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Comment Phrase picking (Score 1) 637

I take a phrase that I like from a song, book, or movie and then riff on it a bit.
I might start with "God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising," part of a line from Good Omens.
Then focus down. "ineffableGame" thats a good start.
ineffable Game w/ blank Cards.
or perhaps
ineffable Game for infinite_Steaks
an ineffable Game for infinitesimal 6Steaks
Substitutions of words, puns, plays. It make it personal but you still have a have a hook for remembering it. So long as you follow your own (hopefully somewhat twisted) sensibilities you will have a way to re-derive the password, a sort of logical mnemonic.
Choosing a longer phrase, or a more significant part of a phrase, for more security is a natural extension, and it beats trying to remember complex letter and symbol substitutions. Wordplay is much more natural.

Comment Re:Canon's Diffractive Optics taken to a new level (Score 4, Informative) 60

It isn't the same as a Fresnel lens.
The scale of these features are below the wavelength of light. That means that these structures interact with the electromagnetic field in a way that allows for a negative refractive index, which is impossible using conventional optics, rather than bending the light in steps like a Fresnel lens. This is more like an array of phased antennae, but small enough to work with light's high frequency. They have been doing similar things with microwaves for something like a decade or so.
Google image search for microwave metamaterial. It will show you what sort of thing these pillars are mimicking, but on the order of millimeters instead of nanometers.


New Ransomware Business Cashing In On CryptoLocker's Name ( 62

itwbennett writes: A new service launched this week on a standalone Darknet website offering ransomware called CryptoLocker Service to anyone willing to pay a small fee and 10% of the collected ransom. The new venture is being run by a person using the handle Fakben, who was a former user of the Evolution (Evo) marketplace, writes CSO Online's Steve Ragan. Customers pay $50 to get the basic Ransomware payload. Once the victim pays the demanded ransom, the payment address will forward the funds – less a ten percent fee – to the Bitcoin wallet designated by the CryptoLocker Service customer. The ransom fee itself can be determined by the customer, but the recommended fee is $200. 'I prefer to be less expensive, more downloads and more infections,' Fakben said during a brief chat with Ragan.

Comment Re:It's not the Earth's fault (Score 1) 291

I feel as though it would be wise for the markets to move to another timebase, such as the one used by GPS (TAI if I recall correctly)
It has a correspondence with wall time but it doesn't change to match wall time, the difference is merely changed when a leap second is added (or taken away, which has not happened).

I presume that if they don't use a timebase such as this it is for historical reasons, but I'd be curious to know!

Comment Re: It's not the Earth's fault (Score 1) 291

If you are doing precision timing it would be wise to not use wall time. Wall time is adjusted on an ongoing basis on computers using NTP. Many times this is done by adding or subtracting microseconds smoothly, 'slewing' time so it is monotonic and all that, but that means wall time is only accurate in the long run, not at any particular moment.

What you'd want is something that has a fixed timebase which is trained to the wall clock but doesn't correspond to adjustments to the wall time. I'm not sure as to all the details, but something like this:
        Clock that cannot be set and represents monotonic time since some unspecified starting point.

Comment Re:Cheating? (Score 1) 109

Actually the driver could enable those things. I don't have enough knowledge to implement it myself, but the driver does control everything that goes to the GPU in some form or another. The GPU does what it is told, the driver tells it what to do. The short version is that if you control the driver you own the card.

Comment Re: Linux (Score 1) 109

I'm an outlier, but I am very happy with using Linux as my desktop OS.

To stave off holy wars I won't bring up my distro and I must mention that while I dislike using Windows I respect things like Powershell (monad! AHHH!) and the administrative capabilities.

Mostly I like Linux because I can get things done. I code professionally and have become accustomed to the tools at my disposal. Everything from a first class shell to being able to install utilities with a few keystrokes. For me this is the desktop experience that I want. I even got my mother on Linux 5 years ago and she was pleased as punch at its speed and lack of scary pop-ups. That is highly subjective, and her needs are minimal, but to me the Windows desktop is dead. At most it might be a platform for PC games, but I've long since relegated Windows to the same mental 'bin' as a console or phone OS. It is what it is and it doesn't want to be anything else (even if it can be persuaded to some degree).

Thats okay, but it doesn't suit me. Your Mileage May Vary.

Comment Re:Teensy 3.1 (Score 1) 94

I'm just getting into FPGA stuff and I gotta say it is REALLY nice to get down to the metal in that sort of intimate way. I might grumble at the tools compared to what I'm spoiled with but my GOODNESS designing a tiny little soft core to do structured I/O at clock-speed (1 transfer per clock with routing and such, not that impressive but REALLY cool to dig into compared to hundreds or thousands of cycles in software!).

I don't know if I'm wired differently or if more people don't give it a try, but with the price point of some things coming out I feel like its going to get really popular. I'm using a ~$150 Zybo to develop for the Xilinx 7 series at work and Vivado is free for that chip (targeting a larger one later, and that DID cost but its obviously worth it). Thats a game changer. That brings it on par with the cost of buying a compiler in the 90s. There are even cheaper ones out there. The sucker even runs Linux so you can ship things from the pins to the kernel via DMA.

Honestly until I started working on this level I didn't appreciate it properly. Now its a world of possibilities opening up for me, and the software know-how is critical to do things like write drivers and applications on top of this hardware. No better cure for hubris than going outside of your comfort zone and starting from scratch.

Comment Re:All the proof we need (Score 3, Informative) 260

The parent is drawing their own conclusions from the article. Here is a key quote, but please read the whole article. It is actually quite good.

At this point, it’s time to ask what the heck is going on here. And while there may not yet be any scientific consensus on the matter, at least some scientists suspect that the cooling seen in these maps is no fluke but, rather, part of a process that has been long feared by climate researchers — the slowing of Atlantic Ocean circulation.

The Atlantic ocean's circulation patterns for that area are driven by density differences. Warm water from further south moves north along the surface and when it gets to Greenland it freezes as sea ice. That process greatly increases the salinity, and therefore density, of the remaining water and so it sinks and circulates south again.
This loop is critically important for certain favorable climate features of Western Europe.

If this is in fact what is occurring then this isn't evidence against climate change, it was one of the more extreme predictions OF climate change.

Comment Re:Let's face it... (Score 1) 260

It is a thing.

One anecdote that is related indirectly to the topic is the ignorance of the nature of stars. Someone in my family didn't know that stars are like our sun but much further away. There was no malice or contradiction of beliefs and they took it as a VERY awesome fact, but that sort of gap in knowledge combined with religious fervor can, and does, lead to the outright denial of even the possibility of life elsewhere.

Bear in mind that many people are in the dark about the nature of the universe as we understand it. There is no need to know and religious teachings are more accessible and repeated very often and so are positioned to become a, if not THE, dominant factor in shaping world-views. Those world views have a tendency to exclude that which the person perceives as 'other'.

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