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Comment its not clear to me that AES is the hard part... (Score 1) 454

I didn't draw this conclusion at all. From the actual article it states initially the drives weren't encrypted at all so the flash dump lead to completely accessible contents. Now the flash dump is encrypted but the key is in flash memory which is simply locked by a pin. Even with a fully AES encrypted drive, you can brute force that with the standard 4 digit pin in 15 minutes. The hard part is not working out the AES key the hard part is brute forcing the pin sitting in the front which leads to the AES key sitting in standard flash memory. Yes a longer pin takes longer (55 days for the 8 digit pin) but one can imagine emulating the entire flash dumped iphone in software and parallelizing that just to pull out the key from bruteforcing the pin..


Comment relayrides insurance (Score 4, Informative) 195

Its worth remembering what happened to a poor boston student who rented her car for a carshare out using relay rides (and their liability insurance (same 1 million dollar liability insurance GM is using):

Comment you really should just go to a store... (Score 1) 282

You need to take your stuff to a proper store and figure this out.. I have gone through a ton of bags before being reasonably satisfied w/ the lowepro 250 (which is fine with the 70-200/f4 and the 17" macbook pro), which is my day trip and airplane travel bag. Even with this I also use an old velocity 7 for wandering around with because it is lighter and I can leave my laptop @ the hotel / home. For international 3rd world travel / hiking I use the velocity bag as an insert to a normal camping bag. This gives you the proper framing that camping bags have and also doesn't scream out rob me and is also not easily unzipped from the back.

Comment Re:I'm confused. (Score 1) 506

I remember asking people this same question.. the answer is just as the "universe" is being used colloquially to mean the "observable universe" the "compact volume" itself also represents the observable universe.. So the "total big bang" point (including the observable and nonobservable points) may be much bigger than the big bang point of our theories .. it may be infinitely big in volume in fact .. its just not known. This is what someone told me ages ago, I am not sure if this is still true today.

Comment biomass from CO2 vs soil question (Score 1) 382

There are a slew of comments pointing out the correct answer to the biomass question should be water. However this is due to the fact that the slashdot summary is phrased incorrectly. The answer to the slashdot summary is of course water due to the high relative mass contribution of water compared to non water in plants/animals. However the actual question is phrased as follows:

5. a mature maple tree can have a mass of 1 ton or more (dry biomass, after removing the water), yet it starts from a seed that weighs less than 1 gram.

Which of the following processes contributes the most to this huge increase in biomass? circle the correct answer.

(A) absorption of mineral substances from the soil via the roots
(B) absorption of organic substances from the soil via the roots
(C) incorporation of CO2 gas from the atmosphere into molecules by green leaves
(D) incorporation of H2o from the soil into molecules by green leaves
(E) absorption of solar radiation into the leaf

Clearly the correct answer to this question is (C). (Only 29% of students got this answer correct).


Submission + - Foodtubes Proposes Underground ‘Physical Int (

An anonymous reader writes: Automatically routed canisters could replace lorries with an Internet of things, says Foodtubes

A group of academics is proposing a system of underground tunnels which could deliver food and other goods in all weathers with massive energy savings.

The Foodtubes group wants to put goods in metal capsules 2m long, which are shifted through underground polyethylene tubes at speeds of up to 60 miles per hour, directed by linear induction motors and routed by intelligent software to their destinations.

The group, which includes an Oxford physics professor and logistics experts, wants £15 million to build a £5 mile test circuit, and believes the scheme could fund itself if used by large supermarkets and local councils, and could expand because it uses an open architecture.


Submission + - A Third Of World's Spam From One Russian Man (

DaveNJ1987 writes: The FBI believes that one third of the world’s spam messages are being generated by one 23 year old Russian man. Oleg Nikolaenko of Moscow is being blamed for being behind the Mega D botnet that sent spam emails from over 500,000 infected computers.

Comment Re:exponential versus sigmoidal (Score 1) 308

Hey apologies for the delay in responding .. but population models are a classic example of a two phase growth pattern (again only to a simple approximation). If I put an organism in a new environment (for it to exploit) it will initially obey exponential growth kinetics and then level off due to resource depletion / death rate balance.

