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Comment A few obvious corrections (Score 1) 41

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.

Submission + - Is there such a thing as bad publicity? If so, someone should tell the Donald (chicagotribune.com)

shanen writes: Top news story right now is Trump's attempted political exploitation of another gun tragedy for his political advantage. It appears that he has captured the headlines with two tweets. I think the angle of Trump's response is fundamentally racist, but what is giving me a deep feeling of disgust is the abuse of another person's tragedy. Trump knows he has 11 million followers. (How many Blocks besides mine? Twitter should post that statistic, too.)

In case it isn't obvious, I think the Donald lacks the wisdom to serve as president. Only one of many personal deficiencies, but I think it's the most important disqualification.

Comment Re: It's research... (Score 1) 123

Tee hee! Back in the day, one of the points I made to the old farts was that I had passed the 20 WPM exam and had my K6BP call to show for it, but refused to use the code on the air until the requirement was gone. Nobody spat at me or punched me out, the worst that ever happened was a poor behaving slim using my call and a postcard from the ARRL observer who thouht it was me.

Comment Re:You forget that (Score 1) 261

I think the caring (more) for women is at least partially biologically hardwired, but of course, the advantage of being human is that we don't have to obey our hard wiring when it conflicts with a reasoned ethical position.

Treating men and women when they're on the down and out could happen if we applied ourselves. But currently, as a society, we're more concerned with treating men and women equally in boardrooms, and as there are fewer women on the bottom, well... it's not an area I see getting a high priority in the near future.

Comment Re:It's research... (Score 2) 123

WSPR tells you when communication paths are open between two points at a specific frequency and S/N ratio. This is useful but does not span the extent of research that HAARP is directed to. One of the most interesting things about HAARP is that it can incite the formation of radio-reflective regions in the ionosphere. That takes a lot of power.

Comment Re:Only SOME Optical Media Is Durable (Score 1) 362

I wonder if it's that as readers got faster, they have less time to deal with errors from disks that were crap to start with, so errors that have been there all along are now causing visible issues.

I remember a study that found there were problems caused by writing CDs at slower speeds on hardware designed to write faster -- causing more write errors. I've always written disks at the fastest available speed, which might be why I never ran into that issue. (Tho I still have an old 4x unit should I ever run into it.)

Comment Re:Yes, Because Optical Media Is Durable (Score 1) 362

Commercial disks are pretty durable, as you say (unless exposed to weather, then they fall apart fairly quick). The only commercial disk I've seen fail were bad out of the box. But burnables, not so much. Mine have done well (my oldest ones are still readable) but I lived in the desert. Dampness and CDRs do not play well together, as they're not completely sealed around the edges, so I'm not surprised by tales of woe.

I still use CDRs and DVDRs for sneakernet to the DOS machine that doesn't speak network or USB, and occasionally for a specific type of backup (movie or album) but no longer routinely use them for system backup. I can get a whole stack of DVDs on a single 128GB flash drive (not to mention backup is much faster and needs far less babysitting), and per the torture tests I've read about, flash drives beat everything else for durability (retaining data through all manner of abuse; one even partially survived being shot).

And until recently I was still using them for live CDs for testing OS distros, but along came that bootable-flash-drive app and now I have 40+ distros on a single flash stick, plus a place to save files convenient to whatever I'm testing.

I never did acquire a Blu-Ray, tho I suppose now that prices have gotten sane I'll pick one up just so I have it if I need one. Which might be never at the present rate (I don't buy BR movies, so what is it good for? burned BR are reputed very unreliable, failing in as little as six months.)

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