-In Hybrids Aren't Coming, They're Here 495

Wired is running a story about the small but vocal, and growing, number of people who aren't waiting for automakers to deliver plug-in hybrids. They're shelling out big money to have already thrifty cars converted into full-on plug-in hybrids capable of triple-digit fuel economy. "The conversions aren't cheap, and top-of-the-line kits with lithium-ion batteries can set you back as much as $35,000. Even a kit with lead-acid batteries — the type under the hood of the car you drive now — starts at five grand. That explains why most converted plug-ins are in the motor pools of places like Southern California Edison... No more than 150 or so belong to people like [extreme skiing champion Alison] Gannett, who had her $30,000 Ford Escape converted in December. Yes, that's right. The conversion cost more than the truck."

Russia and Georgia Engaged In a Cyberwar 276

doctorfaustus writes "I first picked this up in bits and pieces last week off Daily Rotation. A more in-depth story is available at ZDNet, which reports 'a week's worth of speculations around Russian Internet forums have finally materialized into a coordinated cyber attack against Georgia's Internet infrastructure. The attacks have already managed to compromise several government web sites, with continuing DDoS attacks against numerous other Georgian government sites, prompting the government to switch to hosting locations to the US, with Georgia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs undertaking a desperate step in order to disseminate real-time information by moving to a Blogspot account.' There is a question whether the computer work is being done by the Russian military or others. ZDNet's story offers further analysis of the attacks themselves and their origins. Some pretty good reporting." And reader redbu11 contributes the news that Georgia seems to be censoring access to all Russian websites, as confirmed by a Georgian looking glass/nslookup tool. The access is blocked on DNS level (Italy censored the Pirate Bay in the same way). Here are a couple of screenshots (in a language other than English) as of Aug 12th 5:40 pm: nslookup — FAIL, nslookup — OK.

ComputerWorld guy CWmike adds "In an intriguing cyberalliance, two Estonian computer experts are heading to Georgia to keep the country's networks running amid an intense military confrontation with Russia. Poland has lent space on its president's Web page for Georgia to post updates on its ongoing conflict with Russia. Estonia is also now hosting Georgia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs Web site."
The Military

Military Spends $4.4M To Supersize Net Monitoring 76

coondoggie writes "Bigger, better, faster, more are the driving themes behind the advanced network monitoring technology BBN Technologies is building for the military. The high-tech firm got a $4.4 million contract today from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop novel, scalable attack detection algorithms; a flexible and expandable architecture for implementing and deploying the algorithms; and an execution environment for traffic inspection and algorithm execution. The network monitoring system is being developed under DARPA's Scalable Network Monitoring program which seeks to bolt down network security in the face of cyber attacks that have grown more subtle and sophisticated."

Smart Contact Lenses 109

Iddo Genuth writes "Scientists at the University of California, Davis, have recently designed a contact lens prototype with a built-in pressure sensor using a novel process that etches tiny electrical circuits within a soft polymer material. The new development could help glaucoma patients to measure their current risk factor, thus replacing the current methods which require constant visits to a clinician."
It's funny.  Laugh.

BSOD Makes Appearance at Olympic Opening Ceremonies 521

Whiteox writes "A BSOD was projected onto the roof of the National Stadium during the grand finale to the four-hour spectacular at the Olympics. Lenovo chairman Yang Yuanqing chose to go with XP instead of Vista because of the complexity of the IT functions at the Games. His comment on Vista? 'If it's not stable, it could have some problems,' he said. Evidently Bill Gates attended the opening ceremony, so he must have witnessed it."

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We warn the reader in advance that the proof presented here depends on a clever but highly unmotivated trick. -- Howard Anton, "Elementary Linear Algebra"