In economics (and this is apropo to Kurzweil) innovation seems to follow sigmoidal kinetic, see
Technological Revolutions and Financial Capital: The Dynamics of Bubbles and Golden Age as an example.

Comment exponential versus sigmoidal (Score 5, Insightful) 308

Our joke about Kurzweil was he was someone who didn't take his "series expansion" to enough terms.. What he does is look at emergent phenomena and notice the exponential growth curve .. (which occurs in a variety of phenomena from biology to physics to even economics) .. and from that draw the conclusion that everything (or particular aspects of technology really) will continue to grow exponentially ad infinitum .. to a "singularity" etc.. This is both intuitively not true and factually not true because of resource / energetic issues (however one wants to define it for your particular problem) .. The point is you can actually look at the same phenomenon that Kurzweil claims to and notice in fact actually new phenomena/technology/etc only initially look "exponential" and then for all the obvious reasons flatten out (again really only initially (but further down the time curve than the exponential growth phase)) so your curve in the end looks really like a sigmoidal function.. (given whatever metric you choose) The hard part is to figure out how quickly you'll hit the new pseudo steady state .. but its certainly absurd to assume it never happens.. which is what the absurd conclusions he draws are always based on..

Comment Re:Five years behind? (Score 1) 315

I played it to gran pulse back in april and then stopped (because you can't play gran pulse while exercising since you need a mission map to know where to walk to) This weekend I picked it back up and I finished gran pulse I played to 12 (thats the level after gran pulse) and its the same old grind to level CP and then move forward (actually to be fair at chapter 11 on I couldn't be bothered upgrading weapons (because its so arbitrary) so perhaps I'm forcing grinding)

As you said you can't really do autobattle after a point..

Part of me wants to finish it just for the sake of finishing it since I've gone so far .. On the other hand it really is boring

I agree with the paradigm shifting later on .. that said there really only so many combinations buff / debuff / heal / chain / hit / sent.. so its pretty easy to keep a few combos to try and a heal (with a ravager that keeps the chain thing up)..

I guess in honestly the game reminds me of a giant gold farming mission.. all grind and random cut scenes of a plot I no dont follow (lcie /falcie / orphan whatever)

Comment Re:Five years behind? (Score 1) 315

I am curious did you buy FFXIII? When I read that article FF13 was exactly what came to mind. I've "played" that game up to something like chapter 12 and quite honestly i've never seen a game before that all you literally have to do is move forward hit X a lot and sometimes hit some other keys (aka change paradigm). Even the characters don't seem to be engaging (unlike for instance 7). Further its got a weapon upgrade system that seems unmatched to its CP thing (and not even very sensible without an online guide). Its not even figuratively mindnumbingly linear, its literally linear... move forward hit X move forward hit X.. "chain events" hit X "heal" hit X "buff/debuff" hit X

  this is literally only play while "riding the elliptical" game.. (hence i've gotten up to 12)

  in contrast uncharted/2 or even GTAIV for instance I thought was fantastic in terms of story telling ..

Comment Re:Honestly it sounds genius (Score 1) 186

To reply to myself using something I found someone trying this with switchgrass (experimentally)

I can't find the article but that is the meeting abstract. It looks like switchgrass gives them 1.430 metric tons CO2 / ha per year which is apparantly about $150 / acre so $360 per ha which is more than trees apparantly!

Kudzu yields 2-4 tons "matter" / (acre.year) so say half of that is carbon may give you better numbers..

Comment Honestly it sounds genius (Score 1) 186

Honestly it sounds like a pretty sound idea. I am curious if there are any obvious scientific flaws here that I am missing. I hunted around a bit and noticed someone a few years ago (in the dept of atmospheric sciences at UMD college park) ran the numbers on this using trees:

The article is readable here:

His numbers are $14 / ton CO2 (or $50 per ton carbon) with an estimate of a total of 10 gigatons carbon / year .

Given the total fossil fuel emission is right now is apparantly only 8 gigatons C / year the numbers work out pretty well.

Some of the issues on methane emission are addressed in the article .. the natural extension of this article is using something fast growing and equivalent like fast growing vines like.. kudzu which is so fast growing its a bioinvasive plant in the south .. I'm looking around to see if anyone has run the numbers of using kudzu but I bet its cheaper (including land usage) than using trees.

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