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Comment Bigger but with less thrust? (Score 4, Interesting) 79

The rocket, named after the first American to reach orbit, is bigger than Elon Musk's Falcon Heavy rocket ... Combined, the BE-4s should provide 3.85 million pounds of thrust, according to Bezos. That's ... slightly less than the 5 million pounds SpaceX's Falcon Heavy can pull off.

Wait, so the rocket will be bigger, with less thrust? That doesn't sound like an improvement to me. Or do they just mean taller (there are diagrams in the article), but it will somehow manage to have lower mass and so get a better thrust to weight ratio?

Comment Slashdot summary isn't great, it's "DDoS decades" (Score 4, Informative) 74

The summary isn't great, it seems to contradict itself a couple of times. If the site "erased all digital records of attacks that customers launched between Sept. 2012 ... and the end of March 2016", then how do you have data for "the past two years"? I skimmed the whole article and didn't find an answer to that one, my best guess is that they meant the attack data itself was erased, but the service requests, chat logs, etc that Krebs references were not erased.

Regarding the "operating for decades" vs "Sept. 2012 (when the service first came online)", it's because Krebs is writing about the aggregate amount of time wasted by the DDoS. He calls it "DDoS seconds" which he then rolls up to years. He is not suggesting the service has been operating for decades, but rather that in the past 5 years the service has caused the equivalent of decades worth of service disruption. (So if 30 hosts are disrupted for 2 hour, that's 60 hours of downtime total, or "DDoS 2.5 days", even though the DDoS attacks only lasted 2 hours and ran in parallel.)

The most interesting part of the article is that subscribing to the DDoS service was only $30/month. That sounds cheaper than paying for DDoS protection/mitigation services, and makes me wonder if vDOS will change their service into a protection racket (pay us to be on our "protected" list so other members can't DDoS you.)

Comment Re:My PCP has a "scribe!" (Score 1) 326

Because people keep demanding that it gets cheaper so that tape gets sent off to India where it's transcribed by someone that barely speaks english.

Not true. Medical transcriptionists need to have a vast understanding of medical terminology, have to turn around transcriptions usually same day, and their transcriptions are reviewed by the doctors. Any outsourced contract that didn't provide above 90% accuracy would be cancelled by the hospital.

My sister in law and her mother are both medical transcriptionists for a company based out of Toronto (Canada). The pay isn't great, but the hours are somewhat flexible and they work from home. They're able to work from home because the recordings are all digital these days. The recordings go on to the server, tagged with the doctor's name and a session id of some sort. The transcriptionists pick it up from the queue, and type it in as they listen to it. They have an SLA with a minimum turn around time for transcriptions, based on the type of recording and duration (eg: transcriptions from a podiatrist might be fairly short and straightforward, while those from doctors in emerge or ICU might vary wildly in length and complexity.)

FYI - it's not easy work at all. Many doctors have different accents or don't dictate clearly, use different terminology or abbreviations, etc, and there are often many names for each drug (eg: acetaminophen is the generic drug, also called paracetamol, which might have 200 trade name variants such as Tylenol.) Hospitals have to pay licensing fees to companies that maintain drug information databases for them, such as Vigilance. Transcriptionists often run over the same recording multiple times to figure out exactly what was said, and have an open voice chat to each other to discuss anything they're unsure of. As a last resort they can send it back to the doctor to re-dictate, but you can see how that would be frowned upon.

Comment Would be used for in-game cheating (Score 2) 20

this new tool requires a developer to integrate up to a couple hundred lines of code to give players the ability to pause their game, move around the environment

Developers won't do that integration work because it will enable cheating in many games.

  • - Playing a FPS and unsure what's around that corner? Pause and move over there to see what's lurking.
  • - Playing a puzzler and want to get a different perspective on the puzzle? Pause and move around it until to get a different perspective.
  • - Playing a dungeon crawler and not sure where to go next? Pause and move around so you can find the traps, baddies, dead ends or loot.

Submission + - Documents Show How Russia's Troll Army Hit America (buzzfeed.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The documents show instructions provided to the commenters that detail the workload expected of them. On an average working day, the Russians are to post on news articles 50 times. Each blogger is to maintain six Facebook accounts publishing at least three posts a day and discussing the news in groups at least twice a day. By the end of the first month, they are expected to have won 500 subscribers and get at least five posts on each item a day. On Twitter, the bloggers are expected to manage 10 accounts with up to 2,000 followers and tweet 50 times a day.

They are to post messages along themes called “American Dream” and “I Love Russia.” The archetypes for the accounts are called Handkerchief, Gay Turtle, The Ghost of Marius the Giraffe, Left Breast, Black Breast, and Ass, for reasons that are not immediately clear.

