Catch up on stories from the past week (and beyond) at the Slashdot story archive


Forgot your password?
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Comment qubit scalability is still unknown (Score 2) 89

Although this appears to be a great achievement, pending independent peer-review of course...

The fact is that that it is still a big unanswered question in physics as to how the number of qubits with superposition of their quantum states will scale in terms of time and energy. Many physicists think that this might scale scale exponentially.

So yes, we can expect to make quantum computers with a several (maybe even a few dozen) qubits with superposition of their quantum states; but if we need to double the time and energy as we add more qubits, it becomes impractical. Even if one find 10x or 100x improvements in obtaining superposition, if one does this with the large number of qubits needs to break classical public key crypto, such as RSA (via factoring), or DH/ECDH & DSA/ECDSA (via discrete log), it may take more time than the projected heat death of the universe and/or more energy than in the universe, especially with large key sizes.

Note that quantum computer systems such as those from D-Wave now have 2000 qubits, but these function without quantum superposition of their qubits, and hence cannot be used to break public key crypto. Mind you, even without superposition, D-Wave systems appear be to many times more efficient in computing some things compared to classical computers, such as for some types of simulations, so they are still useful in there own right.

Physicist should would find out how qubits scale, long before anyone is able to build one capable of breaking public key crypto. By then, there are a number of usable but less efficient (bigger & slower) quantum resistant public key alternatives which we can switch to, such as lattice based crypto, long before there is any quantum computer risk to Internet security.

In terms of science fiction risks to crypto, I am much more concerned about super-intelligent AI (or really clever human mathematicians) figuring out some shortcut to undermine trapdoor functions which public key crypto is based on, than I am with quantum computers.

And currently, the biggest risk to worry about are the countless security flaws and backdoors in modern hardware and software, such as Intel VPro/AMT, and organizations such as the NSA undermining crypto standards and protocols.

Comment I would consider purchasing a Note 8, if... (Score 1) 212

Samsung could clearly and verifiably show what the real issue is with the Note 7, which they have not done yet. And then show that it was completely solved and safe in the Note 8.

Plus ship the Note 8 with a fully unlocked Bootloader, so that we can easily install crapware-free ROM's such as CyanogenMod.

There are a lot of good things to like about the Samsung Galaxy Note series, including phablet size, stylus, and display.

Comment Re:I for one (Score 3, Informative) 275

So what do we do about Neptune then? It certainly hasn't cleared its orbital path of Pluto.

If you look at the orbits of Neptune and Pluto in 3D, they never really cross.

In fact due to 3:2 resonance between them, the closest they ever get to each other is 18AU, about the distance of Earth with Uranus.

So yet, Neptunes orbit is considered cleared.

Note that small bodies in rensonace and in Lagrange points are considered excluded from the planetary "clearing" requirement, since they are not in the way of the planet's orbit.

Comment Re:I for one (Score 1) 275

I for one will not recognise it. Reinstate Pluto, you right rotten rat-bastards, then we'll talk.

Give it up!

It makes no sense to let small dwarf planets like Pluto, which are too small to have sufficient gravity to clear their neighbourhoods, to be called planets without having to add many more other dwarf planets in the solar system.

Eris is 27% more massive than Pluto, should it be a planet as well? And there is likely even more massive undiscovered objects further out in the solar system. And there are many dwarf planets much smaller than Pluto, such as Ceres with similar properties including signs of recent geological activity.

Comment Outer Space Treaty (Score 1) 275

What about the Outer Space Treaty which prevents ownership of by celestial objects by nation states?
The treaty explicitly forbids any government from claiming a celestial resource such as the Moon or a planet. Art. II of the Treaty states that "outer space, including the Moon and other celestial bodies, is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means". However, the State that launches a space object retains jurisdiction and control over that object.[4] The State is also liable for damages caused by their space object.

This means that that at best a space nation would have to consist of one or more "grouped" space stations, which would cost many tens if not hundreds of trillions of dollars, and still likely not be entirely self-sufficient and independent from Earth. Even with all that, a space station would likely not be considered a nation, any more than a cruise ship or oil platform is currently.

If you want you own country, it would be far easier and cheaper to claim some rock in the middle of the ocean, away from any 300 nautical mile national exclusion zone, or better yet just buy out or take over a poor failing state.

Comment Aw how cute... (Score 2, Insightful) 24

Some lawyers and researchers at Stanford still think that the USA is a democracy which follows the rule of law, especially for its surveillance apparatus and unaccountable agencies (CIA, NSA, Homeland Security, ...).

I do hope that no one bursts their bubble, it would be like telling small children that there is no Santa.

Comment wake me when end-to-end crypto is supported (Score 1) 87

End-to-end crypto solutions on the client side, such as S/MIME & PGP have existed for nearly 20 years.

But for Android users, there is simply no decent e-mail app in which supports this type of required security in Google Play store, while also supporting office365 (required for work), tablet mode, and threaded message viewing.

Stock mail app, Gmail, Outlook, Touchdown, Nine, etc., none of these apps meet of these criteria. And don't mention Samsung Knox, which is only available with stock Samsung ROM on its hardware, and won't install or work with custom ROM's on its hardware such as cyanogenmod.