According to the documents, which are attached to several hundred emails sent to the project’s leader, Igor Osadchy, the effort was launched in April and is led by a firm called the Internet Research Agency. It’s based in a Saint Petersburg suburb, and the documents say it employs hundreds of people across Russia who promote Putin in comments on Russian blogs.

Submission + - Extreme Galactic 'Rainstorm' Feeds Monster Black Hole (seeker.com)

astroengine writes: The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile has, for the first time, spotted million solar mass clouds of cold, dense molecular gas condense inside the Abell 2597 galaxy cluster, around one billion light-years from Earth. These massive clouds are now speeding their way toward a supermassive black hole, providing some compelling evidence as to how the monster black holes in the centers of galaxies get so incredibly big.

Submission + - Astronomers used network science to explain star formation (phys.org)

An anonymous reader writes: For the first time, scientists have used methods of network science to solve a fundamental astrophysical problem — explaining the so-called "stellar initial mass function", a distribution of stars by mass in galaxies and star clusters. Andrei Klishin (MIT/U.Mich) and Igor Chilingarian (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA/Moscow State University) described star formation using the "preferential attachment" aka "rich get richer" formalism.

Comment Re:Expect to change? (Score 1) 224

Oh, that sounds funny.

How do you install and iPhone App on an iPad? I guess i need to download it somewhere and fiddle with iTunes.

On you iPad, visit the App Store. Search for "Line". In the search results window look at the top, there are various filters. The first one is for supported hardware, and defaults to "iPad only". Depending on your iOS version, that will either have an "iPhone and iPad" option, or an "iPhone only" option. If it has the first, choose that. If it has the second, then leave it at "iPad only" as that should show any app that supports the iPad. Look for the app called just "Line", not the "Line for iPad". Notice in compatibility that it says iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Install that one. It requires iOS 7.

Comment Re:Expect to change? (Score 2) 224

You can create a Line account without a phone number. You have to install the iPhone version of the "Line" app on your iPad to create an account (which does not require you to enter a phone number.) Then install the "Line for iPad" app and it should connect automatically to your account (if it doesn't, just log in.) You could also install the PC version and create an account that you can use on your iPad. I never even bothered getting the iPad version, I just kept the iPhone version (it's HD, the resolution on it is fine.)

I don't actually like Line that much, since it encourages the use of tons of images and big emoticons - the chat ends up looking like a five-year-old was let loose with a book full of stickers. It is useful for game chats though, as you can easily post screenshots and videos in chat rooms.

Comment Re:Logarithms and polynomials? (Score 1) 908

Without logarithms, how would anyone describe logarithmic processes (e.g. human hearing)?

This. How can we expect people to understand that a magnitude 7 earthquake is 10 times more powerful than a magnitude 6 earthquake, if they don't at least know the basics of logarithms? Similarly for decibels. These are units that are routinely used in both the news and normal conversation, yet they think it'll be fine if an entire generation thinks the difference between 10 decibels and 20 is the same as the difference between 110 and 120 db?

Comment Re:All encryotions is "breakable" (Score 1) 418

Only because you arbitrarily assign one half to be the ciphertext and the other the key, you could swap them and the result would be the same.

No. Then you would be sending your message in the clear and encrypting the pad. The point of OTP is that you can pre-share the pad, then later use it to exchange messages without the message being read by intercepting parties.

For the most part it's just as difficult to send both halves as one whole

You don't send them as a whole. You pre-share the pad (eg: tell your friend to use the prime-numbered pages of a specific edition of the bible), then you can freely send messages you've encrypted using that pad, up until the point when you've used up the pad.

Comment Re:All encryotions is "breakable" (Score 2) 418

As someone pointed out already, OTP is not really an encryption, but a way to split the information in half.

No, OTP is symmetric encryption where the pad is the key. You take your plaintext, transform it with the pad, and that becomes your ciphertext. Then you apply the same transformation with the same pad to the ciphertext, and the result is the original plaintext. The information to be sent should not be used for any part of the pad.

Comment Re:This is how they start. (Score 1) 142

Are we supposed to believe that nobody raised an eyebrow when the revision N+1 engines suddenly started turning in far better NOx numbers than the revision N ones

I expect they were trying to keep the numbers from getting worse, not improve on previous values. Revision N is churning out emissions that exceed acceptable levels, so they "optimize" the software to reduce emissions during the conditions in which the excess was observed. Though as you say, it was likely done under the direction of someone high up, with wink-wink, nudge-nudge approval from the rest of management.

If I were evil, I would have set it up so I could blame it on a junior engineer and still have us both come across as innocent. I would give him/her a set of inputs and say "The emissions are too high under these inputs, we need to reduce emissions for this edge case." The engineer adds a condition to handle that edge case, without ever knowing that one of the inputs is a flag indicating the engine is under test. End result? Plausible deniability - the engineer thought he/she did the right thing, and the manager "didn't realize" that one of the inputs was the value of the under_test flag.

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