I very much prefer Android over iOS, but wished there was at least one decent and secure android mail app which meet my criteria, the way that iOS stock mail app does. Not to mention having the extremely handy in-app file attachment preview of pdf, word, powerpoint, excel, etc. which iOS stock mail app provides.

If any decent Android mail app ever does go on sale, I would be happy to pay up to $100 for it, especially for something close to iOS stock mail app. Since this would be a bargain compared to switching back to iOS just for decent mail.

Comment Skype for Business sucks... (Score 4, Informative) 109

The Android version does not support screen sharing, so it is useless for presentations.

The Mac and iOS versions are not stable and crash numerous times during meetings. (My record is >20 crashes in less than an hour with both clients.)

The HTML version is also too limited.

Even the Windows versions suffers from login issues, not present in the other ports, especially if you log in through a ADFS (Active Directory Feberation Services) corporate portal and have security restrictions.

In the end I cannot believe how bad Lync was and Skype for Business is, compared to any other alternative, including GoToMeeting, WebEx, etc.

If only, we were not forced to use this steaming pile of Microsoft meeting software at work.

Comment Re:Santa isn't coming this year (Score 4, Funny) 86

The liberals just raised taxes again on his corporation North Pole Inc. and forced him to provide Obamacare for his elves. They also sued him for giving coal to bad children, saying it that every child should be a winner and it was unfair to black kids who grew up in worse situations than whites, so therefore Santa's policy was racial discrimination. The fine was $400,000,000.

He is no longer able to make a profit and therefore had to declare bankruptcy. Sorry kids. ;(

Vote for Trump in 2016 if you want Santa to come back. Make America great again!

What? I thought that Santa Claus is Canadian, based on his legitimate Canadian mailing address:


So all of his elves should have be fully covered by universal single payer health care, decades before Obama was elected. And as a Canadian non-profit organisation, his corporate tax rate is zero.

Besides I have no idea why you are praising Trump, when up north, there is no greater hero than Ted Cruz for renouncing his Canadian citizenship.


If only we can get Justin Bieber to do the same.

Submission + - Kazakhstan mandates country-wide MiM root cert to decrypt all TLS Traffic ( 1

ad454 writes: From 1 January 2016 pursuant to the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan On communication Committee on Communication, Informatization and Information, Ministry for investments and development of the Republic of Kazakhstan introduces the national security certificate for Internet users.

According to the Law telecom operators are obliged to perform traffic pass with using protocols, that support coding using security certificate, except traffic, coded by means of cryptographic information protection on the territory of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

The national security certificate will secure protection of Kazakhstan users when using coded access protocols to foreign Internet resources.[/quote]

By words of Nurlan Meirmanov, Managing director on innovations of Kazakhtelecom JSC, Internet users shall install national security certificate, which will be available through Kazakhtelecom JSC internet resources. User shall enter the site and install this certificate following step by step installation instructions”- underlined N.Meirmanov.

Kazakhtelecom JSC pays special attention that installation of security certificate can be performed from each device of a subscriber, from which Internet access will be performed (mobile telephones and tabs on base of iOS/Android, PC and notebooks on base of Windows/MacOS).

Detailed instructions for installation of security certificate will be placed in December 2015 on site

Comment Re:Waiting for secure version without Intel vPro/A (Score 3, Insightful) 104

Yes processors run microcode.

But that is no reason to connect it to an antenna which allows a pc which is turned off to still be able to run wireless remote management commands.

In security one of the most critical consideration is to reduce the attack surface.

Intel vPro/AMT has such a large attack surface, that if we can assume there are no deliberate back doors, it is a safe bet that having it still introduces a wide range of new attack methods against us.

And for what? Just to help make corporate IT's job a bit easier? And remember those extra gates to support it does increase the chip's die size, power consumption, and cost.

Why not have AMT/vPro only in corporate PC's on request, and not have it in anything else.

Comment Waiting for secure version without Intel vPro/AMT (Score 5, Interesting) 104

For some reason I get very nervous with an out of band remote proprietary management system baked into recent Intel chips, which operates below the OS, and has not been independently audited and reviewed by trusted 3rd parties (such as those not associated with mass surveillance).

Note that AMT is also in all Intel chips with vPro:

This posting from the FSF (Free Software Foundation) has a decent writeup about it:

It seems that we are now in the age of hardware backdoors.

Maybe AMD which cannot seem to compete with Intel on performance and low-power, can make a niche for itself as a secure (backdoorless) alternative.

These days, I would value my privacy over performance.

Comment Re:Isn't the current mouse protection rule ... (Score 3, Interesting) 207

Doesn't the current mouse protection rule set the clock to death of creator plus 70 years for copyright?
Shouldn't that be not only enough for anyone but utterly overboard?

This is my understanding as well. And "Philip Francis Nowlan" who is the creator of Buck Rogers died in 1940, which was more than 75 years ago.

So with the current rules, Buck Rogers should be fully in the USA public domain.

Unfortunately, we will have to wait until 2036 for Mickey Mouse to enter public domain, and by then I suspect that Disney will bribe enough government officials to prevent it.

Slashdot Top Deals

The goal of science is to build better mousetraps. The goal of nature is to build better mice.